Flavius Josephus was a Jewish historian and military general who was born about 37 AD into an aristocratic family of priests. Bright and well-educated, he became a Pharisee.
In 64, he was asked to travel to Rome to plead for the release of Jewish priests imprisoned by the Emperor Nero. He became a favorite of Nero's wife and secured the men's release, but he was also attracted to Rome's rich court life.
Josephus eventually returned to Jerusalem. He was hesitant to support the Jewish revolt in 66 AD until the Jewish insurgents appeared to be winning. Then he stepped forward and was named commander-in-chief in Galilee.
The Romans defeated the Jewish revolt, and Josephus was taken prisoner. When he was brought before the Roman General Vespasian. Josephus predicted that Vespasian would become emperor of Rome. When Vespasian did become emperor, he freed Josephus in 69 AD and adopted him. After Jerusalem's destruction the following year, Josephus returned to Rome and became a Roman citizen.
Today Josephus is best known as an historian and writer, whose books include History of the Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews (Jewish history from creation to the revolt of 66 AD, including the appearance of a man named Jesus).
Early Christians and Church fathers often referred to the writing of Josephus, who died around 101 AD.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw