Background of the Gospels

Background of the Gospels

by William Fairweather



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780567021014
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/2000
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.38(h) x 1.40(d)

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the truth to say that he had no information, except in the form of floating legends which he made the most of. For the forty years, B.C. 175-135, the main sources drawn upon by Josephus are the First Book of Maccabees and the Roman history of the Greek Polybius; for the century following, that is, for the time of the Hasmonaeans, from John Hyrcanus to the defeat of Antigonus (b.c. 135-37), he has used the Greek historian and geographer Strabo and Nicolaus of Damascus. In spite of his weakness both as a man and as an author, it must in fairness be said that apart from his works the history of this latter period could scarcely have been written at all. 4. Notices of Greek and Roman Writers.—Direct references on the part of classical authors are very scanty. Among the Greek, in addition to those already named, may be mentioned Diodorus Siculus, whose works contain a fragment upon Antiochus Epiphanes; Plutarch, some of whose " Lives " fall within the scope of our period; and Appian, the eleventh book of whose history is entitled Zvp1aKtI. The Roman include Cicero, whose letters and speeches furnish much material for the history of Syria from B.c. 57-43; Tacitus, whose history contains a brief sketch of Jewish annals down to the war with Titus; Suetonius (Vita x11. Imperatorum); and Justinus's epitome of the lost historical work of Trogus Pompeius—a valuable source for the history of the Seleucid era. Besides what can be gathered from those writers who deal specially with the history of Syria, some very informing allusions to contemporary Judaism occur in the satires of Horace andJuvenal. Such sidelights, although all too inconsiderable, provide us with a fairly vivid pictureof the real background of Jewish history during the Greek dominion. 1 xxii. 32. 5. Inscriptions on Mon...

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