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Notes on video lecture:
Josephus on the Definition of Jew and Christian in the Ancient World
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
Ioudaios, crossable, Lord, monolithic, tax, reformed, cowards, Romans, Pharisees, Galilee, gospel, Protestants, philosophies, bodies, Judaism
a study of Paul's letters leads us to a better understanding of                in the ancient world
Jews fall into three categories: orthodox,                 , conservative
but this is true of other religious identities as well, e.g. within Christianity you have Orthodox, Roman Catholic and                       , and within each of these there are many branches
in antiquity it was also hard to say exactly what a Jew was
they erected a boundary between themselves and non-Jews, or Gentiles, but the boundary was always                    and not always clearly marked
e.g. if a Gentile were to convert to Judaism in 80 CE, it is unclear who would accept this:
local Jewish community?
the city's government, thus granting rights and privileges such as certain        categories?
the word "Jew" in Greek is "                " and means "from Judea"
this is the primary word that Paul uses in his letters, instead of "Hebrew" or "Israelite"
later it came to mean Jews who were outside this area, e.g. from Egypt
so "Ioudaios" is an ethic-geographical definition that came to mean more
Josephus [joh-SEE-fuss]
learned about the diversity of Judaism
he frames them in terms of                         
just as Greeks have many kinds of philosophies, so do Jews
live simply, respect reason, respect the old, believe the soul is immortal and free will reigns
2. Sadducees [sad-JOO-seez]
souls die with their bodies
very few accept their documents
3. Essenes
immortality of the soul
do not participate in temple sacrifice
have rights of their own
have no wives, no slaves
Josephus gives them a glowing description
like Greeks:              are corruptible but souls are immortal
share all things in common
4. "the fourth sect"
Josephus doesn't like them
Judas of                was its author
attached to liberty
God is the only rule and Lord
Josephus reminds us that, to be accurate, we can't talk about Judaism or Christianity in antiquity as if it were                     
there were many groups, interpretations, and conflicting interests among the members of each religion
Christians refused to call any human "        "
in Galatians, we see a hint of multiple kinds of "Jews in Christ", Paul insists that Galatians shouldn't be following "another             "
Paul was competing with others who were taking the message out and explaining how Gentiles, or non-Jews- may become God's people
Josephus also mentions the "spiral of violence" that was ongoing at the time when Jesus was born and coming of age, at the beginning of the Jesus movement
e.g. Judas of Galilee who said that people were                if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans and submit to mortals as their Lord
many Jews who called themselves prophets and who led Jews into rebellions against the             


alacrity, adj. cheerful willingness, eagerness, liveliness, enthusiasm  "They resigned up their souls with great alacrity."


######################### (37-100 AD)
A first-century Romano-Jewish scholar and historian
  • born in Jerusalem, then part of Roman Judea
  • known as Josephus
  • initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee
  • Josephus claims the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a hostage and interpreter.
  • After Vespasian did become Emperor in 69, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius.
  • Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship.
  • became an adviser and friend of Vespasian's son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem
  • Josephus recorded Jewish history which provided valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity
######################### (9-79 AD)
Founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Roman Empire from 69-96
  • dynasty included two sons Titus and Domitian
  • from an equestrian family that rose into the senatorial rank under the Julio–Claudian emperors
  • renown came from his military success: he led the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 and subjugated Judea during the Jewish rebellion of 66


according to Josephus, what were the four kinds of Jews in the ancient world
Pharisees, Sadducees [SAD-joo-seez], Essenes, and "the fourth sect" led by Judas of Galilee
Paul's Letters: Authorship and Audience
Form and Physicality of Ancient Letter Writing
Paul's Letter Writing Within the Tradition of Ancient Rhetoric
Ancient Responses to the Letters of Paul
How Ancient People Wrote about Their Place in History: Polybius and Daniel
Four Stories of Empire in Judea: Babylonian, Macedonian, Seleucid, and Roman
The Roman Empire's Knowledge of Early Christian Communities
Josephus on the Definition of Jew and Christian in the Ancient World
Understanding the Historical Josephus
The Priene Inscription
Intertwining of Religion and Politics in the Roman Empire
Letters to the Corinthians
Slavery and Freedom in Roman Corinth
Slavery in First Corinthians