Corrections and Emendations to Flusser’s Judaism of the Second Temple Period

& Blog 7 Comments

This blog collects all the mistakes we have noticed in the two-volume translation by Azzan Yadin of Flusser's collection of essays, entitled Judaism of the Second Temple Period. We invite readers to submit any additional corrections they may have noticed.

Revised: 28 February 2022

The English translation by Azzan Yadin of David Flusser’s two-volume collection of essays, entitled Judaism of the Second Temple Period, and jointly published by Magnes, Eerdmans, and Jerusalem Perspective, presents to the English-speaking world important essays that had formerly been accessible only to speakers of Modern Hebrew.

Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that Azzan Yadin’s translations are riddled with mistakes ranging from typographical errors to mistranslations to the omission of entire sentences and paragraphs of Flusser’s original essays. In one case (“Apocalyptic Elements in the War Scroll”) a little more than a full page of Flusser’s article is missing from the English translation. These gross errors are deeply detrimental to the clarity and accuracy of Flusser’s essays and reflect poorly on his scholarship. Below we have compiled those mistakes which have attracted our noticed.[1] We welcome readers to submit any further corrections they may have noticed by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post.

Flusser_Judaism & the 2nd Temple_HC_3 imprint.qxd

Corrections to Volume One: Qumran and Apocalypticism

    1. “Foreword” (1:vii).[2]

      A typographical error in the second paragraph should be corrected as follows (correction marked in bold lettering):

      Flusser’s contributions to Dead Sea Scrolls research, Apocalypticism, and Apocalyptic Literature is inestimable.

    2. “Foreword” (1:vii).

      An error in the third paragraph should be corrected as follows (correction marked in bold lettering):

      Though Flusser wrote less often in the English language, he did succeed in producing two three scholarly volumes in English: with the help of his student R. Steven Notley, he wrote Jesus ( The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius (4th ed., ; Eerdmans, 2007); and with the help of his student Brad H. Young, he collected most many of his English articles into Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1988, 725 pp.); and together with Huub van de Sandt, Flusser co-authored The Didache: Its Jewish Sources and its Place in Early Judaism and Christianity (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum III.5; Assen: Royal Van Gorcum; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002). For popular audiences Flusser’s radio lectures were translated into English and published as The Spiritual History of the Dead Sea Sect (trans. Carol Glucker; Tel Aviv: MOD Books, 1989) and Jewish Sources in Early Christianity (trans. John Glucker; Tel Aviv: MOD Books, 1989).

    3. “Foreword” (1:ix).[3]

      The final sentence of the Foreword should be corrected as follows (correction marked in bold lettering):

      Finally, I would like to sincerely thank the members of the Branch family, the donors who made this volume possible (see p. x).

    4. “The ‘Book of the Mysteries’ and the High Holy Days Liturgy” (1:131).

      Footnote 43 refers readers to David Flusser’s Hebrew article “The Reflection of Jewish Messianic Beliefs in Early Christianity” in Messianism and Eschatology (ed. Z. Baras; Jerusalem, 1983 [Hebrew]). It ought to have been mentioned that this article appears in English translation in the second volume of Judaism of the Second Temple Period as “Jewish Messianism Reflected in the Early Church,” 258-288. The discussion pertaining to the “birth pangs of the Messiah” is found on p. 286-287.

    5. “The ‘Book of the Mysteries’ and the High Holy Days Liturgy” (1:132).

      Footnote 44 would have been easier to understand had the words marked in bold letters been present:

      The Hebrew אֶפְעֶה (’ef‘eh, “viper”) appears in Job 20:16 and in Isaiah 30:6 and 59:5, the latter of which describes the birth of injustice: “They hatch an adder’s [צִפְעוֹנִי] eggs…and the crushed egg hatches out a viper [אֶפְעֶה].” Thus the author of the Hodayot had before him a literary connection between a ‘viper’ and an evil that will erupt in the end of days and will come into existence through something akin to a birth process. In 1QHa the Hodayot we read, “For pains will burst forth the viper and emptiness in the rise of their waves” (1QHa 10.27-28); while the hymn concerning the birth pangs of the Messiah states: “she who is pregnant with a viper [אֶפְעֶה] is with a wracking pang” (1QHa 11.12) and “the Gates of Sheol open for all the deeds of the viper [אֶפְעֶה] and the doors of the pit close upon her who is pregnant with perversity and eternal bolts upon all the spirits of the viper [אֶפְעֶה]” (1QHa 11.17-18). John the Baptist—who was close to the Essene circles—may have called sinners “a brood of vipers [יְלִידֵי אֶפְעֶה](or, perhaps, even: “generations of vipers [תוֹלְדוֹת אֶפְעֶה]”), (Matt. 3:7; Lk. 3:7), but he may also have called them ‘adders [צִפְעוֹנִים],’ also following Isaiah 59:5, also cited in CD 5:14.

    6. “Apocalyptic Elements in the War Scroll” (1:140).

      The final sentence of the first paragraph should read as follows (corrections marked in bold):

      Thus the Kittim of the War Scroll also could refer to the Romans, but could neither can we rule out the possibility that in this scroll the Kittim and their king might be a reference to the Greeks as well.

    7. “Apocalyptic Elements in the War Scroll” (1:140 n. 1).

