=============

Click on the footnote number and you will jump down to that note. Once there and enlightened, then click on that number and you will return to where you were in the text

=============

From An Introduction to the History of History, by James T. Shotwell; Columbia University Press; New York; 1922; pp. 114-127.

114


CHAPTER XI

NON-BIBLICAL LITERATURE; JOSEPHUS

THE very process we have just been describing implies that we have only a portion of the literature of the Jews inside the canon of the sacred scriptures. It remains to glance at what lies outside it, and finally at the work of a purely secular historian who wrote at Rome, for the Greco-Roman world, the story of Jewish antiquity and the struggle for Jewish freedom, Josephus.

The two chief characteristic products of Jewish thought, legalism and prophecy, which we have seen coloring with more or less different hues the long perspectives of biblical antiquity, continued to determine the quality of the non-biblical literature to a very large degree. The result is that that literature largely consists of two great developments, corresponding to these two interests: the elaboration of the law in the Talmud and the production of apocalyptic literature. How great these two developments were is something of which Christians are generally grossly ignorant; and yet no student of New Testament history can ever quite get the sense of the setting of primitive Christianity, of the forces which it had to fight and even of those which it incorporated, until he has looked into the teachings of the rabbis or realized the scope of the poetic, rhapsodical dreams of Oriental imagination fired by fanatic zeal, that were prevalent in the closing days of Judaism.

The great body of the “oral” law, as opposed to the “written” law of Moses, was preserved, elaborated and debated by the rabbis, just as the Christian church has its bodies of ecclesiastical law in addition to the Old and New Testaments. How far back its precepts really go, no one can tell; but those who taught it believed that it extended back to Moses, and had existed parallel with the written law from the time of its deliverance,1 being passed along by 115 word of mouth from generation to generation. The Talmud, in which this “oral law” was embodied, is to the Jews like the New Testament to Christians, something far more than a mere commentary on the Scriptures, of an authority and influence parallel to them. It is made up of two parts, the Mishnah, which is a collection of texts, begun under the Maccabees and compiled at the end of the second century A.D., and the Gemara, or comments on the Mishnah. The discussions of the Palestinian rabbis were codified in the fourth century A.D. in what is called the Jerusalem Talmud. Those of the schools of Babylonia were codified in the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. The latter, which is about four times the size of the Jerusalem Talmud, is what is meant when “The Talmud” is referred to without further qualification.

This mass of material, as an ostensible body of recorded tradition, might seem to have some claim upon our attention; but we have included it in this survey mainly to emphasize its essentially unhistorical character, and the fact that Talmudic training tends to block the path of historical criticism. In the first place, in spite of all the vast literature on the Talmud, — and no text has ever been studied with more intensive zeal, — it has not received that “higher criticism” which has led us at last to appreciate the historicity of the biblical narratives. Owing largely to the very fact that it was so long oral tradition, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to determine the origin and first setting of the central texts. In any case this work has not yet been done, and the Talmud remains a practically sealed book to historians, who can use its wealth of descriptive and illustrative material — the Talmudists claim that its texts can meet every possible exigency in life — only in the most general way. Talmudic scholarship therefore tends to turn the mind toward that type of speculation on words and phrases which results in either the hair-splitting of quibbles in the application of theological law or the more philosophical moralizing that draws strength from allegory; but neither of these tendencies 116 leads to historical analysis. When one examines the Talmud, and considers the influences which it reflects from the dim antiquities of Jewish life, one wonders all the more at the historical product of the Old Testament.

This impression is still further strengthened by a glance at the prophetic literature, which rivalled the influence of the Law upon the Jewish mind. We have seen above how this — along with the Law — became the vehicle for so much of that high moral teaching which gave the lasting value to Jewish aspirations, — aspirations which otherwise would hardly interest succeeding ages.2 There was much of this literature, and more still that did not reach the dignity of literature, in the later period of Jewish history.3 It was a great contribution, poetry fired by passion and rich in dreams, the outpouring of Oriental zealots, — the literature of apocalypses. But it gained its best triumphs by its boldest defiance of fact. True, its vision had power at times to supplant the mean realities of actual things by new creations, made real through that conviction which impels to deeds; but the historic forces which it wielded were drawn more from faith in the future than from interest in the past. Prophetism, as we have pointed out elsewhere, blocks the patch of scientific inquiry; and yet as we register its impediment to history, we cannot but find in it an expression — one of several, but not the least significant — of that fundamental difference in outlook between the Oriental and the Western mind. The Oriental has remained essentially unhistorical because of his relative indifference as to fact and fancy. His interest is determined more by what he wishes things to be and less by what they are. In the West, in spite of much persistence of the same attitude, we have grown interested in things as they actually are, and in things as they actually were. History cannot substitute what one wishes to happen or to have happened for what actually happened. Its field is not free and open but sadly circumscribed, marked out by frustration and darkened by the dull walls of fact.4

