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Re: Josephus & DSS

At 12:24 PM 9/19/96 -0400, you wrote:
>. both labels "historian" and
>"novelist" have modern canons of "doing history" & "writing fiction" in view
>which are completely foreign to josephus' worldview. this does violence to
>josephus, it does not do him justice. he is no more a novelist than he is a
>historian. to call him a bad historian or a novelist simply perpetuates &
>does not correct the misreading one is arguing against.
>gordon lyn watley
>grad student
>the university of virginia

Since you desire that we not use modern labels to describe the work of
ancients, what would you have us call them?  And I assure you someone will

Nevertheless, I suspect that you have misread me.  I simply maintained that
Josephus is not a reliable historian.  He did not wish to be.  He simply
told a story and that is what a novelist does.
And you have not answered the basic question- why does Josephus deserve such


Jim West
Professor of Biblical Languages, CCBI
Adjunct Professor of Bible, Quartz Hill School of Theology