How do you contend with Josephus's interpretation of events when undertaking historical inquiry? Taking as a test case the presentation of Judaea in the first century CE, McLaren argues that existing scholarship fails to achieve conceptual independence from Josephus. It simply repeats Josephus's presentation of a society engulfed in an escalating turmoil that allegedly culminated in the revolt of 66-70 CE. A new strategy is offered here by applying a case-study approach and formulating open-ended questions. In so doing, McLaren calls for an entirely fresh appraisal of the situation in Judaea and other areas where Josephus serves as a major source.