This following selection has been extracted from a joint work of. J. Gresham Machen and James Oscar Boyd entitled "A Brief. Bible History: A Survey of the Old. Facts and Faith in Biblical History. Author(s): Robert H. Pfeiffer. Reviewed work(s ). Source: Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Mar., ), pp. The Bible History, Old Testament by Alfred Edersheim was originally published q Volume I - The World Before the Flood, and The History of the Patriarchs.

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Don Stewart, What Everyone Needs to Know about the Bible. Recommended A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Emil Schurer. Catch a glimpse of the whole sweep of biblical history. The ten historical eras outlined in the Chronological Life Application Study Bible, along with the books of . In this booklet I will briefly review the history of Christianity and the bible. I will examine articles: pdf.

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Isaiah Gafni clearly demonstrates in his essay in this volume. Josephus' changes, to some degree, are stylistic, as we see in his paraphrase of the Bible and of the Letter ofAristeas; but Dr.

Whereas the hortatory speeches to the Jewish fighters in I Maccabees put the emphasis on God and biblical precedent, Josephus is anthropocentric and stresses the attributes of the fighters themselves.

Gafni stresses that these changes in nuance are in accord with Josephus' views on the justification of wars in general, namely to preserve the law even to the point of death; and, we may add, they accord also with his paraphrase of the Bible in the first half of the Antiquities, where his chief aim is apologetic, namely to defend the Jews against such charges as cowardice.

This stress on the Jews' courage, indeed, agrees with his comment on the Essenes BJ II, , where, we may add, Josephus, otherwise the lackey and admirer of the Romans, is forced to admit that the Romans tortured these innocent people in order to get them to violate the laws of the Torah but succeeded merely in bringing about their cheerful martyrdom.

We may, however, question whether Dr.

The additions in Josephus' paraphrase of I Maccabees likewise highlight the major difference between the Maccabees and the revolutionaries of Josephus' own day, namely that only the Maccabees had God as their ally. One major achievement of Dr. Gafni's study is to demonstrate that where Josephus departs from his major source it is not necessary or even desirable to postulate that he had access to another source.

The changes often are due to Josephus' Weltanschauung and aims in his history; and, indeed, we may add, the same is true in the modifications of his biblical narrative as well.

Joseph Sievers' evaluation of Hasmonean women is a major step toward such an appraisal. We may venture to guess that the fact that the Jewish community in Egypt was so large Alexandria itself may have had as many as , Jews, the largest Jewish community until the end of the ninteenth century and so influential four commanders-in-chief of the Ptolemaic armies were Jews may have had an impact upon the Hasmoneans.

FELDMAN even of the Hasmonean family to which he belonged, may be gathered from the neglect of them in his autobiography—though he notes that his mother was descended from the royal house of the Hasmoneans, he does not give us even her name; nor, for that matter, does he mention the names of any of his wives, even that of the third, whom he praises V as having surpassed many women in character.

Likewise, Josephus A V, shows his misogyny in Samson's remark, apparently proverbial, that there is nothing "more deceitful than a woman who betrays your speech to you. In view of the fact that Josephus spent some time in his youth with the Essenes V 10 , we may conjecture that their attitude toward women may have influenced Josephus; or, alternatively, Josephus may have been influenced by the Greek and Roman attitudes toward women, as Drazin conjectures.

Here, too, Josephus betrays his misogyny when he disparages her BJ I, for listening to the Pharisees with too great deference and for allowing them to take advantage of her naivete.

This remark is particularly telling in view of the fact that Josephus identifies himself with these selfsame Pharisees V 12 after having experimented with the other sects and in view of the fact that, in general, in the War the Pharisees are less prominent than in the Antiquities. This negative portrait of Salome, though it is contradicted by other judgments in Josephus, is in distinct contrast, we may add, to that found among the talmudic rabbis, who report Sifra Behuqotai 1.

Indeed, even when he does praise her in his summary of her life A XIII, , he does so grudgingly by comparing her only with other women, remarking that "she was a woman who showed none of the weakness of her sex. Josephus' suppression of such data, we may suggest, is again due either to lack of information in his source, probably Nicolaus, or to his misogyny.

Though Josephus clearly had before him the most detailed history in no fewer than books that we know of from antiquity, namely, that of Nicolaus and Professor Wacholder makes a strong case for his use of this history not only for Herod, where it is particularly extensive, but also for the earlier portions, where he used it to supplement his biblical narrative , he exercises independent judgment at numerous points. And yet, it would seem strange, we may remark, that Josephus would use a non-Jewish source for the biblical period, except, in the cases of Noah and Abraham, to confirm the historicity of details, since, apparently, anti-Semites suggested that these episodes had been fabricated.

Nevertheless, despite, we may remark, the antagonism toward Herod that he, as a descendant of Herod's great enemies, the Hasmoneans, felt, Josephus sometimes, apparently, follows Nicolaus' account uncritically in glorifying Herod, notably in exaggerating Herod's achievement in connection with rebuilding the Temple. FELDMAN stops short of condemning, in the strong terms that we would expect, Herod's violations of Jewish sensibilities, such as in his organizing barbaric spectacles in which animals were pitted against men.

