“The Jewish War”: an international symposium in Jerusalem – article written by the Christian Media Center

Gathering together the major experts from Canada, United States, Europe and Israel and the French biblical school of archaeology of Jerusalem, the École Biblique, creates an international congress on the topic of “Rethinking the Jewish War” (66-74 CE) – video

The First Jewish War against the Romans, from 66 to 70 BC, affected part of the territory of Israel, starting under the reign of Nero and ending under the reign of Vespasian.

Fr. JEAN- JACQUES PÉRENNES, op Director of the École Biblique
A very important war because it lead to the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, a sort of trauma for the history of the whole country. And evidently after numerous years, archaeology allowed us to better link what has happened in different places, certainly Masada, but there are also other sites where revolts between the Jewish and the Romans happened.

Fr. ANTHONY GIAMBRONE, op École Biblique – Jerusalem
What we aimed to do was an interdisciplinary symposium where in addition to the archaeological testimonies, what is actually left on the land as a result of this revolt, we focus at the same time on the texts that give accounts of the War to try and evaluate everything very carefully. The most famous historian who gives a complete report of it is Josephus.
From Josephus’s times to these days, many are the accounts in circulation. The recent study on the War published by Steve Manson offers a new and important interpretation of the events and opens new scenarios.

The Jewish War from 66 to 70 was probably the war with the greatest consequences on the West; it is maybe not as important as the First or Second World War in recent history, but it has shaped 2000 years of history, especially under Christian leadership. It was crucial for Christianity, because the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed.
Although it remains one of the most captivating conflicts of all times, this symposium allowed us to deeply examinate and rethink central aspects of this mythical story.

Fr. JEAN- JACQUES PÉRENNES, op Director of the École Biblique
It is very important for the École Biblique to host the conference these days for we are not only a place of teaching of the Bible, of the Architecture and of the History of the Near East, as are the Franciscans and the other institutions in Jerusalem, but our education must be nourished by research, research does not only pass through what we do here, but it is what other universities in the world do as well.