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October 23 2017, 2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Carsten Wilke, Farewell to Shulamit: Spatial and Social Diversity in the Song of Songs. Jewish thought, philosophy and religion, 2. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2017. Pp. viii, 170. ISBN 9783110500547. $91.99. Reviewed by ...
WILLIAM ROSS: SUPERVISORS & PROGRAMS FOR SEPTUAGINT STUDIES – PART III. Part three in a three-part series. I noted part one here and part two here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
NUMISMATICS: New book prize created by AINA (Numismatic News).A new award called the Shekel Prize has been created by the board of directors of the American Israel Numismatic Association. It is to be given annually to the author of the best book publishe...
CHANGE: Penn State University Press acquires Eisenbrauns as new imprint. Eisenbrauns has been a major publisher for scholarly books on the Bible and the Ancient Near East for a long time. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and...

October 22, 3AM

IN THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS: What the Bible Doesn’t Tell You About Daniel (Exclusive) (Andrew Perrin, Christian Week).Most would know Daniel as a sage, courtier, dream interpreter, and lion tamer. If you’ve read sections of the Apocrypha you’ll also kno...
THE BIBLE NATION: Is An Ancient Text In The Museum of the Bible Real Or Fake? Sketchy doesn't even begin to describe the controversy surrounding artifacts in the new Museum of the Bible, which is backed by evangelicals investigated for illicit artifacts (...
TALMUD WATCH: Talmud as seen by a political scientist (Ira Sharkansky, San Diego Jewish World).JERUSALEM — For something like 15 years, I’ve been studying Talmud Shabbat mornings for an hour or so with a religious (i.e., Orthodox) neighbor. We’ve be...
TALMUD WATCH: Was there room for whales in the ark? The rabbis wondered how the majestic sea-creatures survived the Flood (Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, The Jewish Chronicle). Noted because the article cites passages from the Babylonian Talmud and Midrash Genes...

October 21, 4AM

ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS: As the Romans did: discoveries show Jerusalem’s transformation after destruction (Adam Abrams, JNS.org).Israeli archaeologists this week unveiled the results of large-scale excavations that lend unprecedented insight into th...
VIDEO ART: Israeli video artist Victoria Hanna brings spells ancient and modern to Berkeley (Laura Paull, The Jewish News of Northern California).Hanna today is a singer, composer, teacher and video artist who performs in Israel onstage, at schools, offic...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Museum of the Bible in the Spotlight. Washington, D.C. Bible museum invites dialogue (Robin Ngo and Megan Sauter).Chances are you’ve heard some of the controversy surrounding the Museum of the Bible in the months leading up to i...
THE ETC BLOG: Brief review of Bible Nation (Peter M. Head).Over the weekend I managed to read the new book by Candida Moss and Joel Baden called Bible Nation: the United States of Hobby Lobby. [...]I noted the book as forthcoming here. Visit PaleoJudaica...

October 20, 3AM

THE BIBLE PLACE BLOG: 19th Batchelder Conference for Archaeology and Biblical Studies (Todd Bolen). Coming in early November at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
FOR YOU, SPECIAL DEAL: Dream of owning your own private island off Ireland? This is epic (Frances Mulraney, Irish Central).West Skeam Island is a small 33-acre island with a monumental history from the Vikings to the Great Hunger and for a cool $2.3 milli...
MUSEUM: Breathtaking 1,700-year-old Lod mosaic to finally have a floor to call home. Decades after its discovery, country's 'finest' tile art will be displayed to the public at the central Israeli city's Mosaic Archaeological Center - when it's completed ...

2AM

DR. RABBI DAVID FRANKEL: Noah, Ham and the Curse of Canaan: Who Did What to Whom in the Tent? (TheTorah.com).Why does Noah express such a severe curse for the seemingly minor sin of observing his nakedness? Why does Noah curse his grandson instead of his ...

October 19, 6AM

NEW BOOK (IN HEBREW) FROM MAGNES PRESS:The Geonic Talmud The Attitude of the Babylonian Geonim to the Text of the Babylonian Talmud By Uziel Fuchs Edited by: Amos Geula Publisher: World Union of Jewish Studies In collaboration with: Herzog Academic Coll...

4AM

YESHIVA UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR JEWISH LAW BLOG: Review of Rapoport-Albert, _Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbatai Zevi, 1666–1816_ (Joshua Schwartz).Review of Ada Rapoport-Albert, Women and the Messianic Heresy of Sabbetai Zevi, 1666-1816. Oxford: L...

3AM

APPREHENDED: Family Finds Roman-era Stables Beneath Their Garden, Arrests Made Over Looting.Eilabun residents uncovered elaborate caves carved out of bedrock in ancient Galilean Jewish village, and allegedly robbed the site (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz).It’s...

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NEW HEBREW BIBLE TEXTBOOK: UW Religion Today: The Ancient Israelites Through Archaeology, History and Text (Paul V.M. Flesher, University of Wyoming). Excerpt:Does that mean we should ignore the Old Testament? By no means. Both archaeology and Scripture c...

October 18, 2AM

MORE ON THE U.S. AND ISRAELI DECISION TO WITHDRAW FROM UNESCO: Scolding UNESCO, GOP lawmakers introduce resolution on Jewish ties to Jerusalem. After Trump administration announces it will withdraw from UN cultural body over anti-Israel votes, Sen. Cruz a...
KABBALAH WATCH? ‘Sefer Yesira,’ the Story of a Text in Search of Commentary. An ancient, tiny book cataloging the components of the cosmos: was it magic, Kabbalah, a philosophical treatise, or something else? (Tzvi Langermann, Tablet Magazine).The min...
DR. GUY DARSHAN: The Motif of Releasing Birds in ANE Flood Stories (TheTorah.com).The ancient Near East had many versions of the flood story, such as Atrahasis, Ziusudra, Utnapishtim, etc., most of which predate the Torah’s account of Noah’s flood. Bu...
FORTHCOMING (IN NOVEMBER) BOOK FROM BRILL:The Embroidered Bible: Studies in Biblical Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in Honour of Michael E. Stone Edited by Lorenzo DiTommaso, Concordia University Montréal Matthias Henze, Rice University and William Adler,...

October 17, 2AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: 'JERUSALEM’S LOST THEATER’ AND 8 ANCIENT STONE COURSES DISCOVERED UNDER WESTERN WALL (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).A rare 200-seat theater from the Roman period and eight large ancient stone courses have been unearthed under...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Rebellious Elders. Daf Yomi: Why heresy is rare in Talmudic law, where judicial dissent and tiered courts institutionalized freedom of thought.In Chapter Eight of Tractate Sanhedrin, we saw how the ra...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The Christian Schism in Jewish History and Jewish Memory (Joshua Blachorsky).Joshua Ezra Burns. The Christian Schism in Jewish History and Jewish Memory. Cambridge University Press, 2016.Excerpt:Joshua Burns, in The Christi...

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BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Te’omim Cave: Rebel Hideout and Cult Site. Jerusalem hills cave reveals layers of history (Robin Ngo).During the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (132–136 C.E.), Jewish rebels sought refuge from the Roman army in secret hideouts throughout J...

October 16, 2AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition in the New Testament.It has been noted on numerous occasions by scholars that the term “apocalyptic” may be used to refer to three distinct aspects. The first is the apocalyptic genre, i.e., a...
BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW: First Person: My Final “First Person” (Hershel Shanks).In the next issue of BAR, I will have a new title: Editor Emeritus. Yes, after 42 years I will be retiring. I will still be around—putting in my two cents. But I wil...
ADULT EDUCATION: Rohr Jewish Learning Institute Launches Great Debates: 6-Part Course on Dead Sea Scrolls (Hana Levi Julian, The Jewish Press).Seventy years after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute is poised to launc...
WILLIAM ROSS: SUPERVISORS & PROGRAMS FOR SEPTUAGINT STUDIES – PART II. Part two in a three-part series. Part one was noted here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

October 15, 3AM

MICHAEL LANGLOIS: Nine Dubious “Dead Sea Scrolls” Fragments from the Twenty-First Century. Professor Langlois gives some background to the recent Dead Sea Discoveries article on the same topic, which I noted here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the late...
THE ASOR BLOG: Revolutionary Biblical Discoveries and the Need for Historical Amnesia (Philip Jenkins).The Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife… every few years, the media report new finds of ancient texts that supposedly th...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Gottesdienst und Engel im antiken Judentum und frühen Christentum. Hrsg. v. Jörg Frey u. Michael R. Jost. [Liturgy and Angels in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity.] 2017. VIII, 447 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen...
BOINGBOING: New documentary is a magic portal into a weird and wonderful library (FERDINANDO BUSCEMA).The Hermetic Philosophy There is an underground current of thought beneath Western culture, running quietly like a vein of quicksilver: The Hermetic Phi...

October 14, 4AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Herodotus and the Persian Empire. This is the subject of a new issue of the journal Phoenix. One of the articles, by Karel van der Toorn, is on the Judean community at Elephantine. For many past PaleoJudaica posts on Elephantine an...

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ANALYSIS: Raphael Golb Is Facing Jail Time — For Parodying a Dead Sea Scrolls Scholar (Arthur S. Hayes, The Forward). One law professor's view on the merits of the case and where it should go from here. So far the appeals courts have not agreed, at leas...
POLITICS: UNESCO selects France's Azoulay as new chief (John Irish).PARIS (Reuters) - The United Nations’ cultural agency selected former French culture minister Audrey Azoulay as its new chief on Friday, handing her the keys to revive UNESCO’s fortun...
ALIN SUCIU: Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Concept of Our Great Power: Annotated Translation. The Concept of Our Great Power is a Coptic text from the (sort of) Gnostic library from Nag Hammadi. Cross-file under Coptic Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily...

October 13, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: “Curiosity Cures the Reb:’” Studying Talmudic Medical Discourses in Context.Dr. Lennart Lehmhaus shares a rabbinic case study in order to reflect upon the history of science and rabbinic texts: "A careful study of the discur...
THE ETC BLOG has a couple of posts about biblical names in Greek and whether they have a rough or a smooth breathing: Why give Abraham a rough breathing? (Dirk Jongkind) Isaiah: rough or smooth? (Peter Williams) The takeaway is that in the Greek manusc...

2AM

OREN FASS M.D.: My Encounter with the Firmament (TheTorah.com).The Torah describes God’s fashioning the firmament (רקיע) on the second day of creation. This piece of the universe, however, doesn’t actually exist—a problem obfuscated in my yeshiv...
POLITICS: ISRAEL, US TO QUIT UNESCO CITING 'ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS'. President Donald Trump has in general been critical of the United Nations and complained about the cost and value to the United States (MICHAEL WILNER, HERB KEINON, TOVAH LAZAROFF, Jerusalem P...

October 12, 2AM

H-JUDAIC: CONF: The Arch of Titus – from Jerusalem to Rome, and Back, Sun. Oct. 29th, New York City.The Arch of Titus – from Jerusalem to Rome, and Back A Conference Organized by The Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies and Yeshiva Universi...
PROF. MARC ZVI BRETTLER: The Gender of God (TheTorah.com).What is the gender of the God of creation? Of YHWH in general?In the Hebrew Bible, that is. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
PERFORMANCE ART: Judith Revisited. Artifact takes on timeless story of biblical heroine in concert of dance and music (Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly).The Caravaggio painting—and the story it tells—has led to a new evening-length dance by Ashley Bowma...
H-JUDAIC: JOB: Vanderbilt University, Program in Classical and Mediterranean Studies, Tenure-track Assistant Professor.The Program in Classical and Mediterranean Studies invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position starting fall 20...

October 11, 2AM

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...
CONSERVATION: Temple-era pools near Jerusalem set for renovation. US Consulate funds $750,000 restoration of 2,000-year-old Solomon's Pools near Bethlehem with hopes of making it a tourist site (AFP/Times of Israel). The conservation of Solomon's Pools (...

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PROF. STEVEN WEITZMAN: Deuteronomy on the Problem of Using the Senses to Experience God (TheTorah.com).“God has not given you a mind to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear until this very day”(Deut 29:3). In contrast to the first four books of ...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: 50,000 Gather for Priestly Blessing on Sukkot as Jerusalem Becomes Heart of World Prayer [PHOTOS] (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News).Echoing the past glory of what used to occur in the Temple, approximately 50,000 people ga...

October 10, 2AM

I HAVE ADDED ANOTHER UPDATE TO LAST WEEK'S POST ON THE METAL CODICES SEIZED IN TURKEY. The image on the supposed Seal of Solomon has now been identified. Guess what? It has nothing to do with Solomon. And guess what the source of the image was. If you've ...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Are Jews Exempt from Capital Punishment?. Talmudic rabbis’ lenient interpretation of Biblical laws made the death penalty difficult to impose, even in cases where murder was clearly the intent.As we ...
BREAKING ISRAEL NEWS: PHOTOS: Sanhedrin Revives Ancient Temple Water Libation Ritual in Shiloah Valley (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz).On Monday afternoon, a group of approximately 500 set out from the Dung Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, singing and dancing ...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Second Temple Period Discoveries at Biblical Hebron. Legendary home of the Cave of the Patriarchs.The site of Tel Hebron resides 3,000 feet above sea level in the Judean hill country, about 20 miles south of Jerusalem. Excavations con...

October 9, 3AM

FURTHER TO LAST WEEK'S POST ON THE METAL CODICES SEIZED IN TURKEY: I have updated the post with some information on that image of a bee on one of the gold codices. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
CALL FOR PAPERS: The St Andrews Symposium for Biblical and Early Christian Studies. Atonement: Sin, Sacricifice, and Salvation in Jewish and Christian Antiquity. 4-6 June 2018, St Mary's College, University of St Andrews. Click on the image for a larger ...

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ANNOUNCEMENT: TENURED PROFESSOR IN HEBREW BIBLE Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of Near Eastern Languages and CivilizationsPosition Description: The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations seeks to appoint a tenu... [Ancient Israel] [Ancient Judaism; Early Christianity] [scripture] [Tenured professor Hebrew Bible]
DR. RABBI ZEV FARBER: The Origins of Sukkot (TheTorah.com).The connection between the Israelite festival of Sukkot in the temple and the Ugaritic new year festival and its dwellings of branches for the gods.Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ...
BELATEDLY NOTED: Biblical Studies Carnival for September 2017 (Phil Long, Reading Acts Blog). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

October 8, 2AM

POLITICS: Troubled UNESCO begins picking new leader. Key task for new head of UN cultural body is to regain US funding, suspended over perceived anti-Israel bias (AFP and Times of Israel staff). The current director-general, Irina Bokova, has come across ...

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AKKADIAN STILL MATTERS: Friday essay: the recovery of cuneiform, the world’s oldest known writing (Louise Pryke, The Conversation). A long, informative, and entertaining essay. Worth reading in full. Related posts here and links. There's more on Saddam...
PUNIC WATCH: Carthaginians crushed as Romans invade Cartagena. Locals say Hannibal has let them all down by chasing off across the Alps to attack Rome Murcia Today). A photo-essay report on last month's Punic Festival in Cartagena, Spain. Background here...

October 7, 2AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Is There a Text in this Cave? Studies in the Textuality of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Honour of George J. Brooke Edited by Ariel Feldman, Texas University Maria Cioată, University of Manchester and Charlotte Hempel, University of Birmin...
IN THE MAIL:The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism: Papers from the St Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus (Library of Early Christology) Paperback – August 28, 2017 by Carey C. Newman (Editor), James R. Davila (E...
BOOK REVIEW: The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israe (Jenna Weissman Joselit, Material Religion). You may need a paid subscrition to access this journal review. I'm not sure. Past posts on Steven Fine's book, The Menorah, are here (cf. here) and link...
IT'S STILL QUITE A STORY: The Dead Sea Scrolls discovery — still riveting after 70 years (A. James Rudin, Religion News Service).(RNS) — For many people, biblical scholarship — with its archaic languages and ancient texts — is boring stuff. But t...

October 6, 3AM

THE UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS: Lecturer in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible - AC2050ML School of Divinity.We wish to appoint a Lecturer (equivalent to a US ‘assistant professor’) within the School of Divinity. You will be a scholar with a growing internati...
MORE METAL CODICES ETC.: Seal of Solomon may have been found in Amasya (AMASYA – Anadolu Agency/Hurrieyet Daily News).During an operation conducted in the northern province of Amasya on Oct. 3, 11 pieces of historic artifacts were seized. One of the art...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: DISPROVING 'TEMPLE MOUNT DENIAL' ONE BUCKET AT A TIME (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).When Wakf bulldozers illegally ascended the Temple Mount in 1999 to surreptitiously remove thousands of tons of ancient soil to make way for a s...

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THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Has Bethsaida-Julias Been Found? While our efforts at el-Araj are young, we have been struck by how closely the archaeological finds at el-Araj follow the contours of history recorded by those who walked the streets of Bethsa...

October 5, 2AM

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR ANCIENT STUDIES: THE ROSE-MARIE LEWENT CONFERENCE - THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AT 70. November 16-17, 2017. Follow the link for the conference program. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblic...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Jonah and the Whale. Why the Book of Jonah Is Read on Yom Kippur (the late Nahum Sarna).The Book of Jonah is read in the synagogue on the afternoon of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, the sacred Day of Atonement. Wh...
H-JUDAIC: CFP: Panel for Young Genizah Researchers and those Interested in the Field. At the XIth Congress of the European Association for Jewish Studies Kraków, Poland, July 15-19, 2018.Even with the essential tools that have been established over the l...
VANDALISM: Swastikas found spray-painted outside settlement archaeology site. Incident is the third such defacement in the past four years near ruins of ancient Jewish city of Susya (Jacog Magid, Times of Israel). Past posts involving Susya, which was cau...

October 4, 2AM

THE FESTIVAL OF SUKKOT (BOOTHS, TABERNACLES) begins this evening at sundown. Best wishes to all those observing it. For biblical background and other posts on Sukkot, see the links at last year's post here. More recent posts on Sukkot (including Samarita...
SUSPICION OF FORGERY: Dead Sea Scrolls scam: Dozens of recently sold fragments are fakes, experts warn. Since 2002, collectors have paid millions for portions of ancient text. As DC's Museum of the Bible prepares to open with several such pieces, evidence...
SAD NEWS FROM H-JUDAIC: Passing of Prof. Kenneth Holum (Katherine Aron-Beller).H-Judaic is greatly saddened by the passing from cancer of Prof. Kenneth Holum, Emeritus Prof. of Antique History at the University of Maryland, and director of its famed excav...
PUSHBACK: Schumer to Tillerson: Don’t return trove of Jewish artifacts to Iraq. Senate Minority Leader tells State Department the 'treasured collection belongs to the Jewish community and should be made available to them' (Josefin Dolsten, JTA, rpt. Tim...

October 3, 2AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Put to Death For Crimes Yet to Be Committed. ‘Daf Yomi’: The odd case of preemptive punishment highlights Talmudic rabbis’ generous interpretation of the Torah’s unenforceable laws.I have ofte...
CONCERNING THE JEWISH NEW YEAR: Rosh Hashanah 2017: The History of Rosh Hashanah Which Wasn't Always the 'New Year.' Much of today's traditions originated with Babylonian worship, and you have to read this to believe how a calf's head morphed into gefilte...
PUNIC WATCH: Tophet at Carthage. An ancient burial ground believed to be used for ritual sacrifice (Atlas Obscura).Tophets are at the center of one of the most contentious archaeological debates surrounding the region of northern Africa that was once part...
TALMUD WATCH: IN SEARCH OF THE TRUTH: A WIDE-RANGING PROFILE OF RABBI ADIN STEINSALTZ (NATAN ODENHEIMER, Jerusalem Post).‘Rabbi Steinsaltz once told me that the most important question in life is ‘Then what?’ “You get married, then what? You do a ...

