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New Complete Works of Josephus [Hardcover]

Flavius Josephus
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 1999
No source, other than the Bible itself, provides more relevant information on the first century than the work of Flavius Josephus. This newly edited version updates the original 18th century language; includes commentary by the award winning author and historian, Dr. Paul L. Maier; features over forty photos of ancient sites and artifacts mentioned by Josephus; cross references numbers throughout to the Greek text of Josephus in the Loeb Classical Library; and offers revised indexes of subjects and Old Testament texts.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1152 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic; Rev Exp Su edition (1 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825429242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825429248
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 15.3 x 5.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Dr. Maier is an authority on Josephus and on first-century Christianity . . . .--F. F. Bruce (06/03/2004) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars marianne 29 Jan 2011
By Picco
it is wonderful to have the complete works of Josphus, that is unabridged.
However, I was disappointed that the translation itself is in a such antique language which makes it less of a pleasure to read but rather a chore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Choice 17 Oct 2013
By Gunter
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Josephus is an excellent read of ancient times in Jerusalem and the Jews uprising against the Romans. Shows human nature at its worst and best.

Fascinating to read as well as book quality being excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Sep 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
allways wanted this book will read one day
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 28 July 2014
Great book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  79 reviews
167 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic made superbly accessible to modern readers. 5 Aug 2000
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Enhanced with expert commentary by Paul L. Maier (Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University), William Whiston's (1662-1752) translation of the historical writings of Josephus (c. A.D. 37-100) is now available in a completely revised, expanded, and linguistically updated edition. The New Complete Works Of Josephus is a core title for any academic or public library world history collection, Judaic studies or Roman history reading list, as well as of sustained interest to scholars and students of Mideast and Mediterranean antiquity. Whiston provides a much needed updating of vocabulary and spellings in all five of the complete and unabridged works by Josephus and presents them in a single volume. More than forty photographs of ancient sites and artifacts, numbers charts, tables, maps, cross reference numbers to the Geek text of Josephus in the Loeb Classical Library, a revised subject index, and an index of Old Testament texts paralleling Josephus' writings make this edition a very necessary acquisition. The New Complete Works Of Josephus is also available in hard cover.
170 of 175 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Simply Remarkable, A Historical Novelty and Treasure" 19 Mar 2001
By Johannes Platonicus - Published on Amazon.com
To put it concisely, the introduction generalizes the contents of this work, the segment on "The Life of Flavius Josephus" gives a familiar aquaintance with the 1st century A.D. historian, "The Antiquities of the Jews" covers the time of creation to the riegn of Nero, "The Jewish War" covers the time from the taking of Jerusalem to Titus' riegn and subsequent destruction of the Temple, "Against Apion" defends and ascertains the validity of Josephus' history, the seven "Dissertations" consist of numorous interesting topics, "The Table of the Jewish Weights and Measures, The List of Ancient Testimonies and Records, The Old Testamant Parellel to the Josephus' History, and Harmony of the Numbering System" all sum up the gist of this work, inasmuch as the titles and themes go.
The content of this work provides a profound sense of history, and extends without an end a greater sense of it. This book acts many times as a supplement to the bible in filling important gaps that biblical history failed to provide.
The benefits of this work are inumerable and unweighable when contrasted with the abundance of historical resources and the give-away price offered.
The "New Complete Works of Josephus" Translated by William Whiston and the commentary by Paul L. Maier, is undoubtably the best edition yet. Buy this one you will not regret it.
91 of 93 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost worth five stars 24 May 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
In studying Judean history in the first century CE, there is no historian more important than Josephus, especially when one is interested in the study of the historical Jesus or of the world around him (the religious/social/political climate, etc.) Josephus is not only the only Jewish historian of this era to comment on Jesus, he is the only Jewish historian to thoroughly present the history as well as psychological outlook of Jews through a lengthy span of time. His works are immeasurably important to anyone interested in this line of study. This book contains all of his important works and more: his autobiography, Jewish Antiquities, The Jewish War, Against Apion, and an extract out of Josephus's Discource to the Greeks Concerning Hades (the latter of which is spurious.)

This edition of Josephus is helpful, with occasional essays on certain topics (i.e. "Josephus and the Romans" or the family tree of the House of Herod.) The translation is a little stale, but easy enough to understand (and I am assured that the faults in the original Whiston translation have been corrected.) The textual notes are helpful. It is for the dry translation that I gave this work 4 stars instead of 5-- though I really am indebted to those who put together this extremely comprehensive, useful volume of one of the most important historians relating to the history of Israel/Judea.
70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Complete Edition for the Price 23 Aug 2008
By Dennis L. Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not quite sure how to place "The New Complete Works of Josephus" (Kregel Academic & Professional, 1999) among other editions of Josephus that are available.

This work is a "revised" version of Whiston's 1737 translation, which has been "corrected" to an unknown degree by Paul L. Maier.

