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April 24 2017, 3AM

PROF. EHUD BEN ZVI: Memories Evoked by Yom Shoah uMeshoah (TheTorah.com).Reading the Book of Zephaniah and remembering a day of desolation and devastation in association with a utopian day to come.In Israel (etc.) Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, was ...
REMNANT OF GIANTS IS BACK after a long spell behind a subscription wall. A new post flags some new information that may be relevant to our understanding of the biblical Rephaim: JoAnn Scurlock: Evidence from Babylon that “Rephaim” refers to the long d...
CSCO EASTER SERIES: The Resurrection: History and Myth (PT. 3).In this final video of our “Resurrection” series, Dr. Alison Jack discusses the important differences between history and “myth” as it relates to the resurrection.The earlier videos in...
READING ACTS: Roots of the Rebellion: Zealots and Sicarii. A couple of thematically related PaleoJudaica posts are here and here. Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links (cf. here).
HERE WE GO AGAIN: Gold-plated ancient Torah seized by Turkish security forces in anti-smuggling drive (Daily Sabah).An ancient Torah, estimated to be worth at least $3 million, was recovered in an anti-smuggling drive in southern Turkey's Adana last week,...
LEEN RITMYER: Virtual Jerusalem. I have already noted the Lithodomos app here and links. The BYU app is new to me.

April 23, 2AM

READING ACTS: Jesus and Cannabis? You will probably not be surprised to hear that the evidence for a connection is extremely weak. And by extremely weak I mean there isn't any. Likewise for Moses and cannabis. But the relationship of the Archangel Metatro...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: navi’ “prophet.” Another important biblical word.

1AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH? Twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple at Passover (Leen Ritmyer).This Temple Court was separated by the Nicanor Gate from the Court of Women, which lay to the east of the Temple. Buildings, called gates, surrounded this complex. In front...
NEW OPEN-ACCESS BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:Wilke, Carsten L. Farewell to Shulamit Spatial and Social Diversity in the Song of Songs Series: Jewish Thought, Philosophy, and Religion 2 OPEN ACCESS Aims and Scope The Song of Songs, a lyric cycle of love scenes...

April 22, 2AM

A HISTORICAL JESUS? What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died? Today some claim that Jesus is just an idea, rather than a real historical figure, but there is a good deal of written evidence for his existence 2,000 years ago (Simon ...
READING ACTS: Roots of the Rebellion: False Messiahs.In addition to Jesus, there were several false messiahs appeared in the first century. Each of this examples are from humble origins (shepherds, etc.), sought to set themselves up as kings, and develope...
READING RELIGION BLOG: Theory and Practice in Essene Law (reviewed by Matthew Goldstone).Aryeh Amihay London, England: Oxford University Press , November 2016. 240 pages. $99.00. Hardcover. ISBN 9780190631017. In his Theory and Practice in Essene L...

1AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: You Can Find Unicorns in Frappuccinos, but What About in the Bible? Scripture mentions strange visions of nameless single-horned beasts. But what did the ancient word translated as 'unicorn' really mean? (Ilan Gilad, Haaret...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists to probe ancient pyramid in Judean Hills. Summer excavation at Khirbet Midras will try to determine who resettled town after ruin in Bar Kochba revolt (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).An enigmatic and little-known pyramid south...

April 21, 3AM

CSST BLOG: RITUALS ARE EXCITING! AN INTERVIEW WITH JUTTA JOKIRANTA.What is your research about, in general terms? My research is about the Second Temple period and processes of creating Judean/Jewish identities, especially in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls...

2AM

SOCIETY FOR CLASSICAL STUDIES: Call for Papers: The Impact of Learning Greek, Hebrew, and 'Oriental' Languages.THE IMPACT OF LEARNING GREEK, HEBREW, AND ‘ORIENTAL’ LANGUAGES ON SCHOLARSHIP, SCIENCE, AND SOCIETY IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE ...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:What Do Old, Dirty, Broken Pieces Of Pottery Have To Do With The Bible? Robbing tombs is illegal. Most of the “museum pieces” found in Israel are rather homely and plain. Yes, you will dig up hundreds of potsherds if you ...
READING ACTS: Roots of the Rebellion: Social Banditry.Social bandits portray themselves as robbing the rich and giving to the poor, “righting wrongs” and other social evils, and providing justice for the oppressed lower classes. This is something like...
DR. YONATAN ADLER: On the Origins of Tevilah (Ritual Immersion) (TheTorah.com).When and why washing became immersion: between traditional-rabbinic and scientific-critical approaches to the origin of immersion and the mikveh.

April 20, 2AM

ANNOUNCEMENT: Plans to Renovate Ancient Harbor at Caesarea (Hana Levi Julian, The Jewish Press).The Caesarea Rothschild Foundations and the Caesarea Edmond de Rothschild Corporation are investing more than NIS 100 million on a new project, Israeli officia...
LARRY HURTADO: “The Form of God”: Philo and Paul.An interesting passage in Philo of Alexandria, Embassy to Gaius (110-14) casts possible light on Paul’s reference to Christ as “being in the form of God/a god” (ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπά...
ANOTHER ATTACK IN EGYPT: Egypt says its forces killed Sinai monastery shooter. Suspect behind attack near St. Catherine’s in which one policeman killed and 3 injured dies after shootout with cops (AFP). ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, b...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Economic Knowledge in the Parables (Michelle Christian).A number of parables in the Jesus tradition appear to draw on the everyday details of ancient economic life. However, I consider a case for which there are no realistic comparanda...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Biblical Studies in the Digital Age. How digital archaeology has revolutionized Biblical studies (Marek Dospěl).Writing for Biblical Archaeology Review, digital archaeologist Todd R. Hanneken of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio...

April 19, 3AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: shalom "peace, well-being, greetings, good health. Used with many nuances from the Bible to the present.
NUMISMATICS: CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coinage of the Jewish War (Mike Markowitz). A chronicle of the first Jewish revolt (the Great Revolt, 66-70 CE) keyed to the coins associated with it. Some were produced by the revolutionaries during the revolt a...
SO MUCH TREASURE: Scuba Diver Aaron Guetterman Sets His Eyes on Six Legendary Sunken Treasures (Digital Journal).Scuba diver Aaron Guetterman has had a single dream ever since he was a child and that is to search for treasure. His parents used to give him...
READING ACTS: Gathering Israel to Their Inheritance.As N. T. Wright has said many times, Jews living in the first century knew the prophecy of Daniel 9 was nearing an end and they were fervently looking forward to the gathering of Jews living in the Diasp...
IN HONOR OF THE AMERICAL FEDERAL TAX DEADLINE (18 April this year - Paul Revere call your office), a couple of articles on biblical taxation have shown up in my searches: From JSTOR Daily: HOW PEOPLE PAID THEIR TAXES IN BIBLICAL TIMES (LIVIA GERSHON). T...

April 18, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Aramaic Tobit at Qumran (Devorah Dimant).Tobit before Qumran For a long time, the book of Tobit has been studied as a one-of-a-kind composition, with other so-called “novels,” such as Esther and the book of Judith. However, the pr...
ARCHAEOLOGY: The Jewish pyramid of Adullam. Archaeologists are beginning to study and excavate an ancient Jewish pyramid believed to be related to a burial structure near Hirbet Madras; pyramid is believed to be a vestige of Hellenistic influence in the ...
THE ASOR BLOG: A Response to Douglas Petrovich’s “Hebrew as the Language behind the World’s First Alphabet?” (Alan Millard).In his piece for ANE Today, Douglas Petrovich claims some of the thirty or so inscriptions engraved on stone monuments arou...
READING ACTS: Messianic Hopes and the Jewish Revolt.E. P. Sanders contended Judaism in the Second Temple period was not a religion of individual salvation (278). God made a covenant with the people of Israel and it is the people who will be preserved. The...

2AM

HANNAH BLADON, the young British woman murdered in Jerusalem on Good Friday, was a religion and archaeology student at the University of Birmingham who was on an exchange semester at the Hebrew University: Hannah Bladon murder: Israeli leaders say attack ...

April 17, 4AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:LISA M. BOWENS An Apostle in Battle Paul and Spiritual Warfare in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10 [Ein Apostel in der Schlacht. Paulus und geistige Kriegsführung im 2. Korinther 12:1–10.] 2017. XIV, 260 pages. Wissenschaftliche Un...

2AM

OPEN-ACCESS BOOK FROM MCGILL UNIVERSITY:COMING BACK TO LIFE The lines between death and life were neither fixed nor finite to the peoples of the ancient Mediterranean. For most, death was a passageway into a new and uncertain existence. The dead were not...
WILLIAM ROSS: LXX SCHOLAR INTERVIEW: DR. ALBERT PIETERSMA (Septuaginta &C. Blog). One excerpt, but read it all:As I see it, however, in all three of these sub-disciplines, Septuagint Studies continues to suffer from what might be called a schizophreni...
AWOL BLOG: The Greek Bible in Byzantine Judaism. An interesting AHRC project that challenges that common assumption that Jews abandoned the Septuagint by late antiquity.

April 16, 4PM

INSTALLATION ART: Kiefer’s towers, a symbol of man’s tragic struggle that have become a Milan landmark (Gabi Scardi, ItalyEurope24).They date back to 2004 and have already become a part of Milan’s collective imagination. More informally known to the...

2AM

AWOL BLOG: Typology of Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literature in Antiquity, c. 200 BCE to c. 700 CE. I have mentioned this important project at the University of Manchester a few times (here, here, and here), but until now I don't seem to have n...
ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Novel involves attorney, angels (VIRGINIA LUGER, Bismark Tribune).Title: "Dancing at Angel Abbey" Author: Lauren M. Bloom In this novel Metatron is in good company with some archangels and other angels from Jewish trad...

1AM

NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY T&T CLARK:The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah 2 Chronicles 10 - 36: A New Translation and Commentary By: Yigal Levin Published: 02-23-2017 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 512 ISBN: 9780567671714 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Glaube Das Verständnis des Glaubens im frühen Christentum und in seiner jüdischen und hellenistisch-römischen Umwelt Hrsg. v. Jörg Frey, Benjamin Schliesser u. Nadine Ueberschaer, unter Mitarbeit von Kathrin Hager [Faith. ...
HAPPY EASTER TO ALL THOSE CELEBRATING. See last year's Easter post for relevant biblical texts and correct information on the origin of the word.

April 15, 2AM

NEWS YOU CAN USE: The contemporary significance of the dead sea scrolls (Timothy Lim, OUP Blog).Many people have heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but few know what they are or the significance they have for people today. This year marks the 70th anniversary...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Fighting Over the Bible Jewish Interpretation, Sectarianism and Polemic from Temple to Talmud and Beyond Isaac Kalimi, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Fighting over the Bible explores the bitter conflicts between main stream Jew...
READING ACTS: What is the Roman Imperial Cult? Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Greco-Roman world are noted here and here. And, again, last year's Divine Sonship Symposium at the University of St. Andrews is very relevant to this post.
LARRY HURTADO: Easter Roundtable.A roundtable discussion on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection led by Professor Helen Bond, with Dr. Sara Parvis and me participating is available now here. Bond commences with queries about how Jesus’ corpse was h...

1AM

THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS BLOG: Another Son of God? Pilate’s Tiberieum at Caesarea Maritima. This inscription is known best because it mentions Pontius Pilate by name. But a closer look makes it even more interesting:Thus it should be noted that at Caesarea ...

April 14, 2AM

MEREDITH WARREN: What Would Jesus Eat This Easter? A First Century Menu For The Last Supper (History Matters Blog, University of Sheffield). Cross-file under News You Can Use. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Warren, whose temporary ...
CSCO EASTER SERIES: Resurrection in Judaism (Video; Professor Timothy Lim).
BOOK REVIEW: Rabbi Akiva Made the Jews Who They Are Today, Says Biographer (David Holzel, The Jewish Exponent).What we think of as Judaism today — from the religion practiced by the haredi Orthodox in contemporary B’nai Brak, Israel, to the lack of re...
IN THE MAIL:Heidi Marx-Wolf, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century C.E. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2106)A review copy kindly sent to me by the publisher. I will be reviewing the book in t...

1AM

THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS BLOG: Site of Crucifixion of Jesus?Probably the most sacred place in the whole of Christendom is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (aka Church of the Resurrection) in the Old City of Jerusalem. Since the first half of the fourth centu...

April 13, 2AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Theorizing “the Ancient Economy”: Three Paradigms (Thomas R. Blanton IV).It would seem that the study of “the ancient economy” is in a period of ferment. Three new SBL program units have been added since 2004 that treat aspects...
THE ASOR BLOG: Hebrew as the Language behind the World’s First Alphabet? (Douglas Petrovich). To be honest, I am surprised that ASOR published this essay. Dr. Petrovich's theory has never been published in a peer-review venue and it has nevertheless be...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Watch: Priestly blessing at Western Wall. Thousands attend special annual Passover 'Birkat Kohanim' service at Western Wall in Jerusalem (Arutz Sheva).Thousands flocked to the Western Wall Plaza in the Old City of Jerusalem Thursday mo...
CONGRATULATIONS TO FATHER FRIZZEL: Father Lawrence Frizzell, Luna Kaufman, Pearl Randall Lehrhoff and Hattie Segal honored at 24th Evening of Roses on May 7; Special Appearance by Scholar Amy-Jill Levine (Laurie Pine, Seton Hall University).Father Lawrenc...
THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS BLOG: Bone Box of Caiaphas the High Priest.Caiaphas, the High Priest, is mentioned 9 times in the Gospels and is one of those before whom Jesus appeared before being condemned to death by Pilate (Matthew 26; John 18). A few years ago...

April 12, 3AM

AT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: Craven Seminar: 'Eschatology and Apocalypse in Graeco-Roman literature.'Craven Seminar, 1-3 June 2017 ‘Eschatology and Apocalypse in Graeco-Roman literature’ G.21 Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge Unlike other anci...
PHILOLOGOS: Why the Beginning of the Haggadah Is in Aramaic. It’s because of demons (Mosaic Magazine).What, then, is the reason for the Aramaic of the ha laḥma anya? The only one given by Jewish tradition that I know of first appears in the 13th-centu...
EASTER IS COMING: At the Holy Land Photos Blog, Carl Rasmussen is posting lots of Easter-related photos. Here are a couple of them: The Best Rolling Stone Tomb in Israel — Khirbet Midras Crucified Man from Jerusalem.It is well–known from literature ...
READING ACTS: Characteristics of Greco-Roman Religions. Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links. But we seem now to have moved on to the Greco-Roman world, which is still interesting for ancient Judaism.

2AM

EXHIBITION: Manuscripts shed light on early days of Christianity (, Belfast Telegraph).Some of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts are on display in Dublin. The texts, which caused a global sensation in 1931 when they were bought by Sir Alfred Ches...

April 11, 2AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Aramaic Language of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Why it Matters and What Lies Ahead (Daniel Machiela).ENLARGING THE ARAMAIC LIBRARY OF ANCIENT JUDAISM The cache of Aramaic literature that gradually emerged from the caves near Qumran prov...
MONOTHEISM: Have we been misinterpreting the Second Commandment all along? 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me' can be taken in different ways, one being, Me first, the godlets next (By Elizabeth Sloane, Haaretz).The Second Commandment is generally i...
THE FORBIDDEN GOSPELS BLOG: Gnosis 2.1 is published! (April DeConick). The full title is GNOSIS: Journal of Gnostic Studies. Follow the link for the TOC. Not surprisingly, there is a lot on ancient Gnosticism. But ancient Judaism is represented too. Back...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: 17 held for attempts to ‘sacrifice’ goats in Jerusalem. Six animals seized by authorities in Old City; police check vehicles for goats to prevent activists from carrying out Biblically commanded offering (Stuart Winer, Times of Isr...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 10 Hebrew Words to Know for the Passover Holiday ( Tsivya Fox April, Breaking Israel News).

April 10, 2AM

HAPPY PASSOVER TO ALL THOSE CELEBRATING! The festival begins this evening at sundown. Last year's Passover post is here and it will lead to an earlier post with the relevant biblical texts. The 2015 Passover Post also has some interesting material. Paleo...
READING ACTS: Greco-Roman Religions and the New Testament.Greco-Roman Religions might be considered “the competition” of early Christianity, but this is not a fair description of how religions functioned in the first century. First, in the first cent...
PASSOVER IS COMING, EGYPTIAN MAGIC EDITION: Dr. Flora Brooke Anthony has two essays at TheTorah.com which tell you what you need to know about ancient Egyptian magic. The Magicians Khamwaset and MeryraTwo ancient Egyptian stories about powerful Egyptian ...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: As they bid for survival, archaeologists point to ‘Egyptian’ finger from Temple Mount. Inch-and-a-half-long stone fragment may be from Late Bronze Age Egypt, Temple Mount Sifting Project says, but research and funding needed to asc...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: 7 arrested to prevent Temple Mount paschal sacrifices. In a stated attempt to prevent flaring tensions at the Jerusalem flashpoint, the Israel Police arrested 7 activists who had stated their intention to sacrifice goats there Monday (...

April 9, 4AM

THE JOURNAL OF NEAR EASTERN STUDIES has a new issue out: Volume 76, Number 1 | April 2017. It includes a couple of articles of particular interest: Nanay and Her Lover: An Aramaic Sacred Marriage Text from Egypt Tawny L. Holm pp. 1–37 For more on Papy...
PASSOVER IS COMING: The Plague of Dead Fish (Dr. Rabbi David Frankel, TheTorah.com).Moses striking the Nile to kill the fish and make the water stink eventually developed into the plague of blood: a case of mythological amplification and its reverse.Inter...

1AM

PASSOVER IS COMING: Despoiling the Egyptians: A Concerning Jewish Legacy? (Prof. Leonard Greenspoon, TheTorah.com).How 19th century Anglo-Jewish translators defended the Israelites’ behavior against the King James translation’s perceived accusation th...

12 AM

ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY PRESS RELEASE: The Sanhedrin Trail - the First Interactive Hiking Trail of its Kind in the Country. The large project involves thousands of students and volunteers who will excavate and prepare a new trail that is among the lo...
CANDIDA MOSS: What Happened to the Jerusalem Temple’s Menorah? Every year, the Vatican receives hundreds of requests to return the menorah of the destroyed Jerusalem Temple. The only problem? They don’t have it. (The Daily Beast).If the menorah isn’...

April 8, 3AM

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: A Genizah manuscript of the Mishnah. This is an old FOTM post from November 2012. I think I'm caught up now. Past posts on the Digital Mishnah Project are here and here.

1AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: A Capital from Solomon’s Porch on the Temple Mount. This is a recently reported discovery by the Temple Mount Sifting Project. Leen Ritmyer is an expert on such matters and he has detailed commentary on the report.
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Far-rightists Stage Sacrifice Away From Temple Mount, but Closer Than Before. For the first time the group was allowed to hold the ceremony just a few hundred meters from the Mount − which is administered by a Muslim religious trust ...
PASSOVER IS COMING: How Many Questions in the “Four Questions”? (Prof. Joseph Tabory, TheGemara.com).A short history of how the Mah Nishtana changed: From three to four to five questions.Conclusion:This quick survey has shown how liturgical texts can ...

12 AM

NABATEAN (NABATAEAN) WATCH: Canadian scholar examines ‘Nabataean colony of Humayma’ (Saeb Rawashdeh , San Diego Jewish World; rpt. from the Jordan Times).AMMAN — Despite no “direct literary sources”, a Canadian scholar is piecing together archae...

April 7, 3AM

PASSOVER IS COMING: A couple of web pages on the Aramaic Passover Papyrus from Elephantine: CENTER FOR ONLINE JUDAIC STUDIES: The Passover Papyrus from Elephantine, 419 BCE. JEWISH HISTORY CHANNEL: How the Jews in Elephantine, Egypt Celebrated Passover ...

2AM

THE FORBIDDEN GOSPELS BLOG: Gnostic Cinema in Modern America. April DeConick has posted the opening remarks she gave at this film festival at Rice University in March. I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend, although I would have skipped Avatar. HT James McGr...
AWOL BLOG: The Book of Ben Sira. A website on the Hebrew manuscripts of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus). Cross-file under Old Testament Apocrypha Watch.
RELIGION AND LITERATURE OF ANCIENT PALESTINE BLOG: Review of Jeremy D. Smoak, The Priestly Blessing in Inscription & Scripture: The Early History of Numbers 6:24-26 (Oxford, 2016) (Ryan Thomas).I found Smoak’s general thesis to be well-argued and su...
READING ACTS: Core Beliefs of Second Temple Judaism: Gentiles and the Temple.The prohibition of Gentiles in the main court of the temple during the first century is well known. Paul refers to a “dividing wall” of hostility between Jews and Gentiles in...

April 6, 3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Netanyahu intervenes to save Temple Mount sifting project. Days after archaeological site said it would close for lack of cash, PM steps in, saying funding will continue (Ilan Ben Zion and Sue Surkes, Times of Israel).A project to sear...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight: Allan Georgia.Allan Georgia, "'Unless He Competes Professionally': Agonism and Cultural Production among Christians and Jews in the Roman World," Ph.D. Dissertation, Fordham University, 2016.Excerpt:Th...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UNESCO Director-General reaffirms historic bonds between Jerusalem and the Jewish people at ECI conference in European Parliament (EC4I.org).Brussels, April 4th, 2017 – UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has firmly rebuffed any att...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Art of the Deal. Talmudic rabbis regulated real estate transactions based on biblical principles of ownership and centuries of experience of the practicalities of Jewish life.Last week’s Daf Yom...

2AM

READING ACTS: Core Beliefs of Second Temple Judaism: Temple.While the synagogue was a place for prayer and study of scripture, the Temple was a place for sacrifice. Just as sacrifice of animals is always a part of religion in the ancient world, it played ...
PASSOVER IS COMING: The Egyptian “Magicians” (Prof. Scott B. Noegel, TheTorah.com).Is the Bible’s portrayal of the magicians (Ḥarṭummīm) in accord with Egyptian literature and ritual practice? How did the Israelite writers obtain this knowledge...

April 5, 3AM

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: MARCH 2017: Writing Lines: T-S D1.108 and the Song of Moses. A fragment that shows that there were conventions for writing out biblical poetry (in this case, the Song of the Sea/the Song of Moses in Exodus 15) that were not f...
READING ACTS: Core Beliefs of Second Temple Judaism: Sabbath.When it comes to distinctively Jewish practices, how much did the “average Jew” care about keeping these traditions? The great majority of Jews, comments N. T. Wright, “cared sufficiently...

2AM

PASSOVER IS COMING: Hametz Owned by a Non-Jew May be Eaten on Passover?! (Dr. Joshua Kulp and Dr. Jason Rogoff, TheGemara.com).A striking talmudic passage asserts that it is biblically permitted to eat the ḥametz of a non-Jew on Passover. How are we to ...
BOOK REVIEW: From the Bible to Sir Isaac Newton: How Hebrew Survived and Thrived. Eschewing the familiar, triumphalist narrative of ancient glory and modern rebirth in Zion, 'The Story of Hebrew' follows the twists and turns of the Hebrew language from it...

April 4, 7AM

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Luke & Acts: Historical Reliability - 4. This post is on Philip the Tetrarch. By the way, Mark 6:12-29 does not mention Salome by name. We infer that the name of Herodias's daughter was Salome because that's what Josephus says....
EISENBRAUNS, BELATEDLY, FOR APRIL 1ST: Uranium Codices Unmasked! How the Lead Codices Were Actually Used by Rad I. O'Aktive Winged Bull Press, Forthcoming spring 2017 235 pages, English Cloth, 10 x 12 in ISBN: APRIL2017B www.eisenbrauns.com/item/APRIL2...
THE ASOR BLOG: Rabbinic Tales of Roman Origins (Sarit Kattan Gribetz).Livy and Ovid were not the only Romans who wrote about the origins of the empire in which they lived. The Jewish rabbis of late antiquity – also inhabitants of the Roman Empire – to...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Choice of Aramaic and Hebrew: Ideological Consideration (Jonathan Ben-Dov).LANGUAGE CHOICE AND NARRATIVE LOCATION As others have observed, the Aramaic writings from Qumran are limited in their putative historical background to eit...

5AM

BUT HOW MANY ARE GENUINE? 28 New Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments Sold in US ( Owen Jarus, Live Science).Twenty-eight fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls that were purchased from the antiquities market have yet to be published, but are now sitting in three U.S....

April 3, 4AM

THE TEMPLE MOUNT SIFTING PROJECT: Is this the End of the Sifting Project?To all of our friends and supporters, We have an important announcement to make. We want to make our official announcement that the sifting of material from the Temple Mount has stop...

3AM

CARBON DATING: FOUND: FRESH CLUES TO MYSTERY OF KING SOLOMON'S MINES. Analysis of 3,000-year-old animal waste confirms that an ancient mining complex in Israel dates to the golden age of the biblical monarch (MICHELLE Z. DONAHUE, National Geographic Austr...
READING ACTS: Core Beliefs of Second Temple Judaism: Torah, Tradition, and Scripture. Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and here and links.
PALMYRA WATCH: Culture on the frontline: Penn Museum shows artefacts curators are fighting to save in Syrian and Iraq. Exhibition features ancient objects and Medieval manuscripts, along with contemporary commissions by a Syrian-born artist (Julia Halperi...

2AM

OLD TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: TTU Opera Theatre Spring Opera: Carlisle Floyd's "Susannah."Presented by the Texas Tech University School of Music Opera Theatre in collaboration with students in the University Symphony Orchestra, Carlisle Floyd's...

April 1, 5AM

TALMUD WATCH: Actor Ashton Kutcher Recounts Talmudic Tale During Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Human Trafficking (Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner).Actor Ashton Kutcher recounted a Talmudic tale on Wednesday after testifying before the Se...
THE LEHRHAUS: Remembering Professor Louis Feldman, z"l (Ari Lamm).“It was just me and this other guy in class,” explained a family friend, winking. “You know what I’m talking about.” I did. Professor Feldman never had many students in his ...

4AM

READING ACTS: Core Beliefs of Second Temple Judaism: Election. As I think I have mentioned before, I have reservations about regarding the Testament of Abraham as a Second Temple Jewish text. It makes as much (or better, as little) sense as a late-antique...
BIBLICAL STUDIES CARNIVAL: MAD AS A MARCH HARE 2017 at Jonathan Rivett Robinson's ξἐνος Blog. In five parts.
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: . Notice of a new book: Wiesehöfer, Josef & Sabine Müller (eds.). 2017. Parthika. Greek and Roman authors’ views of the Arsacid Empire (Classica et Orientalia 15). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Includes a chapter on Joseph...

March 31, 3AM

NUMISMATICS (ETC.) FAIL: Historical analysis of coin said to bear true image of Christ: 'Wildly irresponsible' and 'crackers.' The thesis is described as being as wacky as claims that aliens built the pyramids (Martha Henriques, International Business Tim...
AWOL BLOG: New from Luminos: Finding Jerusalem: Archaeology between Science and Ideology By Katharina Galor.

2AM

NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY T&T CLARK:The Influence of Post-Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic on the Translator of Septuagint Isaiah By: Seulgi L. Byun Published: 01-12-2017 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 240 ISBN: 9780567672384 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&...
DR. RABBI DAVID FRANKEL: “Mitzvah Piety” and the Need for Individual Atonement (TheTorah.com).Abstract: “Mitzvah piety” of the individual outside of the cult comes to the fore most distinctly in the Priestly texts. Each mitzvah became an end in it...
READING ACTS: Core Beliefs of Second Temple Judaism: Shema.The Shema was fundamental to daily practice of Jewish. The word refers to Deut. 6:4-5 (which begins “Hear O Israel,” shema is Hebrew for “Hear.”) The passage directs Jews to keep the comma...

March 30, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Jewish Messiahs in a Christian Empire: A History of the Book of Zerubbabel (Jae H. Han).Martha Himmelfarb. Jewish Messiahs in a Christian Empire: A History of the Book of Zerubbabel. Harvard University Press, 2017. In her ...
YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT: Do You Get to Keep What You Find? (Eric Cline, The ASOR Blog).There is one question that I am asked all the time, which has a short answer but is long on associated implications. The question is simply “Do you get to ...
THOSE TEMPLE TREASURES AGAIN: Secret of Dead Sea Copper Scroll Unlocked, Revealing Location of Lost Temple Treasures (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News). I read this article and then I actually listened to the whole video at the end of it. The ...

2AM

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: T-S K12.89: ‘Like Esther in front of Ahasuerus.’ Again, this is an old FOTM post from July 2010. The subject matter is the influence of biblical stories and texts on Jewish love spells found in the Cairo Geniza.
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UNESCO Resolution against Israel softened: "A significant achievement" (Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online).The Temple Mount issue, which caused great uproar previously, will not be mentioned but the resolution will condemn Isr...

March 29, 3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Israel Arrests Temple Mount Officials After Assault on Archaeologists. Waqf officials say Israeli archaeologists tried to remove stones from the complex, violating status quo (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).Israeli Police arrested four workers o...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:David Be’eri’s Useful Idiots Every archaeological discovery made in the City of David in the past twenty years can be measured in the dispossession and humiliation it has caused to the Palestinians of Silwan, in its contr...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY T&T CLARK:SOTS at 100: Centennial Essays of the Society for Old Testament Study Editor(s): John Jarick Published: 01-12-2017 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 224 ISBN: 9780567673640 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&T Clark Ser...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Synagogues in the Works of Flavius Josephus Rhetoric, Spatiality, and First-Century Jewish Institutions Andrew R. Krause, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster In Synagogues in the Works of Flavius Josephus, Andrew Krause analy...

2AM

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Theory: Ancient Phoenicians were the first to discover the Americas (TornosNews.gr). When I see headlines like this one, my heart sinks. I figure I'm going to have to endure some more nonsense. But in this case the headline was just clic...

March 28, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Students unearth a 2000-year-old Jewish settlement (Ynet News).Boyer High School in Jerusalem will fund most of its youth delegation’s visit to Poland by working at archaeological digs. This week, the school’s students are helping unearth...

2AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Why Jews Are Forbidden to Be Happy. Talmudic rabbis debate just how much of life should be forsaken as part of the Jewish responsibility to mourn for the past.Should a Jew ever be completely happy? The...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Herod the Great, or Herod the Terrible? By Paul N. Anderson George Fox University Newberg, Oregon March 2017 The fourth episode of CNN’s “Finding Jesus” second season focuses on King Herod, who ruled in Judea from 37-4...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Entreaty and Emotion, Theory and Texts: Studies in Second Temple Jewish Prayers (Andrew Krause).Stefan C. Reif and Renate Egger-Wenzel (eds.), Ancient Jewish Prayers and Emotions: The Emotions Associated with Jewish Prayer in and aroun...
CSCO BLOG: Ancient Masculinity by Dr. Karin Neutal. "In this newest video, Dr. Karin Neutal (University of Oslo) discusses ancient masculinity and circumcision."

March 27, 2AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Where Are the Royal Archives at Tel Hazor? Searching for cuneiform tablets at Tel Hazor (Marek Dospěl). Where indeed? Yigael Yadin thought he knew, and he was getting set to go find them when he died unexpectedly back in 1984. Then, ...
SAD NEWS FROM H-JUDAIC: Passing of Professor Louis Feldman.H-Judaic is deeply saddened to learn [from Dr Edward Reichman and Menachem Butler] of the passing of Professor Louis Feldman (1926-2017), the Abraham Wouk Family Professor of Classics and Literatu...
GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: T-S 6H9–21, the papyrus codex rebound (Rebecca J. W. Jefferson).In the course of research into ancient book-binding practices and their relevance to the conservation of the sewn structures preserved in the Jacques Mosseri G...
CSCO BLOG: Composite Citations in Antiquity (Dr. Sean Adams and Dr. Seth Ehorn).Over 20 percent of Paul’s quotations are composite. More than 17 percent of the citations in the Synoptic Gospels are composite. Despite these relatively high percentages, t...

1AM

AWOL: Open Access Dissertations from Macquarie University Department of Ancient History. The topics of these recent PhD thesis are wide ranging and some of them are relevant to ancient Judaism.

March 26, 2AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity Edited by Anders Klostergaard Petersen, Aarhus University and George van Kooten, University of Groningen This first volume of the...
DR. RABBI NORMAN SOLOMON: What was the Tachash Covering the Tabernacle? Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? Assyriology and archaeology provide an answer to an ancient question (TheTorah.com). Conclusion:Beaded hides are, from many points of view, the ideal mat...

1AM

READING ACTS: Fourth Maccabees and a Rational Faith.The “temperate mind” restrains the impulses of the body, what Paul calls “self-control” in Galatians 5:23. That Paul and 4 Maccabees both have a high view of the Law and the virtue of self-contro...
AWOL: The Oriental Institute Open Access Publications. So many links!
BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Story of Hebrew’ is a scholarly, engaging history of the language (Jonathan Kirsch, The Jewish Journal).One of the curiosities in “The Story of Hebrew” by Lewis Glinert (Princeton University Press) is that the author manages to w...

March 25, 4AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: On the Mikveh Trail, follow the rugged path of Jerusalem’s ancient pilgrims. Newly opened park takes you past many of the capital’s 200 ritual baths, used by visitors in the Second Temple era (AVIVA AND SHMUEL BAR-AM, Times of Isra...

3AM

NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:Classifying the Aramaic Texts from Qumran A Statistical Analysis of Linguistic Features By: John Starr Published: 15-12-2016 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 376 ISBN: 9780567667823 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&T Clark Series:...
READING ACTS: Fourth Maccabees and the Fourth Philosophy.It is possible the book of 4 Maccabees represents the “fourth philosophy” mentioned by Josephus as a subgroup of Judaism in competition with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. It has been th...
GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: ‘Destroy the life of N.N.!’: A magical recipe: T-S AS 162.51. This is an old FOTM, from September 2007. I recently went back through the list and found a number of entries that seem worth mentioning but which I have not m...
PROF. NAOMI KOLTUN-FROMM: The Readers Access to the Divine: Solomon’s Temple vs. Israel’s Mishkan (TheTorah.com).The mishkan account as a polemical response to the Temple narrative.

March 24, 4AM

CSCO BLOG: Scripture and the Oracles of God (Matthew Sharp).... The first thing to acknowledge when bringing this comparison into the ancient world is that things are not nearly so clean-cut as the comparison suggests. Greek oracles, for instance, were ...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Nathalie LaCoste.Nathalie LaCoste, Waters of the Exodus: Jewish Experiences with Water in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt (University of Toronto, 2016). Jewish narratives are products of their physical environments....
SARAH VEALE: Ancient Curses. This is the first I have had a good look at this website, although I see that Sarah put it up back in 2014. It has interesting information about a range of curses in antiquity, including biblical curses. There's also a blog, a...

3AM

HENDRICKSON PUBLISHERS BLOG: A Conversation about Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook.If you study Biblical Aramaic and haven’t yet gotten a chance to explore this new handbook, you’re in luck. We sat down with Amy Paulsen-Reed, one of the edito...
READING ACTS: What is Fourth Maccabees?4 Maccabees is included in several manuscripts of the LXX, including Vaticanus but was not included in the Vulgate. The book is therefore not a part of the Apocrypha although it is often included in introductions to...

March 23, 7AM

REVIEWS OF THE ENOCH SEMINAR:Jacob Neusner: An American Jewish Iconoclast Reviews of the Enoch Seminar 2017.03.04 Aaron W. Hughes, Jacob Neusner: An American Jewish Iconoclast. New York: New York University Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-4798-8585-5. Pp. 319. $...

5AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Babatha: The Ancient Jewish Woman About Whom We Know Most Because of this archive we can say without fear of contradiction that we know more about her than we do about any other Jewish woman in antiquity. See Also: Babatha's...

4AM

THE TALMUD BLOG: Natural Language Processing of Rabbinic Texts: Contexts, Challenges, Opportunities. The Talmud Blog is happy to continue our series on the interface of Digital Humanities and the study of Rabbinic Literature with a post by Marton Ribary o...
THE WHITE HOUSE has published a statement wishing a happy Persian New Year (Nowruz) to those who are celebrating it: Statement by President Donald J. Trump on Nowruz. Cyrus the Great is mentioned:Cyrus the Great, a leader of the ancient Persian Empire, fa...
AWOL: Open Access Journal: Studia Orientalia. The subject matter of this journal is wide ranging, but if you poke around a bit, you will find some material on ancient Judaism and related matters.

March 22, 4AM

REPAIRS COMPLETED: Jesus' tomb to be reopened in Jerusalem after multi-million dollar restoration. According to Christian belief, Jesus's body was buried at what became the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (AP). For background on the repairs and ...

3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: The Longest Stone in the Temple Mount (Todd Bolen, Bible Places Blog). A recent discovery in plain sight.
PROF. JONATHAN BEN-DOV: משכן – Tabernacle - The Materiality of a Divine Dwelling (TheTorah.com).What makes a material suitable for constructing a sacred space, and why, given all of the details and repetitions concerning the mishkan, are none of its...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: Purim Edition mordechkay "Mordecai." Slightly belatedly noted here. But with the bonus word boor (scroll down).
AWOL: New Additions to e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha (March 2017). Background on the e-Clavis online bibliography is here and here. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch.

March 21, 6AM

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A visual guide to the demons that spooked the Jews of Babylon. A new study depicts for the first time what Lilith, the baby­-killing seductress, looked like to those who feared her and why Satan has a tail and horns (Nir Hasson, Haaretz...

5AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Which Rules? The Law of the Kingdom, or the Law of the Jews? In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the rabbis debate whether Jews owe anything to gentiles, when it comes to property rights.In ...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Markus Witte (ed.), Otto Kaiser, Studien zu Philo von Alexandrien. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 501. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016. Pp. vi, 174. ISBN 9783110494570. €99,95. Sami Yli-Karjan...

4AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Evolution and Experience of Repentance at Qumran (Carmen Palmer).In Mark A. Jason’s revised doctoral dissertation, Repentance at Qumran: The Penitential Framework of Religious Experience in the Dead Sea Scrolls, he argues that fo...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: HIGH COURT TO CONSIDER RELIGIOUS STATUS OF WESTERN WALL TUNNEL. The left-wing consortium of archeologists and activists submitted the petition to the High Court in December (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).The High Court of Justice...

March 20, 4AM

NUMISMATICS: Hoard of coins from 1,400-year-old Byzantine site tells story of Persian invasion. As Jewish and Sassanid troops marched on Jerusalem in 614 CE, Christian residents of village on main pilgrimage route hid their valuables; now, nine copper coi...
EXCAVATION: Second Monumental Arch of Titus Celebrating Victory over Jews Found in Rome. Arch unearthed at the entrance of the Circus Maximus was built by Titus' brother Domitian, boasting of how the Romans had done the undoable and 'subdued the Jews' (Ar...

3AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Richard Stoneman, Xerxes: A Persian Life. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2015. Pp. xi, 275. ISBN 9780300180077. $38.00. Reviewed by Michael Iliakis (miliakis@gmail.com) Preview Xerxes I (518 – 465, r. 486 ...
POLITICS: LEFT-WING NGO DENOUNCES ISRAEL PRIZE LAUREATE DAVID BE’ERI (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).Emek Shaveh, a left-wing consortium of archeologists and activists that has repeatedly condemned the “Judaization” of east Jerusalem, criticize...
AT BEIT SHEMESH: Finds from the time of Jesus. Israeli artifacts provide clues to Christ's life (Daniel Estrin, AP). Easter is the excuse for this IAA warehouse exhibition for journalists, but it did seem to have some interesting items on display. For the...

March 19, 3AM

APOCRYPHICITY: Book Note: The Book of Mary by Michael P. Closs (Tony Burke).Michael P. Closs. The Book of Mary: A Commentary on the Protevangelium of James. Victoria, BC: Friesen Press, 2016. This self-published commentary by retired University of Ottawa...
ETHAN SCHWARTZ: The Red Heifer in Synagogue: Purifying Israel from Sin (TheTorah.com).Ezekiel 36 uses Priestly “purification” imagery similar to that of the red heifer ritual to describe God’s future reconciliation with Israel, inspiring the rabbis ...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Jewish Cultural Encounters in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern World Edited by Mladen Popović, University of Groningen, Myles Schoonover, University of Groningen, and Marijn Vandenberghe University of Gent, University of Gr...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Ctesias’ Persica and its Near Eastern Context. Notice of a new book: Waters, Matt. 2017. Ctesias’ Persica and its Near Eastern context (Wisconsin Studies in Classics). University of Wisconsin Press. Follow the link for a descrip...

2AM

LARRY HURTADO: Jesus in the Gospels.In the light of recent discussion about how the Gospels present Jesus, I offer some observations intended to underscore and summarize my own views, and, hopefully, to promote some clear thinking by all.[1] Readers’ al...

March 18, 4AM

ANOTHER REPLICA OF AN ANCIENT SHIP: Replica of 2,500-year-old ship found off Israel christened ahead of maiden voyage. ‘Ma’agan Michael II’ gets set to sail down the coast from Haifa to Herzliya as part of project to crack mystery of ancient seafari...
BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS, AND SCROLLS: Five Best Museums For Book Lovers (Sheobi Anne Ramos, Travelers Today).For book lovers around the globe, nothing is better than being inside a library or even just a room full of books. The scent of the pages is relaxing, ...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Roman Faith and Christian Faith: Pistis and Fides in the Early Roman Empire and Early Churches (Sarah Porter).Teresa Morgan. Roman Faith and Christian Faith: Pistis and Fides in the Early Roman Empire and Early Churches. Ox...

3AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What Was the Sin of the Golden Calf? (Prof. Joel Baden, TheTorah.com)Many scholars, traditional and academic, believe it was worship of another god, the first commandment in the Decalogue, but what Aaron actually claims abo...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: "Issue 03 – Dabir Journal. Issue 03 of Dabir, an open access on-line journal for Iranian Studies, is out now. Dabir is published by the Jordan Center for Persian Studies." There is nothing in this issue of direct releva...

March 17, 3AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Ancient Parchments Reveal Old Texts Concealed by Newer Ones. In a sixth-century Egyptian monastery’s library, high-tech imaging of parchments reveals thousands of pages of hidden text. (A. R. Williams, National Geographic).So far the i...
FREE SAMPLE: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online: Jewish Revolt, First (Mladen Popović, Marijn Vandenberghe).The Jewish Revolt against Rome (66–73/4 CE) was a major historical event, affecting Jewish and Roman history and the history of...
THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: East Jerusalem ‘modern builder’ awarded Israel Prize.Education Minsiter Naftali Bennett announces David Be’eri, the founder and chairman of the City of David Foundation, as one of the winners of the 2017 Israel Prize, considered...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:Vulnerability and Valour A Gendered Analysis of Everyday Life in the Dead Sea Scrolls Communities By: Jessica M. Keady Published: 23-02-2017 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 240 ISBN: 9780567672247 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Persianism in Antiquity. Notice of a new book: Strootman, Rolf & Miguel John Versluys (eds.). 2017. Persianism in antiquity (Oriens et Occidens 25). Franz Steiner Verlag. Follow the link for a description and the TOC. Ancient J...

March 16, 3AM

MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY: Diving Robbers Are Looting Underwater Treasures, Archaeologists Wail. Robbing marine antiquities is hardly a lucrative business but fish aren't about to enforce international maritime law, leaving the authorities almost helpless to s...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: 'Dome of the Rock inspired by Jewish Temple.' Archaeological findings and historical records show Dome of Rock inspired by Jewish temple. Findings presented today in Knesset (Mordechai Sones, Arutz Sheva).Archaeologist Asaf Avraham, fo...
APPREHENDED: Antiquities thieves caught red-handed. Arabs use backhoe loader in attempt to loot archaeological site (Orly Harari, Arutz Sheva).On Tuesday afternoon an off-duty Border Police volunteer noticed a backhoe loader working on fields near the Go...
POLITICS: During Moscow Visit, Netanyahu Receives Special Gift From Putin — a Nearly 500-Year-Old Copy of Josephus’ The Jewish War (Barney Breen-Portnoy, The Algemeiner).Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a special gift from Russian Pr...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: The 220-Year History of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber, TheTorah.com).An overview of Persian history starting from Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Media (549 B.C.E.) until Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia (...

March 15, 3AM

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Equation for the Calculation of Scroll Length (Drew Longacre, OTTC Blog).
JAMES MCGRATH: Learning Ancient Greek as a Spoken Language.One of the most impressive items that I saw at SBL this year, and purchased there, is their Speak Koine Greek: A Conversational Phrasebook. It is exactly what it sounds like – a phrase book for ...
ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Drake, Elvis and Ziggy amongst BIZARRE list of names given to babies born in Scotland. HARLEY-DAVIDSON, Cleopatra and Jynxx-Blu are among the most bizarre names given to babies born in Scotland over the past year, a new report ha...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Sociolinguistics and the Hodayot (Thanksgiving Hymns) (Michael Johnson).Meaning and Context in the Thanksgiving Hymns is the revised version of Trine Bjørnung Hasselbalch’s 2011 doctoral dissertation, supervised by Bodil Ejrnæs, wh...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: hafTarah - "haftarah" (ending).

March 14, 3AM

BUT HOW DID IT GET THERE? Jewish artist unearths ancient ‘star-shaped lamp’ at Maastricht fair. David Breuer-Weill recalls stumbling upon an ancient Jewish candle-holder at an arts fair in the Netherlands (STEPHEN ORYSZCZUK, Jewish News).A Jewish arti...
ACADEMIC JOB:Research Associate University of Cambridge - Department of Middle Eastern Studies Location: Cambridge Salary: £29,301 to £38,183 Hours: Full Time Contract Type: Contract / Temporary Placed on: 13th March 2017 Closes: 16th April 2017 Job Re...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Does the Talmud Legalize Squatting? In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ putting limits on property rights.Over the last several weeks, Daf Yomi readers have explored the Talmudic laws governing the posse...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: biTTaHon - "trust (in God); confidence; security." A biblical word with modern Israeli usages.
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Regev, Elkin, to Establish Temple Mount Heritage Fund in Response to UNESCO (David Israel, The Jewish Press).Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev and Minister for the Environment and for Jerusalem Zeev Elkin have decided to establish...

March 13, 10AM

WILLIAM A. ROSS: NEW PHD PROGRAM IN SEPTUAGINT STUDIES (MCMASTER DIVINITY COLLEGE) (Septuaginta &C. Blog). Looks good.

3AM

BIBLIOGRAPHI IRANICA: The Economy of Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia. Notice of a new book: Pirngruber, Reinhard. 2017. The economy of late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia. Cambridge University Press. Follow the link for a description and orderin...
ONE MORE FOR PURIM: Haman’s Antisemitism: What Did He Not Like About the Jews? (Prof. Rabbi Martin Lockshin, TheTorah.com).The book of Esther is a study in antisemitism. It is the only biblical book that portrays antisemitism, and itself has been the su...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: pasul - "disqualified, unfit, useless." These columns have not been showing in Google searches, perhaps because of their new, uncopiable format. But I have dug up a few recent ones and will be sharing them in...

