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FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS

ON THE PHARISEES
STUDIA POST-BIBLICA
I N S T I T U T A A P.A.H. DE BOER

ADIUVANTIBUS

L.R.A. V A N R O M P A Y E T J. SMIT SIBINGA

EDIDIT

J.C.H LEBRAM

VOLUMEN TRICESIMUM NONUM


FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS
ON THE PHARISEES
A Composition-Critical Study

BY

STEVE MASON

E.J. BRILL
LEIDEN • NEW YORK • K0BENHAVN • KOLN
1991
The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Com­
mittee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library
Resources.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Mason, Steve.
Flavius Josephus on the Pharisees: a composition-critical study / by
Steve Mason.
p. cm.—(Studia post-Biblica, ISSN 0169-9717; v. 39)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 90-04-09181-5
1. Josephus, Flavius—Views on Pharisees. 2. Pharisees—
Historiography. I. Title. II. Series.
DS115.9.J6M37 1990
296.8'12—dc20 90-19845
CIP

ISSN 0169-9717
ISBN 90 04 09181 5

© Copyright 1991 by E.J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands

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P R I N T E D IN T H E N E T H E R L A N D S
For my parents,
Terry and Grace Mason
CONTENTS

Preface a n d A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s xm
Abbreviations xvi

PART I

INTRODUCTION

C H A P T E R 1. M e t h o d in the S t u d y o f Pharisaic H i s t o r y 1
I. T h e G o a l o f R e s e a r c h o n the Pharisees 4
II. T h e S o u r c e s for R e s e a r c h o n the Pharisees 7
I I I . T h e P r o c e d u r e o f R e s e a r c h o n the Pharisees 10
S u m m a r y and Conclusion 16

CHAPTER 2. Scholarly Interpretations o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees .. 18


H. Paret a n d E . G e r l a c h : 19
G. Holscher 21
B. Briine, R . L a q u e u r , H . R a s p 25
A. Schlatter 30
M. Smith a n d J. N e u s n e r 32
E. Rivkin 36
D. Schwartz 37

C o n c l u s i o n to Part I
T h e N e e d for a N e w Study o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees 40
A i m s o f the S t u d y 41
P r o c e d u r e o f the Study 42

E x c u r s u s : A P r e l i m i n a r y A s s e s s m e n t o f J o s e p h u s as an A u t h o r 45
I. T h e Source Problem 45
II. J o s e p h u s ' s Literary Assistants 48
I I I . Christian Influence o n the T e x t 51

P A R T II

THE P H A R I S E E S I N T H E JEWISH WAR

C H A P T E R 3. P u r p o s e a n d O u t l o o k o f the Jewish War 57


I. Historical A p p r o a c h e s 57
II. Exegesis o f the P r o l o g u e to War 62
I I I . J o s e p h u s and the 'Axpt(ki<x o f H i s t o r y 75
VIII CONTENTS

C H A P T E R 4 . War 1:107-114: T h e Pharisees a n d A l e x a n d r a


Salome, I 82
I. Context 83
II. Key Terms 84
I I I . Interpretation HO
IV. Source Analysis H3

C H A P T E R 5. War 1:571: T h e Pharisees at H e r o d ' s C o u r t , I 116


I. Context 116
II. Key Terms 116
I I I . Interpretation 117
IV. S o u r c e Analysis 118
Summary 119

C H A P T E R 6. War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 : T h e Pharisees a m o n g the Jewish


Schools, I 120
I. Context 121
II. Five Statements A b o u t the Pharisees 124
A. R e p u t a t i o n for Exegetical P r o w e s s 124
B. " T h e First S c h o o l " 125
C. Fate a n d Free W i l l 132
1. K e y T e r m s 133
2. Interpretation 152
D. T h e Soul 156
1. T e r m s a n d C o n c e p t s 156
2. Interpretation 161
E. Promotion of H a r m o n y 170
1. K e y T e r m s 170
2. Interpretation 173
I I I . Interpretation o f War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 173
IV. S o u r c e Analysis 176

P A R T III

THE P H A R I S E E S I N T H E JEWISH ANTIQUITIES

C H A P T E R 7. T h e P u r p o s e a n d O u t l o o k o f Antiquities 181
I. Preface a n d D o m i n a n t T h e m e s 182
II. R e l a t i o n s h i p B e t w e e n War a n d Antiquities 186
I I I . T h e Pharisees in Antiquities 193
S u m m a r y and Conclusion 195
CONTENTS IX

C H A P T E R 8. Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 1 - 1 7 3 : T h e Pharisees a m o n g the J e w i s h


S c h o o l s , II 196
I. Context 197
II. Key Terms 202
I I I . Interpretation 202
IV. Source Analysis 207
Summary and Conclusion 211

C H A P T E R 9. Ant. 1 3 : 2 8 8 - 2 9 8 : T h e Pharisees a n d J o h n H y r c a n u s 213


I. Context 214
II. Literary P r o b l e m s a n d Solutions 216
I I I . Interpretation o f Ant. 13:288-296 227
IV. T h e Pharisaic Nofxifioc 230
A. Key Terms 231
B. Interpretation o f Ant. 13:297-298 240
S u m m a r y and Conclusion 245

CHAPTER 10. Ant. 13:400-432: T h e Pharisees and Alexandra


S a l o m e , II 246
I. Context 246
II. Interpretation 248
Summary and Conclusion 258

C H A P T E R 1 1 . Ant. 1 7 : 4 1 - 4 5 : T h e Pharisees at H e r o d ' s C o u r t , II 260


I. Context 260
II. Key Terms 263
I I I . T h e M e a n i n g o f P r o p h e c y for J o s e p h u s 267
IV. Interpretation 272
V. Source Analysis 274

CHAPTER 12. Ant. 1 8 : 1 2 - 1 5 : T h e Pharisees a m o n g the Jewish


S c h o o l s , III 281
I. Context 282
II. Five Statements A b o u t the Pharisees 287
A. Avoidance of Luxury 287
1. K e y T e r m s 287
2. Interpretation 288
B. T h e Pharisaic T r a d i t i o n 288
1. K e y T e r m s 289
2. Interpretation 292
X CONTENTS

C. Fate a n d Free W i l l 293


1. K e y T e r m s 294
2. Interpretation . 297
D. I m m o r t a l i t y o f Souls 297
1. K e y T e r m s 298
2. Interpretation 299
E. T h e Influence o f the Pharisees 300
1. K e y T e r m s 305
2. Interpretation 306
III. Source Analysis 306
Summary and Conclusion 307

P A R T IV

THE PHARISEES IN T H E LIFE

C H A P T E R 13. P u r p o s e a n d O u t l o o k o f the Life 311


I. Date 311
II. Occasion, Purpose, Outlook 316
Summary and Critique 321

C H A P T E R 14. T h e Pharisaic A l l e g i a n c e o f J o s e p h u s in M o d e r n
Scholarship 325
I. The Importance o f Josephus's Pharisaic A l l e g i a n c e in
M o d e r n Scholarship 326
II. A r g u m e n t s O f f e r e d in S u p p o r t o f Josephus's Pharisaic
Allegiance 330
S u m m a r y a n d C o n c l u s i o n : T h e I m p o r t a n c e o f Life 1 2 b 339

C H A P T E R 15. Life 10-12: J o s e p h u s ' s R e l i g i o u s Q u e s t 342


I. Context 342
II. Key Terms 347
I I I . Interpretation 353
Summary and Conclusion 355

C H A P T E R 16. Life 189-198: J o s e p h u s , S i m o n , a n d the D e l e g a t i o n 357


I. Context 357
II. Interpretation 360
Summary 370
CONTENTS XI

C o n c l u s i o n to the Study 372


A p p e n d i x A . T h e H i s t o r i o g r a p h y o f War a n d Antiquities: A D i a ­
l o g u e with H . W . A t t r i d g e 376
A p p e n d i x B . Scholarly Interpretations o f J o s e p h u s o n Fate a n d
Free W i l l 384
Bibliography 399

Index of M o d e r n Authors 415


Index of Greek W o r d s 420
I n d e x o f A n c i e n t G r o u p s a n d Personalities 423
PREFACE A N D ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

N o o n e c a n write a n d publish a scholarly m o n o g r a p h w i t h o u t m a s s i v e


assistance from various quarters. This is especially true w h e n the
m a n u s c r i p t in q u e s t i o n b e g i n s its life, as this o n e d i d , " i n fulfillment o f
the r e q u i r e m e n t s for the d e g r e e , D o c t o r o f P h i l o s o p h y " . A l l sorts o f
p e o p l e a n d institutions h e l p e d pilot this p r o j e c t t h r o u g h the perilous
waters o f the d o c t o r a l p r o g r a m m e ; m a n y others h a v e h e l p e d m e to
r e c o m m i s s i o n it as a b o o k . I a m delighted here to r e c o r d m y gratitude.
I n the first p l a c e , m y entire career as a d o c t o r a l student w o u l d h a v e
b e e n i m p o s s i b l e w i t h o u t the financial s u p p o r t that I r e c e i v e d f r o m the
Social S c i e n c e s a n d H u m a n i t i e s R e s e a r c h C o u n c i l o f C a n a d a , w h i c h
granted m e a f o u r - y e a r d o c t o r a l fellowship. It w a s this f u n d i n g that
m a d e possible m y t w o years o f research a b r o a d , in J e r u s a l e m a n d T u b ­
i n g e n . T h e S S H R C C has m a d e C a n a d a a m o s t c o n g e n i a l e n v i r o n m e n t
for h u m a n i s t i c scholarship; m a y it always b e s o .
A n e q u a l l y indispensable c o n d i t i o n o f this project w a s the intellectual
stimulation a n d e n c o u r a g e m e n t that I r e c e i v e d f r o m m y teachers at
M c M a s t e r U n i v e r s i t y : Professors B . F . M e y e r , A . I . B a u m g a r t e n , and
E . P . Sanders. T h e s e scholars s h o w e d m e , a m o n g other things, that first-
century Judaism w a s a rich a n d e x c i t i n g w o r l d , a n d n o t m e r e l y the
" b a c k g r o u n d " to nascent Christianity.
W h e n I w a s at the H e b r e w U n i v e r s i t y o f J e r u s a l e m , for the first phase
o f the p r o j e c t ( 1 9 8 3 - 8 4 ) , Prof. D a n i e l R . S c h w a r t z always lent a willing
ear to m y d e v e l o p i n g thesis a n d offered m u c h helpful a d v i c e , in spite o f
his v e r y b u s y s c h e d u l e . I also benefited f r o m c o n v e r s a t i o n s with P r o ­
fessors D . Flusser, I. G a f h i , a n d L . I . L e v i n e . A n d m y research w a s
greatly assisted b y the g e n e r o u s privileges offered to m e b y the E c o l e
B i b l i q u e et A r c h a e o l o g i q u e in J e r u s a l e m , w h i c h privileges i n c l u d e d a
personal w o r k area in their o u t s t a n d i n g library.
W h e n I w a s at E b e r h a r d - K a r l s Universitat in T u b i n g e n ( 1 9 8 4 - 8 5 ) ,
Prof. D r . O t t o Betz a n d Prof. D r . M a r t i n H e n g e l b o t h listened patiently
to m y s u n d r y h y p o t h e s e s a n d offered sage c o u n s e l f r o m their treasuries
o f k n o w l e d g e a n d insight. O n a practical n o t e , the Institut z u r Er-
f o r s c h u n g des U r c h r i s t e n t u m s ( o n W i l h e l m s t r a s s e ) , then d i r e c t e d b y
Drs. Burton and Bonnie Thurston, graciously m a d e m e a " f e l l o w " and
afforded m e a secure w o r k s p a c e .
B a c k in C a n a d a , Prof. R i c h a r d N . L o n g e n e c k e r willingly sacrificed
h i m s e l f to the thankless task, as m y a d v i s o r , o f r e a d i n g an u n w i e l d y
( 7 0 0 - p a g e ! ) m a n u s c r i p t a n d m a k i n g editorial suggestions. E v e r y o n e w h o
XIV PREFACE A N D A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S

has w o r k e d with Prof. L o n g e n e c k e r will testify to his w a r m t h and


fatherly c a r e ; w e h a v e all benefited f r o m his r e m a r k a b l e foresight a n d his
ability to shepherd the a n x i o u s d o c t o r a l c a n d i d a t e o v e r ( s o m e t i m e s
a r o u n d ) the institutional hurdles that beset o u r paths.
A g l a n c e a h e a d at the text o f this w o r k will give the reader s o m e ap­
preciation o f the p a i n that m y wife G l e n n a w a s willing to e n d u r e o n m y
a c c o u n t , for she t y p e d o u t the entire m a n u s c r i p t , i n c l u d i n g the u b i ­
q u i t o u s G r e e k ( w h i c h she d o e s n o t r e a d ) , a n d that in the age o f the
typewriter. F o r the final (dissertation) draft, she w a s j o i n e d b y m y sister
K a t h y , w h o m a d e a special trip f r o m E n g l a n d for the p u r p o s e . A n d since
I h a d n o access to a c o m p u t e r in those d a y s , the entire m a n u s c r i p t h a d
to b e k e y e d in again ( o n disk) b e f o r e I c o u l d revise it for p u b l i c a t i o n .
T h i s final task w a s u n d e r t a k e n b y the G e n e r a l Services support staff at
the M e m o r i a l U n i v e r s i t y o f N e w f o u n d l a n d , w h e r e I taught f r o m 1987
to 1 9 8 9 .
It r e m a i n s to thank the staff o f E J . Brill for their professional handl­
i n g o f a difficult m a n u s c r i p t . D r . F . T h . D i j k e m a first a g r e e d to take o n
the p r o j e c t a n d has b e e n unfailingly helpful since. Prof. D r . Peter v a n
d e r H o r s t , o f the U n i v e r s i t y o f U t r e c h t , read the entire script for Brill
a n d saved m e f r o m s o m e e m b a r r a s s i n g errors. H a n s v a n d e r M e i j a n d
G e r a r d H u y i n g h a v e d o n e a s u p e r b j o b as editors o f this b o o k .
N o n e o f the a c a d e m i c s m e n t i o n e d a b o v e , as far as I k n o w , w o u l d w a n t
to h a v e his n a m e tied to the h y p o t h e s e s that I a d v o c a t e in the present
w o r k . N o r c a n a n y o f t h e m b e b l a m e d for defects o f either style o r
substance that m a y a p p e a r . But all o f t h e m , a l o n g with the non-
a c a d e m i c s m e n t i o n e d , h a v e c o n t r i b u t e d e n o r m o u s l y to the e m e r g e n c e o f
this b o o k . I f it has b e e n a w o r t h w h i l e p r o j e c t , they all deserve credit.
T h e substance o f chapter 10 first a p p e a r e d in an article entitled
"Josephus on the Pharisees Reconsidered: A Critique of Smith/
N e u s n e r " , in Studies in Religion!Sciences Religieuses 17:4 ( 1 9 8 8 ) , 4 5 5 - 4 6 9 .
It is r e p r o d u c e d here b y p e r m i s s i o n o f the j o u r n a l editor, D r . T.
Sinclair-Faulkner.
The substance o f chapter 15 first a p p e a r e d as the article "Was
J o s e p h u s a Pharisee? A R e - e x a m i n a t i o n o f Life 1 0 - 1 2 " , in the Journal of
Jewish Studies 40:1 ( 1 9 8 9 ) , 3 2 - 4 5 , a n d is r e p r o d u c e d b y p e r m i s s i o n o f the
j o u r n a l editor, D r . G . V e r m e s .
I n the f o l l o w i n g e x p l o r a t i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisee passages, I offer
t h o r o u g h analyses a n d n e w translations o f k e y phrases a n d sentences.
F o r b u l k narrative q u o t a t i o n s a n d incidental references, h o w e v e r , I
follow the L o e b Classical L i b r a r y translation unless m o d i f i c a t i o n s s e e m
necessary. W h e r e the L o e b text is cited, the translator's n a m e is in­
c l u d e d either in parentheses after the citation o r in a f o o t n o t e . T h e L o e b
PREFACE A N D A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S XV

text is reprinted b y p e r m i s s i o n o f the publishers a n d the L o e b Classical


L i b r a r y f r o m Josephus, in ten v o l u m e s , translated b y H . S t . J . T h a c k e r a y ,
R . M a r c u s , A . Wikgren, and L . H . Feldman, C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . : Har­
v a r d U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 8 1 .

Steve M a s o n
T o r o n t o , 1990
ABBREVIATIONS

Ag.Ap. Against Apion, by Flavius Josephus


Ant. The Jewish Antiquities, by Flavius Josephus
ARW Archiv fur Religionswissenschaft
ATR Anglican Theological Review
BJRL Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library in Manchester
CCARJ Central Conference of American Rabbis Journal
Cd Classical Quarterly
EJ Encyclopaedia Judaica
ERE Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. J. Hastings. Edinburgh: T . & T .
Clark.
HR History of Religion
HTR Harvard Theological Review
HUCA Hebrew Union College Annual
HZ Historische Zeitschrift
IDE The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible
IDBS IDB, Supplementary Volume (1976)
JBL Journal of Biblical Literature
JE Jewish Encyclopaedia
JES Journal of Ecumenical Studies
JJS Journal of Jewish Studies
JQR Jewish Quarterly Review
JR Journal of Religion
JSJ Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period
JSNT Journal for the Study of the New Testament
JTS Journal of Theological Studies
LCL "Loeb Classical Library"
LSJ A Greek-English Lexicon, edd. H . G. Liddell, R . Scott, H . S. Jones
MGWJ Monatsschrift fur Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums
NovT Novum Testamentum
NTS New Testament Studies
PWRE Paulys Realencylopadie der classischen AItertumswissenschaft, revised by G .
Wissowa
RevQ Revue de Qumran
Stobaeus J. Stobaeus, Anthologium, 5 vols., edd. C . Wachsmuth and O . Hense
(1957)
SVF Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, 4 vols., ed. A . von Arnim (1903).
TDNT Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edd. G . Kittel and G.
Friedrich, trans. G . W . Bromiley.
TLZ Theologische Literarzeitung
TSK Theologische Studien und Kritiken
TWNT Theologisches Worterbuch zum Neuen Testament
War The Jewish War, by Flavius Josephus
ZAW Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
ZNW Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft
ZRGG Zeitschrift fur Religions- und Geistesgeschichte
ZTK Zeitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche
PART ONE

INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER ONE

METHOD IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY

U n t i l r e c e n t t i m e s , s c h o l a r s h i p o n the Pharisees has b e e n in complete


disarray. A m a j o r p r o b l e m has b e e n the lack o f c o m m o n l y accepted
criteria for d e c i d i n g q u e s t i o n s o f P h a r i s a i c h i s t o r y : scholars c o m i n g f r o m
different r e l i g i o u s b a c k g r o u n d s a n d with different p u r p o s e s , u s i n g dif­
ferent s o u r c e s in different w a y s , h a v e necessarily c o m e t o different, often
1
incompatible, results. How and when did the Pharisees appear in
2 3
history? F r o m w h a t sectors o f society d i d they o r i g i n a t e ? W h a t w a s the
4 5
significance o f their n a m e ? W h a t w e r e their central, c o n s t i t u t i v e t e n e t s ?

1
Programmatic in many ways was the debate between Abraham Geiger (Das Juden-
thum und seine Geschichte [2. edn.; Breslau: Schletter, 1865], 102-151) and Julius
Wellhausen (Die Pharisaer und die Sadducder [2. edn.; Hannover: H . Lafaire, 1924], 8-25,
76-123). These scholars agreed, however, on the details of Pharisaic origins; they were
preoccupied with the evaluative question, as to whether Pharisaism represented a
development or decline in post-exilic Judaism.
2
Cf., e.g., I. Levy, La Legende de Pythagore de Grece en Palestine (Paris: Honore Cham­
pion, 1927), 235-250; O . Holtzmann, "Der Prophet Malachi und der Ursprung des
Pharisaerbundes", ARW 19 (1931), 1-21; W . Foerster, "Der Ursprung des
Pharisaismus", Z A W 2 4 (1935), 35-51; W . Beilner, "Der Ursprung des Pharisaismus",
BZ n.F. 3 (1959); S. Zeitlin, The Rise and Fall of the Judean State (Philadelphia: Jewish
Publication Society of America, 1962-1978), I, 176; L. Finkelstein, "The Origin of the
Pharisees", Conservative Judaism 23 (1969), 25-36; H . Burgmann, " ' T h e Wicked
Woman': der Makkabaer Simon?", RevQS (1972), 323-259; idem., "Der Grunder der
Pharisaergenossenschaft: der Makkabaer Simon", JSJ 9 (1978), 153-191.
3
The Pharisees' predecessors are variously described as: priests ( R . Meyer,
"Oocptaoctos", TDNTIX, 15f.); lay scribes (E. Rivkin, "Pharisees", IDBS, 659f.); the
prophets (J. Z . Lauterbach, "The Pharisees and their Teachings", HUCA 6 [1929], 77-
91); Jerusalem's "plebeians" (L. Finkelstein, The Pharisees: The Sociological Background of
their Faith [2 vols.; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1938], I, 74);
and the hasidim, whether these last are understood to have been religious quietists
(Wellhausen) or zealous nationalists (Geiger).
4
Cf., e.g., M . D . Hussey, "The Origin of the Name Pharisee", JBL 39 (1920), 66-
69; T . W . Manson, "Sadducee and Pharisee: the Origin and Significance of their
Names", BJRL 21 (1938), 144-159; J. Bowker, Jesus and the Pharisees (Cambridge:
University Press, 1973), 4; and A . I. Baumgarten, "The Name of the Pharisees", JBL
102 (1983), 411-428.
5
Was their core motivation: zeal for their oral tradition (so G. F. Moore, Judaism in
the First Centuries of the Christian Era, the Age of the Tannaim [3 vols.; Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, 1927-1930], I, 66, and E. Rivkin, A Hidden Revolution
[Nashville: Abingdon, 1978], 71); the promulgation of liberal democracy (so Lauter­
bach, "Pharisees", HUCA, 69, 119, 133); the practice of tithing and levitical purity (so
R. T . Herford, The Pharisees [New York: Macmillan, 1924], 29-35); an insistence on
separation from the heathen (so I. Elbogen, Die Religionsanschauungen der Pharisaer [Berlin:
H . Itzkowski, 1904); a messianic hope (so K . Kohler, "Pharisees", JE I X , 664); belief
2 CHAPTER ONE

6
W e r e they i n c l i n e d t o w a r d a p o c a l y p t i c v i e w s ? W e r e they involved in
7 8
political l i f e ? I f s o , w h a t political p r i n c i p l e s d i d they e s p o u s e ? How
9
great w a s their i n f l u e n c e in Palestinian J u d a i s m b e f o r e A D 7 0 ? How

in resurrection and angels (so Manson, "Sadducee and Pharisee", 154); or the repudia­
tion of apocalyptic (so K . Schubert, "Jewish Religious Parties and Sects", in The Crucible
of Christianity, ed. A . Toynbee [London: Thames and Hudson, 1969], 89)?
6
For a negative answer, see: Geiger, Geschichte, 93f.; B. Jacob, Im Namen Gottes
(Berlin: S. Calvary, 1903), 65f.; Elbogen, Religionsanschauungen, 8; Moore, Judaism, I,
127f.; Herford, Pharisees, 185; Lauterbach, "Pharisees", HUCA, 136; J. Klausner, The
Messianic Idea in Israel (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1956), 393; and Schubert,
"Parties and Sects", 89. For an affirmative answer, see: Wellhausen, Pharisaer, 22-24;
W . Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im spathellenistischen Zeitalter H N T 21 (4. edn., ed.
H . Gressmann; Tubingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1966 [1926]), 204f.; R . H . Charles, Religious
Development Between the Old and New Testaments (London: Oxford, 1914), 33f.; idem.,
Eschatology: The Doctrine of a Future Life in Israel, Judaism and Christianity (New York:
Schocken, 1963 [1899]), 171-195; C . C . Torrey, "Apocalypse", JE, I, 673b; W . D .
Davies, "Apocalyptic and Pharisaism", in his Christian Origins and Judaism (London:
Darton, Longman & Todd, 1962), 19-30; and P. D . Hanson, "Apocalypticism", IDBS,
33.
7
Affirmatively: Geiger, Urschrift, 150; Elbogen, "Einige neuere Theorien liber den
Ursprung der Pharisaer und Sadduzaer", in Jewish Studies in Memory of I. Abrahams (New
York: Jewish Institute of Religion, 1927), 145-147; G. Alon, Jews, Judaism and the
Classical World (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1977), esp. 1-47; and W . Farmer, Maccabees, Zealots,
and Josephus (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956), 189f. Negatively:
Wellhausen, Pharisaer, 22, 100-102; E. Schurer, Geschichte des judischen Volkes im Zeitalter
Jesu Christi (3./4. edn., 3 vols.; Leipzig: J. C . Hinrichs, 1901), II, 463; Herford,
Pharisees, 45-52; E. Meyer, Ursprung undAnfange des Christentums (3 vols.; Stuttgart-Berlin:
J. G. Cotta, 1921-1923), II, 286; Moore, Judaism, II, 113; C . Steuernagel, "Pharisaer",
PWRE X X X V I I I , 1828; Lauterbach, "Pharisees", HUCA, 70; and D . Polish,
"Pharisaism and Political Sovereignty", Judaism 19 (1970), 415-418. Between these two
extremes, various mediating positions have emerged, the most popular of which holds
that the Pharisees' interests shifted at some point from politics to religious matters; cf.
V . Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication
Society of America; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1959), 253f.; M . Black, "Pharisees", IDB, III,
777-780; and J. Neusner, From Politics to Piety: The Emergence of Pharisaic Judaism
(Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall, i973).
8
Wellhausen (Pharisaer, 90) held that the Pharisees broke with Judah Maccabee and
were thereafter in perpetual conflict with the Hasmoneans. Others think that the
Pharisees accepted Hasmonean rule until the break with John Hyrcanus (Lauterbach,
"Pharisees", HUCA, 77-80; Herford, Pharisees, 29-31). Others, rejecting the historicity
of a split with Hyrcanus, find the Pharisees supporting the Hasmoneans until their strug­
gle with Alexander Janneus (I. Friedlander, "The Rupture Between Alexander Jannai
and the Pharisees",/*^ n.s. 4 [1913-1914], 443-448; Alon, Jews, 7-17; M.J. Geller,
"Alexander Janneus and the Pharisees' Rift", JJS 30 [1979], 203-210). Still others deny
that the Pharisees ever opposed Janneus ( C . Rabin, "Alexander Janneus and the
Pharisees", JJS 7 [1956], 5-10). O n the vexed question of the Pharisees' relations with
the Hasmoneans, see also P. Kieval, "The Talmudic View of the Hasmonean and Hero-
dian Periods in Jewish History" (dissertation, Brandeis, 1970), whose conclusions have
an indirect bearing on the problem.
9
O n the basis of such evidence as is cited by J. Jeremias (Jerusalem zur Zeit Jesu [Got-
tingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1958], 134-138), most scholars have believed that the
Pharisees exercised the dominant religious influence in pre-70 Palestine, even if they
M E T H O D IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY 3

1 0
d i d t h e y relate to the rest o f their s o c i e t y ? A l l o f these issues, which
w o u l d s e e m e l e m e n t a r y for u n d e r s t a n d i n g the P h a r i s e e s , are n o t only
1 1
u n r e s o l v e d ; they are still v i g o r o u s l y debated.
T h e diversity o f c o m p e t e n t o p i n i o n o n these matters is so profound
that it s e e m s h a z a r d o u s to say a n y t h i n g significant a b o u t the P h a r i s e e s ,
e x c e p t for the v a g u e p r o p o s i t i o n s that ( a ) they especially v a l u e d a b o d y
o f e x t r a b i b l i c a l tradition a n d ( b ) they c o n t r i b u t e d significantly t o the
1 2
formation o f rabbinic J u d a i s m .
I n r e s p o n s e to the p e r c e i v e d b a n k r u p t c y o f p r e v i o u s research o n the
Pharisees, a new scholarly effort has emerged within the last two
decades. R e p r e s e n t e d p r i n c i p a l l y b y J. Neusner and E. Rivkin, this
e n d e a v o u r is c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y the w i l l i n g n e s s to p o s e a n e w the b a s i c a n d
( i n that sense) radical q u e s t i o n : H o w c a n w e k n o w a n y t h i n g a b o u t the
Pharisees? N e u s n e r o p e n s his s t u d y as f o l l o w s :

W h i l e every history of ancient Judaism and Christianity gives a detailed


picture of the Pharisees, none systematically and critically analyzes the
traits and tendencies of the sources combined to form such an account.
Consequently we have m a n y theories, but few facts, sophisticated
theologies but uncritical, naive histories of Pharisaism which yield heated
arguments unillumined by disciplined, reasoned understanding. Progress
in the study of the growth of Pharisaic Judaism before 70 A . D . will depend
upon accumulation of detailed knowledge and a determined effort to cease
theorizing about the age. W e must honestly attempt to understand not
only what was going on in the first century, but also—and most crucially—
1 3
how and whether we know anything at all about what was going o n .

have differed over the size of the group. It is now fashionable, however, to emphasize
the plurality of pre-bellum Judaism and to characterize the Pharisees as but one of many
small sects, with correspondingly limited influence; cf. R . Meyer, "OocpiaocTos", TDNT
I X , 31; M . Smith, "Palestinian Judaism in the First Century", in Israel: Its Role in
Civilization, ed. M . Davis (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1956), 67-81; and J.
Neusner, Politics, 8-11.
1 0
In the literature cited in the notes above, the Pharisees appear variously as a large
nationalistic movement and a tiny sect of pietists, enlightened progressives and narrow-
minded legalists, an esteemed scholar class and an irrelevant sect.
1 1
Useful synopses of some aspects of the scholarly debate are given by R . Marcus,
"The Pharisees in the Light of Modern Scholarship",,//? 32 (1952), 153-163, and H . D .
Mantel, "The Sadducees and the Pharisees", in The World History of the Jewish People,
first series, VIII: Society and Religion in the Second Temple Period, edd. M . Avi-Yonah and
Z. Baros (Jerusalem: Massada, 1977), 99-123.
1 2
Even Neusner, who may be considered one of the more cautious historians of
Pharisaism, allows these two points. O n (a), see his The Rabbinic Traditions About the
Pharisees Before 70 (3 vols.; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1971), III, 304. On (b), see his "Pharisaic-
Rabbinic Judaism: A Clarification", HR 12 (1973), 68.
13
Politics, xix.
4 CHAPTER ONE

R i v k i n likewise p r o p o s e s a t h o r o u g h r e - e x a m i n a t i o n o f the s o u r c e s for


14
Pharisaic h i s t o r y . A l t h o u g h these t w o critics arrive at v e r y different in­
terpretations o f the g r o u p , they a g r e e in calling for a return to first p r i n ­
ciples. E . P . S a n d e r s c o m m e n t s :

T h e question of who the Pharisees were and of how they saw themselves
vis-a-vis the rest of Judaism appears quite wide open. O n e must welcome
the attempts of Rivkin and Neusner to pursue the question de novo and to
15
try to establish rigorous academic standards for answering i t .

T h e present study is i n t e n d e d as a c o n t r i b u t i o n to this de novo q u e s t i o n ­


ing a b o u t the Pharisees. It will e x a m i n e in detail the e v i d e n c e o f a k e y
witness, Flavius J o s e p h u s , c o n c e r n i n g Pharisaic history. W h a t principles
o u g h t to g u i d e such an analysis? H o w will this study o f o n e s o u r c e serve
the larger effort to u n d e r s t a n d the Pharisees? R i v k i n a n d N e u s n e r p r o ­
v i d e s o m e initial g u i d a n c e , b o t h in their explicit reflections a n d , i m ­
plicitly, in their own procedures; nevertheless, they give detailed
16
methodological proposals only for the rabbinic literature. In this
c h a p t e r I shall attempt to fill o u t their p r e l i m i n a r y i n s i g h t s — i . e . , those
that are a p p l i c a b l e to all s o u r c e s — b y c o n s i d e r i n g also ( a ) the p r o b l e m s
that h a v e h a m p e r e d p r e v i o u s research o n the Pharisees a n d ( b ) s o m e
results o f c o n t e m p o r a r y h i s t o r i o g r a p h y .
Once the methodological requirements for a study o f Josephus's
Pharisees h a v e b e c o m e clear, I shall survey p r e v i o u s treatments o f the
t o p i c , in o r d e r to s h o w that those r e q u i r e m e n t s h a v e n o t yet b e e n m e t
o r e v e n , in m o s t cases, i n t e n d e d . T h a t d e f i c i e n c y will p r o v i d e the ra­
tionale for the study that f o l l o w s .
W e turn, then, to e x a m i n e the g o a l , the s o u r c e s , a n d the p r o c e d u r e
for research o n the Pharisees, as a m e a n s o f d e t e r m i n i n g the desired
characteristics o f a study o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees.

I. The Goal of Research on the Pharisees

One r e a s o n for the " h e a t e d a r g u m e n t s " referred to b y N e u s n e r is that


scholars h a v e c o m e to study the Pharisees with different a i m s a n d in­
terests. N o w it w o u l d b e n a i v e to disallow a n y m o t i v e s o t h e r than the
" p u r e l y h i s t o r i c a l " as reasons for s t u d y i n g the Pharisees; to i n d u l g e

14
Revolution, 3If.
15
E. P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1977), 62.
1 6
Cf. E. Rivkin, "Defining the Pharisees: the Tannaitic Sources", HUCA 40 (1969),
205-249; J. Neusner, Form-Analysis and Exegesis: A Fresh Approach to the Redaction of the
Mishnah (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1980); idem., Method and Meaning
in Ancient Judaism (Chico CA: Scholars Press, 1981), 36-50; idem., Judaism: The Evidence
of the Mishnah (Chicago-London: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 48-72.
METHOD IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY 5

such p e r s o n a l interests, h o w e v e r , w o u l d b e to d e n y the wissenschaftlich


character o f history. O n e m u s t distinguish, then, b e t w e e n the private
factors that m o t i v a t e o n e to study Pharisaism a n d the shared, profes­
sional goal o f the enterprise.
O n e o f the o b v i o u s m o t i v e s b e h i n d the study o f the Pharisees is to shed
light o n the f o r m a t i v e years o f o n e ' s o w n tradition, J e w i s h o r Christian.
O n the o n e h a n d , J u d a i s m tends to see itself as the d e s c e n d a n t o f ancient
Pharisaism. K . K o h l e r writes, "Pharisaism shaped the character o f
1 7
J u d a i s m a n d the life a n d t h o u g h t o f the J e w for all the f u t u r e . " S o also
R . L . Rubenstein: " A l l contemporary branches o f J u d a i s m — R e f o r m ,
C o n s e r v a t i v e a n d O r t h o d o x — a r e the spiritual heirs o f the tradition o f
1 8
the P h a r i s e e s . " S o the J e w m i g h t u n d e r s t a n d a b l y h a v e a historical in­
terest in the Pharisees.
O n the o t h e r h a n d , the classical Christian texts a p p e a r to define the
19
aims o f J e s u s a n d Paul o v e r against those o f the P h a r i s e e s . This circum­
stance attracts the attention o f Christian t h e o l o g i a n s a n d b i b l i c a l scholars
to the p r o b l e m o f the Pharisees. In the past, as is well k n o w n , s u c h inves­
tigators w e r e p r e d i s p o s e d to r e g a r d Pharisaism as a foil for e m e r g i n g
Christianity. T h i s t e n d e n c y w a s n o t limited to those with a " h i g h christo-
2 0 2 1
logy" b u t s h o w e d u p e v e n in the classic liberalism o f A . H a r n a c k .
R e l i g i o u s tradition a n d other factors m u s t b e a c k n o w l e d g e d as the
s o u r c e o f m u c h interest in the Pharisees. N e v e r t h e l e s s , if historical
research m e a n s s o m e t h i n g m o r e than the r e i n f o r c e m e n t o f tradition a n d
private intuition, the critic's o w n m o t i v e s a n d interests m u s t submit
themselves to norms and c o n t r o l s that are r e c o g n i z e d across the
discipline o f history. W e m u s t posit a goal for research o n the Pharisees
that d e r i v e s f r o m general principles o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h y a n d c a n therefore
b e p u r s u e d b y the c o m m u n i t y o f scholars. U l t i m a t e j u d g e m e n t s o f v a l u e
r e m a i n the p r e r o g a t i v e o f the i n d i v i d u a l historian as a m o r a l b e i n g ;
since, h o w e v e r , the criteria for these j u d g e m e n t s arise f r o m s o u r c e s other
than the discipline o f history itself a n d are n o t subject to its c o n t r o l s , they
can f o r m n o part o f the c o m m o n a g e n d a .

17
Kohler, "Pharisees", JE, 666. Cf. also Elbogen, Religionsanschauungen, 3.
1 8
R . L. Rubenstein, "Scribes, Pharisees and Hypocrites: A Study in Rabbinic
Psychology", Judaism 12 (1963), 456.
1 9
For Jesus, cf. M k 7:1-23; M t 23 and passim. For Paul, cf. Phil 3:5-9.
2 0
The implications of a high christology for one's assessment of the Pharisees were
forthrightly stated by one L. Williams, Talmudic Judaism and Christianity (1933), 63, cited
by H . Loewe, "Pharisaism", in Judaism and Christianity, edd. W . O . E. Oesterley, H .
Loewe, and E. I. J. Rosenthal (3 vols.; New York: Ktav, 1969 [1937-38]), I, 158:
If Jesus, who was the Incarnation of God, and therefore the personification of per­
fect knowledge and truth, thus depicts the Pharisees, thus they must have been and
not otherwise; no more is to be said.
21
Das Wesen des Christentums (Stuttgart: Ehrenfried Klotz, 1950 [1900]), 43, 62f.
6 CHAPTER ONE

M o d e r n h i s t o r i o g r a p h y is p r e - e m i n e n t l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h the a i m s , in­
tentions, o r thoughts o f those w h o acted in the past t o effect the events
k n o w n collectively as history. R . G . C o l l i n g w o o d calls this t h o u g h t -
2 2
d e t e r m i n e d aspect the " i n s i d e " o f an e v e n t . T h e o u t s i d e o f an e v e n t ,
he says, is " e v e r y t h i n g b e l o n g i n g t o it w h i c h c a n b e d e s c r i b e d in terms
o f b o d i e s a n d their m o v e m e n t s " , for e x a m p l e , that C a e s a r c r o s s e d the
R u b i c o n o n a particular date. C o l l i n g w o o d unites the o u t s i d e a n d inside
o f an e v e n t as the dual o b j e c t to b e k n o w n :

T h e historian is never concerned with either of these to the exclusion of the


other. H e is investigating not mere events. . . but actions, and an action
is the unity of the outside and inside of an event. . . . H e must always
remember that the event was an action, and that his main task is to think
23
himself into this action, to discern the thought of its a g e n t .

T h i s e m p h a s i s o n a p p r e h e n d i n g the intentions o f historical actors p r o ­


vides the goal for m o d e r n research o n the Pharisees. O u r p u r p o s e is to
g o b e y o n d the events in w h i c h the Pharisees w e r e i n v o l v e d to try to grasp
their m o t i v e s , their intentions, a n d their t h o u g h t s .
It m a y n o t always b e p o s s i b l e , g i v e n the state o f the s o u r c e s , to get
b e h i n d the events to the P h a r i s e e s ' intentions. A l t h o u g h , then, the a p ­
p r e h e n s i o n o f Pharisaic t h o u g h t m u s t b e the final goal o f research, w e
shall h a v e to c o n s i d e r m a n y e v e n t s f r o m the " o u t s i d e " o n the w a y to
that g o a l . B e c a u s e o f the s u b s e q u e n t i m p a c t o f Pharisaism o n W e s t e r n
24 25
Civilization, those events are already i m p o r t a n t in their o w n r i g h t
a n d the r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e m c a n b e c o n s i d e r e d an e n d in itself. A s E .
M e y e r l o n g a g o p o i n t e d o u t , " D i e erste u n d f u n d a m e n t a l e A u f g a b e des
Historikers ist also die Ermittelung von Tatsachen, die e i n m a l real g e w e s e n
2 6
sind." But o f the s u m total o f r e c o n s t r u c t e d events, it is to b e h o p e d ,
s o m e insight will b e g a i n e d into the Pharisees' a i m s a n d intentions.

2 2
R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History (Oxford: Clarendon, 1948), 213.
2 3
Ibid.
2 4
The Wirkungsgeschichte of Pharisaism is no less impressive for its having occasionally
been exaggerated or misunderstood, as in Finkelstein's remark that "Fully half the world
adheres to Pharisaic faiths" (Pharisees, I, ix).
2 5
This position is in contrast to Collingwood's extreme view that the historian "is
only concerned with those events which are the outward expression of thoughts, and is
only concerned with these in so far as they express thoughts" (Idea, 217). Such a view
would seem to exclude Jesus' crucifixion, the fall of the Temple, and the Balfour
Declaration as proper objects of historical study; they are important events because of
their impact and not because the various actors' intentions are recoverable. On
Wirkungs geschichte as a criterion for the selection of historical topics, see E. Meyer, "Zur
Theorie und Methodik der Geschichte", in his Kleine Schriften (Halle: Max Niemeyer,
1910), 42-48.
2 6
Kleine Schriften, 42.
METHOD IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY 7

I I . The Sources for Research on the Pharisees

W h e r e is the critic to b e g i n in his o r her quest to u n d e r s t a n d the


Pharisees b y r e c o n s t r u c t i n g their past? A basic task is the delimitation
o f admissible e v i d e n c e . Differences o n this score will necessarily p r o m o t e
diverse c o n c l u s i o n s .
A large g r o u p o f scholars, for e x a m p l e , has c o n s i d e r e d the a p o c a l y p t i c
literature indicative o f Pharisaic ideas; yet m a n y others d e n y the associa­
2 7
tion. S o m e interpreters use the D S S for ( i n d i r e c t ) i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t
28
the P h a r i s e e s : it is in a Q u m r a n d o c u m e n t that H . B u r g m a n n g r o u n d s
29
his t h e o r y that S i m o n the H a s m o n e a n f o u n d e d the P h a r i s e e s and W .
G r u n d m a n n d r a w s his portrait o f the Pharisees largely o n the basis o f
30
the S c r o l l s . O t h e r s find the Pharisees alluded to already in the H e b r e w
3 1 3 2
Bible—in Ezra, N e h e m i a h , or Malachi. Finally, 1 a n d 2 M a c c a b e e s ,
with their references t o the hasidim, h a v e frequently b e e n pressed into
3 3
service o n the q u e s t i o n o f Pharisaic o r i g i n s .
N o n e o f these s o u r c e s , h o w e v e r , m e n t i o n s the Pharisees b y n a m e .
H o w , then, c a n their p u r p o r t e d allusions to the Pharisees b e identified?
C l e a r l y , the criteria for this j u d g e m e n t m u s t issue f r o m s o m e p r e v i o u s l y
a c q u i r e d k n o w l e d g e o f the Pharisees. It is precisely o n this p o i n t o f p r i o r
k n o w l e d g e that v a g u e n e s s e n v e l o p s the research: few scholars take the
t r o u b l e to d e m o n s t r a t e the h i g h quality o f p r i o r k n o w l e d g e that is an in­
d i s p e n s a b l e c o n d i t i o n o f s u c h attributions. A s N e u s n e r insists: " S e c u r e
attribution o f a w o r k c a n o n l y b e m a d e w h e n an absolutely p e c u l i a r
characteristic o f the p o s s i b l e a u t h o r [in o u r c a s e , a P h a r i s e e ] c a n b e
3 4
s h o w n to b e an essential e l e m e n t in the structure o f the w h o l e w o r k . "
W h e n the g r o u n d s for the attribution o f s o m e w o r k s to the Pharisees
are d i s c l o s e d , they are often d u b i o u s . F o r e x a m p l e , G . B . G r a y (in the
C h a r l e s v o l u m e s ) identifies Psalms of Solomon as Pharisaic o n the basis of:
(a) its o p p o n e n t s , w h o m he j u d g e s to b e the H a s m o n e a n s ; ( b ) the beliefs
reflected in it, such as a m e s s i a n i c h o p e , political q u i e t i s m , a n d the c o m -

2 7
See n. 6 above.
2 8
Cf. D . Flusser, "Pharisaer, Sadduzaer und Essener im Pescher Nahum", in
Qumran, edd. K. E. Krozinger et al. (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft,
1981), 121-166, and A. I. Baumgarten, "Name", 421 and n. 42.
2 9
See n. 2 above.
3 0
J. Leipoldt and W . Grundmann, Umwelt des Urchristentums (2 vols.; Berlin:
Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1965-66), I, 269-278.
3 1
Geiger, Geschichte, 87ff.; Urschrift, 103.
3 2
Holtzmann, "Malachi".
3 3
Wellhausen, Pharisaer, 79ff.; Foerster, "Ursprung", 35ff.; and Beilner,
"Ursprung", 245f.
3 4
Neusner, Politics, 4.
8 CHAPTER ONE

3 5
b i n a t i o n o f fate a n d free will; a n d ( c ) its date (mid-first c e n t u r y B C ) .
T h e Psalms h a v e often b e e n c o n s i d e r e d Pharisaic, p r e s u m a b l y o n the
3 6
basis o f such evidence. Y e t the assumptions i n v o l v e d are clearly
d e b a t a b l e : ( a ) p r e s u p p o s e s that the Pharisees ( i ) w e r e i n d e e d o p p o s e d to
the H a s m o n e a n s a n d (ii) w e r e the o n l y o n e s so o p p o s e d ; ( b ) assumes that
the messianic h o p e was p e c u l i a r to the Pharisees, that they w e r e political
quietists, a n d that J o s e p h u s w a s c o r r e c t in his c l a i m that the c o m b i n a t i o n
o f fate a n d free will was a Pharisaic distinctive. E v e r y o n e o f these tacit
37
a s s u m p t i o n s is n o w v i g o r o u s l y c o n t e s t e d in the scholarly l i t e r a t u r e , yet
such a s s u m p t i o n s h a v e b e e n c o m m o n . W e l l h a u s e n o p e n l y c o n f e s s e d his
belief that the o n l y significant Gegensatz in first-century B C Palestine was
that between Pharisees and Sadducees; hence, opposition to the
38
J e r u s a l e m authorities a u t o m a t i c a l l y identifies Pss. Sol. as Pharisaic.
In v i e w o f the v a p o r o u s criteria u s e d to establish Pharisaic a u t h o r s h i p
for Pss. Sol., it c a n b e startling to realize the a m o u n t o f w e i g h t that is
p l a c e d o n this identification. M . B l a c k writes:

Fortunately there is no doubt about the Pharisaic authorship of the Psalms


of Solomon (ca. 6 0 B . C . ) , doctrinally one of the most important of the Pharisaic
and anti-Sadducean documents of this century, since it supplies our main
39
evidence for the Pharisaic messianic h o p e .

Unfortunately, there is d o u b t . K . S c h u b e r t , with a v e r y different pre-


40
u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Pharisaism, c l a i m s that Pss. Sol. is a n t i - P h a r i s a i c .
T h i s sort o f dispute is l e g i o n with r e g a r d to literature that d o e s not m e n ­
tion the Pharisees b y n a m e . S o , S c h u r e r thinks Assumption of Moses to b e
41 42
Pharisaic; G r u n d m a n n calls it a n t i - P h a r i s a i c . S c h u r e r believes, ohne

3 5
Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, II, 628ff.
3 6
Cf. Wellhausen, Pharisaer, 111; E. Kautzch, Die Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des
Alten Testaments (2 vols.; Tubingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1900), II, 128; Moore, Judaism, I,
182; Black, "Pharisees", IDB, 111, 781; D . S. Russell, The Jews from Alexander to Herod
(Oxford: Clarendon, 1967), 164; Grundmann, Umwelt, I, 278; A . Finkel, The Pharisees
and the Teacher of Nazareth (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1964), 7f.
3 7
See nn. 6-8 above. It is a further question whether the exegesis of Pss. Sol. has not
itself been tailored to fit a presumed Pharisaic provenance. One wonders about this with
respect to Gray's reading of a fate/free will combination in Pss. Sol. 5:4; 9:6. Would
anyone have found such a combination in Pss. Sol. if Josephus had not claimed that the
Pharisees combined fate and free will (Ant. 13:172; 18:13)?
3 8
Wellhausen, Pharisaer, 111.
3 9
Black, "Pharisees", IDB, 111, emphasis added.
4 0
Schubert, "Parties and Sects", 89.
4 1
Schurer, Geschichte, III, 375.
4 2
Grundmann, Umwelt, I , 286.
M E T H O D IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY 9

43
Zweifel, that Jubilees is P h a r i s a i c ; H. D . M a n t e l c o n s i d e r s it n o n -
44 45
Pharisaic a n d A . Jellinek, anti-Pharisaic.
A s o b e r i n g e x a m p l e o f the p r e c a r i o u s n e s s o f attributing a s o u r c e to the
Pharisees w i t h o u t r i g o r o u s criteria presents itself in the D a m a s c u s D o c u ­
m e n t ( C D ) . J. J e r e m i a s felt able to write in 1923 that:

es darf heute als erwiesen gelten, dass die Lehrer der Damaskussekte auf
der alteren pharisaischen Halakha und Glaubenslehre beruht und dass wir
in Gestalt der Damaskusgemeinde eine Jerusalemer pharisaische G e -
46
meinschaft des ersten vorchristlichen Jahrhunderts kennen l e r n e n .

B y the s e c o n d e d i t i o n o f his b o o k ( 1 9 5 5 ) , J e r e m i a s w a s able to cite H .


G r e s s m a n , L . G i n z b e r g , G . F. M o o r e , A . Schlatter, a n d G . Kittel in
4 7
s u p p o r t o f his c l a i m that C D w a s a Pharisaic p r o d u c t i o n . Since, how­
e v e r , fragments o f the w o r k w e r e f o u n d in C a v e 4 at Q u m r a n , a n d since
the d o c u m e n t seems to c o r r e s p o n d well to the M a n u a l o f D i s c i p l i n e
4 8
(1QS), the t h e o r y o f Pharisaic a u t h o r s h i p is n o l o n g e r t e n a b l e , unless
one is willing to b e l i e v e that the Q u m r a n c o m m u n i t y as a w h o l e w a s
49
P h a r i s a i c — a p r o p o s a l that has n o t r e c e i v e d w i d e s u p p o r t . T h e im­
pressive array o f scholars w h o w e r e p r o v e n i n c o r r e c t in their c l a i m o f
Pharisaic authorship for C D stands as a r e m i n d e r o f the multiplicity o f
religious g r o u p s in ancient Palestine a n d o f the c o n s e q u e n t d a n g e r o f
p r e m a t u r e l y assigning a g i v e n d o c u m e n t to a particular g r o u p .
I n the w o r k o f N e u s n e r a n d R i v k i n , o n l y those s o u r c e s that ( a ) u n ­
m i s t a k a b l y m e n t i o n the Pharisees b y n a m e a n d ( b ) s e e m to h a v e in­
d e p e n d e n t access to p r e - 7 0 realities are a d m i t t e d as e v i d e n c e . R i v k i n
insists:

Josephus, the N e w Testament, and the Tannaitic Literature are the only
sources that can be legitimately drawn upon for the construction of an ob­
jective definition of the Pharisees. T h e y are the only sources using the term
Pharisees that derive from a time when the Pharisees flourished. No other
50
sources qualify.

N e u s n e r is m o r e c a u t i o u s : " B u t for n o w , the o n l y reliable i n f o r m a t i o n


d e r i v e s f r o m J o s e p h u s , the G o s p e l s , a n d r a b b i n i c a l literature, b e g i n n i n g

4 3
Schurer, Geschichte, III, 375.
4 4
Mantel, "Sadducees and Pharisees", 99.
4 5
Cited in Schurer, Geschichte, III, 375.
4 6
Jeremias, Jerusalem, 131.
4 7
Ibid.
4 8
Cf. T . H . Gaster, The Scriptures of the Dead Sea Sect (London: Seeker & Warburg,
1957), 43.
4 9
M . Mansoor (The Dead Sea Scrolls [Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1964], 145, 149) cites this as
the view of "a few scholars" but confirms the virtual consensus that identifies the
Qumraners with the Essenes.
5 0
Rivkin, Revolution, 31.
10 CHAPTER ONE

5 1
with the M i s h n a h . " T h e qualification " f o r n o w " is i m p o r t a n t b e c a u s e
a p e r m a n e n t e x c l u s i o n o f all o t h e r sources w o u l d b e p r e m a t u r e . B e c a u s e
sectarian, p s e u d o n y m o u s , a n d especially a p o c a l y p t i c literature rarely
m e n t i o n s the actual n a m e s o f its characters, preferring c o d e s o r ciphers,
the a b s e n c e o f the P h a r i s e e s ' n a m e f r o m these texts m i g h t b e e x p e c t e d
e v e n if they w e r e b e i n g referred t o . Nevertheless, a d e c i s i o n o n this p o i n t
will p r e s u p p o s e a p r i o r b o d y o f " c o n t r o l " i n f o r m a t i o n o n the Pharisees,
w h i c h c a n o n l y b e safely a c q u i r e d b y historical analysis o f the three first-
o r d e r witnesses: J o s e p h u s , the tannaitic literature, a n d certain w o r k s in
the N T c o r p u s . I f a c o n t r o l b o d y o f i n f o r m a t i o n c a n b e securely estab­
lished o n the basis o f these witnesses, then a n d o n l y t h e n shall w e possess
sure criteria for d e t e r m i n i n g w h i c h , if a n y , o t h e r s o u r c e s c o n t a i n allu­
sions to the Pharisees. F o r n o w , h o w e v e r , these three s o u r c e c o l l e c t i o n s
c a n b e the o n l y admissible o n e s .

I l l . The Procedure of Research on the Pharisees

N a r r o w i n g the field o f a d m i s s i b l e e v i d e n c e g o e s s o m e w a y t o w a r d p r o ­
v i d i n g a c o m m o n base for d i s c u s s i o n , but n o t all the w a y ; for the three
sources a g r e e d u p o n are still vastly different f r o m o n e a n o t h e r in m o t i v a ­
tion, religious outlook, genre, and even language of composition.
J o s e p h u s , the J e w i s h historian u n d e r R o m a n a u s p i c e s , w h o m a y h a v e
b e e n c o n n e c t e d with the Pharisees at s o m e p o i n t , stands o v e r against the
r a b b i n i c heirs o f the Pharisees o n the o n e h a n d a n d their C h r i s t i a n
adversaries o n the other. W h e r e a s J o s e p h u s ' s narrative speaks m a i n l y
a b o u t the Pharisees' p u b l i c activities a n d " p h i l o s o p h i c a l " beliefs, o n e
m i g h t infer f r o m the tannaitic writings that their sole c o n c e r n s w e r e
religious-halakhic. It is n o t e v e n clear that the r a b b i n i c D^tfTID c a n b e
5 2
s i m p l y identified with the OocpiaocTot o f J o s e p h u s a n d the N T . Neusner's
j u d g e m e n t m e e t s the p o i n t :

Almost nothing in Josephus's picture of the Pharisees seems closely related


to m u c h , if anything, in the rabbis' portrait of the Pharisees, except the
rather general allegation that the Pharisees had ' traditions from the
53
fathers', a point made also by the Synoptic story-tellers.

5 1
Neusner, Politics, 4.
5 2
Cf. R. Meyer, "Oapiaatos", TDNT, 12f. A similar difficulty in reconciling the
Greek and Hebrew sources presents itself in the study of the Sanhedrin; cf. H . D .
Mantel, Studies in the History of the Sanhedrin (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University
Press, 1965), 54ff., and S. B. Hoenig, The Great Sanhedrin (Philadelphia: Dropsie College,
1953), xiiif.
5 3
Neusner, Rabbinic Traditions, III, 304.
METHOD IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY 11

The obvious and trenchant i n c o n g r u i t i e s b e t w e e n the sources h a v e


e v o k e d at least three r e s p o n s e s .
T h e traditional r e s p o n s e w a s to select o n e s o u r c e as preferable to the
others, w h e t h e r o n a criterion o f religious authority or o f supposed
historical o b j e c t i v i t y , a n d to give that s o u r c e p r i d e o f p l a c e as the " b a s e
t e x t " . A l l three o f o u r witnesses h a v e e n j o y e d the prestige o f such a posi­
t i o n . T h u s R . T . H e r f o r d called r a b b i n i c literature " t h e real a n d o n l y
5 4
true s o u r c e o f i n f o r m a t i o n as to the P h a r i s e e s " . And L. Finkelstein
o p t e d for " t h e o b j e c t i v e , a l m o s t scientific, a p p r o a c h o f the T a l m u d , a n d
55
its k i n d r e d w r i t i n g s " for his a n a l y s i s . W . Bousset c o n s i d e r e d the N T
to b e the best s o u r c e o n the Pharisees a n d d i s p a r a g e d the m e a g r e ( i n his
5 6
j u d g e m e n t ) e v i d e n c e o f the r a b b i s . J o s e p h u s has usually b e e n a d o p t e d
5 7 5 8
as a m o r e " n e u t r a l " s u p p l e m e n t to either the N T o r the r a b b i s , but
59
he also finds his o w n p a r t i s a n s .
A s e c o n d w a y o f h a n d l i n g the disparity b e t w e e n the s o u r c e s is m o r e
sophisticated i n a s m u c h as it r e c o g n i z e s that n o d o c u m e n t is free o f b i a s .
It sets o u t , therefore, to c o n s i d e r the three s o u r c e c o l l e c t i o n s s y n o p -
tically, in o r d e r to isolate their c o m m o n testimony c o n c e r n i n g the
Pharisees. A . I. B a u m g a r t e n , for e x a m p l e , finds the i d e a o f " p r e c i s i o n "
o r " s p e c i f i c a t i o n " b e h i n d b o t h the axpt(kioc-forms u s e d o f the Pharisees
6 0
in J o s e p h u s a n d the N T a n d in the r a b b i n i c E h D . A . Guttmann and
J. B o w k e r attempt to fit all the sources t o g e t h e r with their theories o f the
6 1
history o f the Pharisees' n a m e . T h e virtue o f this s y n o p t i c a p p r o a c h is
that it represents the o v e r t h r o w o f p a r o c h i a l i s m in d e a l i n g w i t h the
p r o b l e m o f the Pharisees.
It still falls short, h o w e v e r , in o n e crucial respect, n a m e l y : it c o n t i n u e s
to reflect an o l d b u t false a s s u m p t i o n that the statements o f the sources
are so m a n y r a w data that c a n b e selected a n d c o m b i n e d at will, w i t h o u t
full r e g a r d to their m e a n i n g s in their o r i g i n a l f r a m e w o r k s . T h u s a large

5 4
Herford, Pharisees, 14.
5 5
Finkelstein, Pharisees, I, xxiii; cf. Elbogen, Religionsanschauungen, pp. I V , 2-4, and
Kohler, "Pharisees", JE, 661.
3 6
Bousset, Religion, 187; cf. Wellhausen, Pharisaer, 21, 33f. For the documented ac­
cusation that Christian scholars have often relied too heavily on the N T for their under­
standing of Pharisaism or Judaism in general, cf. Herford, Pharisees, 1 If.; Moore,
Judaism, I, 13f.; J.F. Parkes, The Foundations ofJudaism and Christianity (London: Vallen-
tine - Mitchell, 1960), 134f.; and Sanders, Paul, 33f.
5 7
Wellhausen, Pharisaer, 33f.
5 8
R . Marcus, ''Pharisees", 156; A . Guttmann, Rabbinic Judaism in the Making
(Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1970), 124f.
59 YV. W . Buehler, The Pre-Herodian Civil War and Social Debate (Basel: Friedrich
Reinhart, 1974), 5 et passim; O . Holtzmann, Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte (Freiburg: J.
C. B. Mohr, 1895), 158-162.
6 0
Baumgarten, "Name", 413-420.
6 1
Bowker, Jesus, 36; Guttmann, Rabbinic Judaism, 162ff.
12 CHAPTER ONE

part o f B o w k e r ' s b o o k is an a n t h o l o g y o f Pharisee passages f r o m the v a ­


rious s o u r c e s ; the s u p p o s i t i o n appears to b e that these are the c o l o u r s ,
62
as it w e r e , with w h i c h o n e m a y paint o n e ' s portrait o f P h a r i s a i s m . This
a p p r o a c h w a s taken already b y S c h u r e r , w h o b e g a n his c h a p t e r o n the
Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s b y citing relevant p o r t i o n s o f J o s e p h u s a n d the
M i s h n a h . T h e w h o l e c o n c e p t i o n , n o w often labelled the " s c i s s o r s a n d
p a s t e " m e t h o d , s t e m m e d f r o m a positivistic c o n c e r n for o b j e c t i v e facts,
w h i c h w e r e c o n s i d e r e d to b e e m b o d i e d in d o c u m e n t a r y s o u r c e s .
T h e third r e s p o n s e to the disparities a m o n g the three s o u r c e s is that
taken b y N e u s n e r a n d R i v k i n . N e u s n e r prefaces his w o r k with the j u d g e ­
m e n t that " a l l p r e v i o u s studies o f the Pharisees are i n a d e q u a t e b e c a u s e ,
in general, the historical q u e s t i o n has b e e n asked t o o q u i c k l y a n d
6 3
answered u n c r i t i c a l l y " . What d o e s he m e a n b y s a y i n g that "the
historical q u e s t i o n has b e e n asked t o o q u i c k l y " ? W e c a n o n l y surmise
f r o m his o w n a p p r o a c h . B e f o r e p o s i n g a n y q u e s t i o n s a b o u t w h o the
Pharisees really w e r e (wie es eigentlich gewesen ist), N e u s n e r p r o c e e d s to
d e v o t e w h o l e chapters to the e x a m i n a t i o n o f h o w e a c h s o u r c e presents
the Pharisees. H i s b r i e f c h a p t e r , " T h e Pharisees in H i s t o r y " , c o m e s
o n l y at the e n d o f this s i n g l e - s o u r c e analysis. T h u s w e find in N e u s n e r
a two-stage historical i n q u i r y w h i c h i n v o l v e s , first, listening to e a c h
s o u r c e ' s presentation a n d o n l y afterward asking historical q u e s t i o n s .
Similarly, R i v k i n sets o u t his p r o c e d u r a l intentions:

Each of these sources will be cited, for the most part, in full and thoroughly
analyzed, source by source, in successive chapters. . . . O n l y after we have
constructed three definitions, independently drawn from Josephus, the
N e w Testament, and the Tannaitic Literature, will we then compare each
64
of the definitions with the o t h e r s .

W e are c o n f r o n t e d , then, w i t h a p u r e l y exegetical p h a s e o f historical


research. T h i s phase is called for b y the realization that e v e r y written
s o u r c e is l i m i t e d b y its a u t h o r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e ; it is n o t , therefore, a c o l l e c ­
tion o f b a r e facts b u t is already an interpretation and formulation o f
events that n e e d s to b e u n d e r s t o o d in its o w n right. A s A . M o m i g l i a n o
observes, "Between us (as historians) and the facts stands the
6 5
evidence". T h e s o u r c e c o n v e y s o n l y 86£<x, o p i n i o n . It is c o n d i t i o n e d

6 2
Bowker concedes, vii, that "the passages necessarily occur out of context, and may
require the context for their full understanding". This does not yet meet the criticism,
however, for the question is whether any particular statement of a source can be under­
stood at all, or be directly usable, without reference to its context in the author's thought
and purpose.
6 3
Neusner, Politics, 6.
6 4
Rivkin, Revolution, 3If.
6 5
A . Momigliano, "Historicism Revisited", in his Essays in Ancient and Modern
Historiography (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1977), 368f.
M E T H O D IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY 13

66
negatively by the author's imperfect perception of events and,
positively, b y his c o n s c i o u s p u r p o s e s in w r i t i n g a n d b y his o w n style.
H o w a c c u r a t e l y an a u t h o r p e r c e i v e d events is n o t a q u e s t i o n that e x ­
egesis c a n a n s w e r . T h e a u t h o r ' s style a n d intentions c a n , h o w e v e r , b e
u n c o v e r e d , for literary analysis seeks to a n s w e r the q u e s t i o n : W h a t d o e s
6 7
the a u t h o r m e a n to c o n v e y ? I n exegesis, the a u t h o r ' s m o t i v e s a n d pur­
p o s e s , the g e n r e a n d structure o f his w o r k , his e m p h a s e s , k e y t e r m s , a n d
characteristic v o c a b u l a r y all c o m e u n d e r scrutiny. T h e interpreter c o n ­
siders, as a stimulus to g r a s p i n g the a u t h o r ' s intention, h o w the original
readership w o u l d plausibly h a v e u n d e r s t o o d the d o c u m e n t . A l l o f this is
familiar to the b i b l i c a l e x e g e t e . But it is a necessary first step in the p r o b ­
ing o f a n y historical p r o b l e m ; to b y p a s s the literary analysis, as N e u s n e r
says, is to ask the historical q u e s t i o n t o o q u i c k l y .
A p p l i e d to the p r o b l e m o f the Pharisees, these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s will re­
q u i r e that the passages b e a r i n g o n the Pharisees in e a c h o f the relevant
s o u r c e s c a n n o t b e s e c o n d e d as data for a n y historical r e c o n s t r u c t i o n until
they have first been understood within their original frameworks.
D o c u m e n t a r y references to the Pharisees m a y serve as ingredients o f
larger narratives, as with J o s e p h u s a n d the G o s p e l s , o r t h e y m a y a p p e a r
w i t h i n an o r d e r e d c o l l e c t i o n o f traditional sayings, as w i t h the r a b b i n i c
literature. Either w a y , they o w e their existence to the d e s i g n o f an a u t h o r
o r e d i t o r a n d possess little i m m e d i a t e m e a n i n g outside o f that d e s i g n .
T h e r e f o r e , the historian is o n l y entitled to m a k e use o f d o c u m e n t a r y
statements a b o u t the Pharisees w h e n he has first u n d e r s t o o d the literary
m e a n i n g a n d function o f those statements.
W e are n o w in a p o s i t i o n to specify the desiderata o f an analysis o f
J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisee passages. Before d o i n g s o , h o w e v e r , w e m u s t c o m ­
plete the p i c t u r e b e g u n a b o v e b y g i v i n g a p r o l e p t i c a n s w e r to the q u e s ­
t i o n : H o w d o e s the historian c o n v e r t the several 86£<xi o f his s o u r c e s into
6 8
emaTrifxr), k n o w l e d g e ? H a v i n g listened to the c l a i m s o f e a c h s o u r c e ,
h o w c a n the critic d i s c e r n w h a t really h a p p e n e d ?
R i v k i n ' s o w n p r o c e d u r e b e c o m e s i n a d e q u a t e at this p o i n t . I n the e n d ,
he e x p e c t s s i m p l y to c o m p a r e the resulting presentations o f the Pharisees
in the h o p e o f f i n d i n g a g r e e m e n t a m o n g t h e m :

6 6
Cf. M . Bloch, Apologie der Geschichte oder der Berufdes Historikers (2d. edn.; E. Klett
- J . G . Cotta, 1974), 65, who points out the limitations of eyewitness evidence, even
under the most favourable circumstances. See now G. L. Wells and E. F. Loftus (edd.),
Eyewitness Testimony: Psychological Perspectives (Cambridge: University Press, 1984).
6 7
Cf. B. F. Meyer, Aims of Jesus (London: S C M , 1979), 89f.
6 8
Cf. Collingwood (Idea, 20-30) on ancient attempts to grapple with both the
philosophical and historical aspects of this problem.
14 CHAPTER ONE

Should it turn out that these definitions are congruent with one another,
then shall we not have cogent grounds for postulating that such a definition
69
is truly viable and as objective as the nature of our sources will a l l o w ?

Despite his clear perception o f the two-tiered nature of historical


research, therefore, R i v k i n ultimately falls b a c k into positivistic a s s u m p ­
tions a b o u t h o w the s e c o n d phase o f the p r o g r a m m e is to b e carried o u t ,
n a m e l y , b y a simple c o m p a r i s o n o f the different portraits. H e c a n o n l y
e x p e c t such a result b e c a u s e his p r o p o s e d " t h o r o u g h a n a l y s i s " o f e a c h
7 0
source turns o u t to b e less than thorough. He still regards the
statements o f the s o u r c e s as "raw material for a definition o f the
71
Pharisees". In p r i n c i p l e , h o w e v e r , it is futile to h o p e that the sources
will yield " c o n g r u e n t " presentations, since e a c h s o u r c e has its o w n a i m s
a n d interests, as different f r o m those o f the o t h e r sources as they are
72
f r o m those o f the h i s t o r i a n . A n y points o f intersection will, o f c o u r s e ,
be welcome. One must, however, anticipate divergences and be
p r e p a r e d s o m e h o w to e x p l o i t those also in o n e ' s search for the truth.
N o r is it e n o u g h to h o p e that, o n c e e a c h a u t h o r ' s a i m s a n d proclivities
h a v e b e e n identified, they m i g h t s i m p l y b e e v a p o r a t e d o f f to l e a v e a
residue o f b a r e fact. T o h o p e for such a result w o u l d b e , first, to
u n d e r e s t i m a t e the c o m p l e x i t y a n d pervasiveness o f an a u t h o r ' s Tendenz.
F o r that bias is n o t restricted to s o m e o b v i o u s t h e m e s o v e r l a i d o n the
material; it c o m p r i s e s rather the w h o l e n e t w o r k o f processes b y w h i c h the
a u t h o r has ( a ) imperfectly p e r c e i v e d events, ( b ) f o u n d the m o t i v a t i o n to
r e c o r d t h e m , ( c ) e x e r c i s e d his will in selecting, o m i t t i n g , a n d s h a p i n g the
material to serve his e n d s , a n d ( d ) i m p a r t e d his style, b o t h c o n s c i o u s a n d
u n c o n s c i o u s , to the w h o l e p r o d u c t i o n . T h e a u t h o r ' s v i e w p o i n t c a n n o t b e
e x c i s e d f r o m the facts b e c a u s e the facts are o n l y available t h r o u g h that
7 3
viewpoint.
S e c o n d , the attempt to strip o f f the a u t h o r ' s c o n c e r n s in o r d e r to e x ­
p o s e the facts a s s u m e s , gratuitously, that those c o n c e r n s necessarily c o n ­
tradict the reality o f the past a n d w e r e n o t themselves shaped b y the facts
as the a u t h o r p e r c e i v e d t h e m . T h i s fallacy is well k n o w n in historical-
74
Jesus research. I n the study o f J o s e p h u s , critics f r o m R . L a q u e u r to
S . J . D . C o h e n h a v e d i s p l a y e d a m a r k e d t e n d e n c y to dispute o n e o r an­
o t h e r o f J o s e p h u s ' s c l a i m s o n the simple g r o u n d that J o s e p h u s wanted

6 9
Rivkin, Revolution, 32.
7 0
Ibid., 31.
7 1
Rivkin, Revolution, 54.
7 2
Cf. B.F. Meyer, Aims, 89f.; M . Bloch, Apologie, 125f.
7 3
Cf. M . Bloch, Apologie, 65, 76f.
7 4
I refer to the logic of the "criterion of discontinuity", a trenchant critique of which
is offered by B. F. Meyer, Aims, 84ff.
M E T H O D IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY 15

7 5
his r e a d e r s t o b e l i e v e i t . It is e n o u g h for these historians to c o n n e c t a
p a r t i c u l a r c l a i m w i t h o n e o f J o s e p h u s ' s d i s c e r n i b l e m o t i f s in o r d e r t o cast
d o u b t o n its v a l i d i t y . T h e d o u b t f u l a s s u m p t i o n h e r e is that an a u t h o r ' s
i n t e n t i o n s a l w a y s , o r r e g u l a r l y , arise f r o m somewhere other than his
7 6
o w n e x p e r i e n c e o f the "facts".
For these t w o reasons, it w o u l d be n a i v e to h o p e that w e might
d i s c o v e r facts a b o u t the Pharisees b y t a k i n g e a c h s o u r c e , filtering o u t its
" t e n d e n t i o u s " elements, and a c c e p t i n g the residue.
7 7
How, t h e n , to c o n v e r t the "potential d a t a " offered b y the sources
i n t o historically p r o b a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t the Pharisees? A n a d e q u a t e
a p p r o a c h m u s t c e r t a i n l y take i n t o a c c o u n t the t e n d e n c i e s o f the s o u r c e s
( L a q u e u r , C o h e n ) a n d a n y c o i n c i d e n c e o f detail that m i g h t e m e r g e b e ­
t w e e n t h e m ( R i v k i n ) , b u t it c a n n o t e n l a r g e either o f these factors i n t o
a c o m p l e t e s y s t e m for r e c o n s t r u c t i n g the past. S u c h a s y s t e m r e q u i r e s a
m e t h o d a n d this c a n o n l y b e i m p a r t e d b y the h i s t o r i a n as a t h i n k i n g s u b ­
7 8
ject. W h a t is r e q u i r e d is that the critic, h a v i n g n o w listened to e a c h o f
the s o u r c e s ' p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f the P h a r i s e e s , step f o r w a r d to p o s e his o w n

7 5
R . Laqueur (Der judische Historiker Flavius Josephus [Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche
Buchgesellschaft, 1970 (1920)], 246) claims that Josephus's autobiographical statements
in Life 1-12, because they serve an apologetic purpose, are of dubious worth (allerun-
sicherste und unzuverlassigste): "wo Josephus eine Tendenz hat, da pflegt er es mit der
Wahrheit nicht genau zu nehmen". Similarly, S. J. D . Cohen (Josephus in Galilee and
Rome [Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1979], 107, 144) views Josephus's claim to Pharisaic allegiance
as spurious because (allegedly) apologetic. M . Smith ("Palestinian Judaism", 77) is
more cautious. Arguing that Josephus's statements in Ant. about Pharisaic influence are
apologetically motivated, he remarks: "Such motivation does not, of course, prove that
Josephus' statements are false, but it would explain their falsity if that were otherwise
demonstrated."
7 6
Cohen himself unwittingly proves the fallaciousness of this assumption in two cases,
by ultimately accepting data that he first disputes because of their apologetic character,
(a) He argues (p. 197) that Josephus's account of the selection of generals for the revolt
(War 2:562-568) is "suspect" because "motivated by apologetic considerations": it
assumes that all of the generals were chosen at one time. O n the same page, however,
one reads: "Nevertheless, even if Josephus has exaggerated and simplified, we have
some reason to follow his account. It is inherently plausible." And finally (p. 198): "In
the following discussion I assume that all the generals were chosen at one time although
I admit that it is uncertain." (b) A more fundamental contradiction lurks in Cohen's
accusation that Josephus is guilty of reductionism in portraying the Jerusalemites as
divided into a "war party" and a "peace party". Says Cohen: "There must have been
a wide variety between the two extremes, the desire to surrender to the Romans as soon
as possible and the readiness to die in a blaze of glory" (p. 183). But Cohen employs
the very same reductionism as a major criterion of his study, for he refuses to
countenance Josephus's claim that he and other aristocrats wanted peace, on the ground
that Josephus was a general in the rebel army and therefore could not have wanted peace
(pp. 152ff.). Cohen himself thus excludes any possibility of ambivalent loyalties.
7 7
The phrase is from B. F. Meyer, Aims, 90.
7 8
Cf. M . Bloch, Apologie, 79f.
16 C H A P T E R ONE

7 9
q u e s t i o n s a n d d e v e l o p his o w n r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f e v e n t s . T h u s B . F.
8 0
M e y e r p r o p o s e s , " T h e t e c h n i q u e o f history is the h y p o t h e s i s . " The
critic seeks to formulate a h y p o t h e s i s as to what really h a p p e n e d that will
account for all o f the relevant presentations in the sources. As
M o m i g l i a n o puts it, the historian " h a s to assess the v a l u e o f his e v i d e n c e
n o t in terms o f simple reliability, b u t o f r e l e v a n c e to the p r o b l e m s he
8 1
wants to s o l v e " .
T h i s f o r m u l a t i o n a n d d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f h y p o t h e s e s r e q u i r e s o f the in­
terpreter a fundamental shift in p e r s p e c t i v e f r o m the exegetical phase o f
the investigation. T h e n , h e w a s c o n c e r n e d with g r a s p i n g the a u t h o r ' s
m e a n i n g ; n o w , he will present his o w n a c c o u n t . T h e n , he w a s l o o k i n g
for the witness's intentional statements; n o w , he seeks the unintentional
82
e v i d e n c e that will e x p o s e the witness's biases a n d l i m i t a t i o n s . Thus,
historical analysis has often been c o m p a r e d to a c o u r t r o o m c r o s s -
8 3
examination. O n c e the witnesses h a v e all b e e n h e a r d o n their o w n
terms a n d h a v e g i v e n their o w n interpretations (the exegetical p h a s e ) ,
the investigator steps forward to pose his questions, in order to
r e d i s c o v e r the events that s t o o d b e h i n d all o f the a c c o u n t s .

Summary and Conclusion

A n e w blueprint for research o n the Pharisees, i n f o r m e d b y the mistakes


o f earlier scholarship, b y the e x p e r i m e n t s o f N e u s n e r a n d R i v k i n , a n d
by general insights from contemporary historiography, will seek to
r e c o v e r b o t h the external o r physical history o f this g r o u p a n d , so far as
possible, their intentions and their t h o u g h t . T h i s g o a l c a n best be
r e a c h e d b y an initial limitation o f the admissible e v i d e n c e to J o s e p h u s ,
the pertinent N T d o c u m e n t s , a n d the r a b b i n i c c o r p u s . T h e p r o c e d u r e
will fall into t w o b r o a d phases: first, the analysis o f e a c h s o u r c e ' s presen­
tation o f the Pharisees, by means o f exegesis, and, second, the
h y p o t h e t i c a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f events a n d intentions.
A l t h o u g h the p r o p o s e d p r o g r a m m e e m b o d i e s certain c o n t r o l s , it b y n o
m e a n s e x c l u d e s subjectivity. O n the c o n t r a r y , it a c k n o w l e d g e s b o t h the
private interests that m a y m o t i v a t e scholars to study Pharisaism a n d also
the i n d i v i d u a l ' s right o f ultimate ( a n d private) m o r a l j u d g e m e n t o n his

7 9
Cf. Collingwood, Idea, 218f.
8 0
B. F. Meyer, Aims, 88.
8 1
Momigliano, Essays, 368f.
8 2
On the value of unintentional evidence, see M . Bloch, Apologie, 76-84.
8 3
So already Polybius 4.2.4; cf. Collingwood, Idea, 26, 281ff.; A. W . Mosley,
"Historical Reporting in the Ancient World", NTS 12 (1965), 11-15; and Momigliano,
Essays, 162f.
M E T H O D IN T H E STUDY OF PHARISAIC HISTORY 17

subject. Further, it calls for the interpreter's complete involvement and


imagination, both in exegesis and in historical reconstruction. Thus our
two chief examples of the de novo quest, Neusner and Rivkin, have pro­
duced flatly contradictory results. Nevertheless, their work raises the
possibility of a new consensus on method, on the "standards" of which
Sanders speaks. That achievement is far more important than any par­
ticular set of conclusions. If scholarship on the Pharisees takes up this
new agenda, which offers some semblance of a language for common
discourse, then proposed hypotheses should encounter clearer discussion
and critique than had been possible before the new beginning of Rivkin
and Neusner. T o the degree that arbitrariness can be contained and
public accountability enhanced by commonly accepted criteria, the
discussion will become more "objective".
If the foregoing proposal for research on the Pharisees has any merit,
one can envision the role that a study of Josephus's testimony about the
Pharisees ought to play in the larger endeavour. O f our three primary
sources, Josephus is the most self-consciously historical: as we shall see,
he sets out to write history pure and simple. Moreover, unlike the
authors of the other sources, he unquestionably had direct, intimate con­
8 4
tact with Pharisaism before 7 0 . His portrayals of the Pharisees, there­
fore, are of paramount importance.
Josephus refers to the Pharisees in three of his four extant works, viz.,
The Jewish War, Jewish Antiquities, and the Life. Analysis of his accounts
falls within the first, exegetical, phase of the endeavour described above.
One must, therefore, determine his purposes in writing and then ask
how his discussions of the Pharisees serve those purposes. W h a t is the
role of the Pharisees in any given narrative? T o what extent do they il­
lustrate any of Josephus's overriding themes? W h y does he discuss them
at all? Does he describe them with significant, "charged" vocabulary?
In short: H o w do the Pharisees function within his vision of things?
It is necessary now to survey the previous interpretations of Josephus
on the Pharisees in order to test the adequacy of those interpretations,
by the criteria formulated above. I shall argue that we do not yet possess
the kind of comprehensive analysis that could serve as a suitable basis
for historical reconstruction. Nevertheless, the previous scholarship
raises many issues that will serve to clarify our own aims and pro­
cedures.

8 4
On these points, cf. Rivkin, Revolution, 32f.
CHAPTER T W O

SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS
OF JOSEPHUS'S PHARISEES

A discussion o f p r e v i o u s interpretations o f J o s e p h u s o n the Pharisees will


d e m o n s t r a t e the n e e d for a n e w attempt, for n o n e o f t h e m yet satisfies,
a n d m o s t d o n o t c l a i m to satisfy, the r e q u i r e m e n t s set forth in C h a p t e r
1. Nevertheless, the p r e v i o u s research is e x t r e m e l y v a l u a b l e . First, it
p o i n t s u p s o m e o f the factors that c o m p l i c a t e a n y literary study o f
J o s e p h u s . S e c o n d , it highlights the particular p r o b l e m s that m u s t b e ad­
dressed in a c o m p r e h e n s i v e study o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees. T h e resolu­
tion o f these particular p r o b l e m s will b e c o m e part o f the larger task o f
the f o l l o w i n g study.
S i n c e a l m o s t e v e r y writer o n the Pharisees i n c l u d e s s o m e discussion
o f J o s e p h u s ' s t e s t i m o n y , a n d since m o s t authors o n J o s e p h u s h a v e cause
to m e n t i o n his c o n n e c t i o n s with a n d i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t the Pharisees,
the number o f scholarly references to J o s e p h u s ' s portrayal of the
1
Pharisees is v e r y large i n d e e d . It is neither practical n o r desirable to
r e v i e w e a c h instance h e r e . T h e f o l l o w i n g s u r v e y d e s c r i b e s rather the
m o s t c o m p l e t e a n d m o s t p r o g r a m m a t i c discussions o f J o s e p h u s o n the
Pharisees that h a v e a p p e a r e d since the m i d - n i n e t e e n t h century.
One w o r d o f e x p l a n a t i o n : the t w o matters o f J o s e p h u s ' s descriptions
o f the Pharisees a n d o f his o w n relationship to the g r o u p are often dis­
cussed together in the scholarly literature, a n d b o t h will b e i m p o r t a n t in
the present study. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s rela­
tionship to the Pharisees i n v o l v e s m a n y factors o t h e r than his actual
descriptions o f the g r o u p — s u c h as his v i e w s o f the L a w , o f fate a n d free
will, a n d o f i m m o r t a l i t y . T o raise those issues in this survey w o u l d re­
quire m a n y deviations from the m a i n p o i n t , w h i c h is to assess the
p r e v i o u s analyses o f J o s e p h u s ' s portrayals o f the Pharisees. T h e q u e s t i o n
o f his o w n relationship to the Pharisees will suggest itself naturally in Part
I V , with reference to a particular passage in his a u t o b i o g r a p h y (Life 10-
12). I p r o p o s e , therefore, to l e a v e until then a d i s c u s s i o n o f the v a r i o u s
ancillary factors that b e a r o n the q u e s t i o n . F o r the present, o u r c o n c e r n
is with scholarly treatments o f J o s e p h u s ' s descriptions o f the Pharisees.

1
One can gain some impression of the number of potential references to Josephus's
Pharisees by perusing H . Schreckenberg, Bibliographie zu Flavius Josephus (Leiden: E. J.
Brill, 1968), the Supplementband thereto (1979), and L. H . Feldman, Josephus and Modern
Scholarship (1937-1980), ed. W . Haase (Berlin: W . de Gruyter, 1983).
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 19

Two Early Views: H. Paret and E. Gerlach

It was in an 1856 article that the twin issues o f J o s e p h u s ' s descriptions


of, a n d relationship t o , the Pharisees w e r e first b r o a c h e d seriously. H .
Paret w r o t e his " U b e r d e n Pharisaismus des J o s e p h u s " in o r d e r to s h o w
that J o s e p h u s w a s a Pharisee; this identification, h e h o p e d , w o u l d
e n h a n c e the v a l u e o f J o s e p h u s ' s w o r k s for the historical b a c k g r o u n d o f
2
Christianity. Paret a d v a n c e d m a n y a r g u m e n t s , b u t w e are c o n c e r n e d
here with his treatment o f J o s e p h u s ' s descriptions o f the Pharisees ( a n d
3
the other sects), w h i c h he takes u p first.
R e m a r k a b l y , Paret d i d n o t think that J o s e p h u s ' s explicit c o m m e n t s o n
the Pharisees, taken b y themselves, i m p l i e d the a u t h o r ' s Pharisaic
allegiance: " D i e s e , rein fur sich g e n o m m e n , lasst freilich nicht ver-
m u t h e n , dass ihr S c h r e i b e r ein Pharisaer, s o n d e r n weit eher, dass er ein
4
Essener g e w e s e n s e i . " H e c o n c e d e d that J o s e p h u s ' s m a i n passage o n
the sects (War 2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 ) , to w h i c h J o s e p h u s later refers as his definitive
statement (Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 3 , 2 9 8 ; 1 8 : 1 1 ) , portrays the Essenes with o b v i o u s
Vorliebe. Paret also a l l o w e d that J o s e p h u s ' s d e p i c t i o n o f the Pharisees, b y
contrast, was at times unfavourable and even censorious (Ant.
5
17:41-45).
In spite o f these difficulties, Paret m a i n t a i n e d that J o s e p h u s w a s a
Pharisee, b y a r g u i n g ( a ) that a Pharisee c o u l d h a v e expressed such ad­
m i r a t i o n for the Essenes b e c a u s e the t w o g r o u p s w e r e so similar a n d ( b )
that the negative portrayal o f the Pharisees in Ant. 1 7 : 4 1 - 4 5 is
o u t w e i g h e d b y the g o o d things said a b o u t t h e m e l s e w h e r e — s u c h as their
c o n c e r n for the exact interpretation o f the L a w (cf. War 2 : 1 6 6 ) a n d their
6
close c o m m u n i o n with G o d (Ant. 1 7 : 4 1 - 4 2 ) . Paret further p r o p o s e d that
J o s e p h u s h a d b e e n c o m p e l l e d to sacrifice s o m e o f his fellow-Pharisees in
Ant. b e c a u s e o f criticisms that h a d arisen o v e r his attempt in War to pres­
ent his party as a harmlose Philosophenschule. But these c o n c e s s i o n s are n o t
to b e taken as indications o f J o s e p h u s ' s o w n antipathy toward the
7
Pharisees.
J o s e p h u s m o s t clearly revealed his Pharisaic v i e w p o i n t , a c c o r d i n g to
8
Paret, in his consistently n e g a t i v e attitude t o w a r d the S a d d u c e e s . A

2
H . Paret, "Uber den Pharisaismus des Josephus", TSK 29 (1856), 809-844, esp.
809-811.
3
Ibid., 816-823. The other arguments, as indicated above, will be considered in Part
IV of this study.
4
Ibid., 816.
5
Ibid., 816-818.
6
Ibid., 819-820.
7
Ibid., 818.
8
Ibid., 820-823.
20 CHAPTER T W O

Pharisee c o u l d a d m i r e the Essenes, Paret suggested, b u t the S a d d u c e e s


must have appeared to h i m as infidels. S o J o s e p h u s presents them
( p r o b a b l y falsely) as d e n y i n g P r o v i d e n c e altogether (Ant. 13:173), as
always u n k i n d t o w a r d o n e a n o t h e r (War 2 : 1 6 6 ; Ant. 1 8 : 6 ) , a n d as in­
h u m a n e in p u n i s h m e n t (Ant. 1 3 : 2 9 4 ) . J o s e p h u s ' s use o f the Bible a n d
his own theological emphases, Paret claimed, were calculated to
challenge S a d d u c e a n v i e w s .
S o o n after P a r e t ' s article c a m e E . G e r l a c h ' s a t t e m p t ( 1 8 6 3 ) to d e m ­
9
onstrate the inauthenticity o f the testimonium flavianum. B y G e r l a c h ' s
time, the literary a n d textual a r g u m e n t s c o n c e r n i n g the testimonium
1 0
w e r e already well k n o w n . G e r l a c h w a n t e d to press a n o t h e r line o f
a r g u m e n t , n a m e l y , that w i t h such v i e w s o f p r o p h e c y a n d the m e s s i a n i c
11
h o p e as h e h e l d , J o s e p h u s c o u l d n o t h a v e p e n n e d the testimonium. As
a preface t o this study, G e r l a c h c o n s i d e r e d J o s e p h u s ' s religious ties a n d
c o n c l u d e d that he w a s n o t a Pharisee but an E s s e n e — a judgement
12
b a s e d chiefly o n J o s e p h u s ' s portrayals o f the J e w i s h religious p a r t i e s .
G e r l a c h b e g a n b y calling into q u e s t i o n the usual interpretation o f
Life 1 2 , to the effect that J o s e p h u s e n d e d his religious quest b y o p t i n g
for m e m b e r s h i p with the Pharisees. G e r l a c h c o n t e n d e d that this inter­
pretation is c o n t r a d i c t e d b y ( a ) J o s e p h u s ' s c o n s p i c u o u s fondness for the
Essenes a n d ( b ) the fact that J o s e p h u s ' s o w n o u t l o o k c o r r e s p o n d s to
that o f the Essenes.
L i k e Paret, G e r l a c h n o t e d the p r o - E s s e n e slant o f War 2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 ,
w h i c h i n c l u d e s the c o m m e n t that the Essenes "irresistibly attract all
1 3
w h o h a v e o n c e tasted their p h i l o s o p h y " . H e a l l o w e d that a Pharisee
m i g h t h a v e expressed s o m e a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t o f Essene piety, b u t he
d e n i e d (against Paret) that a Pharisee c o u l d h a v e presented such a d e ­
tailed a n d a d m i r i n g portrayal o f the Essenes while at the same time
g i v i n g the Pharisees short shrift. He doubted, for e x a m p l e , that a
Pharisee w o u l d h a v e implicitly s h a m e d his o w n party b e f o r e R o m a n
14
readers b y m e n t i o n i n g the Essene oath to o b e y all earthly r u l e r s . In­
d e e d , J o s e p h u s ' s o w n religious beliefs s e e m e d to G e r l a c h to c o r r e s p o n d

9
E. Gerlach, Die Weissagungen des Alten Testaments in den Schriften des Flavius Josephus
(Berlin: Hertz, 1863). The testimonium is the paragraph Ant. 18:63-64, which speaks of
Jesus as "the Messiah".
1 0
Ibid., 5.
11
Ibid., 6, 85. Gerlach argues that Josephus's treatment of Daniel in Ant. reveals
his expectation of an earthly, political Messiah, not of a quasi-divine figure.
12
Ibid., 6-19.
13
Ibid., 8.
1 4
Cf. War 2:140.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 21

closely to those that h e attributes to the Essenes—for e x a m p l e , that the


1 5 1 6
soul is alien to the b o d y a n d that fate is s u p r e m e .
On the o t h e r side, G e r l a c h w a s at a loss to find a single passage in
Josephus in w h i c h the Pharisees were described favourably, without
17
reservation. A g a i n s t Paret, h e d e n i e d that J o s e p h u s ' s references to the
Pharisees' kindness to o n e a n o t h e r , l o v e for the L a w , a n d gifts o f p r o ­
p h e c y w e r e indications o f the h i s t o r i a n ' s f a v o u r , for in all o f these quali­
ties the Pharisees a p p e a r to b e m a t c h e d , if not surpassed, b y the Essenes.
T h e b r i e f n o t i c e a b o u t the Pharisees' c o n c e r n for o n e a n o t h e r (War
2:166), said Gerlach, is contradicted by the many unfavourable
references to the g r o u p . War 1:110-114, h e b e l i e v e d , presents their c o r ­
ruptibility, v i n d i c t i v e n e s s , a n d h u n g e r for p o w e r . I n Ant. 1 3 : 2 8 8 - 2 9 8 ,
3 9 8 - 4 0 7 , h e f o u n d their c o n t e m p t for rulers a n d their p r o v o c a t i o n o f the
p e o p l e to r e b e l l i o n . A b o v e all, G e r l a c h s u g g e s t e d , Ant. 1 7 : 4 1 - 4 5 o p e n l y
1 8
attacks the Pharisees' p r e t e n s i o n s to s u p e r i o r p i e t y .
W h a t , then, is to b e m a d e o f J o s e p h u s ' s self-described religious quest,
w h i c h e n d s with the n o t i c e : rjp^afxrjv 7coXtTeuea0at xfj Oaptaatcov aipeaei
xocTOtxoXouOcav? T h i s signifies n o t h i n g m o r e , G e r l a c h s u g g e s t e d , than that
J o s e p h u s f o l l o w e d the Pharisees in the political sphere; for such an ac­
c o m m o d a t i o n is set d o w n b y J o s e p h u s as a c o n d i t i o n o f success in p u b l i c
1 9
life (cf. Ant. 18:15, 1 7 ) . F o r G e r l a c h , therefore, J o s e p h u s w a s n o t a
Pharisee a n d n e v e r c l a i m e d to b e o n e . H e w a s an Essene.

