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[«] Posts From the Blog "PaleoJudaica.com"(#85)

March 20 2018, 4AM

THE ISAIAH BULLA AND THE BIBLE: Isaiah the Prophet, Man or Biblical Myth: The Archaeological Evidence. Finding seal marks ostensibly from Isaiah the Prophet and Hezekiah within mere feet of each other in Jerusalem is intriguing; so are other seals of othe...

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THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Truth or Coincidences. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the Rabbis offer desperate—or reassuring—explanations for why God does not interfere in the world in order to prevent sin.One o...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity (Ethan Schwartz).Mark Leuchter. The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity. Oxford University Press. New York, 2017.Excerpt:It would be a mistake, however, to f...
THE ETC BLOG: ‘The copy is the original’ (Peter Gurry). An example of awkward cross-cultural miscommunication. Be sure and read the Aeon article to see the full scope of the problem. In the twenty-first century it's getting harder to tell what is real...

March 19, 3AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Curses in the Book of Deuteronomy and in Old Aramaic Inscriptions The law code of the book of Deuteronomy is capped with a series of curses that threaten harm upon any individual that should fail to keep the Deuteronomic laws...
THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Mary Magdalene’s Myth: The Latest Chapter (Philip Jenkins). Professor Jenkins has not yet seen the new Mary Magdalene movie (nor have I), but it has inspired him to discuss some issues about the historical and traditional Mary Magdele...
PROF. JEFFREY H. TIGAY: Why Are Laws for Priests Included in the Torah? (TheTorah.com).The Torah’s program to democratize knowledge and create an educated laity.Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
NEW BOOK FROM MAGNES PRESS:Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew and Related Fields Proceedings of the Yale Symposium on Mishnaic Hebrew, May 2014 Edited by: Aaron J. Koller, Elitzur A. Bar-Asher Siegal Purchase options: Price Site price Printed book $ 47.00 $ 42.3...

March 18, 3AM

APRIL DECONICK: Gnostic America Conference, March 28-31, Rice University.I am pleased to announce the Gnostic America Conference. We will convene at Rice University on March 28-31. The conference is free and open to the public. We are exploring the aft...
FOR TRUMPETING: ISRAELI SHEPHERDESS USES MODERN SHEEP BREED TO REVIVE ANCIENT SHOFAR SOUND. Turning her flock's horns into shofars is part of God's plan, says Lewinsky, who calls herself a "traditional and God-fearing Jew" (Reuters/Jerusalem Pos...
SO ANGELS AND THE IDF DON'T KNOW ARAMAIC? Incarcerated Peleg Protestor Asks Friends to Send Letter in Aramaic So IDF Won’t Understand (Yeshiva World). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

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NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: HEINZ-DIETER NEEF. Arbeitsbuch Biblisch-Aramäisch. Materialien, Beispiele und Übungen zum Biblisch-Aramäisch. [A Guide to Biblical Aramaic. Materials, Examples and Exercises in Biblical Aramaic. 3 rd revised and expanded edi...

March 17, 3AM

CONGRATULATIONS TO GABRIELE BOCCACCINI, who has announced on Facebook:Proud and happy. I was awarded the honor of "Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella d'Italia" (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) by Italy's President, Sergio Mattarella, f...
FOR YOU, SPECIAL DEAL: Free articles from Dead Sea Discoveries.To celebrate the 25th Volume of Dead Sea Discoveries, 25 articles from the past 25 Volumes will be available for free downloading during 2018. The first 5 articles are now freely accessible un...
THE CSTT.FI BLOG: CEL­EB­RAT­ING THE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL WO­MEN’S DAY 2018 WITH A WIKI­PE­DIA EDIT-A-THON (Katri Rostedt).On the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, the Centres of Excellence ANEE and CSTT co-organized a Wikipedia edit-a-tho...
ANNOUNCEMENT: Distinguished Professor emeritus Jack Miles to be Boston College visiting chair (UCI News).John R. “Jack” Miles, UCI Distinguished Professor emeritus of English and religious studies, has been appointed the 2018-19 Corcoran Visiting Chai...

March 16, 4AM

OPENS TODAY: Dead Sea Scrolls on Purity, Morals on Display for First Time, in Denver. Vast Israeli antiquities exhibit showcasing Temples era and the start of the great religions visiting Denver Museum of Science and Nature for six months (Ruth Schuster, ...
IT'S A GOOD JOB: That's a Job?: This Denver woman translates the Dead Sea Scrolls A DU professions is one of three editors working on a new translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls - manuscripts dating back over 2,000 years, which include laws, poetry and some...
THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: The World’s Oldest Torah Scrolls (Gary A. Rendsburg). A recent announcement by the Library of Congress regarding the purchase of a single Torah scroll sheet dating from approximately 1000 C.E. has generated great interest in...

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JOSEPHUS HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: Why Should Christians Read Josephus? Josephus’ writings have unique value for Christians (Stephanie Hertzenberg, Beliefnet).“Antiquities” contains two references to Jesus Christ, one in Book XX and one in Book XV...

March 15, 4AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Ancient Library of Alexandria. The West’s most important repository of learning (J. Harold Ellens).Such scientific and philosophical enterprises were not new or surprising in Hypatia’s Alexandria, which already boasted a 700-y...

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ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Our Divine Double (Nathan Tilley).Charles M. Stang. Our Divine Double. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. Pp. 309. ISBN 9780674287198. $49.95.Excerpt:Stang’s argument successfully and elegantly traces the moti...
VIDEO: Ancient Manuscripts, Artifacts On Display In Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit (CBS4 Denver). The exhibition opens tomorrow. No word yet on which specific scrolls will be on display. You can see some of them in the video, but I wasn't able to identify any o...
LARRY HURTADO: Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments of Dubious AuthenticityIn November last year, the popular press featured news of scholarly doubts about the authenticity of many of the numerous putative scroll fragments from the Dead Sea area that had come on th...

March 14, 6AM

SYRIAC WATCH: ANCIENT TRANSLATION OF HISTORIC GREEK MEDICAL TEXT REDISCOVERED USING X-RAY VISION (Meghan Bartels, Newsweek).There are lost ancient texts hiding before our very eyes. Writers weren't always intending their words for long-term preservation, ...

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ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: PSCO 2017-18: Snakes in the Garden: Sexuality, Animality, and Disability in the Rabbinic Garden of Eden (Matthew Chalmers). A report on Philadelphia Seminar of Christian Origins 2017-18, Meeting #4, Julia Watts Belser (Katz Center/Geor...

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ETC BLOG: Textual Examples Wherein MT and the Jewish Revisions Differ (John Meade).In this post, I give a few examples wherein Theodotion, Aquila, or Symmachus reflect a different vocalization of the consonantal text than what the later Masoretes recorded...
PROPOSAL: Developers plan Jewish theme park in desert town of Dimona. Pla'im Park -- 'Park of Wonders' -- is conceived as Israel's first real theme park, with educational value to boot (Jessica Steinberg, Times of Israel).Project CEO Lea Malul told Walla ...

March 13, 8AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: First Person: Festschrift: A Celebration of Hershel Shanks. From the March/April May/June 2018 Biblical Archaeology Review (Robert Cargill). The current double-issue of Biblical Archaeology Review is a festschrift for Mr. Shanks. (Con...

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POSTHUMOUSLY DETECTED: Famed Archaeologist 'Discovered' His Own Fakes at 9,000-Year-Old Settlement (Owen Jarus, Live Science).A famed archaeologist well-known for discovering the sprawling 9,000-year-old settlement in Turkey called Çatalhöyük seems to ...

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THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Statue of Limitations. This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study considers how Jews can avoid idolatry and still live in a public space full of graven images.Take statues, which today we tend to think...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: The Physicality of the Other. Masks from the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean. Ed. by Angelika Berlejung and Judith E. Filitz. [Die Leibhaftigkeit des Anderen. Antike Masken aus dem Vorderen Orient und dem östli...

March 12, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Nathan Schumer.Schumer, Nathan Still. "The Memory of the Temple in Palestinian Rabbinic Literature." PhD diss., Columbia University, 2017.Excerpt:The main intervention of my dissertation is to attempt...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Linda Zollschan, Rome and Judaea: International Law Relations, 162-100 BCE. Routledge studies in ancient history. London; New York: Routledge, 2016. Pp. 350. ISBN 9781138932913. $149.95. Reviewed by Walter Ameling, Univer...
PROFESSOR MICHAEL M. HOMAN: The Tabernacle in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context (TheTorah.com).The parallels between the Tabernacle and ANE structures such as Rameses II’s military tent shed light on what the meaning and function of this ancient structur...
HERBERT D. KATZ CENTER BLOG: New Issue of the Jewish Quarterly Review: Winter 2018 // JQR Blog. The first article is relevant to ancient Judaism: "'The Daughters of Israel': An Analysis of the Term in Late Ancient Jewish Sources," by Mika Ahuvia...

March 11, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY AND POLITICS: NETANYAHU OPENS U.N. EXHIBIT HONORING 3,000 YEARS OF JEWISH HISTORY. "There is a long history that is being cherished by us and by the friends of the Jewish people and the friends of truth and is being denied by those who se...
DIGITIZATION: Dunhuang relics 'return' to China in digital form (China.org.cn).More than 5,300 pieces of Dunhuang manuscripts have been "returned" from France in digital form and are available online, according to the National Library of China. ...
STILL NOT CREDIBLE: Did Artificial Intelligence Really Decode the Voynich Manuscript? Some Leading Scholars Doubt It. Scholars questioned the methodology of the paper that sparked the reports (Henri Neuendorf, artnet News).Speaking to The Verge, professor...
PODCAST FOR PURIM: “A Bride for One Night”: A Talmudic Tale by Ruth Calderon (TLV 1).In honor of the Purim custom of reading the Book of Esther, this episode features an excerpt from Ruth Calderon’s short story “A Bride for One Night”. It is the...

March 10, 8AM

REVIEW AND INTERVIEW: To dig up genesis of the Jewish people, a scholar goes back to the sources. National Jewish Book Award winner Steven Weitzman's 'The Origin of the Jews' is an odyssey into a nation's most basic need: To understand where it comes from...
THE DOWNWARD SLIDE CONTINUES: Foreign Language Enrollments Drop Sharply. From 2013 to 2016, enrollments fell 9.2 percent. Declines include Spanish, still the most commonly taught language (Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed). Ancient Greek and biblical Hebre...
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Dualismus, Dämonologie und diabolische Figuren. Religionshistorische Beobachtungen und theologische Reflexionen. Hrsg. v. Jörg Frey u. Enno Edzard Popkes unter Mitarb. v. Stefanie Christine Hertel-Holst. 2018. Ca. 530...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Lawrence H. Schiffman on the Dead Sea Scrolls’ History. What do the Dead Sea Scrolls say? (Robin Ngo). As usual, the actual article by Professor Schiffman is behind the subscription wall. But this essay does give you a taste of it. ...

March 9, 4AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Special Report: Current Status of the Tell Ain Dara Temple. ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives (Michael D. Danti, Darren P. Ashby, Marina Gabriel, and Susan Penacho).ASOR CHI geospatial analysis indicates that an explosion damaged the...
LECTURE SERIES AT BERKELEY: Series on forgotten Jewish history coming to Magnes (The Jewish News of Northern California)How texts can be lost, found, mistranslated, abandoned and put aside — thus changing the course of history — is a topic professor A...

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FESTIVAL: The First of Nisan, the Forgotten Jewish New Year (Joel S. Davidi Weisberger, Jewish Link of New Jersey). It does look as though a spring New Year was once a thing in ancient Israel. But I didn't known about the Seder Al-Tawhid rite. Some somew...
MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: If Trends Hold, There May Be More Syriac Christians in US and Mexico Than in Iraq. Trends generally don't hold, and I hope conditions in Iraq improve. But meanwhile, I'm glad they're somewhere. On improving trends in Iraq, see Friar...

March 8, 3AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Raising the BAR. The history of the Biblical Archaeology Society (Susan Laden). Excerpt:The article on the incised handle was eventually published in the Israel Exploration Journal. Hershel also wrote a short guidebook on the City of ...
THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: Beating the Air — 1 Corinthians 9:26 (Carl Rasmussen). On the background of Paul's use of martial imagery. This is a good excuse to flag the recent discovery of a pair of ancient Roman boxing gloves at Vindolanda: Roman boxi...
THE PURSUING VERITAS BLOG: February 2018 Biblical Studies Carnival (Jacob J. Prahlow). And congratulations to the Biblical Studies Carnival on its twelfth anniversary! Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world....

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REMINDER: "Dead Sea Scrolls" Coming To Denver.DENVER, March 5, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Dead Sea Scrolls," the exhibition that has captivated millions around the world, will open at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on ...

March 7, 4AM

CONSEQUENCES: Antiquities robbers sentenced to jail for destroying 2,000-year-old graves. In light of irrevocable damage to Second Temple Jewish settlement, Israel Antiquities Authority hopes prison terms will prove a deterrent (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times...

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DR. RACHEL ADELMAN: A Copper Laver Made from Women’s Mirrors (TheTorah.com).Who were these women and what were these mirrors used for? Reconstructing the narrative: the historical-critical method vs. midrash.There have been lots of explanations from ant...
LARRY HURTADO: The Megiddo Mosaics and “Prayer Hall”: The Preliminary Report. The link to the report posted at Academia.edu is here. Background here and links. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
THE ETC BLOG: Coffee and Origen’s Hexapla at Southeastern (John Meade). Some recent posts on Dr. Meade's work on the Hexapla are here and links. If you happen to be in this part of North Carolina on 22 March, his lecture would be worth attending. Visit ...

March 6, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | From Sasanian Mandaeans to Ṣābians of the Marshes (Jae H. Han).In his recent book From Sasanian Mandaeans to Ṣābians of the Marshes, Kevin T. van Bladel reopens old questions on the origins of Mandaeans and, armed wit...
BOOK REVIEW: WHAT DID JESUS LOOK LIKE? POPULAR IMAGES OF WHITE SAVIOR ARE WRONG, NEW BOOK CLAIMS (Melissa Matthews, Newsweek). Background here and links. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
PUBLISHING NEWS: De Gruyter and Gorgias Press enter partnership.Gorgias Press and De Gruyter have formed an editorial and commercial partnership for Gorgias Press titles. Through this agreement, eBook versions of all Gorgias Press titles will be available...

March 5, 6AM

THE SARAJEVO HAGGADAH is now on permanent display in the National Museum of Bosnia: An ancient holy book symbolizes the fate of Sarajevo's Jews (AFP). The Sarajevo Haggadah is a 14th century manuscript with a long and variegated history. It survived the...

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SNOPES: Is This 'Goliath Skeleton' Real? Some of the images in a collage purporting to show the discovery of a "Goliath skeleton" date back to a 1993 tabloid article. I've seen such images over the years and have posted on them occasionally. (Se...
LARRY HURTADO: The Megiddo Mosaics . . . Again? He is skeptical that the much publicized mosaic that refers to Jesus as God is as early as the third century. Background here and links Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and th...
ETHIOPIC WATCH: Garry Jost Presents at International Conferences. Dr. Garry Jost presented at the International Society of Biblical Literature Meeting in Berlin, Germany, and in Boston at the Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and the A...

March 4, 6AM

THIS HAS BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR A LONG TIME: A Jew, an Early Christian and a Roman Meet in Archaeological Park to Be Built on Evacuated Prison. ‘God Jesus Christ’ mosaic, ancient Jewish-Samaritan village of Othnay and Roman command center in Galilee pa...
THE ETC BLOG: A Rooster Crowing Once and Twice - Mark 14 (Dirk Jongkind). Some years ago I went through the variants in this story. I remember concluding that the most likely original text of Mark was one in which Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him...
GORGIAS PRESS: BIBLICAL AND APOCRYPHAL CHRISTIAN ARABIC TEXTS SERIES.Gorgias Press is delighted to launch its latest series: Biblical and Apocryphal Christian Arabic Texts (BACA). The series brings to the scholarly world reliable editions of unpublished t...

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BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Annette Imhausen, Tanja Pommerening (ed.), Translating Writings of Early Scholars in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome: Methodological Aspects with Examples. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde, 344​. Berlin; Boston: ...

March 3, 9AM

CENTER FOR ANCIENT CHRISTIAN STUDIES BLOG: BOOK REVIEW: REDISCOVERING THE APOCRYPHAL CONTINENT: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON EARLY CHRISTIAN AND LATE ANTIQUE APOCRYPHAL TEXTS AND TRADITIONS (Shawn Wilhite).In 2004 and 2006, three conferences were held in Groningen...
CINEMA: 'Mary Magdalene': Review. Rooney Mara plays a rehabilitated Mary Magdalene opposite Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus (FIONNUALA HALLIGAN, Screen Daily). Excerpt:On viewing this clearly well-intentioned, attractive, wistful-to-the-point-of-inertia film, it...

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THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: The New Excavations of Beth She’arim (Adi Erlich).The origin and decline of the Jewish Galilee is the subject of considerable debate. Some scholars see a period of decline in the mid-4th century CE (whether the 351 Gallus re...
RELIGION PROF: Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories (James McGrath). Looks useful. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

March 2, 5AM

NEW AT 4 ENOCH (THE ENOCH SEMINAR'S ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA): Category:Women Jewish-Christian-Islamic Origins -> Women.The page: Women, includes (in chronological order) biographical information about Women Scholars, Authors, & Artists who have contr...

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BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Speaking in Tongues in the Bible. What happened at Pentecost? (Megan Sauter). This essay is an introduction to Ben Witherington's 2015 BAR article, "Speaking in the Tongues of Men or Angels?" The article itself is behind the...