2AM

READING ACTS: Reading Acts Goes to Turkey.This week I am on a short trip in Turkey, visiting many of the typical sites you might expect in Istanbul. I am obviously looking forward to Ephesus, but our short tour is packed. Usually these kind of tours overp...

March 12, 8AM

SOME PRELIMINARY RESULTS:A Digital Palaeographic Approach towards Writer Identification in the Dead Sea Scrolls Topics: Feature Selection and Extraction; Image Understanding In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Pattern Recognition Applic...
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM CUP:The Book of Revelation and Early Jewish Textual Culture Part of Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series AUTHOR: Garrick V. Allen, Dublin City University PUBLICATION PLANNED FOR: June 2017 AVAILABILITY: Not yet publis...
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS:Rabbi Akiva: Sage of the Talmud (Jewish Lives) Hardcover – March 14, 2017 by Barry W. Holtz A compelling and lucid account of the life and teachings of a founder of rabbinic Judaism and one of the most belove...

7AM

ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Metatron now has his own gaming channel on You Tube.The Metatron has spread his wingsHT reader Robert Schwartz.
LEEN RITMEYER: The Genesis Sanctuary. As Dr. Ritmeyer observes, the idea that the primordial paradise was also a temple is old, going back at least to the Book of Jubilees. It could be added that the iconography of the Jerusalem Temple, with its cherubim,...

March 11, 6AM

HAPPY PURIM to all those celebrating! The festival begins tonight at sundown. Some recent posts on Purim are here, here, here, here, and here. Last year's Purim post is here and it leads to previous posts on the subject.
FAKE METAL CODICES WATCH: Antiquities agency chief says Jordan Codices fake. Jamhawi accuses British researcher of disseminating false information (Jordan Times).AMMAN — The Department of Antiquities (DoA) on Thursday announced that the lead codices it ...

4AM

MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: Bible as Scripture, Bible as Artifact. Hindy Najman on Benjamin Sommer’s Revelation and Authority.Benjamin Sommer has written one of the most important books as a biblicist and as a scholar of Jewish studies. He has written f...

3AM

PURIM IS ALMOST HERE: The Three Faces of Esther. How the story of Purim is told in Christian scripture, and how Martin Luther became Esther’s enemy (Matthew Abelson, Tablet Magazine). As the headline indicates, this article is about a range of things pe...
CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: REVISITING THE QUESTION OF JEWISH ORIGINS MYTH / CONSTRUCT / REALITY. From Dr. Steve Weitzman, who writes:The conference, on March 20-21 at Brown University, is entitled Revisiting the Question of Jewish Origi...

March 10, 2PM

THE TALMUD BLOG: Digital Humanities and Rabbinic Literature. The Talmud Blog is happy to be hosting a series on the interface of Digital Humanities and the study of Rabbinic Literature. Our first post comes from Prof. Michael Satlow, of Brown University.I...

6AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Anthony A. Barrett, Elaine Fantham, John C. Yardley (ed.), The Emperor Nero: A Guide to the Ancient Sources. Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016. Pp. xxvii, 300. ISBN 9780691156514. $35.00 (pb). Reviewed b...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: A New French Translation of the Avesta. Notice of a new book: Lecoq, Pierre. 2017. Les livres de l’Avesta. Les textes sacrés des zoroastriens. Cerf.

5AM

FOR SALE: Unread copy of 16th-century multilingual Psalms, loathed by Columbus’s son, up for auction (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel.Ferdinand Columbus, the famed explorer’s bastard son, had a serious beef with the first multilingual edition of the Bo...

4AM

THE WORLD IS FULL OF HISTORY: Putin to Netanyahu: Don’t judge Iran by 5th century BC, we live in a different world (RT). Actually, the story in Esther is a novelistic legend rather than history, but a lot of what people think of as history is like that....

March 9, 3AM

POLITICS AND LAW: Proposal for applying Jewish Law in legal decisions approved.. A bill for implementing Jewish Civil Law in modern Israeli jurisprudence approved in preliminary reading (Yoel Domb, Arutz Sheva).The Knesset approved in a preliminary readin...
PURIM IS COMING: 2,500 Years Later, Tombs of Esther and Mordechai Still Standing in Iran (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News).The burial site of Purim heroes Mordechai and Esther stands proudly in the heart of Iran, proclaiming the Jews’ Bibli...

2AM

MARK GOODACRE: Gospel of Jesus' Wife Updates. Yes, perhaps surprisingly, there are new things to note. But the bottom line remains that Gospel of Jesus' Wife is a forgery. Background here with many, many links.
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Unexpected Influences | Beth Berkowitz and Ishay Rosen-Zvi.“As an occasional series, Unexpected Influences asks scholars to reflect upon one book outside their respective fields that influenced their scholarship.”
PURIM IS COMING: Ahasuerus and Vashti: The Story Megillat Esther Does Not Tell You (Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich, Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber, Rabbi David Steinberg, TheTorah.com).How the rabbis came to imagine Ahasuerus as a usurper who halted the rebuilding of the...

March 8, 4AM

ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY PRESS RELEASE:A 2,000 Year Old Road was Exposed in Bet Shemesh In an archaeological excavation that was carried out prior to the installation of a water pipeline at the initiative of the Mei Shemesh Company A wide and impres...

3AM

IN THE MAIL:Philip F. Esler, Babatha's Orchard: The Yadin Papyri and an Ancient Jewish Family Tale Retold (OUP 2017) Babatha's Orchard tells a story that has gone untold for nearly two thousand years. It is a story that would have perished with the last ...
ETC BLOG: Origen on Textual Criticism and Biblical Authority (Peter Gurry). Blaming textual corruptions on the devil is a new one to me. But I suppose someone had to think of it, and it might as well have been Origen.
READING ACTS: The Incident with the Elephants – 3 Maccabees 3-6. Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links.
PURIM IS COMING: Megillat Esther: Reversing the Legacy of King Saul (Prof. Marc Zvi Brettler, TheTorah.com).One of the main themes in Megillat Esther is the death of Haman, the descendent of Agag, last king of Amalek, at the hands of Mordecai and Esther, ...

March 7, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: War, Violence, and Peace in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Mike DeVries).Kipp Davis, Kyung S. Baek, Peter W. Flint, and Dorothy M. Peters (eds.). The War Scroll, Violence, War and Peace in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature: Essays in ...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Daf Yomi: ‘Whoever Is Stronger Prevails.’ Talmudic rabbis solve territorial disputes by giving the spoils to the victor.The principle in such cases [when neither party can produce proof of ownersh...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Mani in Cambridge: A Day-Symposium on Manichaean Studies | Ancient India & Iran Trust. The symposium takes place on 25 March. Cross-file under Manichean (Manichaean) Watch.
READING ACTS: Have Mercy on the Downcast – 3 Maccabees 2.There is very little in these events which is historical. The writer has combined elements of the abominations of Antiochus IV with Pompey’s entry into the Temple in 63 B.C. The writer created a...

2AM

APPREHENDED: ANTIQUITIES THEFT FROM SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD PREVENTED IN CENTRAL ISRAEL. Security guards at Erez Crossing prevent smuggling of rare relics (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).Three Arab men who attempted to loot gold coins from the archeolog...

March 6, 3AM

THE ETC BLOG: Lund on Ezekiel in the Antioch Bible (Peshitta) ( Peter Gurry).In RBL, Jerome Lund reviews Gillian Greenberg and Donald M. Walter, trans. Ezekiel according to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 201...
DR. RAANAN EICHLER: The Poles of the Ark and Tutankhamun’s Chest (TheTorah.com).The description of what is to be done with the ark’s carrying poles (בַּדִּים) seems to differ between Exodus ch. 25 and Numbers 4. Medieval Jewish commentators of...

2AM

READING ACTS: Apostasy in Third Maccabees.By giving up ancestral practices which set him apart as a Jew, Dositheos has made himself a stranger and an outsider both to Israel and to God. His estrangement is demonstrated by preserving the life of Philopater...
BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:REINHARD GREGOR KRATZ Prophetenstudien Kleine Schriften II [On Prophets and Prophecy. Selected Essays II. Student Edition.] 2011; unrevised student edition 2017. X, 420 pages. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 74 49,00 € paper...
PALMYRA WATCH: ISIS jihadists damage Roman monument in Palmyra. ISIS jihadists have severely damaged a major Roman monument ancient Syrian city, says antiquities official (Ben Ariel, Arutz Sheva).Antiquities official Wael Hafyan told Reuters he had seen s...

March 5, 3AM

THE ASOR BLOG: The Generative Power of The Always-Yet-Never-Here Apocalypse (Kelly J. Murphy and Justin Jeffcoat Schedtler).The idea that the apocalypse is both always-and-never-here led us to write Apocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents Through His...
AWOL: Dissertations in Ancient Near Eastern Studies Approved by the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago. The dissertations are available for download as PDF files. They are on a wide range of topics, including...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:In Search of Truth. Augustine, Manichaeism and other Gnosticism Studies for Johannes van Oort at Sixty Edited by Jacob van den Berg, Annemaré Kotzé, Tobias Nicklas and Madeleine Scopello This volume in honour of Johannes van Oort, f...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: ReOrienting the Sasanians. Notice of a new book: Rezakhani, Khodadad. 2017. ReOrienting the Sasanians: East Iran in late antiquity (Edinburgh Studies in Ancient Persia). Edinburgh University Press. Follow the link for details.

2AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:SHELLEY L. BIRDSONG The Last King(s) of Judah Zedekiah and Sedekias in the Hebrew and Old Greek Versions of Jeremiah 37(44):1–40(47):6 [Die letzten Könige von Juda. Zedekia und Sedekias in der hebräischen und altgriechisch...

March 4, 5AM

PALMYRA WATCH: Syrian troops clear Palmyra of mines as scale of fresh damage is revealed (Josie Ensor, The Telegraph/AP).Speaking to the Telegraph earlier this week, Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria's antiquities minister, said he was devastated by the new damag...
READING ACTS: What is Third Maccabees?This “historical romance” was written in Greek sometime after the battle of Raphia (217 B.C.) and before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The book seems to know the additions to Daniel and possible the Letter of ...

4AM

NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH MEETS ORCHESTRA: Philharmonia Baroque give Judas top billing in new season (Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News).The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra is often associated with the music of its namesake era, but the award-winning ense...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Demons and Illness from Antiquity to the Early-Modern Period Edited by Siam Bhayro and Catherine Rider, University of Exeter In many near eastern traditions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, demons have appeared as a cause o...
NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Apocrypha texts offer insights into early Christianity (Keith Elliot, London Times).Two scholars, Tony Burke and Brent Landau, recently edited the first volume in a new series of noncanonical Christian texts under the title ...

March 3, 5AM

MORE ON THE OMRIT HOUSE: Ducks, not phalluses, real stars of 1,900-year-old find in northern Israel. Archaeologist at Roman settlement of Omrit, near Hula Valley, says phallic find that grabbed headlines pales in comparison to pastoral frescoes discovered...
PALMYRA WATCH: Palmyra: Syrian forces 'completely retake' IS-held town (BBC).Syrian government forces and their Russian backers have completely recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from so-called Islamic State (IS) militants, the two allies say. The ar...
A NEW ISSUE OF REVUE DE QUMRAN (28.2. NO. 108 [2016]) IS AVAILABLE FROM PEETERS PRESS. TOC:Articles 153 - 155 - Remembering Peter W. Flint (1951-2016) PERRIN, Andrew B. 157 - 173 - A Textual History of Deuteronomy 11:4a and its Place in Traditions of th...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:TAL ILAN Massekhet Hullin Text, Translation, and Commentary [Massekhet Hullin.] 2017. XIII, 671 pages. A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud V/3 139,00 € cloth ISBN 978-3-16-155200-7 available Published in Engl...

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READING ACTS: Simon the Hasmonean Messiah? – 1 Maccabees 14:4-15.Undoubtedly this description of Simon is propaganda, but it is biblical propaganda. Describing the Hasmonean dynasty in terms reminiscent of the dreamed of eschatological kingdom is design...

March 2, 4AM

RICHARD STEINER: The Aramaic Text in Demotic Script: Text, Translation, and Notes (Academia.edu). HT Aaron Koller on Facebook. This file is full-on philology applied to one of the most difficult of our surviving ancient Aramaic epigraphic texts. But if y...

3AM

DECODED SCIENCE: Dead Sea Scrolls: From Copper to Parchment, An Archeological Treasure Trove ( John A. Jaksich).The Essenes, a Jewish sect of the first century CE, hid the Dead Sea Scrolls (and other artifacts) from the Roman occupiers in caves near Qumra...
PURSUING VERITAS BLOG: February 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival (Jacob J. Prahlow). I believe that counts as Carnival 132.
PUNIC WATCH: Archaeologists Uncover Vast Ancient Roman Mining Operation in Spain. The Romans exploited an even more ancient mine but built elaborate ventilated underground galleries, going deeper than had been thought possible at the time (Philippe Bohstr...
PALMYRA WATCH: Palmyra: Syrian forces 'enter' IS-held town (BBC).Syrian government forces have entered the ancient city of Palmyra, pushing back militants from so-called Islamic State (IS), activists say. The troops and their allies, backed by Russian ai...

March 1, 4AM

THE OUP BLOG: Ancient legal papyri bring lost world to life (Philip F. Esler).Everyone has heard of the ancient Jewish religious scrolls discovered at Qumran by the Dead Sea in the middle of the 20th century. But who is aware that nearly 100 legal papyri ...

3AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2017.02.53 Barbara Levick, Vespasian. Second Edition. Roman Imperial Biographies. London; New York: Routledge, 2017. Pp. xxvi, 345. ISBN 9780415708890. $140.00/£90.00​. Reviewed by Christophe...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Luke and Acts: Historical Reliability - 3 (Michael J. Caba). This post is on Herod Antipas (Herod the Tetrarch). Earlier posts in the series have been noted here and here.
PALMYRA WATCH: Activists: Syrian Pro-Government Forces Near IS-Held Palmyra (AP). Great. ISIS vs. the Syrian Government and Hezbollah. That's not much of a choice, but the latter will at least take care of what's left of the ruins on the site if they reca...
DISCOVERY: Islamic State looting uncovers ancient palace beneath Jonah’s Tomb. Archaeologists in Iraq find residence of biblical kings Sennacherib and Esarhaddon in IS-dug tunnels beneath ruined shrine, according to report (Times of Israel/AFP). Past p...

February 28, 5AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Community Rule Manuscript Tradition from Qumran and the Growth of Ancient Jewish Texts (Charlotte Hempel).Qumran’s Glimpses into Textual Evolution One of the most fascinating insights provided by the Dead Sea Scrolls is the way ...

4AM

VIDEO: 1955 Film of Cutting Open of the Copper Scroll. Posted by the Leverhulme International Network Project for the Study of Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archival Sources, courtesy of Judy Brown, John Allegro's daughter. Seen on Facebook etc. ...

3AM

READING ACTS: “The Lord Leading Them On” – 2 Maccabees 10:1 and Mark 10:32.In New Testament studies it is somewhat commonplace to say the Jews at the time of Jesus were expecting a messiah who was a military leader or a Davidic king. In popular prea...
NPR INTERVIEW: Decades Later, Translation Of Jewish Text Will Open Zohar's Gates To English Speakers.MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now we'd like to tell you about an important Jewish text that will finally be available in English. In May, publishers will release ...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: If You’ll Buy That, the Rabbi’ll Throw the Golden Gate in Free. This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study examines the origin of rules for real estate transactions.Chapter Three of Tractate Bava B...

February 27, 4AM

BYRN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Steve Mason, A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. xii, 689. ISBN 9780521853293. $150.00. Reviewed by Matthew V. Novenson, University of Edinburgh (matthew.novenson@ed.ac...

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INTERVIEW: Featured Faculty: Professor Joseph L. Angel (Arthur Schoen, YU Commentator).Professor Joseph L. Angel is an Associate Professor of Jewish History at YU, where he teaches Bible and Jewish History courses in YC, IBC, and Revel. A recent tenure re...
AWOL: New Additions to e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha (February 2017). There are new entries in the e-Clavis bibliography (on which more here) on the following texts:Apocalypse of Peter (Greek/Ethiopic) by Cambry Pardee Dialogue of the Savior by Anna Cwikl...
READING ACTS: A Righteous Remnant in 1 Enoch 83-84.It is very difficult to date with certainty any section of 1 Enoch, but if these two chapters were originally an introduction to the Animal Apocalypse (which follows in 1 Enoch 85-90), then the historical...

2AM

NEW JOURNAL: Studies in Late Antiquity Launches First Issue. Follow the link for subscription information and the TOC for the first issue. You can access all the content for free online. For you, special deal! Past posts noting that the journal was forth...

February 26, 3AM

NEW JOURNAL VOLUME FROM MAGNES PRESS:Textus Studies of the Hebrew University Bible Project Edited by: Dr Michael Segal Publisher: The Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies Series: Textus - STUDIES OF THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY BIBLE PROJECT Categories: Jewis...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Manichaeism East and West. Notice of a new book: Lieu, Samuel, Nils Arne Pedersen, Enrico Morano & Erica Hunter (eds.). 2017. Manichaeism East and West (Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum – Analecta Manichaica 1). Brepols Publishers....
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM PRINT-O-CRAFT:The Illustrated Pirkei Avot: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Ethics Ships on or before April 20, 2017. Composed almost 2,000 years ago, Pirkei Avot is Judaism’s oldest and most important book of wisdom and ethics. The book...

2AM

DR. LEAH MAZOR: Embryology in Jewish and Ancient Middle Eastern Sources: Korot vol.23 2015-2016.Samuel S. Kottek (ed.), Embryology in Jewish and Ancient Middle Eastern Sources: Korot vol.23 (2015-2016). The Magnes Press EDITORIAL The present volume 23...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:From Jesus to his First Followers: Continuity and Discontinuity Anthropological and Historical Perspectives Adriana Destro and Mauro Pesce, University of Bologna From Jesus to His First Followers examines to what extent early Christia...

February 25, 4AM

DIGITIZATION: The Monk Who Saves Manuscripts From ISIS. Why a Christian wants to rescue Islamic artifacts (Matteo Fagotto, The Atlantic).Rescuing the world’s most precious antiquities from destruction is a painstaking project—and a Benedictine monk ma...
A NEW ISSUE Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 20.1 (2017). I'm always happy to see more from this excellent, open access journal. Follow the link for the TOC. I note that in the current issue there is an article on The Cave of Treasures. Cross-file under...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Margreet L. Steiner, Ann E. Killebrew (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant c. 8000-332 BCE. Oxford handbooks in archaeology. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pp. xxi, 885. ISBN 97801992...
FACULTY OF CLASSICS, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE:— Call For Papers: “Being Jewish, Writing Greek” — Deadline: Friday 30th April Greek texts written by Jews in the Hellenistic and Imperial period (ca. 3rd century B.C.E. to 3rd C.E.) occupy numerous p...

3AM

THE MITZPEH: Meyerhoff Center hosts lecture on dragon slaying in Ancient Hebrew texts (Nicole Reisinger).Dragons, storm gods, and the sea were the focal points of Robert Miller’s lecture Wednesday when he addressed a group of about 30 students and facul...

February 24, 4AM

H-JUDAIC: CONF: A conference in honor of Prof. Shamma Friedman On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Wednesday, 15 March, 2017. It takes place at the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies, 4 Avraham Granot St., Jerusalem. There are many interesting-looki...

3AM

CALL FOR PAPERS:Vision, Narrative, and Wisdom in the Aramaic Texts from Qumran International Symposium on Aramaic Texts from Qumran, Copenhagen, 14.-15. August, 2017 The Copenhagen Qumran Initiative and the Theological Faculty of the University of Copenh...
THE EERDWORD BLOG: The Nephilim and the Fallen Angels, by Loren Stuckenbruck.The mythical story of fallen angels preserved in 1 Enoch and related literature was profoundly influential during the Second Temple period. In The Myth of Rebellious Angels renow...
READING ACTS: God as the Judge in Apocalyptic Literature.A feature of apocalyptic which is drawn from the Hebrew Bible is the belief God will intervene in history to destroy the evil attacking the faithful. The nation of Israel always understood God as th...
MARKERS OF AUTHENTICITY BLOG: CfP: Panel on Forgeries at SBL Annual Meeting (Malcolm Choat). "The call for papers closes on 8th March 2017." Sounds like a promising topic.

February 23, 4AM

NUMISMATICS: A NEW LECTURE SERIES: “MONEY TALKS: NUMISMATIC CONVERSATIONS” (Andrew Reinhard, Pocket Change Blog). I already noted this current lecture series in New York here. But this Pocket Change post has some additional information, notably on thi...
EPIGRAPHY DEAL? Minister offers Turkish mayor elephants for ancient Hebrew inscription. 2,700-year-old Siloam inscription, taken by the Ottomans and still held in Istanbul, marks direct evidence of Bible’s account of King Hezekiah’s tunnel-building in...
NEW BOOK FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS:Jewish Magic before the Rise of Kabbalah Yuval Harari Subjects: Jewish Studies, Jewish Life and Tradition Series: Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology HARDBACK Published: February 2017 ISBN...

3AM

READING ACTS: Defining Apocalyptic Literature. This could be expressed a little more clearly. John Collins has done important work on defining the literary genre "apocalypse," as summarized in the blog post. There is no "apocalyptic" ...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Searching for the Temple of King Solomon How the ’Ain Dara temple in Syria sheds light on King Solomon in the Bible and his famous temple. No they aren't going to find the First ("Solomon's") actual Temple. That is long go...

February 22, 5AM

EPIGRAPHY: Hebrew carvings on column lend weight to Galilee village’s Jewish past. IAA says discovery of 1,800-year-old limestone capital bearing inscriptions reinforces association of Druze village of Peki’in with Roman-era center of Jewish scholarsh...

4AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Did Archaeologists Really Discover a New Dead Sea Scroll Cave? Dead Sea Scroll cave under the microscope. Excerpt:I must, in all fairness, concede that Gutfeld’s speculation is entirely plausible. However, we must also acknowledge ...
THE JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF JUDAISM VOLUME 47 (2016, issues 1-5) is now complete and available online. There are lots of articles and reviews on Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman periods. You can read the TOC and abstracts for free, but acces...

3AM

YAZIDI WATCH: Canada to welcome 1,200 Yazidi refugees from Iraq. Vulnerable religious minority targeted by Islamic State as heretics, being taken in by Ottawa at ‘controlled pace’ (AFP/Times of Israel). Past PaleoJudaica posts on the Yazidis, their G...
THE EERDWORD BLOG: Five Great Books on Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. It's a good list. I am pleased to see Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1 (ed. Bauckham, Davila, and Panayotov) among them. Cross-file under Old Testam...

February 21, 4AM

TRANSLATION FAIL? How a translation mistake ended up making India a part of the Bible. Whether medieval Christians saw India as a symbol of evil or as the home of saints, the Subcontinent remained a source of fascination (Scroll.in).Another error in trans...

3AM

FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM SUNY PRESS:The Greatest Mirror Heavenly Counterparts in the Jewish Pseudepigrapha Andrei A. Orlov - Author Price: $95.00 Hardcover - 300 pages Release Date: November 2017 ISBN10: N/A ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6691-0And there's a descripti...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Multiple Faces and Phases of Texts at Qumran: Growth, Expansion, and Rewriting in Community Documents (Menahem Kister).THE SHAPING AND SHAPES OF ANCIENT TEXTS AT QUMRAN What is an ancient text? How should similar but different tex...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Roman House and Phallic Amulets Discovered in Israel (Owen Jarus, Live Science).A house dating back around 1,900 years, which is decorated with frescoes showing scenes of nature, has been discovered at the archaeological site of Omrit...
COMING IN MAY 2017: Vatican and Rome Jewish community host menorah exhibition (Reuters, rpt. YNetNews).The exhibition will be held in St. Peter's Square and the Rome synagogue complex and will include about 130 menorahs or depictions of them in paintings...

February 20, 4AM

DATABASE: Elyonim veTachtonim. Electronic inventory of angels, demons and ghosts in the early rabbinic literature. The current version covers the Babylonian Talmud. "Elyonim veTachtonim" means "the most high ones and the lower ones," ...

3AM

HETERODOXOLOGY BLOG: Esotericism and Cognitive Science: Aries special issue published (vol. 17:1) (Egil Asprem). Notable in this issue is the article by April DeConick:Soul Flights Cognitive Ratcheting and the Problem of Comparison Abstract Narratives of...
NEW BOOK FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS:Jewish Messiahs in a Christian Empire A History of the Book of Zerubbabel Martha Himmelfarb Product Details HARDCOVER $39.95 • £31.95 • €36.00 ISBN 9780674057623 Publication: February 2017 x Text 232 pages 6...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Playing with Leviathan: Interpretation and Reception of Monsters from the Biblical World Edited by Koert van Bekkum, Kampen Theological University, Jaap Dekker, Apeldoorn Theological University, Henk van de Kamp, minister of Apeldoorn...
DR. ELAINE GOODFRIEND: The Law of the Goring Ox: Is It Neutered?(TheTorah.com).The word שור in Hebrew can refer to an ox or a bull, but which animal is the protagonist of the celebrated law of שור נגח, “the goring bovine”?The word itself is a...

2AM

APPREHENDED: Border officials thwart attempt to smuggle dozens of ancient coins into Israel. Coins span period of 1,400 years from the first century B.C. to the Mamluk period in the 13th century A.D. (i24 News).Israeli customs officials announced on Sunda...

February 19, 3AM

NEW BOOK IN HEBREW FROM MAGNES PRESS:The Languages of Talmudic Discourse A Philosophical Study of the Evolution of Amoraic Halakha By Ariel Furstenberg Purchase options: Price Site price Printed book $ 22.00 $ 19.80 Online book & Download $ 16.50 ...
PROF. LAWRENCE H. SCHIFFMAN: EXCITEMENT AS ADDITIONAL QUMRAN CAVE IS DISCOVERED. THE FASCINATING SAGA OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS CONTINUES. A reprint of his article in Ami Magazine. Background on "Qumran Cave 12" is here. It is possible that the c...
READING ACTS: Psalms of Solomon and the Hasmoneans.The writers of the Psalms of Solomon do not see the descendants of the Hasmoneans as the fulfillment of the prophetic hope for a good, righteous shepherd king in the tradition of David. Their protest is a...
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY: Penn State Professor To Present “The Myth of the Dead Sea Scrolls” Lecture (Kelsey Dehnel).WACO, Texas (Feb. 17, 2017) – Daniel Falk, Ph.D., professor of classics and ancient Mediterranean studies and the Chaiken Family Chair in J...

February 18, 4AM

THE WORLD IS FULL OF HISTORY: Ancient Nubia: A Brief History (Owen Jarus, Live Science). Ancient Nubia's history has a famous overlap with Second Temple Jewish history (or legend) in the Book of Acts in the story of the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch ...
NUMISMATICS: PALM READING (Oliver Hoover, Pocket Change Blog). No, not that kind of palm reading. This Pocket Change post is on how the Canaanites came to be known as "Phoenicians" and where the term "Punic" comes from, illustrated wi...
MUSIC: Saille Posts New Song "Benei ha'Elohim" (xFiruath, MetalUnderground.com).Belgian Black metal band Saille just released the lyric video for new track "Benei ha'Elohim." The song is taken from forthcoming album "Gnosis,"...

3AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILLThe Languages of Diaspora and Return by Bernard Spolsky (Bar-Ilan University). Until quite recently, the term Diaspora (usually with the capital) meant the dispersion of the Jews in many parts of the world. Now, it is recognized that ...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Persian Religion in the Achaemenid Period. Notice of a new book: Henkelman, Wouter & Céline Redard (eds.). 2017. Persian religion in the Achaemenid period (Classica et Orientalia 16). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

February 17, 3AM

TALMUD WATCH: Talmud & Commentaries (Louis Finkelman, Detroit Jewish News).Sefaria, a website founded in 2013 that aims to put the seemingly infinite Jewish canon online for free, has published an acclaimed translation of the Talmud in English. The tr...
KARAITE WATCH: A Karaite prayer: Little-known Jewish community builds center to tell its story (David A.M. Wilensky, J.).B’nai Israel is the only Karaite synagogue in North America, serving the diaspora’s largest Karaite community — about 800 member...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:The Formation of the Biblical Canon: 2 Volumes By: Lee Martin McDonald Published: 26-01-2017 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st ISBN: 9780567669339 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&T Clark RRP: £250.00 Online price: £225.00 Save £25.00 (1...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:The Consortium for the Bethsaida Excavation Project: Report on the 2016 Excavation Season By Rami Arav, Carl Savage, Kate Raphael, Nicolae Roddy, Vanessa Workman, Kenneth M. Bensimon University of Nebraska, Omaha Bethsaida Ex...
READING ACTS: First Maccabees as Pro-Hasmonean Propaganda. On this subject, see also this post. Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links.

February 16, 3AM

WHAT'S IN A NAME? Archaeologists shocked to find ancient gateway at ‘House of Gates.’ Excavation at Beit She’arim in northern Israel unearths fortifications of Roman-era Jewish town where the Mishna was written (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).With ...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Talmud to Betsy DeVos: Yes, We Need Public Schools. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ rabbinical thinking on the relationship of public goods and private obligations explains the advantages of universa...
READING ACTS: Factors Leading to the Maccabean Revolt (Part 2). "For the writer of 1 Maccabees, violence was indeed the answer." Yep. Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links.
ETHIOPIC WATCH: U of T students flock to ancient language Ge'ez course, funded in part by The Weeknd. Deciphering ancient languages can help us learn about a country's ancient past – even if you don't know how to pronounce the words (David Silverberg, N...

2AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH, VIDEO EDITION: Watch: Second Temple mikvehs restored near Temple Mount. Kevin Bermeister joined the Jerusalem 5800 project to restore the mikvehs south of the Temple Mount. Watch a virtual tour of the site (Eliran Baruch, Arutz Sheva)....

February 11, 5AM

READING ACTS: 1 Maccabees and the Legitimacy of the Hasmoneans.The book of 1 Maccabees clearly favors the revolution against the Seleucid and the Hasmonean dynasty. In fact, it is “a thoroughgoing pro-Hasmonean . . . perhaps even Sadducean, tendency int...
QUMRAN CAVE 12: New Dead Sea Scroll Find May Help Detect Forgeries. Looters plundered the cave decades ago. But archaeologists are thrilled by what they left behind. Here’s why. (Michelle Z. Donahue, National Geographic).The discovery of a twelfth cave ...

4AM

FURTHER TO INTERNATIONAL SEPTUAGINT DAY: The Septuagint Song (Tommy Wasserman, ETC Blog). I give them points for effort. Background here.
NEW NOVEL: Nottingham novelist crafts 19th century bible hunting tale that is 'Indiana Jones meets Jules Verne.' Bible-hunting, rogues and Egypt combine to create Nottingham writer Stephen Taylor's fascinating novel, Gospels. Amy Wilcockson spoke to him t...

3AM

ZOHAR WATCH: Judy Barrett's Academia.edu page has a number of resources for the study of Zoharic Aramaic. See especially Twelve Lessons in Grammatical and Syntactic Analysis of the Zohar and (Toward) A Thesaurus of the Zohar: English-Aramaic/Hebrew Synon...

February 10, 5AM

TU B'SHEVAT, the New Year for Trees, begins tonight at sundown. Some past posts of interest are collected here and see also here.

4AM

NEW NOVEL: Author Dana George Cottrell’s Newly Released “The Writings Of Silvanus” is a Journey into Ancient Phoenicia and Greece..Published by Christian Faith Publishing, Dana George Cottrell’s new book is a journey into history that tells the st...

3AM

DR. SHAI SECUNDA: “Are Trees of the Field Human?” (TheTorah.com).Deuteronomy 20:19 forbids the chopping down of fruit trees during war-time, and offers the cryptic explanation כי האדם עץ השדה (ki ha-adam etz hasadeh), but what does this me...
NUMISMATICS: Coins and the Bible: Understanding Ancient Coinage April 29 @ 10:30 am — 6:00 pm - a day conference at New College at the University of Edinburgh.Some of the most famous stories in the Bible revolve around coins. From the four-drachma coin ...
READING ACTS: Jubilees and Sacred Geography.The emphasis on God’s gift of land to the descendants of Israel is important because many Jewish readers of this book were living outside of Judea. Perhaps the author of Jubilees places the promise of land to ...

February 9, 3AM

HEBREW UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE: Hebrew University Archaeologists Find 12th Dead Sea Scrolls Cave.Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Oren Gutfeld: "This is one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries, and the most important in the last 60 ye...
CUE INDIANA JONES MUSIC: Archaeologists to break ground at biblical site where Ark of the Covenant stood. Israeli and French researchers to excavate ancient site of Kiryat Ye’arim, outside Jerusalem, one of the few unstudied biblical tels (Ilan Ben Zion...
COMING TOMORROW: What is Tu Bishvat? Tu Bishvat, sometimes transliterated as Tu B'Shevat, traditionally marks the date on which farmers began calculating the tithing of their fruit crop for the coming year (Simon Rocker. The Jewish Chronicle).Origins Tu ...

2AM

READING ACTS: The Law in Jubilees.What motivated the writer of Jubliees to ground distinctive Jewish practices in the earliest stories in Genesis? Is his motivation to prove to the Gentile world that the Judaism of the Second Temple period is ancient and ...

February 8, 10AM

IT'S FEBRUARY 8TH AGAIN: INTERNATIONAL LXX DAY: AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. NATALIO FERNÁNDEZ-MARCOS (William Ross, Septuaginta & C. blog).That widely celebrated occasion is upon us again: Happy 11th International Septuagint Day! As I have in the past, I e...

6AM

TALMUD WATCH: The Babylonian Talmud Is Now Available Free Online in English and Hebrew. The non-profit Sefaria has fulfilled a dream that dates back to Albert Einstein (Yair Rosenberg, Tablet Magazine).One of the most accessible Hebrew and English transla...

3AM

RABBI DR. DANIEL M. ZUCKER: Enthroning God in the Temple with the Song of the Sea (TheTorah.com).The Song of the Sea begins with defeat of the Egyptians and ends with YHWH’s enthronement in His temple. Comparison with the Epic of Baal and Enuma Elish cl...
READING ACTS: Jubilees and the Eternal Covenant.Unlike Sirach, Jubilees envisions a complete separation from the Hellenistic world. The author of Jubilees does not encourage readers to adopt or adapt Hellenistic practices or thinking along Jewish lines. U...
THE CSCO BLOG: The Last Adam: The Adamic Christology of Early Christianity (Brandon D. Crowe).Put simply, today little attention is typically given to the possibility that Jesus is presented a new Adam figure in the Gospels. However, this recent dearth of...
SAD NEWS FROM H-JUDAIC: Obituary: Dr. Judith Romney Wegner.H-Judaic is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Judith Romney Wegner (1933-2017), one of the pioneers of feminist studies of Rabbinic literature.May her memory be for a blessing.

February 7, 3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Who Wrote the Torah? This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study dives into a foundational puzzle of the religion.After discussing how to copy a Torah scroll, the Gemara moves on to the more interesting...
ETC BLOG: 2017 HBU Theology Conference (Peter Gurry).This year’s Houston Baptist University Theology Conference is March 2–4 on the topic “How the Bible Came into Being.”Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphic works receive their due.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Ian Rutherford (ed.), Greco-Egyptian Interactions: Literature, Translation, and Culture 500 BCE-300 CE. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xiii, 393. ISBN 9780199656127. $135.00. Reviewed by Felipe Rojas...
READING ACTS: Sirach and the Greeks. Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links.

2AM

THETORAH.COM: Ten Questions with a Torah / Bible Scholar: Prof. Jacob L. Wright.Widely respected for his skills in biblical interpretation, Jacob Wright is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and the Dire...

February 6, 4AM

OPENING THURSDAY: NEW ‘MIKVE PATH’ AT 2000-YEAR-OLD SITE TO BE UNVEILED IN JERUSALEM NATIONAL PARK. "The Ophel constituted an area of transition between the secular and the sacred, and the sacred and the secular." (DANIEL K. EISENBUD, Jerusa...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Insights into the Growth of Biblical Literature from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Reinhard Kratz).The Dead Sea Scrolls invite us to review our hypotheses concerning form, tradition, religious, theological, and historical criticism. Above all,...

3AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Rebecca Benefiel, Peter Keegan (ed.), Inscriptions in the Private Sphere in the Greco-Roman World. Brill studies in Greek and Roman epigraphy, 7. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016. Pp. xviii, 284. ISBN 9789004307117. $135.00. R...
ANOTHER ARK OF THE COVENANT STORY: Lawton resident continues search for Copper Scroll (KALEY PATTERSON , AP). I am very surprised, and indeed have difficulty believing, that the Associated Press would publish this article. The first paragraphs have a gre...
READING ACTS: The Failure of Sirach. I thinks one could debate the extent to which Sirach's efforts were a failure. And do 4 Maccabees and the Zealots really belong together in a class of movements? But you can read the post and make up your own minds. P...

February 5, 9AM

EXCAVATION: Archaeologists get set to dig at Masada, after 11-year hiatus. Tel Aviv University Team will excavate rebel dwellings, Herod’s gardens in month-long expedition at UNESCO heritage site (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).For the first time in ov...

8AM

H-JUDAIC: TOC Oqimta 3 - A Journal for Rabbinic Studies. The articles in this volume are in Hebrew with English abstracts and are available online for free. Earlier volumes have been noted here and here.

7AM

THE JORDAN TIMES: Bringing Dead Sea Scrolls to life (Saeb Rawashdeh).AMMAN — For those who first fell upon a number of ancient scrolls inside a West Bank cave in 1947, the magnitude of their discovery was slow to reveal itself. Eventually catching the...
READING ACTS: Hellenization and the Jewish Diaspora.This struggle to maintain cultural boundaries against the overwhelming force of Hellenism is the “plot” of most of the Second Temple Period.Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Perio...

5AM

NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: When Scripture Becomes Heretical (Eric Beck, CSCO Blog). Excerpt:The only explicit reason given for excluding the Apocalypse of Peter from the canon is that it was not actually written by the apostle Peter. We have no record...

February 4, 5AM

KATHARINA KEIM'S NEW BOOK ON PIKRE DERABBI ELIEZER is now available at Google Books: Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer: Structure, Coherence, Intertextuality As usual, this is a preview, not the whole book. But it includes substantial excerpts.
LEHRHAUS: Gilgamesh and the Rabbis: Knowledge and its Price from Uruk to the Beit Midrash (Eli Putterman.The tale of R. Yohanan and Reish Laqish related in b. Bava Metzia 84a ranks among the most shocking narratives in rabbinic literature, yet also one of...
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE: Readers get headstart on book about Gilgamesh. Jerusalem author Shirley Graetz turns to crowdsourcing to fund young reader series (Jessica Steinberg, Times of Israel).Remember the adventures of Gilgamesh, the Akkadian demigod? Shir...
H-JUDAIC: CFP: JEWISH BIBLE SCHOLARSHIP IN BERLIN in the 19th and 20th centuries at ISBL, Berlin, Aug. 2017. Proposals due 22 Feb 2017.We would like to invite submissions of proposals for a themed session devoted to Jewish biblical scholarship in Berlin i...

4AM

READING ACTS: Using Rabbinic Literature for the Study of the Second Temple Period. The best advice is probably not to use rabbinic literature for the study of either the New Testament or the Second Temple Period unless you are a specialist in Rabbinics. B...

February 3, 4AM

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY (ASOR BLOG): Jewish Purity Practices in Roman Judea: The Evidence of Archaeology (Yonatan Adler).Along with mikva’ot, the chalkstone quarries and workshops reflect the surprising extent to which the economy and landscape were...

3AM

AWOL: Open Access Monograph Series: Ugaritica. Cross-file under Northwest Semitic Epigraphy.
UNIVERSITÉ DE LORRAINE (METZ): Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity Project PLURITEXT (ANR/DFG) The Maison des Sciences de l’Homme at the University of Lorraine (Metz) offers 18 months Postdoctoral Fellowship (with the pos...
BREAKING ISRAEL NEWS: Half-Shekel Temple Tax Reinstated By Sanhedrin (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz).“Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the Lord. The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less...
THE WORLD IS FULL OF HISTORY: Peoples of the Bible: The legend of the Amorites. And why were the biblical peoples so terrified of migrant shepherds that they described them as raw-meat eating, ancestor-abusing giants? ■ Part 1 (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaret...

February 2, 5AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Matthias Becker, Porphyrios, 'Contra Christianos'. Neue Sammlung der Fragmente, Testimonien und Dubia mit Einleitung, Übersetzung und Anmerkungen. Texte und Kommentare, Bd 52. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2016. Pp. x, 667. ...

4AM

H-JUDAIC: Schwartz on Gardner, 'The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism'.Author: Gregg Gardner Reviewer: Joshua Schwartz Gregg Gardner. The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 251 pp....
WESTAR INSTITUTE: Biblical Studies Carnival 131 – January 2017 (Cassandra Farrin). Hopefully this will be corrected soon, but as the post currently stands, the first reference to me should be to Jim West. All other references to "Jim" are to m...

3AM

THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH COUNCIL:The ERC project "Judaism and Rome" Welcome to the website for the ERC project "Re-thinking Judaism’s Encounter with the Roman Empire: Rome’s Political and Religious Challenge to Israel and its Impact on Ju...
ON BIBLICAL MANUSCRIPTS AND THEIR USE IN BIBLICAL STUDIES: Summer School in Salzburg, Austria 3-7 July 2017 The Hebrew and Greek Texts of Esther with Professor Kristin De Troyer.

February 1, 3AM

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: uke & Acts: Historical Reliability - 2 (Michael J. Caba).The first two verses of the third chapter of the Book of Luke contain references to eight individuals in prominent positions at the beginning of the ministry of John the B...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: The Arshama project.The Arshama Project is not new, but since it is a valuable resource for the study of Achaemenid history, we would like to introduce it briefly.I noted the existence of the Arshama Project in passing here, but thi...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: What the Talmud Says About Trump’s Border Wall, Paid For by Mexico. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ when it comes to privacy, good fences may indeed make good neighborsThis week, Daf Yomi readers b...
EERDWORD BLOG: Eerdmans Author Interviews: Tony Burke & Brent Landau.Tony Burke and Brent Landau are co-editors of New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, a new compilation of little-known and never-before-published apocryphal Christian...
READING ACTS: Hope for the Future during the Exile.The scattering of the Jewish people throughout the world is the foundation for the hope or restoration to the land in the future as the twelve tribes of Israel. The Diaspora will eventually come to an end...

January 31, 4AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: $900k Seed Funding For Australian Archaeological Virtual Reality Startup (Jewish Business News).Melbourne based archaeological virtual reality startup, Lithodomos VR, has successfully closed a $900,000 seed funding round. The company cre...
CONFERENCE: Origeniana Duodecima.On behalf of the international academic committee and the Center for the Study of Christianity at the Hebrew University (CSC) we are pleased to announce that the next Origeniana will take place at the Hebrew University of ...
READING ACTS: Book Review: Richard A. Taylor, Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature.Taylor, Richard A. Interpreting Apocalyptic Literature: An Exegetical Handbook. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Ministry, 2016. 205 pp. Pb; $21.99. Link to Kregel This new co...
NUMISMATICS: World coin auctions are at center of New York International Numismatic Convention. Sales near $39 million in last year at Waldorf-Astoria (Jeff Starck, Coin World).In its final year at the Waldorf-Astoria, the New York International Numismati...

3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UN chief says Temple Mount was home to Jewish temple, Palestinians demand apology.JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian officials are demanding an apology from the new United Nations chief after he said it was “completely clear that the T...

January 30, 4AM

RESEARCH GROUP AT THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY: From Creation to Sinai: Jewish, Christian, and Qur'anic Traditions in Interaction. September 1, 2016- July 1, 2017, Organizers: Esther Eshel and Menahem Kister.The Book of Genesis and the beginning of the Book of E...
H-JUDAIC: TOC: Revue des études juives 175, 3-4 (juillet-décembre 2016). A couple of the articles and notes have to do with ancient Judaism.

3AM

SOME ARE FUN, MANY ARE GRIM: 18 Remarkable Facts in Jewish History (Brandon Marlon, Jerusalem Post, One of the People Blog). The first ten have to do with ancient Jewish history. There may be a few legends involved as well. I have not checked them all for...
READING ACTS: Tobit: Remembering the Covenant. Past posts in Phil Long's new series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links. That post is also on the Book of Tobit and it collects some past PaleoJudaica posts on Tobit as well.
A ZOHARIC SAGE IN MODERN MYSTICISM: Jared Kushner and the White-Haired Mystic Whose Dad ‘Got a Ride’ From a Dead Sage (Josh Nathan-Kazis, The Forward).Jared Kushner’s family charities have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to a mystical Morocca...

January 29, 5AM

ALIN SUCIU: Hot off the press: The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon. A Coptic Apostolic Memoir.Alin Suciu, The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon: A Coptic Apostolic Memoir (WUNT, 370; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017). I am pleased to announce that my book on the Be...
NUMISMATICS: New “Money Talks” Lecture Series from American Numismatic Society (Coin Week).The American Numismatic Society (ANS) curators and Fellows are pleased to announce a new lecture series, “Money Talks: Numismatic Conversations”, that begin...
CHILDREN'S NOVEL: Jewish children’s books medalists announced (Intermountain Jewish News).Winners of the annual Sydney Taylor Book Award have been announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Named in memory of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic ...
ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN BACKGROUND: Talking to God? Dr. Ben Sommer explains the Shema and other ancient Near Eastern Texts (JOANNE PALMER, Jewish Standard/Times of Israel).What is the Shema? Yes, as we are told, it’s the central part of our liturgy, ancie...
ETC BLOG: Textual Criticism as Rhetoric (Peter Gurry).To classify textual criticism as a form of rhetoric is a way of highlighting the fact that its arguments depend on persuasion rather than demonstration. Textual critics cannot prove that their choices ...

January 28, 3AM

Dr. MARK LEUCHTER: Who were the Levites? (TheTorah.com).The Torah describes the Levites as a landless Israelite tribe who inherited their position by responding to the call of their most illustrious member, Moses, to take vengeance against sinning Israeli...
READING ACTS: Tobit: A Faithful Israelite. Past posts in Phil Long's new series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links. The Book of Tobit has come up at PaleoJudaica from time to time, especially in connection with the artistic and dramatic...

2AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Mixing and Merging Languages (Philip Jenkins).One thing that makes me feel very much at home in Texas is the way people talk Spanish. To explain, I did not grow up in a Spanish speaking area, but the way Latino people navigate between l...
THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: New WhatsApp Group Using Alerts to Catch Antiques Robbers (JNi.Media).The “Guards of Eternity” forum, which is engaged in fighting antique robbers who are roaming free in Judea and Samaria, this week launched a WhatsApp inform...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: The History of Judaism (SESAN SAMUEL OYEDEPO, techfeatured). This essay starts with Abraham and goes up to the beginning of the twenty-first century. I can't vouch for every detail, and there's a lot of rounding off and simplification, b...