117

“The Law and the Prophets” are both distinctly Jewish products, for, whatever they borrowed from beyond Jordan, in both cases they are the expression of Palestinian civilization. In the last phase of its history, however, Judaism, especially in the Diaspora or Dispersion throughout the Greco-Roman world, came to a certain degree under the influences of that Hellenic civilization which had permeated so much of the Near East after the conquests of Alexander. The result was that the Jew and Gentile were led to look into each other’s past. The mutual challenge was hopeful for history. It was such a situation which, as we shall see, had opened the doors to Greek historical criticism in the days of Herodotus, when the antiquity of Egypt became the touchstone for judging that of Hellas. One might have thought that when the two peoples who really could show some achievement in antique history-writing — the Greeks and the Hebrews — came to know each other, the effect would be to stimulate a critical appreciation of that achievement and so further the cause of scientific history; that, at least, if the Hebrews did not profit from the contact, the Greeks would. How they escaped doing so, — and by so doing to anticipate by twenty centuries the biblical criticism of today, — is apparent from a consideration of the work of the two outstanding figures of Hellenic Judaism, Philo the philosopher and Josephus the historian.





Philo Judæus, as he is commonly termed, was a product of Alexandria, a contemporary of Christ.5 He comes into our survey, not because of any contribution which he offered to the history of History, but because of his influence in furthering that essentially unhistorical habit of thought to which we have referred above, by interpreting texts by way of allegory. It was a method which Christian writers were to develop to such an extent that we may leave the fuller consideration of it until we come to the work of 118 Origen and the “apologists.” But, although Philo seems to have had little direct influence upon later Christian writers6 — probably because he was a Jew, — the contribution which he offered to the world of his time, Jew and Greek, was so distinctive as to demand attention. For Philo applied the familiar device of allegory not simply to explain the texts but to explain them away, by boldly taking them over from history to philosophy.

One or two examples, out of an almost unlimited number, will suffice to show how the commentary on the Pentateuch runs, as it takes up the text verse by verse. The Allegories of the Sacred Laws begins as follows:

“‘And the heaven and the earth and all their world was completed.’7 Having previously related the creation of the mind and of sense, Moses now proceeds to describe the perfection which was brought about by them both. And he says that neither the indivisible mind nor the particular sensations received perfection, but only ideas, one the idea of the mind, the other of sensation. And, speaking symbolically, he calls the mind heaven, since the natures which can only be comprehended by the intellect are in heaven. And sensation he calls earth, because it is sensation which has obtained a corporeal and somewhat earthy constitution. The ornaments of the mind are called the incorporeal things, which are perceptible only by the intellect. Those of sensation are the corporeal things, and everything in short which is perceptible by the external senses.

“‘And on the sixth day God finished his work which he had made.’ It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days or indeed at all in time; because all time is only the space of days and nights, and these things the motion of the sun as he passes over the earth and under the earth does necessarily make. But the sun is a portion of heaven, so that one must confess that time is a thing posterior to the world. Therefore it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence in consequence of the world. For it is the motion of the heaven that has displayed the nature of time.

“When, therefore, Moses says, ‘God completed his works on the sixth day,’ we must understand that he is speaking not of a number of days, but that he takes six as a perfect number. Since it is the first number which is equal in its parts, in the half, and the third and sixth parts, and since it is produced by the multiplication of two unequal factors, two and three. And the numbers two and three exceed the incorporeality which exists in the unit; because the 119 number two is an image of matter being divided into two parts and dissected like matter. And the number three is an image of a solid body, because a solid can be divided according to a threefold division. Not but what it is also akin to the motions of organic animals. For an organic body is naturally capable of motion in six directions, forward, backwards, upwards, downwards, to the right, and to the left. And at all events he desires to show that the races of mortal, and also of all the immortal beings, exist according to their appropriate numbers; measuring mortal beings, as I have said, by the number six, and the blessed and immortal beings by the number seven. First, therefore, having desisted from the creation of mortal creatures on the seventh day, he began the formation of other and more divine beings.”8

When one considers that such speculations are the matured contribution of one of the greatest thinkers of antiquity, one sees how far adrift theology might go from the sober world of fact and the processes of history. And theology was to capture the intellectual interests of the age.