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RABBI UZI WEINGARTEN: Moses Shatters the Tablets – in Anger (TheTorah.com).The Talmud famously has God congratulating Moses for shattering the Tablets. A midrash, quoting the verse, “Anger resides in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9), criticiz...
SOCIETY FOR CLASSICAL STUDIES: Blog: The Jewish Holiday of Purim in the Late Roman Empire (Catherine Bonesho).In her monthly column, Catherine Bonesho will feature discussions of Greco-Roman age Judaism, the Roman Near East, as well as the American Academ...

March 1, 4AM

COMPETITION: The John William Wevers Prize in Septuagint Studies (IOSCS).The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) offers an annual prize of $350 to be awarded to an outstanding paper in the field of Septuagint studies. The...
COMING SOON: Bar-Ilan University Talmud Conference - "Transitions": Exploring Transmission of the Oral Law from the Tannaitic Period to the Present (H-Judaic). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical worl...
NUMISMATICS? Israeli group mints Trump coin to honor Jerusalem recognition. Mikdash Educational Center creates 1,000 coins with US president's image alongside King Cyrus, in move likely to rile Iranians (AP/Times of Israel). Probably not only them. Note ...
LARRY HURTADO: Biblical Canon Lists: A New Book. I noted the publication of the book last year here. And, by the way, it's not too late to win a free copy of the book. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world....

February 28, 5AM

MORE SERIOUSLY FOR PURIM: On the Origins of Purim and Its Assyrian Name (Dr. Amitai Baruchi-Unna, The Torah.com).In the book of Esther, the name for the holiday Purim derives from Haman’s pūr (פּוּר, “lot”) to determine what day to attack the ...
DR. RABBI ASHER TOV-LEV Newly Deciphered Qumran Scroll Revealed to Be Megillat Esther (TheTorah.com).The discovery upends decades of research addressing the question of why the Book of Esther is missing from Qumran.I remember Professor Frank Moore Cross o...

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HAPPY PURIM to all those celebrating! The festival begins tonight at sundown. Last year's Purim post is here, with links. Posts on Purim since then are here, here, here, and here, plus more today. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient J...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Eleni Pachoumi, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum, 102. Tübingen​: Mohr Siebeck, 2017. Pp. xvi, 258. ISBN 9783161540189. €79.00 (pb).Reviewed by Radcl...

February 27, 6AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: OPHEL EXCAVATION DIRECTOR DISCUSSES BIBLICAL DISCOVERIES, TEMPLE MOUNT. “The Ophel was built by King Solomon in the 10th century, and it was the biblical equivalent of an acropolis in Jerusalem where royalty ruled from” (Daniel K. Eisenbu...

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THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: On the Perils of Assimilation. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, patrolling the boundaries between Jewish and pagan society.As a result, Tracate Avoda Zara is really less about idol-worshi...

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DISCOVERY: Israeli Gardener Born on Christmas Day Finds 700-year-old Ring With Image of St. Nicholas. Artifact may date from after the Crusader period and could have been worn by a pilgrim hoping for the saint’s protection during a quest to the Holy Lan...
NABATEAN (NABATAEAN) WATCH: Previously Unknown Stretch of 2,500-year-old Incense Route Found in Israel's Negev Desert. The path of the overland trading route from southern Arabia to Gaza was known to researchers, but they thought this 7-kilometer stretch ...

February 26, 8AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: SCOTUS Declines Dead Sea Scroll Case. Is the son of a University of Chicago professor off to jail for impersonating Dead Sea Scroll scholars? Background here and many links. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Jud...

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BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Isaiah’s Signature Uncovered in Jerusalem. Evidence of the Prophet Isaiah? (Megan Sauter).Excavations in Jerusalem have unearthed what may be the first extra-Biblical evidence of the prophet Isaiah. Just south of the Temple Mount, i...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: From Cyrus to Seleukos: Studies in Achaemenid and Hellenistic History. Notice of a new book: Briant, Pierre. 2018. From Cyrus to Seleukos: Studies in Achaemenid and Hellenistic History (Ancient Iran Series). UCI Jordan Center for Pe...
BOOK REVIEW: Hannibal's Road: The Second Punic War in Italy 213-203 BC, by Mike Roberts (A. A. Nofi, The Strategy Page).Barnsley, Eng.: Pen & Sword / Philadelphia: Casemate Publishers, 2017. Pp. xxvi, 262. Illus., maps, notes, bibio., index. $39.95. I...

February 25, 10AM

THE ISAIAH BULLA has gone under the scrutiny of Hebraist and epigrapher bloggers since the announcement of its discovery last week. Here are some recent blog posts on it. ROLLSTON EPIGRAPHY: The Isaiah Bulla from Jerusalem: 2.0 (Christopher Rollston)In a...
PUNIC WATCH: THE ELEPHANT HAN Who was Hannibal, when did he cross the Alps with his elephant army and where was Carthage? He is seen as one of the greatest commanders in military history and famously marched across the Alps and into Italy (David Hughes, T...
THE ETC BLOG: Gary Habermas on First-Century Mark (Peter Gurry). I agree with Professor Gurry that the proposed date range is too narrow to be credible. If the claim was that the manuscript had been paleographically dated to, say, 50-150 CE, I would take ...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Seleucid Research Bibliography, 1870-2017. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

February 24, 3AM

SCROLLS FROM THE JUDEAN DESERT: Babatha & the Role of Women in the 2nd Century. Exploring the mysterious 2nd-Century find in the Cave of Letters (Dr. Henry Abramson, Aish.com).Nearly two thousand years ago, a Judean woman hiding from Roman soldiers bu...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: EVA CANCIK-KIRSCHBAUM / JOCHEM KAHL, Erste Philologien. Archäologie einer Disziplin vom Tigris bis zum Nil. Unter Mitarbeit v. Klaus Wagensonner. [First Philologies. Tracing a Discipline between Tigris and Nile.] 2018. XVI, 47...
EXHIBITION: National Library of Israel brings rare, ancient manuscripts to New York University (JTA).Two dozen rare manuscripts from the collections of the National Library of Israel are on display in New York. The illustrated and illuminated manuscripts...

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PHOENICIAN WATCH: For Doctors in Training, a Course on Phoenician (Edward Fox, Al-Fanar Media).Last fall, the medical school of Saint Joseph University of Beirut offered, for the first time, a course in a subject not usually associated with the study of m...

February 23, 3AM

CHRISTOPHER ROLLSTON: The Putative Bulla of Isaiah the Prophet: Not so Fast.In sum, in light of the fact that there almost twenty people mentioned in the Bible whose names are based on the same root word as the name “Isaiah” (and thus plenty of people...
DR. JONATHAN STÖKL: Ancient Israelite Divination: Urim ve-Tummim, Ephod, and Prophecy (TheTorah.com).In the Prophets, Israelite leaders such as Joshua, Saul, David, and Ahab use divination to help them make decisions, just as their ancient Near Eastern c...
THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: Understanding Tophets: A Short Introduction (Adriano Orsingher).Few historical issues are as controversial as child sacrifice in the ancient Mediterranean and Biblical worlds. The Biblical term Tophet is conventionally used to...
NEW ISSUE OF THE HEBREW JOURNAL TARBIZ: Vol. 85, No. 1. TOC:Ronnie Goldstein | YHWH’s Inheritance and His Enthronement Shraga Bar-On and Yakir Paz | The Land of God to the Sons of God: Deuteronomy 32: 8-9 and the Inheritance of the Land of Israel Shlo...

February 22, 4AM

EPIGRAPHY: In find of biblical proportions, Prophet Isaiah’s seal claimed to be unearthed. Chanced upon near a seal identified with King Hezekiah, a tiny clay piece may be the first-ever proof of the prophet, though a missing letter leaves room for doub...
ATLAS OBSCURA: Caesarea Maritima Mithraeum. An ancient underground cultic temple where sunlight penetrates on the summer solstice.In the 1970s, an underground vaulted room near the port was discovered by a team of archaeologists—one of several similar s...
THE PERSEPOLIS ARCHIVES CASE: US Supreme Court blocks Hamas bomb victims’ claim to Iran artifacts (Mark Sherman, AP). For the basics of the Persepolis archives case, which has been going on for years, see here. Subsequent related posts are here and he...

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PUNIC WATCH (TIDBIT): USS Hannibal served in three wars (Danny Henley, Hannibal Courier-Post).The bell of a ship that saw action in three wars will be the centerpiece of a planned memorial when Hannibal’s riverfront is renovated. [...]"Hannibal&qu...

February 21, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Curiouser and Curiouser: In Search of Rabbinic Ethnography (James Redfield). The essay is on the genesis and development of his PhD dissertation: "The Sages and the World: Categorizing Culture in Early Rabbinic Law." Stanfor...
THE RAPHAEL GOLB CASE: Supreme Court Won't Take Case of Dead Sea Scrolls Defendant. The Supreme Court won't take up the case of a blogger convicted of criminally impersonating his father's academic rivals on the subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls (AP/US News...
LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS: Judaism Without a Temple: An Excerpt from Martin Goodman’s “A History of Judaism.” I noted the publication of the book last year here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical wor...
THE CONVERSATION: Dead Sea Scrolls deciphered: esoteric code reveals ancient priestly calendar (Charlotte Hempel). Past PaleoJudaica posts on this story are here and here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical w...

February 20, 3AM

READING ACTS BLOG: Book Review: Early Jewish Literature: An Anthology (Phil Long).Wright, Archie T., Brad Embry and Ronald Herms. Early Jewish Literature: An Anthology. 2 Volumes. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2018. 728, 256 pp. $125.00, Hb.The conclusio...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:Labourers in the Vineyard of the Lord Scholarship and the Making of the King James Version of the Bible Mordechai Feingold, California Institute of Technology The centrality of the King James Bible to early modern culture has been wid...
HISTORY OF INTERPRETATION: Josephus in the hands of Sir Roger L’Estrange (Roger Pearse).Sir Roger L’Estrange is probably mainly remembered today for his activities as a journalist and violent pamphleteer for the court during the reign of Charles II.[1...
AT THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG Carl Rasmussen has a couple of posts on architecture fragments from Herodium on display at the Israel Museum: Herodium Display in Israel Museum King Herod’s Tomb at the Israel Museum For many past posts on Herod the Grea...

February 19, 3AM

ASSYRIOLOGY: Beneath Biblical Prophet's Tomb, An Archaeological Surprise (Owen Jarus, Live Science).Deep inside looters' tunnels dug beneath the Tomb of Jonah in the ancient Iraq city of Nineveh, archaeologists have uncovered 2,700-year-old inscriptions t...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Fabian Goldbeck, Johannes Wienand (ed.,) Der römische Triumph in Prinzipat und Spätantike​. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2017. Pp. xii, 595. ISBN 9783110445688. €99,95 (hb). Reviewed by Christian Rollinger, Universi...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Are We Not Men? Unstable Masculinity in the Hebrew Prophets (Sarah Fein).Graybill, Rhiannon. Are We Not Men? Unstable Masculinity in the Hebrew Prophets. Oxford University Press: New York, 2016.I noted another review of the...
THE ETC BLOG: What was the Hexapla? (John Meade). Background here and links. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

February 18, 9AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:The Final Days of Jesus and the Realities of Roman Capital Punishment: What Happened to All Those Bodies? What is the probability that the body of someone who had suffered capital punishment for offenses against the Roman sta...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:Rewriting and Reception in and of the Bible Ed. by. Jesper Høgenhaven, Jesper Tang Nielsen, and Heike Omerzu [Redaktion und Rezeption (in) der Bibel.] 2018. IX, 411 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament ...

8AM

READING ACTS BLOG: James and the Wisdom of Sirach. Phil Long has an ongoing series of posts on the New Testament Epistle of James. This seems like a good opportunity to mention it. Cross-file under Old Testament Apocrypha Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily ...
REMNANT OF GIANTS: Joan Taylor knows what Jesus looks like: he is basically Bret from Flight of the Conchords (Deane Galbriath). Now you know. For more on Joan Taylor's new book, What did Jesus Look Like?, see here and links. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for...

February 17, 4AM

LEXICOGRAPHY: THE ISRAELI ACADEMY CONTINUING THE UNPRECEDENTED REVIVAL OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE. In Biblical Hebrew, there were approximately 7,000 words. Modern Hebrew has approximately 33,000 words (Eytan Halon, Jerusalem Post).Established by the Israeli ...
NEW BOOK FROM WIPF AND STOCK:God's Court and Courtiers in the Book of the Watchers Re-Interpreting Heaven in 1 Enoch 1-36 BY Philip F. Esler Imprint: Cascade Books Category: Biblical Studies paperback-logo PAPERBACK ISBN: 9781625649089 Pages: 246 Public...

3AM

DR. GEOFFERY HERMAN: Ahasuerus, the Son of a Stable-Master (TheTorah.com).Vashti insults Ahasuerus by calling him “the son of my father’s stable master” (b. Megillah 12b). Persian sources, including the story of King Ardashir I, shed light on the or...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Song of Songs: Love Is Strong as Death. Philip Stern’s Biblical Views column on the Song of Songs.The poet’s aim, I would posit, is to sing of love with all the power of the Hebrew tongue.Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the lates...

February 16, 4AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The Invention of Judaism (Krista Dalton).John J. Collins. The Invention of Judaism: Torah and Jewish Identity from Deuteronomy to Paul. University of California Press, 2017.Last year I noted an essay on the book by Professo...

3AM

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN, Dirk Smilde Research Seminar: Professor George Brooke on "Comparing Methods and Theories." This is a video of a recent lecture by Professor Brook. It is posted at Facebook page of the Groningen Faculty of Theology...
H-JUDAIC: Sweeney on Graybill, 'Are We Not Men?: Unstable Masculinity in the Hebrew Prophets'.Author: Rhiannon Graybill Reviewer: Marvin A. Sweeney Rhiannon Graybill. Are We Not Men?: Unstable Masculinity in the Hebrew Prophets. Oxford: Oxford University...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: A First Temple Period Palatial Estate Near Jerusalem? Discoveries at Ein Hanniya and their Iron Age palatial context (Samuel Pfister).By the seventh century B.C.E., Jerusalem was a bustling capital city of the Kingdom of Judah. Just o...

February 15, 3AM

PHILOLOGOS: No, the Mysterious Voynich Manuscript Is Not Written in Hebrew Despite the silly claims of two computer scientists (Mosaic Magazine).At this point, it must be said, Hauer and Kondrak’s paper descends into silliness. Quite apart from the unli...
BELATEDLY FOR VALENTINE'S DAY: When Cupid paid Israel a visit, 2,000 years ago. The mischievous imp keeps popping up throughout the Holy Land (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the b...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Laughter in the Bible? Absolutely! (Robin Gallaher Branch).As I study and teach, I find I read the Bible ever more slowly, and as I do, I smile more and more frequently. I listen for its humor. My emotions span sorrow, understanding ...
TODAY IN HISTORY: Feb. 15 (Robert Joseph Baker, Manning Live).1949 – Gerald Lankester Harding and Roland de Vaux begin excavations at Cave 1 of the Qumran Caves, where they will eventually discover the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls.Bonus anniversary:590 ...

February 14, 4AM

OLD CHURCH SLAVONIC WATCH: Today is the Feast Day of Saints Cyril and Methodius as celebrated by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion: Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Feb. 14 (Catholic News Service). They lived in the ninth century and were t...

3AM

NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:Monerie, Julien L’économie de la Babylonie à l’époque hellénistique (IVème – IIème siècle avant J.C.) Series:Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records (SANER) 14 Aims and Scope Despite the interest that has been shown...
PILGRIMAGE MINEFIELD: Israel will soon clear 4,000 landmines at Qasr al-Yahud baptism site. (MELANIE LIDMAN, Times of Israel).Christians believe that Qasr al-Yahud, located about 10 kilometers east of Jericho, is the spot on the Jordan River where Jesus ...
APPREHENDED: Police find antiquities worth NIS 200,000 in Palestinian man’s home. Raid on house in northern West Bank turns up ancient millstones (Stuart Winer, Times of Israel). The one in the photo has Greek letters inscribed on it. Visit PaleoJudaica...

February 13, 4AM

AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY IN MALTA: Counting on 16,000 coins for a historic exhibition. Coins from every era have gone on permanent display (Times of Malta).The National Numismatic Collection consists of over 16,000 coins and medals, the earli...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Immoral, Weak, Abusive, Untrustworthy, and Murderous. What Talmudic sages thought of the pagan gentiles of their day is disturbingly paranoid and hostile.Should Jews be afraid of non-Jews? To the rabb...

3AM

ASSIMILATED TO THE BLOGOSPHERE: Dr. Brent Nongbri, whose work on paleography I have noted here and links, has a new blog, Variant Readings. It has been running since July of 2017. Here are some interesting posts in it: Provenance and The Oxyrhynchus Papy...
SYRIAC WATCH: Role of Syriac culture in religious history focus of exhibit (Ann Marie Deer Owens, Research News @Vanderbilt).Syriac: Preserving an Endangered World Culture' on display through March 2 at Cohen Hall Family collection of priest of first Indi...

February 12, 4AM

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Robert Knapp, The Dawn of Christianity. People and Gods in a Time of Magic and Miracles. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2017. Pp. xvi, 303; 16 p. plates. ISBN 9780674976467. $29.95 (hb). Reviewed by Gi...

3AM

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: Echoes of Nabataean Seafaring (Ralph Pedersen).When one thinks of the Nabataeans, the desert comes to mind, with wind-blown sands, the red rock-cut architecture of their capital of Petra, and trade routes carrying incense from...
DR. RABBI DAVID FRANKEL: What Did God Write on the Tablets of Stone? (TheTorah.com).“YHWH said to Moses: ‘Come up to me on the mountain and stay there so that I might give you the tablets of stone and the teaching and the commandment that I have writt...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Voices, Fragments and Selves: Preserving Ancient and Contemporary Multi-vocality in Our Classrooms (Sarit Kattan Gribetz).The underlying lessons of this opening exercise – about the fragmentary nature of our sources, about the voices...

