Who was Josephus? by Helen K. Bond


Josephus was a Jewish, priestly aristocrat from Jerusalem. He was born just slightly, just a few years after the crucifixion of Jesus; and the reason why he is so important is that he wrote quite a lot of books. He, himself, was part of the ruling aristocracy and he took part in the Jewish-Roman war of the late sixties that culminated in the destruction of the temple in 70 C.E.; and Josephus wrote about this war so we have a first-hand account of the war. He also wrote a history of the Jewish people from the very beginning of time. So, he follows the biblical record up to his own day. So these two works in particular, together provide us with almost everything we know about first century Israel.

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Helen K. Bond

Helen K. Bond
Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

Helen K. Bond is Professor of Christian Origins and Head of the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She is interested in all aspects of the first-century Jewish world and the emergence of earliest Christianity. Her publications include Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation (Cambridge University Press, 1998), Caiaphas: Friend of Rome and Judge of Jesus? (Westminster John Knox, 2004), and The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed (Bloomsbury, 2012). She has just finished a book on Mark as the first biographer of Jesus to be published by Eerdmans in 2020.

A Jewish historian from the first century C.E. His works document the Jewish rebellions against Rome, giving background for early Jewish and Christian practices.

Relating to the priests, the people responsible for overseeing the system of religious observance, especially temple sacrifice, depicted in the Hebrew Bible.

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