Sometimes Philo recognizes the statement of fact in the narrative but even that is the material veil for some divine truth. For instance, the rivers of the Garden of Eden may be real rivers, — though the inadequacy of the geography of Genesis is troublesome, — but the escape is always at hand, for the four rivers are the signs of the four virtues, Prudence, Temperance, Courage and Justice, flowing from the central stream of the Divine Wisdom.9 Reading such a passage one recalls the jeers of Herodotus at the geographers who held to the Homeric cosmography and especially the Ocean Stream encircling the world;10 but by no flight of imagination can one think of Herodotus solving his difficulties by transmuting rivers into ideas. The divergence between the paths of history and philosophy is fortunately sufficiently clear at the start that we need not stray longer from the one before us.

Flavius Josephus stands out as the very opposite of Philo. He was a man-of-affairs, warrior, statesman and diplomatist. He was one of the leaders of the great Jewish revolt, but made his peace with Vespasian and became a favorite of the Flavian imperial family, from whom he took his adopted name. After the destruction 120 of Jerusalem he passed most of his life at Rome, and there wrote in Greek11 for the Greco-Roman world, a history of The Wars of the Jews, and a long account of The Antiquities of the Jews, as well as a defence of Jewish historical sources and methods against the attacks of Greeks, especially one Apion, in a treatise Against Apion.12 In addition he wrote his own biography, as a reply to attacks upon him by his own people. Thus the man whom the Jews most hated as a betrayer of his country in his own day became the defender of its past. But he has never been popular among the Jews. His readers were mainly among the heathen and the Christian. Among them his vogue was surprisingly large, considering his theme. His works have survived as few from that age have, almost as though he had been a Christian Father.

Josephus’ own life enters so much into his writings that it tends to distract one from considering them on their own merits. He was born 37-38 A.D. of high-priestly stock, and studied for the priesthood. He was a prominent young Pharisee when sent to Rome on a successful mission to plead for some Jews in the year 63-64. Then he was drawn into the Great Rebellion, becoming one of the leaders, but turned to the Roman side after his capture, saving his life indeed by prophesying that Vespasian would be emperor. The favor of the Flavians never failed him after that, in spite of constant attacks upon him by the Jews. This shifty — and thrifty — career is reflected in the first of his works, the history of the Jewish War, which was written between 69 and 79 A.D., at once a court history and an apology.

The Wars of the Jews is an elaborate work in seven books, of which the first two trace the history of the Jews from the capture of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes to the war of 67 A.D. In this portion he relies on some previous historians, such as Nicholas of Damascus,13 and does not venture far afield. The remaining books are based on contemporary sources and personal knowledge, 121 and should be read along with his Life. He states that he submitted the history to Titus, who indorsed it, as well he might, for Josephus absolves him from blame for firing the Temple,14 although Tacitus indicates that he gave definite orders to do so; and in general charges the Zealots, who were the misguided Jewish patriots, with the responsibility for the disaster to their nation. Providence is visibly on the side of the great battalions.

The Antiquities of the Jews is a much more ambitious work,15 one of the longest individual products in antique literature. In twenty long books, Josephus traces, for those who are unfamiliar with the Bible, — and the ignorance of the classical world about the Jews was very great,16 — the story of the Jewish past. His chief source was the Septuagint, the Greek edition of the Old Testament,17 but in addition he added from that store of tradition passed along among those learned in the law. He also brings in profane testimony, using Herodotus, for instance, for the story of Cyrus,18 and many Roman sources for the later part. He works these over, however, and fits them into his story so that it is a work of textual criticism — into which we need not enter — to trace the actual process of composition.