February 11, 2AM

PROFESSOR JOAN TAYLOR has published a couple of popular articles to publicize her new book, What did Jesus Look Like (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark), which came out last week: What did Jesus really look like, as a Jew in 1st-century Judaea? We don’t notice ...
PROF. MICHAEL L. SATLOW: What Is Wrong with Charging Interest? (TheTorah.com).The Torah prohibits lending to poor people with interest. Why did Jewish law include business loans and how did this effect the law’s original purpose?Some blog posts etc. by ...

1AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: The Antonia Fortress. A guard to the real Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Leen Ritmeyer).... As promised, I now hope to deal with yet another aspect of the Temple Mount that proponents of the City of David location often bring up in support...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient kids’ toys have been hiding in the archaeological record (Bruce Bower, ScienceNews). Real, ancient toys, not like this and this.Unusual finds in Israel dating to around 3,000 years ago also represent children’s early attempts to m...

February 10, 3AM

THE 2018 INTERNATIONAL SEPTUAGINT DAY (8 FEB) CELEBRATIONS CONTINUE with some more blog posts: Interview with Dr James K. Aitken (Srecko Koralija, Interaction of Traditions Blog) The Origin of the LXX (Tavis Bohlinger, The Logos Academic Blog) The Infl...
NUMISMATICS: Ancient Coin Profiles – Goddess Tanit on Carthaginian Gold & Silver 1 1/2 Shekel (Coin World). The name of this Punic goddess can also be spelled Tannit. Her name seems to be the feminine form of the word tannin, found in the Hebrew Bib...

2AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Newly Deciphered Dead Sea Scroll Reveals 364-Day Calendar. Qumran calendar written in code (Robin Ngo).Of the estimated 900 documents that comprise the Dead Sea Scrolls, two remain unpublished—until now. ...Background here. Visit Pa...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Ancient history with new virtual reality. Lithodomos VR allows visitors to the Jewish Museum of Australia to place themselves in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, says curator Eleni Papavasileiou (Neos Kosmos).Thanks to Lithodomos VR, who have ...

February 9, 4AM

EPIGRAPHY: Rare Greek inscription and colorful 1,800-year-old mosaic uncovered at Caesarea. Discovered during excavations under a commercial structure from the Byzantine period, the finding is hailed for its exceptionally high quality (Amanda Borschel-Dan...
MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: Discoveries in the Ethiopian Desert: Exploring the Ancient Gospels of EthiopiaIt’s not every day that scholars discover new Bible manuscripts from the ancient world. It’s even rarer to discover ones endowed with luxurious p...

3AM

MUSEUM REVIEW: Bible Museum in D.C.: Less Science, More Indiana Jones. A tour of the Museum of the Bible, which experts say is turning theology into history (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz). Some of the usual suspects appear and present views already well known to ...
THIS IS WAR: Ancient temple left neglected as Yemen war threatens history. Amid bloody battles in war-torn country, experts say heritage sites at risk include Awwam Temple, linked to pre-Islamic past and to Queen of Sheba (JON GAMBRELL, AP). I would take ...

February 8, 3AM

THE ETC BLOG: Happy International Septuagint Day! (John Meade). The post at the link also flags an important 50th anniversary. Congratulations to the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies! Past posts on International Septuagint Da...
ARCHAEOLOGY: WATCH: RARE ROMAN MOSAIC FROM 2ND - 3RD CENTURIES CE UNCOVERED IN CAESAREA. Discovery of 1,800-year-old antiquity part of largest conservation and reconstruction project ever undertaken in Israel (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).A rare 1,...
H-JUDAIC: College of Idaho, History: Howard Berger-Ray Neilsen Endowed Chair of Judaic Studies.Research specialization for this position is open, but candidates should be able to teach at least one course on modern Israel broadly defined. Preference will...
THE TIMES HIGHER: Books interview: Joan Taylor .The professor of Christian origins and Second Temple Judaism and author of ‘What Did Jesus Look Like?’ on puzzles, a chance encounter with ‘Jesus the Jew’ and 1st-century fashionMore on Professor Tay...

February 7, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Augustine and “Thinking with” Jews: Rhetoric Pro- and Contra Iudaeos (Paula Fredriksen).Christianity emerges in the second century as a family of warring sects comprised almost exclusively of ex-pagan gentiles. As they faced off ag...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:DANIEL BOYARIN The Talmud – A Personal Take Selected Essays Ed. by Tal Hever-Chybowski [Der Talmud – eine persönliche Interpretation. Ausgewählte Aufsätze.] 2017. X, 499 pages. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 170 1...

2AM

ARAMAIC WATCH: (CU Boulder Today).The Program in Jewish Studies and co-sponsors at CU Boulder welcome award-winning author and journalist Ariel Sabar, who will host a public lecture titled “Paradise Lost and Found,” focusing on his best-selling book ...
THE ETC BLOG: Palaeographic Method, Comparison and Dating: Considerations for an Updated Discussion (Guest post by Pasquale Orsini) (Peter Malik). This discussion is fairly technical, but readers who have been following it will not want to miss this insta...

February 6, 3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: How Jews Should Deal With Gentiles. According to this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, as little as possible.Things were very different in the Talmudic period, in the first centuries CE, when Jew...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: PSCO 2017-18: Nurses, Midwives, Healers, and Talmudic Medical Encyclopaedism (Jillian Stinchcomb).What did ancient Jews know? Well, they knew that according to Mishnah Avodah Zarah 2:2 “one may accept their [non-Jewish] healing relat...
POLITICS AND ARCHAEOLOGY: Israel using tourism to legitimise settlements, says EU report. Exclusive: European Union Heads of Mission warn ‘touristic settlements’ are being used as a political tool (The Guardian).Israel is developing archaeological and...
CONFERENCE:Museo delle Religioni “Raffaele Pettazzoni” Religions and Medicine From Antiquity to Contemporary Age June 5-6-7-8-9, 2018 Velletri (Rome) Call for Papers In the contemporary Western world, medicine constitutes a specific branch of know...

February 5, 3AM

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: The Missing Shade of Blue (Shiyanthi Thavaplan).Why did many languages only have a single word to designate both ‘green’ and ‘blue’? What does it mean when a language like Akkadian does not have an abstract word for th...
ETC BLOG: Modern Editions of the Hexaplaric Fragments (John Meade).Last week, I posted on a small part of Origen's Hexapla in Job 24:25, and before writing further posts on the matter, readers should be aware of the modern editions of the Hexapla. There i...
Dr. HACHAM ISAAC SASSOON: Source Criticism Enhances Our Acceptance of the Torah (TheTorah.com).Traditional commentators endued certain Torah references with midrashic or esoteric purport in an effort to counteract those who mocked them. But in so doing, t...
H-JUDAIC: The Biblical World and Cultural Evolution.Type: Call for Papers Date: July 30, 2018 to August 3, 2018 Location: Finland Subject Fields: Cultural History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Jewish History / Studies Dear Colleagues, We are excited to...

February 4, 9AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Who Was the Wife of Cain? A closer look at one of the most enigmatic women in Genesis. This essay summarizes a BAR article by Mary Joan Winn Leith on this question that has vexed scriptural exegetes for two millennia and more. The ful...
PROF. LEONARD GREENSPOON: Do Not Covet: Is It a Feelingor an Action? (TheTorah.com).In English, to covet means to desire (someone or something) obsessively, wrongfully, and/or without due regard for the rights/feelings of others. It is a strong emotion, t...
NEW BOOK FROM DE GRYUTER:"When the Morning Stars Sang" Essays in Honor of Choon Leong Seow on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday Ed. by Jones, Scott C. / Yoder, Christine Roy Series:Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wis...
DUST BLOG: The January 2018 Biblical Studies Carnival 143 (Bob MacDonald). PaleoJudaica is well represented. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: When Life Gives You Lemons: Tracking the Earliest Citrus in the Mediterranean (Dafna Langgut).Citrus was first cultivated by humans at least four thousand years ago in Southeast Asia, and all cultivated species derive from a h...

February 3, 8AM

THE RELIGION AND LITERATURE OF ANCIENT PALESTINE BLOG: Review of The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America, ed. J. Gertz, B. Levinson, D. Rom-Shiloni, K. Schmid (Mohr Siebeck, 2016) (Ryan Thomas)....
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Michael Herren, The Anatomy of Myth: The Art of Interpretation from the Presocratics to the Church Fathers. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xiiii, 231. ISBN 9780190606695. $74.00. Reviewed by Matthew Kraus, ...
ARAMAIC, SYRIAC, AND ARMENIAN WATCH: Manual translated from Armenian is published in US for first time.Gorgias Press academic publisher in the United States has published the English translation of the manual, entitled Introduction to Aramean and Syriac S...

February 2, 4AM

ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE: Mystery as archaeologists discover 1,500-year-old pools and 'magnificent' fountain adorned with images of nymphs at ancient Christian site in Jerusalem (Annie Palmer, Daily Mail).Archaeologists believe the Byzantine-era pools may hav...
I GUESS HE'S IN, THEN: New 'Passion of the Christ' will be 'the biggest film in history,' Jim Caviezel promises (Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY). Yesterday, he didn't sound this committed. Mr. Caviezel clearly understands his media psychology. Make a grand cl...
RELIGION AND LITERATURE OF ANCIENT PALESTINE BLOG: Review of Brian Schmidt, The Materiality of Power: Explorations in the Social History of Early Israelite Magic (Mohr Siebeck, 2016) (Ryan Thomas).Interest in the subject of demonology in ancient Israel-Ju...
ARCHAEOLOGY: An Interview With Israeli Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar (Stephen Flurry, The Trumpet).Dr. Mazar is currently leading another excavation on the Ophel. As is now custom, Eilat is supported by Armstrong students and alumni: 11, to be exact. I vi...

February 1, 3AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: First Temple-era relics of possible royal estate found in Jerusalem hills. Authorities inaugurate 'extraordinarily beautiful' new site at Ein Hanya, where archaeologists reveal plethora of findings (Michael Bachner, Times of Israel).Israeli a...
CONGRATULATIONS TO STEVEN WEITZMAN: Penn Katz Center Director Wins Book Award (Marissa Stern, Jewish Exponent).What is a Jew? Where did we come from? Who am I? Such existential questions not only keep us up at night, they deeply interested author Steve...

2AM

RESURRECTING A FRANCHISE: He is risen! Jim Caviezel set to return as Jesus in Mel Gibson's sequel to blockbuster The Passion Of The Christ (Daily Mail). Actually, "set to return" sounds premature. The article says that "the actor is in nego...
TU B'SHEVAT, THE NEW YEAR FOR TREES was on 30-31 January and I forgot to note it. Sorry about that. This year the holiday was on the same day as a blue blood supermoon eclipse, which caused excitement in some circles. I confess myself to be a bit confuse...

January 31, 3AM

MOSAIC MAGAZINE wraps up its January series on the Museum of the Bible with a final response to Diana Muir Appelbaum's original essay and a last word from Ms. Appelbaum. A Museum for the Bible in a Religiously Diverse Land. There is no neutral or “univ...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Incompatible Sites: The Land of Israel and the Ambulant Body in the Museum of the Bible (Sarah Porter). This essay is a continuation of the series being published by AJR. They were originally presented as papers at the Association for...
MORE EXCAVATION BY EROSION: Look what the rain swept in: Families find 1,500-year-old jug during hike. Discovered near the Beit She'an National Park, intact container likely used to hold wheat and legumes for burial ritual (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of I...
THE ETC BLOG: Symmachus and the Text of Job 24:25b (John Meade).In preparation of my critical edition of the Hexaplaric fragments of Job 22-42 for the Hexapla Project, I am noticing again some of the gems among the texts of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodoti...

January 30, 3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: THOU SHALT SELL NO WHITE ROOSTER AND BOW TO NO IDOLS. Daf Yomi: How could Jews live as a minority among peoples, the Romans and the Persians, whose religion they considered sinful?Throughout the Talmu...
APPREHENDED: Negev antiquities robber nabbed with trove of 150 Byzantine-era coins. Antiquities authority's theft prevention unit discovers resident of Bir Hadaj using a metal detector at the Haluza UNESCO World Heritage Site (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times o...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Miniature Writing on Ancient Amulets. Ketef Hinnom inscriptions reveal the power of hidden writing (Robin Ngo). As usual, the BAR article (Jeremy D. Smoak, "Words Unseen: The Power of Hidden Writing") is behind the subscript...

2AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: We’re One Step Closer to Non-Invasively Reading Ancient Papyri Hidden in Mummy Masks. Researchers at the University College of London are working to find a way to read the ancient scraps without destroying the artifacts in the process ...

January 29, 3AM

THIS IS WAR: Ancient Syrian temple damaged in Turkish raids against Kurds. '3,000 years of civilization destroyed in an airstrike,' ex-head of Syria's antiquities department says of destruction at Ain Dara (AFP). I'm sorry to hear this. It looks as though...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Creationist MOTB: Judaism and Judaica at the Answers in Genesis Creationist Facilities (James Linville).To sum up, at the AiG venues Jews and their history are little more than pawns in the ideological struggle with religious plura...
THE BIBLE AND INTEPRETATION:Sweet Dreams? Interpreting Food in the Dreams of Pharaoh’s Cupbearer and Baker So…once I started thinking about the role of food and drink in this story, I realized that I’d stumbled across a tool that could help uncover...
THE ETC BLOG: Plan to Review and Revise the New Revised Standard Version (Peter Gurry). A lot of philology has happened in the last thirty years. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

January 28, 4AM

EXCAVATION BY EROSION: Heavy rain unearths ancient graves in backyard in Gaza. Local archaeologists believe the site is about 2,000 years old, dating back to the Roman era (AP via Times of Israel). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient J...
YOU'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BIBLE: 5 Books That Are Not Included in the Bible. The Bible once looked very different (Stephanie Hertzenberg, Beliefnet). I don't think that "the Bible once looked very different" quite captures the issue. There was ...

3AM

MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Aramaic, the language of Jesus, comes to New Jersey (Matthew Petti, America Magazine).Syriac, Assyrian and Chaldean Christians—their chosen name varies by denomination, but most recognize themselves as part of the same ethnic group...
PUNIC WATCH: Exhibition highlights links between Carthage and Etruria. 2,000 artefacts on show at Carthage National Museum.(ANSAmed) - TUNIS, JANUARY 22 - A new exhibition showing at the Carthage National Museum highlights the links between the Carthagini...

January 27, 8AM

PROF. JACOB L. WRIGHT: Yael and the Subversion of Male Leaders in Judges (TheTorah.com).The Canaanite general Sisera is killed by Yael in her tent but in an older version of the story, he died in battle at the hands of the Israelite general, Barak. The st...
DECODED? FAMOUSLY INDECIPHERABLE ANCIENT MANUSCRIPT THAT BAFFLED EVEN NAZI ENIGMA CODE BREAKERS TRANSLATED BY AI (Kastalia Medrano, Newsweek).The Voynich manuscript is famous for being indecipherable. The 240-page text is written in an unknown language, i...
READING ACTS BLOG: Book Review: John Barclay, Pauline Churches and Diaspora Jews (Phil Long).Barclay, John M. G. Pauline Churches and Diaspora Jews. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2016. 454 pp. Pb; $48. Link to Eerdmans This collection of essays publis...
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM ZONDERVAN: Basics of Greek Accents Eight Lessons with Exercises Author: John A. L. Lee.DESCRIPTION Basics of Greek Accents by John A. L. Lee is a compact, student-friendly, and practical guide to accents for students of both classic...

January 26, 4AM

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE SCHOOL OF DIVINITY, UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS:We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Michael Lyons to a new lectureship in Old Testament / Hebrew Bible, starting September 2018. Dr Lyons completed his PhD at University o...
FROM THE DESK OF KURT MANWARING: 10 questions with Gabriele Boccaccini.In January 2018, I had the privilege to interview Dr. Gabriele Boccaccini, director of the Enoch Seminar. Even in the midst of a personal tragedy, Boccaccini was kind enough to give t...
TRAVEL: TUNISIA HOLIDAYS: WHY TOURISTS SHOULD LOOK BEYOND THE BEACH AND DISCOVER ITS ANCIENT ROMAN HERITAGE. After terrorist attacks scared away the sun lounger crowd, visitors to Tunisia are now rediscovering its rich Roman history (NICK REDMAYNE, The In...
TRAVEL: Syria Publicizing Aleppo, Palmyra at Fitur Fair (Financial Tribune).The Syrian government is making efforts to promote the country as a tourist destination following a civil war that has devastated much of its area. This week the Syrian governmen...

January 25, 6AM

GOOD NEWS: Dead Sea Scrolls language researcher named as winner of Israel Prize. Education Minister Bennett approves Elisha Qimron to receive prestigious award for his work on the ancient documents (Stuart Winer, Times of Israel). Congratulations to Profe...

5AM

BYRN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Irmgard Männkein-Robert (ed.), Die Christen als Bedrohung? Text, Kontext und Wirkung von Porphyrios’ 'Contra Christianos'. Roma Aeterna 5. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017. Pp. 348. ISBN 9783515115377. €56.00 (h...

4AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Museum of the Bible as Mediator of Judaism The Museum of the Bible as Mediator of Judaism (Jill Hicks-Keeton).In November 2017, the privately-funded, $500-million Museum of the Bible (MOTB) opened its doors to the public. Situated ...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Trumpeting on the Temple Mount. How a Hebrew inscription blasts the Temple Mount deniers (Leen Ritmeyer). PaleoJudaica has mentioned the "place of trumpeting" inscription here. For more on the Temple Mount deniers, see here a...

January 24, 8AM

THAT'S TONIGHT! WISH I COULD GO. University of Chester to show for the first time rare biblical mosaics uncovered in Israel. The panels will be exhibited at a lecture on January 24 (Leah Jones, Chester Chronicle).Images of stunning mosaic panels, uncovere...

