==Significance to scholarship==
The works of Josephus provide important information about the First Jewish-Roman War. The works are also an important literary source for understanding the context of the Dead Sea Scrolls and post-Second Temple Judaism. Josephan scholarship in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became focused on Josephus' relationship to the sect of the [[Pharisee|Pharisees]]. He was consistently portrayed as a member of the sect, but nevertheless viewed as a villainous traitor to his own nation—a view which became known in Josephan studies as "the classical conception." In the mid-twentieth century, this view was challenged by a new generation of scholars, who formulated the modern conception of Josephus, still considering him a Pharisee but restoring his reputation in part as patriot and a historian of some standing. Recent scholarship since 1990 has sought to move scholarly perceptions forward by demonstrating that Josephus was not a
[[Pharisee ]] but an orthodox aristocrat-priest who became part of the Temple establishment as a matter of deference and not a willing association (Cf. Steve Mason, Todd Beall, and Ernst Gerlach).
Josephus offers information about individuals, groups, customs and geographical places. His writings provide a significant, extra-biblical account of the post-exilic period of the Maccabees, the Hasmonean dynasty, and the rise of Herod the Great. He makes references to the Sadducees, the Jewish high priests of the time, Pharisees and Essenes, the Herodian Temple, Quirinius’ census, and the Zealots, and to such figures as Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and II, [[John the Baptist]], [[Apostle James the Just|James]] the brother of [[Jesus]], and a highly disputed reference to Jesus in chapter 3 of book 18 of the ''Jewish Antiquities''. He is an important source for studies of immediate post-Temple Judaism and, thus, the context of early Christianity.