Saturday, January 06, 2018

Was Genesis authoritative for the Book of Watchers?

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 ‘authoritative’ in some further sense (as Collins still entertains, while also asking “in what sense” Genesis may be regarded as authoritative for the Book of Watchers)?
I think the relationship between Genesis and the Book of the Watchers is complicated. On the one hand, the Book of the Watchers knows, and to some degree is responding to, the Pentateuch, including the book of Genesis. But on the other, the passage on the sons of god, the daughters of men, and the Nephilim in Genesis 6:1-4 looks very much as though it is reluctantly and rather incoherently summarizing an earlier story. That earlier story was presumably too well known to ignore, even though the writer of Genesis didn't like it much. And Genesis 6:1-4 sounds a lot like a summary of some version of the story of the watchers and the giants.

So my tentative understanding is that the story of the watchers and the giants existed before Genesis and was briefly summarized by Genesis. Later, the story of the watchers and the giants was retold in more detail, and probably with some elaboration, in the Book of the Watchers. But the Book of the Watchers also knew the story in Genesis and refers back to it as well. At that point Genesis was too well established to ignore, even though the Book of the Watchers was also working with material that was earlier than Genesis.

In other words, the watchers and giants story was in some sense "authoritative" for Genesis. Likewise, Genesis was in some sense "authoritative" for the Book of Watchers. But in both cases the authority rested in the fact that the earlier story was too well known to ignore. It had to be included even though the new author didn't care for it and tried to redirect it. We are far away from anything like "canonical" authority in this process.

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DeConick, Seek to See Him

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
Format: Paperback
Size: 230x155mm
Pages: 225
Weight: .400 Kg.
Published: Baylor University Press (US) - July 2017
List Price: 25.99 Pounds Sterling
Availability: In Stock Qty Available: 5
Subjects: Church history : New Testaments : Biblical studies & exegesis : Christian theology

April DeConick argues that the Gospel of Thomas, contrary to the way Thomas is normally understood, does not originate from gnostic traditions. Instead, she proposes that Thomas is best explained by Hermetic and Second Temple Jewish mystical traditions. DeConick substantiates her proposal by first examining the developmental stages of the Gospel of Thomas, questioning the classification of Thomas as gnostic on the basis of Thomas' dualism and his speculation about original sin. DeConick carefully delineates the difference between Thomas' and gnostic views of the world and of salvation before going on to demonstrate the crucial role of purification, heavenly ascent, and visio dei -- final transformation through an experience of seeing God -- in this Gospel. In the end, DeConick shows that Thomas is best explained as arising from the fusion of Jewish Mysticism and Hermetic praxis and not as being shaped by gnostic traditions.
Another in Baylor's new Library of Early Christology reprint series, on which more here and links.

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The Greek LXX Reading Group

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 dictionary” for that week. It will be based on words that appear 20 times or less in the NT, and OT words that don’t appear in the NT.
The plan for 2018 readings is now posted.

If you want some structure and some company for your 2018 Septuagint readings, this looks like the place.

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Hurtado has advice for young scholars

LARRY HURTADO: Advice for New Scholars (from an older one). Good advice.

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Friday, January 05, 2018

Smithsonian's top 10 lost books

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, One could endlessly debate what should be on this list, but these are all certainly books that would be worth having again. Number 10 is of special interest to PaleoJudaica:
Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel
The Hebrew Bible refers to some 20 works that no longer exist. The frequently cited “Chronicles” was a detailed early Iron Age history from which numerous other biblical narratives may have been drawn.
For past posts on those lost books quoted in the Hebrew Bible, see here and links. And for past posts on many other lost books from antiquity, start here and follow the links.

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Reading the discarded papyri of mummy cases

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 into which the wrapped body of the deceased was placed before it was put in a tomb.

They are made from scraps of papyrus which were used by ancient Egyptians for shopping lists or tax returns.

This sounds like a technique that should work on mummy masks as well. They are constructed in a similar way with discarded manuscripts. This would be a much better approach than dismantling them with Palmolive soap.

Bit by bit, a letter at a time, whatever it takes. Until we're done.