7AM

ROGUE CLASSICISM: Purported Parthenon Pediment Image from ‘Bethsaida’: Followup. David Meadows has more information, but is still skeptical.Unfortunately, there still is no solid reason to connect this with the Parthenon.Background on the potsherd dis...
THE DEBATE GOES ON: Iraqi-Jewish archive triggers 'traumatic memories' (Dalia Hatuqa, Al Jazeera).The black-and-white photograph is part of a treasure trove of ancient pieces of Judaica retrieved from the headquarters of Saddam Hussein's General Intellige...
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Canon as an Authoritative List of Books or a List of Authoritative Books? (John Meade, ETC Blog). The distinction does matter. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

January 23, 4AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Could This Newfound Cave Hold More Dead Sea Scrolls? (Owen Jarus, Live Science).Archaeologists are excavating a newfound cave in Qumran, with the hope of finding new Dead Sea Scrolls. [...] Hebrew University archaeologist Oren] Gutfeld and ...

3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Talmud’s Revenge Fantasies. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the oft-banned tractate that indulges a God ‘making sport’ with the enemies of a persecuted and oppressed people.This week, Daf Y...
CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT:Truth, Lies, and Language in Ancient Mediterranean Religion March 11 - 13, 2018 University of California, Davis “Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech”...
MOSAIC MAGAZINE has now published two responses to its earlier review of the Museum of the Bible by Diane Muir Appelbaum, which I linked to here. Biblical Illiteracy = Cultural Illiteracy. The Bible molded modern English and shaped American society and c...

January 22, 4AM

RECONSTRUCTED AND DECODED: UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA RESEARCHERS DECIPHER MYSTERIOUS DEAD SEA SCROLL. “An important peculiarity of the present discovery is the fact that the [Qumran] sect followed a 364-day calendar" (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post)....
THE ORION CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND ASSOCIATED LITERATURE in Jerusalem has published Orion Newsletter 23 (2017). When you click on the link the current newsletter comes up as a pdf file ready to download. You can also download earli...

3AM

CONSERVATION CONTROVERSY CONTINUED: EXCLUSIVE: The archaeological report Israel wants to bury. A survey obtained by i24NEWS warns Lifta, a unique heritage site, could be destroyed (Maya Margit). If Israel wants to bury the report, they haven't done too we...
LARRY HURTADO: “The Fate of Rome”: Kyle Harper’s New Book.The book focuses on a period later than my own competence, and so later than the stated focus of this blog site, but Kyle Harper’s most recent tome is just so good that I have to mention it...

January 21, 3AM

PUNIC WATCH: What Can An Ancient General Teach Us About Modern Leadership? Patrick N. Hunt discusses his new book on Hannibal and how much of his success was based on solid financing. (Knowledge@Wharton, ValueWalk).Few military leaders hold as much allure...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: Books interview: Josephine Quinn. The historian and author of In Search of the Phoenicians on reading the Bible under the blankets, DIY Latin lessons and the keys to unlocking the ancient world (Times Higher). For more on Professor Quin...
RELIGION PROF: Bible Nation around the Blogosphere. James McGrath notes, inter alia, a review of Moss and Baden, Bible Nation by Scott McLemee in Inside Higher Ed. For past posts on Bible Nation, the Museum of the Bible, and related matters, start here ...
REVIEWS OF BIBLICAL AND EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES: Perceiving the Other.2017.12.29 | Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Wolfgang Grünstäudl, and Matthew Thiessen, eds. Perceiving the Other in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. WUNT 394. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck...

January 20, 9AM

COMING SOON: TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE FOR THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBIT IN DENVER (Sadye Hazan, 303 Magazine).Tickets are now on sale for the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, which is coming to Denver on March 16, 2018, at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science...
OPEN-ACCESS BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER: Jewish Manuscript Cultures. New Perspectives. Ed. by Wandrey, Irina. Series: Studies in Manuscript Cultures 13.Aims and Scope Hebrew manuscripts are considered to be invaluable documents and artefacts of Jewish culture an...
FURTHER TO THIS POST, two more recent blog posts deal with the problem of the palaeographic (paleographic) dating of early Christian manuscripts. Larry Hurtado: My List of Second/Third Century Manuscripts. ETC Blog: Justified Commitment Issues in Dating...

8AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Persepolis West (Fars, Iran). Notice of a new book, an archaeological report on the Persepolis excavation:Askari Chaverdi, Alireza & Pierfrancesco Callieri. 2017. Persepolis West (Fars, Iran): Report on the field work carried ou...

January 19, 8AM

ANCIENT CERAMIC ART: ISRAEL: ANCIENT VASE SHOWING GREEK GODS DISCOVERED IN BIBLICAL SITE WHERE JESUS MAY HAVE PERFORMED MIRACLES (Kastalia Medrano, Newsweek).Archaeologists in northern Israel discovered an ancient Italian vase featuring an image originall...
ARAMAIC WATCH: A Proposed Reading of a New Aramaic Fragment. As an update to my earlier post Mysterious Hebrew fragment from Oxyrhynchus, I note that Jim West has posted a communication from Richard Steiner which proposes to read the mystery fragment as A...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR-SIEBECK: NICOLE RUPSCHUS, Frauen in Qumran. [Women in Qumran.] 2017. XII, 335 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 457. 84,00 €. sewn paper. ISBN 978-3-16-155647-0.Published in German. Nicole Rupschus ...
EGYPTOLOGY PHILOLOGY:The Quest to Decipher the Rosetta Stone (Evan Andrews, History.com). An oft-told story, but always worth hearing again. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

January 18, 4AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: A Genius for Mentorship: A Forum in Honor of Ben Wright on his 65th Birthday (Francis Borchardt and Eva Mroczek). So far there are ten essays posted. Follow the first link above for abstracts or excerpts of each. INTRODUCTION TO A GEN...

3AM

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT:Inscribing Death: Memorial and the Transmission of Text in the Ancient World Yale University, February 23, 2018 Cross-culturally, spaces of the dead have been productive places for considering the inherent difficulty of transmitti...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Resurrection in Early Judaism While it remained popular within sectors of early Judaism, some writings clearly prefer the immortality of the soul, without particular regard for resurrection (Wisdom of Solomon, 4 Maccabees, Ph...
LARRY HURTADO: The Limits and Difficulties of Palaeographical Dating of Literary Manuscripts. I have mentioned Brent Nongbri's important work on paleographic dating here and links. But it is worth underlining again. When palaeographers (or paleographers) ...

January 17, 3AM

THE TEMPLE MOUNT SIFTING PROJECT BLOG: ISIS-Style Destruction of Antiquities, Right Here in Israel. The staff of the Temple Mount Sifting Project made a very disturbing discovery at the site of Archelais, north of Jericho, while on a recreational field tr...
THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: Seldom Visited Aqueduct at Caesarea (Carl Rasmussen). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
FORTHCOMING BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY/T&T CLARK:What Did Jesus Look Like? By: Joan E. Taylor Published: 08-02-2018 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 288 ISBN: 9780567671509 Imprint: T&T Clark Illustrations: 77 colour illus Dimensions: 216 x 170 mm...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY/T&T CLARK:Jude on the Attack A Comparative Analysis of the Epistle of Jude, Jewish Judgement Oracles, and Greco-Roman Invective By: Alexandra Robinson Published: 14-12-2017 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 272 ISBN: 978...

January 16, 4AM

PHILOLOGOS: How Evil Became Personified. The story of the biblical word b’liya’al (Mosaic Magazine).Where, however, did this understanding of the term come from? Why was it so different from the understanding of the rabbis? One can only speculate—an...

3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: In the Talmud, Size Matters. This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ helps Jews swear in disputes of the kind they might encounter in small claims court. Plus: if an oath must be taken in the name of God, can th...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Galatians 3:28—Neither Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free, Male and Female. As published in Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2018 (Karin Neutel).At the end of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps of...
PROF. STEVEN J. WEITZMAN: DNA and the Origin of the JewsIs there a genetic marker for cohanim (priests)? Are Ashkenazi Jews descended from Khazars? Why is there such a close genetic connection between Samaritans and Jews, especially cohanim? A look at wh...

January 15, 3AM

TALMUD WATCH: MEMOIR BY ILANA KURSHAN, MODERN FEMINIST, SHOWS RESPECT FOR JEWISH TRADITION (Martin Lockshin, Canadian Jewish News). I've linked to other reviews of If All the Seas Were Ink, which deals with how Ms. Kurshan went through some big life trans...
LEO BAECK COLLEGE: Lecturer in Biblical Hebrew with further specialisation in Rabbinic Literature, Aramaic or other Cognate AreasLeo Baeck College, based in North London, UK, is seeking to recruit a permanent Lecturer (Part-time 60%- 70%, teaching only, O...
PUNIC WATCH: UK Archaeologist Serves as Fulbright Specialist in Croatia (Whitney Hale, University of Kentucky).[Paolo] Visonà is a Mediterranean archaeologist and numismatist with expertise in the pre-Roman coinages of Punic North Africa and on the coina...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Joseph Blenkinsopp, Essays on Judaism in the Pre-Hellenistic Period. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 495. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2017. Pp. x, 262. ISBN 9783110475142. $137.99. Reviewe...

January 14, 9AM

BRITISH LIBRARY ASIAN AND AFRICAN STUDIES BLOG: A papyrus puzzle: an unidentified fragment from 4th century Oxyrhynchus (Zsofi Buda and Miriam Lewis).The Hebrew Manuscripts Digitisation Project team has just started working on five papyrus fragments, whic...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: First alabastron with Aramaic inscription in Persian period. It is only three letters and it may refer to the contents of the alabaster vase. Cross-file under Aramaic Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient J...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: USJ is offering a course about the Phoenician language (Grace H., The961).In an interview with Kalam Ennas, Professor Roland Tomb announced that the Medical School of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) is offering the course “Introdu...
THE ETC BLOG: Peer-reviewing the peer review—why not? (Peter Malik). Now's your chance! Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

January 13, 3AM

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Ancient Phoenician DNA tells a story of settlement and female mobility (PLOS Research News).The genetic comparison showed evidence that some lineages of indigenous Sardinians continued after Phoenician settlement in Monte Sirai, Sardinia...
THE ETC BLOG: Trismegistos Words: New Tool for seaching Documentary Papyri (Peter M. Head).here is a new tool in town for searching morphological analysis of 5 million words in the Duke Database of Ducmentary Papyri. I’ve only been able to have a brief ...
HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE: How the Dead Sea Scrolls survived a war in the 1960s. Excerpt from the January 20, 1968 issue of Science News (Bruce Bower). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
REMINDER: Dirk Smilde Fellowship Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Dr. George J. Brooke: "A Summer's Day? With What Shall We Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls?" On 2 February in Groningen, the Netherlands. Noted earlier here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for t...

January 12, 3AM

OSTEOLOGY: Gerbil Bones Attest to Successful Byzantine Agriculture in the Negev ( JNi.Media/Jewish Press).“A large accumulation of bones belonging to Meriones tristrami, also known as Tristram’s jird, a species of gerbil common to the Middle East, whi...
MUSEUM REVIEW: Who's Afraid of the Museum of the Bible? Critics accuse it of threatening the separation of church and state; in truth, Washington’s new museum makes an invaluable contribution to American (and Jewish) cultural literacy (Diana Muir Appelb...
WILLIAM ROSS: 2018 SEPTUAGINT SUMMER SCHOOL IN SALZBURG. This is being offered by my former St Andrews colleague Professor Kristin De Troyer, with a stellar cast of specialists. The focus this year is the Book of Joshua. If you want some expert training ...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: Did the fabled Phoenicians ever actually exist? They were celebrated throughout the ancient world as fearless merchant adventurers — yet they remain as elusive as ever (Justin Marozzi, The Spectator). This is a clickbait title, but the...

January 11, 3AM

THE ASOR BLOG: Early Jewish Magic (Yuval Harari). This is an excellent, brief introduction to the subject. Professor Harari mentions The Sword of Moses. As I have mentioned before, his translation of this Hebrew and Aramaic work is slated for inclusion i...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Taking Out the Trash in Ancient Jerusalem. Using the archaeology of garbage to reconstruct ancient life (Megan Sauter). As usual, this is about a BAR article that is behind the subscription wall: Yuval Gadot, “Jerusalem and the Holy...
THE APOCRYPHYCITY BLOG: Update on More New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2 (Tony Burke). The post includes "the (hopefully) finalized table of contents." For my review of New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1 (ed. Burke an...
IN THE TEXT (BLOG): Dawson on Acts and Jubilees. David Stark notes an article by Zachary Dawson in the latest volume of the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism. It is available online for free. For you, special deal. Visit PaleoJudaica daily f...

January 10, 3AM

SAINT CATHERINE'S MONASTERY: Layers of history: The Sinai Palimpsests’ Project (Jenna Le Bras, Mada).From the shrine bathed in the early morning light, Father Justin lets his eyes linger on the arid peaks of South Sinai with contentment. “Can you see ...
BOOK REVIEW: A History of Judaism by Martin Goodman and Belonging: The Story of the Jews 1492-1900 by Simon Schama – review. Goodman details the complex history of a dynamic religion while Schama’s immersive book resists bleakness, his varied protagon...
CANDIDA MOSS: Does This Tiny Piece of Clay Mean the Bible Is True? A seal found buried near the Western Wall in Jerusalem has led to grandiose claims about its ability to verify parts of the Bible (The Daily Beast).It may seem like historical detritus, bu...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Reading the Hebrew Bible through Marginal/ized Female Characters Reading women’s stories in the Hebrew Bible using feminist and womanist questions and perspectives reveals a Bible so different from the one with which reader...

January 9, 3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Sworn Testimony. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, how a flying duck aimed at a judge gets the ancient sages out of a moral and intellectual bind.Chapter Four of Tractrate Shevuot focuses ...
NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: EPIPHANY: ANCIENT CHRISTIAN TEXT ADDS TO BIBLICAL STORY OF THE MAGI TRAVELING TO BETHLEHEM FOR BIRTH OF JESUS (KASTALIA MEDRANO, Newsweek). That text is, of course, The Revelation of the Magi, on which more here and here and...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Virtually Explore Jesus’ Tomb at the National Geographic Museum. 3-D technology brings Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre to life (Samuel Pfister).The Tomb of Christ exhibit, which is located at the National Geographic Museu...
DR. RABBI DAVID FRANKEL: The Death of Pharaoh’s Firstborn: A One Plague Exodus (TheTorah.com).After commissioning Moses at the burning bush, God commissions Moses again in Midian, and then again on his way to Egypt. In this third commission, God instruc...

January 8, 5AM

MUSEUM REVIEW: The Museum of the Bible Is a Safe Space for Christian Nationalists (KATHERINE STEWART, New York Times). Excerpt:If you walk in thinking that the Bible has a single meaning, that the evidence of archaeology and history has served to confirm ...

4AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: In Memoriam: Lawrence Stager (1943–2017). Bible and archaeology news (Megan Sauter).Lawrence Stager, the Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel, emeritus, at Harvard University, died on December 29, 2017, at the age of 74. Alt...
AT THE REMNANT OF GIANTS BLOG, Deane Galbraith updates his blog post Was Genesis even authoritative for the Book of Watchers? In what sense? John J. Collins with a response to my comments here. He tends to disagree with my view that the Book of Genesis kn...
THE ANXIOUS BENCH: What Athanasius Decided. Philip Jenkins:The New York Times recently published a wonderful article entitled A Fragile Biblical Text Gets a Virtual Read, concerning the application of modern digital technology to reading an ancient Egypti...

January 7, 5AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: A Fragile Biblical Text Gets a Virtual Read (Nicholas Wade, New York Times).But having lain in obscurity for half a century, M.910’s day in the limelight has finally arrived. Last month, a television news crew documented every movement...
AAR RELIGIOUS STUDIES NEWS: In Memoriam: Jonathan Z. Smith (1938–2017) (Russell T. McCutcheon).On the recent afternoon and early evening of New Year’s Eve many of us were shocked to learn the sad news that Jonathan Z. Smith, arguably the world’s mos...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: The Administrative Division of the 13th Satrapy of Achaemenid Persia in the Reign of Darius II. Notice of a recent article:Khorikyan, Hovhannes. 2017. The Administrative Division of the 13th Satrapy of Achaemenid Persia in the Reig...

January 6, 5AM

REMNANT OF GIANTS BLOG: Was Genesis even authoritative for the Book of Watchers? In what sense? John J. Collins (Deane Galbraith).What do you think? Was Genesis more like Harold Bloom’s literary canon, to which Collins may here allude? Or was it ‘auth...
REISSUED IN PAPERBACK BY BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS:Title: Seek to See Him Sub-title: Ascent and Vision Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas Series: (Library of Early Christology Series) By (author): April D. DeConick ISBN10-13: 1481307924 : 9781481307925 Forma...
ON FACEBOOK: The Greek LXX Reading Group.A reading group to read the Greek LXX version of the Old Testament. We will have different readings each year. Feel free to add any insights or helps. Reading Helps. Every week, we will put up a “reader’s d...
LARRY HURTADO: Advice for New Scholars (from an older one). Good advice. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

January 5, 8AM

LIST: The Top Ten Most Important Ancient Documents Lost to History. Either due to conquest or simply the ravages of time, these founding papers of civilizations around the world will remain mysteries forever (Duncan Barile, Smithsonian.com). One could end...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Scan technique reveals secret writing in mummy cases (Pallab Ghosh, BBC).Researchers in London have developed scanning techniques that show what is written on the papyrus that mummy cases are made from. These are the decorated boxes int...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Hilla AloufAlouf-Aboody, Hilla. “Halokh ve-daber: Elijah the Prophet as a Bearer of Wisdom in Rabbinic Literature,” Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University, 2017. My dissertation entitled Halokh ve-daber: ...

7AM

DR. RABBI DAVID J. ZUCKER: Did Pharaoh’s Daughter Name Moses? In Hebrew? (TheTorah.com).She named him Moses (מֹשֶׁה) explaining, “I drew him (מְשִׁיתִהוּ) out of the water” (Exod 2:10).A very thorough review of commentary on these q...

