Saturday, July 10, 2004

GOOGLE referred someone to this site this afternoon who was searching for "young nude weblog." Don't ask me why. Whoever you are, sorry to disappoint.
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBITION run by Lee Biondi and Co. (formerly From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Bible as Forbidden Book) is now in Indianapolis under the title The Dead Sea Scrolls to the Bible in America:
Biblical history
Fragments of ancient scrolls are in exhibit touring nation.

By John J. Shaughnessy
July 10, 2004

Craig Lampe understands the emotions people have when they see the nationally touring religious exhibit that traces the story of the Bible from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the first Bible that went to the moon.

"It's been gratifying, because people of all faiths have come out to hear the story," says Lampe, a former Indianapolis resident who is one of the co-curators of the exhibit. "You get every kind of reaction, from delight to people crying."

Lampe expects that same reaction when the exhibit -- "The Dead Sea Scrolls to the Bible in America" -- opens Friday for a monthlong run at the Adam's Mark Hotel, 120 W. Market St.

Featuring more than 75 artifacts, the exhibit includes Dead Sea Scrolls fragments from the Old Testament, the earliest biblical fragments in existence. It also features an excerpt from Paul's Letter to the Colossians, one of the earliest connections to the New Testament.


Friday, July 09, 2004

MORE ON THE CHEESEMAKERS: Jan-Wim Wesselius e-mails that he proposed an Aramaic translation of "Blessed are the cheesemakers" on the ANE list some time ago. The message read, in part:
As there is a lot of Aramaic, you can always supply missing lexical and grammatical items from other dialects. What is difficult is to build a basic reservoir of words and expressions, but once you have done that you can produce translations of most texts with ease. What Aramaic should one use as the basis for Jesus' language? I would go for the Palestinian Targum in its reliable (Genizah) texts: avunan de-vashmayya, yetqaddash shemakh etc., and, on a lighter note, berikhin avde govna. Sokoloff's dictionary would then be a great help, of course. Most of Qumran Aramaic is way too conservative to use for this purpose, later JPA, Samaritan and CPA lack the vowels and represent a later type of language in any case.

My emphasis. Sadly, Mel Gibson did not use the line in The Passion of the Christ.

But that reminds me of something I thought of when I saw the movie but forgot to put in my review. Remember the scene early on when Jesus has been arrested and the Marys are talking to a Roman guard who sends his underlings off on an errand, telling them "Go! Go!" in Latin? I can't help thinking that this little exchange was an intentional echo of the "Romans go home!" episode in the Life of Brian.
MORE ON DIN RODEF � Reader Simon Montagu e-mails:
I am happy to help you out with some rabbinic sources for "din rodef".

There are really two concepts here which are often confused: "rodef" and "moser".

"Din rodef" appears in Maimonides Mishne Tora Hilchot Rotzeah 1, 6-15. Unfortunately I don't have a printed edition of Mishne Torah with Talmudic sources and cross-references, but the principal source is Mishna Sanhedrin 8, 7.

"Din moser" appears in Mishne Tora Hilchot Hovel Umezik 8, 9-11.

There is an excellent article by Haim Cohen on the subject at

To read the Hebrew in the first two links you need to have the proper fonts installed. You can find an English translation of Mishnah Sanhedrin 8.7, along with Talmudic commentary thereon, here. Scroll down to the end of the page, "Mishna IX."

UPDATE: Peter S. Zaas e-mails:
A thorough examination of the question of Din Rodef in relation to the Rabin assassination was conducted by Chaim Povarsky in Jewish Law Association Studies IX, ed. E. Goldman:� "The Law of the Pursuer and the Assassination of Prime Minister Rabin."� Needless to say, Povarsky concluded that Prime Minister Rabin was in no sense a rodef.

UPDATE (16 July): More here.
"CHALDOASSYRIANS" (Aramaic-speaking Iraqis) will be recognized in the next Iraqi census according to the Assyrian International News Agency, Iraq:
With the handover of sovereignty by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) now complete, the new interim government in Iraq has begun to prepare the groundwork for nationwide elections now set for 2005. Reports have surfaced that in preparation for a nationwide census, a new draft census form including the various Iraqi constituent groups has been prepared. The draft survey form reportedly includes Arabs, Turkoman, Armenians, Kurds, and Assyrians. The inclusion of Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) marks a historic milestone in that under the former regime Assyrians were deliberately classified as Arabs, despite their protestations. As a direct result, past Iraqi censuses have resulted in Assyrian under representation.

