Monday, November 29, 2010

Schiffman – Golb – Hudson – 4QMMT (Acts of Torah)

Schiffman (Qumran and Jerusalem, 2010), on p.84 he writes: “The text (of 4QMMT) was probably composed soon after 150 B.C.”  On p.101,102 he writes: “The Qumran sect came into being as a discrete group in the aftermath of the Maccabean revolt when the Hasmonean high priests decided to ally themselves with the Pharisees against the hellenizing high priests, many of whom had been Sadducees. A group of pious Sadducees left the temple and protested to no avail the abandonment of Sadducean priestly practice for the halakhic rulings of the Pharisees. This group, after failing to sway their colleagues and their Hasmonean leaders by means of the Halakhic letter (4QMMT), eventually relocated to Qumran, where they lived lives of piety and holiness, preparing for the end of days.”  It sounds like a good story, as good as the myth of Masada. Unfortunately, it uses terms like Pharisee and Sadducee that the Scrolls through their long and varied history up to the first century, do not recognize. The writings attributed to Josephus have been edited to retrospectively incorporate the various sects of Essenes, Pharisees, and Sadducees.

On p.151, Schiffman writes:  "To whom is this letter addressed?  The text alternates between the singular and the plural.  When in the singular, the manuscript assumes that it is addressing a leader who can by virtue of his position, identify with the kings of Israel.  It appears that the head of the Jerusalem establishment with such status must be the high priest during Hasmonean times."  Schiffman offers no proof that 4QMMT was originally written in early Maccabean times, only the circumstantial evidence of the history recorded in Josephus.  He offers no proof that a Hasmonean priest-king was being addressed.  He isn't even certain that a priest was being referred to.  Golb on the other hand has a remarkably different answer as to when 4QMMT was written and who was being addressed.

Golb (Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, p.180) wrote about Father Joseph Milik of the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem:  “in 1962 his interpretations of the minor “caves” appeared in the extensive third volume of the Oxford series. Discussing certain linguistic features of the Copper Scroll, he compared them to analogous ones that he referred to as to as “4QMishn” (4QMMT), and gave several quotations from the latter showing its special idiom and content. On p.183, Golb writes: "The importance of Milik's observations about the idiom of the Acts of Torah resided in the necessary implication that the work was written during the early or middle first century A.D., before which no evidence could be found for the existence of such an idiom. Indeed, Milik had made use of passages from the Acts of Torah to elucidate his discussion of a first-century A.D. documentary (an autographical) work composed in the same idiom - the Copper Scroll. The only other manuscripts written in essentially the same form of Hebrew were the early second century second century A.D. Bar Kokhba documentary texts. The idiom appears in no written testimony from before the turn of the era."  Thus we have the opinion of one expert, Golb, that the text was early or middle first century A.D. and the opinion of a second expert, Milik, to the same effect.

On p.210, Golb writes: “the opinion (Schiffman’s) that the epistle was addressed to a priestly figure is capricious: Its wording actually carries no such implication. Secondly, its evocation of the deeds of past kings … indicates that he (the author) was addressing not a sacerdotal figure, but rather a royal one who was not a priest. In addition, the epistle reveals no demonstrable connection at all with Hasmonaean (i.e. second- and first-century B.C.) figures. The language of the text indicates that it was written around the beginning of the first century A.D., and its specific wording shows that it was addressed to a royal personage of that time.”

In this time of the early first century, there MAY be one king being addressed, seen as of Hasmonean descent.  Eisenman and Wise write in Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, p183, "If placed in the first century, where we would prefer to place it because of its language - a form of 'proto-Mishnaic Hebrew' ... then the addressee is Agrippa I ... who made a pretence at Torah observation."  So now we have four experts in Hebrew who would place 4QMMT in the first century A.D.  And two of them plumb for Agrippa I.  But I think Agrippa I is just a little too late.  So who was the king being addressed in 4QMMT?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Schiffman – Golb (9) – Phylacteries - Who Were They Deposited By?

