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Iosif Flavius despre Farisei, Saduchei și

Esenieni
April 7, 2009 by mihaiciurea · Leave a Comment
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Pe baza informațiilor funizate de către istoricul evreu Iosif Flavius, am putea stabili
un tablou [1], care expune principalele caracteristici ale celor trei mari secte religioase
ale iudaismului secolului I al erei noastre. Adresându-se cititorului de formaţie
elenistă, autorul asociază cele trei grupări religioase iudaice şcolilor filosofice ale
grecilor, fără a se explicita, însă: fariseii corespund stoicilor, saducheii epicureilor, iar
esenienii pitagoreicilor.

Elemente Fariseii Saducheii Esenienii


caracteristice
Determinism şi liberul Sinergism: Dumnezeu şi Indeterminism: omul este Determinism:
arbitru omul colaborează cauza propriului destin totul este determinat de
Dumnezeu
Eshatologie şi Învierea drepţilor: Negarea vieţii viitoare: Nemurirea sufletului:
învăţătura despre sufletul este nemuritor, neagă veşnicia sufletului, eliberate de corp, cele
suflet dar numai cele bune trec precum şi răsplata sau bune se bucură de o viaţă
într-un nou corp. Cele pedeapsa veşnică. în bucurie şi cele păcătoase
păcătoase suferă o suferă pedeapsa.
pedeapsă veşnică.
Scriptură şi Tradiţie Scriptură şi Tradiţie: Principiul Scripturii: Literatura secretă: posedă
adaugă legilor scrise ale consideră ca fiind cărţi secrete; studiază cu
lui Moise, legile tradiţiei adevărate numai scrierile atenţie scrierile vechi.
Părinţilor sfinte şi resping tradiţia
Părinţilor
Sitz im Leben (mediul Aproape de păturile Legături cu clasele Comunitate izolată,
de apariţie) sociale inferioare: superioare: compusă din esenieni
oferă poporului legile lor sunt susţinuţi de cei moderaţi şi radicali. Îşi
şi acesta îi sprijină bogaţi, dar atunci când ascund doctrinele
sunt la putere se sprijină
pe doctrinele fariseilor
Comportamente Principiul autorităţii: Cultură conflictuală: Ideal comunitar: esenienii
fariseii îşi cinstesc saducheii îşi contestă trăiesc în comuniune (a
înaintaşii şi apreciază proprii învăţători; sunt bunurilor) şi cei mai mulţi
bunele relaţii dintre ei duri în raporturile dintre ei sunt celibatari.
reciproce

Diversitatea care caracterizează iudaismul palestinian în perioada de care ne ocupăm


este evidentă, aşadar, şi din celebrele scrieri pe care istoricul evreu Iosif Flavius le-a
consacrat celor trei „secte” (gr. Haireseis)[2] sau „filosofii” ale poporului său. Când
vorbeşte despre „filosofii” în desemnarea celor trei grupuri iudaice, autorul nu
inovează. La vremea respectivă, cuvântul desemna mai degrabă o conduită de viaţă,
decât o atitudine speculativă.

Mai mult, vocabularul însemnărilor sale îl vizează pe cititorul grec: este încercarea
istoricului de a se face înţeles într-un mediu păgân. De aceea, când vorbeşte despre
Providenţă sau iconomie divină foloseşte termenul „destin”. Vocabulele care ar
traduce în greacă conceptul de „credinţă” sau de „înviere” sunt evitate. Ca şi cititorul
modern, cel vechi ar fi fost tentat să înţeleagă realitatea cu totul nouă a unui corp
înviat drept un proces de metempsihoză.

De asemenea, nu trebuie interpretată în sens strict asocierea celor trei grupări


religioase iudaice cu stoicii, epicureii şi, respectiv, pitagoreicii, pentru că – aşa cum
spuneam şi mai sus – autorul nu ne mai oferă nici o altă explicaţie referitoare la
această apropiere. Mai mult, după ce a vorbit despre cele trei filosofii, istoricul
vorbeşte şi despre o „a patra filozofie”. Dacă primele trei îşi găsesc originea în
perioada principatului lui Ionatan Macabeul (aprox. 160-143 î.Hr.), cea din urmă se
trage din tulburările care urmaseră preluării directe a Iudeii de către Roma, în anul 6
î.Hr.

Insistenţa asupra noutăţii şi modului de manifestare non-tradiţional al acestei mişcări


pune în evidenţă ura autorului faţă de adepţii acestei „filosofii”, de care se jenează să
vorbească, pentru că ei ar fi principalii vinovaţi ai izbucnirii războiului iudaic.

