Josephus On: Creation
I am slowly walking through the writings of Josephus and learning what I can about the thoughts and lives of people around the first century. I am learning some interesting things.
For instance, in his preface to Antiquities Josephus reminds his readers that Moses wrote the first history of the Jews, that is Genesis through Deuteronomy, after the Jews came from Egypt. What I think is interesting though in Book One Paragraph Two he says that Moses told these things to the people and wrote them Philosophically or rather, abstractly.
The part of the narrative that he says Moses spoke of abstractly was the creation of man and woman. That is to say, that he did not mean to write it literally.
I find it an interesting contrast that a man who received at least some priestly training, living in the rabbinical times of the Herodian Temple who was with and around at the Pharisaic times of Christ would say that the creation story is abstract and not absolutely literal, but many Christians today who are far removed from that time and culture, and see the Old Testament as secondary literature to the important writings in the New Testament would call that blasphemy or “liberal thinking.”
This was popular thinking and teaching of the day. These kinds of things are reflected in other writings of the same time. Why is it so hard for some people today to think that these things could, in fact, be allegorical?