Schiffman (Qumran and Jerusalem, 2010, p223) writes:
“numerous phylacteries (tefillin) have been found at Qumran. The phylacteries are associated with liturgical practice in the rabinnic tradition. At Qumran, these ritual objects also bear witness to variations of custom, especially as regards the order and content of the biblical passages in them.”

Thus Schiffman believes that the phylacteries found at Qumran were worn by the supposed members of the supposed Qumran sect. In his note 19 (also on page 223), Schiffman, references only those authors who are not in opposition to this idea. We will see that he omitted to make reference to the doctoral dissertation of Dr David Rothstein of UCLA which was specifically on the phylacteries of Qumran.  In a paper Small Texts, Big Questions (revised in 2007) here https://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/nn/spr00_scr_stbq.html Norman Golb writes: “While editors of the phylactery texts in the 1950s and 1960s generally shied away from dealing with this problem of non-uniformity … a scholar writing … in the 1990s, Dr David Rothstein, undertook an exhaustive analysis of all the published phylactery texts, concluding in his 1992 dissertation on the subject that ‘it appears probable that [the groups responsible for the phylacteries] … constituted a broad spectrum of Palestinian (and diaspora) Jewry’ (p. 181)” Rothstein's thesis would have been uncomfortable reading for Schiffman.

The second page of the document Small Texts, Big Questions shows a map of the Dead Sea with Jerusalem marked. On it there are three arrows showing the route which Golb says was taken by refugees fleeing Jerusalem. One arrow is very close to Qumran and continues across the Dead Sea to Machaerus. A second arrow is around the north of the Dead Sea (probably fairly close to the caves just north of Qumran) which then turns south towards Machaerus. The third arrow is to Masada. We know that Masada was easily occupied by Jewish fighters in 66 CE. (War 2.17.8). There seems to be a general pattern – thus it suggests to me that Machaerus and Qumran was occupied at the same time. The routes were not taken by fleeing refugees but by militants going to prepare for war. This was why some of them left their phylacteries in a safe place where they could pick them up later (thus avoiding the desecration of holy writing). According to Rothstein some were from the diaspora, and thus joining in with the locals. And why did they have no fear. Was it because they believed God was going to fight for them? Why not? Why were the fortresses so easily occupied by Jewish fighters with a common hatred for Romans? I would suggest that it was because they had just killed Agrippa (the Great), and his Idumean soldiery had fled.

Golb (Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, 1995, p103) writes:
“it was already obvious by 1970 that those phylacteries discovered in the caves could not have belonged to the individuals of any single Jewish group… For the texts of most of the phylacteries …. showed no consistency with one another….The distribution of the various passages is, in Milik’s words, ‘most capricious’. Milik himself tried to retain the integrity of the Qumran-Essene hypothesis by claiming that these great variations among the texts showed only that the practice remained essentially, ‘if one might say so, private and semi- sacred’. It defies logic, however, to believe that a small and radical sect … who were according to the standard theory highly restrictive and formal in their religious legislation and practice, would have allowed their members to be so inconsistent.”

In the Summary of their paper the Qumran Excavations 1993 – 2004, Magen and Peleg state: “We now turn to a completely different issue, one that has unfortunately been disregarded almost entirely by Second Temple-period scholarship: the flight of the people from Judea and the land of Benjamin during the Great Revolt in an attempt to escape the Roman army. Despite our knowledge of the siege of Masada and of the areas where the Bar Kokhba Revolt broke out, thus far no one has asked how Jews came to be in places WHERE NO JEWS HAD RESIDED BEFORE. … Broshi and Eshel excavated a number of natural caves formed by floodwater in the riverbeds around Qumran, which they thought, MISTAKENLY, had sheltered members of the Essene sect for whom there was no room at the site. Most of the finds discovered in the caves belonged to refugees who stayed at Qumran before continuing on their way. No-one could have resided in these caves … for an extended period of time. … Another find, from En Gedi, was discovered by Hirschfeld and, in our opinion, ALSO MISINTERPRETED. During excavations, some temporary dwellings were found… Hirschfeld argues that a group of Essenes lived in them. We, however, believe that they were built by refugees who had fled from the Romans. Many more finds, which are to be ascribed to these refugees, have been found in the many surveys carried out along the riverbeds of the Judean Desert.” I submit that these places were archaeological evidence for the temporary dwellings of guerilla fighters, not refugees fleeing from the Romans. This was in 66 to early 67 CE, just a few months. I have been saying for a long time that there was a short invasion by Nero’s troops to destroy the priests, the owners of the phylacteries, and depositors of the scrolls. Thus the fighters were spread over the whole of the Judean Desert. Some occupied the fortresses. The Romans knew exactly where to come to meet the enemy. The Judean Desert was the place where most of the war began.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Schiffman - Golb (8) - The Scientific Proof That There Was No Qumran Sect