The very fact that such a disproportionate part of the Antiquities and even, we may add, of the Jewish War where, strictly speaking, the account of his reign is only indirectly relevant is devoted to his reign must be due to the wealth of detail that Josephus found in this, his main source for the period.

We may guess that in addition to the sheer length of Nicolaus' work, with its vast degree of detail, Josephus may have been led to use it by the fact that Nicolaus was a follower of Aristotle, whose interest in scientific investigation embraced every aspect of life not excluding biography; and Nicolaus himself, we may add, was the author of a biography of Augustus. This is the biographical approach to history that Josephus so strongly favored. Professor Gunther Baumbach's essay on "The Sadducees in Josephus" emphasizes the prejudice with which Josephus speaks of this group.

As to the latter hypothesis, Ben Sira nowhere identifies himself as a Sadducee, and indeed, the view that everything is foreseen but that man has freedom of choice is a characteristically Pharisaic view Avoth 3. Moreover, when the Talmud Sanhedrin b decides that the book of Ben Sira should be excluded from the canon, it does not give what would seem to be an obvious reason, namely its Sadducean point of view, but rather states that it is because it contains what is regarded as nonsense, such views as that a thin-bearded man is very wise.

As to the origin of the Sadducees, the fact that Josephus first mentions them in connection with the mid-second-century B.

Inasmuch as the ancients ascribed so much importance to age of peoples and institutions, as we can see, for example, from the remark of the aged Egyptian priest ap. In point of fact, we may suggest, the cleavage between the Pharisees and the Sadducess was a continuation of the split between the prophets and the priests of the biblical period.

Bible History: Old Testament

As to the name Sadducees, the most likely source, as Professor Baumbach suggests, is from the high priest of David's entourage, Sadoq. In this connection, we may note that the origin of other breakaway movements in Judaism seems to be, in part at least, connected with a difference of opinion with regard to the Temple or a split in the high priesthood.

In view of the etymology of the name Sadducees and especially in view of the statement in Acts 5. A clue to this mystery perhaps may be found in the fact that Josephus, as a priest himself, felt embarrassed by the predominance of priests in the ranks of the Sadducees and hence played down this relationship.

By the time that he wrote the Antiquities, about twenty years later, however, with the disappearance of their power base the Temple, the Sadducees had effectively disappeared from prominence and the Pharisees, to all intents and purposes, had taken over the role of leading party among the Jews of Palestine. The very fact that we never hear in the Talmud of the excommunication of Sadducees, that, indeed, the Pharisees and the Sadducees seem to have managed to serve together in the Temple and in the Sanhedrin, and that they are not even mentioned by Philo, the Apocrypha, and the Pseudepigrapha would seem to indicate that the division was not as sharp as one would gather from Josephus.

Cicero's statement [De Legibus 1. BJ I, But this may be due to misogyny on Josephus' part. We can see this from his proem A I, 10 , where he cites as a precedent for his work the translation of the Torah into Greek for King Ptolemy Philadelphus, thus justifying his directing his work to Gentiles, inasmuch as he apparently held the talmudic view Hagigah 13a, Sanhedrin 59a prohibiting teaching the Torah to Gentiles. In fact, he mentions proselytism favorably in the Antiquities only in connection with the conversion of the royal family of Adiabene, a kingdom which was part of the Parthian, not the Roman orbit, so that the proselytism would not be offensive to the Romans.

We may comment that critics tend to put excessive faith in Josephus' reports on the priesthood and the high priesthood because he was a priest, and a member of the first of the twenty-four courses of the priests at that. But we must bear in mind at least two caveats. First, he was of the family of the Hasmoneans and, therefore, he looked down upon priests of other families, such as Phanni Phinehas of Aphthia, the high priest who was chosen by lot by the revolutionaries at the beginning of the war against the Romans BJ IV, In this connection, we may note that the rabbis Tosefta Yoma 1.

Second, we may guess that Josephus himself may have been jealous as a fellow priest who, in view of the distinguished ancestry of which he boasts, may have been ambitious to be high priest. In view of his priestly background, we may express surprise that Josephus is guilty of contradicting himself with regard to data concerning the high priesthood. We may note, in particular, the discrepancies between the list of high priests from the time of Herod found in the Antiquities, Books 1 5 - 2 0 , and the recapitulation in the Antiquities XX, 2 2 4 - 5 1.

If one wonders why a non-Jew such as Nicolaus would have been interested in such details, the answer may be that he realized the importance of the Temple as not only the religious but also the political and economic center of the Jews and consequently saw the need to include such details in his account. As to the contradiction between the critical depiction of the high priest Ananus A XX, and the laudatory portrait of Ananus BJ IV, , we may conjecture that in the former passage we have a portrait of Ananus in the year 62, whereas in the latter he is older and wiser, in the year 68, or, very simply, de mortuis nihil nisi bonum.

Josephus feels much sympathy for him when he mentions his murder by the Idumaeans because Josephus so despised the Idumaean revolutionaries and because Ananus was identified with the moderate party with which Josephus claims to be allied.