January 4, 5AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: First Person: A New Chapter. From the January/February 2018 Biblical Archaeology Review (Robert Cargill).Hello, I’m Bob Cargill, the new Editor of BAR. I am honored to be taking the reins from Hershel Shanks, the man who founded BAR...
DECORATIVE ART AND ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY: Nilometers in the Land of Israel (Ticia Verveer, Times of Israel [Blog]). Excerpt:In that [late Roman and Byzantine] period Israel yielded an astonishing wealth of magnificent mosaic floors. In Galilean Sepphoris, ar...
DR. SHANA STRAUCH STRICK: When Moses Was Born the House Was Filled with Light. The Iranian Origins of a Talmudic Midrash (TheGemara.com).It is therefore unsurprising that the authors of the talmudic midrash would have depicted the singularity of Moses and...
THE ASOR BLOG: A Proper Answer: Reflections on Archaeology, Archaeologists and Biblical Historiography (Israel Finkelstein).ANEToday is pleased to present comments by noted archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, delivered at a joint session of ASOR and the Soc...

January 3, 2AM

SAD NEWS: Lawrence Stager, Creative Biblical Archaeologist, Dies at 74 (Sam Roberts, New York Times).Lawrence E. Stager, a pre-eminent American archaeologist who unearthed evidence that anxious ancient Israelites sinned by worshiping a “golden calf,” ...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: IZAAK J. DE HULSTER, Figurines in Achaemenid Period Yehud. Jerusalem's History of Religion and Coroplastics in the Monotheism Debate. [„Figurinen im achämenidischen Jehud: Die Religionsgeschichte Jerusalems und Koroplastik i...
NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:The Rabbinic Conversion of Judaism The Unique Perspective of the Bavli on Conversion and the Construction of Jewish Identity Moshe Lavee, University of Haifa In this volume, Moshe Lavee offers an account of crucial internal developmen...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY/T&T CLARK:Texts and Artefacts Selected Essays on Textual Criticism and Early Christian Manuscripts By: Larry W. Hurtado Published: 30-11-2017 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 256 ISBN: 9780567677716 Imprint: T&T Cla...

January 2, 1AM

POLITICS: Declaration by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on the withdrawal of Israel from the Organization. I have a lot of respect for Ms. Azoulay and this is a good statement. But it concentrates on the past relationship between UNESCO and Israel...
MUSEUM REVIEW: Washington's new Bible museum talks a lot about Jews. So why are some Jews so skeptical? (Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, reprint St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Excerpt:A panel at this month’s annual Association for Jewish Studies confere...
GETTING STARTED EARLY: 5 Major Archaeology Discoveries to Look for in 2018 (Owen Jarus, Live Science). The prediction of greatest interest to PaleoJudaica readers is of the discovery of a 13th Dead Sea Scroll cave. I hope it comes true. I also hope that t...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Top 10 Bible History Daily Posts in 2017. Ring in the new year by looking back (Robin Ngo).From archaeological evidence confirming the existence of people from the Bible to an eclipse of Biblical proportions, Bible History Daily cover...

January 1, 6AM

ARCHAEOLOGY AND EPIGRAPHY: Governor of Jerusalem's Seal Impression From First Temple Era Found Near Western Wall. The bible mentions the Governor of Jerusalem, a high appointment by the king, in the contexts of the reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah (Ruth Schu...
SAD NEWS: Jonathan Z. Smith Has Died. The news has been spreading through the internet over the last day or so. This post on James Tabor's blog gives the obituary circulated by the late Professor Smith's wife. Professor Tabor also links to an AAR lecture ...
SYRIAC WATCH: In the last couple of days of 2017 two posts on the Hugoye list provided some welcome news about important matters in Syriac Studies. First, from George Kiraz: 25 Year of Beth Mardutho. Congratulations to the Beth Mardutho Syriac Institute ...
DR.RABBI TZEMAH YOREH: Jacob Is Renamed Israel (Twice): Why Does the Name Jacob Remain? (TheTorah.com).The different usages of the names Jacob and Israel reflect a geographic divide between the northern and southern kingdoms’ stance toward this patriarc...

December 31 2017, 5PM

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Have a great 2018 and please keep coming by often to visit PaleoJudaica. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

5AM

THE BOOK OF DOCTRINES AND OPINIONS (BLOG): Interview with James Kugel – The Great Shift (Alan Brill).James Kugel in the exciting new book The Great Shift discusses a great change, similar to the Axial Age theory, between the era when God walked with peo...
BOOK REVIEW: How Hobby Lobby Appropriates Jewish Culture To Shill For Christ (Raphael Magarik, The Forward).Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby By Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden Princeton University Press, 240 pages, $29.95Excerpt:In “Bibl...
RECEPTION HISTORY: Azariah de Rossi’s Fascination with the Septuagint (The Lehrhaus).The fate of Aristeas among rabbinic Jews began to change in November of 1570, when the Italian Jewish scholar Azariah de Rossi was forced out of his home by a series of...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Mosebilder. Gedanken zur Rezeption einer literarischen Figur im Frühjudentum, frühen Christentum und der römisch-hellenistischen Literatur. Hrsg. v. Michael Sommer, Erik Eynikel, Veronika Niederhofer u. Elisabeth Hernitschec...

December 30, 6AM

POLITICS: UNESCO chief receives Israel’s withdrawal notice: ‘I regret this deeply.’ Audrey Azoulay's confirmation of Israeli departure comes after last minute scramble to submit paperwork; Jewish state will leave UN's cultural arm on December 31, 20...
A CALL FOR RESTORATION: Fallen from Grace: Rabbi Hayyim El-Imshati Synagogue (Samar Samir, Egypt Today).CAIRO - 30 December 2017: Walking in through the two-meter-wide entrance, you will find in the semi-demolished ramshackle and stumble across a big ceme...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: Editors' Choice: The Best of 2017. I think I linked to most or all of these. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

5AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Jerusalem’s Garbage. How garbage disposes of the idea that the Temple once stood over the Gihon Spring (Leen Ritmeyer).It is interesting to read historical sources including the Bible, but if the interpretation of the text conflicts ...

December 29, 5AM

REMNANT OF GIANTS BLOG: Monster Theory in Biblical Studies. And what better place to catch up on your Monster Theory? Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
MUSEUM REVIEW: A Rabbi’s Take on the New Museum of the Bible (Rabbi Perry Tirschwell, The Jewish Link).Should Orthodox families and yeshiva day schools visit this museum, which opened just before Thanksgiving in Washington, D.C.? It was founded, and to ...
NUMISMATICS: NGC Ancient Coins Highlight January 2018 Auctions (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, Coin World). There are two coins from the Jewish War, including this unusual one:Lot 32080 – A Year 5 silver shekel from the Jewish War, graded NGC XF with ...
RELIGION PROF: #CFP Conference on Religious and Philosophical Conversion in Ancient Mediterranean Traditions (James McGrath). In Bonn in September of 2018. Looks interesting.Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical ...

December 28, 10AM

WILLIAM ROSS: JELLICOE’S LETTER & THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE IOSCS. IOSCS stands for the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. This is the first in a series of blog posts on an archive of information about the IOSCS that Wi...
JASON TRON: Joseph: The Making of a Prophet (TheTorah.com).The Torah is silent about the nature of Joseph’s dreams: What do they mean? Do they come from God? This ambiguity is part of the literary artistry of the story, which relates Joseph’s “comi...
IT WAS A GOOD YEAR: Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2017 (Gordon Govier, Christianity Today). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Did Jesus Exist? Searching for Evidence Beyond the Bible. Lawrence Mykytiuk’s feature article from the January/February 2015 issue of BAR with voluminous endnotes. This BHD essay was originally published in 2014 and I linked to it h...

December 27, 4AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Cremated Soldier Found in Cooking Pot at Vast Roman Camp in Israel. The camp discovered by Armageddon is the only full-scale Roman legionary base found so far in the East: It housed the 'Ironclad' Sixth Legion, a cremated comrade in a cooking...

3AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Would the Real Elder John Please Stand up? Our information about the “Elder John,” the source of our earliest traditions about the origins of the Gospels, is quite meager. There was even a basic disagreement among Patrist...
REMNANT OF GIANTS: Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem Again: Possible Harmonizing Interpretations versus Probable Contextual Interpretations. A follow-up post by Dr. Galbraith to his earlier post on the New Testament Nativity stories, noted here. Yes, I was agre...
WILLIAM ROSS: REVIEW: KEEP UP YOUR BIBLICAL LANGUAGES IN TWO MINUTES A DAY (HENDRICKSON). You don't necessarily need these books to keep up you biblical languages. But if you find them helpful, by all means use them. For many other interesting blog post...

December 26, 3AM

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA: New Exhibition Tells Story of Sussita as Israel Transitioned from Paganism to Christianity (JNi.Media).A pagan amulet used by a senior clergyman at the church in Hippos (Sussita), a fresco depicting the Greek goddess Tyche on a...
NEW BOOK FROM MAGNES PRESS:On the Conciliation of Nature and Grace A Latin Translation and Commentary on the Zohar by Guillaume Postel (1510-1581) By Guillaume Postel Translation: Judith Weiss Publisher: The Hebrew University Magnes Press Categories: Je...
BOOK REVIEW: Baylor history professor sees crucial era shaping Christmas story (Carl Hoover, Waco Tribune-Herald). Excerpt:“There’s a real cultural and spiritual revolution in that period,” Jenkins said. Power struggles over territory in the decade...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: PAAVO N. TUCKER, The Holiness Composition in the Book of Exodus. [Die Heiligkeitskomposition in Exodus.] 2017. IX, 230 pages. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 2. Reihe 98. 79,00 €. sewn paper. ISBN 978-3-16-155190-1.Published ...

December 25, 9AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh? Medicinal uses of frankincense may help explain the gifts of the magi. Maybe. But I doubt that the baby Jesus was suffering from arthritis. Cross-file under 'Tis the Season. Visit ...

8AM

BELATED HANUKKAH-RELATED NEWS: Ancient findings show how Maccabees defeated the Greeks. Archeological excavation in Shilo reveals ancient Greek community attacked by the Maccabees in the Great Revolt, showing the great battle that took place at the site (...
THE MANUSCRIPTS MEN: The men saving history from ISIS. In the face of danger, a pair of padres are finding and protecting ancient religious books and manuscripts from terrorists (Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes).We have come across an unlikely band of brothers o...
(MODERN) ARAMAIC WATCH: Do you hear what I hear? Christians in Holy Land revive the language of Jesus (CBC/Yahoo News).In the hills of the Galilee, the lush region in the Holy Land where it's said that Jesus Christ grew up, residents of the town of Jish a...

7AM

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all those celebrating! For posts of Christmas past, see my 2016 Christmas post and links. Christmas-related posts in the last year are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here (cf. here), and here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily ...

December 24, 2AM

NEW BOOK FROM THE JOURNAL OF ROMAN ARCHAEOLOGY SUPPLEMENT SERIES:Published December 13, 2017. S106. THE ELEPHANT MOSAIC PANEL IN THE SYNAGOGUE AT HUQOQ: OFFICIAL PUBLICATION AND INITIAL INTERPRETATIONS, by Karen Britt and Ra'anan Boustan. Paperback, 7 x 1...
UPCOMING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN: Dirk Smilde Fellowship Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Dr. George J. Brooke: "A Summer's Day? With What Shall We Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls?" On 2 Feburary 2018.Prof. George Brooke’s inaugural lecture asks...
REMNANT OF GIANTS: The Two Stories of Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem. In a festive spirit, Deane Galbraith reminds us that the Christmas story is a combination of two irreconcilable accounts from the New Testament. Cross-file under 'Tis the Season. Visit Pa...
'TIS THE SEASON: Favourite -- and least favourite -- Jesus Films (Mark Goodacre, NT Blog). Professor Goodacre was surprised by this year's result, but I am not. Who can resist Aramaic? Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and th...

December 23, 3AM

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What Were the Maccabees of Hannukah [Sic throughout] Drinking? (NeatPour).Today, Hannukah is celebrated by millions who light the menorah, eat some latkes, and enjoy a seasonal tipple of their libation of choice. During the...
THE TALMUD BLOG: David Shyovitz’s “A Remembrance of His Wonders.”David Shyovitz, A Remembrance of His Wonders: Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Ashkenaz, reviewed by Miri FentonExcerpt:His book reframes the German Pietists (Hasidei Ashkenaz),...
'TIS THE SEASON — FOR ENTREPRENEURS: Smells Like Heaven: Israeli Farm Recreates Magi’s Gifts to Jesus (Reuters and the Algemeiner).The aromatic plants bestowed on the infant Jesus are being cultivated by an Israeli entrepreneur who aims to transform t...
DR. SHIRLY BEN-DOV EVIAN: Was the Joseph Story Written in Egypt During the Persian Period? (TheTorah.com)Egyptologists have long searched the details of the Joseph story for clues to when the story was written. Does the Jewish experience as a diaspora com...
APPREHENDED: Nearly 26,500 ancient artifacts seized in biggest operation in Turkey’s history (Hurriyet Daily News).Istanbul police on Dec. 21 seized 26,456 ancient artifacts and detained 13 suspects as part of an operation considered the biggest in Turk...
'TIS THE SEASON: An ox, an ass … a dragon? Sorry, there were no animals in the Bible’s nativity scene (Meredith Warren, The Conversation).From nativity plays to crèche sets to Christmas cards, animals are ubiquitous in our vision of the birth of Chri...

December 22, 4AM

'TIS THE SEASON: Away in a Manger... Or Under a Palm Tree? (Mustafa Akyol, New York Times).A key Christian document that diverges from the gospels of Matthew and Luke on the Nativity is the Protevangelium of James — a “Gospel” that didn’t make it ...

December 21, 5AM

NEW BOOK FROM BREPOLS PUBLISHERS:Berliner Turfantexte (BTT 39) A Syriac Service-Book from Turfan Museum für asiatische Kunst, Berlin MS MIK III 45 E. Hunter, J-F Coakley (eds.) X+307 p., 17 b/w ill., 111 b/w tables, 210 x 297 mm, 2017 ISBN: 978-2-503-57...
THE ETC BLOG: The problem with digitizing our discipline (Peter Gurry). He raises some legitimate concerns. Cross-file under Technology Watch. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Re-Imagining Delilah’s Afterlives as a Femme Fatale The biblical narrative is riddled with gaps and ambiguities around Delilah’s character – we are told nothing about her social status or ethnicity, her personality, the...
NUMISMATICS MEETS REAL ESTATE MARKETING: VIDEO: Ancient Jewish Coins A Key Motif Of Jerusalem Estates Linking The Luxury Development To The Past (Yeshiva World).Yerushalayim…Concurrent with the rapidly rising Jerusalem Estates luxurious residential comp...

December 20, 4AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: ARTIFACTS FROM 1,500-YEAR-OLD MONASTERY AND CHURCH UNEARTHED IN BEIT SHEMESH. Well-preserved Byzantine-era colored mosaic floors and imported marble antiquities discovered (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).With a little help from over 1,00...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Phillip Fackler.Phillip Fackler, “Forging Christianity: Jews and Christians in Pseudo-Ignatius,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2017.Excerpt:The early Christian writer, Ignatius of Antioch ...

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TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Lost ancient texts recovered and published online through international partnership. Arcadia funds project of St. Catherine’s Monastery, the UCLA Library, and Early Manuscripts Electronic Library(Kathy Brown, UCLA Library).Previously u...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (SUBTERRANEAN EDITION): NEW WESTERN WALL TUNNELS SYNAGOGUE OPENED. The synagogue is deep inside the complex and is adjacent to the area above which the ancient Jewish temples on the Temple Mount stood, and the inner sanctum of the Holy ...

December 19, 5AM

PROF. EMANUEL TOV: The (Proto-)Masoretic Text: A Ten-Part Series (TheTorah.com). The link is to Part 1: The Bible and the Masoretic Text. The other nine parts are as follows: Part 2 – Judean Desert Texts Outside Qumran Part 3 – Socio-Religiou...
THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Letter of the Law. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ how a badly educated Jew might be able to complete a sex act with an ‘impure’ woman and not be sinful while a Talmud scholar could not.Clear...
ARCHAEOLOGY AND POLITICS: Regev pushes for extensive Old City excavations in Jerusalem. Culture minister initiates $70-million plan to uncover, preserve and develop historical sites from Har Etzion to City of David; 'This is the best response to those den...

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THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION: The Book of Haggai and the Rebuilding of the Temple in the Early Persian Period It is more likely that any work that might have begun on the temple came to a halt because of problems within the community. This is suggested b...

December 18, 4AM

'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts: The Prehistory of Chanukah (Prof. Michael Segal, TheTorah.com).The four beasts of Daniel 7 represent four kingdoms. The terrifying fourth beast with ten horns and iron teeth is the ...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Jews, Gentiles, and Other Animals: The Talmud After the Humanities (M Adryael Tong).Mira Beth Wasserman. Jews, Gentiles, and Other Animals: The Talmud After the Humanities. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylania Press, 201...

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TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: The Royal Stoa of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Leen Ritmeyer).During the Herodian period, a colonnaded hall, known as the Royal Stoa, graced the whole length of the Southern Wall. Constructed in the shape of a basilica with four rows...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: PATRICIA A. DUNCAN, Novel Hermeneutics in the Greek Pseudo-Clementine Romance. [Roman-Hermeneutik in griechischen pseudoklementinischen Homilien.] 2017. XIV, 204 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 395. ...