October 2, 5AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Lost First-Temple Jewish City Discovered Under IDF Training Base (JNi.Media).A few weeks ago, the staff of the Archeology Department of the IDF Civil Administration arrived at the area of a now abandoned training base, next door to the town o...

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THE FORWARD: Ashkenazi Jews Are Not Khazars. Here’s The Proof (Alexander Beider).Since the late 19th century, the so-called “Khazarian theory” has promoted the idea that a bulk of Ashkenazic Jews living in Eastern Europe descended from medieval Khaz...
THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: “From Adapa to Enoch” by Seth Sanders (William Brown).Seth Sanders. From Adapa to Enoch. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 167. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2017, 280 pp..Excerpt:In summary, Sanders sets out clear ev...

1AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: ktivah "writing, inscribing" כתיבה. There. I think we're caught up with these for now. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

October 1, 11AM

BIBLICAL LANGUAGES: Scribal Errors and Decorative Cakes (Phillip Marshall). These involve decorative cakes whose inscriptions accidentally included instructions about the cake. They are very amusing. For a similar case in Phoenician on a rather more durab...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Resources on the Temple and Temple Mount (Todd Bolen). Cross-file under Temple Mount Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: >Cesare Cuttica, Gaby Mahlberg (ed.), Patriarchal Moments: Reading Patriarchal Texts. Textual moments in the history of political thought. London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. Pp. xii, 217. ISBN 9781472589156. ...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: shiʿur "lesson" (Yiddish shíur) שׁיעור. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

September 30, 2AM

DR. MENACHEM KATZ: The Baal Shem Tov and the Boy who Played Flute on Yom Kippur (TheGemara.com).A Talmudic reading of a Hassidic tale—and vice versa.Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
DR. NADAV SHARON: An Ancient Precedent for the Yom Kippur War? (TheTorah.com).Two Roman conquests of Jerusalem (Pompey in 63 B.C.E. and Sosius in 37 B.C.E.) purportedly happened on “the day of the fast,” during which the Jews barely defended themselve...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of The Week: kapparah "expiatory sacrifice; atonement" כפרה. Timely Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS: Scholars Highlight Hobby Lobby Owners' Path From Retail Giant to Bible Curators (Shannon Hill, Publisher's Weekly).In 2010, the owners of retail giant Hobby Lobby started buying something that would never ...

September 29, 2AM

YOM KIPPUR, the Day of Atonement, begins this evening at sundown. An easy fast to all those observing it. For background and past posts on Yom Kippur, follow the links collected here in last year's post. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on an...
THE OUP BLOG: Stoicism, Platonism, and the Jewishness of Early Christianity (Troels Engberg-Pedersen).This new understanding raises a question that may be worth pondering: is Stoicism better suited than Platonism to capture, express, and articulate the Je...
H-JUDAIC BOOK REVIEW: Hecker on Afterman, '“And They Shall Be One Flesh”: On​ The ​L​anguage of Mystical Union in Judaism​'.Adam Afterman. “And They Shall Be One Flesh”: On​ The ​L​anguage of Mystical Union in Judaism​. Supplements...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: ezrah "help, assistance, strength" עזרה. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

September 28, 2AM

GOOD TROLLING: In unsubtle critique, Israel gifts UNESCO Arch of Titus replica. Cultural agency's chief Irina Bokova accepts frieze of menorah being carted off by Romans as 'recognition of the strength of our partnership with Israel' (Raphael Ahren, Times...
DISCOVERY: 4,000-YEAR-OLD DECAPITATED TOADS DISCOVERED IN ANCIENT JERUSALEM TOMB (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post). This sounds like the beginning of a B horror movie involving mummies. If I were there, I would leave fast. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for...
FORTHCOMING SOON: New book shines spotlight on Ashmolean's Jewish treasures (Andrew Ffrench, The Oxford Mail).A NEW book is to shine a spotlight on 22 little-known treasures at Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, revealing the 4,000-year history of the Jewish peop...
PUNIC WATCH: 'Hannibal' is a biography told with a novelist's touch (David Walton, Dallas News).Hannibal, Patrick N. Hunt's readable and accessible biography of the great Carthaginian general, reminds us how little we know about even the best-known histor...

September 27, 4AM

AT HAMBURG UNIVERSITY: Manuscripts East and West – Towards Comparative and General Codicology. A Conference in Honour of Malachi Beit-Arié. Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg, 17 - 19 October 2017.Malachi Beit-Arié is the Ludwig Jess...

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ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Turning Torah Towards Proverbs: 4Q525 in Late Second Temple Perspective (Carson Bay).Elisa Uusimäki, Turning Proverbs towards Torah: an Analysis of 4Q525. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah 117. Leiden: Brill, 2015.Excerpt:Th...
THE ETC BLOG: Trovato on why we need to face the ‘awkward problem’ of conjectural emendation (Peter Gurry). I agree with much of the reasoning in this post, but I would like to see some bibliography to back up some of the statistical assertions. In a...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: dvorah "bee"; "Deborah" דבורה. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

September 26, 2AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: False Idols. Talmudic rabbis disagree on whether the action or the intention of veneration or protest is more important. Plus: Is magic holy?Throughout this discussion, there is a certain ambiguity in...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Herod the Great and the Herodian Family Tree. From Lawrence Mykytiuk's BAR article identifying real New Testament political figures. More on Dr. Mykytiuk's list of externally verified New Testament persons, as well as his related res...

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THE CONFERENCE PROGRAM IS NOW POSTED: The Dead Sea Scrolls Seventy Years Later. Manuscripts, Traditions, Interpretations, and Their Biblical Context. Johnn Paul II Catholic University of Lublin Institute of Biblical Studies, Lublin, Poland. October 25-26,...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: netanyahu "Netanyahu (proper name)" נתניהו. I have fallen well behind on the Hebrew Word of the Week columns. I'll try to get caught up in the coming days. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news ...

September 25, 3AM

NOVEL SERIES: “Game of Thrones” Meets the Ancient Middle East: An Interview with Daniel Arenson, Author of “Kings of Ruin” (Ilana Teitelbaum, HuffPost).Dynastic politics, magic, and violence—Daniel Arenson’s new epic fantasy series, beginning ...

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MICHAEL SATLOW: What are the Ten Commandments? Excerpt:In teaching this material the other day I was also left with another question: Exactly how important is the account of the giving of the Ten Commandments in the narrative of the Torah? In the DeMill...
SEPTUAGINT STUDIES BLOG: Origen’s Fifth and Sixth Greek Editions (JOHN MEADE). I'm not sure how much these accounts really tell us about the discoveries of these sources, but they are all we have. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient ...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Nina E. Livesey, Galatians and the Rhetoric of Crisis: Demosthenes - Cicero – Paul. Salem, OR: Polebridge Press, 2016. Pp. 273. ISBN 9781598151749. $26.00 (pb). Reviewed by Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay, Saint Paul Universit...

September 24, 9AM

PHILOLOGY: Hapax legomenon: the classicist's googlewhack (Boing Boing). Hapax legomena are, of course, important for biblical studies and all areas of philology. There is a well-known book by Frederick Greenspahn on Hapax Legomena in Biblical Hebrew At s...

8AM

MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: Marketing Religion in the Roman Empire. Sarah E. Rollens reviews At the Temple Gates by Heidi Wendt.In her new book At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in the Roman Empire, Heidi Wendt examines sociology of r...
ASSYRIAN (MODERN SYRIAC) WATCH: Historic Syriac monastery needs attention (Hurrieyet Daily News).A 1,300-year-old historic rock monastery near the Barıştepe village in the southeastern province of Mardin’s Midyat district is waiting to be discovered. ...
LARRY HURTADO: Selected Essays on Jesus-Devotion.I’m pleased to have author’s copies of a volume of selected essays of mine: Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early Christian Jesus-Devotion: The Context and Character of Christological Faith (Baylor Univ...

September 23, 2AM

PUNIC WATCH: Montblanc pays homage to Hannibal with diamond-topped artistry. The art of writing has never been so luxurious (Winnie Chung, South China Morning Post).Unveiled at an exclusive invitation-only event in Singapore for less than 200 worldwide VI...
THE RELIGION PROF. BLOG: #CFP : Syriac and its Users in the Early Modern World, c.1500-c.1750 (James McGrath). At Oxford University, 15-16 March 2018. Cross-file under Syriac Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the b...
BRICE C. JONES HAS A NEW JOB: Gorgias Press: Acquisitions Editor for Early Christianity and Patristics. PaleoJudaica has linked from time to time to Dr. Jones's blog on matters pertaining mostly to papyrology. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news ...
THE ETC BLOG: “Daniel” in Select Codices (John Meade).Though the MSS probably did not help the ancients concretize the canon, they do visualize for us what an ancient scribe or church father meant or conceptualized by the title of a certain book. This...

September 22, 2AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Retrospective | Martha Himmelfarb.Thanks to the editors of Ancient Jew Review for the opportunity to reflect on my work on heavenly ascent in Jewish and Christian apocalypses. It’s now almost a quarter of a century since the publicat...
RELIGION NEWS SERVICE: Where Satan came from, and other things that happened from the Old Testament to the New (Jana Riess).Philip Jenkins rivals Karen Armstrong as a writer who can take some of the most complex topics of religious history and make them a...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: How Ancient Jews Dated Years (Biblical Archaeology Society Staff). The content is less broad than the title. The essay deals focuses on dates on coins during and after the two Jewish revolts against Rome. But its particular interest i...

1AM

PROF. STEVEN D. FRAADE: A Precariously Fragile Torah (TheTorah.com).Moses and R. Judah HaNasi implore: “I would be most grateful if you would maintain the Torah after me.”That is, they do so in Sifre Deuteronomy. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the lates...

September 21, 2AM

CINEMA: A number of reviewers have concluded that Darren Aronofsky's new and controversial film, mother!, is an allegorical retelling of something like a Gnostic creation myth. (Readers may recall that Aronofsky also was the director of Noah a few years a...
THE ASOR BLOG: The Grammar of Messianism (Matthew V. Novenson).My title, The Grammar of Messianism, is not a promise of a survey of terrain, but rather a thesis statement with a suppressed verb. That is to say, my goal in this book is not to map exhaustiv...
PROF. MARK ZVI BRETTLER: Zichronot: Asking an Omniscient God to Remember (TheTorah.com).Do we really want God to remember all that we did?Spoiler: the answer is no. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Enrico Norelli, Averil Cameron, Markion und der biblische Kanon; Christian literature and Christian History. Hans-Lietzmann-Vorlesungen, 11; 15. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2016. Pp. xiv, 53. ISBN 9783110374056. $28.00 (p...

September 20, 2AM

HAPPY NEW YEAR (ROSH HASHANAH - Jewish New Year 5778) to all those celebrating. The New Year begins tonight at sundown. For biblical and historical background, see the links here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the bib...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Where Did the Temple Menorah Go? Did it go back to Jerusalem? (Marek Dospěl).To commemorate this Roman triumph and to honor the victorious general (and later emperor), Titus, Emperor Domitian built an honorific monument—the Arch of...
EXHIBITION: Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition coming to Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Exhibit, which has traversed the world, opens in March (Kieran Nicholson, Denver Post).The Dead Sea Scrolls, among the oldest known Biblical documents dating back over ...

1AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Rezakhani, ReOrienting the Sasanians: East Iran in Late Antiquity (Simcha Gross).Khodadad Rezakhani. Reorienting the Sasanians: Eastern Iran in Late Antiquity. Edinburgh University Press, 2017.Excerpt:The book is divided into an introd...

September 19, 6AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Phoenician Alphabet in Archaeology. What did the Phoenicians record with their innovative script? (Josephine Quinn). The essay begins with some basics about the Phoenician alphabet, but then goes on to report something more exciti...

2AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Anti-Semite Can Cite Talmud for His Purpose. Taken out of context, ancient Rabbinic laws—such as those on capital punishment discussed in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ study—can attract the att...
NEW BOOK FROM BASIC BOOKS: Crucible of Faith: The Ancient Revolution That Made Our Modern Religious World by Philip Jenkins. It is released today.In The Crucible of Faith, Philip Jenkins argues that much of the Judeo-Christian tradition we know today was ...
ROBERTA MAZZA HAD A FRUSTRATING WEEK. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

September 18, 2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: W. V. Harris (ed.), Popular Medicine in Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Explorations. Columbia studies in the classical tradition, 42. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016. Pp. xv, 319. ISBN 9789004325586. $138.00. Reviewed by Kai Broders...
POLITICS AND LAW: ISRAELI PROPOSAL TO MAKE LEGAL JUDGMENTS FROM THE BIBLE STIRS CONTROVERSY. Knesset Constitution Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky's proposal calls for courts to draw on “principles of Hebrew law” in instances that are not covered ...
RESPONSES: 'Jewish documents should be given to Israel, not Iraq.' US government plans to return ancient Jewish documents to Iraq, Israeli forum asks they be transferred to Israel instead (Itamar Tzur, JTA via Arutz Sheva).Rodriguez was asked how appropri...
TALMUD WATCH: Bringing ‘Daf Yomi’ to Life. And Vice Versa. In her new memoir ‘If All the Seas Were Ink,’ Ilana Kurshan recounts her time in Israel—one page of Talmud at a time (Beth Kissileff, Tablet Magazine).If All the Seas Were Ink started a...

September 17, 5AM

PROF. AARON DEMSKY: Historical Hakhel Ceremonies and the Origin of Public Torah Reading (TheTorah.com).Deuteronomy’s mitzvah of publicly reading the Torah on Sukkot every seven years appears in various forms in stories about King Josiah, King Agrippa, a...
THE ETC BLOG: Where are they now? New Testament text-critics’ libraries (Peter Gurry). In case you were wondering. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
LARRY HURTADO: Gemstone Crucifixion Image: A Recent Study.In a recent article, Roy Kotansky provides a fresh analysis of an ancient gemstone that that is regarded as giving one of the earliest visual depictions of the crucified Jesus: Roy Kotansky, “Th...
THE LOGOS ACADEMIC BLOG: How to read Josephus in Greek like a boss (Daniel Stevens). There's lots of good advice in this post. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

September 16, 2AM

WILLIAM ROSS: SUPERVISORS & PROGRAMS FOR SEPTUAGINT STUDIES – PART I. I am not a specialist in Septuagint studies but, like some on this list, I could (and would be happy to) supervise PhD students on related matters such as textual criticism of the...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Women and Worship in Paul’s Churches: Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers I have now lost count of the number of times that I have read the work of a scholar on the topic of women in Paul’s churches who tells me that they fi...
LARRY HURTADO: Review/Critique of Ehrman, Bauckham and Bird on Memory and Jesus.A newly-published article gives an incisive discussion of recent publications by Bart Ehrman, Richard Bauckham, and Michael Bird on memory, tradition and the historical Jesus:...

1AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: "Issue 04 of DABIR (Digital Archive of Brief notes & Iran Review).Issue 04 of Dabir, an open access on-line journal for Iranian Studies, is out now. Dabir is published by the Jordan Center for Persian Studies." As usu...

September 15, 4AM

TALMUD WATCH: Memoir Provides Engaging Look at Talmudic Text (Marissa Stern, The Jewish Exponent).If All the Seas Were Ink Ilana Kurshan $26.99, hardcover St. Martin’s Press Can you imagine what you’ll be doing seven-and-a- half years from now? W...

3AM

THE ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA: ZOA Opposes Tillerson Decision to “Return” Jewish Artifacts to Iraq. The Jewish Press publishes a statement by ZOA president Morton A. Klein. Background here, with many links going back to the recovery of the arch...
PUNIC WATCH: ROMANS AND CARTHAGINIAN, 15 – 24 September 2017 in Cartagena, Spain. The annual Punic festival in Cartagena begins today. Background and past posts on it are here and links. And more recent posts involving Cartagena and its Punic history ar...
JOSHUA A. BERMAN IS INTERVIEWED by Shmuel Rosner in the Jewish Journal about Dr. Berman's recent book, Inconsistency in the Torah: Ancient Literary Convention and the Limits of Source Criticism (OUP, 2017). There are three posts: The Inconsistency in the...

September 14, 3AM

AT THE ACADEMY OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE IN ISRAEL: Epic quest to document 'miracle' of Hebrew language (Mike Smith, AFP/PhysOrg). I noted the project here back in 2012. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

2AM

ARAMAIC WATCH: Decline of a Lingua Franca (John McWhorter, The Atlantic, rprt. AINA).If a Middle Eastern man from 2,500 years ago found himself on his home territory in 2015, he would be shocked by the modern innovations, and not just electricity, airplan...
PROF. ADMIEL KOSMAN: From Theology to Comedy: The Story of R. Adda bar Ahavah and Matun (TheGemara.com).A talmudic discussion about why God no longer makes miracles ends with a surprising comedy of errors. What message is the Talmud trying to convey? And ...
ACADEMIC JOB: Post-Doctoral Fellow in Eastern Christian & Islamic Manuscript Cataloging (posted by David M. Calabro at the Hugoye List).The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John's University invites applications for the full-time, ...

September 13, 3AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Nathaniel DesRosiers, Lily C. Vuong (ed.), Religious Competition in the Greco-Roman World. Writings from the Greco-Roman world Supplement series, 10. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016. Pp. xviii, 326. ISBN 9781628371369. $44.95 (p...

2AM

SECOND CIRCUIT CRIMINAL LAW BLOG: Of Dead Sea Scrolls and Criminal Impersonation (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). Some might be interested in this detailed legal analysis of the Raphael Golb identity-theft case and its various appeals. The post c...
ARCHAEOLOGY, MEET POLITICS: A 2,000-year-old murder leads to an illicit burial in the heart of the West Bank. When archaeologists said 7 women and a youth found in caves were slain by Romans during the Great Revolt, settlers secretly stepped in to illegal...

1AM

POLITICS AND ICONOGRAPHY: The National Emblem Of Israel (Saul Jay Singer, The Jewish Press). Last year I noted an article that also covered the ancient iconographic background of Israel's national emblem, with particular reference to the Arch of Titus. Th...

September 12, 5AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: On Capital Punishment. Talmudic rabbis pondered the most fundamental ethical questions—including the value of human life—in debating death sentences by hanging or stoning.Over the last month, as t...

2AM

STATE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCEMENT: U.S to Return Jewish Artifacts to Iraq, Despite Protests. The trove includes books, religious texts, photographs and personal documents looted during Saddam Hussein's regime, and then found by U.S. troops in 2003. (JTA via H...
RABBI UZI WEINGARTEN: “Cursed Is One Who Does Not Uphold the Words of This Torah”? (TheTorah.com).The anomalous and paradoxical nature of the twelfth curse (Deuteronomy 27:26).Rabbinic exegetes found the curse difficult, but the Apostle Paul put it to...

1AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Reading the Scrolls and Experiencing Qumran Archaeology with Hanan Eshel (Joshua Matson).Hanan Eshel, Exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls: Archaeology and Literature of the Qumran Caves, edited by Barnea Selavan and Shani Tzoref. Journal of...