Besides Josephus' writings, the book includes 7 "dissertations" on the text by Whiston such as "The testimonies of Josephus concerning Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, and James the Just, vindicated". These along with the footnotes reveal a translator anxious to defend the authenticity of his source text(s), the historical accuracy of Josephus, the correspondence of Josephus's accounts with the Old and New Testament, etc.

Whiston seems to have a vested interest in Josephus as supporting and supplementing various Biblical accounts. He definitely comments upon the work from a Christian (he was actually an Arian) rather than a purely critical perspective. However, I see no reason at this time to believe this infects his translation with bias.

Assuming that "Complete Works" has been completely corrected, it's greatest failing is being very difficult to read. Apparently, Whiston had something against periods, but really loved semicolons. Many a sentence runs on and on to paragraph length. The syntax is tortuous.

The same publisher has two other editions of Josephus that are very different from Complete Works, yet seem very similar to each other. These are "Essential Works" (Josephus: The Essential Works) and "Essential Writings" (Josephus: The Essential Writings). Both are current editions using a translation by Paul L. Maier.

The following is a sample of Maier's new translation followed by Whiston's. The text corresponds to Loeb Bk. VI, Ch. 14, 374-378

From "Josephus: The Essential Writings", Kregel, 1990, ISBN 0825429641 (Maier translation)

The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the bodies of the slain, they found those of Saul and his sons, and they cut off their heads and impaled their bodies on the walls of Bethshan. But when the Israelites of Jabesh-Gilead learned about this mutilation, the bravest of them marched all night to Bethshan, removed the bodies of Saul and his sons, and carried them to Jabesh, where they buried them. The enemy was either not able or not bold enough to stop them, because of their great courage.

Saul came to this end, as Samuel had predicted, because of his disobedience regarding the Amalekites and his destruction of the high priest and his family. He reigned eighteen years during the lifetime of Samuel, and 22 more after his death.

From "The New Complete Works of Josephus", Kregel, 1999, ISBN 0825429242 ("corrected" Whiston translation)

On the next day, when the Philistines came to strip their enemies that were killed, they got the bodies of Saul and of his sons, and stripped them, and cut off their heads; and they sent messengers all about their country, to acquaint them that their enemies were fallen; and they dedicated their armor in the temple of Astarte, but hung their bodies on crosses at the walls of the city Beth Shan, which is now called Scythopolis. But when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard that they had dismembered the dead bodies of Saul and of his sons, they deemed it so horrid a thing to overlook this barbarity, and to suffer them to be without funeral rites, that the most courageous and hardy among them (and indeed that city had in it men that were very stout both in body and mind) journeyed all night, and came to Beth Shan, and approached the enemy's wall, and taking down the bodies of Saul and of his sons they caried them to Jabesh, while the enemy was not able enough or bold enough to hinder them, because of their great courage. So the people of Jabesh all wept and buried their bodies in the best place of their country, which was named Aroura; and they observed a public mourning for them seven days, with their wives and children, beating their breasts, and lamenting the king and his sons, without either tasting meat or drink [until evening].

To this his end did Saul come, according to the prophecy of Samuel, because he disobeyed the commands of God about the Amalekites, and on the account of his destroying the family of Ahimelech the high priest, with Ahimelech himself, and the city of the high priests. Now Saul when he had reigned eighteen years while Samuel was alive, and after his death two [and twenty], ended his life in this manner.

Even granting that the Maier translation is abridged, you can see that the Whiston translation suffers pitifully where readability is concerned.

If you're still with me I'd say this. If you can afford it and need the complete works, buy the Loeb editions. I can't personally vouch for them, but in the introduction to "Complete Works" Maier himself states that those represent the "best English translation".

If you don't need each and every line and want text you can actually parse, perhaps you should buy "Essential Works" or "Essential Writings". I can't tell you which, since I don't have them and I'm mystified as to what the difference might be. Of course, there are other translations and editions from other publishers of repute that are certainly comparable in readability.

If you need (or want) every line for a very economical price, "Complete Works" will do.

Good luck reading it.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, essential, and updated 29 Oct 2001
By J. A Magill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The works of Josephus give a reader a window into the perceptions of the world in the first century. Josephus, prolific by any standard, covered a range of topics from ancient Jewish history, the Jewish wars, life in the roman world (as presented in his autobiography) just to name a few. In almost everyway, Josephus is our best available source for understanding the ancients understanding of the Bible. As such, it is essential and invaluable to any serious student.
This collection utility is immeasurable. Not only does it contain all of the works collected under one cover, it also gives strong commentary and a well-written introduction. The translator has significantly updated the work, eliminating archaic English translation often held over from earlier editions and giving useful reference for things like Biblical parallels.
My only complaint about the work is that the text is extremely dense and the font quite small. Sitting down and reading the text is difficult as a result and I decided to get a magnifying glass. Still, despite this drawback, this edition is a must own for anyone interested in the subject.
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