Schiffman (Qumran and Jerusalem, 2010, p.415) “Already in the debate over Christian origins we can see the inversion of reality in which the real scholars (Schiffman sees himself a “real” scholar) have to defend themselves and their work against unlikely, illogical, or unfounded theories. … This inversion is the case with the theories of Barbara Thiering and Robert Eisenman, who see Christian figures as having lived or visited Qumran, and Norman Golb, who claims that the scrolls are the remnants of the Jerusalem library of the temple, brought to Qumran for safekeeping during the revolt of 66-73 CE, and not the library of a sectarian group who lived at Qumran. These theories are actually impossible, from an objective, that is scientific, point of view.”

Golb –
1. He has emphasized in his writings that no evidence has been found that Hebrew literary scrolls were either kept or written at Qumran.
2. Nor has he ever suggested that they were “brought to Qumran” for safe keeping. But rather scrolls were removed from Jerusalem before or during the siege and taken into the Judean wilderness to be hidden away in a number of places including the caves around Qumran. (see his statement in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 124, 1980, p.11).
3. And Golb has never stated in his writings that the scrolls were limited to remnants of the temple library. He has said (way back in 1980) that the scrolls showed a wide variety of practices, beliefs and opinions. I have to agree with this part of his theory, having read the archaeological report, The Qumran Excavations, 1993 – 2004, Yizhak Magen and Yuval Peleg of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
http://www.antiquities.org.il/images/shop/jsp/JSP6_Qumran_color.pdf
 - Just read the summary.

With its evidence, this Report affirms Golb’s theory and damns Schiffman’s Qumran sectarian theory. Schiffman makes a vicious demeaning attack on the theories of three scholars and says all of them, including Golb’s, is impossible, not objective and unscientific. Schiffman does not acknowledge anywhere in his 2010 book the increasing receptivity of scholars to the Jerusalem origin of the Scrolls. Nor does he acknowledge in his book the decade-long archaeological investigation of the Qumran site under the direction of Dr Yizhak Magen and Yuval Peleg. This investigation ended several years ago with an affirmation of Dr Golb’s views on the origin of the scrolls. http://heritage-key.com/category/tags/yitzhak-magen
So Dr Golb’s theory is very possible, objective and scientific, isn’t it Dr Schiffman!  And it is your theory that is "impossible, from an objective, that is scientific point of view.”  (See below)

Extracts of Magen’s and Peleg’s Summary of their decade-long archaeological investigations:
1. The claim that the location was chosen because of its isolation, for the purpose of establishing a first Jewish monastery or a community center for the Judean Desert sect, is groundless.
2. Qumran was part of the Hasmonean military presence along the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. The volume and quality of construction is not consistent with a private building project of the Judean Desert sect, …
3. Neither (Qumran or Ein Feshkha) was inhabited by members of the Judean Desert sect.
4. After the Roman conquest, the site was no longer used for military purposes and the building deteriorated.
5. During the first century CE, the site suffered from considerable neglect and was turned into a pottery production center,….
6. Upon reexamination, the hypothesis that every one of the pools was a ritual bath has been an unfortunate error, bereft of any scientific or halakhic validity. According to Jewish law, most of the pools were unfit for use as ritual baths because the water in them would have been considered “drawn water”. The entire site contained perhaps two ritual baths, and even this is not certain. The purpose of the pools was to collect rainwater and potter’s clay for the pottery industry.
7. One more baseless hypothesis concerns the number of sect members who lived at the site. This number ran, depending on the calculations of each scholar, from 200 to 250. In fact, at Qumran there is room for 20 to 30 people at the most. Certainly no evidence has been found, like ovens and cooking utensils, to indicate that 250 people had been fed twice a day for 170 years.
8. The main activity at the site was the production of pottery, a fact that we find is hardly consistent with the identification of Qumran as a communal center for the Judean Desert sect.

