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Josephus lived in the 1st century and would accurately report the history in that time period. However he does report about the activities of the Patriarchs. These stories are found in the Jewish Bible, however not with many of the descriptions found in Josephus' work.

For example, Josephus says of Abraham in Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, chap. 8 sec. 2:

He communicated to them arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for before Abram came into Egypt they were unacquainted with those parts of learning; for that science came from the Chaldeans into Egypt, and from thence to the Greeks also.

How did he know this?

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    There were lots of other books and traditions around in Josephus' days that aren't now extant. – Gary Aug 1 at 21:18
  • @Dr.Shmuel I don't understand Hebrew - the contents are not in English – Beveloper Aug 2 at 5:24
  • @Gary how did this traditions come about as in are they reliable or just expansions of the story and these books who may have authored them and can they may held as highly as the book of Genesis and others believed to be inspired? – Beveloper Aug 2 at 5:29
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    Ya got me. My best guess is that either something was passed down orally for a while before it was put in writing. Then maybe other folks added their expansions to it while copying it. Or maybe someone just had an idea or five while chatting with other literate people, and it either stayed oral, accumulating details, or it was written down. Since it wasn't acknowledged as sacred, any scribes copying it could mess with it if they thought it was an improvement. Then the two revolts occurred, and most if not all copies were burned, or the storytellers/sages who knew it as a tradition died. – Gary Aug 2 at 20:28

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