December 17, 3AM

'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): The Mad King and the Secret History of Hanukkah. The story behind the holiday of Hanukkah is full of palace intrigue and rebellion (Candida Moss, The Daily Beast).In their analysis of the Maccabean revolt, scholars tend...
'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): The Original Meaning of Chanukah (Prof. Eyal Regev, TheTorah.com).Why did Judah Maccabee establish the holiday? What were the religious and political factors ​that inspired the Maccabees to promote it throughout Judea...
NOW REOPENED: St Catherine's Library and Mosaic of Transfiguration inaugurated after restoration. Work on restoring the library of St Catherine's Monastery began in 2014 (Nevine El-Aref, ahramonline).Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, South Sinai Go...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: PSCO 2017-18: Thinking with Ancient Animals (Matthew Chalmers).What, then, does thinking through animals get scholars of ancient religion? It opens a rich ancient archive, articulated with an alternative framework than those which we o...

December 16, 3AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Scriptures and Sectarianism: Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Amanda M. Davis Bledsoe).John J. Collins, Scriptures and Sectarianism: Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 332. Tübingen: Mo...
PROF. JACQUELINE VAYNTRUB: “Her Name was Tamar”: Invasive, Destructive, Redemptive (TheTorah.com).The character of Tamar draws on a botanical motif—the tamar, the date palm—to evoke a recurring trope of female family members whose beauty and prese...
THE LOGOS ACADEMIC BLOG: So you want to study the LXX? Here’s why and where to do it. Cambridge doctoral student William Ross has a guest post on the important and expanding field of Septuagint studies. I have noted some of his related posts on his own ...

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NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Perceiving the Other in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. Ed. by Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Wolfgang Grünstäudl, and Matthew Thiessen. [Die Wahrnehmung des Anderen im antiken Judentum und im frühen Christentum.] 2017. VI...

December 15, 6AM

MEREDITH WARREN: ‘Lead us not into temptation’: why Pope Francis is wrong about the Lord’s Prayer (The Conversation).Pope Francis recently announced that he thinks the common English translation of the Lord’s Prayer is mistranslated. He is calling...
'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): In Praise of the Hasmoneans: Chanukah Beyond Rabbinic Literature (Prof. Ophir Münz-Manor, TheGemara.com).The relative absence of Chanukah from rabbinic literature has been seen by many scholars as evidence that late an...
INAUGURAL EXHIBITION: National Jewish museum opens in Italy. New exhibit details history of Jewish presence in Italy from ancient Roman times until the Middle Ages (JTA via Times of Israel).FERRARA, Italy – Italy got a Hanukkah present – the opening o...
GENIZA FRAGMENTS, the Newsletter of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library has published two new issues since I last posted on it. I was sure that I had posted on the April issue earlier this year. I certainly was watchin...

December 14, 4AM

APPREHENDED: ‘We were just hunting porcupines,’ claims antiquities robber. Twice in one night, Israel Antiquities Authority theft-prevention unit catch suspects excavating at 2,000-year-old sites (Amanda Borschel-Dan).Tuesday night was busy for the Is...
DAVID MEADOWS IS ASKING QUESTIONS: Oxyrhynchus and the First Apocalypse of James: Collection History Just Got Murkier (Rogue Classicism Blog). I leave the reader to decide how much weight to give David's concerns. In any case, it should be a straightforwa...
READING ACTS: Book Review: Edward M. Curtis, Interpreting the Wisdom Books (Phil Long).Curtis, Edward M. Interpreting the Wisdom Books: An Exegetical Handbook. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Academic, 2017. 204 pp. Pb; $21.99.Excerpt:Nevertheless, as with th...
PROF. GARY A. RENDSBURG: The Joseph Story: Ancient Literary Art at Its Best (TheTorah.com).The Joseph story invites the reader to be transported to Egypt itself through the inclusion of Egyptian words, proper names, and customs; to analyze the unsurpassed...

December 13, 8AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Order of Things. The reasoning behind the Talmud’s categories and sub-categories isn’t always apparent. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ the Talmud wonders about its own organization.The begin...

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ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Jewish town from Hasmonean period discovered ,100-year-old Jewish community found in Judea, dating back to Hasmonean period, 600 years earlier than previous finds at the site (Mordechai Sones, Arutz Sheva). Previous remains only went ...
HERE WE GO AGAIN: Ancient 'Torah' uncovered in Turkey actually a crude fake: experts (i24 News).An ancient Torah scroll reportedly seized from smugglers by security forces in Turkey in November is in fact a crude forgery, the museum analyzing it said on T...
REOPENING: Antiquities minister to inaugurate St. Catherine's' library on Saturday (MENA, Egypt Today).CAIRO - 11 December 2017: Antiquities Minister Khaled el Anani will open on Saturday the library of St. Catherine Monastery and the renovation work of t...

December 12, 4AM

HAPPY HANUKKAH (CHANUKKAH, CHANUKAH) to all those celebrating! The eight-day festival begins tonight at sundown. Last year's Hanukkah post is here. It links to past Hanukkah posts with additional historical background. For PaleoJudaica posts in the last...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists uncover bittersweet end of 1,800-year-old Tiberias menorah. Once carved on a Jewish grave, the menorah had two more lives -- as the base of a mosque and then in a Crusader-period sugar factory (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Isr...

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DISCOVERY: MOTHER AND DAUGHTER DISCOVER ANCIENT CLAY LAMP FROM HELLENISTIC PERIOD Second century CE relic dates to Judah Maccabee’s battles against ruler of Antiochus (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).A leisurely afternoon hike in the North’s Beit ...
BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Understanding the Jewish Menorah. Does this ancient menorah graffito show the Temple menorah?The Jewish menorah—especially the Temple menorah, a seven-branched candelabra that stood in the Temple—is the most enduring and iconic Je...

December 11, 10AM

NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY/T&T CLARK:Women and Exilic Identity in the Hebrew Bible Editor(s): Martien A. Halvorson-Taylor, Katherine E. Southwood Published: 28-12-2017 Format: Hardback Edition: 1st Extent: 192 ISBN: 9780567668424 Imprint: T&T Clark ...
REISSUED IN PAPERBACK BY BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS:Title: Angel Veneration & Christology Sub-title: A Study in Early Judaism & in the Christology of the Apocalypse of John Series: (Library of Early Christology Series) By (author): Loren T. Stuckenbr...
NEW BOOK FROM DE GRYUTER: Collecting Recipes. Byzantine and Jewish Pharmacology in Dialogue. Ed. by Lehmhaus, Lennart / Martelli, Matteo.Aims and Scope With a clear comparative approach, this volume brings together for the first time contributions that co...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: JUSTIN R. HOWELL, The Pharisees and Figured Speech in Luke-Acts. [Die Pharisäer und die figurierte Rede im lukanischen Doppelwerk.] 2017. XII, 386 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 456. 94,00...

December 10, 6AM

CANDIDA MOSS: ‘New’ Text About James, Brother Of Jesus Isn’t Exactly New. Whatever you might have heard, what was discovered isn’t a previously unknown text. Instead, it’s the first Greek manuscript of a text previously known only from copies in...
H-JUDAIC: CFP: Panel on pre-modern Jewish medicine and sciences, EAJS Congress, July 2018, Krakow.CALL for PAPERS - EAJS Conference 2018, Krakow: Pre-organized Panel on Jewish medicine and sciences Jewish Roots and routes of knowledge - approaches to med...

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POLITICS AND NUMISMATICS: Second Temple coin at the UN Security Council. Israeli Ambassador Danon tells UN Security Council, 'All the nations of the world should join us this year in Jerusalem' (Arutz Sheva).Addressing to the Council members, [Israel’s ...
'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): From high art to Disney-esque, menorahs of all kinds light the way during Hanukkah (Colleen Smith, Denver Post).Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, has for centuries outshined the darkness of bigotry. “Hanukkah ...

December 9, 3AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Journeys in the Roman East: Imagined and Real Ed. by Maren R. Niehoff. [Reisen im Osten des Römischen Reichs: Fiktiv und Real.] 2017. XI, 440 pages. Culture, Religion, and Politics in the Greco-Roman World 1. 59,00 €. cloth....
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Timothy Howe, Lee L. Brice (ed.), Brill's Companion to Insurgency and Terrorism in the Ancient Mediterranean. Brill's Companions in Classical Studies: Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016. ...
'TIS THE SEASON: Away in a Manger (feeding trough!) (Carl Rasmussen, The Holy Land Photos' Blog). Kind of cool, even though we are now told that Jesus wasn't born in a stable. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblica...

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REVIEW Diaspora: A Fantastic Play Besieged By Questionable Content (Matthew Silkin,YU Commentator).Diaspora, a new play written by Nathaniel Sam Shapiro and directed by Saheem Ali, tells two separate but intertwined stories - it follows a Birthright group...

December 8, 3AM

'TIS THE SEASON (HANUKKAH EDITION): Chanukah: The Greek Influence of Martyrdom (Prof. Rabbi Martin Lockshin, TheTorah.com).On Chanukah we celebrate the miraculous military victories of the “few over the many,” and of Jewish culture over Greek. Ironic...
IT'S THAT DAY AGAIN: Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day. This is the tenth anniversary of its founding. One of the original announcements, with some instructions, is here. The Facebook page is here. Here's someone who got started early on his pretending....
A NEW ISSUE OF REVIEW OF RABBINIC JUDAISM: Volume 20, Issue 2, 2017. TOC:Research Article The People, Not the Peoples: The Talmud Bavli’s “Charitable” Contribution to the Jewish-Christian Conversation in Mesopotamia Author: Alyssa M. Gray pp.: 137...
NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY/T&T CLARK:T&T Clark Companion to the Dead Sea Scrolls Editor(s): Charlotte Hempel, George J. Brooke Media of T&T Clark Companion to the Dead Sea Scrolls See larger image Published: 12-07-2018 Format: Hardback Edition:...

December 7, 4AM

PHILOLOGOS Judah the Maccabee, Judah the Mace-Man. A modest suggestion for a new way of thinking about the original meaning of the word “Maccabee” (Mosaic Magazine).The derivation of makkabi from makevet or makava certainly makes better sense than any...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Yael Landman (Yael Landman Wermuth).Yael Landman, “The Biblical Law of Bailment in Its Ancient Near Eastern Contexts,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Yeshiva University, 2017Excerpt:Through its study of a multifaceted...

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LARRY HURTADO: Philo of Alexandria and Early Christianity. Professor Hurtado posts a previously published article of his on this topic. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
PROF. JOEL BADEN: “God Opened Her Womb”: The Biblical Conception of Fertility (TheTorah.com).Is infertility a divine punishment?He argues that it is not. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

December 6, 3AM

A WELL-DESERVED HONOR FOR A SENIOR LEADER IN THE FIELD: Scholars Pay Tribute to Bernstein in New Festschrift. Volume Published in Dr. Moshe Bernstein’s Honor Explores Jewish Scriptural Interpretation (YU News).At the annual meeting of the Society of Bib...
THE ANXIOUS BENCH BLOG: Divination – A Most Neglected Most Important Element of Religion (Philip Jenkins).Now this is a treat! I was recently corresponding with the excellent English scholar of religion Linda Woodhead, who made some very interesting com...
THE ASOR BLOG: Child Sacrifice in Ancient Israel (Heath D. Dewrell).In my recent monograph, Child Sacrifice in Ancient Israel, I address these arguments and, like most scholars, argue that at least some Israelites did sacrifice their children, probably to...
DR. ALISON L. JOSEPH: Who Is the Victim in the Dinah Story? (TheTorah.com).We can not imagine anyone but Dinah as the victim, but does the Torah? Do the Rabbis? Understanding the story of Dinah and its reception in historical context can help us reflect o...

December 5, 3AM

PERSEPOLIS ARCHIVE CASE: US justices cast doubt over Hamas bomb victims’ claim to Iran artifacts. Judges express skepticism that five US citizens maimed in 1997 Jerusalem bombing can use act to seize items from Chicago museums (AP and Times of Israel). ...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Counting and Weighing: On the Role of Intuition in Philology and Linguistics, with Some Thoughts on Linguistic Comments by R. E. Friedman in The Exodus The intuition of established scholars often holds them back from apprecia...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Ecclesiastes and the Riddle of Authorship (Brennan Breed).Thomas Bolin, Ecclesiastes and the Riddle of Authorship. New York: Routledge, 2017.Excerpt:In short, Bolin argues that the well-known interpretive problems posed by ...
The Wide-Ranging 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival and SBL Annual Meeting Edition (Jim West). Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

December 4, 4AM

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Temple Mount Riddles Resolved by Tens of Thousands of Tiny Pieces. The monumental buildings on Temple Mount, Jerusalem turn out to have been decorated chiefly with images of plants and geometric forms, patient researcher finds (Nir Has...
POLITICS: ARCHEOLOGY IN ISRAEL AS A POLITICAL WEAPON. Emek Shaveh’s Mizrachi: When you control the past, you control the present and the future (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).The battle between right- and left-wing ideologues is evident at archeol...

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APPREHENDED: Antiquities theft: 'A widespread and destructive phenomenon.' Arab antiquities thieves nabbed at archaeological site mentioned in the Book of Joshua (Mordechai Sones, Arutz Sheva).Members of the Archaeology Unit of the Civil Administration ar...
DIGITAL, THAT IS: Exhibition on ‘Birmingham Quran’ opens (The Gulf Today).BU DHABI: A digital exhibition of the manuscript of the ‘Birmingham Quran’, one of the oldest surviving parts of the Quran in the world, was inaugurated last night at the Um...

December 3, 3AM

WELL, THAT'S AWKWARD: ISRAEL PULLS OUT OF DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBIT IN GERMANY. Frankfurt museum couldn’t guarantee scrolls’ return if claimed by Palestinians or Jordanians (BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JTA/Jerusalem Post).Israel has pulled out of a planned exhi...
PERSEPOLIS ARCHIVES UPDATE: Will Ancient Persian Artifacts Be Sold To The Highest Bidder? (Shayan Modarres, The Iranian).On December 4th, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a case that will decide the fate of the Persepolis tablets – ancient ...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: What Is Multispectral Imaging And How Is It Changing Archaeology And Digital Humanities Today? (Sarah Bond, Forbes).What is multispectral imaging and how is the technology changing the face of archaeology, art history and digital humanit...
ECUMENICAL: The Muslim Who Holds the Ancient Key to Jesus' Tomb in Jerusalem. As Christian denominations vie for control over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the 800-year-old key rests with a Muslim man named Adeeb Joudeh (Reuters/Haaretz). Due to arch...

December 2, 2AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Jessica Dello Russo.Jessica Dello Russo, "Jewish Shadows of Subterranean Christian Rome," Ph.D. dissertation, Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology, 2017. My research for the doctorate from t...
REVIEWS OF THE ENOCH SEMINAR: Laura Lieber reviews My Perfect One: Typology and Early Rabbinic Interpretation of the Song of Songs (Jonathan Kaplan).Jonathan Kaplan, My Perfect One: Typology and Early Rabbinic Interpretation of the Song of Songs. Oxford: ...
THE ASOR BLOG: Not Just for the Birds: Pigeons in the Roman and Byzantine Near East (Jennifer Ramsay). Doves are, of course, mentioned occasionally in the Bible. Then there's this:Archaeologically we know that pigeon-rearing was already well established o...
'TIS THE SEASON: Apocryphal text sheds light on Wise Men story (Courtney Sosnowski, Baylor Lariat).Many people, Christian or not, could tell you about the three wise men who followed a star from the east and presented the baby Jesus with gold, frankincens...

December 1, 4AM

FORGERY OR THE REAL THING? Was this the first Dead Sea Scroll? More than a century ago, an antiquities dealer from Jerusalem claimed he had discovered an ancient version of the book of Deuteronomy. But was it a fake? (Chanan Tigay, BBC). Excerpt:For those...
BEYOND THE PALACE HEMI-POWERED DRONES SCREAM DOWN THE BOULEVARD: Drone Spots 2,200-year-old Edomite Temple in Israeli Live-fire Zone. The temple, or it may have been a palace, had been burned down by Jewish forces who conquered the region, converted survi...
APPREHENDED: Four Arrested in Turkey for Stealing 700-Year Old Torah Scroll (Sputnik News).Four people were arrested in Turkey last week after attempting to sell an ancient Torah scroll to undercover police officers for almost $2 million. The Torah, the ...

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MANUSCRIPTS: Why did the Museum of the Bible’s scholars destroy ancient Egyptian artifacts? Christian apologists say they found New Testament fragments in mummy masks. It’s a dubious claim (Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden, The Christian Century). Ex...

November 30, 5AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Hidden hoard hints at how ancient elites protected the family treasures. A find from Israel reveals clues about Iron Age wealth protection (Bruce Bower, Science News).BOSTON — Long before anyone opened a bank account or rented a safe deposi...
CAMWS (CJ-ONLINE): A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74. by Steven Mason. New York: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2016. Pp. xii + 690. Hardcover, $150.00. ISBN 978-0-521-85329-3. Reviewed by Yaron Eliav, University of Michigan (yzeliav@umich.edu). Excerpt...
NEW BOOK FROM URIM PUBLICATIONS: From Forbidden Fruit to Milk and Honey: A Commentary on Food in the Torah by Diana Lipton.Urim Publications, 2018 Hardcover, 302 pages ISBN:978-965-524-252-2 Food is at the heart of Jewish life and culture as the subjec...
REISSUED IN PAPERBACK BY BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS:Title: Paul's Glory-Christology Sub-title: Tradition & Rhetoric Series: (Library of Early Christology Series) By (author): Carey C. Newman ISBN10-13: 1481307967 : 9781481307963 Illustrations: 5 illus Fo...

November 29, 4AM

PROJECT: Alison Schofield Tackles New Translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. DU professor is one of three editors on an international project (Jon Stone, University of Denver).Alison Schofield is truly living her childhood dream. An associate professor of r...
MATERIAL CULTURE: Mortar Found in 'Tomb of Jesus' Cave Dates to Constantine Era One mystery surrounding the tomb had been the origin and date of the marble slab at the bottom of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Haaretz).Mortar found in the limestone cave...
THE PERFORMING ARTS: Death And Sex At Masada. Politics, Birthright Israel trips and a powerful myth animate ‘Diaspora’ (Ted Merwin, Jewish Week).Few places are as iconic in Jewish life as Masada, the desert stronghold where, as the story goes, a coura...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: Homesick Phoenicians Imported Plants, Animals to New Sicilian Island Home 3,000 Years Ago. DNA analysis of seeds and bones unearthed on the tiny island of Motya show that they came from the ancient Levant, brought by the Phoenicians to S...