January 27, 5AM

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL: Full-time archaeologist Jodi Magness digs into teaching religion at UNC (Leah Asmelash, Daily Tar Heel).Professor Jodi Magness has been on more than 20 archaeological excavations over her career, published ...

4AM

READING ACTS: Resources for Studying the Second Temple Period.Christians have often called the Second Temple Period is sometimes called the “400 silent years” since there are no authoritative writers from the end of the Old Testament until Paul begins...
ZOHAR WATCH: WHY TRANSLATE THE ZOHAR? (A Q&A) (Jodie Shupac, Canadian Jewish News).Joel Hecker is a leading scholar of Jewish mysticism and an associate professor at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Penn. Hecker is part of a team t...

3AM

MOSUL CAMPAIGN: The Fate of Iraq's Indigenous Communities (Ramsen Shamon, Fair Observer; rprt. AINA).Remember who the US military first aided when American warplanes joined the battle against the Islamic State (IS) in 2014? It wasn't the Iraqi government....
THE ENOCH SEMINAR NOW HAS A MONTHLY NEWSLETTER: Enoch Seminar Newsletter January 2017 Volume 1 Issue 1 (ed. Jason von Ehrenkrook). With information on upcoming Enoch Seminar events and links to the latest book reviews.

January 26, 3AM

TRAVEL: 18 Must-See Sites in Israel (Brandon Marlon, Jerusalem Post, One of the People Blog). There are many more than eighteen such sites in Israel, but this list is a good start. Many of the sites on it are relevant for the study of ancient Judaism.
SHAI SECUNDA: Why the Talmud is the Only Rabbinic Work from Babylonia. The Babylonian Talmud as an Oral Library for Rabbinic Collections (TheGemara.com).Rabbinic Compilations in Late Antiquity: Palestine vs. Babylonia In late antiquity, rabbinic Jewry wa...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Maggie L. Popkin, The Architecture of the Roman Triumph: Monuments, Memory, and Identity. New York; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. xiv, 271; 8 p. of plates. ISBN 9781107103573. $99.99. Reviewed by Carste...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The People Beside Paul: The Philippian Assembly and History from Below (Jennifer Quigley).Joseph A. Marchal, editor. The People beside Paul: The Philippian Assembly and History from Below. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015 From his...

2AM

YESTERDAY, BUT I WAS PREOCCUPIED WITH BURNS NIGHT: The “Conversion” of Paul (Larry Hurtado).Today (25 January) in the traditional ecclesiastical calendar marks the Feast of the Conversion of Paul, who is likely the most famous “convert” in religio...

January 25, 8AM

IN HONOR OF THE SCOTTISH BARD: THE SECRET HISTORY OF WOMEN DISTILLERS (Kathleen Willcox, VINEPAIR). The article is not in honor of Rabbie Burns Night, which is tonight, but this post is. The first woman distiller listed in the article is of interest to Pa...

7AM

H-JUDAIC: Manfred R. Lehmann Memorial Master Workshop in the History of the Jewish Book 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania. Ancient Judaism is within the remit of the conference:Examining the history of book collecting in Jewish society from its incep...

4AM

THE ASOR BLOG: Good Public Relations: What Persian Propaganda Tells Us About the ‘Nehemiah Memoir’ (Lucas Schulte).Stretching from Egypt to the Indus River, the Persian Empire was the largest empire yet seen in the ancient Near East. Typically, the He...

3AM

DR. JASON MOKHTARIAN: Concluding a Tractate with King Shapur’s Praise and Practice of Rabbinic Law (TheGemara.com).The Bavli’s editors noted the conclusion of some tractates with an edifying message. For tractates Bava Metzia and Avodah Zarah, they pl...
NEW BOOK FROM MAGNESS PRESS (IN HEBREW):Behold the Man Jesus in Israeli Art By Amitai Mendelsohn Purchase options: Price Site price Printed book $ 50.00 $ 45.00 Publisher: The Hebrew University Magnes Press In collaboration with: Israel Museum, Jerusal...

January 24, 5AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: What the Rich Owe the Poor. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the deep Jewish roots of income equality, and the shared dignity it brings.As Daf Yomi readers saw this week, the idea that the power of we...

4AM

READING ACTS: New Series: The Second Temple Period. The first post in a new blog series by Phil Long.Over the next few months I will be posting on the history and literature of the Second Temple period. I had an opportunity to teach an eight-week series i...

3AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:María José Martín-Velasco, María José García Blanco (ed.), Greek Philosophy and Mystery Cults. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. Pp. xii, 244. ISBN 9781443888301. £47.99. Reviewed by Emilio S...
GOOD NEWS FOR ACADEMIC JEWISH STUDIES: UC Santa Cruz launches Murray Baumgarten Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies. Over 150 donors commit nearly $1 million to support research, teaching, and public events (Scott Rappaport, UC Santa Cruz News).UC Santa Cruz ...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Ruins discovered near Sea of Galilee could be rare medieval synagogue (Cheyenne Macdonald, Daily Mail).• Building was discovered at Huqoq excavation site near Israel’s Sea of Galilee • Placement of benches along east, north, west walls ...

January 23, 4AM

NEW(ISH) BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:Gnosticism, Docetism, and the Judaisms of the First Century The Search for the Wider Context of the Johannine Literature and Why It Matters By: Urban C. von Wahlde Published: 26-02-2015 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent:...

3AM

CANDIDA MOSS: Is the New Star Really a Sign of a Messiah for Israel? Humans across the world will get to see a star born in 2022, and one rabbi says it’s a sign from the Bible of a new military leader for Israel (The Daily Beast). Excerpt:With respect t...
BOOK REVIEW: Book Notice: Basics of Classical Syriac (Euangelion Blog).Steven C. Hallam Basics of Classical Syriac: Complete Grammar, Workbook, and Lexicon Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016. Available at Amazon.com By Jill Firth Steven C. Hallam has taught...
THE TRUTH IS IN THERE: The truth is in the garbage: New research examines ancient Roman trash (Traci Watson, USA Today).When workers began digging out the Roman cities torched by Mount Vesuvius, the exquisite wall paintings, sumptuous villas and golden je...
CSTT BLOG: REFLECTING ON A CAREER STUDYING THE SEPTUAGINT: AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNELI AEJMELAEUS (Rick Bonnie).1. What is your research about, in general terms? My special area of research is the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible...

January 22, 4AM

STEPHEN FINE: WHO IS CARRYING THE TEMPLE MENORAH? A JEWISH COUNTER-NARRATIVE OF THE ARCH OF TITUS SPOLIA PANEL (Academia.edu).Abstract The Arch of Titus, constructed circa 81 CE under the emperor Domitian, commemorates the victory of the general, then em...
AWOL: Chester Beatty Papyri at The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM).The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) is pleased to announce that a six-person team, in a four-week expedition during July–August 2013, ...

3AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: ‘almah "young woman, maiden, marriageable girl; missy." With the obligatory foray into Isaiah 7:14. That catches us up with relevant Hebrew Word of the Week columns for now.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:John Granger Cook, Crucifixion in the Mediterranean World. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 327. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015. Pp. xxiv, 522. ISBN 9783161537646. €69.00 (pb). Reviewed by James H. De...
PUNIC WATCH: Tourist numbers at main Cartagena sites up by 16 per cent in 2016. The most popular sites were the Roman Theatre of Cartagena and the Punic Wall (Murica Today).As the Town Hall of Cartagena strives to increase tourist activity in the city and...

January 21, 5AM

OLD TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Trump Inauguration’s Bible Reading Is Not in Your Bible. Why it's good for Protestants to hear from the Apocrypha (David deSilva, Christianity Today).When Cardinal Timothy Dolan moved to the podium to pray at President-ele...

4AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:How the Rabbis Adapted Roman Culture to Create Judaism as We Know It In antiquity, as today, synagogue architecture followed local custom. This was true for the adoption of the Greco-Roman public building, the basilica, as th...
PALMYRA WATCH: IS carrying out new demolitions at Palmyra — antiquities chie. fMaamoun Abdulkarim says jihadist group damaged amphitheater, destroyed 16-columned structure in ancient city (AFP). Here we go again. Background on Palmyra, its history, the...
AWOL: A virtual trek through Petra with Google Cardboard. I didn't know there was a thing called Google Cardboard. The twenty-first century is not proving easy to keep up with. The Google Streetview tour of Petra was noted here in 2015. Cross-file under ...
COPTIC WATCH: Massive Burial Ground Unearthed at Medieval Monastery in Sudan (Owen Jarus, Live Science).Four cemeteries, from which at least 123 individuals have been excavated so far, have been unearthed near the remains of a medieval Christian monastery...

January 20, 4AM

EPIGRAPHY AND POLITICS: Despite detente, ancient Hebrew text ‘proving’ Jewish ties to Jerusalem set to stay in Istanbul. Netanyahu has hailed Siloam Inscription as evidence ‘etched in stone’ of Jews’ historic connection to holy city, but Israeli...
BUSTED: Caught red-handed: 11 grave robbers arrested at northern ruins. Authorities arrest 11 grave robbers in the process of robbing ruins of ancient Jewish town mentioned in the Talmud (Arutz Sheva).A team of antiquities raiders was apprehended at Horba...

3AM

AWOL: Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies - De Gruyter Open - Published in 2016. Some of them are of at least background interest for the study of ancient Judaism.
ANNIVERSARY: The Dead Sea Scrolls At Seventy (Professor Timothy Lim, Centre for the Study of Christian Origins Blog). An excellent brief summary of the scholarly state of the question on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the site of Khirbet Qumran in 2017.
MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Resurrecting a languishing language and culture (Brooke Conrad, The Hillsdale Collegian).On Wednesday, the Israeli Knesset passed a bill allowing Aramaic Christians to register for free as their own ethnicity in Israel. Previously, ...

January 19, 4AM

VALMADONNA LIBRARY UPDATE: National Library makes ‘historic’ acquisition of rare Hebrew texts. Valmadonna Trust Library’s manuscripts span the globe and a millenium, including a 1491 Bible; will be on display at institution’s new Jerusalem home (I...
AWOL: Open Access Journal: The Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture . There's not much directly about ancient Judaism in this journal, but there are articles on matters of background interest in late antique religion such as the Greek Magical Pap...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Philip Michael Forness.Philip Michael Forness, “Preaching and Religious Debate: Jacob of Serugh and the Promotion of His Christology in the Roman Near East,” Ph.D. diss., Princeton Theological Seminary, 201...

3AM

CONTEMPORARY ART: A Second Coming for Jesus — at the Israel Museum (Aviya Kushner, The Forward).‘It turns out that all Israeli art is about Jesus,” an American tourist said to me as he moved away from a painting in The Israel Museum’s paradigm-shi...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: atHalah "inception, initiation; restart (computer)."

January 18, 5AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Preserved fortification, donkey stables dating to King Solomon discovered at TAU's Timna Valley excavations (Tel Aviv University/PhysOrg).Some believe that the fabled mines of King Solomon were located among copper smelting camps in Israel's ...

4AM

ASSIMILATED TO THE BLOGOSPHERE: Warlord and Scribe: Northwest Semitics in Context. A new blog by Nathaniel E. Greene, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The opening post is Sinai 11...

3AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: Yom Tov “(Jewish) Holiday (on which work is forbidden).” This column is from back in September of 2016, but I missed it then, so here it is. It looks as though I have missed a few (perhaps I need to refine my Googl...
READING ACTS: In Today’s Mail: Markus Bockmuehl, Ancient Apocryphal Gospels.Thanks to WJKP for sending along a review copy of this new textbook by Markus Bockmuehl. This is the latest in the Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church series, which...
ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Metatron, Inc. Announces Strategic Move into the Areas of Mobile Encryption, and Virtual Reality for its Mobile Development Business.The Company will embark on re-branding Metatron mobile development business in the specific area...

January 17, 4AM

NUMISMATICS: Pocket Change: The Blog of the American Numismatic Society. I just discovered this blog. Its most recent post deals with, inter alia, a theme of ancient Jewish coinage from the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt: THE SECRET CHORD: HARPS AND LYRES ...
APOCALYPSE WATCH: Biblical Numerology Reveals Stunning Connection Between Paris Conference, Gog and Magog (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News).The Paris conference on Sunday, in which representatives from 70 nations met to sign an anti-Israel ag...
APOCALYPSE WATCH: New Star to Appear in Night Sky, Heralding Balaam’s Prophecy of Messiah (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News).Five years from now, the light from the ancient collision of two stars will reveal a brand-new star in the night sky...
MORE ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENA: Eclipse ‘stopped the sun’ for biblical Joshua, Israeli scientists say. Researchers claim to pinpoint the exact date — October 30, 1207 BCE — and explanation for an astounding event in the Battle in Gibeon (Times of Isr...

3AM

MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: In England, An Effort To Preserve Ancient, Epic Assyrian Poetry (Alice Fordham, WXPR).[Nineb] Lamassu became an academic researcher and now travels among the Assyrian diaspora recording the epics as told by men he calls bards — inc...

January 16, 3AM

PROF. AARON DEMSKY: The Color of Judah’s Eyes (TheTorah.com).חכלילי עינים מיין (Gen 49:12) is an obscure phrase. In contrast to the standard interpretation, Nachmanides’ offered an original interpretation, which finds support in modern...
ASOR BLOG: My Time at a Roman-Era Jewish Settlement.By: Jill Marshall, 2016 William G. Dever Fellowship Recipient Thanks to ASOR’s William G. Dever Fellowship for Biblical Scholars, in Summer 2016, I traveled to Israel to participate in the Shikhin Exc...
ETC BLOG: Call for Papers: Horizons in Textual Criticism (Peter Gurry).On 10-11 May, 2017, the University of Oxford will host a colloquium devoted to methodologically new and unique work in textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible and related texts.

2AM

THE TEL AVIV REVIEW: MISSIONARY POSITIONS: WHAT THE TALMUD SAYS ABOUT SEX (Gilad Halpern).Maggie Anton, a Talmud scholar and historical fiction writer discusses her new book Fifty Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What.Audi...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Center for Iranian Studies and the Encyclopædia Iranica.Many congratulations to Professor Elton Daniel, who has been appointed the Interim Director of the Center for Iranian Studies and Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopædia Iranica....

January 15, 5AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology The Malleable Self and the Presence of God Tyson L. Putthoff, Trinity College Dublin In Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology, Tyson L. Putthoff explores early Jewish beliefs...

4AM

PROF. JACK M. SASSON: Joseph and the Dreams of Many Colors. Understanding the practice of dream interpretation in the Joseph story by using the ANE interpretive traditions as background (TheTorah.com).Dreams across Centuries Millennia before Sigmund Freu...
BIBLE ODYSSEY: Honor and Shame in the New Testament (Alicia J. Batten).Q. We are told that ancient societies like those of Israel were "honor-shame cultures," and see various examples of that in biblical stories. My question is more about NT the...
AWOL: Open Access Journal: The Journal of Septuagint and Cognate Studies (JSCS) formerly, The Bulletin of the International Organization of Septuagint and Cognate Studies (BIOSCS). The change in title was noted earlier here in 2015, but it's always good t...

3AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Statistics for 2016. It provides lots of good content and is doing well for such a specialized blog. PaleoJudaica links to it frequently for information on ancient Persia and Zoroastrianism.

January 14, 4AM

ETHIOPIC WATCH: University of Toronto Starts Ge’ez Classes (Ezega.com).January 13, 2017 - The University of Toronto (U of T) has begun Ge’ez classes to enable a new generation of students understand the ancient language and access long-lost trove of k...
Dr. HAIM WEISS: “All Dreams Follow the Interpretation” – Even for the Rabbis! A New Approach to the Story of Abaye, Rava and the Dream Interpreter Bar Hedya (b. Berakhot 55b-56a) (TheGemara.com).Introduction Dreams – an involuntary human experien...
SAMARITAN WATCH: Fox column: Benny is a good Samaritan (Pastor Mark Fox, The Times-News).“Many people learn history. Very few people learn from it.” That was one of the statements Benyamim Tsedaka made in our 90-minute meeting for lunch a few weeks a...
PALEOGRAPHY: The strange case of Father Malachi Martin, the Kerry priest who stars in Netflix's new documentary. A new documentary focuses on a Kerry priest who claimed to have carried out exorcisms. Was he the real deal or a fantasist (Darragh McManus, I...
REPAIR WORK UNDERWAY: Bethlehem shrine’s treasures being restored (Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service/Crux reprint).The Church of the Nativity, built by Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, sits in Bethlehem above what’s believed to ...

January 13, 5AM

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY (ASOR): Kemosh, YHWH’s Counterpart and “Abomination” (Collin Cornell).Sitting in a seminary classroom and translating the famous Mesha Inscription from Moab can create a unique sense of unease and confusion. Here is a god...
DR. SHAI SECUNDA: The Development of the Chanukah Oil Miracle in Context of Zoroastrian Fire Veneration. The Ancient Fire that Fueled the Chanukah Story (TheGemara.com).Introduction In recent years, most scholars have observed that the story concerning th...

4AM

READING ACTS: Goodacre and Still, New Editors of the New International Greek Text Commentary series.Here is an exciting announcement from Eerdmans: Mark Goodacre and Todd D. Still are taking over editorship of the New International Greek Text Commentary s...
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY: Biblical Mosaics Discovered in Ancient Israeli Synagogue Will Be Topic of Lecture by Excavation Director Jan. 19.WACO, Texas (Jan. 12, 2017) — New discoveries of mosaics uncovered in an ancient synagogue in Israel’s Galilee region w...
HISTORY OF NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL CRITICISM: Project Announcement: Herman Charles Hoskier and the Future of the Bible (Dr. Garrick Allen). This is a project being undertaken in Ireland by Dr. Allen, one of our recent St. Andrews PhDs. He has been mentioned...

January 12, 4AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Charles M. Stang, Our Divine Double. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2016. Pp. 309. ISBN 9780674287198. $49.95. Reviewed by Gregory Shaw, Stonehill College (gshaw@stonehill.edu) PreviewExcerpt:Eloquently...

3AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Make a Good Impression at Academic Conferences (Please!) (Beth Allison Barr). Excerpt:Most of us, when thinking about how to give a good conference paper, focus on the research, the historical conversation to which we are contributing, ...
MORE ARCHITECTURE: Jerusalem: Behind the Scenes of The Western Wall — A Monumental Ritual Bath (Carl Rasmussen, HolyLandPhotos' Blog).We recently took the 80 minute guided tour called “Behind the Scenes of The Western Wall.” This tour is run by the...
A NEW ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF THE PSEUDEPIGRAPHA (Volume 26, Issue 2, December 2016):2 Baruch and the Syriac Codex Ambrosianus (7a1): Studying Old Testament Pseudepigrapha in Their Manuscript Context Liv Ingeborg Lied First Published January...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Teaching Students to Read (the Mishnah) ( Sarit Kattan Gribetz).How do we effectively teach students to read new types of texts that might seem daunting for them at first glance? I have a set of simple suggestions, based on my experie...

January 11, 3AM

CHANGE: Israel Museum announces new director. Architect Eran Neuman of Tel Aviv University will succeed James Snyder following nine-month search (Jessica Steinberg, Times of Israel).Eran Neuman was announced Tuesday as the new director of the Israel Museu...
ARCHITECTURE: A Monumental Herodian (Hasmonean?) Hall in Jerusalem — Behind the Scenes of the Western Wall (Carl Rasmussen, HolyLandPhotos' Blog).We recently took the 80 minute guided tour called “Behind the Scenes of The Western Wall.” The main re...
JESUS MONOTHEISM BLOG: An little noticed reference to speculation on Adam and the Merkabah in Ben Sira (Crispin Fletcher-Louis).Ben Sira’s instruction in the “rule” or “mastery” of the wheels must have something to do with a vision of humanity e...
BIBLE ODYSSEY: Who was Josephus? (Dr. Helen K. Bond). There are many, many past PaleoJudaica posts on Flavius Josephus. Some recent ones are here, here, here, and here and links.
VIRTUAL REALITY: Walk Through Biblical Jerusalem of 2000 Years Ago With Stunning Clarity (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News).While many Bible-lovers through the generations have dreamed of walking through Jerusalem of old and witnessing the glo...

January 10, 4AM

IN THE MAIL:Tony Burke and Brent Landau (eds.), New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1 (Eerdmans, 2016) Compilation of little-known and never-before-published apocryphal Christian texts in English translation This anthology of a...
EXCAVATION: Archaeologists find vast pagan sanctuary outside Roman city in north Israel. Location of pagan cult site outside city walls of Hippos-Sussita suggests the primary purpose of the theater was to worship the gods, not entertain the masses (Ruth S...

3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Talmud as Epic.This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ brings to life rabbinic heroes on their intellectual battlefield: larger-than-life figures worthy of Greek drama.But when it comes to aggadah, the Talmu...
LARRY HURTADO: A New Greek-English Lexicon.Serious students of early Christian texts will want to become acquainted with a new Greek-English lexicon: GE: The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2016), edited by Madeleine Goh & Ch...
H-JUDAIC: CFP: "Exile and Return in Jewish History."The Thirtieth Annual Symposium on Jewish Civilization “Next Year in Jerusalem: Exile and Return in Jewish History” Call for Papers: October 29-30, 2017 The Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civi...

January 9, 5AM

THE SBL HANDBOOK OF STYLE BLOG: Sifre Numbers. Along with the stylistic advice, this post gives a nice brief overview of the structure of Sifre Numbers, how it fits into the rabbinic midrashic literature, and some bibliography.
NEW BOOK FROM THE SCHECHTER INSTITUTE OF JEWISH STUDIES (IN HEBREW): Marc Hirshman, Midrash Kohelet Rabbah 1-6, Critical Edition with Commentary and Introduction. There is no English page for the book yet, but you can read about the Midrash Project here i...

2AM

H-JUDAIC: TOC: New Issue: Women in Judaism. Ancient Judaism is well represented in this issue. I noted this open-access online journal recently here.
BIBLE ODYSSEY: Dead Sea Scrolls Community (Alex P. Jassen). HT AJR Twitter.
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: . Notice of a new book: Baumer, Christoph. 2016. The Church of the East: An illustrated history of Assyrian Christianity. I.B. Tauris. Cross-file under Aramaic Watch and Syriac Watch.

January 8, 4AM

PHILOLOGASTRY BLOG: Columbusing Classical Mandaic (Charles G. Häberl).And then you have Rudolf Macuch. The 20th century Slovak philologist was not only painfully aware of his own position with respect to his subject, but he also never lets us forget it. ...
SYRIAC WATCH: A rose by any other name: When Turkish was written in the Greek, Armenian and even Syrian script. In the Ottoman Empire, Turkish in scripts other than Arabic were commonplace (Michael Erdman, Scroll.in).The final example of allography from t...

3AM

NEW BOOK FROM FORTRESS PRESSApocalypses in Context: Apocalyptic Currents Through History Paperback – September 1, 2016 by Kelly J. Murphy (Author), Kelly J Murphy (Editor), Justin Jeffcoat Schedtler (Editor) Apocalyptic scenarios remain prevalent and p...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:The Formation of the Pentateuch Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America Ed. by Jan C. Gertz, Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, and Konrad Schmid [Die Entstehung des Pentateuch. Ein Brückenschl...
NEW SERIES FROM BRILL:Textual History of the Bible Edited by: Armin Lange (General Editor), Emanuel Tov, Matthias Henze, Russell E. Fuller, Hanna Tervanotko and Sidnie White-Crawford The Textual History of the Bible (THB) is unique in providing, for the...

January 7, 3AM

ROMAN CATACOMBS WATCH: In Rome, Restoring a Vast Repository of the Jewish Past. After years of delay, the ancient Jewish catacombs under Rome’s Villa Torlonia are set for restoration (John Hooper, Wall Street Journal).This week, a central-government bud...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: What is Targum? (Christian Brady, Targuman Blog).It occurred to me this morning that I have never offered a definition or description of Targum and the Targumim on this site. Here is the entry I wrote for the Dictionary for Theological I...

2AM

H-JUDAIC: CFP- "MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE in BIBLE and TALMUD" - EABS/ISBL joint meeting, BERLIN, 7-11 August 2017.Papers are invited on the comparative theme “Literary and discursive framing and concepts of (medical) knowledge in (Late) Antiquity”,...
ROMANTIC COMPETITION: Our marriage got the Bible test. There was something special about two of the competitors in this year's International Bible Competition for Adults (Lucy Cohen Blatter, Jewish Chronicle).Last week, Yair Shahak was taking a taxi ride ...
AWOL: Open Access Ancient Language Textbooks and Primers. You would expect plenty of these for Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, but there is much more, including tools for learning Sanskrit, Armenian, Akkadian, Mayan, Sogdian, Avestan, Ethiopic, Sumerian, Demoti...

January 6, 3AM

ANNETTE YOSHIKO REED: "Retelling Biblical Retellings: Epiphanius, the Pseudo-Clementines, and the Reception History of Jubilees" (Academia.edu). This is an offprint of Professor Reed's article in Tradition, Transmission, and Transformation from...
FORGERY WATCH: After Islamic State institutionalized looting in Syria, the market for fake antiquities is booming (Nabih Bulos, L.A. Times).The Bible, its pages browned and frayed at their edges, seemed liable to crumble at the slightest touch. One page ...
THE ASOR BLOG: Top 5 ASOR Articles of 2016 (Kaitlynn Anderson).2017 has officially begun! We’d like to thank all of our Friends of ASOR (and lurkers) who come back to the ASOR Blog to read article after article! Here’s a look back at the five most pop...
OLD TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA WATCH: New Old Testament Pseudepigrapha page from Syri.ac (Morgan Reed, Hugoye List).Dear colleagues, We are excited to introduce a new page at http://syri.ac [found here] devoted to the study of the Old Testament Pseudepigra...

2AM

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Luke & Acts: Historical Reliability - 1 (Michael J. Caba).This ongoing series of posts considers the historical reliability of the New Testament books of Luke and Acts by examining the relationship between the texts and other a...

January 5, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Learning to Read Talmud: Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy (Jane Kanarek and Marjorie Lehman). Excerpt:... Our book, Learning to Read Talmud: What It Looks Like and How It Happens, presents a series of eight focused classroom studies ...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Pitt lecturer on team to excavate site in Galilee (Toby Tabachnick, Jewish Chronicle).[Ben] Gordon, the Perlow lecturer in Classical Judaism and the Ancient Near East in the department of Religious Studies within the Kenneth P. Dietrich Schoo...
SYRIAC WATCH: Mosaics reveal ancient styles in Turkey's southeast. Hurriyet Daily News has an article from ŞANLIURFA – Anadolu Agency on the recently excavated tombs at Urfa Castle (ancient Edessa) with some new details. Excerpt:An archaeologist from t...
PREDICTIONS: 5 Big Archaeology Stories to Watch for in 2017 (Owen Jarus, Live Science). Yes, the lists for 2017 are already starting. I hope Mr. Jarus is right about more Dead Sea Scrolls being discovered.
COMPETITION: American, Israeli win Bible quiz in Jerusalem. Yair Shahak defeats wife in International Adult Bible Contest, shares prize with Israeli Yafit Silman (JTA/Times of Israel).Yair Shahak of New York City was one of two winners of the Internationa...

January 4, 4AM

HOLIDAY CAVE ICONOGRAPHY: Ancient Cross and Menorah Carvings Found Side by Side (Mindy Weisberger, Live Science).Engravings of a cross and a menorah carved thousands of years ago were recently found in a cave in Israel, according to the Israel Antiquities...
THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: “Religion in the Achaemenid Persian Empire” (William Brown). A review of Religion in the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Edited by Diana Edelman, Anne Fitzpatrick-McKinley, and Philippe Guillaume. Tubingen, Germany: 2016, Mohr Sie...
MONUMENTS: Roman Milestones on Display at KKL-JNF Archaeological Garden. Roman Milestones Moved from Highway 38 to KKL-JNF’s Archaeological Garden in Givat Yeshayahu. This fascinating garden is open to the public (Jerusalem Post).Thanks to a joint effor...

3AM

JENNIFER GUO: Biblical Studies Carnival – December 2016. HT James McGrath. UPDATE: Phil Long is of the view that biblioblogging is not dead (in response to Jim West): Biblical Studies Carnival 130 – December 2016. Well, Jim did carefully qualify his ...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Islamic guards try to boot guide for saying ‘Temple Mount’ on Temple Mount. Waqf officials haul Israeli archaeologist in front of Israeli police for not using term ‘Haram al-Sharif’ during historical tour of site; police advise...

January 3, 5AM

NEW BOOK FROM SBL PRESS:The Studia Philonica Annual XXVIII, 2016: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism David T. Runia (Editor), Gregory E. Sterling (Editor) ISBN 9780884141815 Status Available Price: $61.95 Binding Hardback Publication Date October ...

4AM

FORTHCOMING REVISED BOOK FROM OUP:The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction Timothy H. Lim Very Short Introductions • Introduces the historical and cultural context of the scrolls, through the archaeology and history of the Dead Sea region 2,00...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer: Structure, Coherence, Intertextuality Katharina E. Keim, University of Manchester In Pirqei deRabbi Eliezer: Structure, Coherence, Intertextuality Katharina E. Keim offers a description of the literary charact...

3AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Genesis Rabbah in Text and Context Ed. by Sarit Kattan Gribetz, David M. Grossberg, Martha Himmelfarb, and Peter Schäfer [Genesis Rabbah in Text und Kontext.] 2016. IX, 288 pages. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 166 129...

2AM

NEW BOOK (IN HEBREW) FROM MAGNES PRESS:Hebrew Language Study in the Middle Ages Texts and Studies By Ilan Eldar Publisher: The Hebrew University Magnes Press Categories: Linguistics and Language, Hebrew and Jewish Languages Publish date: August 2016 L...

January 2, 3AM

NEW(ISH) BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:Ancient Jewish Prayers and Emotions Emotions associated with Jewish prayer in and around the Second Temple period Ed. by Reif, Stefan C. / Egger-Wenzel, Renate Series: Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies Aims an...
H-JUDAIC: CFP "Material Aspects of Reading", International Conference, February 11–13, 2018, Heidelberg.Taking its starting point from this area of problems, the conference will investigate the »Material Aspects of Reading«, with a main focu...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:The Caves of Qumran Proceedings of the International Conference, Lugano 2014 Edited by Marcello Fidanzio, Facoltà di Teologia di Lugano In Qumran studies, the attention of scholars has largely been focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls, wh...
THE LATEST ON FEMALE SCRIBES: Female ‘sofrot’ inscribe themselves in history books. Women across the Jewish denominational spectrum are binding together to pen holy texts according to ancient tradition (RICH TENORIO, Times of Israel).In the early 2000...

2AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: What's Divine About Divine Law? #SBLAAR16. The papers and the response for this SBL 2016 session on Christine Hayes's recent book have already been posted individually by AJR (see here and follow the links), but they have now been coll...

January 1, 11AM

NEW BOOK FROM PEETERS PUBLISHERS:Scribal Practices and Social Structures among Jesus Adherents Essays in Honour of John S. Kloppenborg Series: Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 285 Editors: Arnal W.E., Ascough R.S., Derrenbacker Jr....
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH FLOOR TILES JESUS MAY HAVE WALKED ON (COREY BARNETT, World Religion News). I suppose this is possible, depending on where exactly the flooring is from. But it has only become a story because apparently Gabriel Ba...
PUNIC WATCH: Libyan Civilians Take Up Arms and Form Protective Shield Around Ancient Ruins of Leptis Magna (MARK MILLER, Ancient Origins).A group of armed Libyan civilians concerned about the potential of their country’s rich ancient heritage are patrol...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Jerusalem Road Hints at Possible Reason for Jewish Revolt Against Rome. Jerusalem dig shows that Herodian-period street was wrongly attributed to King Herod; excavations dismiss the idea that poorer people lived in the lower part of t...

December 31 2016, 5PM

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND ALL BEST WISHES FOR 2017! Have a great year and please continue to make PaleoJudaica a regular part of it.

1PM

AS 2016 COMES TO AN END, PaleoJudaica has tallied up 1822 posts for the year (including this one), considerably more than any previous year since it began back in 2003. I haven't been keeping systematic track of page views in 2017, but their number has go...

9AM

MEMORIAL: Noted biblical scholar Jesuit Father Fitzmyer dies at age 96 (Catholic News Service/National Catholic Reporter).PHILADELPHIA Jesuit Father Joseph Fitzmyer, a leading Catholic biblical scholar, died Dec. 24 at Manresa Hall, a Jesuit infirmary in ...
END OF YEAR OVERVIEW: 2016: The year in Authenticity and Provenance (Malcolm Choat, Markers of Authenticity Blog). (HT AJR). A post that summarizes the relevant stories from 2016, many of which will be familiar to PaleoJudaica readers, including the ‘Fr...

8AM

NEW JOURNAL FROM BRILL:Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation Editor-in-Chief: Tat-siong Benny Liew, College of the Holy Cross Need support prior to submitting your manuscript? Make the process of preparing and submitting a manuscript eas...
NEW BOOK FROM THE SBL PRESS:The Vision of the Priestly Narrative: Its Genre and Hermeneutics of Time Suzanne Boorer ISBN 9780884140627 Status Available Price: $89.95 Binding Paperback Publication Date October 2016 Pages 636 A fresh look...

December 30, 11AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Christine Hayes: A Response to the SBL Forum. Professor Hayes responds to a number of reviews of her book, What’s Divine About Divine Law? For the reviews, which were also posted on AJR, see here and links.
THE ETC BLOG: Top 10 Posts in 2016 (Peter Gurry).These are the top ten most read posts for the blog in 2016 according to Google Analytics. Not all of these were written in 2016 of course. As usual, I plan to give a list of top posts for the year in PaleoJ...
'TIS THE SEASON: Finding Jesus’s Mother. Over at the Anxious Bench, Philip Jenkins has a look at what the four gospels in the New Testament actually say about Mary the mother of Jesus, and he clears up a little confusion caused by the fact that so many ...

10AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: New technologies bring marine archaeology treasures to light. Robotic submarines and ‘internet of underwater things’ to transform hunt for sunken cities and ancient shipwrecks (Ian Sample, The Guardian). This article does not deal di...
EXHIBITION: Cairo Geniza at Cambridge University (Edgar Asher, Ashernet, Intermountain Jewish News).An exhibition at Cambridge University featuring a fraction of ancient Jewish manuscripts that are part of the unique collection known as the Cairo Geniza w...

December 29, 9AM

THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: New App Offers Users Virtual Tours Of Ancient Jerusalem (Jewish Business News).A new VR app has been released in time for the Chanukah holiday. Lithodomos VR‘s tool allows users to see Jerusalem as it once looked back in antiqui...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: City of David unveils latest groundbreaking archeological discovery to mark jubilee year. Regev: UN resolution is ridiculous, cannot undo thousands of years of Jewish history (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).Political, religious an...
MENORAH QUESTIONS: 7 facts about menorahs, the most enduring symbol of the Jewish people. Yeshiva University Professor Steven Fine’s new book illuminates the candelabra’s 3,000-year history — from tabernacle to Titus to today (Renee Ghert-Zand, Time...
LIST MANIA: Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2016. A glimpse at the important excavation work revealed this year (Gordon Govier, Christianity Today).Archaeological discoveries announced in 2016 help us better understand the Bible and the bib...
ANOTHER LIST: The best archaeological finds in Israel of 2016. Humans have been living and fighting and loving and dying in Israel for hundreds of thousands of years. Here is what we found this year (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz).Israel is soaked in blood and r...

December 28, 4AM

ETHIOPIC WATCH: Catholic University Receives Donation of Ethiopian Manuscripts Valued at More Than $1 Million.The Catholic University of America is now home to one of North America's most important collections of Ethiopian religious manuscripts, thanks to...
CHRISTIAN APOCRYPHA WATCH: NASSCAL Member Publication: J. K. Elliott Goes “Beyond the Bible” in TLS.

3AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Denis Feeney, Beyond Greek: The Beginnings of Latin Literature. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2016. Pp. xii, 377. ISBN 9780674055230. $35.00. Reviewed by Jackie Elliott, University of Colorado Boulder (...
WILLIAM ROSS: PETER WILLIAMS ON THE SO-CALLED “SEPTUAGINT.” Related post here.

2AM

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH (DECEMBER 2016): The Long Art: T-S AS 144.331 (Katelyn Mesler).“Life is short, the art is long.” So begins one of the foundational texts of Greek medicine, the Aphorisms of Hippocrates. The ‘art’ of which Hippocrates w...

December 27, 5AM

PHOTO ESSAY: The 9 Biggest Archaeology Findings of 2016 (Owen Jarus, Live Science). PaleoJudaica has noted some of these stories as well. For the Noah's Ark mosaic at the Huqoq Synagogue excavation, see here. For the charred Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll, se...
H-JUDAIC: JOB: Washington University in St. Louis, Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures: Friedman Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Jewish Studies. Open to any field within Jewish Studies. "Applications will be reviewed beginning Februa...
VIDEO: FROM HEROD TO HADRIAN, PARTS 1 AND 2 (David deSilva). "History of Herod the Great and his kingdom, to 4 BC." From the division of Herod's kingdom to the Second Jewish Revolt. HT James McGrath.

4AM

OLD TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Christmas lightning (Brad Roth, The Doxology Project Blog).The Wisdom of Solomon, an ancient scripture now found in the Protestant Apocrypha, is sometimes read on Christmas Eve. It goes like this: For while gentle silence e...

3AM

"A GRASS-ROOTS PROJECT": Revival of Biblical plants. Israeli farmer growing ancient flora like myrrh (RUTH EGLASH). This article was originally published in the Washington Post, but I seem to have missed it. This is a reprint in the Journal Gaze...

December 26, 3AM

THE LEON LEVY DEAD SEA SCROLLS DIGITAL LIBRARY: Languages and Scripts.While the majority of Dead Sea Scrolls were written in Hebrew, the collection also includes many Aramaic and Greek texts, as well as some Arabic texts and a small number of Latin fragme...
NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:Kaiser, Otto Studien zu Philo von Alexandrien [Studies on Philo of Alexandria] Ed. by Witte, Markus In coop. with Hofmann, Sina Series: Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 501 99,95 € / $140.00 / ...
NEW BOOK FROM SBL PRESS:Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Angels and Biblical Heroes Michael E. Stone ISBN 9781628371543 Status Available Price: $55.95 Binding Paperback Publication Date October 2016 Pages 322 Explore how the vivid and cre...

2AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions Studies in Celebration of the Fifth Centennial of the Complutensian Polyglot Andrés Piquer Otero and Pablo Torijano Morales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid In The Text of the Hebrew B...
ALIN SUCIU: Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Sahidic Version of the Acts of Pilate.Anthony Alcock has prepared an English translation of the Sahidic version of the Acts of Pilate. This text constitutes the source of many apocryphal Passion narratives co...

December 25, 12 PM

PROFESSOR LAWRENCE H. SCHIFFMAN: JERUSALEM AFTER THE MACCABEAN REVOLT. Professor Schiffman has posted another recent article in Ami Magazine.

6AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Hanukkah overlaps with Christmas this year. But why all the moving around? (Josh Hafner , USA TODAY). Christmas (as celebrated in the Western Church) is timed according to the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar....
BIBLE ODYSSEY: Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Judaism (Philip R. Davies).Transcript The significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls is to… early Judaism is huge. It’s on two levels. ...HT AJR.

3AM

SAD NEWS: Remembering Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J. (America Magazine).Father Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J., died peacefully this morning at Manresa Hall, Merion Station, Pa. He was 96. Father Fitzmyer was a leading Catholic biblical scholar, and we asked several scholar...
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all those celebrating! Posts of Christmas past are collected in my 2015 Christmas post and links. Posts relating (sometimes loosely) to Christmas in the last year are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, he...

December 24, 2AM

HAPPY HANUKKAH (CHANUKKAH, CHANUKAH) to all those celebrating! The eight-day festival begins tonight at sundown. That means that this year the first day of Hanukkah will overlap with Christmas. (Cross-file under Cosmic Synchronicity.) Last year's Hanukka...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Semiramis’ Legacy. Notice of a new book: Stronk, Jan p. 2016. Semiramis’ Legacy: The History of Persia According to Diodorus of Sicily (Edinburgh Studies in Ancient Persia). Edinburgh University Press. I have commented here on ...
NEW BOOK FROM GORGIAS PRESS:THE HISTORY OF THE ‘SLAVE OF CHRIST’ From Jewish Child to Christian Martyr Edited and Translated by Aaron Michael Butts & Simcha Gross Publication Status: Forthcoming Series: Persian Martyr Acts in Syriac: Text and T...
'TIS THE SEASON: Why is Christmas on December 25? (Anthony Le Donne, The Jesus Blog).From the modern historian’s perspective, we must conclude that we haven’t the first clue of Jesus’ birthdate. Rather, December 25 is a theological guess that was no...
'TIS THE SEASON: Variants affecting carols (P.J. Williams, ETC Blog). Which variant readings in Greek New Testament manuscripts influenced the wording of Christmas Carols in English? There are a few, but watch out also for apocryphal readings in the comme...

December 23, 6AM

'TIS THE SEASON (POLEMICAL COUNTER-HISTORY EDITION): The Jewish Jesus Story. In the mysterious and controversial ancient Hebrew text ‘Toledot Yeshu,’ a counterlife of the Nazarene ‘bastard, son of a menstruant’ that criticizes Jews as much as Chri...
'TIS THE SEASON: The Magi and the Cave of Treasures (Philip Jenkins, The Anxious Bench).As any Bible reader knows, the infant Jesus was visited by Magi, who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and a cold coming they had of it. But where did they actual...

5AM

MENORAHS GALORE: Everything You Wanted To Know About Menorahs But Were Afraid To Ask (Benjamin Ivry, The Forward).Hanukkah does not begin until December 24, but the historian Steven Fine has already captured the holiday mood in “The Menorah: From the Bi...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Paul and the Mosaic Law (Paula Fredriksen). I take it that this too is from the recent SBL session on Professor Hayes's book, although that is not stated explicitly. For the earlier SBL reviews posted at AJR, see here and here. The fir...
ARYEH AMIHAY: Theory and Practice in Essene Law (Academia.edu). This file includes the front and back matter and the introduction to his new (2016) OUP book with this title.

December 22, 4AM

EPIGRAPHY: Hasmonean Period Stone Bowl Engraved with Rare Hebrew Inscription ‘Hyrcanus’ Discovered (JNi.Media).A stone bowl engraved with a rare Hebrew inscription – “Hyrcanus” – dating to the Hasmonean period was discovered in the archaeologi...
FROM MICHAEL SATLOW:Brown University: DOF: Religious Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Culture and Ideology of Writing in the Ancient Mediterranean Location: Providence, RI The Departments of Religious Studies, Classics, and History, and the Program...

3AM

PROFESSOR LAWRENCE H. SCHIFFMAN: JERUSALEM PAYPYRUS “PROVES” JEWISH CONNECTION TO TEMPLE MOUNT. BUT IS IT A FORGERY?. A thoughtful new article by Professor Schiffman in Ami Magazine. Background on the Jerusalem papyrus is here and links. In that arti...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: The Zoroastrian Law to Expel the Demons. Notice of a new book: Andrés Toledo, Miguel Ángel. 2016. The Zoroastrian law to expel the demons: Wīdēwdād 10-15. Critical edition, translation and glossary of the Avestan and Pahlavi te...
'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): The Maccabees Were on the Wrong Side of History — So Why Do We Still Celebrate Hanukkah? (Barbara Brotman, The Forward). The author consulted with many scholars about the question. I don't think we can simplify the Ma...

December 21, 4AM

EPIGRAPHY: New Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments Found in Judean Desert. Documents from Iron Age and Roman times surfacing in the black market helped convince archaeologists there was more to be found (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz).New fragments of the Dead Sea Sc...
NUMISMATICS: Goldbergs: Extraordinary Collection of Ancient Jewish Coins at Auction January 10 (Coin Week).One of the most extensive collections of extraordinary high quality ancient Jewish coins, assembled by a Long Island Doctor over two decades, will b...

3AM

'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): Oldest-known Images of Hanukkah Menorahs: Not What We Know Today. Ancient images of Hanukkah menorahs usually had seven arms, per the divine dictate, but alternatives may have arisen due to bitter mourning, and a rabbin...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Evidence of Greeks on the Temple Mount (Jennifer Greene, Temple Mount Sifting Project Blog).It’s all Greek to Me There are donuts EVERYWHERE and we are getting in the holiday season! As Channukkah approaches, we wanted to share with ...
CONSERVATION CONTROVERSY: Paved paradise? The secrets of an ancient Jerusalem-area village revealed. Ahead of plans to a luxury neighborhood, architects and archaeologists find a treasure of ancient remains in the onetime Palestinian village of Lifta on J...

December 20, 3AM

ANOTHER ONE: Book Review: The Menorah, by Dr. Steven Fine (Ari Abrahams, YU Commentator). Excerpt:The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel by YU’s very own Dr. Steven Fine gives a very rich and detailed history of this majestic religious artifact fr...
NUMISMATICS: 2,000-year-old coin from Maccabean revolt found in Jerusalem (Yori Yalon, Israel HaYom).Bronze prutah bears image of King Antiochus IV, who declared death sentence on Jews • Tower of David Museum Director Eilat Lieber: It's exciting to find...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Origins of “The Cherry Tree Carol.” How a Christmas carol links the modern Middle East and medieval England (Mary Joan Winn Leith). An English version of a fifth-century Syriac dialogue-hymn came to us via the Crusaders and My...
'TIS THE SEASON: Away in a Manger (feeding trough!) (HolyLandPhotos' Blog). Just in case you wanted to see what one looks like. But see also the immediately preceding post.
'TIS THE SEASON: Stephen Carlson on the "Inn" in Luke's Infancy Account (Brice C. Jones). No inn, no innkeeper, and no stable. Oh oh.

December 19, 4AM

H-JUDIAC has a bounty of advertisments for jobs and fellowships in Jewish studies. The ones below all encompass a wider range that just ancient Jewish studies, but the ancient period is included in all of them. Visiting Fellowships in Jewish Studies – ...

3AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: urim ve-tummim “Urim and Thummim.”Apparently, two objects used by the High Priest (ha-Kohen ha-Gadol) for casting lots, to know “guilty” or “innocent, “yes” or “no” questions (Exodus 28:30; Leviticus ...
'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): Why Does the Hanukkah Menorah Have Nine Branches? The more familiar seven-branched menorah has symbolized Judaism since biblical times (Steven Fine, Wall Street Journal).The menorah—“lamp stand” in Hebrew—has be...
PUNIC WATCH: Today in History: Dec. 18 (manninglive).218 BC – Second Punic War: Battle of the Trebia – Hannibal’s Carthaginian forces defeat those of the Roman Republic.Okay, that was yesterday, but I was busy then and only noticed this morning. For...
'TIS THE SEASON: Virgin Mary, Career-Killer. Questioning the birth story central to Christianity has been taking down scholars and skeptics for just about 2,016 years (Candida Moss, The Daily Beast).Of all of the miracles recorded in the New Testament, th...

