“The Life:” The Biography of Flavius Josephus

Photo: Chen Leopold/flash90

We continue what we began in last week’s episode, discussing the historian Flavius Josephus, focusing on his biography, “The Life.”

In terms of his future career and authorship, Flavius Josephus could not have arrived in this world at a better time or place. In the year 37—four years after Jesus was crucified—Josephus was born in Jerusalem as Yosef bar Mattathyahu in Aramaic or ben mattathias in Hebrew, the son of a priestly family on both sides. His mother could trace her ancestry to the royal Hasmoneans, the Maccabean family dynasts who had led the struggle for Jewish independence prior to the Roman conquest.

This edition of Josephus’s works was translated from the Greek original by William Whiston (1667-1752).

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