Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture
Flavius Josephus, the Zealots, and Jewish Theocracy
Paul Spilsbury, Regent College
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary
It is perhaps a little known fact that the first extant use of the term “theocracy” occurs in the writings of the first century Jewish writer Flavius Josephus. In this lecture, Dr Spilsbury will explore how this came about, and what Josephus meant by the term. He will also explore how the concept of “theocracy” relates to the radical group known as “the Zealots.” While it is common to assume some kind of equivalence between zealotry and a belief in theocracy, Josephus tried to distinguish between the two. Exploring these matters will take us to the heart the fateful Jewish war of 66–70 CE, and will provide context for understanding the early decades of the Christian era.
Paul Spilsbury holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is currently the Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver. He is a member of the Society for New Testament Studies, and serves on the Steering Committee of the Josephus Seminar of the Society of Biblical Literature. His teaching and research interests include Christian origins, ancient apocalyptic literature, and the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. Dr Spilsbury has published numerous book chapters, articles, and reviews, along with four books. The most recent of these, which is appearing this fall, is his second contribution to the multi-volume series Flavius Josephus, Translation and Commentary (Brill, 2000–2017).