December 18, 3AM

ARABIC WATCH: Examining the origins of Arabic ahead of Arabic Language Day (Rym Ghazal, The National).To understand Arabs and their culture, one must first understand their language, but with many conflicting theories about its origins, this is no easy ta...

2AM

PUNIC WATCH: KATAKLYSM Frontman's EX DEO Project: Listen To New Song 'The Rise Of Hannibal' (Blabbermouth.net).EX DEO, the reactivated Ancient Roman-themed arsenal fronted by KATAKLYSM singer Maurizio Iacono, will release its third album, "The Immort...
JAMES MCGRATH: Canon in the UK.Thanks to Meredith Warren for introducing students in Sheffield, England to Canon: The Card Game! Here are some photos from the class, which I understand enjoyed the experience immensely – as well as having interesting con...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Julien Aliquot, Corinne Bonnet (ed.), La Phénicie hellénistique: Actes du colloque international de Toulouse (18-20 février 2013). Topoi Supplément, 13. Lyon: Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque Salomon-Reinach, 2015. ...
WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT LISTS? List Of Oldest Languages In The World. These languages have been there since years and we bet you did not know since how long they were being used. Read to find out more (Syeda Farah Noor, Boldsky).History speaks volumes, n...

December 17, 7AM

NUMISMATICS: NGC Ancients: Rare Overstruck “Judaea Capta” Bar Kokhba Coin Discovered (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, Coin Week).From an historical standpoint, this coin tells a tremendous tale. The host denarius of Vespasian was originally issued in...

5AM

'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): A misunderstood holiday with a dark side (Rick Sirvint, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript).Superficially, Hanukkah is a delightful holiday that coincides with and is influenced by the Christmas season. The second most popular...

4AM

SYRIAC WATCH, ARAMAIC WATCH, ARABIC WATCH: Hundreds of Historic Texts Hidden in ISIS-Occupied Monastery (Own Jarus, Live Science).More than 400 texts, dating between the middle ages and modern times, have been saved at the Mar Behnam monastery, a place th...
BOCA NEWS: FAU Announces Spring 2017 Distinguished Lecture Series.BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Source: FAU) — Florida Atlantic University has announced the schedule for its Spring 2017 Distinguished Lectures Series in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College...
Top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2016 (Heritage Daily). This is the first I have seen of what will presumably be many such lists, some at better venues. The main item of interest is "3 – Spectacular cargo of ancient shipwreck found in Caesarea,...

December 16, 5AM

THE EUANGELION BLOG: Pseudepigraphy as a Non-Deceptive Fiction (Michael F. Bird). Let me introduce a couple of notes of caution here. First, Salvian's justification of the forged writing as "a completely transparent and therefore non-deceptive fictio...
THE JOURNAL OF HEBREW SCRIPTURES (SPECIAL ISSUE): Frauke UHLENBRUCH (ed.), " 'Not in the Spaces We Know': An Exploration of Science Fiction and the Bible."Abstract: The present issue is a collection of essays which were originally presented as c...

4AM

PHILONICAL ET NEOTESTAMENTICA BLOG: Philo, Wisdom and Apocalypticism (Torrey Seland).The SBL Annual Meeting is already an event of the past, some weeks have, in fact, gone by since I left San Antonio, heading back to Norway. Nevertheless, as some other d...
PALMYRA WATCH: The Rubble of Palmyra. ISIS did not merely blast apart old stones—it attacked the very foundations of pluralistic society (Leon Wieseltier, The Atlantic). A rambling and didactic, but sometimes interesting article. Two excerpts:We call th...
WILLIAM ROSS: LXX SCHOLAR INTERVIEW: JOSÉ MANUEL CAÑAS REÍLLO (Septuaginta &C. Blog). He is working on the Göttingen Septuagint edition of the Book of Judges. HT Jim West. Some past interviews of LXX scholars by William Ross are here and links.

December 15, 5AM

CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. MADHAVI NEVADER, who has just accepted a permanent position at the Divinity School of the University of St. Andrews as Lecturer in Hebrew Bible. Dr. Nevader has been in a temporary post here for nearly three years. She is an excelle...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Divine Law: Nominalist/Realist or Rational/Irrational? (Jonathan Klawans, ).“In 2016, the History of Rabbinic Literature SBL section hosted a review panel of Dr. Christine Hayes’ book, What’s Divine About Divine Law? Dr. Jonathan...

3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: 2,100-year-old wine press unearthed at Ashkelon construction site (Yori Yalon, Israel HaYom).Wine press was discovered during an archaeological survey of a site slated for a new elementary school • Excavation director Ilan Peretz: We now kn...
CAUGHT IN THE ACT: Three looters busted plundering ancient tomb in Galilee. Suspects caught in the act robbing graves, disturbing interred remains near Roman-era Jewish site mentioned in Talmud (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).The Israel Antiquities Autho...
Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Noted Torah Scholar, Recovering from Stroke (Marcy Oster, The Forward).JERUSALEM (JTA) — Talmudist and Torah scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is recovering after suffering a stroke a week ago. [...]Best wishes to him for a speedy an...

December 14, 5AM

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: How King Herod Transformed the Holy Land. In the New Testament King Herod I is a villain, but the Herod of history was more complex, a consummate politician, ambitious builder, and master organizer who was able to balance the needs of...
LIV INGEBORG LIED: SBL Annual Meeting 2017 Pseudepigrapha CfP. The official call for papers opens on 19 December 2016. See the SBL website for more information. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Annie Sartre, Maurice Sartre, Palmyre. Vérités et légendes. Paris: Perrin, 2016. Pp. 259. ISBN 9782262066154. €14.00 (pb). Reviewed by Rubina Raja, Aarhus University (Rubina.Raja@cas.au.dk) Preview Palmyra has beco...
PALMYRA WATCH: As Palmyra falls, Paris heritage show looks to the future. Inaugurating an exhibit on endangered Middle Eastern heritage sites Tuesday, French President François Hollande called the show “a militant act”. But the curators are looking a...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Court Petition: Western Wall Tunnels a Holy Site for Christians, Muslims Too. Group of Israeli archaeologists say the tunnels run through, under, over and alongside religious sites holy to Judaism, Islam and Christianity (Nir Hasson, H...

December 13, 5AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Why the Talmud Allows Jews to Profit Off Gentiles. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, focusing on religious duty over secular egalitarianism.Tractate Bava Metzia centers on the concept of o...
PALMYRA WATCH: THE MYSTERY OF THE FIRST DRAWINGS OF PALMYRA: Part I: Who drew the first pictures of the ruins of Palmyra? AND Who drew this 'Curious Prospect' of Palmyra? (Zenobia Empress of the East Blog). The current state of the site of Palmyra does n...

4AM

BOOK REVIEW: Scholar explores significance of menorah to Jews, Christians, Muslims (Eugene J. Fisher, Catholic News Service).“The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Times” by Steven Fine. Harvard University Press (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2016). 273...
BIBLE PLACES BLOG: New Excavations at el-Araj, Possible Bethsaida (Todd Bolen). Todd thinks the identification would be premature.
ISIS WATCH: ISIS May Face War-Crime Charges for Destruction of Historic Sites (Owen Jarus, Live Science). This with reference to some suspected ISIS fighters who have surrendered during the Mosul campaign:Because international law forbids the destruction ...

December 12, 8AM

NUMISMATICS: Minister Regev Presents 67 CE ‘Great Rebellion’ Coin at Cabinet Meeting (JNi.Media).Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev on Sunday presented at the start of the cabinet meeting a coin discovered by a team of her office about a month ago...

5AM

PARALLELS: Ethiopian Judaism nearly identical to that practiced during Second Temple Period. Researcher Dr. Yossi Ziv has researched Ethiopian Judaism and found an amazing discovery: Ethiopian Jews' customs and traditions extremely similar to those descri...

4AM

JAMES MCGRATH: The Mandaean Book of John: Table of Contents.The entire draft of the English translation of the Mandaean Book of John is still not available online. But I thought I would nevertheless provide a table of contents linking to the chapters that...
CHRISTOPHER ROLLSTON: The Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions 2.0: Canaanite Language and Canaanite Script, Not Hebrew. Excerpt:I’m sure that Grimme and van den Branden were well intentioned, and I believe that Petrovich is as well. But the evidence is weighty,...
PALMYRA WATCH: ISIS recaptures Palmyra. The Islamic State recaptures the Syrian ancient city of Palmyra, hours after being pushed out by Russian forces ().The Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group on Sunday recaptured the Syrian ancient city of Palmyra, aft...

December 11, 3AM

GENIZA FRAGMENTS 72. The October 2016 issue of the Newsletter of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library is just out. It includes notice of an upcoming conference on the Cairo Geniza at Cambridge University in April of 201...
READING ACTS: Book Review: Jerome, Commentaries on the Twelve Prophets, Volume 1.Scheck, Thomas, ed. Commentaries on the Twelve Prophets: Volume 1, Ancient Christian Texts by Jerome. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2016. Link to IVP This new contribut...
HUGO LUNDHAUG: Shenoute of Atripe and Nag Hammadi Codex II (Academia.edu). An offprint from Zugänge zur Gnosis. Akten zur Tagung der Patristischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft vom 02.-05.01.2011in Berlin-Spandau, herausgegeben von Christoph Markschies und Johan...

2AM

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Stolen Mummy Hand Makes Its Way Home (Meg Gannon, Live Science/Yahoo).The blackened, cloth-wrapped hand arrived in a parcel at Los Angeles International Airport in January 2013. It was listed as a sci-fi movie prop, valued at $66. But...
ETC BLOG: Review of Brotzman and Tully’s Old Testament Textual Criticism (Meade) (Peter Gurry). The review is by John Meade at Books at a Glance and the page includes a response by Tully.

December 10, 6AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: New Biblical Text Discovered. Thanks to a grant from the German Research Council (DFG - STU 469/1-1), multi-spectral imaging has revealed never-before-seen Ethiopic text in a palimpsest at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Ludwig-Maximilia...

3AM

ETC BLOG: Depiction of Crucifixion (SBL Report) (Peter M. Head). The gem is of interest for its early (c. 200 CE) iconography of crucifixion and of the appearance of Jesus. That said, I would like more clarification about its provenance (it seems to have...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:M. David Litwa, Refutation of All Heresies. Translated with an Introduction and Notes. Writings from the Greco-Roman world, 40. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015. Pp. lix, 824. ISBN 9780884140856. $99.95 (pb). Reviewed by Pieter W...
JAMES MCGRATH: A Paulish Mistake in the Mandaean Book of John?Charles Häberl has started blogging again recently, about the Mandaean Book of John and related texts, in a series of truly fascinating blog posts. I’d like to highlight a few of them here.C...

2AM

FURTHER TO THE POST MOSUL CAMPAIGN UPDATE from Friday, Owen Jarus has more information, with photos, on the surviving inscriptions from Nimrud: Inscription About Ancient 'Monkey Colony' Survives ISIL Attacks.A number of artifacts with inscriptions surviv...

December 9, 4AM

THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE: University Lecturer.University Lecturer in Classical Rabbinic Literature, Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge The Faculty of Divinity, West Road, Cambridge, invites applications for a University Lectureship in Classical Rabbinic Li...
FACES AND VOICES BLOG: Overdue: Dating Early Christian Papyri at the SBL Annual Meeting. A Report (Roberta Mazza).ou know academics are always late, right? So I am super-late in reporting a much fun session I organised and chaired on November 21 in San An...
AT APOCRYPHYCITY, TONY BURKE reports on the 2016 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Antonio, Texas: 2016 SBL DIARY: DAYS ONE AND TWO 2016 SBL DIARY: DAYS THREE AND FOUR
THIS IS WAR: Historic Iraq Sites Reclaimed in Mosul Offensive (Owen Jarus, Live Science).A military offensive to take back the city of Mosul, Iraq, from the terrorist group ISIL (also called ISIS) has also resulted in the retaking of several historic site...

3AM

TALMUD WATCH: Torah For Today: Cryonics. Rabbi Ariel Abel offers the Torah’s take on the latest scientific frontier (Jewish News).Cryonics opens a new frontier in science. The preservation of materials at a very low temperature will one day lead to bodi...

December 8, 4AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Divine Law in the Container Store (Beth Berkowitz).“In 2016, the History of Rabbinic Literature SBL section hosted a review panel of Dr. Christine Hayes’ book, What’s Divine About Divine Law? Dr. Beth Berkowitz begins the forum i...
IT'S THAT DAY AGAIN: Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day. One of the original announcements, with some instructions, is here. The Facebook page is here. And this year the Hallmark company even takes notice of the day. Follow this link for past posts on the...
BOOK REVIEW: Author sheds light on the menorah (Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal).A Star of David may appear on the flag of Israel, but a much older symbol of Judaism and the Jewish people is the menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum that can be seen amo...
RECYCLING: New water: Benedictine Sisters in East Jerusalem revive ancient cisterns (Melanie Lidman, Global Sisters Report).The olive trees on the Mount of Olives next to Jerusalem's Garden of Gethsemane stand gnarled and silent, their knobby trunks reach...
PHILOLOGY: Hebrew may be world's oldest alphabet (Walt Bonner, Fox News).The oldest recorded alphabet may be Hebrew. According to a controversial new study by archaeologist and ancient inscription specialist Douglas Petrovich, Israelites in Egypt took 22 ...

December 7, 7AM

SAMUEL ZINNER: The Jordanian Lead Books, David Elkington's Sensationalism and Plagiarism: A Statement (Academia.edu). This is a statement from one of the scholars on the evaluation panel of the Centre for the Study of the Jordanian Lead Books. I have refe...

4AM

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Dead Sea Scrolls Seventy Years Later. Manuscripts, Traditions, Interpretations, and Their Biblical Context. John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, October 25, 2017 – October 26, 2017. Follow the link for details. Abstra...

3AM

AWOL: Open Access Journal: The Societas Magica Newsletter. First posted at AWOL and noted by PaleoJudaica five years ago. But many more articles have come out since then and it is worth noting again.
READING ACTS: Who are the Weak and Strong in Romans 14? Were the "weak" gentiles or Jews, or was Paul being intentionally ambiguous? Some past posts in Phil Long's series on Paul's letter to the Romans are noted here and links.
'TIS THE SEASON: The REAL Saint Nicholas! December 6 (HolyLandPhotos' Blog). "Real" is perhaps a stretch. He still sounds pretty legendary, although he did live at the time indicated. Apparently, we even still have his body. Background here and ...

December 6, 5AM

BOOK REVIEW: 400 Years of Jerusalem Culture (RUBY NAMDAR, New York Times).JERUSALEM: 1000-1400 Every People Under Heaven Edited by Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb Illustrated. 352 pp. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. $75.The book under review deals...

3AM

BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Was Paul Heading for Alexandria? (Todd Bolen).At last month’s meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Mark Wilson suggested in a lunch gathering sponsored by Tuktu Tours that Paul’s original destination on his first journey ...
ARAMAIC WATCH: Monk Brings Ancient Religious Texts To Abilene (TREVOR WYATT, Abeline Public Radio).Abilene Christian University celebrated the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Ancient Religions Texts, or CSART on Thursday. The center strives to...
YAZIDI WATCH: Yazidi Freedom of Thought Honored (Rene Wadlow, Media for Freedom).The Yearly Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought awarded by the European Parliament has been given on 27 October 2016 to Nadia Mourad Bassi Taka and to Lamiya Aji Bachar both...
ZOOLOGY: The 'Zoo Rabbi' makes a good impression (Shayndel Plotkin, Sun Sentinel).Leviathan soup anyone? Well, not quite, but exotic cuisines including quail, dovetail soup and chocolate-covered locusts were just a few items on the menu this past month at...

December 5, 3AM

H-JUDAIC: Internet Resource: New Link for the PIRQÉ RABBI ELIEZER ELECTRONIC TEXT EDITING PROJECT. PaleoJudaica noted the project at its old address many years ago.
MICHAEL LANGLOIS: The Dead Sea Scrolls’ Revelations on the Origins of Christianity, December 7, 2016 in Paris. That's the day after tomorrow.
ETC BLOG: Vetus Latina Workshop, 15-16 December, Wuppertal (Peter Williams).
GREENVILLE COLLEGE: Assistant/Associate Professor of Theology in Jewish-Christian Studies. The job seeks someone with a "Ph.D. in Theology or Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Early Judaism or Jewish Studies," but also a specific faith commit...
PALMYRA WATCH: Swiss seize artifacts looted from Syria’s Palmyra. Items, also from Yemen and Libya, arrive via Qatar; they’ll be displayed in Geneva until they can be returned (AFP). Many more posts on Palmyra, its history, the ancient Aramaic dialec...

December 4, 4AM

DR. MEIR BEN-SHAHAR: Rabbi Akiva’s Laugh: The Hidden Call for the Bar Kokhba Revolt. A New Reading of the Midrash of R. Akiva and the Fox on the Temple Mount (TheGemara.com).Abstract: In recent years, a growing consensus has emerged that the Bar Kokhba...
PUNIC WATCH: In season: Pomegranates, the fruit of myths (Jeff Cox, The Press Democrat). This article deals in part with the historical use of the pomegranate and it mentions some interesting details. No ancient references are given and I have not verifie...
THE CRITICAL REALISM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT BLOG: Educated Galileans? (Jonathan Bernier).I've decided to pause my blog through Robinson's Redating the New Testament, in large part because I left my copy at my on-campus office yesterday and do not feel like ...
NUMISMATICS: Spain: Popular “Numismatic Treasures” Coin Series Launches Seventh Set (Michael Alexander, Coin Update). For only one hundred Euros you can own a gold reproduction of a Carthaginian Hemidracma from Ebusus. Or, if your means are more modes...

3AM

RELIGION AND LITERATURE OF ANCIENT PALESTINE BLOG: Chaoskampf, the Garden of Eden, and the Mountains of Lebanon (Ryan Stephen Thomas).I have a new paper up on the Garden of Eden that explores its mythological background in Canaanite-Israelite mythological...

December 3, 3AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Honora Howell Chapman, Zuleika Rodgers (ed.), A Companion to Josephus. Blackwell companions to the ancient world. Malden, MA; Oxford; Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2016. Pp. xvi, 466. ISBN 9781444335330. $195.00. Reviewe...
H-JUDAIC: TOC: Jewish Social Studies 22.1. One of the articles deals with Talmudic material.

2AM

ETC BLOG: Dead Sea Scroll Forgeries in Your Favorite Bible Software? (Peter Gurry). It seems the answer is yes, although they are very few and it is not clear exactly how many. Also, note the importance of peer-review publication for the discussion.
EXHIBITION: (R)EVOLUTION IN BERLIN: GOLEM Ushers in the Shadow Dialectic (Lisa Paul Streitfeld, Huffington Post Blog).GOLEM opened on 23 September 2016 at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Curated by the German American female duo, Martina Lüdicke (German) and E...
THIS IS SAD. AND OUTRAGEOUS. Biblical Jewish fortress vandalized once again. Fortress built in 800 BCE vandalized in Sebastia National Park, a Jewish and Christian heritage site; culprits smashed a 2,000-year-old marble pillar buttressing the palace in th...

December 2, 1PM

RON HENDEL: The Rainbow in Ancient Context. What does it mean for the rainbow to be a sign of God’s covenant with life on earth, and how does this compare with other concepts of the rainbow in the ancient world? (TheTorah.com). Excerpt:The rainbow is a ...
MORE TESTS: Is this the first written mention of Jesus? 2,000-year-old lead tablets found in a remote cave ARE genuine, claim researchers (Libby Plummer, Daily Mail).• The lead pages, bound like a ring binder, were first discovered in 2008 • The tab...

11AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Iranian and Jewish Apocalyptics. Notice of a new article by Domenico Agostini in JAOS, now available at Academia.edu.
BOOK REVIEW A History of the Menorah (MARJORIE INGALL, New York Times).THE MENORAH From the Bible to Modern Israel By Steven Fine Illustrated. 279 pp. Harvard University Press. $29.95. This richly illustrated academic study begins with an image straight...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Luke Lavan, Michael Mulryan (ed.), Field Methods and Post-Excavation Techniques in Late Antique Archaeology. Late antique archaeology, 9. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2015. Pp. xiv, 687. ISBN 9789004277021. €75.00. Reviewed b...

December 1, 7AM

I'M AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER TODAY, giving a lecture in the Ehrhardt Seminar at the Centre for Biblical Studies. The title is "Roles of Angels in 1 Enoch and the Hekhalot Literature." It is a somewhat revised and adapted version of a pape...

4AM

JAMES MCGRATH: Call for applications: Workshop on “Religious Experience at the Intersection of Body and Cognition” (University of Sheffield, April 28-29, 2017). This workshop is associated with the Embodied Religion research theme at Sheffield, on whi...
THE JEWISH VIRTUAL LIBRARY: Archaeology in Israel: List of Discoveries (2004 - Present). Soon we will be seeing lists of archaeological discoveries for 2016. The JVL gets us started early this year with a list starting with 2016 and going back to 2004. Of...
AMIT GVARYAHU: Hoarding Consecrated “Second Tithe” Coins (TheGemara.com).Evidence suggests that hoarding second tithe money held special, religious significance among late antique Jews. How did this curious religious observance develop? What might it ...
EMMANOUELA GRYPEOU: Necromancy in Jewish and Christian Accounts from Mesopotamia and beyond. Paper presented at the Conference: The Talmud and Christianity: Rabbinic Judaism after Constantine 27-28 June, Cambridge, UK (Academia.edu). A draft paper that h...

November 30, 6AM

MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY: Israelis recover 1,900-year-old 'Judea' inscription hidden underwater. The Roman-era inscription may confirm the name of the local Roman governor in the period (i24news).Israeli researchers from Haifa University have uncovered a 1,900-...

4AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (SORT OF): Model of Second Temple Jerusalem (HolyLandPhotos' Blog). With major architectural features helpfully labeled. Seen on Facebook. Past posts on the model are here, here, here, here, here, and here.
CONGRATULATIONS TO EMORY UNIVERSITY: Event Marks 4 Decades of Emory Jewish Studies (Atlanta Jewish Times).The Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University is celebrating 40 years of Jewish studies at the university with a Community of Scholars Sho...

3AM

THE ASOR BLOG: Twitter Recap: 2016 ASOR Annual Meeting.A big thanks to everyone who attended and helped make the 2016 ASOR Annual Meeting an amazing event. We couldn't have done it without you! Also, to everyone who live tweeted the event, thanks. We enjo...
AWOL: Elephantine Reports Online. Originally posted on AWOL in 2012, but I missed it then. Annual reports on the recent excavations at Elephantine Island, the site of the fifth-century BCE Judean community that left us many Aramaic papyri. For much more o...

November 29, 4AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Not in Heaven. Man’s authority to interpret the Torah in a ‘postmagical age’ is the subject of this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ rabbinical debate.Before I began reading Daf Yomi, I was familiar with...

3AM

LARRY HURTADO: “Paul the Jew”: New Book.I’m pleased to have my contributor’s copy of Paul the Jew: Rereading the Apostle as a Figure of Second Temple Judaism, ed. Gabriele Boccaccini & Carlos A. Segovia (Fortress Press, 2016). This volume p...
WILLIAM A. ROSS: The 2016 ETS Septuagint Studies Consultation in Review (Septuaginta & C. Blog). HT Jim West.
LITERATURE: In the novel ‘Judas,’ Amos Oz wrestles with Jewish attitudes toward Jesus (Ron Charles, Washington Post).“Judas,” a new novel by Amos Oz, is a paradox of stillness and provocation. The Israeli author, a long-rumored contender for the N...
LITERATURE: A LOVE & BEYOND Wins 2016 Best Book Award (Broadway World Books).Author Dan Sofer's debut novel, "A Love and Beyond," (http://hyperurl.co/alab) has won the 2016 Best Book Award (for the category of Religious Fiction). ESRA Magaz...

November 28, 5AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: ‘Beautiful skulls’ in tombs from 2,000 years ago (Ivan Martin, Times of Malta).A small tooth is almost all that remains of a 2,000-year-old baby discovered in an ancient burial site beneath a Rabat school. The series of catacombs, discov...
DR. RABBI JOSHUA GARROWAY: Who Assumed Melchizedek’s Priesthood? How such a minor biblical character became so significant in Jewish and Christian interpretation (TheTorah.com). Excerpt:No reader of the Torah would come away thinking that King Melchized...
IN THE MAIL:Authoritative Texts and Reception History: Aspects and Approaches (Biblical Interpretation Series) by Dan Batovici (Editor), Kristin De Troyer (Editor) (Brill, 2017) Reception history has emerged over the last decades as a rapidly growing dom...

4AM

REFLECTIONS ON THE SHAPIRA SCROLLS: Fascinating Archaeological Matter Reminds Us That Archaeology Used To Matter More (Jenna Weissmann Joselit, The Forward). I think archaeology matters more today than the author realizes. She has some legitimate concerns...
ALIN SUCIU: Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Investiture of the Archangel Michael in English. Cross-file under Coptic Watch and New Testament Apocrypha Watch.

November 27, 8AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Peter Derow, Rome, Polybius, and the East. Edited by Andrew Erskine and Josephine Crawley Quinn. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. xiii, 311. ISBN 9780199640904. $125.00. Reviewed by Nicholas Sekunda, G...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Alexander the Great and the East. Notice of a new book: Nawotka, Krzysztof & Agnieszka Wojciechowska (eds.). 2016. Alexander the Great and the East: History, Art, Tradition. (Philippika – Altertumswissenschaftliche Abhandlunge...
MANDAEAN (MANDAEAN) WATCH: Historical References in Mandaean Sources (James McGrath). The history behind the classical Mandean sources is a fascinating, but very difficult question. Also, last week James noted that some Mandeans were at the SBL meetings ...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR-SIEBECK:Taschenwörterbuch Hebräisch und Aramäisch zum Alten Testament [Pocket Dictionary of Old Testament Hebrew and Aramaic.] 2016. XIV, 202 pages. 19,99 € paper ISBN 978-3-8252-4678-5 available Published in German. The Pocket ...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: The Difference Ultraviolet Makes (Peter Gurry, ETC Blog). Infra-red photography can have a similar effect on Dead Sea Scrolls.

November 26, 4AM

BASIL LOURIÉ: . Offprint of a article published in the Journal of the Study of the Pseudepigrapha and posted on Academia.edu.Abstract In this article it is demonstrated that one of the Papias’ quotes preserved in the Armenian version of the Commentary ...
DR. MIRYAM T. BRAND: The Benei Elohim, the Watchers, and the Origins of Evil. According to the non-biblical book of Enoch, Genesis 6 tells of angels who bring sin to humanity, causing the Flood as well as sin and disease in the present. (TheTorah.com). A ...

3AM

PHILOLOGY? Spelling out Harry Potter in Arabic, Greek and Hebrew. The beloved adolescent wizard offers opportunities for language immersion at Polis, a Jerusalem language school (Jessica Steinberg, Times of Israel).The wizarding adventures of Harry Potter...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Penn State archaeologists use IT to help uncover the past (Katie Bohn, Penn State News).During his tenure as an archaeologist, Indiana Jones wasn’t much concerned about preserving historical sites and landmarks. He pilfered precious ar...
ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Native animals, meditation and fashionistas: exploring the worldly mind of Archibald artist Carla Fletcher (hhhhappy.com).After fashion design and illustration studies, Carla Fletcher approached fine art drawing at RMIT; the arti...

November 25, 4AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Syriac Polemics Against Zoroastrianism and Christian Controversies under the Sasanians. Notice of a new book: Ruani, Flavia (ed.). 2016. Les controverses religieuses en syriaque. (Études Syriaques 13). Paris: Geuthner. Follow the l...

3AM

NEW BOOK FROM CUP: Interpreting Scriptures in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Overlapping Inquiries (Yeshiva University).Interpreting Scriptures in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Overlapping Inquiries, edited by Mordechai Z. Cohen and Adele Berlin (C...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEWS:Rubina Raja, Jörg Rüpke (ed.), A Companion to the Archaeology of Religion in the Ancient World. Blackwell companions to the ancient world. Ancient history. Chichester; Malden, MA; Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2015. Pp. xiii, ...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Who Pays For All This? Some projects are undertaken by private individuals who have the money or can raise it from others who believe in their cause. Most times the ideas that these individuals have are not the result of scho...
OBITUARY: In Memoriam: Peter Flint (Aline Bouwman, Mars' Hill Newspaper).Dr. Flint was a world-renowned scholar on the Dead Sea Scrolls and a well-respected professor at Trinity Western University. Flint was Professor of Religious Studies and Co-Director ...

November 24, 7AM

NEW BOOK FROM THE BIALIK INSTITUTE (IN HEBREW): Noga Ayali-Darshan, Treading on the Back of Sea: The Combat between the Storm-god and the Sea in Ancient Near Eastern Literature, The Bialik Institute, Jerusalem 2016. Noted at Lea Mazor's blog. HT reader Y...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:The Fall of Jerusalem and the Rise of the Torah Ed. by Peter Dubovský, Dominik Markl, and Jean-Pierre Sonnet [Die Zerstörung Jerusalems und die Entstehung der Torah.] 2016. X, 381 pages. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 107 9...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: 'They have turned the site into a pile of garbage.' Noted archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar describes the severity of damage caused by construction of 'egalitarian' prayer space at Western Wall (Hezki Baruch, Arutz Sheva).The Knesset Educa...
CHRISTOPHER ROLLSTON: The Early History of the Alphabet and the Recent Claim that the Northwest Semitic Inscriptions from Serabit el-Khadem and Wadi el-Hol are Hebrew: Spoiler Alert, They’re Not. The discussion is technical, but here's an excerpt that ...

3AM

I'M BACK IN ST. ANDREWS and back to work. I hope all my American readers and any others celebrating with them enjoy a happy Thanksgiving.

November 23, 6AM

NEW BOOK FROM MAGNES PRESS (IN HEBREW):God’s Word Is Powerful Eight Conversations on the Epistle to the Hebrews By Yair Zakovitch, Serge Ruzer Publisher: The Hebrew University Magnes Press Categories: Jewish History, Jewish Studies, Religions, Christ...

5AM

NEW BOOK FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS:Our Divine Double Hardcover – March 7, 2016 by Charles M. Stang (Author) What if you were to discover that you were not entirely you, but rather one half of a whole, that you had, in other words, a divine double? ...
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS:Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology Hardcover – February 28, 2017 by Eric H. Cline (Author) In 1922, Howard Carter peered into Tutankhamun's tomb for the first time, the only light coming ...
NEW BOOK FROM EQUINOX PUBLISHING:Subtle Citation, Allusion, and Translation in the Hebrew Bible Edited by Ziony Zevit American Jewish University ISBN-13 (Hardback) 9781781792667 Price (Hardback) £60.00 / $100.00 ISBN-13 (Paperback) 9781781792674 Price (...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:PETER ALTMANN Economics in Persian-Period Biblical Texts Their Interactions with Economic Developments in the Persian Period and Earlier Biblical Traditions [Ökonomie in den Bibeltexten der Perserzeit. Ihre Wechselwirkung mit ...

November 22, 6AM

NEW BOOK FROM PEETERS PUBLISHERS:Studies in Aramaic Inscriptions and Onomastics IV Series: Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 250 Authors: Lipinski E. Year: 2016 ISBN: 978-90-429-3352-1 Pages: XIV-286 p. Price: 95 EURO Summary: A large number of Ara...
"THIS IS WAR": Historic Iraqi Assyrian Monastery Found Ransacked By Islamic State (Stephen Kalin, Reuters via AINA).(Reuters) -- The history pages of Iraq's Christian community lie in charred fragments on the floor of a fourth-century monastery ...

5AM

NEW BOOK FROM THE SBL PRESS:L'influence de l'arameen sur les traducteurs de la LXX principalement sur les traducteurs grecs posterieurs, ainsi que sur les scribes de la Vorlage de la LXX Anne-Francoise Loiseau ISBN 9781628371567 Status Available Pri...
JAMES MCGRATH: Aramaic Magic Bowls at #AARSBL16. I was sorry to have to miss this session, but I ended up attending another one. Glad to have James's report for the one I missed. Cross-file under Aramaic Watch.
EPIGRAPHY: Ancient Inscriptions Show Life Once Flourished in Jordan's 'Black Desert' (Owen Jarus, Live Science).Thousands of inscriptions and petroglyphs dating back around 2,000 years have been discovered in the Jebel Qurma region of Jordan's Black Deser...

November 21, 6AM

ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Enoch’s Walk with God Ends Badly in Babylonia (Yishai Kiel,TheGemara.com).Echoing the Iranian story of Yima, the biblical Enoch morphed into the theologically problematic angel Metatron, and ends up being flogged.Interesting pr...
A NEW ISSUE (NO. 3, 2016) OF THE JOURNAL OF THE JESUS MOVEMENT IN ITS JEWISH SETTING IS OUT. Follow the link for (for now) a detailed description of the issue. A permanent link to Issues 1-3 is here. All articles are available online for free. Backgroun...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Late Ancient Knowing (Taylor Ross).Chin, Catherine M. and Moulie Vidas, eds. Late Ancient Knowing: Explorations in Intellectual History. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015.Excerpt:This is, at any rate, the wa...
TWO POSSIBLE TEXTBOOKS ON BIBLICAL HEBREW have been drawn to my attention by the Combined Academic Press. I don't think I can use them right now, and they aren't new. but I've never noted them before, so in case any readers might find them useful for thei...

5AM

BART EHRMAN: Does Paul Know that Judas Betrayed Jesus? I agree: Paul's wording is ambiguous and does not demonstrate that he knew the story of Judas' betrayal, although he may have. Seen on Facebook.

November 20, 5AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: You Are What You Eat: The Israelite Diet and Archaeology. Pig bones as an ethnic marker? (Marek Dospěl). Apparently, it's complicated. But you need a paid subscription to read the full text of the highlighted article by Lidar Sapir-H...
THETORAH.COM: Lot and his Daughters’ Motives for their Incestuous Union. Genesis Rabbah surprisingly portrays Lot’s daughters and their choices in a decidedly positive light, while exacerbating Lot’s culpability (Shayna Sheinfeld). The Midrash has i...
CANDIDA MOSS: The Dirty Secret About Ancient Bathrooms. Excavations at the most famous racing stadium in the ancient world have been completed, and one of the best preserved parts turns out to be the toilets—adding to a rich history of the disposal of h...

4AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Der jüdische Messias Jesus und sein jüdischer Apostel Paulus Hrsg. v. Armin D. Baum, Detlef Häußer und Emmanuel L. Rehfeld [The Jewish Messiah Jesus and his Jewish Apostle Paul.] 2016. VIII, 417 pages. Wissenschaftliche Un...
JAMES MCGRATH: My contribution to the review panel about Ancient Worlds in Digital Culture at #AARSBL16. The full text of his comments at yesterday's SBL session on the subject. Background here and links.

November 19, 3PM

I AM PRESENTING THE FOLLOWING REVIEW in the Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity Group at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Antonio, Texas, on 19 November 2016 (S19-334). The session is beginning as this post g...

6AM

NEW BOOK FROM BREPOLS PUBLISHERS:Judaïsme ancien et origines du christianisme (JAOC 7) P. Piovanelli Apocryphités Études sur les textes et les traditions scripturaires du judaïsme et du christianisme anciens 568 p., 156 x 234 mm, 2016 ISBN: 978-2-503...
ETC BLOG: New Articles and Reviews in the TC Journal (Tommy Wasserman). It includes articles and reviews dealing with the New Testament and the Septuagint, etc.
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: shafel/shafal “lowly, humble; lowdown, mean, base.”
JAMES MCGRATH: Don’t Forget the #AARSBL16 Blogger Dinner This Evening! I need to go to other things this evening, but I hope the dinner goes well.

November 18, 8AM

EPIGRAPHY UP FOR AUCTION: Stone inscription of Ten Commandments sells for $850K (Yaron Steinbuch, New York Post).For sale: the word of God, in slightly less than mint condition. A mystery antiquities collector got a fantastic deal Wednesday on a stone ta...
THE GOD ABOVE GOD BLOG: The Four Categories of Gnostic Religious Rites. Miguel Conner, of Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio, summarizes some material from April DeConick's new book, The Gnostic New Age. There is also an audio interview with Professor DeConick. As ...

7AM

IN MEMORIAM: Well-respected Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and Langley professor passes (Troy Landreville, Langley Times).“Dr. Peter Flint was a well-loved member of the TWU community for many reasons,” said Bob Wood, PhD, Provost, TWU. “In addition to b...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Newly Discovered Byzantine Arch Unveiled in Jerusalem.JNS.org – The discovery of a 1,500-year-old Byzantine arch was revealed Wednesday at a ceremony attended by Israeli Construction Minister Yoav Gallant in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem...
MICHAEL LANGLOIS: How a 2,700-year-old piece of papyrus super-charged the debate over UNESCO and Jerusalem (Huffington Post). Excerpt:As for this papyrus, the various arguments claiming it is a forgery based on orthography are unconvincing. I have doubts ...

6AM

I'M IN SAN ANTONIO for the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. I got in late last night, but have managed a decent night's sleep. I'll be visiting with family today, but will fit in some blogging first. The conference festivities start t...

November 17, 2AM

I'M OFF TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, for the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. I shall be reviewing April DeConick's fascinating new book, The Gnostic New Age, on which more here and here. I will post my review during the conference. I have...
PUNIC WATCH: The True History Of The Punic Wars Is Finally Revealed In ‘Godzilla: Rage Across Time’ #4 [Preview] ( Chris Sims, Comic Alliance).And yet, they’ve never really gotten around to the real question that I think we all want answered: What w...
JOB AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY: Religions in the Greco-Roman World.Position 3: Religions in the Greco-Roman World The Department of History and Classical Studies and the School of Religious Studies invite applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of...
H-JUDAIC: JOB: University of California - Irvine, Late Antique Jewish History. Follow the link for further particulars. The application deadline is 16 December 2016.

1AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Centres and Peripheries in the Early Second Temple Period Ed. by Ehud Ben Zvi and Christoph Levin [Zentrum und Peripherie in der frühen Zeit des Zweiten Tempels.] 2016. XIV, 469 pages. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 108 134,...

November 16, 4AM

EPIGRAPHY: Earliest known stone version of Ten Commandments up for auction (Georgia McCafferty, CNN).(CNN)The earliest known stone inscription of the Ten Commandments is being auctioned in Beverly Hills on November 16, with an opening bid of $250,000 -- a...
SYRIAC WATCH: 1,800-Year-Old Mosaic Portraits of the Dead Unearthed in Turkey. Archaeologists excavating an ancient necropolis at the site of the historic the historic Urfa castle in the southeastern city of Şanlıurfa found mosaic portraits of two men a...
PUNIC WATCH: KATAKLYSM Frontman's EX DEO Project: 'The Immortal Wars' Album Details Revealed (Blabbermouth.net).EX DEO, the reactivated Ancient Roman-themed arsenal fronted by KATAKLYSM singer Maurizio Iacono, will release its third album, "The Immo...
YAZIDI WATCH: French priest helps expose IS group’s Yazidi genocide. Father Patrick Desbois spent over a decade documenting some of the Nazis’ least known atrocities in the killing fields of Ukraine. In turning his attention to Iraq’s Yazidi minorit...

3AM

JAMES MCGRATH: Ancient Worlds in Digital Culture at #AARSBL16. Professor McGrath is on the SBL panel discussion. I noted the book and Brill series (and the ETC post) here and here.

November 15, 7AM

THE UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA: Scripta Qumranica Electronica.The Dead Sea Scrolls - The Next Generation Computer scientists and Dead Sea Scrolls scholars are building a digital work environment for one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century * Th...

6AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Coin of the Realm. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the finer points of monetary transactions, and the attendant honesty ingrained in them.Today, we are used to thinking of buying and...

5AM

EXPEDITION: Israel to search hundreds of caves to find the 'crown jewel of Israeli antiquities' — the missing Dead Sea Scrolls (AP). The three-year project launches in December. I hope they find them. Another such expedition concluded in June without f...
MAY HIS MEMORY BE FOR A BLESSING: Leonard Cohen’s five most Jewish songs. Following the death of legendary Canadian artist last week, we go through his five ‘most Jewish’ songs (Jewish News). His songs were much influenced by the Bible and the Jewis...
BAKING: Ah, Finally, Ancient Clay Tablets for Dessert (JENNIFER A. KINGSON, New York Times). Excerpts:Ms. [Katy] Blanchard, whose passions are archaeology and baking, used chopsticks, a fish knife and a gingerbread recipe that came packaged with a Coliseu...

November 14, 6AM

NETWORK FOR THE STUDY OF ESOTERICISM IN ANTIQUITY: GNOSE ET MANICHÉISME. FESTSCHRIFT DUBOIS (Dylan M. Burns).I have been waiting with bated breath for some time for the volume honoring the work of Jean-Daniel Dubois, a luminary of scholarship on Gnostici...

4AM

READING ACTS: Romans 12:1 and the Scapegoat. A living sacrifice? Some past posts in Phil Long's series on Paul's letter to the Romans are noted here and links.
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Stephen Goranson sends reference to a publication on new techniques for the non-destructive dating of ancient ink, not just a work in progress:Sarah Goler, James T. Yardley, Angela Cacciola, Alexis Hagadorn, David Ratzan and Roger Bagnal...

3AM

MUCH EARLIER THAN PALEOJUDAICA'S USUAL RANGE, but too interesting not to note. Two separate discoveries of pre-Israelite objects decorated with eight-pointed stars have just been in the news: Trove of ancient gold, silver discovered at Israeli archeologi...
THIS IS DISTURBING: Ancient Jerusalem tombs damaged in suspected arson. Iconic ‘archaeological gems’ from Second Temple era at base of Mount of Olives suffer extensive damage (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).Fires severely damaged two ancient tombs, o...

November 13, 9AM

APOCRYPHICITY: AVAILABLE AT LAST! MORE NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA VOL. 1 (Tony Burke). Congratulation to Professor Burke and Dr. Brent Landau on the publication of this important volume. Noted as forthcoming here and as going to press here.
TECHNOLOGY WATCH:In-depth Study of Raman Spectroscopy on Carbon Black Ink as a Potential Method for Non-Destructive Dating of Ancient Manuscripts Author(s) Sarah Goler Publication Date Wed, Apr 15, 2015 Academic Term Fall and Spring Academic Year ...
JAMES MCGRATH: Case Closed on the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife – but there’s more to be said at #aarsbl16. Including a paper by Professor McGrath. 2016 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for AAR/SBL. I hope to see many of you there. Background on...
H-JUDAIC: Fellowship: UW-Madison PhD Fellowship Opportunities in Hebrew Bible/Northwest Semitics and Classics. The application deadline is 5 January 2017.
THE UNIVERSITY OF JAMESTOWN: Exhibits open UJ’s International Education Week (Sharon Cox, Jamestown Sun)The University of Jamestown has a diverse population among its students, staff and faculty, and during International Education Week Nov 11-18, the pu...

November 12, 5AM

LARRY HURTADO: “Copying Early Christian Texts”: New Book.An important new book presents a case that early Christian texts were typically copied by trained, skilled scribes, and that “there is no firm evidence that the copyists were generally Christi...
THE ASOR BLOG: Ask a Near Eastern Professional: How the Sumerians Got to Peru. The short answer is that they didn't — or at least this artifact does not prove that they did, because it is a fake. But the long answer is quite interesting, so read it all....

3AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Christianity in Central Asia. New article: Dickens, Mark. 2015. Le christianisme syriaque en Asie centrale. In Borbone, Pier Giorgio & Pierre Marsone (eds.), Le christianisme syriaque en Asie centrale et en Chine (Études Syriaq...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: hinneh “lo,* behold, look, here, now, yea.” A fine biblical word. There's nothing quite like it in modern English.
TWO MORE NEW ARTICLES IN THE JOURNAL OF HEBREW SCRIPTURES (16.7-8): Speaking to One’s heart: DBR and its Semantic Extensio (Natalie MYLONAS, Stephen LLEWELYN and Gareth WEARNE)Abstract: Cognitive linguists are increasingly recognising the value of meto...

November 11, 4AM

SYRIAC WATCH: Syriac tablet found at Edessa in Turkey (Roger Pearse). There's a photo at the link. This is different from the Syriac mosaic inscriptions found recently in the same area, on which more here and here.
BASIL LOURIÉ: The Liturgical Cycle in 3 Maccabees and the 2 Enoch Calendar (proofs). Proofs posted at Academia.edu.ABSTRACT 3 Maccabees provides a hagiographical legend related to a 50-day liturgical cycle. This cycle implies a modification of the alread...
THE HARVARD CRIMSON:‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ Researcher Says Frenzy Distracts from Larger Issues (Bonnie K. Bennett).A hotly debated piece of papyrus at Harvard that could help answer whether Jesus had a wife has been largely accepted as a forgery by...

3AM

APOCRYPHICITY: LOST AND FOUND ITEMS IN MANUSCRIPTS OF THE LIFE OF MARY (Tony Burke).In the course of my manuscript hunting and gathering, I came across some manuscripts that should be of interest to a wider audience of scholars than the few of us who work...
NEW ARTICLE IN THE JOURNAL OF HEBREW SCRIPTURES (16.6): The Radical Nature of "Return" in Zechariah (JEREMIAH W. CATALDO).Abstract: Scholarship has tended to emphasize a positivistic view of Zechariah--namely, that the text, constructivist in na...

November 10, 4AM

ANNIVERSARY: This Day in Jewish History 67 C.E.: Roman Forces Overrun Gamla, Jews All Die. The majority of Jews who died in Vespasian's conquest of the clifftop town were suicides, according to Josephus (David B. Green, Haaretz).Most of what is known abou...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Retrospective | Jorunn J. Buckley. Professor Buckley is a pioneer in the area of Mandaean (Mandaean) studies, an area in which Biblioblogger James McGrath is also a specialist. Some recent past posts on the Mandeans (Madaeans) are her...

3AM

CALL FOR PAPERS, 2017 INTERNATIONAL MEETING, BERLIN, GERMANY: QUMRAN AND THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS.Program Unit Type: Section Accepting Papers? Yes Call For Papers: The Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls unit plans four sessions: 1. “Dead Sea Scrolls and the ...
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY? These are the places where people think Jesus might be buried — including Japan (Tom Murray, Business Insider, UK).Last week, the tomb of Jesus Christ was opened for the first time in centuries, at the Church of the Holy Sepulch...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Jonah in the Shadows of Eden Like the manna-hoarding Israelites who, after the splitting of the sea, believe they can preserve their latest installment of divine largesse, the rebellious Jonah, after his own salvation at sea,...

