R. Gnuse, «The Temple Theophanies of Jaddus, Hyrcanus, and Zechariah», Vol. 79 (1998) 457-472
A close reading of three accounts concerning theophanies experienced in the Temple (Ant 11,326-328, Ant 13,282-283, and Luke 1,5-23) implies that all three narratives share a common narrative format. Though it does not necessarily indicate that Luke used Josephus writings, this similarity suggests that both authors may have drawn upon a common format. Use of this format and specific variations added to it by Luke reflect significant theological themes imparted to the narrative by Luke, especially in regard to the identities of John the Baptist and Jesus.
regard a public historical event, such as the death of Agrippa, but he does not observe how unrelated narratives might have been portrayed by both authors in a strikingly similar fashion because both used a common narrative form to render those accounts. This short study seeks to direct attention to that phenomenon. Perhaps there are a number of unrelated stories which nevertheless share form-critical similarities. If so, there is opportunity for analysis which would enhance our understanding of the common literary artistry shared by both authors in their theological and ideological crafting of historical narratives.
If, indeed, there are shared historiographical presuppositions and literary forms and expressions as Gregory Sterling suggested, then it would be valuable to extend an analysis to the consideration of selective similar narrative accounts. A comparison which discerns similarities and differences might reveal further religious and ideological agenda which shape the writings of both authors. A form-critical and ideological comparison of numerous stories would be beyond the capacity of one essay, but a single narrative analysis could be a useful point of entry into a wider narrative comparison of Josephus and Luke-Acts. A fairly distinctive narrative format found in the histories of both authors is the aforementioned account about a theophany of God to a priest in the temple regarding future actions to be taken in reference to a crisis.
The Josephan narrative in Ant 11,326-328 reads as follows:
(326) When the high priest Jaddus heard this, he was in an agony of fear, not knowing how he could meet the Macedonians, whose king was angered by his former disobedience. He therefore ordered the people to make supplication, and, offering sacrifice to God together with them, besought Him to shield the nation and deliver them from the dangers that were hanging over them. (327) But, when he had gone to sleep after the sacrifice, God spoke oracularly to him in his sleep, telling him to take courage and adorn the city with wreaths and open the gates and go out to meet them, and that the people should be in white garments, and he himself with the priests in the robes prescribed
by law, and that they should not look to suffer any harm, for God was watching over them. (328) Thereupon he rose from his sleep, greatly rejoicing to himself, and announced to all the revelation that had been made to him, and, after doing all the things that he had been told to do, awaited the coming of the king.
The narrative in Ant 13,282-283 reads as follows:
(282) Now about the high priest Hyrcanus an extraordinary story is told how the Deity communicated with him, for they say that on