The "others" Coming to John the Baptist and the Text of Josephus

Marco Rotman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Josephus's passage on John the Baptist (Ant. 18.116-119) contains a much-discussed crux interpretum: who are the "others" that are inspired by John's words and ready to do everything he said (§118), and who are distinguished from those who gave heed to his message and were baptized (§117)? After a brief discussion of the textual witnesses, text, and translation of the passage in question, various interpretations of "the others" are discussed, none of which is entirely satisfactory. In this article a case will be made for accepting the conjecture originally proposed by Benedikt Niese, who assumed that Josephus originally wrote νθρπων "people" instead of λλων "others."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-83
Number of pages16
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Issue number1
Early online dateFeb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Conjectural criticism
  • Flavius Josephus
  • John the Baptist
  • Josephus manuscripts
  • Textual criticism


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