Source Criticism of Josephus: G. Holscher

A m a j o r a s s u m p t i o n u n d e r l y i n g the w o r k o f b o t h Paret a n d G e r l a c h w a s
the literary u n i t y o f J o s e p h u s ' s writings: J o s e p h u s w a s a s s u m e d to h a v e
o n e m o r e o r less consistent v i e w o f the Pharisees. T h i s a s s u m p t i o n , h o w ­
e v e r , r e c e i v e d a devastating b l o w in the researches o f H . B l o c h ( 1 8 7 9 ) ,
J. v o n D e s t i n o n ( 1 8 8 1 ) , F. S c h e m a n n ( 1 8 8 7 ) , W . O t t o ( 1 9 1 3 ) , a n d G .
2 0
Holscher ( 1 9 1 6 ) . A l t h o u g h m o s t o f these authors e x p r e s s e d n o par­
ticular interest in the Pharisee passages o f J o s e p h u s , their s o u r c e analy-

15
Cf. War 2:154; 7:344; Ag.Ap. 2:203.
1 6
Gerlach, Weissagungen, 13-16.
17
Ibid., 11 and n.
1 8
Ibid., 10.
1 9
Ibid., 18f.
2 0
H . Bloch, Die Quellen des Flavius Josephus in seiner Archaologie (Leipzig: B. G.
Teubner, 1879); J. von Destinon, Die Quellen des Flavius Josephus I: die Quellen der Ar­
chaologie Buch XII-XVIII + Jud. Krieg Buch I (Keil: Lipsius & Tischer, 1882); F.
Schemann, Die Quellen des Flavius Josephus in der Jud. Arch. XVIII-XX + Polemos II, 7-14
4
(Marburg, 1887); W . Otto, "Herodes", PWRESup, II, 1-15; G. Holscher, Josephus",
PWRE, X V I I I , 1934-2000.
22 CHAPTER T W O

ses h a r b o u r e d serious i m p l i c a t i o n s for that material. O n l y H o l s c h e r ,


w h o s e article for the Realencyclopadie m a r k e d the p e a k o f the m o v e m e n t ,
spelled o u t those i m p l i c a t i o n s ; w e m a y thus f o c u s o u r attention o n his
study.
O f H o l s c h e r ' s sixty-three c o l u m n article o n J o s e p h u s , a b o u t fifty-four
21
c o l u m n s are g i v e n o v e r to a s o u r c e analysis o f J o s e p h u s ' s w r i t i n g s .
T h i s p r o p o r t i o n reflects the d e g r e e to w h i c h , b y H o l s c h e r ' s t i m e , an
u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f J o s e p h u s h a d c o m e t o b e identified with an u n d e r ­
s t a n d i n g o f his s o u r c e s . D e s t i n o n h a d l o n g since c o n c l u d e d that Ant. 12-
17 w a s little m o r e than a c o m p i l a t i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s m a j o r , intermediate
sources—the Anonymous and Nicolaus of Damascus—and that
J o s e p h u s ' s o w n input here w a s m i n i m a l :

Seine Quelle also hat Jos. das Material gegeben, hat ihm die Disposition
desselben ubermittelt und schliesslich sogar ihn so zu bestricken gewusst,
22
dass er sein selbstandiges Urteil d r a n g a b .

F o l l o w i n g D e s t i n o n ' s l e a d , H o l s c h e r d e n i e d to J o s e p h u s a n y substantial
role in p r o v i d i n g the c o n t e n t o r e v e n c o l l e c t i n g the s o u r c e s for the t w e n t y
v o l u m e s o f his Ant..
H o l s c h e r ' s first o b s e r v a t i o n o n the Pharisee passages in J o s e p h u s is
p r o g r a m m a t i c for his analysis:

Sein pharisaischer (und damit antisadduzaischer) Standpunkt verrat sich


mehrfach in seinen Schriften, obwohl seine Urteile uber die drei judischen
Schulen, j e nach den von ihm ausgeschriebenen Quellen, vielfach
23
verschieden auffallen.

24
On Holscher's view, although Josephus was a Pharisee, he s i m p l y
failed to alter the j u d g e m e n t s o f his s o u r c e s , e v e n w h e n those j u d g e m e n t s
c o n t r a d i c t e d his o w n Pharisaic sentiments. O f the Pharisee passages, h e
b e l i e v e d , War 1:110-114 is " r e c h t u n f r e u n d l i c h " t o w a r d the g r o u p . Ant.
as a w h o l e is " t e i l s u n f r e u n d l i c h " a n d " t e i l s z i e m l i c h n e u t r a l " ; o n l y
2 5
18:1 If. is " a n e r k e n n e n d " . L i k e Paret a n d G e r l a c h , then, H o l s c h e r d i d
not find any strong Pharisaic p e r s p e c t i v e in J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisee
passages. H i s a r g u m e n t , h o w e v e r , w a s that these passages, like m o s t o f
Ant. a n d a g o o d p i e c e o f War, tell m o r e a b o u t J o s e p h u s ' s s o u r c e s than
they d o a b o u t J o s e p h u s himself.

2 1
The article comprises cols. 1934-2000, the last four of which are devoted to
bibliography. The source analysis extends from cols. 1943 to 1996.
2 2
Destinon, Quellen, 101. Similarly, Bloch (Quellen, 157-159) found Josephus guilty of
sklavische Abhdngigkeit.
2 3
Holscher, 'Josephus", 1936.
2 4
Ibid., 1945.
2 5
Ibid., 1936 and n. + + . Holscher also suggests that Josephus's own Pharisaic stand­
point comes through in Ant. 13:297f.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 23

H o l s c h e r d i s c e r n e d t w o m a i n sources for War, the first reflected in


1:31-2:116, the s e c o n d in 2 : 1 1 7 - 2 8 3 . After that, in discussing the actual
events o f the w a r against R o m e , J o s e p h u s w a s p r e s u m a b l y relying o n his
own memory, his notes, Vespasian's official report, eyewitness
26
t e s t i m o n y , a n d other a i d s . H o l s c h e r ' s criteria for identifying the t w o
sources in b o o k s 1 a n d 2 i n c l u d e d the p r e s e n c e o f d o u b l e t s , differences
27
in style, a n d distinct preferences for certain t e r m s . He attributed
2 : 1 1 7 - 1 6 1 , with its detailed description o f the Essenes, t o a J e w i s h writ­
2 8
ten s o u r c e a n d the b r i e f remarks o n the Pharisees and Sadducees
( 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 ) to J o s e p h u s himself. T h a t 1:31-2:116 c o m e s f r o m N i c o l a u s
o f D a m a s c u s , H e r o d ' s c o u r t historian, H o l s c h e r a r g u e d chiefly o n the
basis o f a c o m p a r i s o n o f the style in that section with extant fragments
29
o f N i c o l a u s in F. J a c o b y ' s c o l l e c t i o n . Other considerations were: (a)
that the material is p r o - H e r o d i a n ; ( b ) that it seems to b e a c o n d e n s a t i o n
o f a m u c h m o r e detailed s o u r c e ; a n d ( c ) that it is the w o r k o f a n o n -
3 0
Jew. In support o f this last p r o p o s i t i o n , significantly, H o l s c h e r p o i n t e d
to the negative presentation o f the Pharisees in War 1:110-114.
For Ant. the picture is more complex. Whereas, according to
H o l s c h e r , J o s e p h u s h a d p r o v i d e d m u c h o f the c o n t e n t o f War ( b o o k s 3-7)
himself, in Ant. h e c o n f i n e d himself almost exclusively to passing o n
31
literary t r a d i t i o n s . I n Ant. 1 : 2 7 - 1 3 : 2 1 2 , for e x a m p l e , H o l s c h e r iden­
tified large b l o c k s o f material f r o m the teaching notes (Lehrvortrag) o f the
32
Alexandrian Jewish schools. It w a s in these schools that the H e b r e w Bi­
b l e , the L X X , p a g a n traditions, a n d J e w i s h a p o c r y p h a a n d l e g e n d s w e r e
synthesized; J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f p r o b a b l y n e v e r saw a n y o f this material
first h a n d . H i s c o n t r i b u t i o n at m o s t consisted o f c o p y i n g , e x c e r p t i n g ,
a n d c o m b i n i n g large b l o c k s o f material—all o f w h i c h i m p l i e s , ' 'dass m a n
sich die e i g e n e selbstandige A r b e i t des J. so g e r i n g w i e m o g l i c h v o r -
3 3
zustellen h a t " .
On the content o f Ant. 13:212-17:355, Holscher observed that,
although it parallels the a c c o u n t f r o m N i c o l a u s in War 1, it s o m e t i m e s
corrects N i c o l a u s , is often a n t i - H e r o d i a n , a n d distinctly favours the

2 6
Ibid., 1939, 1942, 1949.
2 7
Ibid., 1944.
2 8
Ibid., 1949 and n. + .
2 9
Ibid., 1946f.
3 0
Ibid., 1944-1948.
3 1
Ibid., 1951.
3 2
Ibid., 1956-1966. Holscher argues that, since Josephus's biblical paraphrase some­
times departs from both the L X X and the Hebrew Bible, he must have used these
sources only at second hand, already in processed form.
3 3
Ibid., 1962.
24 CHAPTER T W O

3 4
Hasmoneans. These observations led Holscher to propose that
J o s e p h u s is here u s i n g a tendentious r e w o r k i n g o f N i c o l a u s b y a p r o -
Hasmonean J e w i s h p o l e m i c i s t . T h i s polemicist was able to critique
N i c o l a u s b y c o n s u l t i n g also a b i o g r a p h y o f H e r o d , w h i c h b e c a m e the
3 5
m a i n source for Ant. 15-17. In addition to these t w o m a i n sources,
N i c o l a u s ' s Verfdlscher used local J e w i s h l e g e n d s , a high priest list, collec­
36
tions o f official d o c u m e n t s , a n d v a r i o u s p a g a n w r i t i n g s . T h e polemicist
was e v e n responsible, H o l s c h e r t h o u g h t , for the asides a n d reflections
that a p p e a r in Ant. 13-17.
37
H o l s c h e r also attributed Ant. 18-20 largely to the J e w i s h p o l e m i c i s t .
H e r e , h o w e v e r , the polemicist has o u t r u n his t w o Hauptquellen—Nicolaus
a n d H e r o d ' s b i o g r a p h y — a n d so the narrative b e c o m e s m o r e disjointed.
In essence, then, H o l s c h e r t h o u g h t that s o m e u n n a m e d polemicist was
responsible for the w h o l e o f Ant. 1 3 : 2 1 2 - 2 0 : 4 5 5 a n d , therefore, for all o f
38
the Pharisee passages in Ant. But since he c o n c e i v e d o f the polemicist
as o n l y an intermediate s o u r c e , H o l s c h e r c o u l d also trace the Pharisee
passages b a c k to earlier o r i g i n s : s o m e he r e g a r d e d as elements o f J e w i s h
3 9 4 0
tradition o r l e g e n d , a n o t h e r as the c o n t r i b u t i o n o f N i c o l a u s , and an­
4 1
other as a story f r o m the b i o g r a p h y o f H e r o d . All were reworked by
the polemicist b e f o r e c o m i n g into J o s e p h u s ' s h a n d s . T o J o s e p h u s ' s o w n
p e n H o l s c h e r attributed o n l y ( a ) the b r i e f description o f the Pharisee-
S a d d u c e e dispute that follows the story o f J o h n H y r c a n u s (Ant. 1 3 : 2 9 7 -
298) and ( b ) an a n t i - H e r o d i a n notice c o n n e c t e d with the Pharisee
4 2
P o l l i o n (Ant. 1 5 : 4 ) . Finally, H o l s c h e r attributed the description o f the
schools in Ant. 18:11-25 m a i n l y to the p o l e m i c i s t , o n the g r o u n d that
J o s e p h u s the Pharisee c o u l d h a r d l y have n a m e d a Pharisee as a c o -
43
f o u n d e r o f the zealot f a c t i o n .

3 4
Ibid., 1970-1973.
3 5
Ibid., 1977f.
3 6
Ibid., 1973f.
3 7
Ibid., 1992. Among the alleged proofs that Josephus did not write this section
himself (1986-1992) are: (a) its unfulfilled cross-references; (b) Josephus's purported in­
ability to read the Latin sources that appear therein; and (c) the polemic of Ant. 20:154-
157, which reminded Holscher of Ant. 16:187, which he had already attributed to the
polemicist.
3 8
Ant. 13:171-173 falls outside this block; nevertheless, Holscher (1973) attributed it
also to the polemicist.
3 9
Ibid., 1973f. He included Ant. 13:171-173; 15:3, 370-372 in this category.
4 0
Ibid., 1973, 1975 (and n.), on Ant. 13:400-432.
4 1
Ibid., 1979, on Ant. 17:41-45.
4 2
Ibid., 1973f.
4 3
Ibid., 1991; cf. Ant. 18:4.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 25

H o w are w e to i m a g i n e the J e w i s h p o l e m i c i s t w h o w r o t e m o s t o f Ant.


13-20? H e w a s , a c c o r d i n g to H o l s c h e r , a c o m p i l e r a n d n o t a historian,
w h o a l l o w e d tensions a n d d o u b l e t s to stand u n r e s o l v e d in his presenta­
4 4
tion. H e w a s a c o n s e r v a t i v e , priestly, p r o - H a s m o n e a n aristocrat, w h o
h a d n o s y m p a t h y for the rebels a n d little respect for either the masses
45
o r the p o p u l a r Pharisees.
I m p o r t a n t for H o l s c h e r w a s the belief, b a s e d o n Life 10-12, that
Josephus w a s a d e v o t e d Pharisee. T h i s b e l i e f i m p l i e d that J o s e p h u s
c o u l d n o t h a v e written d e r o g a t o r y a c c o u n t s o f the Pharisees, so s o m e o n e
else m u s t h a v e written t h e m — w h e t h e r a n o n - J e w o r an anti-Pharisaic
46
aristocrat. J o s e p h u s ' s o w n Pharisaic allegiance r e m a i n s , as w e shall
see, an i m p o r t a n t criterion for the source-critical analysis o f his Pharisee
passages.

Reactions to Source Criticism: B. Brune, R. Laqueur, H.Rasp

D u r i n g the forty years f r o m B l o c h to H o l s c h e r , s o u r c e criticism w a s the


c o m m o n w a y , b u t n o t the o n l y w a y , o f e x p l a i n i n g J o s e p h u s ' s writings.
A n i m p o r t a n t dissenter w a s B . B r u n e ( 1 9 1 3 ) , w h o , w h i l e a c k n o w l e d g i n g
J o s e p h u s ' s use o f s o u r c e s , c o n t i n u e d to l o o k o n h i m as b o t h a g e n u i n e
historian a n d a full-fledged writer, w h o s e p u r p o s e s a n d interests c o l ­
4 7
o u r e d the w h o l e o f his w o r k . O f Ant., Brune wrote:

D e n Zweck seiner Archaologie hat Jos a [Ant. ] I, 14 klar ausgesprochen,


und auf denselben sind alle eingestreuten Erzahlungen, auch die
48
nichtbiblischen, offensichtlich zugeschnitten.

T h i s classic redaction-critical p r o p o s a l is characteristic o f B r u n e ' s entire


study, m o s t o f w h i c h is d e v o t e d to an e x a m i n a t i o n o f k e y t h e m e s a n d
v e r b a l e x p r e s s i o n s that r e c u r t h r o u g h o u t J o s e p h u s ' s f o u r writings.
Brune found n o warrant for the kind o f assumptions made by
H o l s c h e r . F o r e x a m p l e , w h e r e a s H o l s c h e r h a d s u p p o s e d that a Pharisaic
education would preclude Josephus's serious familiarity with Greek
l a n g u a g e a n d literature, B r u n e thought it self-evident that J o s e p h u s b e ­
l o n g e d to circles in w h i c h the k n o w l e d g e o f G r e e k culture w o u l d h a v e
b e e n c o m p u l s o r y , if o n l y as a m e a n s o f d e f e n d i n g the tradition against

4 4
Ibid., 1981f.
4 5
Ibid., 1974f., 1982, 1983.
4 6
Ibid., 1936. Holscher also appealed to Josephus's Pharisaic education as proof that
he could not have known well the Greek authors cited throughout Ant., so that someone
else must have provided those references (1956).
4 7
B. Brune, Flavius Josephus und seine Schriften in ihrem Verhdltnis zum Judentume, zur
griechisch-rbmischen Welt und zum Christentum (Gutersloh: G. Mohn, 1969 [1913]).
4 8
Ibid., 20.
26 CHAPTER T W O

49
that c u l t u r e . Brune finds m a n y changes o f expression throughout
J o s e p h u s ' s w o r k s , b u t h e attributes t h e m to the a u t h o r ' s desire for
e l e g a n c e a n d the a v o i d a n c e o f m o n o t o n y , rather than to n e w s o u r c e s .
The crucial p o i n t for B r u n e is that one can discover throughout
J o s e p h u s ' s w o r k s clear a n d consistent t h e m e s ; a n d it is those t h e m e s that
50
e v i d e n c e J o s e p h u s ' s overall c o n t r o l o f his m a t e r i a l .
A m o r e self-conscious r e a c t i o n t o the s o u r c e critics c a m e with R . L a ­
q u e u r ' s Der judische Historiker Flavius Josephus, w h i c h a p p e a r e d in 1 9 2 0 ,
s o o n after H o l s c h e r ' s article. L a q u e u r q u e s t i o n e d the credibility o f a
source criticism that had turned Josephus into a "stumpfen
5 1
Abschreiber". T h e m i s c h i e v o u s c l a i m that J o s e p h u s h a d m e c h a n i c a l l y
c o p i e d his s o u r c e s , L a q u e u r b e l i e v e d , w a s b u t o n e manifestation o f a
c o n c e p t u a l e r r o r that w a s l e a d i n g astray the w h o l e field o f classical
5 2
studies in his d a y . T h a t e r r o r w a s the refusal to r e c o g n i z e the o n e
legitimate and indispensable presupposition o f historical research,
n a m e l y , " d a s s d e r V e r f a s s e r eines T e x t e s ein v e r n u n f t b e g a b t e s W e s e n
5 3
gleich u n s selbst i s t " .
T o illustrate the deficiencies o f the p r e v a i l i n g source-critical a p p r o a c h ,
L a q u e u r e x a m i n e d Ant. 16:183ff., w h e r e N i c o l a u s ' s partisanship is at­
tacked a n d the a u t h o r cites his priestly credentials a n d Hasmonean
heritage as g u a r a n t o r s o f his o w n historical a c c u r a c y . W h e r e a s H o l s c h e r
h a d attributed this critique o f N i c o l a u s to a priestly, p r o - H a s m o n e a n
p o l e m i c i s t , a h y p o t h e t i c a l i n t e r m e d i a t e s o u r c e , L a q u e u r asked w h e t h e r
it w o u l d n o t b e m o r e r e a s o n a b l e to identify the a u t h o r with J o s e p h u s
5 4
himself, w h o elsewhere c l a i m s b o t h priestly a n d H a s m o n e a n r o o t s . La­
queur, then, wanted to allow Josephus responsibility for his own
writings.

4 9
Brune (13-16) pointed to the rhetorical skill evident in Josephus's speeches as
evidence of his facility in Greek style. B rune's assumption that educated Palestinian Jews
of the first century would have been familiar with Greek has been more than vindicated
since his time; cf., among others, S. Lieberman, Greek in Jewish Palestine (New York:
Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1942); idem., Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (New
York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1950); M . Smith, "Palestinian
Judaism"; M . Hengel, Judentum und Hellenismus (Tubingen: J. C . B. Mohr-P. Siebeck,
1969), 108ff.; and T . Rajak, Josephus: The Historian and his Society (London: Duckworth,
1983), 47-51.
5 0
Brune does not deal specifically with the Pharisee passages. His section, "Der
Pharisaismus bei Josephus", 150-157, attempts to show (as Paret had done) that
Pharisaic themes, such as reward and punishment, are common in Josephus. This argu­
ment will be considered in Part I V .
5 1
Laqueur, Historiker, Vllf.; cf. 128-132 and 230-245 ("Eine methodische
Grundfrage").
5 2
Ibid., 129.
5 3
Ibid., 231.
5 4
Ibid., 130-131; cf. Life 2.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 27

I f that v i e w is c o r r e c t , h o w c a n o n e e x p l a i n the differences in


J o s e p h u s ' s w r i t i n g s , for e x a m p l e b e t w e e n War a n d Ant. in their attitudes
t o w a r d H e r o d ? H o l s c h e r h a d p o s i t e d t w o s o u r c e s , o n e friendly t o w a r d
H e r o d ( N i c o l a u s , in War) a n d the o t h e r o p p o s e d t o h i m (the J e w i s h
p o l e m i c i s t , in Ant.). L a q u e u r , h o w e v e r , e x t r a p o l a t e d an a n s w e r to this
q u e s t i o n f r o m his e x p l a n a t i o n o f the differences b e t w e e n War a n d Life in
their parallel material, c o n c e r n i n g J o s e p h u s ' s activities d u r i n g the revolt
5 5
against R o m e . O n that issue there w a s n o possibility o f i n v o k i n g s o u r c e
h y p o t h e s e s to e x p l a i n the d i v e r g e n c e s , since J o s e p h u s w a s recalling his
o w n c a r e e r . L a q u e u r p o s i t e d , therefore, an actual c h a n g e in J o s e p h u s ' s
thinking: w h e r e a s War h a d b e e n tailored to please A g r i p p a I I , the Life
5 6
has lost this interest c o m p l e t e l y , b e c a u s e the k i n g has d i e d . Similarly,
L a q u e u r a r g u e d , J o s e p h u s u n d e r w e n t s o m e d e v e l o p m e n t in his estima­
tion o f H e r o d b e t w e e n War a n d Ant. W h e r e a s War h a d b e e n a R o m a n
p r o p a g a n d a p i e c e , Ant. reflects J o s e p h u s ' s m o r e natural s y m p a t h i e s .
Although Laqueur m a d e n o attempt to deal specifically w i t h the
Pharisee passages in J o s e p h u s , his w o r k is i m p o r t a n t b e c a u s e o f its m a j o r
m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n . S o u r c e criticism h a d b e e n c a r r i e d to the
p o i n t w h e r e its results i m p l i e d " d a s s J o s e p h u s u b e r h a u p t nicht existiert
57
hat, s o n d e r n n u r seine Q u e l l e " , as L a q u e u r sarcastically p u t i t . Over
against such a v i e w , L a q u e u r insisted that J o s e p h u s truly w a s an a u t h o r ,
5 8
" d a s s J o s e p h u s m i t seiner P e r s o n die R i c h t u n g seines W e r k e s d e c k t " .
O u t o f this f u n d a m e n t a l p r o p o s i t i o n g r e w L a q u e u r ' s distinctive c o n ­
t r i b u t i o n . H e a r g u e d that J o s e p h u s w a s subject to c h a n g e a n d d e v e l o p ­
m e n t in his o u t l o o k a n d that this c a p a c i t y for c h a n g e a c c o u n t s m o s t
59
a d e q u a t e l y for the i n c o n g r u i t i e s in his w r i t i n g s .
L a q u e u r ' s analysis o f J o s e p h u s w a s to h a v e c o n s i d e r a b l e i m p a c t o n
b o t h G e r m a n a n d E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g s c h o l a r s h i p , the latter t h r o u g h the
6 0
m e d i a t i o n o f H . St. J o h n T h a c k e r a y ( 1 9 2 9 ) . A f t e r L a q u e u r , the a m b i ­
tions of Josephan source criticism adjusted themselves radically
d o w n w a r d . M o s t significant for o u r t o p i c , L a q u e u r ' s e m p h a s i s o n the
vicissitudes o f J o s e p h u s ' s life as the k e y to u n d e r s t a n d i n g his writings
p a v e d the w a y for t w o i m p o r t a n t studies o f J o s e p h u s o n the Pharisees.

5 5
This question occupied the first half of Laqueur's study, pp. 6-128.
5 6
Ibid., 132.
5 7
Ibid., 131.
5 8
Ibid., 132.
5 9
Ibid., 131ff., 246.
6 0
H . St. John Thackeray, Josephus: the Man and the Historian (New York: Jewish In­
stitute of Religion, 1929). Thackeray modified but accepted Laqueur's theory of the
origin of the Life (18f.) and built on Laqueur's theory of the purpose of War (27, 30).
He also agreed in general with Laqueur's discovery of a stronger religious apologetic in
Ant (52).
28 CHAPTER T W O

T h e first o f these w a s H . R a s p ' s article, " F l a v i u s J o s e p h u s u n d die


6 1
judischen Religionsparteien" ( 1 9 2 4 ) . R a s p b e g a n with the p r o p o s i t i o n
that the different s e q u e n c e s in w h i c h J o s e p h u s o r d e r s the J e w i s h schools
in his v a r i o u s d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e m indicate his c h a n g i n g relationships
6 2
toward each g r o u p . In particular, R a s p saw Ant. 1 8 : 1 1 - 2 5 as an in­
6 3
t e n d e d c o r r e c t i o n o f War 2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 a n d he tried to interpret that c o r ­
rection b y e x a m i n i n g the i n d i v i d u a l c h a n g e s .
T h e p r i n c i p a l c h a n g e s d i s c o v e r e d b y R a s p w e r e : ( a ) a drastic r e d u c ­
tion in the a m o u n t o f s p a c e a n d d e g r e e o f enthusiasm d e v o t e d to the
Essenes; ( b ) a n o t a b l e increase in p r e c i s i o n with respect t o Pharisaic
beliefs; a n d ( c ) n e w material o n the relations b e t w e e n S a d d u c e e s a n d
64
Pharisees. R a s p a p p r o a c h e d these c h a n g e s with an u n m i s t a k a b l y L a -
queurian j u d g e m e n t :

D e r Gegensatz zwischen den Schilderungen im Bell, und in der Arch, ist


und bleibt auffallend. W i l l m a n nicht die eine verschlimmbessern nach der
anderen oder gar als Falschung streichen, dann muss m a n eben annehmen,
65
dass der Schreiber Josephus in der Zwischenzeit sich gewandelt h a t .

W h a t w e r e the c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f J o s e p h u s ' s life that c a u s e d h i m to write


so differently? R a s p b e g a n w i t h the p r o p o s i t i o n that J o s e p h u s ' s priestly
lineage (Life 2 ) m u s t h a v e entailed S a d d u c e a n allegiance a n d , as a c o n s e ­
6 6
q u e n c e , hatred o f R o m e . T h u s w h e n J o s e p h u s e m b a r k e d o n his m i s ­
sion to R o m e to free s o m e priests i m p r i s o n e d there (Life 13ff.), he w e n t
full o f c o n t e m p t . O n c e in R o m e , h o w e v e r , he h a d a c h a n g e o f heart:
first, b e c a u s e h e saw the a w e s o m e p o w e r o f R o m e ; s e c o n d , b e c a u s e o f
the friendliness o f N e r o ' s c o n s o r t P o p p e a , w h o s e gifts " b r a c h e n w o h l
d e n letzten i n n e r e n W i d e r s t a n d " .
S o J o s e p h u s r e t u r n e d h o m e with a n e w political o u t l o o k , o f w h i c h the
k e y i n g r e d i e n t w a s s u b m i s s i o n to R o m e . H e d e c i d e d that the best w a y
to p r o m o t e his n e w faith w o u l d b e to a c q u i r e a p o s i t i o n o f influence,
67
w h i c h m e a n t j o i n i n g the P h a r i s e e s . F o r the Pharisees h a d b y n o w lost
t o u c h with the y e a r n i n g s o f the p e o p l e a n d w e r e c o u n s e l l i n g s u b m i s s i o n

61
ZNW 23 (1924), 27-47.
6 2
Ibid., 29. In War 2:119-166, the Essenes are discussed first and at length; in Ant.
13:171-173 the order is Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes; in Ant. 18:11-25 the Pharisees are
discussed first and the Essenes last.
6 3
Ibid., 31. He reasoned that, since Josephus in Ant. 18:11 refers the reader back to
the account in War 2, but nevertheless proceeds to give a new and somewhat different
account, he must be intending to modify the earlier portrait.
6 4
Ibid., 32f.
6 5
Ibid., 33f.
6 6
Ibid., 32-35. Rasp rejects as "nur Spiegelfechterei" Josephus's claim (Life 10-12)
that he sampled all three Jewish schools and ended up following the Pharisees.
6 7
Ibid., Rasp, 36f.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 29

to R o m e . Installed as a R o m e - f r i e n d l y Pharisee, J o s e p h u s w a s entrusted


with the administration o f the G a l i l e e , with a m a n d a t e t o quell the
rebellious activities there. B u t h e w a s n o t u p to this Charakterprobe. O n c e
in Galilee h e capitulated to his pre-Pharisaic i m p u l s e s . T h e delighted
rebels m a d e h i m their general. A n d J o s e p h u s c o n t i n u e d to relish the role
o f rebel s t r o n g m a n until the R o m a n s t o o k h i m c a p t i v e . W h e n c a p t u r e d
b y the R o m a n s , h o w e v e r , h e revised his allegiances yet again a n d
68
became a R o m a n favourite.
It w a s u n d e r R o m a n p a t r o n a g e that J o s e p h u s u n d e r t o o k t o write War,
with its m a j o r passage o n the J e w i s h schools ( 2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 ) . S i n c e J o s e p h u s
c o u l d n o t present h i m s e l f to R o m a n readers as a rebel leader, h e c h o s e
to dissociate h i m s e l f f r o m a n y political stance. T o that e n d h e passed
himself o f f as an Essene. H e n c e his l o n g a n d a d m i r i n g portrait o f this
g r o u p , w h i c h includes the n o t i c e that they swear an oath to h o n o u r all
authority as f r o m G o d ( 2 : 1 3 9 f . ) . T h e Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s , h o w ­
e v e r , r e c e i v e little attention. I n J o s e p h u s ' s r e m a r k a b o u t the S a d d u c e e s '
6
rudeness ' e v e n to o n e a n o t h e r " R a s p f o u n d the veiled r e m i n i s c e n c e o f
a f o r m e r m e m b e r w h o h a d since felt the sting o f their wrath. T h e things
that G r e e k s despised in the J e w s , R a s p suggested, J o s e p h u s a s c r i b e d to
69
the S a d d u c e e s ; what the G r e e k s a d m i r e d , h e attributed t o the E s s e n e s .
R a s p p r o p o s e d that b y the time J o s e p h u s c a m e to write Ant. h e h a d
rethought his priorities a n d w a n t e d to repair his reputation with his
7 0
people. J o s e p h u s ' s literary p e a c e offering w a s his attempt to rewrite the
history o f the Pharisees. T h i s party h a d since w o n R o m a n s u p p o r t for
its religious authority in Palestine a n d so J o s e p h u s i n t e n d e d ' ' d i e an d e r
7 1
Herrschaft mitbeteiligten Pharisaer r e i n z u w a s c h e n v o n j e d e r S c h u l d " .
This a c c o u n t s , a c c o r d i n g t o R a s p , for the revised portrait o f the
Pharisees in Ant. 18. J o s e p h u s n o w rated their political influence v e r y
h i g h ( 1 8 : 1 5 , 17) a n d accurately r e p o r t e d their beliefs, h o p i n g t h e r e b y to
m a k e a m e n d s for the d i s a p p o i n t i n g treatment that he h a d g i v e n t h e m in
War 2 . R a s p c o m m e n t s :

Ja, er scheint iiberzeugt zu sein, dass er mit diesem anerkennenden


Zeugnis alles wieder gutmachen werde, denn gleichzeitig hat er die
Dreistigkeit sich vor aller W e l t als allezeit treuer Pharisaer hinzustellen
7 2
(Vita 1 2 ) .

6 8
Ibid., 36-43.
6 9
Ibid., 44-46. Cf. Ag.Ap. 1:182 / / War 2:120, 133, and Ag.Ap. 1:191 / / War 2:152.
7 0
Ibid., 46-47.
7 1
Ibid., 46.
7 2
Ibid., 47
30 CHAPTER T W O

7 3
T h e influence o f L a q u e u r o n R a s p ' s analysis is c l e a r . T h a t the alleged
differences in J o s e p h u s ' s portrayals o f the Pharisees c a n b e e x p l a i n e d
largely o n the basis o f c h a n g e s in his c i r c u m s t a n c e s a n d attitudes is an
idea that c o n t i n u e s to attract scholars. Before d i s c u s s i n g its m o r e recent
representatives, h o w e v e r , w e m u s t give s o m e attention t o the w o r k o f A .
Schlatter o n J o s e p h u s .

A. Schlatter: The Pharisees as Rabbis/Sages in Politics

In 1856 Paret h a d a r g u e d that the identification o f J o s e p h u s as a


Pharisee w o u l d e n h a n c e the usefulness o f his writings for Religions-
geschichte. S o m e seventy-five years later, A . Schlatter e x p l o i t e d that i d e n ­
tification. F o r h i m , J o s e p h u s w a s a Pharisee a n d , as s u c h :

zeigt uns in griechisches Denken und griechische Rede gefassten


Pharisaismus und fuhrt uns damit zu derjenigen Bewegung im Judentum,
74
die die Herrschaft uber ganze Judenschaft. . . erlangt h a t .

By a n d l a r g e , Schlatter's Theologie des Judentums ( 1 9 3 2 ) p r e s u p p o s e d


75
J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisaic a l l e g i a n c e ; that allegiance w a s w h a t bestowed
special i m p o r t a n c e o n J o s e p h u s for Schlatter. I n d i s c u s s i n g J o s e p h u s ' s
portrayal o f the Pharisees, Schlatter w a n t e d , first, t o s h o w h o w the
Pharisee J o s e p h u s c o u l d h a v e written the material as it stands and,
s e c o n d , to d i s c o v e r w h a t that material teaches a b o u t the Pharisees.
On the f o r m e r p o i n t , Schlatter p r o p o s e d that J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees
76
w e r e early representatives o f r a b b i n i c r e l i g i o n . T h a t w a s clear t o h i m
b e c a u s e v a r i o u s p e r s o n s identified as Pharisees b y J o s e p h u s — s u c h as
those w h o c a m e to p o w e r u n d e r Q u e e n A l e x a n d r a , the teachers P o l l i o n
77
and Samaias, and Simeon ben Gamaliel —are known from the
T a l m u d . Y e t , Schlatter n o t e d , J o s e p h u s displays a s t r o n g antipathy
( " e i n e kraftige A b n e i g u n g " ) t o w a r d m o s t o f these figures. H o w c a n this
b e e x p l a i n e d , g i v e n that J o s e p h u s w a s a Pharisee?
Schlatter a n s w e r e d o n three levels. First, J o s e p h u s ' s c o o l n e s s t o w a r d
the Pharisees is d u e in part to his objectivity as a historian. T h i s ac­
c o u n t s , Schlatter b e l i e v e d , f o r his d e t a c h e d portrayal o f the Pharisees as

7 3
Rasp acknowledged it (34, 36).
7 4
A . Schlatter, Die Theologie des Judentums nach dem Bericht des Jose/us (Gutersloh: C .
Bertelsmann, 1932), V . Cf. also his Der Bericht uber das Ende Jerusalems: ein Dialog mit
Wilhelm Weber (Gutersloh: C . Bertelsmann, 1923), 38.
7 5
Schlatter occasionally points out ideas of Josephus that seem to him Pharisaic (cf.
pp. 62, 21 Of.) but he offers no systematic treatment of the question; nor does he explain
how he knows such ideas to be distinctively Pharisaic.
7 6
Ibid., 198-199.
7 7
Cf. War 1:110f.; Ant 15:3; Life 191.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 31

7 8
b u t o n e atpeat? a m o n g m a n y . S e c o n d , Schlatter held that m u c h o f
Josephus's Pharisee material came from the pagan Nicolaus o f
D a m a s c u s , w h o m J o s e p h u s allowed t o d e t e r m i n e n o t o n l y the c o n t e n t
79
(Begrenzung) b u t also the n u a n c e (Farbung) o f his p r e s e n t a t i o n . Never­
theless, a c c o r d i n g to Schlatter, J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f snubs the Rabbinat b y
( a ) failing t o n a m e his o w n teacher, in v i o l a t i o n o f r a b b i n i c p r o t o c o l , ( b )
failing to m e n t i o n the " r a b b i n i c " leaders in the G a l i l e e d u r i n g the
p e r i o d o f his administration there, a l t h o u g h they must h a v e p l a y e d an
i m p o r t a n t r o l e , a n d ( c ) u n d e r t a k i n g a full d e f e n c e o f J u d a i s m , in Ag.Ap.,
w i t h o u t o n c e m e n t i o n i n g the r a b b i n i c leaders w h o c o n t r o l l e d J u d a i s m at
80
the e n d o f the first c e n t u r y . J o s e p h u s ' s o w n anti-rabbinic attitude,
therefore, calls for an e x p l a n a t i o n .
Schlatter suggested that J o s e p h u s ' s use o f the n a m e " P h a r i s e e s " for
the r a b b i s , rather than "sages/ao^taTOtt", i n d i c a t e d that his dispute with
81
t h e m w a s political a n d n o t r e l i g i o u s . T h a t is, J o s e p h u s r e v e r e d the
r a b b i s as s u c h , in their religious a n d t e a c h i n g functions, a n d com­
8 2
m e n d e d their exegesis o f the l a w s . T h e i r (alleged) hostility t o w a r d
R o m e , h o w e v e r , w a s a frustration to J o s e p h u s ' s o w n efforts at rapproche­
ment: " S e i n e i g e n e s politisches Ziel m a c h t e ihn z u m G e g n e r d e r R a b -
b i n e n ; d e n n diese lehnten d i e v o n J . g e w u n s c h t e V e r s o h n u n g m i t R o m
8 3
ab." T h u s J o s e p h u s w a s c o m m i t t e d to Pharisaic-rabbinic r e l i g i o n ; h e
p o r t r a y e d his fellow-Pharisees in a n e g a t i v e light o n l y b e c a u s e o f their
t r o u b l e s o m e political stance.
Having explained Josephus's unfavourable presentation of the
Pharisees b y these m e a n s , Schlatter asked what c o u l d b e learned o b j e c ­
tively a b o u t the Pharisees f r o m J o s e p h u s ' s narative, w h i c h is after all the
8 4
a c c o u n t o f an insider. H e d i s c o v e r e d : ( a ) that the Pharisees' goal
always appears as &xpi(kta, exactitude o r p r e c i s i o n in the laws; ( b ) that
this striving after the laws i n c l u d e d a d h e r e n c e to the " t r a d i t i o n s o f the
f a t h e r s " ; ( c ) that, in o r d e r to k e e p the tradition alive, the Pharisees
85
sponsored a vigorous programme o f education; ( d ) that their teachers
o c c u r r e d in pairs, w h i c h reflects their self-understanding as tradents

7 8
Schlatter, Theologie, 196.
7 9
Ibid., 201f.
8 0
Ibid., 202.
8 1
Ibid., 203-204.
8 2
Cf. War 1:110, 649; Ant. 17:149, 216.
8 3
Ibid., 203.
8 4
Ibid., 205-208.
8 5
Cf. the references to "disciples" or "students" at War 1:649; Ant. 13:289; 15:3;
17:149.
32 CHAPTER T W O

86
rather than as individual i n n o v a t o r s ; ( e ) that the Pharisees relied o n
87
p r o s e l y t i s m , as well as natural r e p r o d u c t i o n , for their c o n s t i t u e n c y ; (f)
that the Pharisees c o m b i n e d d i v i n e p r o v i d e n c e a n d h u m a n respon­
sibility; a n d ( g ) that the p o p u l a r influence o f the Pharisees g r e w in the
early part o f the first c e n t u r y .
L i k e those w h o w e n t b e f o r e h i m , Schlatter b o t h r e c o g n i z e d the
negative t o n e o f J o s e p h u s ' s portrayal o f the Pharisees a n d sought to e x ­
plain h o w J o s e p h u s , as a Pharisee himself, c o u l d h a v e written it. O n e
c a n discern in his treatment the c o m b i n e d influence o f s o u r c e criticism
and Laqueur's emphasis o n Josephus's circumstances as decisive.
Nevertheless, Schlatter's w o r k is a strange c o m b i n a t i o n o f literary a n d
historical analysis. H e w e n t far b e y o n d J o s e p h u s ' s intentional, explicit
remarks a b o u t the Pharisees, s u p p o s i n g that virtually a n y religious
teacher w h o h a d an interest in the L a w w a s a Pharisee/Sage a n d u s i n g
that identification to shed light o n the Pharisees. But this p r o c e d u r e
bypasses the q u e s t i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s literary p u r p o s e . Further, Schlatter
i n v o k e d external criteria, such as his belief that the Pharisees/Sages w e r e
u n w i l l i n g to c o - o p e r a t e with R o m e , to interpret J o s e p h u s ' s a c c o u n t .
T h e s e factors m a k e it difficult to c o m p a r e Schlatter's w o r k directly with
simple analyses o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisee passages.

M. Smith and J. Neusner: Anglophone Heirs of Laqueur

After a hiatus o f s o m e three d e c a d e s , R a s p ' s a p p r o a c h to J o s e p h u s ' s


Pharisee passages, b a s e d o n L a q u e u r ' s insights, w a s i n t r o d u c e d to the
English-speaking world by M . Smith. Smith's essay, "Palestinian
J u d a i s m in the First C e n t u r y " , set o u t to d e m o n s t r a t e b o t h the p e r v a s i v e
H e l l e n i z a t i o n a n d the plurality o f p r e - 7 0 J u d a i s m . It d r e w together
e v i d e n c e f r o m the N T , J o s e p h u s , the T a l m u d , a n d elsewhere to s h o w
88
that m a n y different religious g r o u p s o p e r a t e d in p r e - w a r P a l e s t i n e . In
v i e w o f this well-attested variety o f religious o u t l o o k , S m i t h asked h o w
the n o t i o n c o u l d h a v e arisen that first-century J e w s e m b r a c e d a " n o r ­
m a t i v e " , essentially Pharisaic, J u d a i s m .
M u c h o f the b l a m e for this distortion he laid at the feet o f J o s e p h u s ,
b e c a u s e o f the latter's frequent statements in Ant. a b o u t the Pharisees'
8 9
great influence o v e r the p e o p l e (cf. 1 3 : 2 9 8 , 4 0 0 - 4 0 2 ; 1 8 : 1 5 ) . I f these

8 6
Cf. Pollion and Samaias and the two scholars who urged the removal of the eagle
from Herod's Temple, Judas and Mattathias (War 1:648).
8 7
Cf. Josephus's own "conversion" to Pharisaism, Life 10-12.
8 8
Smith, "Palestinian Judaism", 71-73. He cites, for example, various baptist
groups, the Essenes, and the many practitioners of magic.
8 9
Ibid., 74-79.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 33

statements are n o t simple reflections o f fact, h o w are they to b e e x ­


p l a i n e d ? S m i t h f o u n d the k e y in Ant. 13:400ff., the story o f A l e x a n d e r
J a n n e u s ' s d e a t h b e d r e c o m m e n d a t i o n to his wife A l e x a n d r a that, o n h e r
accession to the t h r o n e , she yield s o m e administrative p o w e r to the
Pharisees. F o r J a n n e u s p o i n t s o u t to his wife that the Pharisees h a v e
e n o u g h influence with the p e o p l e b o t h t o injure their e n e m i e s a n d to
assist their friends ( 1 3 : 4 0 1 ) ; he allows that his o w n rule has b e e n e m ­
battled b e c a u s e o f his harsh treatment o f the Pharisees ( 1 3 : 4 0 2 ) . S i n c e
these o b s e r v a t i o n s o n Pharisaic influence are absent f r o m the parallel ac­
count in War ( l : 1 0 6 f . ) , written s o m e twenty years earlier, Smith
d i s c o v e r e d a n e w t h e m e in Ant., to the effect that Palestine c a n n o t b e
ruled w i t h o u t Pharisaic s u p p o r t .
I n the L a q u e u r / R a s p tradition, S m i t h s o u g h t to e x p l a i n this n e w p r o ­
m o t i o n o f the Pharisees o n the basis o f J o s e p h u s ' s c i r c u m s t a n c e s in the
last d e c a d e o f the first c e n t u r y , w h e n Ant. w a s written. S m i t h ' s p r o p o s a l :

It is almost impossible not to see in such a rewriting of history a bid to the


Roman government. T h a t government must have been faced with the
problem: W h i c h group of Jews shall we support? . . . T o this question
Josephus is volunteering an answer: the Pharisees, he says again and again,
have by far the greatest influence with the people. A n y government which
secures their support is accepted; any government which alienates them has
90
trouble.

A c c o r d i n g to S m i t h , then, J o s e p h u s w a n t e d to t h r o w in his lot with the


rising fortunes o f the Pharisees after 70 b y c o m m e n d i n g t h e m to the
R o m a n s as the g r o u p w h i c h they s h o u l d s u p p o r t in Palestine. T o a c c o m ­
91
plish this g o a l — a service to b o t h R o m a n s a n d Pharisees —Josephus
r e w r o t e history in Ant. so as to give the Pharisees e n o r m o u s p o p u l a r in­
fluence.
I n S m i t h ' s v i e w , the truth a b o u t the Pharisees is m o r e accurately
reflected in the school passages o f War a n d Ant.: they w e r e o n l y o n e
a m o n g m a n y p h i l o s o p h i c a l schools that flourished in Palestine before
9 2
70. F o r h i m , the presentation o f the Pharisees in Ant. arose from
J o s e p h u s ' s political interests a n d is therefore unreliable as history.
I n m a n y respects, S m i t h ' s t h e o r y e c h o e s R a s p ' s earlier p r o p o s a l :
J o s e p h u s ' s p e r s p e c t i v e o n the Pharisees c h a n g e d b e t w e e n War a n d Ant.
a n d this c h a n g e d p e r s p e c t i v e a c c o u n t s for Ant. 's ( a l l e g e d ) p r o m o t i o n o f
the Pharisee. S m i t h ' s p o s i t i o n , h o w e v e r , differs f r o m R a s p ' s in t w o

9 0
Ibid., 72.
9 1
Smith believed (p. 77) that the Pharisees were negotiating for Roman support when
Josephus wrote Ant..
9 2
Ibid., 79f. Smith also adduces parallels between the Pharisees and the Greek
philosophical schools.
34 CHAPTER T W O

significant respects. First, w h e r e a s R a s p h a d v i e w e d Ant. as a p e a c e -


offering to the Pharisees, S m i t h c l a i m e d that J o s e p h u s w r o t e to h e l p the
R o m a n s , w h o w e r e still in a q u a n d a r y a b o u t w h o m they should s u p p o r t
in Palestine. S e c o n d , w h e r e a s R a s p h a d v i e w e d Ant. as m o r e accurate
than War—in War J o s e p h u s deliberately o b s c u r e d the political facts,
Smith t o o k the o p p o s i t e v i e w .
S m i t h ' s t h e o r y w e n t virtually u n n o t i c e d for s o m e fifteen years—that
93
is, until his student J . N e u s n e r p u b l i c i z e d it in a 1972 e s s a y . Referring
to the five relevant p a g e s o f S m i t h ' s essay as a " l a n d m a r k study o f
J o s e p h u s ' s pictures o f the P h a r i s e e s " , N e u s n e r l a m e n t e d the lack o f in­
teraction it h a d thus far elicited. H i s o w n article, therefore, w a s i n t e n d e d
to p u b l i c i z e a n d further substantiate S m i t h ' s v i e w :

Here I wish to review the several references to Pharisees in Josephus's


writings and to spell out the sources in such a way that Smith's study will
both receive the attention it deserves and be shown to be wholly correct,
94
therefore, to necessitate the revision of our picture of pre-70 Pharisaism.

To a c h i e v e this g o a l , N e u s n e r b e g i n s with the references to the


Pharisees in Life, in w h i c h he finds J o s e p h u s e a g e r to c l a i m Pharisaic
credentials ( 1 0 - 1 2 ) but silent a b o u t the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f this affiliation. I n
Life 189-198 N e u s n e r finds the Pharisees presented as i m p o r t a n t politi­
95
cians d u r i n g the r e v o l t .
In War N e u s n e r finds t w o distinct e m p h a s e s with respect to the
Pharisees. First, in 1:107-114 they a p p e a r as a p o w e r f u l political g r o u p
u n d e r A l e x a n d r a S a l o m e . In 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 , h o w e v e r , they a p p e a r s i m p l y as
the o p p o n e n t s o f the Sadducees, both groups being portrayed as
philosophical schools w h o differed o n l y o n theoretical issues. N e u s n e r
96
notes that the Pharisees o f War are n o t p r o m i n e n t in the narrative.
F o l l o w i n g S m i t h , N e u s n e r argues that the k e y to u n d e r s t a n d i n g the
Pharisees in Ant. is J o s e p h u s ' s n e w a d v o c a c y o f the g r o u p : J o s e p h u s has
n o w taken the side o f the Pharisees a n d is l o b b y i n g for R o m a n r e c o g n i ­
tion o f t h e m as the n e w leaders in Palestine. N e u s n e r s u m m a r i z e s :

T h e Essenes of War are cut down to size; the Pharisees of Antiquities


predominate. A n d what Josephus now says about them is that the country
cannot be governed without their cooperation, and he himself is one of
97
them.

9 3
J. Neusner, "Josephus's Pharisees", Ex Orbe Religionum, 224-253.
9 4
Ibid., 225.
9 5
Ibid., 226-227.
9 6
Ibid., 227-230.
9 7
Ibid., 238.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 35

L i k e S m i t h , N e u s n e r c o n s i d e r s the story o f A l e x a n d r a ' s a d m i s s i o n o f the


Pharisees to p o w e r (Ant. 1 3 : 4 0 0 f f . ) , in c o m p a r i s o n to the War parallel
9 8
( l : 1 0 6 f f . ) , to h a v e b e e n " s t r i k i n g l y revised in f a v o r o f the P h a r i s e e s " .
The n e w story o f J o h n H y r c a n u s ' s b r e a k with the Pharisees e n d s with
a c o m m e n t o n the p e o p l e ' s s u p p o r t for the Pharisees ( 1 3 : 2 9 7 f . ) . T h e s e
a n d o t h e r a d d i t i o n s lead N e u s n e r to fall in with S m i t h ' s c o n c l u s i o n ,
w h i c h h e cites at length, that War m o r e accurately reflects the true state
o f affairs; Ant., he c l a i m s , represents a tendentious r e w o r k i n g o f the
99
facts.
N e u s n e r d i d , h o w e v e r , a d d s o m e t h i n g to S m i t h ' s c o n c l u s i o n . That
was the o b s e r v a t i o n that in War, the Pharisees a p p e a r not o n l y as a
religious-philosophical g r o u p in the early part o f the first Christian c e n ­
tury ( s o War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 ) , b u t also as a p o w e r f u l political o r g a n i z a t i o n in
the first c e n t u r y B C , u n d e r A l e x a n d r a S a l o m e (War 1:110-114). This
qualification a l l o w e d N e u s n e r to a b s o r b S m i t h ' s t h e o r y into his o w n
r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f p r e - 7 0 J u d a i s m , w h i c h he o u t l i n e d in From Politics to
Piety: The Emergence of Pharisaic Judaism ( 1 9 7 3 ) . N e u s n e r argues there that
the Pharisees m o v e d f r o m active political i n v o l v e m e n t , in H a s m o n e a n
t i m e s , to solely r e l i g i o u s c o n c e r n s , u n d e r H i l l e l ' s l e a d e r s h i p , then b a c k
1 0 0
to political i n v o l v e m e n t after 7 0 . H i s c h a p t e r o n J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees
is essentially his earlier essay in d e f e n c e o f S m i t h .
S m i t h ' s t h e o r y g a v e N e u s n e r justification for rejecting Ant. 's portrait
o f the Pharisees in f a v o u r o f the a c c o u n t in War, w h i c h a c c o u n t well
suited his politics-to-piety s c e n a r i o . In return, S m i t h ' s t h e o r y w o n a m a ­
jor s u p p o r t i n g role in a f a m o u s study o f Pharisaism. U n d e r N e u s n e r ' s
1 0 1
s p o n s o r s h i p , it is w i n n i n g b r o a d s u p p o r t .

9 8
Ibid.
9 9
Ibid., 238-243.
1 0 0
Neusner, Politics, 146.
101
Cf. J. Blenkinsopp, "Prophecy and Priesthood in Josephus", JJS 25 (1974), 256
n.80; D . Goodblatt, "The Origins of Roman Recognition of the Palestinian Patriar­
chate", Studies in the History of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel 4 (1978), 99 [Hebrew];
I. L. Levine, "On the Political Involvement of the Pharisees under Herod and the Pro­
curators", Cathedra 8 (1978), 12-28 [Hebrew]; S. J. D. Cohen, Josephus in Galilee and
Rome, 237f.; H . W . Attridge, in M . E. Stone, ed., Jewish Writings of the Second Temple
Period ("Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum", 2:3; Assen: Van
Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 186; R. A. Wild, "The Encounter Between
Pharisaic and Christian Judaism: Some Early Gospel Evidence", NovT 27 (1985), llOf.
The editors of the new Schurer indicate their agreement with Smith (G. Vermes, F.
Millar, M . Black, edd., The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, by E.
Schurer [3 vols.; Edinburgh: T . & T . Clark, 1979], II, 389 n.20), but they cite him in
support of the position that he explicitly rejects, viz., that the Pharisees "represented not
a sectarian viewpoint but the main outlook of Judaism" (389).
36 CHAPTER T W O

E. Rivkin: Return to a Univocal Interpretation

A challenge to S m i t h / N e u s n e r c a m e with E . R i v k i n ' s . 4 Hidden Revolution


( 1 9 7 8 ) . R i v k i n ' s total isolation f r o m the L a q u e u r i a n stream o f inter­
pretation c a n b e seen in his initial p r o p o s i t i o n that "parallel passages in
War a n d in Antiquities will b e treated side b y s i d e " , in o r d e r to analyze
1 0 2
Pharisaic history " c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y ' ' . T h u s h e b e g i n s with Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 1 -
173, w h i c h i n t r o d u c e s the sects at the t i m e o f J o n a t h a n the H a s m o n e a n ,
a n d then passes q u i c k l y to Ant. 1 3 : 2 8 8 - 2 9 8 , the story o f the rupture b e ­
103
tween J o h n H y r c a n u s a n d the P h a r i s e e s . T h e latter passage is i m p o r ­
tant for R i v k i n b e c a u s e it lays o u t the basic features o f his " d e f i n i t i o n "
o f the Pharisees: they w e r e a " s c h o l a r c l a s s " that h a d d e v e l o p e d an en­
tire legal system for the p e o p l e . T h i s system was b a s e d o n the U n w r i t t e n
1 0 4
L a w , R i v k i n h o l d s , w h i c h h a d its roots in the " f a t h e r s " . Rivkin
thinks that t h r o u g h o u t J o s e p h u s ' s writings the Pharisees a p p e a r as ag­
gressive ("goal-oriented"!) power-seekers and not as irenic con-
templatives:

T h e Pharisees in the time of John Hyrcanus, Alexander Janneus, and


Salome Alexandra were a law-making scholar class capable of stirring up
and abetting rebellion against king and H i g h Priest, sanctioning the use of
105
violence to attain power and a u t h o r i t y .

In contrast to S m i t h / N e u s n e r , then, R i v k i n insists o n the d o m i n a n c e o f


the Pharisees a n d Pharisaic law in pre-70 Palestine. E v e n H e r o d , he
argues, had to " b e n d b e f o r e " Pharisaic p o w e r : the Pharisees w e r e able
to refuse an oath o f allegiance to H e r o d a n d n o t b e p u n i s h e d (Ant.
1 0 6
15:3). T h e S a d d u c e e s w e r e c o m p e l l e d b y p o p u l a r o p i n i o n to follow
Pharisaic laws (Ant. 1 8 : 1 5 , 1 7 ) . In J o s e p h u s ' s o w n a c c o u n t o f his deci­
sion to g o v e r n his life (7UoXiTeuea9oci) in a c c o r d with the Pharisaic s c h o o l
(Life 1 2 ) , R i v k i n finds further e v i d e n c e that " i n f o l l o w i n g the Pharisees
o n e d o e s not j o i n s o m e t h i n g , but o n e g o v e r n s o n e s e l f b y a system o f
1 0 7
laws". T h u s the Pharisees w e r e not at all a " s e c t " b u t a class o f
1 0 8
scholars that, with their special laws, g a v e leadership to the p e o p l e .
R i v k i n offers the f o l l o w i n g definition o f the Pharisees as they appear in

1 0 2
Rivkin, Revolution, 33.
1 0 3
Ibid., 34-37.
1 0 4
Ibid., 38-41.
1 0 5
Ibid., 49; cf. 63.
1 0 6
Ibid., 53.
1 0 7
Ibid., 66f.
1 0 8
Ibid., 70. Cf. 316 n. 1, where Rivkin insists that Josephus's term ocipeats be
disabused of the modern connotations to the word "sect". W e shall discuss the question
of Josephus's meaning in chapter 6, below.
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 37

J o s e p h u s : " T h e Pharisees w e r e the active protagonists o f the U n w r i t t e n


L a w w h o e n j o y e d , e x c e p t f o r a b r i e f interval, the w h o l e h e a r t e d c o n ­
1 0 9
fidence a n d s u p p o r t o f the m a s s e s . " A s R i v k i n h i m s e l f o b s e r v e s , his
interpretation o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees is utterly i n c o m p a t i b l e with the
1 1 0
Smith/Neusner t h e o r y .

D. R. Schwartz: A Return to Source Criticism

A recent challenge to S m i t h / N e u s n e r has c o m e in a n article b y D . R .


1 1 1
S c h w a r t z , entitled " J o s e p h u s a n d N i c o l a u s o n the P h a r i s e e s " ( 1 9 8 3 ) .
A s the title suggests, S c h w a r t z wants to contest the increasingly p o p u l a r
Smith/Neusner theory b y r e v i v i n g a source-critical e x p l a n a t i o n o f
J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisee passages:

M o r e o v e r , the question [of sources] takes on special importance insofar as


it has been ignored by several recent studies which have sought to explain
some of Josephus's statements on the Pharisees, namely those which
ascribe to them great influence and popularity, solely on the basis of his
112
own needs and p o l i t i c s .

T h u s S c h w a r t z sets o u t to d e t e r m i n e w h i c h Pharisee passages c a n b e at­


tributed to J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f a n d w h i c h o n e s w e r e simply taken o v e r b y
Josephus from Nicolaus.
O f special interest are S c h w a r t z ' s criteria for d e c i d i n g the s o u r c e ques­
1 1 3
tion. F o r e a c h o f the four passages that h e attributes to N i c o l a u s , he
c a n cite v a r i o u s linguistic details, w h i c h w e shall c o n s i d e r b e l o w in o u r
analysis o f the respective p e r i c o p a e . W h e n S c h w a r t z c o m e s , h o w e v e r , to
s u m m a r i z e his reasons for attributing passages to N i c o l a u s , his m a i n
1 1 4
criterion is that they "express hostility toward the Pharisees".
Specifically, the Pharisees appear as " t h o s e w h o incite the masses
1 1 5
against r u l e r s " . T w o other passages, b y contrast, " p r e s e n t t h o r o u g h l y
positive a c c o u n t s o f the P h a r i s e e s " , a n d " t h e s e i m p r o v e m e n t s in the i m ­
1 1 6
age o f the Pharisees s h o w that it is J o s e p h u s w h o is s p e a k i n g " . For
S c h w a r t z , then, as for H o l s c h e r l o n g a g o , the a u t h o r ' s attitude t o w a r d
the Pharisees is the crucial f a c t o r — t h o u g h b y no means the o n l y
factor—in d e c i d i n g w h e t h e r J o s e p h u s o r s o m e o n e else w a s the author.

1 0 9
Ibid., 70.
1 1 0
Ibid., 330.
1 1 1
JSJ 14 (1983), 157-171.
1 1 2
Ibid., 157.
1 1 3
These are Ant. 13:171-173, 288, 401f.; 17:41-45.
1 1 4
Ibid., 162.
1 1 5
Ibid.
1 1 6
Ibid., 163. The passages are War 2:162-163 and Ant. 18:12-15.
38 CHAPTER T W O

Josephus the Pharisee cannot be e x p e c t e d to h a v e portrayed the


Pharisees in a negative light.
H o w d o e s S c h w a r t z ' s analysis c o n f r o n t the S m i t h / N e u s n e r t h e o r y ? I n
the first p l a c e , o f all the passages a d d u c e d b y N e u s n e r to d e m o n s t r a t e
J o s e p h u s ' s p r o m o t i o n o f the Pharisees in Ant. ( 1 3 : 2 8 8 , 401f.; 1 7 : 4 1 - 4 5 ;
1 8 : 1 5 - 1 7 ) , S c h w a r t z argues that o n l y the last c o m e s f r o m J o s e p h u s
himself; the others m e n t i o n Pharisaic p o w e r b u t " i n a w a y w h i c h w o u l d
hardly c o m m e n d t h e m to the R o m a n s , e m p h a s i z i n g their subversive
117
capabilities". T h i s s h o w s that J o s e p h u s d i d n o t invent his statements
a b o u t Pharisaic p o w e r in o r d e r t o appeal to the R o m a n s ; rather, m o s t
c o m e f r o m N i c o l a u s . S e c o n d , Schwartz denies a m a j o r p r e m i s e o f
S m i t h ' s , n a m e l y , that the Pharisees at Y a v n e h w e r e b i d d i n g for R o m a n
1 1 8
endorsement. In p l a c e o f the S m i t h / N e u s n e r t h e o r y , therefore, he of­
fers a r e c o n s t r u c t i o n m o r e a l o n g the lines o f R a s p ' s .
In S c h w a r t z ' s v i e w , War reflects the m o s t t h o r o u g h a n d sustained
p o l e m i c o f all J o s e p h u s ' s writings, for that w o r k m a n a g e s to o b s c u r e the
119
Pharisees' political a c t i v i t i e s . F o r e x a m p l e , although War m e n t i o n s Si­
m e o n b e n G a m a l i e l as a leader in the r e v o l u t i o n a r y g o v e r n m e n t ( 2 : 6 2 8 ;
4 : 1 5 9 ) , it d o e s n o t identify h i m as a Pharisee; o n l y Life 191 d o e s . In War
1:67, S c h w a r t z argues, J o s e p h u s suppressed the fact, w h i c h h e o n l y
divulges in Ant. 1 3 : 2 8 8 , that the Pharisees h a d h e a d e d the revolt against
J o h n H y r c a n u s . A n d War d o e s n o t m e n t i o n that the o a t h o f allegiance
refused b y the Pharisees n a m e d A u g u s t u s himself ( b u t Ant. 17:42).
Finally, War 2 : 1 1 8 claims that the rebel sect o f J u d a s h a d n o t h i n g in
c o m m o n with the others; b u t Ant. 1 8 : 1 0 , 23 links it closely with the
Pharisees. O n all o f these p o i n t s , Schwartz c o n t e n d s , it is War that o m i t s
the " d a m a g i n g pieces o f i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h c o n n e c t the Pharisees with
1 2 0
rebels". In Ant. a n d Life, o n the other h a n d , although these w o r k s are
still c o n d i t i o n e d b y J o s e p h u s ' s biases, " J o s e p h u s was less cautious a n d
therefore m u c h s o u r c e material, w h i c h indicated Pharisaic i n v o l v e m e n t
1 2 1
in politics a n d e v e n in r e b e l l i o n , f o u n d its w a y into these b o o k s .
T h u s S c h w a r t z c o n c l u d e s against N e u s n e r that it w a s J o s e p h u s ' s in­
tention to c o n f i n e the Pharisees to a harmless, p u r e l y religious d o m a i n
1 2 2
a n d that War, b e c a u s e it reflects this t e n d e n c y m o s t c l o s e l y , is not a
reliable g u i d e as to what the Pharisees w e r e really a b o u t . In Ant. and

1 1 7
Ibid., 165f.
1 1 8
Ibid., 167f.
1 1 9
Ibid., 169.
1 2 0
Ibid.
1 2 1
Ibid.
1 2 2
War 1:110-114, in which the Pharisees do appear in a political role, Schwartz
describes as the only passage in War that "got through" from Josephus's source, con­
trary to his own intention (170).
SCHOLARLY INTERPRETATIONS 39

Life, o n the o t h e r h a n d , J o s e p h u s was less c a u t i o u s b e c a u s e the issue h a d


lost s o m e o f its u r g e n c y . S o h e a l l o w e d his s o u r c e ( N i c o l a u s ) to assert its
c l a i m that the Pharisees w e r e inciters o f the masses against the rulers.
A n d these a d m i s s i o n s o f Pharisaic political p o w e r , b e c a u s e they c o n ­
tradict J o s e p h u s ' s o w n intentions, must b e seen to carry c o n s i d e r a b l e
historical w e i g h t .
W i t h S c h w a r t z ' s article w e b r i n g to a close this survey o f scholarly in­
terpretations o f J o s e p h u s o n the Pharisees. N o t o n l y is his c o n t r i b u t i o n
recent, b u t it also d r a w s together m a n y threads o f the p r e v i o u s discus­
sions. L i k e the earlier s o u r c e critics, S c h w a r t z allows that J o s e p h u s c o u l d
m e c h a n i c a l l y c o p y passages o n the Pharisees that w e r e inimical to his
o w n interests as a Pharisee. Like Laqueur a n d R a s p , h e l o o k s to
Josephus's c i r c u m s t a n c e s to explain s o m e o f the Pharisee material
(especially in War). A n d all o f this is directed against a n o t h e r effort a l o n g
that line, n a m e l y , the S m i t h / N e u s n e r t h e o r y .
C O N C L U S I O N T O P A R T I: T A S K O F T H E STUDY

It remains in this i n t r o d u c t o r y section to specify the c o n t r i b u t i o n that a


n e w study o f J o s e p h u s o n the Pharisees m i g h t h o p e to m a k e . O n the
basis o f the insights g a i n e d thus far, I shall p r o p o s e a justification, a set
o f goals, a n d a p r o c e d u r e for this n e w investigation.

I. The Need for a New Study of Josephus's Pharisees

It is not necessary here to g i v e an e x t e n d e d critique o f the p r e v i o u s


analyses o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees that w e r e s u r v e y e d in chapter 2 . T h e
weaknesses o f a n y g i v e n a p p r o a c h h a v e often b e e n p o i n t e d o u t b y suc­
cessive critics. W e shall also interact with specific h y p o t h e s e s in the
c o u r s e o f the f o l l o w i n g analysis. T h e o n l y p o i n t that n e e d s to b e estab­
lished here is that n o n e o f the studies c o n s i d e r e d a b o v e represents a c o m ­
plete literary analysis o f J o s e p h u s ' s t e s t i m o n y a b o u t the Pharisees. Y e t
such c o m p l e t e n e s s is a prerequisite to a n y historical investigation o f the
Pharisees.
M o s t o f the studies c o n s i d e r e d d o not c l a i m to b e c o m p r e h e n s i v e .
G e r l a c h was interested o n l y in the issue o f w h e t h e r J o s e p h u s was a
Pharisee. H o l s c h e r d i d n o t e v e n try to interpret the Pharisee passages as
J o s e p h u s ' s o w n c o m p o s i t i o n s . R a s p focused o n the differences b e t w e e n
War 2 a n d Ant. 18 a n d largely i g n o r e d the other p e r i c o p a e . N e u s n e r , b y
his o w n a d m i s s i o n , was c o n c e r n e d to substantiate S m i t h ' s theory, a
1
p r e o c c u p a t i o n w h i c h p r e c l u d e d a n y serious attempt at interpretation.
Finally, S c h w a r t z ' s p u r p o s e w a s o n l y to d e c i d e w h o a u t h o r e d the v a r i o u s
Pharisee passages in J o s e p h u s . N o n e o f these scholars has a i m e d at a
c o m p l e t e analysis o f the Pharisee passages in the c o n t e x t o f o u r a u t h o r ' s
2
thought a n d literary p u r p o s e s .

1
For example, Neusner's half-dozen sentences of comment on War 2:162-166
('Josephus's Pharisees", 230f.), which is arguably the most important Pharisee passage
in Josephus, are almost solely concerned with what the passage does not say about the
Pharisees, vis-a-vis Ant..
2
Rivkin, it is true, does claim that "each of the sources will be thoroughly analyzed"
(Revolution, 31). Yet, in spite of this promising proposal, he quickly lapses into the
positivistic assumption that Josephus presents "raw material for a definition of the
Pharisees" (54), an assumption that leads him to treat all of the sources as if they were
of one piece. In practice, therefore, if not in theory, Rivkin ignores a fundamental prin­
ciple of interpretation: he fails to recognize that what Josephus says about the Pharisees
is not "raw material" but a formulation.
CONCLUSION T O PART ONE 41

In chapter 1 w e saw that historical investigation presupposes an


u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the t e s t i m o n y o f e a c h witness. O n e c a n n o t , therefore,
use J o s e p h u s ' s e v i d e n c e a b o u t the Pharisees until o n e k n o w s w h a t it
m e a n s . W h y d o e s J o s e p h u s m e n t i o n the Pharisees? W h a t p l a c e d o they
o c c u p y in his v i s i o n o f things? W h a t d o e s he w a n t to say a b o u t t h e m ?
T h e s e q u e s t i o n s all h i n g e o n u n d e r s t a n d i n g J o s e p h u s as a writer, a task
that has b e e n all but i g n o r e d in the scholarly literature.
Not many years ago, W . C . van Unnik g a v e a lecture entitled
"Josephus, the N e g l e c t e d O n e " . H e s u r v e y e d the state o f J o s e p h a n
studies a n d remarked:

Josephus ist und wird immer wieder benutzt und zitiert. . . . U n d doch
lasst sich fragen, o b der vielzitierte Historiker auch wirklich gekannt wird.
Ist er nicht viel mehr Lieferant von Daten als verantwortungsvoller Autor?
Hat man seine Schriften wirklich gelesen, exegesiert und in richtiger Weise
3
ausgeschopft?

T h e deficiencies n o t e d b y v a n U n n i k are n o w h e r e m o r e e v i d e n t than in


the scholarly use o f J o s e p h u s for the study o f the Pharisees. T h a t is the
justification for the present study.
A necessary tool for the exegesis o f a n y prolific a u t h o r is an accurate
and exhaustive concordance. The absence o f such a resource for
J o s e p h u s in the past m a y partially explain the lack o f scholarly interest
in his thought. What makes a new study o f Josephus's Pharisees
especially timely n o w is the recent c o m p l e t i o n ( 1 9 8 3 ) o f the Complete Con­
4
cordance to Flavius Josephus, e d i t e d b y K . H . R e n g s t o r f et al. That work
5
will d o u b t l e s s r e v o l u t i o n i z e J o s e p h a n studies.

I I . Aims of the Study

Our goal, then, will b e to interpret J o s e p h u s ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the


Pharisees. Interpretation is necessary because his statements (like
a n y o n e ' s ) are n o t a u t o n o m o u s , self-evident units o f truth, but rather
p r o d u c t i o n s o f his o w n t h o u g h t . J o s e p h u s c o u l d c o n c e i v a b l y h a v e o m i t ­
ted a n y reference to the Pharisees. T h e interpreter must ask w h y he
elected to m e n t i o n t h e m , what these a c c o u n t s c o n t r i b u t e to his nar­
ratives, a n d w h y he c h o s e certain w o r d s a n d not others to d e s c r i b e the
Pharisees. I f J o s e p h u s c l a i m s , for e x a m p l e , that the Pharisees Soxouvxe^

3
In W . C . van Unnik, Flavius Josephus als historischer Schrifisteller (Heidelberg: Lambert
Schneider, 1978), 18. The lectures printed here were delivered in 1972.
4
4 vols.; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1973-1983. Supplement I: Namenwdrterbuch zu Flavius
Josephus, ed. A. Schalit (1968).
5
As van Unnik himself pointed out, in anticipation of the work's completion (Schrift-
steller, 16, 21).
42 CONCLUSION T O PART ONE

euaefJearepov xat axpiPeaTepov etvai TCOV dXXcov (War 1:110), o n e m u s t ask


w h e t h e r this particular c h o i c e o f v o c a b u l a r y a n d c o n s t r u c t i o n has a n y
significance. I f J o s e p h u s d e s c r i b e s the Pharisees' activities u n d e r J o h n
H y r c a n u s o r A l e x a n d r a S a l o m e , o n e m u s t ask w h y he i n t r o d u c e s t h e m
there, w h a t h e thinks o f the H a s m o n e a n s , a n d w h a t r o l e h e gives the
Pharisees in J e w i s h history. A l t h o u g h these basic kinds o f q u e s t i o n s h a v e
usually b e e n i g n o r e d , they are indispensable for historical research: o n e
c a n n o t get b e h i n d J o s e p h u s ' s intention as a witness unless o n e k n o w s
what that intention is.
I f this holistic a p p r o a c h is successful, it should also yield defensible
c o n c l u s i o n s o n three specific issues that r e c u r in the s e c o n d a r y literature.
These are: ( a ) the problem o f Josephus's o w n relationship to the
Pharisees; ( b ) the q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r he deliberately c h a n g e d his presenta­
tion o f the g r o u p b e t w e e n War a n d Ant./Life; a n d ( c ) the p r o b l e m o f his
use o f sources for his d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the Pharisees. T h e resolution o f
these particular issues will b e a function o f the overall interpretive
process.

I I I . Procedure of the Study

Finally, it is necessary to explain the subtitle o f this work, "a


c o m p o s i t i o n - c r i t i c a l s t u d y " , a n d to indicate its significance for o u r p r o ­
cedure.
T h e literary analysis o f ancient texts, the search for the a u t h o r ' s v i s i o n
of things, corresponds largely to the programme of "redaction
c r i t i c i s m " in biblical studies. That m o v e m e n t is c h a r a c t e r i z e d , over
against " f o r m " a n d " s o u r c e " criticism, b y its c o n c e r n to identify an
author's thought and literary tendencies. Nevertheless, redaction
criticism has c o m e to m e a n different things to different critics. S o m e
b e l i e v e that o n l y a c o m p a r i s o n b e t w e e n an a u t h o r ' s o w n p r o d u c t i o n a n d
his sources c a n p r o p e r l y b e called " r e d a c t i o n a l " ; others think it possible
to u n d e r s t a n d the r e d a c t o r e v e n w i t h o u t sure k n o w l e d g e o f his s o u r c e s ,
6
s i m p l y b y an interpretation o f the final w o r k as it s t a n d s .
N o w the f o l l o w i n g study will c o n t e n d that J o s e p h u s ' s descriptions o f
the Pharisees in the present tense (thus: " t h e Pharisees are a g r o u p
t h a t . . . " ) are his o w n a n d that w h e r e he describes their past a c t i o n s ,
u n d e r H a s m o n e a n o r H e r o d i a n rule, the exact shape o f his sources is
usually irrecoverable. This study could only be called "redaction-

6
Cf. W . G. Thompson, Review of J. Rohde, Die redaktionsgeschichtliche Methode, Biblica
50 (1969), 136-139; D . Juel, Messiah and Temple (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1977), 1-39,
esp. 30; and F. G. Downing, "Redaction Criticism: Josephus' Antiquities and the Synop­
tic Gospels", JSNT 8 (1980), 46-65; 9 (1980), 29-48.
CONCLUSION T O PART ONE 43

c r i t i c a l " , therefore, if the t e r m w e r e u n d e r s t o o d to signify " v e r t i c a l "


r e d a c t i o n c r i t i c i s m , w h i c h is the latter t y p e m e n t i o n e d a b o v e . T o a v o i d
b o t h c o n f u s i o n a n d the a p p e a r a n c e o f m a k i n g false p r o m i s e s , I h a v e
chosen the adjective " c o m p o s i t i o n - c r i t i c a l " to d e s c r i b e the present
study. C o i n e d b y the N T scholar E . H a e n c h e n , it has c o m e to b e u s e d
o f the effort to interpret an a u t h o r ' s writings in a n d o f t h e m s e l v e s , as
7
self-contained c o m p o s i t i o n s . T h e narrative is a s s u m e d t o c o n t a i n w i t h i n
itself the keys to its o w n m e a n i n g .
I n k e e p i n g with this p r i n c i p l e , o u r p r o c e d u r e will always b e to l o o k
first within J o s e p h u s ' s writings for clues a b o u t the significance o f his
c h o s e n w o r d s a n d phrases. H i s general u s a g e a n d the i m m e d i a t e c o n t e x t
will, so far as p o s s i b l e , b e the arbiters o f m e a n i n g . O n l y w h e n these
r e s o u r c e s h a v e b e e n e x p l o i t e d shall w e l o o k to external parallels for fur­
ther e n l i g h t e n m e n t .
The c o m p o s i t i o n a l thrust o f the study also has i m p o r t a n t conse­
q u e n c e s for its e m p h a s i s . J o s e p h u s m e n t i o n s the Pharisees in fourteen
different passages. O f these, n i n e are deliberate, reflective discussions o f
8
the g r o u p . I n the o t h e r five cases, w e h a v e incidental references, w h i c h
s i m p l y n o t e that certain Pharisees w e r e present s o m e w h e r e o r that s o m e ­
9
one was a Pharisee. F o r a historical investigation, w h i c h seeks to cir­
c u m v e n t the witness's i n t e n t i o n , incidental notices are the m o s t v a l u a b l e
b e c a u s e they are m o r e likely to y i e l d unintentional e v i d e n c e . S i n c e o u r
p u r p o s e , h o w e v e r , is to grasp J o s e p h u s ' s intention, w e m u s t try to b e sen­
sitive to his o w n e m p h a s e s ; this will r e q u i r e that p r i m a r y attention b e
g i v e n to his deliberate discussions o f the Pharisees. It is in those discus­
sions, if a n y w h e r e , that h e spells o u t w h a t he wants the r e a d e r to k n o w
a b o u t the g r o u p .
Finally, o u r p r o c e d u r e will b e g o v e r n e d b y the n e e d to deal with the
familiar circles o f interpretation, especially that o f the w h o l e a n d the
parts. F o r o n e c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d the w h o l e w i t h o u t u n d e r s t a n d i n g the
parts; yet o n e c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d the parts w i t h o u t u n d e r s t a n d i n g the
w h o l e . J o s e p h u s discusses the Pharisees in three o f his f o u r extant w o r k s ,
in War, Ant., a n d the Life. T h e s e b o o k s will b e c o n s i d e r e d in Parts I I ,
I I I , a n d I V o f the study, respectively. T o b r e a k into the circle o f the
w h o l e a n d the parts, w e shall b e g i n e a c h part with an o v e r v i e w o f the
p u r p o s e a n d o u t l o o k o f the w o r k in q u e s t i o n . T o a n a l y z e an i n d i v i d u a l
p e r i c o p e , w e shall e x a m i n e first its i m m e d i a t e c o n t e x t (the " w h o l e " ) a n d
then its k e y t e r m s (the " p a r t s " ) , b e f o r e w e attempt an interpretation

7
Cf. Juel, Messiah, 30.
8
War 1:110-114; 2:162-166; Ant. 13:171-173, 288-298, 400-431; 17:41-45; 18:12-15;
Life 10-12, 191-198.
9
War 1:571; 2:411; Ant. 15:3-4, 370; Life 21.
44 CONCLUSION T O PART ONE

(the " w h o l e " ) . E a c h chapter will i n c l u d e source-critical o b s e r v a t i o n s o n


the passage u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n .
T o s u m m a r i z e : the investigation o f J o s e p h u s ' s presentation o f the
Pharisees is n o t n e w . N o r is the study o f ancient authors in terms o f their
c o m p o s i t i o n a l a i m s a n d interests. W h a t is n e w in the f o l l o w i n g analysis
is the a p p l i c a t i o n o f this particular m e t h o d to this particular p r o b l e m . I f
successful, this i n q u i r y will clarify several p r e l i m i n a r y issues in the study
o f the Pharisees a n d will also yield s o m e insight into the t h o u g h t o f
Josephus.
EXCURSUS T O PART ONE

A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF JOSEPHUS AS


AN AUTHOR

In the Introduction I have advocated a ' 'composition-critical'' ap­


proach to Josephus's descriptions of the Pharisees. Those descriptions
are to be interpreted in the light of the author's motives and outlook.
Such an approach, however, presupposes to some extent that Josephus
can justly be regarded as the author of the passages under discussion.
Is that assumption justified, at least as a working hypothesis? Three
factors might seem to militate against it and must be considered here.

I. The Source Problem

That Josephus used sources for his presentations of the Pharisees is


undeniable. W e must ask, however, whether it would be legitimate, on
the basis of some assured results of scholarship, to begin this study by
designating certain passages as the work of Josephus's sources alone
and therefore as non-Josephan. T h e question arises with particular
poignancy in relation to Ant. 17:41-45, which we shall consider in Part
III. O u r concern here is with general principles that obtain for
Josephus's writings as a whole.
T h e source-critical movement, it will be recalled, proposed various
evidences that Josephus was a rather dull copyist who failed to impart
any independent judgement or outlook to his material. These evidences
can be grouped under three rubrics:

A. Material inconsistencies, such as unfulfilled cross-references,


doublets, dissonant chronological systems, and conflicting high-priest
lists.
B. Stylistic variations, such as Holscher observed between War 1:31-
2:116 and 2:117ff.
C . Circumstances that suggest Josephus's use of large, secondary or in­
termediate sources. Holscher, for example, doubted that Josephus used
either the L X X or the Hebrew Bible directly, in Ant. 1-11, since he
1
departs from both. Holscher also supposed that Josephus's Pharisaic

1
Holscher, "Josephus", 1952-1955.
46 EXCURSUS

education would have prevented h i m k n o w i n g first-hand the many


2
p a g a n authors that he c i t e s .

W i t h respect to the Pharisee passages in particular: a m a j o r criterion o f


the s o u r c e critics w a s that J o s e p h u s , b e i n g a Pharisee, c o u l d n o t h a v e
consistently d i s p a r a g e d his o w n p a r t y . W e h a v e seen the i m p o r t a n c e o f
this criterion for H o l s c h e r a n d S c h w a r t z . O n e o f the m o r e e n d u r i n g p r o ­
posals o f s o u r c e criticism, it turns u p in G . F. M o o r e , W . Bousset, M .
3
W a x m a n , and even M . Smith. A l t h o u g h the s o u r c e critics differed c o n ­
siderably o n the actual s o u r c e s b e h i n d the Pharisee passages, they a g r e e d
that m a n y o f t h e m c o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n written b y J o s e p h u s ; he m u s t
have absent-mindedly copied them.
C o n t e m p o r a r y scholarship, h o w e v e r , has p r o g r e s s e d far b e y o n d the
h e y d a y o f s o u r c e criticism. W e m a y n o t e the f o l l o w i n g insights that
w o u l d s e e m to justify the a priori a s s u m p t i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s a u t h o r s h i p o f
the Pharisee passages.

A . L a q u e u r d e m o n s t r a t e d that J o s e p h u s c o u l d present his o w n activities


in v a r i o u s , n o t entirely h a r m o n i o u s , w a y s . S i n c e there is n o q u e s t i o n o f
sources accounting for these differences, one has to reckon with
J o s e p h u s ' s o w n initiative a n d p u r p o s e s .
B . M a n y a s s u m p t i o n s o f the o l d e r s o u r c e criticism are n o l o n g e r c o n ­
sidered v a l i d . S u c h an a s s u m p t i o n w a s H o l s c h e r ' s b e l i e f that J o s e p h u s ' s
Palestinian e d u c a t i o n w o u l d h a v e p r e c l u d e d a serious k n o w l e d g e o f
4
G r e e k l a n g u a g e a n d literature o n his p a r t . Further, J o s e p h u s ' s sup­
posed allegiance to Pharisaism has been reduced by some scholars
( S m i t h , N e u s n e r , C o h e n ) to a spurious c l a i m .
C . H o l s c h e r ' s t h e o r y that J o s e p h u s used intermediate sources has n o t
5
worn well. But if intermediate sources are d o n e a w a y with, then
J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f w a s the o n e w h o artfully c o m b i n e d , a n d sometimes
6
criticized, his s o u r c e s .

2
Ibid., 1957.
3
Moore, Judaism, I, 62 n. 4, 65 n. 3 (on War l:110ff.), 66 n. 1 (on War 1:114 and
Ant. 13:411-417); Bousset, Religion des Judentums, 187 (on Ant. 17:41ff.); M . Waxman,
A History of Jewish Literature from the Close of the Bible to our own Days (1932), cited in
Feldman, Modern Scholarship, 554; Smith, "Palestinian Judaism", 75 (on War
1:110-114).
4
Cf. n. 49 of chapter 2 above.
5
Cf. Thackeray, Josephus, 63, and Momigliano, 'Josephus as a Source for the
History of Judea", Cambridge Ancient History, X : The Augustan Empire 44 BC - AD 70, edd.
S. A . Cook, F. E. Adcock, and M . P. Charlesworth (Cambridge: University Press,
1966), 885f.
6
E.g., Ant. 16:183-187.
EXCURSUS 47

D . M a n y recent studies h a v e d i s c o v e r e d consistent m o t i f s a n d r e d a c -


tional c o n c e r n s in J o s e p h u s ' s w r i t i n g s . H . L i n d n e r ' s study o f War, for
7
e x a m p l e , reveals a clear v i e w o f history a n d o f Israel in that w o r k .
Analyses o f Josephus's b i b l i c a l p a r a p h r a s e (Ant. 1-11) h a v e d e m o n ­
8
strated m a r k e d editorial t h e m e s . T h u s H . W . Attridge discovers ' 'an
i m p o r t a n t t h e o l o g i c a l d i m e n s i o n in the w o r k o f J o s e p h u s . . . in its inter­
9
pretative presentation o f scriptural n a r r a t i v e s " . I n J o s e p h u s ' s use o f
10
Aristeas, A . Pelletier likewise p o i n t s o u t several discernable t e n d e n c i e s .
H . R . M o e h r i n g ' s c o n c l u s i o n , with respect to the " n o v e l i s t i c e l e m e n t s "
in J o s e p h u s ' s narrative, anticipated the results o f these recent studies:
" J o s e p h u s c a n justly b e called the a u t h o r , in the true sense o f this t e r m ,
o f the w o r k s attributed to h i m : e v e n w h e n he b o r r o w s . . . he impresses
1 1
his o w n personality u p o n his w o r k . "
E . H . S c h r e c k e n b e r g ' s analysis o f J o s e p h u s ' s style, for text-critical p u r ­
p o s e s , has also shed light o n the fundamental integrity o f J o s e p h u s ' s
w o r k s . A s S c h r e c k e n b e r g n o t e s : " N i c h t das unwichtigste E r g e b n i s d e r
hier v o r g e l e g t e n textkritischen A r b e i t ist eine n e u e Einsicht in die
sprachlich-stilistische Einheit der Werke des Josephus, die
1 2
v e r s c h i e d e n t l i c h bezweifelt w u r d e . "

T h e r e a c t i o n , then, to a s o u r c e criticism that d e n i e d J o s e p h u s the true


function o f an a u t h o r has b e e n b r o a d l y b a s e d a n d forceful.
For Josephus's Pharisee passages, the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n suggests
itself: if J o s e p h u s w a s so o b v i o u s l y c a p a b l e o f shaping his w o r k to reflect
his o w n a g e n d a , interests, a n d style, is it r e a s o n a b l e to s u p p o s e that,
w h e n he c a m e to d e s c r i b e the Pharisees—a g r o u p o f w h i c h he h a d per­
sonal k n o w l e d g e (Life 1 9 1 - 1 9 8 ) , h e s i m p l y p a r r o t e d s o m e r e m a r k s from
his p a g a n sources, without regard for his o w n sentiments? L. H.
F e l d m a n m a k e s the p o i n t well. N o t i n g that J o s e p h u s ' s s o u r c e s for the
Pharisee passages are, in a n y c a s e , u n k n o w n , he c o n t i n u e s :

7
H . Lindner, Die Geschichtsauffassung des Flavius Josephus im Bellum Judaicum (Leiden:
E. J. Brill, 1972), 40-45, 141-14.
8
Cf. M . Braun, Griechischer Roman und hellenistische Geschichtsschreibung (Frankfurt: V .
Klostermann, 1934); B. Heller, "Grundzuge der Aggada des Flavius Josephus", MGWJ
80 (1936), 237-246; T . W . Franxman, Genesis and the 'Jewish Antiquities" of Flavius
Josephus (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1979), 288f.
9
H . W . Attridge, The Interpretation of Biblical History in the Antiquitates Judaicae of Flavius
Josephus (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1976), 17.
1 0
A . Pelletier, Flavius Josephe: adapteur de la lettre d'Aristee (Paris: Klincksieck, 1962),
252ff.
11
H . R . Moehring, "Novelistic Elements in the Writings of Flavius Josephus"
(dissertation, University of Chicago, 1957), 145.
1 2
H . Schreckenberg, Rezeptionsgeschichtliche und textkritische Untersuchungen zu Flavius
Josephus (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1977), 173.
48 EXCURSUS

But when we definitely know Josephus' source, as in his restatement of the


'Letter of Aristeas', we see that he can rework his source with considerable
thoroughness. It is hard to believe that in an issue as important as the
Pharisees, where he had personal knowledge and experience, he chose
13
slavishly to reproduce his sources.

