Tanna of the second century; the most distinguished pupil of R. Ishmael. He is not mentioned in the Mishnah, perhaps because he lived in the south (Sanh. 88b), and his teachings were consequently unknown to the compiler of the Mishnah, Judah ha-Nasi, who lived at Tiberias and Beth-she'arim in northern Palestine. This is the explanation proposed by Frankel and Brüll; but the fact may have been that the Mishnah of Meïr, which served as the basis of Rabbi's Mishnah, did not accept the development of the teachings of Ishmael as formulated by Josiah and R. Jonathan, and they were consequently omitted by Rabbi from his Mishnah (Hoffmann, in Berliner's "Magazin," 1884, pp. 20 et seq.). Josiah is frequently mentioned in the Mekilta together with Jonathan. All their differences concerned only interpretations of Biblical passages, never halakot. During Hadrian's persecution Josiah seems to have fled from Palestine; for he was at Nisibis, where he delivered precepts in the college of Judah b. Bathyra (Sifre, Num. 123; ib. Deut. 218).
- Weiss, Dor, ii. 114;
- Frankel, Hodegetica in Mischnam, pp. 146-149, Leipsic, 1859;
- Bacher, Ag. Tan. ii. 351-364.