Monday, June 30, 2003

I'M OFF TO VENICE first thing tomorrow morning for the Enoch Seminar. I don't expect to do any blogging while I'm there unless I get extremely bored and find an Internet caf� (unlikely) or someone finds the Holy Grail while I'm away (less likely). I should be back late on Saturday the 5th but probably won't be blogging again until Sunday. E-mail sent to me today or later will have to wait for me to get back.

If you aren't going to the Enoch Seminar, you can have a taste of it here. This is a short paper I'm giving on "The Animal Apocalypse and Daniel" and this is the handout that goes with it. I'm not allowed to show you the full text of my other paper, which is slated to be published in the conference proceedings in the journal Henoch, but I'll give you a longish abstract of it. It's called "Enochians, Essenes, and Qumran Essenes."

While I'm away, there are other sites that cover news on the ancient world, although none of them deals with exactly the same areas as PaleoJudaica. The Archaeologica News website is always full of the latest on world archaeology. David Nishimura's blog Cronaca deals with art history, antiquity, and archaeology but it is on hiatus too right now. He promises to be back by the Fourth of July weekend, so have a look then. He also recommends Mirabilis, which I haven't seen before but which looks interesting.

And, finally, here are some timely online exhibits from the British Museum website:

Limestone ossuary
Roman/Jewish, 1st century AD
From Jerusalem
Perhaps a representation of the Temple of Jerusalem

Limestone ossuary
Roman/Jewish, 1st century BC to 1st century AD
From Jerusalem
Donor of doors to the Temple of Jerusalem

Pottery lidded jar of the sort used to store the Dead Sea Scrolls

Happy Independence Day to all my American readers. Look for me again on Sunday, 6 July. Have a good week.

Ossuary might be real after all: Filmmaker (Toronto Star)


A Toronto filmmaker says the "jury is still out" on the authenticity of the controversial James ossuary, despite the declaration last week by Israeli experts that its inscription is fake.

Simcha Jacobovici, whose documentary on the ancient burial chest aired in April on the Discovery Channel, calls the announcement by Israel's Antiquities Authority "a rush to judgment."

Why should we care what a Toronto filmmaker thinks? Well, there's this.

The test, which compared the ossuary against other burial boxes by checking isotopes in the patina, was done by the Geological Survey of Israel and had never before been used to verify an ancient inscription, Jacobovici said.

The filmmaker said he was in Israel earlier this week where he interviewed the director of the Geological Survey, Amos Bein, who told him that the box may in fact still be authentic. Jacobovici filmed the interview and said he may update his documentary.

This is a very interesting codicil to Dr. Bein's letter to the IAA, copied to Archaeology Magazine. I'd like to see this interview or at least read a transcript.
NEW BOOK REVIEWS from the Review of Biblical Literature:

DiTommaso, Lorenzo
A Bibliography of Pseudepigrapha Research, 1850-1999

Hiebert, Robert J. V., Claude E. Cox and Peter J. Gentry, eds.
The Old Greek Psalter: Studies in Honor of Albert Pietersma

Engberg-Pedersen, Troels
Paul Beyond the Judaism / Hellenism Divide

Porter, J. R.
The Lost Bible: Forgotten Scriptures Revealed
A NEW ISSUE of the Journal for the Study of Judaism (vol. 34, issue 2) has just appeared and has the following articles:

Dan W. Clanton Jr

Tobias Nicklas; Christian Wagner

Katell Berthelot

Friedrich Avemarie


(Requires paid personal or institutional subscription to access online.)

Sunday, June 29, 2003

THE JOURNAL FILOLOGIA NEOTESTAMENTARIA has full editions online of (only) its 1998 and 1999 volumes. Articles of interest include:

Maarten J.J. Menken, �The greek translation of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15: matthean or pre-matthean?� , Vol.12(1999) 79-88.
The author discusses the textual form of the quotation from Hos. 11:1 in Matt. 2:15, which differs significantly from the LXX Version and agrees with the Massoretic Text and Aquila�s translation of this clause.

J. Duncan M. Derrett, �a)/nqrwpoi eu)doki/aj (Lk 2:14b)�, Vol. 11(1998) 101-106.

At Lk 2:14 is the true reading a)/nqrwpoi eu)doki/aj, Unknown to scholars, the long-standing Jewish picture of the Angelic Host makes it quite clear that the first (the genitive) is right. With the birth of Christ at last God has created a human being deserving of his favour, proving that human-kind is worthy of his favour. The Angels, always jealous of Adam and Abraham, al last admit that God has "got it right".The shepherds are qualified to learn this.

Some of the others also overlap with Jewish or Aramaic interests.

More tomorrow.

I've run across this detail in a couple of places this morning and I can't remember seeing it before (From the Charleston Post and Courier, but evident originating in the Washington Post):

[Authority Deputy Director Uzi] Dahari said "there is some doubt" about whether the word Yeshua (Jesus) is a forgery, "but the rest for sure is fake," and Yeshua "was a very common name."

"If all you have is the name Jesus, that proves nothing," he said.

This would complicate the whole patina issue, wouldn't it? Is some of the patina genuine after all?

Also, Archaeology Magazine reports that the Geological Survey of Israel (GSI) has now come out in support of the conclusion of the Israel Antiquities Authority that the patina is a fake and "could not have formed under natural climactic conditions...that prevailed in the Judea Mountains during the last 2000 years."