Monday, August 16, 2010

Second Century Josephus and the Original Hypomnema of First Century Josephus

(a) the original non-christianized 1 century Josephus IS NOT the existing narrative of the Jewish War; it was written in Aramaic, undoubtedly NOT in the third person and closer in form to Vita (so Laqueur and Cohen).
(b) Clement points to a version of the historical text of "Josephus the Jew" that was written in the second century where presumably this second century Josephus writing in the tenth year of Antoninus incorporates the original first person account of first century Josephus into a highly theological narrative. The theology and heavy scriptural reference WERE NOT present in Josephus's original hypomnema.
(c) our received text of Jewish War is a 'fixing' and perfecting of this second century Josephus more in the typology of Thucydides to make Josephus appear less like a barbarian, and a Jewish Christian.

What you have to imagine is a basic development as follows (i) a lost first century Aramaic hypomnema (ii) a second century work attributed to another 'Josephus the Jew' which consistently made an effort to interpret the original history in terms of theology (iii) a fourth century 'fixing' of this second century narrative to make it appear as if were Josephus's original narrative but now written by a Jew who had embraced Greco-Roman values. In short Josephus had been transformed into Justus without the theological mixing of Judaism and Plato (which was by now associated with heresy).

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