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The Hebrew Bible of Josephus (Nodet, 2018)

by areopage on octobre 13th, 2018

Étienne Nodet vient de publier une étude d’ensemble du texte biblique utilisé par Flavius Josèphe – The Hebrew Bible of Josephus – Main Features (Peeters, Cahier de la Revue Biblique 92, 2018) -, et comme ses précédents travaux le laissaient déjà clairement apercevoir, l’historiographe judéen utilisait un texte hébreu, provenant de Jérusalem. Il faut donc croire Josèphe lorsqu’il déclare avoir traduit les livres saints (ἐκ τῶν ἱερῶν γραμμάτων μεθερμήνευκα, Contre Apion 1.54), même si en fait de traduction il est plus souvent question de paraphrase assez lâche.

In his major work, the Jewish Antiquities, Josephus gives a history of his people in Greek. He begins with the Bible, and after it he collects other source till his own time. The work was published in 93, under emperor Domitian, but unfortunately the Biblical part is a paraphrase, not an accurate translation, and it has often been thought that it was merely a loose adaptation of a previous Greek translation. However, this study offers a minute comparison with other ancient Biblical texts known to us in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. The general conclusion is that he used only a Hebrew source, which has some affinities with several Qumran fragments. Beyond many little details, one can see that for some books, especially Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, the copies he used were quite different from the canonical forms.

Pour en savoir plus : Le Pentateuque de Flavius JosèpheConclusion de l’ouvrage sur la page Academia de Nodet | Table des matières sur le site de l’éditeur | La Bible de Flavius Josèphe | Josephus and the Pentateuch | Josephus and the books of Samuel | The Text of 1-2 Kings used by Josephus | Introductions pour les Antiquités Juives : livres 1 à 34 à 56 à 78 à 910 à 11 |  Hadas-Lebel, Flavius Josèphe – le Juif de Rome (1989) |

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