Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review of Wendt, At the Temple Gates

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in the Roman Empire (Brigidda Bell).
Wendt, Heidi. At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in the Roman Empire. Oxford University Press: New York, 2016.
Including ancient Jewish freelancers, among them the Apostle Paul.

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Making models of Nag Hammadi Codices

MATERIAL CULTURE: As part of a book-writing project, Dr. Brent Nongbri has been crafting reconstructions of some of the Coptic Gnostic Codices from Nag Hammadi. This project is not about the texts in the codices, but rather it seeks a better understanding of the physical structure of the objects.

This is a brilliant way to extract more information about antiquity through the study of ancient artifacts. The more we know about ancient book production, the better we can put the surviving ancient books in a material and social cultural context. And the better we will understand those ancient books.

Brent discusses the project, and what he has learned so far, in two posts:

A Model of Nag Hammadi Codex VI

A Model of Nag Hammadi Codex III (and Some Thoughts on Large Single-quire Codices)

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ISBL 2018 - Helsinki

THE CSTT BLOG: WELCOME TO HELSINKI! A LIST OF CSTT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE EABS/ISBL MEETING (RICK BONNIE).
In only two weeks, hundreds of biblical scholars will gather in Helsinki to attend the combined meetings of the European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS) and the International meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), which takes place from 31 July to 3 August.

As the meetings are held in our hometown, we hope to showcase to you all the diverse and wide range of research the CSTT is currently engaged in. To make your conference experience easier, we have brought together all contributions by our research centre to this year’s EABS/ISBL meeting.

[...]

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Reynolds and Boccaccini (eds.), Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:
Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism
Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs


Series: Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, Volume: 106

Editors: Benjamin Reynolds and Gabriele Boccaccini

The essays in Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs seek to interpret John’s Jesus as part of Second Temple Jewish messianic expectations. The Fourth Gospel is rarely considered part of the world of early Judaism. While many have noted John’s Jewishness, most have not understood John’s Messiah as a Jewish messiah.
The Johannine Jesus, who descends from heaven, is declared the Word made flesh, and claims oneness with the Father, is no less Jewish than other messiahs depicted in early Judaism. John’s Jesus is at home on the spectrum of early Judaism’s royal, prophetic, and divine messiahs

Publication Date: 17 July 2018
ISBN: 978-90-04-34975-9
This is the conference volume for the 2016 "John the Jew" Enoch Seminar, on which more here and links. I attended the Seminar but did not present a paper.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Climbing Masada in July

PHOTO ESSAY: What it's like visiting one of the world's greatest treasures, the 2,000 year-old mountaintop fortress Masada (Ben Gilbert, Business Insider).
Visiting Masada, the ancient fortress built atop a mountain plateau in modern day Israel, is a life-changing experience. No caveats necessary.

There's simply nothing like visiting an ancient mountaintop fortress that overlooks the Dead Sea. It doesn't feel real. But because of its isolation and the arid desert climate, the fortress once occupied by King Herod is a remarkably well-preserved relic of humanity's ancient past, one you can climb to on the same paths used by visiting dignitaries and invading Roman troops.

Here's what that experience is like based on my visit last week ...
Many years ago I too climbed the Snake Path in July. It was an insane thing to do. I recommend you try it in a cooler month.

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Moschos the Ioudaios and his dream

VARIANT READINGS: The Moschos Ioudaios Inscription (Brent Nongbri). People in antiquity are much like people in the present. They stubbornly refuse to do what we expect them to do.

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Review of Halbertal and Holmes, The Beginning of Politics

H-JUDAIC REVIEW:
Brody on Halbertal and Holmes, 'The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel'
Author: Moshe Halbertal, Stephen Holmes
Reviewer: Sam Brody

Moshe Halbertal, Stephen Holmes. The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017. 232 pp. $27.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-691-17462-4.

