Saturday, June 15, 2019

Cho, Royal Messianism and the Jerusalem Priesthood in the Gospel of Mark

NEW BOOK FROM BLOOMSBURY/T&T CLARK:
Royal Messianism and the Jerusalem Priesthood in the Gospel of Mark

By: Bernardo Cho

Published: 21-03-2019
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 264
ISBN: 9780567685759
Imprint: T&T Clark
Series: The Library of New Testament Studies
Volume: 607
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £85.00
Online price: £76.50

About Royal Messianism and the Jerusalem Priesthood in the Gospel of Mark

Bernardo K. Cho investigates how Jewish messianism from the mid-second century BCE to the late first-century CE envisaged the proper relation between the Israelite king and the Jerusalem priests in the ideal future, and then proceeds to describe how the Gospel of Mark addresses this issue in depicting Jesus.

Cho responds to claims that the Markan Jesus regards the kingdom of God as fundamentally opposed to the ancient Levitical system, and argues that, just as with most of its related Jewish literature, the earliest Gospel assumes the expectation that the royal messiah would bring the Jerusalem institution to its eschatological climax. But Mark also depicts Jesus's stance towards the priests in terms of a call to allegiance and warning of judgement. Cho concludes that the Markan Jesus anticipates the destruction of the Jerusalem temple because the priests have rejected Israel's end-time ruler and thus placed themselves outside the messianic kingdom.
Follow the link for the TOC and ordering information.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Wedding at site of ancient Italian synagogue

ARCHAEOLOGY AND MATRIMONY: Europe’s Second-Oldest Synagogue Hosts First Wedding in 1,500 (Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency/Jewish Press).
The wedding took place last Tuesday in the archaeological park adjacent to the southern Italian seaside village of Bova Marina where the remains of a synagogue were unearthed in 1983 during the construction of a road. Among the artifacts discovered at the site were a mosaic floor with colorful tiles portraying images of a Menorah, a shofar, and a lulav and etrog, as well as a walled niche where the Aron Kodesh, the Holy Ark which contained Torah scrolls, once stood.
Congratulations to the happy couple!

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Enoch and the astronaut

EXHIBITION: Restored Enoch Scroll, Israeli astronaut diary now on view. Two manuscripts that survived against all odds through time and space are the focus of a new exhibition at the Israel Museum (Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel21c).

The Enoch manuscript is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. I can't find information on which one specifically. The remains of the diary of Ilan Ramon, which survived the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, was also on display at the Israel Museum in 2008.

Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

UPDATE (16 June): A reader informs me that the Enoch manuscript is 4Q209, fragments of the Aramaic Astronomical Book.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

The Talmud on firstborns and fetuses

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: The Price of a Firstborn. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the biblical redemption of a woman’s eldest opens logical byways into cesarean sections, stillbirths, and when Jewish life begins.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links. And for more on caesarean section in antiquity, see here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Gemology at Bar Ilan University

MATERIAL CULTURE: Bar Ilan Expanding into Archaeological Gemology (David Israel, Jewish Press). Cross-file under ancient Bling.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

AJR: Textual Objects and Material Philology

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Textual Objects and Material Philology.
These essays were part of a panel at the Society of Biblical Literature 2018 Annual Meeting titled, “Textual Objects and Material Philology,” inspired in part by the publication of Snapshots of Evolving Traditions (eds. Lied and Lundhaug).
The individual essays are as follows:

Is Vienna hist. gr. 63, fol. 51v-55v a “fragment”? (Janet Spittler)

A Material History of the Tura Papyri (Blossom Stefaniw)

Continue to Sing, Miriam! The Song of Miriam in 4Q365 (Hanna Tervanotko)

Two languages, two scripts, three combinations: A (personal?) prayer-book in Syriac and Old Uyghur from Turfan (U 338) (Adam Bremer-McCollum)

The Plunders of Codex Bezae (Jennifer Wright Knust)

Textual Scholarship, Ethics, and Someone Else's Manuscripts (Liv Ingeborg Lied)

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Aramaic liturgical poetry for Shavuot

ARAMAIC WATCH: Dramatizing Torah Reading with Aramaic Liturgical Poetry (Dr. Abraham J. Berkovitz, TheTorah.com).
In late antiquity and medieval times, the reading of the Torah and haftara was often accompanied with an Aramaic translation and Aramaic poems. Akdamut Milin and Yatziv Pitgam are the remnants of a once vibrant collection of Shavuot poems, some of which connect specific laws of the Decalogue with biblical stories, while others dramatized the revelation at Sinai with tales of Moses’ experiences in heaven.
For more on late-antique Jewish Aramaic liturgical and non-liturgical poetry, see here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Global Coptic Day - June 1st

COPTIC WATCH: First Ever Global Coptic Day Celebrated on 1 June 2019 (Egyptian Streets). I'm very happy to hear about this new annual celebration. Unfortunately I missed it this year. But I look forward to it in future years.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Review of "The World between Empires" Exhibition

AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: Exhibit suggests 'peaceful pluralism' among ancient Jews, Christians and pagans (Menachem Wecker, National Catholic Reporter).
It takes more than 80 pages for Jesus to receive his first curtain call, but the exhibit and the thorough catalog address Jewish and Christian religious practices and beliefs at length. The show teases out a potential historical interpretation of Jews, Christians and polytheists living in "peaceful pluralism" on certain sites, like Dura-Europos in present-day Syria. That theory, however, is offset by another of the religions attacking each other in propagandist decorations in their sacred spaces and trying to convert one another. And even if some of the highlighted sites evidenced enviable tolerance, too many in troubled areas have been looted recently by militants aiming to erase other cultures, to make money on the black artifact market, or both.
An earlier post on the exhibition is here. I don't think I realized that it includes the Magadala Stone (cf. here), which PaleoJudaica has mentioned often. And for many past posts on Dura Europos, start here and follow the links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Temple Mount Sifting Project resumes

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Temple Mount Sifting Project reboots, aims to salvage ancient temple artifacts. At Jerusalem Day event, minister vows funds for project in which 500,000 artifacts from all eras of J’lem settlement have already been found in dirt illegally dumped by Muslim Waqf (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).
After a two-year hiatus, the project, up and running again since Sunday, is now housed in a previously abandoned tree-filled grove in east Jerusalem, located at the nexus of the Mount of Olives and Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus. As in the previous nearby location, paying volunteers sort through a jumble of debris and earth that was illegally excavated by Muslim authorities from the Temple Mount, a site holy to all three monotheistic religions.
This is a long, detailed article, that discusses the history of the project and the current political situation around it.

For many past posts going back many years, start here and follow the links. Also, do have a look at the recent posts on the reboot and the Jerusalem Day exhibition at the Temple Mount Sifting Project Blog.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Resurrecting ancient Israelite beer

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: 5,000-year-old yeast is being used by Israeli scientists to brew a pretty good beer (Marcy Oster, JTA).

Over the years, I have noted various efforts to reconstruct ancient Israelite and Near Eastern beer and wine. But this takes it to the next level. The scientists used archaeologically recovered ancient yeast to brew the beer. It came from various sites in Israel dating from the fourth millennium BCE to the fourth century BCE. It's hard to get more authentic than that!

Be sure and follow the link at the end of the JTA article to read the scientific article on which it is based.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

The Talmud on donkeys and milk

A RECENT DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Blood and Milk. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’: Why are Jews allowed to drink milk at all? Plus: what Talmudic rabbis misunderstood about menstruation and the sources of other bodily fluids. Also: the right way to sacrifice a donkey.

Other Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Thesis on divine knowledge in the Hodayot

HELSINKI PHD THESIS: Transmission of divine knowledge in the sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms from Qumran (PhysOrg).
A recently completed doctoral dissertation in Old Testament studies supports a notion gained through prior research, according to which scribes and wisdom teachers had a central role in transmitting divine knowledge in the Second Temple period (approximately 200 BCE-70 CE).

Katri Antin has investigated how the transmission of divine knowledge, or divination, is described in the seven sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms, part of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in the Qumran Caves.

[...]

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Shavuot 2019

THE FESTIVAL OF SHAVUOT (Weeks, Pentecost) begins tonight at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating. For biblical background see the links here.

For posts on the haftarah reading for the first day of Shavuot (Ezekiel 1) see here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Review of Monerie, L'économie de la Babylonie à l'époque hellénistique

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Julien Monerie, L'économie de la Babylonie à l'époque hellénistique. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern records, 14​. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2018. Pp. xvii, 577. ISBN 9781501510670. €189,95. Reviewed by R.J. van der Spek, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (robartus.vanderspek@gmail.com).
In the past, the arrival of Alexander the Great has been seen as a deep rupture in the history of Greece as well as in the history of the Near East. In Greece it would have marked the end of the independent city-state, in the Near East the end of the former Mesopotamian civilizations. Most textbooks on the history of the Near East end with Alexander the Great. In a more recent past this picture has changed. It was observed that Alexander the Great left many institutions unchanged and the Seleucid empire was considered a direct successor to the former Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian empires. Monerie correctly takes now a more nuanced stance. Although there is a lot of continuity, changes are considerable. Monerie points to the introduction of money, the foundation of many cities and the political innovations in existing cities, the shift of the gravity of Babylonia from the Euphrates (Babylon) to the Tigris and Diyala area (Seleucia); the gradual weakening of the temples; the reduction of royal domain in favor of cities.
I noted the publication of the book here.

I am glad to see that good use is increasing being made of the many thousands of economic cuneiform tablets. They are boring individually, but collectively they have much to tell us about ancient Mesopotamian society in all periods.

Likewise, the neglected history of Babylonia in the Persian and Hellenistic periods has been receiving increasing interest from scholars. This book is another example. For some past posts, see here and links. This history is of no little interest for Judaism of the Second Temple Period.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Friday, June 07, 2019

On Ezekiel's chariot vision

PROF. CARL S. ERLICH: Ezekiel’s Vision of God and the Chariot (TheTorah.com).
How are we to understand Ezekiel’s bizarre vision of the chariot in its historical context? What makes it theologically so dangerous in the eyes of the rabbis?
Regular readers are aware that Ezekiel's Merkavah vision is one of my favorite things.

