Prophetic Figures in Late Second Temple Jewish Palestine

Prophetic Figures in Late Second Temple Jewish Palestine : The Evidence from Josephus

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Based on a revised Oxford University doctoral dissertation, this work examines the evidence from Josephus for prophetic figures in Jewish Palestine in the late Second Temple period, approximately 150 BCE to 70CE. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the question of how Jesus of Nazareth should be classified in terms of religious or social "type." Was he a teacher, prophet, miracle-worker, magician, charismatic or militant revolutionary? Although there is no real consensus among New Testament scholars on this question, "prophet" is probably the leading contender. If this designation is to be meaningful, however, a clearer picture of first-century Jewish prophecy in general is essential. The present work is intended as a contribution towards a better understanding of Jewish prophecy around the time of Jesus. Josephus is without question our most important source of information about events in Palestine in this period. Although Josephus is often cited in works on early Jewish prophecy, however, there has until now been no separate study of this material.
Gray here not only offers the first comprehensive examination of Josephus' writings on specific prophetic figures, but also analyses in detail his general views on prohecy and the prohetic claim he makes for himself.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 154.4 x 240.8 x 22.6mm | 562.46g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019507615X
  • 9780195076158

Review quote

This is a well-researched, well-structured, and well-written discussion of a topic which, as Gray points out, many may have thought a "nonstarter" ... the book is a solid piece of work that leaves very few stones unturned. * Daniel R. Schwartz, Hebrew University, The Jewish Quarterly Review, LXXXVII, Nos. 1-2 (July-October, 1996) * The work is characterised by the thoroughness, clear focus and breadth of investigation that the reader would expect from such an origin ... Gray's analytical evaluations should help the reader to engage in a more fruitful reading of the evidence from Josephus on vital issues such as the understanding of prophecy. * Irish Theological Quarterly * For me this book opens up a relatively unknown field ... may be confidently recommended as forming the prolegomena to the New Testament view of what to expect from contemporary prophecy. * John Snaith, The Expository Times * In this thorough and clearly organized work, Gray has done a service to scholarship. None of her conclusions are starling, but they are solidly based. * L.L. Grabbe. Journal of Theological Studies Vol 45 Oct '94 * It seems to me that Professor Gray had indeed brought a fresh approach to bear on the religious and political turmoil of the late Second Temple period: and that she has uncovered the need for further research into the attitude of popular circles towards the varieties of prophecy. On both counts this book is to be warmly welcomed. * Lionel Kochan, Le'ela, September 1994 * With his well-written study, the record on "Josephus and prophecy" is finally set straight. * International Review of Biblical Studies, vol. 39, 1992/93 * Much here sets the religious assumptions and practice of 1st-century Palestine in a fresh perspective * C J A Hickling * this book opens up a relatively unknown field...this book may be confidently recommended as forming the prolegomena to the New Testament view of what to expect from contemporary prophecy. * Expository Times *
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