However much the Sepher J osippon may have been derided by the critics of a former generation as a clumsy and unhistorical forgery, it has played a considerable part in the external history of the Jewish people, only second in importance, indeed, to the Bible itself. It was the first post-biblical history of the Jews that was read by the common people of Europe. Its inconsiderable bulk, and especially its popular style and strong legendary flavour, gave it a decided advantage over the genuine Josephus, which, in all its early translations, was produced in cumbrous folios and was unknown beyond a narrow circle of scholars and clerics. J osippon was essentially a Volksbuch. If we consider how important a factor in the dissipation of anti-Jewish prejudice was the popular apprehension of the identity of the Jews with the* people of the Bible, we shall see what was the particular service

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