Monday, November 25, 2019

Review of Noam, Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans (Daniel Picus).
Vered Noam, Shifting Images of the Hasmoneans: Second Temple Legends and Their Reception in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Parallels between rabbinic literature and the writings of Josephus are a problem: how would the rabbis have known Josephus? On the one hand, we can assume that the rabbis knew Josephus in some form. Either they knew Greek and/or there was an Aramaic Josephus (a claim Josephus himself makes in Jewish War I, 3). Our other possibility is that the shared traditions come from a common storehouse, or “repository” of stories, traditions, and narratives: in its suggestion of an unknown source, this option bears a close resemblance to the famous “Q” document of New Testament criticism.[1] Where it differs is in the lack of an actual reconstruction of this putative text.


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