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 temple. The Jaddus narrative gives the appearance of being a deliberate dream incubation, a rare occurrence in biblical or Jewish literature. Josephus, however, handles the theophany with caution so as not to let it appear as though God has been manipulated to give a revelatory message. His respectful mode of treatment parallels the way in which biblical authors also treated the traditions they inherited concerning dream theophanies 5. If, indeed, Josephus is using such a dream incubation format, it lends credence to the notion that Jaddus seeks divine revelation.
Hyrcanus the High Priest and his family are leading the Jews in a war against the Seleucid Greeks of Syria (Ant 13,282). This, however, is not actually the direct reason for entry into the temple. Though no reason is given for his presence in the temple, certainly the war-time situation constitutes an on-going problem for the Jews in general.
For Zechariah the prior problem is personal: he and his wife had no children and they were too old to have any in the future. Barrenness is a common theme in the Hebrew Bible as a problem faced by righteous people (Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rachel, Manoah and his wife, Elkanah and Hannah, etc.), and addressed by God in dramatic fashion with the gift of a heroic son. Also, the author of Luke-Acts might wish us to perceive that a further problem was the general spiritual and political crisis among the Jews in this age which would require the arrival of the messiah. The story then tells of the emissary of that messiah.
Preparation outside the temple
The narratives concerning Jaddus and Zechariah relate that people outside the temple engage in prayer. In Ant 11,326 they