Justus of Tiberias.

A Jewish historian.


Attributed text(s).
Chronicle of the Kings of the Jews.
Commentaries on the Scriptures.

Available text(s).
None. Summaries on site (present page).

Justus of Tiberias was a Jewish historian who flourished late in century I. Refer also to Josephus.

Jerome, On Famous Men 14:

Iustus Tiberiensis, de provincia Galilaea, conatus est et ipse Iudaicarum rerum historiam texere, et quosdam commentariolos de scripturis componere. sed hunc Iosephus arguit mendacii. constat autem illum eo tempore scripsisse quo et Iosephus.

Justus of Tiberias, from the province Galilee, also attempted to weave a history of Jewish affairs, as well as to compose certain brief commentaries on the scriptures. But Josephus accuses him of lying. It is established, moreover, that he also wrote at the same time as Josephus.

Photius, Bibliotheca 33:

Ανεγνωσθη Ιουστου Τιβεριεως χρονικον, ου η επιγραφη Ιουστου Τιβεριεως Ιουδαιων βασιλεων των εν τοις στεμμασιν. ουτος απο πολεως της εν Γαλιλαια Τιβεριαδος ωρματο. αρχεται δε της ιστοριας απο Μωυσεως, καταληγει δε εως τελευτης Αγριππα του εβδομου μεν των απο της οικιας Ηρωδου, υστατου δε εν τοις Ιουδαιων βασιλευσιν, ος παρελαβε μεν την αρχην επι Κλαυδιου, ηυξηθη δε επι Νερωνος και ετι μαλλον υπο Ουεσπασιανου, τελευτα δε ετει τριτω Τραιανου, ου και η ιστορια κατεληξεν. εστι δε την φρασιν συντομωτατος τε και τα πλειστα των αναγκαιοτατων παρατρεχων. ως δε τα Ιουδαιων νοσων, Ιουδαιοις και αυτος υπαρχων γενος, της Χριστου παρουσιας και των περι αυτον τελεσθεντων και των υπ αυτου τερατουργηθεντων ουδεν ολως μνημην εποιησατο. ουτος παις μεν ην Ιουδαιου τινος ονομα Πιστου, ανθρωπων δε, ως φησιν Ιωσηπος, κακουργοτατος, χρηματων τε και ηδονων ηττων. αντεπολιτευετο δε Ιωσηπω, και πολλας κατ εκεινου λεγεται επιβουλας ραψαι, αλλα τον γε Ιωσηπον, καιτοι υπο χειρα πολλακις λαβοντα τον εχθρον, λογοις μονον ονειδισαντα απαθη κακων αφειναι. και την ιστοριαν δε ην εκεινος εγραψε πεπλασμενην τα πλειστα φασι τυγχανειν, και μαλιστα οις τον Ρωμαικον προς Ιουδαιους διεξεισι πολεμον και την Ιεροσολυμων αλωσιν.

I read the chronicle of Justus of Tiberias, of which the title is [Chronicle] of the Kings of the Jews in Their [Genealogical] Stemma by Justus of Tiberias. He hailed from the city of Tiberias in Galilee. Now, he begins his history from Moses, and brings it down until the demise of the seventh Agrippa of those from the house of Herod, and [Agrippa was] the last among the kings of the Jews, who received his rule from Claudius, and was augmented by Nero, and still more by Vespasian; but he came to his end in the third year of Trajan, where the history also ceases. Justus is abbreviated in his phrasing and he runs past very many necessary things. And, in accordance with the sicknesses of the Jews, he himself belonging to the Jews by race, he makes no mention at all of the advent of Christ, the things fulfilled concerning him, or the miracles performed by him. He was the child of a Jew named Pistus, and was a most wicked man, as Josephus says, with a weakness for goods and pleasure. He played political opponent to Josephus, and it is said that he stitched together many plots against him, but that Josephus, although he often had taken his enemy in hand, only reproached him with words and let him go, insensitive to the wicked. They say that the history which he wrote is for the most part invented, and especially in the things by which he details the Roman war against the Jews and the capture of Jerusalem.

Photius, Bibliotheca 33 in the translation of J. H. Freese (footnotes his, but renumbered):

Read the Chronicle of Justus of Tiberias,1 entitled A Chronicle of the Kings of the Jews in the form of a genealogy, by Justus of Tiberias.2 He came from Tiberias in Galilee, from which he took his name. He begins his history with Moses and carries it down to the death of the seventh Agrippa of the family of Herod3 and the last of the kings of the Jews. His kingdom, which was bestowed upon him by Claudius, was extended by Nero, and still more by Vespasian. He died in the third year of the reign of Trajan, when the history ends. Justus's style is very concise, and he omits a great deal that is of the utmost importance. Suffering from the common fault of the Jews, to which race he belonged, he does not even mention the coming of Christ, the events of His life, or the miracles performed by Him. His father was a Jew named Pistus; Justus himself, according to Josephus, was one of the most abandoned of men, a slave to vice and greed. He was a political opponent of Josephus, against whom he is said to have concocted several plots; but Josephus, although on several occasions he had his enemy in his power, only chastised him with words and let him go free. It is said that the history which he wrote is in great part fictitious, especially where he describes the Judaeo-Roman war and the capture of Jerusalem.

1 Contemporary of Josephus, by whom his character and works are violently attacked. He was condemned to death by Vespasian, but his life was spared by Agrippa. He also wrote a history of the Jewish war.
2 The Greek phrase is βασιλέων τῶν ἐν τοῖς στέμμασι, usually translated "crowned kings," but στέμμα more probably here means a genealogical tree.
3 Agrippa II, before whom St. Paul made his defence. The statement that he died in the third year of Trajan's reign (100) is objected to on the ground that Josephus' Autobiography, which gives an account of Justus, was published immediately after the Antiquities (in the reign of Domitian).