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.
the very day on which his sons fought with Cyzicenus, Hyrcanus, who was alone in the temple, burning incense as high priest, heard a voice saying that his sons had just defeated Antiochus. (283) And on coming out of the temple he revealed this to the entire multitude, and so it actually happened. This, then, was how the affairs of Hyrcanus were going.
(By virtue of its accessibility the biblical text need not be reproduced here.)
The common narrative plot line which unifies the accounts has the following component parts worthy of individual form-critical comparison: a prior problem is mentioned or inferred; preparation occurs outside the temple, which involves prayer (except for Hyrcanus); the priest enters the temple at the propitious moment; a theophany occurs inside the temple; a message is given which concerns the coming of a great man (applies to Hyrcanus only in a limited way); the theophany comes to an end; public announcement of the message is made, or the crowd becomes aware that a theophany has occurred and, finally, actions are undertaken for the arrival of the great personage (except for Hyrcanus).
The narratives involving Jaddus and Zechariah most closely conform to this outline, but all three fit the pattern in a general sense. Distinctive differences between the narratives may reflect ideological agenda. Most notably the Lukan account seems to provide some subtle twists on what might have been the basic narrative plot also used by Josephus for his version of Jaddus and Hyrcanus experiences.
Following the parameters of the outline delineated above, we can make the following commentary.
A prior problem
Jaddus and the people of Jerusalem face a potential crisis with the imminent arrival of Alexander the Great and his army, who are moving down the Syro-Palestinian coast in 331 BCE. Because of past political dealings Jaddus perceives that he is a potential enemy of Alexander, and this could bring military violence to the city of Jerusalem. Hence, Jaddus goes to the temple to offer sacrifice and perhaps to obtain divine direction for this crisis (Ant 11,326). If he is not seeking divine direction in the form of a revelation, he at least is seeking divine assistance or presence. This would be quite comparable to the assistance sought by Onias in the temple in 2 Macc 3,29-34 after the entrance and punishment of Heliodorus in