      The following should be added to the footnote (additions marked in bold):

      Y. Yadin, The Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light, trans. Batya and Chaim Rabin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962). Photographs of the War Scroll together with a transcription can be found in E. L. Sukenik, ed., Otsar ha-Megilot ha-Genuzot (Jerusalem, 1954), no. 16. I have also consulted the translation by A. Dupont-Somer in his Les écritis esséniens (Paris, 1964), 184-187.

    8. “Apocalyptic Elements in the War Scroll” (1:142). It would have been of great aid to readers if the Hebrew text of the War Scroll had been printed along with the translation as follows:
      1. [The Rule of] the War. The first attack by the sons of light will be launched against the sons of darkness, against the army of Belial, against the band of Edom and of Moab and of the sons of Ammon ו[זה ספר סרך] המלחמה ראשית משלוח יד בני אור להחל בגורל בני חושך בחיל בליעל בגדוד אדום ומואב ובני עמון
      2. and…Philistia, and against the bands of the Kittim of Assyria, who are being helped by the violators of the covenant. The sons of Levi, the sons of Judah and the sons of Benjamin, the exiled of the desert, will wage war against them. וחי[ל ויושבי] פלשת ובגדודי כתיי אשור ועמהם בעזר מרשיעי ברית. בני לוי ובני יהודה ובני בנימין גולת המדבר ולחמו בם
      3. […] against all their bands, when the exiled sons of light return from the desert of the nations to camp in the desert of Jerusalem. And after the war, they shall go up from there ב[ — ] לכול גדודיהם בשוב גולת בני אור ממדבר העמים לחנות במדבר ירושלים ואחר המלחמה יעלו משם
      4. [against the troops] of the Kittim in Egypt. And in his time, he will go out with great rage to wage war against the kings of the North, and in his anger wants to exterminate and cut off the horn of ע[ל כול גדודי] הכתיים במצרים. ובקצו יצא בחמה גדולה להלחם במלכי הצפון ואפו להשמיד ולהכרית את קרן
      5. [Belial]. And this is a time of salvation for the nation of God and a period of rule for all the men of his lot, and of everlasting destruction for all the lot of Belial. There will be בליעל והי]אה עת ישועה לעם אל וקץ ממשל לכול אנשי גורלו וכלת עולמים לכול גורל בליעל. והיתה מבומה
      6. Great panic among the sons of Japhet, Assyria shall fall and there will be no help for him; the rule of the Kittim will come to an end, wickedness having been defeated, with no remnant remaining, and there will be no escape ג[דולה ב]בני יפת ונפל אשור ואין עוזר לו וסרה ממשלת כתיים להכני[ע] רשעה לאין שארית ופלטה לוא תהיה
      7. for any of the sons of darkness. ל[כול בנ]י חושך
    9. “Apocalyptic Elements in the War Scroll” (1:142).

      Following the quotation from the War Scroll an entire page of the Hebrew text of Flusser’s essay was omitted. The text should be restored as follows (additions marked in bold):

      12. …suffering for all the nation redeemed by God. Of all their sufferings none will suffer like this, hastening till eternal redemption is fulfilled.

      Allow me here to make a few preliminary remarks regarding the reconstructions of the beginnings of lines 4 and 5, since this difficult issue depends on them. In the photograph and the transcription of the scroll[Footnote] line 4, after a lacuna, begins with the word הכתיים (“[of] the Kittim”). Likewise, line 5 opens, following a lacuna, with the letters אה-. Yadin’s reconstruction הי]אה] appears to be certain. The word preceding it, בליעל (“Belial”), is Yadin’s conjecture. Yadin explained that the gap is exactly the right size for this reconstruction, which he made solely on the basis of the presumed subject matter. The same applies with respect to his earlier reconstruction in line 4. Yadin himself admitted, “The remains of a letter appears before the lacuna, which may be read as ע, but this is not the only possibility.” With regard to the reconstruction כל גדודי (“all the troops [of]”) in the lacuna of line 4, Yadin stated, “the size of the lacuna dictates that this is how we must reconstruct its content.”

      Yadin’s reconstruction of the opening line of line 4 was made, as we mentioned, on the basis of his theory that the words “the Kittim in Egypt,” mean that the Kittim (i.e., Romans) were at that time occupying Egypt. But this theory, which is not implied by the fragmentary text, is the cause of his problematic reconstructions of lines 4 and 5. Yadin’s initial reconstruction immediately creates difficulties for the interpretation of what follows, as Yadin was aware. He supposed that the War Scroll explains what happens after the war against the Kittim of Assyria: Israel will go up from the desert of Jerusalem against all the troops of the Kittim in Egypt. Following their victory the Jews will go out to make war on the kings of the north. But the sentence in the scroll that describes, as he thought, the third stage of the war, speaks in the singular voice: “In His appointed time He shall go forth with great wrath to fight against the kings of the north, and His anger shall be such as to destroy utterly and to cut off the horn of […].”

      Yadin wrote that the entire sentence is influenced in its style (but not in its content) by Dan. 11:40-44. But if the War Scroll speaks of the Children of Israel and not, as in Daniel, of the wicked king, why does the verb have the singular form יצא (“he will go out”) and not the plural form יצאו (“they will go out”)? Yadin tried to explain this severe difficulty: “If we do not suppose that “he will go out” was a scribal error (due to the influence of Dan. 11:44) instead of “they will go out” in agreement with “they will make war” (L2) and “they will go up” (line 3), then the subject of the sentence must be the LORD himself, as the continuation of the sentence indicates by the word אפו (“his anger”). It is true that this word, אפו (“his anger”), is not found in Dan. 11:44 with regard to the wicked king, but what follows in the scroll is paralleled in Daniel. In the War Scroll it says, “And his anger shall be such as to destroy utterly and to cut off the horn of […],” while in Daniel it states that the wicked king will go out, “with great wrath to utterly destroy many” (Dan. 11:44).

      Nevertheless, Yadin interpreted the sentence that opens with the words “And in his time he will go out,” as though it spoke about the next stage of the war of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, and therefore he reconstructed it as, “and His [i.e., the LORD’s] anger shall be such as to destroy utterly and to cut off the horn of [Belial].” But this reconstruction raises an additional difficulty concerning how the unfolding of the entire war is to be understood. Yadin (p. 257) supposed on the basis of his theory and his reconstruction of lines 4-5 that the war against the Kittim in Egypt is a transitional stage (stage two) between the war of the entire congregation against the Kittim and the following war—the war of the divisions—with the kings of the north. These kings, therefore, come in the “strategic directive” in the place of all the Gentiles of the world. According to the War Scroll Israel will defeat all the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japhet in the world-wide eschatological war. It is true that this war begins against the descendants of Shem in the north (II, 10ff.), but if Yadin’s interpretation is correct, why does the “strategic directive” mention only the “kings of the north” and not go on to mention that the war will be waged against all the peoples in every direction?

      Therefore, it appears to me that the War Scroll speaks only of two stages: the first is one in which the Kittim who are in the land of Israel are defeated and in which the entire congregation will participate, and the second stage is the conquest of the world in the war of the divisions—but we will return to this question as our discussion continues. [Footnote: Otsar ha-Megilot ha-Genuzot (above n. 1), no. 16.]

      We have already alluded to the connection between the opening column of the War Scroll and the Book of Daniel. The latter was highly esteemed….

    10. “Apocalyptic Elements in the War Scroll” (1:154).

      The final sentence of the first paragraph should be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold):

      That said, our discussion of the timeline of the Kittim war and of the ingathering of the tribes of Israel, remains a conjecture, albeit one that suits the schematic and almost mechanistic schematics utopia of the Dead Sea community.

    11. “Apocalyptic Elements in the War Scroll” (1:155).

      The second line of Flusser’s reconstruction in the middle of the page should be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold):

      …sons of darkness, against the army of Belial, against the bands of Edom and….

    12. “Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes in Pesher Nahum” (1:218).

      The Hebrew text in Column 4 Line 1 is printed incorrectly. The text should read as follows (corrections marked in bold):

      1. Its interpretation: they are the wick[ed ones of Judah], the house of division (פלג בית פלג), which consorted with Manasseh. “Yet she became an exile, she went into captivity;

    13. “Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes in Pesher Nahum” (1:227 n. 29).

      The Hebrew text in the fourth line of footnote 29 is printed incorrectly. The text should read as follows (corrections marked in bold):

      יהודה למיומא באתפליגו בית ישראל על בית יהודה

    14. “Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes in Pesher Nahum” (1:248).[4]

      The translator erroneously attributed the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews to the apostle Paul, contrary to Flusser’s view (see “Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes in Pesher Nahum,” 250). The second sentence of the second paragraph on p. 248 should be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold):

      Here Paul the author addresses his Christian readers….

    15. “The Apocryphal Psalms of David” (1:258-282).

      It is unfortunate that the English title refers to “Psalms” of David, since the Hebrew title of the essay, שירי דוד החיצונים (“The Apocryphal Songs of David”), refers to a work designated as the “Songs of David” by G. W. Lorien and E. van Staalduine-Sulman, “A Song of David for Each Day: The Provenance of the Songs of David,” Revue de Qumran 22 (2005): 33-59. Moreover, in this article Lorien and van Staalduine-Sulman refer to Flusser and Safrai’s article by the title “Songs of David.” Confusion could have been avoided had the title of the essay been translated as “The Apocryphal Songs of David.”

    16. “The Apocryphal Psalms of David” (1:273).[5]

      The translator again erroneously attributed the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews to the apostle Paul, contrary to Flusser’s vew (see “Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes in Pesher Nahum,” 250). The pertinent sentences located on the bottom third of p. 273 should be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold):

      To be sure, this interpretation is preserved in a late midrashic collection, but its origins are ancient as it is based on one of the core assumptions of Paul’s the e Epistle to the Hebrews. Paul states there There it is stated that Christ is greater than the angels (1:4), and his glory is greater than that of Moses (3:2-6); Christ is compared to Melchizedek since the latter is greater than Abraham (7:4-10).

    17. “The Apocryphal Psalms of David” (1:280).

      Two mistaken omissions, one of a key word, the other of a few sentences, seriously affect the meaning of the paragraph which reads (omissions supplied in bold typeface):

      The early Christians opposed this view, arguing that Psalm 16 could not be referring to David since he had died and remained in his grave to this very day. David, moreover, was a prophet and thus it was the resurrection of Jesus that he foretold, as Jesus had not been given up to Sheol, nor his flesh allowed to decompose for he ascended to heaven. David could not have prophesied about himself, for of course David did not ascend to heaven, and yet David said, “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet,’” (Ps. 110:1). This verse is related to Ps. 16:8 which says, “from my right hand I will not be shaken.” The LXX translates this as, “because he is at my right hand,” but of course there is no difference for our interpretation whether the LORD is at his right hand or whether it says, “Sit at my right hand.” Clearly then the words of Psalm 16 were applied to both Jesus and David. We may suppose the same is true for Psalm 110. Similarly we find that Acts (13:33-35) applies Psalm 2:7—“You are my son; today I have begotten you”—to the risen Christ. These same words are used by the sages to refer to the Jewish messiah, and the psalm could quite naturally be interpreted as referring to David, since he was viewed as the author of Psalms and, at least in some circles, as the messiah himself.

    18. “The ‘Flesh-Spirit’ Dualism in the Qumran Scrolls and the New Testament” (1:285).

      A typographical error in the second line results in the phrase “relatively light.” The correct reading is “relatively late.”

    19. “The ‘Flesh-Spirit’ Dualism in the Qumran Scrolls and the New Testament” (1:292).

      A typographical error in the first line should be corrected to “Satan claims ownership on the grounds that he is the ruler of the material world….”

jstpv2Corrections to Volume Two: The Sages and Their Literature

  1. “Foreword” (2:vii).

    An error in the third paragraph should be corrected as follows (correction marked in bold lettering):

    Though Flusser wrote less often in the English language, he did succeed in producing two three scholarly volumes in English: with the help of his student R. Steven Notley, he wrote Jesus: The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus’ Genius (4th ed.; Eerdmans, 2007); and with the help of his student Brad H. Young, he collected most many of his English articles into Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1988, 725 pp.); and together with Huub van de Sandt, Flusser co-authored The Didache: Its Jewish Sources and its Place in Early Judaism and Christianity (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum III.5; Assen: Royal Van Gorcum; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002). For popular audiences Flusser’s radio lectures were translated into English and published as The Spiritual History of the Dead Sea Sect (trans. Carol Glucker; Tel Aviv: MOD Books, 1989) and Jewish Sources in Early Christianity (trans. John Glucker; Tel Aviv: MOD Books, 1989).

  2. “Judaism in the Second Temple Period” (2:6-43).

    An English version of this article had already appeared as “The Jewish Religion in the Second Temple Period,” in The World History of the Jewish People; First Series: Ancient Times; Volume Eight: Society and Religion in the Second Temple Period (ed. Michael Avi-Yonah and Zvi Baras; Jerusalem: Masada Publishing; London: W.H. Allen, 1977), 3-40, 322-324. This previous English version, which was approved by Flusser, is not acknowledged in the present volume.

  3. “Jerusalem in Second Temple Literature” (2:59 n. 31).

    A sentence should be added at the end of the footnote that reads:

    This article now appears in English as, David Flusser, “Sanctus and Gloria,” at https://wholestones.org/sanctus-and-gloria/.

  4. “Jerusalem in Second Temple Literature” (2:65).

    A sentence in the final paragraph should be amended as follows (corrections marked in bold):

    Even after the Romans conquered the Antonia, the fortress, which Herod had built to the north of Jerusalem the Temple, and the daily sacrifices were halted, Yohanan of Gush Halav (John of Gischala) cried out to Josephus not to fear conquest since Jerusalem is God’s city (BJ 6.98).

  5. “Jerusalem in Second Temple Literature” (2:71).

    The sentence should read as follows (corrections marked in bold):

    …razing of the temple, which so clearly contravened contradicted it.

  6. “Jerusalem in Second Temple Literature” (2:71 n. 54).

    A sentence should be added at the end of the footnote that reads:

    See now, David Flusser, “Hystaspes and John of Patmos,” in his Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1988), 390-453.

  7. “Jerusalem in Second Temple Literature” (2:72-73).

    The paragraph beginning on p. 72 should be corrected as follows:

    Elsewhere, I have shown that the Lukan version of the prophecy is reworked in Mark, and Matthew tends to follow this revised version. This is significant because it indicates that Luke’s is the more primitive version and thus a more reliable witness to Jesus’ original prophecy of destruction, which, in turn, increases the probability that Luke has preserved a prophecy of destruction delivered by Jesus himself, who was not the only person of his day to foresee the destruction of the Temple. Here, then, is another argument for a pre-70 dating of the prophecy. Moreover, the prophecy accords with what we know of Jesus’ political worldview. Even a cursory examination of his teachings reveals that, to the extent that he was an apocalyptic prophet, he opposed the zealous visionaries who fanned the flames of anti-Roman rebellion. We saw that the rebels hoped that Jerusalem—or at least the temple—would not fall, whereas Jesus urged his disciples to flee: “So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; someone on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; someone in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days!” (Matt 24:15-19), When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it; for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfillment of all that is written. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days!” (Luke 21:20-23). adding And here Matthew adds “Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath!” (Matt 24:20). This defeatist advice was undoubtedly unpopular among the zealot rebels. And indeed, the Christian community left Jerusalem before the war, following a prophetic revelation.

  8. “Jerusalem in Second Temple Literature” (2:72 n. 59).