The scrolls deposited at Qumran, while disordered compared to a library, were not disordered compared to what one might expect from people fleeing for their lives. This was more in keeping with the hiding of a hoard stolen by robbers. The goods were valuable to them and they had to be kept hidden somewhere out of sight. There was no general panic about the deposits. To transport what must have been tons of parchment (and we must not forget tons of treasure, other valuables and manuscripts deposited elsewhere) would have taken considerable time of the order of weeks. This was alot of patient hard work. My conclusion is that the Romans were not on the scene yet, and these deposits were made well in advance of any Roman arrival.

On page 47 of Qumran in Context, Hirschfeld writes: “In terms of both extent and content, the Dead Sea Scrolls reflect the vigorous and varied literary activity that characterized Jerusalem in the second Temple period. One of the centers of this activity was the royal palace in the Upper City. Herod’s palace, like those of other Hellenistic kings, contained a large library. There was even a library in Herod’s palace at remote Masada.” The king’s library would surely contain books that represented the whole culture of his people. It seems to me that the books found at Qumran could well have been from the king’s library in Jerusalem. Thus we have an alternative explanation of where the scrolls came from, and why they represented a broad cross-section of the society. If the king’s library was invaded, then whoever raided it would have had a storage problem, especially if they had set fire to the library. Secondly, treasure could have been stolen from the king’s vaults, which was no doubt the place where the library was also. This would have been the accumulated wealth of the king. Some of it would no doubt have been tax money owed to the Roman government.

Were the Jews fleeing from the Romans in a panic when they deposited the scrolls.  (I don't believe they were).  This was depicted as occurring during the siege of Jerusalem (or near the time of the siege) in a recent documentary: Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls made by National Geographic. The National Geographic article http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/07/100727-who-wrote-dead-sea-scrolls-bible-science-tv/ has Robert Cargill (an archaeologist who appears in the documentary) saying "Jews wrote the Scrolls, but it may not have been just one specific group. It could have been groups of different Jews." The writer of the of the article Ker Than describes this as a “new view”. Cargill knew better. The view was put forward by Norman Golb in his 1980 paper, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society No. 124, and has been upheld by him ever since. Cargill gave no credit to Golb in the National Geographic article, and made no subsequent attempt to correct his error.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Schiffman - Golb (7) - A Rejoinder to Martinez that The Scrolls Were of Jerusalem Origin

Shiffman (Qumran and Jerusalem, 2010, p121) writes: “The notion that the collection of Scrolls at Qumran in no way is representative of a sect, but must be seen as representing the Judaism of the time, must also be rejected. (31) There is no question that the community that collected these scrolls originated in sectarian conflict..”  Then in Note 31 also on p.121 he writes: “A polemical treatment in book-length form is Golb’s Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, 1995.  This theory has been shown to be impossible in a detailed examination of its underpinnings by F. Garcia Martinez and A. S. van de Woude (A ‘Groningen Hypothesis of Qumran Origins and Early History).”

Golb – Schiffman fails to inform his readers that in the same book (Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls), Golb had already provided a rejoinder to what Martinez and Woude “apparently hoped would be a decisive rejoinder” (Schiffman calls it a detailed examination)  to Golb’s theory of Jerusalem origin of the Scrolls (see pp 288 to 293 of Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls).  Why didn’t Schiffman refer to Golb's very detailed rejoinder?