IN MALAYSIA Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ will be shown only to Christians, according to The Star, Malaysia:
KUALA LUMPUR: Mel Gibson�s controversial film The Passion of the Christ, which sparked unprecedented debate following its release early this year, has finally arrived on Malaysian shores.

It was learnt that the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) would be meeting with the local distributor of the film to work out the details of the screenings.

Its executive secretary Patrick Cheng said tickets would be sold in various member churches of NECF.


In reply to a question raised by Seputeh MP Teresa Kok in Parliament, the Home Affairs Ministry had said the National Censorship Board had approved the screening of the film in designated cinemas to Christian viewers.

Cheng added that standard publicity such as posters and cinematic trailers were not permitted.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY is getting a large donation to set up a research center on the Middle East. The headline from the London Times is misleading: "Islamic studies gain �21/4m". The remit of the institution seems to be considerably broader. The article says:
OXFORD University has been given �21/4 million to ensure that no government cuts can ever harm its teaching of Islamic art and culture.

Professor Nasser Khalili, Britain�s most influential collector of Islamic art, has given the money to enable the university to set up a research centre for the art and material culture of the Middle East.


The donation will be used to increase the number of teaching staff, broaden research into pre-Islamic Iran, pre-Islamic Arabia and Jewish art, and safeguard the teaching at Oxford of minority languages such as Aramaic.

The centre will employ scholars with expertise on ceramics and metalwork, painting and iconography, textiles and carpets, archaeology, numismatics and the interaction between Christian and Muslim cultures in the medieval Mediterranean.


So the new centre (to open next year) will deal not only with Islam but more broadly with the "art and material culture of the Middle East." And also, it appears, Middle Eastern languages such as Aramaic. This is excellent news.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

MUSEUMS IN ISRAEL: Ha'aretz has a long, rambling guide that is pretty open-minded about what constitutes a museum. It opens:
Flagrant exhibitionism
By Vered Levy-Barzilai
Yet another distinction for Israel: The country has the world's highest number of museums per capita, where you can learn about everything from the history of tractors to to ancient cheesemaking to erotica.

Alas, the advertisement for the Museum of the Cheesemakers proves to be premature:
Not long afterward, we find ourselves at the entrance to Gilon where a sign points to Hanoked Dairy. This is the next destination, the Museum of Ancient Cheesemaking Equipment and this is the scene that greets a visitor: a rugged wooden building perched on the edge of a cliff, with a balcony overlooking a breathtaking Galilee vista. Next to the building is a cowshed and sheep pen, or something similar, all empty. Not a living soul is around. The wind is hot and dry. On the wooden deck of the balcony are two heavy wooden tables with five chairs around each one. Nature. Silence. The scent of local herbs wafts through the air. The only sounds are that of the rustling of leaves in the treetops and the tinkle of the chimes suspended around the balcony.

One chair is occupied by a young woman who is writing. This is Rinat Barzilai, the daughter of Danny, the proprietor. She has a wide, warm smile. "Hello, can I help you with something?" Yes - we're here for the museum. She wrinkles her brow. "The museum? Uh, okay. The museum. The ancient tools, right? Come, I'll show you." Right inside the cabin she points to three ancient-looking jugs hanging on the wall. "Would you prefer a cheese platter with bread on the side, or two cheese sandwiches and a platter of vegetables?" Pardon, but is this the museum? "Well, it's not really a museum," she apologizes, embarrassed. "Dad is in Switzerland now. When they get back he plans to open a mini-museum in our cheese cellar. We'll have `museum cheeses.'" So right now is there museum of ancient cheesemaking equipment? "No, there isn't. Perhaps you'd like to see the cellar?"

The cellar is kept cooled to an exact temperature, just like in Provence, and contains hundreds of hard and ripe European-style organic goat cheeses. Still, the dominant aroma is of wine. "Dad cleans and processes the cheeses with wine." But where are all the sheep and goats? "The Arabs kept stealing them until Dad finally gave up and starting buying organic goat milk from other growers."