    The article referred to in the footnote, Flusser, “A New Testament Prophecy Concerning the Liberation of Jerusalem,” Eretz Israel 10 (1971), 226-236, has since appeared in English translation on JerusalemPerspective.com as, David Flusser, “The Times of the Gentiles and the Redemption of Jerusalem” at https://www.jerusalemperspective.com/11517/.

  9. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:76-106).

    The English title given to this article is unfortunate because the term “martyr” implies a positive value judgment, whereas Flusser discusses how the slain Masada rebels were viewed negatively by many of their first-century contemporaries. The term Flusser used in the Hebrew title is הרוגי מצדה (“slain of Masada”), so perhaps a better English title would have been “How the Slain of Masada Viewed Themselves and Were Viewed by Their Contemporaries”

  10. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:76).

    The opening sentences should to be emended as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    Was the memory of the Masada martyrs effaced from the rabbinic sources? Shmuel Safrai, to whom this essay is dedicated, believes he has found mention of them in a midrash on Deuteronomy 32:23: “‘I will heap disasters upon them’—the Holy One Blessed Be He said: I will bring them into a fortress [מצודה (metzōdāh), a possible wordplay on Masada] and bring them [i.e., the disasters] upon them one at a time.”

  11. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:80).

    In the top paragraph just prior to footnote 17, the sentence ought to be emended as follows:

    Hillel and Shammai convinced the people to accept Herod as legitimate king, but since on account of their sins they could not be saved from him.

    This change is necessary because on the same page Flusser remarks:

    It appears that the refusal of the Houses of Hillel and Shammai was rooted in the conviction that his [i.e., Herod’s] reign was illegitimate.

  12. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:82).

    The sentence after footnote 26 ought to read:

    Second, it appears that both the sages and the zealots linked the concept of liberty with “the kingdom of heaven,” and this phrase likely played an important role in the zealot ideology.

  13. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:85).

    The sentence after footnote 36 ought to read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    A The classical midrash relevant to the present theme interprets verse 3 in Deuteronomy 33:3 as follows: “Indeed, O lover of nations, all his holy ones are in your charge,—is interpreted as follows: Moses said to the Holy One Blessed Be He, ‘You place two yokes on your children. The yoke of Torah and the yoke of foreign rule.’ The Holy One Blessed Be He said tom him: ‘Whoever studies Torah, ‘all his holy ones are in in your charge.’’”37.

  14. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:94).

    The sentence following footnote 72 should be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    Up to that point, the Jews both within Israel and without were subjugated by foreign nations, the land was oppressed by the Romans Greeks, the priesthood was illegitimate, and the temple was desecrated.

    The cause of this mistake is that in the Hebrew version of the essay Flusser wrote “the wicked kingdom,” which in Rabbinic literature usually refers to the Roman empire, but “the wicked kingdom” was also used to describe the Hellenistic kingdoms that ruled Israel after the conquest of Alexander the Great.

  15. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:94).

    The last sentence of the first full paragraph should be amended as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    And while the yearning for political independence is evident in the epistle, there is yet no indication that the Jewish people are—by their nature and their religion—congenitally by right of birth free from foreign rule.

  16. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:95).

    A sentence about a third of the way down the page should be amended as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    And so it was: the shepherds killed more of the flock than was permitted, showing them no mercy, and for this the heavenly princes of the Gentile nations will be sent to the fires of hell Gehenna in the end of days (1 Enoch 90.22-25).

  17. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:101).

    The sentence following note 95 should be amended as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    In terms More instructive regarding the death of the defenders of Masada martyrs, a more telling is the story is that of the suicide of Alcimus, the Hasmonean high priest who served in the early days of the Hasmonean dynasty.96

  18. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:101).

    The last two sentences of the first full paragraph should be amended as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    Yose ben Yoezer was sleeping losing consciousness [on the cross] and saw the death bed of Alcimus rising through the air. He said: ‘He preceded me to Paradise [lit., the Garden of Eden] by a whit.’”

  19. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:103).

    The sentence following note 103 should read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    Flight, then, will prolong Saul’s earthly life, but he will lose his place in the world to come; but if he and his sons die on the battlefield, thus accepting God’s judgment, his death will be an act of atonement and he and his sons will enter heaven merit the life of the world to come in Paradise.104

  20. “The Image of the Masada Martyrs in Their Own Eyes and in the Eyes of Their Contemporaries” (2:105).

    The last sentence of the first full paragraph should read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    Moreover, how could Josephus even suggest that the Masada zealots, whom he so despised him, won, through their suicide, a place in Paradise?

  21. “‘What Is Hanukkah?’: The Historical Setting of the Hasmonean Temple Dedication” (2:131).

    We find the same mistake caused by misunderstanding “the wicked kingdom,” in the sentence that should read:

    Up to that time, the Jewish People in Israel and abroad were under foreign rule, and the land of Israel part of the wicked Roman Greek Empire.

  22. “‘Love Your Fellow Man’” (2:156-161).

    Perhaps a better title for the article, called in Hebrew אוהב את הבריות, would have been the non-gendered “‘Love Humankind.’”

  23. “‘Love Your Fellow Man’” (2:157).

    The first sentence of the first full paragraph should be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    A synopsis summary, or perhaps a leitmotif, of the inner Jewish gospel message teaching love of humanity is found in Let. Aris. §254, where the king asks what he must do to avoid anger.

  24. “‘But Who Can Detect Their Errors?’ (Ps 19:13): On Some Biblical Readings in the Second Temple Period” (2:167).

