Tessa Rajak on Josephus’ Rewritten Bible

Today I attended the first ever public seminar of the European Seminar on Advanced Jewish Studies. Martin Goodman and Alison Salvesen convened the session, and Tessa Rajak spoke on the Vorlage of Josephus’ rewritten Bible. Her paper was basically a revision of some doctoral work she had done long ago. She argued that Josephus seems to have used either a primarily Hebrew Vorlage with some secondary Greek readings thrown in, or a primary Greek Vorlage with some secondary Hebrew readings thrown in.

In the discussion portion Emanuel Tov pounced on this dichotomy and asked Tessa to choose one or the other (he advocates a primarily Greek Vorlage). Tessa could point to several verses which demanded a Greek origin, but admitted she could not point to any that demanded a Hebrew source. Good times.


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