Josephus (A.D. 37-?100), a pro-Roman Jew closely associated with the emperor Titus, is the earliest systematic commentator on the Bible, as well as one of the foremost historians of the beginning of the Christian era. Politically, Josephus was pro-Roman, and although he had no sympathy for extreme Jewish nationalism, he was a zealous defender of Jewish religion and culture. Louis H. Feldman examines the principles that guided Josephus in his understanding of the Bible, investigating his creative contribution in the rewriting of biblical accounts. This comprehensive study evaluates Josephus as a historian and demonstrates the originality and consistency of his work as an author.
The first part of Feldman's work attempts to understand Josephus's purposes and techniques in retelling the Bible. The second part reviews Josephus's treatment of twelve key biblical figures. In addition to its reevaluation of an important early historian, this unique compendium provides a mine of information on the reassessment of the most important biblical figures.