September 11, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: EXCLUSIVE: New Archaeology Shows ‘Refugee Camp,’ Not Just Rebels, Atop Masada (Ilan Ben Zion, The Forward).Tour guides leading thousands of visitors to Masada each year follow a similar routine: Where Roman troops breached the walls, they...

2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Liv Ingeborg Lied, Hugo Lundhaug (ed.), Snapshots of Evolving Traditions: Jewish and Christian Manuscript Culture, Textual Fluidity, and New Philology. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 175. ...
THE LYING PEN OF SCRIBES BLOG: Post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls-like Fragments Online: A (Really Exhausting) Guide for the Perplexed (Årstein Justnes and Ludvik A. Kjeldsberg). Many PaleoJudaica posts are included. HT the AWOL Blog. For more on the new Dead S...
YESHIVA UNIVERSITY: The Arch of Titus – from Jerusalem to Rome, and Back.September 14, 2017 - January 14, 2018. Popper Gallery. Presented in partnership with the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies .The Arch of Titus has undergone many physical...

September 10, 3AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: New Testament Political Figures: The Evidence. A web-exclusive supplement to Lawrence Mykytiuk's BAR article identifying real New Testament political figures. There are 23 externally verified political figures on this list, to go with...
APOCRYPHICITY BLOG: Christian Apocrypha at SBL 2017. Tony Burke gives us a preview. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Luke & Acts (8): John the Baptist (Michael J. Caba). This continues the series that was formerly called "Historical Reliability of Luke-Acts." Past PaleoJudaica posts on Machaerus are here and links. For a skeptical ...
ETC BLOG: Jechoniah’s Uncle and the Text of 2 Chron 36.10 (Peter Gurry). The discussion continues in the comments. I agree with John Meade that "brother," the more difficult reading of the Masoretic Text, is the more original reading. Visit Pa...

September 9, 3AM

ANNIVERSARY ARTICLE: How the Dead Sea Scroll Discovery Changed Christianity (Andrew Perrin, Relevant Magazine).2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Long story short, in late 1947 a young Bedouin boy tossed a stone into...

2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Ingrid Hjelm, Thomas L. Thompson (ed.), History, Archaeology and the Bible Forty Years After “Historicity.” Changing Perspectives, 6. Copenhagen International Seminar. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. Pp. xvi, 229. I...
RABBI YOSEIF BLOCH: Bikkurim: How the Rabbis Made a Mitzvah for Male Landowners More Inclusive (TheTorah.com).Deuteronomy directs male landowners to bring the first fruits and recite a declaration. The Rabbis distinguish between the two parts of this comm...
LEEN RITMEYER: Victims of Great Revolt against the Romans laid to rest in Ofra. Dr. Ritymeyer has a photo and drawings of, and details about, the cave in which they were found. Background here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Juda...

September 8, 4AM

RECONSTRUCTION: Archaeologists Reconstruct How the Arch of Titus Looked – in Full Color. When built, the Arch was not a majestic white stone testimony to Rome crushing the Jews, it was a brightly colored monument aggrandizing Vespasian and his dynasty (...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Victims of Great Revolt brought to rest in Ofra. Remains of Jews who perished in the Great Revolt against the Romans and were discovered in Binyamin secretly buried in Ofra (Arutz Sheva).The bones of Jews who perished in the Great Revolt by J...
JIM WEST: On This Day, in the Year 70 CE, in Jerusalem. Courtesy of Julius Wellhausen. The final defenses in the upper city of Jerusalem fell, probably, on 7 September 70. For more details, see this 2012 Haaretz article: This Day in Jewish History 70 C.E....

1AM

MATERIAL (BACTERIAL) CULTURE: Secret Vatican Manuscript's Mysterious Purple Spots Decoded (Stephanie Pappas, Live Science).But when they took into account how skin scrolls were made, the discovery made sense, Migliore said. The first step after removing t...

September 7, 4AM

THE ASOR BLOG: The Exodus in Archaeology and Text. Professor Richard Elliott Friedman gives us a preview of his arguments in his new book, The Exodus. Excerpt:The starting-point, widely recognized, is that there were Western Asiatic people in Egypt. Call ...

2AM

THE LYING PEN OF SCRIBES BLOG: The Museum of the Bible DSS-like Frgs: Written by “the Worn Nibs and Equal Thickness of Strokes Scribal School”? ;- (Årstein Justnes). I take it that Professor Justnes finds this pattern implausible for genuine scroll f...
DR. EVE LEVAVI FEINSTEIN: Remarrying Your Ex-Wife (TheTorah.com).Why can’t a man remarry his wife once she has been married to someone else?A survey of the history of interpretation, with a new explanation. It sounds possible to me. Visit PaleoJudaica d...
INTERVIEW: Get to Know Christian Brady, Inaugural Dean of the Lewis Honors College (Tim Tracy, University of Kentucky News). Targumist Chris Brady recently made a move to the University of Kentucky. His work has been mentioned from time to time on PaleoJu...

September 6, 4AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Pompeii Hero Pliny the Elder May Have Been Found 2,000 Years Later. Pliny the Elder sailed into danger when Vesuvius erupted, and never returned, but a body found a century ago 'covered in jewelry like a cabaret ballerina' may really hav...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Iranian, Manichaean and Central Asian Studies in Memoriam Sundermann. Notice of a new book: Einem Team „Turfanforschung“. 2017. Zur lichten Heimat. Studien zu Manichäismus, Iranistik und Zentralasienkunde im Gedenken an Werner ...

3AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:The Exodus: History Recaptured I believe we can get at what probably took place in Egypt over three millennia ago. That would be a lot. But we have much more. We have evidence that without the historical anchor of the exodus,...
THE NT BLOG: "Say it with awe!" The Apocryphal John Wayne . Mark Goodacre tracks down the true story behind a famous New Testament (movie) apocryphon. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

September 5, 7AM

EPIGRAPHY AND POLITICS: Jerusalem welcomed Jewish refugees 2,700 years ago, new finds show. A trove of clay imprints from official documents indicates that after the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, refugees fled to the Kingdom of Judah, where they r...

3AM

SOURCE CRITICISM: The Challenge to Diachronic Method From Empirical Models of Ancient Writing.In looking beyond the Hebrew scriptures to the epigraphic corpus of the ancient Near East, we multiply the data from which to adduce theories of textual developm...
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: In New Book, JTS Professor Traces His ‘Cultural Footprints From The Rabbinic Past.’ Barry Holtz pieces together an “imagined biography” about Rabbi Akiva, the much-admired rabbinic figure (SANDEE BRAWARSKY, Times of Israel).Holtz...

2AM

DR. HACHAM ISAAC SAASOON: What Does Deuteronomy Say about Homosexuality? (TheTorah.com).“Let there be no kadesh among the sons of Israel. You shall not bring the fee of a harlot or the pay of a kelev (dog?) into the house of YHWH” (Deut 23:18-19).It i...

September 4, 2AM

EPIGRAPHY: New Archaeology Exhibition: Ancient Bureaucracy and Clerks From Israel’s Past. A collection of seals (bullae) from the late First Temple period, discovered in the City of David excavations, shed light on the bureaucracy and officials of ancie...
PROF. SHAYE J.D. COHEN: Permission to Eat from Your Neighbor’s Field? (TheTorah.com).Parashat Ki Tetze (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19) contains more commandments than any other parashah. According to one mitzvah tabulator,[1] the count is 27 positive mitzvot...
ACADEMIC POST: Associate or Full Professor sought for Endowed Chair in Studies in Ancient Jewish Civilizations at UC/San Diego (The advert is posted by the International Catacomb Society.)The Department of History (http://history.ucsd.edu) at UC San Diego...

1AM

THE EIS DOXAN BLOG: Biblical Studies Carnival (Jason Gardner). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

September 3, 4AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: ANDREI A. ORLOV, Yahoel and Metatron. Aural Apocalypticism and the Origins of Early Jewish Mysticism. 2017. XII, 238 pages. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 169. 114,00 €, cloth, ISBN 978-3-16-155447-6.Published in Engli...

3AM

IS THAT IN THE BIBLE? Some Curious Numerical Facts about the Ages of the Patriarchs. Paul Davidson makes a thought-provoking case that the Masoretic Text adjusted the length of the patriarchal period in Genesis to make the total a number that had eschatol...
SEPTUAGINT STUDIES BLOG: Inner-Biblical Exegesis between Old Greek Isaiah 9:9 and Genesis 11:3–4? (JOHN MEADE).The Old Greek (OG) translators are often times (mis)understood to be mechanical in their approach to translating the Hebrew Text (HT), often p...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL: The Prophetic Voice at Qumran. The Leonardo Museum Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls, 11–12 April 2014. Edited by Donald W. Parry, Brigham Young University; Stephen D. Ricks, Brigham Young University and Andrew C. Skinner, Brigham ...

September 2, 7AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: DEVORAH DIMANT, From Enoch to Tobit. Collected Studies in Ancient Jewish Literature. 2017. XVI, 367 pages. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 114. 139,00 €, cloth, ISBN 978-3-16-154288-6.Published in English. The studies by Devo...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY/T&T CLARK:Daily Discoveries of a Bible Scholar and Manuscript Hunter By: Alessandro Falcetta Published: 08-03-2018 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 624 ISBN: 9780567674180 Imprint: Bloomsbury T&T Clark Dimensions: 23...
LARRY HURTADO: The New Brill Greek-English Lexicon Test-driven.But for serious exegesis, you need also to take account of how a word is used in the larger Greco-Roman environment of the NT. This is especially so for infrequently used words in the NT. An...

6AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Helmut Seng, Luciana Gabriela Soares Santoprete, Chiara O. Tommasi Moreschini (ed.), Formen und Nebenformen des Platonismus in der Spätantike. Bibliotheca Chaldaica, 6. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2016. Pp. 424...

September 1, 7AM

DR. CYNTHIA EDENBURG: A King Who Reads Torah: What was Kingship Like in the ANE? (TheTorah.com).Deuteronomy envisions a king constantly reading torah and limiting his wealth and resources. Is this how kings are described in the rest of the Bible?Spoiler: ...
THE RAPHAEL GOLB IDENTITY-THEFT CASE: Impersonator of Dead Sea Scrolls scholars sees U.S. conviction upheld (Brendan Pierson). [Incorrect link now fixed!]NEW YORK (Reuters) - A disbarred U.S. lawyer convicted of impersonating Dead Sea Scrolls scholars in ...
JUDITH WEINGARTEN: Zenobia, Visionary Queen of Ancient Palmyra. In the 200s A.D. the Empress of the East turned her armies on Rome, and almost won.Thus begins the biography of Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, in the Historia Augusta (History of the Emperors), w...
NUMISMATICS: Pocket history: the secrets of ancient coins. The lulav and etrog often appeared on Jewish coins in classical times - but why? (Colin Shindler, The Jewish Chronicle).The root for “coin” in Hebrew, tevah, is the same as that of the “natu...

August 31, 7AM

NEW BOOK FROM OUP:Collected Ghost Stories (OWC Hardback) M. R. James Edited by Darryl Jones Oxford World's Classics Hardback CollectionThe only one-volume edition to include all the published stories included in M. R. James's 1931 Collected Ghost Stori...
THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF QUMRAN STUDIES now has an official website at the University of Göttingen. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
NUMISMATICS: THE COINAGE OF QUEEN BERENICE II (Tara Sewell-Lasater, Pocket Change Blog). Queen Berenice II is mentioned in the Bible in Daniel 11:5-6 as "the daughter of the king of the south." I explain the passage in detail here. She also fig...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Administration in the Achaemenid Empire. Notice of a new book: Jacobs, Bruno, Wouter F. M. Henkelman & Matthew W. Stolper (eds.). 2017. Die Verwaltung im Achämenidenreich – Imperiale Muster und Strukturen. Administration in t...

August 30, 2AM

I'M OFF TO THE 2017 BRITISH NEW TESTAMENT CONFERENCE. It is being held at Saint Patrick's College Maynooth in Ireland. I am especially looking forward to our group visit to the Chester Beatty Library, on which more here and links. I will blog as often as...
THE LYING PER OF SCRIBES BLOG has collected some information regarding those supposed new fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls which have emerged since 2002: The Post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls-like Fragments and Bible Study Software (Årstein Justnes).Some of the p...
DAVID M. WEINBERG: Fund the sifting project (Israel HaYom).One of the most important archaeological projects in Israel today, the Temple Mount Sifting Project, has run out of money and been temporarily shut down. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ...
THE FACES AND VOICES BLOG: The eBay experience. Dr. Roberta Mazza thinks that eBay could do better in its dealings with antiquities and antiquities dealers.The reality is that everything seems allowed because too many collectors/dealers, as the two who pu...

August 29, 6AM

THIS IS MY FOURTH AND CONCLUDING POST commenting on Samuel Zinnner's comprehensive report on the Jordanian Lead Codices: Son of the Star: Bar Kokhba and the Jordanian lead books, which has been published online by the Centre for the Study of the Jordania...

2AM

OOPS! Fake History: Netanyahu Boasts About 'Ancient Jerusalem Coin' - Turns Out to Be Kids' Souvenir. Netanyahu uploaded (then deleted) to Facebook a photo of the object, describing how its discovery attested to long-time Jewish ties to the Holy Land (Nir...
PHILOLOGOS: Did King Solomon Trade with India? On the possible whereabouts of Ophir and Tarshish, and how to get there by ship from Palestine (Mosaic Magazine).We seem to be trapped, indeed, in a form of circular reasoning. On the one hand, a number of bi...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Religious Deviance in the Roman World (Catherine Bonesho).Jörg Rüpke. Religious Deviance in the Roman World: Superstition or Individuality? (Translated by David M.B. Richardson). Cambridge University Press, 2016.Excerpt:S...

August 28, 4AM

OOPS! Too good to be true: 8-year-old’s ‘rare coin’ not an ancient artifact. Originally thought to have been minted during the 66-70 CE Jewish Revolt, the piece is actually a worthless, kid-made souvenir from the Israel Museum’s Youth Wing (Amanda...

3AM

ARCHAEOLOGISTS SPOIL EVERYTHING: The Real Ark of the Covenant May Have Housed Pagan Gods. The holy ark was likely kept in Jerusalem for much less time than the Bible tells us. And it may have contained something other than the Ten Commandments (Ariel Davi...
ICONOGRAPHY: The current issue of Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies (57.3, 2017) has an article by Roy D. Kotansky on the gemstone that bears what is reportedly the earliest image of Jesus' crucifixion (c. 200 CE). The Magic ‘Crucifixion’ Gem in the...

2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Eric H. Cline, Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology (with illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes). Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2017. Pp. xix, 455. ISBN 9780691166407. $35.00 (hb). Reviewed by Dav...

August 27, 8AM

DR. JONATHAN STÖKL: Can There Be Another Prophet Like Moses? (TheTorah.com).Deuteronomy introduces the possibility of future Moses-like prophets who will continue to instruct the Israelites how to follow YHWH’s commandments. At the same time, it makes ...

3AM

MICHAEL SATLOW: The Meaning of “Torah”: A Report from the Enoch Seminar. He brings us some stimulating and sometimes surprising conclusions from the conference. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA: Digital Unwrapping: Homer, Herculaneum, and the Scroll from En-Gedi.Professor Brent Seales will describe his ground-breaking research that is allowing modern scholars to access carbonized ancient texts that have been u...
ZOHAR WATCH: Restoring Kabbalah to Mainstream Judaism. A new translation has made the Zohar—Jewish mysticism’s key work—accessible at last. Is that a good thing? (ARTHUR GREEN, The Atlantic).Matt has made the Zohar into a readable work—for the fir...

August 26, 2AM

PROF. CHRISTOPHER ROLLSTON: Who Wrote the Torah According to the Torah? (TheTorah.com).Jewish and Christian tradition ascribes authorship of the Pentateuch to Moses in the 13th century B.C.E. Is this what the Pentateuch itself implies about who wrote it a...
MICHAEL SATLOW: Naming Rabbis: A Digital List.A little over five years ago I posted an idea about creating a social network analysis of the rabbis found in classical rabbinic literature. In the interim I have thought a lot about this project but have don...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: Bethsaida Controversy. By Rami Arav. University of Nebraska at Omaha, August 2017.Archaeologists should be led by the evidence, and not force the evidence into their theories.Dr. Arav thinks that the site of e-Tell was Bethsa...

1AM

LARRY HURTADO: “The Library of Early Christology.”“The Library of Early Christology” is a new series of reprinted works focused on the origins of beliefs in and devotion to Jesus as sharing in divine honor in early Christianity, the series publish...

August 25, 4AM

THIS IS MY THIRD POST commenting on Samuel Zinnner's comprehensive report on the Jordanian Lead Codices: Son of the Star: Bar Kokhba and the Jordanian lead books, which has been published online by the Centre for the Study of the Jordanian Lead Books. Y...

2AM

NUMISMATICS: Archaeologists May Have Found Ancient Bethsaida (Julie Stahl, CBNNEWS.COM). I have already noted this story here, but this article mentions a detail that I did not cover specifically. It is worth mentioning on its own."Also, two coins we...
NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH? Bizarre 18th century Jewish items seized from archaeology smuggler in Egypt. Collection of artifacts taken from a Saudi citizen; also found, and undated, was a 29-page book written in esoteric ‘Hebrew,’ described as ‘t...
PROFESSOR RABBI MARTIN LOCKSHIN: (TheTorah.com).The law of the eglah arufah (the heifer whose neck is broken) has puzzled both traditional and modern commentaries. What is it meant to accomplish? How does it work?Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest n...

August 24, 2AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Surprise, Discovery, Ritual, Meaning, and Wonder. Five years into the seven-year ‘Daf Yomi’ cycle of Talmud study, our columnist pauses to reflect on what the ancient text has taught him about bei...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The Bible in Arabic (Josh Mugler).Sidney H. Griffith. The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the 'People of the Book' in the Language of Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.Excerpt:This issue of identificatio...

1AM

H-JUDAIC: McGill University, Jewish Studies,Flegg Postdoctoral Fellowship.The Department of Jewish Studies, McGill University, invites applications for the Simon and Ethel Flegg Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. The fellowship is for the 2018-2019 academi...
READING ACTS: How did Joseph Get His Wife? – Joseph and Aseneth 1-22 (Phil Long). For Phil's previous post on Joseph and Aseneth, see here. There I also have some comments on the current state of the question about the text and provenance of the work. F...

August 23, 2AM

THIS IS MY SECOND POST commenting on Samuel Zinnner's comprehensive report on the Jordanian Lead Codices: Son of the Star: Bar Kokhba and the Jordanian lead books, which has been published online by the Centre for the Study of the Jordanian Lead Books. ...
ARCHAEOLOGY AND EPIGRAPHY: Emperor Justinian Mosaic Inscription Unearthed near Damascus Gate (JNi.Media).According to [Greek epigrapher Dr. Leah] Di Segni, “This inscription commemorates the founding of the building by Constantine, the priest. The inscr...

1AM

H-JUDAIC: Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbinic Literatures and Cultures, Assistant Professor, Rabbinic Literatures.The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is seeking a dynamic and creative assistant professor of rabbinic literatures and culture, including ...
NEW ARTICLE IN THE ONLINE JOURNAL OF HEBREW SCRIPTURES: Jewish Identity on Trial: The Case of Mordecai the Jew, by Ayelet SEIDLER.Abstract : The book of Esther deals with issues of Jewish identity in exile. This article argues that early in the story (cha...