This brings us to consider his style. Like Polybius, he is conscious of his weakness in art; but hopes to make up for it by the content. He promises, in the preface to the Wars, to conceal nothing 122 nor add “anything to the known truth of things.”19 “I have written it down,” he says, “for . . .  those that love truth, but not for those who please themselves (with fictitious relations).”20 “How good the style is must be left to the determination of the readers; but as for the agreement with the facts, I shall not scruple to say, and that boldly, that truth hath been what I have alone aimed at throughout its entire composition.”21 In the face of such protestations one is reluctantly obliged to come to the conclusion that Josephus was as disingenuous about his style as about the substance, — which, we have just seen, was badly twisted for his own defence. For he was a florid writer, trying out successfully all the devices of the literary art of his day with which he was familiar. He invents speeches for the biblical heroes, as for those of later days;22 he strives for effect by exaggeration, using figures, as some one has said of a statesman of our own time, like adjectives: the Jews killed at Jerusalem number 1,100,000,23 whereas Tacitus puts the total number of the besieged at the outside figure of 600,000.24 He elaborates on the statesmanship of Moses,25 until one feels that it is just a little overdone. Yet those of his own day liked it, and that is its justification; so that even the little self-apologetic touches, concerning his sad awkwardness in Greek, may have added to the total effect, — especially as he deftly combines this with an appeal to take him at his word in the subject-matter. Take for instance these closing words of his great Antiquities:

“And I am so bold as to say, now I have so completely perfected the work I proposed to myself to do, that no other person, whether he were a Jew or a foreigner, had he ever so great an inclination to it, could so accurately deliver these accounts to the Greeks as is done in these books. For those of my own nation freely acknowledge, that I far exceed them in the learning belonging to Jews; I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce 123 Greek with sufficient exactness; for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations, and so adorn their discourses with the smoothness of their periods; because they look upon this sort of accomplishment as common, not only to all sorts of freemen, but to as many of the servants as please to learn them. But they give him the testimony of being a wise man, who is fully acquainted with our laws, and is able to interpret their meaning; on which account, as there have been many who had done their endeavors with great patience to obtain this learning, there have yet hardly been so many as two or there that have succeeded therein, who were immediately well rewarded for their pains.”26

Josephus was relatively free from the impediments that blocked the path of more religious natures to the consideration of mere matters-of-fact. But there is a touch of the difficulty in his comment on Daniel which is worth a passing attention. He says that Daniel “not only prophesied of future events, as did the other prophets, but also determined the time of their accomplishment.”27 The problem was here presented of working out the numbered years of the divine plan, which was to absorb so much of the speculation of later ages and which projected chronology into the future instead of establishing it in the past. Had Josephus been a thinker rather than a student, he would have followed the lead here given, into unhistorical grounds. Fortunately, he was a historian instead of a philosopher.

There remains one work to consider, and that the most interesting of all to the historian of History, the treatise Against Apion, written to challenge the gentile historians for their failure to appreciate the history of the Jews, and to justify its authenticity. It is anticipating here to quote the criticism of Greek historiography with which the treatise opens, and yet as it contains so much that is still suggestive and sound, it may serve as a connecting link with the next part of our story,28 and as a discriminating survey of antique historiography, in general, it justifies quotation at length:29