November 28, 5AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: To Flog or Not to Flog. Which sinners are to taste the lash, how many strokes of it, in what circumstances, with what intention, and as just punishment in which cases, and with what exceptions: As alw...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Valuing the past in the Greco-Roman World (Kelsi Morrison-Atkins).James Ker and Christoph Pieper, eds. Valuing the past in the Greco-Roman World: Proceedings from the Penn-Leiden Colloquia on Ancient Values VII. Leiden: Bri...
EXHIBITION: Ancient hidden texts from St Catherine’s Monastery in Mt Sinai displayed in Athens (video) (Tornos News).Ancient texts from St Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt, that were kept secret for centuries under other texts until they were rev...
EVENT: Professor unearths Israeli heritage (The Pitt News).Pitt’s Jewish Studies program and Nationality Rooms program came together Monday night to host [Professor Jodi] Magness and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Israel Heritage Classroom — th...

November 27, 6AM

PALMYRA WATCH: DUBAI COMBATS ISIS DESTRUCTION WITH 3D PRINTED ARTEFACT RECONSTRUCTIONS AT UN HQ (Rushabh Haria, 3D Printing Industry).When the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) wreaked havoc across regions of Syria and Iraq, they also destroyed count...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Laura Carrara, Mischa Meier, Christine Radtki-Jansen (ed.), Die Weltchronik des Johannes Malalas: Quellenfragen. Malalas-Studien, 2. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017. Pp. 409. ISBN 9783515116442. €68.00. Reviewed b...
(MODERN) NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Real 'Book of Judas' inspires journalist's novel (Rev. Alexander Santora, Jersey Journal/nj.com).[Linda Stasi's] sixth book and second novel, "Book of Judas," manages to display her wicked use of words wr...

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THE AWOL BLOG: Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae. All three volumes of Preisendanz's edition of the Greek Magical Papyri are now online for free. They can be downloaded as PDF files. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and th...

November 26, 4AM

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Life-size relief replica stars in Arch of Titus show in New York. Massachusetts sign carver uses 3-D scans and and hi-tech machinery to make striking copy of famous 'Spoils of Jerusalem' bas-relief (Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel).Lin...
TC: A JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL TEXTUAL CRITICISM (VOLUME 22, 2017) is now out, with lots of biblical text-critical goodness. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

3AM

REVIEW OF A NEW BOOK FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PRESS: The brothers Maimonides. New book shines light on the relationship between law, business, and family (Larry Yudelson, Jewish Standard/Times of Israel).This saga had an impact on Jewish law, D...
READING RELIGION: The Samaritans. A Profile (Matthew Chalmers).Reinhard Pummer Cambridge, UK: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., February 2016. 376 pages. $30.00.Paperback. ISBN 9780802867681. For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.From the review:T...

November 25, 3AM

HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: Deir Aziz Synagogue (Golan Heights) (Carl Rasmussen).Deir Aziz (“Monastery of Aziz”) is a site located 4 mi. [6.5 km.] east of the Sea of Galilee on the north side of a wadi that flows into the Nahal Qanaf. There is a very po...

2AM

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: The first owners of the Leningrad Codex: T-S 10J30.7 (Ben Outhwaite).The question of ownership is a significant one, since it speaks to the wider context of the book’s intended use and potential audience, an aspect of the r...
REISSUED IN PAPERBACK BY BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS:Title: Messianic Exegesis Sub-title: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity Series: (Library of Early Christology Series) By (author): Donald H. Juel ISBN10-13: 1481307959 ...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: AHARON OPPENHEIMER. Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi. Statesman, Reformer, and Redactor of the Mishnah. [Rabbi Jehuda ha-Nassi. Staatsmann, Reformer und Redaktor der Mischna.] 2017. XIV, 291 pages.Published in English. The patriarch Rabbi J...

November 24, 5AM

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH: OCTOBER 2017: Early Karaite Halakha according to Karaite Commentaries to the Bible (T-S 16.316) (Yoram Erder).The Genizah documents are essentially fragmentary. In order to understand the Karaite halakha in these documents in...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: MICHAEL J. MORRIS. Warding Off Evil. Apotropaic Tradition in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Synoptic Gospels. [Das Böse abwehren. Apotropäische Überlieferungen in den Schriftrollen vom Toten Meer und den synoptischen Evangelien.] ...
DR. RABBI ZEV FARBER: How Is It Possible that Jacob Mistakes Leah for Rachel? (TheTorah.com).“When morning came, there was Leah!” (Genesis 29:25). Could Jacob not tell the difference between his beloved of seven years and her sister, for a whole night...
ETC BLOG: Initial thoughts on the Tyndale House Greek New Testament (Peter Gurry).These are some initial impressions, then. Overall, the edition is refreshing in its visual simplicity and some of the novelties such as paragraphing are a nice change. I wil...

November 23, 7AM

ARCHAEOLOGY, DECORATIVE ART, AND EPIGRAPHY: Where Maccabees overthrew idolatry, early Georgian Christian mosaic uncovered. Ashdod, today home to the largest community of Georgian Jews in the world, was a Byzantine base for a Christian Georgian prince (Ama...

6AM

SECOND TEMPLE JUDAISM: Jesus was more Jewish than you think, says Bible prof. Matthias Henze says the source for the Christian Messiah's faith is best explained after looking at the Second Temple era, when Judaism and Christianity overlapped (RICH TENORIO...
ASSYRIAN (MODERN SYRIAC) WATCH: Turkey’s Syriac community welcomes monastery’s return. Title deed of Mor Gabriel Monastery transferred to Turkish Treasury in 2014 (Anadolu Agency, Halil Ibrahim Sincar, Nurten Aslan and Selahattin Erol).MARDIN, Turkey ...
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my American readers and all those celebrating with us! Today is a normal work day in the U.K., so there will be some normal blogging. Have a good day. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical ...

November 22, 5AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Perfect Lioness Carving From 1,500 Years Ago Discovered in a Pile of Dirt in Israel. Basalt carving may have graced an ancient synagogue in Bethsaida, archaeologists surmise: It's like other synagogue decorations found in the area (Ruth Schus...
PROFESSOR LAWERENCE H. SCHIFFMAN: MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT! ANCIENT TRASH REVEALS THE EATING HABITS OF JEWS 2,000 YEARS AGO. An offprint of his recent article in Ami Magazine. For clarity, the Bayis Rishon period is the First Temple period and the Bayis She...
NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Die Makkabäer. Hrsg. v. Friedrich Avemarie, Predrag Bukovec, Stefan Krauter u. Michael Tilly, unter Mitarb. v. Hendrik Stoppel. [The Maccabees.] 2017. XI, 471 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 382. 17...
REISSUED IN PAPERBACK BY BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS:Title: Angelomorphic Christology Sub-title: Antecedents and Early Evidence Series: (Library of Early Christology Series) By (author): Charles A. Gieschen ISBN10-13: 1481307940 : 9781481307949 Format: Paperb...

November 21, 8AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Accident or Crime? How studying Torah could kill a child, and other lessons in involuntary manslaughter from this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study.This week, Daf Yomi readers completed the second ...

7AM

DIGITIZATION: British Library publishes treasure trove of Hebrew manuscripts. New online collection is venerable library's first bilingual online project, letting users search among 1,300 items in English and Hebrew (Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel).The Br...
PROF. AARON DEMSKY: Looking through the Window: A Gendered Motif (TheTorah.com).Abimelech, Michal, Sisera’s mother, and Jezebel all look through a window, but their experience is not the same.Indeed not. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on a...
LECTURE: Rabbi highlights disability theory and symbolism in Rabbinic literature ( Eliana Padwa, The Justice).To Rabbi Dr. Julia Watts Belser, an expert in both Judaic studies and disability studies, being knowledgeable about multiple fields provides a un...

November 20, 4AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Did David and Solomon's United Monarchy Exist? Vast Ancient Mining Operation May Hold Answers. Archaeology has provided precious little evidence for the biblical account of a powerful Judaic kingdom 3,000 years ago, but the sheer extent of co...

3AM

BRICE C. JONES: First Greek Fragments of a Nag Hammadi Text Discovered among Oxyrhynchus Papyri!.Very exciting news came out of a session at the 2017 annual Society of Biblical Literature conference in Boston: Geoff Smith and Brent Landau announced their ...
BRYN MARY CLASSICAL REVIEW: Görge K. Hasselhoff, Meret Strothmann (ed.), "Religio licita?": Rom und die Juden. Studia Judaica, 84. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2017. Pp. viii, 230. ISBN 9783110406559. $126.00. Reviewed by Arco den Heijer, ...
RELIGION PROF BLOG: Fan Fiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures #CFP (James McGrath). The comparison seems anachronistic to me, but it will be very interesting to see what this special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures produces. Visit PaleoJudaica d...

November 19, 3AM

OSTEOLOGY: Skeletons could provide clues to who wrote or protected the Dead Sea Scrolls. Few women or children have been found at Qumran burial site, suggesting similarities to Byzantine monastery cemeteries (Bruce Bower, Science News).Analyses of 33 newl...
MUSEUM REVIEW: JUDAISM IS THE STAR AT A BIBLE MUSEUM BUILT BY HOBBY LOBBY. $500 million Bible musuem opened on National Mall park in Washington D.C. (JTA/Jerusalem Post).The museum celebrates Jews and Judaism as the noble, beloved and even feared antecede...

2AM

THIS IS A PROBLEM: Forgeries May Hide in Museum of the Bible's Dead Sea Scrolls. With the museum’s support, scholars are racing to understand the disputed Biblical texts (Michael Greshko, National Geographic).Widely respected Biblical scholar David Trob...
REPLICA UPDATE: Sailing a 2,400-year-old Ship That Sank Off Israel's Coast. Over many centuries, hundreds of ships sank along what is now the coast of Israel. Report from a cruise on a replica of the oldest found so far (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz).Sunk on its ...

November 18, 10AM

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Manichaeism East and West. Notice of a new book: Lieu, Samuel N. C. (ed.). 2017. Manichaeism east and west (Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum. Analecta Manichaica 1). Turnhout: Brepols. Follow the link for the TOC. The Book of Giants fig...
LARRY HURTADO: Early Christian Use of “Messianic” Psalms. With focus on a surprising fact about Psalm 110:1. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
MODERN THEMES, ANCIENT SOLUTIONS: 4,000-year-old prenup pushes for surrogacy in case of infertility. Cuneiform tablet calls for a contractual sex slave to be freed after a son's birth -- and would have prevented the bitter rivalry between biblical Hagar a...
REISSUED IN PAPERBACK BY BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS:Title: Name of God & the Angel of the Lord Sub-title: Samaritan & Jewish Concepts of Intermediation & the Origin of Gnosticism Series: (Library of Early Christology Series) By (author): Jarl E. ...

November 17, 4AM

SOME MEDIA ATTENTION FOR TODAY'S OPENING OF THE MUSEUM OF THE BIBLE: Museum of the Bible: A First Look. On the high-tech, new museum and the agenda of the family behind it (Christine Rosen, Weekly Standard)Thus the Museum of the Bible, opening on Novembe...
CALL FOR PAPERS: 9th International Meeting, International Organization for Targum Studies (IOTS) July 9-11, 2018, University College London. There is special interest in proposals that deal with one of the following two thematic focuses:The Aramaic diale...
H-JUDAIC: JOB: Princeton University, Program in Judaic Studies, Postdoctoral Research Associate. A renewable one-year post "to pursue research on any aspect of Judaic Studies" and to do some teaching at Princeton. The application deadline for f...

3AM

300 AUCTIONS OVER SIX YEARS: Multi-million-pound collection of manuscripts from the scandal-hit Aristophil to be auctioned in Paris. A huge collection of manuscripts from investment scheme Aristophil will finally be resold in Paris after a two-year wait (...

November 16, 3AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Museum of the Bible: Part Museum, Part Holy Land Experience. Bible museum opens in Washington, DC (Robin Ngo). The museum opens tomorrow. It sounds as though they have been taking the various criticisms on board and responding. Excerp...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Soli Deo Gloria? The Scholars, the Market, and the Dubious Post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls-like Fragments Meanwhile, however, since the early 1990s, researchers in fields like archaeology and heritage studies have expressed growin...
WILLIAM ROSS: LXX SCHOLAR INTERVIEW – DR. BEN WRIGHT (Septuaginta &C. Blog). I have noted some past interviews of LXX scholars by William Ross here and links. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: Baram — The Synagogue (Carl Rasmussen).Almost all travelers to Israel will visit the justly famous synagogue at Capernaum on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee—and some will even visit the one at nearby Chorazin. Howeve...

November 15, 8AM

BUT IT'S OPENING SOON: The Provenance Problem. Why a cloud hangs over the new Museum of the Bible (Tom Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education). As the article explains, there is an authenticity problem too. Background on the Museum of the Bible, Hobby L...

7AM

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Urban Dreams and Realities in Antiquity: Remains and Representations of the Ancient City (Jordan Conley).Adam M. Kemezis, ed. Urban Dreams and Realities in Antiquity: Remains and Representations of the Ancient City. Leiden:...
BRICE C. JONES: A Review of The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge. I noted the volume recently here. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
DR. RABBI ZEV FARBER AND RABBI DANIEL M. ZUCKER D.D: Rebekah Ran to her “Mother’s Household”: Where Was her Father? (TheTorah.com).Betuel, Rebekah’s father, mysteriously appears and disappears in the negotiations over Rebekah’s marriage.It seems...

November 14, 7AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: On Bearing False Witness. Talmudic rabbis debate what’s to be done with the liars who help hide crimes—and who to believe in such cases—in this week’s ‘Daf Yomi.’But what about other kinds...

6AM

OPENING THIS FRIDAY: In the Capitol’s shadow, massive Museum of the Bible readies for opening (Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service). Lots of good background information in this one. For many other past posts on the Museum of the Bible, Hobby Lobby, ...
DR. MALKA Z. SIMCOVICH: Rebecca’s Character (TheTorah.com).Rebecca, informed by God of her sons’ destinies, thwarts her husband’s effort to bless Esau. The Torah thus portrays an assertive Rebecca in contrast to a weak and uninformed Isaac. Early Je...
THE FACES AND VOICES BLOG: The Gospel of Judas on Sale? (Roberta Mazza). Not now, some years ago. Another interesting story in Moss and Baden, Bible Nation, on which more here and links. Background on the Gospel of Judas is here with many links. Visit Pa...

November 13, 4AM

VALMADONNA LIBRARY UPDATE: Valmadonna Trust Library auction in NY brings record sales. But who benefits? Private sale of Jewish books sees lots reaching far beyond their estimated values, including the trust's complete reference and bibliographic library ...
DR. RABBI ZEV FARBER: Who Was Rebekah’s Father? (TheTorah.com).“I am the daughter of Betuel the son of Milkah, whom she bore to Nahor” (Gen 24:24) – Why the unusual and cumbersome genealogical description?Redaction criticism to the rescue. Visit P...

3AM

TALMUD WATCH (?): To Really Dig the Talmud, Try Reading It Drunk. What wine goes well with Rabbi Zeira? An upcoming evening of text, art, and booze has the answer (Gordon Haber, Tablet Magazine).[Wine merchant H. Ronald] Jordan has a full head of silver h...
SAD NEWS: Karl Katz, Museum Director in New York and Israel, Dies at 88 (SAM ROBERTS, NYT).Karl Katz, who was so entranced by an art history lecture in college that he went on to become a founding curator of the Israel Museum, convey the Metropolitan Muse...

November 12, 10AM

BOOK REVIEW: Mendelsohn, Amitai. Behold the Man—Jesus in Israeli Art. Jerusalem: Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Magnes Press, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2017. Pp. 312 + 210 color illustrations. $ 40.00 cloth. By David Sperber in Religion and the ...
NEW BOOKS FROM THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE:Exploring Zechariah, Volume 1: The Development of Zechariah and Its Role within the Twelve Mark J. Boda ISBN 9781628371628 Status Available Price: $37.95 Binding Paperback Publication Date Apri...

November 11, 3AM

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:The Book of Ruth: Origin and Purpose As a last option for understanding Ruth, I would offer that Ruth does fit well when set against the background of the early post-exilic period. The literature on this time is vast and cont...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Charles E. Muntz, Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xii, 284. ISBN 9780190498726. $85.00. Reviewed by Lisa Irene Hau, University of Glasgow (Lisa.hau@g...
PUNIC WATCH: Archeologist Patrick Hunt traces Hannibal’s path (Skye Nguyen, Manitou Messenger).A historian who looks at the human effect on climate change over the course of time. An author who wrote a book on Hannibal Barca, the ancient Carthaginian le...

2AM

NEW BOOK FROM UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS:Blood for Thought The Reinvention of Sacrifice in Early Rabbinic Literature Mira Balberg (Author) Available worldwide Hardcover, 304 pages ISBN: 9780520295926 September 2017 $95.00, £79.95 Blood for Thought ...

November 10, 5AM

SLIGHTLY BELATEDLY, I want to mention that Richard Bauckham's book launch lecture in St. Andrews went well last week. He discussed some of the responses to his book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Eerdmans) over the last t...