August 22, 3AM

NUMISMATICS: Ancient coin discovered in Halamish. 9-year-old girl finds coin from time of Temple with inscription 'Holy Jerusalem' (Mordechai Sones, Arutz Sheva).A surprising and apparently shocking discovery in Neve Tzuf, in Binyamin: Hallel, a girl of a...

2AM

READING ACTS: Joseph and Aseneth (Phil Long). I discuss Joseph and Aseneth in my book, The Provenance of the Pseudepigrapha (Brill, 2005), pp. 190-195. It should be mentioned that Joseph and Aseneth survives in Greek in several different recensions, two ...
RELIGION PROF. BLOG: Bloggers’ Dinner and Drinks at #AARSBL17. James McGrath issues the annual invitation. The timing of this never seems to work for me. But I'll stop by if I can. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the ...
NUMISMATICS: Israel Museum coin exhibit shows a daughter’s love is worth more than gold. Priceless collection of 75 gold Roman coins depicts evolution of propaganda and portraiture over 300 years (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).Now this fit-for-a...

August 21, 3AM

AS PROMISED at the beginning of the month, I have some comments on Samuel Zinnner's comprehensive report on the Jordanian Lead Codices: Son of the Star: Bar Kokhba and the Jordanian lead books, which has been published online by the Centre for the Study o...

2AM

APOCRYPHICITY BLOG: 2017 International SBL Christian Apocrypha Sessions Report. Tony Burke is back from Berlin with a report. The content is broader than the title indicates. It includes papers on Jewish Apocrypha, a pagan text adopted later by pretty muc...
ASTRONOMY: Solar Eclipse of 2017: Four Reasons It's Bad, According to the Talmud. Judaism's central rabbinic text says today's solar eclipse is nothing to celebrate (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz).But at the downtown Brith Shalom Beth Israel synagogue Su...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: August 2017: An Eclipse of Biblical Proportions. Solar eclipses and Biblical events (Frederick Baltz). I don't recall seeing this explanation before for Hezekiah's reversing sun-shadow on the "dial of Ahaz" (2 Kings 20/Isaia...

August 20, 4AM

THE JUBILEES PALIMPSEST PROJECT has some 2017 updates on its website which I have not yet noted. The project is devoted to technological reconstruction of (inter alia) the under-text of a Latin palimpsest manuscript containing the Book of Jubilees and a f...

3AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Revolt and Resistance in the Ancient Classical World and the Near East. Notice of a new book: Collins, John & J.G. Manning. 2016. Revolt and Resistance in the Ancient Classical World and the Near East: In the Crucible of Empire....
THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: “The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions” (William Brown). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: Can Genetics Solve the Mystery of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel?. By Steven Weitzman, Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Augusta 2017.Geneticists will always need to rely on non-genetic evidence to m...

August 19, 2AM

DR. JORDAN D. ROSENBLUM: Why Chicken and Cheese Became Prohibited. But Chicken and Egg Remained Permitted (TheTorah.com).We have seen that normative rabbinic opinion prohibiting the consumption of meat with milk develops to include fowl—at least in prac...
THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: “Leadership, Social Memory and Judean Discourse in the Fifth-Second Centuries BCE” (William Brown). I'm not sure why the review does not give full bibliographic information on the volume, but here it is: Ehud Ben Zvi and Dia...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: On Pedagogy and Playing with Fire: How (and Why) to Eat a Candle in Class! (Jill Hicks-Keeton). This sounds like quite a stimulating and informative pedagogical exercise. But do read to the end of the essay before you try it in your ow...
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What is a Catena Manuscript and Why should we Care? (John Meade, ETC Blog). Catena manuscripts are important for the study of the Septuagint. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical ...

August 18, 5AM

IN DEAD SEA DISCOVERIES: Nine Dubious “Dead Sea Scrolls” Fragments from the Twenty-First Century. By Kipp Davis; Ira Rabin; Ines Feldman; Myriam Krutzsch; Hasia Rimon; Årstein Justnes6; Torleif Elgvin and Michael Langlois. Abstract:In 2002 new “De...

4AM

DANGEROUS PHILOLOGY: Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live: A Murderous Mistranslation? Not everybody agrees that the biblical reference in Exodus is to 'witches' as we understand them (Elizabeth Sloane, Haaretz).“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live...

3AM

HOBBY LOBBY FALLOUT: Accusations against BYU professor appear unsubstantiated (Jesse King, BYU Daily Universe).BYU religion associate professor Lincoln Blumell was recently accused of working with illegally obtained artifacts owned by Hobby Lobby. Accord...
READING ACTS: The Apocalypse of Adam and Eve. Phil Long posts on the Greek version of the Life of Adam and Eve, also known as "The Apocalypse of Moses." This is his second post on the Life of Adam and Eve. The first was noted here. I have some ...

August 17, 3AM

MATERIAL CULTURE: Yale Art Gallery serves up ancient glass in ‘Drink That You May Live’ exhibit (Joe Amarante, Litchfield County Times).The exhibit “Drink That You May Live: Ancient Glass from the Yale University Art Gallery,” curated by Sara E. C...
RELIGION NEWS SERIVICE: After the Hobby Lobby scandal, a spotlight on antiquities sales in Israel (Michael Chabin).JERUSALEM (RNS) – The arrest of five antiquities dealers who allegedly helped Hobby Lobby purchase illegally obtained ancient artifacts ha...

2AM

READING ACTS: The Life of Adam and Eve. The Latin version of this work is called "The Life of Adam and Eve." The Greek version is called "The Apocalypse of Moses." The title differs because the latter version frames the story as a divi...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Sound Pedagogy (Sarit Kattan Gribetz).Sound was not the central topic of this course, nor the primary mode of analysis – it was one of several. But I had never before used sound so prominently and deliberately in my pedagogy, and by...

August 16, 4AM

PHILOLOGOS: The Origins of the Precept "Whoever Saves a Life Saves the World." And what they tell us about particularism and universalism in Jewish tradition (Mosaic Magazine).An Islamic principle? Isn’t the precept cited by Saleh, the startle...

3AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: The Shroud Is Just Another Hoax Forged During the Middle Ages (Antonio Lombatti). Past PaleoJudaica posts on the Shroud of Turin are here with many links. Professor Lombatti has been writing on the Shroud for many years. Vis...
READING ACTS: Christian Visions and the Ascension of Isaiah. Phil Long has a second post on the Ascension of Isaiah as part of his ongoing series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. For the preceding post on the Ascension of Isaiah, along with my comment...
THE ASOR BLOG: Were YHWH and Dionysus Once the Same God? This essay sounds wildly speculative to me, although I concede that a blog post is not an adequate venue for a full defense of it. But I'm going to wait until the case passes muster in a peer-review...

August 15, 3AM

READING ACTS: The Martyrdom of Isaiah (Phil Long).The first five chapters of this work are a Jewish expansion of 2 Kings, detailing the martyrdom of Isaiah. Chapters 6-11 are a Christian work which detail Isaiah’s ascension through the seven heavens. Th...
DIGITAL ARCHIVE: Hebrew U Launches World’s Largest Jewish Art Index (JNi.Media).The Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art is a collection of digitized images and information about Jewish artifacts from all over the world. The online collection includes mo...
OSTEOLOGY: Stop hoarding ancient bones, plead archaeologists. Scientists call for wider access to rare samples rich in DNA (Ewen Callaway, Nature).The quest to chronicle the past using DNA from ancient humans and animals has become a cut-throat ‘game of...

2AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Roman Emperor Nerva’s Reform of the Jewish Tax. How Jews and Christians became further differentiated under Nerva (Nathan T. Elkins).The coins of Nerva have sometimes been interpreted as evidence of the abolition or partial repeal o...

August 14, 2AM

PALEOLOGRAPHY: Alphabet Soup in Dead Sea Scrolls Opens a Window to an Ancient Hebrew World. With a little help from his wife, researcher Alexey Yuditsky substituted one letter for another and got a lesson on the expulsion of man from the Garden of Eden (N...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Stone Workshop Sheds New Light on Roman-era Galilee Jews' Faith. Turns out Galilee Jews were as devout as their Judean counterparts ■ Chalk cave could be source of stone jars whose water Jesus turned into wine at nearby Kafr Kana. (...
WILLIAM ROSS: A LETTER OF H. REDPATH. William publishes some correspondence relating to a Septuagint concordance project. For his posts on some other LXX-related correspondence from the same period, see here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news ...
PUNIC WATCH: Roman coins show evidence of Hannibal's defeat, scientists say (The Telegraph).Study co-leader Dr Katrin Westner, of Goethe University in Frankfurt, Gemrany, said: "Before the war we find that the Roman coins are made of silver from the ...

August 13, 9AM

GENIZA WATCH: This Amazing Project Invites The Public To Help Unlock Medieval Jewish Documents (Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, The Forward). And be sure and watch the video on the work of Professor Marina Rustow. It happens that this summer I have been work...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: ATTILIO MASTROCINQUE The Mysteries of Mithras: A Different Account. 2017. XXI, 363 pages. Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 24, 99,00 €, cloth, ISBN 978-3-16-155112-3.Published in English. In this work, Attilio Mastrocin...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages Studies in Honour of Philip S. Alexander Edited by George J. Brooke and Renate Smithuis, The University of Manchester In Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages fifteen sch...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Studies on the Seleukid Empire between East and West. Notice of a new book: Engels, David. 2017. Benefactors, Kings, Rulers. Studies on the Seleukid Empire between East and West (Studia Hellenistica 57). Leuven: Peeters. Follow the ...

August 12, 3AM

CITRON CATASTROPHE: As Italy’s citron crop fails, an archaeologist looks to fruit’s 2,500-year history in Israel. After a disastrous frost that looks to wipe out the majority of this year’s etrog yield, Chabad Jewry braces for a crisis ahead of the ...

2AM

SYRIAC (ETC.) WATCH: This priest preserves Iraqi culture found in historic manuscripts (Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency).Since 1750 many antique manuscripts had been kept in the library of the Dominican monastery in Mosul. They were moved from the ...
TALMUD WATCH: Hungary Emissary Presents Netanyahu With Translated Talmud (Lubavitch.com). Prime Minister Netanyahu visited Budapest last week.[Hungary Rabbi Shlomo] Koves presented netanyahu with a copy of the Hungarian Talmud, which was recently publishe...
READING ACTS: Expansions on the Stories of Isaac and Jacob in Jubilees 24-38. Phil Long continues his series on the Book of Jubilees as part of his larger series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. For notice of past posts, start here and follow the link...

August 11, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Israel to Begin Privatizing Large-scale Archaeological Excavations. Senior archaeologists warn the decision will lead to unprecedented destruction of archaeological findings and serious harm to archaeology as a science in Israel. Netivei Isra...
THE ASOR BLOG: The Invention of Judaism. Torah and Jewish Identity from Deuteronomy to Paul. John J. Collins gives us a preview of his new book. Excerpt:The official status of the Torah after the time of Ezra did not entail that it was closely observed. R...

2AM

READING ACTS: Expansions on the Story of Abraham in Jubilees 11-23. Phil Long gives us a nice summary of the section on Abraham in Jubilees. A couple of past PaleoJudaic posts on the same subject are here and here. Phil Long has been blogging on the Boo...
TALMUD WATCH: How A Two Thousand Year Old Remedy Cured My Daughter (Ilana Kurshan, The Forward).“Well,” he told me, “There is one proven remedy – you can give her fresh goat’s milk to drink. That works like a charm.” I looked at him like he wa...

August 10, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Galilee Excavation Reveals 2,000 Year-Old Stone Vessel Workshop (JNi.Media).A rare workshop for the production of chalkstone vessels, dated to the Roman period, is currently being excavated at Reina in Lower Galilee. The excavations are unear...
DIGITIZATION: Israel’s national library launches online database of Jewish manuscripts (Jewish News/JNS.org).The National Library of Israel (NLI) has launched a massive online database of centuries-old Jewish manuscripts from across the world. The arch...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: The Invisible Poems Hidden in One of the World's Oldest Libraries. A new technique is revealing traces of lost languages that have been erased from ancient parchments (Richard Gray, The Atlantic).For centuries they have gathered dust on ...

2AM

READING ACTS: From Creation to Flood – Jubilees 1-10. Another post in Phil Long's series on the Book of Jubilees, which is part of his much longer series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. For both, start here and follow the links. Past PaleoJudaica ...

August 9, 5AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Lest Ye Be Judged. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how Talmudic rabbis carried the life-or-death burden of sitting in judgment of others.It is because they recognized the moral responsibility of judg...

4AM

EPIGRAPHY AND THE BIBLE: Researcher gives seal of approval to 53 biblical characters’ existence. Lawrence Mykytiuk looks for ancient personalities who have made an impression — be it on a signet ring or a monument (Rich Tenorio, Times of Israel). An i...
INTERVIEW AND NEW BOOK: Divine Encounters of Biblical Times: PW Talks to James Kugel (Lenny Picker, Publishers Weekly).In The Great Shift: Encountering God in Biblical Times (HMH, Sept.), Bible scholar and professor emeritus of Hebrew Literature at Harvar...
READING ACTS: Sacred Geography and Sacred Time in Jubilees. Phil Long continues his series of posts on the Book of Jubilees as part of his larger series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. (See here and many links.) Past PaleoJudaica posts on ancient Je...

August 8, 2AM

THAT'S A BIG ANNIVERSARY: Celebrating 2,000 Years, Tiberias' History Is Buried Under Garbage. Ancient bathhouse under weeds, beer bottles covering a mosaic. Archaeological sites around the city could have been tourist attractions, but many are abandoned a...
MICHAEL SATLOW: Shared, but How?What is a “ball”? Does a ball exist when there is nobody around to see it?Despite what might seem like an unpromising opening, this blog post is actually a nice report on a recent conference on Jewish ritual practices ...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Luke & Acts (7): Caiaphas (Michael J. Caba). This is number seven in the series, formerly called "Historical Reliability of Luke-Acts. For notice of past posts in the series, see here and links. For past PaleoJudaica post...
VANDEREBILT UNIVERSITY: Levine’s scholarship on Jesus’ parables featured in new children’s book (Ann Marie Deer Owens).Amy Jill Levine, a Vanderbilt New Testament scholar, is the co-author of a new children’s book that imaginatively retells three ...

August 7, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: The Lost Home of Jesus' Apostles Has Just Been Found, Archaeologists Say. Archaeologists believe Julias, the home of Jesus' apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip, was located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Noa Shpigel and Ruth Schus...

2AM

I'M GOING WITH YES FOR BOTH: Was there a Jewish temple in Jerusalem? Were the pyramids built in Egypt? (Jeremiah J. Johnston and Craig A. Evans, Fox News). Regular readers of PaleoJudaica will be familiar with the stories covered in this article. For the...
THAT WOULD BE COOL: Could Biblical Hebrew be making a comeback? (Rome Reports). The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome is giving it a go. But now that we have Modern Hebrew, the appeal of spoken Biblical Hebrew is likely to be to a niche mark...
READING ACTS: The Law in Jubilees (Phil Long).In Jubilees, the law is established in creation, therefore “Obedience to the Law is the central message of Jubilees” (Wintermute, “Jubilees,” OTP 2:40). The writer desires to place as many Jewish custo...

August 6, 2AM

THE FESTIVAL OF TU B'AV begins this evening at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating. Tu B'Av (which just means the 15th day of the month of Av) is an ancient matchmaking festival. It has been revived in recent years as a kind of Jewish Valentine...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Huqoq 2017: Mosaics of Jonah and the Whale, the Tower of Babel and More. Huqoq excavations expose vibrant Greco-Roman and Biblical scenes (Nicola McCutcheon). A brief, but good overview of the many mosaic discoveries at the Huqoq exca...
WILLIAM ROSS has been at the Cambridge University Library reading other people's mail. In two blog posts he shares some of what he's found: SOME LETTERS OF H. B. SWETE – PART IAlthough you may think reading hundred year-old mail to learn more about a ...

1AM

READING ACTS: Why Was Jubilees Written? This is the second recent post on Jubilees in Phil Long's ongoing series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. For previous posts in the series, start here and follow the links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseude...

August 5, 1AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: First Person: Should These Looters Go to Jail? As published in the July/August 2017 Biblical Archaeology Review (Hershel Shanks). Much of this essay is about an imaginary looter and a (regrettably) imaginary inscription. But the quest...
APOCRYPHICITY BLOG: 2017 ISBL Preview: “‘Arabic’ Infancy Gospel No More” (Tony Burke).I am about to depart for the 2017 International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Berlin. Slavomír Céplö and I will be presenting at the first ...
THE ASOR BLOG: Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq (Amir Harrak).Over the centuries, the monastery of Mar Behnam amassed various Syriac and Arabic manuscripts, as well as books recording the names of royal and other historically important visitors. During...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Website Construction as Introduction to Academic Research (Rebecca Falcasantos).For the past three semesters, students in my introductory Bible course have created websites as a way of learning the basic methods of academic research, a...

August 4, 3AM

RELIGION NEWS SERVICE: Despite smuggled antiquities purchase, some say criticism of Bible museum is unfair (Menachem Wecker). Some prominent scholars are pointing out that Hobby Lobby's antiquities-acquisition misadventure is hardly unique in the museum w...
JOB OPENING AT UCLA: Assistant Professor in Early Judaism.The Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles, announces a search for a tenure-track position in early Judaism at the rank of Assistant Profes...

2AM

FROM THE ORION CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS:Open Call for Papers An International Symposium: The Dead Sea Scrolls at Seventy: “Clear a Path in the Wilderness” Date: 29 April–3 May, 2018 Conveners: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Survey Results: Favorite Vista (Todd Bolen). My vote was for the Mount of Olives, which came in at second place. Background here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

August 3, 3AM

THE CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF THE JORDANIAN LEAD BOOKS has published its comprehensive report on the metal codices, by Samuel Zinner, on its website. You can download the pdf file here: Son of the Star: Bar Kokhba and the Jordanian lead books. It's a big fi...
NEO-PUNIC WATCH: Buried at the Racetracks: 1,500-year-old Grave Discovered at Carthage Circus. The ancient Carthaginians were so obsessed with gambling that some may have chosen the races as their final resting place, archaeologists suspect (Phillippe Boh...

2AM

RENOVATION: Travel back in time at this secret cool oasis in Jerusalem’s Old City. The first stage of the 100-year-old Terra Sancta Museum’s reboot offers a multi-media tour of the holy city from a Christian perspective (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of ...
READING ACTS: What is the Book of Jubilees? Phil Long continues his blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. He also dealt with Jubilees in an earlier post, noted here. The Jubilees Palimpsest Project is currently working on recovering more of th...

August 2, 7AM

MORE FALLOUT: Arrest of Jerusalem antiquities dealers opens a smuggling Pandora’s Box. Use of Israel as a way station to legitimize sale of looted artifacts to Hobby Lobby prompts Antiquities Authority to seek ban on all dealing (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Ti...

3AM

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Reader Survey: Favorite Vista. Todd Bolen has another Bible Places survey:I thought that this week we would solicit your perspective on the best vista on your itinerary. The site can be in Israel or any other biblical land.My experi...
THE LATEST: An exciting conversation with Rabbi Steinsaltz. President Rivlin calls Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz on prolific scholar's birthday, wishes him continued health and many more years of teaching (Arutz Sheva).President Reuven Rivlin called Rabbi Adin Ev...