    A typographical error between footnotes 17 and 18 should be corrected as follows (correction marked in bold lettering):

    It is unlikely that the word was due to the influence of the Gospel version,17 since the rest of the verse shows not such influence.18

  25. “‘But Who Can Detect Their Errors?’ (Ps 19:13): On Some Biblical Readings in the Second Temple Period” (2:167 n. 19).

    The footnote should be corrected as follows (correction marked in bold lettering):

    See I. Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History, trans. Raymond P. Scheindlin (New York and Philadelphia, 1993), 51.

  26. “The Decalogue and the New Testament” (2:172-190).

    An English version of this article had already appeared as “The Ten Commandments and the New Testament,” in The Ten Commandments in History and Tradition (ed. Ben-Zion Segal; English version ed. Gershon Levi; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1990), 219-246. This previous English version, which was approved by Flusser, is not acknowledged in the present volume.

  27. “‘Who Sanctified Our Beloved from the Womb’” (2:191-198).

    An English version of this article had already appeared as “Who Sanctified the Beloved in the Womb,” Immanuel 11 (1980), 46-55. This previous English version, which was approved by Flusser, is not acknowledged in the present volume.

  28. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:232).

    A footnote ought to be added to the first sentence clarifying that the article by Shmuel Safrai to which Flusser refers was entitled מובנו של המונח דרך ארץ (“The Meaning of the Expression “Derech Eretz”), which appeared in the journal Tarbiz 60.2 (1991): 147-162. Flusser’s essay originally appeared in the same journal immediately following Safrai’s article.

  29. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:232).

    The first sentence of the second paragraph ought to read (correction marked in bold typeface):

    The Didache is a short and very ancient Christian treatise, composed in Greek at roughly 100 C.E.

  30. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:233 n. 3).

    The footnote ought to read as follows (correction marked in bold typeface):

    The author of the Epistle of Barnabas turns to cite his source saying, “But let us pass on to another lesson and teaching (didache).There are two ways of teaching and of power, the one of light and the other of darkness; and there is a great difference between the two ways. For on the one are stationed the light-giving angels of God, on the other the angels of Satan” (Epistle of Barnabas 18.1; translated by J. B. Lightfoot). This opening statement, along with the title of the Latin translation (Doctrina apostolorum), indicates that the ancient Jewish treatise was not called “The Two Ways,” but “Didache,” just like the Christian text that is based on it.

  31. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:234).

    A footnote is missing, which ought to read as follows (correction marked in bold typeface):

    “The Two Ways” opens as follows:[footnote]


    Footnote: This translation is based on the Latin version. The Didache’s version is abbreviated, and even the author of the Epistle of Barnabas revised his source.

  32. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:234).

    Another footnote is missing, which ought to read as follows (correction marked in bold typeface):

    There are two ways in the world, one of life, the other of death, one of light, the other of darkness;[footnote]….


    Footnote: On the phrase “one of life, the other of death,” see the various versions in Rordorf (above n. 1), 140. This is the correct wording, and it agrees with the Latin version. “The Way of Light and the Way of Darkness” is missing in the Greek version of the Didache, and, likewise, “the Way of Life and the Way of Death” is missing in Ep. Barn. 18:1. The absence of the conceptual pair “Life and Death” in the context of the dualistic terminology of the Dead Sea Sect is a bit strange, since it is already found in Deut. 30:15-16 and also in those books of the New Testament that were influenced by the Dead Sea Sect.

  33. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:234 n. 5).

    The footnote ought to read as follows (correction marked in bold typeface):

    For a fuller discussion see Flusser my article, “The Two Ways. ,(above, n. 1), 241-244.

  34. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:234 n. 7).

    Footnote 7 ought to read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    This, of course, is not the place to mention all the Greek material. We mention here only the famous myth Xenophon quoted in the name of the sophist Prodicus of Ceos concerning Heracles at the crossroads (Memorabilia, II, 1, 21-34), and the Hellenistic treatise The Tabula of Cebes (ed. John T. Fitzgerald and L. Michael White; Chico: Scholars Press, 1983). It is interesting that the language of this treatise resembles Jesus’ saying on the two ways (Matt. 7:13-14 ∥ Luke 13:23-24), even though belief in the doctrine of the Two Ways is equally Jewish, and, therefore, there is no reason to exclude this saying from the authentic words of Jesus the Jew. [See now the discussions in van de Sandt and Flusser, The Didache, 56-59, 200-204].

  35. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:235).

    The first full sentence on the page ought to read as follows (correction marked in bold typeface):

    And similarly, “…for God has sorted them into equal parts until the last time, and has put an everlasting loathing between [their] divisions…they can not cannot walk together” (1QS4.15-18).8

  36. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:236).

    The final line in the first set of parallel columns ought to read as follows (correction marked in bold typeface):

    they can not cannot walk together (4:18). and between the two ways there is a great difference.
  37. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:236).

    The second set of parallel columns ought to read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    1QW 3.18-19 Reconstruction
    He created man humanity [אנוש] to rule the world
    and
    placed within appointed for him two spirits so
    that he
    would might walk with in them….
    He created man [אדם] to rule the world
    and
    placed within appointed for him two ways so
    that he
    might walk with in them.

