Daily Archives: 03/10/2012

First century models for divine action

I was prompted, by writing about the Pharisees in my last post, to look again at the historical source for their views. Surprisingly, our only contemporary source for information on the Pharisees, ouside the New Testament, is the historian Josephus. The same is true of the Sadducees. There are mentions in the Talmud, but these are much later. The third main “philosophy” or sect in first century Judea was the Essenes, which the NT doesn’t mention at all but Josephus, Philo and (briefly) Pliny does. Imagine that all we knew about the Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties (or the Republicans and Democrats) came from a total of about a page … Continue reading

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