124

“I cannot but greatly wonder at those who think that we must attend to none but Greeks as to the most ancient facts, and learn the truth from them only, and that we are not to believe ourselves or other men. For I am convinced that the very reverse is the case, if we will not follow vain opinions, but extract the truth from the facts themselves. For you will find that almost all which concerns the Greeks happened not long ago, nay, one may say, is of yesterday and the day before only; I speak of the building of their cities, the inventions of their arts, and the recording of their laws; and as for their care about compiling histories, it is very nearly the last thing they set about. Indeed they admit themselves that it is the Egyptians, the Chaldæans and the Phœnicians (for I will not now include ourselves among those) that have preserved the memory of the most ancient and lasting tradition. For all these nations inhabit such countries as are least subject to destruction from the climate and atmosphere, and they have also taken especial care to have nothing forgotten of what was done among them, but their history was esteemed sacred, and ever written in the public records by men of the greatest wisdom. Whereas ten thousand destructions have afflicted the country which the Greeks inhabit, and blotted out the memory of former actions; so that, ever beginning a new way of living, they supposed each of them that their mode of life originated with themselves. It was also late, and with difficulty, that they came to know the use of letters. For those who would trace their knowledge of letters to the greatest antiquity, boast that they learned them from the Phœnicians and from Cadmus. But nobody is able to produce any writing preserved from that time, either in the temples or in any other public monuments; and indeed the time when those lived who went to the Trojan war so many years afterwards is in great doubt, and it is a question whether the Greeks used letters at that time; and the most prevailing opinion, and that nearest the truth, is, that they were ignorant of the present way of using letters. Certainly there is not any writing among them, which the Greeks agree to be genuine, ancienter than Homer’s poems. And he plainly was later than the siege of Troy: and they say that even he did not leave his poems in writing, but that their memory was preserved in songs, and that they were afterwards collected together, and that that is the reason why such a number of variations are found in them. As for those who set about writing histories among them, such I mean as Cadmus of Miletus, and Acusilaus of Argos, and any others that may be mentioned after him, they lived but a short time before the Persian expedition into Greece. Moreover, as to those who first philosophized as to things celestial and divine among the Greeks, as Pherecydes the Syrian, and Pythagoras, and Thales, all with one consent agree, that they learned what they knew from the Egyptians and Chaldæans, and wrote but little. And these are the things which are supposed to be the oldest of all among the Greeks, and they have much ado to believe that the writings ascribed to those men are genuine.30

“How can it then be other than an absurd thing for the Greeks to be so 125 proud, as if they were the only people acquainted with antiquity, the only people that have handed down the truth about those early times in an accurate manner? Nay, who is there that cannot easily gather from the Greek writers themselves, that they knew but little on good foundations when they set about writing, but rather jotted down their own conjectures as to facts? Accordingly they frequently confute one another in their own books, and do not hesitate to give us the most contradictory accounts of the same things. But I should spend my time to little purpose, if I should teach the Greeks what they know better than I already, what great discrepancy there is between Hellanicus and Acusilaus as to their genealogies, in how many cases Acusilaus corrects Hesiod, or how Ephorus demonstrates Hellanicus to have told lies in most of his history; or how Timæus in like manner contradicts Ephorus, and the succeeding writers Timæus, and all writers Herodotus. Nor could Timæus agree with Antiochus and Philistus and Callias about Sicilian history, any more than do the several writers of the Atthidæ follow one another as to Athenian affairs, nor do the historians that wrote on Argolic history coincide about the affairs of the Argives. And now what need I say any more about particular cities and smaller places, when in the most approved writers of the expedition of the Persians, and of the actions done in it, there are such great differences? Nay, Thucydides himself is accused by some as often writing what is false, although he seems to have given us the most accurate history of the affairs of his own times.

“As for the causes of such great discrepancy, many others may perhaps appear probable to those who wish to investigate the matter, but I attach the greatest importance to two which I shall mention. And first I shall mention what seems to me the principal cause, namely, the fact that from the beginning the Greeks were careless about public records of what was done on each occasion, and this would naturally pave the way for error, and give those that wished to write on old subjects opportunity for lying. For not only were records neglected by the other Greeks, but even among the Athenians themselves also, who pretend to be Autochthons, and to have applied themselves to learning, there are no such records extant, but they say the laws of Draco concerning murders, which are now extant in writing, are the most ancient of their public records, yet Draco lived only a little before the tyrant Pisistratus. For as to the Arcadians, who make such boasts of their antiquity, why need I mention them, since it was still later before they learned their letters, and that with difficulty also?

“There must, therefore, naturally arise great differences among writers, when no records existed, which might at once inform those who desired to learn, and refute those that would tell lies. However, we must assign a second cause, besides the former one, for these discrepancies. Those who were the most zealous to write history were not solicitous for the discovery of the truth, although it is very easy always to make such a profession, but they tried to display their fine powers of writing, and in whatever manner of writing they thought they were able to exceed others, to that did they apply themselves. 126 Some betook themselves to the writing of fabulous narratives; some endeavoured to please cities or kings by writing in their commendation; others fell to finding faults with transactions, or with the writers of such transactions, and thought to make a great figure by so doing. However, such do what is of all things the most contrary to true history. For it is the characteristic of true history, that all both speak and write the same about the same things, whereas, these men, by writing differently about the same things, thought they would be supposed to write with the greatest regard to truth. We must indeed yield to the Greek writers as to language and style of composition, but not as regards the truth of ancient history, and least of all as to the national customs of various countries.