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Alouf, "Halokh ve-daber: Elijah the Prophet ..."

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Hilla Alouf
Alouf-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: Elijah the Prophet as a Bearer of Wisdom in Rabbinic Literature explores the different roles that Elijah embodies in rabbinic literature and their connection to the wisdom tradition. One of the most striking things about the Elijah texts are their variegated nature, including the different traditions and legends that surround his character. Elijah appears in traditions regarding the Messianic era, in halakhic discussions, and in rabbinic legends. At first glance these traditions seem so strikingly different from one another that it is difficult to find any common link besides for the presence of Elijah. However, through analyzing a significant number of the Elijah traditions, I demonstrate how a common thread seems to permeate through many of them, mainly their connection to the wisdom tradition.


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The problem of Moses' name

DR. RABBI DAVID J. ZUCKER: Did Pharaoh’s Daughter Name Moses? In Hebrew? (
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 questions through the ages.

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Thursday, January 04, 2018

Introducing Robert Cargill and the new BAR

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 and who devoted his career to exploring and promoting issues pertaining to archaeology and the Bible. Through BAR, Hershel has brought the latest archaeological discoveries from the Holy Land to you, our loyal readers, since 1975. I’ll say more about Hershel—and trust me, there is plenty more to say and many stories to tell—in our next issue.1 Hershel has been promoted to Editor Emeritus and will continue to write periodically for BAR. It has been a privilege apprenticing under Hershel over the past year, and I look forward to working with him for many years to come—as the BAR editorial staff works to bring you timely, responsible, credible, and entertaining information about archaeology and its relation to the Bible.

I have known Bob Cargill for a long time and I am happy to see the editorship of Biblical Archaeology Review in such capable hands.

Background here and here.

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Nilometers in late-antique mosaics in Israel

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, archaeologists unearthed a mosaic with the depiction of a nilometer in a Byzantine public structure. As the name suggests, the device originates from the area of the Nile in Egypt. The nilometer was invented for recording the annual inundations in Egypt and to control the floodwater. Since the invention of writing, the ancient Egyptians began to attempt to record observations of their world. Egyptian administrators were appointed to make accurate measures of the inundation levels. These records became vital for survival.The column nilometer type appeared during the later Imperial period, and can be depicted as an individual item or shown with human figures engraving the newly risen flood level
Follow the link for more mosaic nilometers and photos.

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Moses and Zoroaster?

DR. SHANA STRAUCH STRICK: When Moses Was Born the House Was Filled with Light. The Iranian Origins of a Talmudic Midrash (
It is therefore unsurprising that the authors of the talmudic midrash would have depicted the singularity of Moses and his innate goodness by adapting an apparently popular motif into the narrative of his birth. Conceivably, the midrash might have functioned as a polemic against claims to the superiority of Zoroastrianism. Regardless, whether the midrash emerged as an intentional appropriation of a Zoroastrian motif or the unconscious incorporation of a prevailing contemporary religious image, it offers evidence of how the rabbis of Babylonia encountered, negotiated, and ultimately incorporated aspects of Sassanian culture into their own religious lore.
Some relevant PaleoJudaica posts are collected here.

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Finkelstein Festschrift and ASOR/SBL lecture

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 Society of Biblical Literature titled “Rethinking Israel” (Boston, November 2017). The session honored Professor Finkelstein’s many contributions and presented him with a festschrift, Rethinking Israel, Studies in the History and Archaeology of Ancient Israel in Honor of Israel Finkelstein, edited by Oded Lipschits, Yuval Gadot, and Matthew Adams.
Excerpt from the lecture:
Speaking about material culture, we need to admit that the southern Levant was a marginal, backwater of the great Ancient Near Eastern civilizations. It has no outstanding monuments, no great archives and no beautiful art-treasures. As an archaeologist, I can disclose to you the sad fact that the people of the southern Levant were not capable of constructing a straight wall, or manufacturing a museum-piece object. The importance of archaeology in this part of the world stems from one thing only – the Bible – the Old and New Testaments. The world is interested in what we are doing, universities open positions, students come to dig with us and the media is enthusiastic to uncritically report every outrageous bit of babble or spin that issues forth from our mouths, only because we work in the cradle of Western Civilization. How to deal with biblical historiography is a different matter.