Schiffman wrote: “There is no question that the community that collected these scrolls originated in sectarian conflict..” 

The people who took these scrolls into Judea were the priests of Jerusalem. There was no “sectarian” conflict, but at the time there was a conflict between between the two priestly orders of the priests and the prophets. There are a few places in Josephus where the word “order” has crept past the editors who would have substituted “sect”. Thus I believe that Josephus spoke of two priestly “orders”, priests and prophets, not three sects. Josephus originally wrote about these two orders to explain Judaism to Nero and his court. (I have used curly brackets for what I believe to be original text, and square brackets for dissembled text):

Ant. 18.1.2. - The Jews {have} had for a great while [three] {two} [sects of philosophy] {priestly orders} peculiar to themselves; the [sect] {order} of the [Essens] {prophets}, and the [sect] {order} of the [Sadducees] {priests}. 

War 2.8.2. - For there are [three] {two} [philosophical] {priestly} [sects] {orders} among the Jews, the followers of the first of which are the [Pharisees; the second the Sadducees] {priests} and the [third] {second} [sect] {order}, which pretends to a severer discipline, are called [Essens] {prophets}.  

Thus Josephus was originally writing about the system of priesthood which we all know about from the OT, priests and prophets.  Now for the places where "order" ACTUALLY occurs:

The priests and prophets functioned together peaceably for “a great while” tracing their origins to Moses (and in the case of the prophets before Moses). The evidence for “orders” as distinct from “sects” occurs in at least the following two passages:

War 2.8.3. "These men are despisers of riches, and so very communicative as raises our admiration. Nor is there any one to be found among them who hath more than another; for it is a law among them, that those who come to them must let what they have be common to the whole ORDER, - insomuch that among them all there is no appearance of poverty, or excess of riches, but every one's possessions are intermingled with every other's possessions; and so there is, as it were, one patrimony among all the brethren."  

War 2.8.13. "Moreover, there is another ORDER of [Essens] {prophets}, who agree with the rest as to their way of living, and customs, and laws, but differ from them in the point of marriage, as thinking that by not marrying they cut off the principal part of human life,"  In this second passage “order” is used correctly to distinguish two groups of Essenes (prophets). “Order” should also be used to distinguish the two groups, the priests and the prophets, who are all Jews.  Another example of the use of "order": 

War 2.8.14.  "But then as to the other [two] ORDER[s] at first mentioned, the [Pharisees] {priests} are those who are esteemed most skillful in the exact explication of their laws."  In reality, this was the order of the priests.

We can now begin to understand why there is considerable agreement between the practices of the priests in the Manual of Discipline, and Essene (prophetic) practices according to Josephus (see VanderKam’s The Dead Sea Scrolls Today, Chap. 3). The two priestly orders, the priests and prophets, were organized on similar lines.  But I doubt that the Essenes (prophets) would have twisted the meaning of the Prophets with pesher as the priests did.  Philo, Hypothetica, 11.1 has:  "But our lawgiver trained an innumerable body of his pupils to partake in those things, who are called [Essenes] {prophets}, being, as I imagine, honoured with this appellation because of their exceeding holiness."   The lawgiver Moses started with 70 holy men who prophesied and were called prophets. (Numbers 11.24-29). "as I imagine" is a tell-tale sign of an editor who knows the truth. Philo has been got at too.  

The Romans made Josephus a prophet because they knew prophets were involved in their story.  They had hunted down most of them and taken them to Rome for their Triumph.  The prophecies attributed to him by Flavian editors included for example:

1. His prediction that Vespasian would be emperor (War 3:400-402)

2. His speech to the Jews in Jerusalem regarding their impending fate (War 5:375-419)

The Flavian editors knew that their prisoners were prophets. They included these supposed predictions of Josephus, to justify Roman history of the time.  They even had Josephus as an apocalyptic prophet with nightly dreams giving the ability to interprete scripture (as Per Bilde also has in Understanding Josephus, p.46).

