neilgodfrey wrote:Well the Hebrew Scriptures are certainly a Taliban-like text -- ordering stoning and death for all sorts of acts and mass slaughter of various select groups of unbelievers.
According to Feldman, Josephus deliberately points out these acts that David engaged in in an effort to parallel similar deeds documented in Homer and Virgil. I guess the only point we can agree in is that Josephus primarily wrote to a Roman audience. With this in mind, Feldman writes that Josephus omits describing David in messianic terms to his Roman audience. I found that your scholar, McLaren, writes that in Josephus " there is little sense of an independent state being established and certainly no mention of its name, ‘Israel,’ let alone reference to ‘Zion*". So according to both scholars, Josephus deliberately omits mentioning certain information to his presumably Roman audience. I do understand your argument that in the first century there was not any Davidic messianic expectations hence Josephus' silence in regard to this issue.
*The quote from McLaren is from The Jewish Revolt Against Rome: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
which currently costs $203. However, McLaren's section is available almost in it's entirety here.