That is, the Roman-Jewish War of 66-70 AD, of course, when the Romans, in response to Jewish aggression, invaded and pillaged Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, thus ending the Second Temple Period. This is a very complex historical event and process that went on for a period of several years, and not much of any laymen understand the details. The war was recorded in detail in the seven books of the War of the Jews, written between 70-75 AD by the Jewish historian Josephus whom himself took part as a general in the war, initially on the Jewish side of the conflict. These seven books are long, tough, and not many people seriously have the time to read the books. Martin Goodman’s highly influential academic monograph The Ruling Class of Judea: The Origins of the Jewish Revolt Against Rome A.D. 66-70 is available online for free in PDF with the click of a button, though albeit an easier read, also tough and not something many people have time for.
Thus, I recently came across a gem in the making. Biblical scholar Joel Edmund Anderson has a nice little blog called Resurrecting Orthodoxy, where he has started to create a series articulately and cogently explaining the history of the Roman-Jewish War. It is really good and enjoyable, and I thought I’d share quickly share this series in the making year. It will certainly increase ones historical understanding of the period if you care about a major event Jesus probably predicted!
The Jewish War Series:
Part 1: The Beginning of the Revolt, Part 2: The Bloody Deeds of Menahem the Zealot, Part 3: Chaos Erupts Throughout the Region; General Cestius Makes a Move in Galilee, Part 4: Cestius’ Attack and Inexplicable Retreat, Part 5: Josephus Secures Galilee, and the Rise of John of Gischala, Part 6: Vespasian Begins the Roman Advance into Galilee, Part 7: Vespasian Conquers Galilee, Part 8: The Revolutionaries in Jerusalem, Part 9: Ananus the High Priest vs. The Zealots (and further betrayal by John of Gischala), Part 10: The Jewish War Series (Part 10: The Idumeans Come to the Aid of the Zealots), Part 11: The Idumeans’ and Zealots’ Reign of Terror in Jerusalem
Finding something like this really makes you wanna hallelujah.