Ezekiel chapter one is read on the first day of Shavuot, which this year is 8-9 June (i.e., starts tomorrow!). The traditional date of his vision is the fifth of Tammuz (see here and here), which this year is on July 8-9. Follow those links for much more on Ezekiel one and its history of interpretation.

For more on goofy Erich von Däniken, see here and links. For more on the history of the interpretation of the "terrible ice" of Ezekiel 1:22, see here. For more on the cherubim, see here and here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Orlov receives research award

CONGRATULATIONS TO PROFESSOR ORLOV! Marquette theology professor honored with fellowship award. Dr. Andrei Orlov has studied Jewish apocalyptic texts, with a focus on materials preserved in Slavonic, for the past 25 years (Marquette University/Urban Milwaukee).
The Way Klingler fellowship will allow Orlov to translate an important text that has remained unreachable for international scholarship for over a century. Orlov plans to complete the three-volume edition of the Slavonic historical compendium, the Palaea Interpretata. It represents the most extensive and important collection of Jewish pseudepigraphic texts and fragments that have survived the Slavonic environment. The collection remains untranslated into any European language and is virtually unknown to contemporary biblical scholarship.
Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

The Talmud on theodicy

A RECENT DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Nesting Habits. This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ tackles the eternal problem of theodicy: If God is both good and omnipotent, why is there evil in the world?

For some past posts on Acher (Aher, "the Other One," i.e., Elijah ben Avuyah) see here and links.

Other Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Hasmonean-era coin found at Shiloh

NUMISMATICS: ANCIENT COIN DISCOVERED DURING BRAZILIAN VISIT TO SHILOH. Elected officials from Brazil just happened to be visiting the archaeological excavation in the Benjamin Region when the coin was discovered (Jerusalem Post).

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Amy-Jill Levine lecturing in St. Andrews today

THIS AFTERNOON AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS:
Understanding Jesus means understanding Judaism.
1:00 pm - 4:30 pm Parliament Hall

Biblical scholar, Amy-Jill Levine, will present a paper: ‘Understanding Jesus means Understanding Judaism’. This will be moderated by Madhavi Nevader.

Following her paper there will be a tea and coffee break and a fireside chat in the same location.
If you happen to be in St. Andrews today, this is very worth attending.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Who decided what went into the Hebrew Bible and when?

CANONICAL QUESTIONS: Who Decided What Books the Hebrew Bible Would Contain? The canonization of the Hebrew Bible into its final 24 books was a process that lasted centuries, and was only completed well after the time of Josephus (Elon Gilad, Haaretz Premium). This is basically a good article that covers the topic in detail.

One could debate this or that point in it. For example, the final break between Judaism and Samaritanism may have come considerably later than the fourth century. And Josephus and 4 Ezra may have had the same canon of literature in mind, but divided into books slightly differently, giving the respective number of 22 and 24 books for the same collection.

Also, it's worth mentioning again that arguably the written Torah of Nehemiah and Ezra contained material not found in our Pentateuch.

But overall the article is good.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Seleucid fortress found off coast of Dor

MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Fortress Discovered Off Israel's Northern Coast Solves a Seleucid Mystery. Dozens of meters wide, at least two stories high, 2,200 years after it was built, the Kingdom of Tryphon's first line of defense has been found underwater (Nir Hasson, Haaretz Premium).

Regarding the history:
Trying to follow the political and military developments in the waning days of the Hasmonean Kingdom in the second century B.C.E. is like trying to keep track of the plot of “Game of Thrones.”
Regarding the archaeology:
Until recently, scholars believed that the massive wall that surrounded Tel Dor and the city in the northern part of the bay was the line of defense for Tryphon and his troops. Arrowheads and slingshots from that battle were also discovered there. Some of the stones are etched with a lightning bolt, the symbol of Zeus, and others bear the inscription “victory over Tryphon.”

But three months ago, researchers discovered underwater, on the southern side of the port, an area where no structures from any period had been found, the remnants of a large fortification. Its similarity to another fortification on land and other artifacts led researchers to date this fortification to the Hellenistic Period. Now it appears that this fortification – situated in the sea – was likely Tryphon’s first line of defense, and the northern sea wall his second line of defense.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Balak in the Mesha Stele?

NORTHWEST SEMITIC EPIGRAPHY: Smashed Ancient Tablet Suggests Biblical King Was Real. But Not Everyone Agrees (Laura Geggel, Live Science).

It seems that while I was away, Israel Finkelstein and colleagues have argued that the Mesha Stele (Moabite Stone) inscription mentioned the biblical king Balak. Balak appears in association with the pagan prophet Balaam in Numbers 22-24.

The argument is based on restoring a broken word that began with the letter Bet (B). It looks speculative to me. But this article tells you more and it links to the article by Finkelstein, Na’aman, and Römer. Have a look and see what you think.

For many past posts on the Mesha Stele, start here and follow the links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.