1. Paul’s fourth shipwreck (the one in Acts) takes place in 59 AD (though some say 60).

    Josephus was born in 37 AD, the same year as Nero, so his twenty-sixth year would be something like AD 63-64. By that time, Paul had been in Rome, and been released, and been recaptured, and been returned to Rome again. And then of course the fire of 64 took place in June or July. In other words, the shipwreck Josephus describes would have been happening at just before or just about the same time as Rome was burning. In other words, no, these particular priests whom Felix dealt with (in J’s autobiography) could not have been Paul and his company.

    The major lesson here may be simply that, tragically, shipwrecks were common.

  2. Paul D.

    “Of course, I understand that some may assume Luke is borrowing from Josephus, but what if they aren’t?”

    This is a pretty solid assumption. Luke makes strange errors that are completely understandable if he was borrowing from Josephus without a solid understanding of the historical material, and difficult to explain otherwise. (source: Steve Mason, Josephus and the New Testament)

  3. Gary

    I am interested in the phrase, “These I was desirous to procure deliverance for; and that especially because…they were not unmindful of piety towards God…but supported themselves with figs and nuts”. So it appears that Josephus connected his help, with priests piety, with them eating figs and nuts. Rather strange comment. Unless perhaps the priests were Essenes? Or just on a diet, or poor. But why does that make them especially pious. Was Paul into figs and nuts, instead of meat, or into fasting? Maybe Josephus had a fig and nut farm, and he wanted to market them in Rome :-) Think outside the box! Yes, I know, I am a jerk.

      1. Gary

        I’m glad (not glaad) that Josephus didn’t say “date”. Might have interpreted it as him being gay. Let’s face it, he was sympathetic to the Essenes….a bunch of guys living alone out in the desert, without women. If they had beer and a wide-screen TV, I could believe it. And maybe a BBQ.


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