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Josephus’ “Theokratia” and mosaic discourse: The actualization of the revelation at Sinai

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Chapter Summary

Notably absent from Josephus' presentation of the Jewish constitution in Against Apion, the revelation at Sinai plays a major role in Book 3 of the Jewish Antiquities and is the focus for Moses' prophetic activity. Yet the matter of the superiority of the Jewish constitution and Mosaic Law is central to both Jewish Antiquities and Against Apion. One explanation for the difference focuses on the apologetic context of Against Apion where a treatment of divine authorship of laws would be incongruous. Does this mean that for Josephus apologetic interests inform his conceptualization of the Jewish constitution in Against Apion, and the particular revelation at Sinai is forfeited or subordinated to a universalist worldview? By examining Josephus' understanding of the transmission of Mosaic Law - and his own role in this - this chapter discerns a link between the Sinai event as articulated in Jewish Antiquities and the Jewish theocracy of Against Apion.

Keywords: Against Apion; apologetic context; divine authorship; Jewish Antiquities; Jewish constitution; Josephus' Theokratia; Mosaic law; Sinai revelation



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