T o s u m m a r i z e : it is clear that J o s e p h u s u s e d s o u r c e s , especially for events


b e y o n d his o w n e x p e r i e n c e . T h a t he used t h e m as an anthologist a n d n o t
as an author, h o w e v e r , is a p r o p o s i t i o n m a d e u n t e n a b l e b y several m a j o r
studies. O n e c a n n o t d e n y that a few clear material inconsistencies r e m a i n
in J o s e p h u s ' s w o r k s , but these tensions c a n n o t o v e r t u r n the o v e r w h e l m ­
1 4
i n g e v i d e n c e o f J o s e p h u s ' s c o n t r o l o v e r his literary p r o d u c t i o n s .

I I . Josephus's Literary Assistants

It w a s H . St. J o h n T h a c k e r a y , in a 1926 lecture, w h o p r o p o s e d that


J o s e p h u s h a d e m p l o y e d literary assistants for the w r i t i n g o f b o t h War
15
a n d Ant. 1 5 - 1 9 . T h a c k e r a y d r e w o n the f o l l o w i n g e v i d e n c e .

A . J o s e p h u s ' s Palestinian b a c k g r o u n d w o u l d h a v e p r e v e n t e d h i m f r o m
mastering G r e e k ; h e m u s t h a v e learned his G r e e k o n l y in R o m e . Y e t the
style o f War " i s an excellent s p e c i m e n o f the Atticistic G r e e k o f the first
c e n t u r y " , a n d therefore u n i m a g i n a b l e f r o m a writer w h o h a d p r e v i o u s l y
1 6
written o n l y in A r a m a i c .
B . In Ag.Ap. 1:50, J o s e p h u s reports that in writing War he h a d benefited
f r o m " c e r t a i n c o l l a b o r a t o r s for the sake o f the G r e e k " (TICK npoq TT)V
'EXXTJVISOC 9<ovr)v auvepyois). A l t h o u g h T h a c k e r a y h a d first t h o u g h t o f
these auvepyoi as n o t h i n g m o r e than J o s e p h u s ' s "literary friends in
R o m e " , h e c a m e to regard t h e m as slaves, retained b y J o s e p h u s for their
17
literary s k i l l .
C . In Ant., T h a c k e r a y finds e v i d e n c e o f J o s e p h u s ' s weariness at the e n d
o f b o o k 14, for the a c c o u n t in War is repeated almost v e r b a t i m . W i t h
b o o k 15, h o w e v e r , a n e w style a n d r e a r r a n g e m e n t o f material vis-a-vis
War take o v e r . M o r e o v e r , Ant. 15-16 a n d 17-19, seen as t w o b l o c k s ,
possess distinctive stylistic features that b e a r affinities to particular
18
classes o f G r e e k l i t e r a t u r e .

1 3
Feldman, Modern Scholarship, 554.
1 4
Such problems are common to all writers, especially those of long works—even
when remarkable technological resources are available for assistance!
1 5
Thackeray, Josephus, 100-124.
1 6
Ibid., lOlf.
1 7
Ibid., 105.
1 8
Ibid., 107-115.
EXCURSUS 49

I n Ant. 1 5 - 1 9 , therefore, T h a c k e r a y discerns the w o r k o f t w o literary


assistants, the one "Sophoclean" (books 15-16) and the other a
" T h u c y d i d e a n h a c k " (books 17-19).
How m u c h l e e w a y d i d J o s e p h u s grant these assistants? T h a c k e r a y is
n o t absolutely clear, b u t he d o e s indicate that after Ant. 14, " t h e w o r k
1 9
has b e e n entrusted to other h a n d s " , a n d that the T h u c y d i d e a n w a s
2 0
" r e s p o n s i b l e for w r i t i n g practically the w h o l e o f B o o k s x v i i - x i x . . . " ,
21
as well as v a r i o u s " p u r p l e p a t c h e s " in the earlier n a r r a t i v e . I n general,
the w o r k o f J o s e p h u s ' s assistants r a n g e d f r o m " p o l i s h i n g his p e r i o d s " to
2 2
" t h e c o m p o s i t i o n o f large p o r t i o n s o f the n a r r a t i v e " .
F o r the Pharisee passages, T h a c k e r a y ' s analysis w o u l d s e e m to require
that Ant. 1 5 : 1 - 4 , 3 6 5 - 3 7 9 w e r e written b y the S o p h o c l e a n , Ant. 1 7 : 4 1 - 4 5
a n d 1 8 : 1 1 - 2 5 b y the T h u c y d i d e a n . ( R e c a l l that the s o u r c e critics, b y
contrast, attribute Ant. 17:41-45 and 1 8 : 1 1 - 2 5 to different sources,
b e c a u s e o f their difference in t o n e t o w a r d the Pharisees.) H i s interpreta­
tion o f the auvepyot as full-fledged writers has n o t , h o w e v e r , p r o v e n
durable.
In a 1939 article G . C . R i c h a r d s s h o w e d , o n the o n e h a n d , that cer­
tain characteristics o f J o s e p h a n style a p p e a r in the b o o k s that T h a c k e r a y
h a d attributed w h o l l y to assistants a n d , o n the o t h e r h a n d , that the i m ­
itation o f T h u c y d i d e s in Ant. 17-19 is t o o a w k w a r d to b e the w o r k o f a
23
skilled a s s i s t a n t .
I n a 1961 study, R . J. H . Shutt subjected T h a c k e r a y ' s p r o p o s a l to
24 25
careful scrutiny a n d also rejected i t . Shutt a r g u e d as f o l l o w s .

A . T h e b r e a k b e t w e e n Ant. 14 a n d 15 is a natural b r e a k in the story o f


H e r o d : b o o k 14 closes with his entry into J e r u s a l e m , w h e r e a s in b o o k
15 he b e g i n s to c o n s o l i d a t e his p o s i t i o n in the city. Further, there are i m ­
2 6
p o r t a n t narrative links b e t w e e n b o o k s 14 a n d 1 5 .
B . Ant. 15-16 c o n t a i n s r e m i n i s c e n c e s o f S o p h o c l e s b u t , since J o s e p h u s
c l a i m e d to h a v e studied G r e e k in R o m e (Ant. 2 0 : 2 6 3 ) , that is n o t surpris­
27
ing. S u c h r e m i n i s c e n c e s also o c c u r in War.

1 9
Ibid., 107.
2 0
Ibid., 113.
21
Ibid., 106.
2 2
Ibid., 100.
2 3
G. C . Richards, "The Composition of Josephus' Antiquities", CQ33 (1939), 36-40.
2 4
R . J. H . Shutt, Studies in Josephus (London: SPCK, 1961), 59-75.
2 5
Several of Shutt's arguments were anticipated by H . Peterson, in an incisive foot­
note to his article, "Real and Alleged Literary Projects of Josephus", American Journal
of Philology 79 (1958), 260f. n. 5.
2 6
Schutt, Studies, 63.
2 7
Ibid., 64-65.
50 EXCURSUS

C . A l t h o u g h J o s e p h u s ' s c o m p o s i t i o n a l (as distinct f r o m c o n v e r s a t i o n a l )


G r e e k m a y h a v e r e q u i r e d assistance w h e n he arrived in R o m e a n d w r o t e
War, an assistance that h e a c k n o w l e d g e s (Ag.Ap. 1:50), it seems unlikely
that w h e n h e c a m e to write Ant., h a v i n g lived in R o m e a n d studied
G r e e k for m a n y years, he n e e d e d the s a m e assistance; he d o e s n o t
2 8
acknowledge a n y .
D . In a detailed e x a m i n a t i o n o f the T h u c y d i d e a n e x p r e s s i o n s in Ant. 17-
19, Shutt d e m o n s t r a t e d that they are also present in Ant. 20 a n d Life,
2 9
w h i c h T h a c k e r a y h a d attributed to the ipsissima verba o f J o s e p h u s .
Shutt, therefore, f o u n d T h a c k e r a y ' s h y p o t h e s i s " b a s i c a l l y u n s o u n d "
a n d " u n n e c e s s a r y " . In its p l a c e h e p r o p o s e d that J o s e p h u s t o o k u p a
striking phrase, " w o r k e d u p o n it, e x t e n d e d it, in a c o m p a r a t i v e l y short
3 0
s p a c e , a n d then d i s c a r d e d i t " , after the m a n n e r o f L i v y .

T . R a j a k ' s recent study o f J o s e p h u s ( 1 9 8 3 ) has c o n f i r m e d a n d e x t e n d e d


3 1
Shutt's critique o f T h a c k e r a y . R a j a k identifies J o s e p h u s as a m e m b e r
o f the " u p p e r e c h e l o n s o f the Palestinian p r i e s t h o o d , an o u t w a r d l o o k ­
ing, flexible g r o u p " , a status i n d i c a t e d b y his selection as an emissary
32
to R o m e a n d as a c o m m a n d e r in the r e v o l t . In this c a p a c i t y , R a j a k
argues, J o s e p h u s m u s t h a v e possessed a basic facility in G r e e k , w h i c h
c o u l d o n l y h a v e b e e n e n h a n c e d d u r i n g his eight years o r so o f R o m a n
33
captivity b e f o r e he w r o t e War. T h u s , the k i n d o f linguistic deficiencies
for w h i c h he r e q u i r e d h e l p in the w r i t i n g o f War w e r e n o t basic b u t in­
34
volved precision o f idiom and style. R a j a k thus inclines t o w a r d the
v i e w d i s c a r d e d b y T h a c k e r a y , that the auvepyot o f Ag.Ap. 1:50 w e r e
s i m p l y friends w h o w e r e w i l l i n g to edit War for style, as A g r i p p a II a p ­
parently h a d d o n e for c o n t e n t (Life 3 6 4 f f . ) . She r e m a r k s :

It would be rash, therefore, to suppose that he [Josephus] would not be fit,


when eventually he came to the Greek War, at the very least to collaborate
fruitfully with his assistants, and to take the ultimate responsibility for
35
substance and style a l i k e .

2 8
Ibid., 66-68.
2 9
Ibid., 68-74.
3 0
Ibid., 74-75.
3 1
Rajak, Josephus, 47-63, 233-236.
3 2
Ibid., 8, 21, 42.
3 3
Ibid., 47, 62. Cf. Hengel's comment on life in Palestine even before the Christian
era (Judentum, 108), that Greek "war die Sprache der Diplomaten wie der Literaten, und
wer gesellschaftliches Ansehen oder gar den Ruf ein gebildeter Mann zu sein, suchte,
musste sie fehlerfrei beherrschen." Cf. also Laqueur, Historiker, 127, and
Schreckenberg, Untersuchungen, 173.
3 4
Ibid., 50.
3 5
Ibid., 62-63.
EXCURSUS 51

R a j a k is especially reluctant to allow the auvepyot a n y significant role


in Ant., since, as Shutt h a d n o t e d , J o s e p h u s d o e s n o t a c k n o w l e d g e a n y
3 6
assistance for that w o r k . M o r e o v e r , she p o i n t s o u t , the S o p h o c l e a n a n d
T h u c y d i d e a n styles c a n n o t b e attributed to different writers b e c a u s e ( a )
T h u c y d i d e a n i s m s o c c u r t h r o u g h o u t J o s e p h u s ' s writings a n d ( b ) the t w o
styles are s o m e t i m e s i n t e r w o v e n in a single passage ( e . g . Ant. 4 : 8 9 - 9 5 ) .
Rajak's own explanation o f these classical reminiscences is that
J o s e p h u s , as h e h i m s e l f says (Ant. 2 0 : 2 6 3 ) , h a d studied the classics; she
notes that the masters w e r e studied precisely for the p u r p o s e o f imita­
3 7
tion. O t h e r inconsistencies in his writings she attributes to ( a ) the influ­
ences o f sources a n d ( b ) the o c c a s i o n a n d p u r p o s e o f the writing.
In s u m : R i c h a r d s , Shutt, a n d R a j a k all s u p p o r t T h a c k e r a y ' s o b s e r v a ­
tion that J o s e p h u s ' s w o r k s exhibit an u n e v e n n e s s o f style: they d o n o t ,
h o w e v e r , e n d o r s e the other premises r e q u i r e d for his inference that
literary assistants actually c o m p o s e d large sections o f the narrative.
S i n c e n o d e f e n c e o f T h a c k e r a y ' s hypothesis has a p p e a r e d , it w o u l d s e e m
legitimate t o take the p o s i t i o n o f the later scholars as the verdict o f c o n ­
t e m p o r a r y scholarship o n the ouvepyoi:

It is quite safe to take Josephus's works, starting with the first, the War,
as his own, and to treat him exactly in the same way as we do other ancient
writers. It is as well to dispel all fantastic notions of ghost writers at this
38
early s t a g e .

In this matter, as with the s o u r c e q u e s t i o n , the interpreter o f J o s e p h u s ' s


Pharisee passages c a n n o t b e g i n b y separating s o m e o f t h e m as the w o r k
o f another a u t h o r .

I I I . Christian Influence on the Text

A third possible reason for suspecting that J o s e p h u s w a s not responsible


for all o f the Pharisee passages in his w o r k s is that those w o r k s w e r e pre­
served f r o m antiquity b y the Christian C h u r c h , w h o s e anti-Pharisaic
stance was already revealed in the G o s p e l s a n d c o n t i n u e d u n a b a t e d . It
is w i d e l y b e l i e v e d that the testimoniumflavianumo f J o s e p h u s has at least
3 9
b e e n glossed b y a C h r i s t i a n h a n d . Is it n o t c o n c e i v a b l e , then, that the
C h u r c h altered J o s e p h u s ' s a c c o u n t s o f the Pharisees, since this g r o u p
w a s the object o f its displeasure?

3 6
Ibid., 233-236.
3 7
Ibid.
3 8
Ibid. 63.
3 9
The literature on the testimonium is enormous. For a brief overview see the L C L
edn. of Josephus, I X , 48ff. (by L. H . Feldman).
52 EXCURSUS

A l t h o u g h a l o g i c a l possibility, the idea o f C h r i s t i a n t a m p e r i n g with


Josephus's Pharisee passages has h a r d l y ever b e e n put forward. I.
Elbogen was o n e o f its few a d v o c a t e s . A r g u i n g that the rabbinic
literature offers the o n l y suitable entree to Pharisaic t h o u g h t , E l b o g e n
suggested that the Christian copyists w h o handed down Josephus's
writings suppressed (unterdruckteri) e v e r y t h i n g in t h e m that w a s i n c o n v e ­
nient for C h r i s t i a n belief; the c e n s o r e d material allegedly c o n t a i n e d
40
favourable presentations of the Pharisees. Elbogen pointed to
Josephus's repeated c l a i m in Ant. ( 1 3 : 1 7 3 , 2 9 8 ; 1 8 : 1 1 ) that he had
already g i v e n a full d i s c u s s i o n o f the J e w i s h schools in War; b u t Ant. e x ­
p a n d s c o n s i d e r a b l y o n the material that w e n o w possess in War. E l b o g e n
p r o p o s e d that Christian c o p y i s t s deleted f r o m War those d e s c r i p t i o n s o f
the Pharisees that c o n t r a d i c t e d their i m p r e s s i o n s f r o m the G o s p e l s :

D a die Pharisaer als die eigentlichen prinzipiellen G e g n e r des Christen-


tums angesehen wurden, so glaubten m a n in der Charakteristik des
Pharisaertums durch Josephus nicht mehr die Wahrheit zu finden und
liesst nur stehen, was neben ihrem von den Evangelien entworfenen Bilde
41
sich sehen lassen k o n n t e .

E l b o g e n d i d n o t actually suggest, then, that c o p y i s t s altered the Pharisee


passages that n o w stand, o n l y that they deleted a m o r e p o s i t i v e portrayal
f r o m War. ( T h i s t h e o r y , significantly, reveals E l b o g e n ' s j u d g e m e n t that
the r e m a i n i n g Pharisee passages are u n f a v o u r a b l e t o w a r d the g r o u p . )
Unfortunately, E l b o g e n ' s idea r e m a i n e d unsubstantiated by more
precise i n d i c a t i o n s o f w h a t the deleted material h a d c o n t a i n e d , w h e r e it
had s t o o d , a n d w h e n it w a s e x c i s e d . W i t h o u t these crucial supports, the
hypothesis c o u l d n o t s u r v i v e .
T h e o t h e r theoretical possibility, o f Christian responsibility for the
Pharisee passages that r e m a i n , runs a g r o u n d o n the c i r c u m s t a n c e that
the passages most hostile toward the Pharisees come in pieces o f
historical narrative, c o n c e r n i n g events under the Hasmoneans and
H e r o d , w h i c h the C h u r c h c a n h a r d l y h a v e s u p p l i e d . Christian influence
w o u l d thus b e limited to s o m e sort o f " c o l o u r i n g " ; the p r o b l e m w o u l d
then b e to separate this c o l o u r i n g f r o m J o s e p h u s ' s o w n c o n t r i b u t i o n .
No hypothesis o f Christian tampering with J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisee
passages is b e i n g p r o p o s e d in this study a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y n o o b l i g a t i o n
is a s s u m e d to d i s c o v e r the h a n d o f the c o p y i s t . F o r o u r p u r p o s e , it is suf­
ficient to n o t e that the C h u r c h ' s transmission o f J o s e p h u s ' s writings has
n e v e r b e e n s h o w n to h a v e i n c l u d e d a n y t a m p e r i n g with his descriptions
o f the Pharisees.

4 0
Elbogen, Religionsanschauungen, 4.
4 1
Ibid.
EXCURSUS 53

Summary

T h r e e factors m i g h t s e e m to c o m p l i c a t e a n y attempt to read J o s e p h u s ' s


writings as his o w n c o m p o s i t i o n s . T h e y are: ( a ) his use o f s o u r c e s ; ( b )
his use o f literary assistants; a n d ( c ) the C h u r c h ' s transmission o f his
w o r k s . It is i m p o s s i b l e to rule o u t a n y o f these factors a priori as possible
influences o n the a c c o u n t s o f the Pharisees that a p p e a r in J o s e p h u s .
Nevertheless, the results o f recent scholarship establish a strong prima
facie case for the p r e s u m p t i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s authorial responsibility. W e
h a v e n o basis in the results o f c o n t e m p o r a r y research to c l a i m that a n y
single passage o n the Pharisees must b e separated at the outset, as the
w o r k o f s o m e o n e other than J o s e p h u s himself.
If striking inconsistencies should a p p e a r a m o n g J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisee
passages, they will call for an e x p l a n a t i o n . In that case, o n e possibility
w o u l d b e difference o f authorship, a t h e m e that has three variations.
O u r first task, h o w e v e r , is to try to interpret J o s e p h u s ' s statements a b o u t
the Pharisees within the c o n t e x t o f his o w n thought a n d writing, as his
o w n testimony.
PART T W O

THE P H A R I S E E S I N T H E JEWISH WAR

B e t w e e n A D 75 a n d 79 J o s e p h u s c o m p l e t e d his history o f the "Jewish


1
war" in G r e e k . B y that t i m e he h a d b e e n g r a n t e d R o m a n c i t i z e n s h i p
a n d w a s l o d g e d securely in the e m p e r o r ' s f o r m e r r e s i d e n c e .
So far as is k n o w n , J o s e p h u s ' s first published descriptions o f the
2
P h a r i s e e s are t h o s e c o n t a i n e d in War. T o understand what Josephus
w i s h e d t o c o n v e y a b o u t the Pharisees to the r e a d e r s o f his first w o r k is
the p u r p o s e o f Part I I . W e shall l o o k first at the p u r p o s e a n d o u t l o o k o f
War a n d t h e n at the relevant p a s s a g e s .

1
The terminus a quo is the dedication of the Temple of Peace in A D 75 (Dio Cassius
66:15), which is mentioned by Josephus in War 7:158. The terminus ad quern is the death
of Vespasian in A D 79, for Josephus would later claim (Life 359, 361) that he had
presented a copy of War to Vespasian. It is possible, as S. J. D . Cohen (Josephus, 84-87)
suggests, that the version presented to Vespasian was incomplete and that the later books
were only completed after 79. For our purposes, a decision on this point is unnecessary;
the Pharisee material of War falls exclusively in the first two books.
2
This would be true even if Laqueur's theory were accepted. He argues that at the
heart of Josephus's Life (issued after A D 100, he thinks) lies a much earlier document,
a self-justifying presentation of his command in the Galilee, which he submitted to the
Jerusalem authorities in A D 66/67 (Laqueur, Historiker, 121). O f the two Pharisee
passages in Life, however, Laqueur attributes the first (Life 10-12) to the polemic of the
final version (pp. 54f., 246) and therefore to a period after 100. The second passage (Life
189-198), it is true, occurs in a block that Laqueur attributes to the earlier Rechenschafts-
hericht (p. 114). Since, however, the Pharisees are introduced there as if they were
unknown to the reader, the passage could hardly have been written for the Jerusalem
authorities, who were the intended recipients of the Rechenschaftsbericht (p. 121). I shall
treat both passages in Life, therefore, as later discussions of the Pharisees than those
found in War, without otherwise debating the merits of Laqueur's theory at this point.
CHAPTER THREE

P U R P O S E A N D O U T L O O K O F T H E JEWISH WAR

F o r t u n a t e l y for the interpreter o f War, J o s e p h u s takes s o m e t r o u b l e to


e n u n c i a t e his goals a n d p o i n t o f v i e w , b o t h in the p r o e m to War itself
3
a n d in later reflective c o m m e n t s o n that w o r k . A m o n g all o f these
e l a b o r a t e statements o f intention, h o w e v e r , o n e item has riveted the at­
tention o f m u c h twentieth-century scholarship. It is J o s e p h u s ' s n o t i c e
that in the G r e e k War he w a s p r o v i d i n g for a G r e e k - s p e a k i n g a u d i e n c e
w h a t he h a d already c o m p o s e d in his native l a n g u a g e (TTJ 7c<XTpi ) for the
Parthians, B a b y l o n i a n s , a n d others (War 1:3, 6 ) . T h i s reference to an
4
earlier, p r e s u m a b l y A r a m a i c , e d i t i o n o f War has for m a n y scholars p r o ­
v i d e d the k e y to the p u r p o s e o f the extant G r e e k v e r s i o n .

I. Historical Approaches

R . L a q u e u r p o s e d the inevitable q u e s t i o n :

was es besagen soil, wenn in der ersten Halfte der siebzigen Jahre der v o m
Kaiser bezahlte und mit einer Villa beschenkte jiidische Schriftsteller in
R o m in aramaischer Sprache ein W e r k verfasste, welches fur den fernen
5
Orient bestimmt w a r .

H i s n o w classic a n s w e r w a s that J o s e p h u s w r o t e War o n b e h a l f o f the


e m p e r o r V e s p a s i a n , to b e a v e h i c l e o f i m p e r i a l p o l i c y in the O r i e n t . It
w a s an official p r o p a g a n d a p i e c e , calculated to deflate a n y a m b i t i o n s the
"oberen Barbaren" m a y h a v e b e e n n u r s i n g for a c a m p a i g n against
R o m e . L a q u e u r ' s e v i d e n c e w a s e l a b o r a t e d b y H . St. J o h n Thackeray
6
a n d the results m a y b e s u m m a r i z e d as f o l l o w s .
A . T h a t the Parthians a n d their n e i g h b o u r s constituted a threat to
R o m e L a q u e u r a n d T h a c k e r a y infer f r o m v a r i o u s s o u r c e s . In the m i d -
4 0 ' s , a c c o r d i n g to J o s e p h u s (Ant. 2 0 : 6 9 - 7 4 ) , the Parthian k i n g V a r d a n e s
c o n t e m p l a t e d a w a r with R o m e . In the preface to War ( 1 : 4 ) J o s e p h u s
notes that the J e w i s h rebels h o p e d for assistance from their fellows
b e y o n d the E u p h r a t e s a n d that, with the revolt, the Eastern E m p i r e w a s

3
Cf., in particular, Ant. 1:1-4; Life 361-367; Ag.Ap. 1:47-56.
4
So the common opinion, but cf. J . M . Grintz, "Hebrew as the Spoken and Written
Language in the Last Days of the Second Temple", JBL 79 (1960), 32-47.
5
Laqueur, Historiker, 126.
6
Laqueur, Historiker, 126-127; Thackeray, Josephus, 27-28.
58 CHAPTER THREE

p l a c e d in j e o p a r d y . A g r i p p a is m a d e to ask the rebels, rhetorically,


w h e t h e r they are e x p e c t i n g h e l p f r o m the J e w s o f A d i a b e n e ( War 2 : 3 8 8 ) ;
indeed, s o m e proselytes f r o m that c o u n t r y d i d j o i n the revolt (War
5 : 4 7 4 ) . P l i n y (Panegyric on Trajan 14) reports that the Parthians c a m e
v e r y close to w a r with R o m e in A D 7 5 . A n d finally, w e k n o w that the
J e w i s h D i a s p o r a in M e s o p o t a m i a d i d revolt u n d e r T r a j a n in 1 1 5 - 1 1 7 .
B. The invincibility a n d fortune o f R o m e are recurring themes
1
throughout War. I n his appeal to the rebels to quit their insurrection,
A g r i p p a repeatedly cites R o m e ' s ouvocuas a n d i\>yr\ ( 2 : 3 6 0 , 3 7 3 , 3 8 7 ) .
J o s e p h u s d r a w s a c o m p e l l i n g portrait o f R o m a n military procedures
( 3 : 7 0 - 1 0 7 ) , b y w h i c h he intends to offer " c o n s o l a t i o n to those w h o h a v e
b e e n c o n q u e r e d a n d dissuasion to those contemplating revolt" ( 3 : 1 0 8 ) .
C. T h a t War possessed s o m e sort o f official status is suggested b y the
c i r c u m s t a n c e s in w h i c h it w a s written. T h e A r a m a i c v e r s i o n , w h i c h
seems to h a v e b e e n J o s e p h u s ' s first literary p r o j e c t in R o m e u n d e r Fla­
vian s p o n s o r s h i p , was d i s p a t c h e d with n o t a b l e s p e e d . U p o n c o m p l e t i n g
the G r e e k e d i t i o n , J o s e p h u s presented c o p i e s i m m e d i a t e l y to V e s p a s i a n
a n d T i t u s (Ag.Ap. 1:51; Life 3 6 1 ) ; the latter, w e are t o l d , i n t e n d e d that
Josephus's War should b e c o m e the standard a c c o u n t o f the conflict in
Palestine a n d to that e n d o r d e r e d its p u b l i c a t i o n (Life 3 6 3 ) . Finally,
J o s e p h u s ' s glorification o f the future e m p e r o r s , especially T i t u s , is so
p r o n o u n c e d that W . W e b e r c o u l d posit as the p r i n c i p a l s o u r c e for War
8
a Flavian w o r k that r e c o u n t e d the rise o f this dynasty to p o w e r .
T a k e n together, these three g r o u p s o f e v i d e n c e s e e m to l e n d c o n ­
siderable s u p p o r t to the L a q u e u r / T h a c k e r a y interpretation o f the m o t i v e
b e h i n d War:

Josephus was commissioned by the conquerors to write the official history


of the war for propagandistic purposes. It was a manifesto, intended as a
warning to the East of the futility of further opposition and to allay the
after-war thirst for revenge which ultimately found vent in the fierce out­
9
breaks under Trajan and H a d r i a n .

10
T h i s v i e w o f the A r a m a i c War's p u r p o s e has b e c o m e s t a n d a r d . Most
o f its s p o n s o r s a p p e a r to b e l i e v e that in u n c o v e r i n g the p u r p o s e o f the

7
Cf. now Lindner, Geschichtsauffassung, 42ff., 89ff.
8
W . Weber, Josephus und Vespasian (Berlin-Stuttgart-Leipzig: W . Kohlhammer,
1921).
9
Thackeray, Josephus, 27.
10
Cf., e.g., Shutt, Studies, 26; M . Hengel, Die Zeloten (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1961), 7,
1 Of., 11 n. 1; J. Goldin, 'Josephus", IDB, II, 987; A. Momigliano, "Josephus as a
Source", 884; S. Safrai and M . Stern, edd., The Jewish People in the First Century ("Com­
pendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum", 1; Assen: Van Gorcum & C o . ,
1974), 24; Z . Yavetz, "Reflections on Titus and Josephus", Greek, Roman, and Byzantine
Studies 16 (1975), 421; O . Michel and O . Bauernfeind, edd., De Bello Judaico: Der judische
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 59

lost A r a m a i c w o r k they h a v e also d i s c o v e r e d the intention o f the extant


1 1
War; the latter is seen as b u t a G r e e k v e r s i o n o f the f o r m e r .
A n u m b e r o f c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , h o w e v e r , w o u l d s e e m to call for a r e a p ­
praisal o f J o s e p h u s ' s intention in the Jewish War.
A. I n the first p l a c e , it is n o t clear that Parthia p o s e d a serious threat
12
to R o m e in the early 7 0 ' s , w h e n J o s e p h u s w r o t e War. I n A D 6 3 , the
13
two powers had concluded a major peace treaty; after that, the prevail­
i n g a t m o s p h e r e seems to h a v e b e e n o n e o f p e a c e a n d c o o p e r a t i o n , if o n l y
14
out o f mutual self-interest. T h e single k n o w n r u p t u r e d u r i n g this
p e r i o d , n o t e d b y L a q u e u r , w a s an e x c e p t i o n to the rule a n d , in a n y case,
15
was resolved diplomatically. J o s e p h u s alludes to the c a l m relations
w h e n h e has A g r i p p a say that the rebels o u g h t n o t to e x p e c t h e l p f r o m
the J e w s o f A d i a b e n e , for e v e n if the latter w a n t e d to i n t e r v e n e , their
P a r t h i a n o v e r l o r d w o u l d p r e v e n t it b e c a u s e o f his truce w i t h R o m e ( War
2:389).
B . E v e n if the Parthians h a d b e e n o f a m i n d to c h a l l e n g e R o m e , as
R a j a k p o i n t s o u t , it is d o u b t f u l w h e t h e r they ( a ) c o u l d h a v e distilled a
16
clear p r o p a g a n d i s t i c m e s s a g e f r o m the l e n g t h y narrative o f War or (b)
w o u l d h a v e b e e n m o v e d to r e c o n s i d e r their designs b e c a u s e o f the fate
1 7
o f tiny J u d e a .
C . A l t h o u g h it is clear f r o m J o s e p h u s ' s o w n statements that War re­
c e i v e d s o m e sort o f official r e c o g n i t i o n s u b s e q u e n t to its p u b l i c a t i o n (Life
3 6 1 f f . ) , this d o e s n o t i m p l y that the w o r k h a d its genesis in a " c o m m i s ­
s i o n " f r o m the e m p e r o r to write a p r o p a g a n d i s t i c a c c o u n t o f the r e v o l t .
E v e n T h a c k e r a y , w h o s p o n s o r e d the p r o p a g a n d a t h e o r y , c o n c e d e d that
J o s e p h u s " w a s n o m e r e hireling; his o w n deepest c o n v i c t i o n s told h i m
that the o n l y r o a d t o a m e l i o r a t i o n o f his n a t i o n ' s u n h a p p y lot lay in s u b ­
1 8
m i s s i o n to the e m p i r e " . A perusal o f the speeches in War ( w h i c h are

Krieg (4 vols.; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1959), I, X X I f . ; and the


discussion in G. Hata, "Is the Greek Version of Josephus' Jewish War a Translation or
a Rewriting of the First Version?" JQR 66 (1975), 106f.
1 1
Of the scholars mentioned in the previous note, only the last two, so far as I can
discern, make a clear conceptual distinction between the purpose of the Greek War and
that of its Semitic predecessor.
1 2
Cf. Rajak, Josephus, 182f.
1 3
Cf. J. G. C . Anderson, "The Eastern Frontier from Tiberius to Nero", Cambridge
Ancient History, X , 77Of.
1 4
Cf. the examples of Parthian cooperation with Rome given by R . Syme, "Flavian
Wars and Frontiers", Cambridge Ancient History, X I , 139-144.
1 5
Ibid., 143.
1 6
Yavetz ("Reflections", 431), points out the limited value of historical narrative as
"a major means of propaganda" in the Roman world.
1 7
Rajak, Josephus, 180.
1 8
Thackeray, Josephus, 29. Cf. B. Niese, "Josephus", ERE, V I I , 571.
60 C H A P T E R THREE

19
J o s e p h a n c r e a t i o n s ) c o n f i r m s this a s s e s s m e n t . L i n d n e r d i s c o v e r s in the
speeches a religiously b a s e d a r g u m e n t , n o t superficially o v e r l a i d , that
2 0
fortune (TU^T)) has passed to the Romans. Rajak is able to trace
Josephus's political sentiments to his u p b r i n g i n g a n d social p o s i t i o n ;
2 1
they are n o t the c o n t r i v e d slogans o f p r o p a g a n d a . Y a v e t z p r o p o s e s that
e v e n J o s e p h u s ' s flattery o f T i t u s s t e m m e d f r o m g e n u i n e a d m i r a t i o n a n d
22
gratitude. In a n y case, the s a m e attitude o f s u b m i s s i o n to R o m e that
w e find in War a p p e a r s also in Life (cf. 17ff.), w h i c h J o s e p h u s wrote
m o r e than t w o d e c a d e s after the revolt.
S o the q u e s t i o n urges itself: I f J o s e p h u s ' s portrayal o f the R o m a n s '
m i g h t a n d d i v i n e l y o r d a i n e d rule springs f r o m his o w n c o n v i c t i o n s , a n d
if this respectful portrayal explains the Flavian endorsement o f War
subsequent to its p u b l i c a t i o n ( o f w h i c h he speaks), w h e r e is the e v i d e n c e
that War w a s c o n c e i v e d as a p r o p a g a n d a p i e c e ?
D. M o s t p r o b l e m a t i c o f all, the L a q u e u r / T h a c k e r a y t h e o r y d e p e n d s
for its viability o n a close similarity b e t w e e n the extant G r e e k War a n d
the lost A r a m a i c v e r s i o n . T h i s is clear in t w o c o n n e c t i o n s . First, the c o n ­
tents o f the A r a m a i c v e r s i o n are inferred f r o m the G r e e k : scholars cite
7 A S
the p r o l o g u e , the speeches, a n d e v e n the references to R o m a n TUX )
e v i d e n c e for the p u r p o s e o f the original A r a m a i c e d i t i o n . T h e n they c o -
o p t the intention o f the A r a m a i c War, d i s c o v e r e d in this m a n n e r , for the
Greek version.
A l m o s t n o o n e , h o w e v e r — l e a s t o f all L a q u e u r a n d T h a c k e r a y , really
believes the G r e e k War to b e a translation o r e v e n a close paraphrase o f
the A r a m a i c . E v e n t h o u g h the [xsT<x(3aXXco o f War 1:3 is c u s t o m a r i l y
rendered "translate/ubersetzen", the modern editors w h o use such
equivalents are q u i c k to a d d that the G r e e k c a n b e a translation o n l y in
the very loosest sense. It shows no clear evidence of a Semitic
23
substratum. Indeed, "The style o f the w h o l e w o r k is an excellent
s p e c i m e n o f the Atticistic G r e e k fashionable in the first c e n t u r y " , ac­
2 4
c o r d i n g to T h a c k e r a y . T h i s suggests to h i m that the G r e e k War has
2 5
b e e n " p r a c t i c a l l y r e w r i t t e n " vis-a-vis the A r a m a i c .
T h e indications that o u r G r e e k War is an original G r e e k p r o d u c t i o n

1 9
Cf. Lindner, Geschichtsauffassung, 2Iff. and 41 f. (in reaction to Thackeray's prop­
aganda theory).
2 0
Ibid., 92.
2 1
Rajak, Josephus, 185.
2 2
Yavetz, "Reflections", 424-426.
2 3
Michel-Bauernfeind, De Bello Judaico, I, 403 n. 3.
2 4
Thackeray, Josephus, 34; cf. L C L edn., II, ix.
2 5
Ibid.
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 61

2 6
are n u m e r o u s a n d o b v i o u s . In a d d i t i o n to the a b s e n c e o f translation-
G r e e k , n o t e d a b o v e , the reader o f War is c o n f r o n t e d b y several f o r m s
27
that are native to G r e e k l i t e r a t u r e . T h e y i n c l u d e the carefully for­
2 8
mulated prologue, the rhetorically honed speeches with their
2 9
philosophical v o c a b u l a r y , the entertaining digressions, a n d the m a n y
3 0
dramatic-novelistic e p i s o d e s . T h e s e f o r m a l traits c o m b i n e to l o c a t e the
extant War squarely within the Hellenistic historical tradition.
Further, a l t h o u g h J o s e p h u s m e n t i o n s the A r a m a i c v e r s i o n in his p r o ­
l o g u e to War, his later discussions o f War refer o n l y to the final G r e e k
31
version. A s G . H a t a points o u t , the w o r d s u s e d b y J o s e p h u s to d e s c r i b e
the w r i t i n g o f War ( y p ^ c o , atrpfpo^G), Ant. 1:5; 2 0 : 2 5 8 ) d o n o t suggest
32
translation.
Finally, H a t a also argues that the v e r b [XSTOCPOCXXCO, w h i c h J o s e p h u s
uses to d e s c r i b e the relationship b e t w e e n the G r e e k War a n d its A r a m a i c
p r e d e c e s s o r (War 1:3), rarely m e a n s "translate" outside o f Josephus
a n d , elsewhere in War, always m e a n s " t o c h a n g e s o m e t h i n g f u n d a m e n ­
t a l l y " . T h e r e f o r e , he a r g u e s , it o u g h t to b e u n d e r s t o o d in War 1:3 in the
3 3
sense " t o rewrite".
A l t h o u g h it c a n n o t b e d e n i e d , then, that J o s e p h u s ' s G r e e k War w a s
p r e c e d e d b y an A r a m a i c a c c o u n t o f the revolt, the relationship b e t w e e n
the t w o w o r k s is a m a t t e r o f c o n j e c t u r e . B . N i e s e l o n g a g o c o m m e n t e d :

2 6
Laqueur's reason for believing this was that the Greek War had made use of the
Greek Rechenschaftsbericht, whereas the Aramaic had not (Historiker, 126, 128). Since,
however, the very existence of the Rechenschaftsbericht is not at all secure (cf. Cohen,
Josephus, 18), this argument cannot now be used with force.
2 7
Cf. G. Hata, ' 'Greek Version", 106f.
2 8
Cf. H . Lieberich, Studien zu Prodmien in der griechischen und byzantischen
Geschichtschreibung, I: Die griechischen Geschichtschreiber (Munich: J. G. Weiss, 1899), 34; D .
Earl, "Prologue-form in Ancient Historiography", Aufstieg und Niedergang der romischen
Welt (Berlin-New York: W . de Gruyter, 1972), I. 2, 842-856. Clearly, whatever pro­
logue the Aramaic version had must have differed somewhat from the Greek, since the
latter reflects on the earlier version.
2 9
Cf. E. Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa (5th. edn.; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche
Buchgesellschaft, 1958 [1898]), I, 89; H . J. Cadbury et al., "The Greek and Jewish
Traditions of Writing History", in The Beginnings of Christianity, edd. F. J. Foakes
Jackson, K. Lake, and H . J. Cadbury (London: Macmillan, 1922), II, esp. 12f.; G.
Avenarius, Lukians Schrift zur Geschichtsschreibung (Meisenheim-Glan: A . Hain, 1956),
149-157; Lindner, Geschichtsauffassung, 2Iff., 85ff.
3 0
Cf. H . R. Moehring, "Novelistic Elements". On all of the enumerated points see
Hata, "Greek Version", 96-106, and Rajak, Josephus, 176.
3 1
Cf. Ant. 1:1-4; Life 361-367; Ag.Ap. 1:47-52. The passage in the Life appears to
leave little room for an Aramaic Vorlage.
3 2
Hata, 94f., seems to have overlooked the appearance of epfXTjveuo in the epilogue
to War (7:455), which certainly can have the meaning "translate". In the context there,
however, the word seems to refer to the stylistic formulation of the narrative in War (cf.
War 1:16, 30), as Thackeray's translation indicates.
3 3
Hata, "Greek Version", 90-95.
62 CHAPTER THREE

N o part of this A r a m a i c record has come down to us, and we are, therefore,
not in a position to fix its relation to the extant Greek narrative. T h e latter
was probably a complete recast, constructed on a more comprehensive
34
plan.

O u r present War is an i n d e p e n d e n t , self-contained G r e e k p r o d u c t i o n .


Fascinating as it m a y b e to speculate a b o u t the lost A r a m a i c treatise, it
w o u l d b e v a i n either to infer the contents o f that d o c u m e n t o u t o f the
G r e e k v e r s i o n o r , c o n v e r s e l y , to transfer its alleged p u r p o s e to the G r e e k
v e r s i o n . I f o n e ' s g o a l is to interpret the extant w o r k , then o n e o u g h t to
b e g i n with that w o r k itself a n d with its o w n statements o f p u r p o s e .
The w i d e s p r e a d scholarly n e g l e c t o f J o s e p h u s ' s d e c l a r e d literary a i m s
is particularly baffling in light o f the rationale for the p r o l o g u e in
Hellenistic h i s t o r i o g r a p h y . F o r the p r o l o g u e w a s i n t e n d e d , first, to in­
f o r m the potential reader o f the c o n t e n t a n d p e r s p e c t i v e o f the w o r k a n d ,
s e c o n d , to stimulate the r e a d e r ' s interest b y i n d i c a t i n g the significance
35
o r usefulness o f the s u b j e c t . T h e potential r e a d e r s h o u l d h a v e b e e n
able, m e r e l y b y u n r o l l i n g the first few lines o f the p a p y r u s scroll in h a n d ,
3 6
to d e t e r m i n e its subject, s c o p e , a n d t o n e . I f h e o p t e d to read it, the p r o ­
l o g u e w o u l d serve as a g u i d e , a c c o r d i n g to w h i c h the w h o l e c o u l d b e in­
37
terpreted. S i n c e the p r o e m to War seems i n t e n d e d to satisfy these
ancient r e q u i r e m e n t s , it w o u l d s e e m a p p r o p r i a t e for the m o d e r n inter­
preter o f War to b e g i n with that o p e n i n g statement, w h e r e J o s e p h u s in­
t e n d e d his readers to b e g i n .

I I . Exegesis of the Prologue to War

The preface to War is at o n c e t h o r o u g h l y c o n v e n t i o n a l a n d strikingly


o r i g i n a l . It is c o n v e n t i o n a l i n a s m u c h as it furnishes e x a m p l e s o f m o s t o f
the TOTCOI that h a d c o m e to b e associated with historical prefaces since the
3 8
time o f T h u c y d i d e s . In k e e p i n g with the dual p u r p o s e o f the p r e f a c e —
to i n f o r m a n d to a r o u s e i n t e r e s t — c o m m o n p l a c e r e m a r k s o n such t h e m e s
39
as the f o l l o w i n g h a d b e c o m e s t a n d a r d : the subject a n d its i m p o r t a n c e

3 4
B. Niese, 'Josephus", ERE, V I I , 571.
3 5
Cf. Lucian, How to Write History 51-53; Lieberich, Prodmien, 5, 12; Avenarius,
Lukians Schrift, 115f.
3 6
Earl, "Prologue-form", 856.
3 7
Lieberich, Proomien, 47.
3 8
A handy collection of Greek and Hellenistic historical prefaces is provided, in
translation, by A . Toynbee, Greek Historical Thought (New York: New American Library,
1952 [1924]), 29-97.
3 9
Cf. especially the prologues of Thucydides, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Dionysius
of Halicarnassus, and Herodian; also Earl, "Prologue-form", 842-845. Lieberich, Prod-
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 63

(cf. War 1:1, 4 - 5 ) ; the a u t h o r ' s credentials ( 1 : 3 ) ; reasons for a n d cir­


4 0
cumstances o f writing ( 1 : 2 , 6 ) ; the i n a d e q u a c y o f p r e v i o u s treatments
4 1
o f the subject ( 1 : 2 , 7 - 8 ) ; the causes o f the events in q u e s t i o n ( 1 : 1 0 ) ; the
4 2
a u t h o r ' s strenuous efforts at a c c u r a c y ( 1 : 1 5 - 1 6 ) : his utter impartiality
4 3
a n d c o n c e r n for truth ( 1 : 2 , 6, 9, 16, 3 0 ) ; his historiographical o u t l o o k
4 4
(1:13-16?); a n d an outline o f the w o r k ' s c o n t e n t s ( 1 : 1 7 - 3 0 ) . T h e s e c o n ­
v e n t i o n a l n o t i c e s a c c o u n t for practically the w h o l e o f the preface to War.
A d h e r e n c e to c o n v e n t i o n , h o w e v e r , d o e s n o t automatically p r e c l u d e
significance. D . Earl aptly c o m m e n t s :

Beginnings are a problem. T h e first paragraph is difficult; the first sentence


frequently impossible. Tradition and style m a y help. T o the Greeks, who
45
tended to stylize everything, this appeared the solution.

J u s t as the T07ioi o f the m o d e r n scholarly preface ( e . g . , c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f


w r i t i n g , a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s ) d o n o t suggest a p e r f u n c t o r y attitude o n the
a u t h o r ' s part, the standardization o f the G r e e k historical p r o l o g u e served
n o t to stifle creativity b u t to facilitate the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f the subject. T h e
c h a l l e n g e facing the historian w a s to p r e s e r v e the c o n v e n t i o n s , w h i c h
had been canonized by the masters and elaborated by rhetorical
4 6
theory, while at the s a m e t i m e fashioning a u n i q u e a n d c o m p e l l i n g p r o ­
4 7
l o g u e , d e t e r m i n e d b y the subject at h a n d .

War 1:1-8

J u d g e d b y this standard, the p r o l o g u e to War is a success: J o s e p h u s has


crafted an e n g a g i n g invitation to his subject. W i t h i n the first sentence
he delivers the c o r e o f his a r g u m e n t , the c o n c l u s i o n o f w h i c h is that he
o u g h t to write an a c c o u n t in G r e e k o f the J e w i s h w a r against the
R o m a n s ( 1 : 3 ) . T h i s c o n c l u s i o n is s u p p o r t e d b y three p r e m i s e s a n d e a c h
o f these is, in turn, the c o n c l u s i o n o f a s u b o r d i n a t e a r g u m e n t . T h e three
p r e m i s e s are as follows.

mien, passim, discusses the development of the prologue-form through the Greco-Roman
period.
4 0
Cf. Dio Cassius 5.72.23.
4 1
Cf. Dionysius 1:3-6; Herodian 1.1.1.
4 2
Cf. Diodorus 1:4 and Dionysius, Rom.Ant. 1:8.
4 3
Cf. Thucydides 1:21; Lucian, History 38-39.
4 4
Cf. Polybius 9:2; Diodorus 1:4; Dionysius, Rom.Ant. 1:7-8; Arrian 1.1-3. I shall
argue, however, that War 1:13-16 does not really reflect Josephus's historiography.
4 5
Earl, "Prologue-form", 842.
4 6
For the pervasiveness of rhetorical influence on Hellenistic historical writing, cf.
Norden, Kunstprosa, I, 81; Lieberich, Prodmien, 5, 17, 20; F. Halbfas, Theorie und Praxis
in der Geschichtsschreibung bei Dionysius von Halicarnassus (Miinster: Westfalische
Vereinsdriickerei, 1910), 7-10; Avenarius, Lukians Schrift, 167.
4 7
Lieberich, Prodmien, 13.
64 CHAPTER THREE

1. T h e J e w i s h - R o m a n w a r is a n i m p o r t a n t subject for G r e e k - s p e a k i n g
readers ( 1 : 1 , 4 - 6 , 8 ) . It is i m p o r t a n t b e c a u s e : ( a ) it p l a c e d the eastern
e m p i r e in j e o p a r d y ( 1 : 4 - 5 ) ; ( b ) it r e q u i r e d large n u m b e r s o f forces o n
b o t h sides, a l o n g w i t h e x t r e m e effort a n d c o n s i d e r a b l e t i m e ( 1 : 8 ) ; a n d
(c) it is u n s e e m l y that the r e m o t e s t n o n - H e l l e n e s s h o u l d h a v e b e e n a c ­
curately (&xpi(}ca<;) i n f o r m e d a b o u t the w a r , thanks t o a n earlier w o r k b y
J o s e p h u s , w h i l e the G r e e k s r e m a i n in i g n o r a n c e ( 1 : 6 ) .
2. P r e v i o u s a c c o u n t s o f the w a r are totally l a c k i n g in historical a c ­
4 8
c u r a c y (TO dxpifie? xfjs ujxopias, 1 : 2 ) . ( a ) S o m e w e r e written b y authors
who l a c k e d first-hand k n o w l e d g e a n d h a d , therefore, to rely o n p o o r
sources a n d o n their o w n rhetorical skills ( 1 : 1 ) . ( b ) O t h e r authors w e r e
i n d e e d e y e w i t n e s s e s , b u t they falsified (xaT<xc|>eu8ovTai) their a c c o u n t s , o u t
o f either flattery o f the R o m a n s o r hatred o f the J e w s ( 1 : 2 ) , w h i c h m e a n s
that the J e w s a l w a y s a p p e a r e d in a b a d light ( 1 : 7 - 8 ) . J o s e p h u s reprises
this t h e m e at the e n d o f 1:6, w h e r e h e allows that the G r e e k s a n d
Romans s h o u l d n o t b e left with flattering (XOXOCXSIOCK;) o r fictitious
(7i:Xaau.aai) a c c o u n t s o f such an i m p o r t a n t e v e n t .
3. J o s e p h u s is in a u n i q u e p o s i t i o n t o m a k e g o o d the d e f i c i e n c y , that
is, to p r o v i d e a c o m p l e t e a n d accurate (fxex' dxpipetocs, 1:9) a c c o u n t o f the
w a r ( 1 : 6 , 9 ) . H i s credentials are: ( a ) that h e is a J e r u s a l e m i t e priest, a
living s p e c i m e n o f the e x o t i c n a t i o n in q u e s t i o n ; ( b ) that h e p e r s o n a l l y
fought against the R o m a n s ; a n d ( c ) that, b y force o f c i r c u m s t a n c e , h e
has b e e n in a p o s i t i o n t o o b s e r v e the R o m a n side as well ( 1 : 3 ) .
F r o m the first sentence o f War ( = 1:1-6), then, the r e a d e r learns that
the subject is important, that previous treatments in Greek are
m i s l e a d i n g , a n d that J o s e p h u s will e x p l o i t his u n i q u e l y i n f o r m e d posi­
tion to p r o v i d e the requisite a c c u r a c y . I n d e e d , these a r g u m e n t s all a p ­
pear within the first d i v i s i o n o f the sentence ( 1 : 1 - 3 ) . § § 4-5 is a
parenthetical e l a b o r a t i o n o f the w a r ' s i m p o r t a n c e a n d § 6 s u m m a r i z e s
the w h o l e . § § 7-8 e l a b o r a t e o n the ineptitude o f the w a r ' s p r e v i o u s
chroniclers.

War 1:9-12

W i t h § 9 J o s e p h u s n a r r o w s the focus f r o m a general c o n s p e c t u s o f his


subject a n d its i m p o r t a n c e t o the specific p u r p o s e s a n d t h e m e s o f his
w o r k . T h u s the p a r a g r a p h § § 9-12 constitutes s o m e t h i n g like a " t h e s i s

4 8
Even allowing for rhetorical exaggeration, Josephus's statements presuppose at
least two previous accounts of the war. Like his Aramaic account, they must have ap­
peared shortly after the war's end. This circumstance takes the force out of Thackeray's
proposal that the speed with which the Aramaic version was dispatched reflected its
urgent official purpose.
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 65

s t a t e m e n t " for War. I n a s m o o t h transition f r o m § § 7-8, h e b e g i n s b y


d i s a v o w i n g a n y intention to imitate the R o m a n chauvinist historians b y
e x a g g e r a t i n g the feats o f his c o u n t r y m e n . R a t h e r , his sole a i m will b e to
p o r t r a y b o t h sides with a c c u r a c y (jxe-u' dxpi(kia$, 1:9).
A t this p o i n t , h o w e v e r , J o s e p h u s runs into s o m e difficulty. H e has set
for h i m s e l f a high standard o f dXr}0eia a n d dxpifieta, o v e r against the
treatments o f his R o m a n c o n t e m p o r a r i e s . Y e t h e declares that h e plans
to a d d his o w n c o m m e n t a r y to the events (em idiq 7tpdyfjiaai TOU? Xoyous
dvaTiOT)u.i) a n d to allow his o w n feelings rein to l a m e n t his c o u n t r y ' s
misfortune (loiq ifxeauxou 7td8eai 8i8ou$ e7toXo9upea0ai iccTq vr\q 7WtTpi8o$ aujx-
<popaT$). H i s basis for l a m e n t — a n d this is the Leitmotif of War—is that it
w a s d o m e s t i c t r o u b l e m a k e r s (oi 'IouSoctcov Tupocvvoi) a n d n o foreign a r m y
that b r o u g h t the downfall o f J e r u s a l e m ( 1 : 1 0 - 1 2 ) . J o s e p h u s is aware that
the e l a b o r a t i o n o f strong personal feelings m a y b e c o n s i d e r e d inap­
p r o p r i a t e to the dxpi(kioc o f history: he predicts that s o m e o n e (iiq) m i g h t
take h i m to task (aoxo9<xvTo£7|) a n d he e v e n admits that such self-
e x p r e s s i o n c o n t r a v e n e s the " l a w o f h i s t o r y " (xov vty; t<rcopioc<; vojxov,
1:11).
T h i s l a w o f history merits further attention. C i c e r o declares that the
first t w o laws (leges) o f history are that o n e m u s t dare to speak o n l y the
truth (ne quid falsi dicere audeat) a n d o n e m u s t dare to speak the w h o l e
truth (ne quid veri non audent); there is to b e n o hint o f partiality (gratiae)
4 9
o r o f m a l i c e (simulatis) . H e allows that the leges o f p o e t r y a n d history
are different, since the latter is j u d g e d o n l y b y the standard o f truth (ad
5 0
veritatem) . S o m e d e c a d e s after J o s e p h u s , L u c i a n e c h o e d these h i g h stan­
d a r d s : the historian m u s t write as if he w e r e a stranger to all c o u n t r i e s ,
without pity (eXe&v), shame (ataxuv6(xevo^), or special pleading
(8ua<on:ou[ASvo$). This principle of impassiveness, says Lucian,
51
T h u c y d i d e s l o n g a g o enshrined as a l a w (evou-oOeTTjaev). Evidently,
then, the law o f history w a s often c o n s i d e r e d to e x c l u d e a n y personal
feelings. A s A v e n a r i u s r e m a r k s , " Z u einer objektiven W a h r h e i t s f i n d u n g
5 2
gehort . . . die A u s s c h a l t u n g p e r s o n l i c h e r G e f u h l e . "

4 9
Cicero, On the Orator 1:62.
5 0
Cicero, Laws 1:5.
5 1
Lucian, History 41. The value of this treatise for understanding Hellenistic
historiography has been significantly increased by Avenarius's study of the work. He
shows (Lukians Schrift, 165-178) that practically every one of its assertions reflects a com­
monplace of that historical tradition. W e may, therefore, view the work not as an
idiosyncratic production of the mid-second century but as a repository of Hellenistic in­
sight into historical method, which had its roots in Thucydides and Polybius. Since Lu­
cian's work is the only thing resembling a manual of historical method that has come
down from antiquity, the service that Avenarius has performed is immense.
5 2
Avenarius, Lukians Schrift, 41.
66 CHAPTER THREE

Josephus reveals his familiarity with this ideal of objectivity both in


the prologue passage under discussion and again in 5:19-20. Having des­
cribed there the desperate plight of Jerusalem under various rebel fac­
tions, and having addressed an impassioned lament to the city in the
second person (5:19), he immediately recants:

By the law of history, however, one has to restrain even one's emotions
(xocOexxeov yap xat xa 7WC8T) T<O vofxto -afc au"pf pa9ffc) as this is not the occasion
for personal lamentations (6X09UP&V otxeuov) but for a narrative of events. 53

This apology is hardly convincing, since he has already declared (in the
preface) his intention to give his TiaOrj free rein; he will later indulge in
lament without regret. T h e confession does, however, confirm that he
was aware of a principle of objectivity that excluded personal feeling.
Josephus's difficulty, then, appears to be as follows. O n the one hand,
he has justified his own work by asserting that all previous histories have
missed the standard of dXrjOetoc; they are strong on denunciation and en­
comium but nowhere exhibit TO axpifiiq TTJ$ uruopiocs (1:2). W h e n , how­
ever, he comes to state that his own goal will be &xpi(kioc pure and simple
(1:9), he must concede that he will not on that account exclude his own
opinions, especially his lament for his country's misfortunes (1:10). H e
also makes clear at this early stage that he harbours no ill will toward
Titus and the Romans for the fall of his city; for them he has only esteem
(1:10). For these intrusions ofrcdcOos,which violate the law of history, he
asks pardon (auyyvcofxrj, 1:11).
W h a t are we to make of this pleading tone? C a n it be that Josephus
is here, in his opening lines, confessing his failure to live up to the ideals
of history and breathing a hopeful prayer that, in spite of his failings,
someone might be willing to read further? Hardly. A s we have seen, the
purpose of the preface was to excite interest and to stimulate the reader
to read further. From that perspective, one may note at least four ways
in which Josephus's professed violation of historical convention actually
serves his ends well and lends power to his preface.
1. First, as Lieberich points out, Josephus's intended Greco-Roman
readership ( 1 : 6 , 16) might have been reluctant to pick up a book written
by a Jew, purporting to tell how his country was destroyed by the
54
Romans. T h e potential reader might have balked at the prospect of a
new history that promised not to flatter the Romans ( 1 : 2 , 7-8) but to tell
the truth about how they quelled the revolt (1:9). If Josephus desires a
wide readership, therefore, he must make it plain in his prologue that

5 3
Josephus may be making a similar point in 7:274.
5 4
Lieberich, Prodmien, 33f.
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 67

h e d o e s n o t i n t e n d t o h e a p guilt o n the R o m a n s . T h i s goal h e a c h i e v e s


b y l o c a t i n g all responsibility for the revolt in the d o m e s t i c strife (ardtats
otxeia) e n g i n e e r e d b y a handful o f J e w i s h p o w e r - m o n g e r s (01 TouBoctoav
Tupavvoi, 1:10). T h e r e a d e r is put at ease w h e n J o s e p h u s c o n f i r m s that
the c a u s e o f the catastrophe w a s n o t a n y foreign nation (1:12). If
J o s e p h u s is n o t o u t to e n c o u r a g e a n t i - S e m i t i s m ( 1 : 2 ) , h e nevertheless
m a k e s n o a priori d e m a n d that the r e a d e r d i s a v o w e n t r e n c h e d p r e j u d i c e s
4 4
a n d a d o p t a critical stance t o w a r d R o m e . T h i s b o o k will b e safe"
r e a d i n g . T h u s r e l i e v e d , the r e a d e r c a n easily forgive J o s e p h u s ' s trans­
gression o f strict historical c o n v e n t i o n .
2 . T h i s attempt t o set the r e a d e r at ease is n o t a m e r e i n v e n t i o n for
the p r o l o g u e , h o w e v e r , b u t arises o u t o f J o s e p h u s ' s deepest sentiments
as these c o m e into v i e w t h r o u g h o u t the b o o k . In the p r o l o g u e , h e e x ­
presses his l a m e n t o v e r J e r u s a l e m with the w o r d s 67toXo9upou.ai ( 1 : 9 ) ,
6Xo9upai$, a n d 68up[i.6$ ( 1 : 1 2 ) . T h i s t h e m e o f l a m e n t h e will p i c k u p q u i t e
early in the narrative ( 2 : 4 5 5 ; 4 : 1 2 8 ) a n d h e will r e - e m p h a s i z e it as the
55
catastrophe d r a w s n e a r e r .
L i n d n e r has p o i n t e d o u t striking parallels b e t w e e n J o s e p h u s ' s l a m e n t
5 6
o v e r the city a n d the l a m e n t a t i o n s o f J e r e m i a h . J o s e p h u s differs f r o m
Jeremiah, h o w e v e r , in his assigning o f b l a m e to a few tyrants o n l y
(rather than to all o f Z i o n ) a n d in his friendly portrayal o f the o c c u p y i n g
power (whereas Jeremiah had presented the Babylonians as the
5 7
enemy). A n d these t w o p e c u l i a r p o i n t s c o i n c i d e with the 7T<x6rj that
J o s e p h u s i n t r o d u c e s in § § 9 - 1 2 , n a m e l y , his disgust for the rebels a n d
his e s t e e m for T i t u s a n d the R o m a n s . E a c h o f these t h e m e s will b e
recalled frequently, justified b y further information, and otherwise
d e v e l o p e d t h r o u g h o u t the b o d y o f War. T h e reader is offered a taste o f
things to c o m e in J o s e p h u s ' s o u t l i n e o f the b o o k ' s contents ( 1 : 1 9 - 2 9 ) ,
w h e r e h e p r o m i s e s to d e s c r i b e the i r o n i c savagery o f the J e w i s h rebels
toward their o w n (6fA09uXou<;) and the consideration shown b y the
R o m a n s t o w a r d <xXXo9uXou$ ( 1 : 2 7 ) .
T h u s the p a r a g r a p h § § 9-12 is the vehicle b y w h i c h J o s e p h u s in­
t r o d u c e s the l e a d i n g t h e m e s o f his w o r k . S i n c e those t h e m e s c o n t r a v e n e
historical c o n v e n t i o n , b e c a u s e they express the historian's p e r s o n a l e m o ­
tions, it is o n l y b y t a m p e r i n g with the c o n v e n t i o n that J o s e p h u s c a n find
a p l a c e for t h e m .
3. A third benefit that a c c r u e s t o J o s e p h u s b y his a p p e a r i n g to b r e a k
with c o n v e n t i o n is the resulting sense o f i m m e d i a c y . J o s e p h u s shatters

5 5
Cf. War 5:19-20; 6:7, 96-111, 267, 271-274.
5 6
Lindner, Geschichtsauffassung, 133-140.
5 7
Ibid., 139f.
68 CHAPTER THREE

a n y s u s p i c i o n that he m i g h t b e a p e r f u n c t o r y historian, dutifully and


dispassionately r e c o u n t i n g the events o f a far-off w a r . O n the c o n t r a r y ,
he c l a i m s that the sheer w e i g h t o f the catastrophe in his h o m e l a n d c o m ­
pels h i m to transgress the pettiness o f c o n v e n t i o n :

For of all the cities under R o m a n rule it was the lot of ours to attain the
highest felicity and to fall to the lowest depths of calamity. Indeed, in m y
opinion, the misfortunes of all nations since the world began fall short of
those of the Jews. (1:11-12; Thackeray)

B y a p p e a l i n g to the e n o r m o u s n e s s o f the events as justification for break­


ing a rule o f historical writing, Josephus meets the challenge o f
creativity. T h e reader is d r a w n b y events so tragic that the a u t h o r c a n n o t
recount them with the usual detached style. He comes to share
Josephus's impatience with any critic who might be too harsh
(axXripo-cepos) for c o m p a s s i o n (OIXTOS, 1:12).
4. Finally, J o s e p h u s ' s a p p a r e n t disregard for h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l n o r m s
actually e n h a n c e s his credibility as a historian. H e has o n l y b e e n d r i v e n
to inject his e m o t i o n s , he repeatedly says, b e c a u s e the c o u n t r y w h o s e
misfortunes are the subject o f his w o r k is his h o m e l a n d (rj n;aTpi<;, 1:9, 10;
xrjv Y)u.STepocv, 1:11). J o s e p h u s will not a l l o w the reader to forget that this
is the J e r u s a l e m i t e priest w r i t i n g , o n e w h o personally fought against the
R o m a n s a n d w h o possesses first-hand k n o w l e d g e o f the entire w a r f r o m
b o t h sides (cf. 1:3). T h i s OCUTOC|U<X—the m o s t p r i z e d possession o f a
58
h i s t o r i a n — i s J o s e p h u s ' s single greatest asset a n d he c a n n o t let it slip
b y the reader. H e admits to strong e m o t i o n s a b o u t his subject b u t he e m ­
phasizes that they arise precisely f r o m his close i n v o l v e m e n t with the
59
events, w h i c h is itself a v i r t u e . I n d e e d , it is p r o b a b l y to d r i v e h o m e this
a d v a n t a g e that J o s e p h u s i n c l u d e s the f o l l o w i n g l e n g t h y attack o n certain
G r e e k savants ( 1 : 1 3 - 1 6 ) , to w h i c h w e shall turn presently.
Before p r o c e e d i n g to that passage, h o w e v e r , w e m i g h t ask h o w serious
a violation of convention Josephus's introduction of evaluative
j u d g e m e n t s really w a s . It is true that the attack o n e n c o m i u m a n d i n v e c ­
tive in historical writing, w h i c h J o s e p h u s also w a g e s ( 1 : 2 ) , w a s w i d e ­
6 0
spread in his t i m e . C u r i o u s l y , h o w e v e r , the m o s t v o c i f e r o u s s p o k e s m a n

5 8
Cf. Thucydides 1:21; Polybius 4.2.1-4; Lucian, History 47f.; A. Momigliano,
"Tradition and the Classical Historian", in his Essays in Ancient and Modern Historiography
(Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1977), 161f.
5 9
H . W . Benario (An Introduction to Tacitus [Athens GA: University of Georgia Press,
1975], 148) remarks on Tacitus's notoriously exaggerated claim to write sine ira et studio
(Annals 1:; History 1:1), "only men who believe deeply about their subject, whether with
favor or disfavor, can write great history".
6 0
Cf. Diodorus 21.17.4; Polybius 8.8.3-7; 8.11.12; Lucian, History 7-13; Herodian
1.1.2; Avenarius, Lukians Schrift, 13ff.
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 69

o f the p e r i o d for the e x c l u s i o n o f e m o t i o n s f r o m the " l a w o f h i s t o r y ' ' is


J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f ( 1 : 1 1 ; 5 : 1 9 ; 7 : 2 7 4 ) , w h o also turns o u t to b e the m o s t
self-conscious offender! This raises the question whether he really
b e l i e v e d that his e x p r e s s i o n o f feeling w o u l d b e a h i n d r a n c e to the r e c e p ­
tion o f his b o o k o r , c o n v e r s e l y , w h e t h e r he raised an e x t r e m e standard
in o r d e r deliberately to transgress it a n d thereby to a c h i e v e the results
that w e h a v e n o t e d .
It s e e m s that the latter w a s the case. F o r Hellenistic h i s t o r i o g r a p h y
w a s o p e n to c e n s u r e a n d praise o f historical actors, as l o n g as these w e r e
61
judiciously applied. T h a t is b e c a u s e , as T h u c y d i d e s h a d already in­
sisted ( 1 . 2 2 . 4 ) , the p u r p o s e o f studying history was to learn f r o m the
mistakes a n d t r i u m p h s o f the past. A l t h o u g h this g u i d a n c e f r o m the past
was at first thought o f as primarily strategic and political, under
rhetorical influence it s o o n w i d e n e d to i n c l u d e a general moralizing
62
sense. E v e n P o l y b i u s , the great e x e m p l a r o f critical h i s t o r i o g r a p h y ,
stressed the m o r a l function o f history. H e b e l i e v e d that the distinctive
feature o f history w a s its praise (ETCOCIVOS) for v i r t u o u s c o n d u c t a n d its
d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f the bases for n e g a t i v e m o r a l j u d g e m e n t s (2.61.5-6;
1 2 . 1 5 . 9 ) . F r o m P o l y b i u s o n w a r d , m o r a l j u d g e m e n t o n characters o f the
past (e7tatvot xal c|>6yoi) w a s an h o n o u r a b l e c o m p o n e n t o f historical
63
w r i t i n g , p r o v i d e d that it w a s cautious a n d d e m o n s t r a b l e .
But J o s e p h u s attempts f r o m the start to justify, with m u c h e v i d e n c e ,
b o t h his l a m e n t o v e r J e r u s a l e m a n d his strictures o n the rebels. It s e e m s ,
therefore, that his u n s o l i c i t e d confessions o f guilt are actually rhetorical
d e v i c e s , c o n t r i v e d to s h o w that the events o f his narrative are o f such i m ­
p o r t , a n d that he has b e e n so closely i n v o l v e d in t h e m , that he is p u s h i n g
the limits o f historical c u s t o m s i m p l y to r e c o u n t t h e m .

War 1:13-16

The p a r a g r a p h o n the H e l l e n i c savants ( 1 : 1 3 - 1 6 ) has v e x e d interpreters,


who generally b e l i e v e that the r e c o v e r y o f its m e a n i n g d e p e n d s o n an
identification o f the Xoyioi ( 1 : 1 3 ) ; these are usually c o n s i d e r e d to b e a
party o f J o s e p h u s ' s o p p o n e n t s . S u g g e s t i o n s for the identification h a v e
r a n g e d f r o m the R o m a n a u t h o r o f a c o m p e t i n g history o f the w a r ( s o
Schlatter) to N i c o l a u s o f D a m a s c u s — J o s e p h u s ' s c h i e f s o u r c e for the
early part of War (Holscher)—to Josephus's literary assistants
6 4
(Thackeray).

6 1
Avenarius, Lukians Schrift, 25, 157-159.
6 2
Ibid., 22f.
6 3
Cf. Diodorus 15.1.1; Lucian, History 59.
6 4
Schlatter, Bericht, 44, 67; Holscher, 1948, Thackeray, Josephus, 195.
70 CHAPTER THREE

T h e p u r e l y speculative c h a r a c t e r o f these p r o p o s a l s has b e e n s h o w n b y


6 5
H. Lindner. H i s o w n s u g g e s t i o n , m o r e closely g r o u n d e d in the text,
d r a w s attention to the legal t e r m i n o l o g y e m p l o y e d b y J o s e p h u s : the
l e a r n e d G r e e k s " s i t in j u d g e m e n t " (X<X07)VTOCI xptxoct) o n c u r r e n t events
( 1 : 1 3 ) a n d w h e r e fees (Xrju.u.<XTa) o r lawsuits (otxoci) are c o n c e r n e d , their
oratorial p r o w e s s is q u i c k l y d e m o n s t r a t e d (1:16). Lindner proposes,
then, that the a p p e a r a n c e o f War c a u s e d certain G r e e k historians in
R o m e to b r i n g lawsuits against J o s e p h u s , w h o then raised the m a t t e r in
6 6
his p r e f a c e . A c c o r d i n g to L i n d n e r , J o s e p h u s p o l e m i c i z e s against his
o p p o n e n t s a n d their p a i d l a w y e r s as follows: if they are c o n c e r n e d a b o u t
historical truthfulness, then they o u g h t to present their o w n narratives
o f events; the c o u r t r o o m , in w h i c h they c a n display their oratorial train­
ing, is an i m p r o p e r f o r u m for such matters a n d relieves t h e m o f the
6 7
l a b o u r s that J o s e p h u s has h a d to e n d u r e . J o s e p h u s ' s legal difficulties
irritate h i m so m u c h , L i n d n e r suggests, that he e m b a r k s o n a c a m p a i g n
against G r e e k historians generally ( 1 : 1 6 ) , w h i c h he will c o n t i n u e in
6 8
Ag.Ap. (1:6-29).
B y focussing o n the legal activity o f the G r e e k Xoyiot, h o w e v e r , L i n d ­
ner fails to e x p l a i n the b u l k o f the p a r a g r a p h ( 1 3 - 1 5 ) , w h i c h criticizes
their p r e o c c u p a t i o n with a n c i e n t history to the e x c l u s i o n o f c u r r e n t af­
fairs. O n his r e a d i n g , further, the p a r a g r a p h b e c o m e s fundamentally
enigmatic, laced with veiled references to J o s e p h u s ' s present cir­
c u m s t a n c e s a n d i n c l u d i n g a gratuitous attack o n G r e e k historians in
general. W e h a v e seen, h o w e v e r , that the p u r p o s e s o f the Hellenistic
historical preface w e r e to attract, stimulate, a n d instruct the r e a d e r . A s
Lieberich points out:

Das Proomium ist in erster Linie dem Bedurfnis entsprungen, dem Leser
im voraus eine kurze Aufklarung uber das W e r k zu bieten, ihm, wie
Aristoteles treffend sagt, 'eine H a n d h a b e zu geben', dass er sich daran
69
halten und der Rede folgen k a n n .

Until n o w ( 1 : 1 - 1 2 ) , J o s e p h u s has d i s p l a y e d an acute sensitivity to these


tasks a n d has h a n d l e d t h e m deftly. In 1:17-30 he c o n t i n u e s to d e m o n ­
strate his m a s t e r y o f the p r o l o g u e f o r m . Is it r e a s o n a b l e , then, to s u p p o s e
that J o s e p h u s has c h o s e n the m i d - p o i n t o f an o t h e r w i s e c o m p e l l i n g pref­
ace to v e n t his e m o t i o n s a b o u t s o m e u n d i s c l o s e d p e r s o n a l difficulties,

6 5
"Eine offene Frage zur Auslegung des Bellum-Proomiums", in Josephus-Studien,
edd. O . Betz, K. Haacker, and M . Hengel (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,
1974), 255-258.
6 6
Ibid., 257T.
6 7
Lindner, "Frage", 257f.
6 8
Ibid.
6 9
Lieberich, Prodmien, 47f.
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 71

t h e r e b y creating an o b s c u r e p a r a g r a p h ? O n e e x p e c t s h i m , o n the c o n ­
trary, to p r o v i d e e n o u g h i n f o r m a t i o n for the reader to f o l l o w at least the
m a i n lines o f his a r g u m e n t , for o n l y b y such a c o u r s e c a n he h o p e to
fulfill the goal o f the preface a n d to w i n a substantial readership.
N e a r e r t o the m a r k is the recent analysis o f H . W . A t t r i d g e . A t t r i d g e ' s
p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e is the w e l l - k n o w n c o r r e s p o n d e n c e b e t w e e n J o s e p h u s ' s
7 0
r e m a r k s in 1 : 1 3 - 1 6 a n d the historiographical principles o f P o l y b i u s .
Namely: Josephus claims that certain learned men among the
" H e l l e n e s " ( a p p a r e n t l y s h o r t h a n d for G r e e k s a n d R o m a n s , cf. 1:16),
a l t h o u g h l i v i n g in a time o f stirring events, d i s p a r a g e c u r r e n t affairs as
an o b j e c t o f historical research ( 1 : 1 3 ) a n d c h o o s e rather to write a b o u t
ancient times, especially the A s s y r i a n a n d M e d i a n e m p i r e s . J o s e p h u s ' s
critique o f such a practice c o m e s f r o m m a n y sides: ( i ) the ancient writers
already c o v e r e d this g r o u n d well ( § 1 3 ) ; ( i i ) their m o d e r n counterparts
are inferior to t h e m in b o t h literary c a p a c i t y (8uvapteo)(; ev T6> ypd^eiv) a n d
7 1
judgement (yvcofXTj^, § 14) and are thus reduced to futile rear­
rangements o f the o l d e r a c c o u n t s ( § 1 5 ) ; (iii) w r i t i n g a b o u t c o n t e m ­
p o r a r y events has the d o u b l e a d v a n t a g e o f p r o v i d i n g the clarity that
c o m e s f r o m an e y e - w i t n e s s ' s p e r c e p t i o n a n d o f b e i n g subject to c h a l l e n g e
f r o m o t h e r l i v i n g witnesses ( § 1 4 ) ; ( i v ) w r i t i n g a b o u t o n e ' s o w n times is
in fact the e x a m p l e set b y the ancient masters; a n d ( v ) w r i t i n g o f c o n t e m ­
p o r a r y events is the m o r e v i r t u o u s enterprise b e c a u s e it requires a really
industrious writer (quXorcovos) w h o c a n p r o d u c e an original historical
contribution (§ 1 5 ) .
All o f these historical p r i n c i p l e s , J o s e p h u s c h a r g e s , h a v e e l u d e d the
natural heirs (yvrjatot) o f the H e l l e n i c tradition, w h o p u t o u t their best
efforts o n l y in the c o u r t r o o m s ( § 1 6 ) . It has fallen to h i m , therefore, a
f o r e i g n e r (aXXoqwXos), to m a i n t a i n the o l d virtues o f p a i n s t a k i n g effort in
ascertaining facts and of truthful speaking in historical writing.
H i s t o r i c a l truthfulness is b e i n g slighted b y the H e l l e n e s b u t a m o n g the
J e w s (TCOCP' TJUIV) it is still held in h o n o u r ( § 1 6 ) . J o s e p h u s , a p r i m e e x a m ­
ple o f Jewish historiographical p r o w e s s , has spared h i m s e l f neither
m o n e y (dvaXoafxaxa) n o r l a b o u r (novoq) in p r o d u c i n g the present w o r k .
In several p l a c e s , P o l y b i u s defends his o w n c h o i c e o f a m o d e r n start­
i n g p o i n t a n d his mistrust o f ancient history (cf. especially 4 . 2 . 1 - 4 ) . He
p o i n t s o u t , for e x a m p l e , that another h i s t o r i a n ' s w o r k c o v e r s the p e r i o d
i m m e d i a t e l y p r e c e d i n g the o n e he has c h o s e n ( 4 . 2 . 1 ) . Elsewhere he

7 0
Attridge, Interpretation, 44f.; cf. already Lieberich, Prodmien, 34, and Avenarius,
Lukians Schrift, 81.
7 1
Significantly, Lucian posits as the two supreme qualifications of the historian
"political understanding" (auveat? TIOXITIXTJ) and "power of expression" (8uva{xi? ep-
fXTjveuTtxri).
72 CHAPTER THREE

claims that the w h o l e field o f ancient history has b e e n so often and


v a r i o u s l y w o r k e d o v e r that a n y m o d e r n a u t h o r o n the subject faces the
e q u a l l y r e p u g n a n t alternatives o f plagiarism a n d futile rearrangement
( 9 . 2 . 1 - 2 ) . S e c o n d , he e x p l a i n s that his c h o s e n focal p o i n t c o i n c i d e s w i t h
his o w n a n d the p r e c e d i n g g e n e r a t i o n s , w h i c h m e a n s that h e c a n always
consult l i v i n g witnesses o n his subject ( 4 . 2 . 2 ) a n d t h e r e b y c o n t r o l his m a ­
terial. T o reach a n y further into the past, he says, w o u l d force h i m to
write o n the basis o f hearsay (cb<; dxorjv e£ dxofjs ypd<petv), w h i c h w o u l d
7 2
p r e c l u d e certainty (aa<pocXeT<;) in j u d g e m e n t ( 4 . 2 . 3 ) . Finally, it is o n l y
with the events he has c h o s e n to narrate that o n e c a n see the h a n d o f
Tux*) r e b u i l d i n g the w o r l d ( 4 . 2 . 4 ) . T h i s t h e m e w a s already s o u n d e d in
his preface ( 1 . 4 ) . A l t h o u g h , h o w e v e r , P o l y b i u s claims that it is F o r t u n e ' s
activity that m a k e s c o n t e m p o r a r y history m o s t c o m p e l l i n g ( 4 . 2 . 4 ) , in his
p o l e m i c against the rhetorical historian T i m a e u s he d r a w s m a i n l y o n the
m o r e c o n c r e t e p r i n c i p l e s : ( i ) that w h a t has b e e n c o v e r e d a d e q u a t e l y b y
others n e e d s n o reiteration a n d (ii) that o n l y w h a t c a n b e c h e c k e d
t h r o u g h l i v i n g witnesses is s e c u r e . T o these factors he a d d s the contrast
b e t w e e n the c o m f o r t a b l e c i r c u m s t a n c e s in w h i c h o n e m a y write ancient
history ( b y s i m p l y finding a g o o d library!) a n d the severe hardships
(xocxo7ud0etai) o r e v e n d a n g e r (xivSuvos) that await the personal in­
vestigator o f e v e n t s — h a r d s h i p s b o t h physical a n d financial (12.27.4-6).
On these p o i n t s ( e x c l u d i n g the a r g u m e n t c o n c e r n i n g F o r t u n e ) , it is
easy to see shades o f P o l y b i u s in J o s e p h u s ' s a r g u m e n t in War 1:13-16.
The difficulty is to k n o w w h a t to m a k e o f the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e b e t w e e n
the principles o f P o l y b i u s a n d War 1:13-16. A t t r i d g e takes this passage
to b e J o s e p h u s ' s statement o f historiographical p r i n c i p l e for War, a state­
m e n t that r e c o g n i z e s o n l y recent events as the p r o p e r o b j e c t o f history.
W h e n Josephus c o m e s to write Ant., Attridge argues, he will h a v e
c h a n g e d his p r i n c i p l e s ; o n l y his n e w d e v o t i o n to the " r h e t o r i c a l " s c h o o l
o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h y allows h i m there to write a b o u t ancient J e w i s h history.
A full discussion o f the h i s t o r i o g r a p h y o f War a n d Ant. w o u l d b e o u t
o f p l a c e h e r e . In " A p p e n d i x A " , at the e n d o f the study, I shall offer
s o m e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a l o n g those lines, in r e s p o n s e to A t t r i d g e ' s p r o ­
posal. T h e s e m a y b e s u m m a r i z e d , t o g e t h e r with o u r o b s e r v a t i o n s thus
far, as follows, ( a ) War 1:13-16 c o n t a i n s a critique o f those w h o deal e x ­
clusively with ancient history, ( b ) T h e a r g u m e n t s a s s e m b l e d to m a k e this
p o i n t are T07i:ot o f P o l y b i a n ilk. ( c ) B y the time o f J o s e p h u s , h o w e v e r ,

7 2
Cf. the preface to Luke, where the author claims that he can prove TT)V aacpocXetocv
of the events which he describes (1:4) because: (a) they were accomplished ev rjfxtv—
therefore, within living memory (1:1); (b) they were passed on by OCUTOTCTOCI (1:2); and
(c) they have been followed with accuracy (<xxptP<o<;) from the beginning by the author
himself (1:3).
PURPOSE AND O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 73

these principles h a d lost m u c h o f their c o m p e l l i n g justification; m a n y , if


not m o s t historians, w e r e electing to write a b o u t antiquity, (d) The
p o l e m i c against ancient history is w h o l l y unrelated to J o s e p h u s ' s actual
v i e w s a b o u t writing ancient Jewish history. T h e p a r a g r a p h d o e s n o t ,
therefore, represent his statement o f historiographical p r i n c i p l e . It is
unlikely that J o s e p h u s had a n y d e e p c o n v i c t i o n s a b o u t w h e t h e r the
H e l l e n e s should h a v e b e e n w r i t i n g ancient o r m o d e r n history. H i s o w n
task w a s J e w i s h history, w h i c h he evidently c o n s i d e r e d sui generis (Ag.Ap.
1:29-43).
Why, then, the h a r a n g u e a b o u t the shoddiness a n d laziness o f those
G r e e k s w h o write ancient history? W e h a v e seen that the mea culpa in 9-
12 achieves m a n y things for J o s e p h u s ; in particular it serves to r e m i n d
the reader yet again o f the a u t h o r ' s p r i v i l e g e d status as an eyewitness.
T h i s t h e m e he introduces early a n d e m p h a s i z e s repeatedly in the preface
( 1 : 1 , 2 , 3, 6, 9 - 1 2 ) . H e has b e e n d r i v e n to c o n t r a v e n e the n o r m o f o b j e c ­
tivity in historical r e p o r t i n g , he n o w c l a i m s , b e c a u s e the catastrophe
h a p p e n e d in his land a n d he witnessed the patience o f the R o m a n s a n d
the o b s t i n a c y o f the tyrants. A l t h o u g h his confession serves h i m well,
h o w e v e r , J o s e p h u s must p a y a p r i c e for i n c l u d i n g it. T h a t p r i c e is
reflected in his final a d m i s s i o n ( 1 : 1 2 ) that s o m e critics ( t h o u g h pettifog­
gers, to b e sure!) m i g h t still find fault with h i m . A l t h o u g h he has attemp­
ted to w i n the r e a d e r ' s s u p p o r t for his u n o r t h o d o x a p p r o a c h , he c a n n o t
yet rest his case. H e requires a m o r e persuasive n o t e o n w h i c h to e n d .
In order, then, to extricate himself fully f r o m any suspicion o f
m a l p r a c t i c e , J o s e p h u s d e c i d e s to shift attention a w a y f r o m his o w n possi­
ble deficiencies to the c o m p a r a t i v e l y h e i n o u s sin o f others. H e n c e the
o p e n i n g w o r d s o f the p a r a g r a p h ( 1 : 1 3 ) : xoctxoi ye e7UTifxr|aocifA' a v aikds
Sixauos TOTS 'EXXrjvcov Xoyioi^, r e n d e r e d well b y T h a c k e r a y : " Y e t I, o n
m y side, m i g h t justly censure those erudite G r e e k s " . If J o s e p h u s m i g h t
b e c e n s u r e d ( § 1 1 ) for expressing 7cd0T] that result f r o m his p r o x i m i t y to
the events, he will hasten to p o i n t out a m u c h m o r e serious failure o n
the part o f his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s : m a n y o f t h e m d o n o t e v e n possess that
treasured quality o f first-hand k n o w l e d g e . U n d e r the Pax Romana it was
rare that e d u c a t e d writers f o u n d themselves in the midst o f m o m e n t o u s
73
u p h e a v a l s , o f the sort that T h u c y d i d e s h a d w i t n e s s e d . F o r this a n d
other reasons historians h a d c o m e , b y the first c e n t u r y , to deal primarily
with events o f b y g o n e ages (see A p p e n d i x A ) . But the great historians
who h a d b e e n able to write o f current events retained their g l o r y , as
M o m i g l i a n o remarks:

7 3
Avenarius, Lukians Schrift, 83f.
74 CHAPTER THREE

In Late Antiquity antiquarians were in a m o o d of self-congratulation. Y e t


they never get the upper hand. T h e prestige of the interpreter of recent
74
events—of Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius . . . remained u n s h a k e n .

It is this prestige that J o s e p h u s wants to share. H e fully realizes his in­


c r e d i b l e g o o d l u c k , f r o m a h i s t o r i a n ' s p e r s p e c t i v e , in h a v i n g witnessed
first-hand the events o f a m a j o r w a r f r o m b o t h sides. H i s eyewitness
status is therefore the t h e m e o f the w h o l e preface to War ( 1 : 1 - 3 ) . T o rein­
force his p o i n t n o w , J o s e p h u s reaches into the r e s e r v o i r o f Hellenistic
h i s t o r i o g r a p h y a n d d r a w s o u t an a p p r o p r i a t e a n d v e n e r a b l e w e a p o n , the
P o l y b i a n attack o n ancient history.
The P o l y b i a n b r o a d s i d e , h o w e v e r , is o n l y a tool in J o s e p h u s ' s hands.
If, as s e e m s p r o b a b l e , he h a d n o stake w h a t s o e v e r in the question
w h e t h e r G r e e k s s h o u l d c h o o s e a n c i e n t o r m o d e r n t h e m e s for their study,
then the tirade m a y b e r e a d less as a heartfelt d e n u n c i a t i o n o f his c o n ­
temporaries than as an indirect means o f praising his own work.
J o s e p h u s ( § 13) accuses the Xoyioi o f d i s p a r a g i n g " g r e a t events o f their
o w n l i f e t i m e " (TTJXIXOOTCOV XOCT' OCUTOU<; TCpayu-aToov yeyevnuivoov) a l t h o u g h
these " b y c o m p a r i s o n r e d u c e to insignificance the w a r s o f a n t i q u i t y " ( a
XOCTOC auyxpiaiv eXaxtcrxou^ aTioSeixvuat TOU$ 7uaXat 7coXs[iou$).
T h i s c h a r g e recalls J o s e p h u s ' s o p e n i n g w o r d s ( 1 : 1 ) in w h i c h he o p i n e s
that the J e w i s h w a r against the R o m a n s w a s the greatest (uiytcnrov) o f
practically all the w a r s o f r e c o r d e d history (cf. also 1:4). T h e cor­
r e s p o n d e n c e b e t w e e n that early c l a i m a n d the c h a r g e in § 13 suggests
that the great events w h i c h the H e l l e n i c savants i g n o r e to their peril are
n o t c u r r e n t affairs in general b u t precisely the events o f the J u d e a n
revolt. T h e s u g g e s t i o n is c o n f i r m e d b y the recapitulation ( 1 6 ) : w h a t the
G r e e k s neglect are called " t h e d e e d s o f the rulers (T6C$ 7updc£ei<; TCOV
7 5
Tjye[x6vcov)": p r e s u m a b l y , the d e e d s o f V e s p a s i a n a n d T i t u s . But the
theatre in w h i c h these t w o c o o p e r a t e d so f a m o u s l y w a s the J u d e a n revolt.
J o s e p h u s is n o t , therefore, s i m p l y a d m o n i s h i n g his G r e e k counterparts
to a b a n d o n their v a i n e n q u i r i e s a n d j o i n the v i r t u o u s l e a g u e o f those w h o
report c u r r e n t e v e n t s . H e is c r i t i c i z i n g t h e m b e c a u s e , in their dual p r e o c ­
7 6
c u p a t i o n with ancient history a n d w i t h the c o u r t r o o m , they h a v e let the

7 4
Momigliano, Essays, 164.
75
War (or part of it) was published in the lifetime of Vespasian (Life 359-361) and
authorized by Titus (Life 363).
76 Writing history in the Hellenistic world was usually an avocation, not a profession,
for the rhetorically trained. Dionysius suggests that Theopompus's full-time work on
history was unusual (Letter to Pomp. 64.6; cf. Lieberich, Prodmien, 20). By profession,
many historians were lawyers (cf. Cicero, Orator 1:44, 234-250). This fact explains
1
Josephus's references to the oratorical abilities of the Hellenic historians 'in the cour­
troom" (1:16) more simply than does Lindner's proposal that some of the Greek
hstorians were bringing a lawsuit against Josephus.
PURPOSE A N D OUTLOOK OF T H E JEWISH WAR 75

truth a b o u t the J u d e a n revolt suffer at the h a n d s o f inferior a n d u n i n ­


77
formed writers.
D o e s J o s e p h u s really b e l i e v e that these H e l l e n i c savants o u g h t to h a v e
written a b o u t the J u d e a n c a m p a i g n , o r i n d e e d that they c o u l d h a v e d o n e
so r e s p o n s i b l y ? P r o b a b l y n o t . T h a t is the p o i n t . H i s ostensible attack o n
G r e e k historians for writing ancient history is really n o t h i n g o t h e r than
an o b l i q u e recitation o f his o w n credentials. T h e s e l f - c o m m e n d a t i o n
loses its o b l i q u e n e s s finally as J o s e p h u s spells o u t w h a t he wants the
reader to u n d e r s t a n d f r o m all o f this, n a m e l y he h i m s e l f is the 9IX6TCOVO<;
m e n t i o n e d earlier, w h o s e w o r k deserves praise a n d a c c l a i m ( § 1 5 ) ,
b e c a u s e h e has spent t r e m e n d o u s sums a n d personal effort (dvocXcojAocai
xatTCOVOLSfieyiaTOis) to b r i n g an accurate a c c o u n t o f this great a n d recent
w a r . It is J o s e p h u s , the foreigner, the J e w , w h o has fulfilled the require­
m e n t s o f writing history—truthful speaking a n d painstaking collection o f
7 8
the facts—while the H e l l e n e s h a v e m i s s e d the m a r k .
T h u s the p a r a g r a p h 1:13-16, like the o n e b e f o r e it, a c c o m p l i s h e s
several things for J o s e p h u s . First, it shifts attention far a w a y f r o m his
confessed v i o l a t i o n o f the " l a w o f h i s t o r y " . S e c o n d , the p u r p o s e o f the
attack o n those w h o write ancient history, d r a w i n g as it d o e s o n P o l y b i a n
c o m m o n p l a c e s , is to e m p h a s i z e J o s e p h u s ' s o w n virtues as the historian
o f the J e w i s h w a r . H e has first-hand i n f o r m a t i o n , w h i c h h e a c q u i r e d
t h r o u g h great effort a n d e x p e n s e . Finally, J o s e p h u s anticipates his final
w o r k , Ag.Ap. ( 1 : 6 - 2 7 ) , b y casting the w h o l e p o l e m i c in D a v i d / G o l i a t h ,
J e w / H e l l e n e , o r aXXoqwXos/yvrjaios terms: J o s e p h u s the J e w is o u t t o p r o ­
tect TTJS laToptas aX*r|0e<;, for w h i c h the H e l l e n e s h a v e lost all c o n c e r n .
F o l l o w i n g this p o l e m i c , J o s e p h u s offers his justification for b e g i n n i n g
w h e r e h e d o e s ( 1 7 - 1 8 ) , discussed a b o v e , then an outline o f the seven
b o o k s o f War ( 1 9 - 2 9 ) , a n d a c o n c l u d i n g w o r d ( 3 0 ) .