Faptul că în acest tablou, care descrie mişcările religioase ale evreilor, nu-şi găsesc
locul nici ucenicii Sfântului Ioan Botezătorul, nici creştinii nu ne surprinde. Autorul
îi cunoaşte atât pe Ioan zis „Botezătorul”, cât şi pe Iisus Hristos şi pe creştinul Iacov
şi vorbeşte despre ei cu alte ocazii (vezi 533; 534 şi 563). Însă, toate acestea nu
constituie mişcări vechi, tradiţionale pentru iudaism, aşadar nu-şi găsesc locul alături
de cele descrise mai sus.
[edit] Biography
Josephus, who introduced himself in Greek as "Iosepos (Ιώσηπος), son of Matthias,
an ethnic Jew, a priest from Jerusalem",[6] fought the Romans in the First Jewish-
Roman War of 66–73 as a Jewish military leader in Galilee. Prior to this, however, he
was sent as a young man in his early twenties for negotiations with Emperor Nero for
the release of several Jewish priests. He later returned to Jerusalem and was drafted as
a commander of the Galilean forces.[7] After the Jewish garrison of Yodfat fell under
siege, the Romans invaded, killing thousands; the survivors committed suicide.

According to Josephus, however, in circumstances that are somewhat unclear,


Josephus found himself trapped in a cave with forty of his companions. The Romans
asked him to surrender once they discovered where he was, but his companions
refused to allow this. He therefore suggested a method of collective suicide: they drew
lots and killed each other, one by one, counting to every third person. The sole
survivor of this process was Josephus (this method as a mathematical problem is
referred to as the Josephus problem, or Roman Roulette[8]). Josephus and one of his
soldiers then surrendered to the Roman forces invading Galilee in July 67 and became
prisoners. The Roman forces were led by Flavius Vespasian and his son Titus, both
subsequently Roman emperors. In 69, Josephus was released,[9] and according to
Josephus's own account, he appears to have played a role as a negotiator with the
defenders during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70.

The Galilee, site of Josephus' governorship, in late antiquity.

In 71, he arrived in Rome in the entourage of Titus, becoming a Roman citizen and
client of the ruling Flavian dynasty (hence he is often referred to as Flavius Josephus
— see below). In addition to Roman citizenship he was granted accommodation in
conquered Judaea, and a decent, if not extravagant, pension. It was while in Rome,
and under Flavian patronage, that Josephus wrote all of his known works. Although
he only ever calls himself "Josephus", he appears to have taken the Roman praenomen
Titus and nomen Flavius from his patrons.[10] This was standard practice for "new"
Roman citizens.

Josephus's first wife perished, together with his parents, in Jerusalem during the siege,
and Vespasian arranged for him to marry a Jewish woman who had been captured.
This woman left Josephus, and around 70, he married a Jewish woman from
Alexandria by whom he had three male children. Only one, Flavius Hyrcanus,
survived childhood. Josephus later divorced his third wife and around 75, married his
fourth wife, a Jewish woman from Crete, member of a distinguished family. This last
marriage produced two sons, Flavius Justus and Flavius Simonides Agrippa.

Josephus's life is beset with ambiguity. For his critics, he never satisfactorily
explained his actions during the Jewish war — why he failed to commit suicide in
Galilee in 67 with some of his compatriots, and why, after his capture, he accepted
patronage from the Romans.

Historian E. Mary Smallwood wrote:


(Josephus) was conceited, not only about his own learning but also about the opinions
held of him as commander both by the Galileans and by the Romans; he was guilty of
shocking duplicity at Jotapata, saving himself by sacrifice of his companions; he was
too naive to see how he stood condemned out of his own mouth for his conduct, and
yet no words were too harsh when he was blackening his opponents; and after
landing, however involuntarily, in the Roman camp, he turned his captivity to his own
advantage, and benefitted for the rest of his days from his change of side.[11]

[edit] Significance to scholarship


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may be challenged and removed. (November 2009)

The romanticized engraving of Flavius Josephus appearing in William Whiston's


translation of his works.

The works of Josephus provide crucial information about the First Jewish-Roman
War and are also important literary source material for understanding the context of
the Dead Sea Scrolls and late Temple Judaism.

