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Re: orion-list Josephus Vita 9-12

	If I may second Albert Baumgarten's recommendation: the article,
S.N. Mason, "Was Josephus a Pharisee? A Re-Examination of Life 10-12," JJS
40 (1989) 31-45 is a fine contribution to our attempts to understand this
somewhat boastful and puzzling passage of Josephus. Even if one may not
agree totally with his observations and conclusions, Mason makes a strong
case that the translations of both Whitson and Thackeray in this instance
can be improved upon. Josephus seems to have raised some confusing
expectations of his readers here, in any event (and Mason perhaps did not
entirely account for that), as has been noted in various posts. (How could
he learn well all about three groups so quickly? Why tell the readers he
planned to pick the best group if he didn't conclude that process more
clearly? Does he imply he concluded he's above it all?...) Mason offers "I
began to engage in public life, following the school of the Pharisees." One
should read his argument to appreciate the translation.

	One can imagine other groups than these three (or four, in the late
second temple period), as Goodman attempted, but that does not mean it
would be plausible to think that the 900 or so Qumran manuscripts belonged
to any such small brief unknown entity. Essenes were there. Essenes were
Jews. "Reclaiming" scrolls for Jews does not require imagining out of
history Essenes.

	Steve Mason also has a useful discussion relevant to Josephus' Life
mention of Stoics: Appendix B "Scholarly Interpretations of Josephus on
Fate and Free Will," in Flavius Josephus on the Pharisees: A
Composition-Critical Study (Leiden: Brill, 1991) 384-98. This study is
helpful, though it may underplay somewhat the significance of Josephus
using a written source (maybe from the library of Epaphroditus) in Ant 13,
when he described the three "schools" (and his source associated
heimarmene/predestination with the Essenes [as confirmed at Qumran]) in
contrast to this section of his Life.

Stephen Goranson

For private reply, e-mail to Stephen Goranson <goranson@duke.edu>
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