Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Josephus' Adiabene story and Acts 15
Anyone wanting to get a grip on the diverse beliefs within Judaism about conversion and adherence to Judaism by Gentiles (did Gentiles have to be circumcized in order to becom Jews?) have to read Josephus' account in Antiquities 20 on the conversion of the house of Adiabene. This provides an excellent background to the kind of disputes you find in Acts 15 and Galatians. A good discussion of the debate and comparison of Luke and Josephus can be found in Google Books at. Is Paul versus the Proselytizers in Galatia another version of Ananias vs. Eleazar in Adiabene?
Daniel R. Schwartz, ‘God, Gentiles, Jewish Law: On Acts 15 and Josephus’ Adiabene Narrative.’ In Jewish Identity in the Greco-Roman World. Edited by J. Frey, D. R. Schwartz, and S. Gripentrog. AJEC 71, Leiden: Brill, 2007., pages 263-281.