Discussion questions: Natalia Pochtaruk, Johan De-Silva, Sarah Cook.
Who has political authority over the Jews at this time?
How does Josephus describe the destruction of the Temple?
Josephus describes the destruction of the Temple as the Romans responding to
the Jewish rebellion, highly criticizing the “over-zealous fanatics”.
Briefly summarize how the four Jewish groups are described in this text
Believe in an immortal soul: rewards and punishments after death
Despise delicacies in diet
Identified as scribes: experts in Torah
Retain contact with the Temple
Claim to have an oral Torah—handed down from Moses, passed on through the
generations of scribes. Legitimizes their status.
Purity: introduce prayers and hand washing before eating
Lived in small elite communities, separated themselves off (not as extreme as
Qumran). Stayed in touch with the Temple, and influenced Temple rule to a large
Souls die with t