I see myself as being lucky on three fronts: to deal with the archaeology of such an important region, to focus on important periods related to the rise of Judeo-Christian civilization, and because of timing. Speaking about timing, I reached the frontline of research into the history of Ancient Israel when the traditional fortress of biblical archaeology started crumbling, enabling one to think differently and freely without being crushed by “authority” – the Thought Police. Many of us were there when the time was ripe; only some of us grabbed the opportunity. Make no mistake, there were endless attempts to stop me and others like me, with all sorts of “tricks and schticks,” some funny and others less so.
Congratulations to Professor Finkelstein on this Festschrift recognizing his great contribution to the field.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Lawrence Stager, 1943-2017

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,” just as the Bible said, and who helped redeem the vulgar reputation of Goliath and his fellow Philistines, died on Friday at his home in Concord, Mass. He was 74.

I was a doctoral student in the Harvard NELC program in 1986 when Professor Stager arrived. The Ashkelon expedition was in its early years back then, and I worked as an assistant square supervisor there in the summers of 1987 and 1988.

Larry also opened up the basement of the Harvard Semitic Museum and began using its vast collection of ancient Syro-Palestinian pottery to train his students in ceramic typology. I was never much of an archaeologist, but I learned a lot from sitting in on his basement sessions of what he called "Pot Luck."

I mentioned the Ashkelon calf figurine recently here. Past PaleoJudaica posts on the Philistine cemetery discovered in Ashkelon in 2016 are here and links. There are many other past posts on the Ashkelon excavation. For some in recent years, see here, here, here, here, and links. You can find others in the archives.

Another obituary of Professor Stager has been published by H-Judaic: Obituary: Passing of Prof. Lawrence Stager.

Goodbye, Larry. It was an honor to work with you and to learn from you. Requiescat in pace.

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Hulster, Figurines in Achaemenid Period Yehud

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 in der Monotheismus-Debatte“.] 2017. XV, 225 pages. Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 26. 114,00 €. cloth. ISBN 978-3-16-155550-3.
Published in English.
Were there figurines in Yehud during the Achaemenid period, and in particular in Jerusalem? A positive answer to this question disproves the general consensus about the absence of figurines in Yehud, which is built on the assumption that the figurines excavated in Judah/Yehud are chronologically indicative for Iron Age II in this area (aside from a few typological exceptions). Ephraim Stern and others have taken this alleged absence of figurines as indicative of Jewish monotheism’s rise. Izaak J. de Hulster refutes this ‘no figurines → monotheism’ paradigm by detailed study of the figurines from Yigal Shiloh’s excavation in the ‘City of David’ (especially their contexts in Stratum 9), providing ample evidence for the presence of figurines in post-587/586 Jerusalem. The author further reflects on the paradigm’s premises in archaeology, history, the history of religion, theology, and biblical studies, and particularly in coroplastics (figurine studies).

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Lavee, The Rabbinic Conversion of Judaism

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 developments in the rabbinic corpus, and shows how the Babylonian Talmud dramatically challenged and extended the rabbinic model of conversion to Judaism. The history of conversion to Judaism has long fascinated Jews along a broad ideological continuum. This book demonstrates the rabbis in Babylonia further reworked former traditions about conversion in ever more stringent direction, shifting the focus of identity demarcation towards genealogy and bodily perspectives. By applying a reading-strategy that emphasizes late Babylonian literary developments, Lavee sheds critical light on a broader discourse regarding the nature and boundaries of Jewish identity.

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Hurtado, Texts and Artefacts

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 Clark
Series: The Library of New Testament Studies
Volume: 584
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm

About Texts and Artefacts

The essays included in this volume present Larry W. Hurtado's steadfast analysis of the earliest Christian manuscripts. In these chapters, Hurtado considers not only standard text-critical issues which seek to uncover an earliest possible version of a text, but also the very manuscripts that are available to us. As one of the pre-eminent scholars of the field, Hurtado examines often overlooked 2nd and 3rd century artefacts, which are among the earliest manuscripts available, drawing fascinating conclusions about the features of early Christianity.