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Schiffman - Golb (6) - Who Paraphrased Who?

Schiffman (Qumran and Jerusalem, 2010, p.121) writes: “Golb is certainly correct in reminding us that the scrolls preserve many compositions authored outside the group (sectarians). We see these (scrolls) however, as assembled by the sectarians because of their affinity for or adherence to the teachings of these texts. The scrolls also preserve much information about other groups of Jews in this period (sounds familiar): the Pharisees (says he), the Sadducees (says he), the Hasmoneans, and others known only from their literary compositions.”

Golb - (Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 124, 1980, p.11) states that: “determination of the nature of the concepts and practices described in the scrolls may best be achieved not by pressing them into the single bed of Essenism (or presumably any other sect), but by separating them out from one another, through internal analysis, into various spiritual currents which appear to have characterized Palestinian Judaism of the intertestamental period.”

Schiffman just doesn’t get it that Golb has never referred to one or more “outside groups”, or an “inside group”. Schiffman’s own frequently stated idea is that the scrolls represent multiple “Judaisms” and that many of them are non sectarian writings. He never acknowledges that this is an obvious paraphrase of Golb’s actual view published in various writings since 1980, as above.  Schiffman wrote: “We see these (scrolls) however, as assembled by the sectarians because of their affinity for or adherence to the teachings of these texts.”  Golb is saying something different, that not all of the scrolls represent one spiritual view. The writers didn’t all “adhere to the teachings of the texts.” This is a world apart from Schiffman’s idea, essentially of multiple sects (his multiple Judaisms). One could compare the situation in the scrolls with the multiple spiritual ideas in the Church of England. There is one Church but many spiritual ideas within it. In other words the Church of England is a “broad Church”. Judaism was once a broad religion. The scrolls know nothing of sects, Pharisees or Sadducees. They did not exist when these scrolls were written, and have been retrospectively interpolated into the writings attributed to Josephus. Which would you rather believe? The scrolls which have been buried for 2000 years or the writings attributed to Josephus.

Schiffman states (p.323 of Qumran and Jerusalem) that "these bad relations were remembered when the historical allusions to the Pharisees in Pesher Nahum were composed.." He knows that Pharisees are not mentioned anywhere in Pesher Nahum, nor in any Scrolls text. He is speculating. Schiffman has used the wrong term allusions. His speculations about Pharisees are his delusions.  Ant.13.5.8 ends with:  "So the Lacedemonians received the ambassadors kindly, and made a decree for friendship and mutual assistance, and sent it to them."  These words are completely unrelated to the text in Ant. 13.5.9 which has : "At this time there were three sects among the Jews, who had different opinions concerning human actions; the one was called the sect of the Pharisees, another the sect of the Sadducees, and the other the sect of the Essens. Now for the Pharisees, they say that some actions, but not all, are the work of fate, and some of them are in our own power, and that they are liable to fate, but are not caused by fate. But the sect of the Essens affirm, that fate governs all things, and that nothing befalls men but what is according to its determination. And for the Sadducees, they take away fate, and say there is no such thing, and that the events of human affairs are not at its disposal; but they suppose that all our actions are in our own power, so that we are ourselves the causes of what is good, and receive what is evil from our own folly. However, I have given a more exact account of these opinions in the second book of the Jewish War."  The account of Ant.13.5.8 is continued in Ant.13.5.10: "But now the generals of Demetrius being willing to recover the defeat they had had, gathered a greater army together than they had before, and came against Jonathan;"  Ant.13.5.9 is the first example in Josephus where Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and sects are mentioned.  It is an obvious later interpolation (an editorial insertion) having nothing to do with the text beforehand or with that following. Schiffman refers to it (without comment) on p.322 of Qumran and Jerusalem.  It is typical of how scholars quote Josephus taking it for granted that it must be true.