Reviewed by Sam Brody (University of Kansas) Published on H-Judaic (July, 2018) Commissioned by Katja Vehlow (University of South Carolina)

Printable Version: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=51066

There is a long tradition of claiming that politics and political theory in the West belong to Athens, rather than to Jerusalem, and another tradition just as long of rebutting this claim. Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes join the latter tradition with their new work, The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel. The book will sit nicely on the shelf next to Eric Nelson’s The Hebrew Republic (2010) and Michael Walzer’s In God’s Shadow (2012). The former argues for the centrality of the Hebrew Bible in general and Samuel/Kings in particular to seventeenth-century European political theory, and the latter asserts that the absolute dominance of God in the life of ancient Israel left no room for the development of an autonomous human political sphere. Halbertal and Holmes have set themselves the task of rejecting the latter claim, and judging by Walzer’s blurb (“a wonderful discovery”), they appear to have convinced him.

[...]

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Gad and Reuben, P and E, in the Transjordan

SOURCE CRITICISM: Gad and Reuben Receive Land in the Transjordan: A Documentary Approach (, TheTorah.com).
The tribes of Reuben and Gad ask Moses for permission to settle in the Transjordan (Num 32). A look at this lengthy narrative, what exactly they request and what Moses answers, uncovers several contradictions and inconsistencies. Separating the contradictory elements in the story allows for the identification of two parallel accounts.
Could be. It's been a while since I've heard much talk about the Elohistic source. But I don't make a big effort to keep up with Pentateuchal source criticism these days.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Gate etc. excavated at et-Tell

ARCHITECTURE AND ARTIFACTS: ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNCOVER GATE TO BIBLICAL CITY OF ZER (TAMARA ZIEVE, Jerusalem Post).
Archaeologists have uncovered the entrance gate to the biblical city of Zer during excavations carried out in the Golan Heights over the past two weeks, the Golan Regional Council said Sunday.

[...]
The Iron Age II gate was excavated on the site of et-Tell, which is one contender for being the city of Bethsaida in the New Testament era. The other contender is the site of el-Araj. Background on the two sites and the debate is here (cf. here) and links.

I don't know how secure the identification of et-Tell with Zer is.

Of more interest to PaleoJudaica are some other recent discoveries at et-Tell:
Another finding made in the past two weeks was discovered underneath what was seemingly the floor of a Roman temple built by Herod’s son Philip, which he dedicated to Julia, the daughter of Augustus.

There archaeologists found coins, beads, jugs and house keys as well as a shield that belonged to a Roman soldier. The most significant finding was a coin dated to 35 BCE, which was minted in Acre on the occasion of the arrival of Cleopatra and Marc Antony. There is a total of 12 of these coins.
See the article for photos of the house key and the coin.

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The Talmud and sacred airspace

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Cooking Times and Air Rights. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis determine the finer points of animal sacrifice and follow their logical reasoning to the limits of the absurd.
Tractate Zevachim is all about the recognition that, when human beings come together to slaughter animals, things will sometimes go wrong: An animal will wander into the wrong area of the Temple, or the blood will spill on a priest’s robe, or a burning limb will fall off the pyre. A realistic Judaism has to make provisions for what to do when the physical world fails to obey the strict laws of the spiritual world. Rather than see such ruptures as defeats—evidence that the physical can never achieve the perfection of the spiritual—the rabbis see them as opportunities. By extending the safety net of the law to cover moments of error and lapse, the Talmud brings them back within the orbit of the divine.
Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

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Strange obituary

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Giant of New Testament Archaeology. James F. Strange (1938–2018) (Daniel A. Warner, Donald D. Binder, Eric M. Meyers, and James Riley Strange).
Jim developed a range of archaeological skills that few possess. His work with his father taught him surveying with an optical transit. He drew balks, top plans, pottery, glass, and artifacts with precision. He wrote excavation manuals for Caesarea and Meiron and published articles on archaeological method and theory. Early on, he established himself as a ceramicist, and his work in the MEP allowed him to contribute to the typology of Hellenistic- through Byzantine-period pottery widely in use in Israel today. Jim was a polyglot, speaking four languages and reading 12 in addition to English. His desire to disseminate his research resulted in an impressive body of published works.
Background here.

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The Passion narratives and Roman and Jewish calendars

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:
Roman Days, Jewish Nights, and the Gospel Calendar Problem

At the time of Jesus, there was no such Jewish term as “day of Preparation” in Jewish usage. Strangely, virtually the only time that term appears in any literature from that era, it is, for all practical purposes, only from texts written by the four gospel authors, or, perhaps, from someone quoting the gospel sources. But it is not independently attested outside of the gospel sources, a good indication that this was not actually a Jewish term.