As to the importance Josephus assigns the high priesthood of the Temple, we may suggest that in addition to being a high priest he was motivated by the great interest in the high priest that others exhibited in the very earliest works that mentioned the Jews, notably Hecataeus of Abdera ca. Diodorus Siculus 4 0. As to the Temple, Polybius, in the second century B.


Josephus A XII, , refers to its renown. We may also call attention to the distrust of Alexander and his successors—and the Romans who inherited their policies—for the secular aristocracy of those whom they conquered. They realized that the native clergy, who were deeply entrenched, could hardly be eliminated; and so they worked with them and, indeed, gave them honors and special privileges.

In Hellenistic times, temple states, as Tarn and Griffith have noted, were very numerous. Josephus may also have had apologetic reasons. Presumably, owing to their separatism, the Jews had been accused of hatred of mankind, to the point, according to Apion ap.

FELDMAN any case, as treasurers of the vast sums sent yearly by Jews throughout the world to the Temple, they were extraordinarily wealthy and powerful. Indeed, they even served as physicians. In particular, whereas there is no indication in the Torah that the high priest had real power over his fellow priests, to Hecataeus ap. Diodorus Josephus continues to magnify the priests' importance; and even though he elsewhere avoids allegorical interpretation, he ascribes symbolic values A III, to the various parts of the Temple and the garments of the high priest, thus raising the discussion of the high priesthood to a philosophical level reminiscent of Philo and utterly unique in his own work.

Professor Valentin Nikiprowetzky, of blessed memory, in his survey, "Josephus and the Revolutionary Parties," in sharp contrast to the essays by Professors Applebaum and Kreissig, who stress the economic causes of the revolt against Rome, emphasizes the religious and cultural factors.

In the mid-fifteenth century, two major events occurred that precipitated the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the revival of Bible translation in the West.

One of these was the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany.

This occupation precipitated an exodus of Greek scholars who brought previously inaccessible Greek manuscripts into the West. Even before these landmark developments, in the late fourteenth century, John Wycliffe produced what is generally regarded as the first English translation of the Bible.

Over one hundred fifty complete manuscripts were produced, only two of which have survived Worth , 66, In the first half of the sixteenth century, contemporaries William Tyndale in England and Martin Luther in Germany advanced the work of Bible translation. Luther was not the first to translate the Bible into German. Eighteen editions, in fact, had preceded his own. Tyndale himself published his New Testament, as well as the Pentateuch and Jonah.

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He is probably responsible for the historical books Joshua-2 Chronicles of the Old Testament Orlinsky and Bratcher , While Luther managed to remain beyond the reach of the pope, Tyndale was convicted of heresy, executed by strangling, and his body burned in Smalley , The remainder of the seventeenth century, as well as the eighteenth century, was a time of consolidation where few translations were produced in new languages Ellingworth , An exception was the Bible produced for the Massachuset Indians just north of Boston, which became the first complete Bible translation in any language published in North America Smalley , William Carey, often regarded as the father of Protestant missions, made translation a defining element of his work in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

In India, Carey recognized that, in order to gain credence, intellectual and religious messages had to be communicated in the Sanskrit language, even though it was no longer spoken. Smalley , Protestant missions and the international Bible society movement that began in resulted in the multiplication of translations.

Bible societies connected missionary translators, who learned local vernaculars and could work in the original languages, with the printing press, and provided important financial assistance Smalley , 28; Ellingworth , One of these missionaries, William Cameron Townsend, was moved toward Bible translation when he realized that there were indigenous peoples who could not understand the Spanish Bibles he was distributing in Guatemala.

He began to translate the Bible for the Cakchiquel Indians.

Townsend consciously applied the study of linguistics to Bible translation Smalley , Townsend himself worked extensively in Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Columbia, and in the Caucasus region of the then-USSR, but his true legacy springs from an institute that he started in an abandoned Arkansas farmhouse in the summer of to teach linguistic principles to be used in Bible translation.

By the end of the century, SIL was involved in more than seventy countries and had published academic materials describing over 1, languages Hibbard Cameron also founded Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Wycliffe functions as a mission agency while SIL functions as a linguistics organization. They are closely identified. No doubt because of their impact alongside that of the international Bible societies, by the end of the twentieth century there was an average increase of The first versions: The Septuagint, the Targums, and the Latin.

In A history of Bible translation. Phillip A. Noss, ed. Rome: Edizioni di Stroria e Letteratura, Ellingworth, Paul.But we have seen that Walker is not necessarily reliable: it may be that the work was sent in parts, or it may be that a copy other than the official copy was taken to the meeting by one of the Oxford company.

James Hastings, ed. The KJB is to be a perfect work that will bring the whole kingdom together. In A history of Bible translation.

From on, editorial work on the text began to be a major factor in creating the texts that we have today: the spelling was modernised, changes were made in the translation, and the punctuation was revised. They clearly represent work in progress from the Oxford NT company. Rule 2, for instance, concerning names, was only partially followed. One of these missionaries, William Cameron Townsend, was moved toward Bible translation when he realized that there were indigenous peoples who could not understand the Spanish Bibles he was distributing in Guatemala.

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