2AM

PUNIC WATCH: Today, in the Boston Globe's This day in history.In 216 B.C., during the Second Punic War, Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal defeated the Roman army in the Battle of Cannae.Past posts involving the Battle of Cannae are here and here, and li...

August 1, 8AM

THE TELL ES-SAFI/GATH ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECT BLOG: INSCRIPTION!!! That's right. A new inscription was discovered Gath last month. So far details are scarce. This post does say that "it is quite similar, in its general characteristics, to the “ALWT...

7AM

THIS IS GETTING COMPLICATED: Israeli Authorities Arrest Antiquities Dealers In Connection With Hobby Lobby Scandal (Daniel Estrin, NPR).At 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Israeli police say, authorities arrested five Palestinian antiquities dealers in Jerusalem and ...

6AM

REMNANT OF GIANTS: Is Og with the Quick or the Dead? New article from Laura Quick.Laura Quick has just published a useful discussion of the issues surrounding interpretation of King Og’s ערשׂ, in Deuteronomy 3.11, which she interprets as a literal s...

5AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Household and Family Religion in Persian-Period Judah. Notice of a new book: Gallarreta, Jose E. Balcells. 2017. Household and Family Religion in Persian-Period Judah: An Archaeological Approach (Ancient Near East Monographs 18), SB...

July 31, 3AM

TISHA B'AV (THE NINTH OF AV) begins this evening at sundown. An easy fast to all those observing it. The Ninth of Av is not specifically a biblical holy day. Rather, it commemorates a number of disasters that happened to the Jewish people, traditionally ...
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEW MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES! I learned about this year's round when I received an announcement from the Orion Center that Professor Emeritus Emanuel Tov of the Hebrew University had been elected. Profess...

2AM

APPREHENDED: POLICE ARREST 5 IN $20 MILLION BLACK MARKET ANTIQUITIES, TAX FRAUD STING. Rare antiquities, NIS 800,000 in cash, and luxury cars were seized from east Jerusalem suspects’ homes and businesses (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).Following a...
RELIGION PROF. BLOG: Canaanites Among Us. James McGrath has some sensible commentary on the recent excited reports that DNA analysis shows that the modern Lebanese are descended from the Canaanites. This isn't exactly a surprise. Visit PaleoJudaica daily ...

July 30, 3AM

THE HEBREW-LANGUAGE JOURNAL TARBIZ HAS A COUPLE OF NEW ISSUES OUT: Tarbiz Vol. 84, No. 3Nili Samet - New Light on the Administrative Term bēn bayît in Biblical and Rabbinical Sources Bezalel Bar-Kochva - The Religious Persecutions of Antiochus Epiphan...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Sasanian Persia. Notice of a new book: Sauer, Eberhard. 2017. Sasanian Persia: Between Rome and the steppes of Eurasia. Edinburgh University Press. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical wor...

2AM

ETC BLOG: Introduction to Brill’s Textual History of the Bible (John Meade).What follows is not a review. It is a teaser and brief orientation to one of the most comprehensive projects on the text of the Hebrew Bible. Brill’s Textual History of the Bi...
NEW ARTICLE IN THE JOURNAL OF HEBREW SCRIPTURES: Identity Coherence in the Chronicler's Narrative: King Josiah as a Second David and a Second Saul (BRENDAN G. YOUNGBERG; Volume 17, Article 4 DOI:10.5508/jhs.2017.v17.a4). Abstract:Among the variants in C...

July 29, 2AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Jesus Before Pilate: Who was the real Pontius Pilate? (Marek Dospěl). As usual, the full article on Pontius Pilate by R. Steven Notley is only available to paid subscribers to BAR. But the BHD essay has some good general information....
AN ARMY OF EPIGRAPHERS: A Chinese Museum Is Offering Big Money to Whomever Can Decode This Ancient Script. The going rate is $15,000 per character (MICHAEL WATERS, Atlas Obscura).IT’S NOT BOUNTY HUNTING, BUT it’s close: The National Museum of Chinese ...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: CHRISTIANE BÖHM. Die Rezeption der Psalmen in den Qumranschriften, bei Philo von Alexandrien und im Corpus Paulinum. [The Reception of the Psalms in the Qumran Cave Scrolls, Philo of Alexandria's Writings, and the Pauline Corp...
LARRY HURTADO: A.F. Segal: “The Other Judaisms of Late Antiquity.”I’m very pleased to have my gift-copy of the re-publication of some key works by Alan F. Segal in one handy volume: The Other Judaisms of Late Antiquity, Second Edition, which now in...

July 28, 7AM

DR. RABBI ZEV FARBER: Elazar Speaks Once in the Torah: Why Does He Interrupt Moses? (TheTorah.com).Moses tells the soldiers returning from the Midianite war that they must purify themselves from corpse impurity. Elazar then jumps in with a unique law in M...

July 1, 2AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: King Herod’s Ritual Bath at Machaerus. Ritual purification high above the Dead Sea (Robin Ngo). As usual, this essay summarizes an article in the current issue of BAR: Győző Vörös, "Machaerus: A Palace-Fortress with Multipl...
THE CSCO BLOG: The Grammar of Messianism, PT. 1. A video of Dr. Matthew Novenson of the University of Edinburgh. He speaks about his new book with the same title. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
ETHIOPIC WATCH: Israel's Ethiopian Jews keep ancient language alive in prayer (Mordechai Goldman, Al-Monitor).On June 7, another group of about 70 Falash Mura (people of Jewish origin) immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia. Their arrival revived discussions ...

1AM

CHURCH SLAVONIC WATCH: Russian Orthodox Church thinks kids should have to learn Church Slavonic (The Calvert Journal). This sounds like a good idea to me, but then I also think that children in the West should have to learn Latin. I'm not sure that either...

June 30, 2AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: What Happens When a Dying Man Doesn’t Die? A question of morals for a loopy Coen-brothers script, in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study.But what happens, the Talmud asks, if a man makes a gif...
READING ACTS: “No One Escapes Death” – Testament of Abraham 1-9. Phil Long continues his series on Testamentary literature as part of his longer series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. For notice of past posts see here (also on the Testament of ...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Egyptian Loanwords in Tanach (Mitchell First, Jewish Link of New Jersey).Did you ever wonder which words in Tanach are not Hebrew but are Egyptian? Others have been wondering as well! In 1953, the classic article on this topic was publis...

1AM

PROGRESS OF A SORT: Look, but don’t touch: Moscow’s Schneerson Collection goes online. Russian government continues to hold the Chabad dynasty’s seized collection of ancient books, but is opening it to public viewing on the web (Juile Masis, Times o...

June 29, 4AM

TODAY IS THE 5TH OF TAMUZ, the anniversary of Ezekiels Merkavah vision as described in Ezekiel chapter 1. This was Ezekiel's prophetic call. This chapter also is the central inspiration for later Jewish and Christian mysticism. I have commented more about...

3AM

ZOHAR WATCH: ZOHAR'S TRANSLATION UNLOCKS THE SECRETS OF JEWISH MYSTICISM IN AN AGE OF EXTREMISM (ALEXANDER NAZARYAN, Newsweek). Despite the clickbaitish title (for which I do not hold the author responsible), the article is good and is worth reading in fu...
ARCHAEOLOGY: ARCHEOLOGISTS FIND EVIDENCE OF PLANT DYES FOR CLOTHING DATING TO SOLOMON. Joint study concludes 3,000-year-old dyed textiles found in Timna Valley used by ‘fashion elite’ (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).According to the authority, th...

2AM

READING ACTS: What is the “Testament of Abraham”? (Phil Long). Last year I commented on the Testament of Abraham with reference to a post in Phil's series on Romans. I have nothing to add here. I have been following Phil Long's blog series on the Old...

June 28, 3AM

RELIGION PROF: Digital Humanist Wanted. James McGrath shares a job announcement. If you are good at digital language research, Greek, Syriac, and Arabic, and if you also want to live in Vienna, this could be the job for you. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for t...
HIS YAHRZEIT WAS 16 SIVAN (10 JUNE): Nahum M. Sarna (TheTorah.com).A Biography by Prof. Marc Zvi Brettler and Eulogy (delivered at the funeral) by Prof. Lawrence Schiffman.I noted his passing in 2005 here, here, here, and here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily fo...
READING ACTS: The Testament of Job. A chapter-by-chapter summary. For past posts in Phil Long's blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, see here and links. He has been posting on Testaments recently. Yesterday's post was the first on the Testame...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: LEFT-WING NGO PETITIONS HIGH COURT TO HALT WESTERN WALL TUNNEL EXCAVATIONS. ‘According to law, a ministerial committee must convene and decide whether to approve the archaeological excavations carried out in the tunnel,’ says Emek ...

2AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Some critics of Western Wall plan still unhappy after freeze. Archaeologist says expansion of pluralistic prayer site may still harm antiquities; feminist religious activist who opposed agreement finds little joy in reversal (Melanie L...

June 27, 3AM

ASSYRIAN (MODERN SYRIAC) WATCH: Turkey Seizes Assyrian Monastery Property (Ygar Gültekin, http://www.agos.com.tr via AINA).After Mardin became a Metropolitan Municipality, its villages were officially turned into neighbourhoods as per the law and attache...

2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: N. Gonis, F. Maltomini, W. B. Henry, S. Slattery, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Volume LXXXII [Nos. 5290 - 5319]. Edited with Translations and Notes. Graeco-Roman memoirs, 103. London: Egypt Exploration Society, 2016. Pp. xii, 17...
READING ACTS: What is the “Testament of Job”? (Phil Long). I cannot rule out that the Testament of Job is a first-century Jewish work, but I do not assume that it is. It makes good sense as a late-antique Christian work. That is the first social conte...
SAD NEWS: Artscroll Founder Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz Dead at 73 (David Israel, The Jewish Press).Rabbi Zlotowitz et al’s most ambitious endeavor was the publication of the Schottenstein English Edition of the Talmud. This monumental, 73-volume work was publ...

June 26, 4AM

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Citing Text Collections 4: MOTP. The SBL Handbook of Style Blog tells you how to cite Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume one (ed. Bauckham, Davila, and Panayotov; Eerdmans 2013). Their abbreviation is diff...
THIS IS APPALLING: UI prof's post on ancient statues, white supremacists elicits death threats. PaleoJudaica has mentioned Professor Sarah Bond's work from time to time. I am sorry to hear that this has happened to her. Idiot trolls who threaten people a...

3AM

MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: Jewish Identity as a Psychic Wound? Naomi Seidman on Cynthia Baker’s Jew. This is the fifth essay in Marginalia's Forum on Cynthia Baker’s book Jew. This essay doesn't have anything particular to do with ancient Judaism, ...
READING ACTS: Testament of Benjamin. For Phil Long's blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha start here and follow the links. His current series on the Greek Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs has come to Benjamin, who is number twelve. Now Phil...

June 25, 3AM

HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: Jewish Presence at Hierapolis (Menorahs) Carl Rasmussen has photos of ancient menorah engravings on tombs in Hieropolis (cf. Colossians 4:12-13). For past PaleoJudaica posts on ancient menorahs and representations of menorahs, see...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: GUDRUN HOLTZ, Die Nichtigkeit des Menschen und die Übermacht Gottes Studien zur Gottes- und Selbsterkenntnis bei Paulus, Philo und in der Stoa. [Human Nothingness and the Supremacy of God. Studies on Divine and Self Knowledge ...

2AM

NEW BOOK FROM BREPOLS: Religious Minorities in Christian, Jewish and Muslim Law (5th - 15th centuries). J. V. Tolan, C. Nemo-Pekelman, N. Berend, Y. Masset (eds.).The fruit of a sustained and close collaboration between historians, linguists and jurists ...
BOOK REVIEW: The story of Hebrew. A look at Lewis Glinert’s wonderful new book (CURT LEVIANT, The Jewish Standard).Every page of “The Story of Hebrew” is packed with information about the language, from its beginnings through post-1948 Israel. In ad...

June 24, 2AM

LARRY HURTADO: Is the New Testament a Field of Study?. Professor Hurtado discusses an article with that title by Leander Keck, published in 1981. Read the whole post, but here are two excerpts:Referring to “the Mandaean fever of the 20s and a severe cas...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: A Brief Response to the Reviews of Qumran Revisited by Magness (RQ 104, 2014: 638-646) and Mizzi (DSD 22, 2015: 220) (David Stacey). This essay deals with technical details of the archaeology of the site of Qumran and those i...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Biblical Sidon—Jezebel’s Hometown. Who were the Sidonians? As usual, the BAR article (“Sidon—Canaan’s Firstborn,” by Claude Doumet-Serhal) is only available via a paid subscription. But the BHD essay gives you an overview....
DIGITIZATION: See An Ancient Ten Commandments Fragment Digitized By Cambridge Digital Library (Jake Romm, The Forward). That fragment is, of course, the Nash Papyrus, on which more here and links. It's from Egypt and was recovered in 1902. It is as old as...

June 23, 3AM

WILLIAM ROSS: LXX SCHOLAR INTERVIEW: DR. ROBERT KRAFT (Septuaginta &C. Blog).This interview highlights one of the senior figures in the field, Dr. Robert Kraft, who is Berg Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania (see...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient industrial site discovered in Galilee. Students and experts from the Israel Antiquities Authority discover ancient agricultural installations carved into bedrock that appear to have been used to store locally-produced products (Itay B...
READING ACTS: Testament of Joseph. Like many of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Greek Testament of Joseph is full of ethical concerns. But, again like the other Testaments, this one is quite oblivious to the ritual law. This seems like a prob...

2AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Theosophy and the Esoteric Tradition (Philip Jenkins). The nineteenth-century Theosophists knew about the Essenes and the Gnostics and had access to Coptic Gnostic texts. All this long before the discovery of the...

June 22, 2AM

NUMISMATICS: Coins of the Realm: Heads (And Tails) of the Roman Empire on Display at Israel Museum. Roman emperors shown as they really looked – while their slogans could be taken from today’s headlines (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).This coin [of the idiosync...
READING ACTS: Testament of Asher. This Testament is particularly interested in the "two ways" ethical framework. Earlier posts in Phil Long's blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha are noted here and links. He has been posting recently...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Sean P. Burrus.Sean P. Burrus, Remembering the Righteous: Sarcophagus Sculpture and Jewish Identities in the Roman World (Duke University, 2017). ... In Remembering the Righteous: Sarcophagus Sculpture and Jew...

1AM

EPIGRAPHY AND ARCHAEOLOGY: (Adam Abrams/JNS.org).The recent discovery of a previously invisible inscription on the back of an ancient pottery shard, that was on display at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum for over 50 years, has prompted Tel Aviv University re...

June 21, 5AM

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2017! This week is full of graduation ceremonies at the University of St Andrews. Many PhD students in the School of Divinity graduated. Well done! So did many undergraduates. Among them are a number of Semitic philologis...
REMNANT OF GIANTS: Biblical Cats Again. With reference to my post On cat domestication yesterday, Deane Galbraith reminds us that he once argued that the lilith-creature in Isaian 34:14 could be a cat. I see that I noted that post back in December of 2015...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: How a Cucumber Decides Whether a Son Inherits Over a Donkey. With surprising analogous thinking, ancient Talmudic sages tackled very modern questions—by accident or foresight, depending on how liber...

4AM

READING ACTS: Testament of Gad. I have noted previous posts in Phil Long's blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha here and links. The series has recently focused on the Greek Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. Cross-file under Old Testament Ps...

June 20, 7AM

ARCHAEOLOGY MAGAZINE: DNA Study Reveals Tale of Cat Domestication.Most house cats alive today descend from cats that can be traced back to Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.I think it is interesting that Israel is on th...
EVANGELICAL TEXTUAL CRITICISM BLOG: Forging Antiquity Website and Blog (Tommy Wasserman). With information on the Macquarie University/Heidelberg University project. I have already noted the Markers of Authenticity Blog back at the end of 2016. Also, the...
READING ACTS: Testament of Naphtali (Phil Long). As I have mentioned before, there is a medieval Hebrew version of the Greek Testament of Naphtali which perhaps shares a Jewish Second-Temple-era source with the Greek text. In the second volume of Old Tes...

6AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Melville’s “Lost Gnostic Poem.” (Philip Jenkins). Melville's poem wasn't lost. He gave it that title. Were the Albigenses descended from the ancient Gnostics? Who knows? Some people thought so and Melville...

June 19, 4AM

BIBLIOGRAPHICA IRANICA: Persepolis Administrative Archives. Notice of a new article in the Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2017. Looks like a useful overview and bibliography. For past posts on the Persepolis Fortification Archive and its its comp...
UPDATE: RABBI STEINSALTZ LAUNCHES NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF TORAH (Jeremy Sharon, Jerusalem Post). The new translation of the Torah is noteworthy, but so is this:Steinsaltz himself did not travel to the event since he is still recovering from a severe st...
ALIN SUCIU: Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – Disputation between Simon a Jew and Theophilus a Christian. A translation of the Latin text with a very brief introduction. Roger Pearse notes the post and gives additional background information. Visit PaleoJuda...
EVANGELICAL TEXTUAL CRITICISM BLOG: Chiesa’s Historical Philology of the Hebrew Bible (Peter Gurry). It's good to know about these things. I hope there will be an English translation someday. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judai...

June 18, 3AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Altay Coşkun, Alex McAuley (ed.), Seleukid Royal Women: Creation, Representation and Distortion of Hellenistic Queenship in the Seleukid Empire. Historia Einzelschriften, 240. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016. Pp. 322...
ARAMAIC WATCH: (Digital Journal).TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 15, 2017) - Goldmoney Inc. (TSX:XAU) ("Goldmoney"), a precious metal financial service and technology company, today announced its investment in Menē Inc. ("Menē"...
THE FORBIDDEN GOSPELS BLOG: Book Note: Cognitive Science and the New Testament (István Czachesz). April DeConick reviews an important new textbook. The application of cognitive psychology to the study of the ancient past is a relatively new approach. It ...

2AM

PHOENICIAN WATCH (SORT OF): Phoenix: A New Hotbed of Textual Criticism (Peter Gurry, Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog). And that is a good thing. Congratulations to Peter and his colleagues at Phoenix Seminary. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest ne...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Yezidi Religious Textual Tradition. Notice of a new book: Omarkhali, Khanna. 2017. The Yezidi Religious Textual Tradition: From Oral to Written. Categories, Transmission, Scripturalisation and Canonisation of the Yezidi Oral Religio...

June 17, 3AM

JEWISH PHILOSOPHY PLACE BLOG: (Deleuze & Guattari) Jews + Jews + Jews (Cynthia Baker) (Zachary Braiterman). Jews, Judeans, and rhizomes. This approach has some similarities to Jonathan Z. Smith's "polythetic" approach as applied to Judaism, ...
AWOL BLOG: Additions to e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha, June 2017 . There are four new entries and another has been expanded. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and its world.

2AM

PODCAST: ATTEMPTING TO SOLVE THE SCHOLEM ENIGMA (Tel Aviv Review).Dr. Amir Engel, a lecturer in German language and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author of the newly published Gershom Scholem: An Intellectual Biography, analyzes...
THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: Pergamum (Turkey) Library. Spoiler: the books are all gone. Nevertheless, most ancient libraries have disappeared without a trance, so it is very worthwhile to have a look at one whose architecture has partially survived. Car...
GAMING NEWS: PS4/PS Vita Exclusive The Lost Child Gets 1080p Screenshots Showing the Return of El Shaddai’s Enoch. The Lost Child pays homage to its predecessor El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron with the return of Enoch and the Nephilim (Giuseppe Ne...

June 16, 3AM

UPDATE: 'If there is any wine, send': Soldier's urgent request dating back to 600BC is found inscribed in Hebrew on the back of a pottery shard (Shivali Best, Daily Mail). This Mail article mostly covers the same ground as the many media treatments from y...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: Deconstructing What We’ve Always Been Told About Qumran.It is misleading to speak of a single “main period of habitation” of a single group or community at Qumran which ended at the time of the First Revolt. Analyses of...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Corinne Bonnet, Laurent Bricault, Quand les dieux voyagent: cultes et mythes en mouvement dans l'espace méditerranéen antique. Histoire des religions. Genève: Labor et Fides, 2016. Pp. 314. ISBN 9782830915969. €29.00...
THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Gustav Holst’s Hymn of Jesus (Philip Jenkins).The result was that almost a century ago, a strictly mainstream, celebrated, English composer produced and staged a work containing evocative Gnostic hymns, and lit...
READING ACTS: Testament of Dan. Dan sounds a bit vampiric here, doesn't he? Earlier posts in Phil Long's blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha are noted here and links. In recent posts he has been surveying the Greek Testaments of the Twelve Pa...

June 15, 4AM

FORGERY OR THE REAL THING? The Shapira Scroll was an Authentic Dead Sea Scroll — by Shlomo Guil in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly 149 (2017), pp. 6-27.Abstract Wilhelm Shapira astonished the European academic world in 1883 by offering for sale fif...
EPIGRAPHY AND TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Revolutionary technology reveals dazzling ‘hidden’ text on biblical-era shard. Pottery from almost 3,000 years ago found to feature previously unseen rare First Temple Hebrew writing; other finds from same era now also ...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists Find Monumental Mikveh at King Herod's Palace in Jordan. Machaerus, King Herod's fortress in Jordan which was razed by the same Roman legion that destroyed Masada, before which Salome did her dance and John the Baptist was kill...

3AM

READING ACTS: Testament of Zebulon. Earlier posts in Phil Long's blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha are noted here and links. In recent posts he has been surveying the Greek Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. Cross-file under Old Testament...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Unexpected Influences | Michael Swartz and Michael Satlow. The Blues and Jewish magic, Tolstoy and causality. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and its world.

June 14, 2AM

BOOK REVIEW (PART FOUR):Tony Burke and Brent Landau, New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1 (Eerdmans, 2016).Part One is here. Part Two is here. Part Three is here. Final Comments This volume is a major contribution to more than...
READING ACTS: Testament of Issachar. Earlier posts in Phil Long's blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha are noted here and links. In recent posts he has been surveying the Greek Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. Cross-file under Old Testamen...
AWOL BLOG: News from the Coptic Scriptorium: Old Testament corpus release. Cross-file under Coptic Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and its world.
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Zoroastrian afterlife beliefs and funerary practices. An article by Almut Hintze in the new (2017) Routledge Companion to Death and Dying. The article is available at Academia.edu. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on anc...

1AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Carlin A. Barton, Daniel Boyarin, Imagine No Religion. How Modern Abstractions Hide Ancient Realities. New York: Fordham University Press, 2016. Pp. 325. ISBN 9780823271207. $35.00 (pb). Reviewed by Anders Klostergaard Pe...

June 13, 4AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: An Old Jew Is on His Deathbed, and Says to His Son… In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ what’s right—and what’s legal—in matters of inheritance.Over the past several weeks, Daf Yomi readers hav...
MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: Thinking with Samaritans and Cynthia Baker’s Jew. Matthew Chalmers on Cynthia Baker’s Jew. Marginalia's Forum on Cynthia Baker’s Jew is publishing a series of essays on the book. This is the third in the series.As a schol...
APPREHENDED: Hiker helps stop antiquities-robbing gang in northern Israel. Caught in action after a foot chase, two out of three thieves taken to Nazareth for investigation (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel). Well done, alert hiker. The apprehension t...

1AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: A Bit Of Bible Long Lost. The Greek fragments of the Gospel of Thomas (the one later found complete in a Coptic translation in the Nag Hammadi Library - see here) were published at the end of the nineteenth cent...
READING ACTS: Apocalyptic in the Testament of Judah. This post discusses a messianic passage that could be read plausibly as a Jewish composition. Earlier posts in Phil Long's blog series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha are noted here and here and li...

June 12, 3AM

BOOK REVIEW (PART THREE):Tony Burke and Brent Landau, New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1 (Eerdmans, 2016).Part One is here. Part Two is here. The Remaining Texts I discuss the remaining texts in the order that they appear in...

2AM

PROFESSOR LAWRENCE H. SCHIFFMAN: The Magdala Stone. A reprint of his article in Ami Magazine. The Magdala Stone is a first-century CE artifact that appears to depict the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It is currently on display in the Vatican Menorah Exhibit...
READING ACTS: Women and Money in the Testament of Judah (Phil Long). The Book of Jubilees also relates Judah's battles with the Amorites (chap. 34) and with the sons of Esau (chapters 37-38). A medieval work called Midrash Vaiysa‘u also tells versions...
THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Finding the First Scrolls (Philip Jenkins). A cache of Dead Sea Scrolls seems to have been found around 800 CE. It is possible that someone copied the fragments of the Damascus Document in the Cairo Geniza from o...
BOOK REVIEW: Bringing A Talmudic Sage Back To Life (Burton L. Visotzky, The Forward).RABBI AKIVA: SAGE OF THE TALMUD By Barry W. Holtz Yale University Press, 248 pages, $25Excerpt:Enter Barry W. Holtz, Baumritter Professor Of Jewish Education at JTS. In h...

June 11, 2AM

AWOL BLOG: Open Access Journal: Journal of Greco-Roman Judaism and Christianity (JGRChJ). I thought I had mentioned this journal fairly recently, but the last post I can find on it is from 2006. So it's high time to mention it again. Lots of interesting a...
LARRY HURTADO: How We See Historical Changes. Beware of metaphors that covertly import evolutionary assumptions into the flow of ancient events.
H-JUDAIC: Miller on Jones, 'Philosophy of Mysticism: Raids on the Ineffable.' Author: Richard H. Jones Reviewer: Michael MillerRichard H. Jones. Philosophy of Mysticism: Raids on the Ineffable. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2016. 438 pp. $95...
MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: Between Jew and Muslim. Observations on Cynthia Baker’s Jew from the Perspective of Islamic Studies (Michael Pregill). Marginalia's Forum on Cynthia Baker’s Jew is publishing a series of essays on the book. This is the thir...
APOCRYPHICITY: 2017 CSBS Christian Apocrypha Session Report (Tony Burke). Dr. Burke reports on the papers presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies in the last weekend in May.

June 10, 3AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Masada Siege. The Roman assault on Herod’s desert fortress (Robin Ngo). This was originally posted in 2014, but I seem to have missed it then. To access the BAR article that it introduces, you need a paid personal or institution...

2AM

EPIGRAPHY: Purdue researcher verifies the existence of 53 people in Hebrew Bible (Purdue Exponent). PaleoJudaica has been following the research of Lawrence Mykytiuk on ancient Hebrew inscriptions for some time. A few years ago he produced a list of 50 bi...
REVIEWS OF BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES: Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile.2017.05.11 | Nicholas G. Piotrowski, Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile: A Socio-Rhetorical Study of Scriptural Quotations. NovTSup 170. Leiden: Brill, 2016....
NEW BOOK FROM WIPF AND STOCK: Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions. Writing Ancient and Modern Christian Apocrypha: Proceedings from the 2015 York Christian Apocrypha Symposium. EDITED BY Tony Burke. FOREWORD BY Andrew Gregory.Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions exa...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Ezekiel. Current Debates and Future Directions. Ed. by William A. Tooman and Penelope Barter. 2017. XV, 552 pages. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 112Published in English. Ezekiel studies are flourishing. The 27 essays collecte...

June 9, 3AM

BOOK REVIEW (PART TWO):Tony Burke and Brent Landau, New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1 (Eerdmans, 2016).Part One is here. Gospels and Related Traditions of New Testament Figures I discuss the gospels (etc.) in roughly the o...
FOLLOWING HADRIAN PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG: Machaerus.Machaerus is a fortified hilltop palace overlooking the Dead Sea in Transjordan, southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river. The fortress was erected by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus (103–76 BC) and ...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: Engaging Biblical Plurality: The Zedekiahs in the Books of Jeremiah.Unfortunately, many biblical scholars and religious educators—whether consciously or unconsciously—overlook this history and its divergent texts, often e...

2AM

READING ACTS: Testament of Levi and the Priesthood (Phil Long). Just to be clear, the Greek Testament of Levi gives every indication of having been written in the second century CE, as a very free translation of the much earlier Aramaic Levi. This is not ...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: tamar - "date palm (tree and fruit); Tamar (name)" תמר. Professor Sabar also suggests that the Aramaic name for Palmrya, Tadmor, may be related to this root.

June 8, 3AM

THE CSCO BLOG: The Book of Enoch the Prophet (Sofanit Abebe). This blog post gives a brief introduction to 1 Enoch. It focuses on the importance of 1 Enoch for Ethiopian Christianity, with particular reference to the Andǝmta commentary tradition. Cross-...
READING ACTS: Apocalyptic in the Testament of Levi. Phil Long explores apocalyptic chronology and messianism in the last four chapters (14-18) of the Greek Testament of Levi. He also has some comments on Aramaic Levi. Unfortunately, we don't have the end...
HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: The Six Days War — Fifty Years Ago Today (June 5, 1967) Carl Rasmussen and his wife were at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem during the war. He has photos. A couple of recent past posts on the war are here and her...
PHILOLOGOS: Who Is the Biblical Stranger, and What Should the Bible's Teaching Mean Today? The shifting historical meaning of “Thou shalt not oppress a stranger” (Mosaic Magazine). As frequently, the meaning of the word ger has changed over time, nota...

2AM

KARAITE WATCH: Biblical Exegesis as a Source of Jewish Pluralism: The Case of the Karaites (Prof. Daniel J. Lasker, TheTorah.com).Karaism is often characterized by its rejection of the Talmud in favor of a super-literalist interpretation of the Torah. But...

June 7, 5AM

BOOK REVIEW (PART ONE):Tony Burke and Brent Landau, New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1 (Eerdmans, 2016).Hereafter "MNTA1." I am very pleased to have the opportunity to publish an extended review of this excellent vol...
DR. ELAINE GOODFRIEND: Shekhar: Is it Wine or Beer? (TheTorah.com).The nazir must abstain from shekhar (שֵׁכָר), and it must be poured on the altar as a libation – but what is it? Understanding the ecology of ancient Israel can help answer the que...
COMMEMORATION: Translating the Torah for today (N.S. Palmer, The Jewish Journal). An essay that celebrates the centennial of the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation of the Bible and the symposium recently held in honor of it. You can read the 191...

2AM

READING ACTS: Ethics in the Testament of Levi (Phil Long). The Greek Testament of Levi is a second-century (Jewish-?) Christian text and so it makes sense that it would have points in common with the mostly first-century New Testament Christian texts. Ph...
ARCHAEOLOGY AND EPIGRAPHY: Column: Cave 25 and the oldest Bible verses (Current in Carmel). Ha ha, fooled you! You were thinking this referred to a Qumran Cave 25 and you were wondering how you missed news about 11 or 12 new caves. Don't worry, you haven'...

June 6, 3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Inheritance. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ one sage overrules the consensus, and men may dispose of their wealth upon their deathbeds at will.This week, the Talmud considered another aspect of ...

2AM

READING ACTS: The Testament of Simeon. The major ethical theme in the Testament of Simeon is the avoidance of envy. This Testament is also one of the ones that claims to know a book of Enoch. It is unclear whether this book actually existed. There is no r...
WELL, THAT'S AWKWARD: Who Was Samson’s Real Father? (Marc Zvi Brettler, TheTorah.com).Samson’s birth story deprecates Samson’s father, Manoah; this serves to highlight the identity of his real father: The angel of the LORD did more than announce Sam...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Bundvad, Time in the Book of Ecclesiastes (Jesse Peterson).[Mette] Bundvad, however, seeks to reinstate this work in the field [on time], only using a different approach. With one eye on Barr’s critiques and another on G...
THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Luke & Acts: Historical Reliability - 6 (Michael J. Caba). This post is on Annas the High Priest. Earlier posts in the series have been noted here and links.

June 5, 6AM

THE BOOK OF DOCTRINES AND OPINIONS BLOG: Interview with Yuval Harari- Jewish Magic before the Rise of Kabbalah (Alan Brill). A long, good introduction to the subject, followed by an excellent interview. I noted Professor Harari's new book, Jewish Magic b...

2AM

DR. MARC HERMAN: The Origins and Use of the 613 Mitzvot (TheTorah.com).The development of the idea that the Torah has 613 mitzvot: From Talmudic aggada, to geonic liturgy, to medieval enumerations.Surprisingly, the idea doesn't have a strong basis in the ...
MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: Jew and the Making of the Christian Gaze. Annette Yoshiko Reed on Cynthia Baker’s Jew. Marginalia's Forum on Cynthia Baker’s Jew is publishing a series of essays on the book. This is the second. In it Professor Reed brings ...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR-SIEBECK: Beyond Conflicts. Cultural and Religious Cohabitations in Alexandria and Egypt between the 1st and the 6th Century CE. Ed. by Luca Arcari. 2017. XIII, 460 pages. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum / Studies and Texts i...
SAMARITAN WATCH: Atop holy mount, Samaritans mark biblical festival of Shavuot. Tiny community makes pilgrimage to West Bank’s Mount Gerizim for seven day celebration of anniversary of receiving the Torah (Times of Israel). The Samaritans' celebration o...

June 4, 2AM

READING ACTS: Book Review: Markus Bockmuehl, Ancient Apocryphal Gospels.Bockmuehl, Markus. Ancient Apocryphal Gospels. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2017. 344 pp.; Hb.; $40.00A review by Phil Long.Conclusion. Bockmuehl contributes a useful introducti...
ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Metatron, Inc. ($MRNJ) Adds A Specialty CBD Infused Tea Blend In Addition To Its Newly Announced Specialty CBD Coffee Blend And Single Serve Maker. "CBD" stands for "Cannabidiol," one of the (many) active ingr...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: Ceramic Heads of Possible Goddesses Discovered in Ancient Waste Dump (Owen Jarus, Live Science). They seem to be wall decorations. They are Phoenician in origin - from Lebanon c. 400 BCE. But they are culturally eclectic, with Greek, Pho...
NABATEAN (NABATAEAN) WATCH: Jordan- Swiss archaeologist examines ancient Nabateans' water technology.(MENAFN - #Jordan Times) AMMAN — The infrastructure of Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabateans, still remains a mystery to most people who visit thi...
REMNANT OF GIANTS: Why Did Jesus Turn Into a Giant? New article proposes an answer (Deane Galbraith). You can read the relevant passage from the Gospel of Peter here. Cross-file under News You Can Use.

June 3, 4AM

DR. LAURIE PIERCE: Ezekiel: A Jewish Priest and a Babylonian Intellectual (TheTorah.com).Ezekiel, a priest born, raised, and educated in Judah, lived and prophesied much of his adult life in Babylonia in contact with cuneiform scholars and scribes. Ezekie...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: JOHN R.L. MOXON Peter's Halakhic Nightmare The “animal” vision of Acts 10:9–16 in Jewish and Graeco-Roman Perspective. 2017. Approx. 450 pages. Forthcoming in May. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. R...
READING ACTS: The Testament of Reuben. Phil Long mentions a number of New Testament passages that can profitably be read with the Greek Testament of Reuben. Its association of the angelic watchers with the idea of women as seductive temptations also makes...

3AM

AS I'VE SAID BEFORE, YOU SHOULD KNOW THESE THINGS: The Best Words From the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The championship turned on the word ‘marocain' (Frankie Caracciolo, Inverse).Besides the winning word, of French-Moroccan origin and first use...
DIABOLICAL PORTAL WATCH: Rabbi Warns Pagan Arch Is End-of-Days Gateway, But Who Will Walk In? (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News). This inevitable story arises from the replica of Palmyra's ancient Arch of Triumph which was recently erected in ...

June 2, 3AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: SETH L. SANDERS, From Adapa to Enoch. Social Culture and Religious Vision in Judea and Babylon. 2017. XIV, 280 pages. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 167.Published in English. What was the relationship between ancient scri...
READING ACTS: What are the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs? (Phil Long). They are a second-century (Jewish-)Christian composition that draws more or less extensively, but also very freely, on Jewish sources in Aramaic and Hebrew. The history of resear...

2AM

JEFF CARTER: Biblioblog Carnival - May 2017.
THE UCOBSERVER: Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls.Editor’s note: The discovery in 1947 of ancient biblical manuscripts in a rugged cave near the Dead Sea triggered a scholarly detective project that continues to this day. In the early 1950s, Rev. R.B.Y. Scott...
THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Jesus, the Zadokites, and the Women’s Home Companion (Philip Jenkins). In a 1939 article the readers of the Women's Home Companion were made acquainted with many Old Testament pseudepigrapha, as well as the Dam...

June 1, 3AM

AWOL BLOG: Online Exhibit at the Getty: The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra. Back in 2015 I noted the acquisition, by the J. Paul Getty Trust, of Louis Vignes's mid-nineteenth-century photographs of Palmyra. Now the Getty has made them, along with the late eig...
BRICE C. JONES: Book Notice: The Dictionary of the Bible and Ancient Media. Edited by Tom Thatcher, Chris Keith, Raymond F. Person, Jr., and Elsie Stern. Bloomsbury T&T Clark. Forthcoming in 2017.

2AM

4 ENOCH: Category:Salome (subject). 4 Enoch is the online encylopedia of research on Second Temple Judaism sponsored by the Enoch Seminar. Some past posts mentioning it are here and here. This meta-article on Salome briefly describes the ancient sources ...
READING ACTS: The Antichrist in the Apocalypse of Elijah (Phil Long). Including a pre-tribulation rapture? For past posts in Phil's recently revived series on the OTP, see here and links.
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century CE (Peter Morris).Heidi Marx-Wolf. Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third ...

May 31, 3AM

REVIEW OF BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES: The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri.2017.05.11 | Eleni Pachoumi, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri. Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity 102. Tübingen: Moh...
THE ASOR BLOG: The Gamla Excavations Final Report, The Rest of the Story (Danny Syon). Well done. Three volumes are now out, with one still forthcoming. Recent PaleoJudaica posts involving Gamla and Josephus are here and here.

2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Bruce W. Winter, Divine Honours for the Caesars: The First Christians’ Responses. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2015. Pp. x, 338. ISBN 9780802872579. $35.00 (pb). Reviewed by Scott...
READING ACTS: The Days of Tribulation in the Apocalypse of Elijah. Phil Long gives a good summary of the critical issues for and the content of the Coptic Apocalypse of Elijah. For an English translation of the work online, see here. For past posts in Ph...
AT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: Annual Ullendorff Lecture in Semitic Philology - 2016: Language Contact and the Genesis of Mishnaic Hebrew. Professor Edward Cook, Catholic University, Washington DC. The lecture took place on 19 May.Abstract: The origin of Mishna...

