Saturday, September 01, 2007

UNION STATION, despite its wildly successful Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition, has lost its accreditation due to financial problems:
Union Station loses professional accreditation because of financial instability
The Kansas City Star

Union Station this week lost its professional accreditation because of financial instability.

Officials said the loss, while disappointing, would not affect daily operations, although it could have an impact on future projects.

In a letter dated Thursday, the American Association of Museums praised the station for its progress in many areas but noted that it had eaten up most of its endowment over the last six years and failed to establish a solid foundation for the future.

“There is no track record of financial stability,” the association said.

The accreditation lapse comes as Union Station is poised to end the year in the black for the first time since it was restored in 1999.

“We hoped that by showing them (the accreditation commission ) that we had cut our budget down and turned the corner with this year’s projected profit that that would have been enough,” Union Station Chief Executive Officer Andi Udris said Friday. “They are smart enough to recognize that the only reason we turned the corner was that we had the Dead Sea Scrolls. They said you cannot expect to survive on these blockbusters.”

Udris said ongoing financial stability would require a combination of public and private support.

MULTI-SPECTRAL IMAGINING, THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, AND THE ARCHIMEDES PALIMPSEST: the Rochester Institute of Technology has a brag sheet on their scientitsts' accomplishments, and good for them.
New life for Dead Sea Scrolls, Archimedes

RIT’s reputation for using modern imaging technologies to illuminate historical documents began with the late Robert Johnston, former dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts and, later, a visiting scholar in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. His use of imaging to recover information from artifacts led to RIT’s involvement in the 1990s with the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Jewish texts that hold clues to the early development of Christianity. Johnston became involved in the project after traveling to Israel and was among the first to suggest the use of digital imaging technology in deciphering the scrolls.

In 1996, Johnston, Roger L. Easton Jr., professor of imaging science at RIT, and Keith Knox, currently an imaging senior scientist and Boeing Technical Fellow at Boeing LTS, digitally recovered several characters from the Temple Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The RIT team originally used digital images created from color transparencies of the Temple Scroll and, later, at Princeton Theological Seminary, imaged actual fragments of other scrolls borrowed from the Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, N.J. The scientists used Johnston’s first-generation Kodak DCS-100 digital camera with filters over the lens to capture multispectral data – information visible on different wavelengths – that they processed using digital imaging software. Their efforts successfully enhanced the contrast between text and parchment for scholarly study.

UPDATE: Hindu philosophical writings in Sanskrit too.

Friday, August 31, 2007


UPDATE: Then there's Harry Potter and the menstruating woman with the basilisk's gaze.

Related post here. And don't miss Harry Potter and the biblical canons (S17-25).
I AM VERY HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE that Dr. Kelly Iverson has joined the staff of the Divinity School of the University of St. Andrews as a Lecturer in New Testament (post advertised here). Welcome Kelly!
OPPONENTS OF TENURE FOR NADIA ABU EL-HAJ at Barnard now have a website. (Via the JTA.)

Background here.

UPDATE (10 September): More here and here.
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH - Forbes has more info on the damage caused by the latest Waqf excavation:
On Thursday, Israeli archaeologist Zachi Zweig said a tractor used to dig the trench damaged the foundation of a 7-yard-wide wall "that might have been a remnant of the Second Temple."

Zweig said his group, the Public Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, drew that conclusion because of the location of the damaged foundation.

"We saw the damage for ourselves and documented it," he said.

The Second Temple was built by Cyrus the Great of Persia in 515 B.C. and destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

The tractor dug a trench that was 4 feet deep, Zweig said.

"The bedrock at this location is very shallow, so there is a high probability that ancient remnants were damaged," he added.

The top Muslim cleric in Jerusalem, Mufti Mohammed Hussein, rejected the Israeli group's charges.

"We don't harm the antiquities, we are the ones who are taking care of the antiquities, unlike others who destroy them," the mufti said.

Zweig said the Israel Antiquities Authority supervisor who was assigned to oversee the cable replacement was a novice archaeologist. "The oversight was a joke," he said.

The authority had no comment.
Earlier coverage here.

UPDATE: Additional coverage in the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz. The latter also has new info on the sifting project on the Waqf's earlier illicit excavations:
In a related development yesterday, new artifacts discovered in sifting through earth removed from the Temple Mount were presented at the eighth annual City of David archaeological conference.

The project, now in its third year, entails scrutinizing truckloads of earth removed by the Waqf in 1999.

Among the ancient finds were numerous stone tiles intended for flooring, some of which have been identified as designed for use in the Roman-era mosaic work known as opus sectile, in which colorful tiles were cut into shapes and fitted into geometric patterns.

"The discovery of stone tiles used in opus sectile flooring in [earth from] the Temple Mount is one of the most important discoveries of the dirt-sifting work," Barkai said, "and it might aid in reconstructing the appearance and character of the Temple's outer courtyard."
Also, denials from "Israeli officials" according to the APF:
Doubts over 'second temple remains' in Jerusalem

Israeli officials cast doubt Friday over claims that remains of the second Jewish temple might have been found during work to lay pipes at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

"If that was the case, the antiquities authority, which has an observer on site, as well as police, also monitoring the work, would have stepped in," said archaeologist Dan Bahat, a former excavations official in Jerusalem.
And the Al Aqsa Foundation (not sure what that is) responds:
A statement issued by the institution read that the Israeli parties have dubbed the maintenance works as barbarian, confirming that any construction works inside the Islamic shrine are the responsibility of the Waqf committee.

The Al-Aqsa foundation rejected the Israeli incitement against the Islamic Waqf ‘endowment’ committee, declaring willingness to defy all Israeli interventions in the mosque’s affairs.
UPDATE: Predictably, it seems that this episode is generating more Jewish-Temple denial and other way-out claims from the usual suspects:
Israel is conspiring to encroach on the Temple Mount to build a Jewish temple near the Al-Aqsa mosque, Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement northern branch, said Thursday.

Salah called on Arab and Muslim nations to "prevent the division of the Al-Aqsa by Israel."

In a letter to Arab kings and leaders of Muslim countries, Salah urged all Muslims to torpedo "Israel's plan that aims at dividing the Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews whereas in the Jewish part it plans to build its imaginary temple."
UPDATE (4 September): More here.
ANCIEN JUDAISM JOB AT DUKE (from the Agade list):
Via Nancy Hurtgen

Duke University's Department of Religion in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences invites applications and nominations for a tenure-track assistant professor position in late ancient Judaism to begin August 2008.

Candidates should have expertise in classical Jewish literature and an interest in Jewish interactions with late-ancient Christianity and/or early Islam. Additional areas of interest may include art, archaeology, gender studies or any discipline related to the cognate fields of Classical Studies, History, or Islamic Studies. The appointment includes graduate and undergraduate instruction. The appointee will participate in Duke's Graduate Program in Religion and Judaic Studies Program. They also will collaborate with faculty members in the Department of Religious Studies at the nearby University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Candidates are asked to send a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference to: Chair of the Late-Ancient Judaism Search Committee, Department of Religion, Box 90964, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0964. Applications received by October 15, 2007 will be guaranteed full consideration but the search will continue until the position is filled. Duke University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities strongly are encouraged to apply.
TWO CONFERENCES AT KCL (from the Agade list):
From Diana Lipton



Thursday 15th May 2008, 11am-5.30pm, Council Room, Strand Campus

PhD students at any stage of their research and MA students thinking of continuing are invited to attend a one conference on the Hebrew Bible and early post and para-biblical texts (Dead Sea Scrolls, pseudepigrapha, targum, midrash) specifically for Graduate Students. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your peers, acquire experience giving papers, get feedback on your research, and spend a day at King's College in the heart of London. We welcome proposals for papers on any aspect of your work. Papers will be 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of audience questions and constructive feedback from a small panel of highly supportive professionals - Drs Lutz Doering (KCL), Charlotte Hempel (Birmingham), Diana Lipton (KCL) and Deborah Rooke (KCL), and Prof. Hugh Williamson (Oxford).