Why did the Galilee tourism web site say there was a museum of cheesemaking here? Barzilai has no idea. "We never advertised anything like that and our Web page also doesn't say anything like that. Here, look at our business card: Hanoked Dairy, European-style organic cheese from goats' milk and sheep's milk. So what'll it be - the platter or sandwiches?"

But, perhaps more relevant to PaleoJudaica, there is the House of the Anchors, a museum for ancient fishing in Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee):
There's a certain character who lives on Kibbutz Ein Gev - an 86-year-old fisherman, researcher and writer known as Mendel Nun. People say he's a walking archive of the Kinneret. For years, Nun has been extracting historical and archaeological findings from the Kinneret. On the kibbutz, he worked as a fisherman. "I'd go out on the water at six in the evening and come back at night or at dawn, just like any professional fisherman," he recalls.

In 1969, during one of his independent forays around the area, he discovered the church at Kursi inside the Byzantine monastery near Ein Gev, a major attraction and pilgrimage site for Christian tourists. Later he was involved in the discovery of the ancient harbor and wharf there (which was uncovered by marine archaeologists Avner Raban and Elisha Linder). The discovery of the harbor ignited his imagination and gave him no respite. "I kept looking for more harbors, I was sure there were many of them and that I'd find them, and I really did," he recounts with a twinkle in his eye. He has since located 14 more ancient harbors and thousands of ancient items and artifacts: anchors, weights, tools and fishing equipment.

He's a thin, not very tall man with delicate and noble features, and not overly loquacious. But Yoel Ben-Yosef, the local museum director, wants it to be clear that Nun was always a tough guy with a strong physique who withstood without fail all the hardest tests that the Kinneret poses to its fishermen. Nun is married to Gasya, but it's obvious to all, including her, who his first love is. Their house is situated four meters from the Kinneret. Over the years, he has published books about the Kinneret, about archaeology, about fishing in ancient times, about the ancient ports in the area. He wasn't always called Nun. In Latvia, his name was Neustadt. He later chose the Aramaic surname Nun - "fish."

The entryway to his house is filled with hundreds of ancient fishing weights that the museum had no room for. Ten years ago in Ein Gev, he opened Beit Ha'oganim ("House of the Anchors") - a museum devoted to the history of fishing in the Kinneret, which is now run by kibbutz member Ben-Yosef. When Nun first started the museum, the kibbutz let him use the old guesthouse - a small, quaint building built in the 1920s by PICA (the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association). In the distant past, the building housed important guests like the emissaries of Baron Rothschild who came to check on his lands and businesses in the area. After 1948, it was used as the kibbutz's sewing workshop, but its glory days would eventually return. It was renovated, painted in pastel shades, filled with rare artifacts and reborn as Mendel Nun's fishing museum.

It consists of one not very large room, which is reach by a narrow hallway. The items, some of which are very valuable in archaeological terms, are displayed in a jumbled array on the floor, on the walls and on tables. Who is coming to see the things that Nun has gleaned from the Kinneret? These days, hardly anyone, he says sadly. Ben-Yosef says that the little museum used to get 1,000 a year. "Until the intifada. Since then, it's been the same for us as for everyone else. We've had very few visitors. We get a few students and some Christian tourists once in a while."

If you're interested in Israeli museums, there are lots more in this article
MARK GOODACRE is back from his holiday with lots of good blogging and, as a commenter notes, he is blessing the cheesemakers. Vintagers too.
A NEW BOOK ON SABBATEANISM is reviewed in the Forward:
False Messiahs and Whirling Dervishes:
A Scholar's Fresh Take on an Old Topic

By Allan Nadler

July 9, 2004

The Sabbatean Prophets
By Matt Goldish
Harvard University Press, 240 pages, $39.95.

The following dire, revolutionary proclamation issues forth from a charismatic provocateur in Gaza:

"None will be saved from these tribulations except those dwelling in this place. The [very] name of the place [connoting strength] expresses her nature. And with the advent of her redemption, strength will spread and the people of Gaza will act in this strength."

The response of the leader of the Gazans' enemy, both to this message and to those Jews residing in Gaza, is to remind them that Gaza is a place unworthy of triggering apocalyptic violence, since it is "technically outside the borders of the [biblical] Land of Israel."