Divided into two halves, the first part of the volume addresses text-critical and text-historical issues about the textual transmission of various New Testament writings. The second part looks at manuscripts as physical and visual artefacts themselves, exploring the metadata and sociology of their context and the nature of their first readers, for the light cast upon early Christianity. Whilst these essays are presented together here as a republished collection, Hurtado has made several updates across the collection to draw them together and to reflect on the developing nature of the issues that they address since they were first written.
Cross-file under Material Culture.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Azoulay's statement on Israel's withdrawal from UNESCO

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. Any progress will come from focusing on the present and the future.

Background here and many links.

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More on the Museum of the Bible and Judaism

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 conference included panelists who agreed that the museum’s “self-description as religiously neutral” was inaccurate, said Mark Leuchter, professor of Hebrew Bible at Temple University .

However, while some Jewish visitors said they felt like props, or felt they were being proselytized to, or had concerns about the legality and authenticity of some items (Hobby Lobby, a craft chain whose owners founded the museum, paid a $3 million fine this summer for smuggling ancient Iraqi artifacts), other Jews are happy with the museum.

The museum collaborated with a number of paid Jewish consultants, including Bible scholars, community advocates and rabbis. The consultants sit on an international advisory board or are expert guides. The museum’s director of content, Seth Pollinger, said 35 to 40 percent of the board and of the guides are Jewish, a dramatic number when you consider Jews are less than 2 percent of the adult U.S. population, according to the Pew Research Center (and less than a half of 1 percent, worldwide, Pew says).
For past posts on the Museum of the Bible and related matters, see here and follow the many links.

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Pre-emptive list of 2018 archaeological discoveries

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 that next Dead Sea Scroll cave has some actual Dead Sea Scrolls in it.

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Top 10 BHD posts from 2017

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 covered quite a range of topics in the last year! Below, check out our top 10 blog posts published in 2017 that received the most web traffic. Did your favorite post make the cut?
I linked to most of these during the course of the year. This updated version of an older post is also worthy of honorable mention: 53 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically (Lawrence Mykytiuk).

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Monday, January 01, 2018

"City Governor " bulla excavated in Jerusalem

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 Schuster, Haaretz).
A fantastically preserved seal impression made by the biblical Governor of Jerusalem during the First Temple era has been found by archaeologists where it fell 2,700 years ago.  

Many dozens of seal impressions and seals themselves have been found in ancient Jerusalem, including in this area by the Temple Mount. Also, several seal impressions of the Jerusalem governor ("sar ha'ir"), who was the highest-ranking officer in  the city, have been making the rounds in the black market, Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah told Haaretz.

But this lump of baked clay, all of 1.3 by 1.5 centimeters in size and just over two millimeters thick, is unique in being of unquestionable provenance.

"Ours is special because this was the first time the seal of the Governor of the City of Jerusalem itself was found in the right place," Weksler-Bdolah says.

The decipherment looks right to me, although it is odd that "city" lacks the definite article.

For the Hezekiah bulla (seal impression) excavated in Jerusalem two years ago, see here and links.

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Jonathan Z. Smith, R.I.P.

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 by Professor Smith from 2010: Remembering Jonathan Z. Smith.

I met Jonathan Z. Smith at a conference on ancient magic in 1998 in California. We had a couple of very illuminating and helpful conversations about the book I was writing at the time, Descenders to the Chariot: The People Behind the Hekhalot Literature. I thanked him for these in the book's preface. He was also influential in my thinking about how to conceptualize Judaism in antiquity and the present, on which more here. I developed these ideas in my book, The Provenance of the Pseudepigrapha: Jewish, Christian, or Other?

I also draw on his ideas in my lectures on Judaism in our first-year Introduction to World Religions at the University of St. Andrews. It was taught most recently in the autumn of 2017.

Professor Smith's contributions to methodological rigor in the field of religious studies, not least biblical studies, was enormous. A giant in the field is gone. Requiescat in pace.

