Flavius Josephus, 37-117 A. D.

[Mentioned in Christian Healing, p. 3]

Josephus, soldier and historian, was born in the same year in which Saul of Tarsus became a Christian. According to Josephus' writings, which are the only source of biographical data regarding him, he came from a noble and priestly family and was given an excellent education.

At sixteen he attached himself to Banus, probably an Essene, and spent three years with him in the desert. At the end of this period he became a Pharisee. Almost at once he journeyed to Rome to procure the release of friends who had been sent there by Felix, the procurator of Judea. Through the intercession of Nero's wife, he secured their freedom.

He was now appointed to go into Galilee to persuade the Zealots to lay down their arms. These defenders of the old Jewish faith or, as the Romans called them, "men of the knife," who hated the Romans and hated their own priests for submitting to Rome, were raiding the cities within a wide radius. If the Sanhedrin prosecuted them, it could be accused of lacking national spirit; if it supported them, of acting in opposition to Rome. Josephus partially solved the problem by giving the Zealots a monthly tribute from the cities in return for their protection.

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Signs of the Times
June 23, 1956

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