By Gary Greenberg
President of the Biblical Archaeology Society of New York>
http://ggreenberg.tripod.com/
July 2018
I didn't think it was possible for me to feel more confused about the chronology of the Gospel Passion narratives. But after reading this I am. Some past posts on that question are here, here, here, here, and here.

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Trip to Hadrian's Wall

MY TRIP TO HADRIAN'S WALL AND ITS ROMAN SITES began with Vindolanda, just as my 2006 trip did.


This is a current photo of the site of Vindolanda. If you compare this photo from 2006, you will see that the wooden replica tower on the left has been rebuilt. You can click on this and all the other images to see a larger version.


That newly-excavated bronze Hand of Jupiter was on display in the Museum. It was tiny, just a few inches across.

We found one other new thing at Vindolanda, but I'm not going to post on it until later this summer. The reason why will become clear then.

I won't go into detail about Vindolanda here. For a report on my visit there in 2006, see here. Other posts involving Vindolanda, its archaeology, and the extraordinarily important archive of documentary texts excavated there, are here and links, and here, here (on a similar find in London), here, and here. In some of those posts I also discuss some indirect points of contact between the Vindolanda and London texts and the Judean Desert Scrolls etc.

I should also mention the Minimus the Mouse books, for any parents who are looking for an entertaining way to introduce their children to Latin. The books are set in Vindolanda and are based on the epigraphic discoveries there. I went through them with my son when he was a wee lad. I recommend them highly.

On the same day as the current Vindolanda visit, we went to the Roman Army Museum. It is also managed by the Vindolanda Trust. It is situated beside the site of the Carvoran Roman Fort. I don't have any photos of the fort area. The fort pre-dates the Wall and is not directly associated with it. There's not much left visible to the eye, although it has never been properly excavated.

Finally, the next day we visited the Housesteads Roman Fort, which is built directly on the Wall. It is one of fifteen forts built along with the Wall to monitor it. I posted a photo of the fort and Hadrian's Wall here.


Here is another of the fort. As you can see, the site has been excavated and conserved. This is the barracks for the soldiers.


This is a photo of the granaries.





The chief claim to fame of the Housesteads Fort is its ruin of an ancient Roman latrine. It is the oldest and best-preserved toilet in Britain, as recognized by English Heritage. The staff are very proud of it. It is especially popular with school children on field trips. It was hard to get good photos of it, because most of the time it was swarming with said children. But a couple of passable images are above. (An ancient toilet seat was also excavated at Vindolanda several years ago.)

A comparably old toilet was excavated near Qumran. Posts on it are collected here. An even older one was excavated at Lachish. And there's more on ancient toilets here.

There is also a nice museum for the Housesteads site.

I have no expertise in Roman Britain, so this more a question than an observation or suggestion. Are the Carvoran and Housesteads Forts situated in areas where anaerobically-sealed layers of soil are likely to have preserved discarded writings like those at Vindolanda? If so, they could be sitting on archives as significant for ancient British and Roman history as the Dead Sea Scrolls are for Israel. Perhaps someone should organize expeditions to have a look. I know there's no money for that now, but some publicity could probably raise some. Just a thought for you specialists in Roman Britain.

That was this year's trip to Roman sites around Hadrian's Wall. I love the area and I imagine I'll be back. The rest of the holiday was at the Lake District and no ancient ruins were involved.

While we're on the subject of ancient Roman sites in Britain, see also my past post on Roman Chester.

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Do you want a libation with that?

YHWH'S FAST-FOOD RECIPES? Which Sacrificial Offerings Require Libations? (Dr. Naphtali Meshel, TheTorah.com).
A burnt offering (olah), described as “sweet smelling” food for YHWH, always includes grain and wine libation “side-dishes,” constituting a complete meal. A purification offering (chattat), however, is a cleansing ritual. Should it also have an accompanying libation? The Masoretic Text of Numbers 28-29 offers an inconsistent answer that differs from that of the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch.
Allow me a cultural side note, with reference to this:
A burger with fries and a soda is common—hence the typical adage, “Do you want fries with that?” A combination of only fries and a soda, however, is not licit: that is, while it is not illegal to order fries and a drink separately, they do not constitute a meal. This is reflected in the absence of such an option from most “combo” menus.
That's from an American perspective. In Britain, a fast-food meal consisting of starch and a drink is not uncommon. The first time an American sees someone here order a chip butty, it is mind blowing.