At the same time, in a nearby Arab country, classified information, laden with potentially devastating secrets, is conveyed via a shady Middle Eastern businessman named Chelebi.

The latest news from Israel and Iraq? Hardly!

The proclamation from Gaza was issued not by a leader of Hamas, but rather by the 17th-century Jewish kabbalist Nathan of Gaza, who in 1665 became the major prophet of the infamous false messiah from Izmir, Shabbetai Zevi. The proclamation's rebuke was not part of Ariel Sharon's argument for evacuating Jewish settlers from Gaza, but of a ruling by Rabbi Jacob Sasportas, the most outspoken and tireless opponent of the Sabbatean messianic outbreak. And the Chelebi in question was not the now-disgraced White House confidant, Ahmed Chalabi, but rather Raphael Chelebi, an Egyptian Jewish businessman who was the first outsider to whom Nathan of Gaza revealed the "secret" that the messiah had arrived.

Matt Goldish traces these tidbits and many other riveting developments in his new book, "The Sabbatean Prophets," a fresh scholarly re-evaluation of the events that led to the wildfire-rapid spread across the Jewish world of belief in Shabbetai Zevi as the Jews' long-awaited king and savior.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL GEOLOGIST REUBEN G. BULLARD SR. has passed away at the age of 76.
Reuben Bullard Sr., 76, scoured Earth in study of ancients
Passions: Archaeology, geology, Jesus

By Rebecca Goodman
[Cincinnati] Enquirer staff writer

INDEPENDENCE - Reuben G. Bullard Sr., an internationally known archaeological geologist and Christian scholar who taught at Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary and at the University of Cincinnati, died Saturday afternoon at his home here. He was 76.

"This field of archaeological geology is one that is relatively new," said UC professor of geology David Meyer. "Archaeologists are using more information about the rocks that are found at archaeological sites - determining how ancient people used stones in their cultures. He was one of the pioneers of the field."

Dr. Bullard worked on numerous excavations in Israel, Cyprus, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Greece and Italy.

"As an archaeological geologist, his role would be to identify and interpret the environment in which a society, a culture, a city was located," said his son, Reuben "Rick" Bullard Jr. of Fort Thomas. That might involve the identification of quarries that were used to build walls or streets, or identifying the clay resources of the important ceramic industries.


Requiescat in pace.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

LOTS OF CONTROVERSY recently in Israel over an Old City rabbi's suggestion that anyone ceding land from biblical Israel "is like a rodef" � one whom it is justified to pursue and kill. The fear is that this was a veiled reference to Prime Minister Sharon's plan to pull the Jewish settlements from Gaza and it has brought back disquieting memories of the Rabin assassination.
Last Update: 30/06/2004 15:46
Knesset to debate rabbi's 'rodef' remarks
By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

The Knesset will hold a special debate next week in the wake of a top Jerusalem rabbi's remark that anyone who wants to cede the land of Israel is like a "rodef," who can be killed according to Jewish law, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
Earlier Wednesday, the radio reported that MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor) and Avshalom Vilan (Meretz-Yahad) asked the attorney general to open an investigation into the rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem, Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal, who made the comments Tuesday.

"It should be known that anyone who wants to give away Israeli land is like a rodef, and certainly land should not be given to idol worshipers," Neventzal said. However, he also said it is impossible to issue a rodef ruling today.

A public storm erupted nine years ago when West Bank and Gaza Strip rabbis debated before the 1995 assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin whether he should be subjected to "din rodef" - the Jewish law of rodef, which literally means one who chases and refers to a license to kill someone who intends to kill someone else.

This is the first time that din rodef has been mentioned again by a respectable rabbi in the context of giving away Israeli lands.


There's an update today by Reuters here.

There's a commentary on Yigal Amir's use of the concept here, written by Yitzchok Adlerstein and published in 1996 in First Things, but I can't find a reference anywhere to the specific (rabbinic?) texts that refer to din rodef. Can anyone help me out?

UPDATE (9 July): More here.
THE SAMARITANS are not immune to the current troubles on the West Bank:
Palestinian Renounces Ties to Community

Associated Press Writer

July 5, 2004, 6:23 AM EDT

NABLUS, West Bank -- He grew up in a tiny tribe tracing its roots back to the Bible, but when Nader Sadakah decided to take up arms against Israeli soldiers, he was expelled by his community.