May 30, 3AM

THE FESTIVAL OF SHAVUOT (Weeks, Pentecost) begins tonight at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating. Some biblical background is noted here (cf. here).
READING ACTS: Apocalypse of Adam. Again, a pretty good summary of the text. It is a Gnostic text of the demiurgic-myth variety, with a lot of Christian, Jewish, and pagan ideas mixed in. My reading of the section on the thirteen kingdoms is different fro...
FOR YOU, SPECIAL DEAL: Emanuel Tov forwards the following e-mail from the Israel Exploration Society (israelexplorationsociety@gmail.com):Subject: THE TEMPLE SCROLL--FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! Yadin's 3-volume(+supplement) editio princeps is being offered a...

2AM

YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: sheva‘ "seven, oath." As often, timely. This time, given the holiday that starts this evening.
THE PUBLIC MEDIEVALIST BLOG: Anti-Semitism Is Older Than You Think ("Dr DarkAge"). Despite the name of this blog, this post is about evidence for anti-Semitism in the ancient Roman era, including references from Apion (via Josephus), Cicero, and...

May 29, 2AM

MATERIAL CULTURE: JERUSALEM DIG SHEDS LIGHT ON 2,000-YEAR-OLD EATING HABITS OF LOCAL JEWS. Sheep and goats were the order of the day, pork and shellfish nowhere to be found, and pigeons were bred for sacrifices on Temple Mount (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusal...
CONGRATULATIONS TO CHARLOTTE HEMPEL, who recently gave her Professorial inaugural address at the University of Birmingham. The title was "The Dead Sea Scrolls: Isolationism, Elites, and Austerity." You can watch the lecture on YouTube:
THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Finding Sirach (Philip Jenkins). The story of the rediscovery of substantial portions of the original Hebrew of Sirach (Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus) in the Cairo Geniza at the end of the nineteenth century. Addition...
LARRY HURTADO: Young Scholars of Promise. Congratulations to all ten young scholars who are recipients of a Lautenschlaeger Award this year. One of them is my St. Andrews colleague T. J. Lang.
CANDIDA MOSS: Leering Angels, Sexy Hair & Feminism: Why Women Wear Veils Why did the Vatican require Melania and Ivanka Trump to cover their heads? It may have started with amorous angels (The Daily Beast). I am astonished that I have never posted on ...

May 28, 4AM

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL: Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Introductions to Astrology. A Parallel Hebrew-English Critical Edition of the Book of the Beginning of Wisdom and the Book of the Judgments of the Zodiacal Signs. Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Writings, Volum...
COMPETITION: The John William Wevers Prize in Septuagint Studies (IOSCS). The competition is for advanced postgraduates and junior scholars. The deadline for submission of a paper is 15 August. Follow the link for further particulars and a list of past re...

3AM

BRICE C. JONES: Book Notice: Discarded, Discovered, Collected: The University of Michigan Papyrus Collection. By Arthur Verhoogt. Forthcoming with University of Michigan Press in the autumn of 2017.
NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER: Blenkinsopp, Joseph. Essays on Judaism in the Pre-Hellenistic Period. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 495. March 2017.Aims and Scope The essays deal with developments during the period from the l...

2AM

AWOL: Hellenistic Babylonia: Texts, Images and Names. Of no little potential interest for background on ancient Judaism. There was a vibrant Jewish community in Babylon in this period, about which we know very little. More on ancient Babylonian texts and...

May 27, 2AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Stephanie Lynn Budin, Jean MacIntosh Turfa (ed.), Women in Antiquity: Real Women across the Ancient World. Rewriting antiquity. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. Pp. xxxvi, 1074. ISBN 9781138808362. $240.00. . Reviewed b...

1AM

SYRIAC WATCH: Mining Ancient Texts Reveals Clues to Space Weather of Yore. Low-latitude sightings of colorful hues in the sky likely to have been auroras indicate powerful geomagnetic storms buffeted Earth when some old chronicles were written, researcher...
SYRIAC WATCH: As Turmoil Displaces Middle Eastern Christians, Scholars Work to Preserve Syriac Culture (Mitch Teich, NPR News in Milwaukee). An excellent audio interview about Syriac literature with Dan Schwartz, Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent, and Na...
READING ACTS: Apocalypse of Abraham. This is a good summary of this mysterious text. One important point not mentioned is that our only sources for it are medieval and later manuscripts in Slavonic. There does seem to be a respectable case, though, that i...
ASOR BLOG: Israel Numismatic Report: Important Finds, Altruistic Reporting, and the Law (David Hendin).Readers of Israeli newspapers and archaeology blogs for the last few years have seen a notable uptick in the number of coin finds reported by “good Sa...

May 26, 3AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Nehemiah—The Man Behind the Wall (Dorothy Willette). This essay was first published some time ago and has just been republished. The republication says the original came out in 2012, but I had a link to it (now rotted) back in 2009....

2AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Beyond the New Testament (Philip Jenkins).From the 1890s onward, such sources inspired academic debate about Gnosticism and other heresies, as scholars argued whether Gnosticism was an offshoot of Christianity or...
READING ACTS: The Greek Apocalypse of Baruch (3 Baruch). A nice summary of the book and overview of the critical issues. For past posts in Phil Long's recently revived series on the OTP, see here and links.
H-JUDAIC: Conference on "Law as Religion, Religion as Law." On 5-7 June at the Institute for Research in Jewish Law at the Hebrew University. The papers include lots of ancient Judaism.
PALMYRA WATCH: Two reviews of a new book on Palmyra have been published in the last couple of days. The book is:Palmyra: An Irreplaceable Treasure. By Paul Veyne; translated from the French by Teresa Lavender Fagan (University of Chicago Press; 128 pages;...

May 25, 3AM

FOR JERUSALEM DAY (YESTERDAY): Watch: Evidence of battle of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. On the occasion of the jubilee celebrations for J'lem's reunification, researchers are unveiling evidence of the last battle of Jerusalem (Arutz Sheva).On the occasion ...
REMNANT OF GIANTS BLOG: Canaanite Reconstructionism (Deane Galbraith). It seems there are Israeli neopagans who worship the Canaanite gods. I was not aware of that, although I did know that Canaanite religious traditions were being used in the performing ...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The Scriptural Universe of Ancient Christianity (Daniel Picus).Stroumsa, Guy. The Scriptural Universe of Ancient Christianity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. The sheer volume of material contained in this s...
READING ACTS: Summer Series: (More) Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Phil Long is back from Israel and is set to return to his blog series on the Old Testament pseudepigrapha. He helpfully includes a list, with links, of all the previous posts in the series....
CONGRATULATIONS TO RABBI STEINSALTZ: Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz) Honored With Jerusalem Award. Mayor pays a visit to the renowned rabbi, who continues to recover from a recent stroke (Chabad.org). The Jerusalem Post also has an article on the awar...

May 24, 3AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Marking the Sacred: ​The Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem (Providence College, June 5-7, 2017) (International Catacomb Society).An international conference bringing together experts on the history and archaeology of Jerusale...

2AM

ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE: Study: Jerusalem reservoirs used by pilgrims 2,000 years ago (Yori Yalon, Israel HaYom).Gigantic ancient pools found in Old City -- more than in any other Mediterranean city -- provided water for masses making pilgrimage to the Templ...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: New Six Day War artifacts hint at a battle on the Temple Mount. Bullets, shell casings discovered in rubble and examined by the Temple Mount Sifting Project raise questions about fight for Judaism’s holiest site during the 1967 war (...
STILL CHANGING: Trump brings spotlight to Israel Museum mired in hunt for leader. For more than a year, institution unable to fill shoes of longtime director James Snyder, who oversaw ‘a huge revolution.’ I noted the announcement of the appointment of...
MASADA DATE PALM UPDATE: KETURA, ISRAEL: Judean Date Palm Methuselah. This tree was extinct for a thousand years before sprouting again from a 2,000-year-old seed (Atlas Obscura).One soon sprouted into a sapling. Twelve years later, it is more than 10 fee...

May 23, 2AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Scope and Shape of the Watchers Myth in Antiquity (Daniel Machiela). Review of Loren T. Stuckenbruck, The Myth of the Rebellious Angels: Studies in Second Temple Judaism and New Testament Texts. WUNT 335. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Talmud’s Hot Tub Time Machine. How Moses could know how his people’s story would end before it was even written is in keeping with the spirit of ‘Daf Yomi.’What the Gemara does not point o...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Trump makes historic visit to Western Wall (Jeremy Diamond, CNN).Jerusalem (CNN)President Donald Trump on Monday became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism. [...]On a related n...
THEATRE? Review: Salome. Yael Ferber's new play Salome is unforgettable, but it's not theatre, says John Nathan (The Jewish Chronicle). Two stars.Clearly, Farber decided to reject period drama as a way of telling the story. The result feels utterly authe...

May 22, 2AM

EPIGRAPY: HOW TO DECODE AN ANCIENT ROMAN’S HANDWRITING. Roger Tomlin has made a career studying bar bills, curse tablets, and other British relics that were never meant for posterity (Charlotte Higgins, The New Yorker). HT AJR. This is an interview wit...
BIBLE ODYSSEY: The "Other" Bible from Qumran (Sidnie White Crawford). Here we hear more about those alternative scriptures, including 1 Enoch, Jubilees, and Ben Sira, but in the context of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Cross-file under Old Testament Pse...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Ljuba Merlina Bortolani, Magical Hymns from Roman Egypt: A Study of Greek and Egyptian Traditions of Divinity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. xxi, 467. ISBN 9781107108387. $130.00.. Reviewed by Thomas Ga...
APOCRYPHICITY: Christian Apocrypha at the 2017 SBL International Meeting (Tony Burke). The meeting takes place in Berlin in August. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch and Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

May 21, 2AM

APRIL DECONICK: Rorotoko Interview. Professor DeConick is interviewed about her book, The Gnostic New Age. My SBL review of the book is here.
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL: For Out of Babylonia Shall Come Torah and the Word of the Lord from Nehar Peqod. The Quest for Babylonian Tannaitic Traditions. Dr. Barak S. Cohen, Bar Ilan University.In For Out of Babylonia Shall Come Torah and the Word of the Lord ...
NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER: Hebräisches und aramäisches Wörterbuch zu den Texten vom Toten MeerBand 1: Aleph – Beth. Reinhard Gregor Kratz, Annette Steudel, and Ingo Kottsieper. 2017.The manuscripts from Qumran and other sites offer unique insight into...

1AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Felix John, Der Galaterbrief im Kontext historischer Lebenswelten im antiken Kleinasien. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments, 264. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016. Pp. 259. IS...
LARRY HURTADO: The “Thorny Crown.” Was the idea of the "thorny crown" placed on the head of Jesus according to the Gospels meant as a jeering representation an imperial "radiate" (spikey) crown?" That idea might provide a bet...

May 20, 2AM

FAKE TALMUD: The Forged Yerushalmi: A 20th-Century Controversy. Revel’s 80th Anniversary Lecture Series Features Discussion of Famous Talmudic Forgery (Yeshiva University News). The lecture was by "historian Rabbi Boruch Oberlander, head of the Bud...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: ELENI PACHOUMI, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri. 2017. XVI, 258 pages. Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity 102. In English.Eleni Pachoumi looks at the concepts of the divine in the Greek magic...
NEW BOOK: The Legacy of the Greek Language. Dean Kalimniou reviews Professor George Kanarakis' The Legacy of the Greek Language - a must-have book for all Greek Australian households (Neos Kosmos). The book includes chapters on the influence of Greek on C...
RELIGION PROF: The Mandaean Book of John: Critical Edition, Translation, and Commentary. It is good to hear that this new edition by Charles D. Häberl and James McGrath is coming out with De Gruyter in 2017. Cross-file under Mandean Watch (Mandaean Watc...

1AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: Qumran and Vicinity: The Caves as a Key to the Enigma (By Claude Cohen-Matlofsky, Institut Universitaire d’Études Juives (IUEJ), Elie Wiesel, Paris. Co-director “Séminaire Qumrân de Paris” Sorbonne-EPHE). It is clea...

May 19, 6AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Which Old Testament? Philip Jenkins continues his blog series on the discovery of "alternative scriptures" a century and more ago. This time he focuses on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. He has a good...
UPDATE: Scholars begin to unlock mystery of lead books ( Paul Handley and Madeleine Davies, Church Times). This is mostly a rehash of the Church Times article noted a few days ago, but it does include some updates on what went on in the AGM of the Centre,...

5AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH? Jewish Mystics Hope Trump’s Israel Visit Might ‘Raise The Temple.’ (Sam Kestenbaum, The Forward). Third Temple activists are hoping that President Trump will visit the Temple Mount and endorse their project. I agree with the art...
TOO GOOD TO FACT CHECK: Donald Trump cancels visit to ancient Israel fortress because ‘he cannot land his helicopter’ on site. US President's aides reportedly refuse to go up hilltop site with cable car (Chloe Farand, The Independent). This rumor was ...

4AM

PRESS RELEASE: Publication of Azusa Pacific Universitys Dead Sea Scrolls to Enhance Biblical Scholarship.... The highly anticipated official publication of these rare and fragile antiquities will appear as a volume in the prestigious Princeton Theological...

May 18, 3AM

OTTC BLOG: Ph.D. and Postdoc Scholarship at the University of Groningen (Drew Longacre). The Dirk Smilde Scholarship 2018 is open for applications. The advert also announces that Professor George J. Brooke, who recently retired from the University of Man...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Stephen M. Trzaskoma, R. Scott Smith, Stephen Brunet (ed.), Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. Second edition. Indianapolis; Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 2016. Pp. lvii, 548. ISBN 978162...

2AM

THE JESUS CREED BLOG: Loosening the Messiah (Scot McKnight). A review of Matthew Novenson new book, The Grammar of Messianism: An Ancient Jewish Political Idiom and Its Users (OUP 2017). Excerpt:Second, his approach is to go to the texts and particularize...
PRESS RELEASE: Christopher Woods appointed director of the Oriental Institute Professor Woods is a Sumerologist. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago shows up frequently in PaleoJudaica posts. Professor Woods replaces archaeologist Gil Stei...
PHILOLOGOS: The Gematria of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Fun with Hebrew numbers (Mosaic Magazine). Despite from the clickbait title and provocative opening, this is a nice introduction to the ancient art of "gematria." This art is based on...

May 17, 5AM

OLD TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA WATCH: The Christian Monks Who Saved Jewish History (Malka Z. Simkovich, Lehrhaus). HT Mosaic Magazine. This article deals with St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai and Mount Athos Monastery in Greece. Scribal monks did inde...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Developmental Composition of the Bible in View of Qumran. A review by David Sigrist of Ulrich, Eugene, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Developmental Composition of the Bible, VTSup 169 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). The biblical scrolls from ...
MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: Introduction: Forum on Cynthia Baker, Jew. Shaul Magid and Annette Yoshiko Reed introduce Marginalia’s newest forum. This is in some ways a follow-up to the 2014 forum on the terminology debate over "Jew" vs. "...

4AM

MASADA REVISIONISM: Did the Jews Kill Themselves at Masada Rather Than Fall Into Roman Hands? The tradition of mass suicide at the ancient desert fortress as described by Josephus has little archaeological support (Elizabeth Sloane, Haaretz). Yes, that's ...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Taking a ‘Sharp Knife’ to the Talmud. Daf Yomi: Interpreters of ancient Jewish law ‘often give the impression of doing whatever needs to be done to make the Bible mean what they want it to mean....

May 16, 3AM

VATICAN MENORAH EXHIBITION: Magdala Stone, known as Jewish-Christian ‘crossroads,’ gets its public debut (Sean Savage, JNS.org). The Magdala Stone is an extraordinarily significant, if perhaps sometimes over-interpreted, item of ancient Jewish iconogr...
DIPLOMACY: Tunisian PM in Djerba for Jewish pilgrimage to Ghriba. Over 2,500 Jews and 12,000 visitors every year (ANSAmed). The Ghriba Synagogue is an ancient synagogue site on the island of Djerba. It is an annual site of Jewish pilgrimage on Lag B'Omer....
TOURISM AND ARCHAEOLOGY: JNF opens ancient caves from era of Bar Kokhba revolt (Dan Lavie,Israel HaYom). The complex of caves used during the Bar Kokhba Revolt at Khirbet Burgin at the Adullam Grove Nature Reserve was opened to the public over the weekend...

2AM

MORE ON THOSE LEAD CODICES: Scholars begin to unlock mystery of Jordanian lead books, and say they are genuine (Paul Handley, Church Times). The main news in this article is that The Centre for the Study of the Jordanian Lead Books is holding its annual g...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Trump set to become first sitting US president to visit Western Wall. As candidates, many US politicians stop by the Jerusalem holy site, but once in the White House, they’ve all stayed away (Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel). The offi...

May 15, 3AM

NO. NEXT QUESTION: Can Vatican display shed light on the fate of the Menorah? Starting Monday, a co-hosted exhibit about sacred Temple relic sets a new precedent for cooperation between the Holy See and Rome’s Jewish community (ROSSELLA TERCATIN, Times ...

2AM

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: From Qumran to Christ. Philip Jenkins has dug up (heh) some early twentieth century scholarship on the Qumran sect. The sect was already known from the Cairo Geniza manuscript of the Damascus Document. Some quite...
HISTORY OF RELIGION: Can We Eat Bacon Now? Leviticus Was Written for Priests, Not You, Say Scholars. The Book of Leviticus is thought to lay down rules for all Jews, but some biblical scholars think the laws were originally meant for a more select group. ...
EXCELLENT IDEA: North Africa's oldest synagogue to become a world heritage site? Tunisia seeks UNESCO World Heritage status for Djerba Island, "isle of kohanim" and site of 2,500 years old Ghriba synagogue (AFP via Arutz Sheva). I haven't been a...
AGAIN THIS YEAR: Hundreds of thousands flock to Galilee mountain for Lag B’Omer festival. Huge crowds defy state rabbinate’s delay of holiday to celebrate the ancient sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai near his tomb on Mount Meron (Times of Israel). I hadn't...

May 14, 2AM

H-JUDAIC BOOK REVIEW:Dov Weiss. Pious Irreverence: Confronting God in Rabbinic Judaism. Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion Series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. xii + 291 pp. $69.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8122-4835-7. Revie...
BOOK REVIEW: Book World: Looking for the man who took the Kabbalah mainstream. Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem (Randy Rosenthal, Washington Post, rpt. Edwardsville Intelligencer). The earlier review by Alan Newhouse...
IS THAT IN THE BIBLE? (BLOG): Know Your Herods: A Guide to the Rulers of Palestine in the New Testament (Paul Davidson). Cross-file under News You Can Use. For past posts on Herod the Great, start here and follow the links. Posts on Herod Agrippa I are h...

1AM

THAT'S NOT IN THE BIBLE: How Did John Steinbeck And An Obama Staffer Get The Bible So Wrong? (Aviya Kushner, The Forward). Thanks to Steinbeck's East of Eden, timshel seems to have become an honorary Hebrew word.
PALAEOGRAPHY: Kharoshti: Story of the ancient scripts (Iqbal Ahmad, Kashmir Images). (An article mostly based on the Wikipedia article on the same subject.) This gives a brief account of the story of Kharoshti, an ancient Indian script based on the Aramai...