So what had Josephus been doing in his early life. In Against Apion 1.10, Josephus wrote; “Now both these methods of knowledge I may very properly pretend to in the composition of BOTH my works;” In both works he had been an active participant. The editors make out that the second work was War which we know Josephus played an active part in (but on the Roman side against the priests under the emperor Nero). The second work was Against Apion (not War) which was really written against Greek philosophies (the Stoics were one) which he had experience of.  When Josephus was in his sixteenth year, he “made trial” of three philosophies “that were among us” (Life 2.), not of three Jewish sects.  That is typical of an intelligent young person who is searching for meaning in life.  Each new philosophy that he adopted was no doubt the best thing that could have happened to him. The “city” (Life 2.) that Josephus was in was Rome where the Greek schools of philosophy were to be found. When Josephus had reached the age of about 14, he had already gained a reputation for his learning, and the principal men of the “city” came to hear him regularly, particularly about Jewish matters. He then tried three Greek philosophies, for example the Stoics, and wrote Against Apion. He then met “Banus” with whom he spent three years, not in the “desert”, but in the “city” to which “Banus” had come from Judea. Thus, Josephus “was informed that one whose name was “Banus”, lived in the “city” (i.e. Rome where Josephus lived), not the editor’s “desert”. Banus was a prophet-like figure, a vegetarian who bathed in cold water frequently day and night. Josephus says “I imitated him in those things”. Then at the age of nineteen, the text says “I returned back to the city.” But Josephus was already in “the city”. After three years with Banus, Josephus “returned” to something different, the Lord. The culmination of three years with Banus was a major conversion experience at the age of 19. Josephus had become a prophet, like “Banus”. He was not a “Pharisee” and never was a Pharisee as the editor would have us believe. Prophets, by their very nature take their orders directly from the Spirit of God which abides upon them. Thus they do not call “any man Lord” or master -be that man a high priest, Moses, Abraham, or a Greek philosopher. He would call the Spirit of God Lord, not any man. Thus he met with the movement founded by “Banus” in Rome.

Life 2 has: “I had a mind to make trial of the several sects that were among us. These sects are three: - The first is that of the Pharisees, the second that Sadducees, and the third that of the Essens, as we have frequently told you; for I thought that by this means I might choose the best, if I were once acquainted with them all”.   The later Flavian editors wrote: "as we have frequently told you", but was there a different story?  Josephus’s Against Apion Book 1 is really against the Greeks and their philosophy.  Against Apion 1.10 continues from 1.8.  Against Apion 1.9 is a later interpolation to prepare the reader for an editorial in 1.10 about War.  Against Apion 1.10 has: “There have been indeed some bad men, who have attempted to calumniate my history, and took it to be a kind of scholastic performance for the exercise of young men. A strange sort of accusation and calumny this! since every one that undertakes to deliver the history of actions truly ought to know them accurately himself in the first place, as either having been concerned in them himself, or been informed of them by such as knew them. Now both these methods of knowledge I may very properly pretend to in the composition of BOTH my works; for, as I said, I have translated the Antiquities out of our sacred books; which I easily could do, since I was a priest by my birth, and have studied that philosophy which is contained in those writings: and for the History of the War I wrote it as having been an actor myself in many of its transactions, an eye-witness in the greatest part of the rest, and was not unacquainted with any thing whatsoever that was either said or done in it. How impudent then must those deserve to be esteemed that undertake to contradict me about the true state of those affairs! who, although they pretend to have made use of both the emperors' own memoirs, yet could not they be acquainted with our affairs who fought against them.” The editorial in Against Apion 1.10 begins with: “and for the History of the War I wrote it as having been an actor myself in many of its transactions.” Josephus was really saying that he knew about the Greeks and their philosophy because he had gone to the Greek Schools. And the “emperor’s own memoirs” would be full of untruths at the time of the Flavian editors. "both my works" were Antiquities and Against Apion, not Antiquites and then War (which is the wrong order according to the extant Josephus).  The original Antiquities and Against Apion were written before Josephus was aged 16.  In Against Apion above, Josephus’s critics accuse him of writing a history as a scholastic exercise. Most of extant Antiquities reflects such an accusation. Against Apion was probably his final year project at the end of his classical education in Rome.