This is a collection of essays focusing on the threads in Josephus (a first century Jewish historian and apologist whose works provide valuable insight into the background of first century Judaism and early Christianity) that are of particular interest to people studying the background and development of Christianity."Some of our most basic analytical categories, such as 'religion,' 'Judaism,' and even 'gospel,' do not map onto ancient conceptions or language." This insight, gained from long study in the biblical world, governs Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins. Steve Mason combines recently published essays with new studies to produce a coherent, sequential exploration of "methods and categories" important for the study of Roman Judea and Christian beginnings. This book takes up basic but often overlooked questions of historical method in studying firstcentury Judea and the origins of Christianity. Many of these questions concern the use of Josephus (the firstcentury Jewish historian whose work is of crucial importance for this period) for reconstructing this history. Chapters deal with Josephus' authority, his method of publication and audiences, "Judaism," Pharisees, Essenes, "gospel," and much else.
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Steve Mason is professor of history and Canada Research Chair in Greco Roman Cultural Interaction at York University, Toronto. He is the author of Flavius Josephus on the Pharisees and general editor of the twelvevolume series Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary.
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