    On the previous page Yadin had translated אנוש as “humanity.” For proper understanding of Flusser’s argument it is essential to maintain the distinction between אנוש (“humanity”) and אדם (“Adam,” “humankind”).

  38. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:236 n. 10).

    Footnote 10 ought to be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    Mekhilta of de-Rabbi Ishmael, to Exod. 14:29 (ed. Horovitz-Rabin, 112 lines 14-16) [= Bashallah 7, ed. Lauterbach 1.248]; Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai to Exod. 14:29 (ed. Epstein-Melamed, 68 lines 14-17). The interpretation is based on the Hebrew כאחד ממנו, which is usually rendered “as one of us” but is here understood as referring to “one of them,” i.e., one of the two ways. But there is no need to assume that the connection to Gen. 3:22 is what created the midrash. The motif of the way of life and the way of death is rooted in the prohibition against eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, an act that brings about death (Gen. 2:17; 3:5). See also Yalqut Shimoni to Genesis (Hymen edition), 115.

  39. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:237).

    The first lines on the page ought to read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    God says of the creation of man: “And I gave him free will; and I pointed out to him the two ways—light and darkness. And I said to him, ‘This is good for you, but that is bad’; so that I might come to know whether he has love toward me or abhorrence, and so that it might become plain who among his race loves me” (30.15).11

  40. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:237 n. 11).

    Footnote 11 ought to read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    For the Slavonic text of 2 Enoch (with French translation), see A. Vaillant, Le Livre des secrets d’Hénoch (Paris, 1952), 100-102. The location of this passage according to the usual numbering is 2 Enoch 30:15. For English translations, see R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha 2 (Oxford, 1913), 449 and (quoted above) J. H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (New York, 1983), 152 (translated by F. I. Anderson). This statement seems to be an addendum to the original text of 2 Enoch, apparently by a Christian hand, as 33.1-2, which mentions the special status of Sunday, would indicate. See Andersen’s comments on p. 156. The Christian character of this section does not exclude the Judaism Jewishness of the midrash on Adam.

  41. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose?’” (2:239).

    Toward the beginning of the second paragraph there is a sentence that reads:

    We also proposed a connection between derekh ’eretz and the “Two Ways” doctrine: derekh ’eretz is the way that one must choose and follow “in the land,” i.e., in Israel.

    The words “i.e., in Israel” are the translator’s gloss and they are wrong. Flusser’s argument is that derekh ’eretz refers to a universal morality that transcends geographical, ethnic and religious boundaries. The sentence should read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface:

    We also proposed a connection between derekh ’eretz and the “Two Ways” doctrine: derekh ’eretz is the way that one must choose and follow “in the land,” i.e., in Israel on the earth.

    Yadin gets it right on p. 246 where he translates:

    The sources adduced lead us to the conclusion that the phrase derekh ’eretz was selected to refer to the way that man must choose in the land (’aretz), that is, in the terrestrial world.

    In this sentence, too, the words “that is, in the terrestrial world” are the translator’s gloss.

  42. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:239 n. 20).

    Footnote 20 ought to read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    See ibid., and also David Flusser, “The Two Ways. The Dead Sea Sect and Pre-Pauline Christianity,in Judaism and the Origins of Christianity (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1988),p. 23-74, esp. 27.

  43. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:242).

    On p. 242 a footnote in the second paragraph is missing, which ought to read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    Immediately following this unit (3.7-8) we find the literal Greek translation of the four traits cited in 1QS 4.3.[footnote]


    Footnote: See above, p. 233-234.

  44. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” (2:242 n. 33).

    Footnote 33 ought to read as follows (corrections marked in bold typeface):

    See Flusser, “The Two Ways,” 250-251, and especially notes 57 and 60.

  45. “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose?’” (2:245).

    Following footnote 48 there is a sentence that reads:

    Reflect before the word issues from your mouth. Consider your actions in accordance with good manners (derekh ’eretz). Set a reward for every step you take. Submit to divine judgment and refrain from grumbling.

    “Good manners” is problematic here because it is precisely this narrow definition of derekh eretz which Flusser claims does not fit in the passage. A better strategy would have been to have simply left derekh eretz untranslated.

  46. “Martyrology in the Second Temple Period and Early Christianity” (2:252).

    The omission of an entire sentence renders Flusser’s argument nonsensical. The translation should read (with omitted sentence in bold typeface):

    The idea of purification through suffering also appears in the New Testament, e.g., in 1 Peter: “In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold, that though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor” (1:6-7). The early Christians also believed, therefore, that the righteous are purified by means of trials and persecutions, similar to the purification of gold and silver. However the idea that the suffering of the righteous is like purification appears, of course, much earlier, for instance in the Jewish book The Wisdom of Solomon 3:5-6. There the suffering of the righteous is discussed: “Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them,” (RSV). To be sure, this passage refers only to the suffering of the righteous, not their death, and the suffering in question is not even said to be the result of persecution. Nonetheless, the passage is important both for its reference to being tested by fire, like gold, and for the alluded-to idea that the righteous are accepted by God as a well-being offering (shalem). Here lies the nexus between the notions of sacrifice and the suffering and death of the righteous.

  47. “Martyrology in the Second Temple Period and Early Christianity” (2:254).

    The two terms printed in bold lettering should be added to the translation:

    This is the central theme of a short work composed toward the end of the Second Temple period or perhaps shortly after 70 C.E. and preserved in Greek, The Lives of the Prophets.