“As to the care of writing down the records from the earliest antiquity, that the priests were intrusted with that function, and philosophized about it, among the Egyptians and Babylonians, and the Chaldæans also among the Babylonians, and that the Phœnicians, who especially mixed with the Greeks, made use of letters both for the common affairs of life, and for handing down the history of public transactions, I think I may omit any proof of this, because all men allow it to be so. But I shall endeavour briefly to show that our forefathers took the same care about writing their records (for I will not say they took greater care than the others I spoke of) and that they committed that office to their high priests and prophets, and that these records have been written all along down to our own times with the utmost accuracy, and that, if it be not too bold for me to say so, our history will be so written hereafter.”

Josephus then goes on to argue the superiority of a people who have “not ten thousand books disagreeing with and contradicting one another, but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all time and are justly believed to be divine.”31 We cannot follow him further in the argument, but must recall the value of the succeeding chapters for more than Hebrew historiography, since embedded in them are the selections from gentile writers, especially Manetho and Berossos, which are our only source for them. The pamphlet is the learned work of a clever man.

The last, and greatest, of the Jewish historians, Flavius Josephus, recalls, strangely enough, the last and greatest of the historians of Egypt and Babylonia-Assyria, Manetho and Berossos. Josephus too, as a historian, was more a product of the Greco-Roman world than of the direct antecedents of his own national culture. All three were stimulated to write the history of their countries by the desire to make it known to the Gentile. But Josephus goes beyond 127 them in achievement, and brings to mind still more the last of the great Greek historians, Polybius,32 whose life, indeed, was singularly like his own. Both wrote their histories at Rome as high favorites of those who had crushed out the last movement of freedom in their native lands; and both profited from being on the defensive among an alien people, whom they had to impress by sound method and weight of evidence. The result was to make of the Greek and the Jew not only historians but historical critics, and to that degree moderns among the ancients. We see again here another illustration of the point we have touched upon before, that it is not so much the long procession of the centuries which produces the historian as the need to convince one’s contemporaries of the truth of what one tells. The mere possession of a mighty past is of less value than a critical audience.

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Articles in the larger Encyclopædias (especially the Jewish Encyclopædia) furnish the best introduction to a study of the Talmud. A most useful manual is H. L. Strack’s Einleitung in den Talmud (4th ed., 1908) with bibliography. There is an English translation of the Talmud by M. L. Rodkinson (20 vols., 1918) and a comprehensive German translation by L. Goldschmidt, Der babylonische Talmud (8 vols., 1897-1917).

On this whole period of Jewish history, the classical work is E. Schürer’s Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Cristi (3 vols. and index, 3d and 4th ed., 1901-1911; tr. 1897-1898). The literature dealing with Philo is summarized in the notable article, Philo, in the Encyclopædia Britannica. Those of his works of interest to the student of history have been translated by C. D. Yonge, in Bohn’s Ecclesiastical Library.

The works of Josephus are available in several editions. The Greek text by B. Niese (7 vols., 1887-1895) remains standard, and the Teubner edition is based on it. The full bibliography in Schürer is still of value. The translation by W. Whiston, a classic in itself, from the first part of the eighteenth century, has been reprinted several times. It has been slightly revised by A. R. Shilleto (1889-1890). A Latin text of the tract Against Apion is available, in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (1898), Vol. XXXVII, edited by K. Boysen.

FOOTNOTES

1   As a good example of rabbinical interpretation on which such conclusions rest, a rabbi of the third century A.D. takes Exodus 24 12: “I will give thee tables of stone, and the Law, and the Commandment, which I have written, that thou mayest teach them,” and elucidates the text as follows: “‘Tables,’ these are the ten words (the Decalogue); the ‘Law’ is the Scripture; ‘and the commandment,’ that is the Mishnah; ‘which I have written,’ these are the Prophets and the Writings (the Hagiographa); ‘to teach them,’ that is the Gemara — thus instructing us all that these were given to Moses from Sinai.” Quoted in article Talmud in Encyclopædia Britannica. Historical criticism cannot flourish in such an atmosphere.

2  This recognition of the lasting message of Jewish Theology is the theme of many a recent study, since the critics have destroyed the older basis of canonical authority. As an example may be cited W. F. Badè, The Old Testament in the Light of Today.