4AM

DR. BARUCH ALSTER: Why Does the Sodom Story Parallel the Flood Traditions? (TheTorah.com).A closer look at the thematic and verbal parallels between the accounts of the flood and the destruction of Sodom, as well as comparison with other ANE flood/destruc...
NEW (REVISED AND TRANSLATED) BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK:PETER SCHÄFER Jesus im Talmud Übers. a.d. Englischen v. Barbara Schäfer [Jesus in the Talmud. 3rd revised edition.] 3rd revised and corrected edition 2017. XXI, 320 pages. 29,00 € sewn paper ISBN ...
ICONOGRAPHY: Symbolism of Arch of Titus focus of Nov. 14 lecture (CARLO WOLFF, Cleveland Jewish News).Professor Steven Fine, who has been researching this Arch for decades, will probe it and the various meanings it has spawned for some 2,000 years in “T...

November 9, 7AM

PHILOLOGOS: No, the Book of Joshua Does Not Tell of a Rare Solar Eclipse. Despite the claim of two recent scientific papers (Mosaic Magazine). PaleoJudaica is cited.This is something that our British and Israeli scholars do not appear to have thought of. ...
INTERVIEW: Investigating the Hobby Lobby Family: An Interview with Candida Moss and Joel S. Baden (Gordon Haber, Religion and Politics). For more on their new book, Bible Nation, see here and links. And follow the links there (and also here) for many othe...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins (PSCO) 2017-2018.AJR will be sharing highlights from the Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins. This year's theme "science and the scientific" asks, "Does considering knowled...
NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER: Second Temple Jewish “Paideia” in Context. Ed. by Zurawski, Jason M. / Boccaccini, Gabriele. Series: Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 228.Aims and Scope Despite the impressive strides made in ...

November 8, 5AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: 1,600-year-old church mosaic puzzles out key role of women in early Christianity. Female donor memorialized in one of seven Greek inscriptions found recently in Byzantine village churches in the Galilee (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel)....
ARCHAEOLOGY: IDF combat soldiers make exciting archaeological discovery in West Bank military fire zone. Over the past nine days, hundreds of soldiers from the IDF's elite 'Duvdevan' unit participated in archeological excavations in a military fire zone i...
DIGITIZATION: Soon We'll Be Able to Look at a Treasure That the Russians Have Kept From Israel for 100 Years. The Günzburg collection contains over 14,000 items, including thousands of rare Hebrew books, as well as manuscripts in Hebrew and many other la...
NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER: Functions of Psalms and Prayers in the Late Second Temple Period.. Ed. by Pajunen, Mika S. / Penner, Jeremy. Series: Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 486.Aims and Scope When thinking about psalms a...

November 7, 3AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Peeking Into the World to Come. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis delve into the practical questions around the Jewish afterlife. Like: will it be here on Earth? Will the Messiah be the...
THE BIBLICAL REVIEW BLOG: Weekly Digest (October 27, 2017). William Brown has collected some useful links, including to articles on Northwest Semitic epigraphy and a bibliography for ancient Jewish magic, posted on Academia.edu. Visit PaleoJudaica daily f...
NEW BOOK FROM THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE:A Most Reliable Witness: Essays in Honor of Ross Shepard Kraemer Susan Ashbrook Harvey (Editor), Nathaniel Desrosiers (Editor), Shira L. Lander (Editor), Jacqueline Pastis (Editor), Daniel Ullucci (Editor) ...
BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Trilingual Greek-Aramaic-Middle Persian Pharmaceutical Lexical List. This is a very early (9th-10th century) text from the Cairo Geniza. It is published in an article by Christa Müller-Kessler in the journal Le Muséon. It looks as...

November 6, 3AM

DISCOVERY: Woman Goes Swimming in the Kinneret, Stumbles on Priceless 1,500-Year-Old Relic. The chicken-shaped object was probably used in early Christian funerary rituals (Liel Leibovitz, Tablet Magazine). Click through to the Hebrew article for some bet...
PUNIC WATCH: Diving Archaeologists Find Unique Lion Helmet From Punic Wars 2,300 Years Ago. Carthage fought the Roman Navy with ships captured from them in previous battle, but lost anyway, which explains why the Sicilian seafloor is littered with remains...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Examining Hidden Text in a New Light (Kendra Redmond, Physics Central). Regular readers will be familiar with the X-ray technology used to read the Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll (on which more here and links). But the new terahertz imaging ...
NEW BOOK FROM THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE: When Texts Are Canonized (Timothy H. Lim [Editor]).ISBN 9781946527004 Status Available Price: $29.95 Binding Paperback Publication Date April 2017 Pages 200 How did canonization take place,...

November 5, 2AM

ARCHAEOLOGY: Pagans in Northern, late-Roman Palestine Embraced Christianity Early, Archaeologists Say. By the fifth century, some Galilean villages had at least one church with elaborate mosaics and a bishop, and at least one had a female donor (Nir Hasso...
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Egypt archaeologist criticizes pyramid void ‘discovery.’ Zahi Hawass, who heads the ScanPyramids science committee overseeing the project, says the find is not new (AFP). I noted a possibly related story a couple of years ago here. V...
DR. DAVID BERNAT: Circumcision: Interpreting the Foreskin as a Defect (TheTorah.com).Genesis 17 states that circumcision will be a sign of the covenant, but is silent about the significance of the act itself. Some Jewish interpreters filled this gap by co...
ART EXHIBITION: BETWEEN THE HOLY AND THE MYTHOLOGY. This year’s Bezalel prize winner for photography, Barak Rubin, presents his solo show that explores the creation of myths (SARAH LEVI, Jerusalem Post).Barak Rubin, a Tel Aviv-based artist and photograp...

November 4, 9AM

NEW BOOK FROM ALLEN LANE: A history of Judaism: Charting our history, texts — and disputes (Simon Rocker, The Jewish Chronicle).In the first century BCE, the Hasmonean King of Judea, Alexander Jannaeus was conducting sacrifices in the Temple of Jerusale...
NEW BOOK FROM LES BELLES LETTRES, PARIS:FRANÇOISE BRIQUEL CHATONNET, MURIEL DEBIÉ Le Monde syriaque Sur les routes d'un christianisme ignoré ACHETER 25,50 € Expédition en 24 heures ouvrées AJOUTER AU MÉMENTO Pour retrouver vos livres favoris PR...
NEW BOOK FROM VANDENHOECK AND RUPRECHT: Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Tzvi Novick, Christine Hayes (Ed.). The Faces of Torah. Studies in the Texts and Contexts of Ancient Judaism in Honor of Steven Fraade.1. Edition 2017 660 pages ISBN 978-3-525-55254-4 Vande...
PHOENICIAN WATCH: Ancient histories and new arrivals (Caroline Maas, Wofford Old Gold and Black).Dr. Helen Dixon is one of around five Ancient Phoenician scholars in America. She is also the newest addition to Wofford’s religion department. [...]Dr. Di...

November 3, 4AM

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: The Christian World Around the New Testament Collected Essays II. [Die Christliche Welt und das Neue Testament. Gesammelte Aufsätze II.] 2017. X, 757 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 386, 259,00 €...

3AM

TEXTUAL VARIANT: The Most Important Dead Sea Text: A Lost Paragraph From the Book of Samuel (Mitchell First, Jewish Link of New Jersey). I wouldn't necessarily consider this fragment the most important Dead Sea text, but it is an interesting one. Most s...
DR. RABBI SAMUEL Z. GLASER: Isaac’s Divine Conception? (TheTorah.com).“The Lord visited Sarah” (Gen 21:1) – When God (and his angels) appears to Abraham to announce the birth of Isaac, the text implies a hidden visit to Sarah. Does this mean, as b...
THE ASOR BLOG: Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah. William Dever introduces his new book of the same title.Countless books have been written about ancient Israel. But this work is the first mainstream history of ancie...

November 2, 4AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The King of Judah, Jars of Wine, and the City of Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Papyrus and the forged words on it (Christopher Rollston).Ultimately, the case against the Jerusalem Papyrus is pretty strong. To be sure, there are, and will c...

3AM

NEW BOOK FROM SUNY PRESS:The Greatest Mirror Heavenly Counterparts in the Jewish Pseudepigrapha Andrei A. Orlov - Author Price: $95.00 Hardcover - 318 pages Release Date: November 2017 ISBN10: N/A ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6691-0 Summary A wide-ranging analy...
THE BIBLICAL STUDIES CARNIVAL FOR OCTOBER 2017 has been posted by Doug Chaplin. PaleoJudaica is well represented this month. I should mention that October's most popular PaleoJudaica post (by far) is not included. That one was Metal codices seized in Tur...
IN THE MAIL:The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (Crossway, 2017)The publishers have kindly sent me a complimentary, advance copy. The publication date is 15 November 2017. For more on the volume, see the The Greek New Testament, ...

November 1, 4AM

ANNIVERSARY ARTICLE: SEVENTY YEARS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956. After an initial flurry of excitement, the scrolls went into a period of quiet withdrawal (Lawrence Schiffman, Jerusalem Post).The Dead...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists Startled to Find Remains of Pregnant Woman Buried in King Solomon’s Mines. Women hadn't been expected to make the arduous trek to the copper mine in the heart of the desert, but this one did, and she must have been important ...
DR. DEVORAH SCHOENFELD: Akedah: How Jews and Christians Explained Abraham’s Faith (TheTorah.com).God promised Abraham that Isaac would be his heir, yet God asked Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. What did Abraham believe that allowed him to reconci...

3AM

PERFORMANCE ART (OR SOMETHING): LABA At The 14th Street Y presents DRUNK, A Night Of Art, Drinking, And Torah, 11/18 (Broadway World News Desk).LABA, the international incubator of Jewish art and culture, presents DRUNK, its annual wine-soaked celebration...

October 31, 4AM

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Talmud and the Thought Police. ‘Daf Yomi’: Do heretical Jewish thinkers have a say in the World to Come?Still, the Mishna in Sanhedrin 90a makes clear that there are a handful of crimes so terr...

3AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: (Hershel Shanks).In 1972 Hershel Shanks took a sabbatical from his legal practice in Washington, D.C. He and his family went to Jerusalem for a year. Once there, the Shanks family became part of a network of friends and colleagues wh...
NEW BOOK FROM OUP: New Book: The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity (John Meade , ETC Blog).Our purpose for writing The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity: Texts and Analysis is to return this evidence set to the prominence we believe ...
BOOK REVIEW: 'Crucible of Faith: The Ancient Revolution that Made Our Modern Religious World': the making of the modern religious mind. A religious historian explores ancient non-canonical texts (REBECCA DENOVA, Pittsburg Post-Gazette).A recent spate of s...

October 30, 5AM

THE LYING PEN OF SCRIBES BLOG: “American Priest, later serving in Switzerland”: On Provenance (Årstein Justnes and Ludvik A. Kjeldsberg).Most of the post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls-like fragments come with stories. The following list presents information ...

3AM

ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENA: Biblical Record of Eclipse 3,200 Years Ago May Rewrite Pharaonic Era in Ancient Egypt. Joshua said the sun and moon stood still: Now archaeologists think he recorded an annular eclipse in 1207 B.C.E. (By Ruth Schuster, Haaretz). I...
APPREHENDED: Hurghada airport officials foil attempt to smuggle 18th-century Coptic icon. The antique religious object was seized at Hurghada International airport as a passenger attempted to smuggle it to Germany (Nevine El-Aref, ahramonline). This stor...
ARCHAEOLOGICAL PIONEER: Honor Frost: a legacy in the field of underwater archaeology (Fabian Mangion, Times of Malta).Honor Frost’s death on September 12, 2010, brought an end to an era. She represented the heroic period of aqualung diving and was the f...

October 29, 2AM

MORE FIGHTING: ANCIENT TOMB OF JEWISH PROPHET 'IN DANGER' AMID IRAQ-KURDISH TENSIONS. The origin of the tomb is often said to date back 2,700 years (Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post).The tomb of the Prophet Nahum, which overlooks the Nineveh plains in no...
NEW BOOK FROM OUP: Secret Groups in Ancient Judaism.Were there groups in Ancient Judaism that cultivated esoteric knowledge and transmitted it secretly? With the discovery and burgeoning study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and particularly of the documents legi...
BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Ronald H. Fritze, Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy. London: Reaktion Books, 2016. Pp. 444. ISBN 9781780236391. $35.00. Reviewed by Maya Muratov, Adelphi University (mmuratov@adelphi.edu).Ronald...
THE JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL STUDIES: REVIEW OF BIBLIA HEBRAICA STUTTGARTENSIA: A READER’S EDITION EDITED BY VANCE, ATHAS, AND AVRAHAMI (David M. Smiley).Overall, I believe that this should be the standard HB that instructors use in an interm...

October 28, 5AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Who Were the Phoenicians? Exploring the Phoenician empire (Megan Sauter).Who were the Phoenicians? Where did they come from? Where did they live? With whom did they trade? Ephraim Stern addresses these questions—and much more—in ...

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TALMUD WATCH: Getting Personal About The Talmud. Ilana Kurshan’s memoir about her journey through the ancient tractates (SANDEE BRAWARSKY, New York Jewish Week).“If All the Seas Were Ink” by Ilana Kurshan (St. Martin’s) recounts the 7 ½-year peri...
COPTIC WATCH: Wuppertal Coptic Intensive 2018 (Christian Askeland, ETC Blog). Christian is teaching the course in February of 2018. Follow the link for details. Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.
MARGINALIA REVIEW OF BOOKS: The Trial of the Talmud Anti-Judaism and the Talmud in Medieval French Society (Sarah Ifft Decker).The Trial of the Talmud: Paris, 1240, ed. John Friedman, Jean Connell Hoff, and Robert Chazan. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval...

October 27, 1AM

RICHARD BAUCKHAM has kindly sent me details of his forthcoming book, which I mentioned recently. For other past posts on Magdala, start there and follow the links.MAGDALA, JEWISH CITY OF FISH Edited by Richard Bauckham Baylor University Press, autumn 20...
BOOK REVIEWS: Purity and Obscurity (Shai Secunda, Jewish Review of Books). Dr. Secunda reviews three books on ancient Jewish ritual purity:Taharah u-kehilla ba-eit ha-atikah: mesorot ha-halakhah ben Yahadut Bayit sheni la-Mishnah (Purity and Community in ...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Disability Studies and Rabbinic Resistance to the Roman Conquest of Jerusalem (Julia Watts Belser).Roman conquest leaves its mark on Jewish flesh. Whether through the physicality of war itself, the privations of famine, or the brutalit...
THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:Reading the Bible in a Feminist Key: Three Challenges for Feminist Biblical Interpretation Today Yet despite these and many other scholarly accomplishments, feminist biblical interpreters face several cultural-intellectual ch...

October 26, 2AM

THE ASOR BLOG: Fighting Over the Bible: Jewish Interpretation, Sectarianism and Polemic from Temple to Talmud and Beyond (Isaac Kalimi).The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament stands as an important sacred text for all branches of the Abrahamic faiths, although th...

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COPTIC WATCH: Newly discovered Coptic tombstone in Luxor belonged to a child: Study. The medieval headstone has been partially deciphered as studies continue (Nevine El-Aref, ahramonline).A preliminary study carried out on the Coptic tombstone recently di...
SYRIAC WATCH AND ARMENIAN WATCH: Ararat-Eskijian Museum Present a Lecture on Armenian-Syriac Relations (Asbarez).MISSION HILLS, Calif. – Ararat-Eskijian Museum presents a talk by Onnik Kiremitlian entitled “Armenia-Syriac Cultural Relations and Armeni...
INTERVIEW: Stephen Greenblatt On How The Story Of Adam And Eve Shaped History (Talya Zax, The Forward).Has there been a more consequential story to the history of humanity than that of Adam and Eve? In the assessment of Stephen Greenblatt, Shakespeare sc...

October 25, 2AM

PROF. EVERETT FOX: What Kind of Hero is Abraham? (TheTorah.com).The lack of details surrounding God’s first call to Abram—לך לך, “go forth”—or about Abram’s trip to Canaan contrasts starkly with other biblical figures, highlighting that Ab...
ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | On Prophets, Warriors, and Kings Former Prophets through the Eyes of Their Interpreters (Joshua Matson).George J. Brooke and Ariel Feldman eds., On Prophets, Warriors, and Kings: Former Prophets Through the Eyes of their In...
CINEMA: Forget it, Kinbote, it’s Chinatown: A Blade Runner 2049 reference guide (Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club).Call it the ultimate tribute to the original’s religion-obsessed atheist director, Ridley Scott, a hodgepodge of crypto-Judeo-Christian ref...
ARCHAEOLOGY: Is the Bible a True Story? Despite feverish searching with Scripture in one hand and cutting-edge technology in the other, evidence backing the Bible remains elusive. But there are some surprising anomalies (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).Beauty and bi...

October 24, 2AM

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Museum of the Bible in the Spotlight. Washington, D.C. Bible museum invites dialogue (Robin Ngo and Megan Sauter).A new museum dedicated to the best-selling book of all time will open next month in Washington, D.C.—just three bl...

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ARCHAEOLOGY: Magdala (Rhona Lewis, The Jewish Press).If you haven’t heard of Magdala, it’s where you can find out about the unearthing of an ancient fishing port on the edge of the Kinneret and a first-century synagogue, one of only seven synagogues i...
TALMUD WATCH: Rome’s rabbi gifts Talmud to Library of Congress (Chris Mathews, Religion News Service).WASHINGTON (RNS) — The Library of Congress got an Italian-Jewish present, brought all the way from Rome by its chief rabbi. Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni ...
COPTIC WATCH: Coptic tombstone unearthed at Sphinxes Avenue in Luxor. The object is carved of limestone and decorated with a cross and Coptic texts (Nevine El-Aref, ahramonline).Egyptian archaeologists in Luxor have stumbled upon a decorative Coptic tombs...

October 23, 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 ...

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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...

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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...

1AM

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...

3AM

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 ...

1AM

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...

2AM

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...

2AM

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...

1AM

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 ...

2AM

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...

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

March 2, 4AM

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

3AM

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

March 1, 4AM

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

3AM

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

February 28, 5AM

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

4AM

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

3AM

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

February 27, 4AM

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

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

2AM

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

February 26, 3AM

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

2AM

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

February 25, 4AM

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

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ...