Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review of Mason, A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74

CAMWS (CJ-ONLINE): A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74. by Steven Mason. New York: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2016. Pp. xii + 690. Hardcover, $150.00. ISBN 978-0-521-85329-3. Reviewed by Yaron Eliav, University of Michigan ( Excerpt:
Such deficiencies in argument, when taken together with other blunders that dilute the book-its unnecessary length and murky structure, its numerous typos,[1] the author's flimsy, usually second-hand knowledge of Hebrew and/or Aramaic,[2] the spoken vernacular of one of the major groups of people he is studying, and his limited acquaintance with other literatures of the time that provide insight into the events he is studying, such as the Qumran and rabbinic corpuses[3]-all undermine the validity of this work. Those well-trained in the history of the revolt will find value in the questions Mason raises and in his provocative suggestions, even if only to reject them. Others, seeking a good and thorough presentation of this key moment in ancient history, will have to await for future, or revert to earlier, more solid discussions by others.
An earlier, and more positive, review of the book was noted here.

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