November 9, 4AM

CHANGES IN SACRED TEXTS AND TRADITIONS BLOG: PERMANENT OR TENURE-TRACK POSITION IN HEBREW BIBLE AND COGNATE STUDIES AT UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI. The application deadline is 7 December 2016. Seen on Facebook.
ETC BLOG: Tischendorf’s ‘Wounded Vanity’? (Peter Gurry). Rick Brannan once informed us that "Tischendorf was a stud." So there. More on Constantine Tischendorf, who is especially well known (or infamous) for recovering (or appropriating) t...
CINEMA: TOM CRUISE IS AN EPIC 969-YEAR-OLD MAN IN NEW BIBLE FILM ‘METHUSELAH’ (Alison Lesley, World Religion News).TOM CRUISE WILL PLAY THE WORLD’S OLDEST DEMON SLAYER IN ‘METHUSELAH’. Tom Cruise is no stranger to action-packed movies that keep ...
HISTORY OF SCHOLARSHIP: Rediscovering Azariah Dei Rossi (Eli Kavon, Past Imperect Blog, Jerusalem Post). Excerpt:Azariah dei Rossi, a pioneer of Jewish scholarship born into a distinguished family in Mantua, earned the condemnation of the rabbis of his ti...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: Phoenician Tourism Route launched at the World Travel Market.(Forimmediaterelease.net) An integral component of Mediterranean trade and culture, the Phoenicians’ Route links 18 countries with a common heritage. With the aim of revita...

November 8, 6AM

EPIGRAPHY: Is Israel’s Big New Find for Real? A piece of recently found papyrus is said to prove that Jerusalem was the center of a kingdom thousands of years ago. But the timing of its discovery has cast some doubt on it (Candida Moss and Joel Baden, T...
MORE DETAILS on events for bloggers at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Antonio, Texas, next week. RELIGION PROF: Blogger Gathering at #AARSBL16 on Saturday, November 19th at 7pm at Yard House (James McGrath) ETC BLOG: SBL...

5AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Incest in the Hebrew Bible There is no persuasive reason, however, in Leviticus (or elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible) for arguing that daughters are depicted as sexually available to fathers (see Stiebert 2016: 33-44). Really, t...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Need a Reason to Hope This Campaign Season? Try the Timeless Talmud. Can it get any worse? Yes, yes, it can, a lot worse, but the continuity of learning in the ‘Daf Yomi’ cycle has remained unbrok...
POLITICS: A diplomatic gift. Foreign Ministry will distribute gifts to foreign visitor from the City of David in honor of Jerusalem's re-unification (Arutz Sheva).The gifts are replicas of artifacts found in the City of David excavations representing the ...

November 7, 4AM

I AM VERY SORRY TO RELAY THE SAD NEWS that Professor Peter Flint, a well-known Dead Sea Scrolls scholar at Trinity Western University, died on 3 November. The news comes from his colleague Andrew Perrin, posted on the IOQS Facebook page. Peter's wife, Ama...
CONGRATULATIONS TO CAROL NEWSOM: Newsom Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Emory University, Candler School of Theology News).Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament Carol A. Newsom has been elected to the American Academy of Arts...

3AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Lazarus and James (Philip Jenkins).I have been posting on the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, as told in Luke’s chapter 16, and puzzling out its possible relationship to the miracle of Lazarus in the Gospel of John. Here, I will pu...
CALL FOR PAPERS: Between Heaven and Earth: Divination, Prophecy and Oracles in the Ancient World. International interdisciplinary conference.The conference “Between Heaven and Earth: Divination, Prophecy and Oracles in the Ancient World,” will take pl...
UPCOMING CONFERENCE: Biblical Archaeology Conference to be Held in Bristol (BRISTOL HERALD COURIER).BRISTOL, Tenn. — King University will host a Biblical Archaeology Conference Nov. 13-14. The conference, which is free and open to the public, will answe...

November 6, 2PM

FAKE METAL CODICES WATCH: ‘Lead Sea Scrolls’ row reopened (Richard Brooks, Sunday Times [of London]*). A report of some new materials tests on those lead codices:The debate has been given new impetus after tests on one of the books at Surrey Universit...

1PM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:From Sasanian Mandaeans to Ṣābians of the Marshes Kevin T. van Bladel (Ph.D. 2004, Yale University), The Ohio State University This historical study argues that the Mandaean religion originated under Sasanid rule in the fifth centu...

12 PM

ANNOUNCEMENT: Israeli archaeologist announces return to Masada after ten-year absence. Dr. Guy Stiebel, former director of excavations at Masada, says much is yet to be discovered at the site (i24 News).The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archeology h...
ABILENE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY: New center to study ancient religious texts (Lauren Franco, The Optimist).The Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts opened Thursday in conjunction with the 30th annual Carmichael-Walling lectures. The new center,...

11AM

POLITICS: Israel says Palestinians may try to claim Dead Sea Scrolls. In latest diplomatic tussle over archaeology, Palestinians reportedly raise demand at UNESCO panel; Israel slams fresh bid to deny Jewish ties to the land (Times of Israel).Officials in...

November 5, 6AM

MICHAEL LANGLOIS: Semitica 58.Semitica 58 is out! Semitica is published by the Institute of Semitic Studies at the Collège de France. It presents every year new scientific studies. I serve as editor under the direction of Thomas Römer, professor at the...

5AM

THE ASOR BLOG: The Sumerian King List or the ‘History’ of Kingship in Early Mesopotamia (Gianni Marchesi). Yes, I know this one is a stretch for PaleoJudaica, but I have mentioned the Sumerian King List in the past. It's a very interesting document th...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Yezidism and Yezidi Studies. Notice of a thematic journal issue: Kreyenbroek, Philip G. & Khanna Omarkhali (eds.). 2016. Yezidism and Yezidi Studies in the early 21st century (Special Issue. Vol. 4, No 2, Kurdish Studies). Londo...
APOCRYPHICITY: CALL FOR PAPERS: 2017 SBL INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN APOCRYPHA AND PSEUDEPIGRAPHA SECTION (Tony Burke).The 2017 SBL International Meeting will take place August 7-11 in Berlin, Germany. The deadline for proposals is February 22, 2017.It's not ...
AWOL: Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) News. Looks like an important resource. Cross-file under Numismatics.

November 4, 3AM

JAMES MCGRATH: Call for Papers: Mapping Transformations Towards a Christian Late Antiquity. James posts some information from Gerhard van den Heever.New Testament Society of South Africa: Early Christian Studies Subgroup Inaugural Session: 9—12 April 2...
THE ASOR BLOG: It’s Complicated: Biblical Exercise for the Theological and Ethical Imagination (C. L. Crouch).Why does the Bible matter? Why do we continue to talk about, turn to, and study a diverse assortment of narratives, poems, laws and prophetic p...
RON HENDEL: The Dream of a Perfect Text: Textual Criticism and Biblical Inerrancy in Early Modern Europe (Academia.edu). This is the full text of Professor Hendel's contribution to the Collins Festschrift (on which see the immediately preceding post). The...
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM BRILL:Sibyls, Scriptures, and Scrolls: John Collins at Seventy Edited by Joel Baden, Yale University, Hindy Najman,University of Oxford and Eibert Tigchelaar, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. This volume, a tribute to John J. Collin...
POLITICS: Netanyahu: Italy’s Arch of Titus in Rome Described A Jewish Tragedy in Jerusalem. PM Netanyahu reminded Italy's Pres. Matarella the Arch of Titus, a Roman description of Jewish Jerusalem events, was not 'Zionist propaganda' (Hana Levi Julian, ...

November 3, 7AM

THE ROLLSTON EPIGRAPHY BLOG: The Jerusalem Papyrus: Complementary Notations. Epigrapher Christopher Rollston has posted some detailed observations and concerns about the Jerusalem papyrus. His previous post on the subject is here. HT reader Stephen Goran...
READING ACTS: What Advantage Has The Jew? Romans 9:4-5. In this latest post in his series on Paul's letter to the Romans, Phil Long interacts with passages from the Hebrew Bible, the Wisdom of Solomon, and 2 Maccabees. As background, you may also want to ...

6AM

ROGUE CLASSICISM: Artifact Peregrination Score: Thinking Out Loud About Provenance, Collection History, etc.. David Meadows proposes a new methodology for preliminary evaluations of of unprovenanced putatively ancient artifacts. Excerpt:Indeed, it struck ...
PHILONICA ET NEOTESTAMENTICA: Philo papers (Torrey Seland).Papers for the Philo seminars at the coming SBL Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Tx are now coming in, and are posted on my website.

5AM

ASSOCIATION FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF JUDAISM: Graduate conference on “Talmud and Philosophy” (Yale University 30 April 2017).The study of Talmud, immersion in its distinctive modes and methods, represents a promising arena for deepening philosophical ref...

November 2, 4AM

AUDIO: Rejuvenation: Beyond the Jerusalem Papyrus Debate (The Land of Israel Network/The Jewish Press).Israel Prize winner Professor Shmuel Ahituv was one of the first to examine the now famous and controversial ‘Jerusalem Papyrus”. This delightful, u...
POPULAR MECHANICS: The Deadly Ancient Math Problem Computer Scientists Love. Learn the secret of the Josephus problem and maybe you'll be the lone survivor (Jay Bennett).Flavius Josephus, a Jewish-Roman historian from the first century, tells the story li...
H-JUDAIC: Adelman on Nelson and Ulmer, '"It's Better to Hear the Rebuke of the Wise Than the Song of Fools" (Qoh 7:5): Proceedings of the Midrash Section, Society of Biblical Literature'Author: W. David Nelson, Rivka Ulmer, eds. Reviewer: Rachel...

3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Paul is Dead. Long Live Paulinism! : Imagining a Future for Pauline Studies (Cavan Concannon).The editors of Ancient Jew Review have asked me to think about the future of Pauline studies. To pronounce the future of a field is a weight...
DUST: Biblical Studies Carnival 128 - October 2016 (Bob MacDonald). And Jim West has his own Halloween-themed, counter carnival: The ‘You’ve Got to Be Kidding, Great Pumpkin’ Biblical Studies Carnival.

November 1, 5AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Lost and Found. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how the Talmud transforms absolute Torah commandments into contingent human laws, prizing practicality over literalism.Chapter Two of Tractate Bava Met...

4AM

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: UNSEALING OF CHRIST'S REPUTED TOMB TURNS UP NEW REVELATIONS. For just 60 hours, researchers have had the opportunity to examine the holiest site in Christianity. Here's what they've found (KRISTIN ROMEY). Excerpt:When the marble cladd...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (INDIRECTLY): Centuries before trying to deny it, Muslims carved Jewish link to Jerusalem into mosque. Newly studied inscription from Mosque of Umar dated to 9th or 10th centuries highlights correlation between Dome of the Rock and bibl...
READING ACTS: Why Does “All Creation Groan” in Romans 8:19-22? Phil Long continues his series on Paul's letter to the Romans, with parallel material from the Septuagint and 4 Ezra cited in this post. Some past posts in the series have been noted here...
LIV INGEBORG LIED: SBL Pseudepigrapha Section 2016 - annotated version. Cross-file under News You Can Use and Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

October 31, 5AM

JERUSALEM PAPYRUS UPDATE: IAA refutes authenticity accusations of ‘Jerusalem’ papyrus inscription (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post). The IAA didn't exactly "refute" them, they denied them. Despite the unfortunate tendency these days to wa...

4AM

APOCRYPHICITY: Mosaics Discovered of “Christian king” Abgar (Tony Burke). Professor Burke gives some background from legends about King Abgar V and his supposed correspondence with Jesus in apocryphal material preserved by Eusebius. In addition, at L...
LARRY HURTADO: A “Law-Free” Apostle Paul? In this post Professor Hurtado discusses an article by Paula Fredriksen on the Apostle Paul and Torah observance. This is followed up with some statistical data in this post: “Law” Statistics.Here are som...
ARCHITECTURE: New archaeology complex shows there's hope for Jerusalem yet. The city’s buildings and towers have been lumbering or kitschy in recent years, but the new campus in the museum district will be a modern gem housing ancient artifacts (Naama R...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: A Phoenician wreck that just keeps giving. Recent find shows Malta may have been part of early Phoenician trade network.A jug unearthed at the oldest shipwreck in the central Mediterranean could prove that the Maltese islands were an int...

October 30, 2AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Sexuality in the Babylonian Talmud: Christian and Sasanian Contexts in Late Antiquity. Notice of a new book: Kiel, Yshai. 2016. Sexuality in the Babylonian Talmud: Christian and Sasanian Contexts in Late Antiquity. New York: Cambri...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: Exploring the Phoenician Shipwreck off Gozo – Public lecture (Gozo News).In 2016, the University of Malta conducted another season of underwater operations on the Phoenician Shipwreck off Gozo. An international team of technical diver...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: 11 things about women in Ancient Israel you probably didn’t know (Cassandra Gill, OUP Blog). Some of these generalize a bit much from our limited evidence, but the post has lots of interesting information.
JAMES MCGRATH: Setting Amos’ Hymn Fragments to Music. This is an awesome idea. I too have found these passages in Amos to be fascinating.

1AM

MANUSCRIPTS: The unbelievable tales of smuggled Torah scrolls that survived incredible journeys These Sifrei Torah made it through hard times in Poland, Iraq, Portugal, Russia and elsewhere, before being reborn in new communities (Jerusalem Post). Technic...

October 29, 2AM

EPIGRAPHY: Archaeologists question ‘oldest’ Hebrew mention of Jerusalem. After Antiquities Authority unveils papyrus from 7th century BCE, several experts warn it is far from certain artifact is authentic (APF/Times of Israel). I don't want to keep re...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity (Jillian Stinchcomb).The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity by Eva Mroczek. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2016. I first saw Eva Mroczek speak at Yale in the fall of 201...
INTERNATIONAL CATACOMB SOCIETY: Rome’s Jewish Catacombs Receive Italian Government Funding for Conservation and Restoration in 2017. Good news. Seen on Facebook. Background on Rome's Jewish catacombs is here and links.
TALMUD WATCH: Is the Phoenix a Real Bird? (Yehuda Shurpin, Chabad.org).Unlike some other mythical creatures found in fantasy books, there is reference to the phoenix in ancient Jewish sources as far back as the Book of Job. When Job reminisces about his ...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: bet-sefer 'School.'

October 28, 3AM

EPIGRAPHY: Papyrus With Earliest Hebrew Mention of Jerusalem Likely Fake, Experts Say. Archaeologists are usually wary of any finds not discovered in a supervised dig, though Antiquities Authority insists ancient scroll is authentic (Nir Hasson, Haaretz)....
SYRIAC WATCH: Rare 1st-century mosaic unearthed in southeastern Turkey (Daily Sabah).Rare ancient mosaics, believed to date back to the 1st century BC, have been unearthed in the southeastern Şanlıurfa province of Turkey, the municipality said Wednesday...
MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Mountainside Monastery a Sanctuary From the Battle for Mosul (ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, ABC News).As ISIS swept through northern Iraq in the summer of 2014, the six Syriac Orthodox monks and their bishop prepared for the 1,600-year-old mo...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Burial caves discovered on road to Shimon Hatzadik's tomb. During maintenance work on road to Shimon Hatzadik's tomb, ancient burial caves were discovered, rendering the road inaccessible to kohanim (Yoel Domb, Arutz Sheva)...During the cours...
INTERVIEW: ‘Fifty Shades of Talmud.’ Novelist Maggie Anton comes to North Jersey to talk about her new book (Joanne Palmer, New Jersey Jewish Standard).Ms. Anton, the novelist who wrote the “Rashi’s Daughters” trilogy and the more recent “Rav ...

October 27, 4AM

THAT DIDN'T TAKE LONG: Holding Up Ancient ‘Jerusalem’ Papyrus, Netanyahu Condemns UNESCO’s ‘Scandalous’ Resolution (David Israel, The Jewish Press).Speaking Wednesday at the dedication of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at IDC Herzliya, P...

3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Israel Displays First Temple-era Pottery Fragments Found on Temple Mount. State antiquities agency hopes disclosures will quell competing claims about work carried out at the holy site (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).Discoveries found in situ on...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Israel recalls ambassador after second UNESCO vote (APF). The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has adopted the latest resolution, whose full text I still have not seen. Background here and links.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Exclusive: Christ's Burial Place Exposed for First Time in Centuries. Restorers working in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Israel uncover stone slab venerated as the resting place of Jesus Christ (Kristin Romey).JERUSALEM, ISRAEL...
MORE NEW DEAD SEA SCROLLS FRAGMENTS: Dead Sea Scrolls fragments put on sale for first time by Hampstead dealer (Anna Behrmann, Ham & High).The 2000-year-old relics originally from the West Bank are being marketed for $1million dollars in London as par...

October 26, 7AM

A MAJOR EPIGRAPHIC DISCOVERY: Oldest Hebrew mention of Jerusalem found on rare papyrus from 7th century BCE. Reference to consignment of wineskins ‘to Jerusalem’ appears on 2,700-year-old First Temple-era scrap believed plundered from Judean Desert ca...

2AM

EPIGRAPHY AND ARCHAEOLOGY: Jerusalem — The Neighborhood of Silwan — The Royal Steward’s Tomb (HolyLandPhotos' Blog). A rare photo by Carl Rasmussen in a difficult area to visit.Unfortunately the second most important tomb from the First Temple Peri...
EPIGRAPHY: The media has taken notice of the imminent auction of the "Yavneh 10 Commandments Stone" by Heritage Auctions. I have found several stories on it. All of them seem to be based on the information given at the Heritage Auctions web page...
MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: First Impressions # 95: Eva Mroczek on the Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity.There was no such thing as the Bible when ancient Jewish literature was composed. With a more expansive view of sources, we can glimpse our way...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Tens of Thousands Demand UNESCO Stop Denying Ancient Jewish Ties to Jerusalem. Tens of thousands of signatures are on a petition demanding that UNESCO stop denying ancient Jewish ties to Jerusalem (Hana Levi Julian, The Jewish Press).T...

October 25, 5AM

TRAVEL: Jewish roots in Malta run deep (eTurboNews).Jewish roots in Malta date back to the 4th and 5th Century during the Roman period as evidenced by several Jewish Catacombs with drawings depicting the Jewish Menorah (candelabra) that can be found at th...

4AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Ending a Life That Has Not Begun—Abortion in the Bible All in all, the Bible does not speak as clearly about abortion as some politicians might wish. Where it does speak about pregnancy and abortion, the God-given character...
HUGOYE: JOURNAL OF SYRIAC STUDIES has a new issue out. TOC:Hugoye 19.2 Papers "Bar ʿEbroyo on Identity: Remarks on His Historical Writings" Dorothea Weltecke, Universität Konstanz "Wooden Stirrups and Christian Khans: Bar ʿEbroyo's Ju...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: The #AARSBL16 app is here! (James McGrath). That is, if you're going to the 2016 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion next month.

3AM

APOCRYPHICITY: Christian Apocrypha at the 2016 SBL (Tony Burke).Here is a quick rundown of the sessions and papers at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature focusing on Christian Apocrypha. I hope I found them all. See you in San An...

October 24, 3AM

EPIGRAPHY: 1,500 years old Ten Commandments tablet heads to auction in Texas (News Network Archaeology).A stone tablet thought to be about 1,500 years old with a worn-down chiseled inscription of the Ten Commandments will be sold next month at auction, wi...
FACES AND VOICES BLOG: “New” Judean desert papyrus sold by an anonymous antiquities dealer? Dr. Roberta Mazza is a papyrologist at the University of Manchester and the Rylands Library and she provides some expert commentary and links in this blog post...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UNESCO to vote on yet another anti-Israel resolution. Vote expected on Wednesday on another resolution ignoring the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount (Nitsan Keidar, Arutz Sheva).The watered down version drops the words "occup...

2AM

EVENT: Kent library hosts author Burton Visotzky, discussion of Aphrodite and the Rabbis (The Register Citizen).KENT >> The Kent Memorial Library will host Kent resident and author Burton L. Visotzky Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. He will discuss and sign...
ALIN SUCIU: Coptic Sushi, SBL, San Antonio 2016 Unfortunately Alin will not be able to attend SBL next month in San Antonio. There are a great many of these parties and dinners at SBL this year and I don't know how many I will be able to attend. But I wil...

October 23, 1AM

SHEMINI ATZERET begins tonight at sundown. In Israel, this is also the holiday of Simchat Torah (Simhat Torah). Outside of Israel, the latter holiday begins tomorrow at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating! The biblical and other background is n...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:GERHARD LANGER Midrasch [Midrash.] 2016. XI, 368 pages. utb Jüdische Studien 4675/1 27,99 € paper ISBN 978-3-8252-4675-4 available Published in German. Midrash is Jewish scholars' study of the Bible and its result, the ep...
NEW BOOK FROM THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE:Mapping Judah's Fate in Ezekiel's Oracles against the Nations Lydia Lee ISBN 9781628371512 Status Available Price: $49.95 Binding Paperback Publication Date October 2016 Pages 316 A uniqu...
AWOL: The Schøyen Collection: Manuscripts from around the world spanning 5000 years of human culture & civilization. It's been a while since I linked to the main page of the Schøyen Collection. This AWOL post will take you there. I was able to visi...

12 AM

BIBLE ODYSSEY: Levirate Marriage (Dvora E. Weisberg).Levirate marriage is one response to the challenges that arose when an Israelite man died leaving a widow but no children. What becomes of a widow with no children to care for her? What becomes of a man...

October 22, 2AM

NEW BOOK FROM CUP:What Ifs of Jewish History From Abraham to Zionism EDITOR: Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, Fairfield University, Connecticut DATE PUBLISHED: September 2016 AVAILABILITY: In stock FORMAT: Hardback ISBN: 9781107037625 What if the Exodus had never...

1AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Italy PM says officials should have voted against UNESCO Jerusalem resolution (Middle East Online). Another voice in the chorus of condemnation. Background here and links.
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: ‘atseret “festive assembly; general, special assembly”. Again, timely. See tomorrow and cross-file under Shemini Atzeret.
NEW BOOK FROM THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE:Negotiating Power in Ezra-Nehemiah Donna Laird ISBN 9781628371390 Status Available Price: $55.95 Binding Paperback Publication Date October 2016 Pages 418 Donna Laird examines Ezra and Ne...

October 21, 7AM

EPIGRAPHY: Discovery: ‘Jerusalem’ on Hebrew Papyrus (David Israel, The Jewish Press).A unique, 2,700-year-old Papyrus which mentions the Hebrew word “Yerushalma” (possibly meaning “to Jerusalem”) will be revealed next week at a conference on I...

2AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances Ed. by Annette Weissenrieder [Grenzen: Terminologien, Ideologien und Eigenschaften.] 2016. IX, 508 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 366 149,00 €...
JEWISH AND SAMARITAN: Two very different Sukkot celebrations in Israel (J.weekly.com).In many ways, the unusual sukkah customs of Israel’s little-known ancient Samaritan community can’t hold a candle to the country’s most expensive “desert” huts...
HISTORY AND TRADITION: Opinion - Islam Has Never Denied the Jewish Connection to Jerusalem. On the contrary, anywhere you look in early Islamic literature, if it discusses the city at all you’ll find its Jewish connection (Salman Masalha, Haaretz). Exce...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Arab MK: No Jewish Temple Ever Existed on Temple Mount (David Israel, The Jewish Press).In a zeal reminiscent of the ISIS hordes destroying archaeological treasures belonging to cultures and religions before the birth of Islam, and a f...
PHOTO ESSAY: Welcome to Breichot Shlomo (Solomon’s Pools) (Photo of the Day, The Jewish Press).The Kfar Etzion Field School gave a special tour during Succot to Breichot Shlomo / Solomon’s Pools, just north of the town of Efrat in Gush Etzion. Solomo...

October 20, 2AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Excavation Reveals Spot Where Romans Breached Jerusalem’s Wall 2,000 Years Ago (JNi.Media).Exciting evidence of the breaching of the third wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period was uncovered last winter in th...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Power, Ethics, and Ecology in Jewish Late Antiquity (Catherine Bonesho).Julia Watts Belser. Power, Ethics, and Ecology in Jewish Late Antiquity: Rabbinic Responses to Drought and Disaster. Cambridge University Press, 2015. ...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Israel’s antiquities chief compares UNESCO to Islamic State. UN cultural body’s resolution on Jerusalem akin to jihadist group’s destruction of Palmyra, says Yisrael Hasson (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).“Around us, world her...
NEW BOOK: The Aphrodite exchange, part 1: On how Greek and Roman culture influenced Judaism (Samuel Rosner, The Jewish Journal).Rabbi Burton Visotzky serves as Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at The Jewish Theological Seminary, wh...
SAMARITAN WATCH: Inside the Samaritan high priest’s fruity sukkah, literally. While Jews use holiday to spend time outdoors, this ancient Israeli community, now numbering just 750, builds its festive huts indoors, and not out of wood, but fruit (Dov Lie...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (FROM YESTERDAY - IT SEEMS I FORGOT TO PRESS "PUBLISH"): UNESCO ratifies Jerusalem resolution, Mexico withdraws support. Under pressure from Western states, Mexico backed away from its initial intention to call for a new vote ...

October 19, 4AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Thousands flock to Western Wall for Priestly Blessing. Amid tight security, worshipers invited to special sukkah by chief rabbis, rabbi of the Western Wall (Times of Israel).Thousands of Israelis flocked to the Western Wall in Jerusale...
SAMARITAN WATCH: Who are the Samaritans and why is their future uncertain? An ancient tribe survives in Israel (A.V., The Economist Explains Blog).THIS week millions of Jews are celebrating Sukkot, a week-long Jewish holiday commemorating an ancient pilgr...

3AM

FORGERIES? Newly Discovered Dead Sea Scrolls are Skillfully Crafted Fakes, Experts suspect (Nina Burleigh, Newsweek). I have noted this story before, but this article has some new specifics:American Steve Green, the evangelical Christian heir to the Hobby...
PUNIC WATCH: Ahram's Osama Abdel-Fattah selected to jury at Carthage Film Festival. Osama Abdel-Fattah is the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram's evening paper. Congratulations to Mr. Abdel-Fattah, but what caught my eye in this article is the modern use of a b...

October 18, 4AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UNESCO to vote on Jerusalem again after Mexico shifts stance. Mexico’s Jewish ambassador removed from post after walking out of previous vote; Israeli envoy: ‘We’re not giving up’ (Raoul Wootliff, Times of Israel).In a dramatic...

3AM

SOME ARE ANCIENT AND SOME ARE JUST OLD, BUT THEY'RE ALL INTERESTING: Cracking Codices: 10 of the Most Mysterious Ancient Manuscripts (Owen Jarus, Live Science).Dating back hundreds to thousands of years, codices can reveal much about an ancient culture, t...

2AM

READING ACTS: Sin Came Through One Man – Romans 5:12-14. With notes on other ancient Jewish views about the effect of Adam's sin on humanity. Some past posts in Phil Long's series on Paul's letter to the Romans are noted here and links.
H-JUDAIC: Call for Applications for 2017-2018 Katz Center Fellowships.For its 2017–2018 fellowship year, the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies seeks applications from scholars asking new questions about the history of science, medicine ...
SAMARITAN WATCH: The Samaritan Sukkot.The ancient community also celebrates the traditional harvest holiday, but does so with many of their own unique practices, such as constructing their sukkot inside the home as opposed to out; 'Every family has their ...

October 17, 3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UNESCO’s Jerusalem resolution ignores Christian roots, too. With increased archeological findings of a Byzantine presence prior to the Muslim conquest, the historical holy site is clearly linked to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity ...

2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Heidi Marx-Wolf, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century C.E. Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Pp. ...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Ancient Worlds in Digital Culture Editors: Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley and David Hamidović Subjects: Biblical Studies Keywords: Classics; Digital Humanities; Culture; Humanities; Judaism; Bible; Christianity Publication Year : 2016 Bo...
READING ACTS: Heirs of the World – Romans 4:13-17. Phil Long looks at God's promise of the land to Abraham in Genesis as interpreted in some Second Temple-era Jewish texts. Past posts in his Romans series are noted here and links.
PHOENICIAN AND PUNIC WATCH: TOP 5 MUSEUMS IN TUNISIA FOR THE HISTORY BUFFS (Tourism-Review.com). Some of these museums have lots of Phoenician and Punic artifacts that sound well worth seeing, so don't miss them if you visit Tunisia. But do be careful whi...

October 16, 1AM

THE FESTIVAL OF SUKKOT (BOOTHS, TABERNACLES) begins this evening at sundown. Best wishes to all those observing it. Last year's post leads to biblical background and has some more information. Additional Sukkot-related posts, one before and the rest sinc...
CANDIDA MOSS: The Christian Myth Still Haunting Pompeii. Modern technology is now able to transport people onto the streets of ancient Pompeii. But it hasn't solved one of the city's greatest controversies (The Daily Beast). Excerpts:Almost as interesting...
EXIBITION REVIEW Aga Khan Museum exhibit explores Syria's diverse cultures (James Adams, The Globe and Mail).There is another Syria, however. An alternate or parallel Syria, if you will, spanning millenniums, encompassing diverse yet interconnected cultur...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Exegesis and Poetry in Medieval Karaite and Rabbanite Texts Karaite Texts and Studies Volume 9 Edited by Joachim Yeshaya KU Leuven and Elisabeth Hollender Goethe University, Frankfurt This collection of essays offers an inquiry into ...
CONGRATULATIONS, WELL DESERVED: British Academy award for Dr Sebastian Brock. On 27 September, Dr Sebastian Brock FBA was recognised by the British Academy for his extensive contribution to the study of Syriac language and literature (Wolfson College, Oxf...

12 AM

ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE A REMINDER: What are the Dead Sea Scrolls? (Daryl Worthington, New Historian).

October 15, 3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Israel suspends cooperation with U.N. cultural agency over Jerusalem resolution (Ruth Eglash, Washington Post).JERUSALEM — Israel announced Friday that it would suspend cooperation with the top U.N. cultural agency, charging that the...

2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Yii-Jan Lin, The Erotic Life of Manuscripts: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Biological Sciences. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xi, 203. ISBN 9780190279806. $74.00. Reviewed by Hugh Houghton, Instit...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: mo‘ed “appointed time, holiday.” Again, timely, for this time of year.
PHOENICIAN WATCH: National Museum of Beirut opens basement for first time since civil war. Gallery of ancient funerary art restored with Italian support (Hannah McGivern, The Art Newspaper).The National Museum of Beirut, which stood on the deadly Green Li...

October 14, 3AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:A History of the Hasmonean State: Josephus and Beyond Josephus cautiously avoided messianism in his history of the Has- monean period. He appears to have been reluctant to document any Hasmonean history that involved the viol...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UNESCO passes resolution denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem holy sites (i24news).Only six countries vote against contentious resolution claiming Temple Mount is sacred only to Muslims The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultu...

2AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: L is for Lazarus (Philip Jenkins). Did John's Lazarus come from a parable or was he made into one by Luke?
PUNIC WATCH: Hannibal's Heel. Why Carthage failed and Rome succeeded (J. E. Lendon, Weekly Standard).It is a symptom of the deplorable state of intellectual life today that readers of this magazine can guess the lineaments of the story told in Hannibal th...
ARAMAIC WATCH: New Book: A Political History of the Arameans (A. D. Riddle, The Bible Places Blog).At the end of last week, after a lengthy delay, we were happy finally to get our grubby mitts on Lawson Younger’s newest book, A Political History of the ...

October 13, 2AM

MANDEAN (MANDAEAN) WATCH: Mandaean Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio (James McGrath). To the attention of all Aramaists (and anyone else) attending the Society of Biblical Literature meetings next month. Sounds remote, but I may try to make it there. Bac...
ETC BLOG: Mark 16 on a Roll (Peter Gurry). It makes sense to me that the first parts of a scroll to wear out would be the beginning and the end. As the post acknowledges, it is an open question whether that tells us anything about whether the original end...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UNESCO Poised to Pass Resolution Casting Doubt on Jewish Ties to Temple Mount. Israel attempts to convince as many states as possible to oppose the resolution, but only few are swayed; Foreign Ministry issues brochure proving historic ...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Lifting the veil on Queen of Sheba's perfume (Popular Archaeology).It is one of the oldest fragrances in the world. Nicolas Baldovini's team at the Institut de chimie de Nice (CNRS/UNS) has just discovered the components that give franki...
H-JUDAIC: TOC: Revue des études juives 175, 1-2 (janvier-juin 2015). Includes an interesting looking article on historical Jesus research.

October 12, 2AM

NUMISMATICS: A high-tech peek into antiquity. Advanced nano-techniques shed new light on the Roman Empire (Kurt Pfitzer, Resolve Magazine 16.2, Lehigh University).Using the most advanced techniques for analyzing the surfaces of materials, a team of resear...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: I Swear. A simple dispute over ownership leads the Talmudic sages into a debate, in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ about the value of a spiritual oath versus secular claims of honesty.The first three t...
READING ACTS: Abraham’s Faith and Works in Romans 4. Phil Long interacts with a number of ancient Jewish texts here, including Ben Sira, the Mishnah, 1 Maccabees, and Philo. I have reservations about the use of the Testament of Abraham as a Jewish text....

1AM

COLUMBUS DAY: Top 10 facts about Columbus. OCTOBER 12 is celebrated in some places as Columbus Day, in celebration of Christopher Columbus’s sighting land on October 12, 1492 to discover the Americas. (WILLIAM HARTSTON, The Express). I can't speak for t...
ADD TO THE LIST OF NUESNER MEMORIALS FROM YESTERDAY: Jacob Neusner, Benedict XVI’s ‘favourite rabbi’, dies aged 84 (Catholic Herald).Rabbi Jacob Neusner, the Jewish scholar who influenced the writings of Pope Benedict, has died. Neusner died at hi...

October 11, 4AM

YOM KIPPUR, the Day of Atonement, begins this evening at sundown. An easy fast to all those observing it. Biblical etc. background on Yom Kippur is here and links. Some posts on Yom Kippur since last year's post are here, here, here, here, and here.
WELL, MAYBE: Sound of the Kohen Gadol’s Golden Bell Rings Again in Jerusalem. Jews again hear the little bells on the hem of the High Priest's garment as he enters the Holy Temple of Jerusalem... (Hana Levi Julian, The Jewish Press).As we enter the fin...
ARCHAEOLOGY: EXCLUSIVE: Hunt for ancient 'whistling bullets' in Israel could link Roman ruler to raid on Scottish fort (Libby Plummer and Abigail Beall and Richard Gray, Daily Mail) • Collection of bullets were found at Burnswark Hill, in Dumfries, Sco...
MEMORIALS TO THE LATE JACOB NEUSNER ARE COMING IN. So far: Jacob Neusner, Judaic Scholar Who Forged Interfaith Bonds, Dies at 84 (WILLIAM GRIMES, New York Times)Jacob Neusner, a religious historian of enormous breadth and productivity and one of the worl...

3AM

THEY STILL KEEP COMING — BUT ARE THEY GENUINE? 25 New 'Dead Sea Scrolls' Revealed (Owen Jarus, Live Science).More than 25 previously unpublished "Dead Sea Scroll" fragments, dating back 2,000 years and holding text from the Hebrew Bible, have ...

October 10, 3AM

THERE'S THAT WORD AGAIN: Watiyangla Kichu is Nagaland Spelling Bee Champion 2016 (The Morung Express).Watiyangla Kichu, a Class 12 student from Model Hr. Secondary School, Kohima [India] won the coveted title of the 5th Nagaland Spelling Bee Championship ...
SAD NEWS: Jacob Neusner, renowned Jewish scholar, dies at 84. Professor-rabbi wrote almost 1,000 books, courting controversy throughout his six-decade career (DAVID SEDLEY, Times of Israel).Professor Jacob Neusner, renowned Jewish scholar and author, pass...

2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Magali De Haro Sanchez (ed.), Écrire la magie dans l'antiquité. Actes du colloque international (Liège, 13-15 octobre 2011). Papyrologica Leodiensia, 5​. Liège​: Presses Universitaires de Liège​, 2015. Pp. 360; xv...
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Job Title: Postdoctoral Scholar in Religion Job ID: 40904 Location: Tallahassee, FL Temporary Department of Religion Responsibilities The Religion Department at Florida State University seeks candidates for a two-year post-doctoral res...
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Antiquities Authority building National Campus for the Archeology of Israel. An archeological hub for visitors from both Israel and abroad, the campus will also house an educational center for students (Sharon Udasin, Jerusalem P...

October 9, 2AM

TALMUD WATCH: Livingston Native Dave Sachs Builds ‘The Gemara Card’ Learning Innovation (Tzvi Silver, Jewish Link of New Jersey Israel).The Gemara Card itself is a three-page, laminated fold-out sheet of paper. The first three pages are a glossary of ...

1AM

AWOL: Open Access to BAR Articles on Lachish Archaeology. "BAR" stands for Biblical Archaeology Review, as most readers will already know. This collection of articles is relevant as background to the recent story noted here.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:H. A. G. Houghton, The Latin New Testament: A Guide to its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xix, 366. ISBN 9780198744733. $39.95. Reviewed by Andrew Dunning, The ...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:DAVID A. KADEN Matthew, Paul, and the Anthropology of Law [Matthäus, Paulus und die Anthropologie des Gesetzes.] 2016. XIV, 238 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 424 79,00 € sewn paper I...
MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Assyria: Syriac-Assyrian Introduced in Schools in Western Kurdistan (UNREPRESENTED NATIONS AND PEOPLES ORGANIZATION).According to the Rojava Education Commission, the old Ba’athist curriculum has now been replaced, just in time for...

October 8, 2AM

BOOK REVIEW: Adam Kirsch’s Anthology of Jewish Civilization’s Greatest Hits. Dara Horn writes that “The People and the Books” is an astute introduction to 18 Jewish classics by one of America’s finest literary critics (WSJ).The Anthology of Grea...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:DAVID WILLGREN The Formation of the 'Book' of Psalms Reconsidering the Transmission and Canonization of Psalmody in Light of Material Culture and the Poetics of Anthologies [Die Entstehung des ‚Buchs‘ der Psalmen. Überleg...
THE ASOR BLOG: Forging Ancient Texts (Heather Dana Davis Parker).For an accurate and complete understanding of history and culture, it is crucial that written sources be authentic. But what if they are not? The surest way to verify the authenticity of an...
READING ACTS: Why Abraham? – Romans 4. With background material from Ben Sira and Jubilees. Many of the previous posts in Phil Long's Romans series are noted here and links.

1AM

LOOTING ARRESTS: Nine suspects charged with smuggling rare Torah manuscripts into Israel (Al-Masry Al-Youm/Egypt Independent).Nine suspects are being investigated by prosecutors in Giza over allegations of attempting to smuggle stolen historic artifacts i...

October 7, 3AM

GNOSTICISM WATCH: Tech billionaires convinced we live in the Matrix are secretly funding scientists to help break us out of it. Many of the world's richest and most powerful people, including Elon Musk and Bank of America, think that we live in a simulati...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Site of radiocarbon dating discovery named historic landmark (Steve Koppes, University of Chicago/Science Daily).It was while working in the Kent Laboratory building in the 1940s that Prof. Willard Libby and his UChicago associates devel...
I HAVE TO ADMIT I'VE NEVER HEARD OF HIM: This Fascinating Figure Was The Original Indiana Jones (The Foundation for Economic Education, ValueWalk).Anquetil – This Fascinating Figure Was The Original Indiana Jones Before Indiana Jones and Lawrence of Ar...

2AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: sliHah “forgiveness; pardon (me), sorry.” Timely, with Yom Kippur coming next week.
LITURGY: Embracing Aristotle at Yom Kippur. When we recite Unetaneh Tokef at High Holiday services, we take a lesson from the ancient Greeks about what to do when life gives us lemons (Eylon Aslan-Levy, Tablet Magazine).What would Aristotle make of Yom Ki...

October 6, 3AM

ASOR BLOG: Multi-Dimensional Yahwism: The Case of the Persian Period Judaean Community in Elephantine (Gard Granerød).When reading Jewish literature from the Second Temple period (the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman periods) in light of Nehemiah 8, one ge...
INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: ISAW NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2017-18 VISITING RESEARCH SCHOLAR PROGRAM (MARC LEBLANC).The online application for ISAW's 2017-18 Visiting Research Scholar Program is now open. Each year the Institute fo...

2AM

CAN'T MAKE IT UP: First airport built in Iraq 5,000 years ago, for aliens: minister. Iraq‘s transport minister quotes Jewish ‘expert‘ to justify claims about ancient spaceships (SUE SURKES, Times of Israel).The Iraqi transport minister has harnessed...
UPCOMING EVENT: SBL 2016 San Antonio ETC Blog Dinner ( Christian Askeland). Anyone attending the SBL meetings is invited.
TRAVEL: The Real Adventurer’s Guide to the Ancient City of Petra. Visitor numbers to the iconic ruins of Petra, in the Jordanian desert, have dropped by half in the last five years. But fearless travelers don’t give up that easily. Here’s the best...

October 5, 2AM

AWOL: New in JSTOR: Qedem Reports. Some of the archived Qedem volumes involve the archaeology of ancient Judaism.
MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: First Impressions # 92: Christine Hayes on the Nature of Divine Law.Greco-Roman conceptions of divine and human law forced Judaism to examine and debate the divine identity of Mosaic law. In this special extended edition of Fir...
THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA:CAS Graduate Student Conference: Call for Papers Alcohol in the Ancient World Conference Date: February 24th and February 25th, 2017 Conference Location: Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA Host: Center for Ancient Studies,...
READING ACTS: The Power of Sin – Romans 3:9-18. Phil Long continues to interact with ancient Jewish texts in his pericope-by-pericope series on Paul's Letter to the Romans. This time: Jubilees, 1QHa, 1QS, etc. Many of the previous posts in his Romans s...
THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA:CAS Annual Symposium Fall 2016 Divination in the Ancient World All sessions are in Rainey Auditorium at University of Pennsylvania Museum. Enter via the Kress Entrance. The belief in divination, the possibility of learni...

October 4, 4AM

IN THE MAIL:April D. DeConick, The Gnostic New Age: How a Countercultural Spirituality Revolutionized Religion from Antiquity to Today (New York, Columbia University Press, 2016)Noted earlier here. This is my review copy for the review session in the Myst...
CONGRATULATIONS TO CORNELIA HORN: Heisenberg Professorship strengthens Oriental Research at the University of Halle.Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) has filled another Heisenberg Professorship through the support of the German Research Foun...
THE UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS: PhD scholarship in Faculty Theology and Religious Studies: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Origins.

3AM

LARRY HURTADO: Why and How did Jesus-Devotion Erupt? Professor Hurtado interacts with a podcast by Chris Tilling.
H-JUDAIC: TOC: Ginzei-Qedem, 12 (2016). Ginze Qedem is the "Genizah Research Annual." This volume includes articles on the Karaites, Saadia Gaon, and early vocalization systems of Hebrew.

October 3, 3AM

OVER AT THE READING ACTS BLOG, Phil Long continues his informative series of posts on Paul's Letter to the Romans. I hadn't planned to follow it, but he is interacting with a lot of ancient Jewish (and occasionally not-so-Jewish - see below) literature, s...
AWOL: The Herculaneum Conservation Project on academia.edu. I have mentioned the Herculaneum Conservation Project in a couple of old posts here and here. I'm glad to see that they are still around and they are keeping up with online tools for disseminatin...
ZOHAR WATCH: New translation of Jewish mystical text for a new audience (Kristin E. Holmes, philly.com).For the last six years, Joel Hecker, an associate professor at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, has pored over a set of medieval wr...

2AM

BIBLE STUDY WITH RANDY: Biblical Studies Carnival September 2016.
THE ADVERSARY: Where Did Satan Come From? (Laura Geggel, Live Science).The devil goes by many names — Satan, the Prince of Darkness, Beelzebub and Lucifer to name a few — but besides this list of aliases, what do people really know about the brute? Th...

October 2, 2AM

HAPPY NEW YEAR (ROSH HASHANAH - Jewish New Year 5777)! The New Year begins tonight at sundown. For biblical and historical background, see the links here.

1AM

H-JUDAIC: JOB: University of Toronto - St. George, Centre for Jewish Studies, Postdoctoral Fellow.The Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto offers two, two-year Postdoctoral Fellowships to support advanced research in Jewis...
ETC BLOG: Spirit Testimony. Any man can call spirits from the vasty deep; but will they come when you call for them? And will they do textual criticism?
AWOL: Open Access Journal: Campbell Bonner Magical Gems Database Newsletter. As noted at the link, the newsletter has been replaced, as of this year, with updates at the database's Academia.edu page. I noted and commented on the database here.
REVIEWS OF BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES: Christian Oxyrhynchus.2016.09.27 | Lincoln H. Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment (eds.), Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2015. ISBN 9781602585393. Review...

October 1, 6AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: The best of Israel archaeology in 5776. Finds include lost cities rediscovered, fabulous jewels and ancient technologies that were a lot more advanced than expected (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz). Relevant PaleoJudaica posts include the following:...
BIBLE ODYSSEY: Aramaic Literature in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Andrew B. Perrin). HT AJR.
H-JUDAIC: JOB: Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mandel Postdoctoral Fellowships in Humanities and Jewish Studies.
KARAITE WATCH: The Jews You’ve Never Heard Of. In the Bay Area, Karaite Jews struggle to build a future in America (Shira Telushkin, Tablet Magazine).On Oct. 3, as most synagogues around the world celebrate Rosh Hashanah, about 130 people will gather a...

5AM

GNOSTICISM WATCH: Princeton University's Elaine Pagels to be honored at the White House (Ilene Dube, Newsworks). The article posts a video of the ceremony, which took place on 22 September. The section with President Obama's presentation of the medal to P...

September 30, 9AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Hebrew Lexical Semantics and Daily Life in Ancient Israel What's Cooking in Biblical Hebrew? Kurtis Peters, University of British Columbia, Vancouver In Hebrew Lexical Semantics and Daily Life in Ancient Israel, Kurtis Peters hitches...

8AM

NABATEAN (NABATAEAN) WATCH: Goddess Alert: Marble Statues of Aphrodite Unearthed at Petra (Mindy Weisberger, Live Science).Two marble statues representing Aphrodite/Venus, the Greco-Roman goddess of love, were found recently at Petra, an ancient desert ci...

7AM

JIM WEST REMINDS US: It’s The Feast Day of St Jerome! Without endorsing all of Jim's evaluation, I am happy to note the day because of St. Jerome's unusual (for Christians in the Patristic period) interest in Hebrew and related matters. It looks as thou...

5AM

GENIZA WATCH: The hidden treasures of the Middle East’s genizot (RUTH BREINDEL, The Jewish Voice). A nice, brief overview of the Cairo Geniza, its importance, and related matters. There are many, many past PaleoJudaica posts on the Cairo Geniza. Start ...