What constitutes a meal, for God or anyone else, is very much culturally conditioned.


Wikimedia Commons

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Davies on (mental) biblical maps

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:
Mapping Palestine

The effort of rationalizing biblical time-maps into the semblance of a critical modern history, as was the custom until late in the twentieth century, has thus been abandoned by all but a few scholars. Instead, we are obliged to see biblical narratives of the past as testimonies to the ways in which the creators of those texts imagined worlds and stories where their Israel and its deity played out their identities and their destinies—and would continue to do so.

Chapter from: History, Politics and the Bible from the Iron Age to the Media Age (T&T Clark, 2018).

By Philip R Davies (1945-2018)
Palestine Exploration Fund
Emeritus, University of Sheffield
July 2018
For more on the work and career of the late Philip R. Davies, see here and links.

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Stern obituary

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Giant of the Persian Period. Ephraim Stern (1934–2018) (Hillel Geva).
Professor Ephraim Stern was one of Israel’s foremost archaeologists, a pioneer in his field with numerous achievements to his credit and an international reputation as a scholar. Alongside his academic pursuits, he devoted considerable effort to promoting public interest in archaeological excavations and research.

[...]
Background here.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Coins galore!

NUMISMATICS: NGC Ancients: Classic Greek Coins, Part 5 (CoinWeek). With nice images and descriptions of coins from ancient Carthage, Persia, Phoenicia, and Judea, as well as other place of less direct interest for the study of ancient Judaism.

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Enoch obsession

WHY INDEED? Why is Everyone Obsessed With the Book of Enoch? The uniqueness and mystery of this ancient text have captivated millions (Stephanie Hertzenberg, Beliefnet).
As interest in Enoch grew, the book began to appear in various media outlets. The History Channel referenced it repeatedly in various shows. Blogs and websites that dealt with everything from scholarly articles about ancient texts to attempts to predict the end of the world began to reference Enoch. Interest grew, and more people began to look for information on Enoch. This led to more people putting out information on Enoch. A feedback loop formed, and it has not collapsed yet.
This article isn't exactly a comprehensive account of 1 Enoch. But it does flag the increasing popular interest in the book and things in it which appeal to a popular audience.

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So much Psalms of Solomon!

READING ACTS has been busy while I was away. Phil Long has put up many posts on the Psalms of Solomon. These are all installments in his current summer series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Past posts in the series have been noted here and links. The latter post gives an introduction to the Psalms of Solomon. Here are the rest:

The Death of a Tyrant – Psalms of Solomon 2
Psalm of Solomon 2 is a lament for Jerusalem after Pompey captured the city in 63 B.C. Although his name is not specifically mentioned, the author of the psalm clearly has Pompey in mind. He is called an “arrogant sinner” who brought battering rams against the walls of the Temple (2:1). According to Josephus, the city surrendered to the Romans but the Temple itself was captured. Pompey therefore brought “mechanical engines, and battering-rams from Tyre” (Antiq. 14.4.2).

[...]
The Lord Will Cleanse the Devout – Psalm of Solomon 3
This psalm reflects a “two ways” ethic found in Second Temple wisdom literature. Building on the covenant renewal in Deuteronomy 30:11-20, there are only two ways the people can go, either toward life or toward death. If Israel follows the Law, they will be blessed and have peace and material prosperity. However, if they do not follow the Law, they will be cursed and not experience peace and prosperity. Psalm 1 contrasts two kinds of people, the righteous person and the sinner. The righteous is like a tree planted beside water (prosperous and bearing fruit), but the sinner is like a bush growing in the desert, barely surviving and never bearing fruit.

[...]
A Dialogue Concerning The Hypocrite – Psalm of Solomon 4
Psalm of Solomon 4 is labeled a dialogue (Διαλογὴ) although not in the sense of a conversation between Solomon and the hypocrite. The Psalm stands in the “two ways” tradition. It begins with a stunning condemnation of those who sit in the council but are “far from the Lord” and ends with a blessing on “those who fear the Lord in their innocence” (4:23).