  48. “Jewish Messianism Reflected in the Early Church” (2:267 n. 21).

    The second to last sentence in the footnote should be emended as follows (corrections marked in bold):

    But even if we assume it is, it is a remarkable fact that Jesus does not allude to Dan. 7:13 in the rest of his Son of Man references, even though he was undoubtedly familiar with the Book of Daniel.

  49. “‘Have You Ever Seen a Lion Toiling as a Porter?’” (2:332).

    An accidental omission caused footnote 6 to read simply “Luke 12:32.” The footnote should be restored as:

    In the place of this sentence (Mt. 6:34) a different saying is found in Luke 12:32.

  50. “‘Have You Ever Seen a Lion Toiling as a Porter?’” (2:333).

    In the middle of the second paragraph, Rabbi Eleazar’s saying should be corrected as follows:

    Whoever has what something to eat today, but says ‘What will I eat tomorrow?’—he is without faith.

Addendum 1: Corrections to Jesus’ Last Week

A few typographical errors in Flusser’s contribution to Jesus’ Last Week: Jerusalem Studies in the Synoptic Gospels (ed. R. Steven Notley, Marc Turnage and Brian Becker; Leiden: Brill, 2006) have been noted.

  1. “The Synagogue and the Church in the Synoptic Gospels” (28).

    Footnote 40 was inadvertently placed at the end of the wrong sentence. The placement of footnote 40 should be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold):

    Only in Luke’s Gospel does Jesus prophesy the redemption of his people and the final liberation of Jerusalem (see Luke 21:28). 40 Instead, Mark supplants Jerusalem and the Jewish people with the “elect ones,” i.e., the Christian believers, the kernel of the future early church.40

  2. “The Synagogue and the Church in the Synoptic Gospels” (31).

    The third sentence of the second full paragraph cointains a minor typographical error and should be corrected as follows (correction marked in bold):

    An excellent example of such a manifestation occurs in Matthew 8:5-13 (cf. Luke 7:1-10), in particular Jesus’ statement in Matthew 8:11 10 and Luke 7:9.

  3. “The Synagogue and the Church in the Synoptic Gospels” (35).

    The sentence following n. 57 should be corrected as follows (corrections marked in bold):

    These are the pertinent passages: The death of Judas (Matt 27:3-5); the legendary report about the miracles after the burial of Jesus (Matt 27:62-66)58 (Matt 27:52-53); and the guard at the tomb (Matt 27:62-66)58 and the bribing of the soldiers (Matt 28:11-15).

Addendum 2: Corrections to Flusser’s Jesus

The following typographical errors in Flusser’s Jesus (3d ed.; Jerusalem: Magnes, 2001) have been noted.

  1. “Death” (171 n. 78).

    The following words (marked in bold) should be added to the final line:

    According to the midrash, Saul asked Samuel’s spirit: “Can I still save myself by flight?” Samuel replied,” Yes! If you flee, you are safe. But if you accept God’s judgment, by tomorrow you will be united with me [i.e., in heaven].”

  2. “Death” (173 n. 79).

    The following words (marked in bold) should be deleted from the initial line:

    The same by Luke (23:46). In Luke’s account Jesus quoted Psalm 31:6(5). The same biblical verse (transliterated in Greek from the original Hebrew) appears in the apocryphal Acts of Pilate 11.


  • [1] Readers should be aware that no attempt has been made to systematically identify and correct Azzan Yadin’s errors. The problems identified here are simply those that came to the notice of Joshua Tilton, Brad Young and other readers who spotted problems when reading individual articles in this two-volume collection.
  • [2] Correction contributed by David Bivin.
  • [3] Correction contributed by David Bivin.
  • [4] Correction contributed by Dr. Brad Young.
  • [5] Correction contributed by Dr. Brad Young.

Comments 7

  1. Joshua N. Tilton
  2. Joshua N. Tilton
  3. Joshua N. Tilton

    Several new corrections to “‘Which is the Straight Way That a Man Should Choose for Himself?’ (m. Avot 2.1)” added. What a shame this brilliant article is marred by so many translation errors!

  4. Joshua N. Tilton
  5. Pingback: Further Corrections to Flusser’s Judaism of the Second Temple Period | JerusalemPerspective.com Online

  6. Hello and greetings:

    Thank you for making this available. Any chance that it can be posted as a pdf file so we can print it easier and insert it with the book. Thank you for considering suggestion.

  7. Pingback: The Times of the Gentiles and the Redemption of Jerusalem | JerusalemPerspective.com Online

Leave a Reply

  • JP Staff Writer

    JP Staff Writer

    Articles that are designated as authored by “JP Staff Writer” were written by Jerusalem Perspective’s editorial staff.
    [Read more about author]

    David Flusser [1917-2000]

    David Flusser [1917-2000]

    Professor David Flusser died and was buried in Jerusalem on Friday, September 15, 2000, his 83rd birthday. A founding member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, Flusser was one of the world's leading Jewish authorities on Early Christianity. His pioneering research on Jesus and…
    [Read more about author]

  • Online Hebrew Course

    Want to learn Hebrew? Check out our online Hebrew course Aleph-Bet: Hebrew Reading and Writing for Christians in 17 Easy Lessons.

  • JP Content