Jesus Begins his Ministry

At this point, the Romans are bringing and end to the siege of Jotapata and Josephus is hiding in a hole in the ground with a bunch of other Jews until the Romans discover them and send Nicanor to try to convince Josephus to surrender.  But the other Jews refuse and want to commit suicide and want to kill Josephus if he thinks of surrendering to the enemy.  So, Josephus starts to preach repentance to them: “Now as Josephus began to hesitate with himself ab...

Jesus Predicts Death and Resurrection

“…So Titus commanded that the hands of many of those that were caught should be cut off, that they might not be thought deserters, and might be credited on account of the calamity they were under, and sent them in to John and Simon, with this exhortation, that they would now at length leave off [their madness], and not force him to destroy the city, whereby they would have those advantages of repentance, even in their utmost distress, that they would prese...

The Burial of Jesus: Joseph of Arimathaea

Flavius Josephus, before he was adopted by the Roman Emperor, was named Joseph bar Mathea, or the son of Mathea. A tiny perturbation of his birth name gives you Joseph bArmathea or Joseph of Arimathea, because there simply is no such place as Arimathea. “…Yet did not Josephus {bar Mathea;} grow weary, even in this utmost extremity, to beg of them to spare what was left of the city; he spake largely to them about their barbarity and impiety, and gave them h...

Fearing God Alone

“…Simon perceived it, and immediately slew the five men that had gone to Titus, and took their commanders, and put them in prison… Yet could not that garrison resist those that were deserting; for although a great number of them were slain, yet were the deserters many more in number. They were all received by the Romans, because Titus himself grew negligent as to his former orders for killing them, and because the very soldiers grew weary of killing them, ...

The Parable of the Weeds

“NOW it was that Festus succeeded Felix as procurator, and made it his business to correct those that made disturbances in the country. So he caught the greatest part of the robbers, and destroyed a great many of them. But then Albinus, who succeeded Festus, did not execute his office as the other had done; nor was there any sort of wickedness that could be named but he had a hand in it. Accordingly, he did not only, in his political capacity, steal and pl...

The Healing Touch of Jesus

In this example, Simon’s wife is taken captive by the rebels, a very shameful thing to happen to someone and the origin of an “anti-Messianic Secret”. “This success of Simon excited the zealots afresh; and though they were afraid to fight him openly in a fair battle, yet did they lay ambushes in the passes, and seized upon his wife… but instead of indulging any merciful affection, he grew very angry at them for seizing his beloved w...

The Last Supper

The Upper Rooms The Gospels give us a few hints where the last supper was to be held: we should look for a man with a pitcher of water, guest chambers with large “upper rooms” furnished and prepared: “And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into...

The Pilgrimage of the Magi

In Book 6, after having described the war between the Romans and the Jews and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, Josephus takes us back to before the war and describes an oracle foretelling the coming of a ruler out of Israel which had deceived the “wise men”. “Now if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind, and by all ways possible foreshows to our race what is for their preservation; but that men perish by tho...

The Birth of Jesus: Mary

“…But why do I describe the shameless impudence that the famine brought on men in their eating inanimate things, while I am going to relate a matter of fact, the like to which no history relates, either among the Greeks or Barbarians?… I had indeed willingly omitted this calamity of ours, that I might not seem to deliver what is so portentous to posterity, but that I have innumerable witnesses to it in my own age; and besides, my country would ...

The Birth of Jesus: Gabriel

“But wonderful it was what a dream I saw that very night; for when I had betaken myself to my bed, as grieved and disturbed at the news that had been written to me, it seemed to me, that a certain person stood by me, and said, “O  Josephus! leave off to afflict thy soul, and put away all fear; for what now grieves thee will render thee very considerable, and in all respects most happy; for thou shalt get over not only these difficulties, but many oth...