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Syriac news: Beth Mardutho anniversary, plus Peshitta Institute update

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 on its 25th anniversary in 2017. Follow the link for details.

Second, from Professor Bas ter Haar Romeny: Peshitta Institute: some notes on progress. This post has lots of information about the recent progress of the work of the Peshitta Institute (formerly of Leiden, now in Amsterdam).

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Jacob and Israel, J and E?

DR.RABBI TZEMAH YOREH: Jacob Is Renamed Israel (Twice): Why Does the Name Jacob Remain? (
The different usages of the names Jacob and Israel reflect a geographic divide between the northern and southern kingdoms’ stance toward this patriarch.
Maybe, but there is little consensus among scholars these days about the nature, extent, and even existence of the putative Yahwistic (J) and Elohistic (E) sources in the Pentateuch. The essay does acknowledge this to some degree.

More on Pentateuchal source criticism here and links.

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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.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Interview with James Kugel

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 people and the era when he no longer did. Kugel quotes the Catholic author Flannery O’Connor “I do not know You, God because I am in the way. Please help me push myself aside.” For Kugel, our modern selves get in the way of our knowing God and, more importantly for this book, understanding the Bible. Biblical people had very different semi-permeable senses of self, different than the modern self, that allowed a direct experience of God. This is the thesis of the book. But conversely, our modern sense of the self causes us to misread the Bible as if it shared modern concepts of the self.
An excellent interview. For more on Professor Kugel's new book, see here.

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Another review of Bible Nation

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, $29.95
In “Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby,” Candida Moss and Joel Baden examine the Green family’s Bible-oriented philanthropy, which extends far beyond Torah scrolls. The Greens have assembled a world-class collection of Bible manuscripts, some of which remain unpublished and unstudied, and a team of well-paid scholars to study them. They have created their enormous, multistory Bible museum and have given untold millions to missionizing and to Bible-translation projects. They have even sponsored the writing of a Bible curriculum, which has proved too controversial (and likely unconstitutional) for American public schools but is catching on in Israel. Alarmingly, Moss and Baden show that in the process, the family has ignored basic tenets of biblical scholarship, antiquities preservation and academic ethics. The Greens have pursued single-mindedly their narrow religious mission, yet, as Baden and Moss write, “none of these projects has preceded smoothly.” Their story, then, is both a cautionary tale about big money attempting to muscle an intellectual culture into submission and a slapstick comedy about the pratfalls along the way.
The reviewer specifies that the scornful tone of this review comes from him, not the authors of Bible Nation.

For more on the book, see here and links. And for other posts on Hobby Lobby, the Green Collection, and the Museum of the Bible, start here and follow the many links.

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Azariah de Rossi on the Letter of Aristeas

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 earthquakes that devastated the city of Ferrara. During his wanderings, he was approached by a Christian scholar for clarification on several difficult points in the Latin translation of The Letter of Aristeas. The scholar was surprised to learn that there was no Hebrew version of a work that is so complimentary of the Jewish Bible. Over the following three weeks, Azariah produced a Hebrew translation of Aristeas, which he called Hadrat Zekenim. Though he was nearing 60 years of age and was extraordinarily erudite, this was the first work that Azariah wrote for publication.
HT AJR Twitter.

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Sommer et al. (eds), Mosebilder

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 Hernitscheck. [Pictures of Moses. Thoughts on a Literary Figure's Reception in Early Judaism, Early Christianity, and Roman-Hellenistic Literature.] 2017. IX, 478 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 390. 149,00 €. cloth. ISBN 978-3-16-155790-3.
Published in German.
Moses – prophet, leader and mediator of God’s revelation. As Israel’s spokesperson and negotiator, he plays a decisive role in early Judaism as well as early Christianity. But he is also mentioned by pagan authors. Beyond doubt, Moses’ history of reception is very complex and convoluted. In the course of time, this figure was associated with various ideas and fulfilled different functions depending on the literary context. Certainly, the multifaceted portrayals of Moses reflect the diversity of early Jewish and early Christian conceptions and are the product of their complex history. By also focusing on often-neglected and less well-known texts, the particular aim of this volume is to illuminate the manifold depictions of Moses.

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