The Life of Flavius Josephus – Yosef ben Matityahu

The Development of Flavius Josephus, or Vita, is an autobiography written by Josephus in approximately 94-99 CE, where Josephus rehashes the details of the Hebrew-Roman War, in retort to accusations made against him by Justus of Tiberias.

 

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Affixed to the Antiquities was a Vita (Life), which is more of an apology for Josephus’ conduct in Galilee during the revolution than it is an autobiography. He wrote it as a retort against the attacks of his adversary Justus of Tiberias, who alleged that Josephus was liable for the revolution. In his defense, he countered the explanation offered in his more candid Jewish War, representing himself as a dependable devotee of Rome and a deserter to the rebellion from the outset.

Josephus came across as more trustworthy in his text the Contra Apionem (Against Apion), even though his prior works Concerning the Antiquity of the Jews and Against the Greeks are more significant. Of its 2 volumes, the first response to different anti-Semitic verbal attacks hurled at the Hebrews by Hellenistic authors, and the second declares the moral supremacy of the Hebrew religion over Hellenism and shows Josephus’ devotion to his culture and religion.

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Because Josephus’ first-hand narrative of the life of Jesus is the most credible present-day account that endured to the present, he is the most fascinating historian of the Roman emperor. He related many of the affairs of the Eastern Roman empire, initially as a patriotic Roman, and thereafter in a more sovereign tone.

Flavius Josephus is famous for his first-hand narration of Hebrew history, together with a first-person narrative of the revolution against the Romans (66-73 AD), and factual affirmation of the life and teachings of Yahushua (Jesus of Nazareth to the Greeks). A Hebrew of priestly and noble lineage, Yosef ben Matityahu (Joseph ben Matthias), was appointed leader of Galilee and fought in the 66 AD revolution against Rome. The Roman Vespasian crushed his forces, and after a 7-week blockade, Matityahu surrendered. He eventually won the support of Vespasian, who became emperor after Nero killed himself. Matityahu assumed the Roman name Titus Flavius Josephus and finished his career with the endorsement of Vespasian and his successors (Titus and Domitian). Josephus penned the History of the Jewish War, in Aramaic and later in Greek.

Antiquities of the Jews is a historical account from creation to 66 AD that acknowledges Yahushua (Jesus), Yohanan (John the Baptist) and Ya’aqov (James), the martyred brother of Yahushua (Jesus). Although his original works were modified over the generations, most academicians recognize him as the main source of extra-biblical material from early Christian times.

Josephus shined in his studies on Hebrew law. He studied with the Essenes, Pharisees and the Sadducees, prior to joining the Pharisees. Josephus was a witness to these historical events, and his written accounts are deemed factual. 

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