September 29, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Caves in Which Jewish Rebels Hid From Romans 2,000 Years Ago Found in Galilee. As the First Jewish War raged in ancient Palestine, villagers would hide in impressively inaccessible cliffside caves as the Roman armies marched through (Philippe...

2AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: The wrong kind of throne: Toilet discovered at 2,800-year-old shrine reveals Biblical tale of desecration of religious sites by King Hezekiah (Richard Gray, Daily Mail).The Lachish city gate, as it is known, consists of six chambers which con...
H-JUDAIC: New Journal: Studies in Late Antiquity.I’m delighted to announce that UC Press is launching a new journal, Studies in Late Antiquity. We are particularly interested in publishing interdisciplinary, methodologically innovative, or comparative w...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: AJR Charity Forum: a Response (Michael Satlow). The previous essays in the series were noted here and here.
THE CAIRO GENIZA MEETS ART: A Holy Hoard: Acumulación sagrada (Sherry Mazzocchi, Manhattan Times).Solomon Schechter unearthed the most famous genizah in modern times. In 1896, the Cambridge University Talmudic scholar met friends who had purchased fascin...

September 28, 3AM

RELIGION NEWS SERVICES: New book claims the Old Testament drew extensively on Plato’s writings and other texts from the Great Library of Alexandria in 270 BC.NEW YORK–LONDON — Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible, from academic publisher Routl...
NUMISMATICS: CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins of Julius Caesar (Mike Markowitz). The first coin pictured makes me think of Jesus' reference to the "likeness and inscription" of Caesar mentioned by Jesus in the story in Mark 12:13-17. But the ...
KIPP DAVIS: Gleanings from the Cave of Wonders? Patterns of Correspondence in the Post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments (Academia.edu).This is a preliminary work of comparison between recently published fragments from two private manuscript collections: Th...

2AM

FOOD/BURIAL CUSTOMS: Keeping the Honey in the Land of Milk and Honey. Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, Israel’s annual honey festival shines a light on the variety of sweet products being produced—as well as the challenges facing the country’s beekee...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Digitised Hebrew Manuscripts: British Library and Beyond.Join us in this conference dedicated to the British Library’s digitised collection of Hebrew manuscripts, and find out more about the collection, how to use it, and how we can he...

September 27, 5AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Researchers: Jerusalem Structure Was Dining Room of Ancient City Council. Archaeologist Alexander Onn compares the Second Temple era hall with Israel's parliamentary cafeteria, a modern meeting place of the ruling elite (Nir Hasson, Haaretz)....
THIS DOESN'T SOUND GOOD: Chinese authorities reportedly crack down on Jewish revival in Kaifeng.(JTA) — Chinese authorities reportedly have cracked down on a Jewish revival in the city of Kaifeng. The government has shut down Jewish organizations, proh...

4AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Jew vs. Non-Jew vs. Jew. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic sages attempt to deal with the risks inherent in communal loyalty taking precedence over common law and principled justice.One of the...
JUST BECAUSE: Gallery of Dead Sea Scrolls: A Glimpse of the Past (Live Science).
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: rimmon “pomegranate.”The pomegranate is one of several components of the Sephardic seder for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year holiday. The symbolic reason for eating it is “so that we become filled with mitzvot...

September 26, 3AM

AWOL: Open Access Journal: Textus: Annual of the Hebrew University Bible Project. I already noted this journal a few years ago here, but I haven't been keeping up with subsequent volumes. Recently I did note one article on the Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll he...

2AM

FROM PROFESSOR PAULINE LEE:The Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University is inviting applicants for a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. As the chair of the search committee, I am contacting you i...
AWOL: Nabataean: Corpus of Nabataean Inscriptions.The Corpus of Nabataean inscriptions on DASI has been accomplished thanks to the agreement with the CNRS laboratory UMR 8167 – Mondes Sémitiques, under the scientific supervision of L. Nehmé. Presently...
NABATEAN (NABATAEAN) WATCH: Monumental Forgotten Gardens of Petra Rediscovered After 2,000 Years. Cool fountains and a huge pool in mid-desert enabled by strikingly advanced stone-carved irrigation and water storage system (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz).Rec...
EXHIBITION: History of a faith: Exploring the last 3,500 years of Jewish cultural heritage (Sunday Guardian Live).A special exhibition exploring the cultural and social roots of the Jewish community is being hosted in New Delhi throughout this month. Prev...

September 25, 1AM

NEW BOOK FROM THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE:XV Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies: Munich, 2013 Wolfgang Kraus (Editor), Michael N. Van Der Meer (Editor), Martin Meiser (Editor) ISBN 9781628371383 Status ...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:DANIEL STÖKL BEN EZRA Qumran Die Texte vom Toten Meer und das antike Judentum [Qumran. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Ancient Judaism.] 2016. XIII, 462 pages. utb Jüdische Studien 4681/3 34,99 € paper ISBN 978-3-8252-4681-5...
YAZIDI WATCH: Amal Clooney Says U.N. Has Failed Yazidi Women (Lucy Westcott, Newsweek via San Diego Jewish World).Renowned human rights lawyer Amal Clooney criticized the United Nations for failing to act on behalf of the persecuted Yazidi minority group,...
REMNANT OF GIANTS: Og the Giant’s Memoirs now on Chabad.org. Some past PaleoJudaica posts on Og the giant are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

12 AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Zoroastrianism: Religious texts, theology, history and culture. Notice of a new book: Moazami, Mahnaz (ed.). 2016. Zoroastrianism: A collection of articles from the Encyclopaedia Iranica (Encyclopaedia Iranica Extracts – EIE), 2 ...

September 24, 2AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Why Is There No Nun Verse in Ashrei? (Mitchell First, Jewish Link of New Jersey). Interesting analysis of the problem of a missing verse (that should begin with the letter nun) in the acrostic poem in Psalm 145. There's mo...

1AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:DAVID J. ARMITAGE Theories of Poverty in the World of the New Testament [Gedanken zur Armut in der Welt des Neuen Testaments.] 2016. XVI, 301 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 423 89,00 €...
SYRIAC WATCH: Evidence of ancient Christianity discovered in Kazakhstan (Tom Davis, SWBTS News).EDITOR’S NOTE: The following report is by the Tandy Institute for Archaeology’s Tom Davis, professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds at Southwester...
ETC BLOG: A Bounty of Text Critical Reviews in the Latest NovT (Peter Gurry). Most of them deal with New Testament textual criticism, but one involves ancient Judaism.
THE BRITISH LIBRARY MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS BLOG: Palimpsests: The Art of Medieval Recycling (Peter Toth).The art of recycling — re-using waste materials to reduce consumption of fresh raw materials — may seem alien in a medieval context. Yet when it com...

September 23, 12 PM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:L'adversaire de Dieu – Der Widersacher Gottes 6. Symposium Strasbourg, Tübingen, Uppsala. 27.-29. Juni 2013 in Tübingen Hrsg. v. Michael Tilly, Matthias Morgenstern u. Volker Henning Drecoll unter Mitarb. v. Hendrik Stoppel ...
NEW WORLD FORGERY WATCH: Oldest Paleo-Hebrew Ten Commandments Found Where?! (Tsivya Fox, Breaking Israel News).It may surprise many people to learn that the oldest known Ten Commandments written in Hebrew on stone may not be in the Holy Land, but in Ameri...

9AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: An Early Leviticus Scroll from En-Gedi: Preliminary Publication) (Michael Segal, Emanuel Tov, William Brent Seales, Clifford Seth Parker, Pnina Shor, Yosef Porath with an Appendix by Ada Yardeni. This is the scholarly publication in Text...

4AM

PHILOLOGY: Recovering Judeo-ArabicLocal scholar translates Karaite Bible commentary of Yefet ben Eli (LARRY YUDELSON, Times of Israel).When Dr. Ilana Sasson of Teaneck was growing up in Israel, the child of Iraqi immigrants, she was embarrassed by the Ara...

3AM

GOLEM WATCH: Mystic golem spotlighted in Berlin Jewish Museum exhibit. New show links Jewish mud man to artificial intelligence in metaphor for scientific advancement spiraling out of control(KIRSTEN GRIESHABER, AP/Times of Israel). The golem in the top ...

September 22, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists Find First Sign of Jews in Ancient Abila, Jordan. A menorah carving found in a church provides the first physical evidence of a long-assumed Jewish population in the Hellenistic city (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz).A menorah carve...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Modern Technology Unlocks Secrets of a Damaged Biblical Scroll (Nicholas Wade, NYT). This scroll is back in the news, with massive coverage in the last day. This NYT article is representative.Nearly half a century ago, archaeologists fou...

2AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Charity in Ancient Judaism: Problems and Prospects (Gregg Gardner). Past posts on the writer's book, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism, are here and here. Another relevant recent AJR essay is also noted here.
READING ACTS: Is Jesus the Son of David? – Romans 1:3. With background from the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple-era literature. An earlier post in Phil Long's Romans series was noted here.
THE HEBREW-LANGUAGE JOURNAL TARBIZ HAS NEW ISSUES OUT: Tarbiz Vol 84, No 1-2. From Magnes Press. TOC:Shlomo Naeh - שם משמר and שם שבת : A Further Study of the Temple ‘Seals’ Menahem Kahana - The Relations between Exegeses in the Mishnah a...

September 21, 2AM

THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: “From Mesopotamia to the Mishnah” by Jonathan S. Milgram (William Brown).Jonathan S. Milgram. From Mesopotamia to the Mishnah: Tannaitic Inheritance Law in its Legal and Social Contexts. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 1...
AWOL: Launched Today: British Library Greek Manuscripts. Ancient Judaism is represented (at least) by this 16th-century manuscript of the Letter of Aristeas. The website was launched on Monday 19 September.
LIV INGEBORG LIED: The Gospel of Jesus's Wife saga and the role of the media. Professor Lied has posted her paper for the recent Fragments of an Unbelievable Past Conference, "Media Dynamics and Academic Knowledge Production: Tracing the Role of the ...
EPIGRAPHY AND THE BIBLE? ’Eshbaʿal Son of Bdʿa Whose Name Found at Qeiyafa Identified as the Commander of the First Platoon of the Heroes of David (Prof. Moshe Garsiel, posted in the blog of Dr. Lea Mazor, About Bible, Teaching and Education). An inte...
ATHEOLOGY BLOG: An Important New Book on the Background of the Biblical Gospels (Stewart James Felker).An important new volume of essays, Enoch and the Synoptic Gospels: Reminiscences, Allusions, Intertextuality, is being released this week. (Table of con...

September 20, 4AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Smoothing the Path to a Sinner’s Repentance. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ ancient oral law makes it easier for thieves to regain spiritual balance with their victims—a reminder of the kinship ...
FACES AND VOICES BLOG: Fragments of an Unbelievable Past? Constructions of Provenance, Narratives of Forgery. A Report (Roberta Mazza). A detailed report. Background on the conference is here, here, and here.
READING ACTS: The Messianic Son of God – Romans 1:3. Phil Long has a new series running on Paul's Letter to the Romans. I'm not going to follow it closely, but when a post impinges on ancient Judaism, as here, I will note it. I have more on 4Q426 (the s...

3AM

AUDIO INTERVIEW: Zohar translation revives poetry and nuance of Jewish mystical text (KALW Radio, San Francisco).Western literature’s most important books have been translated, not once, but many times. The book at the top of the charts is the Bible: mo...
EPIGRAPHY: Ancient texts offer wealth of information for archaeologists, local epigrapher says (Saeb Rawashdeh, The Jordan Times).AMMAN — Ancient texts and inscriptions are among archaeologists’ most valuable finds, offering direct insights into the r...

September 19, 3AM

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: Archeologists Restore Flooring that Adorned the Second Temple of Jerusalem. The finding gives a glimpse of the majestic detail of this long-lost edifice central to Jewish and Christian history (Debbie Ponchner). I don't think there's ...
AWOL: Open Access Journal: Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal. Many of the articles deal with ancient Judaism.
PHILOSOPHY: Why Do Anything? A Meditation on Procrastination (Costica Bradatan). The New York Times has published an Opinion piece on ancient Gnostic theology and its modern philosophical heirs.Gnostic thinking takes us to a privileged ontological realm: ...

2AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (VR EDITION): A virtual reality visit to the Second Temple. he Western Wall Heritage Foundation is offering a virtual-reality tour of the Temple Mount as it was two millennia ago, based on historical data (Yael Freidson, Jewish World). ...
COIN WEEK: NGC Ancient Coins: Redefining the Biblical Widow’s Mite (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). Excerpt:The point of this discussion is to demonstrate how broad the definition of the Biblical Widow’s Mite should be if one is willing to break fro...

September 18, 1AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Christian Apocrypha: The “Lost Gospels”? Apocryphal texts and early Christianity (Ellen White). This essay summarizes an article by Dr. Tony Burke in the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, the full text of which is behi...
LARRY HURTADO: A Tribute to Bauckham: New Volume. Professor Hurtado summarizes part of his own contribution to the volume. Then in another post he takes issue with the arguments in Philip Alexander's contribution: Alexander’s Ineffective Critique. Back...
JAMES MCGRATH: A Mandaean Song from San Antonio. Cross-file under Mandaean (Mandean) Watch and Modern Aramaic Watch. I would like to know about that restaurant too. As James notes, PaleoJudaica has a recent thematically (i.e. Aramaic music) related post ...
THE ASOR BLOG: Animal Economy in a Temple City and Its Countryside: Iron Age Jerusalem as a Case Study (Lidar Sapir-Hen, Yuval Gadot, and Israel Finkelstein).Iron Age Jerusalem is the subject of perennial interest, but archaeological understanding of how ...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Stereotyping Exegesis: The Gospel of John and “the Jews” in Ancient and Modern Commentary Undoubtedly, there is much in the Christian past that warrants recognition and repudiation in the service of rectifying Jewish-Chri...

September 17, 2AM

REMNANT OF GIANTS: Can we distinguish the Christ of Faith from the Man of History? (Deane Galbraith). Indeed. PaleoJudaica has many past posts on Rebbe Menaḥem Mendel Schneerson, some of which are relevant to Deane's post. Start here and follow the link...
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: How in the World Did Cuneiform Cookies Become a Thing? (Aviya Kushner, The Forward). Ms. Kushner follows up her earlier essay on the importance of dead languages like Akkadian with an interview with the originator of the c...

1AM

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Historian of religion Pagels awarded National Humanities Meda.Princeton University faculty member Elaine Pagels, an authority on the religions of late antiquity and the author of "The Gnostic Gospels" and "Beyond Belie...
RELOCATION: Baylor museum to offer ‘Sacred Journeys’ exhibit (Harker Heights Herald).WACO — Each year, more than 330 million people around the world journey to sacred places to perform acts of devotion, express faith or seek enlightenment or healing...
ANOTHER ARCHAEOLOGICAL GARDEN IN ISRAEL: The kibbutz outside Jerusalem built atop an ancient palace. Ramat Rachel’s Archaeological Gardens tell the story of the Roman legionnaires, Judean kings and Assyrian conquerors, and others who lived and built the...

September 16, 3AM

EPIGRAPHY: Rare High Priest’s stone weight from Second Temple period found in Jerusalem. Asked how it felt to have the soot of one of Judaism’s most historic events on his flesh, Gutfeld paused thoughtfully for a moment. “It is amazing when you thin...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Survey Results: Favorite Museum (Todd Bolen). The quote on the Shrine of the Book is from me. I am surprised that no one mentioned the Chicago Oriental Institute Museum, which I also considered nominating. Background here.

2AM

DIABOLICAL PORTAL WATCH: Arch from Temple of Ba'al to Stand in NYC (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News).Despite initially cancelling plans to erect a reproduction of the Victory Arch that stood for 1,800 years in front of the Temple of Ba’al i...
H-JUDAIC: CFP: 'Jews on the Move: Exploring the movement of Jews, objects, texts, and ideas in space and time', British Association for Jewish Studies (BAJS) Conference 2017, Edinburgh 10-12 July 2017.From the earliest accounts travel and migration, movem...
PHILOLOGY RULES! Why Dead Languages Like Akkadian Still Matter (Aviya Kushner, The Forward).I grew up hearing the Code of Hammurabi read out loud, in Akkadian, at the dining-room table. I did not know that my graduate-student mother was one of Akkadian’...

September 15, 3AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ("NO, REALLY" EDITION): Who really wrote the Book of Job? Job, possibly the strangest book in the bible, is based on legends going back thousands of years, and is written in a very unusual form of Hebrew (Elon Gila...
EERDWORD BLOG: Honoring Richard Bauckham: In the Fullness of Time. Background here and here.

2AM

JOB ADVERT: Assistant Professor in New Testament and Early Christianity.The Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures and the Program in the Study of Religion at the University of California, Los Angeles, announce a search for a new tenure-track...
NEW COLLECTION: Rare findings from ancient Jewish community of Afghanistan. The Israeli National Library acquires massive and unique collection of ancient Jewish documents from Afganistan (Arutz Sheva).The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem has acqu...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Completing the 118-Year-Old Puzzle of the Cairo Genizah (Abigail Klein Leichman, The Jewish Voice).Israeli supercomputer is matching up 200,000 text fragment images in historic breakthrough for ancient manuscript scholarship. Think of it...

September 14, 2AM

EPIGRAPHY: Excavation unveils scale weight belonging to high priest. An archaeological dig in the Old City of Jerusalem has unearthed a weight that is marked with the name of the high priest from the Second Temple (Eli Mandelbaum, Ynet News).Nearly 2,000 ...
NABATEAN (NABATAEAN) WATCH: Researchers unearth ancient mythological statues in Jordan (Science Codex).A team of North Carolina-based researchers helped unearth more clues this summer about the ancient Nabatean city of Petra in Jordan. As part of a large...
THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Religious Studies Assistant Professor in Material Culture Studies and Religion.The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor in the field o...

1AM

NUMISMATICS: Rare Roman gold coin found in Jerusalem at Mt. Zion archaeological dig (Science Daily).Date: September 13, 2016 Source: University of North Carolina at Charlotte Summary: Though the Roman Empire occupied Jerusalem and certainly spread its c...
THAT DOESN'T SOUND GOOD: Israel's Antiques Market Awaiting ISIS-looted Treasures (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).Like in the case of antiques plundered from Iraq after the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime, experts predict that lost Syrian treasures are bound t...

September 13, 5AM

LEEN RITMEYER: Flooring from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Some expert commentary on the important discovery of floor tiles that are arguably associated with the Herodian Temple, as recently announced by the Temple Mount Sifting Project. One brief excerp...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Reader Survey: Favorite Museum. Todd Bolen asks readers for "a favorite museum related to the biblical world." I can think of many candidates, but I'm happy with the one I voted for. I'll tell you which when the results a...

3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Thievery Corporation. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how the theft of a pregnant cow leads the Talmudic sages to examine the concept of wages.In Chapter Nine of Tractate Bava Kamma, the rabbis conti...
WAIT, I THOUGHT THAT WAS ME! Institute for Studies of Religion to Host ‘Real-life Indiana Jones’ for Lecture (Baylor Media Communications).WACO, Texas (Sept. 12, 2016) — Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) will host Ann Kil...

2AM

OUTDOOR MUSEUM: Largest Archaeological Garden Ever in Israel Inaugurated at IDF Kirya Base in Tel Aviv. The largest archaeological garden ever established in the State of Israel was inaugurated Monday at Camp Rabin, in the IDF Kirya Base in Tel Aviv (Hana...

September 12, 2AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:The Context of Scripture, Volume 4 Supplements Edited by K.Lawson Younger Jr. The Context of Scripture, Volume IV Supplements offers important additions to the previously published three volumes of The Context of Scripture, a major to...
OTTC BLOG: SBL Policy on Scholarly Presentation and Publication of Ancient Artifacts (Drew Longacre).The Society of Biblical Literature sent out an email yesterday to its members announcing a new SBL Policy on Scholarly Presentation and Publication of Anc...

1AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Diodorus and his Library. Notice of a new book: Michael, Rathmann. 2016. Diodor und seine “Bibliotheke”: Weltgeschichte aus der Provinz. Berlin: De Gruyter. Diodorus is of interest to biblical studies chiefly for evidence of ho...
MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Aramaic singing festival in Maaloula for preserving Aramaic language (Syrian Radio and TV).The Syrian Global Society for Preserving the Aramaic Language organized on Saturday a musical event titled “Aramia 2016” in Maaloula town ...
IN JERUSALEM: 2 Levys bring Hebrew Music Museum to life (Deborah Fineblum, JNS.org/The Jewish Star).Today, the Levys’ dream has become a reality. The place attracts more than 1,000 visitors a month who come to see, and hear, what it’s all about. They...

September 11, 1AM

JAMES MCGRATH: Bloggers’ Dinner at #AARSBL16. I don't think I'll be able to make it to the dinner, but we'll see. I'll try to stop by to say hi if I can.
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Traductor Scriptor The Old Greek Translation of Exodus 1-14 as Scribal Activity John Screnock, University of Oxford In Traductor Scriptor, John Screnock situates the Old Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible within the broader scribal...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:The Religious Aspects of War in the Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome Ancient Warfare Series Volume 1 Krzysztof Ulanowski, Gdańsk University The Religious Aspect of Warfare in the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome is a volume dedi...
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Who Were the Canaanites? (Owen Jarus, Live Science). Discusses the pre-biblical and biblical evidence for the Canaanites, but stops short of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians. Goes well with Jarus's earlier brief history of...

September 10, 2AM

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Explore This Mysterious Mosaic—It May Portray Alexander the Great. A decorated floor uncovered in the buried ruins of an ancient synagogue in Israel may depict a legendary meeting with the famous conqueror (A. R. Williams).After sev...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Reading Charity Texts: On Intertextuality and Social History (Alyssa Gray).In sum, the scholar of rabbinic charity requires ongoing methodological self-awareness. Care in gathering and systematizing texts, focused and detailed analyses...
CONFERENCE: Religion Before "Religion." October 14 and 15, 2016, Bowdoin College, Brunswick Maine.The overarching aims of the symposium are twofold, and participants will be invited to address one or both of the following topics: First, we will ...
SKIN ART: Tattoo Taboo? Exploring The History Of Religious Ink And Facial Tattoos (Forbes). Dr. Sarah Bond of the University of Iowa gives a brief overview of the history of tattoos in Western antiquity. The following is of interest for PaleoJudaica:Withi...

1AM

INTERVIEW: On the Bookshelf (Elliot Resnick, Jewish Press).Lawrence Schiffman is a professor at New York University, an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple era, and the author and editor of over a dozen works.He gives us an impressive lineup ...

September 9, 2AM

EPIGRAPHY: BYU professor works with University of Utah library to translate 1700-year-old obituary. Ancient epitaph memorializes Helene, a woman with unique Jewish and Christian titles who loved orphans (Jon McBride, BYU News).“I’ve looked at hundreds...
READING ACTS: Book Review: Sonya Shetty Cronin, Raymond Brown, ‘The Jews’ and the Gospel of John: From Apologia to Apology; LNTS 504 (Phil Long).Cronin, Sonya Shetty. Raymond Brown, ‘The Jews’ and the Gospel of John: From Apologia to Apology. LNTS...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Watch: 17th Annual Archaeological conference.Leading archaeologists speak about recent findings, with special focus on attempts by various entities to erase Jewish history. Note: Video part Hebrew part English (Arutz Sheva).This year, in addi...
NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH. The Inn At Lydda has opened at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London, to unenthusiastic reviews: The Telegraph: The Inn at Lydda's biblical drama collapses into Carry On comedy – review (Chris Bennion).Now, how are you on y...

1AM

INTERNATIONAL CATACOMB SOCIETY: Research Fellowship Opportunity: 2017-2018 Shohet Scholars (Deadline 15 January 2017).The Shohet Scholars Program desires to support scholars of demonstrated promise and ability who are judged capable of producing significa...

September 8, 4AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Pahlavi and Judeo-Persian Bible Manuscripts. Notice of a new book: Pehlivanian, Meliné, Christoph Rauch & Ronny Vollandt (eds.). 2016. Orientalische Bibelhandschriften aus der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK. Eine illustriert...

3AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Biblical Hebrew Changed, but How? In a hot-off-the-press popular article in Biblical Archaeology Review (September/October 2016), Avi Hurvitz discusses “How Biblical Hebrew Changed.” It is certainly true that Biblical Heb...
H-JUDAIC: CFP: The Seventeenth World Congress of Jewish Studies.Call for Papers The Seventeenth World Congress of Jewish Studies We are happy to announce that the SeventeenthWorld Congress of Jewish Studies will take place at the Hebrew University in Je...

1AM

FIFTY SHADES OF TALMUD: Iconic L.A. Author to Discuss Sex and the Talmud at Jewish Women's Theatre on September 25 (BroadwayWorld.com).Maggie Anton, author of the popular Rashi's Daughter series, will discuss her latest book, 50 Shades of Talmud: What the...
ARCHAEOLOGY: 1500 year old stables discovered at Ovdat National Park. In archaological excavations at Ovdat National Park an ancient animal stable has been uncovered (Yoel Domb, Arutz Sheva).In archaeological excavations at Ovdat conducted by the Antiquit...

September 7, 3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Yesterday the Temple Mount Sifting Project announced that they have recovered and reconstructed ancient tiles which they are confident paved the courtyards of the Herodian Temple. This story has received some attention from the media. ...
ALIN SUCIU: Job Opening for the Project Katalogisierung der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland/Cataloguing of Oriental Manuscripts in Germany. The fixed-term job involves: "Catalogisation of Coptic manuscripts, ostraca and papyri from German...

2AM

READING ACTS continues its series on 2 Baruch, with two more posts: A Vision of Many Waters – 2 Baruch 52-73 Eternal Peace – 2 Baruch 73-76 Despite it's title, the latter post also summarizes most of the rest of the book (chapters 77-87, the Epistle ...
MISSOURI STATE NEWS: Prominent Jewish studies professor to deliver free public lecture. Plenary speech to discuss the Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls.Missouri State University will get a glimpse into the world of Biblical archaeology with an “Indiana Jones flai...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew word of the week: qayits.The Hebrew names of the seasons are associated with farming life, as aviv “spring” originally meant “green ears of corn” (Leviticus 2:14) and qayits “summer” meant “cutting, harvesting ripe fruits,...

September 6, 8AM

TEMPLE MOUNT SIFTING PROJECT BLOG PRESS RELEASE: For the First Time, Archeologists Restore Flooring from Second Temple Courtyard in Jerusalem.JERUSALEM, September 6th, 2016 — Archeologists from the Jerusalem-based Temple Mount Sifting Project are confid...

3AM

FESTIVAL: ROMANS AND CARTHAGINIANS: 16 – 25 September 2016 in Cartagena, Spain. This is an annual festival, of which I was reminded by this advert for the Mediterranean Cartagena Tours Company. The historical background is summed up in this eurotourguid...

2AM

CONFERENCE: Program of the international conference of the Italian (AISG) Association for Jewish Studies, on the Discovery of the Qumran scrolls on the coming 70 anniversary (1947-2017) and on the Torah Scroll of Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria, Septemb...
ETC BLOG: 3 new articles in BABELAO 5 (2016) (Peter Williams). The articles involve biblical manuscripts in Greek, Ethiopic, and Hebrew, and related scribal activity. The newish free electronic journal Babelao has also been mentioned recently by the AWOL...
ASSIMILATED TO THE BLOGOSPHERE: Zürich New Testament Blog. The first post is Bridging the German-English Divide. Christoph Heilig received a Master's degree here at the Divinity School of the University of St. Andrews some years ago. His recent book with...
NATIVLANG: What Latin Sounded Like - and how we know. HT James McGrath. Entertaining and informative, if sometimes a bit technical for non-specialists. This looks like an interesting YouTube channel worth keeping an eye on. As with Latin, we know a fa...

1AM

FESTIVAL: Ethiopian Jews Mark Ancient Holiday in Israel’s Capital (Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Service/Jewish Voice).On Thursday, October 31, thousands of Ethiopian Jews poured into Jerusalem to celebrate the Sigd holiday, a 2,500-year old tradition fro...

September 5, 5AM

MONDAY MORNING THEOLOGIAN: August Biblical Studies Carnival.
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Favorite Church in the Holy Lands Survey Results. First place went to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Follow the link for the rest of the results. Background here. Some past posts on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher ...

4AM

READING ACTS has continued its series on 2 Baruch. Here's where we are now: The Anointed One Will Appear – 2 Baruch 22-34 The Consolation of Zion – 2 Baruch 35-44 Zeal for the Lord and the Anointed One – 2 Baruch and the Law The Messianic Age – 2...
ANTIQUITIES: Egypt documenting Jewish artifacts (Khalid Hassan, Al-Monitor).Egypt has begun registering Jewish antiquities in an attempt to protect them from theft and neglect — an important step forward in preserving history. However, the government st...

3AM

CINEMA: Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ gets a sequel (Michael Idato, Sydney Morning Herald).Gibson has confirmed his involvement in a sequel, and that it will focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "[It is] a huge undertaking and it's no...

September 4, 2AM

I'M BACK FROM CHESTER after an excellent 2016 British New Testament Conference. Many thanks to Paul Middleton, Matt Collins, Jessica Keady, and all their assistants for their hospitality and hard work to make the conference a success. I'm not going to pos...
READING ACTS: A Vision on Zion – 2 Baruch 13-21. A previous post in Phil Long's series on 2 Baruch was noted here. I'm busy right now, but I need to get caught up on these! Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
ETC BLOG: Conference: Act of the Scribe: Interfaces between scribal work and language use (Peter M. Head).The project Act of the Scribe (Academy of Finland) organises a workshop for scholars discussing various aspects of scribal work and how these relate ...
JAMES MCGRATH: Canon: The Card Game is NOW AVAILABLE!. When can we look forward to Canon Go?

1AM

MANUSCRIPTS GALORE: The Hill Museum Manuscript Library Reading Room. HT AJR.

September 3, 3AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:“And They Shall Be One Flesh”: On The Language of Mystical Union in Judaism Adam Afterman, Tel-Aviv University In “And They Shall Be One Flesh”: On the Language of Mystical Union in Judaism, Adam Afterman offers an extensive s...
AWOL: The Art of Making in Antiquity: Stoneworking in the Roman World. Originally noted by AWOL in 2014, but I didn't link to it at the time. The website covers a broad array of topics on stone work and stoneworking, including some information on ancient ...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Elizabeth Carney, King and Court in Ancient Macedonia: Rivalry, Treason and Conspiracy. Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales, 2015. Pp. xxvi, 326. ISBN 9781905125982. $110.00. Reviewed by Alexis Q. Castor, Franklin &...
READING ACTS: Book Review: Reinhard Pummer, The Samaritans: A Profile.Pummer, Reinhard. The Samaritans: A Profile. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2016. 376 pp. Pb; $30.Excerpt:Conclusion. Pummer’s introduction to the Samaritans goes beyond the usual top...
ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Montreal, In Verse. An Introduction to and Exploration of Local Poetry (Tessa Mascia, The Link).Apart from venues, many local poetry collectives, such as Metatron, a local independent publisher which specializes in contemporary l...

September 2, 8AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Kabbalistic Circles in Jerusalem (1896-1948) Jonatan Meir, Ben-Gurion University This book endeavors to fill a lacuna in the literature on early twentieth-century kabbalah, namely the lack of a comprehensive account of the traditional...
GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH (AUGUST 2016): Who Wrote the Bible? (Kim Phillips). A baraita in the Babylonian Talmud gives one account, but there is an alternative account preserved in masoretic traditions and also found in a fragment from the Cairo Geniza...
MICHAEL SATLOW: Jews and Money: A New Course. He is teaching it at Brown University and has posted the syllabus at his blog. The course deals with the topic from antiquity to the present.
BYRN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Claudia Sagona, The Archaeology of Malta: From the Neolithic through the Roman Period. Cambridge world archaeology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. xix, 449. ISBN 9781107006690. $135.00. Reviewed by Rowan ...
READING ACTS: 2 Baruch and the Fall of Jerusalem. Phil Long takes up a new text in his pseudepigrapha series. William Brown also has a post on 2 Baruch from a few months ago: Pseudepigrapha Saturday: 2 Baruch. Some past PaleoJudaica posts dealing with 2 B...

September 1, 2AM

I'M OFF TO CHESTER for the annual meeting of the British New Testament Conference. The Twitter hashtag is #bntc2016. The University of Chester is the venue and they are reporting that a record number of delegates are coming. I shall be very busy and may ...

1AM

BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW HAS A NEW ISSUE OUT: September/October 2016. Nice feature articles:Where Is the Land of Sheba—Arabia or Africa? by Bar Kribus How Biblical Hebrew Changed by Avi Hurvitz ‘Lost Gospels’—Lost No More by Tony Burke How B...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Muriel Debié​, L'écriture de l'histoire en Syriaque: transmissions interculturelles et constructions identitaires entre hellénisme et Islam. Avec des répertoires des textes historiographiques en annexe. Late Antique Histor...
READING ACTS: The New Testament and 4 Ezra. The earlier posts in Phil Long's series on 4 Ezra have been noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
SOCIETY FOR CLASSICAL STUDIES: NEH Awards Grants to Six Classically-Themed Projects.The NEH has recently released its list of grant recepients for 2016. Included are six projects on Classical themes that focus on various aspects of ancient history and mat...

August 31, 3AM

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Reader Survey: Favorite Church in the Holy Lands. Another survey by Todd Bolen, with the results to be announced on Thursday.

2AM

EXHIBITION: The Hidden History of Recycling in Medieval Art (Allison Meier, Hyperallergic).It’s easy to forget that a historic artifact preserved in a museum is not a static object. Before it was acquired, it went through decades of tactile use and chan...
READING ACTS: Ezra’s Seventh Vision – 4 Ezra 14:1-48. My 2012 SBL paper deals with this passage in 4 Ezra: The 94 Books of Ezra and the Angelic Revelations of John Dee. The earlier posts in Phil Long's series on 4 Ezra have been noted here and links. ...
ARCHAEOLOGY: King Solomon-era Palace Found in Biblical Gezer. Monumental 3000-year-old ruins, Philistine pottery support biblical tales of Gezer's rise, and fall to a jealous pharaoh (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz).A palatial building dating to the era of Ki...
EXHIBITION: Archaeological Evidence of the Kingdom of David in Jerusalem. Israeli archaeologists will present to the public the new evidence recently uncovered of the truth of the Biblical kingdom of David (Anna Rudnitsky, TPS/Tazpit News Agency via the J...

August 30, 4AM

THE GEMARA.COM: Rabbinic Battery Law in Light of Roman Rule (Dr. Yoni Pomeranz).Abstract: The rabbinic laws of personal injury differ markedly from those in the Torah. They are, however, substantially similar to the laws of personal injury that guided Rom...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Is ‘An Eye for an Eye’ Really an Eye for an Eye? In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis reinterpret a famous biblical verse to allow compassion to trump logic.The truth is that, as we ha...

3AM

ACADEMIC JOBS AND SCHOLARSHIPS: RE­SEARCH PO­SI­TIONS AT THE FACUL­TY OF THEO­LO­GY, UNI­VER­SI­TY OF HEL­SIN­KI.The two Centres of Excellence are seeking enthusiastic candidates for several fixed-term positions of UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS, POST...

2AM

READING ACTS: Ezra’s Sixth Vision – 4 Ezra 13:1-58 (The Man from the Sea). The earlier posts in the series on 4 Ezra have been noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
RICE UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE: New book by Rice's DeConick explores the emergence and revolutionizing role of gnosticism.Gnosticism is a countercultural spirituality that forever changed the practice of Christianity. This is the premise of a new book by A...

August 29, 4AM

NUMISMATICS: Silver denarius was centerpiece of Rome’s currency for centuries. Most famous ancient coin is silver ‘Eid Mar’ denarius (Jeff Starck, Coin World).Just as the Greeks had a signature silver coin, the Roman denarius (plural: denarii) was t...

3AM

THEMELIOS 41.2: The Septuagint and Biblical Theology (W. Edward Glenny).ABSTRACT: This article addresses the question: How does the LXX relate to the Christian Old Testament, and more specifically, what role does the LXX play in Christian biblical theol...

2AM

READING ACTS: Ezra’s Fifth Vision – 4 Ezra 11:1-12:51 (The Eagle Vision). The earlier posts in the series on 4 Ezra have been noted here and links. So far there is not a post on Ezra's fourth vision, the woman and Jerusalem. Cross-file under Old Test...
EXHIBITION: Talmud for Taxidermy. At the Torah Animal World, one Brooklyn Rabbi Brings Stuffed History to Strange Life (Jamie Manelis, Observer.com).I was surrounded. Seven lions encircled us, mouths ajar with eternal hunger. It was me, a photographer and...
THE DUNELM ROAD BLOG: How the Bible Came into Being. HBU Spring Theology Conference. A conference on 2-4 March 2017 at Houston Baptist University. Follow the link for details and the call for papers.

August 28, 1AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Barbara Ryan, Milette Shamir (ed.), Bigger than Ben-Hur: The Book, its Adaptations, and their Audiences. Television and popular culture. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2016. Pp. xviii, 269. ISBN 9780815634034. $3...
READING ACTS: Ezra’s Third Vision – 4 Ezra 6:35-9:25. The earlier posts in the series on 4 Ezra have been noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
FREE BOOK ONLINE:Sifre Devarim Marty Jaffee A new translation of the 4th-century rabbinic oral commentaries on Deuteronomy This new translation of the tannaitic midrash Sifre Devarim by Professor Emeritus Marty Jaffee of the University of Washington em...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: New Series: Texts and Versions of the Hebrew Bible (Peter Gurry, ETC Blog).
REVIEWS OF BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES: Psalm 110 and the Logic of Hebrews.2016.08.16 | Jared Compton. Psalm 110 and the Logic of Hebrews. London: T&T Clark, 2015. Review by Madison N. Pierce, Durham University.

August 27, 7AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Greg Fisher (ed.), Arabs and Empires before Islam. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. xxvii, 580. ISBN 9780199654529. $225.00. Reviewed by Hamish Cameron, Bates College (hcameron@bates.edu) Arabs and Em...
BEWARE: Beall’s List: Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers (AWOL).Anyone wishing to publisher with an open access publisher should choose a publisher carefully. One way to do this is to review Jeffrey Beall's list ...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Burnswark's bloody Roman history becomes clearer (Willie Johnston, BBC Scotland).There's growing evidence that a landmark flat-topped hill in Dumfriesshire was the site of the first major battle of the Roman invasion of Scotland. Archaeologi...
READING ACTS: Ezra’s Second Vision – 4 Ezra 5:21-6:34. The earlier posts in the series on 4 Ezra have been noted here and link. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
INTERVIEW: One on One with…Adam Aja, museum curator and senior staff member of Ashkelon dig (Wayne E. Rivet, The Bridgton News).Adam Aja knows what it is like to find a needle in a haystack, sort of. Working several summers in Israel as an Assistant Di...

August 26, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Noah Bickart.This project investigates the meaning and usage of a particular set of linguistically related Talmudic terms in order to show how and in what cultural context the Talmud began to take shape in the ...
IN THE MAIL:In the Fullness of Time: Essays on Christology, Creation,and Eschatology in Honor of Richard Bauckham (ed. Daniel Gurtner, Grant Macaskill, Jonathan Pennington; Eerdmans, 2016). Over the course of his distinguished career Richard Bauckham has...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Favorite Ancient Inscription Results Todd Bolen gives the main results of the survey noted here. I did think about the Mesha Stele (Todd's favorite), but in the end I voted for the Balaam inscription from Tel Deir 'Alla. Todd quotes...
READING ACTS: Ezra’s First Vision – 4 Ezra 3:1-5:20. The first post in the series on 4 Ezra (2 Esdras) was noted here. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

2AM

H-JUDAIC: JOB: McMaster University, Assistant Professor, Early Judaism and Early Christianity. Follow the link for further particulars. The committee will begin reviewing applications on 15 October and plans to interview at the AAR/SBL annual meeting in N...

August 25, 3AM

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Seven Fascinating Facts about Crossing the Jordan River (Todd Bolen, Bible Places Blog.I had the opportunity to read a pre-publication draft of an article that David Z. Moster has written on crossing the Jordan River in antiquity. I foun...
READING ACTS: A Christian Introduction to 4 Ezra. We move to a new text in Philip Long's pseudepigrapha series. In this one he deals with the larger Ezra document that includes the Jewish text 4 Ezra and the Christian texts 5 Ezra and 6 Ezra. The three ar...

2AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew word of the week: Nasi’/President. An little footnote to this word. The second-century head of the failed second revolt against Rome, Shimon Bar Kokhba (Bar Kosiba) was also addressed by his followers with the title Nasi’, "pr...
A RELIC: Crusader-era grenade dug out of central Israel home. Family shows metal artifacts retrieved from sea by late father, including knife-head some 3,500 years old (Sue Surkes, Times of Israel).The early grenade would have been filled with Greek fire,...
POST-ANTIQUITY GNOSTICISM: The Bogomils of Bosnia: Forgotten gnostics (AYŞE BETÜL KAYAHAN, Daily Sabah).Bogomilism was a Gnostic dualistic sect, whose religious doctrines borrowed from the belief system of the Paulicians and the Manichaeans. Bogomilism ...

August 24, 2AM

READING ACTS: What is the Apocalypse of Zephaniah?.Since the book refers to both Daniel 3 and the apocryphal Susanna, implying a date no earlier than 100 B.C. The author was a Jew living in a Greek speaking Diaspora community. The book appears to have bee...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Ancient Israel: A Brief History (Owen Jarus, LiveScience). A nice little survey of the history of Israel up to the Bar Kokhba revolt, with attention to relevant inscriptions and archaeology.

1AM

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Reader Survey: Favorite Ancient Inscription. Todd Bolen brings us another survey. I have voted. I'll tell you which inscription I picked after he closes the survey and posts on the results.
LARRY HURTADO: Early Jewish Opposition to Jesus-Devotion?. He summarizes the evidence (from lateral readings of New Testament texts), based on his 1999 article with the same title.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Bradley J. Bitner, Paul's Political Strategy in 1 Corinthians 1-4: Constitution and Covenant. Society for New Testament Studies monograph series, 163. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. 358. ISBN 9781107088481....

August 23, 3AM

BOOK REVIEW: IS IT TIME TO TAKE THE MOST-PUBLISHED MAN IN HUMAN HISTORY SERIOUSLY? A new biography of Jacob Neusner examines his ‘complicated, colorful, and unappreciated intellectual life’ (Shaul Magid, Tablet).... Thankfully, Aaron Hughes, the autho...
THE RECENTLY-DISCOVERED ANCIENT GALILEAN STONE WORKSHOP has been covered in two articles that include photos and more information: Excavations in Galilee reveal 2,000 year-old stone factory. An ancient Jewish “Stone Age”? Ariel University unearths a ...

2AM

NEWS YOU CAN USE: A Guide to Ancient Magic. In antiquity, love or revenge was just a spell away (Erin Blakemore, SMITHSONIAN.COM).Call it a happy accident: When a group of Serbian archaeologists recently uncovered a cache of 2,000-year-old skeletons, they...
CINEMA: ‘Ben-Hur’ Is Latest Flop for Paramount (BROOKS BARNES, NYT).” Credit Philippe Antonello/Paramount Pictures LOS ANGELES — During new pressure on Viacom to turn around Paramount Pictures, the studio misfired again over the weekend: “Ben-Hu...

1AM

READING ACTS: Book Review: Karen H. Jobes, Discovering the Septuagint.Jobes, Karen H., ed. Discovering the Septuagint: A Guided Reader. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Academic, 2016. 351 pp. Hb; $20.00.I noted the book here when it came out earlier this year...

August 22, 2AM

READING ACTS: The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, Fragments 2-5. William Brown also has a post from last year on the Apocryphon of Ezekiel at the Biblical Review Blog: Pseudepigrapha Saturday: The Apocryphon of Ezekiel. An earlier post on the subject at Reading Ac...
LIV INGEBORG LIED: Fragments of an Unbelievable Past program update. Ariel Sabar will be there. There's more on the conference here and links.

1AM

PHOTO OF THE DAY: The Ancient Susiya Synagogue (Jewish Press). Past posts involving the Susiya Synagogue are here and here.
ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Stone Workshop Found in Galil (Harmodia).YERUSHALAYIM - Archaeological excavations conducted in the Galil have uncovered an ancient subterranean quarry and industrial workshop for the production of stone vessels, Arutz Sheva reported ...
TALMUD WATCH: Composer sets Talmud study to music (norman lebrecht, Slipped Disc).The marvellous Israeli composer Andre Hajdu, who died at the beginning of this month, was a devout and learned man who saw no contradiction between his religious immersion a...

August 21, 2AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Self-deification in Biblical Texts Since the Enlightenment, many scholars have tried to extract the “real” history from mythicized characters in Jewish and Christian literature. They have aimed to reconstruct the true (or...

1AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Religion in the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Notice of a new book: Edelman, Diana, Anne Fitzpatrick-McKinley & Philippe Guillaume (eds.). 2016. Religion in the Achaemenid Persian Empire (Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 17)...
MANIFESTO: It’s Time to Stop Using Gothic Letters in Textual Criticism (Peter Gurry, ETC Blog).
LARRY HURTADO: “Jesus Monotheism”: My Review.My review of Jesus Monotheism, by Crispin Fletcher-Louis just appeared in Review of Biblical Literature here. This book is volume 1 of a multi-volume project in which Fletcher-Louis aims to lay out a broad...

12 AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Identity, a Way Forward (Perhaps) (Todd Berzon). "Identity" is certainly a concept relevant to the study of ancient Judaism, although the theoretical critique of the concept here does not apply itself specifically to that ar...

August 20, 2AM

READING ACTS: The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, Fragment 1. Benjamin G. Wright III re-published the Apocryphon of Ezekiel and added a couple of possible unattributed fragments in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures vol. 1 (ed. Bauckham, Da...
THE BIBLICAL REVIEW: “The Perspective from Mt. Sinai: The Book of Jubilees and Exodus” by Betsy Halpern-Amaru.Betsy Halpern-Amaru. The Perspective from Mt. Sinai: The Book of Jubilees and Exodus. Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplement 21. Göttingen, G...
THE OTTC BLOG: 28th International Congress of Papyrology - Part 1 (Drew Longacre). Part 1 was noted here. Roberta Mazza's paper, which is available to read online, was noted here.

1AM

JAMES MCGRATH: Madaba. Lots of nice photos of the Madaba map etc., on which more here and links (cf. here). But they would be easier to access if they were all on one page.
WILLIAM A. ROSS: LXX SCHOLAR INTERVIEW: DR. CÉCILE DOGNIEZ. Some of his earlier interviews with Septuagint scholars are noted here and links.

August 19, 9AM

YESTERDAY'S POST ON THE SERBIAN "ARAMAIC" AMULETS has had a couple of updates added concerning those mysterious magical names. If you are interested in that story, go and have a look.

4AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Gregg E. Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. xvi, 235. ISBN 9781107095434. $99.99. Reviewed by Danielle Steen Fatkin, Knox College (dfatkin@kno...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Favorite Geographical Story in the Bible Results (Todd Bolen). The survey was noted here. By the way, I ended up not participating, so if you were tempted to think that I submitted the following, I didn't. But if I had thought of it...

3AM

READING ACTS: . Philip J. Long continues his series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha with a new text. For the past series on the Sibylline Oracles and the ancient books of Enoch, follow the links. William Brown also has a post on The Treatise of Shem ...
TALMUD WATCH: Jonathan Milgram’s Mesopotamian Mishnah? Teaneck scholar studies ancient inheritance law (LARRY YUDELSON, Times of Israel).When Dr. Jonathan Milgram of Teaneck set out to write his first book, he didn’t expect to discover an ancient rabb...

1AM

ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY: Do these ancient ruins prove stories in the Bible were true? 2,000-year-old rural synagogue in Galilee may be similar to sites where Jesus taught (RICHARD GRAY, Daily Mail). No, they don't prove any stories are true, but they pote...

August 18, 4AM

THE OTTC BLOG: 28th International Congress of Papyrology - Part 1 (Drew Longacre).The 28th International Congress of Papyrology took place in Barcelona from 1-6 August, and it was a great success. While there were far too many papers to discuss them in an...
ARAMAIC WATCH? — PROBABLY NOT: Serbian archaeologists unearth mysterious messages in Roman graves (Boris Babic, Gulf Times). This article gives some additional information on the content of the amulets which makes me doubt that any Aramaic is involved.A...

3AM

THE FESTIVAL OF TU B'AV begins this evening at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating. This is a holiday mentioned in the Mishnah and the Talmud, but for centuries not a great deal was made of it, until it was revived in modern Israel as a kind of ...
READING ACTS: A History of the World – Sibylline Oracles, Book 11. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
CINEMA: Ben-Hur review – rowdy revamp takes a Roman holiday from reality This retelling of the classic tale, from the director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is unafraid to make wholesale changes, and all the better for it (Jordan Hoffman, The Guar...

August 17, 4AM

PHOENICIAN WATCH: The Rosetta Stone of Malta: Cippi of Malta Offers Key to Decoding the Phoenician Language (Kerry Sullivan, Ancient Origins). Ancient Origins produces articles of rather uneven quality, ranging from pretty good to not so much. (Deane Gal...
ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Who or What Made This Mothership Crop Circle? (Allie Beckett, Marijuana.com - really). Gueeess whooo? Mothership Glass is famous for creating some of the most expensive glass pieces in the world, but do they also make crop circ...
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Reader Survey: Favorite Geographical Story in the Bible (Todd Bolen, Bible Places Blog). I'll have to think about this one. The results are to be published on Thursday.
READING ACTS: Christological Poems – Sibylline Oracles, Book 8.217-500. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

3AM

MODERN ARAMAIC (SYRIAC) WATCH: Syriac Christians revive ancient language despite war (Ahmed Shiwesh, ARA News).QAMISHLI – The Syriac-Assyrian Christians in Syria’s Hasakah, like other communities in the province, are trying to revive their language a...

August 16, 4AM

EXCAVATION: Ancient ballista ball unearthed by students in Gush Etzion from Bar Kokhba revolt. "This is a discovery of historic magnitude because this battle was the last battle fought by a Jewish army in Israel until modern times" (, Jerusalem ...
OLD TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA WATCH: Giants, Demons, and the Land: The Paranormal Geography of Israel [WATCH] (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News). The Book of 1 Enoch and the Book of the Giants serve as inspiration for a recent eschatological vi...

3AM

JAMES MCGRATH: Ancient Judaism: New Visions and Views.Stone’s book will or should be of interest to scholars of Judaism, who should engage with the history of transmission and preservation of Jewish literature outside as well as within Jewish circles; a...
READING ACTS: Nero Redivivus – Sibylline Oracle, Book 8.1-216. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

2AM

TALMUD WATCH: Russian Jewish Publishing House Moving Forward With Russian Translation of Talmud (Menachem Rephun, JP Updates).“We started with this current project three years ago, working out how we envisioned the layout and how we wanted to do it,” ...

August 15, 5AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient synagogue discovered in Galilee. Leading up to fast of Tisha B'Av marking destruction of two temples, archaeologists make massive discovery in northern Israel which survived Roman attacks; Expert says find also important for Christian...

3AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS (REALLY): Why Did Vespasian and Titus Destroy Jerusalem? The Roman Political Perspective on the Destruction of the City (Dr. David Gurevich, TheTorah.com).Abstract: What brought Rome to present a military campaign against th...

2AM

READING ACTS: Christian or Gnostic? – Sibylline Oracle, Book 7. Philip skips from Book 5 to Book 7. He doesn't specify why, but it's probably because Book 6 is just a brief hymn to Christ that doesn't even mention the Sibyl. It's not clear how it ended ...
LIV INGEBORG LIED: Fragments of an Unbelievable Past? Background here.
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND POPULAR CULTURE WATCH: Pottenger’s cats show the way to good health (Liam Harkness, star2.com). Mr. Harkness urges that we avoid feeding ourselves or our cats heavily processed food, which seems like good advice to me. But what ...

August 14, 1AM

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Activities of the Gate of the Sun Festival kick'off in Tartous (H.Zain, Malaysia Sun). Tartous is on the coast of Syria. The festival includes various entertainment andsport activities including beach soccer, sail boatshow, Jet Ski race,...
BIBLE ODYSSEY: The Second Temple (Lawrence H. Schiffman).As the central Jewish place of sacrificial worship from about 515 B.C.E. until its destruction by the Romans in 70 C.E., the second temple in Jerusalem played a major role in the religious and nati...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection Edited by Emanuel Tov (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), Kipp Davis (Trinity Western University), Robert Duke (Azusa Pacific University) This volume contains thirteen previously unpubl...

12 AM

AWOL: Women in the Ancient Near East, By Marten Stol. An open-access eBook.
COPTIC WATCH: Papers Presented by the Göttingen Crew at the Recently Concluded Congress of Coptic Studies (Alin Suciu). The papers were on the Coptic Bible, Coptic digital humanities, and Greek and Coptic fragments of a lost Patristic text. The 11th Inte...

August 13, 2AM

TISHA B'AV (THE NINTH OF AV) begins this evening at sundown. An easy fast to all those observing it.
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What does the Latin actually say? (Mary Beard, A Don's Life - TLS).People often imagine that if you 'know Latin' you can read more or less any bit of the language that is put in front of you (much like what you can do if yo...
CINEMA: Jesus meets the Fast & Furious: remaking Ben-Hur for 2016 (Horatia Harrod, The Telegraph). The new Ben-Hur film is now getting some attention in the U.K. This article gives a good overview of the background and — pretty much spoiler-free —...
A SALVAGE EXACAVATION THAT LED TO SURPRISES: Ancient Roman bath house discovered under modern mikvah. The Old City of Jerusalem will soon be hosting a new mikvah - with two thousand year-old roots (Rachel Kaplan and Shimon Cohen, Arutz Sheva).In just a fe...

1AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (POTENTIALLY): The third Jewish Temple is coming to your Facebook feed. Temple Institute, dedicated to rebuilding ancient holy site, begins using new internet tools to bring its message to the masses (ANDREW TOBIN, Times of Israel).The ...

August 12, 3AM

GAMING MEETS CINEMA: A New Ben-Hur Video Game Is Free To Play On Xbox One (Damian Seeto, Attack of the Fanboy).There is a new Ben-Hur movie out this month and to celebrate it, you can play the official video game for free on Xbox One. [...]The only revie...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: 'We experience the destruction of the Temple year-round.'Archaeologist Dr. Gabi Barkai speaks of battles against the Waqf and Palestinian temple-denial: 'They want to have their cake and eat it' (Hezki Baruch, Arutz Sheva). Dr. Gabriel...

2AM

NUMISMATICS: Ancient Coin Profile – Pompeia’s Pick: A Jewish War Shekel of Year 5 (Lorie Ann Hambly for Heritage Auctions ……, Coin World). The headline emphasizes the silver shekel from year 5, but this Heritage auction includes coins from all fiv...
READING ACTS: The Burning Sun among the Stars – Sibylline Oracles Book 5.155-531. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. I have some comments on Sibylline Oracles Book 5 in that post. Cross-file under Old Testamen...
THE DECORATIVE ARTS: 1,900-year-old Mosaics From Apostle Paul's Era Restored in Ephesus. Ancient Roman city was a center of Artemis worship until her temple burned down one time too many, leading people to question the goddess' power (Philippe Bohstrom, H...

August 11, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: “The Most Daring Blasphemy”: Getting Students to Think Critically About Extra-Canonical Texts. (Sarah Rollens). Great project assignment. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch.
ANCIENT MURAL ART: Rare fresco fragments dating back to Roman era discovered at Zippori National Park (KATHERINE KEENAN, Jerusalem Post).A team of archeologists sponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem uncovered hundreds of fresco fragments in Tzip...
CONGRATULATIONS TO TODD HANNEKEN AND HIS TEAM: Jubilees Palimpsest Project uses new technology to explore old manuscripts.Todd Hanneken, Ph.D., is like Indiana Jones, only his quests happen within centuries-old artifacts instead of in pursuit of them. St...
READING ACTS: A Star Will Shine – Sibylline Oracles Book 5.1-154. I am not entirely persuaded that Book 5 of the Sibylline Oracles is a Jewish composition. It may be, but it could also be by a Jewish Christian or a gentile "God-fearer." See my...
CONFERENCE: The Unbelievable Past Conference, 14–16 September, 2016. Fragments of an Unbelievable Past? Constructions of Provenance, Narratives of Forgery. At the University of Agder, Norway. Another one I wish I had time to attend.

August 10, 3AM

ARAMAIC WATCH? Mystery magic spells unearthed with ancient skeletons in Serbia (Ingrid Melander and Robin Pomeroy, Reuters).Archaeologists are trying to decipher magic spells etched onto tiny rolls of gold and silver that they found alongside skeletons of...
HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE: MKs turn to UNESCO to save prophet's tomb. The Prophet Nahum's tomb is located on the border between Kurdish controlled territory and territory controlled by the central Baghdad government, and is under threat from ISIS; Israeli MKs...
READING ACTS: n the Tenth Generation – Sibylline Oracles, Book 4. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

2AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: An Ox, a Donkey, a Sheep, and a Garment Walk Into a Bar… In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ dissecting the hermeneutics that governs the Talmud’s approach to law.If a thief steals property, the Bibl...
THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: Pseudepigrapha Saturday: Apocalypse of Adam.The Apocalypse of Adam is preserved in a manuscript discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1946. It is one of many manuscripts of gnostic secret revelations. In this particular text, Ad...

August 9, 1AM

THE ASOR BLOG: Introducing the Digital Library of the Middle East (Peter Herdrich).The desire to more thoroughly secure collections of all kinds is one of the primary motivations behind a new project developed by the Council on Library and Information Res...
REVIEWS OF BIBLICAL AND EARY CHRISTIAN STUDIES:Jewish War under Trajan and Hadrian In Cambridge University Press, Empire, Jesse Nickel, Judaism, War, William Horbury on August 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm 9780521622967 2016.08.14 | William Horbury. Jewish War unde...
NEW BOOK FROM BREPOLS:Motions of Late Antiquity Essays on Religion, Politics, and Society in Honour of Peter Brown J. Kreiner, H. Reimitz (eds.) X+353 p., 2 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2016 ISBN: 978-2-503-54911-8 Languages: English Hardback The publication ...
NEW BOOK FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PRESS:Pious Irreverence Confronting God in Rabbinic Judaism Dov Weiss 304 pages | 6 x 9 Cloth 2016 | ISBN 978-0-8122-4835-7 | $69.95s | £45.50 | Add to cart Ebook 2016 | ISBN 978-0-8122-9305-0 | $69.95s | £...

12 AM

BOOK REVIEW: The JPS Bible Commentary: Song of Songs. Michael Fishbane (Pinchas Roth, Jewish Book Council). A brief review of a new book that I have not previously noted. HT the IOTS page on Facebook.

August 8, 1AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:ROBERT B. FOSTER Renaming Abraham's Children Election, Ethnicity, and the Interpretation of Scripture in Romans 9 [Abrahams Kinder umbenennen. Erwählung, Ethnizität und die Deutung der Bibel in Römer 9.] 2016. XVIII, 327 pa...
CINEMA: Third coming of 'Ben-Hur' brings a powerful message (Cal Thomas, Alaska Dispatch News). Warning: this review contains SPOILERS. The quote below deals only with the general theme of the movie. Co-producer Roma Downey comments on the message:I aske...
READING ACTS: Prophecies of Disaster – Sibylline Book 3.489-544. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Stratasys Brings One of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" to Life with Unprecedented Realism of 3D Printing (Business Wire).For massive recreations like the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Fortus 900mc Production 3D Print...

12 AM

THE ASOR BLOG: Collecting and the Power of Touch (Erin Thompson).It is crucial to persuade current and potential collectors to stop buying antiquities in ways that encourage looting. But how? Decades of finger-wagging archeologists scolding collectors hav...

August 7, 1AM

MESSIANISM: (Ari Feldman, The Forward).Ever since Jesus came along in the first century of the common era, claiming to be the son of God and the messiah, there have been a lot of copycats. Messiah claimants have arisen in Judaism, Christianity and Islam,...

12 AM

MODERN MESSIANISM: Turkey Cracks Down and an Ancient Messianic Sect Burrows Deep (Nick Ashdown, The Forward).Today, the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, known as the AKP under its Turkish acronym, do not just control of the government; after...
BOOKS FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Die Septuaginta 1.-3. Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch (LXX.D), Wuppertal 2006–2010-PAKET- Hrsg. v. Martin Karrer u. Wolfgang Kraus, Siegfried Kreuzer, Martin Meiser u. Marcus Sigismund [The Septuag...
READING ACTS: Oracles against the Nations – Sibylline Oracles Book 3.295-488. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
ETHIOPIC WATCH: The Weeknd donates $50,000 to the University of Toronto to kick-start an Ethiopic Studies program. Scarborough native and international star gives back to the Ethiopian community with $50,000 to back Ethiopic Studies at U of T (Evelyn Kwon...

August 6, 2AM

CINEMA: 'Ben-Hur' Director on How His Remake Differs From Charlton Heston's Film and How He Found His Judah. Russian filmmaker and visual effects guru Timur Bekmambetov opens up about why he lives in Walt Disney's old home, how the studio system is "...
JAMES MCGRATH has been in Montreal, blogging the just-concluded annual meeting of the Society for New Testament Studies: SNTS Montreal: Arrival SNTS Montreal: Business Meeting and Opening Reception SNTS: Prayers and Presidential Address SNTS: Seminar, Ma...
PUNIC WATCH: CANNAE: HANNIBAL'S MASTERPIECE. On the morning of August 2, 216 B.C., perhaps the largest Roman army ever assembled prepared for battle on the dusty plain of Cannae, in southeastern Italy. (BARRY C. JACOBSEN, Scout/Warrior). A detailed milita...

1AM

THE ASOR BLOG: New Light on the Priestly Blessing from Ancient Judah (Jeremy D. Smoak).Until recently our knowledge of the background and early function of this blessing outside of the Book of Numbers was rather limited. This was largely due to the paucit...
READING ACTS: Kingdoms of the World – Sibylline Oracles Book 3.1-294. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

August 5, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists reveal secrets of Roman prison that held both Christian saints and Jewish rebels. The Tullianum dungeon, older than Rome itself, was where Romans locked up their worst enemies: from the Great Jewish Revolt leader to (supposedly...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Creation and Creativity: Teaching Critical Thinking Beyond the Term Paper (Sarit Kattan Gribetz).Last year, I learned that the best way to encourage my students to approach ancient sources seriously, critically, and honestly was to let...
— IN A MUSEUM, THAT IS: Calavers County museum discovers ancient oil lamp in its collection. Sixth century Holy Land relic found in jailhouse kitchen (Charity Maness, The Calaveras Enterprise).Found amid the other miscellaneous items one would find in a...

2AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Police detain 5 Wakf members for illegally renovating Dome of Rock. Arrests come 1 week after Wakf members assaulted Jewish archeologists at contested holy site (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).Police detained five members of the W...
YAZIDI WATCH: Yazidis Mark Second Anniversary of Islamic State Massacre (Kawa Omer, Sirwan Kajjo, Voice of America).DOHUK, IRAQ/WASHINGTON— With vigils and demands to free the enslaved, Yazidis in Iraq and throughout the world on Wednesday commemorated ...

August 4, 3AM

HISTORY: In Saudi Arabia, Jewish sites with ancient resonance beckon. For now, Israelis are not allowed into Saudi, and Jews are at best grudgingly admitted. But with ties just possibly warming, a Jewish history dating back millennia might soon be more ac...
ETC BLOG: The Composite Ancestry of the Big Codices (Dirk Jongkind).The study of those manuscripts that contain the text of all of the Greek Scriptures is still relatively underdeveloped. There are still plenty of questions to be asked about the Greek pan...
PALMYRA WATCH: IS destruction too extensive to restore Temple of Bel in Syria’s Palmyra. Save the rubble and dust for when we have nanotechnology. Background on Palmyra is here and many, many links.

2AM

FOR YOU, SPECIAL DEAL: Sale, Four Days Only: A Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic of the Talmudic and Geonic Periods - now at discount of 60 % off the catalog price (Bar-Ilan University Press). The description of the book is here: A Dictionary of Jew...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew word of the week: Hammah (sun, hot).Even words such as shemesh “sun,” the common word in the Bible and modern Hebrew, was called Hammah “(the) hot one” in Rabbinical Hebrew.

August 3, 2AM

PUNIC WATCH: Ancient Rome’s Darkest Day: The Battle of Cannae (Evan Andrews, History.com).It was the bloodiest battle the ancient world had ever seen. During the Second Punic War on August 2, 216 B.C., a Carthaginian army under the general Hannibal clas...
ETC: 2016 ISBL Paper Summaries (Peter Gurry).The International SBL finished a few weeks ago in Seoul, South Korea. I did not go, but Jacob Peterson did and he has kindly agreed to summarize the text critical papers he attended for us. Thanks, Jacob. [......
READING ACTS: Sibylline Oracles, Book 3. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.
AWOL: Six More Brill Journals in JSTOR. The first and some of the others regularly publish articles relevant to ancient Judaism.
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (POTENTIALLY): Temple Institute Crowdfunding to Train Cadre of Qualfied Priests (David Israel, Jewish Press).The Temple Institute will be opening the world’s first school for training Levitical Priests to serve in the Holy Temple this...

August 2, 2AM

THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: Pseudepigrapha Saturday: Eldad and Modad. Actually this one came out last Sunday. It is correct that Eldad and Modad is only quoted explicitly by title once, in the Shepherd of Hermas. But it may be mentioned and quoted in other...
NOW RUNNING: Papyrology and Ethics: Next Week in Barcelona. At the Faces and Voices Blog, Roberta Mazza shares her conference paper for the 28th International Conference of Papyrology. Also, at What's New in Papyrology: Barcelona Congress, Day one.
HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE: Kurdistan official launches appeal to save Jewish tomb. The ancient tomb of the Prophet Nahum will crumble if preservation efforts are not made soon (Tamara Zieve, Jerusalem Post).The tomb lies inside a synagogue in the Christian to...

1AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Law v. Lore. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ competing strands of legal wrangling and storytelling in the ancient compendium of Jewish thought.Perhaps the ideal, however, is to value both strands of ...
READING ACTS: Biblical Studies Carnival July 2016. Philip Long mentions that in his ongoing series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (now covering the Sibylline Oracles and to which PaleoJudaica has been linking) he hopes to get through 2 Baruch and 4 E...

August 1, 2AM

AWOL: Coptic Dictionary Online.The Coptic Dictionary Online aims to make it easy to look up Coptic words in all dialects and supply freely accessible translations in English, French and German, via human and machine readable interfacLooks useful. Cross-fi...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi. Notice of a new book: Barthel, Peter & George van Kooten (eds.). 2015. The star of Bethlehem and the Magi. Interdisciplinary perspectives from experts on the ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Waqf guards to stand trial after attack on Temple Mount. Following violent attack on group of archaeologists on Temple Mount by Waqf guards, police gather enough evidence to bring them to trial; victim: 'It was almost a lynch. They sta...

1AM

THIS DAY IN JEWISH HISTORY: 388 CE: Christians Burn Down Synagogue, Emperor Seethes. The appalled Emperor ordered the early Christians to compensate the Jews, but Bishop Ambrose would have none of that (David B. Green, Haaretz).On August 1, 388, C.E., an ...
READING ACTS: An Extract from Pseudo-Phocylides – Sibylline Oracles, Book 2.56-148. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch. Incidentally, William Brown recently...

July 31, 9AM

THE FRANKEL INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED JUDAIC STUDIES (UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN): Fellowship Opportunity, Theme 2017-18: Jews and the Material in Antiquity.The Frankel Institute’s 2017-2018 theme year will ask how Jews in the ancient world related both to mat...

8AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: DABIR – Vol. 1, Issue 2. Dabir is a new, open-access, peer-reviewed journal of brief notes and reviews pertaining to pre-modern Iran. It was noted previously here and here. There's nothing directly relevant to ancient Judaism in t...
PHOENICIAN AND PUNIC WATCH: Rev. Dr. Frank L. Benz (Dunn County Herald).Rev. Dr. Frank L. Benz, 86, of Loveland, Colo., formerly of Dubuque, Iowa, passed away on Monday, July 25 in Loveland, Colorado. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, July 30 at...
PUNIC WATCH: Numidian Cavalry in 28mm... (Robin Buckland, Miltary Modeling).VXA022 Numidian Cavalry are now on general release. - 12 highly detailed models at £19.95. Victrix are really pleased to announce the release of the 28mm hard plastic Numidian c...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Ancient Egypt: A Brief History (Owen Jarus, Live Science). It's worth mentioning that ancient Egypt, notably Alexandria, but also other places such Elephantine, had a substantial Jewish population in the Persian and Hellenistic periods.

July 30, 2AM

READING ACTS: The Christian Interpolation – Sibylline Oracle, Book 1.324-400. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. UPDATE: I should be cross-filing these under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

1AM

TARGUMAN (Professor Christopher Brady) has two new notes on his forthcoming book, The Proselyte and the Prophet: Character Development in Targum Ruth (Brill). Transcription of TgRuth from Valmadonna No. 1 on Targuman Targum Ruth Book Cover Proof! There...
NEW BOOK FROM VANDENHOECK AND RUPRECHT:Jean-Baptiste Humbert OP (Hg.) Khirbet Qumrân et Aïn Feshkha Fouilles du P. Roland de Vaux 1. Auflage 2016 536 Seiten with 179 figures and 113 planches gebunden ISBN 9783525540541 Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Novum...
NUMISMATICS: Ancient Coin Profiles: Carthaginian Gold & Silver 1 1/2 Shekel. I didn't know that coins could come in a 1.5 shekel unit or that it was called a Trihemistater. Cross-file under Punic Watch.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MS. LANDMAN WERMUTH: Revel Student Awarded Prestigious Fellowship. Yael Landman Wermuth Receives Association for Jewish Studies Dissertation Completion Fellowship (YU News).Landman Wermuth’s advisor, Dr. Barry Eichler, professor of Bi...

July 29, 2AM

NEW BOOK FROM GUETERSLOHER VERLAGSHAUS:Die Sprache der Septuaginta : Handbuch zur Septuaginta. Hardback German Edited by Eberhard Bons , Edited by Jan Joosten Share Die vielfältigen Aspekte der Sprache der Septugainta§§Das Handbuch zur Septuaginta biet...
COPTIC WATCH: Coptologist Position at the American University in Cairo (Christian Askeland, ETC).
ALLEGED DSS PONZI SCHEME UPDATE: Thousands of ‘frozen’ manuscripts from bankrupt Aristophil fund to return to market. Historical documents and manuscripts from the scandal-hit Aristophil investment scheme could soon return to the market as the slow pr...

1AM

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Did the Phoenicians Even Exist? Everybody in the Mediterranean around 3,000 years ago hated and envied these masters of seafaring, but who exactly were these Phoenicians? (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz). As phrased, the first question in th...
READING ACTS: Seven Generations of the World – Sibylline Oracles 1.1-323. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links.

July 28, 2AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Rare Pottery Workshop Discovered in Galilee (Megan Gannon, Live Science).An ancient potters' workshop dating back to Roman times has been discovered in Galilee, in northern Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority announced that excavations ...
SHEFFIELD INSTITUTE FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY BIBLICAL STUDIES (SIIBS):The Embodied Religion launch event On 16 June 2016, SIIBS welcomed visiting scholar Dr Shayna Sheinfeld (Centre College, Kentucky) to speak at the launch of Embodied Religion. The Embodie...
JOB OPENING: Talmud and Halakha.Open call to candidates for a tenure-track position in the Department of Talmud and Halakha at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (open rank).No deadline is given for applications, but applicants should have the PhD in hand...

1AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Israeli archaeologist says he was attacked on Temple Mount. Two Jerusalem Islamic Waqf members arrested after clash with group visiting Jerusalem holy site (Stuart Wine and Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel).Two members of the Jerusalem I...
DECORATIVE ART: In pictures: The art of mosaics returns to Jerusalem's Old City. Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze'ev Elkin has unveiled a new art and tourism project featuring 10 original and reproduced mosaics in the ancient Roman section in the Jewish Quar...

July 27, 2AM

THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: “Expanding Ezekiel” by Timothy P. Mackie (William Brown).Timothy P. Mackie. Expanding Ezekiel: The Hermeneutics of Scribal Addition in the Ancient Text Witnesses of the Book of Ezekiel. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,...
BREAKING ISRAEL NEWS: How Hebrew Almost Became the Official Language of America (Tsivya Fox).It is noted that a vote was taken on the Mayflower as to which language the new settlers would speak in the New World. Hebrew apparently lost by only one vote. I...
AWOL: Open Access Journal: Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL).Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL) is an international journal that exists to further the application of modern linguistics to the study of Ancient and Biblical Greek, wit...
CINEMA: Ben-Hur trailer: Meet the 2016 version of the iconic Biblical-era hero (Nina Terrero, EW). Background here and links. The "brand-new" trailer at the first link is new only in the sense that it is a condensed version of the one released b...
LARRY HURTADO: “Angels”: Pagan, Jewish, Christian.Over the past few days, I’ve been slowly digesting a recent large article surveying Greek inscriptions referring to “angels” in Roman Asia Minor: G. H. R. Horsley and Jean M. Luxford, “Pagan A...

July 26, 5AM

THE ORION CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND ASSOCIATED LITERATURE in Jerusalem has published Orion Newsletter 21 (2015). It was actually circulated by e-mail at the end of 2015, but it has recently also been put up as a pdf file on the webs...

4AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Karl Galinsky (ed.), Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xiv, 406. ISBN 9780198744764. $135.00. Reviewed by Douglas Boin, Saint Louis University (boindr@sl...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Burden of Proof. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the rabbis spin out all the hypotheticals—and then some—from a few simple verses from Exodus about open pits and a goring ox to see who might be a...

2AM

READING ACTS: Book Review: John J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination. Third Edition.Collins, John J. The Apocalyptic Imagination. Third Edition. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2016. 456 pp. Pb; $38.I'm planning on using this book as a textbook for my S...
CARDO PROJECT: Byzantine-era mosaic to be restored in Jewish Quarter’s Cardo section. Old City beautification project initiated to celebrate 50-year anniversary of reunification of Jerusalem (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).To celebrate the 50th an...

July 25, 2AM

NEW BOOK FROM KOHLHAMMER: Aus der Reihe Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten Heinz-Josef Fabry / Ulrich Dahmen (Hrsg.) Theologisches Wörterbuch zu den Qumrantexten. Band 3 Preis: EUR 349,00 Serienpreis: Eur (D) 299,- / SFr 344,- / Eur (A) 3...
NOW OUT - GNOSIS: JOURNAL OF GNOSTIC STUDIES: Volume 1, Gnostic Countercultures, 2016. Follow the link for the TOC. Requires a paid personal or institutional subscription to access the full texts of the articles. Background here and here.
AWOL: Open Access Journal: Journal for Semitics - Tyjdskrif vir Semitistiek.

1AM

KABBALAH WATCH: This Day In Jewish History 1572: Father of Lurian Kabbala and Confidant of Elijah Dies. Rabbi Isaac Luria thought evil had been created commensurately with everything else, but could be reversed by 'tikkun olam' (David B. Green, Haaretz).O...
READING ACTS: Dating the Sibylline Oracles, Books 1-3; Dating the Sibylline Oracles, Books 4-7; Dating the Sibylline Oracles, Books 8-14. The first post in the series on the Sibylline literature was noted here, with links.

July 24, 1AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:ALAN MUGRIDGE Copying Early Christian Texts A Study of Scribal Practice [Die Vervielfältigung frühchristlicher Texte. Eine Untersuchung der Praxis des Abschreibens.] 2016. XX, 558 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Krystyna Stebnicka, Identity of the Diaspora: Jews in Asia Minor in the Imperial Period. JJP Supplement, 26. Warszawa: Journal of Juristic Papyrology, 2015. Pp. xi, 380. ISBN 9788393842568. €60.00. Reviewed by Søren Lu...
AWOL: GOSHEN-GOTTSTEIN, The Bible in the Syropalestinian version. Cross-file under Aramaic Watch.

12 AM

THERES AN APP FOR THAT: Ancient Jewish Texts Now Accessible in English Talmud App.[prMac.com] Chicago, Illinois - Davka Corporation today is proud to announce the release of the Soncino Hebrew-English Talmud for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The Soncino T...
READING ACTS, having concluded its series on the ancient Books of Enoch, has begun a new series on ancient Old Testament pseudepigrapha, this one dealing with the Sibylline Oracles. The first post is: Introduction to the Sibylline Literature. Past PaleoJ...

July 23, 1AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Iain Gardner, Anthony Alcock, Wolf-Peter Funk, Coptic Documentary Texts from Kellis, Volume 2: P. Kellis VII (P. Kellis Copt. 57–131). Dakhleh Oasis project Monograph 16. Oxford; Philadelphia: Oxbow Books, 2014. Pp. 366 p....
BIBLIOGRAPHICA IRANICA: A Political History of the Achaemenid Empire, new edition. Notice of a new edition of book that I have not noted before: Dandamaev, M. A. 2015. A political history of the Achaemenid Empire (Historical Library). Saint Petersburg: Ac...
READING ACTS: 3 Enoch and the Cosmic Secrets. Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links. The series concludes with this post, but stay tuned!
Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem Moves Forward. Long embroiled in controversy, the troubled project now has 2018 as its completion date (Esther Hecht, Architectural Record).Despite its tortuous history, the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem is “rapidly progres...

12 AM

GOLEM WATCH: In ‘Golem,’ the Troupe 1927 Shares a Stage With a Claymation Co-Star (ERIC GRODE, NYT).The company’s dependence on useful but risky technology fits perfectly with the subject matter of “Golem,” a fanciful adaptation of the ancient J...

July 22, 2AM

ALIN SUCIU: The Vossen Collection of Coptic Manuscripts. Cross-file under Coptic Watch and New Testament Apocrypha Watch.
JEWISH STUDIES QUARTERLY has published a new issue (23.1):Jewish Studies Quarterly (JSQ) Editors: Leora Batnitzky (Princeton) and Ra'anan Boustan (University of California, Los Angeles) Advisory Board: Steven Aschheim (Jerusalem), Elisheva Carlebach (Ne...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Mark Masterson, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, James Robson (ed.), Sex in Antiquity: Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World. Rewriting antiquity. London; New York: Routledge, 2015. Pp. xx, 567. ISBN 9780415519410. $...

1AM

READING ACTS: Angelic Beings in 3 Enoch. Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links.
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM EERDMANS:In the Fullness of Time Essays on Christology, Creation, and Eschatology in Honor of Richard Bauckham Daniel M Gurtner Grant Macaskill Jonathan T Pennington HARDCOVER; Coming Soon: 9/5/2016 ISBN: 978-0-8028-7337-8 286 Pag...

July 21, 2AM

ANNIVERSARY:“Discovering, Deciphering and Dissenting: Ben Sira's Hebrew Text, 1896-2016” 12-14 September 2016 St John's College, Cambridge A conference on the 120th Anniversary of the Cairo Genizah Discoveries. Sponsored by the Polonsky Co-Exis...
IOSCS: The John William Wevers Prize in Septuagint Studies.The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) offers an annual prize of $350 to be awarded to an outstanding paper in the field of Septuagint studies. The prize has bee...
READING ACTS: Who is the Angel Metatron?. Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links. Incidentally, the OTP translator of 3 Enoch is Philip Alexander, not Anderson. I have a couple of old ess...

1AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew word of the week: Payis (lot/lottery). Not specified in the column, but the word goes back to the Aramaic Targumim and the early Rabbinic literature.

July 20, 2AM

JOSEPH I. LAUER has circulated an e-mail update concerning yesterday's auction of that shekel coin from the fourth year of the Great Revolt against Rome (66-70 CE) ("Results of the July 19 auction for the two Jewish War coins"):The July 19 aucti...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Avestica. Notice of a new book: Humbach, Helmut & Klaus Faiss. 2016. Avestica. (Münchener Studien Zur Sprachwissenschaft. Beiheft NF 25). Dettelbach: Verlag J.H. Röll.
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:How Many Books are in the Bible? Qualitative Numbers, or Math for Biblical Scholars Josephus, the Jewish historian writing in Greek after the Jewish revolt in 70, tells us that the Jews have 22 sacred books—although he does...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:John Dillery, Clio's Other Sons: Berossus and Manetho, with an afterword on Demetrius. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2015. Pp. xxxviii, 494. ISBN 9780472052271. $50.00 (pb). Reviewed by David Branscome, Florida...
CONGRATULATIONS TO PROFESSOR KEAY: Honour for expert on Roman ports (Southern Daily Echo).HE IS the man at the forefront of unearthing Europe’s Roman ports. Professor Simon Keay, of the University of Southampton, was awarded €2.49 million of European...

1AM

READING ACTS: What is 3 Enoch?. Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links. I would not advise using 3 Enoch as background to the New Testament. For some more or less relevant reflections, se...

July 19, 4AM

SYRIAC WATCH: World’s largest necropolis in Turkey's southeast (ŞANLIURFA – Doğan News Agency/ Hürriyet Daily News).A large number of expansive rock tombs which could constitute part of the world’s largest necropolis have been discovered during w...

2AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Tied Up in Knots Over a Goring Ox. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the Talmud tries to make sense of an incoherent Biblical law about awarding damages.In this week’s Daf Yomi reading, the Talmud co...
NUMISMATICS: Rare Bar Kochba [sic!] shekel offered for sale. Winner's prepares to auction off rare coin from fourth year of Bar Kochva [sic!] revolt, expected to fetch $28,000 to $32,000 (Eliran Aharon, Arutz Sheva).Winner's auction house is offering a un...
ARCHAEOLOGY: First Ever? Discovery of Philistine Cemetery Draws Criticism (Owen Jarus, LiveScience).A 3,000-year-old graveyard with the bones of about 200 individuals discovered in Ashkelon, Israel, is being hailed as the first (and only) Philistine cemet...
READING ACTS: Enoch and the Birth of Melchizedek – 2 Enoch 64-73. Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links.

July 18, 3AM

NOW WITH OPEN DAYS: Inside the catacombs, buried history ties Jews to ancient Rome. Rich with symbolism, the mysterious underground chambers tell an unfinished tale of communal Jewish life 1,800 years ago (ROSSELLA TERCATIN, Times of Israel).But the Catac...

2AM

CONGRATULATIONS TO SHAI SECUNDA: Distinguished Scholar of Religion Shai Secunda To Join Bard College Faculty.ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College announces the appointment of Shai Secunda as the Jacob Neusner Professor in the History and Theology of J...
LAST WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: One Law for Jews, Another Law for Gentiles. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ non-Jews are denied equal protection under the rules of the Talmud.This is all clear enough, so long as both ox-owners are ...
EXCAVATION: Archaeologists Uncover Second Temple-era Priestly Quarter of Jerusalem. Luxuries, like a bathtub, signal that the 2000-year old house being dug up in Mt. Zion, near Caiaphas' home, belonged to a member of the ruling class (Philippe Bohstrom, H...

1AM

I'M BACK IN THE OFFICE. It may take me a while to catch up with recent stories, but I'll try to make a good start today.

July 17, 7AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:ADAM GREGERMAN Building on the Ruins of the Temple Apologetics and Polemics in Early Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism [Auf den Ruinen des Tempels bauen. Apologetik und Polemik im frühen Christentum und im rabbinischen Judent...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: The Bornblum Eretz Israel Synagogues Website.The main goal of the The Bornblum Eretz Israel Synagogues website is to display the world of synagogues from the Land of Israel for the scholar, student and layperson. This website provides i...
NOW ONLINE FROM BRILL:Nag Hammadi Bibliography Online The Nag Hammadi Bibliography Online (NHBO) is a cross-searchable database of books and articles which contribute to the study of Gnosticism and early Christianity. The main objective of the NHBO is fa...
NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:Segal, Michael Dreams, Riddles, and Visions Textual, Contextual, and Intertextual Approaches to the Book of Daniel Series: Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 455 Aims and Scope The volume contains ...
AWOL: Open Access Journal: Jewish Bible Quarterly.

July 16, 7AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Turning Proverbs towards Torah: an Analysis of 4Q525 By Elisa Uusimäki, University of Helsinki In Turning Proverbs towards Torah, Elisa Uusimäki offers the first monograph on the early Jewish wisdom text 4Q525 from Qumran. Following...
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM ROUTLEDGE:Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible By Russell E. Gmirkin © 2017 – Routledge 320 pages Hardback: 9781138684980 pub: 2016-09-16 Available for pre-order £90.00 Description Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew B...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:AKIVA COHEN Matthew and the Mishnah Redefining Identity and Ethos in the Shadow of the Second Temple's Destruction [Matthäus und die Mischna. Die Neudefinition von Identität und Ethos im Schatten der Zerstörung des Zweiten T...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Sin as Rhetoric in the Hebrew Bible: The Framing Power of Metaphor Consider the idea of sin—a notion familiar from theological discussions and often understood as a violation of divine will. No doubt for many, the (Hebrew) ...
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS BLOG: Why read the Hebrew Bible? An interview with John Barton.Understanding the Hebrew Bible is crucial to understanding Western literature, human nature, covenant, creation narratives, ethics, ritual and purity. In The Hebrew ...

July 15, 8AM

NEW JOURNAL: PHILOLOGY: An International Journal on the Evolution of Languages, Cultures and Texts.Philology Francesco Benozzo Università di Bologna Dipartimento di Lingue e Culture Moderne Via Cartoleria 5 I-40124 Bologna, Italy e-mail: francesco.benozz...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:Constructions of Space III Biblical Spatiality and the Sacred Editor(s): Jorunn Økland, J. Cornelis de Vos, Karen J. Wenell Media of Constructions of Space III See larger image Published: 02-06-2016 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st...

7AM

FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM BRILL:The Proselyte and the Prophet Character Development in Targum Ruth Christian M. M. Brady, Pennyslviania State University The Proselyte and the Prophet: Character Development in Targum Ruth by Christian M. M. Brady is an exege...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:FRANTISEK ÁBEL The Psalms of Solomon and the Messianic Ethics of Paul [Die Psalmen Salomos und die messianische Ethik des Paulus.] 2016. XV, 355 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 416 89,0...
AWOL: Open Access Journal: Biblical Hebrew eZine. Somewhat similar to Yona Sabar's Hebrew Word of the Week column, but focusing on biblical Hebrew.

July 14, 8AM

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Ge'ez Grammars Online (James Hamrick, The Ancient Bookshelf).One can easily fit all of the Ge'ez grammars that have ever been published in European languages on one shelf. Or, if you want to save some of that shelf space for your Wheel ...

7AM

ARAMAIC WATCH: New posts by Steve Kaufman at the Aramaic Studies Today blog: A new Dictionary of Qumran Aramaic (Ed Cook responds here) What’s the Matter with Babylonian Talmudic? What’s the Matter with Samaritan? The blog was noted last year here...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Yefet ben ‘Eli on the Book of Proverbs Volume 1: Edition and Introduction. Karaite Texts and Studies Volume 8 Ilana Sasson, Sacred Heart University This volume contains a critical edition and...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:The Davidic Shepherd King in the Lukan Narrative By: Sarah Harris Published: 19-05-2016 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 192 ISBN: 9780567667342 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&T Clark Series: The Library of New Testament Studies...

1AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:The Role of Women in the Making of the Messianic Dynasty The episode and David and Bathsheba (1 Sam. 11-12) marks the pivotal point of decline in the king’s reign; its sequel (2 Kgs. 1-2), the accession of their Solomon to ...

July 13, 8AM

FORTHCOMING BOOK:T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism Length: 2 volumes; 600,000 words Publication date: November, 2017 Editors: Loren T. Stuckenbruck, Ph.D. Professor New Testament and Second Temple Judaism (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitä...

7AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Evil in Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity Ed. by Chris Keith and Loren T. Stuckenbruck [Das Übel im Judentum des Zweiten Tempels und im frühen Christentum.] 2016. VIII, 417 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen ...
BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Recommended: A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion (Todd Bolen).If you’re looking for an enjoyable read that takes you into first-century Israel, I recommend A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion, by Gary M. Burge. The story follo...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:Paul Among the Apocalypses? An Evaluation of the ‘Apocalyptic Paul’ in the Context of Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature By: J. P. Davies Published: 16-06-2016 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 240 ISBN: 9780567...
BLOGCRITICS: Book Review: ‘Magic In Islam’ by Michael Muhammad Knight (Richard Marcus).Knight has gone from being an outside the box, iconoclastic, but always reverent, convert to Islam to an academic teaching and writing about his chosen faith. Howev...

July 12, 1AM

I'M TAKING THE REST OF THE WEEK OFF WORK. I have plenty of things pre-posted and there will be something new for you every day, so do keep visiting PaleoJudaica as normally. I don't, however, plan to make much effort to keep up with news stories this week...
NEW BOOK: MURAOKA’S LXX GRAMMAR IS AVAILABLE (Mike Aubrey, Koine Greek blog). Just published by Peeters Publishers. A review of Muraoka's A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint was noted here.

12 AM

THE TALMUD BLOG: “WE READ THUS”: ON HACHI GARSINAN AND LEARNING TALMUD IN THE 21ST CENTURY (amitgvaryahu).It is not, however, an “edition.” Although it presents variants, and has mechanisms in place to separate significant from insignificant varia...
FIRST THINGS: THERE AND BACK AGAIN: A FIRST-CENTURY JEWISH TALE (Wesley Hill).Captivity: A Novel by György Spiró New York: Restless Books, 864 pages, $29.99 Michael Chabon once wrote a novel titled Jews with Swords, then re-titled something tamer (Gent...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Die Septuaginta – Orte und Intentionen 5. Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch (LXX.D), Wuppertal 24.-27. Juli 2014 Hrsg. v. Siegfried Kreuzer, Martin Meiser u. Marcus Sigismund, in Verb. m. Martin Ka...

July 11, 3AM

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! This Day In History 5 Tamuz/July 11 (Hamodia).In 3333/428 B.C.E., Yechezkel Hanavi received a nevuah at the river of Chebar about Maaseh Merkavah. That perek is read as the haftarah on Shavuos.Let me unpack that a bit. Tammuz is the fou...

2AM

AWOL: Please participate in the Open Access Cooperative Publishing Study.While subscription journals are the principal focus of this study, this cooperative includes a place for existing open access journals, and their editors and publishers are welcome t...
LARRY HURTADO: Jesus-Devotion and YouTube.For those who prefer YouTube to reading books (or at least might want to judge first whether to read them), I note again that on YouTube you can find some videos in which I sketch my findings on the origins of Jes...
READING ACTS: 2 Enoch and the Sermon on the Mount – 2 Enoch 38-63. Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links.

1AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Discovery of Philistine Cemetery May Solve Biblical Mystery. An unprecedented find in southern Israel may finally reveal the origins of one of the Hebrew Bible's greatest villains (Kristin Romey, National Geographic).An unrivaled discovery on...

July 10, 2AM

LEEN RITMYER: 10th Anniversary of The Quest.In July 2006, my book The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was published. The launch of The Quest took place at the International Christian Retail Show in Denver, USA. [...]Not a new book, but no...

1AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Levantine Epigraphy from the Achaemenid Period. Notice of a newish book (but not noted here before): Lemaire, André. 2015. Levantine epigraphy and history in the Achaemenid period (539-332 BCE). First edition. (Schweich Lectures on...
EXPLORING OUR MATRIX: Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods Volume 1 (James McGrath).For anyone interested in the history of the ancient Mediterranean world, this book will be a rewarding read. For those seeking to understand the New Test...
READING ACTS: Enoch and the Mysteries of God – 2 Enoch 23-37. Oops! I had missed this one. Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links.
SYRIAC (AND ARMENIAN) WATCH: Quran in Armenian translation in high demand in Lebanon (Daily Sabah).Turkish publisher says an Armenian translation of the Quran has drawn attention in Lebanon where a sizeable Armenian community lives. The publisher plans to...

July 9, 1AM

REVIEWS OF BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES: The Demiurge in Ancient Thought.2016.06.09 | Carl Séan O’Brien, The Demiurge in Ancient Thought: Secondary Gods and Divine Mediators. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. ISBN: 9781107075368, £6...
A NEW VOLUME OF ‘ATIQOT (85 [2016]) HAS BEEN PUBLISHED. A number of the articles have to do with ancient Judaism.
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:JONATHAN S. MILGRAM From Mesopotamia to the Mishnah Tannaitic Inheritance Law in its Legal and Social Contexts [Von Mesopotamien zur Mischna. Tannaitisches Erbrecht in seinen rechtlichen und gesellschaftlichen Kontexten.] 201...
UPCOMING: The Sixth International Conference on the Septuagint in Wuppertal (July 21-24, 2016). Follow the link to download a PDF file of the conference program. The theme this year is "Geschichte — Wirkung — Relevanz." Via the IOSCS page o...
CONFERENCE REPORT: CHANGE IS MESSY (Miika Tucker).The workshop on patterns of change in the development of biblical texts, a CSTT-organized event in Helsinki in the month of May, showcased important examples of textual differences that are attested by the...