For more information, to register, and to propose a paper:


Monday August 4th to Wednesday August 6th 2008, Council Room, Strand Campus

Keynote Speakers: Prof. Athalya Brenner (University of Amsterdam and Tel Aviv University), Dr. Tarja Philip (Hebrew University), and Dr. Deborah Rooke (King's College London).

Proposals are warmly invited for short papers (30 minutes plus 15) and designated Graduate Student papers (20 minutes plus 10) on sex and gender in biblical and post-biblical texts (Dead Sea Scrolls, pseudepigrapha, midrash) with a priestly worldview or concerns. Among biblical texts we include Leviticus, Numbers, Ezekiel, and Ezra, along with parts of Genesis, Exodus, Joshua and Chronicles, and are open to other suggestions. Programmed events include 'Group Texts', a creative Hebrew reading session, and 'Comparing Notes: Ancient Sex and Gender in the British Museum', a tailor-made tour of the collections, followed by a guided discussion. 'Embroidered Garments' follows a successful 2006 conference on gender and difference in biblical studies, papers from which are forthcoming with Sheffield Phoenix Press.

For more information, to register, and to propose a paper:

Diana Lipton
Lecturer in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies
King's College London
A CONFERENCE IN HONOR OF JOHN J. COLLINS is to be held in April of 2008 at Amherst College: The Other in Second Temple Judaism: A Conference in Honor of John J. Collins. (Via the H-Judaic List.)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

IT'S TRUE THAT I CAN DO 60 PUSH-UPS, but I am not this James Davila.
BLOGGERS PRESENTING at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the AAR/SBL: John F. Hobbins has compiled a list at the Ancient Hebrew Poetry blog.

UPDATE: By "bloggers" he seems to mean people who have some kind of online presence. Some of them don't actually have blogs - or at least he doesn't link to a blog for them and I don't know of one either.
Jesus' conviction 'null, void'
29/08/2007 14:33 - (SA)

Nairobi - A case on behalf of Jesus Christ has come knocking on Kenya's High Court door, lodged by a fervent Christian group who wants his conviction declared "null and void" and his Crucifixion "illegal."

Though cases to right historical wrongs were far from unusual around the world, Kenya's Friends of Jesus (FOJ) had reached back two millennia in what might redefine the quest for closure.

The petition was filed on Monday with the court registrar, raising a novel set of jurisprudence quandaries - not the least of which involved the statute of limitations and whether the high court had jurisdiction over the "Son of God".

It was not certain when a ruling would be handed down.

High court spokesperson Dola Indindis said but, FOJ actually "might have a right in court because the issues raised touch on human rights and the high court has unlimited powers on that line".


Nairobi constitutional lawyer Albert Kuloba, for one, said the "FOJ should have filed it in the International Criminal Court (in The Hague) which has the mandate to hear that case."

It looks as though judicial activism might be a problem in the Kenyan court system.
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH - The A.P. has a piece on the Waqf's latest excavation:
Dig at Jerusalem Site Brings Ire

Wednesday August 29, 2007 8:46 PM


Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli archaeologists on Wednesday criticized the extension of an underground cable at Jerusalem's holiest site for Muslims and Jews, saying that digging the trench defies professional standards for such a sensitive historic site and could damage Bible-era relics.

Islamic authorities responsible for the Al Aqsa Mosque complex, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, said the digging is necessary infrastructure work at the site to replace 40-year-old electrical cables ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The site is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is home to Al Aqsa Mosque and the gold-capped Dome of the Rock, Islam's third-holiest shrine. It is also the holiest site in Judaism: Archaeological finds show that the remains of the temples are beneath the mosque compound, although Muslim clerics dispute that.