[...]
Moderate Wealth with Righteousness – Psalm of Solomon 5
There is nothing in Psalms of Solomon 5 to hint at a date or historical circumstance. The psalm begins with praise to God for his gracious provision during a time of affliction (v. 5). Several times the author describes himself as hungry (v. 8, 10, 11) or in need of kindness (v. 13), but there is no specific historical situation in mind. Most Jews living in the Diaspora would hear their own experience in this Psalm.

[...]
A Restoration of Israel – Psalm of Solomon 7
The title of this short psalm is significant. R. B. Wright translates the Greek title ἐπιστροφῆς as “about restoring” since verses 1-3 call on the Lord to restore his people after a time of discipline. Likewise, Atkinson renders the phrase “of returning” in the NET Septuagint. The Lexham LXX renders the word “on conversion.” In the New Testament the word is rare, only appearing in Acts 15:3 for the “conversion of the Gentiles.”

[...]
Do Not Neglect Us, O God! – Psalm of Solomon 8
This psalm is a description of the invasion of Jerusalem by Pompey. The invading army is foreshadowed by “the blast of the trumpet sounding slaughter and destruction.” Since the sound of destruction is in the holy city of Jerusalem, the writer is crushed by what he heard and becomes physically ill (8:5). The writer sees himself as one of the innocent (8:23) who are devout (8:34).

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Review of Orlov, Yahoel and Metatron

READING RELIGION:
Yahoel and Metatron
Aural Apocalypticism and the Origins of Early Jewish Mysticisim


Andrei A. Orlov
Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism
Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck , August 2017. 238 pages.
$125.00. Hardcover. ISBN 9783161554476.
For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Review
The study of Jewish apocalypticism and mysticism has been enriched in recent years by a revival of the study of the Slavonic pseudepigrapha. Andrei Orlov has been at the forefront of that discussion. His study of The Enoch-Metatron Tradition (TSAJ 107; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005) has rightly been hailed as a major contribution. Orlov has now followed this with a study comparing the figure of Yahoel in the Apocalypse of Abrahamand Metatron in Sefer Hekalot (3 Enoch), arguing for continuity between the apocalypses and later mystical traditions.

[...]
The review is by Professor John J. Collins. I noted the publication of the book here last year.

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Back from Hadrian's Wall

I'VE BEEN ON HOLIDAY for the last week, including a stay around Hadrian's Wall. I visited Vindolanda again, of course, and also other Roman sites. I will report in due course.

Meanwhile, there's a lot of blogging to catch up with in the coming days.


Hadrian's Wall, behind the Roman Fort at Housesteads.

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More mosaics from Huqoq!

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Huqoq Mosaic Depicts Israelite Spies from Numbers 13 (Robin Ngo). There is also a Hebrew quotation from Isaiah 11:6 and another fragmentary Hebrew inscription.

The excavation of the late-antique synagogue at the site of Huqoq continues to produce remarkable mosaics, year after year. For past posts on the excavation of the site and the remarkable discoveries there, start here and just follow those links back.

Cross-file under Decorative Art.

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The Talmud on disqualified sacrifices

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Suited to the Fire. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis continue their investigations into sacrificial offerings and remain dispassionate in their analysis of sexual sins. Plus: the origin of the word ‘treyf.’
The general hermeneutic principle of the Talmud is that every Torah verse comes to teach a point of law. Understanding the Torah requires parsing the verse very carefully, paying attention to each word and even to pronouns and articles. If two authorities disagree on the law, therefore, they also disagree on the interpretation of the Torah verse.
Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

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Olyan and Wright, Supplementation and the Study of the Hebrew Bible

NEW BOOK FROM SBL PRESS:
Supplementation and the Study of the Hebrew Bible
Saul M. Olyan, Jacob L. Wright

ISBN 9781946527059
Status Available
Price: $30.95
Binding Paperback
Publication Date April 2018

Explore the role supplementation plays in the development of the Hebrew Bible

This new volume includes ten original essays that demonstrate clearly how common, varied, and significant the phenomenon of supplementation is in the Hebrew Bible. Essays examine instances of supplementation that function to aid pronunciation, fill in abbreviations, or clarify ambiguous syntax. They also consider more complex additions to and reworkings of particular lyrical, legal, prophetic, or narrative texts. Scholars also examine supplementation by the addition of an introduction, a conclusion, or an introductory and concluding framework to a particular lyrical, legal, prophetic, or narrative text.