May 13, 2AM

LAG B'OMER: THE COUNTING OF THE OMER begins tonight at sundown. Best wishes to all observing it. The biblical background of the holiday is Leviticus 23:15, which mandates the counting of seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot (Weeks). Lag B'Omer just m...
PROF. LAWRENCE H. SCHIFFMAN: REMEMBERING LOUIS H. FELDMAN: RENOWNED EXPERT ON FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS. This obituary by Professor Schiffman in Ami Magazine remembers the late Professor Feldman and recounts the latter's many scholarly contributions, especially to...
ALIN SUCIU: Guest Post: Lance Jenott – The Investiture of the Archangel Gabriel. An English translation of this little-known text written in the little-known genre of (apocryphal) "apostolic memoirs." Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha W...
HERITAGE DAILY: Guide to the classics: the Epic of Gilgamesh. (Louise Pryke). This is a nice summary of the story of Gilgamesh in the Epic, other related stories about Gilgamesh, and a brief account of the importance of the Gilgamesh traditions, the histo...

1AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Is the Apocrypha Kosher? What Is the Jewish View? (Yehuda Shurpin, Chabad.org). Chabad.org is a religious site and this essay is written from a particular religious perspective, which is fine. I am always interested when no...

May 12, 3AM

ON THIS DAY IN 1960, Yigael Yadin made his famous announcement of the discovery of a cache of documents from the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. The anniversary was noted by Haaretz in 2015, but I cant find any notice of it in the media this year. The anno...
THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: The First Discovery of Qumran. Philip Jenkins reviews the discovery of the Cairo Geniza in the late 19th century. Solomon Schechter found portions of the Damascus Document in the Geniza. Fragments of the Damascus...
ALIN SUCIU: Ariel Sabar in Göttingen. Mr. Sabar will be at Georg-August-Universität on 23 May to discuss the Gospel of Jesus' Wife forgery. Background on the story of the GJW is here with oh so many links.

2AM

LYRICS, DUDE! Into the Fire: A Jewish studies prof. searches for The Bible in the lyrics of The Boss. Azzan Yadin-Israel maps theological parallels in the songs of Bruce Springsteen, finding Sodom and Gomorrah, the Exodus, and much more from Testaments Ol...
UPDATE: Israel charges Palestinian man with murdering British student on Jerusalem tram (Raf Sanchez, The Telegraph). Ms. Bladon was a biblical studies student at the University of Birmingham. She was on an exchange semester at the Rothberg International ...

May 11, 3AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: First Person: Was the Dead Sea Scroll Community Celibate? Biblical Archaeology Review editor Hershel Shanks comments on an article on the Qumran community by Devorah Dimant in the current issue of BAR. Yes, this is a good question, t...
TIMES OF ISRAEL BLOG: Bar Kokhba: When (rabbinic) leadership fails (Aaron Koller). This essay gives a good summary of what we know about the Bar Kokhba Revolt. It also offers some plausible speculation about why the Tanaaitic literature (the Rabbinic lite...
ITINERARY: TRUMP’S ISRAEL VISIT SAID TO INCLUDE STOPS AT MASADA, WESTERN WALL. A partial schedule for US President Donald Trump's much-expected visit to Israel has been released; Masada, the Western Wall and Yad Vashem are some of the highlights in his ...

2AM

THEATRE REVIEW: Review: Salomé (National Theatre).Yaël Farber revists the myth of the woman who demanded the head of John the Baptist (Matt Trueman). Mr. Trueman hated this production: "The South African director's own version of the biblical myth ...
APPREHENDED: Stolen Antique Coins, Jewelry, Seized in Arab Village (JNi.Media). This bust took place in the West Bank town of Beit Ula. There was another one in the town of Hawara (Huwara) last week. See here for that and other recent apprehensions in Isr...

May 10, 3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Terms of Service. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ why the law is in the details. In particular, the details about what percentage of sold land can be unusable for agriculture, how precisely the areas...
AUDIO: I fell in love with Armenian. Interview with Professor Michael Stone. Professor Stone has dedicated his life to Armenian studies and founded and directed for many years the Program of Armenian Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Vahe Kateb, ...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Job’s Colophon and Its Contradictions As a paratext, the colophon’s functions can be summarily and quickly described. It marks the ending of a text. In the era before printing this was a necessity, so that later copyists ...

2AM

REMNANT OF GIANTS: New True Legends ‘Documentary’: Holocaust of Giants (Deane Galbraith). Don't miss the video. What would we do if we didn't have Deane to, uh, dig these things up for us? Reports of the finding of giant skeletons go back at least to...
FOR LAG B'OMER: The Life of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. A glimpse into the greatness of this towering scholar whose yahrzeit is commemorated on Lag B’Omer (Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld, Aish.com). This essay is a nice compilation of (legendary) traditions about ...

May 9, 4AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Compositions Relating to the Levitical Line in the Qumran Aramaic Scrolls (Liora Goldman). These texts raise some fascinating questions. If, in their mythology, Levi was already a priest, what did their authors think of the elevati...
RECENTLY REDISCOVERED: Biblical Artifacts Collected by anti-Nazi Polish Soldiers Found in Israel. The thousands of items in the archaeological treasure trove, which sat for decades in Jerusalem's Old City, span from the second century B.C.E. to the early ...
YONA SABAR: Hebrew Word of the Week: yerushalayim "Jerusalem." Timely.

3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY AND POLITICS: Six-Day War Catapults Archaeology in Jerusalem to New Heights (Chris Mitchell, Christian Broadcasting Network News). Israeli Archaeologists Eilat Mazar and Gabriel Barkay (Barkai) tell CBN how the Six-Day War and the reunificatio...
ARCHAEOLOGY AND POLITICS: ISRAEL UNVEILS ARCHAEOLOGICAL GARDEN IN JERUSALEM’S OLD CITY. “Everything we are doing in Jerusalem is in order to reassure and confirm our existence here.” (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post). The opening of the archaeolo...

May 8, 4AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Tomb of Unknown Saint Found in Israel, Archaeologists Deduce. Clustered churches in Hippos-Sussita in sixth century C.E. indicate mutual tolerance among early Christian sects, which was not to last (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz). The saint, or whoe...
EXHIBITION: The Lod Mosaic // This Exquisite Israeli Mosaic Has Been Seen Across the World but Never in Israel. Discovered in central Israel 21 years ago, this beautiful artwork has toured the world but still has no home in Israel. It’s worth taking a t...
AND THEN HE WAS A SHE: Patrice Mince Sets Her Eyes on Six Legendary Sunken Treasures (Digital Journal). Regular readers who click through the link and read this press release will find it familiar and yet somewhat different. I noted the same press releas...

3AM

VENUE PROPOSAL: When Donald Trump wanted to hold Miss Universe pageant at Masada. US president reportedly believed that having a beauty contest at palace built by Judean king Herod would be a good PR opportunity (Ben Sales, JTA via Times of Israel). For w...
NOT ANCIENT NEW WORLD ARTIFACTS, ANYWAY: Archaeology: Newark ‘Holy Stones’ are 19th century fake news (Brad Lepper, The Columbus Dispatch). The Newark stones are Hebrew-inscribed objects found in found near Newark, Ohio, in 1860. They have been argued...

May 7, 3AM

THE FORWARD: Fact-Checking The Bible—In Chicago’s Oriental Institute (Aimee Levitt). This is a dreadful, clickbait title, but the article isn't bad. It surveys the work of the Oriental Institute via an interview with postgraduate Joey Cross. There is ...
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: Announcing the 2017-18 Frankel Institute Fellows Led by Head Fellow Rachel Neis, our new fellows will explore the theme of "Jews and the Material in Antiquity."This fall, the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic S...

2AM

PROF. RICHARD ELLIOTT FRIEDMAN: The Exodus, the Alien, and the Neighbor (TheTorah.com). If I were told I could only take one chapter of the Bible to a desert island, I think I would skip it and worry about other packing. But Professor Friedman's answer le...
THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures and Necessary Amnesia. Philip Jenkins says there is nothing new under the sun or in biblical scholarship. And within the parameters he sets - groundbreaking overarching theories - he has a point. His post is the f...
THE ASOR BLOG: Why 1 and 2 Kings? (Lester Grabbe). An introduction to Professor Grabbe's new study guide on 1-2 Kings: 1 & 2 Kings: An Introduction and Study Guide (Bloomsbury, 2016).

May 6, 2AM

GENIZA EXHIBITION: A BRUSH WITH HISTORY: Conserving the Geniza Collections. A fascinating video on the nuts and bolts of conserving the manuscript fragments of the Cairo Geniza. Produced in association with the Discarded History exhibition at Cambridge Un...
EUANGELION BLOG: E.P. Sanders on Paul’s Life, Letters, and Thought (Michael F. Bird).E.P. Sanders Paul: The Apostle’s Life, Letters, and Thought Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015. Available at Amazon.com E.P. Sanders, surely one of the most significant NT ...
IN NOVEMBER: Museum of the Bible prepares for DC opening (Jennifer G. Hickey, Fox News). The $500m museum opens in the autumn and seems to be on a publicity campaign. It and the associated Green Collection have not been without controversy. Background on ...
OTTC BLOG: Book Notices on Editing the Bible and the Legacy of Barthélemy (Drew Longacre). The post notes two new books from Helsinki:Insights into Editing in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East What Does Documented Evidence Tell Us about the Tran...
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Jim Aitken’s Reading List for LXX Studies (Jim West). Because you should know these things.

May 5, 4AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Discoveries in Mary Magdalene’s Hometown. Four ritual baths unearthed in the Magdala excavations (Marek Dospěl). The bulk of this essay is on Mary Magdalene and her home town Magdala, which may or may not be the site called Magdala...
DR. JASON M. H. GAINES: Poetic Laws (TheTorah.com).A fresh look at the legislation in Parashat Kedoshim: Are we reading the legal details wrong?Poetry in Leviticus? Who knew?

3AM

MOTIVATIONS: How Jews and Arabs Collaborate on Antiquities Theft in the West Bank. Thousands of artifacts are being stolen every year and making their way into Jewish hands, yet the Israeli division responsible for theft prevention has just one inspector ...
POLITICS: Why Does Trump Want to Address Israel at Masada? The famous fortress is about pageantry, and specifically the pageantry of the underdog (Sigal Samuel, The Atlantic). The article speculates about President Trump's motivations for choosing this ve...
BOOK REVIEW: A Writer Embraces the Scholar Who Introduced the Kabbalah to Secular Society. Alana Newhouse reviews:STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem By George Prochnik Illustrated. 522 pp. Other Press. $27.95It sound...

May 4, 3AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Treasury Secretary at Persepolis. Notice of an article posted on Academia.edu: Stolper, Matthew W. 2017. “From the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project, 6 The Dossier of Šarbaladda, Treasury Secretary at Persepolis.” ARTA: ...
LARRY HURTADO: Two Recent Books on Coins. The two books are: Coins and the Bible, eds. Richard Abdy & Amelia Dowler (London: Spink, 2013) and Judaea and Rome in Coins 65 BCE – 135 CE, eds. David M. Jacobson and Nikos Kokkinos (London: Spink, 2012)...
ANCIENT ORIGINS: 4 Completely Different Versions of the Story of Moses (Mark Oliver). And all four are quite different from the stories in the Bible. These are the accounts of Moses by Manetho, Strabo, Artapanus (n.b., not Atrapanus), and Tacitus.
ARCHAEOLOGY: 1,700-year-old temple reveals ancient religion in east Anatolia (Daily Sabah). The report is that a 4th century CE temple of Mithras has been uncovered. There isn't a lot of detail about how they reached that conclusion. Mithraism was an anci...

2AM

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: Manuscripts in St. Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai. This collection includes photographs of 1687 manuscripts that were photographed by the Clark expedition in 1949. They are in Greek, Syriac, Georgian, Coptic, Armenian, Arabic,...

May 3, 3AM

CONGRATULATIONS TO PROFESSOR ANNETTE YOSHIKO REED, who will be moving from the University of Pennsylvania to take up a post at New York University in the Fall. Recently her postgraduate students held a day-conference in her honor at Penn: “Annette Reed...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Caveat Emptor. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic sages ask what it is safe to assume in matters of transactions within the law, and what must be specifically proven. The discussion moves into ...
THE VOTE WAS 22 TO 10: Unesco passes resolution criticising Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem. The move drew further condemnation from Israelis, but was celebrated among Palestinians (Tareq Haddad, International Business Times). You can pretty much gu...

2AM

MEMBERS ARE LISTED AT THE LINK: Museum of the Bible Announces Formation of International Advisory Council (Gospel Herald). Some names regular readers of PaleoJudaica may recognize include Seymour (Sy) Gitten and Emanuel Tov. For past posts involving the ...
TRAVEL ADVISORY - AGAIN THIS YEAR: Terror warning for Djerba Lag B'Omer celebration. Counterterrorism Bureau sharpens current travel warning for Tunisia following terrorist motivation increase to attack Jews. A synagogue has reportedly existed at the same...

May 2, 9AM

TABLET MAGAZINE: THE AFTERLIFE OF RABBI AKIVA. An excerpt from Barry W. Holtz's new biography of the 1st-century sage of the Talmud. Past PaleoJudaica post on the book are here and here.

3AM

CONTROVERSY: ISRAEL TO UNESCO: REJECT FAKE HISTORY ON JERUSALEM. A day prior to a UNESCO vote in Paris on a resolution that rejects Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem, Israel's Deputy FM Tzipi Hotovely called attempts to promote the resolution "fake h...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Between Mesopotamia and Qumran: Cuneiform Literature and Jewish Aramaic Texts of the Second Temple Period (Henryk Drawnel). Observations on Aramaic Levi, the Enochic Astronomical Book, and the watchers myth. Another interesting essay ...

2AM

PHIL LONG: Reading Acts is Going to Israel.For the next two weeks I am leading a (mostly) student group from Grace Bible College on a tour of Israel and Jordan. This is my eighth trip leading a group to Israel. I have 35 students and parents on this trip,...
APPROPRIATE FOR ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY: Celebrating the Hebrew Language (Jeremy Rosen, The Algemeiner).Where did the Hebrew language come from? When did it begin? What language does God speak? And, for that matter, what language did the snake use to conv...

May 1, 8AM

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Luke & Acts: Historical Reliability - 5 (Michael J. Caba). This post is on Lysanias, tetrarch of Abilene, mentioned in Luke 3:1. Earlier posts in the series have been noted here and links. UPDATE: broken link now fixed. Sorry ...

6AM

ETYMOLOGY: Why Is Zionism Called Zionism? Theories for the origin of the word reach into long-forgotten eras of history, and the speculated origin in 'wild cat' isn't necessarily the most fanciful (Elon Gilad, Haaretz).The word "Zionism" refers ...
ARCHAEOLOGY: How Arabs Made Israel’s Desert Bloom More Than 1,500 Years Ago. Israelis like to boast about their success in developing the Negev, but under the Byzantine empire, Christian Arabs were the first to turn the desert into a garden (Ariel David...

4AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW:Andreas Kropp, Rubina Raja (ed.), The World of Palmyra. Scientia Danica. Series H, Humanistica, 4, vol. 6; Palmyrene studies, 1. Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 2016. Pp. 246. ISBN 978877304397...

3AM

THE HARVARD CRIMSON: Albert Henrichs, Scholar of Greek Literature, Dies at 74 (Archie J.W. Hall).Albert Henrichs, a globally-renowned scholar of Greek literature and religion, died April 16. He was 74. Born in Cologne, Germany, Henrichs was just 26 when ...

April 30, 3AM

THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS BLOG: Cedars of Lebanon. There are still some left!
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Where Dreams May Come Incubation Sanctuaries in the Greco-Roman World Gil H. Renberg In this book, Gil H. Renberg examines the ancient religious phenomenon of “incubation", the ritual of sleeping at a divinity’s sanctuary in ...

2AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Radiocarbon dating gets a postmodern makeover (Emily Litvack, PhysOrg).For decades, radiocarbon dating has been a way for scientists to get a rough picture of when once-living stuff lived. The method has been revolutionary and remains on...
THE OTTC BLOG: Zachary Cole on Greek Numerals (Drew Longacre).Zachary Cole has published a new book on Numerals in Greek NT manuscripts that sounds very interesting, including for those interested in Septuagint manuscripts.Published by Brill in 2017.

April 29, 2AM

THE ASOR BLOG: Potent Potables of the Past: Beer and Brewing in Mesopotamia (Tate Paulette and Michael Fisher).In ancient Mesopotamia, people knew how to appreciate a good beer. They appreciated their beer often and often in large quantities. They sang so...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Pliny’s Prices: Signs of Economic Thought in the Early Empire (David B. Hollander).Taken together, Pliny the Elder’s comments suggest a relatively sophisticated understanding of price formation. Historians have been reluctant to at...
THE ARAMAIC STUDIES TODAY BLOG: A New Tool for Teaching and Studying Biblical Aramaic (Steve Kaufmann).A review of Biblical Aramaic: A Reader & Handbook, Hendrickson, 2016, described by the publisher as “an essential tool for everyone who wants to r...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:The Art of Negotiation in Ezra–Nehemiah Yet it is ethically problematic to turn a blind eye to, or excuse, the exclusion or expulsion of local persons and family members simply because Ezra or Nehemiah declare them to be a ...
TOMORROW: Talmud & Philosophy Grad Conference (Yale) This link leads to a flyer with the schedule at the Jewish Philosophy Place Blog. The call for papers from last year has further details. The full title is "Talmud and Philosophy Between Athens...

April 28, 7AM

AND THE JERUSALEM POST YAWNS: 1,500-YEAR-OLD TORAH RECOVERED FROM TURKISH SMUGGLERS. In addition to the Torah, many other historical artifacts belonging to the Hellenistic and Seljuq periods, including statues, stone rubbings, jewelry, and coins were reco...

3AM

NEW BOOK FROM BROWN JUDAIC STUDIES:When Texts Are Canonized (Brown Judaic Studies) Paperback – May 5, 2017 by Timothy H. Lim (Author [i.e. Editor]) How did canonization take place, and what difference does it make? Essays in this collection probe the ...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Arch of Titus’s Menorah Panel in Color. A glimpse of what ancient Rome looked like (Megan Sauter).Today the Arch of Titus appears colorless, but how did this monument look in ancient Rome? Using technology, an international tea...
APOCRYPHICITY: REVIEW: MARKUS BOCKMUEHL’S ANCIENT APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS (Tony Burke).Bockmuehl, Markus. Ancient Apocryphal Gospels. Interpretation: Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 2017. I am typical...
REMNANT OF GIANTS BLOG: Foetal Dystocia resulting from Watcher-Human Sex: Eric Ondina’s Art (Deane Galbraith).In a piece entitled “Fall of the Watchers”, artist Eric Ondina has managed to capture an aspect of the myth of sex between Watcher angels a...
CONFERENCE NOTICE: NSEA PANELS AT THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL ESSWE CONFERENCE (Sarah L. Veale at the Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity Blog).The preliminary schedule for the 6th International ESSWE Conference in Erfurt is out. We are happy to r...

April 27, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Unique mother-of-pearl menorah etching found in ancient Caesarea. Tablet decorated with candelabrum, likely part of a box for a Torah scroll, uncovered in ancient Roman temple; dates to circa 4th-5th century (Ilan Ben Zion with Stuart Winer, ...

April 24, 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...

3AM

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...

3AM

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...

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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...

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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...

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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, datin