Josephan scholarship in the 19th and early 20th century became focused on Josephus'
relationship to the sect of the Pharisees[citation needed]. He was consistently portrayed as a
member of the sect, but nevertheless viewed as a villainous traitor to his own
nation[citation needed] — a view which became known as the classical concept of Josephus.
In the mid 20th century, this view was challenged by a new generation of scholars[who?]
who formulated the modern concept of Josephus, still considering him a Pharisee but
restoring his reputation in part as patriot and a historian of some standing. Some later
authors[who?] argued that Josephus was not a Pharisee but an orthodox Aristocrat-Priest
who became part of the Temple Establishment as a matter of deference, and not
willing association (cf. Steve Mason 1991).
Josephus includes information about individuals, groups, customs and geographical
places. Some of these, such as the city of Seron, are not referenced in the surviving
texts of any other ancient authority. His writings provide a significant, extra-Biblical
account of the post-Exilic period of the Maccabees, the Hasmonean dynasty, and the
rise of Herod the Great. He makes references to the Sadducees, Jewish High Priests of
the time, Pharisees and Essenes, the Herodian Temple, Quirinius' census and the
Zealots, and to such figures as Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and Agrippa
II, John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and a disputed reference to Jesus (for
more see Josephus on Jesus). He is an important source for studies of immediate post-
Temple Judaism and the context of early Christianity.

A careful reading of Josephus' writings allowed Ehud Netzer, an archaeologist from


Hebrew University, to discover the location of Herod's Tomb, after a search of 35
years — above aqueducts and pools, at a flattened, desert site, halfway up the hill to
the Herodium, 12 kilometers south of Jerusalem — exactly where it should have been,
according to Josephus's writings.[citation needed]

For many years, the works of Josephus were printed only in an imperfect Latin
translation from the original Greek. It was only in 1544 that a version of the Greek
text was made available, edited by the Dutch humanist Arnoldus Arlenius. The first
English translation, by Thomas Lodge, appeared in 1602, with subsequent editions
appearing throughout the 17th century. However, the 1544 Greek edition formed the
basis of the 1732 English translation by William Whiston which achieved enormous
popularity in the English speaking world (and which is currently available online for
free download by Project Gutenberg). Later editions of the Greek text include that of
Benedikt Niese, who made a detailed examination of all the available manuscripts,
mainly from France and Spain. This was the version used by H. St J. Thackeray for
the Loeb Classical Library edition widely used today.

William Whiston, who created perhaps the most famous of the English translations of
Josephus, claimed that certain works by Josephus had a similar style to the Epistles of
St Paul (Saul).[12]

[edit] Works
A 1640 edition of the works of Josephus translated by Thomas Lodge which
originally appeared in 1602.

• (c. 75) War of the Jews, or The Jewish War, or Jewish Wars, or History of the
Jewish War (commonly abbreviated JW, BJ or War)
• (date unknown) Josephus's Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades
(spurious; adaptation of "Against Plato, on the Cause of the Universe" by
Hippolytus of Rome)
• (c. 94) Antiquities of the Jews, or Jewish Antiquities, or Antiquities of the
Jews/Jewish Archeology (frequently abbreviated AJ, AotJ or Ant. or Antiq.)
• (c. 97) Flavius Josephus Against Apion, or Against Apion, or Contra Apionem,
or Against the Greeks, on the antiquity of the Jewish people (usually
abbreviated CA)
• (c. 99) The Life of Flavius Josephus, or Autobiography of Flavius Josephus
(abbreviated Life or Vita)

[edit] The Jewish War

Main article: The Wars of the Jews

His first work in Rome was an account of the Jewish War, addressed to certain "upper
barbarians" – usually thought to be the Jewish community in Mesopotamia – in his
"paternal tongue" (War I.3), arguably the Western Aramaic language. He then wrote a
seven-volume account in Greek known to us as the Jewish War (Latin Bellum
Judaicum). It starts with the period of the Maccabees and concludes with accounts of
the fall of Jerusalem, the Roman victory celebrations in Rome, the mopping-up
operations, Roman military operations elsewhere in the Empire and the uprising in
Cyrene. Together with the account in his Life of some of the same events, it also
provides the reader with an overview of Josephus' own part in the events since his
return to Jerusalem from a brief visit to Rome in the early 60s (Life 13–17).

In the wake of the suppression of the Jewish revolt. Josephus would have witnessed
the marches of Titus's triumphant legions leading their Jewish captives, and carrying
treasures from the despoiled Temple in Jerusalem. He would have experienced the
popular presentation of the Jews as a bellicose and xenophobic people.[citation needed]

It was against this background that Josephus wrote his War, and although this work
has often been dismissed as pro-Roman propaganda (hardly a surprising view, given
the source of his patronage), he claims to be writing to counter anti-Judean accounts.
He disputes the claim[citation needed] that the Jews served a defeated God, and were
naturally hostile to Roman civilization. Rather, he blames the Jewish War on what he
calls "unrepresentative and over-zealous fanatics" among the Jews, who led the
masses away from their traditional aristocratic leaders (like himself), with disastrous
results. Josephus also blames some of the Roman governors of Judea, but these he
represents as atypical: corrupt and incompetent administrators. Thus, according to
Josephus, the traditional Jew was, should be, and can be, a loyal and peace-loving
citizen. Jews can, and historically have, accepted Rome's hegemony precisely because
their faith declares that God himself gives empires their power.