The Samaritans, just 660 strong, have been caught between warring Israelis and Palestinians, not picking sides during nearly four years of Mideast fighting. Sadakah's choice undermined their survival strategy.


Sadakah, 27, spoke about his choice at a coffee shop in Nablus' old city, a dark warren of twisting alleys that is frequently raided by Israeli forces.

Sporting a neatly trimmed short beard, Sadakah glanced around nervously as he spoke and sipped a cup of coffee. A shiny, automatic pistol protruded from his belt.

Sadakah said that since the early 1990s, he has been a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a tiny PLO faction which once had a Marxist bent. Sadakah said he has been on Israel's wanted list for the past three and a half years, a claim the Israeli military would not confirm.


But it has also apparently caused problems for the Samaritans.

Hosni Wasif, a Samaritan high priest in Nablus, said Israeli authorities had begun taking a hard line against Samaritans because of Sadakah's activities, subjecting them to new scrutiny at military checkpoints.

"By joining a left-wing faction he left our religion," Wasif said. "The entire sect sees him as an apostate."


The title of the article strikes me as odd. It would make sense to say "Samaritan Renounces Ties to Community," but why "Palestinian?" Sadakah has identified himself now with the Palestinian cause, but before that he was a Samaritan and only "Palestinian" in the sense that he lived in the region known historically as "Palestine," that is, roughly the region corresponding biblical Israel. By that definition all Israelis are "Palestinians" as well. I'm not sure whether the muddled terminology comes because the reporter thinks his audience is too ignorant to know what "Samaritan" means or whether it's an effort to co-opt the Samaritans, obviously quite against their will, into the Palestinian political identity. Both maybe.
NEW BOOK REVIEWS from the Review of Biblical Literature:

deClaisse-Walford, Nancy L.
Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Textbook
Reviewed by Bryan Rocine

Deutsch, Robert
Biblical Period Hebrew Bullae: The Josef Chaim Kaufman Collection
Reviewed by Walter Aufrecht

Deutsch, Robert and Andr� Lemaire
The Adoniram Collection of West Semitic Inscriptions
Reviewed by Walter Aufrecht

Dever, William G. and S. Gitin, eds.
Symbiosis, Symbolism, and the Power of the Past: Canaan, Ancient Israel, and Their Neighbors from the Late Bronze Age through Roman Palestina: Proceedings of the Centennial Symposium W. F. Albright Institue of Archaeological Research and the American Schools of Oriental Research Jerusalem, May 29-31, 2000
Reviewed by Ziony Zevit

Isser, Stanley
The Sword of Goliath: David in Heroic Literature
Reviewed by Mitchel Modine

Maier, Johann
Translated by Felice Montagnini
Le Scritture prima della Bibbia
Reviewed by James E. West

Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob
Just Wives?: Stories of Power & Survival in the Old Testament & Today
Reviewed by Lanoir Corinne

Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob
Just Wives?: Stories of Power & Survival in the Old Testament & Today
Reviewed by Athalya Brenner

Zimmerli, Walther
Edited and Translated by K. C. Hanson
The Fiery Throne: The Prophets and Old Testament Theology
Reviewed by Mark Mcentire

Geljon, Albert C.
Philonic Exegesis in Gregory of Nyssa's De Vita Moysis
Reviewed by Lester Grabbe

Matthews, Shelly
First Converts: Rich Pagan Women and the Rhetoric of Mission in Early Judaism and Christianity
Reviewed by Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte

Nickelsburg, George W. E.
Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins: Diversity, Continuity, and Transformation
Reviewed by Pieter W. Van Der Horst
MORE ON THE DAMAGE TO MASADA from natural forces: NPR has an audio edition of "Rains Damage Jerusalem's Ancient Masada Fortress." Here's the description:
Archeologists in Israel warn that the ancient stone fortress of Masada is crumbling, the result of a heavy rainstorm last winter. Located high above the Dead Sea in Israel's Judean Mountains, Masada has attracted thousands of visitors since it was excavated in the 1960s. Jews have long regarded this archaeological wonder as a symbol of Jewish pride and courage. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

