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Josephus: The Essential Works Hardcover – May 17, 1995
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Maier has done something for ordinary Christian pastors and lay people. He's brought the earliest years of the church back to life. (Michael L. Sherer Metro Lutheran News 2004-06-03)
"I am delighted to welcome this abridged edition which preserves the essential Josephus. I commend it warmly to all fellow students of the New Testament." (F. F. Bruce 1995-05-17)
"A valuable reference work for scholars and Bible students." (Lutheran Jouirnal 1995-05-17)
"Reads as easily as the morning newspaper. My problem is that once started I couldn’t lay it down!" (Provident Book Finder 1995-05-17)
"One handy volume that is very readable, well-printed, and nicely illustrated." (The Banner 1995-05-17)
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek
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1. This is abridged, but where the full context of the original Greek translation is important, the full translation is included. In most parts, this is really this edition's best feature. For example, in the Masada chapter Josephus goes on and on about the contents of the fortress elaborating why they were prepared for a siege of years, not months. None of this is really that crucial, so omitting most of it saved pages of reading.
2. The pages are glossy and thick, making it a keepsake you can pass down to your children and grandchildren.
3. There are tons of photos and they are in glossy color and are annotated well so you know exactly what it was and why it was included. My only complaint would be that some photos don't appear where they do the most help and often appear pages past the text where they should've appeared.
4. The text font is at least 10 point probably closer to 12 or 13 which makes it easy to read.
5. The introduction tells a lot about Josephus, his contemporaries, and why he was biased in some respects. That bias is also footnoted throughout the text.
6. This has the BEST INDEX of any of my Josephus books. Sadly, most translations have a large index with every minor person included but none of the places. If you flip to the index in most translations you will not find Masada. This version is indexed beautifully and includes all of the major events, places, and people. If you're looking for a minor character you may have trouble, but this is much preferred over a 100 page index that omits so much which is what you find in other translations.
7. The translation is very easy to read. In the introduction the author says it will often be bogged down with Josephus's exact words. I didn't think so at all. The abridgment made for very easy reading and I didn't get bored in any of the chapters.
8. Sturdy binding and hardcover. The copy I purchased directly from Amazon has no dust jacket; the images on the hardcover are right on the glossy boards which I really love. No dust jacket to get torn up.
This book includes the Jewish Antiquities and the Jewish Wars, his main two writings. I have never had a need for the "apion papers" or "dissertations", so I'm fine with this version.