Wednesday, March 04, 2015

AJR on Josephus

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW has recently published two pieces on Josephus:

The Jewishness of Josephus: an Interview with Sören Swoboda
This is an interview with Sören Swoboda, author of Tod und Sterben im Krieg bei Josephus: Die Intentionen von Bellum und Antiquitates im Kontext griechisch-römischer Historiographie (“Death and Dying in War in the Works of Josephus: The Intentions of Bellum and Antiquitates in the Context of Greco-Roman Historiography”). The book was published in 2014 by Mohr Siebeck. Dr. Swoboda is currently a member of the Theological Faculty at the University of Jena, in Germany. The interview was conducted at the SBL meeting in November 2014.
The Understudied and Marginal Josephus: Bringing Him into the Conversation (Jacob Feeley)
Indeed, outside his usual haunts, Josephus appears rather like a strange guest at a dinner party, politely acknowledged with smiles or nods, but rarely approached. This is in part understandable. That Josephus wrote in Greek, an extremely difficult language which takes years if not decades to master, may deter students of Jewish Studies in particular. Josephus, moreover, does not speak as readily to the immediate concerns of contemporary Jewry. For Classicists, with their prejudice for literary style (a stylist, Josephus was not), their unfamiliarity with the Jewish tradition, and the general decline in knowledge of the Bible, Josephus can appear arcane or unappealing. Even those who refer to his works tend to use them as repositories of useful data rather than interpreting them on their own terms.