July 8, 2AM

RELIGION BULLETIN BLOG: Now Published – Bulletin for the Study of Religion 45.2 (June 2016). Notable is the collection of essays for this panel:NAG HAMMADI DISCOVERY – PANEL ON ORIGIN STORIES “Telling Nag Hammadi’s Egyptian Stories” Dylan Micha...
ACADEMIA.EDU: Some Considerations on the History of the Talmud and Christianity and a Proposition of a New Method (Ron Naiweld). "Talk presented at the conference 'Talmud and Christianity: Rabbinic Judaism after Constantin', Cambridge, June 27-28 201...
READING ACTS: Resources for 2 Enoch (Slavonic). This post mostly passes on the background links from yesterday's PaleoJudaica post on the latest 2 Enoch post at Reading Acts. (Got that?) But Philip Long adds some additional information and so I am linking...
THE ASOR BLOG: The Daily Stew? Everyday Meals in Ancient Israel (Cynthia Shafer-Elliott). A few related past posts are here, here, and here.
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:VITOR HUGO SCHELL Die Areopagrede des Paulus und Reden bei Josephus Eine vergleichende Studie zu Apg 17 und dem historiographischen Werk des Josephus [Paul’s Areopagus Speech and Josephus’ Representations. A Comparative St...

July 7, 3AM

THE ASOR BLOG: The Present and Future of Curating the Past (Andrew Creekmore).Such are the problems of archaeology everywhere in the world. Modern archaeology is so fine-grained that the quantities of materials collected are seemingly endless. In addition...
REVIEWS OF BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES: Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception History.2016.07.12 | Brennan W. Breed. Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception History. Indiana Series in Biblical Literature. Indianapolis: Indiana Univers...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:JAMES A.E. MULRONEY The Translation Style of Old Greek Habakkuk Methodological Advancement in Interpretative Studies of the Septuagint [Der Übersetzungsstil des altgriechischen Habakuk. Methodologischer Fortschritt bei Septua...
HEBREW UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE: 12,000-Year-Old Funeral Feast Brings Ancient Burial Rituals to Life. Yes, this is well outside PaleoJudaica's normal period of interest, but this is a slow news week and the story raises many interesting questions about us...

2AM

READING ACTS: Enoch’s Journey through the Heavens – 2 Enoch 1-22. Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links. Also, yesterday I forgot to mention some past PaleoJudaica posts on 2 Enoch, ...

July 6, 2AM

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Bible Scenes Uncovered in Ruins of Ancient Synagogue. On a hill above the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, archaeologists have discovered one amazing floor mosaic after another (A. R. Williams).Archaeologists excavating a Roman-era ...
BUSTED: Authorities combine to catch antiquities thieves (Arutz Sheva).The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced, Monday, that it teamed up with inspectors from the Nature and Parks Authority and police to capture members of a family in the Negev t...
CONGRATULATIONS TO PROFESSOR JOSEPH ANGEL: Faculty Across YU Awarded Tenure. Yeshiva University Grants Tenure to Nineteen Faculty Members (YU News).Angel, who specializes in the Jewish literature and history of the Second Temple period, has published on a...
READING ACTS: What is 2 Enoch? Past posts in the series on the ancient books of Enoch, plus on related matters, are noted here and links.

July 5, 3AM

OLD CHURCH SLAVONIC WATCH: 05 July, Czech Republic and Slovakia: Saints Cyril and Methodius Day. The day is celebrated in Bulgaria and Macedonia on 24 May. Background here and here, with links explaining why PaleoJudaica is taking notice. (Hint: cross-fi...

2AM

MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: A Book about Books and a Collection on Collections – By Drew Longacre. Drew Longacre on George W. Houston’s Inside Roman Libraries.In his 2014 book Inside Roman Libraries: Book Collections and Their Management in Antiquity...
MICHAEL SATLOW has a four-part report on the "BAM: The Big Ancient Mediterranean" Conference, which he attended last month at the University of Iowa. BAM: The Big Ancient MediterraneanI’m delighted to be taking part in a conference on the “...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: The Bible as a Judeo-Persian Epic. Notice of a new book: Moreen, Vera Basch. 2016. The Bible as a Judeo-Persian epic: An illustrated manuscript of ʿImrānī’s Fatḥ-Nāma. Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Com...
LARRY HURTADO has three posts on recent challenges to the early dating of a couple of ancient New Testament papyri and on the field of paleography in general. A Challenge to the Dating of P75 Orsini’s Recent Dating of P66 & P75 Dating Ancient Papyr...
UNIVERSITY OF OSLO: Authoritative Texts and Their Reception (ATTR)A national research school in textual interpretation, ATTR offers specialised interdisciplinary training for PhD students within the Humanities, Law, and Theology. Within and across these a...

July 4, 2AM

THE CAVE OF TREASURES is a late antique Old Testament pseudepigraphon (as well as a Christian apocryphon and perhaps arguably even a New Testament apocryphon). It survives mainly in its language of composition, Syriac, but also in Arabic, Ethiopic, Georgi...
A NEW ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF JUDAISM (Volume 47, Issue 2, 2016) has just come out. It has lots of articles and reviews pertaining to ancient Judaism. Follow the link for the TOC. Requires a paid personal or institutional subscription to acc...
TENURED POSITION: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND HEBREW BIBLE.The Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin invites applications for a tenured position as an Associate Professor of Ancient Near East and Hebrew...

1AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: New Device Allows Scientist to Uncover Holocaust Tunnel Without Disturbing Historical Sites (Jamie A., Nature World News).A new device has helped archaeologists uncover a secret holocaust tunnel without digging on the site. A team of ar...
HAPPY AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY to all those celebrating!

July 3, 9AM

READING ACTS: Book Giveaway – The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English. For you, special deal!
OLD SCHOOL SCRIPT: June 2016 Biblical Studies Carnival: Tele-version (Kris Lyle). There's a Septuagint section and an "Extrabiblical" section, but the latter is kind of sparse. That's a pity; there was a lot in June on Second Temple Judaism whic...
THE JOURNAL ARAMAIC STUDIES is now accepting online submission of articles for publication. HT the Agade List.
ETC: International SBL Papers ( Peter Gurry).A reader of the blog reminds me that the International SBL meeting starts next week in Seoul, South Korea. There are two text critical sections in the line up.Details follow, with papers on the Greek texts of t...
I DUNNO, BOTH ARE PRETTY IMPORTANT: Cairo Geniza more important than Dead Sea Scrolls (Joe Spier, San Diego Jewish World). I would be happier to support this more circumscribed claim about the Dead Sea Scrolls: The greatest discovery of the century (Selie...

July 2, 1AM

OTTC: Review of "Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies: An Introduction" (Drew Longacre).Alessandro Bausi (General editor), Pier Giorgio Borbone, Françoise Briquel-Chatonnet, Paola Buzi, Jost Gippert, Caroline Macé, Marilena Maniaci, Zisis M...
A USEFUL REMINDER: SPOILER ALERT: STUFF IN THE BIBLE HAPPENED A LONG, LONG TIME AGO (Pete Enns).This bit of the human drama will forever remain outside of my capacity to comprehend. The distance of it all. I cannot get inside of it. I remain a foreigner t...
A TWO-PART REVIEW IN READING ACTS:Book Review: John J. Collins, Scriptures and Sectarianism: Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Part 1) Book Review: John J. Collins, Scriptures and Sectarianism: Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Part 2)Excerpt:Conclusion. It ...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Sexual Desire in Jewish, Christian and Zoroastrian Ethics. Notice of a new article: Kiel, Yishai. 2016. Dynamics of Sexual Desire: Babylonian Rabbinic Culture at the Crossroads of Christian and Zoroastrian Ethics. Journal for the St...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Skype now has support for Arabic and Hebrew languages (Android Community). And there's this too:Skype has also promised that they will be releasing more languages that have right-to-left script as well. This may include support for Syri...

July 1, 4AM

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE: The demigod Gilgamesh comes to life for young readers. Cuneiform expert Shirley Graetz put her academic skills to work in a Hebrew-language chapter book for kids (Jessica Steinberg, Times of Israel).In writer Shirley Graetz’s mind...

3AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Jerusalem in the Achaemenid Period. Notice of a new book: Kim, Jieun. 2016. Jerusalem in the Achaemenid period. Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften. Follow the link for details.
READING ACTS: The Epistle of Enoch – 1 Enoch 99-105. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are noted here and links. A version of the story of the birth of Noah (1 Enoch 106-107) is also found in Aramaic in the Genesis Apocryphon from Qumr...
ANNOUNCEMENT:Ethnicity/Race/Religion: Identities, Ideologies, and Intersections in Biblical Texts and Interpretation 9-11th August 2016, Centre for Biblical Studies, University of Exeter, UK How do ethnicity and race feature in constructions of identity ...
NOW ONLINE FROM BRILL:Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Non-Biblical Texts Editor: Emanuel Tov. Technical advisor: Ariel Tov The Dead Sea Scrolls represents perhaps the most significant historical manuscript discovery in recent history. Brill’s Elect...

June 30, 3AM

H-JUDAIC: TOC: Jewish Quarterly Review Vol. 106.2. Ancient Judaism gets some attention, notably in the Review Forum section. This section is flagged in some detail by the Bibliographia Iranica Blog: Irano-Talmudica.
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Embracing Change in the Search for Canon (Francis Borchardt). Earlier contributions to the AJR discussion are noted here and links.

2AM

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS' WIFE — THE AFTERMATH CONTINUES: Harvard Theological Review Refuses to Pull Fake 'Jesus Had a Wife' Papyrus Story (BRANDON SHOWALTER, Christian Post).A Harvard journal is refusing to retract a 2014 article it published about an infam...
READING ACTS: The Apocalypse of Weeks – 1 Enoch 93:1-10; 91:11-17. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are noted here and links. Not mentioned in the linked-to post, but the Apocalypse of Weeks is a rare case where redaction criticism ha...

1AM

NEO-PUNIC WATCH: Carthage archaeologists dig up smart cooling system for chariot racers. The ancients were madly obsessed by chariot racing 2000 years ago but in the heat of North Africa, the horses would have fainted. (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz).On the ...

June 29, 2AM

READING ACTS: Introduction to the Epistle of Enoch – 1 Enoch 91-92. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are noted here and links.
PALMYRA WATCH: Israeli archeologists at work in Palmyra under heavy Russian guard: sources (DEBKAfile).Syrian opposition sources in the city of Homs said Tuesday that a delegation of Israeli archeologists is conducting excavations in the Syrian city of Pa...
JOB ADVERTISEMENT (note that there is a confessional requirement):LONDON SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY OLD TESTAMENT LECTURER or SENIOR LECTURER Role Description Summary • Responsible to the Academic Dean. • Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 lecturing, tutoring and pastora...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Was Noah's Arch Shaped Like a Pyramid? Digitized Dead Sea Scrolls Reveal New Secrets. Previously hidden sections of text on the ancient parchments are answering some long-standing questions – and raising others (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).Th...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Romans, Jews Invented Trash Collection, Archaeology of Jerusalem Hints. Archaeologists digging up 2000-year-old landfill think combination of Roman efficiency and Jewish obsession with cleanliness created a unique system to take out t...

June 28, 8AM

REGARDING THE SIXTH NANGERONI MEETING OF THE ENOCH SEMINAR ("JOHN THE JEW") AT CAMALDOLI LAST WEEK, I promised earlier that I would post some additional thoughts. There was a final session on Friday in which conference delegates were given the o...

3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Shock of Recognition. As the ‘Daf Yomi’ cycle returns to a familiar anecdote about a camel causing a fire, it reveals the Talmud’s complex web of interlaced elements as more than a compendiu...
OVERVIEW: Jesus' Wife? The final debunking (CHARLOTTE ALLEN, The Weekly Standard). This article tells the whole story of the Gospel of Jesus' Wife fragment from the beginning to the publication of Ariel Sabar's article in the Atlantic, with lots of backgr...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Gateway to Ancient Greek God's Compound Uncovered? (Kacey Deamer, LiveScience).Archaeologists in northern Israel may have unearthed a sanctuary of the Greek god Pan in the ancient city of Hippos. Excavations by the Zinman Institute of Archae...

2AM

COUNTERFACTUAL STAR TREK HISTORY: When Captain Kirk slugged it out with Jesus Christ. A new history of the Star Trek franchise reveals the plot of a rejected early script by series creator Gene Roddenberry that doesn’t shy away from theological question...

June 27, 4AM

ZOHAR WATCH: A mysterious medieval text, decrypted (Ezra Glinter, Boston Globe).Like many such works, the Zohar is intentionally obscure. Its language is full of neologisms, linguistic borrowings, occasional grammatical mistakes, and inspired wordplay on ...

3AM

ETC: Psalm 9.22-26 in a Newly Published 4th-Century Papyrus (Peter Gurry).
AWOL: A milestone (of sorts). Five thousand posts on AWOL as of this week. Follow the link for the top ten.
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | James Walters.Walters, James Edward. Aphrahat and the Construction of Christian Identity in Fourth-Century Persia. Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2016. My dissertation began—as many diss...

2AM

THE GEMARA.COM: Memorializing the Temple through the Maternal Practice of ‘Arakhin (Dr. Rabbi Jane Kanarek).In the wake of the destruction of Jerusalem, rabbinic literature’s presentation of mothers donating their children’s weight in gold to the Te...

June 26, 1AM

IN HELSINKI: SOISALON-SOININEN SYMPOSIUM ON THE SEPTUAGINT.We are organizing a centennial symposium — Soisalon-Soininen Symposium on the Septuagint — in celebration of the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of our esteemed teacher Professo...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: David Hendin - Coins of the Jewish War.
BIBLE ODYSSEY: Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes (Robert R. Cargill).
NEW JOURNAL: CALL FOR PAPERS: Second Edition of the Distant Worlds Journal (DWJ). Dealing with Antiquity: Case Studies and Methodological Considerations in the Ethical Engagement of Ancient Materials.

June 25, 3AM

ROGUE CLASSICISM: Returning to the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: Reflections and Implications (I). David Meadows provides some reflections, some background, and a helpful timeline of events. By the way, the penny only dropped for me this morning that Ariel Sab...
NAASCAL: “Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions” Preview: Caroline Schroeder’s “Gender and the Academy Online.” A forthcoming article on the now pretty-much settled Gospel of Jesus' Wife controversy, on which much more here and here and links. The arti...
ANOTHER DIGITIZATION PROJECT: Dan Brown Donates €300,000 to Digitization Project at the Ritman Library (NATE PEDERSEN, Fine Books Magazine).Novelist Dan Brown, known for his runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code (2003), has donated €300,000 ($338,000) ...

2AM

READING ACTS: The Dream Visions (1 Enoch 85-90) and the New Testament. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.
I'M BACK IN ST. ANDREWS. Got in last night, after a few travel close calls and mixups that will make for entertaining stories, even if they weren't particularly entertaining at the time. Great conference. More on it later.

June 24, 3AM

JAMES MCGRATH: John the Jew: The Last Day of the 2016 Enoch Seminar Nangeroni Meeting. James's report on the discussion during the fourth day of the conference. I have some notes on the conference too, which I will try to work up into a blog post in the n...
READING ACTS: The Animal Apocalypse, Part 1 – 1 Enoch 85-90. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.
H-JUDAIC: Conference: The Talmud and Christianity (Cambridge University, June 27-28).

2AM

THE ANCIENT BOOKSHELF: A Critical Edition and English Translation of the Classical Ethiopic Commentary Materials on the Book of Daniel (James Hamrick).For my dissertation at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München I am preparing a critical edition of...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Menachem Fisch: The Rationality of Religious Dispute Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, Arizona State University and Aaron W. Hughes, University of Rochester. With an Introduction by Noah J. Efron, Bar-Ilan University Menachem Fisch is...

June 23, 3AM

AT THE "JOHN THE JEW" ENOCH SEMINAR THIS MORNING, Catrin H. Williams presented her plenary paper, "Johannine Christology and Prophetic Traditions: The Case of Isaiah." I was the respondent to the paper. With her permission I post my re...

1AM

JAMES MCGRATH: John the Jew, Kingship, Priesthood, and Divinity: Enoch Seminar Day 3. James's report on yesterday's discussion. Previous posts on the John the Jew Seminar are here and links.
BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES:2016.06.11 | Rüdiger Schmitt, Mantik im Alten Testament, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 411, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2014. pp. xi + 212. ISBN: 978-3-86835-100-2. Review by William L. Kelly, University of Edinburgh...

12 AM

READING ACTS: The Dream Visions – 1 Enoch 82-83. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.
CSTT BLOG: CFP: “KINGS AND POWER: EXPLORING JEWISH TEXTS IN THEIR HELLENISTIC CONTEXT” (HELSINKI, 3-4 DEC. 2016).The Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence “Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions” aims at a more comprehensive understanding of the...

June 22, 5AM

JAMES MCGRATH: John the Jew and Torah Observance: Enoch Seminar Day 2. James's report on yesterday's discussion. The Twitter hashtag for this Enoch Seminar is #johnthejew. You can also see the tweets collected at the Enoch Seminar Twitter feed. Previous ...
ALIN SUCIU: Report on the International Conference “Shenoute and the Bible” (Göttingen, May 17-21, 2016). The conference was noted as upcoming here. Cross-file under Coptic Watch.
PUNIC WATCH: Sunday's huge battle on 'Game of Thrones' was partially inspired by a real Roman fight (Kirsten Acuna, Tech Insider).Sunday's "Game of Thrones" converged in an enormous battle that fans have been waiting to see all season. Jon Snow ...
THIS DAY IN JEWISH HISTORY: 1924: The Priest Who Noticed Jesus Had Been Jewish Is Born. Geza Vermes was born Jewish himself, became a Catholic priest, but came back to Judaism, and Jesus (David B. Green, Haaretz).June 22, 1924, is the birthdate of Geza Ve...

2AM

MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY: Bones of Extinct Fish Found in Shipwreck Off Israel's Coast. Geneticists identify bones in 7th-century vessel as belonging to subspecies of tilapia, aka St. Peter's fish, usually a fresh-water species (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).Genetic test...

June 21, 10AM

MARK GOODACRE: Gospel of Jesus' Wife: Last Chapter Round-Up. At the NT Blog, Mark reports the statement from the Harvard Divinity School and rounds up articles, an interview of himself with CBN, and blog posts.

2AM

JAMES MCGRATH: John the Jew: The 2016 Enoch Seminar in Camaldoli, Italy. James gives a report on the first day of the Seminar. My report on the St. Andrews Divine Sonship Symposium is has been posted here. James mentions that Shayna Sheinfeld is tweeting ...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Toward a Taxonomy of Damage. The Talmud is what happens when the laws of the Written Torah are not sufficiently broad or abstract to serve as the basis for a functioning legal system.All these laws se...
HISTORY AND LEGEND: This Day in Jewish History 1565 BCE: Judah Is Born, Will Found a Mighty Kingdom. Did Judah really exist? Archaeological evidence is scanty but what there is can support biblical tales of migrations and travails (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz)...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Iranian Studies in Honor of Pierre Lecoq. Notice of a new book: Redard, Céline (ed.). 2016. Des contrées avestiques à Mahabad, via Bisotun. Etudes offertes en hommage à Pierre Lecoq. (Civilisations Du Proche-Orient Série III. R...
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Ezekiel Current Debates and Future Directions Ed. by William A. Tooman and Penelope Barter [Ezechiel. Aktuelle Debatten und zukünftige Ausrichtungen.] 2016. Approx. 580 pages. forthcoming in September Forschungen zum...

June 20, 7AM

AS PROMISED, here is the text of the report on the Symposium which I presented this morning at the Sixth Nangeroni Meeting of the Enoch Seminar in Camaldoli, Italy.The St. Andrews Symposium for Biblical and Christian Studies met to consider the topic “D...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:JIRI DVORACEK The Son of David in Matthew's Gospel in the Light of the Solomon as Exorcist Tradition [Der Sohn Davids im Matthäusevangelium im Lichte der Salomo-als-Exorzist-Tradition.] 2016. XII, 258 pages. Wissenschaftliche...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:Reading Ruth in the Restoration Period A Call for Inclusion By: Edward Allen Jones III Published: 05-05-2016 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 224 ISBN: 9780567658449 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&T Clark Series: The Library of ...

6AM

THEATRE: Exagoge – The World Premier of an Ancient Play – Review (Rabbi John Rosove's Blog).Exagoge is an intelligent play, one that makes you think and that pierces the heart. When I left, there was much to consider anew about both the ancient story ...
READING ACTS: The Book of the Heavenly Luminaries – 1 Enoch 72-82. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.

June 19, 2AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:LOUIS C. JONKER Defining All-Israel in Chronicles Multi-levelled Identity Negotiation in Late Persian-Period Yehud [Die Definition von ganz Israel in den Chronikbüchern. Mehrstufige Identitätsverhandlung im Jehud der spätpe...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY:War in Chronicles Temple Faithfulness and Israel's Place in the Land By: Troy D. Cudworth Published: 10-03-2016 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 224 ISBN: 9780567666505 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&T Clark Series: The Library ...

1AM

H-JUDAIC:Barr on Collins, 'Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy: On Jewish Apocalyptic Literature' Author: John J. Collins Reviewer: David Barr John J. Collins. Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy: On Jewish Apocalyptic Literature. Grand Rapids...
NEW BOOK FROM PEETERS PUBLISHERS:Studia Hierosolymitana Series: Contributions to Biblical Exegesis & Theology, 81 Authors: Dequeker L. Year: 2016 ISBN: 978-90-429-3311-8 Pages: XII-249 p. Price: 65 EURO Summary: Prof. Em. Dr. Luc Dequeker (KU ...
READING ACTS: The Parables of 1 Enoch and the New Testament. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links. Some relevant past PaleoJudaica posts are here, here, and here.

June 18, 3AM

I'M OFF TO CAMALDOLI, ITALY, FOR THE Sixth Nangeroni Meeting of the Enoch Seminar, the topic of which is "John the Jew: Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as a Form of Jewish Messianism." I will be reporting there on the recent Divine So...

2AM

NUMISMATICS: Israeli Coin Hoard May Be Ancient Coin Collection (CoinWeek). Well, sort of, but the headline is a little misleading. The successive dating of the coins points more toward an annual savings plan than a hobby. Jeff Stark of CoinWorld also has...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:JISEONG JAMES KWON Scribal Culture and Intertextuality Literary and Historical Relationships between Job and Deutero-Isaiah [Schriftkultur und Intertextualität. Literarische und historische Zusammenhänge zwischen Hiob und De...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Stylistics of Old Persian Royal Inscriptions. Notice of new book: Schmitt, Rüdiger. 2016. Stilistik der altpersischen Inschriften. Versuch einer Annäherung. (Veröffentlichungen Zur Iranistik 79). Wien: Verlag der Österreichische...

1AM

IN THE MAIL:Deborah W. Rooke (ed.) with Holly Morse, Society for Old Testament Study Book List 2016 (= JSOT 40.5) (London: Sage, 2016).Kudos to departing editor Deborah Rooke for her excellent editorship of the Book List over the last seven years, and lik...

June 17, 3AM

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS' WIFE: Karen King Responds to ‘The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’s Wife.’The Harvard scholar says papyrus is probably a forgeryFor four years, Karen L. King, a Harvard historian of Christianity, has defended the so-called “Gospel ...

2AM

EXPLORING OUR MATRIX: Visiting Edom/Mars. James McGrath groks the Wadi Rum.
AWOL: JSTOR Register & Read.JSTOR has a program offering free, read-online access to individual scholars and researchers.For you, special deal!
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Was the Gospel of Thomas Gnostic? (Nicola Denzey Lewis, Bible Odyssey). The short answer is that it depends on what you mean by "Gnostic" and it to some degree depends on when you think the Gospel of Thomas was wr...
READING ACTS: The Third Parable – 1 Enoch 58-63. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links. More here on Enoch's regeneration into the Son of Man in chapter 71.

June 16, 2AM

THIS COULD BE IMPORTANT: The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’s Wife. A hotly contested, supposedly ancient manuscript suggests Christ was married. But believing its origin story requires a big leap of faith (Ariel Sabar, The Atlantic). At first I thought th...
LIV INGEBORG LIED: The 2016 SBL Annual Meeting program book available online: two sessions of interest. Old Testament pseudepigrapha are involved.
READING ACTS: The Third Parable – 1 Enoch 58-63. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links. FILL IN

1AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew word of the week: Lo’ tirtsah/Thou shall not kill. I have commented here on the meaning of this Hebrew verb in the Bible.

June 15, 1AM

JOHN RYLANDS RESEARCH INSTITUTE CONFERENCE 2016:“The Other Within - The Hebrew and Jewish Collections of the John Rylands Library” Date: Monday, 27 June to Wednesday, 29 June 2016 Location: The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EHRe...
READING ACTS: A Final Judgment– 1 Enoch 53-57. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.
POLITICS AND ARCHAEOLOGY: By end of 2016 allocation of Tel Rumeida archeological park to the Jewish settlement in Hebron to be reversed (Uri Shapira, i24NEWS).Tension in the area increased after the release of a video showing an IDF soldier apparently sho...
IAA PRESS RELEASE:Hundreds of Ancient Artifacts that were Traded without a License were Seized during a Raid on a Souvenir Shop in Jerusalem's Mamilla Mall The Israel Antiquities Authority’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery: an indictment...

June 14, 2AM

HISTORY OF RELIGION: How the Jews invented God, and made him great. The God of the Old Testament started out as just one of many deities of the ancient Israelites. It took a traumatic crisis to make him into the all-powerful creator of the world (Ariel Da...
APOCRYPHICITY: 2016 CSBS/CSPS MORE NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA PANEL (PART 2). Tony Burke concludes his report. The More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project receives quite a bit of attention in this part. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch. Part...

1AM

REPARATIONS: High school students restore vandalized Ashdod historic site after ‘paint party.’ Instead of reporting the remorseful students to the police, the IAA used the incident as a lesson in civic responsibility (DANIEL K. EISENBUD, Jerusalem Pos...
READING ACTS: The Second Parable – 1 Enoch 50-52. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.

June 13, 2AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew word of the week: Mt. Sinai/Har Sinay. Timely.
FOR YOU, SPECIAL DEAL! Both on JSTOR - noted by AWOL: Near Eastern Archaeology, Vol. 79, No. 2, June 2016 is available for free until July 7th; Journal of Cuneiform Studies Volume 68 is available for free until July 7th.
APOCRYPHICITY: 2016 CSBS/CSPS MORE NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA PANEL (PART 1). Tony Burke reports. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch. Background here. I look forward to seeing the volume out in November.
READING ACTS: The Second Parable – 1 Enoch 45-49. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.
BACK IN THE NEWS: Silk Road Jewish Documents Dating Back to the 11th Century Come to Light. Written in Aramaic, Hebrew, Persian, Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian, the 1,000-year-old documents are the family archive of Abu Nassar Ben Daniel, who lived along ...

1AM

NO. NEXT QUESTION? Was Smoke on the Shavuot Mountain a Sign Ancient Jews Used Marijuana? (Susie Davidson, The Forward).The upcoming festival of Shavuot, which means “weeks,” marks the end of a seven-week period that begins during Passover, and the rec...

June 12, 2AM

THE FESTIVAL OF SHAVUOT (Weeks, Pentecost) began last night at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating. Some biblical background is noted here.

1AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Reading Hidden Text with X-Rays (Peter Gurry, ETC). A good reminder of (Peter) Head's Rule: "the best place to find unknown manuscripts is inside known ones." Also, Drew Longacre, at one of those text-critical blogs noted in t...
ETC: Other Text Critical Blogs Worth Noting (Peter Gurry).
CRUX SOLA BLOG: Interview: Bruce W. Longenecker on Pompeii (Gupta).Dr. Bruce W. Longenecker is professor of early Christianity and W.W. Melton Chair of Religion at Baylor University. (I am proud to say Longenecker is a fellow grad of Durham!) Recently Lo...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Inside Jaffa Gate, remembering the Caliph who revered the Temple Mount. When Omar iben Al-Khatab visited Jerusalem soon after the Muslim conquest in 638, he was furious to find Judaism’s holiest site covered in trash (AVIVA AND SHMU...
CINEMA: Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion Of The Christ’ Sequel Gets Some Assistance From Twitter (Ryan Harkness, Uproxx).Internet denizens reacted to the news of a sequel with their typical sarcastic humor, skewering the movie industry’s obsession with seque...

June 11, 1AM

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THREE:The Department of Theology and Religious Studies of King's College London, together with the Institute di Culture e Archeologic dell Terre Biblische of Faculty of Theology of Lugano and the University of Malta, are delighted t...
TALMUD WATCH: Why Talmud Is the Way To Be Jewish Without Judaism (Shulem Deen, "My Heretical Year," The Forward).For two millennia, our icons were the scholars. “If not for this day,” one Rabbi Joseph says in the Talmud, referring to the day...
READING ACTS: The Book of Parables – 1 Enoch 37-44. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.

12 AM

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Five life lessons learned from 35 years of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (Brian Truitt, USA TODAY). Good lessons, all.

June 10, 6AM

THE DIVINE SONSHIP SYMPOSIUM at the University of St. Andrews finished up on Wednesday. I promised to post some thoughts on it, but since then I have been asked to make a short presentation on the symposium at the upcoming Enoch Seminar in Camaldoli. I am...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Christian-Zoroastrian Dialogue in the Sasanian Period. Notice of a German article in a new book: Rezania, Kianoosh. 2015. Einige Anmerkungen zur sasanidisch-zoroastrischen Religionspraxis im Spiegel der interreligiösen Dialoge der ...
MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Chicago's Assyrians Embrace New Technology to Save Ancient Language (AINA reprint, Alex Shams, http://www.middleeasteye.net).Rinyo was founded in 2011, when physician Robby Edo was visiting his family in Qamishli, a town in Syria nea...
CINEMA: Mel Gibson resurrects Passion of the Christ for sequel (Dan Satherley, Newshub).The Passion of the Christ is to get a sequel, focusing on Jesus' biblical resurrection and ascension to heaven. "There's a lot more story to tell," screenwr...

5AM

NABATAEAN (NABATEAN) WATCH: Massive New Monument Found in Petra. Satellites and drones helped reveal huge ceremonial platform near the ancient city’s center (Kristin Romey, National Geographic).The newly revealed structure consists of a 184-by-161-foot...
READING ACTS: Dating the Similitudes – 1 Enoch 37-71. Past posts in the series, plus on related matters, are here and links.

June 9, 3AM

PROFESSOR HINDY NAJMAN: The Ancient Practice of Attributing Texts and Ideas to Moses (TheTorah.com).Ancient scribes would write as if Moses was the author, or they would claim that a tradition was originally stated by Moses, but they did not intend to con...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Ancient Tales of Giants from Qumran and Turfan Contexts, Traditions, and Influences Ed. by Matthew Goff, Loren T. Stuckenbruck, and Enrico Morano [Antike Geschichten von Riesen aus Qumran und Turfan. Kontexte, Traditionen und E...

2AM

ASOR BLOG: A Brief History of Sumerology (Erika Marsal). I have to say I was disappointed by this one. The history is weighted toward the discovery of Sumerian and the early stages of its decipherment. That's fine, but, astonishingly, it does not mention ...
READING ACTS: Enoch’s Heavenly Journey – 1 Enoch 17-36. That finishes up the Book of the Watchers. Earlier post in the series, plus on related matters, are collected here
TELEVISION Is 'Barbarians Rising' A True Story? Meet The Real Rebel Leaders Behind History's Docuseries (LAURA ROSENFELD, Bustle). I mentioned this series recently with reference to the first episode on Hannibal and the Punic Wars. But this article profil...

June 8, 9AM

READING ACTS: Enoch Pleads with the Watchers – 1 Enoch 12-16. Past posts in this series have been noted here, here, and here. And see also here, here, and here. Also, related recent posts here and here. Enoch rules.

8AM

GOLEM WATCH: Multimedia ‘Golem’ makes monster out of technology (Dan Poorman, The Post and Courier).As a professional animator, it is Paul Barritt’s job to create golems — or, as Jewish folklore would have it, magical anthropomorphic clay beings. ...
FIFTY SHADES OF TALMUD: The Talmudic Sex Exchange, part 3: Some curious bits and insights (Shmuel Rosner, Jewish Journal).It seems fitting to end this exchange with a couple of examples of “sex segments” from the Talmud that you find wise and illumina...
CONGRATULATIONS TO PROFESSOR TALGAM: Professor Rina Talgam awarded the polonsky prize for her comprehensive examination of a millennium of mosaics. Historical survey of excavated mosaic art of pagans, Jews, Samaritans, Christians and Muslims earns Hebrew ...
DIPLOMATIC INCIDENT UPDATE: Hidden antiquities stash discovered in diplomatic car travelling from Jordan to Jerusalem. The local driver was arrested on antiquities smuggling charges last week and has been released on bail (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel)....

June 7, 8AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: My Son the Doctor Has Chosen the Wrong Profession. So says the Talmud in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’—where rabbis call boys a blessing and daughters a necessary evil and blame their uncontrollable...
ECUMENICAL AGREEMENT INITIATED: Historic renovation begins at Jesus’ Jerusalem tomb. The project focuses on repairing, reinforcing and preserving the Edicule – the ancient chamber in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jewish News).Jerusalem where Chris...

7AM

MORE ON THAT LOOTING ARREST: Palestine demands return of seized artefacts. Palestinian youth have been engaged in illegal excavation action by digging mountains and caves spreading around the West Bank (Nasouh Nazzal, Gulf news).Ramallah: Palestine’s Mi...
NUMISMATICS AND ARCHAEOLOGY: Cache of Hasmonean-era silver coins uncovered in Modiin. 2,150-year-old hoard likely buried by a Jew who was never able to return for it, found in dig at agricultural estate that took part in Bar Kochba uprising (Sue Surkes, T...

2AM

READING ACTS: The Archangels Render Justice -1 Enoch 9-11.

June 6, 10AM

THE ST ANDREWS SYMPOSIUM FOR BIBLICAL AND CHRISTIAN STUDIES 2016 ON Divine Sonship began today. A host of specialists in biblical studies and related disciplines, ranging from luminaries in their fields to promising postgraduates, has descended on St. And...

1AM

LOOTING ARREST: Driver smuggled antiquities in Norwegian Ambassador's car. Norwegian Ambassador's chauffeur arrested in attempt to smuggle 10 kg of artifacts across the border in official car (Ari Soffer, Arutz Sheva).Customs Authority agents discovered s...
READING ACTS: The Fallen Angels – 1 Enoch 6-8.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Éric Rebillard, Jörg Rüpke (ed.), Group Identity and Religious Individuality in Late Antiquity. CUA studies in early Christianity. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2015. Pp. viii, 331. ISBN 978...
PUNIC WATCH: ‘Barbarians Rising’ review: Roman Empire’s fall sluggishly retold (Verne Gay, Newsday).REVIEW WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday night at 9 on History GRADE C WHAT IT’S ABOUT The Roman Empire rose, then fell, while fighting “barbarians,...

June 5, 2AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: SOAS: Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion 2016. "The 2016 Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion will be delivered by Iain Gardner, University of Sydney. The lectures are" on Mani. Follow the link for details.

1AM

READING ACTS: Book Review: John J. Collins, Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy (Phillip J. Long). Mostly a summary of the essays in the book, without much critical engagement. But still useful.

12 AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Indigenous Elites in the Nehemiah Memoir But setting aside the means through which Nehemiah sought to deal with opposition and to assert himself, the heart of the imperial mission seems to have been the establishment of a bir...
REMNANT OF GIANTS: John Barclay – Paul and the Gif. If this makes no sense to you, see here and here.
READING ACTS: The Book of Watchers – 1 Enoch 1-5. Summary and commentary. The first in a series.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Pascale Derron (ed.), Cosmologies et cosmogonies dans la littérature antique: huit exposés suivis de discussions et d’un epilogue. Entretiens sur l’Antiquité classique, 61. Vandœuvres: Fondation Hardt pour l’étude ...

June 4, 1AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Jonathan Pomeranz.Ordinary Jews in the Babylonian Talmud: Rabbinic Representations and Historical Interpretation Jonathan Aaron Pomeranz, Yale University, 2016. This dissertation addresses two questions. What...
AWOL: Perseus Collection Greek and Roman Materials. The full Bible in Greek and Latin, the Classics, and lots of Hellenistic and Roman-era material of potential interest as background to ancient Judaism and early Christianity.
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: A Dictionary: Christian Sogdian, Syriac and English. Notice of a new book: Sims-Williams, Nicholas. 2016. A Dictionary: Christian Sogdian, Syriac and English, Reichert Verlag. Follow the link for details. Looks very useful. Past pos...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Karin B. Neutel, A Cosmopolitan Ideal: Paul’s Declaration ‘Neither Jew Nor Greek, Neither Slave Nor Free, Nor Male and Female’ in the Context of First Century Thought. Library of New Testament Studies, 513. London; New Y...

June 3, 5AM

EXPEDITION WRAP-UP: In Bar Kochba rebels’ caves, salvaging what the thieves left behind. Archaeologists conclude 3-week excavation of the Judean Desert’s Cave of the Skulls, the largest undertaking of its kind in 60 years (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Isra...
READING ACTS: Enoch and the Essene Hypothesis. A reviewlet of Boccaccini's 1998 book Beyond the Essene Hypothesis.
PROFILES IN HISTORY: King Agrippa I: The last Maccabee. Agrippa’s Jewish pride and his support of Jews both in Israel and the Diaspora did not endear him to pagans living in the Land of Israel (Eli Kavon, Jerusalem Post).It was the last attempt to reviv...

4AM

ARAMAIC WATCH: Here's Where All The Harry Potter Spells Come From. Most of them do come from more-or-less recognizable Latin, but one merits more discussion:Avada Kedavara is perhaps the most famous Harry Potter spell. “According to Rowling,” Mashable...

3AM

HAARETZ: Judaism and Homosexuality: A Brief History. The Jewish people have had a far more complicated relationship with homosexuality than the outright ban in Leviticus implies (Elon Gilad). Excerpt:Deuteronomy does not ban homosexuality, only sacred pro...

June 2, 4AM

MAJOR EPIGRAPHIC DISCOVERY: UK's oldest hand-written document 'at Roman London dig.' Over 400 tablets were found at the site, 87 of which have been deciphered (BBC).Roman tablets discovered during an excavation in London include the oldest hand-written do...

3AM

EXPEDITION UPDATE: In Pictures: Cave of the Skulls, prehistoric Israeli site (Reuters and The Straits Times). Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority are searching the Cave of the Skulls, an excavation site in the Judean Desert, for remnants ...
BRIAN RENSHAW: Jun 1 May 2016 Biblical Studies Carnival: School's Out Edition. Jim West also has a somewhat more fulsome counter-carnival: The May Biblioblog Carnival of British Biblical Goodness. Elements of the "British" component may be a mat...
FIFTY SHADES OF TALMUD: The Talmudic Sex exchange, part 2: ‘The Talmud gets a lot wrong, but often asks the right questions’ (Shmuel Rosner, Jewish Journal).While we should recognize, and accept, that the Talmud is a product of its times, we also know...

2AM

PUNIC WATCH: Sailing: Carthago Dilecta Est regatta lands in Lampedusa.(ANSAmed) - TUNIS, JUNE 1 - The international sailing event uniting Italy and Tunisia, Carthago Dilecta Est, is back this year with some new features that highlight the symbolic value o...

June 1, 4AM

IAA PRESS RELEASE: National plan initiated to excavate Judean Desert caves. The plan’s first excavation is currently underway in the Cave of the Skulls in Nahal Tse'elim, with the assistance of numerous volunteers (Reposted by the Israel Ministry of For...

3AM

READING ACTS: When was 1 Enoch Written?. A good summary of the state of the question by Phillip J. Long. And thanks to James McGrath, who on Facebook drew my attention to this blog.
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Jerusalem city hall orders halt to illegal Waqf construction on Temple Mount. Injunction issued after authorities determine project for extra restrooms at complex does not have proper permits (Times of Israel).The Jerusalem Municipalit...
EPIGRAPHY: 'Sinai: The Origin of the Alphabet' exhibit on display at Egyptian Museum. A temporary exhibit on early alphabetic inscriptions in Egypt was inaugurated last night in celebration of Sinai Liberation Day (Nevine El-Aref, Al-Ahram).Egypt’s Mini...

2AM

SYRIAC WATCH: A Lifetime in Asia. 40 YEARS ON THE SILK ROAD (Tim Johnson, Cascadia Weekly).Father Dale Albert Johnson is a Skagit Valley native who has gained international recognition for his discovery, translation and interpretation of manuscripts writt...

May 31, 2AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Which Old Testament? (Philip Jenkins, The Anxious Bench). This is a good summary of the issues, although I disagree that the term "Hebrew Bible" ... "suggests that it is a Jewish possession that Christians do...
COPTIC (ETC.) WATCH: British Museum touring exhibition comes to Salisbury Museum.DISCOVER the secrets of Ancient Egypt at Salisbury Museum. A British Museum touring exhibition, Writing for Eternity: Decoding Ancient Egypt, opens on Saturday. [...] Ilon...
GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH (MAY 2016): What women want (most)? A feminist reading of the Talmud from the Middle Ages: T-S Ar.18(2).20 (Zvi Stampfer).The quandary of ‘what women want’ is not a modern one, but is apparently one that has bothered men s...
APOCRYPHICITY: 016 CSBS/CSPS Christian Apocrypha Report, Part 1 (Tony Burke).But first I will report on the CSPS book review panel dedicated to Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources (Second through Fourth Centuries) by Lincoln Blumell and T...

1AM

VIDEO: Lines of Thought: Communicating Faith.Some of the world’s most important religious texts are currently on display in Cambridge as part of Cambridge University Library’s 600th anniversary exhibition – Lines of Thought: Discoveries that Changed...

May 30, 2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Marília P.​ Futre Pinheiro, Silvia Montiglio (ed.), Philosophy and the Ancient Novel. Ancient Narrative Supplementum 20. Groningen: Barkhuis: Groningen University Library, 2015. Pp. xiii, 179. ISBN 9789491431890. €80....
PHILIP JENKINS: (The Anxious Bench).So what does the Enoch Seminar do? It describes its topic areas as “Second Temple Judaism, Christian, Rabbinic and Islamic Origins,” and that staggeringly broad reach is deliberate. The basic theme is that the Jewi...
EXPLORING OUR MATRIX: The Scepter and the Star (James McGrath).I am grateful to Eerdmans for having sent me a free review copy of the second edition of John J. Collins’ book The Scepter and the Star: Messianism in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Anyone f...

1AM

THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: Digitized Talmud and mobile app to be launched. The new project includes all known textual variants of the Talmud and allows researchers, scholars and Talmud students to easily compare the different texts side by side (, Jerusalem...
ARAMAIC WATCH: Symposium on Assyrian Culture and History to Be Held At Library of Congress.(AINA) -- A symposium titled Assyrian Legacy: From Ancient Civilization to Modern Cultural Revival will be held on June 10 in Washington at the U.S. Library of Cong...

May 29, 1AM

BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Most Beautiful Edition of Josephus’s Jewish War (Todd Bolen).Carta has just released what is likely the most beautiful and most useful edition of Josephus’s The Jewish War ever printed. Here’s why I think this is the edition you (...
LARRY HURTADO: 1 Enoch: Reception and Usage.For anyone interested in the writing known as 1 Enoch (and any NT student has to be in today’s world), there is a splendid review of reception and usage of the writing in ancient Jewish tradition and in early ...
ANCIENT MAGIC: Ancient 'Mad Libs' Papyri Contain Evil Spells of Sex and Subjugation (Owen Jarus, LiveScience).Ancient, magical spells of love, subjugation and sex: It may sound like a "Game of Thrones" episode, but these evildoings are also foun...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew word of the week: Salt/Melah.
LEEN RITMYER: Underground Jerusalem. Some expert commentary on Nir Hasson's recent Haaretz article with the same title, which I noted and commented on here

May 28, 2AM

EXPEDITION UPDATE: Searching for the next Dead Sea Scrolls. A group of archeologists are in a race with antiquities thieves to find artifacts in the Judean Desert. Haaretz joins the diggers as they explore the Cave of Skulls, an inaccessible space below a...
ARAMAIC WATCH: Magic bowls of antiquity. Ancient Babylonia’s magic bowls offer a glimpse into the society of the Talmud, and today’s shadowy antiquities market (Samuel Thrope, aeon.com). The header phrases it "What should be donw with the magic b...
GOLEM WATCH: 'Little STALIN' & Russian Mafia vs. A Modern-Day Golem In Oni’s BRIK Zack Smith, Newsarama [Comics]).What if you were a bullied 12-year-old in New York City who found access to an ancient power – the power of a Golem? What kind of cre...

1AM

THAT WAS BRAVE: Jewish pilgrims mark Lag Ba'omer on Tunisian island (AP/Israel HaYom).Amid fears of religious violence, southern island of Djerba hosts annual Jewish pilgrimage under unprecedented security • Some 2,000 Jews gather at ancient Ghriba syna...
A NEW VOLUME OF THE JOURNAL BIBLICA (vol. 97 [2016]) is now available online. The full texts of the articles are available for free. TOC:Fascicolo 1 Finkelstein Israel, «The Old Jephthah Tale in Judges: Geographical and Historical Considerations.» Vol.9...

May 27, 4AM

CSTT BLOG: A WORKSHOP ON THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND EARLY JUDAISM AT TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (RICK BONNIE).Three members of the CSTT’s Team 4 – Jutta Jokiranta, Elisa Uusimäki, and Sami Yli-Karjanmaa – travelled to Ireland in the beginning of May in o...

3AM

SYRIAC WATCH: Vanderbilt Libraries to host ‘Cultural Heritage at Scale’ symposium (Ann Marie Deer Owens).Understanding the opportunities and challenges related to building sustainable national-scale digital humanities projects is one of the goals of a...

1AM

PHOTO ESSAY: Before Its Destruction: Jobar Synagogue in Syria. An organization called Diarna has created an online ‘geo-museum’ where visitors to explore historical Jewish sites in the Middle East and Northern Africa that no longer exist (Rose Kaplan,...
PUNIC WATCH: DNA Captured From 2,500-Year-Old Phoenician. Analysis of the ancient man's DNA reveal he had European ancestry (Rossella Lorenzi, Seeker).Researchers have sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of a 2,500-year-old Phoenician, showing the...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Translations of 1 Enoch (Philip J. Long, Reading Acts). This is a good survey of the available English translations and I agree with his recommendation at the end. But I understand that Stuckenbruck is working on a new translation that t...

May 26, 2AM

SUBTERRANEAN ARCHAEOLOGY: Underground Jerusalem: An Interactive Journey (Nir Hasson, Haaretz)."Jerusalem is like an Atlantis that sank into the sea everything there is submerged and sunken This is not the heavenly Jerusalem but the one down below, wa...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Carmen Palmer. Carmen Palmer, Converts at Qumran: The Ger in the Dead Sea Scrolls as an Indicator of Mutable Ethnicity (University of St. Michael’s College, 2016).The dissertation offers the first complete st...

1AM

FIFTY SHADES OF TALMUD: The Talmudic Sex exchange, part 1: What can the sages teach us about sex? (Shmuel Rosner, Jewish Journal).Maggie Anton is the award-winning author of "Rashi's Daughters," historical novels set in the household of the grea...