3  The chief name among modern scholars in this field is that of R. H. Charles. His contributions need hardly be cited here, however; and the student is referred to articles on Apocrypha, etc., in Bible dictionaries and encyclopædias.

4  This inability to distinguish between what things are and what one wishes them to be is a characteristic of all immature or undisciplined minds. It is a factor in current world-politics, to be borne in mind in the entry of backward people into the society of nations. They can readily use the same language of political institutions but the sense of fact is not always the same.

5  We know almost nothing of his life, beyond an incident or two. He was born about the second decade before Christ and was in Rome in 40 A.D. on a mission for the Alexandrian Jews. His works, however, have been preserved in surprisingly full form. See article Philo in Encyclopædia Britannica.

6  There are almost no manuscripts of his works in mediæval ecclesiastical libraries. Cf. M. R. James, The Biblical Antiquities of Philo (1917), Introduction. This is a pseudo-Philo summary of the Pentateuch of the end of the first century A.D.

7  Genesis 2 1.

8  Philo Judæus, The Allegories of the Sacred Laws, Bk. I, Chaps. I-II. (Translated by C. D. Yonge in Bohn’s Ecclesiastical Library.)

9  Ibid., Bk. I, Chap. XIX. Cf. also Questions and Solutions, Bk. I, Chap. XII.

10  Vide infra, Chap. XIII.

11  His early Aramaic account of The Wars of the Jews is lost. He tells us in the introduction that he translated it into Greek (Sect. i), but the relation of this Aramaic version to the text we have is not known.

12  Apion was the leader of an Alexandrian mission opposing Philo. In this incident, therefore, we have a link between the philosopher and the historian.

13  Nicholas of Damascus was a Greek savant who became friend and adviser to Herod the Great and who played a considerable part in the diplomacy and politics of the Near East under Augustus. His historical writings included a biography of Augustus of which but slight fragments remain, and a Universal History in one hundred forty-two books, dealing with the Assyrians, Lydians, Greeks, Medes and Persians, and concentrating upon the history of Herod and his own time. Josephus used this latter part in detail, while criticising Nicholas for his highly flattering and unreliable account of his patron’s reign. The fragments of the Universal History are preserved in C. Müller, Fragmenta Historicorum Græcorum (5 vols., 1841-1873), Vol. III, pp. 343-464; Vol. IV, pp. 661-668, and in L. Dindorf, Historici Græci Minores (2 vols., 1870-1871), Vol. I, pp. 1-153. Cf. E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Cristi (3 vols. and index, 3d and 4th ed., 1901-1911), Vol. I, pp. 50-57.

14  Cf. Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Bk. VI, Chap. VI, Sect. 2 (in The Works of Flavius Josephus, trans. by W. Whiston). Cf. Sulpicus Severus, Chronica, Bk. II, Chap. XXX; Orosius, Historiarum Adversum Paganos Libri Septem, Bk. VII, Chap. IX.

15  Note the opening words of the first chapter.

16  Vide T. Reinach, Textes d’auteurs grecs et romains relatifs au judaïsme (1895).

17  It is doubtful if he knew Hebrew. Cf. B. Niese’s article Josephus in Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics (edited by J. Hastings, 1908-1919), Vol. VII.

18  Cf. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. XI, Chap. II.

19  Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Preface, Sect. 10.

20  Ibid., Sect. 12.

21  Ibid., Bk. VII, Chap. XI, Sect. 5.

22  Ibid., Bk I, Chap. XIX, Sect. 4; Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. II, Joseph’s speeches, etc.

23  Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Bk. VI, Chap. IX, Sect. 3.

24  Tacitus, Historiæ, Bk. V, Chap. XIII.

25  Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bks. II, III, IV.

26  Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. XX, Chap. XI, Sect. 2. (Whiston’s translation.)

27  Ibid., Bk. X, Chap. XI, Sect. 7.

28  This is a disadvantage due to the treatment of the different national histories as entities rather than in a comparative, chronological survey. But after all the antecedents of the Greco-Roman writers were national.

29  Josephus, Against Apion, Bk. I, Chaps. II-VI. (Whiston’s translation, revised by A. R. Shilleto in Bohn’s Standard Library.)

30  Cf. Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Preface, Sect. 5.

31  Josephus, Against Apion, Bk. I, Sect. 8.

32  Vide, Chap. XVI.








=============