Features:

• A contribution to the further development of a panbiblical compositional perspective
• Examples from Psalms, the pentateuchal narratives, the Deuteronomistic History, the Prophets, and legal texts

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A letter from Claudius

BRICE C. JONES: Roman Emperor Claudius' Letter to the Alexandrian Embassy. This is a papyrus found in Egypt which contains the text of a letter sent by Claudius to Alexandria in 41 C.E. in response to a letter sent to him by the Alexandrians. In it he tells the Alexandrian gentiles and the local Judeans to just get along. Or else.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Online Digital Manuscripts and Editions updated

THE OTTC BLOG: Online Digital Manuscripts and Editions. Last updated 3 July 2018 (Drew Longacre).
This page is a list of digital images of manuscripts and editions available online. This catalogue should be viewed as a work in progress, and I will continue to update it with new resources. It is by no means complete, but I hope it will be helpful for those looking for a one-stop portal for finding online primary resources that are significant for the study of the Old Testament text. Please post any additional sources you may be aware of in the comments, and I will incorporate them into the main list.
Last updated two years ago, so worth a look again. It's a good list. The focus is Hebrew Bible, but it has lots of cognate material (LXX, Targums, NT, rabbinics, etc.) as well.

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Tomás García-Huidobro's blog

BLOG OF NOTE: Tomás García-Huidobro. Tomás García-Huidobro Misticismo judío y orígenes del cristianismo. I have mentioned this blog a couple of times in the past, but it has moved to a new address. So here it is again. I generally only link to English-language blogs, but I do keep an eye on this Spanish one and I have recently added it to my blogroll. It often deals with matters of interest to PaleoJudaica. If you read Spanish, it's worth keeping an eye on.

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Interview with Batsheva Goldman-Ida (Hasidic Art and the Kabbalah)

THE BOOK OF DOCTRINES AND OPINIONS BLOG: Interview with Batsheva Goldman-Ida-Hasidic Art & the Kabbalah (Alan Brill).
In the past, Jewish ceremonial art was treated as decorative and functional. This book, in contrast, explicitly investigates the symbolism and theological meanings of the objects. It is as if we merged the studies of Moshe Idel with art history. Hasidic Art and the Kabbalah presents eight case studies, almost as exhibits, of manuscripts, ritual objects and folk art developed by Hasidic masters in the mid-eighteenth to late nineteenth centuries. Goldman-Ida investigates the sources for the items in the Zohar, German Pietism, Safed Kabbalah and Hasidism. She shows Kabbalah embodied in material culture, not just as abstract ideas. In addition, we are treated to discussions of magical theory from James Fraser and on the subjective experience of the user at the moment of ritual using the theories of Wolfgang Iser, Gaston Bachelard, and Walter Benjamin.”
This is on a period later than PaleoJudaica's usual interests, but I try to keep an eye on the full range of developments in the study of Jewish mysticism. There is lots of room for this sort of groundbreaking work in earlier periods too, even if the surviving artifacts are fewer.

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Reed, Jewish-Christianity and the History of Judaism

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Annette Yoshiko Reed. Jewish-Christianity and the History of Judaism [Judenchristentum und die Geschichte des Judentums.] 2018. XXX, 505 pages. forthcoming in July. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 171. 174,00 €. ISBN 978-3-16-156060-6.
Published in English.
“Jewish-Christianity” is a contested category in current research. But for precisely this reason, it may offer a powerful lens through which to rethink the history of Jewish/Christian relations. Traditionally, Jewish-Christianity has been studied as part of the origins and early diversity of Christianity. Collecting revised versions of previously published articles together with new materials, Annette Yoshiko Reed reconsiders Jewish-Christianity in the context of Late Antiquity and in conversation with Jewish studies. She brings further attention to understudied texts and traditions from Late Antiquity that do not fit neatly into present day notions of Christianity as distinct from Judaism. In the process, she uses these materials to probe the power and limits of our modern assumptions about religion and identity.

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