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Preliminaries to the Early Christian Reception of Josephus

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Chapter Summary

Josephus was a 'traditional Pharisee, who did not adjust himself to the new rabbinic orientation after 70'. Josephus is regarded as the greatest of Jewish historians, and as Herodotus for the Greeks, the pater historiae of his people there is sufficient warrant for regarding him as the most significant predecessor of Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891). Josephus writes his works in Greek mentioned at the outset as part of his literary character. He fulfills an essential prerequisite for his influence on early Christianity. Josephus' influence on early Christianity is by no means fully accounted for by his authorial characteristics, but is also due to his position in the Jewish cultural spectrum of his time. As historian, Josephus is convinced of Rome's invincibility and thus, that any resistance to the God-willed world dominion of the Romans is futile.

Keywords: early Christianity; Heinrich Graetz; Jewish cultural spectrum; Josephus



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