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Bibil Identifier bibil:203423
Publication Type Journal article
Title (German, Long) Theokratie am Extrem
Title (German, ) Die Auflösung der Formen jüdischer Staatlichkeit und die Genese der 4. Philosophie
Author Piotrkowski, Meron M.
Journal Trumah. Zeitschrift der Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg (Volume: 18)
Year (Publication) 2008
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2008
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2008
Year (Second publication) 2008
Language German
Pages 228-237 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract In Josephus’ later works, viz. his opus magnum, ‘The Jewish Antiquities’ and his apologetic two-volume, ‘contra Apionem,’ he propagates a form of Jewish constitution, which he himself terms a ‘Theocracy’(c. Ap. 2.165). What he means by that, is a divinely ordained set of laws (the Torah) that are safeguarded by the priestly aristocracy, of which Josephus himself is a proud member. This concept – and its observance – is synonymous with God’s will, who according to this concept, is perceived as the sole ruler of all things. In the year 6 CE, Josephus reports on the so called ‘4th Philosophy’ of a certain ‘Judas the Galilean’ (Ant. 18.23-24) that also propagates, what we may understand as a ‘Theocracy,’ viz. the sole rule of God. However, Josephus condemns Judas’ philosophy in the strongest tones. Nevertheless, one may understand that two ‘theocracies’ subsisted in Judaea during the Roman period and my quest was to inquire the circumstances of the genesis of these ideas. I found that the major differences of Josephus’ concept of ‘Theocracy’ vs. Judas’ concept was that, according to the former’s model, priests are of essential importance to maintain and to make theocracy work. This stands in contrast to Judas’ concept, in which priests are all but of importance and this, so I sought to reveal, is due to the historical circumstances and the current political world in which Judas lived. As such, he lived in a period in which the all important office of the Jewish High Priesthood of the Hellenistic era experienced a drastic decline in the Roman Period and this is what shines through in Judas’ concept of theocracy, that merely deletes the priests, so that God’s rule is perceived to be a ‘direct’ form of rule, as opposed to the ‘indirect’ form inherent in Josephus’ concept.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Religious Parties and Movements : Hellenistic Judaism : Josephus
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Religious Parties and Movements
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Theocracy
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Themes : Priest
Last modification 2017-10-27