On the last point, see here and here.

Story background here.

UPDATE: Here's an interesting tidbit from a Reuters article carried on Ynetnews:
[Archaeologist Gabriel] Barkay said earth from the trench contained pottery shards dating to the Byzantine period. He cautioned that more relics still underground could be harmed.
This is the first claim I've seen about specific artifacts being uncovered in the excavation.

UPDATE: Reportedly, they're still at it:
Muslims Continue Temple Mount Dig without Proper Archeological Survey

By Amihai Zippor
(Israel Hasbara Committee)

(IHC News, 29 August 2007) The Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount resumed condemnations of the State-run Israel Antiquities Authority on Tuesday, 28 August 2007, after Muslims continued digging on the Temple Mount in order to modernize infrastructure.

The Waqf, the Muslim religious caretakers of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, began new non-supervised digging there to prepare a section for infrastructure work on Wednesday, 11 July 2007 and used heavy equipment, destroying sensitive ground on one of the world’s most important archeological sites.

UPDATE: More photos and video here. (Via the BAS Newsletter.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Risa Levitt Kohn, Dead Sea Scrolls (San Diego Natural History Museum, 2007)
The catalogue for the San Diego Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition, kindly sent to me by Professor Kohn, the curator. Lots of cool photos.
BPR3 - Bloggers for Peer-Reviewed Research Reporting.
Bloggers for Peer-Reviewed Research Reporting strives to identify serious academic blog posts about peer-reviewed research by developing an icon and an aggregation site where others can look to find the best academic blogging on the Net.
There's a contest for the icon.

(Via Chuck Jones on Facebook.)
A GUIDE TO JUDEO-ARABIC SCRIPT appears at the Omniglot site. (Via On the Main Line.)
THE SILVER COIN HOARDS FROM QUMRAN HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED, and Kenneth Lonnqvist e-mails the following information. For you, special deal.
Title: The Report of the Amman Lots of the Qumran Silver Coin Hoards. New Chronological Aspects of the Silver Coin Hoard Evidence from Khirbet Qumran at the Dead Sea. Amman 2007.

Author: Kenneth Lönnqvist

Book: A4-sized book, paperback. 72 pages with complete coin catalogue and photographs of each coin, including archaeological, historical and numismatic commentary.

ISBN: 978-952-92-2281-0

Printer: Printed by The National Press, Amman, Jordan

A limited number of the new numismatic publication on the Amman silver coin hoards (The Report of the Amman Lots of the Qumran Silver Coin Hoards. New Chronological Aspects of the Silver Coin Hoard Evidence from Khirbet Qumran at the Dead Sea. Amman 2007) will be distributed free of charge upon purchase of the book Archaeology of the Hidden Qumran The New Paradigm. Minna Lönnqvist and Kenneth Lönnqvist (Helsinki University Press. Helsinki 2002). 377 pages, indices, glossary, 83 photographs (including 30 colour photographs) and 62 drawings. ISBN 952-91-4958-1. Written statements of the book can be provided in PDF-form with e-mail, upon request.

Price: Bundle price or total price of the two books is 20 $ or 15 € (currency exchange rate of 24.8.2007, which may vary), excluding shipping and packing costs.

Add shipping and packing costs as follows:

1st Class (Air Mail): USA: 25 $ (dollar)
2nd Class (Economy, surface mail) USA: 12.5 $ (dollar)

1st Class (Air Mail): EU-countries: 9.5 € (euro)
2nd Class (Economy, surface mail) EU-countries: 9.5 € (euro)

Offer expires 30.9. 2007. E-mail order address:
Shipping will be made when the order with address information and the payment have been received. Shipping will be processed in the order they have been received.
MOSES HAS BEEN AN AMERICAN ICON since the nineteenth century according to the New Republic:
For those of us whose vision of Moses begins and ends at the movies, or more to the point, perhaps, with Charlton Heston, it may come as a great surprise to learn that Moses was just about everywhere in mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century America. You might even say he gave Jesus a run for his money. True, Cecil B. DeMille, who hired the then young and relatively unknown Heston because of his alleged resemblance to Michelangelo's fabled sculpture, had a great deal to do with firmly affixing Moses and his Ten Commandments to the modern imagination. After all, "Mr. Movies," as he was widely known, made not just one but two wildly popular motion pictures about the Decalogue: the first, a silent film in 1923; the other, the 1956 cinematic extravaganza that we now screen every year on television come Easter and Passover. But even granting DeMille his considerable due, the historical record makes clear that the latter-day film was but the latest in a long series of encounters with the biblical figure which punctuated American history from the mid-nineteenth century on. The apotheosis of all things Mosaic, DeMille's postwar epic actually owed its success in large measure to the way it drew on the nation's longstanding preoccupation with the scriptural character, a preoccupation that was every bit as quotidian as it was holy.

These days, Moses continues to cast a long shadow over the body politic, especially when it comes to the placement of the Ten Commandments in the public square. Angry words about the appropriate role religion ought to play in twenty-first century America fill the air as proponents and opponents square off, each side laying claim to Moses' mantle. But earlier generations saw things differently, more consensually: Everyone--Jews, Protestants, and Catholics, artists and politicians - sought him out. ...
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: More on the latest Waqf excavations from the BBC.
Israeli anger over holy site work
By Martin Asser
BBC News, Jerusalem

A group of Israeli archaeologists is protesting about fresh excavations at Jerusalem's holiest religious shrine, saying it threatens priceless relics.

Muslim authorities at al-Aqsa mosque, also venerated by Jews as the Temple Mount, are digging a 150-metre trench for water pipes and electricity cables.

Israeli critics say the work is causing irreparable damage, indiscriminately piling up earth and carved stones.

Mosque officials insist it is urgent infrastructure work doing no damage.


Dr [Gabriel] Barkai identifies the area currently under excavation as the outer courts of the Second Temple, built by Herod the Great in the First Century BC.

He maintains it is where the best preservation of antiquities was anticipated, since other parts of the compound are built on exposed bedrock.

He accuses the Islamic authorities of wanting to "show who is the boss" by destroying Jewish remains in al-Aqsa mosque.

He also lambastes the Israeli Antiquities Authority, meant to supervise any work at archaeological sites, for apparently giving the work legitimacy.

Yusuf Natsheh of the Islamic Waqf dismisses such claims, saying the area has been dug many times and arguing that remains unearthed would be from the 16th or 17th century Ottoman period.

He says the work is urgently needed to maintain the al-Aqsa compound as an important religious institution.

Whatever the date of the remains, they should be excavated scientifically by specialists who know what they're doing.

Earlier coverage here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

LATINO-PUNIC is the subject of recent posts on Bulbolovo (scroll down past the section on Sabean inscriptions) and Jabal Al-Lughat. Thought for the day: If ancient North African Christians were native speakers of Punic, but wrote in Latin, what if one of them wrote an Old Testament pseudepigraphon? Would the Punic influence make it look to us as though it had been translated from Hebrew and therefore must be a Jewish composition? I worry about things like this.
THE SEGEV FOREST in the Western Galilee has some interesting archaeological excavations. Haaretz reports:
"The excavations Dr. Zvi Gal carried out at the beginning of the 1990s solved a very complex puzzle about King Solomon and Hiram, king of Phoenicia," says Mordechai Aviam, director of the Galilee Archaeological Institute.

"A site of a Phoenician nature was built here, a kind of administrative and military center constructed on top of private dwellings from the 11th century. The Phoenician nature of the site bears out the story of King Solomon giving King Hiram portions of the country in exchange for the cedars of Lebanon, with which he built the Temple," Aviam says, smiling in consideration of the implications the story has for the present-day debate over dividing the land.

Not far from here, on the slope of the hill, Aviam has worked with archaeology students at a site known as the Beza Ruin. Remains were found here of an olive oil press and a private home from Second Temple times and the period of the Mishnah, the first and second centuries CE. "The place is beautifully preserved, and we know there are many archaeological finds underground," Aviam says. Gidi Aharoni, head of the Teradyon Industrial Zone (named after a martyr in the rebellion against Rome, a name to be changed to the Misgav Industrial Zone) is listening in. Aharoni is also director general of the Misgav economic corporation, and by his own admission is a lover of archaeology and the environment. For Aharoni, the two sites, beyond their historical importance, can leverage tourism in the region. ...
A WOODEN BOAT discovered in the Sea of Galilee in 1986:
The Jesus Boat
Ancient Galilee boat believed to be 2,000 years old

by Lamar Keener (Christian Examiner)

TIBERIAS, Israel — As the birthplace of civilization, archaeologists have spent years in Israel uncovering stone and earthen remnants of biblically significant treasures.

Sometimes, the finds come from the most unlikely sources.

Considered one of the most remarkable archeological finds in the world, an ancient wooden boat was discovered in 1986 that has been dated back to the first century.

During a severe drought that had lowered the Sea of Galilee to record levels, two brothers, exploring its muddy shoreline for ancient artifacts, found a piece of wood jutting out of the now-exposed seabed. The vessel had been buried in, and protected by, the seabed’s sediments.

Assisted by experts from around the world, the Israel Antiquities Authority rescued the boat during an 11-day-and-night excavation. The weak and waterlogged hull required tedious care, as it was subject to crumbling after being exposed to light and air. Although the wood looked strong, it was soft and shattered upon touch.
I don't think I've ever heard of this find before. There's a photo of the boat at the Sea of Galilee page at

UPDATE: Oops, that's not the boat, it's a reconstruction. My mistake. But there is a photo of the actual boat at Jeremy O'Clair's Ancient Study blog.
TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH - More fallout from the latest construction excavation on the Temple Mount:
Archeologists slam authorities over Muslim dig
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS (Jerusalem Post)

A group of Israeli archeologists on Monday renewed their blistering condemnation of the Antiquities Authority for authorizing Muslim officials to carry out a dig on Jerusalem's Temple Mount with tractors and other heavy equipment as part of infrastructure work to repair faulty electrical lines on the ancient compound.

The work started last month on the northern section of the Temple Mount in the area of the outer courts of the ancient Jewish Temples with the approval of the Israel Police and the state-run Antiquities Authority, Israeli and Islamic officials said. Independent Israeli archeologists said that the work left a 100-meter-long and roughly 1-1.5 meter deep trench, and has damaged the site.


Monday, August 27, 2007

A REVIEW OF GOODMAN, ROME AND JERUSALEM, in the Church Times is noted by Mark Goodacre.
DIRK JONGKIND'S BOOK, Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus, has been published by Gorgias Press.
Author: Dirk Jongkind
Title: Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus
Series: Texts and Studies Third Series 5
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Publication Date: 5/2/2007 10:18:11 AM
Availability: In Print
ISBN: 978-1-59333-422-2
Language: English
Format: Hardback 6 x 9, 1 volume(s), xvii i+ 323 pages, illustrations

Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest manuscript containing the complete text of the New Testament. Besides the New Testament, this codex from the fourth century also contains large parts of the Greek Old Testament, though quite a large part of this section did not survive. Codex Sinaiticus is much more than simply a particular instance of the Greek text of the Bible. At least three different scribes copied the text out by hand, and these scribes were faced with many decisions in the process of writing: How many letters do I put on this line? Will I contract this word as a nomen sacrum or will I spell it out in full? What do I do when I spot an error in the text I have just copied? What is the right spelling of this word? Is it time for a new paragraph? How do I fit the text I have copied to that of my colleague?

This book studies a wide variety of textual and non-textual phenomena of Codex Sinaiticus. Thus we not only learn more about this important biblical manuscript, but are also able to discern much about the individual scribes. The Codex Sinaiticus is not a homogenous book, but the product of individuals with their own habits and different qualities. This study shows that it is possible to rate the scribes of the New Testament according to their individual copying ability.

Dirk Jongkind finished his doctoral work at Cambridge University in 2005. Before taking up a research fellowship at Tyndale House, Cambridge, he was employed by the British Library in London to work on the curatorial preparation of the Codex Sinaiticus Digitisation Project. He is a fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge.
Tyndale House held a book launch last week. I commented on Dirk's work several years ago when he was still a doctoral student. The scribal character, layout, and physical characteristics of ancient manuscripts are important sources of historical information that have been neglected until fairly recently. This book is a welcome contribution to this area.
THE ONLINE SBL PROGRAM BOOK (3): Hellenistic Judaism.
Hellenistic Judaism
. Earlier posts here and here.
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Edward D - GH

Theme: Philosophy and Wisdom in Hellenistic Judaism

Allen Kerkeslager, Saint Joseph's University, Presiding
George H. van Kooten, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Man as the Image of God in Hellenistic Judaism (20 min)
Matthew E. Gordley, Regent University
Didactic Hymnody and the Wisdom of Solomon (20 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Break (10 min)
Steve Young, McHenry County College
Marketing Martyrdom: De/Colonizing Philosophy as Faith in 4th Maccabees (20 min)
Erin Roberts, Brown University
Philo, Wealth, and Stoic Ethics (20 min)
Philippa Townsend, Princeton University
Being Jewish Under Rome: Philo on Greeks and Egyptians (20 min)
Discussion (25 min)

Hellenistic Judaism

Joint Session With: Josephus, Hellenistic Judaism
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Point Loma - MM

Theme: Josephus

Tessa Rajak, University of Reading, Presiding
Fabian Eugene Udoh, University of Notre Dame
Joseph as a Prototype of the Enslaved: Philo (De Iosepho) and Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews 2.39-90) (20 min)
Jason von Ehrenkrook, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Statues, Space, and the Poetics of Idolatry in Josephus' "Jewish War" (20 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Break (10 min)
Kenneth R. Atkinson, University of Northern Iowa
Queen Salome Alexandra’s Neglected Contributions to Hellenistic Judaism (20 min)
Jan W. van Henten, University of Amsterdam
Herod as Tyrant: Assessing Josephus’ Parallel Passages (20 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Business Meeting (20 min)

Everyone is invited to the business meeting at the end of the session to discuss future directions for the Hellenistic Judaism Section.

Hellenistic Judaism

Joint Session With: Hellenistic Judaism, Pseudepigrapha
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Edward D - GH

Theme: Exemplarity and Perfection in Hellenistic Judaism

Erich Gruen, University of California-Berkeley, Presiding
Annette Yoshiko Reed, McMaster University
The Construction and Subversion of Patriarchal Perfection (20 min)
Andrei Orlov, Marquette University
Enoch and the Anthropos: Restoration of the Glory of Adam in 2 (Slavonic) Enoch (20 min)
William Adler, North Carolina State University
Exemplary figures in the "Palaea Historica" (20 min)
Discussion (25 min)
Break (5 min)
Hindy Najman, University of Toronto
Education and Transformation in 4 Ezra (20 min)
Benjamin G. Wright III, Lehigh University
Ben Sira on the Sage as Exemplar (20 min)
Discussion (20 min)
A DEATH METAL BAND NAMED BEHEMOTH. Their frontman calls himself Nergal. You gotta love that.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

MORE FROM THE ONLINE SBL PROGRAM BOOK: Sessions on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. (An earlier post on the Program Book is here.)

First, from the Pseudepigrapha Group:

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Gregory B - GH

John C. Reeves, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Presiding
Peter T. Lanfer, University of California-Los Angeles
Paradise in the Pseudepigrapha (25 min)
The Parascriptural Dimensions of Biblical Women
Vered Hillel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Women’s Genealogies in Hellenistic Literature: The Descent of Bilhah (25 min)
Mary Bader, College of Wooster
Dinah in the Pseudepigrapha (25 min)
Rivka Nir, Open University of Israel
Aseneth as the “Prototype of the Church of the Gentiles” (25 min)
Troy A. Miller, Crichton College
Surrogate, Slave, and Deviant?: “Hagar” in Jewish Interpretive Traditions and Paul’s Use of the Figure in Galatians 4:21-31 (25 min)


1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
30 D - CC

Theme: Addressing the Challenges of the *Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature Series* (Walter de Gruyter)

John Levison, Seattle Pacific University, Presiding
Dale Allison, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Panelist (15 min)
David E. Aune, University of Notre Dame, Panelist (10 min)
Randall Chesnutt, Pepperdine University, Panelist (10 min)
John Endres, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Panelist (10 min)
Judith H. Newman, University of Toronto, Panelist (15 min)
Pieter van der Horst, University of Utrecht, Panelist
Loren T. Stuckenbruck, University of Durham, Panelist (15 min)
Break (10 min)
Panelist responses
Discussion (30 min)
Audience responses
Discussion (35 min)
And two additional highly relevant sessions:
Rethinking the Concept and Categories of 'Bible' in Antiquity

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Salon 5 - MM

James E. Bowley, Millsaps College, Presiding
K. L. Noll, Brandon University
Rethinking Literary Function in the Emerging Hebrew Canon (25 min)
Francis Borchardt, University of Helsinki
Concepts of Scripture in 1 Maccabees (25 min)
Ian W. Scott, Tyndale Seminary
Is the Bible always Scripture?: The "Low" View of the Pentateuch in the Letter of Aristeas (25 min)
Sara Parks, McGill University and Aaron Ricker, McGill University
Harry Potter Canon Discourse and the Biblical Canons (25 min)
Robert A. Kraft, University of Pennsylvania
Finding Adequate Terminology for "Pre-canonical" Literatures (25 min)
James E. Bowley, Millsaps College
Terminating Terminology (25 min)

Function of Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal Writings in Early Judaism and Early Christianity (through 3rd to 4th centuries CE)

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Manchester H - GH

Theme: Theoretical Issues

Lee Martin McDonald, Acadia Divinity College, Presiding
James A. Sanders, Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center
Non-Masoretic Literature in Early Judaism and its Function in the New Testament (20 min)
Craig Evans, Acadia Divinity College, Respondent (5 min)
Discussion (5 min)
James H. Charlesworth, Princeton Theological Seminary
The Book of the People from the People of the Book (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Lee Martin McDonald, Acadia Divinity College
What Do We Mean by "Canon"?: A Look at Some Ancient and Modern Questions (20 min)
Loren Johns, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Respondent (5 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Ken M. Penner, Acadia Divinity College
Citation Formulae as Indices to Canonicity in Early Jewish and Early Christian Literature (20 min)
Jonathan Soyars, Princeton Theological Seminary, Respondent (5 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Sarah L. Schwarz, Haverford College
Pseudepigrapha Among the Pagans?: Exploring the Boundaries of Audience (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
THE 1981 MASADA MINISERIS is about to becme available on DVD:
“Masada: The Complete Epic Miniseries” (Sept. 11). From the heyday of the network minis, this $25 million spectacular about a doomed rebellion against ancient Rome by Jewish zealots aired over four nights on ABC in 1981. It marked the American TV acting debut of Peter O’Toole as the lead Roman and miniseries megastar Peter Strauss as the lead zealot. This isn’t the edited-down version that was released on bulky videotape a few years ago but the whole eight-hour enchilada.