I I I . Josephus and the 'Axpifieia of History

P r o b a b l y the clearest single i m p r e s s i o n left o n the reader b y the preface


to War is J o s e p h u s ' s c l a i m that h e , as an eyewitness o f a great w a r , will
present an accurate a c c o u n t . W e h a v e n o t e d that references to his
privileged status as an eyewitness o n b o t h sides o f the conflict r e c u r
t h r o u g h o u t the preface ( 1 : 1 , 2 , 3 , 6, 9 - 1 2 , 13-16, 18, 2 2 ) . T h e o n l y
t h e m e m o r e c o m m o n is his resulting claims to &xpt(kioc a n d aXrj0eia
(axpiPeia: 1:2, 6, 9, 17, 2 2 , 2 6 ; dXrj9eia: 1:6, 16, 17, 3 0 ) . L i k e w i s e , all

7 7
Presumably, these are the writers already castigated in 1:1-2, 6-8.
7 8
P. Collomp, Technik, 278ff., finds in Josephus's polemic against the Hellenic
historians the claim that truthfulness in history lies with those called "barbarians" by
the Greeks.
76 CHAPTER THREE

o f J o s e p h u s ' s later reflections o n War d e m o n s t r a t e that the goal o f a c ­


c u r a c y w a s for h i m the m o s t p r o m i n e n t feature o f the w o r k ' s p u r p o s e .
F o r e x a m p l e , the e p i l o g u e o f War is essentially a reprise o f this t h e m e :

Here we close the history, which we promised to relate with perfect ac­
curacy ((xexd 7rdaT)s dxptjktocs) . . . . O f its style m y readers must be left to
judge; but, as concerning truth (rcspi xffc dXrjGsiocs), I would not hesitate
boldly to assert that, throughout the entire narrative, this has been my
single aim. (7:454-5)

In Ant. a n d Life also the r e a d e r is referred b a c k to War for a m o r e accurate


(dxpi(3£aT£pov) a c c o u n t o f v a r i o u s t o p i c s (Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 3 , 2 9 8 ; 2 0 : 2 5 8 ; Life
4 1 2 ) . Finally, Ag.Ap. 1:47-56 dwells o n the dXrjGetoc a n d dxpt[kta o f War ( i n
r e s p o n s e to the charges o f J o s e p h u s ' s later o p p o n e n t s ) a n d again bases the
c l a i m squarely o n J o s e p h u s ' s p r i v i l e g e d eyewitness status.
The difficulty b e f o r e us is that the v e h e m e n t c l a i m to historical
dxpt(kta was a commonplace o f Hellenistic h i s t o r i o g r a p h y . It was
T h u c y d i d e s w h o defined the p r i n c i p l e o f truthfulness (dXrjOeioc) in history
by i n v o k i n g the kindred concept o f scrupulous, detailed accuracy
(dxptfkioc). For him, dxpt(}£ioc gives n u a n c e to the bald principle o f
79
dXrjeeioc.
P o l y b i u s ' s attack o n T i m a e u s reveals his a g r e e m e n t w i t h T h u c y d i d e s
that dxpt(kioc is the standard b y w h i c h historical writing must be
8 0
judged. In T i m a e u s he finds the c l a i m to dxpt(3£ta b u t n o e v i d e n c e to
s u p p o r t the c l a i m .
P o l y b i u s m i g h t h a v e h a d similar c o m m e n t s o n D i o n y s i u s o f H a l i c a r -
nassus, w h o also speaks frequently o f the standards o f truth (dXrjGeta) a n d
j u s t c o n s i d e r a t i o n (8txocio<g rcpovoufxevos) as the b a s i c credentials o f all
history (Rom. Ant. 1.1.2; 1.4.3; 1 . 6 . 5 ) . D i o n y s i u s sets o u t to p o r t r a y a c ­
curately (dxptPcos) the early history o f R o m e ( 1 . 6 . 3 ) b e c a u s e n o accurate
(dxpiPfjs) portrayal has yet appeared in G r e e k ( 1 . 5 . 4 ) . The reader
b e c o m e s s u s p i c i o u s , h o w e v e r , w h e n D i o n y s i u s p r o p o s e s that, in k e e p i n g
with his goals o f truth a n d j u s t i c e , he intends to express his g o o d w i l l
t o w a r d R o m e a n d to r e p a y h e r in s o m e m e a s u r e for the benefits that he
has r e c e i v e d at h e r h a n d ( 1 . 6 . 5 ) . B y the t i m e o f D i o n y s i u s (mid-first-
c e n t u r y B C ) , the standard o f dXrjOeioc in history h a d o b v i o u s l y b e c o m e a
standard rhetorical t h e m e . H e calls history " t h e priestess o f t r u t h " (On
Thuc. 8 ) . In p r a c t i c e , h o w e v e r , he is n o t o r i o u s l y uncritical a n d , as his
theoretical essays s h o w , he is c o n c e r n e d solely with the f o r m a l a n d m o r a l
81
aspects o f historical w r i t i n g .

7 9
Cf. Thucydides, 1.20.3, 22.2, 97.2, 134.1; "5.20.2, 26.5, 68.2; 6.54.1, 55.1; 7.87.4.
8 0
Cf. Polybius 12.4d.l-2, 10.4-5, 26d.3, 27.1; 29.5.1.
8 1
Cf. Halbfas, Theorie, 19ff.
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 77

B y the t i m e o f J o s e p h u s , then, claims to dXrjOeta a n d axpifktoc w e r e


c o m m o n p l a c e s o f the historical p r e f a c e . F. H a l b f a s o b s e r v e s :

Seit Thukydides gab es wohl keinen Geschichtsschreiber, der diese


Eigenschaft nicht als die erste Bedingung fur ein erspriessliches W i r k e n in
seiner Wissenschaft bezeichnet hatte, ohne dass diese Ansicht in alien
Fallen auf die praktische Gestaltung der Darstellung ernstlich eingewirkt
82
hatte.

G i v e n the w i d e s p r e a d indifference to the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f <xxpt[kta a m o n g


Hellenistic authors, w e m u s t ask to what d e g r e e J o s e p h u s w a s c o n s c i o u s
o f those i m p l i c a t i o n s . L i e b e r i c h c h a r g e s :

uberall fiihrt er die Wahrheit im M u n d ; leider entsprechen aber seine


W e r k e nicht i m m e r seinen W o r t e n und das Hervorkehren der Wahrheit
83
erscheint somit mehr als ein Mittel der R h e t o r i k .

We must ask then: T o w h a t extent is the c o n c e p t i o n o f historical


axpifktoc, w h i c h J o s e p h u s has m a d e into a m a j o r m o t i f o f War, a m e a n ­
ingful c o n c e p t for h i m ?
At least three factors indicate that Josephus cultivates the
aXrjOeta/axpifkta t h e m e c o n s c i o u s l y a n d deliberately.
A. First, unlike D i o n y s i u s a n d D i o d o r u s , a m o n g others, Josephus
bases his c l a i m to axptfkta o n his indisputable first-hand k n o w l e d g e o f
the revolt (War 1:3, 16; Ant. 1:3; Ag.Ap. l:47f., 55f.). Although many
o f J o s e p h u s ' s claims are d e b a t e d , n o o n e seriously d o u b t s that he w a s a
Jerusalemite priest w h o f o u g h t in s o m e c a p a c i t y against the R o m a n s ,
w h o b e c a m e k n o w n to V e s p a s i a n a n d T i t u s , a n d w h o e n d e d u p in a
privileged position in Rome. These credentials, unlike Diodorus's
w o r l d w i d e travels, are n o t i n v e n t e d . W h e n , therefore, J o s e p h u s bases his
c l a i m to accurate i n f o r m a t i o n u p o n t h e m , he is m a k i n g a r e a s o n a b l e
argument. H e is aware that the r e m a r k a b l e historical accidents o f his
c a r e e r h a v e p l a c e d h i m in a u n i q u e p o s i t i o n to write accurately a b o u t the
J e w i s h w a r ; that is w h y h e p a r a d e s this asset t h r o u g h o u t the preface a n d
e l s e w h e r e . W h e t h e r he did write accurately is a n o t h e r q u e s t i o n . The
p o i n t here is that his c l a i m to a c c u r a c y is n o t an e m p t y repetition o f
cliche b u t a c o n s c i o u s p r o p o s i t i o n , m a d e in o r d e r to e x p l o i t fully his uni­
q u e situation. H e is aware o f the c o n d i t i o n s o f accurate r e p o r t i n g a n d
c l a i m s to h a v e fulfilled t h e m .
B . Further e v i d e n c e o f this is the c o n s i s t e n c y o f the aXrjGeia/axptjkia
m o t i f for War. It is n o t m e n t i o n e d in a n y p e r f u n c t o r y w a y b u t appears
t h r o u g h o u t the preface in strategic places ( 1 : 2 , 3, 6, 9, 1 2 , 18, 3 0 ) . T h e

8 2
Cf. Halbfas, Theorie, 35f.
8 3
Lieberich, Prodmien, 35.
78 CHAPTER THREE

t h e m e is recalled in the e p i l o g u e to War ( 7 : 4 5 4 - 5 ) a n d again several times


in the later w o r k s , as w e h a v e seen a b o v e .
C . Finally, dxpt(kia and its cognates form part of Josephus's
8 4
characteristic v o c a b u l a r y . H e e m p l o y s this w o r d g r o u p 134 times. In
his paraphrase o f Aristeas, he inserts the w o r d six times a n d takes it o v e r
o n c e f r o m the s o u r c e . In the c o n t e x t o f historical r e p o r t i n g , he e m p l o y s
the w o r d g r o u p f r e q u e n t l y — a b o u t 52 times. E q u a l l y as significant for
o u r p u r p o s e s , he uses it a b o u t 28 times in the c o n t e x t o f religion. I n d e e d ,
the c o n c e p t o f dxpifkioc lies at the heart o f his religious understanding,
as w e shall d i s c o v e r in the next chapter. S i n c e , further, the b o u n d a r i e s
8 5
b e t w e e n " r e l i g i o n " a n d " h i s t o r y " are e x t r e m e l y fluid for J o s e p h u s , it
is difficult to b e l i e v e that h e e m p l o y e d the dxpifkioc t h e m e historio-
graphically with little t h o u g h t o f its i m p l i c a t i o n s .
It m u s t b e e m p h a s i z e d that the question b e i n g p u r s u e d has to d o o n l y
with J o s e p h u s ' s intention: D i d h e u n d e r s t a n d the c o n c e p t o f dxpifkia a n d
e m p l o y it seriously, o r d i d h e , like m a n y o f his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s , take it
o v e r frivolously f r o m the current w o r l d o f ideas? T h e e v i d e n c e cited in­
dicates that J o s e p h u s c o n s c i o u s l y c h o s e to assert the factuality o f War o n
the basis o f his eyewitness status, fully aware o f the o b l i g a t i o n to ac­
c u r a c y that the c l a i m entailed.
T h i s c o n c l u s i o n presents an entree to the historical question: Did
J o s e p h u s write accurately a b o u t the J e w i s h revolt? It is o f great i m p o r ­
tance for that question that w e h a v e in J o s e p h u s a bona fide witness, with
privileged access to b o t h sides o f the conflict, s o m e o n e w h o seems able
to c o n t r o l his material a n d w h o intends factuality. Nevertheless, the
historical q u e s t i o n c a n n o t b e a n s w e r e d b y such a priori c o n s i d e r a t i o n s .
J o s e p h u s c o u l d n o t h a v e o b s e r v e d all the simultaneous events o f the c o n ­
flict; he d e p e n d e d heavily o n the reports o f others. T h o s e events that he
d i d o b s e r v e he c a n o n l y h a v e p e r c e i v e d a n d r e m e m b e r e d imperfectly, as
is true o f a n y witness. Finally, that w h o l e b o d y o f resulting i n f o r m a t i o n
is o n l y m e d i a t e d to us via his o w n interests a n d via his intellectual a n d
stylistic t e n d e n c i e s .
W e h a v e , then, a potential for reasonable a c c u r a c y in War b u t o n l y
if J o s e p h u s d i d as he c l a i m e d a n d e x p l o i t e d his u n i q u e l y k n o w l e d g e a b l e
situation to c h e c k his e v i d e n c e r i g o r o u s l y a n d present what he g e n u i n e l y
b e l i e v e d to h a v e b e e n the c o u r s e o f events. W h e t h e r h e lived u p to his
claims c a n o n l y b e d e t e r m i n e d b y extensive historical reconstruction
based o n a c o m p a r i s o n o f ( a ) his other writings, ( b ) other, c o n t e m -

8 4
With this point, I anticipate the investigation of the following chapter; full
documentation will be given there.
8 5
Cf. especially Ag.Ap. 2:144; also 1:32, 36.
PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF T H E JEWISH WAR 79

p o r a r y literary s o u r c e s a n d ( c ) non-literary, especially a r c h a e o l o g i c a l ,


evidence.
T h a t historical q u e s t i o n is still sub judice. O n e m i g h t s u m m a r i z e its
present state b y saying that p o i n t ( a ) a b o v e — e s p e c i a l l y the c o m p a r i s o n
o f War a n d Life—continues t o challenge those parts o f War that deal w i t h
86
Josephus himself b u t that points ( b ) a n d ( c ) increasingly v i n d i c a t e his
87
a c c o u n t w i t h respect to places a n d e v e n t s . A l l w e c a n say o n the basis
o f a literary analysis is that J o s e p h u s i n t e n d e d a c c u r a c y , that h e s e e m s to
h a v e b e e n c o n s c i o u s o f the o b l i g a t i o n s t h e r e b y a s s u m e d , a n d that h e w a s
e v i d e n t l y in a p o s i t i o n to satisfy t h e m .

Summary

Before p r o c e e d i n g to c o n s i d e r the Pharisee passages in War it is


necessary t o s u m m a r i z e the a r g u m e n t a n d l e a d i n g t h e m e s o f the p r e f a c e ,
since the preface is e v i d e n t l y i n t e n d e d as a k e y to the w o r k as a w h o l e .
I n 1:1-8, w e find the simple a r g u m e n t : ( a ) the J e w i s h w a r is o f great
i m p o r t a n c e ; ( b ) p r e v i o u s a c c o u n t s o f it are hopelessly i n a d e q u a t e ; a n d
( c ) J o s e p h u s is in an excellent p o s i t i o n t o r e n d e r an accurate a c c o u n t .
I n § § 9 - 1 2 , J o s e p h u s allays a n y potential r e a d e r ' s fears that h e is g o i n g
to offer an expose o f R o m a n w r o n g d o i n g . H e a c c o m p l i s h e s this b y in­
t r o d u c i n g the l e a d i n g t h e m e s o f the w o r k , n a m e l y : l a m e n t f o r the
" t y r a n t s " w h o b r o u g h t a b o u t the T e m p l e ' s destruction, a n d praise for
the R o m a n s , especially T i t u s , w h o tried to save it. S i n c e the i n t r o d u c t i o n
o f these t h e m e s m a y b e t h o u g h t t o c o n t r a v e n e the " l a w o f h i s t o r y " ,
J o s e p h u s appeals o n c e m o r e to the e n o r m o u s n e s s o f the events a n d his
p r o x i m i t y to t h e m as his justification for such strong e m o t i o n s . H e d o e s
n o t b e l i e v e that the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f his o w n v a l u e j u d g e m e n t s vitiates his
c l a i m to a c c u r a c y . I f a n y t h i n g his strong e m o t i o n s testify to the closeness
o f his p e r s o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t with events o f great i m p o r t .
I n o r d e r to r e m o v e the slightest hint o f m a l p r a c t i c e o n his part,
J o s e p h u s turns in § § 13-16 t o a c c u s e those w h o i g n o r e current events ( h e
is thinking o f the J e w i s h w a r ) as objects o f historical study. T h e i r s is the
greater failure, he c l a i m s . F r a m i n g the c h a r g e in general t e r m s , h e is

8 6
Cf. Laqueur, Historiker and now Cohen, Josephus.
8 7
Cf., e.g., Luther, Josephus und Justus, 81f., and the editors' preface to the O . Michel
Festschrift, Josephus-Studien. One indication of the archaeologists' confidence in Josephus
is the present search for Herod's tomb at Herodion, solely on the basis of Josephus's
notice (War 1:673). His information has proved invaluable for the excavations of
Jerusalem, Masada, Caesarea, Herodion, and other sites. Cf. the judgements of N .
Avigad, B. Mazar, and G. Cornfeld in Josephus: The Jewish War, edd. G. Cornfeld, B.
Mazar, and P. L. Maier (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), 6f. Rajak, Josephus, 106f.
et passim, makes a sustained case for Josephus's accuracy.
80 CHAPTER THREE

able to i n v o k e the v e n e r a b l e aid o f P o l y b i u s . W e s o o n see, h o w e v e r , that


his real p u r p o s e is n o t an abstract critique o f ancient history b u t a
reiteration o f his o w n historical p r o w e s s as c h r o n i c l e r o f the J e w i s h W a r .
H e has l a b o u r e d v e r y hard t o p r o v i d e this a c c o u n t o f the history o f his
o w n times ( § 1 6 ) . T h i s c l a i m recalls o n c e again the eyewitness t h e m e
w h i c h has already b e e n well cultivated.
A m o n g the v a r i o u s t h e m e s i n t r o d u c e d b y J o s e p h u s in the preface t o
War w e m a y distinguish b e t w e e n those that h e explicitly cites as his
peculiar literary c o n c e r n s , arising f r o m the subject itself ( l a m e n t for
J e r u s a l e m , disgust for the tyrants, praise for the R o m a n s ) , a n d the m o r e
general historiographical t h e m e s o r topoi that find a p l a c e also in his
w o r k . B o t h will n e e d t o b e taken into a c c o u n t w h e r e relevant, in the in­
terpretation o f the Pharisee passages in War.
It is a c o m m o n p l a c e in J o s e p h a n scholarship that War w a s the
historian's apostate w o r k a n d Ant. his a p o l o g e t i c effort. I n the f o r m e r ,
J o s e p h u s speaks as a Romling o f the " J e w i s h c a m p a i g n " — a title that
signifies his distance f r o m his o w n p e o p l e a n d his R o m a n v i e w p o i n t . H e
speaks as the m o u t h p i e c e o f R o m e t o his coreligionists. Ant. is h e l d , t o
a greater o r lesser d e g r e e , to b e a w o r k o f r e p e n t a n c e . J o s e p h u s has n o w
m a t u r e d a n d r e d i s c o v e r e d the value o f his r o o t s ; with Ant. a n d Ag.Ap.
88
he c h o o s e s to p u b l i c i z e these i n s i g h t s .
O u r e x a m i n a t i o n o f War, h o w e v e r , points in a different d i r e c t i o n .
J o s e p h u s writes in o r d e r to capitalize o n his o w n k n o w l e d g e o f the c o n ­
8 9
flict. H e writes, h o w e v e r , as a n u n a b a s h e d J e w . F r o m the v e r y first
sentence h e declares his J e w i s h heritage, his priestly identity, his l o v e for
the T e m p l e a n d his c o u n t r y ( 1 : 3 ) . H e presents the J e w s as better
historians than the G r e e k s ( 1 : 1 6 ) . A n d whereas all p r e v i o u s a c c o u n t s o f
the revolt h a d vilified the J e w s , h e intends to set the r e c o r d straight,
t h o u g h w i t h o u t c o m p e n s a t o r y e x a g g e r a t i o n ( 1 : 7 - 9 ) . W h a t h e wants to
present to his readers is a J e w i s h story ( 1 : 1 7 , 18) a n d i n d e e d , in the nar­
rative itself h e glides o v e r the years o f R o m a n prefecture in J u d e a until
the revolt ( t h o u g h h e d o e s p a u s e to elaborate o n b r i e f reign o f A g r i p p a ,

8 8
Cf. Thackeray, Rasp, Weber, Laqueur, Smith/Neusner, and Cohen, who are dis­
cussed in chapter 7, below.
8 9
Niese, HZ 201, sees Josephus's inclusion of the whole pre-history of the revolt,
y

from the Maccabean period on, as an attempt to acquaint the reader with Jewish history
and to remove prejudice. He presents Josephus (p. 206) as a Jew who genuinely mourns
the loss of Jerusalem and its Temple. Finally, Niese understands Josephus in all of his
works as a Jewish apologist (p. 237):
Sein Zweck ist, die Griechen und Romer mit den Juden zu versohnen und sie mit der
wahren Gestalt der judischen Geschichte und Religion bekannt zu machen. Alle seine
Schriften sind daher direkt oder indirekt apologetisch, und uberall wird das Jiidische in
hellenische Form gekleidet.
PURPOSE A N D OUTLOOK OF T H E JEWISH WAR 81

9 0
the J e w i s h k i n g ) . H e believes that the J e w i s h 8fju.o<; itself w a s guiltless
in the conflict with R o m e ( 1 : 1 0 , 2 7 ) . T h e J e w i s h c o n t e x t o f the w o r k is
such that J o s e p h u s c a n refer to it d e c a d e s later b y the titles 7| $i$\o<; vr\<;
Touoatxfte (Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 3 ) a n d simply r\ T<OV TOU8OCLX6V (Ant. 1 3 : 2 9 8 ) .
I n spite o f J o s e p h u s ' s o b v i o u s flattery o f V e s p a s i a n a n d T i t u s , there­
fore, a n d his a d m i r a t i o n o f R o m e in general, h e c a n hardly b e called a
R o m a n functionary.

9 0
War 2:167-187, 220-276. This may be due (so Holscher, ' Josephus", 1944) to the
sparseness of Josephus's sources for the period; on the other hand, however, it would
also fit well with the overall Jewish theme of the work, established in the preface.
CHAPTER FOUR

WAR 1:107-114:
THE PHARISEES A N D A L E X A N D R A SALOME, I

J o s e p h u s i n t r o d u c e s the Pharisees to his G r e c o - R o m a n readership in


War 1:110, in the c o u r s e o f his n a r r a t i o n o f events u n d e r the H a s m o ­
n e a n s . C o m i n g t o speak o f A l e x a n d r a S a l o m e ' s r e i g n , h e offers a b r i e f
a c c o u n t o f the distinctive characteristics o f the Pharisees, as follows:
TC<xpa9uovT<xt 8e atkfjs dq TTJV lijouaiav
Oapiaatot auvrayfxa xt 'IouSatcav
Soxouv
(a) euaePeorepov etvai TCOV aXXcov x a l
( b ) TOU$ v6[xou<; axpi(JeaTepov a ^ y e t a O a i
T h i s is the first p i e c e o f i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t the Pharisees that J o s e p h u s
saw fit to g i v e his readers. It m u s t , therefore, b e significant for o u r p u r ­
p o s e s . M o r e o v e r , a m o n g all o f the d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the Pharisees in the
J o s e p h a n c o r p u s , s o m e t h i n g v e r y close to the a b o v e o c c u r s in t w o o t h e r
places:
War 2 : 1 6 2 : 01 fxex' &xpi(kta$ 8OXOUVT£<; e^yeTaOai TOC vofxifxa x a l TTJV rcpcoTTjv
dTCayovTes ocipeaiv
Life 191: o'i rcepl TOC iraxpia vojxtfxa Soxouaiv TCOV aXXoav &xpi(kia 8taq>epeiv
1
Nor c a n o n e i g n o r e the prima facie similarity b e t w e e n these statements
a n d Ant 1 7 : 4 1 :
fxopiov TI 'IouSaix&v avOpcorcoav in' eijaxpiPcoaei u i y a 9povouv TOORCOCTPIOUx a l
a e i T 0 e o v
vojxcov 0 % x V ^ ^ ^POA7IOIOU(xevov. . . .
Since these passages together constitute a large segment of what
J o s e p h u s says a b o u t the Pharisees, f r o m his first to his last remarks
a b o u t the g r o u p , a n d since the k e y terms that they share (superlative
axpi(kta, vojAOi/vofiifxa/rcaTpia, Soxeoo/TCpoarcoioufxat) g o b a c k to War 1:110,
it is all the m o r e i m p o r t a n t to strive for a t h o r o u g h u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f this
first attempt at definition.
The "first i m p r e s s i o n " o f the Pharisees that J o s e p h u s offers his r e a d e r
will b e interpreted here a c c o r d i n g t o the f o l l o w i n g p r o c e d u r e : ( 1 ) c o n ­
sideration o f the c o n t e x t ; ( 2 ) analysis o f the k e y t e r m s ; ( 3 ) n a r r o w i n g the

1
This passage is often treated as the product of one of Josephus's sources, which has
44
been taken over by him uncritically, cf. Baumgarten, Name", 14f. n. 15, and the
literature cited there; also Revolution, 321-324. The source problem will be discussed at
the end of the present chapter.
T H E PHARISEES A N D ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 83

r a n g e o f plausible m e a n i n g s to the single m o s t p r o b a b l e interpretation.


W e shall also n e e d to c o n s i d e r ( 4 ) the i m p l i c a t i o n o f such an analysis for
the s o u r c e q u e s t i o n .

/. Context

J o s e p h u s ' s first r e c o r d e d reference to the Pharisees falls within his narra­


tion o f H a s m o n e a n history. H i s v i e w o f the H a s m o n e a n s is basically
positive: Mattathias a n d his sons rose u p against the i m p i o u s a n d brutal
A n t i o c h u s I V a n d fought with c o u r a g e ( 1 : 3 4 - 4 0 ) . S i m o n ' s administra­
tion w a s excellent (yevvaico^—1:50) as was that o f J o h n H y r c a n u s , w h o
ruled thirty-one years ( 1 : 6 8 ) . After H y r c a n u s , h o w e v e r , things t u r n e d
sour. T h a t ruler was permitted b y the D e i t y to foresee that with his t w o
o l d e r sons the g o v e r n m e n t w o u l d falter ( 1 : 6 9 ) . J o s e p h u s p r o c e e d s to des­
c r i b e the y e a r - l o n g x a x a a x p o ^ ( 1 : 6 9 ) o f A r i s t o b u l u s ' s reign, which
e n d e d with the deaths o f b o t h A r i s t o b u l u s a n d A n t i g o n u s . W i t h the ac­
cession o f H y r c a n u s ' s third s o n , A l e x a n d e r J a n n e u s ( 1 : 8 5 ) , the r e a d e r ' s
q u e s t i o n is: W i l l the d o w n w a r d trend c o n t i n u e o r will J a n n e u s b e able
to reverse it a n d recapture the lost g o o d fortune o f his father ( 1 : 6 9 , xrjs
TCOCTpcpocs eu8ocifxovta<;)?
A l a s , J o s e p h u s portrays A l e x a n d e r J a n n e u s as a w a r m o n g e r w h o w a s
consistently hated b y the J e w i s h p e o p l e . J o s e p h u s is always partial to
2
m o d e r a t e s (fiixpioi) but he characterizes A l e x a n d e r as o n e w h o o n l y
s e e m e d at first to b e m o d e r a t e (fxexpiOTTjTi rcpouxetv SOXOUVTOC—§ 8 5 ) . O n
c o m i n g to p o w e r , h o w e v e r , this ruler killed his b r o t h e r ( § 8 5 ) a n d
p l u n g e d the nation into continual wars ( § § 86f., 8 9 , 9 0 , 93ff., 99f.,
103f), often unsuccessfully (§§ 90, 95, 100, 1 0 3 ) . H i s o w n p e o p l e
w e a r i e d o f h i m q u i c k l y a n d o p e n l y expressed their hostility ( § § 8 8 , 91f.,
94, 9 6 , 9 8 ) . O n l y with the help o f his mercenaries w a s A l e x a n d e r able
to quell the revolts ( § § 8 8 , 9 3 ) , d u r i n g the c o u r s e o f w h i c h he killed tens
o f thousands o f J e w s ( § § 8 9 , 9 1 , 9 6 , 9 7 ) .
Josephus describes the accession o f A l e x a n d r a S a l o m e , J a n n e u s ' s
w i d o w , as a p r o m i s i n g m o m e n t for the nation. A l e x a n d r a not o n l y
lacked her h u s b a n d ' s brutality (xfjs cifxoTrjTOs OCUTOU fxocxpocv a7co8eouaa);
she o p p o s e d (avOiaTTjfxai) his c r i m e s and w a s therefore loved by the
people (§ 107). O n a c c o u n t o f her reputation for piety (8toc 86£ocv
suaejkioci;) she was able to take firm c o n t r o l o f the g o v e r n m e n t . U n l i k e
her h u s b a n d ' s case, h o w e v e r — t h e p u b l i c 86£a a b o u t his m o d e r a t i o n had
quickly p r o v e d false ( § § 8 5 f f . ) — A l e x a n d r a ' s reputation for piety was

2
War 2:275, 281, 306, 455, 649; 4:283; 5:391; 7:263. Josephus sides with the
"moderate" position in the revolt.
84 CHAPTER FOUR

w e l l - f o u n d e d : she really w a s s c r u p u l o u s a b o u t the national traditions


(rjxptPou y a p 8rj fxaXtcrca TOO e'Ovoos TOC 7cdcTptoc) a n d she u s e d to dismiss of­
fenders f r o m positions o f a u t h o r i t y ( § 1 0 8 ) . A p p r o p r i a t e l y , she g a v e the
h i g h - p r i e s t h o o d to h e r o l d e r s o n H y r c a n u s , w h o w a s indifferent to p u b l i c
affairs, a n d thereby restricted the y o u n g e r A r i s t o b u l u s , a " h o t - h e a d " ,
to private life.
I n t o this p r o m i s i n g situation J o s e p h u s i n t r o d u c e s the Pharisees, w h o
are yet a third party with a r e p u t a t i o n ( 1 1 0 ) : " a b o d y o f J e w s with the
r e p u t a t i o n o f e x c e l l i n g the rest o f their nation in the o b s e r v a n c e s o f
religion, a n d as exact e x p o n e n t s o f the l a w s " ( T h a c k e r a y ) . A l e x a n d e r ' s
reputation (Soxouv) f o r m i l d n e s s h a d b e e n q u i c k l y d e b u n k e d ; his w i f e ' s
r e n o w n (86£oc) for piety, o n the o t h e r h a n d , w a s well f o u n d e d . T h e
reader is n o w r e a d y t o ask: D i d the actions o f the Pharisees support o r
undermine their r e p u t a t i o n (Soxouv) f o r piety a n d o b s e r v a n c e o f the
laws?

I I . Key Terms

A. IIocpacpuofAOCi, t o " g r o w b e s i d e " , o c c u r s o n l y here in J o s e p h u s . It m a y


3
suggest the m e t a p h o r o f " s u c k e r s a r o u n d a t r e e " a n d is in a n y case cer­
tainly p e j o r a t i v e : the Pharisees g r e w increasingly to a s s u m e the eifouatoc
that rightfully b e l o n g e d t o A l e x a n d r a .
B. Euvrorffxa, "something drawn u p in o r d e r " . A s w e shall see,
J o s e p h u s uses v a r i o u s labels f o r the J e w i s h religious g r o u p s , such as:
4
atpeais, cptXoaocpta, Tayfxa, a n d yevos; auvTOcyfxoc h e uses o n l y o f the
Pharisees a n d o n l y here.
A l t o g e t h e r , J o s e p h u s e m p l o y s the w o r d s o m e 16 times, 12 o f these in
War. H e o n c e r e p r o d u c e s S t r a b o ' s use o f the w o r d as m e a n i n g s i m p l y
5
a g r o u p o r " t r o o p " (Ant. 1 4 : 1 1 6 ) . I n 13 o u t o f 14 c a s e s , however,
J o s e p h u s uses auvxayfxa in a distinctly pejorative sense: in the r e a l m o f
ideas, it refers to s o m e t h i n g deceitfully a r r a n g e d , a plot o r fabrication
(War 1:495; 2 : 1 0 7 , 1 7 2 , 2 9 0 ) . W h e n used o f a g r o u p o f p e o p l e , the t o n e
is always o n e o f dislike o r disgust. F o r e x a m p l e , J o s e p h u s speaks o f a
yovoctxcov <JUVTOCYU.OC that c o l l a b o r a t e d with the w i c k e d A n t i p a t e r to cause
t r o u b l e f o r H e r o d the G r e a t (War 1:568). M o s t frequent is J o s e p h u s ' s
use o f the w o r d to d e s c r i b e g r o u p s o f rebels o r " b r i g a n d s " , u n d e r o n e
of the dpxiXTjarai, thus: TO auvTayjxa T<OV Xr]AT<ov (War 4:135, 509, 513,
558; Ant. 2 0 : 1 6 1 ; Life 1 0 6 ) . O u t s i d e o f o u r passage, then, w h e n e v e r

3
Thackeray, n. b. to War 1:110, L C L edn.
4
Cf. the convenient table in J. LeMoyne, Les Sadduceens (Paris: Lecoffre, 1972), 32.
5
That is, excluding our passage and the Strabo citation.
T H E PHARISEES A N D ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 85

J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f uses the w o r d ouvxayfia to d e s c r i b e a g r o u p o f p e o p l e ,


it always m e a n s "band" or " g a n g " ; it is n e v e r h o n o r i f i c o r e v e n
neutral. In o u r passage, as w e shall see, the sequel a p p e a r s to suggest
the s a m e negative sense. G . C o r n f e l d ' s r e n d e r i n g , " a n i m p o r t a n t sector
6
[ o f the J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y ] " , is hardly appropriate.
C. EuaePeaxepov, " m o r e p i o u s " . W i t h the t w o c o m p a r a t i v e adjectives
w e reach the heart o f J o s e p h u s ' s first definition o f the Pharisees:
auvxayfxdc TI 'IouSauov Soxouv:
(a) euaePeaTepov etvat xcav aXXoov xal
( b ) TOUS v6[ioos axpiPeaxepov d^rpfsiaGai
B o t h o f these terms reflect J o s e p h u s ' s characteristic v o c a b u l a r y in the
field o f r e l i g i o n .
Euaejkta and its cognate verb and adjective occur 144 times in
7
J o s e p h u s . A l t h o u g h he o c c a s i o n a l l y speaks o f " f i l i a l " p i e t y , he uses the
euaePeta w o r d - g r o u p almost always to d e n o t e piety t o w a r d G o d . E v e r y
8
n a t i o n has its o w n traditional f o r m o f euae(kia , but J o s e p h u s wants to
s h o w (especially in Ant. a n d Ag.Ap.) that J e w i s h euae(kia is particularly
worthy:

C o u l d G o d be more worthily honoured than by such a scheme, under


which religion is the end and aim of the training of the entire community
(fxev TOU 7rXr|0ou<; xocraaxeuaafAevoo rcpos TTJV euaefkiav), the priests are en­
trusted with the special charge of it, and the whole administration of the
state resembles some sacred ceremony? (Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 8 8 , Thackeray)

T h e J e w i s h vofios, d e l i v e r e d b y G o d t h r o u g h M o s e s , p r o m o t e s a g e n u i n e
piety (Ant. 1:6; 1 0 : 5 0 ; 14:65; Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 4 6 , 2 9 1 , 2 9 3 ) . T h e c u s t o m s (eGrj)
o f the J e w s , J o s e p h u s says, are all c o n c e r n e d with piety (euae(kta) and
justice (Sixaioauvri, Ant. 16:42).
A c c o r d i n g to J o s e p h u s , this euaefkta finds its centre in the T e m p l e
cult. It requires the offering o f p r e s c r i b e d sacrifices a n d the celebration
o f feasts (Ant. 8 : 1 2 2 - 1 2 4 ) . M e n a s s e h b e g a n to s h o w piety (euaejkiv), ac­
c o r d i n g to J o s e p h u s , w h e n he sanctified the T e m p l e a n d purified the city
o f J e r u s a l e m (Ant. 1 0 : 4 5 ) . T h e tenacity o f J e w i s h euae(kia is indicated b y
the firm resolve o f the priests to c o n t i n u e with the p r e s c r i b e d daily
sacrifice e v e n w h e n u n d e r attack f r o m P o m p e y (Ant. 14:65). Indeed,
J o s e p h u s v i e w s the high priest as the o n e w h o oversees the sacrifices and

6
Cornfeld, Jewish War, 32.
7
E.g., War 1:630, 633; Ant. 16:95, 112. These may be attributable to the influence
of Nicolaus of Damascus.
8
Of Pythagoras (Ag.Ap. 1:162); of Egypt (Ag.Ap. 1:224); of Claudius (Ant. 20:13); of
the Romans (Ant. 14:315); of Ptolemy (Ant. 13:69); of Antipater the Idumean (Ant.
14:283); of the Athenians (Ag.Ap. 2:130); of others generally (Ag.Ap. 2:131). Note
especially Life 113: everyone should worship God (TOV Geov euaejkiv) as he sees fit.
86 CHAPTER FOUR

thus presides (7cpoeoravai) o v e r the euaefkta o f the nation (Ant. 4 : 3 1 ) ; for


this r e a s o n , he c a n c l a i m that w h e n the I d u m e a n s slaughtered the c h i e f
priests they effectively e n d e d the possibility o f euaePeia (War 7:267).
If the T e m p l e a n d p r i e s t h o o d constitute the focal p o i n t o f euaePeia,
however, they b y n o m e a n s exhaust its significance. J o s e p h u s has
S a m u e l declare that o b e d i e n c e t o w a r d G o d (u7COT<xaaea0ai) is the c o n d i ­
tion o f a c c e p t a b l e sacrifice a n d the sign o f true piety (Ant. 6 : 1 4 8 ) . T h i s
o b e d i e n c e e x t e n d s to the laws in their entire s c o p e , w h i c h is the w h o l e
o f h u m a n life:

A b o v e all we pride ourselves on the education of our children and regard


as the most essential task in life the observance of our laws and of the pious
practices, based thereupon, which we have inherited (TO 9uXatTeiv TOU$
vofxous x a l xrjv xaxa TOUTOU$ 7capa8e8o(xevr|v eoaePetav). (Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 8 4 )

A n d again:

For us, with our conviction that the original institution of the L a w was in
accordance with the will of G o d , it would be rank impiety ( o u 8 ' euaePe$) not
to observe it. (Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 8 4 )

T h u s euaePeia requires careful o b s e r v a n c e o f f o o d a n d purity laws (Life


14, 7 5 ) . J o h n o f G i s c h a l a is castigated for lacking euaePeia in b o t h areas
(War 7 : 2 6 4 ) . A s the story o f K i n g Izates tells us, euaePeia a m o u n t s to d o ­
i n g what is c o m m a n d e d in the L a w , in this case c i r c u m c i s i o n , without
c o n c e r n for the c o n s e q u e n c e s (Ant. 2 0 : 4 4 - 4 8 ) . Further e x a m p l e s o f the
same principle are S a b b a t h o b s e r v a n c e (Ag.Ap. 1:212) a n d the c o n t i n u a ­
tion o f sacrifice (Ant. 1 4 : 6 5 ) in the midst o f w a r , b o t h o f w h i c h J o s e p h u s
considers impressive e x a m p l e s o f euaePeia.
F o r J o s e p h u s , then, euaePeia is a o n e - w o r d s u m m a r y o f the w h o l e
J e w i s h system o f religion, instigated b y G o d , articulated b y M o s e s , ad­
ministered b y the priests, a n d shared b y the w h o l e n a t i o n . M o s e s ' suc­
cess, he allows, lay in his m a k i n g all o f the virtues elements o f euaepeta
rather than m a k i n g euaePeia c o u n t for o n l y o n e virtue a m o n g m a n y
(Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 7 0 ) . "EuaePeia", he says, " g o v e r n s all o u r actions (7cpa£ei$)
a n d o c c u p a t i o n s (SiaxpiPai) and speech ( X o y o i ) " (Ag.Ap. 2:171).
It is n o surprise, then, that J o s e p h u s sets u p euaePeta as the crucial test
for the c o m p e t e n c e o f J e w i s h ( a n d other) p u b l i c figures. H e s u m m a r i z e s
the activities o f A b r a h a m , A m r a m , J o s h u a , B o a z , D a v i d , a n d S o l o m o n ,
for e x a m p l e , b y c o m m e n t i n g o n their euaePeia (Ant. 2 : 1 9 6 , 2 1 2 , 3 : 4 9 ;
5:327; 8:13, 196).
W h e n speaking o f p u b l i c figures J o s e p h u s often j u x t a p o s e s the t w o
characteristics o f euaePeia a n d Stxaioouvr). Especially telling in this regard
is his paraphrase o f the Letter of Aristeas § 4 6 , w h e r e he inserts this
favourite pair o f qualifications for a ruler. Aristeas has: xaXco? ouv rcoirjaeis,
THE PHARISEES AND ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 87

PaatXeu Stxate . . . . J o s e p h u s r e n d e r s (Ant. 1 2 : 5 6 ) : eaxat 8e xfjs afj$ euaepeta?


xat Stxaioauvrjs.
The significance o f this d o u b l e d e s i g n a t i o n c o m e s to light first in
D a v i d ' s instructions to S o l o m o n . F o u r times D a v i d a d m o n i s h e s S o l o m o n
to rule in a p i o u s (euaepfj) a n d j u s t (Stxaiov) m a n n e r (Ant. 7 : 3 3 8 , 3 4 2 , 3 5 6 ,
374). O n the fifth o c c a s i o n , as D a v i d is d y i n g , he finally elaborates:
S o l o m o n ' s task is, " t o b e j u s t t o w a r d y o u r subjects a n d p i o u s t o w a r d
God" (Stxai (lev etvat 7cp6$ TOU<; dpxofxevoix;, euaejkt 8e 7cp6$ xov . . . Oeov,
7 : 3 8 4 ) . T h i s e x p l a n a t i o n o f euaePeia as d e s c r i b i n g the relationship t o w a r d
G o d a n d Stxaioauvrj, the " h o r i z o n t a l " relationship to m e n , is c o n f i r m e d
several t i m e s . T h e righteous K i n g J o t h a m , "euaePfjs (xev TOC 7cpd<; TOV Oeov,
8ixaio<; 8e TOC npbq av0pa>7uou<; U7cfjpxev" (Ant. 9 : 2 3 6 ) . J o h n the Baptist, says
J o s e p h u s , e x h o r t e d the J e w s to act 7cp6$ aXXrjXou$ Stxaioauvrj xat 7cp6<; TOV
Geov euaePeia (Ant. 1 8 : 1 1 7 ) . Finally, a c c o r d i n g to J o s e p h u s the first t w o o f
the d o z e n oaths taken b y the Essenes (War 2 : 1 3 9 ) w e r e : 7cp&T0V [xev
euaePrjaeiv TO OeTov, e7ceixa TO npbq avOpamous Stxata 9uXa?eiv. E v e n w h e n the
m a n - w a r d qualification o f Stxaioauvrj is l a c k i n g , w e frequently find the
9
qualifier 7cp6$ xov Oeov a p p e n d e d to euaepeta. T h e r e c a n r e m a i n little d o u b t
that the almost f o r m u l a i c euaePeia xat Stxaioauvrj that J o s e p h u s e m p l o y s in
c h a r a c t e r i z i n g p u b l i c figures is to b e u n d e r s t o o d in terms o f this ver­
10
tical/horizontal d i s t i n c t i o n .
I n its earliest G r e e k u s a g e , euaepeta w a s usually qualified with respect
to its o b j e c t ; o n e c o u l d speak o f " r e v e r e n c e " t o w a r d o n e ' s parents,
t o w a r d the d e a d , t o w a r d ' s o n e ' s h o m e l a n d , a n d so forth, u s i n g the f o r m s
11
euaePeia et$/ npoq/iztpi. B y the Hellenistic p e r i o d , a l t h o u g h all o f these for­
m u l a t i o n s r e m a i n e d c u r r e n t , euaePeia h a d also c o m e to b e u s e d w i t h o u t
qualification for " r e v e r e n c e t o w a r d a n d w o r s h i p o f the D i v i n e " . W .
Foerster suggests that the d e v e l o p m e n t w a s a natural p r o g r e s s i o n f r o m
h o n o u r i n g the v a r i o u s constituent e l e m e n t s within the world order
( p a r e n t s , h o m e l a n d , e t c . ) to h o n o u r i n g that o r d e r itself a n d the d i v i n e
12
p o w e r s that g u a r d e d a n d p r o t e c t e d i t . In all o f its ramifications, euaepeta
13
was a virtue in Hellenistic t h i n k i n g .

9
War 2:128; Ant. 9:2, 222, 236, 276, 10:45, 51, 51, 68; 12:43, 290; 13:242; 14:257;
16:172; 18:117; Life 113; Ag.Ap. 1:162; 2:171.
1 0
A s G . Schrenk(''8tx<xto<;", TDNT, II, 182) shows, this coupling of Stxato? (re: obliga­
tions to men) with oato<;, euaepeta or the like (re: obligations to God) was fairly common
among Greek writers, e.g., Plato, Gorgias 507b; Polybius 22.10.8; Xenophon, Memorabilia
4.8.7.
11
The word is analyzed by W . Foerster in both his TDNT article, "euaePeta", V I I , 168-
196, and in his article "EuaePeta in den Pastoralbriefen", NTS 5 (1959), 213-218.
1 2
Foerster, TDNT, V I I , 175ff.; "Pastoralbriefen", 214f.
1 3
Foerster, TDNT, V I I , 177f.
88 CHAPTER FOUR

EuaePeta, then, is f u n d a m e n t a l l y a G r e e k c o n c e p t . S o Foerster:

Euaepeta ist eine griechische Wortbildung, zu der das Hebraische kein


sprachliches Aquivalent hat und die eine religios-sittliche Tugend, deren
U b u n g offentliches L o b , deren Unterlassung moralische Abwertung
14
erfahrt.

The w o r d d o e s o c c u r a handful o f times in the S e p t u a g i n t , to r e n d e r


15
mJT n**"P, a n d the adjective euaePfjs o c c a s i o n a l l y renders T D n , D*H3,
1 6
and p ^ . But the w o r d - g r o u p d o e s n o t r e n d e r a n y particular H e b r e w
c o n c e p t i o n v e r y well. C . H . D o d d s u m m a r i z e s :

Thus these terms [the euaep-group] belong chiefly to the vocabulary o f those
books o f the Bible which were composed as well as translated in the
Hellenistic period, and whose Greek translation is comparatively late. It is
clear that the words, and the idea they represent, are characteristically
Greek, and in Hellenistic Judaism replace Hebrew terms o f a different
17
colour.

Since it w a s o n l y G r e e k - s p e a k i n g J u d a i s m that i n c o r p o r a t e d the c o n c e p t


18
o f euaePeta as a constituent feature o f its s e l f - u n d e r s t a n d i n g , it w o u l d
be futile in this case to press further the question of a "Semitic
b a c k g r o u n d " for J o s e p h u s ' s t h o u g h t .
J o s e p h u s ' s c o n c e p t o f euaePeta as a c o m m u n a l J e w i s h e n d e a v o u r , as
consisting in o b e d i e n c e to the d i v i n e L a w , a n d as the special task a n d
virtue o f the priests, is m o s t closely paralleled in 4 M a c c a b e e s . W i t h i n
the short c o m p a s s o f the w o r k , euaePeta f o r m s a p p e a r 6 4 times a n d h a v e
precisely the J o s e p h a n sense o f " p l e a s i n g G o d b y a d h e r i n g faithfully to
his L a w " . W h a t m a k e s this m o s t interesting is that 4 M a c c a b e e s w a s
traditionally thought, o n the basis o f t e s t i m o n y f r o m Eusebius and
J e r o m e , to h a v e b e e n written b y J o s e p h u s u n d e r the title Ilept AUTO-
19
xpdcxopos Aoytafxou.
T o s u m m a r i z e : the t e r m euaepeta is part o f J o s e p h u s ' s characteristic
v o c a b u l a r y ; it o c c u r s m o s t frequently t h r o u g h o u t Ant. a n d Ag.Ap., which
b o t h seek to e x p l a i n a n d d e f e n d J u d a i s m . It is less c o m m o n , b u t still ap­
pears in characteristic f o r m , in War a n d Life, w h i c h d e s c r i b e events c o n ­
n e c t e d with the revolt. J o s e p h u s often uses the w o r d to s u m m a r i z e the
w h o l e e n d a n d m e a n s o f J e w i s h life, c e n t r e d in the T e m p l e cult a n d

1 4
Foerster, "Pastoralbriefen", 213.
1 5
Only Prov. 1:7; 13:11; Isa. 11:2; 33:6.
1 6
Judg. 8:31; Job 32:3; Prov. 12:12; 13:19; Eccl. 3:10; Isa. 24:16; 26:7; 32:8.
1 7
C . H . Dodd, The Bible and the Greeks (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1935), 174.
1 8
The term occurs some 200 times in Philo, 64 times in 4 Maccabees, and, as noted,
144 times in Josephus.
1 9
Eusebius Eccl. Hist., 3.10.6; cf. W . H . Brownlee, "Maccabees, Books o f , IDB,
III, 212; Niese, HZ, 236f.
T H E PHARISEES A N D A L E X A N D R A SALOME, I 89

supervised b y the p r i e s t h o o d . H e c a n also restrict euaePeta t o action that


is directed t o w a r d G o d , in w h i c h sense it is c o m p l e m e n t e d b y Stxatoouvrj,
w h i c h refers t o h u m a n relationships.
M o s t significant for o u r p u r p o s e is the simple o b s e r v a t i o n that the
c o n c e p t euaePeta d o e s play a large role in J o s e p h u s ' s thinking. When,
therefore, h e describes the Pharisees as a g r o u p o f J e w s Soxouv euae-
Pearepov etvat TCOV aXXcov h e is u s i n g t e r m i n o l o g y that is theologically
c h a r g e d for h i m : they h a v e the reputation o f b e i n g ( o r s u p p o s e t h e m ­
2 0
selves t o b e ) the m o s t J e w i s h o f the J e w s , those w h o m o s t perfectly
fulfill the c o m m u n a l ideal.
D . 'AxptPeaxepov: " m o r e precise, e x a c t " . F o r J o s e p h u s , the r o a d to
attaining euaePeta is a d h e r e n c e to the laws, c u s t o m s , o r traditions o f
J u d a i s m . It w a s the great l a w g i v e r (vofJLoOeTTjs) w h o instructed the p e o p l e
in euaePeta (Ant. 1:6). S i n c e G o d has g i v e n the L a w to m a n k i n d , piety
consists in a d h e r e n c e t o it (Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 8 4 ) . EuaePeta, in the J e w i s h c o n ­
text, is closely b o u n d to o b s e r v a n c e o f the divine c o m m a n d m e n t s (cf.
Ant. 7 : 3 3 8 , 3 7 4 , 9 : 2 , 2 2 2 ; 1 4 : 6 5 ; 1 5 : 2 6 7 ; Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 4 6 , 1 5 9 ) . F o r the
laws teach euaePetav xat aX7)0eaTaT7)v (Ag.Ap. 2 : 2 9 1 ) . K i n g J o s i a h suc­
c e e d e d so well in euaePeta precisely b y f o l l o w i n g the laws (Ant. 1 0 : 5 0 ) .
If the r o a d to piety is o b s e r v a n c e o f the laws g i v e n b y G o d , then it
follows that the m o s t p i o u s J e w s will b e those w h o follow the laws m o s t
scrupulously a n d accurately. T h e connection between euaePeta a n d
axptPeta is especially clear in the context o f o u r passage, w h e r e it is said
of Queen Alexandra that she w a s e n a b l e d to take c o n t r o l o f the
government:

Sta 86£<xv ev<je(ie(oc<;. r\xpi$o\j yap 8rj fxaXta-ca TOU eOvou^ TOC rcaxpta xal TOU<;
7uXrj[X[xeXoGvTa<; efc -code; lepouc; V6(JLOU<; eij dcpxfjs TcpoeP&XXeTO (War 1:108.)

T h e substance o f A l e x a n d r a ' s euaePeta w a s h e r s c r u p u l o u s a d h e r e n c e to


the laws. W h e n , therefore, J o s e p h u s describes the Pharisees as the g r o u p
Soxouv euaePeaxepov etvat. . . x a l TOUS vofxouc; axptPeaxepov acprjyetaGat, h e is
n o t really saying t w o different things a b o u t the Pharisees b u t is rather
defining their reputation b y m e a n s o f s y n o n y m o u s parallelism: to b e
euaePeaxepov for h i m is to b e axptPeaxepov w i t h r e s p e c t to the vojxot. A s h e
r e m a r k s in another c o n t e x t :

T h e Jews certify the wisdom only of those who know the laws exactly (i6i<;
TOC VOFXTFXA AAQJ&s ETUTAXAUIVOTS) and who are competent to interpret the mean­
ing of the holy scriptures (TTJV TOOV TEPCOV ypafXfxdcTcav Suvajxtv ep[A7)VEUAAT
ouvauivotc). (Ant. 20:264)

2 0
W e shall consider the exact sense of 8ox£o> below.
90 CHAPTER FOUR

Paret rightly comments: " D i e Frommigkeit ist ihm wesentlich


2 1
Akribie".
'Axpi(kioc a n d its c o g n a t e v e r b a n d adjective o c c u r 134 times in
J o s e p h u s . W e h a v e a l r e a d y n o t e d the i m p o r t a n c e o f the c o n c e p t f o r his
h i s t o r i o g r a p h y : <xxpi(kioc is the goal o f all his w r i t i n g a n d h e alludes t o it
frequently i n his p r o g r a m m a t i c statements. I n War, as w e h a v e seen,
J o s e p h u s bases his c l a i m t o a c c u r a c y o n his close i n v o l v e m e n t with
events.
W i t h J o s e p h u s , h o w e v e r , as w i t h ancient J u d a i s m generally, o n e c a n ­
22
not force a d i v i s i o n b e t w e e n history a n d r e l i g i o n . F o r the p u r p o s e o f
s t u d y i n g the past is t o learn G o d ' s will. S o J o s e p h u s writes o f his Ant.:

But, speaking generally, the m a i n lesson to be learnt from this history


(TOCUTTIS xfjs loroptocs). . . is that m e n who conform to the will of G o d , and
do not venture to transgress laws that have been excellently laid down,
prosper in all things beyond belief. . . ; whereas, in proportion as they
depart from the strict observance of these laws (xa9' oaov 8' av arcoaTcaai xfjs
TOUTCOV axpijious E7U[AeXetas), . . . whatever imaginary good thing they strive
to do ends in irretrievable disaster. (Ant. 1:14, Thackeray)

A passage in the first b o o k o f Ag.Ap. likewise blurs the distinction b e ­


t w e e n history a n d r e l i g i o n , b y p o s i t i n g that the r e c o r d s o f J e w i s h history
h a v e b e e n kept with dxpt(kioc b y the priests a n d p r o p h e t s ( 1 : 2 9 - 3 6 ) . I n ­
d e e d , the r e c o r d s o f the past are " s a c r e d " r e c o r d s ( 1 : 5 4 ) . A n d J o s e p h u s
appeals t o his o w n priestly l i n e a g e as s u p p o r t f o r his c l a i m s to h a v e a c ­
curate i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t J e w i s h history (Ag.Ap. 1:54). M o s t significant
is his j u d g e m e n t o n the anti-Semite A p i o n . T h r o u g h o u t his p o l e m i c a l
w o r k against this a u t h o r , h e r e p e a t e d l y charges h i m with p r o p a g a t i n g ig­
n o r a n c e a n d lies a b o u t J e w i s h history a n d c u s t o m s . H i s final j u d g e m e n t
on the p r o p a g a n d i s t i c historian, h o w e v e r , is f u n d a m e n t a l l y religious
(Ag.Ap. 2:144):

T h e duty of wise m e n is to adhere scrupulously to their native laws con­


cerning piety (xou<; u i v otxeioti; vou,oi$rceplTTJV euaejktocv axpi(Ja)<; efXfxeveiv) and
not to abuse those of others. A p i o n was delinquent with respect to his coun­
try's laws and told lies about ours.

A p i o n ' s historical i n a c c u r a c y is p o r t r a y e d b y J o s e p h u s as a religious


d e f i c i e n c y . J o s e p h u s c a n n o t separate the spheres o f history a n d r e l i g i o n .
For h i m , the c o n c e p t o f dxptpstoc m o v e s freely b e t w e e n the t w o areas.

2 1
Paret, "Pharisaismus", 826.
2 2
Indeed, the ancient world as a whole viewed history as a study to be undertaken
primarily for its present value; cf. Thucydides 1:22; Polybius 12:25b. 3; 1.35. 1-3, 7-10;
Avenarius, Lukians Schrift, 22f., 166f. So history was not an autonomous discipline in the
modern sense.
THE PHARISEES A N D A L E X A N D R A SALOME, I 91

One w a y to o b s e r v e J o s e p h u s ' s taste for the axpifktoc w o r d g r o u p is to


e x a m i n e his paraphrase o f the p s e u d e p i g r a p h o u s Letter of Aristeas. T h a t
d o c u m e n t , in the parts o f it that J o s e p h u s uses, has the adjective dxpififjs
o n c e ( § 3 2 ) . J o s e p h u s takes it o v e r {Ant. 1 2 : 3 9 ) a l o n g with the phrase in
w h i c h it o c c u r s . In six other p l a c e s , h o w e v e r , h e paraphrases Aristeas in
such a w a y as to i n c l u d e an dxpt[feta-cognate w h e r e it w a s absent f r o m
his s o u r c e . S i n c e all o f this h a p p e n s within the space o f Ant. 1 2 : 3 5 - 1 0 4 ,
the i n c i d e n c e is n o t e w o r t h y . T h e passages are as follows:

(1) Aristeas 2 8 b : Storcep xal TO xfjs etaSoaeco? xal TO TCOV ITUOTOXCOV


dvTiypa9a xaraxexcoptxa xal TO TCOV drcearaXuivcov rcXfjGos xal TTJV exaarou
xaraaxeurjv, 8id TO [xeyaXafxotpta xal Te/vrj 8ia9epeiv exaarov aurcov.

Ant. 1 2 : 3 5 : 8to xal TO VC\$ etaSoaeco? dvrtypa90v xal TO TCOV emaroXcov


xaTarerdxrat xal TOTCXTJGOSTCOV d7cearaXuivcov dvaGrjfAarcov xal TO £ 9 '
exaarov xaraaxeuaaGev, co$ dxptPeaTdr7)v etvat TTJV TOU rexvirou rot? opcoat
[xeyaXoupytav xal 8td TTJV TCOV xaraaxeuaau-drcov e^oxrjv TOV exaarou
Srju-ioupyov euGeco? 7toiTJaai yvcopiu.cov.

(2) Aristeas 3 9 : xaXcot; ouv 7tot7Ja7)s xal TTJ<J rju-erepds cncouSfj? afjico?
e7uXef|d[xevo<; avSpa? xaXco? (kPtcoxora? rcpeaPurepous, eujcetpiav e'xovras TOU
VO(AOU, xal Suvarou? ep[Z7)veuaai, dq)' exdarr)*; 96X7)$ eij, orccos ex TCOV rcXetovcov
TO auu^covov evepyr}, 8id TO rcepl u.ei£6vcov etvai TTJV axecjnv.

Ant. 1 2 : 4 9 : xaXco? ouv 7coir)aei<; e7tiXeijdu.evos av8pa$ dyaGou? e£ a 9 ' exdarrj?


9uXfj? f]8rj rcpeaPurepous, oi xal 8td TOV xpovov eu-rceipcos e'xouai TCOV VOJXCOV xal
Suvrjaovrai TTJV epjxrjvetav aurcov dxpipfj TroirjaaaGat.

(3) Aristeas 5 6 : oaa 8' av rj a y p a 9 a , 7tpo<; xaXXovyjv exeXeuae rcotetv oaa 8e


8id yparcrcov, u.erpd aurois xaraxoXouGfjaai.

Ant. 1 2 : 6 3 : xal oaa rjv a y p a 9 a exeXeuae raura xaraaxeud£eaGai xat rd


dvayeypau.uiva npbq TTJV dxpi($etav aurcov a7ro($Xe7rovTa$ 6|xotco$ eTrireXeiv.

(4) Aristeas 183: T i p o a e x e a r a r o s yap cov avGpcorcos 6 AcopoGeo? etxe TTJV TCOV
TOIOUTCOV 7cpoaTaatav. auvearpcoae 8e rcdvra Ta 8i' aurou x&tpi£6u.eva, npbq T a ?
TotauTa? UTioSoxd? 8iau.eu.epiau.eva. 8tu.epfj Te eTroirjae Ta TCOV xXiaicov.

Ant. 1 2 : 9 5 : o 8e xal rcepl TOUTOU? eyevero, AcopoOeou 8td TTJV rcepl TOV (Jtov
dxptPeiav inl rourots xaGearcoTO?. auvearpcoae 8e rcdvra 8i' aurou rd npbq rd$
roiaura? urco8oxd$, xal St^epfj TTJV xXiaiav ercotTiaev.

(5) Ant. 1 2 : 9 9 is a s u m m a r y statement o f the tedious a c c o u n t in Aristeas


2 0 0 - 2 9 4 , w h i c h tells o f a s e v e n - d a y b a n q u e t in w h i c h K i n g P t o l e m y asks
92 CHAPTER FOUR

each o f the s e v e n t y - t w o J e w i s h elders a q u e s t i o n a n d receives a wise reply.


J o s e p h u s ' s s u m m a r y r e m a r k is that the elders, ''after c o n s i d e r i n g the
questions, g a v e precise (dxpt(Jco<;) explanations, a c o m m e n t l a c k i n g in his
source.

(6) Aristeas 3 0 2 : ot 8e erceTeXouv e x a o r a aufxcpcova 7toiouvTe<; 7tp6<; eauTOUs xaq


dvTi[}oX<xT$ . . . xal [xexpt [xev aSpa? evaTTjs auve8peia<; eyiveTO fxerd 8e rauxa Tiepl
TTJV TOU acofxaTOS 0epa7reiav a7teXuovTO ytveaOat.

Ant. 1 2 : 1 0 4 : oi 8' co? evt [xaXiara 9tXoTifxco£ xal 9iXo7r6va><; dxpififj TTJV
epfxrjvetav 7rotou[xevot [xexpi [xev aSpa? evaTTjs 7tpds TOUTCO 8I£T£XOUV OVTSS, McetT'
inl TTJV TOU acofxaTO? d7t7jXXdTT0VT0 0epa7tetav.

Particularly striking here are the parallels Aristeas 28b/Ant. 12:35;


Aristeas 39/Ant. 12:49; and Aristeas 183/Ant. 12:95f., b e c a u s e o f the exact
verbal replication in the i m m e d i a t e vicinity o f the dxptpeia f o r m s . T h e in­
escapable c o n c l u s i o n is that dxpifkia represented a significant c a t e g o r y in
Josephus's thought.
J o s e p h u s presents the entire J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y as a g r o u p striving t o
o b s e r v e the laws with dxptjkia. M o s e s , h e c l a i m s , called together the w h o l e
nation a n d extracted f r o m t h e m a n oath, ' ' t o o b s e r v e the laws, b e c o m i n g
strict stewards o f the m i n d o f G o d " (TTJ$ TOU Geou Stavota? dxpt(kts XoyiaTa?
yivojxevous, Ant. 4 : 3 0 9 ) . I n d e e d , M o s e s w e n t so far as to require that e v e r y
w e e k the m e n should leave their o c c u p a t i o n s to hear the L a w , in o r d e r " t o
o b t a i n a t h o r o u g h a n d accurate k n o w l e d g e o f i t " (TOU vofxou auXXeyeaOai
xal TOUTOV dxpt(3cos exfxavOdveiv, Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 7 5 ) . J o s e p h u s c a n , therefore,
p r o p o s e that Plato follows M o s e s w h e n h e prescribes that all citizens h a v e
a basic duty to learn their laws dxptfico? (Ag.Ap. 2 : 2 5 7 ) . F o r it is the J e w s
w h o practice their laws punctiliously (rcpaTTOfxeva [xerd 7tdarj$ dxpt(fetas 6 9 '
rjfxcov, Ag.Ap. 2:149).
A l t h o u g h dxptfkia with respect t o the laws is a c o m m u n a l g o a l , certain
g r o u p s a n d individuals are c o m m o n l y thought to excel in this regard, a c ­
c o r d i n g to J o s e p h u s . T h a t is the case with the scholars J u d a s a n d M a t -
tathias, w h o advised their students pull d o w n the g o l d e n eagle f r o m
H e r o d ' s t e m p l e (War 1:648), with a certain Eleazar, w h o insisted that
K i n g Izates o f A d i a b e n e u n d e r g o c i r c u m c i s i o n in his c o n v e r s i o n t o
J u d a i s m (Ant. 2 0 : 4 3 ) , a n d with certain inhabitants o f J e r u s a l e m w h o o b ­
j e c t e d t o the stoning o f J a m e s , the b r o t h e r o f J e s u s (Ant. 2 0 : 2 0 1 ) . I n three
places, i n c l u d i n g War 1:110, J o s e p h u s claims that the Pharisees h a v e such
a reputation (also War 2 : 1 6 2 ; Life 1 9 1 ) . A l l o f these parties s e e m to b e , o r
23
are reputed to b e (Soxouaiv), accurate in their interpretation o f the L a w .

2 3
W e shall examine the sense of 8oxec*> below.
THE PHARISEES A N D ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 93

J o s e p h u s himself, h o w e v e r , is s o m e w h a t m o r e sparing in his j u d g e ­


m e n t . After asserting his o w n axpt[kta, in rather s t r o n g t e r m s , for the
material that h e presents in Ant. ( 2 0 : 2 6 0 , 2 6 2 ) , h e allows:

The Jews certify the wisdom only of those who know the laws exactly
(aoccpcos) and who are competent to interpret the meaning of the holy scrip­
tures. Thus, although many have laboured at this training (TUOXXCOV
7iov7)advTG)v 7cept TTJV daxTjaiv TOCUTTJV), scarcely two or three have succeeded
(JJIOXK; ouo -cive? fj -cpets xocicopOcoaav). (Ant. 20:265)

T h a t J o s e p h u s c o n s i d e r s h i m s e l f to b e a m o n g the few w h o h a v e suc­


ceeded is c o n f i r m e d b y the c o n t r i v e d m o d e s t y o f the sentence i m ­
mediately following:

Perhaps it will not arouse jealousy or strike ordinary folk as gauche if I also
review briefly m y own ancestry and the events of m y life (xat 7tept yevoo?
TOU(JLOG xat 7cept TCOV xaxd TOV (3tov 7upa?e<OV (3pax&a 8t£?eX0etv, 2 0 : 2 6 6 ) .

T h i s p r o p o s a l is n o t fulfilled in Ant. itself b u t is p r o b a b l y i n t e n d e d to in­


2 4
t r o d u c e J o s e p h u s ' s a u t o b i o g r a p h y , the Life ( 'Icoar)7rou B t o ? ) . It is in that
w o r k that w e s h o u l d e x p e c t to find m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t J o s e p h u s ' s
c l a i m to <xxpt(kta.
The o p e n i n g w o r d s o f the Life fit neatly with the e p i l o g u e to Ant.
q u o t e d a b o v e a n d m a k e clear the r e a s o n for J o s e p h u s ' s p r i d e : h e is a
priest.

My ancestry is not undistinguished; indeed it has its origin a m o n g the


priests. If each of the races has some sort of criterion for nobility, with us
it is participation in the priesthood that is a sure sign of illustrious descent.
(Life 1)

J o s e p h u s g o e s o n to p o i n t o u t that he is n o t o n l y a priest b u t a " p r i e s t ' s


p r i e s t " , for his ancestors b e l o n g e d to the first o f the t w e n t y - f o u r c o u r s e s
0:2).
It is, then, to his priestly l i n e a g e that J o s e p h u s p r o u d l y p o i n t s as the
basis for his c l a i m to dxpt(kta. H e relates that as a child he m a d e great
p r o g r e s s in his e d u c a t i o n , b e c o m i n g k n o w n for his excellent m e m o r y a n d
u n d e r s t a n d i n g ( § 8 ) . B y the t i m e he w a s fourteen years o l d :
. . . the chief priests and leaders of the city were always coming by because
with m y help they could grasp more accurately some aspect of the laws
(Tuap' efxou mpl TOV vofxifxcov AXPTPEATEPOV TI yvcovai). (Life 9 )

2 4
Life appears in all of the M S S as an appendix to Ant. Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 3.10.8-9,
cites it as if it were part of Ant. Laqueur's theory, adopted by Thackeray with qualifica­
tions, is that Ant. 20:259-266 was added to the second edition of Ant. (c. A D 100), to
introduce the newly written Life (Laqueur, Historiker, 1-6; Thackeray, introduction to
L C L edn., I, xiiif.).
94 C H A P T E R FOUR

It is i m p o r t a n t to u n d e r s t a n d J o s e p h u s ' c l a i m here w i t h o u t regard to its


historical plausibility: it is solely o n the basis o f a priestly lineage a n d u p ­
b r i n g i n g that he claims to h a v e a c h i e v e d axptfJeta with respect to the
laws.
W e h a v e n o t e d several o t h e r passages in w h i c h the p r i e s t h o o d is c o n ­
25
n e c t e d with axptfkta; the clearest o f these is Ag.Ap. 1:54, where
J o s e p h u s bases the aXrjOeia a n d dxpt(ktoc o f Ant. o n his priestly descent
a n d training. W e m a y n o w a d d u c e further Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 8 4 - 1 8 7 . H e is there
praising the theocratic constitution (7CoXiTeuu.a) o f the J e w s , w h i c h :

sets G o d at the head of the universe, assigns the administration of its


highest affairs (TOC {xeyia-ca) to the whole body of priests (TOI? tepeuai. . .
xoivfj), and entrusts to the supreme high-priest the direction o f the other
priests. (§ 185, Thackeray)

H e claims that M o s e s entrusted to the priests TTJV 7repl TOV Geov Oeparcetav
(§ 1 8 6 ) . But this c h a r g e to direct the n a t i o n ' s w o r s h i p i m p l i e d also strict
attention to the L a w a n d to the other pursuits o f life (TOUTO 8' fjv xal TOU
vofxou xal TG>V aXXcav e7itT7)8eu[jiaTcov axpt($7)s e7Ct{xeXeta, § 1 8 7 ) . Similarly
Ag.Ap. 2 : 1 9 4 : the h i g h priest, a l o n g with his c o l l e a g u e s , safeguards the
laws (<puXa£et TOU? VOJAOOS). I n the ideal J e w i s h t h e o c r a c y that J o s e p h u s
portrays to his G e n t i l e a u d i e n c e , it is the priests w h o h a v e s u p r e m e
responsibility for the c o m m u n a l goal o f axptfkta.
Small w o n d e r , then, that J o s e p h u s frequently p o i n t s to his o w n
priestly credentials as he reiterates his constant goal o f <xxpt(kta (Ag.Ap.
1:54; Ant. 20:264ff.; Life 1-9). N o r is this a late d e v e l o p m e n t in his think­
ing, for w e find the c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n his priestly credentials a n d his
k n o w l e d g e o f the Scriptures already in War 3 : 3 5 2 :

He [Josephus] was an interpreter of dreams and skilled in divining the


meaning of ambiguous utterances of the Deity; a priest himself and of priestly
descent, he was not ignorant o f the prophecies in the sacred books (T&V y e
[A7)v Upcov (3i(iXcov oux Tjyvoet T<X$ 7cpo<pr)Teia<; ax; av auTO£ T& COV Upevt; xal Upicov
syyovo<;). (Thackeray)

I n d e e d , the possibility o f a d r a m a t i c d e v e l o p m e n t in J o s e p h u s ' s thinking


o n the priestly p r e r o g a t i v e in scriptural exegesis is e x c l u d e d b y a c o m ­
p a r i s o n o f this, his first w r i t i n g , with his last w o r k (Ag.Ap. 1:54):

I have rendered the sacred writings, being a priest by birth and trained in
the philosophy of their writings (ex T&V Upcov ypa[X[x<XTcov (xe8rjp[xrjveuxa
yeyovcot; lepeve; ix y£VOV£ xal (JLETEOXRJXAX; TTJ$ <pi\o<JO<p(a<; TTJ<; IV ixeivou; TOT<;
ypapfjiaai).

25
E.g., Ag.Ap. 1:29, 32, 36, 54.
T H E PHARISEES A N D ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 95

I n b o t h passages, the p o i n t b e i n g m a d e a n d the tepeu^/tepo^ w o r d - p l a y are


a l m o s t identical. W e m a y also recall that J o s e p h u s o p e n s War b y c l a i m ­
i n g historical dxpiPeia a n d c i t i n g his priestly credentials side b y side ( 1 : 2 -
3, 6 ) . Finally, in War 2:41 l f - 4 1 7 , h e c l a i m s that the leaders o f the
p e o p l e , the c h i e f priests, a n d the l e a d i n g Pharisees called o n " p r i e s t l y e x ­
perts o n the t r a d i t i o n s " (TOUS eu.7ceipous TCOV rcocTpicov tepet^) t o p r o v e that
26
the J e w s h a d a l w a y s a c c e p t e d sacrifices f r o m f o r e i g n e r s . T h u s , one can
hardly doubt that J o s e p h u s always associated the priesthood with
2 7
dxpifkioc in the interpretation o f the l a w s .
J o s e p h u s ' s p o s i t i o n a c c o r d s c o n s p i c u o u s l y well with w h a t L a u t e r b a c h
sees as the pre-Pharisaic, priestly v i e w o f the L a w . T h a t scholar r e m a r k s :

T h e position held by priest and laity alike, before that group of lay-
teachers, the Pharisees to be, started on their progressive march towards
advanced Pharisaism, was that the authority of the T o r a h was supreme and
binding upon the people, and that every one of its laws had to be carried
28
out strictly and scrupulously.

The m o t i v a t i o n b e h i n d this strict o b s e r v a n c e , L a u t e r b a c h a r g u e s , w a s


the " p r i m i t i v e " m e c h a n i s m o f the o a t h , as d e s c r i b e d in D e u t . 2 9 : 9 -
2 9
30:20 and Neh. 10:1, 2 9 - 3 0 . W e m a y n o t e that J o s e p h u s , a l t h o u g h h e
freely o m i t s material f r o m the B i b l e that m i g h t b e offensive t o his
30
readers, d o e s n o t hesitate to d e s c r i b e the oath that M o s e s m a d e the
p e o p l e swear, c o m p l e t e with the c o n s e q u e n c e s o f blessings a n d cursings
(Ant. 4 : 3 0 5 - 3 1 0 ) . J o s e p h u s a p p e a r s , therefore, to e m b r a c e a classic " p r e -
P h a r i s a i c " (therefore n o n - P h a r i s a i c ) v i e w o f the f u n c t i o n o f the L a w .
T o s u m m a r i z e : s c r u p u l o u s a d h e r e n c e t o o n e ' s traditional laws is, for
J o s e p h u s , a universal responsibility, b i n d i n g o n all n a t i o n s . T h e J e w s ,
h e m a i n t a i n s , take this task especially seriously. S i n c e the o r i g i n a l p r o ­
m u l g a t i o n o f their L a w b y M o s e s , they h a v e s w o r n to study it a n d t o
o b e y its p r e c e p t s w i t h d i l i g e n c e . A l t h o u g h dxptfktoc w i t h respect t o the
laws is the c o m m o n g o a l o f J e w i s h life, certain i n d i v i d u a l s a n d g r o u p s
are r e p u t e d to excel in this area ( e . g . , the Pharisees, Eleazar, a n d certain

2 6
As will become clear below, TOC 7cdxpta is a favourite Josephan term, and designates
the whole of Jewish law and custom.
2 7
The importance of Josephus's priesthood for his world-view has often been noted
by scholars; cf. Laqueur, Historiker, 34, 131; S. Rappaport, Agada und Exegese bei Flavius
Josephus (Vienna: A . Kohut Memorial Foundation, 1930), passim; B. Heller, "Grund-
zuge der Aggada des Flavius Josephus", MGWJ, 80 (1936), 237-246, esp. 238f.; Lind­
ner, Geschichtsauffassung, 75f., 146 n.2; and Rajak, Josephus, 18-20. It is seldom if ever
realized, however, that Josephus's priestly view of the Law effectively precludes a
Pharisaic outlook.
2 8
Lauterbach, HUCA, 94.
2 9
Ibid., 95.
3 0
Heller, "Grundziige", 241f.
96 CHAPTER FOUR

J e r u s a l e m i t e s ) . I n J o s e p h u s ' s o w n v i e w , h o w e v e r , it is the priests w h o


are the real adepts in a c c u r a t e scriptural exegesis. H e forthrightly a n d
repeatedly m a k e s his o w n c l a i m to axpi(kia o n the basis o f his priestly
descent and training.
E. N6[xoi, " c u s t o m s , c o n v e n t i o n s , l a w s " . It has b e e n e n o u g h so far
to speak o f " t h e L a w " o r " l a w s " as the o b j e c t o f Pharisaic e x a c t i t u d e
in J o s e p h u s ' s d e f i n i t i o n : ouvxayixd TI 'IooSauov Soxoov . . . TOU? v6[xou?
axpifiecruepov o ^ y e T a O a i . T h e m e a n i n g o f v6[xoi for J o s e p h u s , h o w e v e r , re­
quires s o m e w h a t closer attention.
Now it is clear that J o s e p h u s v i e w s the v6[xoi as the c e n t r e o f J e w i s h
life. H e c l a i m s that J e w s h o l d o b s e r v a n c e o f the v6[xoi t o b e d e a r e r than
31 32
life; that the e d u c a t i o n o f J e w i s h c h i l d r e n b e g i n s with the vofxoi; and
that a m o n g J e w s , accurate k n o w l e d g e o f the vopioi is the sole criterion o f
3 3
wisdom or piety. H e reports that the Pharisees a n d o t h e r g r o u p s w e r e
especially r e n o w n e d for ( o r p r e t e n d e d t o ) such e x p e r t k n o w l e d g e . S i n c e
the vofioi p l a y a central role in J o s e p h u s ' s t h o u g h t , it is crucial for us t o
specify as closely as p o s s i b l e w h a t h e m e a n s b y this t e r m .
We c a n d o this b y e x a m i n i n g J o s e p h u s ' s definitions a n d s u m m a r i e s
o f the v6[xoi, as well as c o n t e x t u a l indicators such as qualifiers and
s y n o n y m s for v6|io$.

The Nofioi o f the G e n t i l e s

M o r e than o n e fifth o f the 507 o c c u r r e n c e s o f v6|io$ in J o s e p h u s h a v e t o


34
d o with s o m e t h i n g o t h e r than J e w i s h v o f i o i . H e speaks, for e x a m p l e , o f
3 5 36 3 7
the VOJAOI o f w a r , of history, and o f Nature. E a c h o f the G e n t i l e na­
38
tions has its o w n V6(JIOI. T h e s e passages e v i n c e a c o n s i d e r a b l e fluidity
in J o s e p h u s ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f vou.o$. T h e y s h o w , first, that he d o e s n o t
reserve v6u.o$, as a technical t e r m , for s o m e t h i n g p e c u l i a r to J u d a i s m ; the
vofioi o f the J e w s are (at least f o r m a l l y ) c o m p a r a b l e to the vofxot o f the
n a t i o n s . C o n s i d e r J o s e p h u s ' s caustic j u d g e m e n t o f the anti-Semitic p r o ­
pagandist A p i o n :

3 1
E.g., Ant. 3:317; 18:274; Ag.Ap. 1:42, 190, 2:219.
3 2
Ant. 4:211; Ag.Ap. 1:60; 2:204.
3 3
Ant. 20:265.
3 4
By my count, about 376 of the 507 occurrences of v6[io<; (or the plural) denote the
Jewish Law.
3 5
War 2:90: 3:103, 363; 5:332; 6:346; Ant. 1:315; 6:69; 9:58; 14:304; 15:157.
3 6
War 1:11; 5:20.
3 7
War 3:370; 4:382; 5:367; Ant. 4:322; 17:95.
3 8
Ant. 4:139; 10:257; ll:191ff.; 14:153; 16:277; 19:168ff.; Ag.Ap. 1:167; 2:143, 225,
257ff.
T H E PHARISEES AND ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 97

It is the duty of wise m e n scrupulously to adhere to their native laws con­


cerning piety (TOIS oixetot? vofxot? 7cept xfy eua£(Jetav &xpi($a>s ifif/iveiv) and not
to abuse those of others. Apion was delinquent in respect of his own coun­
try's laws and told lies about ours. (Ag.Ap. 2:144)

I n d e e d , J o s e p h u s ' s entire a p o l o g e t i c p u r p o s e is to d e m o n s t r a t e that, o f


all o f the systems o f vofioi in the w o r l d , that o f the J e w s is the m o s t
perfect.
N o t i c e , s e c o n d , that the vofioi o f the G e n t i l e s are n o t m e r e l y legislated
d e c r e e s . T h e y c a n also b e c u s t o m s o r c o n v e n t i o n s . A l t h o u g h , for e x a m ­
p l e , the vopioi o f h i s t o r i o g r a p h y o r o f w a r m a y h a v e b e e n taught in the
Hellenistic w o r l d as b i n d i n g , they w e r e a p p r o v e d practices rather than
statutory l a w s . J o s e p h u s speaks o f the inattention to C a l i g u l a ' s c o r p s e
immediately after his assassination as something inconsistent with
R o m a n v6[xoi, b y w h i c h h e e v i d e n t l y m e a n s " c u s t o m " (Ant. 1 9 : 1 9 5 ) . O n
the o t h e r h a n d , h o w e v e r , h e c a n use the w o r d v6[xoi to indicate statutory
laws e n a c t e d b y g o v e r n i n g authorities such as the B a b y l o n i a n Darius
(Ant. 1 0 : 2 5 8 ) , the Spartan L y c u r g u s (Ag.Ap. 2 : 2 2 5 ) , H e r o d the Great
(Ant. 1 6 : 1 ) , a n d G a i u s C a l i g u l a (War 2 : 1 9 5 ) . O u t s i d e o f the J e w i s h c o n ­
text, then, J o s e p h u s e v o k e s the full r a n g e o f G r e e k c o n c e p t i o n s b e h i n d
the w o r d vojxos, f r o m c u s t o m o r c o n v e n t i o n to " l a w " in the m o s t p r o p e r
39
sense.
W e turn n o w to J o s e p h u s ' s use o f v6{A0£ in the c o n t e x t o f J u d a i s m .

T h e N6[xoi o f the J e w s

J o s e p h u s leaves n o d o u b t , in the first p l a c e , that he regards the VOJAOI o f


the J e w s as the laws r e c e i v e d a n d d e l i v e r e d b y M o s e s at Sinai. M o s e s
40
w a s the l a w g i v e r (vojxoOeTT)?); his laws p r o v i d e d the J e w s w i t h a c o n ­
41
stitution (7uoXiT£i<x). A l t h o u g h J o s e p h u s is always willing to r e c o g n i z e
4 2
the d i v i n e inspiration o f the l a w s , he is m o r e often c o n c e r n e d to d e m ­
onstrate to his p a g a n readers the w i s d o m a n d f o r e t h o u g h t o f the l a w g i v e r
4 3
Moses. O n c e J o s e p h u s has i n t r o d u c e d the l a w s , he often calls t h e m oi
44
Moaoaeo? v6(xoi.

3 9
Cf. C . H . Dodd, Greeks, 25-41; and H . Kleinknecht and W . Gutbrod, "N6(xo<;",
TDNT, I V , 1023ff., 1044ff.
4 0
Ant. 1:118, 95, 240; Ag.Ap. 2:165, 173, 279.
4 1
Josephus sometimes pairs vofxoi xal 7UoXixeia, e.g., Ant. 3:332; 4:198; 310.
42
Ant. 3:93, 213, 322; 5:107; 7:338; Ag.Ap. 2:184.
4 3
Ant. 1:18-26; 3:317ff.; Ag.Ap. 2:157-163.
44
Ant. 4:243, 302, 331; 7:338; 8:191, 395; 9:187; 10:59, 63, 72; 11:17, 76, 108, 121,
154: 13:74, 79, 297; 17:159; 18:81; 20:44, 115; Life 134.
98 CHAPTER FOUR

S o far, then, it s e e m s clear e n o u g h that the phrase ot vopun refers to


the M o s a i c legislation e m b o d i e d in S c r i p t u r e . A n a l y z i n g the t w e n t y - t w o
" a p p r o v e d b o o k s " a m o n g the J e w s , J o s e p h u s e x p l a i n s that:

O f these, five are the books of M o s e s , which comprise the laws ( a TOU? vofxou?
7cepiexet) and the tradition [for the period] from the original m a n until his
[ M o s e s ' ] death. {Ag.Ap. l : 3 8 f . )

I n d e e d , J o s e p h u s frequently uses v6u.o?/v6[xot to m e a n the first a n d c e n ­


45
tral b o o k s o f the S c r i p t u r e s . It is in this sense that h e tells o f a R o m a n
s o l d i e r ' s taking TOV lepov vojxov a n d tearing it in p i e c e s (War 2 : 2 2 9 ) a n d
o f the C a e s a r e a n J e w s w h o , h a v i n g " s n a t c h e d u p " TOU? VOJXOU?, r e m o v e d
t h e m f r o m that city (War 2 : 2 9 1 ) . L i k e w i s e in J o s e p h u s ' s a c c o u n t o f the
Septuagint translation effort, 6 vofio? appears consistently as a d o c u m e n t
46
that c a n b e h a n d l e d a n d translated.
If s o m e o f the c o n t e x t u a l i n d i c a t o r s p o i n t to such a specific m e a n i n g ,
however, other c o n s i d e r a t i o n s indicate that J o s e p h u s is u n a b l e to
distinguish the o r i g i n a l M o s a i c vou.o? f r o m its later e l a b o r a t i o n s in
J u d a i s m . I n several p l a c e s , for e x a m p l e , h e s u m m a r i z e s the c o n t e n t o f
the J e w i s h vofxot for his p a g a n readers. T h e s e s u m m a r i e s , f o u n d in the
47
third a n d fourth b o o k s o f the Ant. a n d in the s e c o n d b o o k o f Ag.Ap. ,
c o n t a i n m a n y departures f r o m the letter o f the M o s a i c L a w as w e k n o w
48
it.
In Ant. 3 : 2 2 4 - 3 8 6 , w h i c h details the sacrificial s y s t e m , J o s e p h u s fre­
q u e n t l y qualifies o r elaborates the biblical p r e s c r i p t i o n s in s o m e w a y .
For the season c o i n c i d i n g w i t h the Sukkot festival, h e c l a i m s , M o s e s in­
structed the p e o p l e to set u p tents, indefinitely, as p r o t e c t i o n against in­
49
clement weather. H i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the y e a r o f j u b i l e e also differs
50
n o t a b l y f r o m the scriptural p r e s e n t a t i o n . Y e t h e closes this section with
the r e m a r k :

4 5
Cf. Ant. 1:12; Ptolemy II was not able to receive, for the L X X translation, rcaaocv
xrjv dcvafpoc9Tjv but only TOV V6[AOV; cf. Ag.Ap. 1:43; (ot vofxot) xat at fiexa TOUTCOV d v a y p a 9 a t .
4 6
Ant. 12:11, 20, 21, 39, 48, 49, 55, 56, 57, 87, 89, 90, 104, 106-111.
4 7
The summaries are given at Ant. 3:213, 224-286; 4:196-301; Ag.Ap. 2:150, 163,
190-219.
4 8
Cf. Thackeray's notes to these passages in the L C L edition; he draws heavily from
the commentary by M . Weill in T . Reinach's French edition of Josephus. Cf. also H .
W . Attridge, Interpretation, passim; and N. G. Cohen, 'Josephus and Scripture . . . " ,
JQR 54 (1963-64), 311-332.
4 9
Ant. 3:244. According to Lev. 23:42f., the practice of erecting tents was to com­
memorate the Hebrews' wilderness wanderings.
5 0
Ant. 3:282-285. Among other things, he has debts being resolved in that year and
views slavery as a punishment for transgressing some aspect of the Law; neither of these
is biblical.
T H E PHARISEES A N D ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 99

Such was the code o f laws (TTJV Staxafiv TCOV V6[X<OV) which Moses, while
keeping his army encamped beneath M o u n t Sinai, learnt from the mouth
of G o d (I^M-dtGrj 7cocpa TOU Oeou) and transmitted in writing to the Hebrews.
(Ant. 3:286)

J o s e p h u s e v i d e n t l y believes that his u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the l a w s , in w h i c h


the m o d e r n reader c a n find influences o f post-biblical tradition, cor­
r e s p o n d s exactly to the c o n t e n t o r intention o f the M o s a i c legislation.
L i k e w i s e , in Ant. 4 : 1 9 6 - 3 0 1 , J o s e p h u s insists: " A l l is here written as
he left it: n o t h i n g h a v e w e a d d e d for the sake o f e m b e l l i s h m e n t , n o t h i n g
w h i c h has n o t b e e n b e q u e a t h e d b y M o s e s " (Ant. 4 : 1 9 6 ) . Y e t h e has
51
M o s e s calling for a t w i c e - d a i l y p r a y e r a n d for a j u d i c i a l b o d y o f seven
5 2
m e n in e a c h c i t y , neither o f w h i c h is e n j o i n e d in S c r i p t u r e . F u r t h e r
e m b e l l i s h m e n t s are: the disqualification o f e v i d e n c e f r o m w o m e n a n d
5 3
slaves in court, the offering o f rewards for information about
54 55
murderers, the c u s t o m o f taking fourth-year p r o d u c e to J e r u s a l e m ,
56
the p u n i s h m e n t o f thirty-nine (rather than forty) l a s h e s , the p r a c t i c e o f
57 5 8
b u r n i n g alive an i m p u r e d a u g h t e r o f a p r i e s t , a n d so o n .
Finally, in the s u m m a r y o f the v6(xot f o u n d in Ag.Ap., J o s e p h u s again
elaborates the M o s a i c L a w in significant w a y s . A few e x a m p l e s are the
59
c l a i m s : that sexual intercourse is e n v i s a g e d for o n l y p r o c r e a t i o n ; that
6 0
a b o r t i o n is f o r b i d d e n , as the destruction o f a s o u l ; that all w h o pass a
61
funeral procession must j o i n it; that friendship requires absolute
62
frankness; a n d that those w h o faithfully o b s e r v e the laws will r e c e i v e
" a r e n e w e d existence (yeveaOoct rcaXiv) a n d in the r e v o l u t i o n ( o f the ages)
63
the gift o f a better life ((Jiov ajxetvco)".
In all o f these e l a b o r a t i o n s o f M o s a i c L a w , it is difficult to find a single
64
e x p l a n a t o r y l o g i c . Several items are attested in t a l m u d i c tradition;

5 1
Ant. 4:212.
5 2
Ant. 4:214.
5 3
Ant. 4:219.
5 4
Ant. 4:220.
5 5
Ant. 4:227.
5 6
Ant. 4:238; but Deut. 25:3.
57
Ant. 4:248.
5 8
Several other examples are given by Thackeray; cf. especially Ant. 4:212-214, on
the rules for war.
5 9
Ag.Ap. 2:199.
6 0
Ag.Ap. 2:202.
61
Ag.Ap. 2:205.
6 2
Ag.Ap. 2:207.
6 3
Ag.Ap. 2:218. For a discussion of Josephus's intriguing references to the afterlife
in Jewish belief, cf. chapter 6, below.
6 4
E.g., Ant. 3:237, 242, 250 (which reflects Pharisaic views about the date of Pente­
cost; but these already appear in the L X X translations and in Philo), 251; 4:205, 219,
227, 238 (Makkot 3:10ff.); 248 (b. Ket 45b), 252, 278 (b. BKamma 83b); Ag.Ap. 2:205.
100 CHAPTER FOUR

65
others d o n o t a p p e a r t h e r e a n d s o m e e v e n disagree with t a l m u d i c p r a c ­
66
tices. Several items are paralleled in J o s e p h u s ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f Essene
67 68
teachings a n d s o m e a c c o r d with A l e x a n d r i a n e x e g e s i s .
F o r o u r p u r p o s e , the crucial p o i n t is this: a l t h o u g h J o s e p h u s identifies
the vou-oi o f the J e w s with the M o s a i c L a w , he e v i d e n t l y sees that L a w
o n l y t h r o u g h the filter o f p o s t - b i b l i c a l tradition a n d current practices
familiar to h i m , w h i c h h e finds already implicit in the L a w . It seems
likely that, as a full participant in his o w n historical setting, J o s e p h u s
w a s u n a b l e to d r a w a clear d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n the letter o f the L a w a n d
its traditional a p p l i c a t i o n . It is the undifferentiated a m a l g a m o f statute
a n d c u s t o m that J o s e p h u s attributes to M o s e s w h e n h e says (Ag.Ap.
2:173):

O u r legislator, on the other hand, took great care to combine both systems
[sc. instruction by precept and by practical exercise]. . . . Starting from the
very beginning with the food of which we partake from infancy and the
private life of the h o m e , he left nothing, however insignificant, to the
discretion and caprice of the individual.

69
H e r e as e l s e w h e r e J o s e p h u s presents M o s e s as the a u t h o r o f a c o m p l e t e
a n d practical p r o g r a m m e for l i v i n g . T o b e sure, such passages are in­
t e n d e d to serve his idealizing a p o l o g e t i c . N e v e r t h e l e s s , in light o f his
s u m m a r i e s o f the J e w i s h c o d e , discussed a b o v e , w e m u s t c o n c l u d e that
J o s e p h u s really b e l i e v e d that his o w n k n o w l e d g e o f legal p r a c t i c e w a s
already implicit in the M o s a i c c o d e .
T h a t J o s e p h u s c a n n o t distinguish b e t w e e n the o r i g i n a l statutes a n d
their current a p p l i c a t i o n in his e x p e r i e n c e is c o r r o b o r a t e d further b y the
variety o f terms that he c a n use i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y , h e n c e m o r e o r less
s y n o n y m o u s l y , with vou.o$. A s the f o l l o w i n g selective list s h o w s , h e seems
to use 6 v6[ios, ot vofxot, TOC e6rj, ot eOtqxot, TOC vojxtfxa, TOC 7tocTptoc, a n d vari­
o u s c o m b i n a t i o n s o f these phrases as practical e q u i v a l e n t s .

6 5
Ant. 3:244 (purpose of tents at Sukkot), 262.
6 6
Ant. 3:242f. (sprinkling the blood of a kid; cf. Yoma 5:4, 5); Ant. 4:209 (high priest
as reader of laws; cf. Sotah 7:8); 4:212 (twice-daily prayer; tradition has it thrice daily);
4:263 (OUTS Guyaxepa is an embellishment of Scripture); 4:287 (tribunal of seven men). Cf.
B. Revel, "Some Anti-Traditional Laws of Josephus n. s. 14 (1923-24), 293-301.
Attridge (Interpretation, 179 n. 1) remarks, "Examination of the legal passages in Antiquities
is somewhat disappointing . . . [He then lists much of the pertinent secondary literature.]
These studies show no consistent relation between Josephus and later halachic tradition."
6 7
Ag.Ap. 2:199 (sex for procreation only; cf. War 2:161), 203 (the suffering of souls in
bodies; cf. War 2:154f.) and 207 (the frankness of friends; cf. War 2:141).
6 8
Ant. 4:207; Ag.Ap. 2:237 (not reviling gods of other countries; cf. Ex. 22:28 [27,
L X X ] and Philo, Life of Moses 2:26, 205; Special Laws 1:7, 53); Ant. 4:285 (rcapaxaTa9r)XTiv
. . . iepov . . . yjpf[[L<x ; cf Philo, Moses 2:341.)
6 9
Cf. Ant. 3:213.
THE PHARISEES A N D ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 101

(a) W e h a v e n o t e d J o s e p h u s ' s report that the Pharisees w e r e f a m o u s


for their e r u d i t i o n a n d accurate exegesis. But the o b j e c t o f the Pharisees'
exegesis is d e s c r i b e d variously as ot vouxn (War 1:110), TOC vou.tu.oc (War
2 : 1 6 2 ) , TOC 7rdcTpta vou.tu.oc (Life 1 9 1 ) , and TO rcdcTptov xat (ot) vofiot (Ant.
1 7 : 4 1 ) . P r e s u m a b l y , J o s e p h u s holds these terms to b e e q u i v a l e n t .
( b ) I n War l : 6 4 8 f f . , w e h a v e the f a m o u s story o f the t w o scholars w h o
incited their students to pull d o w n the g o l d e n eagle f r o m H e r o d s ' t e m ­
ple. T h e scholars are d e s c r i b e d as BOXOUVTS? dcxpt(iouv roc naxpicx a n d c o n s e ­
q u e n t l y as e n j o y i n g a great reputation a m o n g the p e o p l e . In the next
sentence, h o w e v e r , w e learn that these scholars attracted large c r o w d s to
their e^rpfouuivot? TOIX; vdfiove; ( 6 4 9 ) . Further, the scholars advise their
students to r e m o v e the eagle b e c a u s e it violates TOU? rcocTptou? vou.ou?
( 6 4 9 ) — a c o m b i n a t i o n o f the t w o phrases; they e n c o u r a g e their hearers
7 0
e v e n to die for TOU 7rocTptou vojxou ( 6 5 0 ) .
F r o m this e p i s o d e , w e see that J o s e p h u s c a n use 6 vofxo? ( 1 : 6 5 4 ) , ot
vou.ot ( 6 4 9 ) , 6 7rocTpto? v6[io? ( 6 5 0 , 6 5 3 ) , ot rcdcTptot vojxot ( 6 4 9 , 2 : 6 ) , a n d
s i m p l y TOC 7rocTptoc, substantively ( 1 : 6 4 8 ) , as equivalents.
(c) In War 2 : 1 6 9 f . , it is reported that Pilate's i n t r o d u c t i o n o f standards
with effigies o f C a e s a r into J e r u s a l e m offended the J e w s , w h o felt that
ot vojxot h a d b e e n v i o l a t e d ; in 1 7 1 , they b e s e e c h Pilate to r e m o v e the
standards a n d t h e r e b y to maintain TOC 7rocTptoc.
( d ) I n War 4 : 9 9 , J o h n o f G i s c h a l a requests that T i t u s give h i m the
S a b b a t h to rest, in d e f e r e n c e to TCO TouSoctcov vouxo. In d o i n g s o , says
J o h n ( 1 0 2 ) , T i t u s w o u l d spare the J e w s transgressing TCOV 7tocTptcov £6cov
and w o u l d b e therefore p r e s e r v i n g TOU? v6[iou?.
(e) In Life 198, J o s e p h u s describes the c h a r g e that w a s g i v e n to the
delegation sent to relieve h i m o f c o m m a n d in the Galilee: if the Galileans
r e m a i n e d loyal to h i m b e c a u s e o f his expertise in the laws (8toc TTJV^
efircetptocv TCOV vojxcov), then the J e r u s a l e m d e l e g a t i o n should r e s p o n d that
they themselves w e r e b y n o m e a n s i g n o r a n t o f the ancestral c u s t o m s
([17)8' OCUTOU? ayvoetv £07) TOC 7rdcTptoc).
(f) D a v i d c o u n s e l s his son S o l o m o n to k e e p G o d ' s TOC? IVTOXOC? xat TOU?
vofxou?, ou? OCUTO? 8ta Mcouaeo? xocTe7r£[i(|>ev r|[xTv (Ant. 7 : 3 8 4 ) b e c a u s e (yocp),
if he should transgress Tt TCOV vofitu.cov, he will lose d i v i n e f a v o u r . L i k e ­
wise in 9 : 2 , w e are told that J o s a p h a t (Jehoshaphat) StSocaxetv TOC vou.tu.oc
TOC Stoc Mcouaeo? . . . BoOevTOc. But in 8 : 3 9 5 , what J o s a p h a t teaches are TOU?
Mcouaeo? vofiou?.

7 0
Cf. also War 1:653 (6 7cdxpto? v6{zos), 654 (6 vofxo?), and 2:6 (oi Trdtptoi v6{xoi), which
all refer back to the same episode.
102 CHAPTER FOUR

( g ) S o l o m o n , a c c o r d i n g t o Ant. 8 : 1 9 0 , e n d e d his life a b a n d o n i n g TTJV


TCOV rcaxptcov £6ta[zcov 9uXaxrjv, o n a c c o u n t o f his n u m e r o u s marriages to
foreigners; b u t this failure is d e s c r i b e d in the next sentence as the trans­
gressing o f TOO? Mcouaeo? vofxou? ( 1 9 1 ) .
(h) N o t i c e in Ant. 9 : 9 5 that the v e r b u s e d t o d e s c r i b e J o r a m ' s
(=Jehoram's) a n d his p r e d e c e s s o r s ' offences against TOC rcdcTptoc eGrj
(ancestral c u s t o m s ) is Tcocpocvouico. I n 1 2 : 2 8 6 , w e h a v e the s a m e v e r b u s e d
with TOC 7tdcTptoc as object: Judah Maccabee did away with TOO?
7i;apavo|zrjaavToc? et? TOC 7caxpta.
(i) Mattathias the H a s m o n e a n a d m o n i s h e s his sons that it is better to
die U7tep TCOV rcaxptcov v6|xcov than to live i n g l o r i o u s l y (Ant. 1 2 : 2 6 7 ) . H e
then actualizes this p r i n c i p l e ( 2 7 1 ) with the c h a r g e : ' ' W h o e v e r is z e a l o u s
for the ancestral c u s t o m s (et xt? CnXcoTT}? l a w TCOVrcocTptcoviOcov [ M a r c u s
translates ' ' l a w s " ! ] ) , . . . let h i m c o m e with m e ! " T h e practical
e q u i v a l e n c e o f " l a w s " a n d " c u s t o m s " here is u n m i s t a k a b l e .
(j) Finally, s o m e things c o m m a n d e d in the L a w are said b y J o s e p h u s
to b e " t r a d i t i o n a l " , such as the p r o h i b i t i o n o f w o r k o n the S a b b a t h (Ant.
7 1
1 8 : 3 1 2 ; cf. E x . 3 0 : 1 3 ) a n d the half-shekel tax (Ant. 1 8 : 3 1 2 ; cf. E x .
3 0 : 1 3 ) . O n the o t h e r h a n d , the traditional practices o f r e p e n t a n c e in
sackcloth a n d o f prostrating o n e s e l f for p r a y e r he calls practices TCO
irocTpt'cp vou-cp (Ant. 1 1 : 2 3 1 ; Ant. 19:349).
D o z e n s o f o t h e r instances o f J o s e p h u s ' s substituting s y n o n y m s for 6
72
v6[io? c a n b e c i t e d . T h e s e , h o w e v e r , will suffice to s h o w that he d o e s
not regard vofxo? as an irreplaceable technical t e r m . H e c a n a n d d o e s
alternate freely b e t w e e n 6 v6[io?, ot vofiot, TOC e'Or), ot e6tau.oi, TOC vofxtfxa,
TOCrcocTptoc,a n d v a r i o u s c o m b i n a t i o n s o f these (usually rcdcTpto? u s e d at­
tributively with o n e o f the o t h e r substantives). O t h e r interchangeable
73 74 75
terms for ot vojxot are f\ (rcdcTpto?) euaePeta / Oprjaxeta / auvrjGeta / a n d
76
rcoXiTeia.
It w o u l d b e overstating the case to say that the a b o v e terms are iden­
tical for J o s e p h u s , that he is insensitive to a n y differences o f n u a n c e b e -

71
Indeed, in Ant. 12:276, Sabbath observance is called a vofitfiov.
7 2
oi vofioi + xaTcdxpta, cf. War 1:34, 108; 2:393; Ant. 18:266// 276, 281; 20:24// 226.
oivonoi + xd Tcdtxpioc e0r), cf. Ant. 5:101// 108; 11:338//339; 14:263//264; 15:328; 16:1//
3; 1 9 : 2 9 0 ; ^ . ^ . 1:317. otvofxoi + xd v o ^ a , cf. Ant. 3:282; 4:181; 8:96, 195, 208, 256,
280, 290, 297; 9:157,168, 222; 12:14, 276; 3:243, 297; 18:38, etc. xd Tcdxpta + xd 107),
cf. Ant. 15:281; 16:35; xd rcdxpia vofxtfxa + ot !7cixcoptoi iOiqxoi + xd 7cdxpta, cf. Ant.
9:95/96/99.
7 3
Ant. 13:243.
7 4
Ant. 8:229; 12:364, 384; 19:283.
7 5
Ant. 10:72; 13:4, 121.
7 6
Ant. 3:213; 4:45, 193, 194, 198, 292, 310; 5:132; 10:275; 11:140; Ag.Ap. 2:287.
T H E PHARISEES AND ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 103

7 7
tween t h e m . W h a t is clear, h o w e v e r , is that he often j u x t a p o s e s these
terms in w h a t a p p e a r s to b e an attempt to a v o i d repetitiveness. I n such
cases the j u x t a p o s e d terms m u s t b e tolerably e q u i v a l e n t for h i m . A n d
that e q u i v a l e n c e betrays the c o m p r e h e n s i v e n e s s o f ot vou.cn in his
thought.
I f w e h a v e c o r r e c t l y interpreted the (rcdcTptot) vofxot o f J o s e p h u s as the
a l l - e m b r a c i n g M o s a i c c o d e ( f r o m J o s e p h u s ' s p e r s p e c t i v e ) , w h i c h is really
an undifferentiated mass o f original l a w a n d s u b s e q u e n t tradition ( f r o m
o u r p e r s p e c t i v e ) , t h e n his u s a g e finds significant parallels in the politics
o f a n c i e n t G r e e c e . J. S c h r e i n e r , C . H i g n e t t , A . Fuks, a n d M . I. F i n l e y ,
a m o n g others, h a v e s h o w n that the A t h e n i a n s c o u l d usercdcTptotvofxoi o r
78
TCOCTpto?TCoXtxetaw i t h similar e l a s t i c i t y . T o r e p r o d u c e the e v i d e n c e here
w o u l d b e superfluous, b u t o n e o f F i n l e y ' s o b s e r v a t i o n s is particularly
g e r m a n e to o u r d i s c u s s i o n . T h e first k n o w n official d o c u m e n t p r o d u c e d
after the A t h e n i a n return to d e m o c r a c y w a s the D e c r e e o f T h e i s a m e n o s
7 9
(403 BC). T h i s d o c u m e n t called for a reinstatement o f the " l a w s o f
Solon and Draco", the seventh-century Athenian lawgivers. Finley
observes:

By the 'laws of Solon and Draco' the decree meant the law of Athens as
it stood in 4 0 3 , some of it indeed going back to the ancient lawgivers but
much of it either revised or wholly new legislation promulgated in the two
centuries since Solon. . . . After the year 4 0 3 / 2 no earlier law was valid
unless it had been incorporated into the code; yet advocates went on cheer­
fully citing in the courts what they called 'a law of Solon', even when it
80
was blatantly impossible for the enactment to have been very ancient.

The u n r e f i n e d historical c o n s c i o u s n e s s that has b e e n d i s c o v e r e d a m o n g


the A t h e n i a n s is exactly w h a t w e find in J o s e p h u s : he m a k e s n o clear
distinction b e t w e e n statute a n d p r e c e d e n t .
One o f the questions to b e b r o a c h e d b y this study is whether
J o s e p h u s ' s vojxo?-conception i m p l i e s a n y t h i n g a b o u t his party allegiance.
A l t h o u g h a p r o p e r a n s w e r m u s t await the e x a m i n a t i o n o f Ant. 13:297-
298 b e l o w , a p r e l i m i n a r y statement is d e m a n d e d b y the assertion o f
some commentators that J o s e p h u s ' s inclusion o f " c u s t o m " in his
presentation of " L a w " indicates a Pharisaic viewpoint. T h e tacit

7 7
E.g., at Ant. 14:258 (tBr\), War 2:417 (xd irdxpioc), and War 4:136 (rcdxpia eOrj), the
meanings seem more restricted.
7 8
J. Schreiner, Decorpore iuris Atheniensium, (1913), 49ff., cited in C . Hignett, A History
of the Athenian Constitution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), 18f.; A . Fuks, The Ancestral
Constitution (London: Chatto & Windus, 1953) 39f., who refers also to one Linforth, Solon
the Athenian (1919), appendix 4 (inaccessible to me); and M . I. Finley, The Use and Abuse
of History (London: Chatto & Windus, 1975), 35-40.
7 9
So Fuks, Constitution, 37. The decree is given by Andokides, l:83f.
8 0
Finley, Use and Abuse, 39.
104 CHAPTER FOUR

p r e m i s e here is J o s e p h u s ' s c l a i m (Ant. 1 3 : 2 9 7 ) that the Pharisees w e r e


distinguished b y their r e c o g n i t i o n o f a b o d y o f n o r m a t i v e tradition, in
a d d i t i o n to the pentateuchal l a w . W . G u t b r o d ' s TDNT article o n vojxo^,
for e x a m p l e , o b s e r v e s : " C u s t o m s are part o f the L a w . . . . T h i s s h o w s
8 1
his [ J o s e p h u s ' s ] orientation to Pharisaism."
Such an inference is e x c l u d e d , h o w e v e r , b y the facts that have
e m e r g e d so far. First, several o f J o s e p h u s ' s e m b e l l i s h m e n t s either are
unattested in r a b b i n i c halakhah o r actually c o n t r a d i c t the tradition. H.
W . A t t r i d g e , after r e v i e w i n g scholarly analyses o f J o s e p h u s ' s vopioi, c o n ­
c l u d e s , " T h e s e studies s h o w n o consistent relation b e t w e e n J o s e p h u s
8 2
a n d later h a l a c h i c t r a d i t i o n . " W i t h o u t p r o n o u n c i n g o n the larger
p r o b l e m o f the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e b e t w e e n Pharisaic tradition a n d r a b b i n i c
halakhah, w e c a n say that there is n o p o s i t i v e basis in the c o n t e n t o f
J o s e p h u s ' s vopioi for c o n s i d e r i n g h i m a Pharisee.
S e c o n d , it is a well-attested p h e n o m e n o n that g r o u p s w h o r e c o g n i z e
authoritative texts tend to b e l i e v e that their o w n d e v e l o p e d ideas are
already implicit ( o r e x p l i c i t ) in those texts. W h a t w a s true in A t h e n s w a s
true in J u d a i s m : w e n o w h a v e the T e m p l e Scroll as p r o o f that at least
one n o n - P h a r i s a i c g r o u p earnestly b e l i e v e d its o w n teachings to h a v e
8 3
c o m e from M o s e s . It s h o u l d o c c a s i o n n o surprise if e v e r y J e w , n o mat­
ter what his p a r t y allegiance, identified his a c c u s t o m e d interpretation o f
84
the M o s a i c c o d e with the c o d e itself.
M o s t i m p o r t a n t , finally, J o s e p h u s disallows a n y f o r m a l distinction b e ­
t w e e n the written c o d e o f M o s e s a n d the c u s t o m s o r traditions o f the
J e w s . It n e e d s to b e e m p h a s i z e d that the M o s a i c 7toXiTeia in w h i c h
J o s e p h u s exults is a written c o d e . M o s e s w r o t e (ypd^co) his constitution
8 5
in b o o k s a n d J o s e p h u s n o w e n d e a v o u r s to translate the a c c o u n t as he
86
finds it ev z<xiq iepocT$ pifJXoi^ dvayeypa(X(x£va. It is the written c o d e o f
M o s e s that " t h e H e b r e w n a t i o n " c o n t i n u e s to o b s e r v e in J o s e p h u s ' s

81
H . Kleinknecht and W . Gutbrod, "vofjux;", TDNT, I V , 1051. Cf. already H . Paret
("Pharisaismus", 825f.) for this claim.
8 2
Attridge, Interpretation, 179 n.l.
8 3
Cf. for example, B. Z . Wacholder, The Dawn of Qumran (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union
College Press, 1983), xii.
8 4
Analogous phenomena in the religious sphere would seem to include the Protestant
oversight by which the Reformation slogan sola scriptura sanctions even those doctrines
that were formulated in the fourth and fifth centuries, and after bitter controversy. Like­
wise J. Ross (The Jewish Conception of Immortality and the Life Hereafter. An Anthology [Belfast:
Belfast News-Letter, 1948], 1-3) infers the doctrines of resurrection and immortality
from the Pentateuch. Finley (Use and Abuse, 40-44) cites parallels to this sort of "ellipsis"
from modern political argumentation.
85
Cf. Ant. 1:20; 3:213; 4:193f, 302; Ag.Ap. 1:39; 2:45.
8 6
Cf. Ant. 1:26; 2:34; 4:196ff.; 9:208, 214.
T H E PHARISEES A N D ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 105

8 7
own day. T h e p o i n t is m a d e with special force in Ag.Ap. 2:155-156.
A r g u i n g the superiority o f the M o s a i c c o d e to the laws o f the G r e e k s ,
J o s e p h u s p o i n t s o u t there that the G r e e k laws w e r e , for a l o n g t i m e ,
m e r e l y u n w r i t t e n c u s t o m s (e'Orj a y p o ^ a ) , subject to c h a n g e . H e explicitly
contrasts the J e w i s h laws (6 8' Tjjxeiepos vo[xo6ex7i<;) o n the g r o u n d that
M o s e s d e l i v e r e d a single, c o m p r e h e n s i v e (OXTJV TOU (3iou) c o d e , w h i c h has
88
n e v e r b e e n altered since the d a y o f its i n a u g u r a t i o n . It is this written
rcoXixeia that tells J e w s h o w they s h o u l d act in all c i r c u m s t a n c e s (Ant.
3 : 9 2 f . ) a n d that leaves n o t h i n g , n o t e v e n the slightest detail (oo8e xcov
8 9
(Jpaxuxaxcov), to i n d i v i d u a l discretion (Ag.Ap. 2:173). Not only does
J o s e p h u s fail t o m e n t i o n a n y distinction b e t w e e n written l a w a n d c u s t o m
(or b e t w e e n written a n d oral l a w ) ; his positive portrayal of Moses'
rcoXixeia e x c l u d e s this distinction.
T h e r e is n o t h i n g , then, in J o s e p h u s ' s h u n d r e d s o f references to the
VOJAOI to indicate that he w a s a Pharisee.

S u m m a r y o f oi N6u.oi in J o s e p h u s

To s u m m a r i z e thus far: for J o s e p h u s , vojxos is a g e n e r i c o r universal


c a t e g o r y ; e v e r y nation has its o w n v6(xoi. M o r e o v e r , in discussing b o t h
J e w i s h a n d G e n t i l e l a w s , J o s e p h u s c a n use s y n o n y m s for oi vojxoi, such
90
as oi rcdcxpioi vojxoi, xoc rcaxpioc, a n d e'Grj. T h i s c i r c u m s t a n c e w a r n s against
a n y attempt to read vopux; I n J o s e p h u s as a technical t e r m for s o m e e x ­
clusively J e w i s h c o n c e p t .
O u r findings reflect J o s e p h u s ' s starting p o i n t . A l l o f his w o r k s are ad­
dressed to p a g a n a u d i e n c e s . W h e n he speaks o f vojxoi, therefore, the t e r m
d o e s n o t in the first instance reflect a n y specifically J e w i s h c o n t e n t . A s
91
an a p o l o g i s t , J o s e p h u s argues f r o m general c o n c e p t i o n s that his readers
will u n d e r s t a n d to specific c o n c l u s i o n s a b o u t J u d a i s m . T h a t explains the
g e n e r i c use o f V6(JLOI. J o s e p h u s wants his readers to a c c e p t the p r e m i s e
that, n o m a t t e r w h i c h n a t i o n is c o n c e r n e d , a d h e r e n c e to o n e ' s TCaxpioi

8 7
Cf. Ant. 4:308; Ag.Ap. 1:42; 2:153, 156, 169.
8 8
Cf. Ant. 3:282; 8:395; 20:264; Life 9, 74; Ag.Ap. 1:165; 2:272.
8 9
It is worth noting that when Josephus uses compounds like v6{iot xat £0T), as he occa­
sionally does (War 2:160, 195; 5:237; Ant. 10:72 [ouv^Geia]; 12:203; 14:216; 15:254, 328;
16:43, 172; Ag.Ap. 2:164), the relationship between the two terms is either one of hen-
diadys (as also with at evxoXat xat oi v6{Aot, Ant. 7:338, 384) or it is epexegetical (as also
with ot vofxot xat rj rcoXiTeia [Ant. 1:10; 12:240]). The eGrj are seen as embodied in the writ­
ten code; they are not a distinct category.
9 0
Thus, TOC TCaxpta of Adiabene (Ant. 20:75, 81), of Commagene (Ant. 18:53), and of
the Greeks (Ant. 18:41); eGr] of the Greeks (Ag.Ap. 2:155); and v6(xt(xa of Egypt (Ant.
1:166) and of Parthia (Ant. 18:344)
9 1
Cf. Ant. 1:5-24; 14:186f.; 16:174; Ag.Ap. 1:1-2.
106 CHAPTER FOUR

92
vojxoi is s u p r e m e l y v i r t u o u s . O n c e that p r e m i s e is secure he c a n set o u t
to s h o w , in n u m e r o u s w a y s , that the J e w i s h vojxot are especially ad­
m i r a b l e a n d that the J e w s as a p e o p l e a d h e r e s c r u p u l o u s l y to t h e m e v e n
in the face o f death. T h i s a p o l o g y for the J e w i s h vofxoi, if o n l y fully e x ­
93 94
plicated in Ag.Ap., is u n m i s t a k a b l y present in Ant. a n d in War.
W h e n J o s e p h u s speaks o f the vofxoi o f the J e w s , therefore, the t e r m has
the s a m e c o m p r e h e n s i v e n e s s as w h e n it is u s e d o f o t h e r nations. T h e
TCoXiTeioc instituted b y M o s e s g o v e r n s e v e r y detail o f J e w i s h c o n d u c t a n d
requires n o t h i n g m o r e than simple ( a n d s c r u p u l o u s ) o b e d i e n c e . J o s e p h u s
presents as a seamless w h o l e w h a t w e s h o u l d distinguish as legislation
a n d c o n v e n t i o n , o r l a w a n d c u s t o m . H e a p p a r e n t l y k n o w s the M o s a i c
vofxoi o n l y t h r o u g h the filter o f tradition. M o s t significant: outside o f Ant.
13:297f., to b e c o n s i d e r e d later, J o s e p h u s n e v e r hints at a n y intramural
9 5
distinctions o n this p o i n t : the J e w i s h vofxoi are shared b y all J e w s .
F. T h e v e r b d ^ y e o f x a i o c c u r s 25 times in J o s e p h u s , the n o u n aqnfppqais
9 t i m e s . J o s e p h u s e m p l o y s the v e r b in t w o distinct senses, n a m e l y : ( i )
9 6
to c o n d u c t , l e a d , o r e x e c u t e a n d ( i i ) to narrate, r e p o r t , set forth, o r e x ­
97
plain. A l t h o u g h a m e a n i n g s o m e t h i n g like " a d m i n i s t e r the l a w s " is
c o n c e i v a b l e in this passage, parallel c o n s t r u c t i o n s ( w i t h respect to b o t h
98
the Pharisees a n d o t h e r s ) strongly suggest the e x p o s i t i o n a l sense: the
Pharisees are r e p u t e d to e x p o u n d the traditional laws m o r e accurately
than others d o .
G . Aoxeco is the v e r b o n w h i c h the w h o l e definition o f the Pharisees
in War 1:110 h i n g e s .
A s is well k n o w n , Soxeco bears t w o m a i n senses, d e p e n d i n g o n its sub­
9 9
ject. W i t h a p e r s o n a l subject, the v e r b usually has the m e a n i n g : " t o
think, s u p p o s e , i m a g i n e , p u r p o s e , o r r e s o l v e " . W i t h an i m p e r s o n a l s u b -

9 2
Cf. especially Ag.Ap. 2:226, 257, where Josephus cites Plato to this effect.
9 3
In Ant. Josephus consistently enthuses over Moses, the vofxoi, and Jewish zeal for
the vofxoi (1:6, 14: 7:338; 9:2; 14:65; 15:267, et passim).
9 4
Exaltation of the vofiot receives less space in War but is undeniably present through­
out. Cf. the descriptions of Alexandra and the Pharisees (1:108, 110); the story of the
golden eagle (1:648-653; 2:6f.)—an unabashed apology for the vojxot; the triumph of toc
TudcTptoc over Pilate (2:170ff.); Jewish zeal for the Law (2:228ff., 289ff.), to name only a
few episodes.
9 5
The sole exception, so far as I can tell, is in the references to the special, extra-
biblical vofxifxa of the Pharisees (Ant. 13:297, 408), which will be discussed below.
9 6
War 1:50, 52, 367; 2:168, 219, 443, 578: 3:56; Life 288.
97
War 1:3, 69; 2:417, 469, 580; 4:476; 7:54; Ant. 13:300; 16:404; 18:24, 307, 373;
30:105; Life 310; Ag.Ap. 1:131. It is striking that Josephus can use the same phrase—
o^pTjYTjats 7CpayjxdcTcov—in both senses, viz: "narrative of events" (War 5:20; Ant. 1:26) and
"conduct of affairs" (War 1:226); the latter is probably taken over from his source.
9 8
O f the Pharisees, War 2:162 (efrjYeiaGat); of a Jewish scoundrel in Rome, Ant. 18:81
(6?T)*feTa0oct).
9 9
Cf. LSJ and the Thackeray/Marcus Lexicon to Josephus.
t h e pharisees and a l e x a n d r a salome, i 107

j e c t it m e a n s : " t o s e e m , a p p e a r , o r s e e m g o o d " . In the o n e case the v e r b


indicates an a c t i o n of the m i n d , in the o t h e r an a c t i o n ' s i m p i n g i n g upon
the mind. Sometimes, however, the two senses become blurred,
especially w h e n a p e r s o n a l subject takes Soxeco as an auxiliary v e r b , fol­
l o w e d b y a m a i n v e r b (often etvat) attributing s o m e quality to the sub­
j e c t . I n that c a s e , Soxeto m a y h a v e the sense " t o b e r e g a r d e d (as) o r
r e p u t e d ( t o ) " . F o r simplicity, I h a v e so far r e n d e r e d Soxeto in War 1:110
in k e e p i n g with this last sense b e c a u s e that is h o w the passage is all b u t
universally r e n d e r e d b y c o m m e n t a t o r s : the Pharisees have the reputation of
being m o r e p i o u s than the others a n d o f e x p o u n d i n g the laws m o r e ac­
100
curately (Soxouv euaefieaxepov etvat. . . xat axptPeaxepov a^yetaGat).
A m o n g the few dissenters f r o m this r e a d i n g are G . F. M o o r e a n d R .
H . Pfeiffer, w h o r e n d e r the definition: " a b o d y o f J e w s who profess to b e
more religious than the rest/others, and to e x p l a i n the laws more
101
precisely/accurately". T h e s e translations take u p the first o p t i o n m e n ­
t i o n e d a b o v e : the Pharisees s u p p o s e o r i m a g i n e that they h a v e s u p e r i o r
axptfkta. N e i t h e r M o o r e n o r Pfeiffer is c o n c e r n e d to a r g u e the case for
such a translation, h o w e v e r , a n d so the e v i d e n c e pro a n d contra m u s t n o w
b e c o n s i d e r e d . G r a n t e d that b o t h interpretations are p o s s i b l e in G r e e k
a n d that b o t h fit the syntax o f this passage, the d e c i d i n g factors m u s t b e
J o s e p h a n usage a n d the i m m e d i a t e c o n t e x t .
A n initial difficulty is that J o s e p h u s uses Soxeto o f a p e r s o n a l subject
a n d with an infinitive m a i n v e r b in b o t h senses. O n the o n e h a n d , w e
are told that A r i s t o b u l u s saw fit to transform ((xexaOetvat Soijac;) the
g o v e r n m e n t into a k i n g d o m {Ant. 1 3 : 3 0 1 ) , that H e r o d t h o u g h t he h a d
(e'Soije e^etv) sufficient g r o u n d to a c c u s e his sons (Ant. 1 6 : 2 5 1 ) , a n d that
the b r i g a n d s d i d n o t think it i m p i o u s (ouSe Soxouvxes aaePetv) to slaughter
1 0 2
their e n e m i e s in the T e m p l e (Ant. 2 0 : 1 6 5 ) . O n the o t h e r h a n d , h o w ­
e v e r , J o s e p h u s speaks o f o n e w h o " i s r e g a r d e d as evil a n d u n t r u s t w o r ­
t h y " (7rovT)p6c; etvat Soxet xat amaxoc;, War 3 : 3 2 7 ) a n d o f h i m s e l f as a c h i l d ,
"gaining a r e p u t a t i o n for an excellent m e m o r y a n d understanding"
1 0 3
((xvrjfXT) xe xat auveaet Soxtov Staq>epetv, Life 8 ) " . T h e construction alone,
therefore, d o e s n o t d e m a n d either interpretation o f Soxeto.
E v e n if o n e n a r r o w s the field to the ten o c c u r r e n c e s o f Soxeco with a
p e r s o n a l subject a n d an dxptfJeta f o r m , in search o f a f o r m u l a i c pattern,

1 0 0
So the major translations: Whiston, "seem/appear"; Thackeray, "with the
reputation o f ; Cornfeld, "were considered"; Reinach, "passe pour etre"; Michel-
Bauernfeind (and Schlatter, Theologie, 205), "im Ruf stehen"; cf. Rivkin (Revolution,
54f.), "are deemed".
1 0 1
Moore, Judaism, I, 64, 66; Pfeiffer, New Testament Times, 54.
1 0 2
Cf. also War 1:497; 3:144, 319; 5:437; 6:320; Ant. 15:101, 16:123, 211, 244, 386.
1 0 3
Cf. also War 2:119; 4:207; Ant. 16:319; Ag.Ap. 1:232.
108 CHAPTER FOUR

the a m b i g u i t y r e m a i n s . O n o n e side, J o s e p h u s r e m a r k s that the Spartans


"saw fit strictly to observe their laws (dcxpi($<o<; e'8o£av TOU<; vofxouc;
B i a ^ X d r c e t v ) " o n l y so l o n g as they retained their i n d e p e n d e n c e (Ag.Ap.
2 : 2 2 7 ) . A n d this use o f Soxeco as an a c t i o n o f the m i n d has i n t r i g u i n g
parallels in the use o f 7rpoa7roio5[xat in Ant. 17 :41 a n d 1 8 : 8 1 . L i d d e l l a n d
Scott cite several cases in w h i c h the subjective sense o f Boxeco a p p r o x ­
1 0 4
imates the m e a n i n g " t o p r e t e n d o r s e e m . . . " ; the eighth e d i t i o n o f
that w o r k e v e n suggests 7rpoo7i:oiou(xai a n d the L a t i n simulo as s y n o n y m s
for Soxeto in this sense. But in Ant. 17:41 J o s e p h u s describes the
Pharisees as:

(xopiov TI, 'IooScuxtov &v6pto7Utov £ V eijaxpiPooaei uiya 9povouv TOO 7uotTptou xal
a £t T
vofxtov ot£ x ^ P ° Oetov npoanoiovyLevov.

In Ant. 18:81f., in m u c h the s a m e v e i n , he describes a certain J e w in


R o m e , w h o w a s evil in e v e r y w a y (7tovr)pd<; tiq TOC rcavTa), with these
w o r d s : 7rpoae7rotetTO u.ev e^riyetaOat aoq>iav vojxtov Ttov Mtouaeo£. B o t h o f
these passages h a v e o b v i o u s similarities to War 1:110; the Pharisees, the
vofxot, and "exegesis" are c o m m o n terms. This similarity, taken
together with Ag.Ap. 2 : 2 2 7 , supports the subjective, volitional r e a d i n g o f
Soxeto in War 1:110: the Pharisees profess ( o r , p r e t e n d ) to interpret the
laws with a c c u r a c y .
O n the o t h e r side o f the l e d g e r , h o w e v e r , are the o t h e r six o c c u r r e n c e s
1 0 5
o f Soxeto with a personal subject a n d an axptfkta f o r m . F o u r o f the six
include not only Soxeto a n d axptjkta but also a reference to the
v6[xot/v6(Atfxa/7i:dTpia. T h e y are as follows:
106
War 1 : 6 4 8 speaks o f t w o coyiGTOLi in J e r u s a l e m " w i t h a r e p u t a t i o n
for their s u p e r i o r p r e c i s i o n with the national laws ((xaXtaxa Soxouvrec;
dxpfiovv TOC TCOCTpta) w h o consequently enjoyed the highest esteem
(fxeyiaTTjs S6^rj<;) o f the w h o l e n a t i o n . T h e m e a n i n g o f Soxeto here is fixed
b y the o c c u r r e n c e o f 86£a in the f o l l o w i n g clause: their reputation is the
point under discussion.
Ant. 1 9 : 3 3 2 : W h i l e discussing the virtues o f K i n g A g r i p p a , J o s e p h u s
m e n t i o n s a certain S i m o n f r o m J e r u s a l e m w h o , e£axptPd£etv Soxtov TOC
vofxtfia, c l a i m e d that the K i n g was u n c l e a n . A l t h o u g h b o t h senses o f
Soxeto w o u l d fit h e r e , the fact that this m a n gained a considerable

1 0 4
Cf. Herodotus 1:110; Aristotle, Politics 5.11.19, and Euripides, Hippolytus 462, for
this usage.
That is, not counting the three that concern the Pharisees OT Ag.Ap. 2:227 (already
105

considered).
1 0 6
The parallel (Ant. 17:149) lacks Soxeco: the teachers were, Josephus says there,
£?7)*f7)Tat TWV 7tocTpt<ov v6[xo)v, indicating his agreement with their reputation.
THE PHARISEES AND ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 109

1 0 7
a u d i e n c e for his c h a r g e s p r o b a b l y suggests that his reputation is in­
tended.
Ant. 2 0 : 4 3 tells o f o n e Eleazar f r o m G a l i l e e , rapt TOCracTpiocBoxeov
108
axpt(3r)s etvat. In contrast t o the o p i n i o n o f an earlier authority, Eleazar
a d v i s e d the proselyte K i n g Izates t o b e c i r c u m c i s e d in a c c o r d a n c e with
the L a w . T h e m e a n i n g o f Boxeoo here c o u l d g o either w a y .
Ant. 2 0 : 2 0 1 : R e c o u n t i n g the savage stoning o f J e s u s ' b r o t h e r J a m e s ,
J o s e p h u s allows that oaot Be iSoxovv imeixecnaroi . . . eivoct xat rapt TOU<;

vofxouc axpfietc; w e r e o f f e n d e d . S i n c e the p e o p l e i n v o l v e d are s h o w n b y


109
the sequel to b e religious leaders in J e r u s a l e m , Boxeco evidently in­
dicates their reputation m o r e than their intention.
T h e t w o passages that c o m b i n e Boxeoo a n d axptfieta b u t d o n o t refer to
the vojxot are nonetheless helpful for c o m p a r i s o n . In o n e , J o s e p h u s is
p o i n t i n g o u t the frequent c o n t r a d i c t i o n s a m o n g G r e e k historians a n d he
remarks that e v e n T h u c y d i d e s , xatTOt Soxcov axpifiicnaTa TTJV x a x ' auTOv
tcrcoptav auyypa^etv, has b e e n a c c u s e d o f e r r o r (Ag.Ap. 1:18). I n the other
passage, c o n t i n u i n g the s a m e t h e m e , he charges that e v e n those r e p u t e d
to b e the m o s t exact historians (ot Boxouvxes axptPeoraTOt auyypa^et?) h a v e
m a d e e g r e g i o u s g e o g r a p h i c a l errors (Ag.Ap. 1:67). Since the w h o l e p o i n t
o f J o s e p h u s ' s discussion is to challenge the w i d e l y held belief that G r e e k
historians are the m o s t accurate, Boxeco in these passages m u s t refer to
110
their reputation.
If there is a n y t h i n g like a f o r m u l a i c m e a n i n g o f Boxeoo with axpt(3eta,
it w o u l d a p p e a r to b e " r e p u t e d to . . . with a c c u r a c y " ; Ag.Ap. 2:227,
h o w e v e r , destroys this c o n s i s t e n c y . T h e r e m a y b e s o m e t h i n g like a for­
mula, however, in those passages that include reference to the
v6fxot/v6fxt(Aa/racTpta. T h e m e a n i n g o f Boxeco in those cases u n i f o r m l y has
to d o with "reputation".
D e c i s i v e for the sense o f Soxeto in War 1:110 must b e its i m m e d i a t e
c o n t e x t . W i t h i n the p r e c e d i n g narrative w e h a v e already n o t e d t w o
significant o c c u r r e n c e s o f Boxeco o r 86£a. A l e x a n d e r J a n n e u s c a m e to the
t h r o n e with a ( m i s t a k e n ) reputation for m o d e r a t i o n ((xeTptOTTjTt rcpouxetv
Boxouvxa, War 1:85). H i s wife A l e x a n d r a c o m e to p o w e r easily b e c a u s e

1 0 7
He assembled the people (7cXfj0o<; ei£ exxXTjatoev aXiaoes), we are told, in order to
make his assertions.
1 0 8
The fact that one M S ( M ) reads suasprjs here is interesting in light of our earlier
discussion of the relationship between the two concepts.
1 0 9
They are familiar with the Roman legal principles behind the high-priestly ad­
ministration, they correspond with royalty, they even send a delegation to the new pro­
curator (20:201-203).
1 1 0
An interesting parallel is found in Polybius (12.26d.3), who asserts that Timaeus,
when he makes everyone think (SoxeTv) that he has tested the dxpiPeta of everything, is
making a pretense.
110 CHAPTER FOUR

o f a ( w e l l - f o u n d e d ) reputation for piety (Stoc 86£av eoaejktas, 1:108).


T h e s e clear references in the i m m e d i a t e c o n t e x t to the reputations o f
leaders create a strong p r e d i s p o s i t i o n to interpret the Soxeto o f War 1:110
in the s a m e w a y . It w a s the Pharisees' reputation for piety that w o n
t h e m the s u p p o r t o f A l e x a n d r a S a l o m e . M o r e o v e r , to anticipate c o m i n g
analyses, J o s e p h u s repeatedly alludes to the p r o m i n e n t role o f the
Pharisees in p u b l i c life (War 2 : 1 6 2 ; Ant. 1 3 : 2 8 8 , 2 9 8 , 4 0 1 ; 1 8 : 1 5 ) a n d
this p o p u l a r i t y w o u l d a c c o r d well with a reputation for s u p e r i o r a c c u r a c y
in the interpretation o f the l a w s .
It appears, then, that the usual r e a d i n g o f Soxeto in War 1:110 as a
reference to the Pharisees' reputation is justified. T h e r e a d i n g o f M o o r e
a n d Pfeiffer, tantalizing as it is with the s u p p o r t o f 7upo<jrcoiouu.ai in Ant.
1 7 : 4 1 , has s o m e w h a t less plausibility in the c o n t e x t . It m a y b e that
J o s e p h u s i n t e n d e d a d o u b l e m e a n i n g : the Pharisees professed to b e , a n d
w e r e i n d e e d b e l i e v e d to b e , precise interpreters o f the l a w s .

I I I . Interpretation of War 1:110-114

W i t h the analysis o f the k e y terms n o w c o m p l e t e , w e are in a p o s i t i o n


to offer an interpretation o f J o s e p h u s ' s first definition o f the Pharisees.
I n r e c o u n t i n g the history o f the H a s m o n e a n d y n a s t y , J o s e p h u s has
c l a i m e d that its d a y s o f g l o r y e n d e d with J o h n H y r c a n u s , w h o s e eldest
son A r i s t o b u l u s p r e s i d e d o v e r a y e a r - l o n g x a T a o r p o ^ ( 1 : 6 9 ) . A l e x a n d e r
J a n n e u s c a m e to p o w e r with a reputation for m o d e r a t i o n ( 1 : 8 5 ) b u t he
turned o u t to b e an i m p i o u s tyrant. H i s wife A l e x a n d r a , o n the c o n t r a r y ,
t o o k the t h r o n e with a w e l l - d e s e r v e d (Srj, § 1 0 8 ) reputation for piety. B y
the e n d o f War 1:109, the situation o n c e again l o o k s p r o m i s i n g for the
Hasmonean house.
Enter the Pharisees. I f A l e x a n d r a ' s reputation for euaepeta w a s b a s e d
o n the fact that she rjxpt(3ou (xaXtora TOCrcocTpta,the Pharisees w e r e a cer­
tain g r o u p o f J e w s Soxouv euaePetruepov elvoci Ttov aXXtov xal TOU$ VOJAOUS

axptPearepov a ^ y e i a O a t ( § 1 1 0 ) . T h i s w a s a g r o u p , therefore, that a p ­


p e a r e d to share the religious o u t l o o k a n d goals o f the Q u e e n . T h e q u e s ­
tion n o w is: D i d the Pharisees' reputation turn o u t to b e well f o u n d e d ,
like that o f A l e x a n d r a , o r baseless, like that o f h e r late h u s b a n d ?
Elsewhere, when Josephus speaks o f s o m e o n e ' s reputation for
axptfieia, he always g o e s o n , in the i m m e d i a t e c o n t e x t , either to substan­
tiate it (as with the t w o a o f i o r a i , Eleazar o f G a l i l e e , a n d the religious
leaders o f J e r u s a l e m ) o r to d e b u n k it (as with the G r e e k historians a n d
S i m o n o f J e r u s a l e m ) . T h e c o n c e p t o f axpifkia, b o t h in historical writing
a n d in r e l i g i o n , is central to J o s e p h u s ' s v i s i o n o f things. W i t h his belief
that the priests h o l d s o m e t h i n g o f a m o n o p o l y o n these virtues, h e c o n -
THE PHARISEES AND ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 111

siders h i m s e l f a u t h o r i z e d to p o i n t o u t w h i c h o t h e r g r o u p s a m o n g his c o ­
religionists c o m e close to the J e w i s h ideals a n d w h i c h are m e r e p r e t e n d e r s .
I n the case o f the Pharisees, the r e a d e r is n o t left in d o u b t for v e r y l o n g .
J o s e p h u s ' s j u d g e m e n t is that the alliance b e t w e e n A l e x a n d r a a n d the
Pharisees w a s singularly u n f o r t u n a t e . S h e w a s a sincere w o m a n b u t they
w e r e w o l v e s in s h e e p ' s c l o t h i n g : b e i n g herself g e n u i n e l y p i o u s (aeaoPrjuivrj
rcept TO Oetov), A l e x a n d r a p a i d far t o o m u c h h e e d to the Pharisees (TOUTOI$

rceptaadv orj TI rcpoaetxev, § 1 1 1 ) . O n their part, the Pharisees i n c r e a s i n g l y


e x p l o i t e d (umevat) this i n g e n u o u s w o m a n (aTtXoTTjs); they e n c r o a c h e d
u p o n her authority (cf. iwcpa9uou.at, § 110) to the p o i n t that they b e c a m e
the de facto m a n a g e r s o f p u b l i c life (SIOIXTJTOCI TCOV oXcov eytvovro) e v e n e x ­
p l o i t i n g the j u d i c i a l system t o p u n i s h their e n e m i e s ! A l t h o u g h A l e x a n d r a
h e l d h e r o w n in f o r e i g n p o l i c y ( § § 1 1 2 , 1 1 5 f . ) , o n d o m e s t i c issues she d e ­
ferred entirely to the Pharisees, to the p o i n t that they c o n t r o l l e d (expaTet)
h e r ( § 1 1 2 ) . I n their c a p r i c e , they killed o n e o f the distinguished citizens
(TCOV emayjuxov) a n d then others ( § 1 1 3 ) , o n the c h a r g e that these h a d en­
c o u r a g e d J a n n e u s in his atrocities. I n all o f this, claims J o s e p h u s , A l e x a n ­
dra's superstition (8etcn8atfxovta) r e n d e r e d her a helpless p a w n ; her
" p i o u s " c o - r e g e n t s p r o c e e d e d to kill w h o m e v e r they w i s h e d o n false
charges.
I f w e h a v e c o r r e c d y u n d e r s t o o d J o s e p h u s as contrasting the real (8rj)
scrupulosity o f Q u e e n A l e x a n d r a w i t h the Pharisees' g r o u n d l e s s reputa­
t i o n (Soxouatv) for axpt(3eta, then h e is h e r e e v o k i n g a standard t h e m e o f
Hellenistic m o r a l p h i l o s o p h y , n a m e l y , the contrast b e t w e e n " s e e m i n g "
(8oxetv) a n d " b e i n g " (elvat). A m o n g the diatribes o f the C y n i c T e l e s ( c .
242 B C ) , for e x a m p l e , is a p i e c e entitled " O n S e e m i n g a n d B e i n g " (Ilept
111
TOU Soxetv xat TOU e t v a t ) . B y n o t i n g the unpleasant c o n s e q u e n c e s that
m i g h t result f r o m m e r e l y s e e m i n g t o h a v e s o m e ability ( w h e t h e r m u s i c a l ,
a c t i n g , o r m i l i t a r y ) , T e l e s tries to p e r s u a d e his i n t e r l o c u t o r that o n e m u s t
seek really to b e j u s t (Sixatos), n o t m e r e l y to s e e m s o , as the politicians
(prJTopes) d o ! H a v i n g a reputation for Stxatoouvri, argues T e l e s , is w o r t h
n o t h i n g unless that reputation is d e s e r v e d . J o s e p h u s s e e m s to b e m a k i n g
the s a m e p o i n t a b o u t the Pharisees, o n l y n o w the issue is euae(Jeta a n d
axptfkta.
Several o t h e r writers o f the p e r i o d i n v o k e the contrast b e t w e e n " s e e m ­
i n g " a n d " b e i n g " in such a w a y as to suggest that it w a s a c o m m o n p l a c e
o f p o p u l a r m o r a l i t y . Sextus ( 2 d . c e n t . A D ) , w h o c o m p i l e d a list o f ethical
1 1 2
Torcot in his d a y , offered the m a x i m :

1 1 1
Cf. E. O'Neil, Teles (the Cynic Teacher), "SBL Texts and Translations", 11;
"Graeco-Roman Religion Series", 3 (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1977), 2-5.
1 1 2
These sententiae have close parallels in neoplatonic, neopythagorean, and Christian
texts, which means that they were ethical commonplaces. Cf. H . Chadwick, The Sentences
112 CHAPTER FOUR

daxet (XT) TO Soxetv dXXd TO etvat Stxato?


TO Soxetv yap exaarov TOU etvat d^patpetrat (§ 64).

In his Dialogues of the Dead, L u c i a n o f S a m o s a t a ( 2 d . c e n t . A D ) t u r n e d


the Soxetv/etvat contrast against the pretentiousness o f A l e x a n d e r the
Great. L u c i a n has Philip o f M a c e d o n chastising his s o n for h a v i n g
passed h i m s e l f o f f as d i v i n e . Philip m u s e s :

For you were supposed to be a god (Oeos ydp etvat Soxtov) and any time you
were wounded and seen being carried out o f the fighting on a litter, stream­
ing with blood and groaning from a wound, the onlookers were amused to
eT0
see how A m m o n was shown up as an impostor (yor\<;. . . T|X£yx )- • • •
For now that you are dead, don't you think that there are many who wax
witty about that pretence (7cpoa7tot7)ats) o f yours?

N o t i c e here the c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n Soxeto a n d 7rpoa7cot7i<Jt£, w h i c h w e


h a v e already n o t e d in the case o f J o s e p h u s ' s Pharisees, a n d w h i c h c o n ­
firms o u r s u s p i c i o n that Soxeto c a n m e a n both " s u p p o s e / p r e t e n d " ( s u b ­
j e c t i v e ) and " s e e m " ( o b j e c t i v e ) in the s a m e c o n t e x t .
T h e Christian Paul w a s d o u b t l e s s d r a w i n g u p o n the s a m e stock t h e m e
w h e n he called the J e r u s a l e m apostles ot SoxoCVres a n d w r o t e :

From those who were reputed to be something—whatever they were makes


no difference to me; G o d does not consider a person's image—the famous
men contributed nothing to me . . . . ('Arco 8e zcov Soxovvrcov eivaizi,—07roTot
7C0Te rjaav ouSev fxot Stacpepet 7up6<jco7rov Geo? dv0pto7cou ou XajxPavei—ejxot yap
ot SoxoGVces ouSev 7cpoaave0evTO.)

T h e s e e x a m p l e s illustrate the w i d e c u r r e n c y o f the Soxetv/ etvat contrast


in Hellenistic t h o u g h t . It is this contrast that J o s e p h u s e m p l o y s against
the historical dxptjieta o f the G r e e k s a n d the religious dxpt(3eta o f the
Pharisees.
A l t h o u g h , , then, the Pharisees d o n o t p l a y a m a j o r role in War as a
w h o l e , their function in the history o f the H a s m o n e a n h o u s e is signifi­
cant. The d o w n w a r d spiral that b e g a n after J o h n Hyrcanus, with
A r i s t o b u l u s a n d A l e x a n d e r J a n n e u s , w a s to reach its n a d i r in the in­
1 1 3
ternecine strife between Alexandra's sons. Alexandra's own rule,
t h o u g h a potential t u r n i n g p o i n t b e c a u s e o f her g e n u i n e piety, w a s
fatally d a m a g e d b y her association with the Pharisees. T h i s g r o u p , says

of Sextus: a contribution to the history of early Christian ethics (Cambridge: University Press,
1959), 139f., 144-146.
1 1 3
Josephus reveals the importance of this moment in Jewish history at War 5:396:
Whence did our servitude arise? Was it not from party strife among our forefathers,
when the madness (fxavia) of Aristobulus and Hyrcanus and their mutual dissension
brought Pompey against the city, and God subjected to the Romans those who were un­
worthy of liberty? (Thackeray)
THE PHARISEES AND ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 113

J o s e p h u s , a l t h o u g h they e n j o y e d a r e p u t a t i o n for piety a n d scrupulous


faithfulness to the l a w s , t u r n e d o u t to b e a m a n i p u l a t i v e band of
counterfeits. T h e i r outrages d r o v e m a n y l e a d i n g citizens to enlist the
p r o t e c t i o n o f A r i s t o b u l u s ( § 1 1 4 ) , w h o w a s thus e n a b l e d to seize p o w e r
b e f o r e his m o t h e r ' s death ( § 1 1 7 ) , t h e r e b y initiating the fateful struggle
w i t h his o l d e r b r o t h e r Hyrcanus.
J o s e p h u s ' s first definition o f the Pharisees is n o t a friendly o n e . I n a
society that exalted precise k n o w l e d g e o f the laws, they h a d a c q u i r e d a
r e p u t a t i o n for piety. T h e i r actions in the time o f A l e x a n d r a , h o w e v e r ,
g a v e the lie to their r e p u t a t i o n .

I V . The Source of War 1:110

G . H o l s c h e r , the greatest o f the J o s e p h a n s o u r c e critics, assigned War


1:1 lOf. to the p e n o f N i c o l a u s o f D a m a s c u s . H i s a r g u m e n t w a s : ( a ) that
1 1 4
for v a r i o u s r e a s o n s , the w h o l e o f War 1 : 3 1 - 2 : 1 1 6 a p p e a r s to c o m e f r o m
N i c o l a u s ; ( b ) that War 1:11 Of. in particular gives " h o c h s t unjudische
1 1 5
Urteile . . . uber die P h a r i s a e r " , where "hochst unjiidisch" apparently
1 1 6
means "recht unfreundlich"; a n d ( c ) that, therefore, this passage also
c o m e s directly f r o m N i c o l a u s . T h e v i e w that War 1:110 is a q u o t a t i o n
1 1 7
f r o m N i c o l a u s has w o n significant, if b y n o m e a n s universal, support.
A g a i n s t that v i e w , w e h a v e already n o t e d certain a priori c o n s i d e r a ­
tions, especially: ( a ) that J o s e p h u s k n e w the Pharisees first-hand a n d ( b )
that h e w a s perfectly c a p a b l e , in o t h e r respects, o f s t a m p i n g his o w n
1 1 8
ideas u p o n his w o r k . T o these o b s e r v a t i o n s w e m a y n o w a d d the
f o l l o w i n g a posteriori j u d g e m e n t s , ( c ) War 1:110 bears a close verbal
r e s e m b l a n c e to descriptions o f the Pharisees in War 2 : 1 6 2 a n d Life 1 9 1 ,
neither o f w h i c h is usually attributed to N i c o l a u s ( a n d the latter c a n n o t
b e ) , ( d ) War 1:110 is o n e o f ten passages in J o s e p h u s ' s writings that c o m ­
b i n e Soxeoo a n d a f o r m o f axptjieta to d e s c r i b e a g r o u p o r i n d i v i d u a l . O f
these ten, seven also i n c l u d e s o m e reference to the v6[xot o r v6[xt[xa. T h e
c o m b i n a t i o n s o f these w o r d s s e e m to b e J o s e p h a n constructions, (e)
Finally, all o f the k e y terms in the definition o f the Pharisees in War
1:110—<xxpt(kta, euaePeta, v6(iot-— are elements of Josephus's
characteristic v o c a b u l a r y ; clearly, they are t h e o l o g i c a l l y c h a r g e d a n d he
uses t h e m with c o n s c i o u s intent.

1 1 4
Cf. chapter 2, above.
1 1 5
Holscher, PWRE, 1945.
1 1 6
Ibid., 1936 and n. + + thereto.
1 1 7
Cf. Moore, Judaism, I, 62 n. 4 and 65 n. 3; Pfeiffer, New Testament Times, 22, 54;
Michel-Bauernfeind, I, X X V f .
1 1 8
Cf. chapter 2, above.
114 CHAPTER FOUR

A l t h o u g h , then, J o s e p h u s m a y well h a v e taken the b a s i c c o n t e n t o f the


H a s m o n e a n history f r o m N i c o l a u s , p e r h a p s i n c l u d i n g s o m e reference t o
the P h a r i s e e s ' actions u n d e r A l e x a n d r a , it is J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f w h o has
f o r m u l a t e d the portrayal o f the Pharisees in War 1:110. N o r is that the
extent o f his activity, for w e h a v e seen that the d e s c r i p t i o n at 1:110 is
an integral part o f the story line a n d that it d e p e n d s for its m e a n i n g o n
the p r i o r d e s c r i p t i o n s o f J a n n e u s ( § 8 5 ) a n d especially o f A l e x a n d r a ( §
1 0 8 ) . T h a t J o s e p h u s has s h a p e d this w h o l e section o f narrative s e e m s a
necessary c o n c l u s i o n .

Conclusion

T h e f o r e g o i n g analysis o f War 1:110 illustrates the severe limitations o f


the usual a p p r o a c h t o J o s e p h u s o n the Pharisees. T h a t a p p r o a c h , e n ­
dorsed by Schurer and maintained to the present day, regards
J o s e p h u s ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the Pharisees as m o r e o r less " r a w m a t e r i a l " ,
as R i v k i n puts it, that c a n b e substantially u n d e r s t o o d in their o w n right.
1 1 9
T h a t such a v i e w is theoretically flawed has b e e n a r g u e d a b o v e ; in ad­
d i t i o n , w e n o w h a v e t a n g i b l e e v i d e n c e that the c o n t e x t o f the Pharisee
passages is d e t e r m i n a t i v e o f their meaning. " C o n t e x t " here refers
equally to ( a ) the i m m e d i a t e l y s u r r o u n d i n g narrative, ( b ) the c o n c e r n s
a n d t h e m e s o f the w o r k as a w h o l e , a n d ( c ) the a u t h o r ' s t h o u g h t in
general.
T o illustrate: A . G u t t m a n n m a k e s the assertion, " W h e n J o s e p h u s
states that the Pharisees ' are c o n s i d e r e d the m o s t a c c u r a t e interpreters
1 2 0
o f the l a w s ' h e speaks as a Pharisaic J e w . " A . Schlatter a n d H . - F .
1 2 1
Weiss likewise b e l i e v e that such a d e s c r i p t i o n is h o n o r i f i c .
O n e c a n o n l y h o l d that c o n c l u s i o n , h o w e v e r , if o n e takes the state­
m e n t o u t o f its c o n t e x t a n d therefore o u t o f J o s e p h u s ' s o w n m o u t h . F o r
the foregoing analysis has shown that J o s e p h u s ' s i n t e n t i o n w a s to
d e b u n k the P h a r i s e e s ' r e p u t a t i o n for e m b o d y i n g s u p e r i o r piety a n d for
e x p o u n d i n g the laws with particular a c c u r a c y . T e r m s like axpi(5eta a n d
euae(ktoc represent w o r l d s o f religious m e a n i n g for h i m . H e v i e w s these
areas as priestly responsibilities o r c o n c e r n s . A l t h o u g h h e allows that cer­
tain others have w e l l - d e s e r v e d reputations for excellence in these
respects, the Pharisees are n o t a m o n g t h e m .

1 1 9
Cf. chapter 1, above.
1 2 0
Guttmann, Rabbinic Judaism, 127.
1 2 1
Schlatter, Theologie, 204f; H . F. Weiss, "Pharisaismus und Hellenismus: zur
Darstellung des Judentums im Geschichtswerk des judischen Historikers Flavius
Josephus", Orientalistische Literarzeitung 74 (1979), 425.
THE PHARISEES AND ALEXANDRA SALOME, I 115

N o r d o e s it s e e m plausible, to g i v e a further e x a m p l e , that J o s e p h u s


c h o s e the w o r d &xpi(Seioc to d e s c r i b e the Pharisees b e c a u s e o f its c u r r e n c y
1 2 2
as an interpretation o f the n a m e D ' W I D . Sufficient explanation o f
J o s e p h u s ' s u s a g e o f the w o r d is his characteristic v o c a b u l a r y , in w h i c h
axptjkta o c c u p i e s a c o n s p i c u o u s p l a c e . T h a t axpt(ktoc d i d circulate as an
interpretation o f D^tPTlD is o f c o u r s e possible b u t m u s t b e s h o w n b y o t h e r
1 2 3
evidence.
I n short: J o s e p h u s ' s statements o n the Pharisees o n l y h a v e full m e a n ­
i n g w h e n they are read as his statements a n d as p r o d u c t s o f his analysis
and thought.

122
Contra A . I. Baumgarten, "Name", 413ff.
1 2 3
The hypothesis would face very serious objections if it could be argued that Luke-
Acts, Baumgarten's other key witness, uses dxptPeta of the Pharisees under the influence
of Josephus; cf. especially M . Krenkel, Josephus und Lukas: der schiftstellerische Einfluss des
judischen Geschichtschreibers auf den christlichen nachgewiesen (Leipzig: H . Haessel, 1894).
C H A P T E R FIVE

WAR 1:571: T H E P H A R I S E E S A T H E R O D ' S C O U R T , I

After J o s e p h u s has introduced the Pharisees in War 1:110-114, the


reader next m e e t s t h e m in a p a s s i n g reference at 1:571. H e r e , J o s e p h u s
is r e c o u n t i n g the intrigues o f H e r o d ' s family against the k i n g . H e r o d ,
he says, a c c u s e d his sister-in-law o f plotting against h i m in several w a y s ,
o n e o f w h i c h w a s her r e w a r d i n g o f Pharisaic o p p o s i t i o n to h i m ( c m TS
a e i e v
Oocpiaociois uiv x o p ^ T H HiaOous *ax' OCUTOU). T h i s b a r e n o t i c e , w h i c h is
nowhere elaborated in War, has little i m p o r t a n c e in the narrative;
J o s e p h u s clearly d o e s n o t i n t e n d here to say m u c h a b o u t the Pharisees.
Nevertheless, since the i n c i d e n t will also b e r e c o u n t e d in Ant. (17:42f.),
s o m e b r i e f a c c o u n t o f its treatment in War is necessary.

I. The Context of War 1:571

F u n d a m e n t a l is the o b s e r v a t i o n that War in general presents H e r o d the


1
Great very favourably. He a p p e a r s as g e n e r o u s and large-spirited
( 1 : 3 9 7 ) , p i o u s ( 1 : 4 0 0 ) , h u m a n e ( l : 4 2 f f . ) , a loyal friend ( 1 : 3 9 1 ) , b r a v e
( 1 : 4 2 9 ) , a n d affectionate t o w a r d his family ( 1 : 4 1 7 f f . ) . A l l o f his d o m e s t i c
p r o b l e m s w e r e b r o u g h t o n b y the w o m e n in his c o u r t , w e are told, b e g i n ­
n i n g with his s e c o n d wife M a r i a m n e a n d her sons ( 1 : 4 3 I f f . ) . Indeed,
H e r o d ' s h o m e life d e v e l o p s a l o n g the lines o f a t r a g e d y , in w h i c h he is
the largely i n n o c e n t v i c t i m o f plots a n d intrigues.
O n e such d i s t u r b a n c e w a s instigated b y the wife o f P h e r o r a s , who
capitalized o n the rising fortunes o f H e r o d ' s son A n t i p a t e r to establish
her o w n p o w e r a n d d o m i n a t e the H e r o d i a n c o u r t . H e r o d is i n f o r m e d o f
her surreptitious activities ( l : 5 6 9 f . ) a n d it is in his s u b s e q u e n t d e n u n c i a ­
tion o f this w o m a n ( § 5 7 1 ) that w e h e a r o f her p a y m e n t s to the Pharisees.

I I . Key Terms

a n
T h e t w o key terms o f the b r i e f clause, xoprftio) d fxiaOos, are b o t h
elements o f J o s e p h u s ' s usual v o c a b u l a r y .
A . Xoprjyeco: ' ' t o supply, furnish, p r o c u r e , g r a n t " . J o s e p h u s e m p l o y s

1
This was a major factor in Holscher's attribution of War 1:31-2:116 to Nicolaus,
Herod's court historian, PWRE, 1947; cf. also Michel-Bauernfeind, De Bello Judaico, I,
X X V f . , and Cohen, Josephus, 111.
THE PHARISEES AT HEROD's COURT, I 117

0 7
the v e r b a n d its c o g n a t e s (xopTrytoc, X ? ^^) s o m e 6 4 times t h r o u g h o u t
2
War a n d Ant. T h e v e r b has a stronger m e a n i n g than, say, StScoptt; it is
3
generally u s e d in c o n t e x t s o f liberality o r a b u n d a n c e , s o m e t i m e s with
4
the s u p p l e m e n t a^Oovioc—the subject supplies s o m e t h i n g l a v i s h l y . This
5
may, b u t d o e s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y , suggest that the w o m a n ' s s u p p o r t o f the
Pharisees w a s a m p l e .
4 4
B . MICJOOS: p a y m e n t , r e w a r d , m o n e y , c o m p e n s a t i o n " . T h i s n o u n is
6
e v e n l y distributed t h r o u g h o u t J o s e p h u s ' s four w o r k s , o c c u r r i n g a total
o f 42 t i m e s .

I I I . Interpretation of War 1:571

The salient features o f this b r i e f n o t i c e m a y b e s u m m a r i z e d in three


observations.
First, the r e m a r k o b v i o u s l y puts the Pharisees in a n e g a t i v e light. It
is n o t clear f r o m the w o r d i n g w h e t h e r P h e r o r a s ' s wife actually initiated
Pharisaic o p p o s i t i o n to H e r o d b y offering m o n e y to the group or
w h e t h e r she s i m p l y e n c o u r a g e d a n already present o p p o s i t i o n b y finan­
7 8
cial r e w a r d . A l o n a n d C o r n f e l d , w o r k i n g at the historical level, a d d u c e
r a b b i n i c e v i d e n c e o f p r i n c i p l e d Pharisaic o p p o s i t i o n to H e r o d , w h i c h
w o u l d suggest the latter o p t i o n . L i k e w i s e Ant. 1 7 : 4 1 , if it is a true
9
p a r a l l e l , c l a i m s that P h e r o r a s ' s wife m e r e l y p a i d the fine i m p o s e d o n the
Pharisees b y H e r o d for their refusal to swear an oath o f allegiance to
himself and Caesar. In War 1:571 itself, h o w e v e r , it is the w o m a n ' s
m e r c e n a r y tactics a n d n o t so m u c h the Pharisees' actions that are in
q u e s t i o n . In either c a s e , the Pharisees turn u p o n the w r o n g ( = anti-
H e r o d i a n ) side o f the d i s p u t e . I f H e r o d appears in War as a v i c t i m , then
the Pharisees m u s t b e c o u n t e d a m o n g his v i c t i m i z e r s .

2
Xoprjyeo> appears 10 times in War, 30 times in Ant.; xoprjyia appears 5 times in War,
14 times in Ant.; XWYOS appears 4 times in War, once in Ant.
3
E.g., at War 1:424; 3:519; 4:56, 471; 6:23; Ant. 2:272; 6:350; 7:231, 279; 8:113,
396; 10:156, 193.
4
Ant. 1:181; 4:116, 237; 12:58, 105; 13:224; cf. also 10:193; 12:84, 138 for xopT)yia
with &90ovta.
5 0
In at least two cases, xop^Y" has a restrictive sense—people are ' 'supplied" only
({xovos) with bread and water (Ant. 8:330, 410)—but this is probably sarcastic.
6
It occurs 7 times in War, 28 times in Ant., 4 times in Life, and 3 times in Ag.Ap.
7
Alon, Jews, 35f.
8
Cornfeld, Jewish War, HOf.
9
Reinach (Oeuvres, V , 116, n. 2), Michel-Bauernfeind (De Bello Judaico, I, 151, 424
n. 264), and Thackeray ( L C L edn., I, 270f. n. b.) all make the connection; so also D .
4
Schwartz, Josephus and Nicolaus", 160f. Feldman (LCL edn., VIII, 391 n. b.) thinks
that the author of Ant. 17:41 f. (Nicolaus, in his view) has confused Essenes with
Pharisees; this would seem to break any parallel with War 1:571 (which is also, however,
from Nicolaus!).
118 CHAPTER FIVE

S e c o n d , association o f the Pharisees with m o n e t a r y gain also d a m a g e s


their i m a g e b e f o r e the reader. Suggestions o f such i m p r o p r i e t y o c c u r
t h r o u g h o u t J o s e p h u s ' s w r i t i n g s . A l r e a d y in War 1:111 w e h a v e r e a d
that, while the Pharisees w e r e e n j o y i n g all the benefits a n d prerogatives
(dbcoXauaeis) o f royalty, the e x p e n s e s (dtvaXcafxaxa) w e r e falling to Q u e e n
A l e x a n d r a . Further, to anticipate future analyses: in Ant. 17:42f. the
Pharisees are said to h a v e m a n u f a c t u r e d false p r e d i c t i o n s in return for
m o n e y ; in Life 195f. a p r o m i n e n t Pharisee b r i b e s the h i g h priest to act
unfairly. Thus, the association o f the Pharisees with financial im­
p r o p r i e t y is fairly c o m m o n in J o s e p h u s .
L i n k i n g o n e ' s o p p o n e n t s with the l o v e o f m o n e y was a common
10
slander in a n t i q u i t y . N o t i c e , h o w e v e r , that J o s e p h u s d o e s n o t resort to
stock, generalizing phrases like 9iXapyupot, w h i c h is u s e d o f the Pharisees
1 1
b y the author o f L u k e - A c t s ( L k . 1 6 : 1 4 ) . Josephus only makes the
charge o f financial impropriety against the Pharisees in specific,
historically plausible cases. W i t h o u t actually calling t h e m " l o v e r s o f
m o n e y " he m a n a g e s to insinuate the s a m e p o i n t in a narrative c o n t e x t .
T h i r d , J o s e p h u s c o n t i n u e s to represent the Pharisees as an influential
group. T h i s is clear f r o m the fact that the w o m a n ' s financing of
Pharisaic o p p o s i t i o n is r a n k e d in its e n o r m i t y with h e r alienation o f
H e r o d ' s o w n b r o t h e r a n d her insulting o f H e r o d ' s o w n (cf. eocuxou)
daughters. T h a t J o s e p h u s c h o o s e s to m e n t i o n these three offences as o n l y
the m o s t h e i n o u s e x a m p l e s a m o n g many m i s d e e d s seems to indicate that
H e r o d felt the a n t a g o n i s m o f the Pharisees v e r y k e e n l y . T h e i m p a c t o f
this a n t a g o n i s m o n H e r o d , J o s e p h u s implies, w a s r o u g h l y o n a par with
that generated b y the abuse o f his daughters o r b y the o p p o s i t i o n o f his
brother. T o b e sure, the Pharisees n o l o n g e r h a v e the m e c h a n i s m o f
g o v e r n m e n t in their h a n d s , as they d i d u n d e r A l e x a n d r a , b u t J o s e p h u s ' s
r e m a r k at War 1:571 p r e s u p p o s e s their c o n t i n u e d influence: their o p ­
position to H e r o d appears as a matter o f great c o n c e r n to h i m .

I V . The Source of War 1:571

W e h a v e seen that the t w o k e y terms are elements o f J o s e p h u s ' s natural


v o c a b u l a r y . In Ant. 1 3 : 1 2 9 , furthermore, they also a p p e a r together as
v e r b a n d direct o b j e c t . A n y d o u b t that the f o r m u l a t i o n is J o s e p h u s ' s
o w n , therefore, seems u n w a r r a n t e d .

1 0 4
Cf., e.g., R. J. Karris, 'The Background and Significance of the Polemic of the
Pastoral Epistles", JBL 92 (1973), 549-564, esp. 552. He gives numerous references,
from Plato to Tatian, to document the widespread use of this charge.
1 1
Cf. the charge of cptXapyupia levelled against opponents in the Pastoral letters of the
N T : I Tim. 6:10; 2 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:11.
THE PHARISEES AT HEROD'S COURT, I 119

W i t h respect to c o n t e n t , o n the other h a n d , it is entirely likely that


J o s e p h u s r e c e i v e d his i n f o r m a t i o n — a b o u t P h e r o r a s ' s w i f e ' s s p o n s o r s h i p
o f Pharisaic o p p o s i t i o n to H e r o d — f r o m N i c o l a u s o f D a m a s c u s , w h o
w o u l d h a v e b e e n in a p o s i t i o n to k n o w the i n n e r w o r k i n g s o f H e r o d ' s
court.

Summary

A l t h o u g h War 1:571 is an incidental reference to the Pharisees—and o n e


o u g h t n o t , therefore, to e x p e c t f r o m it a wealth o f i n s i g h t — t w o points
e m e r g e clearly. First, the a u t h o r presents the Pharisees as an influential
g r o u p . S e c o n d , h o w e v e r , h e reveals his lack o f s y m p a t h y for t h e m . T h e y
h a v e a part in the u n d o i n g o f the tragic v i c t i m H e r o d a n d they are
v u l n e r a b l e to the lure o f m o n e y . B o t h o f these points—the Pharisees' in­
fluence and Josephus's antipathy toward them—continue themes
already i n t r o d u c e d in War 1:110-114.
CHAPTER SIX

WAR 2:162-166: T H E P H A R I S E E S A M O N G
THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I

From the standpoint o f Josephus's intention, War 2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 is his


crucial d e s c r i p t i o n o f the J e w i s h g r o u p s , i n c l u d i n g the Pharisees. F o r
w h e n h e writes in Ant. o f the distinctive g r o u p s within J u d a i s m , h e refers
the reader b a c k t o his " a c c u r a t e l y d e t a i l e d " (axptfkos SeSrjXoaToci) presen­
1
tation in War 2 . C l e a r l y , J o s e p h u s v i e w s this l e n g t h y passage as his
2
standard t r e a t m e n t , t o w h i c h the later discussions are s u p p l e m e n t a r y .
F u r t h e r m o r e , War 2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 is u n i q u e in that J o s e p h u s is free h e r e t o
say w h a t e v e r h e wishes a b o u t the Pharisees, S a d d u c e e s , a n d Essenes,
w i t h o u t b e i n g subject t o narrative pressures. H i s m a i n s o u r c e f o r War
1:31-2:116, Nicolaus o f Damascus, has p r o b a b l y e x p i r e d with the
3
d e p o s i t i o n o f H e r o d ' s s o n A r c h e l a u s . After that, J o s e p h u s gives o n l y a
c u r s o r y o u t l i n e o f events t o the t i m e o f A g r i p p a ( 2 : 1 6 7 - 1 8 7 ) , a p e r i o d as
l o n g as H e r o d ' s reign! A g a i n the narrative m o v e s q u i c k l y t h r o u g h the
f o l l o w i n g t w e n t y years ( 2 : 2 2 0 - 2 7 6 ) t o the events p r e c e d i n g the revolt.
W h e r e a s all o f J o s e p h u s ' s o t h e r references to the Pharisees, therefore,
c o m e in the m i d s t o f a flowing narrative, w h e r e J o s e p h u s c a n o n l y say
4
e n o u g h a b o u t the g r o u p s t o m a k e his narrative i n t e l l i g i b l e , in War
2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 h e has n o story-line t o p u r s u e . O n the c o n t r a r y , his discussion
o f the three J e w i s h g r o u p s p r o v i d e s h i m an o p p o r t u n i t y t o c o m p e n s a t e
5
for the sparseness o f his history o f J u d e a u n d e r the p r e f e c t s . This
f r e e d o m f r o m narrative constraints m a y well h a v e a c c o u n t e d for his d e c i ­
sion to g i v e his definitive d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the J e w i s h ocipeaets h e r e .

1
The War passage is recalled in the following ways: ev TTJ SeuTepoc pifBXcp xfjs 'IouSocixfjs
rcpocY[xocTetoc<; (Ant. 13:173); dv TTJ SeuTepoc (xou TCOV 'IouSoctxcov (Ant. 13:298); and ev TCO ptPXcp
TOU 'IouBouxoG 7coXe(xou (Ant. 18:11).
2
The question as to whether his later treatments of the Pharisees are intended as revi­
sions or corrections of War material will be discussed in Part III, below.
3
Cf. Holscher, 'Josephus", 1944-49; Safrai and Stern, Jewish People, 23f.; Michel-
Bauernfeind, De Bello Judaico I, X X V f . ; Thackeray, L C L edn., II, xxiif.
4
Even the parallel to our passage in Ant. (18:11-25) is subject to narrative pressures.
There Josephus only introduces the three ^iXoaoqjtoct as background for his discussion of
the fourth philosophy. This is not the case in War 2, where the discussion of the schools
is open-ended.
5
Whether this sparseness was deliberate or forced upon him by a lack of source mate­
rial is both impossible to decide and irrelevant here. Cf. n. 95 to chapter 3 (on the pur­
pose of War).
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 121

I. Context

J o s e p h u s s e e m s uninterested in d i s c u s s i n g — o r , p e r h a p s , lacks material


to discuss—the early years o f the history o f J u d e a as a R o m a n p r o v i n c e .
H e b a r e l y m e n t i o n s that the e t h n a r c h y o f A r c h e l a u s , o n the d e p o s i t i o n
o f that tyrant in A D 6, passed u n d e r direct R o m a n rule, with C o p o n i u s
6
as g o v e r n o r (War 2:117). L i k e w i s e , after his t r e a t m e n t o f the three
g r o u p s h e refers o n l y briefly to the status o f the o t h e r p o r t i o n s o f H e r o d ' s
old k i n g d o m (2:167) and then m o v e s i m m e d i a t e l y to the death o f
A u g u s t u s in A D 14.
T h i s d e p a r t u r e f r o m his usual e m p h a s i s o n the details o f political
history allows J o s e p h u s to d e v e l o p a m a j o r t h e m e o f his w o r k . I n the
p r e f a c e , it will b e recalled, he a n n o u n c e d his thesis that his h o m e l a n d
o w e d its d e s t r u c t i o n to a faction o f tyrants a m o n g the p e o p l e a n d n o t to
the Srjfxos itself ( 1 : 1 0 ) . S o , it s e e m s , he i n t r o d u c e s the material o f 2 : 1 1 9 -
166 as an early attempt to establish that t h e m e , well b e f o r e the narrative
7
o f the revolt itself b e g i n s . T h u s w e learn that the passing o f J u d e a into
R o m a n h a n d s c a u s e d a certain J u d a s to c o m e f o r w a r d , w h o "urged
revolt (dbtoaTaatv) o n his c o u n t r y m e n , calling t h e m c o w a r d s if they c o n ­
sented to p a y tribute to the R o m a n s a n d e n d u r e d m o r t a l masters after
h a v i n g served G o d " .
H a v i n g so d e s c r i b e d the r e b e l ' s p o s i t i o n — a p o s i t i o n that w o u l d find
n o sympathy a m o n g R o m a n readers—Josephus g o e s o n i m m e d i a t e l y to
d i s a v o w it, n o t o n l y for h i m s e l f b u t also for J e w s in general:

This man represented a peculiar school o f thought (t8ta^ octpeaecos), which


was not even remotely similar to the others (ouSev TOT? aXXot? rcpoaeoixtos,
8
§ 118). For among the Jews, philosophy takes three [customary] forms
(xpioc yap rcapa TouSatot? etSrj 9tXoao9etxai, § 119).

Q u i t e early in his narrative, therefore, J o s e p h u s takes the opportunity


to s h o w his readers that the w h o l e mentality o f a7r6aT<xai$ is f o r e i g n to
" m a i n s t r e a m " J e w i s h w a y s o f thinking. T h e p o i n t is significant b e c a u s e
J u d a s will turn o u t to b e s o m e t h i n g o f a patriarch to the rebel family that
i n c l u d e d M e n a h e m (War 2 : 4 3 3 ) a n d Eleazar b e n Y a i r , o f M a s a d a f a m e
(War 2 : 4 4 7 ; 7 : 2 5 3 ) .

6
Josephus uses hzixpoTzo^ (procurator) to describe Coponius' office. A . N. Sherwin-
White, however (Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 6), points out that
equestrian governors before Claudius had the title of praefectus and not procurator.
7
Idumea and Samaria were also included in the ethnarchy of Archelaus (2:96), as
were the cities of Caesarea, Sebaste, and Joppa (2:97).
8
The emphasis is on xpioc. Thackeray captures this by rendering: "Jewish philosophy,
in fact, takes three forms."
122 CHAPTER SIX

We c a n see, then, a clear rationale for J o s e p h u s ' s i n t r o d u c t i o n o f


2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 , w h i c h deals extensively with the three eiBy) o f J e w i s h thinking:
he w a n t s t o dissociate m a i n s t r e a m J u d a i s m f r o m the rebel p s y c h o l o g y .
T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n d o e s n o t i m p l y that e v e r y i t e m in the narrative m u s t
s o m e h o w d e m o n s t r a t e the d o c i l i t y o r peacefulness o f the J e w s . O n the
subject o f the Essenes, for e x a m p l e , m u c h o f the material w o u l d h a v e
9
h a d an intrinsic interest for his H e l l e n i s t i c - R o m a n r e a d e r s . Never­
theless, w e s h o u l d e x p e c t to find clear i n d i c a t i o n s in 2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 that r e c ­
o g n i z e d J u d a i s m , in its three f o r m s , d o e s n o t e q u a t e the service o f G o d
with dt7c6cTTaat^ f r o m all earthly masters.
A l t h o u g h the Pharisees are i n t r o d u c e d at the outset ( § 119) as o n e o f
the three f o r m s o f J e w i s h t h o u g h t , they d o n o t r e c e i v e full attention until
the e n d o f the passage ( 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 ) . It is the f a m o u s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the
E s s e n e s — w h i c h has b e c o m e an i m p o r t a n t aid for interpreting the D e a d
10
Sea S c r o l l s — that d o m i n a t e s o u r p a s s a g e . S o m e b r i e f d i s c u s s i o n o f the
Essene narrative is n e c e s s a r y , b o t h to p r o v i d e insight into the function
of 2:119-166 and as a basis for interpreting the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the
Pharisees ( § 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 ) .
T h e first thing that J o s e p h u s says a b o u t the Essenes sets the t o n e for
his entire d e s c r i p t i o n : they are r e n o w n e d for their cultivation o f s o l e m ­
nity (Soxet aefxvoTTjxa aaxetv, § 1 1 9 ) ; they h o l d self-control (TTJV eyxpdtxeiav),
o r the refusal to s u r r e n d e r to the passions (TO U.7) xotc; 7cdc0eatv UTC07ct7ruetv),
to b e a virtue ( § 1 2 0 ) . A l t h o u g h the 7ia9r) are d e s c r i b e d p r i m a r i l y in sex­
ual t e r m s , a b r o a d e r r a n g e o f m e a n i n g is e v o k e d : in contrast to the octpsai£
o f J u d a s , w h i c h d r a w s its e n e r g y f r o m self-assertion, the Essenes are self-
c o n t r o l l e d a n d d i s c i p l i n e d . W e r e a d further: " I n their dress a n d c o m ­
posure they are like children b e i n g trained in fear" ((xe-uoc 9o(3ou
7cat8ay<oYou|jievoi<g rcaiatv, § 1 2 6 ) . A n d that is the t e n o r o f the w h o l e Essene
passage: these m e n are ascetics, w h o s e e v e r y w a k i n g m o m e n t is o r d e r e d
a c c o r d i n g to a strict discipline ( § § 1 2 8 - 1 3 4 , 1 3 7 - 1 4 9 ) . T h u s : " H o l d i n g
justified a n g e r in c h e c k , they are masters o f their t e m p e r , c h a m p i o n s o f
1 1
faithfulness, ministers o f p e a c e " ( § 1 3 5 , T h a c k e r a y ) . This image o f ex-

9
O n the appeal of esoteric Eastern groups to cultured Romans, cf. F. Cumont, Orien­
tal Religions in Roman Paganism (New York: Dover, 1956 [1911]), esp. 28ff.; also M .
Hadas, Hellenistic Culture (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959), chapter 9; and
M . Smith, "Palestinian Judaism", 75.
1 0
Although Josephus's description of the Essenes does not always harmonize with the
Scrolls, the use of Josephus to interpret the Qumran find is well-nigh universal. Cf. the
authors and works cited in chapter 2, n.45. For a commentary on War's portrayal of the
Essenes in the light of Qumran, cf. Michel-Bauernfeind, De Bello Judaico, I, 431-440
(nn. 35-92).
1 1
M y translation here draws heavily on Thackeray's.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 123

t r e m e discipline contrasts starkly with the i n d e p e n d e n c e a n d rebellious­


ness o f J u d a s .
M o s t striking is J o s e p h u s ' s description o f the m a n y oaths that the c a n ­
didates must take b e f o r e a d m i s s i o n to full m e m b e r s h i p ( § § 1 3 9 - 1 4 2 ) .
A m o n g t h e m is the p r o m i s e " t o k e e p faith (TO TCIOTOV 7rocpsijetv) always
with all m e n , especially with those who are ruling ({xdcXtora 8e TOT<; xpaTOuaiv)
since no one acquires the position of ruler without God" (ou yap St^a Oeou
7ieptyevea8ai Ttvl TO apx&tv, § 1 4 0 ) . H e r e J o s e p h u s p r o v i d e s clear e v i d e n c e
for his assertion that the m a i n s t r e a m J e w i s h g r o u p s differ radically f r o m
Judas's philosophy o f freedom: the Essenes, for one, believe in
12
faithfulness to the ruling authorities.
B e y o n d that, the Essenes a p p e a r as an esoteric g r o u p , p r e o c c u p i e d
with their o w n rites a n d teachings. T h e y are c o n c e r n e d with prayers ( §
1 2 8 ) , strenuous l a b o u r ( § 1 2 9 ) , ancient writings, m e d i c i n a l substances
a n d stones ( § 1 3 6 ) , a n d their o w n sectarian b o o k s , secrets, a n d n a m e s
o f the angels ( § 1 4 2 ) . T h e s e esoteric pursuits c o n t r i b u t e to the i m a g e o f
the Essenes as a harmless e l e m e n t in J e w i s h society. J o s e p h u s presents
t h e m in such a w a y as to foster a d m i r a t i o n for their discipline, self-
c o n t r o l , a n d quiet m a n n e r o r life. S o the Essenes are n o t in the slightest
d e g r e e (ouSev rcpoaeoixox;) c o m p a r a b l e to the g r o u p represented by
1 3
Judas.
T h u s in c o m i n g to the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Pharisees in § § 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 , w e
already possess t w o m a j o r interpretive clues, b o t h furnished b y the c o n ­
text. First, b y i n c l u d i n g this g r o u p a m o n g the three eiSrj o f J e w i s h
t h o u g h t , in contrast to that o f J u d a s , J o s e p h u s a c k n o w l e d g e s the historic
l e g i t i m a c y o f the Pharisees: they, a l o n g with the Essenes a n d S a d d u c e e s ,
are true representatives o f J u d a i s m , at least to the extent that they d o
n o t d e m a n d c o m p l e t e political i n d e p e n d e n c e .
S e c o n d , h o w e v e r , b y p r o p o r t i o n i n g his narrative as h e d o e s , J o s e p h u s
m a k e s it plain that he is m u c h m o r e interested in d e s c r i b i n g the Essenes
than the other t w o g r o u p s . I n contrast to his e x p a n s i v e portrayal o f the
Essenes, he dispenses with the Pharisees and S a d d u c e e s in three
sentences, w h i c h c o m p r i s e t w o uiv . . . hi c o n s t r u c t i o n s , c o m p a r i n g these
t w o schools o f t h o u g h t o n l y o n matters o f belief a n d p r a c t i c e .

1 2
Josephus does not explain how some Essenes found themselves in conflict with
Rome (War 2:152f.) or why one of the regional commanders of the revolt was an Essene
(2:567; 3:11).
1 3
Michel-Bauernfeind (De Bello Judaico, I, 436, n.65) see also in War 2:142 a reference
to the Essenes' refusal to engage in armed revolt. There, the Essene candidate vows to
abstain from XTjoreta. Since he has already sworn not to steal (cf. xXorcrj, 2:141), the com­
mentators propose a more political sense for Xfloreta, in accord with Josephus's usage of
this word-group elsewhere.
124 CHAPTER SIX

I I . Five Statements About the Pharisees

W i t h i n J o s e p h u s ' s portrayal o f the Pharisees, w e m a y distinguish five


statements:
Auo 8e TCOV rcpoTeptov ( s c . Tayu-ocTtov, § 161) Oaptaatot u i v ot

(2:161) a. jxex' dxptPeta$ 8oxouvTe$ e^rjyetaOat TOC vojxtfxa


b. xat TTJV 7cpcoTT)v dcTCOcyovTes atpeatv
(2:163) c. etu.apu.evrj TE xat Oeto TCpoadwcTOuat 7tdvTa xat TO uiv
7cpaTT£tv TOC Stxata xat u.rj x a r a TO rcXetarov em TOT$

av9pa>7cot<; xetaOat, (3oTj8etv 8e tlq exaarov xat TTJV

etu.apu.evrjv.
d. C[>UXTJV Te 7caaav u.ev a90apTOv,
[xeTafJatvetv 8e et$ erepov atou.a
TTJV TCOV dyaOtov [XOVTJV,

T<X$ 8e TCOV 9auXcov dtSttp Tt(xtopta xoXd£ea0at


(2:166a) e. xat Oaptaatot [xev qHXdXXrjXot Te xat TTJV

tiq TO xotvdv 6(x6votav daxouvTe$.

W e shall take e a c h statement in turn a n d a n a l y z e its k e y t e r m s .


A . ot (xer' dxptfktac 8oxouvTe$ efjrjyetaOat TOC v6(xt(xa
T h i s o p e n i n g statement c o r r e s p o n d s closely to the s e c o n d half o f the
definition in 1:110: Soxouv . . . TOUS vofxou? dxpt(3e<JTepov d^yetaOat. T h e
c h a n g e s are as f o l l o w s .
( 1 ) TOC v6(xt{xa for ot v6(xot. I n discussing War 1:110, w e o b s e r v e d that
ot vofiot has n o technical m e a n i n g for J o s e p h u s ; he uses it inter­
c h a n g e a b l y w i t h TOC v6(xt{xa. L a t e r he will speak o f special Pharisaic v6(xt(xa
(Ant. 1 3 : 2 9 6 , 2 9 7 , 4 0 8 ) , b u t h e will clearly designate those as n o n -
M o s a i c o r d i n a n c e s , o r i g i n a t i n g with the fathers (ex 7caTepcov . . . oux
dvayeypa^Tat ev Tots Mcouaeo? vou.ot£, 1 3 : 2 9 7 ; xard TTJVrcaTptoav7tapd8oatv,

1 3 : 4 0 8 ) . I n all o f the o t h e r 53 cases in w h i c h J o s e p h u s uses TOC vou.tu.a ( o r


the singular) substantively, the t e r m is practically s y n o n y m o u s with ot
14 15
vofiot o r w i t h TOC eGrj. T h u s , since TOC v6(xt[xa in o u r passage stands with­
o u t qualification, w e h a v e n o r e a s o n to s u p p o s e that it m e a n s a n y t h i n g
other than the vou-tjia TOC yeypau.fxeva (Ant. 13:297) and that it is
e q u i v a l e n t to the vojxot o f War 1:110. W h a t e v e r distinctive vojxtjxa the
Pharisees m a y h a v e , then, in War J o s e p h u s c l a i m s o n l y that they are e x ­
perts in the vojxtjia c o m m o n to all J e w s .

1 4
E.g., Ant. 8:395, where 9uX<xa(jetv TOU$ vofjtou? = TTjpetv TOC vofitfia. Cf. also Ant.
7:384f.; 8:208, 256; 12:276; 14:173f.; 18:274. The interchangeability may also be in­
dicated by the textual variants at Ant. 13:257 and 18:55.
1 5
Cf. Ant. 9:95-99; 15:328-30; 14:213-216.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 125

( 2 ) eijrjyetaGat for dqjrjyetaGat. T h e t w o v e r b s are virtually s y n o n y m o u s ,


as the similarity b e t w e e n the prefixes ex a n d dbco suggests. T w o b a s i c
m e a n i n g s a p p l y to b o t h : the p r i m a r y sense, " t o lead ( o u t ) , direct, ad­
minister", and the more abstract, "to interpret, relate, expound"
16
J o s e p h u s uses b o t h v e r b s in b o t h s e n s e s . H e r e , as in 1:110, the i d e a
o f e x p o s i t i o n o r " e x e g e s i s " is i n t e n d e d .

B . (ot) xat TTJV 7rpcoT7jv drcdyovTes atpeatv


T h e s e c o n d statement in War 2:161 is a crux interpretum, created b y
u n c e r t a i n t y a b o u t the significance o f 7tpcoTrj, andyta, a n d atpeat$. W e shall
l o o k first at atpeats.
( 1 ) T h e r e n d e r i n g o f atpeat$ b y " s e c t " w a s enshrined b y W . W h i s t o n
a n d has s u r v i v e d into the twentieth c e n t u r y in all o f the m a j o r transla­
tions, those o f R e i n a c h ("secte"), Thackeray ( " s e c t " ) , and Michel-
17
B a u e r n f e i n d ("Sekte"). I n the influential L o e b e d i t i o n , T h a c k e r a y e v e n
supplies the m a r g i n a l h e a d i n g for o u r passage: " t h e three J e w i s h s e c t s " .
T h i s translation is c o n g e n i a l to t h o s e , like S m i t h a n d N e u s n e r , w h o p o r ­
18
tray the Pharisees as a small, c l o s e d s o c i e t y . T h e English w o r d sect,
1 9
like its F r e n c h a n d G e r m a n equivalents, m a y h a v e c o n n o t a t i o n s o f e x ­
clusivity, rigid organization, novelty, comparative smallness, and
2 0
p e r h a p s e v e n d e v i a n c e f r o m a larger b o d y (cf. " h e r e s y " ) . Although
2 1
n o t necessarily i m p l i e d b y all m o d e r n translators o f J o s e p h u s , such
c o n n o t a t i o n s h a v e naturally d r a w n criticism f r o m those scholars w h o
2 2
u n d e r s t a n d Pharisaism as a m a s s m o v e m e n t within J u d a i s m . Rivkin,
for e x a m p l e , p r o p o s e s the a b a n d o n m e n t o f " s e c t " as a translation o f
al'peats, preferring rather " s c h o o l o f t h o u g h t " , as i n t r o d u c e d b y R.
2 3
M a r c u s in his p o r t i o n o f the L o e b translation (Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 1 , 2 8 8 ) . The
p o s s i b l e i m p l i c a t i o n s call for special care in the translation o f atpeat?.
J o s e p h u s uses the w o r d 31 times, in three distinct senses. Eight times
2 4
it m e a n s the taking o r c a p t u r e o f s o m e t h i n g , often a t o w n . Eight times
2 5
it signifies an o p t i o n o r c h o i c e . T h e s e m e a n i n g s d e r i v e , respectively,

1 6
Rengstorf gives 16 occurrences of a^TiyeofJUXi with the sense '' report or narrate" and
9 with the sense ''lead (out), direct". For ££r)y£o[iai, the figures are 9 and 11, re­
spectively.
1 7
Cf., e.g., all of these translations at War 2:162.
1 8
See chapter 1, n. 9.
1 9
Cf. LeMoyne, Les Sadduceens, 33.
2 0
Cf., e.g., The Houghton-Mifflin Canadian Dictionary, ad loc.
2 1
The Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's suggest also more neutral connotations.
2 2
E.g., G. Alon, A . Guttmann, and E. Rivkin; cf. chapter 1, above.
2 3
Rivkin, Revolution, 317f.
24
Ant. 7:160; 10:79, 133, 247; 12:363; 13:122, 231, 233; cf. Herodotus 4:1.
25
War 1:99; 6:352; 7:326; Ant. 1:69; 6:71, 91; 7:321, 322.
126 CHAPTER SIX

26
f r o m the active ( " t o t a k e " ) a n d m i d d l e ( " t o c h o o s e " ) v o i c e s o f octpe<o.
In 15 o f its 31 o c c u r r e n c e s , h o w e v e r , ocl'peats signifies the object o f o n e ' s
27
choice, namely, a philosophy, school, party, o r f a c t i o n . I n 13 o f these
15 cases the w o r d designates o n e o r m o r e o f the v a r i o u s g r o u p s within
Judaism—viz., Pharisees, S a d d u c e e s , Essenes, o r that o f J u d a s the
Galilean.
W h a t precisely d o e s J o s e p h u s m e a n b y calling these g r o u p s octpeaets?
A t first g l a n c e h e s e e m s to use the w o r d to designate v e r y different sorts
o f g r o u p s . O n the o n e h a n d , J u d a s represents a octpeats that J o s e p h u s
ostracizes f r o m m a i n s t r e a m J u d a i s m (War 2 : 1 1 8 ) ; o n the o t h e r h a n d , the
m a i n s t r e a m g r o u p s themselves are also atpeaet? (loc. cit.; cf. 2 : 1 6 2 ; Ant.
1 3 : 1 7 I f f . ; Life 1 0 ) , so the w o r d itself c a n n o t b e taken t o i m p l y a n y d e ­
2 8
viance or " s e c t a r i a n i s m " . T h e Essenes, w h o h o l d to stringent rules for
the initiation a n d c o n d u c t o f their m e m b e r s (War 2 : 1 2 8 - 1 5 3 ) , are called
a ocipeats ( 2 : 1 2 2 , 1 3 7 , 1 4 2 ) ; b u t so is a g r o u p o f m e n u n i t e d b y n o t h i n g
m o r e than their o p p o s i t i o n t o a particular c a n d i d a t e for the t h r o n e (Ant.
7 : 3 4 7 ) . T h e o n l y c o m m o n d e n o m i n a t o r in all o f these octpeaets a p p e a r s
to b e the constituents' a g r e e m e n t o n a g i v e n issue. N o inference a b o u t
29
their size o r d e g r e e o f o r g a n i z a t i o n c a n b e d r a w n f r o m the w o r d itself.
Nevertheless, it m u s t b e significant that J o s e p h u s reserves ocl'peats al­
m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y for the Pharisees, S a d d u c e e s , Essenes, a n d the faction
o f J u d a s . O f its 15 o c c u r r e n c e s , 13 are f o u n d in the relatively few
references to these g r o u p s w i t h i n the J o s e p h a n c o r p u s . I f atpeat? c o u l d
b e u s e d o f any discernible g r o u p , o n e w o u l d e x p e c t to see it h u n d r e d s o f
times in the m a j o r stretches o f narrative d e a l i n g w i t h o t h e r matters.
Other w o r d s for " g r o u p " such as T<xyu.<x, fiotpoc, and yevo^, which
Josephus also uses o f the atpeaei^, o c c u r h u n d r e d s o f times in other
passages. B u t alpeat? a p p e a r s o n l y twice in those c o n t e x t s . T h i s special
use o f octpeais spans J o s e p h u s ' s entire literary c a r e e r a n d a p p e a r s in three
w o r k s o f v e r y different character (War 2 : 1 1 8 , 1 6 2 ; Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 1 ; 2 0 : 1 9 9 ;
Life 10, 1 9 1 , 1 9 7 ) , so it c a n n o t b e attributed to a s o u r c e . S i n c e ocipeats,
w h e n it d e n o t e s a g r o u p o f p e o p l e , almost always refers t o the Pharisees,
S a d d u c e e s , Essenes, a n d partisans o f J u d a s , o n e m u s t ask what these
groups have in common that might have attracted this particular
designation.

2 6
See the discussions in Thackeray, Lexicon, and LSJ, s.v.; and H . Schlier, "ocipeaic",
TDNT, I.
2 7
War 2:118, 122, 137, 142, 162; Ant. 13:171, 288, 293; 20:199; Ant. 7:347; 15:6;
Life 10, 12, 191, 197.
2 8
As LeMoyne, Les Sadduceens, 33, points out.
2 9 il
Thus far, Rivkin's judgment is correct: hairesis is neutral with respect to number,
deviation, and denomination" (Revolution, 318).
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 127

T w o points stand o u t . First, the g r o u p s are consistently presented as


e n g a g e d in " p h i l o s o p h i c a l " pursuits. A t the b e g i n n i n g o f o u r passage,
J o s e p h u s explains that xptoc 7capoc TouBatot^ eiSrj ftXoao^etroct ( 2 : 1 1 9 ) . In
the p r e v i o u s sentence, J u d a s has b e e n called a aoyiavf\$. A n d J o s e p h u s
closes his entire discussion o f the three atpeaets with the w o r d s : " S u c h
is w h a t I h a v e to say 7cepl TCOV ev TouSoctots <pi\oao<po6\n<0v" ( § 1 6 6 ) . T h e s e
statements identify the atpeaei? as p h i l o s o p h i z i n g g r o u p s . I n Ant. 1 8 : 1 1 -
2 5 , w h i c h is parallel to o u r passage, J o s e p h u s will e v e n substitute
9tXoao9toc for al'peats ( 1 8 : 1 1 , 2 3 , 2 5 ) . N o r d o e s this surprise the reader,
since J o s e p h u s regularly presents the focal p o i n t o f d e b a t e b e t w e e n the
octpeaets as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l issue, n a m e l y : the relationship b e t w e e n fate
(ei(iapuiv7)) a n d free will (War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 ; ^ . 1 3 : 1 7 1 - 1 7 3 ; 1 8 : 1 1 - 2 5 ) . S o
J o s e p h u s ' s ocipeaets are m o t i v a t e d b y p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n c e r n s .
S e c o n d , the ocipeaets are g r o u p s with m o r e o r less f o r m a l m e m b e r s h i p s .
F o r e x a m p l e , J o s e p h u s ' s a p p r o x i m a t e figures for the size o f b o t h the
30 3 1
Essene a n d Pharisaic followings—4,000 and 6 , 0 0 0 respectively—
32
suggest d e f i n e d constituencies. Further, h e e m p l o y s m a n y substitutes
for ocipeats that s e e m to highlight the physical constitution o f the g r o u p s ,
33
such as: fioptov, TOtyfxa, yevos, auvxayfia, a n d fiotpoc. In o u r passage, the
Essenes are d e s c r i b e d b o t h as a oclpeats ( 2 : 1 2 2 , 137, 142) a n d as a T<xy(Jia
o r " o r d e r " ( 2 : 1 2 2 , 1 2 5 , 1 4 3 , 160, 1 6 1 ) , with the t w o terms b e i n g fully
i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e (cf. 1 2 2 , 1 4 2 f . ) . A t the e n d o f o u r passage, the Pharisees
are designated rj rcparurj atpeat? ( § 162) a n d the S a d d u c e e s TO Seuxepov
xdyfjia ( § 1 6 4 ) . T h e fact that J o s e p h u s c a n e m p l o y these terms as
substitutes for <x!'peat$ indicates that h e e n v i s i o n e d identifiable g r o u p s
with r e c o g n i z a b l e m e m b e r s h i p s .
T o s u m m a r i z e : J o s e p h u s ' s reservation o f ocipeais for the Pharisees,
S a d d u c e e s , Essenes, a n d J u d a s ' s faction implies that the w o r d d e n o t e s
n o t m e r e l y a " g r o u p " b u t a p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c h o o l with an identifiable
membership. Although Josephus nowhere implies that a ocipeats is
peculiar o r deviant ( s o R i v k i n ) , he d o e s suggest that the aipeaet?
o r g a n i z e d themselves to s o m e extent a n d possessed a visible c o n s t i t u e n c y
(contra R i v k i n ) . E a c h h a d its raison d'etre in a certain " p h i l o s o p h i c a l "
position.

3 0
Ant. 18:20.
3 1
Ant. 17:42.
3 2
Rivkin, Revolution, 318, errs when he claims that qnXoaoqHOC is the only synonym.
3 3
Cf. the table in LeMoyne, Sadduceens, 32. These terms are used of religious groups
as follows: fxopiov, Ant. 17:41 (Pharisees); TO^OC, War 2:122, 125, 143, 160, 161
(Essenes), 164 (Sadducees); awcorffioc, War 1:110 (Pharisees); yevo$, Ant. 13:297 (Sad­
ducees); War 1:78; 2:113; Ant. 13:172, 311; 15:371; 17:346 (Essenes); and [ioTpoc, Ant.
13:296 (Sadducees).
128 CHAPTER SIX

J o s e p h u s ' s use o f <xl'peai$ a c c o r d s well with c o m m o n u s a g e in the


Hellenistic w o r l d . P o l y b i u s a n d D i o n y s i u s o f H a l i c a r n a s s u s , for e x a m ­
ple, refer to the G r e e k p h i l o s o p h i c a l schools (the A c a d e m y , P e r i p a t o s ,
34
S t o a , a n d later s c h o o l s ) as atp£aei£. P h i l o u s e d the w o r d o f b o t h the
35 36
Greek schools and the Jewish Therapeutics. When, therefore,
J o s e p h u s calls the Palestinian r e l i g i o u s g r o u p s octpeaeis, h e n o t o n l y m a r k s
them o u t as p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c h o o l s b u t h e i m p l i e s at least a formal
similarity to the G r e e k s c h o o l s . I n d e e d , h e will later c l a i m that the
Essenes follow Pythagorean teachings (Ant. 15:371) and that the
Pharisees are like the S t o i c s (Life 1 2 ) .
The a u t h o r o f A c t s also reflects J o s e p h u s ' s v o c a b u l a r y closely at this
p o i n t . H e calls b o t h the Pharisees a n d the S a d d u c e e s <xipeaet£ ( 1 5 : 5 ; 5 : 1 7 )
a n d e v e n has Paul say that h e l i v e d as a Pharisee XOCTOC TTJV <xxpt(kaTaTT|v
3 7
aipeaiv TTJ$ rifxexepa^ Oprjaxeias ( 2 6 : 5 ) . Likewise, Eusebius introduces a
citation f r o m H e g e s i p p u s , in w h i c h the latter refers t o the Palestinian
g r o u p s as " v a r i o u s o p i n i o n s (yvo>[xat 8ta9opoi) a m o n g the c i r c u m c i s i o n " ,
38
as a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the octpeaei^.
T h e historical q u e s t i o n , as t o w h e t h e r J o s e p h u s w a s justified in calling
3 9
the Pharisees a " p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c h o o l " , is still d e b a t e d . W e shall c o n ­
sider s o m e t h i n g o f that d e b a t e w h e n w e e x a m i n e the fate/free will q u e s ­
t i o n . Suffice it here to n o t e that J o s e p h u s , an e y e w i t n e s s w h o intends
factuality, d o e s d e s c r i b e t h e m b y such a t e r m .
( 2 ) a n d ( 3 ) . T h e o r d i n a l rcpooTr) o b v i o u s l y m e a n s " f i r s t " . It is u n c l e a r ,
h o w e v e r , w h e t h e r J o s e p h u s m e a n s that the Pharisees w e r e the "first
ocl'peai^" with respect to their a g e , their p r o m i n e n c e in s o c i e t y , o r s i m p l y
their p l a c e in the earlier listing o f the schools ( 2 : 1 1 9 ) .

3 4
Cf. Polybius 5.93.8; Dionysius, Composition 2; Diogenes Laertius 1:19; 7:191;
Sextus Empiricus (c. A D 200), Pyrrhonic Elements 1:16, 185, 237.
3 5
Philo, On Noah's Work as a Planter, 151.
36
Contemplative Life, 129.
3 7
The possibility of a literary relationship has long been debated; cf. M . Krenkel,
Josephus und Lukas, passim; Foakes Jackson, Josephus and the Jews, 259-274; A . Ehrhardt,
"The Construction and Purpose of Acts", Studio, Theologica 12 (1958), 64; and E. Haen-
chen, The Acts of the Apostles, trans. R . M c L . Wilson (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982),
257; also G. Ludemann, Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, trans. F. S. Jones (Philadelphia: For­
tress, 1984), 8-11.
38
Eccl.Hist. 4.22.7.
3 9
Older scholarship, assuming a rigid division between Greek and Jewish thought
patterns, suspected Josephus of rank distortion; cf. Moore, "Fate", 283f.; Rasp,
"Religionsparteien", 28; Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums, 187. But see now, inter alia,
M . Smith, "Palestinian Judaism", and E. Bickerman, "La chaine de la tradition phari-
sienne", Studies in Jewish and Christian History, Part II (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1980),
256-269.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 129

'ArcdcyovTes is likewise deceptively simple: ocyco + dcrco = " l e a d


a w a y / o f f \ J o s e p h u s uses the v e r b s o m e 45 times, a n d elsewhere it
4 0
always bears a simple m e a n i n g : to " l e a d a w a y , divert, carry off, a b ­
41
d u c t , w i t h d r a w " , o r the l i k e . It often a p p e a r s in descriptions o f b a t d e s ,
42 43
w h e r e it refers to the capturing o f p r i s o n e r s , or o f cattle, o r to the
44
withdrawal o f troops from a siege. T h e p r o b l e m is what it c o u l d
possibly mean with reference to the Pharisees: they are those w h o
&7r<r)fovTes TTJVTCPCOTTJVoctpeatv.

O n e m a y visualize the p r o b l e m s created b y 7cpo>T7) a n d dwcayctf b y c o m ­


paring three standard critical translations o f War 2 : 1 6 2 : those o f
R e i n a c h , Thackeray, and Michel-Bauernfeind.
R e i n a c h gives:

Des deux sectes plus anciennes les Pharisiens (Auo 8e T<OV 7cpox£pa)v
OocptaocTot [xev ot), considered c o m m e les interpretes exacts des lois et c o m m e
les createurs de la premiere ecole (TTJV icpcoxrjv owcdyovTes octpeatv). . . .

H e takes thercpoxepcov,7rpa)TT|, a n d Seuxepov ( § 164) to refer to the age o f


the s c h o o l s . B o t h Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s are o l d e r than the Essenes
(plus anciennes) a n d o f these t w o , the Pharisees are o l d e r : they created the
first school.
R e i n a c h ' s translation has the virtue o f p r o v i d i n g plausible m e a n i n g s
for b o t h o f the t r o u b l e s o m e w o r d s . I f c h r o n o l o g y is the issue, then sparer]
explains itself s i m p l y . O n e c a n also u n d e r s t a n d arcdyco b y e n v i s i o n i n g ,
at s o m e p o i n t in the past, an undifferentiated body o f Jews, some o f
w h o m the Pharisees " d r a w a w a y " in o r d e r to create o r constitute the
first s c h o o l . T h i s interpretation seems to b e s u p p o r t e d b y the o l d Latin:
et p r i m a e apud Iudaios sectae auctoris erant. I f R e i n a c h ' s translation is
valid, then J o s e p h u s in War 2 : 1 6 2 p r o v i d e s a u n i q u e a n d historically
valuable c l a i m a b o u t the origins o f the J e w i s h g r o u p s in Palestine.
That uniqueness, however, also poses difficulties for Reinach's
translation. F o r elsewhere, w h e n J o s e p h u s refers to the antiquity o f the
s c h o o l s , h e implies a r o u g h l y c o n t e m p o r a n e o u s p o i n t o f o r i g i n for all
three. In Ant. 13:171 he dates t h e m all to the m i d - s e c o n d c e n t u r y B C ,
the t i m e o f J o n a t h a n the H a s m o n e a n . In Ant. 1 8 : 1 1 , h e c l a i m s : " T h e
J e w s , f r o m the m o s t ancient times (ex TOU 7cdvu dpxoctou), h a d three

4 0
If <X7ca£etv were the correct reading at Ant. 15:374, as in the (10th. century?)
Epitome, its meaning would also be problematic. But this variant is unlikely. Cf. G. C .
Richards and R . J. H . Shutt, "Critical Notes on Josephus' AntiquitiesCQ31 (1937),
174.
4 1
E.g., War 1:46, 297; Ant. 2:307, 311; 20:152.
4 2
Ant. 10:83, 98; 11:61.
4 3
War 3:452; 5:65; Ant. 5:167; 8:294; 9:191.
4 4
Ant. 7:290, 393; 8:365.
130 CHAPTER SIX

philosophies pertaining to their t r a d i t i o n s . " T h e s e statements suggest


that J o s e p h u s r e g a r d e d all three g r o u p s as o f similar antiquity.
Further, the present participle a7iccf0VTes o u g h t to d e n o t e a c o n t i n u i n g
action o f the present rather than an action o f the past. I n d e e d , the w h o l e
discussion o f Essenes, Pharisees, a n d S a d d u c e e s should b e c o n s i d e r e d in
the present tense. S o it w o u l d s e e m m o r e reasonable to g i v e rcpcoTT) a
m e a n i n g c o n s o n a n t with the o v e r w h e l m i n g present sense o f the c o n t e x t
rather than to force e v e r y t h i n g else (especially the parallel Soxouvxe?) into
a " h i s t o r i c a l p r e s e n t " o n the basis o f a p r e s u m e d c h r o n o l o g i c a l sense for
sparer). W h a t e v e r <x7rdyco m e a n s , it seems to b e an a c t i o n in w h i c h the
Pharisees are presently e n g a g e d .
Finally, with respect to c o n t e x t , R e i n a c h seems to i g n o r e the fact that
War 2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 , t h o u g h lacking s o m e w h a t in s y m m e t r y , is a single
literary unit. I n r e a d i n g 7cpoxepcov, 7i:pa>T7), a n d Seuxepov as c h r o n o l o g i c a l
references, he fails to establish a n y c o n n e c t i o n with the t o p i c sentence o f
the entire p e r i c o p e , w h i c h b e g i n s :

Tpta yap 7uap' 'Iou8atot£ et8rj 9tXoao9£tTat, xat TOU uiv a t p e T t a x a t Oaptaatot, TOU
8e £a88ouxatot, TptTOv hi . . . 'Eaarjvot.

M i c h e l a n d B a u e r n f e i n d , o n the other h a n d , seize u p o n these c o n t e x ­


tual indicators a n d so r e n d e r the passage, " V o n d e n b e i d e n fruher g e n -
nanten Sekten . . . stellen [die Pharisaer] die erste Sekte d a r . " An
e n d - n o t e m a k e s the interpretation clear: " J o s e p h u s schliesst hier an §
119 an". 4 5
M i c h e l a n d B a u e r n f e i n d thus take 7cpoTep<ov, 7tpcoTT), a n d
SeuTepov ( § 164) as simple references b a c k to the original list o f § 1 1 9 — a
r e m i n d e r that w o u l d b e helpful to the reader after the l o n g description
o f the Essenes ( § § 1 1 9 - 1 6 1 ) .
On this r e a d i n g , h o w e v e r , CLK&yovztq lacks a clear sense. M i c h e l -
B a u e r n f e i n d suggest darstellen: " t h e Pharisees represent the first s c h o o l
[on the a b o v e l i s t ] " . Y e t h o w this renders drcdyovTes is not clear. I f
J o s e p h u s wants m e r e l y to recall his initial list o f schools in § 119, he has
c h o s e n an a w k w a r d w a y to d o s o . T h e o p e n i n g w o r d s o f § 162 suffice
to e v o k e the earlier t o p i c sentence: Auo 8e TG>V 7upoTep<ov ( s c . TayixdcTCOv,
cf. § 1 6 1 ) . T h e n follows in a p p o s i t i o n this t w o - p r o n g e d description o f the
Pharisees:

ot (a) fxeT' dxpifkias 8OXOUVT£$ e£rpfetaOoct TOC vofxtjxa xat


(b) TTJV TCpcoTTjv a7WCYOvT£s atpeatv

If the G e r m a n critics are right, the s e c o n d strand in this pair refers yet
again to the list at § 119. It seems clear, h o w e v e r , that dcTcdyovTec; stands

4 5
Michel-Bauernfeind, De Bello Judaico, I, 439 n. 86.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 131

in some sort of parallel relationship to Soxouvxe?. Both have the same


form and share a common article. This implies a correspondence of
meaning. Therefore the way in which the Pharisees "constitute the first
school" ought to be related somehow to their reputation for (or profes­
sion of) axpifkia.
Thackeray's translation takes into account both the contextual
necessity thatrcpoxepcovrefer back to § 119 and the fact that the first two
statements of § 162 are related in sense. H e proposes:

Of the two first-named schools, the Pharisees, who are considered the most
accurate interpreters of the laws, and hold the position of the leading sect

That the Pharisees' reputation for axpt(5eta enabled them to become the
leading (rcpcoTT)) school accords well with Josephus's vision of Judaism,
as we have seen. For he declares elsewhere that among the Jews, ac­
curate interpretation of the laws is the communal goal and, conse­
quently, the sole criterion by which one acquires fame (Ag.Ap. 2:149,
175; Ant. 20:264; Life 8f.). A s the reader of War has already been told,
Queen Alexandra was able to take firm control of the government
because of her reputation for axptpeta (1:108). Likewise, two teachers of
the 7i:aTpia acquired a reputation for axptfkia and "consequently (Slot
TOUTO) enjoyed the highest esteem of the whole nation" (1:649). So it fits
perfectly with Josephan usage that he should claim that the Pharisees,
"who are considered the most accurate interpreters of the laws, . . . hold
the position of the leading school".
46
Thackeray, however, concedes that the verb otTzayco is puzzling. The
difficulty lies in the prefix <X7co, which suggests a movement away from
something (the centre, or main body?) and therefore does not seem to
fit with the idea that the Pharisees are the dominant (sparer)) school. T o
justify his translation, Thackeray opts for the emendation of anayco to
47
eTCCCfco, without manuscript support; this allows for a greater range of
positive associations.
One must ask whether the scholars' difficulties with arca-fto do not
48
arise merely from the common presupposition, shared by Thackeray,
that Josephus was himself a Pharisee. O n e would not expect a committed
Pharisee to speak of his group as "leading astray the foremost school",
as the most obvious sense of a7rayco might suggest. A full discussion of
Josephus's alleged Pharisaism must await Part I V of this study. W e may
observe, however, that Josephus has said nothing so far to give the

4 6
Lexicon, "a7C<rfetv".
4 7
Lexicon, s.v.. The emendation was suggested by Hudson.
4 8
L C L edn., I, viif.; cf. his Josephus, 7.
132 CHAPTER SIX

slightest hint o f a n y Pharisaic allegiance o n his part. O n the c o n t r a r y ,


in War 1:110 h e d e m o l i s h e d the Pharisees' reputation for superior
axpt(kta a n d euaePeta, p r e s e n t i n g t h e m rather as frauds a n d d e c e i v e r s .
S e c o n d , a l t h o u g h the Pharisees in the present passage are listed first ( §
119) a n d are called " t h e f o r e m o s t s c h o o l " ( § 1 6 2 ) , they r e c e i v e o n l y p e r ­
functory a t t e n t i o n — t w o N i e s e sections, in contrast to the fifty-two sec­
tions allotted t o the Essenes. It is the Essenes w h o l o v e o n e a n o t h e r m o r e
than d o the other groups ( § § 120, 1 2 5 ) , w h o are j u s t and most
s c r u p u l o u s (axptfJearaTOt) in their j u d g e m e n t s ( § 1 4 5 ) , w h o shun wealth
a n d p r i v i l e g e ( § § 122ff., 1 4 0 ) , w h o l o v e the truth ( § 1 4 1 ) , a n d w h o " i r ­
resistibly attract all w h o h a v e o n c e tasted their p h i l o s o p h y " ( § 1 5 8 ) . B u t
if J o s e p h u s r e g a r d s the Essenes as the fullest s p e c i m e n s o f J u d a i s m ,
w h o s e virtues excel those o f o t h e r J e w s , w h a t m u s t h e think o f the fact
that the Pharisees are the d o m i n a n t s c h o o l ? T h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n , t o g e t h e r
with his earlier d e n u n c i a t i o n o f the Pharisees, s e e m s to w a r r a n t the
retention o f an&yco in its o r d i n a r y sense, thus: the Pharisees are " l e a d i n g
a w a y / a s t r a y " the f o r e m o s t s c h o o l o f t h o u g h t a m o n g the J e w s . S u c h an
interpretation shares all the a d v a n t a g e s o f T h a c k e r a y ' s p r o p o s a l , w i t h o u t
the d i s a d v a n t a g e o f r e l y i n g o n a conjectural e m e n d a t i o n o f d7udcyco.

C . J o s e p h u s ' s third statement a b o u t the Pharisees c o n c e r n s fate a n d free


will:

(1) eifxapfxevr) xe xal Geco 7cpoadc7CTOuat rcdvTa


(2) xat TO [xev 7cpdcTTetv TOC Stxata xat \ir\ xaTa TO 7cXeTaT0v em TOT<; av6pco7cots
xetaOat,
(3) (io7)0etv 8e et$ exacrcov xat TTJV etfxapuivTjv.

H e r e w e finally e n c o u n t e r the m a i n v e r b o f the p a s s a g e . F o r the parti­


ciples 8oxouvTe<; a n d drcdyovTes h a v e m e r e l y s u m m a r i z e d w h a t was already
said a b o u t the Pharisees at 1:110, 5 7 1 . T h e y are strictly p r e l i m i n a r y t o the
m a i n issue in 2:162ff., w h i c h n o w c o m e s clearly into v i e w , n a m e l y : the
Pharisees' p o s i t i o n o n etfxapuivr) a n d v o l u n t a r y a c t i o n . B y isolating the
m a i n v e r b (7cpoaarcTOuat), w e h a v e also f o u n d the central issue in the c o m ­
p a r i s o n (uiv . . . 8e) b e t w e e n Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s in § § 1 6 2 - 1 6 5 . T h e
t w o schools differ a b o u t w h e t h e r " f a t e " is a factor in h u m a n life.
T h a t the central issue o f the passage is that o f fate a n d free will is c o n ­
firmed by Josephus's first s u m m a r y d e s c r i p t i o n o f the three J e w i s h
atpeaetc; in Ant. ( 1 3 : 1 7 1 - 1 7 3 ) . T h e r e h e reports that these g r o u p s " h e l d
different o p i n i o n s rcept TCOV dv0pto7Ctvtov 7cpay[xocTcov", that is, as to w h a t
resides in the p o w e r o f fate a n d w h a t resides in h u m a n p o w e r . I n Ant.
1 8 : 1 3 , 18, a g a i n , J o s e p h u s will raise the issue in c o n n e c t i o n with the
Pharisees a n d Essenes.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 133

The o b v i o u s p r o m i n e n c e o f the fate/free will issue in J o s e p h u s ' s des­


49
c r i p t i o n o f the cupeaetc; p r o m p t s b o t h literary a n d historical q u e s t i o n s ,
viz.: ( a ) W h a t d i d J o s e p h u s m e a n to say a b o u t fate a n d free will in
J e w i s h t h o u g h t ? a n d ( b ) w h a t historical reality w a s h e d e s c r i b i n g ? W e
c a n n o t e x a m i n e here the extensive b o d y o f s e c o n d a r y literature that has
g r o w n u p a r o u n d these questions b e c a u s e the literature tends to c o n s i d e r
t o g e t h e r : ( i ) all o f the passages o n fate a n d free will a m o n g the schools
(usually f o c u s i n g o n Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 1 - 1 7 3 ) ; ( i i ) the q u e s t i o n o f parallels ( i . e . ,
"Was J o s e p h u s m o r e J e w i s h o r m o r e G r e e k ? " ) ; a n d (iii) the q u e s t i o n
of Josephus's sources. T h e format o f the present study, however,
d e m a n d s that passages b e treated i n d i v i d u a l l y . Further, o u r interest is
c o n f i n e d to the q u e s t i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s intention: " W h a t d i d h e m e a n to
s a y ? " F o r a r e v i e w o f the scholarly d i s c u s s i o n in situ the r e a d e r is re­
ferred to A p p e n d i x B ; v i e w s presented there will o n l y b e m e n t i o n e d here
in the n o t e s .

1. Key Terms
5 0
(a) J o s e p h u s uses eifxapjxevrj 20 t i m e s : 12 times in War, 7 times in Ant.,
a n d o n c e in Ag.Ap. S e v e n o f these o c c u r r e n c e s , h o w e v e r , fall within the
s c h o o l passages n o w u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n . S u b t r a c t i n g these, the w o r d o c ­
curs in other c o n t e x t s 9 times in War, 3 t i m e s in Ant., a n d o n c e in Ag.Ap.
One m a y distinguish at the outset t w o senses o f eifxapuivrj, the o n e sub­
j e c t i v e ( i . e . , Fate as a p o w e r ) a n d the o t h e r o b j e c t i v e ( i . e . , w h a t is
5 1
"fated", "allotted", or " d e c r e e d " ) .

4 9
This prominence should not be overstated. Schlatter calls the Pharisaic position on
fate and free will "das Wesentliche" in Josephus's portrayal of the group (Theologie, 209;
so also Maier, Mensch undfreier Wille, 3). It is true that whenever the Pharisees are com­
pared to the Sadducees and Essenes (War 2:162ff.; Ant. 13:17ff.; 18:1 Iff.), this issue is
usually central (but cf. Ant. 13:297f., which compares Pharisaic and Sadducean views
of the laws). Nevertheless, when the Pharisees are described on their own, it is their
reputation for exegetical ability that consistently comes to the fore (War 1:110; 2:162;
Ant. 13:288f.; 17:41; Life 191).
5 0
The verb eifxotpxo occus at War 1:79 and 4:257.
5 1
For this general distinction and for the history of the term, see: LSJ, "eifAocpfievr]";
W . Gundel, "Heimarmene", PWRE, X I I I , 2622-2645; St. G. Stock, "Fate (Greek and
Roman)", ERE V , 786-790; I. Kajanto, God and Fate in Livy (Turku: Turun Yliopiston
Kustantama, 1957), esp. 11-23; W . D . Greene, Moira: Fate, Good, and Evil in Greek
Thought (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Univ. Press, 1944); and D . Amand, Fatalisme et
Liherte dans VAntiquite Grecque (Louvain: Bibliotheque de l'Universite, 1945), esp. 1-28.
It is now widely agreed that ei[iapfiev7] is a perfect passive feminine participle of [xeipofioci,
"to divide", in contrast to ancient etymologies. Cf. Stock, "Fate", 789; B. C . Dietrich,
Death, Fate, and the Gods (London: Athlone, 1965), 11; D . J. Furley, "Aristotle and
Epicurus on Voluntary Action", in his Two Studies in Greek Atomism (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1967), 174; W . Theiler, "Tacitus und die antike Schicksalslehre," in
Phyllobolia: fur P. von der Muhll (Basel: Benno Schwabe & C o . , 1946), 43 and n. 1.
134 CHAPTER SIX

I n its o b j e c t i v e sense, eifxocpuivr) almost always refers to the idea o f an


5 2
appointed and unavoidable time, place, o r m a n n e r o f death. Thus
H e r o d c o m p l a i n s o f his aBixov eiu.apuivr)v, w h e n h e p e r c e i v e s that his
family w a n t s his d e a t h ( 1 : 6 2 8 ) ; later, h e tries to anticipate TTJV ei(iocpuiv7)v
b y suicide ( 1 : 6 6 2 ) . W h e n M a t t h i a s ( = M a t t a t h i a s ) the H a s m o n e a n dies,
he allows that he is g o i n g " t h e destined w a y " (XTJV etu.ocpuivT)v 7copetocv—
adjectival u s a g e , Ant. 1 2 : 2 7 9 ) . N o t i c e also War 1:79, w h e r e J u d a s the
Essene speaks o f the p l a c e a p p o i n t e d o r " p r e d e s t i n e d " (x<*>ptov . . . el'fi-
apxo) for the d e a t h o f A n t i g o n u s the Hasmonean.
In the m a j o r i t y o f cases, h o w e v e r , J o s e p h u s e m p l o y s etu.ocpu.ev7) as a
subject, as h e d o e s in the s c h o o l passages. A n d it is these instances that
c a n b e e x p e c t e d to shed the m o s t light o n o u r p r o b l e m .
( i ) In War 6 : 8 4 , eiu.ocpuiv7) as subject c o m e s v e r y close to the usual o b ­
j e c t i v e m e a n i n g o f " o n e ' s allotted time a n d place o f d e a t h " . T h e R o m a n
h e r o J u l i a n u s , w e are t o l d , a l t h o u g h he h a d fought valiantly, w a s p u r ­
sued b y Fate (eBtcoxexo . . . UTCO xfj? eiu.ocp[AevT)?), " w h i c h e v e r y m o r t a l is
p o w e r l e s s to e s c a p e " (rjv au/rjxocvov SiacpuyeTv Gvr)x6v ovxa), a n d m e t an u n ­
fortunate d e a t h .
(ii) G e n e r a l l y , h o w e v e r , eiu.ocpu.evT) as a subject in J o s e p h u s a p p e a r s in
close p r o x i m i t y to Geo?. T h i s is true, for e x a m p l e , o f the six o c c u r r e n c e s
o f the w o r d in War in the c o n t e x t o f the destruction o f the T e m p l e .
R e p o r t i n g o n the v a r i o u s factions in J e r u s a l e m , J o s e p h u s notes that b o t h
the bellicose I d u m e a n s a n d the m o d e r a t e s u n d e r A n a n u s t h o u g h t that
G o d (6 Geo?) w a s o n their o w n side (War 4 : 2 8 8 ) . O n e reads o n , h o w e v e r ,
to find that they h a d mistakenly read the future ( § 2 8 9 ) a n d that the
" d e c r e e o f F a t e " (cjTpotTTjyoucjT)? xrj? ei[xocpuiv7)?) b r o u g h t a b o u t the deaths
o f A n a n u s a n d his sentries ( 2 9 7 ) . Et[xap(xevr) here e x e c u t e s the will o f
God.
(iii) In a speech o u t s i d e the T e m p l e p r e c i n c t s , J o s e p h u s calls o n the
intransigent J o h n o f G i s c h a l a to quit the revolt b e f o r e the T e m p l e is
d e s t r o y e d (War 6 : 9 6 f f . ) . A t the e n d o f his s p e e c h , J o s e p h u s confesses his
own foolishness "for offering a d v i c e in fate's despite" (o? avxtxpu?
et[xap(xevT)? xiTCocpocivoa)a n d " f o r struggling to save those w h o m God has
c o n d e m n e d " (xou? urcd xou Geou xocxocxpixou?, § 108; T h a c k e r a y ) . T h e syn­
o n y m o u s parallelism b e t w e e n fate a n d G o d is clear. It is c o n f i r m e d b y
the sequel: " G o d it is then, G o d h i m s e l f (Geo? ocuxd?), w h o with the
R o m a n s is b r i n g i n g the f i r e " ( § 1 1 0 ; T h a c k e r a y ) .
( i v ) C o n c e r n i n g the d a y o f the T e m p l e ' s d e s t r u c t i o n , J o s e p h u s writes:

5 2
Cf. V . Cioffari, "Fortune, Fate, and Chance", in Dictionary of the History of Ideas,
ed. P. P. Wiener (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973), II, 226: "The notion of
Fate may very well have arisen from the observation of the inexorability of death."
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 135

T h a t b u i l d i n g , h o w e v e r , G o d (6 8e6?), i n d e e d l o n g s i n c e , h a d sentenced to
the flames; b u t n o w . . . h a d a r r i v e d the fated d a y (TJ eifiapuivr) rjfxepa) . . .
the d a y o n w h i c h o f old it h a d b e e n b u r n t b y the k i n g o f B a b y l o n . ( § 2 5 0 ;
Thackeray).

To b e " f a t e d " , t h e r e f o r e , is t o b e d e c r e e d b y G o d . A f e w s e n t e n c e s later


Josephus comments:

D e e p l y as one m u s t m o u r n for the most m a r v e l o u s edifice w h i c h we h a v e


ever seen o r h e a r d of, . . . yet we m a y d r a w v e r y great c o n s o l a t i o n f r o m
the thought that there i s n o escape f r o m F a t e (TTJV etfxocpuivTjv, occpoxxov ouaocv,
§ 267; Thackeray).

J o s e p h u s m a r v e l s at the axptfktoc o f Fate, b y w h i c h she c h o s e the v e r y


d a t e o f the T e m p l e ' s f o r m e r d e s t r u c t i o n for its present catastrophe (§
268). T h e w h o l e n a r r a t i v e is o f o n e p i e c e , so the et[xocpfiev7) f r o m w h i c h
5 3
J o s e p h u s d r a w s c o n s o l a t i o n ( o r e x p l a n a t i o n ) is n o t h i n g o t h e r t h a n the
5 4
will o f G o d b e i n g a c t e d o u t .
( v ) L i k e w i s e , w h e n J o s e p h u s c l a i m s that et(xap[xevirj h a d shut u p a l a r g e r
t h a n usual n u m b e r o f p e o p l e in J e r u s a l e m at the o u t b r e a k o f the r e v o l t ,
d u r i n g P a s s o v e r ( 6 : 4 2 8 ) , the r e a d e r has n o t h a d t i m e t o forget Titus's
w o r d s : " G o d i n d e e d has b e e n w i t h us in the w a r " ( 6 : 4 1 1 ; T h a c k e r a y ) .
And the r e a d e r will s o o n b e assured that God m e t e d o u t r e t r i b u t i o n to
the tyrants w h o c a u s e d all o f the suffering a n d d e s t r u c t i o n ( § 4 3 3 ) .
5 5
(vi) T h e thesis o f War is that G o d is o n the R o m a n s i d e , which ex­
plains J o s e p h u s ' s r e m a r k a b o u t V e s p a s i a n :
56
Now that fortune (TJ TUXTJ) was e v e r y w h e r e f u r t h e r i n g his wishes a n d that
c i r c u m s t a n c e s h a d for the most part c o n s p i r e d i n his f a v o u r , V e s p a s i a n was
led to t h i n k that d i v i n e p r o v i d e n c e (8at[xovtoc 7Up6vota) h a d assisted h i m to
grasp the e m p i r e a n d that some j u s t d e s t i n y (Stxatoc xt? et{JLap(x£vTj) h a d
p l a c e d the sovereignty o f the w o r l d i n h i s h a n d s ( 4 : 6 2 2 ; T h a c k e r a y ) .

The indefinite p r o n o u n Tt?, b e i n g indefinite, reflects V e s p a s i a n ' s d a w n ­


i n g a w a r e n e s s that h e is r e c e i v i n g d i v i n e aid ( a l t h o u g h J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f
k n o w s v e r y well who is b r i n g i n g the R o m a n v i c t o r y ) a n d , b e i n g p e r s o n a l ,

5 3
For "explanation" or "solution" as a meaning of 7capa9u(xta, see LSJ (,9th. edn.).
5 4
How Wachter ("unterschiedliche Haltung", 101 f.) can interpret ei(xap(xevr) in these
passages to mean an autonomous power is not clear.
5 5
Cf. esp. 2:390; 5:2, 367, where TUX^J and God are said to be on the Roman side.
Cf. Lindner, Geschichtsauffassung, 22f., 29, 40ff.
5 6 7
Josephus uses tux ) some 137 times (71 of these in War). Though rich in its associa­
tions, the word never appears in a discussion of the Pharisees and is, therefore, beyond
the scope of our study. Lindner (Geschichtsauffassung, 42-48 and 85-94) finds that
Josephus's own tendency is to present TUX*1 as one aspect of the biblical-Jewish God (p.
7
92), but that Greek and Roman views of TUX ! also survive in his work. Cf. also Kajanto,
God and Fate, 11-23.
136 CHAPTER SIX

solidifies the parallel with Soctfxovia rcpovota a n d the o t h e r references to


G o d ' s assistance to the R o m a n s ( e . g . , 2 : 3 9 0 ; 5 : 3 6 7 ; 6 : 4 1 1 ) .
(vii) T h e w o r d s p u t into the m o u t h o f K i n g A g r i p p a , w h o is a b o u t to
die in retribution for his a c c e p t a n c e o f w o r s h i p as a g o d , are also n o t e ­
worthy:

Fate (eifxapuivr)) brings immediate refutation of the lying words lately ad­
dressed to m e . . . . But I must accept m y lot (TTJV 7ce7ipco(xevTjv) as G o d (Oeos)
wills it. (Ant. 19:347; Feldman)

H e r e rjrcsTCpoouivT]is what G o d has d e c r e e d ; eifxocpuivr), a g a i n , is the e x ­


e c u t i o n o f that d e c r e e .
(viii) T h e o n l y o t h e r passage in w h i c h J o s e p h u s discusses eifxapuivrj in
c o n n e c t i o n with 9eo$ is Ag.Ap. 2 : 2 4 5 . T h e r e he ridicules the w a y in w h i c h
the G r e e k Oeoi are p r e s e n t e d b y H o m e r , for Z e u s is " s o c o m p l e t e l y at
the m e r c y o f D e s t i n y (xpaxoufxevos urco TTJS eifxapuivrj) that he c a n n o t
5 7
either rescue his o w n offspring o r restrain his tears at their death"
( T h a c k e r a y ) . S u c h an idea, J o s e p h u s c l a i m s , reflects a m i s a p p r e h e n s i o n
5 8
o f the true n a t u r e o f G o d (Ag.Ap. 2:250).
In all o f these passages J o s e p h u s presents a clear a n d consistent v i e w
o f the relationship b e t w e e n eifxapuivrj a n d 6e6$. Eifxapuivrj is n e v e r a
59
supreme or even autonomous entity. O f t e n u s e d i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y with
9e6<;, it is s i m p l y the e x e c u t i v e aspect o f the d i v i n e will.
The frequent juxtaposition o f eifxapuivrj and 0e6$ in Josephus's
writings has o b v i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n s for the q u e s t i o n o f h o w a n d w h e r e he
used s o u r c e s . Several c o m m e n t a t o r s h a v e t h o u g h t that the tandem
etfxapfxevrj xal 0ea> in War 2 : 1 6 3 requires e x p l a n a t i o n , either as J o s e p h u s ' s
attempt to e x p l a i n the J e w i s h sense o f 0e6$ to Hellenistic readers ( b y ad­
60
d i n g eifxapfxevrj) or as J o s e p h u s ' s superficial attempt to j u d a i z e a
61
Hellenistic d e s c r i p t i o n o f the s c h o o l s , w h i c h c o n t a i n e d o n l y eifxapfxevrj.
But o n c e it is o b s e r v e d that J o s e p h u s regularly c o m b i n e s 9eo$ a n d
eifxapfxevrj in his o w n w r i t i n g ( a n d t h o u g h t ! ) , such stratagems b e c o m e

5 7
The charge is based on passages like Homer's Iliad, 16:433-461; 19:95-133 (where
Zeus is trapped by an oath); and 22:168-185. Notice that Lucian (Zeus Catechized, 4-11)
launches a similar attack on the notion that Zeus, if he is a god, should be limited by
Fate.
5 8
Greene, Moira, 16, argues that it was only the poets, not the philosophers, who fol­
lowed Homer in subordinating Zeus to Fate. Cf. A . Leach, "Fate and Free Will in
Greek Literature", in The Greek Genius and its Influence, ed. L. Cooper (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1917), 134-155, who denies in general that the Greek gods were seen
as bound by Fate; also Kajanto, God and Fate, 20.
5 9
Contra Wachter, "Die unterschiedliche Haltung", lOlf. and Martin, 'Josephus's
Use of Heimarmene", 133f. Cf. Notscher, Aufsatze, 7, for an accurate assessment.
6 0
So L. Wachter, "unterschiedliche Haltung", 107.
6 1
So G. Maier, freier Wille, llf., who thinks that Josephus's source was a description
of the Pharisees by Nicolaus of Damascus.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 137

superfluous. It is w h o l l y in k e e p i n g with J o s e p h a n u s a g e , further, that


in 2 : 1 6 4 , the S a d d u c e e s ' a b o l i t i o n o f eifxapfxevrj is parallel to their
" r e m o v a l o f G o d (8e6^) f r o m the sphere o f h u m a n a c t i o n " . 6 2
T h e fact
that h e h i m s e l f c a n substitute 6e6$ for eifxapfxevrj in v a r i o u s d e s c r i p t i o n s
o f the Essenes (Ant. 1 8 : 1 8 ; cf. 1 3 : 1 7 2 ) o u g h t to h a v e b e e n sufficient to
p r e c l u d e extravagant s o u r c e h y p o t h e s e s .
Does Josephus's use of eifxapuivrj accord with any particular
p h i l o s o p h i c a l currents in the Hellenistic w o r l d ? A l t h o u g h the i d e a o f a
6 3
predetermined order was present in Greece from earliest times,
64
eifxapfxevrj itself o n l y c a m e into its o w n with the G r e e k p h i l o s o p h e r s . A c ­
c o r d i n g to D i o g e n e s Laertius ( 9 : 7 ) , it w a s H e r a c l i t u s ( 5 0 3 B C ) w h o in­
troduced the term into Greek philosophical discussion, with the
65
aphorism rcavTa xe yiveaOai xaO' eifxapjxevrjv. Notice the striking
similarities to this d i c t u m in w h a t J o s e p h u s ascribes to the Pharisees
6 6
(eifxapuivrj 7Cpoaa7iTouai 7cdvxa, War 2 : 1 6 3 ) , to the Essenes (jxrjSev o fxrj
xax' exeivrjs [sc. eifxapfxevrj?] c|>fj90v avGpa>7ioi<; arcavxa, Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 2 ) , a n d to
h i m s e l f (xaXoufxev auxrjv eifxapfxevrjv, 6>q ou8ev6$ 6Vro<; o fxrj 5V auxrjv yivexai,
Ant. 1 6 : 3 9 7 ; cf. War 6 : 8 4 ) . Y e t s o m e 6 0 0 years separate J o s e p h u s f r o m
H e r a c l i t u s , a n d the i d e a o f eifxapfxevrj w a s to b e c o m e m o r e p o p u l a r a n d
n u a n c e d d u r i n g that t i m e .
In Plato's thought, W . G u n d e l sees a radical shift in the use o f
67
eifxapfxevrj. I n his earlier w o r k s Plato ridicules as effeminate the i d e a
6 8
that eifxapuivrj c a n n o t b e a v o i d e d ; his later w o r k s , h o w e v e r , reveal an
69
i n c r e a s i n g a c c e p t a n c e o f — e v e n an e m p h a s i s o n — t h e i d e a o f f a t e . Thus
in the tenth b o o k o f his Republic Plato tries to effect a s y m b i o s i s b e t w e e n
7 0
fate a n d free will, w h i c h he d o e s b y resorting to the M y t h o f E r .

6 2
Josephus's Sadducees do distinguish between God and fate. They utterly reject the
latter, but (only) severely limit the former (War 2:164). This disavowal of fate, however,
means that they deny the "executive" aspect of God's nature, his involvement in the
world. Josephus, for his part (Ant. 10:280), censures those who divorce divine activity
(rcpovotoc, which is linked with etfiapfxevr) at War 4:622) from God's existence.
Terms associated with this idea were octaoc, avayxri, fxotpa, fxopatfxov,rc£7Cp6ycat,xrjp,
6 3

and BoctfAcov, all of which occur in Homer. By Hesiod's time (Theogony 218f.) we have the
three Motpoct (Fates), who dispense good and evil at birth. Cf. Stock, "Fate", 786f.;
Gundel, "Heimarmene", 2623; and Greene, Moira, 8f.
6 4
Gundel, "Heimarmene", 2622f.; Stock, "Fate", 789.
6 5
Stobaeus, I, 178.
Cf. Ant. 18:13:rcpaaaeaGoctetfxapfxevTj toc xcavxa.
6 6

6 7
Gundel, "Heimarmene", 2626f.
6 8
Gorgias 512E: "It is believed by the women that no one can escape Fate". Cf.
Phaedo 115A and Stock, "Fate", 789.
6 9
Gundel, "Heimarmene", 2627, finds two different nuances of the term in the
mature Plato, viz.: (a) an individual's fate and (b) fate as cosmic law (Weltgesetz). Amand,
Fatalisme et Liberie, 4f., distinguishes four senses of the word in Plato.
7 0
See the discussion below.
138 CHAPTER SIX

It w a s S t o i c i s m , h o w e v e r , that r e c l a i m e d the heritage o f H e r a c l i t u s


7 1
a n d elevated etu.apu.ev71 to a central r o l e . Being a monistic philosophy,
S t o i c i s m c o u l d n o t h y p o s t a t i z e etu.apu.evri o r distinguish it o n t o l o g i c a l l y
7 2
from the o n e W o r l d - S o u l , the Logos. Thus the Stoics identified
Etu.apu.evri w i t h 0 e 6 $ , Ouats, Aoyoq, Ilpovota, a n d all o f the other terms
that they u s e d for the W o r l d - S o u l , as the f o l l o w i n g e x a m p l e s s h o w :
4 4
(i) D i o g e n e s Laertius 7 : 1 3 5 , o n the Stoics: G o d is o n e a n d the s a m e
with R e a s o n , Fate, a n d Z e u s ; h e is also called b y m a n y other n a m e s "
("Ev T ' etvat Geov xat vouv xat etfiapuivTjv xat Ata; TioXXas T ' exepa<; ovojxaata?
7rpoaovo[Aaf|ea6ai).
(ii) Z e n o is r e p o r t e d to h a v e w h o l l y identified et(xap(xevrj with rcp6vota
a n d (fiaiq: (TTJV et(xap[xevrjv) 8uvau.tv xtvrjTtxriv vf\q O'Xrj^ . . . [xrj Sta^epetv
7cp6votav xat <puatv xaXetv ( S t o b a e u s , Eel., I, 178 = SVF I, 1 7 6 ) .
(iii) C h r y s i p p u s , the third h e a d o f the S t o i c s c h o o l , a p p a r e n t l y w r o t e
in several places ( i n c l u d i n g his lost w o r k Ilept vf\$ Etfxapuivrjs): etu/xpuivrj
eaxtv 6 TOU x6au.ou Xoyoq ( S t o b a e u s , Eel., I, 1 8 0 ) .
(iv) T h e S t o i c S e n e c a likewise identifies J u p i t e r w i t h fatum, providentia,
a n d natura {Benefits 4 . 7 . 2 ; Natural Questions 2 . 4 5 . 2 ) .
( v ) Plutarch, the first-century adversary o f the S t o i c s , writes: " t h a t the
universal n a t u r e (rj xotvrj qjuaic) a n d the universal r e a s o n o f nature (6
xotvo$ Tfjs qjuaecos Xoyoq) are destiny (et(xap(xevrj) a n d p r o v i d e n c e (7tpovota)
a n d Z e u s , o f this n o t e v e n the A n t i p o d e s are u n a w a r e , for the Stoics k e e p
h a r p i n g o n this e v e r y w h e r e . " (Stoic Self-Contradictions 1050 B ; C h e r n i s s ,
LCL edn.)
(vi) Finally, A u g u s t i n e (City of God 5 : 8 ) notes that the Stoics call J o v e
73
Fate.
A s the Stoics u s e d etu.apuivri to d e s c r i b e the u n a v o i d a b l e c h a i n o f cause
a n d effect e m p o w e r e d b y the L o g o s / G o d , so J o s e p h u s uses the t e r m as
a s y n o n y m f o r , o r c o m p l e m e n t t o , Geo^ w h e n s p e a k i n g o f G o d ' s activity
in the world. B y presenting the Pharisees as those who attribute
74
e v e r y t h i n g to et[xap(xevr) xat Geco, J o s e p h u s m a y b e anticipating o n e o f

71
Cf. Stock, "Fate", 789; Gundel, "Heimarmene", 2628; W . Windelband, A
History of Philosophy, trans. J. H . Tufts (New York: Macmillan, 1910), 192f.; Amand,
Fatalisme et Liberte, 6f.; Greene, Moira, 338f.; Cioffari, "Fortune", 228; and Kajanto,
God and Fate, 13.
7 2
Cioffari, "Fortune", 226; Theiler, "Tacitus", 45f.; and Kajanto, God and Fate, 13.
7 3
Further examples may be found in SVF, II, 1024, 1076, and in Theiler, "Tacitus",
46 n. 2.
7 4
It is strange that Maier (freier Wille, 12) thinks this combination ungewdhnlich for
Stoicism. In proposing xat Geco to be a Josephan addition, intended to connect Nicolaus's
eifAapfxevTj with Jewish monotheism, he overlooks both normal Stoic and normal Josephan
usage.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 139

the bases o n w h i c h h e will later c o m p a r e the Pharisees to the Stoics (Life


7 5
12).
N o t o n l y the p a i r i n g o f ei[xap(x£vrj a n d Oeo^ b u t also the a s c r i p t i o n o f
e v e r y t h i n g (rcdcvTa) t o SLfxapuivr) recalls a S t o i c p o s i t i o n . C i c e r o d e s c r i b e s
as S t o i c the v i e w that omnia fato fiunt (On Fate, 4 0 f . ) . D i o g e n e s Laertius
likewise d e s c r i b e s the v i e w s o f l e a d i n g Stoics:

That all things happen by fate or destiny (xocO' etjxapfxevTjv hi 9<xat xa 7cdcvca
yiyvea9at) is maintained by Chrysippus in his treatise De fato, by Posidonius
in his Defato, book ii, by Z e n o and by Boethus in his Defato, book i (7:149).

S u c h a v i e w w a s u n a v o i d a b l e b e c a u s e o f the S t o i c e q u a t i o n o f stu.ocpuiv7)
with X6yo$. Here, then, is a further parallel between Josephus's
Pharisees a n d the Stoics.
Y e t a l t h o u g h S t o i c i s m b e c a m e the d o m i n a n t p h i l o s o p h i c a l system o f
7 6
the hellenistic w o r l d b y the first century A D , its o w n c o n c e p t o f
ei[xap(xevrj w a s n o t the o n e that ultimately c a p t u r e d the p o p u l a r i m a g i n a ­
t i o n . T h a t h o n o u r w e n t t o the astrological c o n c e p t i o n o f etu.apuivTj as the
77
o p e r a t i o n o f planets a n d stars o n the c o u r s e o f earthly l i f e . I n the free
flow o f ideas that c h a r a c t e r i z e d the Hellenistic p e r i o d , this " C h a l d e a n "
p h i l o s o p h y d r e w strength a n d rational s u p p o r t f r o m the S t o i c d o c t r i n e
78
o f oujJwuaOetoc in the u n i v e r s e . U n d e r the dual s p o n s o r s h i p o f S t o i c i s m
a n d a s t r o l o g y , therefore, siu.ocpu.ev7) a c q u i r e d a central p l a c e in H e l l e n i s t i c
speculations, b o t h learned and popular.
N e v e r t h e l e s s , the S t o i c - p h i l o s o p h i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f fate w a s still

7 5
A . Posnanski (Uber die religionsphilosophischen Anschauungen des Flavius Josephus
[Breslau: T . Schatzby, 1887], 11), notes that we have here only a terminological parallel.
Josephus does not advance any particular Stoic doctrines for the Pharisees, such as that
of the X6yo$ 07cep(xaTtx6^. It is worth noting, however, that Josephus himself comes close
to this Stoic teaching when, in his speech against suicide at Jotapata, he speaks of the
soul as a "portion of God" (Geou jxotpa, War 3:372).
7 6
Sandbach, The Stoics, 16; Long, Hellenistic Philosophy, 107.
7 7
Tacitus, Annals 6:22, records the struggle between the philosophical and popular
(astrological) conceptions of Fate in his own time; cf. Theiler, "Tacitus", 42f.; Gundel,
"Heimarmene", 2632-34; Amand, Fatalismeet Liberie, 1 If.; Nock, Conversion, 99f. By the
time of Augustine, the struggle was long over. Says he: "Ordinarily, when people hear
the word fate they think of nothing but the position of the stars at the moment of one's
birth or conception" (City of God 5:1, Walsh/Zema).
7 8
Gundel, "Heimarmene", 263ff.; Amand, Fatalisme et Liberie, llf. It is sometimes
argued that Stoicism, like astrology, had a Semitic origin and that this common origin
encouraged cross-fertilization (so Amand, 12f., drawing on Cumont). The case of
Posidonius of Apamea (first century BC), who was both a Stoic teacher and an astrologer
(so Augustine, City of God 5:15) is famous. Cf. also J. Bergman, "I Overcome Fate, Fate
Hearkens to M e " , in Fatalistic Beliefs in Religion, Folklore, and Literature, ed. H . Ringgren
(Stockholm: Almqvist & Ringgren, 1967), 42.
140 CHAPTER SIX

7 9
v e r y m u c h alive a m o n g the e d u c a t e d class in the first c e n t u r y AD.
After C h r y s i p p u s ' Ilept xfj<; Eifxocpuivris c a m e m a n y w o r k s o n the s a m e
8 0
subject, m o s t o f w h i c h are n o w l o s t . A n d it is in the S t o i c u n d e r ­
standing o f fate that w e find the b a c k g r o u n d to J o s e p h u s ' s o w n use o f
the t e r m in his portrayal o f the Pharisees, for he n e v e r hints at a n y
astrological n o t i o n s in this c o n n e c t i o n .
T o speak o f a J e w i s h b a c k g r o u n d for J o s e p h u s ' s use o f eifxapuivY) is dif­
ficult b e c a u s e the w o r d d o e s n o t a p p e a r at all in the L X X . N o r is it to
b e f o u n d in the N T , w h i c h springs f r o m a largely J e w i s h m i l i e u . E v e n
8 1
P h i l o uses the w o r d o n l y 8 t i m e s . But P o s n a n s k i w a s p r o b a b l y c o r r e c t
w h e n he said that J o s e p h u s :

unter eifxapfxevrj nichts anderes als den Ratschluss Gottes versteht, der als
H e r r der W e l t uber alles frei verfugt und ohne den nichts geschehen
82
kann.

S o w e c o n c l u d e that J o s e p h u s ' s use o f stfxapuivr) m o s t closely parallels


83
that o f S t o i c i s m , n o t astral f a t a l i s m , a n d that it c o u l d well b e u n d e r ­
s t o o d b y a Hellenistic r e a d e r s h i p . J o s e p h u s d o e s n o t , h o w e v e r , attribute
to a n y o f the J e w i s h s c h o o l s , o r to himself, a belief in a n y o f the o t h e r
84
particular S t o i c d o c t r i n e s .
M o s t interesting for the interpretation o f War 2 : 1 6 3 are f o u r passages
in w h i c h J o s e p h u s seems to b e d i v u l g i n g his o w n v i e w s a b o u t the rela­
tionship b e t w e e n fate (eifxapfxevrj) and human a c t i o n (TOC <xv6p<o7uivoc
Trpocyfxaxa).
(i) Ant. 3 : 3 1 4 : " F r o m these events [ G o d ' s d e s t r u c t i o n o f the i m p i o u s
kings o f Israel] o n e m a y learn h o w close a w a t c h the D e i t y keeps o v e r
h u m a n affairs (oarjv TO Oetov e m a T p o ^ v tyii TCOV avOp<07Ctvcov TrpayfxdTcov)
a n d h o w H e l o v e s g o o d m e n b u t hates the w i c k e d , w h o m H e destroys
root and b r a n c h . " ( T h a c k e r a y / M a r c u s )

7 9
Theiler, "Tacitus", 42f. (although he calls the "philosophical" definition of fate
"Platonistic", 67-81). Tacitus, Annals 6:22, presents the philosophical view of fate as a
common one in his day. Augustine still recognizes and respects it, albeit as a minority
view: "There are some, however, who define fate, not as the arrangement of stars at
conception, . . . but as the total series of causes which brings about all that happens"
(City of God 5:8, cf. 5:1). So Posidonius's influence on Stoicism was not decisive (Greene,
Moira, 354); he did not cause that school to reinterpret eifjuxpfxevrj in astrological terms.
8 0
Gundel, "Heimarmene", 2625, lists many of these works, which are known either
through extant fragments or through secondary testimony. Only a few of the later ones
(e.g., those by John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa) survive intact.
8 1
Cohn-Wendland cite eight occurrences.
8 2
Posnanski, Anschauungen, 12.
8 3
So Posnanski, Anschauungen, 11; contra L. H . Martin, "Josephus's Use of
11
Heimarmene , 127-137.
8 4
Cf. Posnanski, Anschauungen, 11 et passim.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 141

(ii) Ant. 10:277-280. Having discussed the remarkable fulfillment of


Daniel's prophecies, Josephus asserts that anyone reading them must:

learn from these facts how mistaken are the Epicureans, who exclude Pro­
vidence from life and refuse to believe that God governs its affairs (ot TTJV
xercpovotocv£x(3aXXouat TOU (3IOU xat 8e6v oux aijiouaiv £7ctTpo7ceuetv TCOV
7cpaYfxocT<ov).

H e goes on to castigate "those who judge there to be no foreknowledge


(rcpovotoc) of human affairs (rapt TCOV avSpcomvcov) with G o d " (§ 2 8 0 ) .
(hi) Ag.Ap. 2:180, where Josephus criticizes those who do away with
the foreknowledge (rcpovoia) of G o d . T h e L a w , says Josephus, teaches
that all things are under the eye of G o d (TCOCVTOC . . . exetvov e9opav, § 181).
Contrast these tenets of Josephus with the views that he attributes to the
Sadducees in War 2:164, who "do away with fate entirely" (TTJV uiv
si[X<xpuiv7)v 7TavT<X7i;aaiv avaipouaiv) "and place G o d beyond the threshold
of doing or even observing anything" (xat TOV Oeov e^co TOU Spav TL rj
e<popav Ti9evT0ct). L . Wachter is doubtless correct in finding here a harsh
85
assessment of the Sadducees.
(iv) Ant. 16:395-404, where Josephus discusses in some detail the rela­
tion between fate/providence and human responsibility. Prior to this
passage he has recounted the long period of mistrust and intrigue be­
tween Herod and two of his sons, which ended in the deaths of the sons.
Now Josephus reflects upon the causes of this tragedy and considers
three possibilities: (a) the intransigence of the sons (§ 3 9 5 ) ; (b) the vanity
of Herod (§ 2 9 6 ) ; and (c) Fortune (rj TUXTJ). O f the last he writes:

who has a power greater than all prudent reflection. For which reason we
are persuaded that human actions (T<X<; avSpcorcivai; repasts) are dedicated by
her beforehand to the necessity of taking place inevitably, and we call her
Fate (etfxapfxevTjv) on the ground that there is nothing that is not brought
about by her (ou8evd<; OVTO<; 0 fxrj 8t' ocuTrjv ytveTOct). (§ 397; Marcus/Wikgren)

Yet he does not leave the matter there—thereby making TuxVei[xapfJiev7)


the culprit—but continues:

It will be enough, so I think, to weigh this tenet against that which at­
tributes something also to us ourselves and renders us not unaccountable
for the differences in our behaviour, and which has been philosophically ex­
pounded before our time in the Law. (§ 398)

TOUTOV fxev ouv TOV Xoyov, cb$ vo(At£co, 7up6<; exetvov apxeaei xptvetv rjfxtv Te OCUTOU;
&7uo8t86vT<x<; TI xat TOC? 8ta9opa<; TCOV e7UT7)8eufxaTcov oux dva7ceu8uvou<; rcotouvTas,
a rcpo rj(xcov TJSTJ 7ce(ptXo<j697]Tat xat TCO vofxco.

8 5
L. Wachter, "Unterschiedliche Haltung", 99f.
142 CHAPTER SIX

The m e a n i n g o f this statement is n o t i m m e d i a t e l y clear, b u t appears to


h i n g e o n the sense o f xptvetv. It c a n n o t m e a n " d e c i d e in f a v o u r o f [the
fatalist p o s i t i o n ] ' ' b e c a u s e J o s e p h u s will presently return to the h u m a n
causes ( § § 3 9 9 - 4 0 4 ) o f H e r o d ' s p r o b l e m s a n d will ultimately lay m o s t o f
8 6
the b l a m e o n H e r o d . N o r c a n it m e a n " d e c i d e against, c o n d e m n [the
fatalist position]" because: (a) this would make nonsense of the
p r e c e d i n g w o r d s , w h i c h e x t o l the o m n i p o t e n c e o f fate; ( b ) e l s e w h e r e , as
w e h a v e seen, there is a m p l e e v i d e n c e o f J o s e p h u s ' s b e l i e f in the i n e x ­
orability o f fate; a n d ( c ) neither the v e r b apxeaet ( " i t will b e e n o u g h " )
n o r the present tense o f xptvetv implies a n y finality; b o t h rather suggest
an o n g o i n g tension b e t w e e n the t w o Xoyot o f fate a n d h u m a n respon­
8 7
sibility. H e n c e m y translation " w e i g h a g a i n s t " . J o s e p h u s wants s i m p l y
to b a l a n c e his b e l i e f in " f a t e " with a statement o f h u m a n responsibility.
To summarize: Josephus b e l i e v e s that G o d o b s e r v e s (e90pav) and
88
directs h u m a n affairs; h e calls G o d ' s d i r e c t i o n etu.apu.evri o r rcpovota.
God's superintendence, however, does not exclude human respon­
sibility. J o s e p h u s declines the o p p o r t u n i t y to r e c o n c i l e h u m a n respon­
sibility a n d d i v i n e p r o v i d e n c e , deferring instead to the " p h i l o s o p h i c a l "
treatment in the L a w .
( b ) TO TCpaTTeiv TOC Stxata xal u.rj. W e m a y set s o m e p a r a m e t e r s for o u r
discussion o f Stxatos in J o s e p h u s b y citing D o d d ' s s u m m a r y o f the rela­
tionship b e t w e e n the H e b r e w a n d G r e e k c o n c e p t i o n s associated with this
word:

Where within this field Stxatoouvr) differs from p"re, it is not a matter o f dif­
ference in the meaning o f the terms, but o f different conceptions o f the con­
tent o f 'righteousness'. Thus the fact that p"re is always related to G o d and
His law, rather than to social customs and institutions as such, . . . gives
a different colour to its use. . . . Where the Hebrew conception o f
righteousness differs from the popular Greek conception, we may put it
thus, that whereas for the Greek Stxaioauvrj is always being pulled over from

8 6
It is difficult to see how Wachter ("unterschiedliche Haltung", 10If.) and Stahlin
("Schicksal", 337) can say that Josephus here makes fate all-powerful and autonomous
from God, since Herod catches most of the blame for what happened with his sons. M y
reading (that fate is here an aspect of God's nature) agrees with Posnanski's
(Anschauungen, 13 n. 17); he evidently had a similar difficulty understanding his
predecessor Langen.
8 7
This interpretation would still hold, and would perhaps be strengthened, if the
reading xiveiv instead of xpivetv were accepted, as Niese has it. Marcus/Wikgren follow
the reading of T . Terry.
8 8
npovoioc is a favourite term of Josephus's. He uses it some 159 times and the verb
7upove<o about 89 times. Although 7cp6voia is much more common than eiptapptevT) in his
vocabulary, he never uses it to describe the beliefs of the schools. This is doubtless an
accommodation to the terms of the contemporary debate. O n 7Cp6voia and its
significance, cf. Attridge, Interpretation, 71-78.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 143

the broad sense o f ' righteousness' to the narrower sense o f 'justice', the pull
89
in Hebrew is in the opposite direction.

I n assessing J o s e p h u s ' s use o f Stxoctos, w e shall n e e d t o d e c i d e w h e t h e r


it is m o r e " G r e e k " o r m o r e " J e w i s h " , a c c o r d i n g t o D o d d ' s criteria.
J o s e p h u s is partial t o the Six-word g r o u p a n d uses Sixocios as an adjec­
tive, substantive, o r a d v e r b (Sixaico^) a total o f 3 5 4 t i m e s : 4 8 times in
90
War, 2 8 4 in Ant., 7 in Life, a n d 15 in Ag.Ap. W e have already observed
that in the frequent p a i r euaePifc xai Sixaio^, the f o r m e r t e r m is o r i e n t e d
91
npd$ TOV 8e6v a n d the latter rcpos <xv0pco7cou^. T h a t o b s e r v a t i o n m a y n o w
b e s u p p l e m e n t e d b y o t h e r data that indicate the h u m a n a n d social o r i e n ­
tation o f Sixoti0£ in J o s e p h u s .
S i n c e the phrase u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n is built a r o u n d TOC Stxoctoc, o u r m a i n
c o n c e r n is w i t h the articular substantives TO SIXOCIOV and TOC Stxoctoc.
G e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , the singular TO SIXOCIOV d e n o t e s the abstraction
9 2
"justice". F o r e x a m p l e , in Ant. 4 : 2 1 4 - 2 1 8 J o s e p h u s s u m m a r i z e s the
p r o v i s i o n s o f the M o s a i c L a w c o n c e r n i n g magistrates. F o u r times w i t h i n
this p a r a g r a p h TO SIXOCIOV a p p e a r s as the goal o f the magistrates in their
trial o f cases; it is m o s t clearly related t o their a v o i d a n c e o f partiality ( §
2 1 7 ) . H e r o d , w e are t o l d , m a n i p u l a t e d his o w n trial so as to o u t r a g e TO
SIXOCIOV (Ant. 1 4 : 1 7 3 ) . A n d J o s e p h u s c l a i m s that w h e n h e f u n c t i o n e d as
a magistrate in G a l i l e e , h e tried to a v o i d rash d e c i s i o n s a n d all f o r m s o f
b r i b e r y so as t o p r e s e r v e TO SIXOCIOV (Life 7 9 ) . T h e w o r d d o e s n o t always
r e q u i r e such a f o r m a l legal sense, to b e sure, a n d often m e a n s s i m p l y
"justice, fairness, or propriety" in mundane affairs (Ant. 15:218;
16:264; 17:118, 191, 298; 20:181).
W h e n the standard o f fairness o r p r o p r i e t y is articulated b y l a w , a n d
w h e n the l a w in q u e s t i o n is c o n c e i v e d o f as the gift o f G o d t o m a n k i n d ,
as in J u d a i s m , then j u s t b e h a v i o u r t o w a r d o n e ' s fellows will ipso facto
9 3
please G o d a l s o . J o s e p h u s says as m u c h in t w o p l a c e s . First:
9 4
jxe8' cov yap TO Stxatov e a T i
fxeT' exetWv 6 6eo?. (Ant. 15:138)

8 9
C . H . Dodd, The Bible and the Greeks (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1935), 44f. So
also J. A . Ziesler, The Meaning of Righteousness in Paul (Cambridge: University Press,
1972), 47.
9 0
Aixocioauv7) appears 39 times, but Sixocioco only 9 times (all in Ant.). Atxr) appears 158
times.
9 1
See chapter 4, above.
9 2
On Josephus's use of this word-group, cf. "Stxatos" in the Thackeray/Marcus Lex­
icon, and Ziesler, Righteousness, 110.
9 3
So Schlatter, Theologie, 159.
9 4
That TO Sixociov here means "justice" or "fair dealings" is clear from the context:
Herod's envoys visit the Arabs to discuss a "just settlement" (Ant. 15:137,
Marcus/Wikgren, for TO Sixaiov) but are killed by them.
144 CHAPTER SIX

For with whom justice is,


W i t h them G o d is.

T h e n in Ant. 16:177 he e m p h a s i z e s that j u s t i c e t o w a r d m a n k i n d is the


r e q u i r e m e n t o f the J e w i s h l a w :

A n d it is most profitable for all m e n , Greeks and Barbarians alike, to prac­


tise justice (TO SIXOCIOV), about which our laws are most concerned and, if
we sincerely abide by them, they make us well disposed and friendly (euvoos
xat 9tXou<;; M a r c u s / W i k g r e n )

Since the d i v i n e l y a p p o i n t e d l a w enjoins j u s t i c e , the exercise o f j u s t i c e


brings d i v i n e f a v o u r . N e v e r t h e l e s s , in b o t h o f these cases TO Stxatov is
primarily right b e h a v i o u r t o w a r d s others.
In two other cases, J o s e p h u s comes very close to the sense o f
" r i g h t e o u s n e s s " for TO SIXOCIOV. First, he uses the phrase to d e s c r i b e the
goal o f the Essenes, in Ant. 1 8 : 1 8 , w h e r e the c o n t e x t deals o n l y with mat­
9 5
ters o f the c u l t . A n d w h e n he says that b e c a u s e the J e w s a d m i r e TO
Sixaiov rather than g l o r y (S6£a), they refused to flatter Herod (Ant.
1 6 : 1 5 8 ) , he m a y b e suggesting the n u a n c e " r i g h t e o u s n e s s " , b u t this is
9 6
not clear. T h e c o n t e x t w o u l d s e e m to a l l o w also " p r o p r i e t y / j u s t i c e " .
Y e t aside f r o m these t w o a m b i g u o u s cases, TO Stxatov in J o s e p h u s bears
the simple m e a n i n g o f " j u s t i c e " o r " p r o p r i e t y " in h u m a n affairs.
D e c i s i v e for the interpretation o f o u r phrase m u s t b e the plural TOC
Sixaia, w h i c h o c c u r s substantively 25 times outside o f War 2 : 1 6 3 . In
practically all o f these instances, the t e r m bears n o particular t h e o l o g i c a l
significance b u t rather d e n o t e s h u m a n fairness or justice. W e may
distinguish three specific n u a n c e s :
(1) T w i c e , TOC Sixaia are ties o f family o r race (War 1:508; 2 : 2 1 1 ) .
(2) In n i n e instances TOC Sixaia m a y b e literally translated " r i g h t s " , as,
for e x a m p l e , in the " m e r i t s o r r i g h t s . o f a (legal) c a s e " (War 1:136) o r
" t h e rights o f c i t i z e n s h i p " (TOC Sixaia TOC TTJ<;rcoXiTSias,Ant. 1 2 : 1 2 1 ) . M o s t
o f the o c c u r r e n c e s with this sense are in passages w h e r e J o s e p h u s cites
pro-Jewish d e c r e e s a n d edicts f r o m v a r i o u s G r e c o - R o m a n rulers c o n ­
9 7
c e r n i n g the legal rights (TOC Sixaia) o f J e w s in v a r i o u s parts o f the w o r l d .
(3) In the r e m a i n i n g cases ( a b o u t f o u r t e e n ) , TOC Sixaia m a y s i m p l y b e
r e n d e r e d " w h a t is right, j u s t , fair, o r p r o p e r (in h u m a n a f f a i r s ) " . T h u s
the Essenes swear an oath TOC npbq av0pa>7toi>s Sixaia cpuXa^etv (War 2 : 1 3 9 ) .

9 5
It is worth noting that in the parallel account in War (2:145), the Essenes are said
to be "scrupulously careful and just in their trial of cases" (7uepi . . . xaq xpiaeu; axpt-,
PeaToexot xal Sixaioi). Here Stxaio? clearly refers to human affairs.
9 6
Marcus/Wikgren choose "righteousness", but the alternative seems just as ap­
propriate.
97
Ant. 14:208, 211, 265 (Josephus's words); 16:29 (Josephus's words); 19:282, 285,
288.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 145

J o s e p h u s a c c u s e s J o h n o f G i s c h a l a o f h a v i n g d o n e a w a y w i t h all t h o s e
in J e r u s a l e m w h o p r o p o s e d " j u s t a n d salutary m e a s u r e s " ( T h a c k e r a y ,
for TOC Stxoctoc x a l a u u ^ p o v r a , War 7 : 2 6 3 ) . Ant. 3 : 7 2 s p e a k s o f TOC Sixaia i n
the trial o f cases; 5 : 2 3 2 r e p o r t s that G i d e o n t h e j u d g e a d m i n i s t e r e d TOC
Stxata; i n 8 : 2 3 S o l o m o n p r a y s that h e m i g h t j u d g e (xp(vot[xt) t h e p e o p l e
o n t h e b a s i s o f TOC Stxata; a n d 8 : 2 9 6 foresees a t i m e w h e n t h e r e will b e
n o priest t o a d m i n i s t e r (xpT)|xaTt£oav) TOC Stxata. I n t h e s a m e v e i n , Ant.
1 3 : 1 2 6 r e c o r d s D e m e t r i u s I P s p l e a s u r e that t h e J e w s h a v e fulfilled their
" j u s t o b l i g a t i o n s " (TOC Stxata) t o w a r d t h e S e l e u c i d s a n d 1 5 : 1 0 8 n o t e s that
t h e N a b a t e a n k i n g failed t o p e r f o r m t h e s a m e (TOC Stxata) t o w a r d H e r o d .
A s w i t h t h e s i n g u l a r , a f e w i n s t a n c e s o f TOC SCxaia i n J o s e p h u s s u g g e s t
m o r e directly the idea o f " r i g h t e o u s n e s s " o r pleasing G o d . O n e e x a m p l e
is Ant. 9:167-169, where K i n g Joash is said to have transgressed
(7cXr|(X(xeXetv) a g a i n s t w h a t w a s right (et$ TOC Stxata) a n d t h e p r o p h e t is sent
b y G o d ( § 1 6 9 ) t o a d m o n i s h h i m t o d o t h e right (TOC Stxata 7cpdcTTetv). I n
Ant. 1 1 : 5 6 Z e r u b b a b e l praises t r u t h (rj aXrjOeta) as that w h i c h p r o v i d e s
98
" w h a t is j u s t a n d l a w f u l " (TOC Stxata xat TOC v6(xt(xa) a n d thereby keeps
away what is u n j u s t (TOC a S t x a ) . A l t h o u g h these examples show that
u l t i m a t e l y it is G o d ' s L a w that sets t h e s t a n d a r d f o r j u s t i c e , t h e y d o n o t
c h a n g e t h e fact that TOC Stxata i n J o s e p h u s s u g g e s t s p r i m a r i l y " d o i n g t h e
right t h i n g b y o n e ' s f e l l o w s " r a t h e r t h a n " o b e y i n g t h e d i v i n e L a w " per
se." The meaning is generally closer to "justice" than to
1 0 0
'' righteousness " .
T h a t J o s e p h u s i n t e n d e d TOC Stxata xat (xrj as a s i m p l e ethical c h o i c e —
" t o d o g o o d o r n o t " — i s m a d e a b s o l u t e l y c l e a r b y t h e latter h a l f o f t h e
(xev . . . Se c o n s t r u c t i o n i n o u r p a s s a g e . F o r w h e r e a s t h e P h a r i s e e s s a y
that TOTCpdcTTetvTOC Stxata xat u.rj rests x a T a TO 7rXeTarov ini TOT$ &v0pa>7uot$,
b u t that fate assists i n e a c h c a s e , t h e S a d d u c e e s ( § 1 6 4 ) d o a w a y w i t h fate
9
e n t i r e l y a n d m a i n t a i n ( § 1 6 5 ) that in av0pco7ccov ixXoyfj TO Te xaXov xat
TO xaxov; t h e latter p h r a s e m u s t b e m o r e o r less e q u i v a l e n t t o TO rcpdcTTeiv
TOC Stxata xat u.rj. J o s e p h u s ' s m e a n i n g , t h e n , s e e m s clear e n o u g h . When
h e s p e a k s o f TO 7cpdcTTetv TOC Stxata xat ptrj h e is e v o k i n g t h e ethical alter­
1 0 1
n a t i v e s o f " d o i n g w h a t is right o r n o t " .

9 8
Cf. Ant. 7:151.
9 9
In Ant. 12:121 and 14:315, TOC SCxocioc is paired with TOC GeaePet? and TOC euaejkis, re­
spectively. In these combinations it probably refers to the man-ward side of just
behaviour, just as Sixato? in the complementary pair euae(Br)s xoci Stxato^.
1 0 0
The Thackeray/Marcus Lexicon counts 59 instances in which the neuter adjective
(singular and plural) occurs substantively with the meaning "justice".
1 0 1
Note also the parellel in Ant. 18:14, where the Pharisees are said to believe in
rewards or punishments for those who have led lives of virtue or vice (dcpeT^j f\ xocxta).
These terms likewise denote ethical action in the human sphere.
146 CHAPTER SIX

The c o n c e p t o f j u s t i c e / r i g h t e o u s n e s s (Stxatoauvn, np"I2, a n d related


terms) has a rich history in J e w i s h , G r e e k , a n d early C h r i s t i a n w o r l d s
1 0 2
of thought. T h e n u m b e r o f potential parallels that m i g h t illuminate TOC
Stxata in War 2 : 1 6 3 is e n o r m o u s . It is i m p o s s i b l e t o a t t e m p t h e r e e v e n
the barest s u m m a r y o f the relevant p r i m a r y ( n o t t o m e n t i o n s e c o n d a r y )
literature. Y e t s o m e a c c o u n t m u s t b e taken o f h o w J o s e p h u s ' s u s e o f TOC
Stxata relates t o J e w i s h a n d Hellenistic c o n c e p t i o n s in his o w n d a y .
A useful starting p o i n t is the recent p r o p o s a l o f G . M a i e r that the
phrase TO rcpdtTTetv T a Stxata xat \ir\ (War 2 : 1 6 3 ) is part o f J o s e p h u s ' s at­
tempt t o j u d a i z e a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Pharisees g i v e n t o h i m b y his s o u r c e
( N i c o l a u s ) . A s s e r t i n g the ultimately J e w i s h character o f War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 ,
M a i e r remarks:

Das gilt vor allem fur die v o n vornherein religios und ethisch gefiihrte
Fragestellung nach dem ' T u n des Rechten', welche die 'Gerechtigkeit'
nicht als eine der vier kardinaltugenden, sondern als Inbegriff des
Geforderten, als das dem Menschen gesetzte Leitbild voraussetzt; hinter dem
griechischen npazxtiv ra Sixaia entdeckt man ohne weiteres das hebrdische HplS nt£W
des A T und der Qumranschriften, das in den Ps Sol und im N T mit 7toteTv
103
8ixatoauv7)v wiedergegeben w i r d . (emphasis added)

For M a i e r , t h e n , J o s e p h u s ' s d i s c u s s i o n o f TO rcpaTTetv TOC Stxata xat (xrj


p r e s u p p o s e s a biblical-Jewish v i e w o f TOC Stxata as the fulfillment o f the
divine c o m m a n d m e n t s . C u r i o u s l y , M a i e r d o e s n o t investigate the m e a n ­
ing o f Stxato^/Toc Stxata elsewhere in J o s e p h u s ; h e is e x c l u s i v e l y c o n ­
c e r n e d with external parallels f r o m the O l d a n d N e w T e s t a m e n t s a n d the
C o m m u n i t y R u l e ( 1 Q S ) o f Q u m r a n , w h i l e apparently d i s c o u n t i n g a n y
G r e e k parallels a priori.
In r e s p o n s e t o M a i e r , it is necessary t o say the f o l l o w i n g .
(i) T h e interpretation o f a n y t e r m in J o s e p h u s m u s t b e g i n w i t h , o r at
least i n c l u d e , an analysis o f his o w n u s a g e . W e h a v e seen that J o s e p h u s

1 0 2
For general treatments of the concept in both Greek and Hebrew thought, cf.
Dodd, The Bible and the Greeks, 42-59; W . Schrenk, "Sixocux;", TDNT, II, 181ff. For the
O T , cf. A . R . Gordon, "Righteousness ( O T ) " , ERE and the literature cited on p. 784;
Ziesler, Righteousness, 17-45; B. Johnson, "Der Bedeutungsunterschied zwischen sadaq
und sedaqa", Annual of the Swedish Theological Institute 11 (1978-79), 31-39; B. Przybylski,
Righteousness in Matthew (Cambridge: University Press, 1980), 8-12. For the in-
tertestamental and rabbinic literature, cf. J. Abelson, "Righteousness (Jewish)", ERE;
Ziesler, Righteousness, 52-126; E. P. Sanders, Paul, 198-205; Przybylski, Righteousness, 13-
76. For the Greek and hellenistic literature, cf. P. Shorey, "Righteousness (Greek and
Roman)", ERE; R . Hirzel, Themis, Dike, und Verwandtes (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1907); M .
Salomon, Der Begriffder Gerechtigkeit bei Aristoteles (Leiden: E . J . Brill, 1937); W . Siegfried,
Der Rechtsgedanke bei Aristoteles (Zurich: Schulthess, 1947); P. Trude, Der Begriff der
Gerechtigkeit in der aristotelischen Rechts- und Staatsphilosphie (Berlin: W . de Gruyter, 1955);
and E. A . Havelock, The Greek Concept ofJustice: From its Shadow in Homer to its Substance
in Plato (Cambridge, Mass.-London: Harvard University Press, 1978).
1 0 3
Maier, freier Wille, 12.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 147

uses TOC Stxata ( a n d the singular) elsewhere in his writings t o refer t o sim­
ple j u s t i c e in h u m a n affairs, whether in the trial o f cases o r with
reference to the rights o f the J e w s . H e n o w h e r e denies that this k i n d o f
j u s t i c e pleases G o d a n d he s o m e t i m e s c o n n e c t s it with faithfulness to the
l a w . But religious ideas are usually s e c o n d a r y to the m a i n i d e a o f social
p r o p r i e t y . S o the usefulness o f a n y o u t s i d e " p a r a l l e l s " will b e directly
p r o p o r t i o n a l to their c o r r e s p o n d e n c e to this J o s e p h a n sense.
(ii) It c a n n o t b e d e n i e d that the r o o t p"E* plays an i m p o r t a n t r o l e in
1 0 4
the O T a n d in later J u d a i s m . Insofar as the biblical c o n c e p t i o n has to
d o w i t h w h a t m i g h t b e called s i m p l e e t h i c s — " f a i r weights a n d b a l a n c e s ,
1 0 5
standard w a g e s a n d p r i c e s " — o r lawful b e h a v i o u r , M a i e r is justified
in linking it w i t h J o s e p h a n u s a g e . It n o w s e e m s clear, h o w e v e r , that for
the O T a n d J u d a i s m generally, np"TC refers to h u m a n a c t i o n within the
s c o p e o f the c o v e n a n t : o n e is p"H!i w h e n o n e fulfills o n e ' s c o v e n a n t
1 0 6
obligations toward G o d . T h i s e m p h a s i s , h o w e v e r , is n o t significant in
Josephus's use o f TOC Stxata. I n d e e d , as H . W . A t t r i d g e has s h o w n ,
J o s e p h u s has a m a r k e d t e n d e n c y t o o m i t the i d e a o f c o v e n a n t f r o m his
107
biblical p a r a p h r a s e .
(iii) N o t i c e that the L X X translators s e e m to h a v e p e r c e i v e d a signifi­
cant difference b e t w e e n HplS a n d Stxatoouvn. F o r in the L X X , Stxato?-
forms occur much more frequently in the books with universal
themes—the w i s d o m literature—than in the m o r e c o v e n a n t a l books.
T h e w o r d - g r o u p a p p e a r s o n l y 25 times in all o f the P e n t a t e u c h , b u t 9 4
times in P r o v e r b s a l o n e , w h e r e g n o m i c w i s d o m is discussed. It o c c u r s
142 times in J o b , P r o v e r b s , a n d Ecclesiastes together. A l l five cases o f
the n e u t e r substantive in P r o v e r b s h a v e the sense o f c o m m o n j u s t i c e
( 1 6 : 7 , 3 3 ; 1 8 : 5 ; 2 1 : 7 ; 2 9 : 6 ) . T h i s suggests that the L X X translators
perceived important differences between Hpl^ (as covenantal) and
108
Stxaioauvrj ( s o c i a l / r e l a t i o n a l ) .

1 0 4
Ziesler, Righteousness, 18 counts this word group some 504 times in Kind's O T
text. Cf. Przybylski, Righteousness, 8ff., and Sanders, Paul, 198ff.
1 0 5
Quoting A. R . Gordon, ERE, 781, who is summarizing Amos's usage. Cf. Dodd,
Greeks, 44.
1 0 6
Ziesler (Righteousness, 42) says for the O T : "When we turn to man's righteousness,
it is clearly a possibility only within the covenant. . . . Being within the covenant involves
doing God's will . . . and it is loyalty to the covenant and therefore righteousness. So
also right judging, right governing, right worshipping, and gracious activity, are all
covenantal and righteous, despite their diversity."
Sanders (Paul, 204) concludes, with respect to the tannaitic literature: "on the one
hand, that the righteous are those who are saved . . . . On the other hand, the righteous are those
who obey the Torah and atone for transgression. . . . One who accepts the covenant and re­
mains within it is 'righteous' . . . . " S o also Przybylski, Righteousness, 76.
1 0 7
Attridge, Interpretation, 79f.
1 0 8
Cf. also R . B. Y . Scott, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, "Anchor Bible", vol. 18 (Garden
City: Doubleday, 1965), xvif.
148 CHAPTER SIX

Further, the L X X phrases that c o m e closest to J o s e p h u s ' s TO rcpocTTetv


TOC Sixaia are TO rcotetv TOC Stxata ( P r o v . 1 6 : 7 ) , w h i c h has n o H e b r e w
original, a n d rcpdcaaetv TOC Sixata ( P r o v . 2 1 : 7 ) , w h i c h stands for the
H e b r e wfcDDttfDnfety a n d has n o t h i n g to d o with p"TC. T h i s w o u l d s e e m t o
cast c o n s i d e r a b l e d o u b t o n M a i e r ' s a s s u m p t i o n that TO rcpdcTTetv TOC Sixaia
" o h n e w e i t e r e s " reflects a H e b r e w - J e w i s h c o n c e p t i o n .
( i v ) O n the o t h e r h a n d , o n e c a n h a r d l y dismiss the G r e e k parallels to
J o s e p h u s ' s u s a g e . T h a t the G r e e k s p e r s o n i f i e d Atxrj a n d ©efit? as deities
in the t i m e o f H o m e r ( a n d b e f o r e ) indicates their early r e v e r e n c e for
1 0 9
norms of behaviour. B y the t i m e o f P l a t o , Sixatoouvrj is n o t o n l y o n e
110 1 1 1
o f the f o u r v i r t u e s ; it is the c h i e f virtue that s u b s u m e s all the o t h e r s .
T h e entire Republic o f Plato has b e e n d e s c r i b e d as " a literary m o n u m e n t
1 1 2
to the c e l e b r a t i o n o f j u s t i c e " . A r i s t o t l e , similarly, d e v o t e s the fifth
113
b o o k o f his Nicomachean Ethics to an analysis o f Stxaioauvrj. Further­
m o r e , the S t o i c C h r y s i p p u s is said to h a v e written a w i d e l y read treatise
1 1 4
"On Justice". T h u s the c o n c e p t o f j u s t i c e / r i g h t e o u s n e s s p l a y e d a
large r o l e in G r e e k t h o u g h t .
It is n o t p o s s i b l e h e r e to g i v e a n y sort o f e x p o s i t i o n o f the n u a n c e s o f
115
Stxaioauvrj for i n d i v i d u a l G r e e k w r i t e r s . W e m a y n o t e , h o w e v e r , that
the G r e e k c o n c e p t w a s f u n d a m e n t a l l y social a n d n o t religious in c o n ­
1 1 6
tent. S o D o d d : " W e m a y take it that the G r e e k - s p e a k i n g p u b l i c , o n
the w h o l e , m e a n t b y Stxaioauvrj d o i n g the right thing b y y o u r n e i g h b o u r ,
1 1 7
h o w e v e r the right thing m i g h t b e c o n c e i v e d . " Aristotle offers as a
common definition (rcdcvTas . . . Xeyetv) o f TO Siaxatov: " T h e j u s t (TO
Stxatov), then, m e a n s the lawful (TO v6(Xt(Jtov) a n d the equitable (TO i'aov)"
(N.E. 5 . 1 . 8 . ) . O r again:

T h e term 'just' is applied to anything that produces and preserves the hap­
piness (euSatfxovta), or the component parts of the happiness, of the political
1 1 8
community (TTJrcoXiTixfjxotvcovtoc). ( 5 . 1 . 1 3 . )

1 0 9
Hirzel, Themis, 18f., 138f.
1 1 0
Republic 432b. Schrenk (TDNT, II, 182 n. 2) finds righteousness among the virtues
already in Aeschylus.
1 1 1
So already Theognis 147: "In Justice (Sixatoouvrj) is all virtue found in sum"
(quoted by Aristotle, N.E. 5.1.15, trans. Rackham).
1 1 2
Havelock, Greek Concept, 308f.
1 1 3
The richness of the Aristotelian conception of Sixaioouvrj has inspired the
monographs of Salomon, Siegfried, and Trude (n. 102 above).
1 1 4
So Plutarch, On Common Conceptions, 1070D; cf. P. Shorey, "Righteousness", 804.
1 1 5
See n. 102 above.
1 1 6
That is not to say that the Greeks did not also use Sixaioouvrj in the context of one's
obligations to the gods (cf. Ziesler, Righteousness, 50f.). It is rather a matter of emphasis.
1 1 7
Dodd, Greeks, 43. Cf. also Schrenk, TDNT, II, 182, who cites many examples, and
Ziesler, Righteousness, 44f.
1 1 8
Cf. also N.E. 5.1.3 and 15, where Aristotle likewise cites the common under­
standing of Stxaioauvrj (introduced by Xe-fexai. . . or 7uoXXaxi£ elvai SoxeT. . .).
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 149

O b s e r v e h o w R a c k h a m s u m m a r i z e s TOC Stxata in Aristotle:

T a Stxata means sometimes 'just acts' in the English sense, sometimes any
acts in conformity with the law, sometimes 'rights' or 'claims', i.e., any
consideration which by law, equity, or custom, certain persons have a right
to expect from others.

T h e senses identified here f o r TOC Stxata in Aristotle c o r r e s p o n d exactly


to those d i s c o v e r e d in J o s e p h u s above.
G i v e n the h i g h d e g r e e o f s e m a n t i c o v e r l a p b e t w e e n Stxato^ a n d p m ,
noted b y D o d d at the outset, it seems u n w i s e t o c l a i m that when
J o s e p h u s u s e d the phrase TO 7rpocTTSiv TOC Stxata xat (ITJ h e w a s thinking o f
an e x c l u s i v e l y H e b r e w c o n c e p t i o n o r an e x c l u s i v e l y G r e e k o n e . W h a t is
clear is: ( a ) that J o s e p h u s ' s Stxatoauvr) generally lacks a n y c o n n e c t i o n
with the idea o f c o v e n a n t ; ( b ) that the phrase in War 2 : 1 6 3 refers to a
straightforward ethical p r o b l e m — " t o d o right o r n o t " ; ( c ) that the
ethical discussion o f TOC Stxata h a d h a d a l o n g a n d v e n e r a b l e history in
Greek thought before Josephus's time; a n d ( d ) that his Hellenistic
1 1 9
readers c o u l d h a v e b e e n e x p e c t e d t o u n d e r s t a n d his m e a n i n g . Maier's
1 2 0
p r o p o s a l o v e r l o o k s entirely the p r i m a c y o f ethics in G r e e k thought.
J o s e p h u s presents the Pharisees as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c h o o l c o n c e r n e d
a b o u t relations b e t w e e n God/etfxapfxevr) a n d TO inl TOU; av0pa>7iot<; in the
1 2 1
" d o i n g o f w h a t is right o r n o t " . T h i s m e a n s that J o s e p h u s ' s use o f
Stxatov parallels his use of such other terms as euaepeta,
v6[xot/v6fxt(xa/7rocTpia, axptjkia, al'peatg, a n d et(xap(xevr). N o n e reflects a
u n i q u e l y J e w i s h c a t e g o r y ; all are d r a w n f r o m the o r d i n a r y v o c a b u l a r y
of Hellenism.
( c ) inl T0t<; av0p<o7i;ot<; xetaOat. T h i s phrase seems straightforward. T h e
v e r b xetfxat with ev o r ini a n d a dative o c c u r s at least 8 o t h e r times in
J o s e p h u s with the m e a n i n g " t o b e in the p o w e r o f s o m e o n e o r s o m e ­
1 2 2
thing". T h u s J o s e p h u s c l a i m s here that the Pharisees h o l d that " t h e
d o i n g o f right o r n o t " lies m a i n l y with m e n .

1 1 9
Schrenk (TDNT, II, 183) comments on Josephus's frequent use of Stxatoi; in con­
7 e t c t n a t
junction with &Y<X06<;, ^P )**™^ > these lists of virtues "display not the slightest
difference from current hellenistic usage". (For these pairs, cf. Ant. 3:71; 4:134; 6:21,
93, 147; 7:151, 386; 8:248; 9:100, 132, 216; 10:246, etc.).
1 2 0
Cf. Diogenes Laertius' claim that Socrates introduced ethics (2:16); also Greene,
Moira, 221 ff. (on the importance of ethics for the earlier philosopher), 331, 338 (for Stoics
and Epicureans); Armstrong, "Greek Philosophy", 210 (on the later Stoics); and Sand-
bach, Stoics, llf. (on ancient philosophy in general).
1 2 1
Even the equation of 8txocto<; with v6(xt(xo<;, which Josephus implies several times
(e.g., Ant. 6:165; 7:151; 8:208; 11:56; 13:291; Ap. 2:293), though it certainly accords
with biblical-Jewish conceptions, is also native to Greek thought, as we have seen in the
definitions from Aristotle.
1 2 2
War 3:389, 396; 5:59; Ant. 1:178; 5:110; 13:355; 18:215; 19:167.
150 CHAPTER SIX

J o s e p h u s uses em T0t£ avOpoorcots h e r e to speak o f b o t h the Pharisaic ( §


1
163) a n d the S a d d u c e a n ( § 165) positions; the S a d d u c e e s 9<xatv 8' in
avOpcorccov exXoyfj TO xaXov xal TO xaxov TipoxetaOat. In the parallel at Ant.
13:171-173, however, the p h r a s e is £9' rjfxtv: the Sadducees believe
1 2 3
a7cavT<x 8e £9' rjulv aikots xetaOat ( § 1 7 3 ) .
T w o o b s e r v a t i o n s are p e r t i n e n t h e r e . First, the phrase TO £9' rjulv h a d
taken o n , l o n g b e f o r e J o s e p h u s ' s t i m e , a quasi-technical sense in G r e e k
ethical discussions h a v i n g to d o w i t h the causes o f h u m a n a c t i o n . In the
third b o o k o f his Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle is c o n c e r n e d to distinguish
1 2 4
v o l u n t a r y (exouato^) f r o m i n v o l u n t a r y (axouatos) a c t i o n s . N e a r the b e ­
g i n n i n g o f this discussion h e o b s e r v e s that, " w h e n the o r i g i n o f an a c t i o n
is in o n e s e l f (o*>v 8' ev OCUTG> TJ apx*)), it is in o n e ' s p o w e r to d o it o r n o t "
9
(in aura) xat TO rcpaTTetv xat fxrj, 3 . 1 . 6 ; R a c k h a m ) . F u r t h e r a l o n g in his
discussion, Aristotle b e g i n s r e g u l a r l y to use the phrase £9' rjulv for " w h a t
is in o u r p o w e r ' . Especially suggestive o f parallels for J o s e p h u s is 3 . 5 . 2 :

i<p' fjiuv 8TJ xat TJ apeTTj. ojxotwi; 8 e xat TJ xaxta. £v olq yap £ 9 ' 7|pTv TO rcpdtTTetv,
xat TO JXT] TipaTTetv. . . . ware' et TO np&weiv xaXov 6v i(p' Yiyuv eaTt, xat TO firj
Ttpdrretv i<p' TJ[JUV earai ataxpov 6v.

Therefore virtue depends on ourselves. A n d so also does vice. For where


we are free to act we are also free to refrain from acting . . . ; if therefore
we are responsible for doing a thing when to do it is right, we are also
125
responsible for not doing it when not to do it is wrong. ( R a c k h a m )

H e r e w e h a v e , as in J o s e p h u s : a discussion o f the cause o f h u m a n ac­


126
tions; the use o f TO rcpocTTeiv . . . xat firj as a t e r m for ethical a c t i o n ;
and the use o f £71' auTco/£9' rjfxtv to designate " w h a t lies in human
1 2 7
power". O n c e Aristotle h a d c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d the phrase £9' rjulv, it
t o o k a p e r m a n e n t place in ethical discussion c o n c e r n i n g v o l u n t a r i n e s s in
1 2 8
human action.
Second, that J o s e p h u s uses inl (TOIS) dv0pa>7cots in War 2:163-166
rather than £9' rjulv (as in Ant. 13:171-173) may be due simply to
1 2 9
caprice. It is w o r t h n o t i n g , h o w e v e r , that the p r o n o u n rjfxets, w h e n

1 2 3
In describing the Pharisaic position (13:172), the M S S L A M W E support £9' r|[xtv
OCUTOTs.
124
N.E. 3.1.1.
1 2 5
Cf. also N.E. 3.5.3, 6, 7, 16, 21, 22, passim.
1 2 6
Atxocios and a8ixo<; also appear in the discussion, N.E., 3.5.12, 14.
1 2 7
Notice the pairing of apexri and xaxta here and at 3.5.19. Compare Josephus on
the Pharisees, Ant. 18:13, 14.
1 2 8
Cf., e.g., Epiphanius, Against Heresies 3.2.9, on Zeno (in H . Diels, Doxographi
Graeci, p. 592, no. 36); Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel 4:3, on Chrysippus (in SVFIl,
939); and examples given by Greene, Moira, 350.
1 2 9
Epicurus, for example, uses TO 7cocp' rjjxas for the same conception, Letter to Menoeceus
133, cited in Furley, Two Studies, 184.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 151

used b y Josephus h i m s e l f in editorial o r reflective c o n t e x t s , usually


130
m e a n s " w e Jews". S i n c e in War 2 : 1 6 3 - 1 6 6 h e is d e s c r i b i n g J e w i s h
p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c h o o l s (Trap' 'IouSatots, § 1 1 9 ) it m i g h t h a v e c a u s e d s o m e
v a g u e n e s s if he h a d u s e d the usual £ 9 ' rjulv h e r e . I n Ant. 1 3 : 1 7 1 ff., h o w ­
e v e r , the situation is different, b e c a u s e he b e g i n s b y d e f i n i n g the d e b a t e
as 7cept TG>V avOpcomvcov Trpa^fxaTcov ( § 171). There, £9' rjfxtv w o u l d
naturally b e u n d e r s t o o d as " i n human p o w e r " . I n a n y c a s e , the phrase
c h o s e n b y J o s e p h u s in War 2 : 1 6 3 w o u l d , it s e e m s , h a v e b e e n u n d e r s t o o d
b y Hellenistic readers as referring to the discussion o f h u m a n volun­
tariness a n d culpability that h a d b e c o m e p r o m i n e n t w i t h Aristotle.
( d ) T h e m e a n i n g o f (JorjGetv also seems clear in its c o n t e x t : a l t h o u g h
the d o i n g o f right a n d w r o n g rests m a i n l y w i t h m e n , eifxapuivrj assists in
e a c h case. T h e v e r b (JorjOeco is at h o m e in J o s e p h a n v o c a b u l a r y . It o c c u r s
a total o f 6 0 times: 19 in War, 38 in Ant., 1 in Life, a n d 2 in Ag.Ap. The
abstract noun (JorjGeta is likewise e v e n l y distributed thoughout his
1 3 1
w r i t i n g s , for a total o f 67 o c c u r r e n c e s .
W h a t is striking a b o u t (JorjOeco in this c o n t e x t is that it recalls o n e par­
ticular p o s i t i o n in the p h i l o s o p h i c a l d e b a t e o n h u m a n voluntariness and
1 3 2
culpability, n a m e l y , that o f C h r y s i p p u s the S t o i c . C h r y s i p p u s tried to
identify the area left for h u m a n will b y S t o i c d o c t r i n e , w h i c h s e e m e d ( t o
its o p p o n e n t s ) to e x c l u d e true v o l i t i o n w i t h its c l a i m that e v e r y t h i n g (TOC
1 3 3
TiavTa) h a p p e n s b y fate ( = p r o v i d e n c e ) . Part o f his s o l u t i o n , a c c o r d i n g
to C i c e r o , w a s to distinguish t w o sorts o f causes in a n y a c t i o n : an antece­
d e n t o r m a i n cause {causaeperfectae et principales) a n d a " h e l p i n g " o r p r o x ­
imate cause (causae adiuvantes et proximae). H i s a r g u m e n t w a s that o n l y the
latter sort o f cause is attributable to eifxapuivrj, w h e r e a s the m a i n cause
1 3 4
o f an a c t i o n lies within the nature o f the p e r s o n o r t h i n g that a c t s .
T h u s w h e n s o m e o n e sets a d r u m rolling d o w n a hill, the p r i n c i p a l cause
1 3 5
o f its rolling is its o w n n a t u r e , its " r o l l a b i l i t y " . T h e initial i m p e t u s

1 3 0
E.g., War 1:6, 16; 5:137; 7:454; Ant. 1:4, 5, 9, 11, 18, 33, 129, etc.; 14:63, 65,
77, 186ff., 265ff., 304, 323; 15:7, 50, 259, 267, 371, 391, 398, 419, 425; 16:404; 17:14.
Life 1, 2, 7, 10, etc.; Ag.Ap. 1:1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 27, 29, 32, etc.; 2:1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 31, 32,
etc. Holscher claimed ("Josephus", 1982) that this use of rj{xeT? in Ant. 13-20 indicated
the Jewish character of Josephus's "intermediate source". But the use is typically
Josephan.
1 3 1
18 times in War, 46 in Ant., 3 in Life, 1 in Ag.Ap.
1 3 2
As reported by Cicero in On Fate, 39ff. The parallel was noted already by G. F.
Moore, "Fate", 238f., and was one of the factors in his attribution of our passage to
Nicolaus.
133 Yor the Stoic belief that everything happens by fate, cf. Diogenes Laertius 7:149.
1 3 4
Cf. the discusions of Chrysippus in Long, Hellenistic Philosophy, 166f.; Rist, Stoic
Philosophy, 12If.; Hicks, Stoic and Epicurean, 345d.; Sandbach, Stoics, 101f.; Windelband,
9ff.; Greene, Moira, 348; and Moore, "Fate", 376ff.
1 3 5
Cicero, On Fate, 42.
152 CHAPTER SIX

f r o m outside that m a k e s possible the rolling m o v e m e n t is o n l y an a u x ­


iliary o r " a d j u v a n t " c a u s e — w h i c h is the role p l a y e d b y fate in h u m a n
136
affairs. S o C h r y s i p p u s ' distinction o f causes a l l o w e d h i m to m a i n t a i n
137
the Stoic d o c t r i n e omnia fato fiunt while at the same time offering a
1 3 8
basis for h u m a n v o l i t i o n .
O u r p u r p o s e is o n l y to o b s e r v e the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e at this p o i n t b e ­
tween the Chrysippean doctrine and Josephus's d e s c r i p t i o n o f the
Pharisaic p o s i t i o n : in b o t h , eifxapuivrj is a cause auxiliary (adiuvo =
PorjOeco) to h u m a n v o l i t i o n . T h a t the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e is exact as far as it
goes d o e s not m e a n , h o w e v e r , that it is c o m p r e h e n s i v e . F o r just as
J o s e p h u s d o e s n o t m a k e G o d a w o r l d - s o u l , so he d o e s n o t elaborate ideas
o f principal a n d auxiliary causes.

2. Interpretation

H a v i n g e x a m i n e d the key terms in the passage, w e m u s t n o w interpret


J o s e p h u s ' s remarks o n the Pharisees, fate, a n d free will. T o d o s o , it is
necessary to b r i n g into v i e w the larger fxev . . . 8e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f § § 162-
165, in w h i c h the Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s are c o m p a r e d .
After his l o n g a n d l o v i n g description o f the Essenes, Josephus
dispenses with the Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s b y c o m p a r i n g their v i e w s o n
several points. T h e first c o n c e r n s their respective v i e w s o f eifxapfxevrj.
H e r e J o s e p h u s presents the t w o positions as p o l a r o p p o s i t e s , character­
ized b y c o n t r a d i c t o r y p r o p o s i t i o n s , n a m e l y :

Pharisees Sadducees
( 1 6 3 ) eifxapfxevrj T £ xal Geco 7rpoaa7i- ( 1 6 4 ) xrjv . . . eifxapjxevrjv 7tavTa7caaiv
xouat Tiavxa avaipooatv xal TOV Geov e£a> . . .
TiGevxai

T h i s contrast m a k e s clear theat the e m p h a s i s in 1 6 2 b - 1 6 3 a is o n the


Pharisaic belief in eifxapuivrj a n d n o t o n the r e c o g n i t i o n o f h u m a n voli­
tion. T h e latter is clearly c o n c e s s i v e : " A l t h o u g h (in their v i e w ) d o i n g
what is right o r not rests m a i n l y with m e n , in e a c h case (ei$ exaaxov) fate
assists."
T h i s r e c o g n i t i o n that fate always assists reasserts the original p r o p o s i ­
tion that e v e r y t h i n g goes b a c k to fate, although J o s e p h u s has n o w

1 3 6
Ibid., 41.
1 3 7
Ibid., 40f.
138 Whether this stratagem gives adequate credit to human volition is another ques­
tion. Cicero (On Fate, 39) did not think so. Nor do some modern commentators, e.g.,
Amand, Fatalisme et Liberie, 14; Greene, Moira, 348; Gundel, "Heimarmene", 2630.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 153

1 3 9
g r a n t e d s o m e r o o m within this s c h e m e for h u m a n v o l i t i o n . O n the
o t h e r h a n d , since the S a d d u c e e s d o a w a y w i t h fate altogether, their p o s i ­
tion gives m a n unfettered c h o i c e (exXoyrj) o n the basis o f his o w n will
(xaxa yvco[xr)v exaarov) t o d o g o o d o r evil (TO xaXdv xal TO xaxov. . .
rcpoatevat, § 1 6 5 ) . T h u s the Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s represent o p p o s i t e
p o l e s o f t h o u g h t o n eifxapfxevrj: the Pharisees find it e v e r y w h e r e ; the Sad­
d u c e e s reject it entirely.
O n a literary level o u r passage presents n o special difficulties. A l l o f
the k e y terms reflect typical J o s e p h a n u s a g e . T h e syntax seems clear, as
d o e s the m a i n p o i n t . It is n o t m a d e plain in w h a t w a y the Pharisees
believe that fate "assists" each action, so that one may ascribe
e v e r y t h i n g to fate w h i l e at the s a m e t i m e r e c o g n i z i n g h u m a n v o l i t i o n .
B u t it is clear that in e a c h a c t i o n fate d o e s n o t assist a n d that, therefore,
e v e r y t h i n g for the Pharisees is at least partially attributable to fate,
w h e r e a s for the S a d d u c e e s fate d o e s n o t enter into the d i s c u s s i o n at all.
O n the historical level, scholars h a v e f o u n d o u r passage to b e quite
p r o b l e m a t i c b e c a u s e J o s e p h u s ' s ascription t o the Pharisees o f a strong
1 4 0
b e l i e f in eifxapuivrj d o e s n o t s o u n d v e r y J e w i s h . T h e present study d o e s
n o t i n t e n d t o solve the p r o b l e m o f the historical reality o f the Pharisees,
b u t o n l y t o interpret J o s e p h u s ' s statements as his first readers m i g h t
h a v e u n d e r s t o o d t h e m . In that respect, the f o l l o w i n g o b s e r v a t i o n s are
pertinent.
F r o m at least the t i m e o f S o c r a t e s , G r e e k p h i l o s o p h e r s w e r e a b s o r b e d
1 4 1
with the ethical q u e s t i o n o f h o w o n e c o m e s to act rightly o r w r o n g l y .
F o r S o c r a t e s , the a n s w e r lay in k n o w l e d g e : o n e w h o k n o w s w h a t is g o o d
1 4 2
will naturally d o w h a t is g o o d . T h i s m e a n s , h o w e v e r , that the i g n o r a n t
m a n acts i n v o l u n t a r i l y ( o r , n o t freely) b e c a u s e h e d o e s n o t k n o w a n y bet­
1 4 3
ter. Plato c o n t i n u e d this e m p h a s i s o n e n v i r o n m e n t a l factors that t e n d
to c o m m i t o n e a priori to a particular life pattern ( s o m e t i m e s calling these

1 3 9
Maier (freier Wille, 13) acknowledges this as a possible reading of our passage, but
argues that the free-will clause may be intended to designate one exception to the other­
wise complete rule of fate, namely, the area of ethics/Soteriologie, in which man remains
wholly free. This reading, however, fails to account for the final fate clause (Por)0e!v et<;
exaa-cov TTJV etjxapfxevrjv), which restates the original proposition, with no exceptions.
Maier also neglects the (xev. . . hi comparison with the Sadducees, which seems to require
that precisely on the issue of ethics the two parties disagree about the cause of human
action, with the Sadducees making human volition the cause.
1 4 0
Moore, "Fate", 375, 397f.; Maier, freier Wille, 3. Cf. Appendix B at the end of
this study.
1 4 1
Diogenes Laertius 2:16 ("Socrates introduced ethics"); Greene, Moira, 223;
Windelband, History of Philosophy, 191.
1 4 2
Windelband, History of Philosophy, 191.
1 4 3
Ibid.
154 CHAPTER SIX

144
factors avdcyxTj a n d eifxapfxevrj). H e e m p h a s i z e d at the s a m e t i m e , h o w ­
e v e r , the responsibility o f m a n for his c h o i c e s a n d the ability o f m a n to
1 4 5
overcome environmental prejudices. Particularly in his M y t h o f Er,
1 4 6
Plato attempts a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f the t w o i d e a s . Souls s t a n d i n g b e f o r e
the three Fates are p r e s e n t e d with life patterns to c h o o s e f r o m , a n d P l a t o
r e m a r k s t h r o u g h the p r o p h e t : " T h e responsibility b e l o n g s to h i m who
1 4 7
c h o o s e s ; G o d is n o t r e s p o n s i b l e " (Rep. 617e). O n c e the c h o i c e o f life
pattern is m a d e , h o w e v e r , a Satfxcov is assigned to the soul a n d the s o u l ' s
destiny is ratified b y the Fates: he is n o w b o u n d b y necessity (dvayxr])
to live o u t the c h o s e n life (Rep. 6 2 0 d - 6 2 1 b ) . T h e goal o f this life, then,
is for m a n to learn h o w to distinguish the g o o d f r o m the b a d so that he
can take this k n o w l e d g e with h i m after d e a t h , w h e n he m u s t c h o o s e an­
1 4 8
o t h e r life-pattern (Rep. 618b-619a).
Aristotle takes u p the p r o b l e m o f TOrcpaTTetv(TOC Sixaia) xat fxrj in his
Nicomachean Ethics. H a v i n g c o n c e d e d that m u c h is d u e to nature (^uats),
necessity (avayxr)), a n d c h a n c e (TUXT|), a n d is therefore b e y o n d o u r c o n ­
trol (N.E. 3 . 3 . 3 - 1 0 ) , he nevertheless locates the cause o f virtue a n d v i c e
1 4 9
(apeTT) xal xaxia) squarely in ourselves ( £ 9 ' rjfxtv; NE. 3.5.2). Already
with these pillars o f G r e e k p h i l o s o p h y the e x p l o r a t i o n o f the relationship
b e t w e e n e n v i r o n m e n t a l factors ( o r fate) a n d v o l i t i o n in the matter o f
ethics h a d m a d e a solid b e g i n n i n g .
It was with the Stoics, h o w e v e r , that the p r o b l e m b e c a m e a c u t e , d u e
principally to their u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f fate as the w o r l d - s o u l itself, the
150
Aoyoq. Windelband comments:

Since this theory of fate made m a n , like all other creatures, determined in
all his external and internal formation and in all that he does and suffers,
by the all-animating World-power, personality ceased to be the true

144
Phaedo 80d-81d; cf. Amand, Fatalisme et Liberie, 4; Windelband, History of Philosophy,
191.
1 4 5
Greene, Moira, 313f. In Laws 904, Plato insists that the gods leave the decision for
virtue or vice to men's own souls.
146
Republic 614b-621b. For commentary on this passage, see Amand, Fatalisme et
Liberie, 5; Gundel, "Heimarmene", 2627; Greene, Moira, 313ff.; and Cioffari, "For­
tune", 227.
1 4 7
Cf. Timaeus 41d, 42d, 91de, in which it is said that one determines the quality of
one's reinarnation by one's actions.
1 4 8
Greene, Moira, 315, comments on the Myth of Er: "The allotment of human
destinies is described in terms that emphasize both the lement of encompassing necessity
or determinism and, within it, that of human freedom of choice."
1 4 9
Cf. the discussions of Aristotle on this point in Amand, Fatalisme et Liberie, 6;
Windelband, History of Philosophy, 192f.; Greene, Moira, 338, 348ff.
1 5 0
Cf. Greene, Moira, 338, 348ff.; Windelband, History of Philosphy, 192f.; Amand,
Fatalisme et Liberie, 6f.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 155

ground (apxTj) o f his actions and these appeared to be . . . but the predeter­
151
mined and unavoidably necessary operations of the G o d - N a t u r e .

We h a v e seen o n e o f the w a y s in w h i c h the S t o i c C h r y s i p p u s tried to


mitigate this p r o b l e m . F o r the E p i c u r e a n s , A c a d e m i c s , a n d Peripatetics
the p r o b l e m w a s n o t as severe b e c a u s e they d i d n o t a c c e p t the m o n i s t i c
152
p r e m i s e o f universal c a u s a l i t y . Still, the p r o b l e m o f fate a n d free will
has persisted w h e r e v e r b e l i e f in an all-powerful G o d has b e e n m a i n ­
1 5 3
tained.
W h a t all o f this s h o w s is that J o s e p h u s ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Pharisees
w o u l d h a v e b e e n readily intelligible to an e d u c a t e d Hellenistic reader.
The Pharisees, he says, are the l e a d i n g p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c h o o l a m o n g the
J e w s , a n d , like the l e a d i n g Hellenistic s c h o o l (the S t o i c s ) , they attribute
e v e r y t h i n g to fate o r G o d . A l s o like the S t o i c s , the Pharisees b o t h c o n ­
c e d e that v i r t u o u s a c t i o n lies in m a n ' s p o w e r a n d insist that etfxocp(xevr)
c o o p e r a t e s ($or\H<x>/adiuvo) in e a c h a c t i o n .
It is b e y o n d the s c o p e o f this study to d e c i d e w h e t h e r o r n o t J o s e p h u s
154
was right. Suffice it here to n o t e : ( a ) that J o s e p h u s k n e w a g o o d deal
m o r e a b o u t the Pharisees, a n d p r o b a b l y a b o u t the S t o i c s , than d o e s
155
modern scholarship; ( b ) that he c o n s i d e r e d the Pharisees a n d Stoics to
be alike in s o m e respects (cf. 7capa7cXrjato<;, Life 1 2 ) ; ( c ) that o u t s i d e
1 5 6
o b s e r v e r s o f ancient J u d a i s m s o m e t i m e s d e s c r i b e d it in S t o i c t e r m s ;

1 5 1
Windelband, History of Philosophy, 192f.
1 5 2
Cf. Diogenes Laertius 10:133 on the Epicureans; Windelband, History of Philosphy,
194f.; Greene, Moira, 334ff.
1 5 3
Christian theology has made famous attempts to tackle the problem. Milton writes
of the fallen angels who:
reasoned high
Of Providence, foreknowledge, will and fate,
Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute;
And formed no end, in wandering mazes lost.
Paradise Lost 2:557f., cited in Greene, Moira, 397.
1 5 4
Several attempts have been made to decide the question historically; cf. Appendix
B. Maier and Wachter both conclude that Josephus's portrayal of the schools is at least
tolerably accurate.
1 5 5
The Pharisees left no literary remains except the brief Megillat Ta'anit. The situa­
tion is better for later Stoicism, but authentic statements in context for the earlier
teachers (Zeno, Cleanthes, Chrysippus) are also scarce. Cf. Sandbach, Stoics, 18.
1 5 6
Cf. T . Reinach, Textes d'Autres Grecs et Romains relatifs au Judaism (Hildesheim: G.
Olms, 1963 [1895]), pp. 11, 16, 99, 242. In one passage, Hecataeus of Abdera credits
Moses with a belief that TOV oupavdv [xovov etvat Geov xat TCOV OXCOV xuptov (p. 16). Likewise
Strabo has Moses insisting that images cannot be made of the deity because the deity
is everywhere (TO rceptexov rj{xa<; owcavTa^ xat f f j v xat OaXarcav, o xaXoufiev oupavdv xat
xoqxov xat T7)v . . . 9uatv). Suffrin, "Fate", 793, remarks: "It is possible that the Stoic
philosophy lent a colouring to Jewish speculations on Divine Providence. W e know that
the ethics of Stoicism agree in many points with those of the Haggada [cf., e.g., M .
Avot], betraying some acquaintance, on the part of the Rabbis, with that school."
156 CHAPTER SIX

a n d ( d ) that m o n i s m a n d m o n o t h e i s m , insofar as they b o t h posit a single


ultimate b e i n g , m u s t share certain c o m m o n features.

D . J o s e p h u s ' s fourth statement a b o u t the Pharisees c o n c e r n s their v i e w s


o n the soul:
(i) c^ux^v TS 7taaocv uiv o^Oapxov,
(ii) [xexaPatveiv 8e etc exepov acojxa TTJV TCOV dyaOtov (AOVTJV,

(iii) xa<; 8s TCOV 9<xuXtov dtSttp Ttuxopta xoXdCea9at.


W i t h the q u e s t i o n o f the s o u l ' s i m m o r t a l i t y w e r e a c h the s e c o n d part o f
the [xev. . . 8e c o n s t r u c t i o n that g o v e r n s o u r p a s s a g e . A s w i t h the fate/free
will issue, J o s e p h u s d e s c r i b e s the Pharisaic p o s i t i o n first w i t h a s u m m a r y
1
p r o p o s i t i o n a n d then follows with t w o e l a b o r a t i v e clauses: ' e v e r y soul
is i m m o r t a l ; o n l y that o f the g o o d , h o w e v e r , passes into a n o t h e r b o d y ,
w h e r e a s the w i c k e d suffer endless p u n i s h m e n t " . T h e S a d d u c e e s , h o w ­
e v e r , dispense w i t h (dvoctpouatv) all three o f these p o i n t s . J o s e p h u s ' s use
o f dvoctpeco to d e s c r i b e their p o s i t i o n s o n b o t h fate ( § 1 6 4 ) a n d i m m o r ­
tality ( § 1 6 5 ) m a k e s clear that h e is trying to s c h e m a t i z e the v i e w s o f the
t w o g r o u p s as p o l a r o p p o s i t e s : the Pharisees affirm; the S a d d u c e e s d e n y .

1. Analysis of Terms and Concepts

T o d e t e r m i n e h o w this d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Pharisees fits into the c o n t e x t


o f J o s e p h u s ' s t h o u g h t , it w o u l d b e o f limited usefulness to e x a m i n e the
discrete o c c u r r e n c e s o f such c o m m o n w o r d s as fxeTOcpocivco, atofxa, i}uyi\,
1 5 7
dyaOos, o r Tijxcopta elsewhere in his w r i t i n g s . O u r interest h e r e is o n l y
in h o w these terms illuminate J o s e p h u s ' s m e a n i n g w i t h respect to the
Pharisaic b e l i e f in i m m o r t a l i t y . T h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n limits the f o l l o w i n g
analysis to those passages in J o s e p h u s that deal with the i m m o r t a l i t y o f
the soul. T h e y fall into three g r o u p s : ( a ) those that c o n c e r n the teachings
of the Pharisees and the Essenes; ( b ) those that c l a i m to reflect

J. Bergmann ("Die stoische Philosophic und die jiidische Frommigkeit", in Judaica: Fest­
schrift zu H. Cohens siebzigstem Geburtstage, edd. I. Elbogen, B. Kellerman, E. Mittwoch
[New York: Arno, 1980 (Berlin: B. Cassirer, 1912)], 145-166) is able to list some twenty-
six significant parallels between Stoic and ancient Jewish teaching, three of which he at­
tributes to direct influence (popular teaching form, comparison between God and the
soul, the point at which the soul occupies the body). Writing before the recent discoveries
of wide-ranging Hellenistic influence on Palestine, Bergmann proposes that Stoic influ­
ence was mediated through such means as the Greek cities in Palestine, the pilgrimage
visits of both diaspora Jewry and proselytes, and Greeks' visiting Herod's games in
Jerusalem (147f.).
157 p source-critical purposes, however, it will be necessary to ask whether these
o r

words are characteristically Josephan.


THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 157

J o s e p h u s ' s o w n v i e w s ; a n d ( c ) those that attribute beliefs to o t h e r in­


dividuals o r g r o u p s .

a) T h e T e a c h i n g s o f the Pharisees a n d the Essenes

Shortly b e f o r e o u r passage (War 2 : 1 6 3 f . ) J o s e p h u s writes o f the Essenes


(2:154-158):

For a m o n g them the view is vigorously maintained that bodies are corrup­
tible and their constituent matter impermanent (98apxoc (xev etvat TOC ato[xocT<x
xat TTJV uXrjv ou fxovtfxov aiktov) but that souls are immortal and imperishable
(TOC<; 8e c|>uxds &9<XV<XTOU<; del Stocjiivetv). Emanating from the finest ether, these
souls become entangled, as it were, in the prison-house of the body (etpXTats
T O t £ acofxaatv) to which they are dragged down b y a sort of natural spell; but
when once they are released from the bonds of the flesh (adpxoc Seajxcov),
then, as though liberated from a long servitude, they rejoice and are borne
aloft. Sharing the belief of the sons of Greece, they maintain that for vir­
tuous (dya8at<;) souls there is reserved an abode beyond the ocean, a place
which is not oppressed b y rain or snow or heat, but is refreshed by the ever
gentle breath of the west wind coming in from the ocean; while they
relegate base (9<xuXoct<;) souls to a murky and tempestuous dungeon big with
never-ending punishments (Ttfxcoptcov dStaXetTCTcov). . . . Such are the
theological views of the Essenes concerning the soul, whereby they ir­
resistibly attract all who have once tasted their philosophy. (Thackeray, ex­
cept first sentence.)

O f the three p o i n t s in the Pharisaic c r e d o ( 2 : 1 6 3 ) , then, the Essenes a c ­


c e p t ( i ) the i m m o r t a l i t y o f the soul a n d (iii) the everlasting p u n i s h m e n t
(Tifxcopta) o f the w i c k e d (9<xuXoi). O n the destiny o f the dyaGot, h o w e v e r ,
t w o different pictures e m e r g e : the Pharisees h a v e the g o o d passing into
o t h e r b o d i e s ; the Essenes, v i e w i n g the b o d y as a p r i s o n , b e l i e v e in a
special h o m e " b e y o n d the o c e a n " for freed souls.
I n the o n l y direct parallel to these d e s c r i p t i o n s (Ant. 18) J o s e p h u s says
o f the Essenes s i m p l y , " T h e y r e g a r d souls as i m m o r t a l " (dOocvocTtCouatv
Ta<; (Jjuxds, 1 8 : 1 8 ) . F o r the Pharisees, he recalls his three-point s c h e m e in
War 2 : ( i ) souls are i m m o r t a l (dOdvocTOV for ckpOocpTOv); ( i i ) eternal i m ­
p r i s o n m e n t awaits those w h o h a v e lived lives o f v i c e (etpyfxov dtStov for
di8to$ Ttfjtcopta); a n d (iii) v i r t u o u s souls find ease to live a g a i n (potaTcovrjv
TOU dvocptouv instead o f (xeTa(5atvetv et$ eTepov acojxa). It w o u l d appear,
then, that J o s e p h u s u n d e r s t a n d s the Pharisaic a n d Essene v i e w s o f i m ­
mortality to b e quite similar. T h e o n l y n o t i c e a b l e difference is o n the
q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r the soul after death g o e s to an idyllic h e a v e n l y l o c a t i o n
o r enters a n e w b o d y ; a n d w e shall see that e v e n these t w o v i e w s d o n o t
necessarily e x c l u d e e a c h o t h e r .
158 CHAPTER SIX

b ) J o s e p h u s ' s O w n V i e w o f the Afterlife

F o u r passages p u r p o r t to g i v e J o s e p h u s ' s o w n v i e w s a b o u t i m m o r t a l i t y .
First, in his d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Essene belief (discussed a b o v e ) , h e reflects:

For the good (dyocOot) are made better in their lifetime by the hope o f a
reward (Tt(Z7Js) after death, and the passions o f the wicked (xocxcov) are
restrained by the fear that, even though they escape detection while alive,
they will undergo never-ending punishment (dOdvocrov Ttfxcoptocv) after their
decease. (War 2:157; Thackeray)

T h i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f the social utility o f a b e l i e f in i m m o r t a l i t y c o m b i n e s


with J o s e p h u s ' s statement o n the irresistible a p p e a l o f Essene teachings
( 2 : 1 5 8 ) to suggest that h e h i m s e l f e n d o r s e d their p o s i t i o n .
T h e s e c o n d passage c o m e s d u r i n g J o s e p h u s ' s s p e e c h against suicide at
J o t a p a t a , w h e r e his z e a l o u s c o m r a d e s - i n - a r m s , a b o u t to b e o v e r r u n b y
the R o m a n s , w a n t to take their o w n ( a n d his) lives (War 3 : 3 3 5 f . ) . H i s
a r g u m e n t , in effect, is that a l t h o u g h it is p r o p e r to d i e in c o m b a t , it is
i m p r o p e r to take o n e ' s o w n life; o n e m u s t leave to G o d , the g i v e r o f life,
the d e c i s i o n to take it a w a y ( 3 : 3 6 2 - 3 7 1 ) . H e c o n t i n u e s :

All of us, it is true, have mortal bodies (aa>{JUXT<x OvTjxd), composed o f


perishable matter (99<xpTfjs u'Xrjs), but the soul lives forever, immortal (c|>uxn
8e dOdvocTOS det): it is a portion o f the Deity (Oeou [xotpoc) housed in our bodies
. . . . K n o w you not that they who depart this life in accordance with the
law o f nature . . . win eternal renown . . . that their souls, remaining
v
spotless and obedient, are allotted the most holy place in heaven (x<*>P<>
oupdvtov), whence, in the revolution of the ages (Ix 7ceptTpo7if]s atcovcov), they
return to find in chaste bodies a new habitation (dyvotsrcdXtvdvTevotxtCovTOct
acofxaatv)? But as for those who have laid mad hands upon themselves, the
darker regions o f the nether world receive their souls (aSrjs Bexexat xd? c|>uxd$
axoxeivoxepos) . . . . (3:372-375; Thackeray)

T h i r d , J o s e p h u s justifies his i n c l u s i o n o f a story a b o u t a p o s t - m o r t e m


a p p e a r a n c e b y c l a i m i n g that it p r o v i d e s an instance (7capd8ety{Jia) in sup­
p o r t o f the truth o f the i m m o r t a l i t y o f the soul (Ant. 17:349-354).
I n the final passage, Ag.Ap. 2 : 2 1 7 f . , J o s e p h u s c l a i m s that the ideas o f
an afterlife a n d final j u d g e m e n t are clearly taught in the M o s a i c L a w :

For those who live in accordance with our laws (TOI? vofxtficos (JtoOat) the
prize is not silver or gold. . . . N o , each individual, relying on the witness
of his own conscience and the lawgiver's prophecy, confirmed by the sure
testimony o f G o d , is firmly persuaded that to those who observe the laws
(TOT<; -COOS vofxoix; 8toc9oXdl-ai) and, if they must needs die for them, willingly
meet death (rcpoOufxcos drcoOocvouat), G o d has granted a renewed existence
(SeScoxev 6 8e6$ yeveaOoct 7cdXtv) and in the revolution [of the ages] (ex
7ceptTp07cfj^) the gift o f a better life ((iiov dfxetvco X<x(3etv). (Thackeray)
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 159

Compare now Josephus's own views about the afterlife, given here,
with those that he sets out for both the Pharisees and the Essenes:

Pharisees Josephus
(0 cl)ux*|v OKpOapxov (War 2:163) cl>ux*l d9dvaxo<; deC (War 3:372)
dGdvaxov Jaxov xats <|)UxaK
18:14)
(") Souls of the dyfot [xexa(}aCveiv Those who observe and die for
exepov aa>[xa (War 2:163) the laws are granted yeveoOat icdXtv
Souls of the virtuous find paaxa>v7)v xal (5(ov djieCva) Xd(leiv ix Tceptxporcffc
TOO avaPiouv (Ant 18:14) 2:218)
Those who die naturally divots
rcdXtv dvxevotxCCovxai acojiaatv (War
3:374)
(iii) The souls of the 90CUX01 suffer &i8uo The souls of the xdxoi meet with
xi^pCa after death (War 2:163) dOdvaxov xificopCav after death (War
2:157)

Essenes Josephus
(0 98dpxoc elvat xa aa>[iaxa xal -rfjv uXrjv xd a<o[iaxa GvrjTa rcaatv xal ix
ou pt6vt{xov (War 2:154) 99apxffc SXric (War 3:372)
(«) xa$ 8i c[>uxa? dOavdxous det (War cj>ux*) 81 dGdvaxo* dei (War 3:372)
2:154)
(iii) Souls emanate from the ether (ix A soul is a portion of God
TOO Xercxoxdxou aJ8£po?) and become housed in a body (Oeou (xotpa xoT^
trapped in the prison of the body acopuxatv IvotxtCexat) (War 3:372)
( e t p X T a t s TOTS acofxaatv) (War 2:154)
(iv) For virtuous (ayaOot) souls, after Those who die naturally are allot­
death there is a SCatxa beyond the ted the x^P 0 V
oupdvtov xdv
ocean, a x & P 0 V
optPpoi? ouxe dyuoxocxov (War 3:374)
VI9&TOI^ ouxe xaupaai (3apuv6(jt£vov
(War 2:155)
(v) The souls of the 9auXot after death The souls of the xdxoi meet with
go to a dungeon (jxux^c) filled with dOdvaxov xtfjicoptav (War 2:157)
xtjxcaptcov d8iaXei7uxcov (War 2:155)

As to whether Josephus's own views on immortality are closer to those


of the Pharisees or those of the Essenes, the following observations are
pertinent:
(i) T h e similarities between Josephus's own statements and his des­
cription of Essene teachings are more extensive and verbally closer (cf.
esp. War 2:154//3:372) than are his agreements with Pharisaic positions.
Further, the fact that he introduces his own reflections on the subject at
War 2:157, in the course of his warm description of Essene views, reveals
his sympathy with that group. H e makes his feelings clear by concluding
the passage: "Such are the theological views of the Essenes concerning
the soul, whereby they irresistibly attract (&9UXTOV. . . xaOtevTe^) all who
have once tasted their philosophy" (War 2:158; Thackeray).
160 C H A P T E R SIX

(ii) S i n c e h e will also attribute Pharisaic p o p u l a r i t y in s o m e m e a s u r e


to their b e l i e f in the afterlife (Ant. 1 8 : 1 5 ) , h e s e e m s to b e l i e v e that the
idea o f p o s t - m o r t e m r e w a r d s a n d p u n i s h m e n t s is an attractive one,
w h e t h e r h e l d b y Pharisees o r Essenes.
(iii) O n the p o i n t that distinguishes Pharisees f r o m E s s e n e s — v i z . , the
nature o f the r e w a r d for the g o o d — J o s e p h u s a p p e a r s to agree with the
1 5 8
Pharisaic b e l i e f in " r e i n c a r n a t i o n " , which does not appear a m o n g
Essene beliefs. O n e m u s t e x e r c i s e c a u t i o n , h o w e v e r , for b o d i l y i m m o r ­
tality a n d (at least t e m p o r a r y ) d i s e m b o d i e d bliss are n o t m u t u a l l y e x ­
clusive ideas. J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f c o m b i n e s t h e m w h e n he asserts that
" [ g o o d ] souls . . . are allotted the m o s t h o l y p l a c e in h e a v e n , w h e n c e
(ev0ev), in the r e v o l u t i o n o f the a g e s , they return to find in chaste b o d i e s
a n e w h a b i t a t i o n " (War 3 : 3 7 4 ) . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i n a s m u c h as the Essenes
e n v i s i o n a p e r m a n e n t d i s e m b o d i e d state, J o s e p h u s ' s o w n belief is closer
to that o f the Pharisees.
It a p p e a r s , then, that J o s e p h u s agrees with b o t h the Pharisees a n d the
Essenes o n the i m m o r t a l i t y o f the soul. L i k e the Pharisees, he e n v i s i o n s
a n e w b o d y for the future state, but he also i n c l u d e s an i n t e r i m state o f
d i s e m b o d i m e n t . In War 2 , h o w e v e r , it is the Essene v i e w that r e c e i v e s
his enthusiastic s u p p o r t ( 2 : 1 5 4 - 1 5 9 ) , w h e r e a s the Pharisaic v i e w ( 2 : 1 6 3 )
is s o m e w h a t a n t i - c l i m a c t i c .

c) O t h e r R e f e r e n c e s in J o s e p h u s to I m m o r t a l i t y

For the sake o f c o m p l e t e n e s s , w e m a y n o t e briefly o t h e r references to i m ­


mortality in J o s e p h u s . T w o o f his characters assert that an h o n o u r a b l e
159
death (OOCVOCTOS) is better than i m m o r t a l i t y (dBocvocatoc). T w o others allow
1 6 0
that h e r o i c death merits a s u p e r i o r f o r m o f i m m o r t a l i t y . Mattathias
the H a s m o n e a n , h o w e v e r , calls for a willingness to die h e r o i c a l l y o n the
g r o u n d that o n e c a n a c h i e v e i m m o r t a l r a n k in the m e m o r y o f o n e ' s
deeds (TTJ 8e TCOV epycov fivrju-T] TOC£IV dOocvocat'ocs Xa(xPdvo[xev)—a com­
1 6 1
paratively w e a k c o n c e p t i o n ! Finally, in E l e a z a r ' s s p e e c h at M a s a d a ,
the rebel l e a d e r tries to c o n v i n c e his c o m r a d e s that life in the b o d y is in­
162
a p p r o p r i a t e to the soul a n d s h o u l d b e e n d e d f o r t h w i t h . T h e principle
of conflict b e t w e e n b o d y a n d soul bears s o m e affinities to the Essene

1 5 8
I use the term, for now, in its broader sense—the entry of a soul into another body.
A more nuanced analysis follows below.
1 5 9
War 1:58; 2:151.
1 6 0
War 1:650 (re: Judas and Mattathias); War 6:46-48 (re: Titus).
161
Ant. 12:282.
1 6 2
War 7:341-357.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 161

1 6 3
view, a l t h o u g h the c o r o l l a r y o f suicide is f o r e i g n t o b o t h the Essenes
1 6 4
and Josephus.
S i n c e , h o w e v e r , n o n e o f the v i e w s expressed in these passages can
safely b e attributed to the Pharisees, the Essenes, o r J o s e p h u s himself,
they c a n serve o n l y to illustrate o t h e r possible v i e w s o f the afterlife. It
is the v i e w s that h e attributes to the Pharisees a n d the Essenes, t o g e t h e r
w i t h those he sets o u t as his o w n , that are m o s t pertinent to o u r study.

2 . Interpretation

A l l three e l e m e n t s in J o s e p h u s ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Pharisees at War


2 : 1 6 3 s e e m clear e n o u g h . A l l o f t h e m a c c o r d with his o w n t h o u g h t s o n
the soul, n a m e l y : e v e r y soul is i m m o r t a l ; eternal p u n i s h m e n t awaits the H
w i c k e d ; a n d a n e w b o d y awaits the g o o d . Interpretation is frustrated
somewhat, however, by Josephus's failure to e l a b o r a t e o n the final
clause. H i s l a n g u a g e is e v e r y w h e r e v a g u e : souls pass i n t o exepov acou.oc,
o r will s i m p l y dvajJtouv, say the Pharisees; in his o w n w o r d s , souls will
yeveaOat rcaXtv, (3tov djxeivco Xa(ktv, o r they ayvots rcaXtv avxevotxtCovTat
acojxaatv. R e m a i n i n g u n a n s w e r e d are the q u e s t i o n s : W h e r e d o e s the n e w
b o d y c o m e f r o m ? W h a t is it like? H o w l o n g will it last? W h e r e d o e s it
live? H o w l o n g is the interval b e t w e e n death a n d "reincarnation"?
J o s e p h u s d o e s offer s o m e clues a b o u t these matters, b u t they c a n o n l y
be adequately interpreted against the b a c k g r o u n d o f c o m m o n l y h e l d
beliefs in the Hellenistic w o r l d .
T h e i d e a o f the s o u l ' s passing at death into a n o t h e r b o d y w a s n o t at
1 6 5
all strange to ancient t h o u g h t . A l t h o u g h s o m e sort o f b e l i e f in the

1 6 3
Especially with the idea that the body is a prison, an inappropriate vehicle for the
soul, War 7:344, cf. 2:154f.
1 6 4
Josephus, War 3:362-382, speaks against suicide. Lindner (Geschichtsauffassung, 39)
accurately points out that Eleazar functions in the narrative of War as an implacable op­
ponent of Josephus's view. His call for suicide is meant to illustrate the hopeless outcome
of the rebels, who have defied God's will and therefore deserve to die. The speech does
not reflect Josephus's own views about suicide.
1 6 5
Cf. F. Cumont, After Life in Roman Paganism (New Haven: Yale University Press,
1922); W . Stettner, Die Seelenwanderung bei Griechen und Romern (Stuttgart: W . Kohlham-
mer, 1933); C . H . Moore, Pagan Ideas of Immortality During the Roman Period (Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1918); idem, Ancient Beliefs in the Immortality of the Soul
(New York: Cooper Square, 1963 [c. 1930]); T . F. Glasson, Greek Influence in Jewish
Eschatology (London: S.P.C.K., 1961); W . F. Jackson Knight, Elysion (London: Reider
& C o . , 1970); H . S. Long, "Plato's Doctrine of Metempsychosis and its Source",
Classical Quarterly 41 (1948) 149-155; Biichsel, "TtaXtyyeveata", TDNT, I, 686-689;
Blumenthal, "Palingenesia", PWRE, X V I I I , 139-148; and J. Head and S. L.
Cranston, Reincarnation in World Thought (New York: Julian Press, 1967). This last work
gives, albeit in translation and without clear identification, many of the pertinent texts
from our period.
162 CHAPTER SIX

1 6 6
soul's immortality g o e s b a c k to H o m e r a n d b e y o n d , the c o n v i c t i o n
that the soul b o t h leaves the b o d y at death a n d passes into a n o t h e r b o d y
1 6 7
can o n l y b e securely attributed to P y t h a g o r a s (6th c e n t u r y BC).
H e r o d o t u s ( m i d - 5 t h c e n t u r y ) describes a v i e w c u r r e n t a m o n g G r e e k s in
his time that a m a n ' s soul at d e a t h b e g i n s a c y c l e in w h i c h it passes
t h r o u g h all the creatures o f the l a n d , sea, a n d air until it o n c e a g a i n
enters a h u m a n b o d y — a c y c l e o f 3 , 0 0 0 years ( 2 : 1 2 3 ) . It m a y h a v e b e e n
this t h e o r y o f inevitable m e t e m p s y c h o s i s , a sort o f l a w o f n a t u r e , w h i c h
1 6 8
was held b y Pythagoras.
A t s o m e early p o i n t , h o w e v e r , this b e l i e f w a s m o d i f i e d b y the injection
o f a strong m o r a l e l e m e n t : m e t e m p s y c h o s i s w a s n o l o n g e r a p e r m a n e n t ,
natural p r o c e s s , b u t a p u n i s h m e n t . T h e soul w a s t r a p p e d in the b o d y as
1 6 9
in a p r i s o n o r g r a v e , a n d its g o a l w a s to e s c a p e b a c k to its true h o m e .
1 7 0
S u c h a v i e w w a s present already in P i n d a r (early 5th c e n t u r y BC),
w h o suggested that if a soul r e m a i n e d p u r e t h r o u g h o u t three lifetimes it
1 7 1
w o u l d find blissful rest f r o m b o d i l y l i f e . It w a s P l a t o , h o w e v e r , w h o
g a v e definitive shape to the idea o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n as a p u n i s h m e n t .
Plato deals with r e i n c a r n a t i o n in several places a n d always sets it in
1 7 2
a moral c o n t e x t . H i s v a r i o u s presentations d o n o t always harmonize
in detail. T h e picture in the m i d d l e w o r k s , however—Phaedo, Republic,
and Phaedrus—is fairly consistent: pre-existent souls fall from their
h e a v e n l y a b o d e b e c a u s e o f their failure to m a i n t a i n p u r e t h o u g h t . T h e y
b e c o m e i n c a r n a t e d as h u m a n s . A t death, the soul g o e s to the u n d e r w o r l d

1 6 6
C . H . Moore, Pagan Ideas, 8f. The eleventh book of the Odyssey contains the oldest
known "descent into Hades" story.
1 6 7
Moore (Pagan Ideas, lOff.) attributes it to the Orphics, as do Head and Cranston
(Reincarnation, 190). Stettner (Seelenwanderung, 7f.), however, follows Williamowitz in at­
tributing this development to Pythagoras. H . S. Long ("Plato's Doctrine", 154ff.)
agrees, pointing out that all of the evidence connecting metempsychosis with Orpheus
is quite late.
1 6 8
Herodotus declines to name its exponents, for he thinks that they plagiarized the
idea from the Egyptians. Stettner (Seelenwanderung, 8f.) thinks it Pythagorean because it
does not match any known Greek view. Seneca (Epistles 108:19) attributes such a natural
view of reincarnation to Pythagoras.
1 6 9
Stettner (Seelenwanderung, 19ff.). Cf. Plato (Cratylus 400c and Phaedo 81d f.), for
whom reincarnation is not for the ayocOot, but is a punishment (Stxrj) for the c|>ocuXot.
170
Olympian Odes 2:64-80.
1 7 1
That is, they will abide "where the ocean breezes blow around the isle of the
blest". Cf. Josephus on the Essene view, War 2:155f.
1 7 2
The key passages are Meno 81b-82e; Cratylus 400b-c; Phaedo 70c f., 80a ff.; Republic
10:613e ff.; Phaedrus 245c ff.; Timaeus 41d ff., 76 d f., 90e ff. Plato's arguments for im­
mortality/reincarnation (the two are inseparable for him) have often been summarized
and analyzed. Cf. Cicero, On Old Age, 77-81, and now R. L. Patterson, Plato On Immor­
tality (University Park, PA: Penn. State Univ. Press, 1965). H . S. Long's article
("Plato's Doctrine") gives a lucid summary of Plato on reincarnation. I follow closely
Stettner's interpretation of Plato (Seelenwanderung, 32-40) on this topic.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 163

to face j u d g e m e n t for its past life. R e c o m p e n s e is m e t e d o u t either solely


1 7 3 174
in the u n d e r w o r l d o r also b y a n e w i n c a r n a t i o n . Y e t e v e n within
these w o r k s there is s o m e tension ( o r d e v e l o p m e n t ) ; f o r w h e r e a s Phaedo
108c has the n e w b o d y d e t e r m i n e d solely b y the quality o f the p r e v i o u s
life (as p u n i s h m e n t o r r e w a r d ) , the M y t h o f E r (Republic 1 0 : 6 1 3 e f f . )
1 7 5
leaves the c h o i c e o f a n e w b o d y a n d life pattern u p to the s o u l . The
process d e s c r i b e d in these w o r k s is actually iraXtyyeveata a n d not
fxex£[xc|>ux<oat<; b e c a u s e the soul d o e s n o t m e r e l y pass f r o m o n e b o d y to an­
other but spends intervening p e r i o d s in the underworld before it
1 7 6
"becomes again".
In the Timaeus, Plato paints a s o m e w h a t different picture. The
c r e a t o r - G o d fashions o n e soul for e v e r y star a n d assigns e a c h to its star.
E n t r a n c e into a h u m a n b o d y is a test that is r e q u i r e d o f e a c h soul. T h e
soul that s u c c e e d s in m a s t e r i n g the b o d y will return at death to its blissful
life; the o n e that fails will b e g i n a c y c l e o f further i n c a r n a t i o n s in d e s c e n ­
d i n g classes o f b e i n g s — w o m e n , a n i m a l s , b i r d s , etc. In b o t h o f these
s c h e m e s , h o w e v e r , life in the b o d y is inimical to the soul a n d s o m e t h i n g
f r o m w h i c h it desires to b e released.
It is instructive to n o t e P l a t o ' s v o c a b u l a r y o n the t o p i c o f i m m o r t a l i t y .
177
He d o e s n o t h i m s e l f use the n o u n ^ a X i y y e v e a t a , b u t he d o e s e m p l o y
the c o m b i n a t i o nrcdcXtvytyveaOoct to speak o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n . I n Meno 8 1 b
he has S o c r a t e s report a v i e w held b y priests a n d poets that:

The h u m a n s o u l is i m m o r t a l (TTIV C|>UXTJV . . . dcGdvorcov) a n d a l t h o u g h it


c o m e s t o a n e n d , w h i c h is c a l l e d d e a t h , it t h e n l i v e s a g a i n (TOTS hi rcdXtv
ytyveaGat) a n d is n e v e r d e s t r o y e d .

Similarly in Phaedo 7 0 c , Socrates e x p o u n d s the " o l d v i e w " that:

S o u l s g o f r o m h e r e to there [sc. aSrjs] a n d returning here are b o r n again


(rcdXtv . . . y t y v o v x a t ) f r o m t h e d e a d . N o w if t h i s is s o , t h a t t h e l i v i n g ^ a r e
b o r n a g a i n o u t o f t h e d e a d (TCaXtv ytyveaOat ex TG>V (XTCOGOCVOVTCOV xou<; £6avTa$),
are not our souls, then, there?

1 7 3
Meno 81b-c.
1 7 4
Phaedo 80e ff.; 81e/114c; 107c/113d.
1 7 5
Stettner's observation (Seelenwanderung, 37).
1 7 6
For the distinction, cf. Cumont, After Life, 182, and Stettner, Seelenwanderung, 3ff.
w<Jl
The latter lists the occurrences of fxeTe(A(|>ux S> {X£Tevaco(xdxa)at<;, and TtaXfyyeveata in
writers of the period. In the Phaedrus, 249a, Plato is describing 7caXt-fyeveata (by this defi­
nition) when he allows that a soul requires ten incarnations, with an interval of 1,000
years between each. (Note, however, that Philo, On the Cherubim, 114, seems to use
7taXt*pfeveatoc of the soul's absorption into the divine after death.)
1 7 7
Blumenthal ("Palingenesia", 140) attributes the first known usage of the term to
Pindar.
164 CHAPTER SIX

A little further o n P l a t o i n t r o d u c e s a n o t h e r t e r m into the discussion,


n a m e l y , TO dva(Jto)aea9ai, " l i v i n g a g a i n " . H e uses this t e r m three times
in the a r g u m e n t o f Phaedo 71e a n d then in 72a substitutes a g a i n 7tdcXtv
ytyveaOoct.
Now it is generally r e c o g n i z e d that TCaXtyyeveata a n d dvoc($ta>at$ are
178
equivalent e x p r e s s i o n s . Y e t this e q u i v a l e n c e is n o t always r e c o g n i z e d
by commentators o n J o s e p h u s w h e n he uses dvaPtouv to d e s c r i b e the
Pharisaic v i e w o f the afterlife (Ant. 1 8 : 1 4 ) a n d yeveaOat rcaXtv to d e s c r i b e
his o w n v i e w (Ag.Ap. 2 : 2 1 8 ) , a p o i n t to w h i c h w e shall return presently.
S p e c u l a t i o n a b o u t the afterlife seems to h a v e s u b s i d e d after Plato.
179
A r i s t o t l e ' s skepticism a b o u t personal i m m o r t a l i t y c o r r e s p o n d e d to the
1 8 0
e m e r g i n g rationalism o f the Hellenistic a g e . E p i c u r e a n i s m rejected the
1 8 1
soul's immortality out of hand, while the older schools became
182
generally s k e p t i c a l . E v e n for the Stoics i m m o r t a l i t y w a s p r o b l e m a t i c
b e c a u s e o f their t h o r o u g h - g o i n g m a t e r i a l i s m : " s o u l " for t h e m c o u l d
1 8 3
o n l y b e the active p r i n c i p l e in m a t t e r , the A o y o ^ . It w a s , significantly,
P o s i d o n i u s , the S t o i c t e a c h e r w h o w a s m o s t o p e n to P l a t o n i s m ( a n d so
184
s o m e w h a t a t y p i c a l ) , w h o m o s t clearly e s p o u s e d immortality.
1 8 5
W h e n interest in r e i n c a r n a t i o n r e v i v e d in the late first c e n t u r y B C ,
all o f the earlier ideas f r o m H e r o d o t u s , P i n d a r , E m p e d o c l e s , a n d P l a t o
r e a p p e a r e d . O v i d ' s Metamorphoses ( A D 7 ) , for e x a m p l e , p o r t r a y s the
anima as perpetually passing f r o m o n e b o d y to a n o t h e r as a sort o f
natural p h e n o m e n o n , with n o hint o f m o r a l j u d g e m e n t as the c a u s e :

O u r souls are deathless, and ever, when they have left their former seat,
do they live in new abodes and dwell in the bodies that have received them.
. . . T h e spirit wanders, comes now here, now there, and occupies

1 7 8
Blumenthal, "Palingenesia", 139; Buchsel, 687. The equivalence holds even when
the terms are used in the Stoic context of cosmic rebirth. It was Stoic teaching that gave
currency to both terms.
1 7 9
Head and Cranston, Reincarnation, 20Iff. Aristotle gives his objections in
Metaphysics 1:9; 6:8; 12:10; 13:3. As Jackson Knight shows, however (94f.), Aristotle was
both a follower and a critic of Plato, and this leaves some tension in his writings. W .
Jaeger (Aristotle: Fundamentals of History of his Development [Oxford: Univ. Press, 1948],
50ff.), finds a development in the philosopher's thought on immortality. In his On the
Soul, 3.4.430a, 22f., for example, Aristotle allows that mind (vou^) alone is immortal.
iso p Wendland, Die hellenistisch-romische Kultur (Tubingen: J. C . B. Mohr, 1912),
140ff.; Cumont, After Life, 6ff., Stettner, Seelenwanderung, 42f.
1 8 1
Cf. especially Epicurus' *'Letter to Menoecus" in Diogenes Laertius 10:124b ff.,
and the poem The Nature of Things, bk. Ill, by the Epicurean Lucretius (mid-first century
BC).
1 8 2
Cumont, After Life, 6.
1 8 3
C . H . Moore, Ancient Ideas, 39: "The soul then for them was a mode or function
of matter."
1 8 4
Ibid., 41f. Cf. Hippolytus, Philosophoumena 1.21.3.
1 8 5
Cumont, After Life, 17f.; Stettner, Seelenwanderung, 42f.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 165

whatever form it pleases. From beasts it passes ito human bodies, and from
186
our bodies into beasts, but never perishes.
1 8 7
Seneca attributes a similar v i e w to P y t h a g o r a s . A l o n g s i d e this ap­
parently a m o r a l v i e w , h o w e v e r , the P l a t o n i c n o t i o n o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n as
a m o r a l l y d e t e r m i n e d process also r e a p p e a r e d , b o t h in the form of
ai 188
uninterrupted movement f r o m b o d y to b o d y (pteTe[X(|>ux^ ?) and as
p e r i o d i c r e i n c a r n a t i o n , f o l l o w i n g interludes in the u n d e r w o r l d (7caXty-
189 1 9 0
ysvsata) T h e Stoic v i e w o f i m m o r t a l i t y is u n c l e a r .
To s u m m a r i z e : it was Plato w h o e x e r c i s e d the d e c i s i v e influence on
the idea o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n in G r e c o - R o m a n a n t i q u i t y . H e m a d e it a c o n ­
1 9 1
stituent e l e m e n t o f his p h i l o s o p h y a n d g a v e it a rational b a s i s . Yet
e v e n Plato was not consistent in his p o r t r a y a l o f the issue. In the ancient
w o r l d there was n o c o n s e n s u s a b o u t such matters as: w h e t h e r reincarna­
tion is a perpetual process o r a f o r m o f a t o n e m e n t ; w h e t h e r o r n o t the
soul spends intervals b e t w e e n v a r i o u s i n c a r n a t i o n s in the u n d e r w o r l d ;
h o w m a n y incarnations are to b e e x p e c t e d ; h o w l o n g the p e r i o d s o f
d i s e m b o d i m e n t , a n d so forth. N o single s c h e m a p r e v a i l e d .
C l e a r l y , J o s e p h u s ' s c h o s e n terms to d e s c r i b e the afterlife—terms like
[xeTafiaivetv exepov aco[xa, yevsaGat 7taXtv and <xv<x(3touv—would have
e v o k e d a m o n g his G r e c o - R o m a n readers s o m e sort o f p h i l o s o p h y o f rein­
c a r n a t i o n . T h a c k e r a y says simply that in these passages w e find "the
1 9 2
d o c t r i n e o f the r e i n c a r n a t i o n o f the s o u l " . Y e t g i v e n the variety o f
beliefs at the t i m e , it is necessary to define the J o s e p h a n a n d Pharisaic
v i e w s s o m e w h a t m o r e closely.
W e b e g i n with W . Stettner's distinction b e t w e e n a m o r a l o r inevitable
metempsychosis, o n the o n e h a n d , and r e i n c a r n a t i o n as a p r o c e s s deter-

186
Metamorphoses 15:158-168, trans. F. J. Miller ( L C L edn.); cf. Stettner, Seelen­
wanderung, 44f.
187
Epistles 108:19.
1 8 8
Stettner (Seelenwanderung, 50) cites the treatise icept c|>t>xoc<; xoajxco, attributed to
Timaios Lokros, as evidence of this view, which recalls the Timaeus.
1 8 9
Stettner (Seelenwanderung, 50f.) adduces here the sixth book of Vergil's Aeneid, with
its descent to Hades, and Plutarch's The Face on the Moon, 28-30 ( = 943-944D in the L C L
edn.).
1 9 0
Cf. especially SVF, II, 804-22, on the views of various Stoics. Blumenthal ("Pal-
ingenesia", 149f.) points out that for the Stoics 7caXtyyeveata referred not to the soul's
rebirth but to that of the cosmos, after the conflagration. Cf. Cumont (After Life, 12ff.)
on the problems with Stoic immortality. Stettner (Seelenwanderung, 66) argues that the old
Stoa did not accept reincarnation but that Stoic physics (being monistic/pantheistic) lent
a basis to Ovid's view of reincarnation. According to Cicero (Tusculan Disputations 1:79)
the Stoic Panaetius vehemently denied the immortality of the soul. Cf. C . H . Moore,
Pagan Ideas, 20ff., and Jackson Knight, Elysion, 120.
191
So C . H . Moore, Pagan Ideas, 14ff.; Blumenthal, "Palingenesia", 141; Stettner,
Seelenwanderung, 33, 49ff.
1 9 2
L C L edn., II, 386 n. a.
166 CHAPTER SIX

mined by moral factors, on the other. Clearly, Josephus and his


Pharisees e s p o u s e the latter v i e w . H e consistently c l a i m s that it is o n l y
1 9 3
the soul o f the g o o d p e r s o n that r e c e i v e s a better l i f e . Nowhere does
he suggest that souls o f m e n o r animals pass naturally at death into o t h e r
bodies. Rather, he speaks always o f " r e w a r d s a n d p u n i s h m e n t s " for
"virtue and v i c e " .
Y e t J o s e p h u s ' s portrayal o f the afterlife is distinctive. F o r fundamental
to e v e r y o t h e r m o r a l t h e o r y o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n are the beliefs that: ( 1 ) the
b o d y is antithetical to the s o u l ; ( 2 ) life in the b o d y results f r o m a fall;
(3) g o o d souls effect an early release f r o m the xoxXo£ xfj^ yeveaeo)^ a n d
return to their h e a v e n l y h o m e ; a n d ( 4 ) o n l y the impure and con­
taminated souls m u s t s p e n d l o n g e r p e r i o d s in the b o d y . J o s e p h u s ' s o w n
v i e w s a n d those h e attributes to the Pharisees, h o w e v e r , reflect n o n e o f
these features.
J o s e p h u s ' s portrayal o f the Pharisaic p o s i t i o n is perfectly clear:

[xeTa(Jatvetv 8e et£ exepov acofxa TTJV ([JUXTJV T<OV dyaOcov [X6VTJV, TOCS Se 9<xuX<ov
atSCco Tt{xa)pta xoXdCeaOat. (War 2:163)

I n the parallel passage (Ant. 1 8 : 1 4 ) h e also e m p h a s i z e s that to " l i v e


194
a g a i n " (dvocPtouv) is a r e w a r d (Tifirj). In the Pharisaic s c e n a r i o , as
J o s e p h u s presents it, the w i c k e d n e v e r enter a b o d y again b u t u n d e r g o
eternal (dtStov) p u n i s h m e n t / i m p r i s o n m e n t ; o n l y the g o o d are r e w a r d e d
with a n e w b o d y . O n e reads a b o u t h e a v e n l y realms o n l y o n c e , in
Josephus's o w n d e s c r i p t i o n o f the afterlife (War (3:374). A n d there,
h e a v e n is n o t a final g o a l b u t an intermediate stage for g o o d souls,
" w h e n c e , ev0ev, they return to find in chaste b o d i e s (<xyvot£ aa>(xaatv) a
new h a b i t a t i o n " . A l l o f this r u n s c o u n t e r to the b a s i c p r i n c i p l e o f G r e e k
r e i n c a r n a t i o n t h e o r y that life in the b o d y is a necessary evil, to b e o v e r ­
c o m e as q u i c k l y as p o s s i b l e .
Three further peculiarities in J o s e p h u s ' s o w n d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the
afterlife s h o u l d b e n o t e d . First, w e h a v e o b s e r v e d that his yeveaGat rcdXtv
a n d dvocPtouv recall the P l a t o n i c rcdXtv ytyveaOat a n d TO dvoc($uoaea9oct. I n
the f o r m e r case, h o w e v e r , J o s e p h u s uses an aorist infinitive instead o f

193 war 2:163: rjtyvxht<ov dyaOcov (Pharisaic position); Ant. 18:14: ot dpexfj?
(Pharisees); War 3:374: those who die naturally (Josephus's position); Ag.Ap. 2:218: TOI$
TOUS v6fxou$ Sio^uXdfocai (Josephus).
1 9 4
This is clear whether one takes the final two clauses as elaborations of UTCO X^OVO^
Sixocicoaeig xoci Tiptd^ or as additions. Feldman (LCL edn.) interprets the eternal imprison­
ment and passage to new life as epexegetical: they are the punishments and rewards
meted out wed x^6vo?. It is possible, however, that the additional xoci's signify a two-stage
recompense, viz.: (a) reward and punishment under the earth and then (b) eternal im­
prisonment or a new life.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 167

195
P l a t o ' s present i n f i n i t i v e . D o e s the aorist suggest a single reincarna­
tion rather than an o n g o i n g c y c l e o f life? P o s s i b l y , a l t h o u g h the present
infinitive dva(Jtouv d o e s n o t h e l p the case. It is w o r t h n o t i n g , h o w e v e r ,
that the n e w b o d y ((Jtov dp,etva>) p r o m i s e d t o the v i r t u o u s b y J o s e p h u s
196
a n d his Pharisees is a l w a y s s i n g u l a r .
M o r e o v e r , J o s e p h u s ' s references t o the n e w b o d y s e e m to suggest that
it is m o r e than s i m p l y a n o t h e r h u m a n o r a n i m a l f o r m . U n l i k e practically
e v e r y o t h e r ancient writer o n r e i n c a r n a t i o n , h e is strangely silent a b o u t
the specific nature o f the n e w <KOU.OC into w h i c h the soul will g o . H e d o e s
n o t say explicitly h o w it c o r r e s p o n d s t o the past life o f the soul. W h a t
h e d o e s say is that the n e w b o d y will b e dyvo<; a n d will b r i n g a better life.
N o w o u t s i d e o f War 3 : 3 7 4 ( J o s e p h u s ' s portrait o f the afterlife), dyvo? o c ­
1 9 7
c u r s o n l y four times in J o s e p h u s . E a c h t i m e it clearly m e a n s " h o l y ,
s a c r e d , o r c o n s e c r a t e d " . T h a c k e r a y ' s r e n d e r i n g " c h a s t e " at War 3 : 3 7 4 ,
then, seems p e c u l i a r . J o s e p h u s is talking a b o u t a h o l y o r sacred b o d y
1 9 8
that will b r i n g a better l i f e .
Finally, w e s h o u l d n o t e that in b o t h o f J o s e p h u s ' s o w n d e s c r i p t i o n s o f
the afterlife h e uses the i n t r i g u i n g phrase ix 7ieptTpo7tfjs (atcovcov) to d e n o t e
the time at w h i c h the soul enters it sacred b o d y . T h a c k e r a y renders the
1 9 9
phrase in b o t h p l a c e s , " i n the r e v o l u t i o n o f the a g e s " — s o suggesting
an o n g o i n g p r o c e s s , like the t u r n i n g o f a w h e e l . O n e m i g h t recall the
r e v o l u t i o n o f the h e a v e n l y spheres in P l a t o ' s Phaedrus 2 4 5 c , f r o m w h i c h
souls are c o n t i n u a l l y falling into i n c a r n a t i o n s b e c a u s e o f their failure t o
b e h o l d the truth. Y e t for J o s e p h u s this i m a g e is h a r d l y appropriate,
b e c a u s e : ( a ) for h i m , e n t r a n c e into a h o l y b o d y is a final r e w a r d for g o o d
souls, n o t a p u n i s h m e n t ; ( b ) h e speaks o f the r e v o l u t i o n o f octcovcov, n o t
o f h e a v e n l y spheres; a n d ( c ) the c o n t e x t suggests a singular, c l i m a c t i c
m o v e m e n t into a n e w b o d y .
I n d e e d , o u t s i d e o f the J o s e p h a n c o r p u s rcepiTporcrj c a n m e a n "con­
2 0 0
t i n u o u s r e v o l u t i o n " , as in the t u r n i n g o f a w h e e l . But it c a n also refer
2 0 1
to a s u d d e n i n v e r s i o n o r u p h e a v a l ; the v e r b 7teptTpercco often m e a n s " t o

1 9 5
Plato's extra y merely reflects the Attic reduplication (LSJ, s.v.).
1 9 6
Ag.Ap. 2:218.
1 9 7
Ant. 4:80; 12:38; 15:418; 18:85.
1 9 8
Some sort of special body would indeed be necessary if the future life is to be
dfiieivco for the soul. Josephus allows that, normally, the soul suffers (xocxoTCOcGet) when
entering and leaving the body (Ag.Ap. 2:203).
1 9 9
L C L edn. of War 3:374 and Ag.Ap. 2:218. Thackeray agrees here with Whiston.
Cornfield's "when the wheel of time has turned full circle" is more promising (see
below).
2 0 0 to
In Theaetetus 209e and Republic 546e, Plato uses TtepixpoTCTi describe the revolution
of the xuxXo$ of life; see also Philo, Embassy to Gaius 206.
2 0 1
Cf. Philo, On the Change of Names 150, referring to social revolutions, and Life of
Moses 1:42, referring to a sudden change in one's physical condition.
168 CHAPTER SIX

2 0 2
turn o v e r o r c a p s i z e " . A l l three instances o f the v e r b in J o s e p h u s
2 0 3
m e a n " t o invert o r o v e r t u r n " . I n its o n l y o c c u r r e n c e in J o s e p h u s
outside o f o u r passages, the n o u n 7cepiTpo7crj m e a n s " r e c a p i t u l a t i o n or
r e c u r r e n c e " , with a single e v e n t e n v i s i o n e d (Ant. 14:487). These ex­
a m p l e s , few t h o u g h they are, suffice to warrant the q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r
Josephus d o e s n o t e n v i s i o n a single m o m e n t at w h i c h the soul will
receive a n e w , holy b o d y .
Outside o f Josephus, the phrases ex 7ceptTpo7cfjs a n d ev 7cepiTpo7cfj
generally s e e m to m e a n " i n s u c c e s s i o n ' o r " i n t u r n " . F o r e x a m p l e : the
responsibility for an a n n u a l e v e n t falls o n v a r i o u s g r o u p s o f p e o p l e " i n
turn", or each m e m b e r o f a harem spends time with her l o r d "in
2 0 4
turn". T h e phrases h a v e to d o , then, n o t with perpetual m o t i o n b u t
with o n e c h a n g e in a series o r s u c c e s s i o n .
S o the use o f rceptTpo7crj, 7reptTpe7coo, a n d ex 7reptTpo7cfjs in J o s e p h u s a n d
other G r e e k literature allows b o t h the idea o f " c o n t i n u o u s r e v o l u t i o n "
2 0 5
a n d that o f " s u d d e n u p h e a v a l , i n v e r s i o n , o r s u c c e s s i o n " .
But J o s e p h u s ' s ex rceptTpo7cfjs i n v o l v e s the aicove*;. A l t h o u g h auov c a n
refer to p e r i o d s o f v a r y i n g l e n g t h , f r o m a lifetime to an e p o c h , it p r a c ­
2 0 6
tically always has the sense o f a c o n c e i v a b l e , d e l i m i t e d p e r i o d o f t i m e .
A n d this o b s e r v a t i o n a p p e a r s to s u p p o r t the idea o f succession o r c h a n g e
for ex 7cepn;porcfjs, rather than a " c o n t i n u o u s r e v o l u t i o n " : it is n o t that
all the a e o n s are s o m e h o w r e v o l v i n g simultaneously, b u t rather that
w h e n o n e a g e c o m e s to an e n d the next b e g i n s . I p r o p o s e , therefore, the
translation: " i n / a t the s u c c e s s i o n ( o r c h a n g e ) o f the a g e s " .
T a k i n g into a c c o u n t all o f the a b o v e o b s e r v a t i o n s , w e m a y s u m m a r i z e
J o s e p h u s ' s portrayal o f the Pharisaic belief in i m m o r t a l i t y as follows. In
War 2 : 1 6 3 J o s e p h u s presents the Pharisees, in contrast to the S a d d u c e e s ,
as b e l i e v i n g in the i m m o r t a l i t y o f the soul, with eternal punishment
awaiting the w i c k e d a n d entry into a n o t h e r b o d y a w a i t i n g the g o o d . T h e
first t w o o f these p r o p o s i t i o n s ( i m m o r t a l i t y a n d p u n i s h m e n t ) agree with
v i e w s that he ascribes also to the Essenes; all three o f t h e m ( i n c l u d i n g

202 c f philo, Allegorical Interpretation 3:23 and On the Unchangeableness of God 129.
2 0 3
Ant. 9:72 (a sudden change of emotion); 10:297 (the overturning of a chariot);
14:356 (the overturning of a wagon).
2 0 4
Cf. Herodotus 2:168; 3:69; Dio Cassius 53.1.5; 54.19.8; Dionysius of Halicar-
nassus, Rom. Ant. 5:2.
2 0 5
Since my goal is to establish a plausible translation in the case of Josephus, the in­
vestigation of 7C6piTp07urj in other ancient writers has not been exhaustive.
2 0 6
So LSJ, "ocicov". In Josephus, the word occurs some 26 times, in five main senses:
(a) the whole time from creation to the present, or from the present onward, War 1:12;
5:442; Ant. 7:385; 18:287; 19:79, 170; (b) a single generation or lifetime, War 5:185,
187; 6:105 (?); Ant. 19:170; (c) an epoch, Ant. 1:16, 272, 275; (d) simply "period of
time", Ant. 3:56, 223; and (e) in the expression ei<; ocuovoc for "forever", Ant. 7:211, 356.
In all of these cases, auov refers to a period of time.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 169

a n e w b o d y for the v i r t u o u s ) a c c o r d with his o w n v i e w s . A l t h o u g h


J o s e p h u s e m p l o y s the c o m m o n l a n g u a g e o f reincarnation to d e s c r i b e
b o t h his a n d the Pharisees' v i e w s , those v i e w s still s e e m p e c u l i a r in the
G r e c o - R o m a n c o n t e x t , insofar as they h o l d the n e w b o d y to b e a reward,
o n l y for the souls o f the g o o d . S e e k i n g to u n d e r s t a n d this a n o m a l y better
b y n o t i n g subtleties in J o s e p h u s ' s d e s c r i p t i o n , w e h a v e seen: ( a ) that the
n e w b o d y is a special, h o l y b o d y a n d will b r i n g a b o u t a better life; ( b )
that o n l y o n e such b o d y seems to b e e n v i s i o n e d , n o t a " c y c l e o f b e c o m ­
i n g " ; ( c ) that the soul will wait in h e a v e n until its reincarnation; a n d ( d )
that this reincarnation will take place " a t a succession o f the a e o n s /
ages".
T h e f o r m o f reincarnation attributed to the Pharisees b y J o s e p h u s ,
then, bears m a n y similarities to what w e should call r e s u r r e c t i o n — a
Pharisaic d o c t r i n e well attested in the r a b b i n i c literature a n d in the N e w
2 0 7
Testament. A slight difficulty arises, p e r h a p s , with J o s e p h u s ' s use o f
the adjective exepov for aa>[xoc, w h i c h seems to conflict with the c u s t o m a r y
J e w i s h idea that in resurrection the b o d i e s of the dead rise again. O n e
s h o u l d n o t , h o w e v e r , read t o o m u c h into this, since J o s e p h u s m a k e s
plain that the n e w b o d y will b e different f r o m the o l d w i t h respect to its
" h o l i n e s s " (cf. ayvoq)—a v i e w shared to s o m e extent b y the ex-Pharisee
Paul (1 C o r . 1 5 : 3 5 f f . ) . I n a n y case, there is n o q u e s t i o n in J o s e p h u s o f
a repeated e x c h a n g e o f o n e h u m a n ( o r a n i m a l ) b o d y for a n o t h e r .
It w o u l d a p p e a r , then, that at a t i m e w h e n m a n y different v i e w s o f the
afterlife w e r e circulating in the G r e c o - R o m a n w o r l d , J o s e p h u s a d d e d to
the list a J e w i s h t h e o r y o f resurrection b y a p p r o p r i a t i n g for it the
l a n g u a g e o f reincarnation. H e w a s n o t a l o n e in this. T h e a u t h o r o f 2
2 0 8
M a c c a b e e s also applies dvaPtcoai^ to resurrection ( 7 : 9 ) . Similarly, the
a u t h o r o f M a t t h e w a d o p t s the t e r m TraXiyyeveata—which c o m m o n l y re­
ferred to either the rebirth o f souls o r (for the Stoics) the rebirth o f the
2 0 9
c o s m o s — t o indicate the a p p r o a c h i n g k i n g d o m o f G o d ( 1 9 : 2 8 ) .
It is a historical q u e s t i o n , b e y o n d the s c o p e o f this study, w h e t h e r
J o s e p h u s m i s r e p r e s e n t e d the J e w i s h d o c t r i n e o f resurrection b y ap­
p r o p r i a t i n g G r e e k t e r m i n o l o g y for it. A s an entree to that q u e s t i o n , h o w -

2 0 7
Cf. J. Ross, Immortality, esp. 58-68. In the N T , cf. Acts 23:8. I thus agree with
Feldman ( L C L edn. of Josephus, I X , 13 n. c.) that Josephus attributes to the Pharisees
a doctrine of resurrection. I differ from Feldman, however, in two ways: (a) I have not
worked from the premise that Josephus, as a Pharisee, must have known that the group
believed in resurrection; and (b) I do not think that resurrection and "reincarnation"
(in its many Hellenistic modes) are mutually exclusive. Rather, Josephus apparently
considered the former to be one mode—the Jewish mode—of the latter.
2 0 8
Noted by Feldman ( L C L edn., I X , 13 n. c), though not in this context.
2 0 9
Cf. Buchsel, "rcaXrfyeveata", 688. The Lucan parallel to Mt.'s ev xfj icaXt-fYeveata
is ev TTJ paatXeia [xou.
170 CHAPTER SIX

e v e r , w e m a y e m p h a s i z e : ( a ) that there w a s n o single, authoritative


G r e e k v i e w o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n at the t i m e , v a r i o u s scenarios b e i n g p r o ­
p o s e d ; ( b ) that a n y d o c t r i n e o f resurrection that has the soul l e a v i n g the
b o d y at death a n d then e n t e r i n g either that s a m e b o d y o r a n o t h e r at
s o m e later date is ipso facto a f o r m o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n o r TcaXtyyeveata in the
b r o a d sense; ( c ) that G r e e k ideas o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n m a y h a v e p l a y e d a role
210
in the e m e r g e n c e o f the J e w i s h d o c t r i n e o f r e s u r r e c t i o n ; a n d ( d ) that
a m o n g the J e w s there w e r e also different interpretations o f resurrection
211
and immortality.

E. T h e final statement o f J o s e p h u s o n the Pharisees in War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6


is as f o l l o w s :

<J><xpiaaToi fiev 9tXdXXrjXot Te xat TTJV tit; TO xotvdv opiovotav aaxouvres.

H a v i n g c o m p l e t e d his fxev . . . 8£ c o m p a r i s o n o f the Pharisees a n d Sad­


d u c e e s o n the t w o m a j o r p h i l o s o p h i c a l issues, J o s e p h u s n o w turns to
their b e h a v i o u r : " W h e r e a s the Pharisees are f o n d o f o n e a n o t h e r and
cultivate h a r m o n y within the g r o u p , the S a d d u c e e s are b o o r i s h e v e n
t o w a r d e a c h o t h e r ; their d e a l i n g s with their fellows are as i n c o n s i d e r a t e
as those with f o r e i g n e r s . "

1. Key Terms

a. T h e w o r d qjtXdXXrjXoc o c c u r s o n l y twice in J o s e p h u s , b o t h times in War


2 : 1 1 9 - 1 6 6 . In 2:165f. he contrasts the Pharisees f a v o u r a b l y with the Sad­
d u c e e s ; at 2 : 1 1 9 , h o w e v e r , a n d this will b e crucial for interpreting o u r
passage, he presents the Essenes as s u p e r i o r to all others in their c o n c e r n
for o n e a n o t h e r : 9tXdXXr)Xot 8e xat TG>V aXXcov rcXeov. T h e m u t u a l affection
o f the Pharisees, then, is r e m a r k a b l e o n l y in c o m p a r i s o n to the rudeness
o f the S a d d u c e e s . It is well k n o w n that J o s e p h u s has little s y m p a t h y for
2 1 2
the S a d d u c e e s . In Ant. 1 8 : 1 6 he m e n t i o n s again their disputatiousness
a n d in 2 0 : 1 9 9 he calls t h e m " s a v a g e " (o>[xot). It is, then, the S a d d u c e e s '

2 1 0
So T . F. Glasson, Greek Influence, If., 5f., 30, who argues that Jewish eschatology
has been too quickly traced to Iran, when the political circumstances of Palestine from
the fourth century BC onward would suggest the likelihood of Greek influence.
2 1 1
Cf. R . H . Charles, A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life (London: Adam
and Charles Black, 1913); G. W . Nickelsburg, Resurrection, Immortality, and Eternal Life
in IntertestamentalJudaism (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Univ. Press, 1972), e.g., p. 180;
and H . C . C . Cavallin, Life After Death: Paul's Argument . . . Part I: An Inquiry into the
Jewish Background (Lund: Gleerup, 1974), 199, 212.
2 1 2
Noted already by Paret, "Pharisaismus", 820f.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 171

r u d e n e s s , as m u c h as the P h a r i s e e s ' affection, w h i c h s e e m s to b e the


2 1 3
p o i n t o f the p a s s a g e .
214
b . T h e w o r d Ofxovota taps the r o o t o f a t h e m e that r u n s t h r o u g h o u t
all o f J o s e p h u s ' s w o r k s , b u t is especially p o i g n a n t in War. T h e thesis o f
War, as set o u t in the preface ( 1 : 1 0 ) , is that the destruction o f J e r u s a l e m
was d u e to d o m e s t i c strife (ardat<; otxeta). B u t a r d a t ^ is the o p p o s i t e o f
6(jLOvota. I n failing to ojxovoetv, the rebels failed to live u p t o their prin­
ciples as J e w s .
T h a t a lack o f ofiovotoc leads to destruction is first illustrated in the case
o f H e r o d ' s f a m i l y . H e r o d is p o r t r a y e d as t h a n k i n g C a e s a r for g i v i n g his
sons ofiovota, " s o m e t h i n g greater than a k i n g d o m " ( 1 : 4 5 7 ) , a n d h e a p ­
p o i n t s a d v i s o r s for e a c h s o n to e n s u r e that ojiovotoc is m a i n t a i n e d ( 1 : 4 6 0 ) .
He p r a y s that G o d will ratify the instalment o f his sons as r o y a l t y — a s
l o n g as they 6{xovoetv ( 1 : 4 6 4 ) . A n d he tells his p e o p l e that it is in
e v e r y o n e ' s interest that h e rule in h a r m o n y (xpocretv . . . ojxovoetv, 1:465).
A l a s , h o w e v e r , the t r a g e d y o f H e r o d ' s r e i g n w a s p r e c i s e l y its d o m e s t i c
215
strife a n d intrigue.
Ten o f the r e m a i n i n g sixteen instances o f 6u.6votoc/6fiovoetv in War h a v e
2 1 6
to d o with the thesis o f the w o r k : the factiousness o f the r e b e l s . Titus
c o m e s t o T a r i c h a e a e a n d , finding the J e w s s q u a b b l i n g w i t h e a c h o t h e r ,
calls for an i m m e d i a t e attack, b e f o r e they c a n restore Ofxovota ( 3 : 4 9 6 ) .
Conversely, w h e n V e s p a s i a n o b s e r v e s the internal b i c k e r i n g within
J e r u s a l e m , he rejects the a d v i c e to attack b e f o r e they ou-ovofjaetv ( 4 : 3 6 7 ) ,
a r g u i n g rather that such an attack w o u l d d r i v e t h e m to Ofxovota; h e w o u l d
rather wait a n d let t h e m w e a r themselves d o w n ( 4 : 3 6 9 ) . O n t w o o c c a ­
sions J o s e p h u s reports that the rebels c a m e to their senses a n d saw that
their lack o f 6p.6votoc w a s actually a i d i n g the e n e m y ( 5 : 7 2 , 2 7 8 ) . T w i c e
he r e m a r k s sardonically that the rebels e x p r e s s e d ofxovota o n l y in their
h e i n o u s c r i m e s t o w a r d fellow J e w s ( 5 : 3 0 , 4 4 1 ) . H e l a m e n t s the party
strife (TO 9tX6vetxov) that existed in J e r u s a l e m , w h i c h b e g a n in h o m e s a n d
affected those w h o h a d l o n g w o r k e d t o g e t h e r (TG>V 6U.OVOOUVTG>V 7cdXoct,
4 : 1 3 2 ) . T h e final w o r d is g i v e n to T i t u s , w h o , u p o n h e a r i n g o f the s h o c k ­
ing c r i m e s w i t h i n the city, declares that he has g i v e n the J e w s o p p o r ­
tunity for f r e e d o m a n d p e a c e b u t that " t h e y prefer ordain to Ofxovota"
(6:216).

2 1 3
Although the Pharisees are commended, (a) they do not receive the enthusiastic
praise accorded the Essenes in 2:119-161 and (b) the commendation is governed by the
[iev . . . hi comparison with the boorish Sadducees.
2 1 4
The noun occurs 20 times in Josephus, in every work but Ag.Ap.; the verb Ofxoveo)
appears 17 times.
2 1 5
Cf. War l:567ff., 576f., 592ff., 641ff., passim.
2 1 6
The other six occurrences are at War 1:569, 570; 2:209, 345, 467, 609.
172 CHAPTER SIX

T h a t this c o n t e m p t for 6(x6votoc w a s untrue to J u d a i s m is an i m p o r t a n t


217
t h e m e o f War. T h e p o i n t is m a d e in a passage that explains w h y
J e w i s h attempts to destroy the R o m a n earthworks failed:

For, to begin with, there seemed to be no unanimity in their design (ou8'


ofxovoetv r\ axityu; auTtov etoxet): they darted out in small parties, at intervals,
hesitatingly and in alarm, in short not like Jews (xa66Xou . . . oux 'Iou8atxtos):
the characteristics (tStoc) of the nation . . . were all lacking. (6:17;
Thackeray)

In War, then, the rebels are presented as traitors to the principles o f


J u d a i s m . I n d e e d , they c o u l d n o t act as authentic J e w s b e c a u s e o f the il­
l e g i t i m a c y o f their c a u s e , w h i c h alienated t h e m f r o m G o d .
'Ofxovota as a J e w i s h ideal also turns u p at strategic points in Ant.
S t a n d i n g at the b o r d e r o f C a n a a n , M o s e s exhorts the p e o p l e b e f o r e they
enter: " A b o v e all, let us b e o n e o f m i n d " (npo hi rcavToov ojxovocojxev,
3 : 3 0 2 ) . I n the c o n t r o v e r s y o v e r the p r i e s t h o o d , M o s e s p r a y s that the u n ­
just m a y b e p u n i s h e d so that 6(x6votoc a n d etprjvT) m i g h t return to the
p e o p l e ( 4 : 5 0 ) . Later in the narrative, O n i a s asks P t o l e m y for a t e m p l e
at L e o n t o p o l i s , w h e r e the J e w s m i g h t w o r s h i p in ofxovota ( 1 3 : 6 7 ) . A n d
Mattathias the H a s m o n e a n , as h e lies d y i n g , charges his sons: " A b o v e
all, I u r g e y o u to b e o f o n e m i n d " ((xaXtaxa 8' ujxtv 6(xovoetv rcapatvco,
13:283). Finally, J o s e p h u s notes that when P o m p e y marched on
J e r u s a l e m , the p e o p l e in the city h a d differences o f o p i n i o n a n d w e r e oux
ofxovoouvToav ( 1 4 : 5 8 ) . O n c e a g a i n , therefore, w e see ojxovota as a J e w i s h
218
ideal, the a b s e n c e o f w h i c h leads to c o l l a p s e .
T h i s idea c o m e s t h r o u g h m o s t clearly in Ag.Ap., w h e r e J o s e p h u s has
n o reserve a b o u t c l a i m i n g ojxovota as a J e w i s h virtue. C o n t r a s t i n g the o r ­
d i n a r y J e w ' s t h o r o u g h k n o w l e d g e o f the L a w with the general i g n o r a n c e
o f laws a m o n g other nations, he writes:

T o this cause above all we owe our admirable harmony (TTJV Gaufxaaxrjv
6(x6votav rjfxtv). Unity and identity of religious belief, perfect uniformity in
habits and customs (TCO pup 8e xat TOT$ eGeat), produce a very beautiful con­
cord (au[X9covtav) in human character. A m o n g us alone (7cap' rjfxtv jxovots)
will be heard no contradictory statements about G o d , as are c o m m o n
among other nations. (2:179f.; Thackeray)

J o s e p h u s then lists a n u m b e r o f areas in w h i c h the J e w i s h vojxot h a v e


b e e n imitated b y the rest o f the w o r l d ; a m o n g o t h e r things, he says,
" t h e y try to imitate o u r c o o p e r a t i v e s p i r i t " (TTJV npoq aXXrjXous rjjx&v

2 1 7
Cf., e.g., War 1:10, 27; 2:345-347.
2 1 8
Ant. 13:305 reports that evil men (TtovTjpoi) wanted to destroy the ofxovota between
the Hasmonean brothers Artistobulus and Antigonus, from whom Josephus traces the
decline of the dynasty (War 1:69).
T H E PHARISEES A M O N G T H E JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 173

6(x6votav, 2 : 2 8 3 ) . Finally, in his c l o s i n g remarks J o s e p h u s offers a list o f


ideals that h e believes the J e w s h a v e i n t r o d u c e d (etadyco) into the w o r l d .
T h i r d o n the list c o m e s npoq aXXrjXous 6(xovoetv, " t o b e a p r e y neither to
d i s u n i o n in adversity, n o r t o a r r o g a n c e a n d faction in p r o s p e r i t y "
(2:294; Thackeray).
I n J o s e p h u s ' s w o r k s ofxovota s e l d o m appears in the pedestrian sense o f
2 1 9
"agreement or unanimity". It is m u c h m o r e a t h e o l o g i c a l t e r m for
h i m , indicating the unity o f t h o u g h t a n d b e h a v i o u r that characterizes
g e n u i n e J e w s . T h e c o n s i s t e n c y o f this t h e m e highlights the l o w o p i n i o n
that J o s e p h u s has o f the rebels, w h o a b a n d o n e d c o n c e r n for Ofxovota.

2 . Interpretation

R e t u r n i n g n o w to War 2 : 1 6 6 , o n e c a n see the significance o f J o s e p h u s ' s


attribution o f Ofxovota to the Pharisees. O n the o n e h a n d , the Essenes are
p r e - e m i n e n t in the exercise o f this basic J e w i s h virtue; as in other
respects, the m o n k s are in a class b y themselves. O n the o t h e r h a n d , the
S a d d u c e e s are totally l a c k i n g in the h a r m o n y characteristic o f J e w s , e v e n
as they d e b u n k the h i g h e r d o c t r i n e s o f i m m o r t a l i t y a n d p r o v i d e n c e . I n
contrast to the S a d d u c e e s , the Pharisees cultivate 6[x6voia, at least a m -
n o n g themselves (euj TO xotvov).

I I I . Interpretation of War 2:162-166 on the Pharisees

War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 is J o s e p h u s ' s fundamental d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Pharisees.


I n it he sets d o w n e v e r y t h i n g that he wants his readers to k n o w a b o u t
the Pharisees, a n d he refers b a c k to it several times as his standard
presentation. It is n o w possible to s u m m a r i z e o u r findings o n J o s e p h u s ' s
five statements a b o u t the Pharisees a n d to interpret t h e m together as a
w h o l e . O u r a i m , o n c e a g a i n , is b o t h c o g n i t i v e a n d c o n a t i v e : to deter­
m i n e b o t h the c o n t e n t o f the d e s c r i p t i o n a n d J o s e p h u s ' s attitude t o w a r d
the g r o u p .
J o s e p h u s presents the Pharisees as a p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c h o o l (octpeauj),
w h i c h o p p o s e s the S a d d u c e a n s c h o o l o n t w o issues: the Pharisees r e c o g ­
nize the h a n d o f f a t e / G o d a n d they a c c e p t the i m m o r t a l i t y o f the soul,
w h e r e a s the S a d d u c e e s d e n y b o t h . T h e Pharisees' c o m b i n a t i o n o f fate
a n d free will recalls particularly the v i e w o f the Stoic C h r y s i p p u s (as
related b y C i c e r o ) ; b u t it is generally c o m p a t i b l e with the s y n e r g i s m

219 p \\r r, cf. n. 216 above. For Ant., the mundane occurrences are at 2:21; 7:213;
o r a

18:376; and 19:341.


174 CHAPTER SIX

b e t w e e n these t w o causes that w a s w i d e l y h e l d in ancient thought g o i n g


b a c k t o Plato a n d b e y o n d . O n the i m m o r t a l i t y o f the s o u l , the Pharisaic
v i e w ( v i a J o s e p h u s ) recalls P l a t o ' s l a n g u a g e o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n . O n closer
e x a m i n a t i o n , h o w e v e r , it reveals several peculiarities vis-a-vis G r e e k
thought a n d suggests s o m e t h i n g like the resurrection i d e a k n o w n f r o m
J e w i s h a n d Christian s o u r c e s . O n b o t h issues, the S a d d u c e e s h o l d a
skeptical p o s t i o n akin t o that o f the E p i c u r e a n s .
O n all three p o i n t s o f contrast b e t w e e n the Pharisees a n d Saddu­
cees—the t w o p h i l o s o p h i c a l issues a n d the q u e s t i o n o f b e h a v i o u r — t h e
Pharisees n o t o n l y stand n e a r e r to J o s e p h u s ' s o w n t h o u g h t , they s e e m
to replicate it m o r e o r less e x a c d y . L i k e t h e m , J o s e p h u s attributes
e v e r y t h i n g to fate, j u x t a p o s e s G o d a n d fate, a n d e m p h a s i z e s free will.
L i k e t h e m , h e believes in the i m m o r t a l i t y o f the soul, p u n i s h m e n t s for
the w i c k e d , a n d a n e w b o d y for the g o o d . L i k e t h e m , h e h o l d s to an ideal
o f ofxovota. Y e t it m u s t b e asked what this p h i l o s o p h i c a l a g r e e m e n t
m e a n s . W h a t d o e s it say a b o u t J o s e p h u s ' s attitude t o w a r d , o r relation
t o , the Pharisees?
O n e s h o u l d n o t e , first o f all, that J o s e p h u s n e v e r e s p o u s e s a p o s i t i o n
o n the g r o u n d that it is Pharisaic. O n the c o n t r a r y , h e exalts the L a w
a n d its accurate interpretation b e c a u s e h e is a priest. T h e Pharisees h a p ­
p e n to m a k e the s a m e c l a i m s . L i k e w i s e , o n e a c h o f the three p o i n t s o f
c o m p a r i s o n b e t w e e n the Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s , J o s e p h u s accepts the
"dogmatic" or affirmative p o s i t i o n rather than the skeptical one
b e c a u s e , h e c l a i m s , it is taught in the L a w , w h i c h m e a n s for h i m the
M o s a i c c o d e . T h u s h e c l a i m s that the role o f fate a n d free will is spelled
o u t in the L a w (Ant. 1 6 : 3 8 9 f . ) ; that i m m o r t a l i t y o f the soul a n d resurrec­
t i o n / r e i n c a r n a t i o n is to b e f o u n d in " w h a t the l a w g i v e r has p r o p h e s i e d "
(Ag.Ap. 2 : 2 1 8 ) ; a n d that ofxovota is s o m e t h i n g e n j o i n e d b y the L a w (Ap.
2 : 2 8 0 f f . ) . O n all o f these issues, J o s e p h u s finds the skeptical p o s i t i o n o f
the S a d d u c e e s to b e un-Jewish a n d so h e accepts the affirmative posi­
tions. But he n e v e r e n d o r s e s the Pharisaic p o s t i o n per se; w e c a n o n l y
d i s c o v e r his a g r e e m e n t with t h e m b y patient analysis.
S e c o n d , it is n o t o n l y the Pharisees w h o h o l d the p o s t i o n s e s p o u s e d b y
J o s e p h u s , so that his belief in fate o r i m m o r t a l i t y w o u l d i m p l y Pharisaic
allegiance. W e k n o w , for e x a m p l e , that h e t h o u g h t the Essenes to excel
e v e r y o n e else in Ofxovota, that h e heartily e n d o r s e d their v i e w o f the
afterlife, a n d that they t o o b e l i e v e d in etfxapuivr). I n d e e d , the Pharisees'
views are those o f the m a i n s t r e a m . J o s e p h u s says as m u c h w h e n h e
claims that their v i e w s e n d e a r t h e m to the p e o p l e (Ant. 1 8 : 1 4 ) . N o t i c e
the o r d e r : it is n o t that the masses b e l i e v e in fate a n d immortality
b e c a u s e the Pharisees teach such things; rather, the Pharisees h a v e the
p u b l i c trust b e c a u s e , unlike the S a d d u c e a n elite, they teach ideas that
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 175

are a l r e a d y p o p u l a r . S o the fact that J o s e p h u s also shares such m a i n ­


stream beliefs d o e s n o t m a k e h i m a Pharisee.
T h i r d , J o s e p h u s b e g i n s War 2 : 1 6 2 b y recalling his earlier, negative
p o r t r a y a l in 1:110-114: the Pharisees are the o n e s w h o seem t o interpret
the laws accurately, w h o d e c e i v e d the p i o u s Q u e e n A l e x a n d r a , a n d w h o
h a v e " s h a n g h a i e d " ( d r c d y c o ) the p o s i t i o n o f the l e a d i n g s c h o o l . I n the
earlier passage J o s e p h u s d i d n o t assail a n y Pharisaic beliefs, b u t rather
p o i n t e d o u t the tension b e t w e e n their reputation for euaefJeioc, o n the o n e
h a n d , a n d their u n s c r u p u l o u s b e h a v i o u r o n the other. B u t if J o s e p h u s ' s
critique o f the Pharisees is a i m e d at their b e h a v i o u r in particular in­
stances, then n o a m o u n t o f general i d e o l o g i c a l a g r e e m e n t c a n p r o v e h i m
220
to b e a P h a r i s e e .
F o u r t h , o n e c a n n o t e s c a p e the o v e r w h e l m i n g c o n t e x t u a l i n d i c a t o r s . It
is true that, o v e r against the S a d d u c e e s , the Pharisees turn o u t p o s i t i v e l y
o n e v e r y p o i n t . But J o s e p h u s dislikes the S a d d u c e e s . T h e k e y p o i n t is
that b o t h o f these g r o u p s are d i s p e n s e d w i t h in short o r d e r after the l o n g
a n d a d m i r i n g portrayal o f the Essenes. T h e Pharisees are c r e d i t e d w i t h
at least seeking h a r m o n y , for e x a m p l e , w h e r e a s the S a d d u c e e s d o n o t
e v e n treat their friends well. But J o s e p h u s ' s heart is w i t h the Essenes.
T h e y are m o r e d e v o t e d 9tXdXXr)Xoi than a n y o t h e r g r o u p ( 2 : 1 1 9 ) . T h e i r
a d m i r e r gives t w o p a r a g r a p h s ( 2 : 1 2 2 - 1 2 7 ) to a d i s c u s s i o n o f their re­
m a r k a b l e ojxovota. W e h a v e also n o t e d his w a r m a n d s y m p a t h e t i c discus­
sion o f the E s s e n e s ' b e l i e f in i m m o r t a l i t y ( 2 : 1 5 3 - 1 5 8 ) . A n d it is e q u a l l y
o b v i o u s that J o s e p h u s agrees with their politics o f s u b m i s s i o n ( 2 : 1 3 9 f . ) .
Furthermore, if the Pharisees are reputed to h a v e special dxpt(ktoc, the
Essenes are <xxpt(3ecruaTot in their j u d g m e n t s ( 2 : 1 4 5 ) a n d m o r e careful than
all o t h e r J e w s in o b s e r v i n g the S a b b a t h ( 2 : 1 4 7 ) . In short, if the Pharisees
are s u p e r i o r to the almost irreligious S a d d u c e e s , the Essenes are in a
class b y t h e m s e l v e s .
A l l o f the e v i d e n c e c o n s i d e r e d a b o v e p o i n t s to the c o n c l u s i o n that,
although Josephus a g r e e d with the Pharisees o n m a j o r p h i l o s o p h i c a l
issues, b e c a u s e they represented " a f f i r m a t i v e " m a i n s t r e a m p o s i t i o n s , h e
is very far from unrestrained enthusiasm for the group. He
a c k n o w l e d g e s their role as the f o r e m o s t J e w i s h sect, b u t he h a r d l y exults
o v e r it.
O u r investigation, h o w e v e r , has n o t t u r n e d u p a n y further e v i d e n c e
to s u p p o r t J o s e p h u s ' s initial assertion ( 2 : 1 1 8 f . ) that the three legitimate
octpeaeis h a v e n o t h i n g in c o m m o n with that o f the J u d a s . T h a t assertion

2 2 0
It is perhaps worth remembering that even the Matthean Jesus agreed with
Pharisaic teaching (Mt. 23:2); yet that does not make him a Pharisee (although such an
identification has been made from time to time).
176 CHAPTER SIX

is s u p p o r t e d o n l y for the Essenes, w h o are featured players; o n e has o n l y


J o s e p h u s ' s w o r d that it h o l d s also for the Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s .

I V . Source Criticism of War 2:162-166

It remains to a p p l y the results o f the f o r e g o i n g analysis to the q u e s t i o n :


C a n the passage b e traced to an a u t h o r other than J o s e p h u s ?
O f the o l d e r s o u r c e s critics, m o s t d i d n o t c o m m e n t o n War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 .
H o l s c h e r d i d , b u t assigned it t o J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f b e c a u s e it presents the
2 2 1
Pharisees a n d S a d d u c e e s " i n d e r u b l i c h e n W e i s e des J . [ o s e p h u s ] " .
T h e recent attempt b y S c h w a r t z t o r e v i v e s o u r c e criticism with respect
to the Pharisee passages also e n d s u p attributing o u r passage to
J o s e p h u s , this t i m e o n the g r o u n d s that it gives a " t h o r o u g h l y p o s i t i v e "
222
a c c o u n t o f the P h a r i s e e s —though that rationale is d u b i o u s , b o t h
because the a c c o u n t is n o t t h o r o u g h l y positive a n d b e c a u s e the a s s u m p ­
tion that J o s e p h u s w o u l d o n l y write postitively a b o u t the g r o u p is u n w a r ­
ranted.
O n the o t h e r side, practically a l o n e , stands G . F. M o o r e , w h o argues
that the discussion o f the Pharisees o n fate a n d free will is n o n -
2 2 3 224 2 2 5
Josephan, un-Jewish, a n d rather S t o i c . M o o r e infers f r o m all o f
this that J o s e p h u s is d e p e n d e n t for this s e g m e n t o n an a c c o u n t o f the
2 2 6
Pharisees b y N i c o l a u s . Y e t e v e n M o o r e credits the rest o f the passage
( i . e . , e v e r y t h i n g b u t the fate/free will n o t i c e ) to J o s e p h u s . G . M a i e r
modifies M o o r e ' s p o s i t i o n b y isolating the specific w o r d s that h e believes
were c o n t r i b u t e d b y J o s e p h u s ( e . g . , xat Oea>, TOrcpaTTetvTOC Stxata xat u.rj),
in support o f his thesis that J o s e p h u s has j u d a i z e d N i c o l a u s ' s hellenizing
227
description o f the P h a r i s e e s .
W e m a y r e s p o n d : while it is true that the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the Pharisees
in War 2 : 1 6 2 - 1 6 6 uses l a n g u a g e that e v o k e s the Stoic C h r y s i p p u s (as re­
c o u n t e d b y C i c e r o ) , J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f elsewhere likens the Pharisees to
228
Stoics in s o m e points (cf. Life 1 2 ) . O u t s i d e r s s o m e t i m e s d i d l i k e w i s e .
M o s t i m p o r t a n t : J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f e m p l o y s b o t h the v i e w p o i n t a n d the
l a n g u a g e that h e attributes to the Pharisees several times in his o w n nar-
rative. O u r study has r e v e a l e d that the passage as w e h a v e it is J o s e p h a n
2 2 1
Holscher, "Josephus", 1949 n.*. He takes War 2:119-161, however (on the
Essenes), to be the work of a Greek-educated Jew, other than Josephus. That view is
criticized and rightfully rejected by Maier, freier Wille, 6f.
2 2 2
Schwartz, "Josephus and Nicolaus", 162f.
2 2 3
Moore, "Fate", 375f.
2 2 4
Ibid., 379-382.
2 2 5
Ibid., 376-379.
2 2 6
Ibid., 383f. See Appendix B, below.
2 2 7
Maier, freier Wille, 11-13.
2 2 8
Cf. n. 156, above.
THE PHARISEES AMONG THE JEWISH SCHOOLS, I 177

in all o f its details. It e x h i b i t s J o s e p h u s ' s v o c a b u l a r y f r o m first t o last a n d


it uses this vocabulary in typically J o s e p h a n style. Examples are:
<xxpt(ktoc; TOC vofitptoc; axptfkta with Boxeco, ef-rryetaOoct, and TOC v6p.tu.oc;
octpeats; etptapfxevT); juxtaposition of etfiocpuivT] and 6e6$; TOC Btxoctoc;
229
xetaGoct; the attribution o f decisions to human volition; cj>ux^l rcotaoc
aq>OocpTOv; r e i n c a r n a t i o n as a r e w a r d for the g o o d a l o n e ; dctStoc Ttficoptoc for
the w i c k e d ; a n d ofiovotoc. T h e r e c a n , t h e r e f o r e , b e n o r e a s o n a b l e d o u b t
2 3 0
that J o s e p h u s a u t h o r e d this p a s s a g e f r o m b e g i n n i n g t o end.
A l t h o u g h o n e m i g h t w i s h to attribute the n e g a t i v e j u d g e m e n t s o n the
P h a r i s e e s t o N i c o l a u s rather than to J o s e p h u s ( a m i s t a k e , I h a v e a r g u e d ) ,
o n e c a n n o t easily use this o p t i o n , as M o o r e d o e s , to e x p l a i n a p p a r e n t er­
r o r s o f fact. F o r N i c o l a u s l i v e d in the H e r o d i a n c o u r t , w h i c h w a s b a s e d
in J e r u s a l e m , for at least ten y e a r s — p e r h a p s t w e n t y y e a r s o r m o r e — o f
2 3 1
his adult l i f e . H e m u s t h a v e k n o w n the P h a r i s e e s at least as well as
J o s e p h u s d i d , since o u r a u t h o r w a s c a p t u r e d at a g e thirty a n d l i v e d the
rest o f his life in Rome.

2 2 9
With ev, e7ut, or a simple dative, meaning "to be in one's power, to depend on
someone/something". War 5:59; Ant. 1:78; 5:110; 13:355; 18:215; 19:167.
2 3 0
Incidentally, we have also noted data that suggest Josephus's final authorship of
the Essene passage (War 2:119-161), e.g., the references to their political harmlessness,
the terms qjtXaXXTjXoi (2:119), euae(kioc toward God, axpt(kioc toward men (2:139), and the
immortality of the soul passage (2:154f.; cf. Josephus's own views in 3:372-374). Cf. also
Maier's arguments (freier Wille, 7ff.) and Appendix B, below.
Nicolaus was already a confidante (91X0$) of Herod's in 14 BC (Ant. 16:16ff.). He
2 3 1

remained with the family until 4 B C , when he supported Archelaus's bid for succession
in Rome (Ant. 17:240ff.). Cf. R . Laqueur, "Nicolaus (Damask.)", PWRE, X V I I : 1,
362-424, esp. 365-372. Laqueur theorizes (Historiker, 366f.) that Nicolaus had joined
Herod already in 40 B C . B. Z . Wacholder (Nicolaus of Damascus [Berkely-Los Angeles:
U . of California Press, 1962], 22ff.) argues more cogently that Nicolaus was in Herod's
service by 20 BC and may have joined it in the early or mid-twenties. That still gives
Nicolaus twenty years or more in Judea.
PART THREE

T H E P H A R I S E E S I N T H E JEWISH ANTIQUITIES
C H A P T E R SEVEN

THE PURPOSE A N D O U T L O O K OF ANTIQUITIES

Fifteen to t w e n t y y e a r s after the p u b l i c a t i o n o f War, J o s e p h u s c o m p l e t e d


1
his Jewish Antiquities. C o m p r i s i n g twenty b o o k s , this w o r k was his
magnum opus; a c c o r d i n g l y , it has p r o v i d e d the basis for m a n y analyses o f
2
his t h o u g h t a n d literary t e c h n i q u e . A general i n t r o d u c t i o n t o Ant. would
b e o u t o f p l a c e in this study b e c a u s e ( a ) s u c h i n t r o d u c t i o n s are a l r e a d y
3
plentiful a n d easily a c c e s s i b l e a n d ( b ) m u c h o f the m a t e r i a l w o u l d h a v e
m a r g i n a l r e l e v a n c e t o o u r t o p i c , since the Pharisees a p p e a r o n l y in the
4
last third ( b o o k s 1 3 - 1 8 ) o f the w o r k . It is p o s s i b l e h e r e o n l y t o s u m ­
m a r i z e w h a t has b e e n a s c e r t a i n e d a b o u t the p u r p o s e o f Ant. and to
specify t h o s e t h e m e s that m i g h t b e a r o n the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the Pharisee
passages.
W e shall b e g i n w i t h the p u r p o s e a n d o u t l o o k o f Ant. as a self-contained
w o r k . S i n c e , h o w e v e r , the final third o f Ant. substantially parallels the
first t w o b o o k s o f War, a n d since the P h a r i s e e passages o f b o t h w o r k s fall
5
w i t h i n this parallel m a t e r i a l , w e m u s t also ask a b o u t the r e l a t i o n s h i p b e ­
tween War and Ant. in general terms. Finally, we shall s u r v e y the

1
The common English title comes from the Latin Antiquitates Judaicae. Josephus called
the work 'IouBatxTj 'ApxaioXoyta (cf. Ant. 1:5; Ag.Ap. 1:54), probably, as Thackeray sug­
gests (Josephus, 56f.), in imitation of the PcofxaiXTj 'ApxatoXoyta in twenty books by
Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
Josephus dates Ant. in 20:267, where he defines the "present day" as (a) the thirteenth
year of Domitian's reign and (b) the fifty-sixth year of his own life. Since Jagephus was
born in the year of Caligula's accession, A D 37/38 (cf. Life 5), both of these data put
the completion of Ant. in A D 93/94. The chief difficulties with this dating arise in con­
nection with the appendix, Life, and will be considered in Part I V , below.
2
Part of the great appeal of Ant. for source and redaction critics derives from the fact
that we possess many of its sources, e.g., the L X X , Aristeas, 1 Maccabees, and War. A
comparison of Josephus with his sources has generated much material for studies such
as those of Bloch, Destinon, Holscher, Pelletier, Franxman, and Attridge. Further, Ant.
is so long that it affords copious material for a study of Josephus's literary technique (cf.
Thackeray, Josephus, 1 OOff.; Shutt, Studies) and of his exegetical principles (cf. Olitzki,
Rappaport, and Heller).
3
Cf., e.g., Schurer, Geschichte, I, 79-85; Niese, HZ, 211-219; idem, ERE, V I I , 572-
575; Thackeray, Josephus, 51-74, also 75-124; idem, L C L edn., I V , vii-xix; Foakes
Jackson, Josephus, 246-258; Franxman, Genesis, 5-8; Attridge, Interpretation, 29-70.
4
The Pharisees appear as a group in Ant. 13:171-173, 288-298, 400-431; 17:41-45;
and 18:11-25. Individual Pharisees are mentioned in 15:3-4, 371; cf. 14:172-176.
5
Nevertheless, most of the material in the Pharisee passages in Ant. is not paralleled
in War (i.e., 13:171-173, 288-289, 400-406; 15:3-4, 371; 17:41-45, except for the brief
notice at War 1:571).
182 CHAPTER SEVEN

attempts that h a v e b e e n m a d e to interpret the Pharisee passages o f Ant.


in terms o f that w o r k ' s goals a n d m a j o r themes.

I. Preface and Dominant Themes

A . Josephus an Apologist for Judaism

Scholarship has generally taken the p r o e m to Ant. m u c h m o r e seriously


than its c o u n t e r p a r t in War. S i n c e War is usually v i e w e d as a w o r k o f
R o m a n p r o p a g a n d a , its p r o g r a m m a t i c statements a b o u t truthfulness
a n d a b o u t the a u t h o r ' s s o r r o w o v e r the fate o f J e r u s a l e m are often ig­
n o r e d o r d e p r e c i a t e d in f a v o u r o f a hypothetical r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the
6
w o r k ' s real ( = ulterior) m o t i v e . W i t h Ant. the situation is different.
J o s e p h u s declares at the outset, a n d repeatedly thereafter, that h e has an
a p o l o g e t i c p u r p o s e : h e wants to c o n v i n c e his G r e c o - R o m a n readers o f
the n o b l e n e s s o f J e w i s h o r i g i n s , beliefs, and practices. Scholars h a v e
usually b e l i e v e d h i m .
After s o m e o p e n i n g reflections o n his m o t i v e s for h a v i n g written War
(Ant. 1:1-4), J o s e p h u s turns to the w o r k at h a n d ( 1 : 5 ) :

So also I have now taken up the present work, believing that it will impress
the Greek world as worthy o f serious consideration (vo(xtC<ov owiocat 9<xveta9oct
Tot? "EXXrjatv aijtav arcouSfjs).

T h a t J o s e p h u s expects a G r e e k - p a g a n readership for Ant. is clear at


7
several points in the n a r r a t i v e a n d is spelled o u t again in the c o n c l u s i o n
( 2 0 : 2 6 2 ) : " n o o n e else w o u l d h a v e b e e n able to p r o d u c e such an accurate
e/ 8
w o r k as this for the G r e e k s (tlq EXXr)va^)".
W h a t d o e s J o s e p h u s w a n t to tell the G r e e k s a b o u t the J e w s ? H e goes
o n to sketch the c o n t e n t o f the w o r k ( 1 : 5 ) :

It will embrace our entire ancient history (nap' rj(xtv dpxottoXoytav) and
political constitution (StotTocijtv TOU 7uoXtTeu(xaxo^), translated from the
Hebrew records (ex TCOV efjpatxcov |Ae67jp[A7jveufiev7)v). (Thackeray)

But this material is not m e r e l y o f a c a d e m i c interest. J o s e p h u s presents


as the hypothesis o f Ant. the virtue (apexr)) o f the M o s a i c c o d e a n d its
superiority to p a g a n m y t h o l o g y . H e invites the reader critically to assess
(BoxtptdCetv) the worthiness (et <x£ta>s) o f M o s e s ' teachings a b o u t G o d
( 1 : 1 5 ) , w h i c h teachings lie at the heart o f J e w i s h life a n d history.
J o s e p h u s is c o n v i n c e d that what the J e w s h a v e is g o o d a n d o u g h t n o t to

6
Cf. my discussion of War in chapter 3, above.
7
E.g., Ant. 1:29; 2:247; 16:174.
8
Cf. Niese, HZ 213f.
THE PURPOSE AND OUTLOOK OF ANTIQUITIES 183

be hidden from the G r e e k s ( 1 : 1 1 ) . Ant. is m o t i v a t e d , then, b y an


apologetic purpose.
I n the preface a n d t h r o u g h o u t the entire w o r k , o u r a u t h o r declares his
intention t o c o m b a t b o t h i g n o r a n c e a n d e r r o r a b o u t J e w i s h history. I n
14:186ff., for e x a m p l e , h e reveals s o m e t h i n g o f the hostility w i t h w h i c h
o t h e r historians h a d d e p i c t e d the J e w s :

And here it seems to me necessary to make public all the honours given
our nation. . . . Since many persons, however, out o f enmity to us refuse
to believe what has been written about us by Persians and Macedonians,
. . . while against the decrees o f the R o m a n s nothing can be said, . . . from
these same documents I will furnish proof o f m y statements. (Marcus)

He c o m m e n t s later, again in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the p r o - J e w i s h d e c r e e s


(16:174f.):

Now it was necessary for me to cite these decrees since this account o f our
history is chiefly meant to reach the Greeks in order to show them that in
former times we were treated with all respect. . . . A n d if I frequently men­
tion these decrees, it is to reconcile the other nations to us and to remove the causes
for hatred ([Liaouq atxta?) which have taken root in thoughtless persons among
us as well as among them. (Marcus/Wikgren; emphasis added)

T h a t J o s e p h u s i n t e n d e d the Ant. as an obroXoyioc for J u d a i s m is clear,


finally, f r o m his last extant w o r k , Against Apion. I n that treatise he u n d e r ­
takes a systematic refutation o f p a g a n errors a b o u t the J e w s a n d their
history. T h i s is necessary, he insists, b e c a u s e :

a considerable number o f persons influenced by the malicious calumnies o f


certain individuals, discredit the statements in my history concerning our
antiquity. (Ag.Ap. 1:1-2; Thackeray)

B e c a u s e Ant. was not entirely successful in eradicating false ideas


J o s e p h u s w r o t e Ag.Ap. T h u s his p r o g r a m m a t i c statements a b o u t Ant. are
consistent f r o m first to last in p r e s e n t i n g the w o r k as a d e f e n c e o f J e w i s h
history, beliefs, a n d v a l u e s .
T h a t s u c h a p o l o g i e s w e r e n e e d e d in the late first c e n t u r y A D has l o n g
9
been recognized by commentators. C o n t e m p o r a r y literary e v i d e n c e
a b u n d a n t l y attests the w i d e s p r e a d m i s i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t the J e w s that
10
Ant. presupposes. W e have good reason to b e l i e v e that ordinary
hostility t o w a r d the J e w s , c a u s e d b y i g n o r a n c e a n d x e n o p h o b i a , w a s

9
E.g., H . Bloch, Quellen, 4f.; Niese, HZ, 212ff., 213 n. 1; idem, ERE, V I I , 572.
10
Cf. T . Reinach, Textes (1963 [1985]); M . Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and
Judaism, I: From Herodotus to Plutarch (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and
Humanities, 1974); and now M . Whittaker, Jews and Christians: Graeco-Roman Views
(Cambridge: University Press, 1984).
184 CHAPTER SEVEN

1 1
c o m p o u n d e d b y the revolt in J u d e a a n d then a g a i n b y the severe
12
policies o f the E m p e r o r D o m i t i a n , in w h o s e r e i g n J o s e p h u s w r o t e Ant.
I n light o f the c o n t e m p o r a r y situation, the c o n s i s t e n c y o f Ant. 's p r o ­
g r a m m a t i c statements, a n d the character o f the w o r k as a w h o l e , scholars
h a v e c o m e to a c c e p t the p r e f a c e to Ant. as a forthright d e c l a r a t i o n o f p u r ­
1 3
pose. T o b e sure, they h a v e often dismissed as b e n i g n e x a g g e r a t i o n
J o s e p h u s ' s c l a i m to h a v e translated the scriptures w i t h o u t e m b e l l i s h m e n t
1 4
or omission ( 1 : 1 7 ) . N e v e r t h e l e s s , his a v o w e d intention to write as a
J e w a b o u t J e w i s h o r i g i n s a n d history, to serve therefore as an a p o l o g i s t
to the G r e e k w o r l d , has i m p r e s s e d critics as a fair statement o f the w o r k ' s
goals. T h a c k e r a y ' s assessment o f Ant., for e x a m p l e , c o r r e s p o n d s closely
to the e m p h a s i s o f the p r e f a c e : " I t s d e s i g n w a s to m a g n i f y the J e w i s h
race in the eyes o f the G r e c o - R o m a n w o r l d b y a r e c o r d o f its ancient a n d
1 5
glorious h i s t o r y . "

B . Specific Themes; Judaism as a Philosophy

W e m u s t n o w specify, as nearly as p o s s i b l e , the particular t h e m e s that


J o s e p h u s w a n t e d to impress o n his readers in the effort to c o n v i n c e t h e m
o f the w o r t h i n e s s o f J u d a i s m .
H . W . A t t r i d g e has d e m o n s t r a t e d that t w o t h e m e s i n t r o d u c e d in the
preface serve J o s e p h u s as interpretive keys in his p a r a p h r a s e o f the B i ­
16
ble, w h i c h o c c u p i e s a b o u t the first ten b o o k s o f Ant. T h e first t h e m e
is that o f G o d ' s watchful care (rcpovotoc) for the w o r l d . In 1:14, 2 0 ,
J o s e p h u s declares that the m a i n lesson (TO auvoXov, TO 7i:at8suu.a) o f Ant.
is that G o d r e w a r d s o b e d i e n c e to his L a w with happiness (euBaifxovia) b u t
punishes d i s o b e d i e n c e . A t t r i d g e s h o w s that G o d ' s i n t e r v e n t i o n in h u m a n
affairs to r e w a r d a n d p u n i s h individuals is i n d e e d a consistent e m p h a s i s
17
o f J o s e p h u s ' s biblical p a r a p h r a s e .

11
Farmer, Maccabees, 11: Whittaker, Jews and Christians, 12; cf. Dio Cassius, History
of Rome 45.7.2.; Philostratus, Apollonius of Tyana 5:33; Fronto, Parthian War 2; Minucius
Felix, Octavius 10:4 (on the later revolts, under Trajan and Hadrian).
1 2
Suetonius, Domitian 12.
1 3
In addition to the scholars cited in n. 3 above, cf. Laqueur, Historiker, 136, 228ff.
1 4
Cf. H . Bloch, Quellen, 6: Attridge, Interpretation, 58; Cohen, Josephus, 28f. But W .
C. van Unnik has offered a new interpretation of this promise in his lecture, "Die
Formel 'nichts wegnehmen, nichts hinzufugen' bei Josephus", in his Schriftsteller, 26-40;
(cf. 28-32 on previous scholarship). He argues that Josephus does not promise a verbatim
reproduction of scripture but rather a true presentation of its sense; in particular, he will
not alter that sense out of hatred or flattery.
15
Thackeray, L C L edn, I V , vii; cf. his Josephus, 52.
1 6
Attridge, Interpretation, 67-70.
17
Ibid., 71-107.
THE PURPOSE AND OUTLOOK OF ANTIQUITIES 185

T h e s e c o n d interpretive k e y d i s c o v e r e d b y A t t r i d g e is a " m o r a l i z i n g "


1 8
tendency. J o s e p h u s c l a i m s in the preface ( 1 : 2 3 ) that M o s e s p r e s e n t e d
G o d as the perfect e x p r e s s i o n o f virtue (aperrj) a n d taught that m e n
should strive to participate (u.£T0cXau.(3avetv) in this m o r a l attribute.
J o s e p h u s d e v e l o p s this m o t i f in his biblical p a r a p h r a s e b y r e w o r k i n g his
source so as to highlight the virtues (euaepeta, Stxaioauvrj, avopeta,
(H09poauvTi, e t c . ) o f those figures in J e w i s h history w h o p l e a s e d G o d a n d
the v i c e s o f those w h o d i d n o t . H e illustrates e v e r y w h e r e the ruinous
c o n s e q u e n c e s o f u n c h e c k e d e m o t i o n (especially g r e e d a n d lust) a n d of­
19
fers, b y contrast, the e x a m p l e o f M o s e s as a m o d e l o f v i r t u e .
A t t r i d g e ' s study is a w e l c o m e e x p l o r a t i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s t h o u g h t in
Ant. O n e aspect o f his analysis, h o w e v e r , requires further e l a b o r a t i o n ,
n a m e l y , the identification o f h a p p i n e s s (euSatpovtoc) as a significant t e r m .
In both 1:14 a n d 1:20, J o s e p h u s declares his thesis to b e that G o d
r e w a r d s o b e d i e n c e to the L a w w i t h su8at[Aovta ( o r euSatfxova (Stov). O n e
i n d i c a t i o n o f the i m p o r t a n c e o f this t h e m e is that, a l t h o u g h the w o r d
su8at(AOvtoc is entirely absent f r o m the L X X , J o s e p h u s i n t r o d u c e s it n o
20
less than 47 times into his b i b l i c a l p a r a p h r a s e (Ant. 1-11).
N o w H . - F . W e i s s has p o i n t e d o u t that su8aiu.ovtoc w a s precisely the
2 1
goal o f Hellenistic p h i l o s o p h y . Aristotle d e c l a r e d that it w a s the c h i e f
2 2
e n d (xeXos) o f m a n . T h e quest for eu8octu.ovta m o t i v a t e d b o t h S t o i c a n d
2 3
Epicurean philosophy. T h e r e f o r e , b y setting o u t to p r o v e that G o d
grants h a p p i n e s s to those w h o o b s e r v e his L a w , J o s e p h u s effectively
enters J u d a i s m as a serious o p t i o n in the Hellenistic p h i l o s o p h i c a l
24
discussion.
I n d e e d , t h r o u g h o u t Ant. J o s e p h u s presents J u d a i s m as a p h i l o s o p h y .
In the preface he challenges the r e a d e r ( 1 : 2 5 ) :

Should any further desire to consider the reasons (toes aitta^) for every arti­
cle in our creed, he would find the inquiry highly philosophical (Xtocv
9tX6ao<po<;). (Thackeray)

E v e r y t h i n g that he is g o i n g to relate, J o s e p h u s e x p l a i n s , d e p e n d s o n the


aocptoc o f M o s e s ( 1 : 1 8 ) . N o t o n l y M o s e s b u t also A b r a h a m a n d S o l o m o n
25
a p p e a r as great p h i l o s o p h e r s . W e h a v e already seen that in his discus-

1 8
Ibid., 68f.
1 9
Ibid., 121-140.
2 0
Cf. esp. Ant. 2:7-8; 4:186, 195; 6:93; 7:380.
21
Weiss, "Pharisaismus und Hellenismus", 427f.
22
NE 10.6.1ff.; cf. Greene, Moira, 324f.
2 3
Weiss, "Pharisaismus und Hellenismus", 427f.; cf. Sextus Empiricus, adv. math.
12:69 (on Epicurus); Epictetus, Dissertations 1.4.32 (on the Stoics).
2 4
Weiss, "Pharisaismus und Hellenismus", 427f.
2 5
Weiss, "Pharisaismus und Hellenismus", 427f.; cf. Ant. l:154ff., 161, 167f. (on
Abraham); 8:42-44 (on Solomon).
186 CHAPTER SEVEN

sions o f the J e w i s h octpeaet^, h e says explicitly that the J e w s do


26
philosophize. T h e p o i n t b e c o m e s especially clear in Ag.Ap., w h i c h is a
27
sequel t o Ant. W e are b o u n d , therefore, t o c o n c l u d e with W e i s s :

Das Judentum ist nach Josephus also insgesamt und seinem Wesen nach
Thilopsphie', und zwar die auf dem Gesetz beruhende, durch das Gesetz
gelehrte Philosophic Das Gesetz ist die Grundlage der Philosophic des
28
Judentums.

It is n o t p o s s i b l e in the f r a m e w o r k o f this i n t r o d u c t o r y chapter to e x ­


a m i n e all that J o s e p h u s m i g h t h a v e m e a n t b y d e s c r i b i n g J u d a i s m as a
p h i l o s o p h y . Several scholars h a v e r e m i n d e d u s , h o w e v e r , that the c o n ­
notations o f " p h i l o s o p h y " in the ancient w o r l d w e r e at o n c e b r o a d e r a n d
29
m o r e c o n c r e t e than the m o d e r n use o f the w o r d s u g g e s t s . Philosophy
after Socrates w a s n o t a technical a c a d e m i c discipline b u t rather a c o m ­
3 0
prehensive " w a y o f l i f e " ; a m e t a p h y s i c a l basis w a s i m p o r t a n t , t o b e
3 1
sure, b u t the e m p h a s i s w a s o n ethics a n d b e h a v i o u r . I n this c o n t e x t ,
J o s e p h u s ' s portrayal o f J u d a i s m as a p h i l o s o p h y is n o t surprising.
To summarize: a longstanding scholarly c o n s e n s u s has a c c e p t e d
Josephus's presentation o f his m o t i v e s for w r i t i n g Ant. H e is a n
apologist, writing t o c o m b a t w i d e s p r e a d i g n o r a n c e a n d misunderstan­
d i n g a b o u t J e w i s h o r i g i n s , history, beliefs, a n d p r a c t i c e s . J o s e p h u s
presents J u d a i s m as a p h i l o s o p h y that offers a definite r e s p o n s e t o the
h u m a n quest for euSoctfiovtoc. H a p p i n e s s is granted b y G o d to those w h o
o b s e r v e his laws.

I I . The Relationship Between War and Antiquities

B e c a u s e the Pharisee passages o f Ant. fall within the p o r t i o n o f that w o r k


that is paralleled in War, it is necessary here to ask h o w J o s e p h u s u n d e r ­
stood the relationship b e t w e e n the t w o narratives. S i n c e R . L a q u e u r ' s
study o f J o s e p h u s ( 1 9 2 0 ) it has b e e n a c o m m o n v i e w that War, as a vehi­
cle o f R o m a n p r o p a g a n d a , h a d a p u r p o s e a n d o u t l o o k v e r y different
32
f r o m those o f Ant. A recent m a n u a l o f J e w i s h history in the N e w T e s t a ­
m e n t p e r i o d e c h o e s the general o p i n i o n that:

2 6
E.g., at War 2:119, 166; cf. Ant. 13:289; 18:9, 11, 23, 25.
2 7
Cf. esp. 1:54, 165; 2:47.
2 8
Weiss, "Pharisaismus und Hellenismus", 428.
2 9
E. Bickerman, "La chaine", 262f.; M . Smith, "Palestinian Judaism", 79f.; and
Weiss, "Pharisaismus und Hellenismus", 428.
3 0
Weiss, "Pharisaismus und Hellenismus", 428.
3 1
Cf. chapter 6, n. 120, above.
3 2
So Laqueur, Rasp, Thackeray, M . Smith, Neusner, and Cohen, who will be dis­
cussed below; in addition, see the works cited in chapter 3, n. 16.
THE PURPOSE AND OUTLOOK OF ANTIQUITIES 187

whereas in his first work Josephus was a spokesman for the R o m a n Empire
and the Flavian dynasty, in the Antiquities he is first and foremost the
33
apologist for J u d a i s m .

In w h a t f o l l o w s I shall a r g u e that L a q u e u r ' s t h e o r y , a l t h o u g h it a c ­


c u r a t e l y identifies s o m e m a j o r differences o f o u d o o k b e t w e e n War a n d
Ant., t e n d s t o o b s c u r e J o s e p h u s ' s o w n literary i n t e n t i o n , w h i c h is t o l i n k
t o g e t h e r the goals o f the t w o w o r k s .

A. Differences of Outlook Between War and Antiquities

C r i t i c s h a v e l o n g r e a l i z e d that c o m p a r i s o n o f Ant. 13-20 w i t h t h e parallel


3 4
m a t e r i a l i n War 1-2 reveals m a n y differences o f p e r s p e c t i v e . Most con­
s p i c u o u s is t h e r e v i s i o n o f J o s e p h u s ' s attitude t o w a r d H e r o d t h e G r e a t :
3 5
w h e r e a s War h a d g i v e n a v e r y s y m p a t h e t i c p o r t r a y a l , Ant. often at­
3 6
tacks his c h a r a c t e r a n d a c c u s e s h i m o f i m p i e t y . O t h e r p u b l i c figures
3 7 3 8
s u c h as S a l o m e A l e x a n d r a , King Agrippa and Agrippa I I , the h i g h
3 9 4 0
priest A n a n u s , a n d the R o m a n p r o c u r a t o r s h a v e likewise b e e n r e -

3 3
S. Safrai and M . Stern (edd.), The Jewish People, I, 24.
3 4
The problem of the literary relationship between Ant. 13-20 and War 1-2 is a
thorny one. For the history of scholarship on this question, see Lindner, Geschichtsauf­
fassung, 3-8. For a deft analysis of the issues see Cohen, Josephus, 48-66. H e proposes
a novel solution to the effect that Ant. 13-14 closely follow War, books 15-16 revert to
War's source; book 17 uses both War and the source; and books 18-20 are erratic.
3 5
Cohen aptly remarks {Josephus, 111) that War's portrait of Herod "is almost an en­
comium (or a biography) rather than a history"; cf. Holscher, "Josephus", 1947;
Michel-Bauernfeind, De Bello Judaico, I, X X V f.; Thackeray, Josephus, 6 5 .
3 6
Notice, e.g., the following passages: (a) War l:208f. has Herod accused of im­
propriety by certain malicious (P&jxocvot) persons; but Ant. 14:167 asserts that Herod
"violated our Law"; (b) Ant. 15:8f., on the popular hatred of Herod; (c) Ant. 15:174-
182, which accuses Herod of lying, deceitfulness, and injustice in the death of Hyr­
canus; (d) Ant. 15:267, on Herod's departure from T<X 7C<fcxpioc, which was the cause of
later judgement on the Jews; (e) Ant. 15:328f., in which Herod's lavish gift-giving are
said to evince his departure from Jewish eGrj and v6(xi(ia; (f) Ant. 16:150-159, on Herod's
extreme vanity, which violated Jewish law; (g) Ant. 16:183-187, which takes issue with
Nicolaus's flattery of Herod; (h) and Ant. 16:400-404, which attributes to Herod a
"murderous mind that cannot be turned from evil" (Marcus/Wikgren); cf. also 17:151,
207; 19:329; 20:247ff., and Laqueur, Historiker, 171-221.
3 7
Cf. War l:108f. with Ant. 13:430£f. See chapter 10, below.
3 8
Cf. Laqueur, Historiker, 261.
3 9
Cf. War 4:319-321 with Ant. 20:199; also Cohen, Josephus, 150f.
4 0
O n Felix, cf. War 2:253-260 with Ant. 20:160-161; also Foakes Jackson, Josephus,
166f. It is the portrayal in Ant. that corresponds more closely to Tacitus's accounts
(Histories 5:9; Annals 12:54). O n Festus, cf. War 2:271 with Ant. 20:188. The portrait
of Albinus in Ant. 20:197, 204, 215 is not as hostile as War 2:273-276; cf. Cohen,
Josephus, 60ff. O n Gessius Florus, the last procurator, both War (2:277-279) and Ant.
(20:252-257) are unforgiving.
Along with the generally intensified hostility toward the procurators in Ant. goes an
188 CHAPTER SEVEN

evaluated. S o m e critics h a v e a r g u e d , finally, that Ant. has reversed


41
War's n e g a t i v e portrayal o f the P h a r i s e e s . It is the last q u e s t i o n that in­
terests us m o s t directly b u t w e c a n n o t treat that issue in isolation f r o m
the larger p r o b l e m o f e x p l a i n i n g J o s e p h u s ' s n e w o u t l o o k .

1. T h e S o u r c e C r i t i c s a n d N i e s e

T h e o l d source-critical m o v e m e n t s o u g h t to e x p l a i n all o f J o s e p h u s ' s at­


4 2
titudes as the attitudes o f his s o u r c e s . T h u s S c h u r e r , for e x a m p l e , in
n o t i n g that the J o s e p h u s o f Ant. s o m e t i m e s disagrees w i t h N i c o l a u s a n d
j u d g e s H e r o d an evil m a n , t h e o r i z e d that J o s e p h u s m u s t h a v e u s e d a
i 4 3
new, ' dem Herodes ungunstige", source for the later work.
D e s t i n o n ' s s o l u t i o n w a s t o attribute the a n t i - H e r o d i a n r e m a r k s in Ant.
4 4
to N i c o l a u s o f D a m a s c u s . H e a r g u e d that N i c o l a u s , b u t n o t J o s e p h u s ,
45
w a s c a p a b l e o f such a critical a t t i t u d e . This theory limited Josephus's
role to the a b s u r d castigation o f N i c o l a u s for his excessive flattery o f
4 6
H e r o d (Ant. 16:183ff.), a charge o f which Nicolaus was i n n o c e n t .
H o l s c h e r e x p l a i n e d b o t h Ant. 's j u d g e m e n t o f H e r o d a n d its conflict with
N i c o l a u s b y p o s i t i n g an i n t e r m e d i a t e s o u r c e for 1 3 : 2 1 2 - 1 7 : 3 5 5 , a J e w i s h
4 7
p r o - H a s m o n e a n reworking o f Nicolaus, which Josephus simply c o p i e d .
T h e s o u r c e critics, then, t e n d e d to attribute J o s e p h u s ' s c h a n g e d attitude
to his s o u r c e s .
W e m a y n o t e , incidentally, that n o n e o f these critics p e r c e i v e d a n y
m a j o r shift in the p o r t r a y a l o f the Pharisees b e t w e e n War as a w h o l e a n d
4 8
Ant. as a w h o l e . Rather, they attributed the individual Pharisee-
p e r i c o p a e w i t h i n e a c h o f the b o o k s t o discrete s o u r c e s .

increased emphasis (also in Life) on the willingness of the Jews to fight the Romans (cf.
Ant. 20:257 and Cohen, Josephus, 155f).
4 1
E.g., Rasp, Smith/Neusner, and Cohen. See the discussion below and also chapter
2, above.
4 2
See chapter 2, above.
4 3
Schurer, Geschichte, I, 84. W e may note that Bloch, though a source critic, was not
given to this sort of wholesale dissolution of Josephus's personality but left some room
for the historian's own activity, at least as an intelligent compiler. Thus (Quellen, 112f.,
140ff.), he insisted that Josephus himself had consulted the Memoirs of Herod and per­
sonally disagreed with them, albeit on the basis of other sources.
4 4
Destinon, Quellen, 91-20.
4 5
Ibid., 96f.
4 6
Ibid., 120.
4 7
Holscher, "Josephus", 1971f., 1977f.
4 8
The only source critics who have expressd a consistent interest in the Pharisee
passages are Holscher and, now, Schwartz. Holscher found within Ant. a variety of at­
titudes toward the Pharisees ("Josephus", 1936 and n. + + ). Schwartz explicitly refutes
the theory that Ant. intends an improved portrait of the Pharisees over against War
("Josephus and Nicolaus", 165f.).
THE PURPOSE AND OUTLOOK OF ANTIQUITIES 189

M o r e than m a n y o f his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s , B . N i e s e w a s sensitive t o


J o s e p h u s ' s o w n literary interests as a significant c a u s e o f the differences
b e t w e e n War a n d Ant.. T h i s sensitivity is reflected in N i e s e ' s willingness
to b e l i e v e that J o s e p h u s m a d e direct use o f War in the c o m p o s i t i o n o f
4 9
Ant. 1 3 - 2 0 . S u c h a t h e o r y , w h i c h w a s rejected b y m o s t s o u r c e critics,
requires that J o s e p h u s w a s i n t e l l i g e n d y i n v o l v e d in the c o m p o s i t i o n o f
the later w o r k . It w a s h e w h o s u p p l e m e n t e d War with an array o f n e w
materials, i n c l u d i n g citations o f p a g a n authors, J e w i s h traditions, a n d
50
the p r o - J e w i s h d e c r e e s o f v a r i o u s r u l e r s . It w a s h e , also, w h o w o r k e d
d i l i g e n d y t o v a r y the style o f War, w h i l e generally p r e s e r v i n g its c o n t e n t
51
intact. Finally, if Ant. used War then J o s e p h u s h i m s e l f m u s t have
d e v e l o p e d n e w attitudes t o w a r d certain parties in the i n t e r i m b e t w e e n
the w o r k s . N i e s e cites the case o f A n a n u s , n o t e d a b o v e , b u t not that o f
52
the P h a r i s e e s . N o r d o e s h e e l a b o r a t e o n the p o s s i b l e reasons for such
changes.

2. L a q u e u r a n d T h a c k e r a y

It w a s this shift in J o s e p h u s ' s attitudes, w h i c h N i e s e h a d m e n t i o n e d o n l y


in passing, that c o n s u m e d R . Laqueur in his w a t e r s h e d study o f
5 3
Josephus ( 1 9 2 0 ) . R e p u d i a t i n g a s o u r c e criticism that h a d practically
annihilated J o s e p h u s ' s character, L a q u e u r set o u t t o e x p l a i n m a n y o f the
differences b e t w e e n War a n d Ant. b y d e m o n s t r a t i n g a d e v e l o p m e n t in
5 4
the h i s t o r i a n ' s o u t l o o k . L a q u e u r b e l i e v e d that Ant., " n i c h t s a n d e r e s ist
als e i n e t e n d e n z i o s e Z u r e c h t m a c h u n g d e r i m b e l l u m uberlieferten T a t -
5 5
sachen". L a q u e u r thinks that Ant.'s r e v i s i o n o f War, especially o n
H e r o d a n d his f a m i l y , represents J o s e p h u s ' s attempt t o r e d e e m his
5 6
J e w i s h heritage after his years in the service o f R o m a n p r o p a g a n d a .

4 9
HZ, 218f.; ERE, V I I , 574. The common view was based on the belief that War,
with its thematic treatment of Herod's life, for example, was secondary to the more de­
tailed chronological, account in Ant. Cf. Laqueur Historiker, 133. Niese, however, held
that War was 'too much of a unity, too coherent to be a mere epitome or reworking of
a source'. He thought it impossible to get behind War to posit an earlier source.
5 0
HZ, 220-222; ERE, V I I I , 574f.
5 1
HZ, 223; ERE, V I I , 575. The change in style is on the whole toward simplicity,
Niese observes, but is also influenced by a desire to imitate Thucydides, especially in
books 16 to 19.
5 2
ERE, V I I , 575.
5 3
See my discussion of Laqueur in chapter 2, above.
5 4
Laqueur notes (Historiker, 234), that his interpretation of Josephus corroborates his
earlier analysis of Polybius's method.
5 5
Laqueur, Historiker, 133f.
5 6
Ibid., 136, 228ff., 239ff., and especially 258ff. These last pages fall within chapter
8, "Der Werdegang des Josephus," which is now reprinted in Schalit, Zur Josephus-
Forschung.
190 CHAPTER SEVEN

T h a t Ant. contains several a n t i - H e r o d i a n passages n o t f o u n d in War


w a s already w e l l - k n o w n b y L a q u e u r ' s t i m e , as w e h a v e seen. H i s par­
ticular c o n t r i b u t i o n s w e r e t w o . First, h e e x a m i n e d the nature o f the
d i v e r g e n c e b e t w e e n War a n d Ant. o n H e r o d , in o r d e r to s h o w that it
c o u l d n o t b e e x p l a i n e d b y s o u r c e h y p o t h e s e s a l o n e . C o m p a r i n g War 1
a n d Ant. 14, h e d e m o n s t r a t e d that the re-evaluation o f H e r o d ' s family
is subtly w o v e n into the narrative o f Ant., e v e n in passages w h e r e the
57
later w o r k r e p r o d u c e s the v o c a b u l a r y o f War. It is n o t , therefore, a
58
question o f n e w material. R o l e s are reversed so that, for e x a m p l e , the
valiant Antipater (Herod's father) of War becomes a malicious
59
t r o u b l e m a k e r in Ant. Conversely, Antipater's H a s m o n e a n opponent
60
A r i s t o b u l u s receives m u c h better treatment in Ant. than h e h a d in War.
A g a i n , a l t h o u g h the conflict b e t w e e n H y r c a n u s a n d H e r o d appears in
b o t h War a n d Ant., a n d a l t h o u g h a similar c o u r s e o f events is d e s c r i b e d ,
the roles o f the protagonists are reversed to a c c o r d with J o s e p h u s ' s n e w
6 1
denigration o f H e r o d . L a q u e u r p o i n t s out that in these cases it is n o t
the c o n t e n t b u t the c o l o u r i n g ( F a r b u n g ) that is n e w in Ant.: "Die
Darstellung der Arch. (sc. Ant.) ist also nur erklarlich aus der
6 2
systematischen politischen U m a r b e i t u n g des b e l l u m h e r a u s . " S o the
a n t i - H e r o d i a n p o l e m i c c o m e s f r o m J o s e p h u s himself.
W h y should J o s e p h u s h a v e reversed h i m s e l f so dramatically b e t w e e n
War a n d Ant. ? W h a t inspired his revision o f the H e r o d i a n history? L a ­
q u e u r ' s s e c o n d c o n t r i b u t i o n to o u r p r o b l e m w a s his p r o p o s a l that b e ­
tween War a n d Ant. J o s e p h u s ' s attitude c h a n g e d as a result o f his altered
circumstances. Namely: Josephus h a d written War as a vehicle o f
R o m a n p r o p a g a n d a . C a l l e d u p o n b y his Falvian p r o t e c t o r s , this Romling
w r o t e an a c c o u n t o f the J e w i s h revolt that w a s calculated to p e r s u a d e the
63
rest o f the w o r l d to s u b m i t to the Pax Romana. B e c a u s e this history u s e d
R o m a n s o u r c e material a n d p r o p o u n d e d a R o m a n o u t l o o k , it presented

5 7
Ibid., 128-230.
5 8
Laqueur was fully cognizant of the fact that Ant. employs new sources over against
War (Historiker, 141, 171, 241). He even allowed (138, 148-155) that Josephus culd use
a new source (e.g., the Memoirs of Herod) to substantiate Ant. 's new view of Herod's
family. What Laqueur denied was that Josephus merely copied from the new sources,
as others had claimed. Laqueur wanted to prove that Josephus carefully altered his
earlier narrative to incorporate his anti-Herodian views and that the new views are,
therefore, Josephus's own.
5 9
Laqueur, Historiker, 138ff., esp. 140. Cf. also 166f.
6 0
Ibid., 143., 146f., 158f.
6 1
Ibid., 171ff.
6 2
Ibid., 168.
6 3
Ibid., 255ff. Cf. chapter 3, above, on Laqueur's intepretation of War as an instru­
ment of Roman policy.
THE PURPOSE AND OUTLOOK OF ANTIQUITIES 191

R o m a n leaders ( V e s p a s i a n a n d T i t u s ) a n d R o m a n a p p o i n t e e s ( H e r o d ' s
64
f a m i l y ) in a g l o w i n g l i g h t .
N a t u r a l l y e n o u g h , a r g u e d L a q u e u r , War w a s seen b y w o r l d J e w r y o f
the d a y as J o s e p h u s ' s ultimate betrayal o f his p e o p l e ; the f o r m e r rebel
65
l e a d e r h a d sold his soul to his n e w p a t r o n s . T h e m a n y attempts o f J e w s
to d i s l o d g e the traitor f r o m his life o f p r i v i l e g e h a v e left clear tracks in
66
Josephus's writings. But w h i l e V e s p a s i a n a n d T i t u s l i v e d , i m p e r i a l
67
favour guaranteed Josephus's security.
W i t h the a c c e s s i o n o f D o m i t i a n , h o w e v e r , J e w i s h m e a s u r e s against
J o s e p h u s w e r e r e n e w e d , this t i m e with a d e g r e e o f success b e c a u s e o f
6 8
that e m p e r o r ' s distaste for the p o l i c i e s o f his father a n d brother.
J o s e p h u s lost his f a v o u r e d c o u r t p o s i t i o n a n d this p l a c e d h i m " z w i s c h e n
z w e i S t u h l e " : h e h a d b e e n stripped o f his right to speak for R o m e b u t
he h a d also forfeited the support o f his c o m p a t r i o t s . In these cir­
c u m s t a n c e s , h e t u r n e d to o n e E p a p h r o d i t u s (the p a t r o n o f Ant. a n d Life)
6 9
a n d f o u n d in h i m a politically neutral s p o n s o r . N o w r e l i e v e d o f his
o b l i g a t i o n s to the authorities, J o s e p h u s w a s free to g i v e e x p r e s s i o n to his
70
natural J e w i s h i n s t i n c t s . H e n c e the n e g a t i v e portrayal o f H e r o d a n d his
71
family in Ant. War h a d b e l o n g e d to J o s e p h u s ' s " R o m a n p e r i o d " ; Ant.
w a s the c r e a t i o n o f J o s e p h u s as J e w i s h a p o l o g i s t , n o w free to express his
nationalistic sentiments.
A l t h o u g h L a q u e u r w a s c o n t e n t t o interpret the J e w i s h a p o l o g e t i c o f
Ant. as m e r e self-expression o n J o s e p h u s ' s part, he also raised the q u e s ­
tion w h e t h e r this a p o l o g e t i c w a s calculated to effect a certain Rehabilita­
72
tion b e t w e e n the erstwhile traitor a n d his c o m p a t r i o t s . T h i s possibility
L a q u e u r o n l y m e n t i o n e d a n d d i d n o t e x p l o r e further.
T h a c k e r a y , w h o w a s e v e r y w h e r e i n f l u e n c e d b y L a q u e u r , rejected the
latter's s u g g e s t i o n that in Ant. J o s e p h u s " w a s p r o m p t e d b y self-interested
7 3
m o t i v e s , h o p i n g to rehabilitate h i m s e l f with his o f f e n d e d c o u n t r y m e n " .
But this p r o p o s a l w a s m e r e l y an afterthought o n L a q u e u r ' s part a n d n o t
crucial to his t h e o r y . T h a t T h a c k e r a y in fact t o o k o v e r the substance o f
L a q u e u r ' s v i e w o f Ant. is clear f r o m his r e m a r k that J o s e p h u s :

6 4
Laqueur, Historiker, 258.
6 5
Ibid., 258.
6 6
Ibid. Laqueur points to War 7:442, 447f., which indicate that Josephus was (falsely)
accused of inspiring the revolt in Cyrene ( A D 73).
6 7
Ibid.
6 8
Ibid., 258f.
6 9
Ibid., 259f.
7 0
Ibid., 260f.
7 1
Laqueur, Historiker, 260f.
7 2
Ibid.
7 3
Thackeray, Josephus, 52.
192 CHAPTER SEVEN

deprived of his former patrons, . . . seems finally to have severed his con­
nexion with R o m a n political propaganda, and henceforth figures solely as
74
Jewish historian and apologist.

T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n distinctly e c h o e s L a q u e u r ' s v i e w o f J o s e p h u s ' s d e v e l o p ­


m e n t b e t w e e n War a n d Ant. T h a c k e r a y o n c e again b e c a m e a m e d i u m o f
L a q u e u r ' s insights. T h e c o m b i n e d influence o f these t w o scholars o n
s u b s e q u e n t J o s e p h a n scholarship is i m p r e s s i v e .
B e f o r e w e c o n s i d e r the w a y s in w h i c h the L a q u e u r / T h a c k e r a y t h e o r y
has b e e n a d a p t e d to interpret the Pharisee passages o f Ant., some brief
critical o b s e r v a t i o n s o n that t h e o r y are in o r d e r .

B . T h e A p o l o g e t i c P u r p o s e C o m m o n to W a r a n d A n t i q u i t i e s

Scholars h a v e n o t a l w a y s b e l i e v e d that War a n d Ant. s p r a n g f r o m t w o o p ­


posite m o t i v e s , R o m a n p r o p a g a n d a a n d J e w i s h a p o l o g e t i c . F o r e x a m p l e ,
B e n e d i c t u s N i e s e , the great H a l l e classicist, f o r m e d his j u d g e m e n t b e f o r e
and independently o f L a q u e u r . Niese remarks:

A s in the BJ [War], so in the AJ [Ant.], the object of Josephus is to furnish


the Hellenes with an accurate dilineation of Israelitic and Jewish history in
75
place of the misrepresentation of unfriendly or malevolent chroniclers.

In o u r d i s c u s s i o n o f War ( c h a p t e r 3, a b o v e ) , w e saw that J o s e p h u s c l a i m s


there to b e p r e s e n t i n g an a c c u r a t e eyewitness a c c o u n t o f the revolt in
o r d e r to refute the current anti-Jewish reports o f the conflict. W e m a y
n o w o b s e r v e that w h e n e v e r he speaks o f Ant. a n d War t o g e t h e r , he takes
s o m e t r o u b l e to spell o u t that the t w o w o r k s h a v e a similar m o t i v a t i o n .
1. J o s e p h u s b e g i n s Ant. ( 1 : 1 - 3 ) b y d e s c r i b i n g f o u r m o t i v e s that c a u s e
historians to w r i t e , n a m e l y : ( a ) e g o t i s m ; ( b ) flattery o f i m p o r t a n t per­
sons; ( c ) p a r t i c i p a t i o n in great events; a n d ( d ) the desire to replace ig­
n o r a n c e with accurate k n o w l e d g e . O f these f o u r , he c l a i m s , o n l y the last
two i n f l u e n c e d his w r i t i n g o f War ( 1 : 4 ) . But he is n o t s p e a k i n g o n l y o f
War. b y m e a n s o f a [xev . . . 8e c o n s t r u c t i o n in 1:4-5, he states explicitly
that the s a m e m o t i v e s that l e d h i m to write War—the r e c o u n t i n g o f great
events a n d the refutation o f those w h o " d i s f i g u r e the t r u t h " — n o w m o v e
him to write Ant.
2. H e g o e s o n to c l a i m that h e h a d c o n t e m p l a t e d i n c l u d i n g the ancient
76
history w h e n he w r o t e War b u t h a d d e c i d e d against it b e c a u s e there

7 4
Ibid.
7 5
Niese, ERE, V I I , 542; cf. HZ, 212f.; and Franxman, Genesis, 5.
7 6
So Thackeray, Josephus, 52f.; but this is denied by Niese, HZ, 212f., and Attridge,
Interpretation, 44ff., 46.
THE PURPOSE AND OUTLOOK OF ANTIQUITIES 193

was t o o m u c h material. H e c h o s e rather to d e v o t e a separate w o r k to the


J e w i s h apxatoXoytoc. A c c o r d i n g to J o s e p h u s , then, the o n l y difference b e ­
t w e e n War a n d Ant. is in their subject matter. B o t h are d e s i g n e d to refute
anti-Jewish presentations o f history: War deals with the revolt, Ant. with
the m o r e distant past.
3. B o t h w o r k s e m p l o y the aXrjOetoc/axptfkta t h e m e often a n d in the
s a m e w a y : J o s e p h u s is w r i t i n g the truth o v e r against the misrepresenta­
77
tions o f o t h e r s . B o t h w o r k s link this t h e m e with J o s e p h u s ' s priestly
78
status.
4. Finally, in Ag.Ap. 1:53-56 J o s e p h u s reflects o n War a n d Ant. a n d
again attributes to b o t h o f t h e m the goal o f dcXrjOetoc: " I b e l i e v e that I
have fully a c c o m p l i s h e d this in b o t h w o r k s (rcepl du^oxepas . . .
TCpayfxaTetas)."
T o s u m m a r i z e : J o s e p h u s d o e s n o t see, o r he d o e s n o t wish the reader
to see, a n y significant difference o f p u r p o s e b e t w e e n War a n d Ant. B o t h
w o r k s , he c l a i m s , h a v e a p o l o g e t i c goals. T h e y set o u t t o c o m b a t error,
i g n o r a n c e , a n d slander a m o n g G r e c o - R o m a n readers, w h e t h e r in rela­
tion to the J e w i s h revolt (War) o r to earlier J e w i s h history (Ant.).
A l t h o u g h , then, o n e c a n n o t d e n y L a q u e u r ' s c o n c l u s i o n that J o s e p h u s
c h a n g e s s o m e o f his attitudes b e t w e e n War a n d Ant., o n e m u s t d o u b t his
e x p l a n a t i o n o f those c h a n g e s as the result o f a radical shift in the purpose
o f the t w o w o r k s , f r o m R o m a n p r o p a g a n d a to J e w i s h a p o l o g e t i c .

I I I . The Pharisees in Antiquities

I n his characterization o f the c h a n g e in J o s e p h u s ' s o u t l o o k b e t w e e n War


a n d Ant., L a q u e u r o m i t t e d a n y m e n t i o n o f the Pharisee passages in
either w o r k . T h i s m a y b e b e c a u s e his analysis focused o n Ant. 14, w h i c h
lacks a n y reference to the Pharisees, o r it m a y b e b e c a u s e he d i d n o t see
a n y clear d e v e l o p m e n t b e t w e e n the t w o w o r k s o n this subject. O t h e r
critics, h o w e v e r , w o u l d s o o n a r g u e that Ant. revises War's portrayal o f
the Pharisees to a c c o r d with the later w o r k ' s a p o l o g e t i c thrust. W e h a v e
already e x a m i n e d the p r o p o s a l s o f these scholars in s o m e detail ( c h a p t e r
7 9
2, a b o v e ) a n d m a y n o w simply recall their v i e w s with b r i e f s u m m a r i e s .
If T h a c k e r a y d i s c o u n t e d L a q u e u r ' s suggestion that J o s e p h u s ' s n e w
n a t i o n a l i s m in Ant. was a self-serving attempt to re-establish his c r e d e n ­
tials with his c o u n t r y m e n , H . R a s p ( 1 9 2 4 ) seized o n the idea as a m e a n s

7 7
On War, cf. chapter 3, above.
7 8
See the discussion in chapter 3, above.
7 9
See chapter 2, above.
194 CHAPTER SEVEN

o f intepreting the Pharisee passages in that w o r k . R a s p w a s particularly


i m p r e s s e d b y what h e c o n s i d e r e d to b e a d e v e l o p m e n t b e t w e e n War
2:119ff. a n d Ant. 18:1 Iff. H e thought that the latter passage, with its
d i m i n i s h e d praise o f the Essenes and its e m p h a s i s o n the Pharisees'
political c l o u t , represented J o s e p h u s ' s attempt to m a k e a m e n d s with the
Pharisees, w h o h a d n o w a c h i e v e d p o w e r in p o s t - w a r Palestine. T h e ever-
adaptable historian e v e n tried n o w to present h i m s e l f as a m e m b e r o f this
g r o u p (Life 1 2 ) .
S m i t h ( 1 9 5 6 ) a n d N e u s n e r ( 1 9 7 2 ) h a v e f o u n d in Ant. a similar revision
o f Pharisaic history b u t interpret it s o m e w h a t differently. T h e y locate the
heart o f the d e v e l o p m e n t in Ant. 13:401 ff., in A l e x a n d e r J a n n e u s ' s
d e a t h b e d plea to his wife that, if h e r adminstration is to b e a success, she
m u s t yield p o w e r to the Pharisees. Smith a n d N e u s n e r a r g u e that the
w o r d s put in J a n n e u s ' s m o u t h , a l o n g with Ant. 's o t h e r references to
Pharisaic p o p u l a r i t y ( 1 3 : 2 9 8 , 1 8 : 1 5 ) , w e r e i n t e n d e d b y J o s e p h u s as a
signal to the R o m a n g o v e r n m e n t that it should e n d o r s e the Pharisees as
the n e w aristocracy in p o s t - w a r Palestine. T h i s r e c o m m e n d a t i o n w o u l d
naturally facilitate J o s e p h u s ' s reconciliation with the Pharisees, in k e e p ­
ing with R a s p ' s v i e w , but S m i t h a n d N e u s n e r u n d e r s t a n d Ant. 's respect
for Pharisaic p o w e r to b e directed first o f all t o w a r d the R o m a n s . L i k e
Rasp, these A m e r i c a n scholars c o n s i d e r J o s e p h u s ' s c l a i m to b e a
Pharisee (Life 12) as clear p r o o f o f Ant. 's pro-Pharisaic a p o l o g e t i c . T h e i r
interpretation o f Ant. 's portrayal o f the Pharisees has w o n significant
80
support.
C o h e n ( 1 9 8 7 ) follows b o t h R a s p a n d S m i t h / N e u s n e r . O n the o n e
h a n d , h e thinks that the ( a l l e g e d l y ) pro-Pharisaic t o n e o f Ant. ILife is part
o f an overall religious a p o l o g e t i c in these w o r k s , w h i c h w a s i n t e n d e d to
81
rehabilitate J o s e p h u s in the e y e s o f J e w i s h r e a d e r s . O n the other h a n d ,
C o h e n finds in Ant. an appeal to the R o m a n s , " t h a t the Pharisees h a d
8 2
always b e e n p r o m i n e n t a n d therefore deserve R o m a n s u p p o r t " .
In all o f these scholars o n e c a n easily detect the L a q u e u r i a n a p p r o a c h
8 3
to J o s e p h u s . Whereas, however, Laqueur had o b s e r v e d the new
nationalistic-religious spirit p r i m a r i l y in Ant. 's revision o f H e r o d i a n
history, these scholars think that the Pharisee passages o f Ant. are also
i m p o r t a n t instances o f the n e w o u t l o o k . T h e y c l a i m that, for o n e reason
o r a n o t h e r — w h e t h e r to m a k e a m e n d s with the Y a v n e a n leaders o r to

8 0
See chapter 2, n. 101.
8 1
Cohen, Josephus, 144ff.
8 2
Ibid., 237f.
8 3
It is not clear, however, that Smith and Neusner have any direct knowledge of La­
queur or Rasp.
THE PURPOSE AND OUTLOOK OF ANTIQUITIES 195

assist the R o m a n administration—Josephus has i m p r o v e d the i m a g e o f


the Pharisees vis-a-vis War.

Summary and Conclusion: the Task of Part Three

J o s e p h u s i n t e n d e d to present Ant. a n d War as t w o parts o f a w h o l e . B o t h


w e r e written, he says, t o c o u n t e r i g n o r a n c e and m i s i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t
the J e w s ; the axpifktoc m o t i f is constant t h r o u g h o u t b o t h w o r k s . A s
J o s e p h u s presents it, the m a j o r difference b e t w e e n War a n d Ant. is their
subject matter. T h e latter is an dpxotioXoyia whereas the f o r m e r deals
p r i m a r i l y with the revolt against R o m e . J o s e p h u s d o e s n o t suggest that
his o u t l o o k has c h a n g e d b e t w e e n the t w o w o r k s .
Nevertheless, it is n o w w i d e l y a c c e p t e d that J o s e p h u s d i d alter his
p o i n t o f v i e w b e t w e e n War a n d Ant., especially o n the subject o f H e r o d
a n d his family. T h e p r o b l e m that r e m a i n s to b e solved is the relationship
b e t w e e n the Pharisee passages o f Ant. a n d those o f War. A few influential
scholars h a v e a r g u e d that the Pharisee material o f Ant. is a clear a n d i m ­
portant e x a m p l e o f J o s e p h u s ' s n e w o u t l o o k in that w o r k . U n l i k e the
r e v o l u t i o n in his attitude t o w a r d the H e r o d i a n s , h o w e v e r , w h i c h w a s
already n o t e d a n d e x p l a i n e d b y the s o u r c e critics, his volte-face o n the
Pharisees has b e e n p e r c e i v e d b y few c o m m e n t a t o r s . It d i d n o t o c c u r to
the s o u r c e critics ( B l o c h , D e s t i n o n , H o l s c h e r , o r S c h w a r t z ) to posit a
shift between War a n d Ant. o n the Pharisees. Even Laqueur and
T h a c k e r a y , w h o r e c o g n i z e d a shift o n other issues, d i d n o t c o n n e c t the
Pharisee p e r i c o p a e with it. A s N e u s n e r remarks ( i n praise o f S m i t h ' s
originality), the idea w a s practically u n h e a r d o f b e f o r e his o w n 1972 arti­
8 4
cle. It is, therefore, an o p e n question w h e t h e r J o s e p h u s i n t e n d e d , in
Ant., to reverse o r significantly alter War's portrait o f the Pharisees.
In a d d i t i o n to the usua