VIGILIAE CHRISTIANAE has a new issue out (58.2, 2004). Here's an article of interest:
NHC II,2 and the Oxyrhynchus Fragments (P.Oxy 1, 654, 655): Overlooked Evidence for a Syriac Gospel of Thomas (pp. 138-51)
Nicholas Perrin

Abstract: Whereas it is generally assumed that the Gospel of Thomas was first composed in Greek, here the author finds evidence, confirming his earlier published thesis, that the well-known Nag Hammadi text was first set down in Syriac. On comparing divergences between the Greek witness to Thomas (P.Oxy 1, 654, 655) and the fuller Coptic version (NHC II,2), it is argued that each of these differences can be readily attributed to the texts' final reliance on a common Aramaic source. In most instances, the hypothesized shared source may be inferred to be of either western Aramaic or Syriac character, but in some cases, the evidence points decisively toward Syriac-speaking provenance. Consequently, the investigation sheds light not only on the relationship between the two extant witnesses of Thomas, but on its dating as well.

Requires paid personal or institutional subscription to access.

Monday, July 05, 2004

"BLESSED ARE THE CHEESEMAKERS." I just noticed that Josephus tells us that they had their own valley in the vicinity of Jerusalem, near the recently rediscovered Pool of Siloam:
The Valley of the Cheesemakers, as the ravine was called, which, as we said, divides the hill of the upper city from that of the lower, extends down to Siloam; for so we called that fountain of sweet and abundant water.
The reference is Jewish War 5.4.1 [= 5 �140] in Thackeray's LCL translation (but the link leads to Whiston's translation, which reads "Cheesemongers").

Probably this post indicates that I'm working too hard.
THERE'S A REVIEW by R. Dean Anderson of James D. G. Dunn (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to St. Paul�(Cambridge: �Cambridge University Press, 2003) in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (via Rogue Classicism). He doesn't like it:
In sum, despite several interesting and well thought-out chapters, I cannot see where this book really has a place. It serves neither its intended audience nor can it suffice as a student's textbook.
SERVER CRASH: The server for my University e-mail account (to which the PaleoJudaica e-mail is routed) crashed over the weekend and it appears that at least some of the e-mail sent to me during the outage was lost. If you sent me anything between Friday evening (Scotland time) and Sunday morning, either to the blogger@ account or my jrd4@ account, please resend.

UPDATE: Cancel that. The missing messages are now coming in.
ABSENT VOICES: The Story of Writing Systems in the West, Rochelle Altman's long-promised book, is now published and available through Oak Knoll Press's website (follow the link). She e-mails me that it won't be available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble until the end of this month. (There is an Amazon entry for it from over a year ago, but I guess Amazon won't actually be able to ship the book for a while.) The Oak Knoll Press blurb reads:
Absent Voices is unique among books that explore one of mankind's greatest achievements: the art of writing. Writing enabled communication by the absent; yet, beneath any communication system, so conspicuous that it is concealed, lies a culture's writing system. If there be no writing system, there be no books, no libraries and no world wide web. Not just a history, Rochelle Altman's work examines the complex unity of writing systems. Absent Voices is a "must read" for all biblical, classical, and medieval scholars as well as anyone interested in the fascinating history of the Western writing system, their origins, and their components that are the basis of the giant communication systems of today.

Also, Rochelle has an article on the "James ossuary" inscription in the current issue of Jewsweek:
Ossuary was genuine,
inscription was faked

I'm an expert on ancient scripts and I'm here to report that the "James ossuary" was genuine, but the second part of its inscription is a fraud.

David Meadows at Explorator is "wondering about the date of this

UPDATE: David was right. Both Stephen Carlson and Evy Nelson inform me that the article first appeared as early as 2002. Evy supplies this link, which dates it to 3 November.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

JEWISH-TEMPLE DENIAL WATCH: The article "Palestinians Blast Israeli Bid To Block Aqsa Restoration" in Islam Online makes the following comment in passing:
Israel claims Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site, was built on the so-called Temple Mount , an allegation refuted by scores of historians.

This is a stock sentence that Islam Online often puts in its articles on the Temple Mount and I have commented on it before. Maybe it's just me, but when I see a blatant lie like this one in an article, it makes me think that it's pretty likely that the piece contains other lies.