[edit] Jewish Antiquities

Main article: Antiquities of the Jews

The next work by Josephus is his twenty-one volume Antiquities of the Jews,
completed during the last year of the reign of the Emperor Flavius Domitian (between
1.9.93 and 14.3.94, cf. AJ X.267). He claims that interested persons have pressed him
to give a fuller account of the Jewish culture and constitution. Here, in expounding
Jewish history, law and custom, he is entering into many philosophical debates
current in Rome at that time. Again he offers an apologia for the antiquity and
universal significance of the Jewish people.

He outlines Jewish history beginning with the creation as passed down through Jewish
historical tradition. Abraham taught science to the Egyptians[citation needed], who in turn
taught the Greeks. Moses set up a senatorial priestly aristocracy, which, like that of
Rome, resisted monarchy. The great figures of the Bible are presented as ideal
philosopher-leaders. There is again an autobiographical Appendix defending
Josephus's own conduct at the end of the war when he cooperated with the Roman
forces.

[edit] Against Apion

Main article: Against Apion

Josephus's Against Apion is a two-volume defence of Judaism as classical religion and


philosophy, stressing its antiquity, as opposed to what Josephus claimed was the
relatively more recent tradition of the Greeks. Some anti-Judean allegations ascribed
by Josephus to the Greek writer Apion, and myths accredited to Manetho are also
addressed.

[edit] Literature about Josephus


• The Josephus Trilogy, a novel by Lion Feuchtwanger
o Der jüdische Krieg (Josephus), 1932
o Die Söhne (The Jews of Rome), 1935
o Der Tag wird kommen (The day will come, Josephus and the
Emperor), 1942
• Flavius Josephus Eyewitness to Rome's first-century conquest of Judea,
Mireille Hadas-lebel, Macmillan 1993, Simon and Schuster 2001
• "The 2000 Year Old Middle East Policy Expert", a chapter from Give War A
Chance by P. J. O'Rourke[13]
• Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus, by Joseph Atwill,
Ulysses Press, 2005

[edit] See also


• Josephus on Jesus
• Josippon
• Josephus problem — a mathematical problem named after Josephus.

[edit] Footnotes
1. ^ Plagnieux, P. 'Les sculptures Romanes' Dossiers d'Archéologie (January 2001) pg
15
2. ^ Louis Feldman, Steve Mason (1999). Flavius Josephus. Brill Academic Publishers.
3. ^ Josephus refers to himself in his Greek works as Ἰώσηπος :Iōsēpos Matthiou pais
(Josephus the son of Matthais). Josephus spoke Aramaic and Hebrew. His Hebrew
name was ‫( יוסף בן מתתיהו‬Yosef ben Matityahu).
4. ^ {{cite book|title=Template:Antiquities of the Jews Book XVIII, Chap III point 3,
page 535, John C Winston Company, USA, ND
5. ^ a b Stephen L. Harris, Understanding the Bible, (Palo Alto: Mayfield, 1985).
6. ^ Jewish War I.3
7. ^ http://www.josephus.org/life.htm
8. ^ Cf. this example, Roman Roulette.
9. ^ Jewish War IV.622–629
10. ^ Attested by the third century Church theologian Origen (Comm. Matt. 10.17).
11. ^ Josephus, Flavius, The Jewish War, tr. G.A. Williamson, introduction by E. Mary
Smallwood. New York, Penguin, 1981, p. 24
12. ^ Whiston, Dissertation 6
13. ^ O'Rourke, P.J. Give War a Chance. Vintage, 1993.

[edit] References
• The Works of Josephus, Complete and Unabridged New Updated Edition
Translated by William Whiston, A.M., Peabody, MA: Hendrickson
Publishers, Inc., 1987. ISBN 0-913573-86-8 (Hardcover). ISBN 1-56563-167-
6 (Paperback).
• Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary; edited by Steve Mason, 10
vols. in 12 Leiden: Brill, 2000–2007).
• Per Bilde. Flavius Josephus between Jerusalem and Rome: his life, his works
and their importance. Sheffield: JSOT, 1988.
• Shaye J. D. Cohen. Josephus in Galilee and Rome: his vita and development
as a historian. (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition; 8). Leiden: Brill,
1979
• Louis Feldman. "Flavius Josephus revisited: the man, his writings, and his
significance." In: Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt 21.2 (1984).
• Steve Mason, Flavius Josephus on the Pharisees: a composition-critical study.
Leiden: Brill, 1991
• Tessa Rajak, Josephus: the Historian and His Society; 2nd ed. London: 2002
(Oxford D.Phil. thesis, 2 vols. 1974)