Saturday, February 17, 2007

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: No news is good news.
Calm Prevails at Holy Site in Jerusalem

Published: February 17, 2007

JERUSALEM, Feb. 16 — Despite calls by Muslim religious figures for mass protests over Israel’s excavations near a site holy to Islam and Judaism, Jerusalem’s Old City was largely calm on Friday during and after noon prayers at Al Aksa Mosque.

The area immediately around the mosque was tense and eerily quiet. Dozens of Israeli police officers in riot gear stood on alert along a temporary wooden footbridge leading up to the mosque, which sits on the ancient man-made plateau known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims and the Temple Mount to Jews. After Friday Prayer last week, hundreds of police officers entered the religious compound and clashed with rioters who threw stones.

UPDATE: But the propaganda conflict continues. The ADL has a roundup of comments and cartoons from the Islamic world. The second cartoon portrays Israeli archaeologists as snakes eating at the foundations of al-Haram al-Sharif, and the third appears to portray them as a dalek.

I thought we didn't like inflammatory cartoons.

UPDATE: A few days ago the Jerusalem Post published a long Q&A session with archaeologist Eilat Mazar. It's very interesting and you should read it all.
Q&A on the Temple Mount with Dr. Eilat Mazar

Renowned archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University and the Shalem Center answers readers' questions about the Mughrabi Gate dispute and the status of the Temple Mount in recent years. Of the hundreds of questions received, here are 20 which encompass the major issues at hand.
I'll just comment on two excerpts:
Saul Mishaan, Brooklyn, New York: I know that digging on the Temple Mount is a non-starter, but is there any research involving the use of aerial infrared photography or sonar to assist in determining the layout of the Second Temple compound?

Dr. Mazar: I know that research using these methods had been conducted from outside of the compound in order to trace hollow spaces. There were very interesting results, such as the finding that the ancient walls of the compound are very thick, and that behind them are many massive underground halls.
I didn't know this. It sounds important. I hope that as technology improves, more use of non-intrusive methods like this can fill out our knowledge of what is inside the Temple Mount.
Mary Ellen Marks Highland Lakes: Is it true that the Ark of the Covenant is buried under the mount?

Dr. Mazar: There is a very high probability that the most important ancient remains are inside the compound in the massive underground halls. This includes the Ark of the Covenant.
This is amazing, so much so that I wonder if Dr. Mazar has been misunderstood or misquoted. It is fantastically unlikely that the Ark of the Covenant is still buried under the Temple Mount. The Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar would have carted off all the major loot, and any artifacts of serious value left over would have been removed during the fifty years or so that the site lay in rubble during the exile. Anything that was missed would have been found and removed during the Herodian reconstruction of the Second Temple, which involved the rebuilding of the whole site. I'm sure there are lots of very interesting things still buried on the Temple Mount (interesting to archaeologists and historians), but the Ark of the Covenant is not one of them.
WHATEVER YOU THINK OF THE CANAANITES, there's this to be said for them:
Andresky: Muscat love: Ancient grape's ancestors can be found all over the world

(Northwest Herald)

Muscat is a grape that's hard to describe.

Almost every great wine region in the world has some of its vines. Surprisingly, it makes a wine that actually tastes like ripe grapes. Its musk-like smell is the root of part of its name, and most table raisins come from its vine. More than 250 variations of muscat exist today.

Muscat is an ancient grapevine. Many molecular archeologists consider it to be the progenitor to all domestic grapes. The bridge between wild grapes and domesticated ones can be roughly calculated to somewhere between 1000 to 800 B.C.

Back then, Phoenicians lived along the Mediterranean Sea in what is now Lebanon, Syria and Israel. As sea-farers, Phoenicians carried wine to many points past Gibraltar, such as Cornwall and the west coast of Africa. The Phoenicians and their ancestors, the Canaanites, were responsible for transmitting the alphabet, arts and a wine culture. Their wine was known as "grape of the bees." It had a peculiar musk aroma and was believed to be muscat.

ANOTHER METZGER OBITUARY: a brief one from the UPI.

UPDATE: And another, longer one from the LA Times:
Bruce Manning Metzger, 93; New Testament scholar helped edit, update Bible translations
By Mary Rourke, Times Staff Writer
February 16, 2007

Bruce Manning Metzger, a New Testament scholar and biblical translator who helped to edit several modern translations of the Bible, died Tuesday at the University Medical Center at Princeton, N.J. He was 93.

The cause was respiratory failure, his son John said Thursday.

Starting in the mid-1970s, Metzger served as chairman of a committee of about.Bible that is now used in a number of seminaries and schools of theology.

The translation, published in 1990, eliminated such archaic words as "thee" and "thou" and adjusted references to "man" where both men and women were indicated. The result was closer to current English usage than the older Revised Standard Version of the Bible, published in 1952.


Some of the adjustments aimed at preventing confusion with popular slang.

A line in Psalm 50 was changed from "I will accept no bull from your house" to "I will not accept a bull from your house."

Another line, in the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians, previously read, "Once I was stoned." Metzger's committee changed it to "Once I received a stoning."

Metzger's knowledge of ancient languages, including Ethiopic, Coptic and Aramaic as well as Greek and Hebrew, all of which are used in scripture studies, made him particularly valuable to the committee.


Friday, February 16, 2007


It's a good idea, but the setup doesn't seem to work for Apple systems. At least my iMac can't seem to access it. Typically, the A.P. article doesn't give the link, but this seems to be it.

UPDATE: The Boston Globe has an article that does include the URL correctly at the very end (plus with a botched link in the body of the article).
ARCHAEOLOGIST NELSON GLUECK died 37 years ago this week. David Hyman posts a tribute in the Jewish Standard. Excerpt:
I knew quite a lot about his archeological work and books before reading his biography, but I was astonished to learn about Glueck’s other side, the one I am afraid many Israelis are unaware of, that of leading America’s Reform movement .

Glueck was born and raised in Cincinnati. He studied and was ordained in America’s only Hebrew Union College in those days, in 1923. He then earned his doctrate in biblical theology from the University of Jena in Germany in 1927. He settled in Jerusalem immediately after his graduation. His first years in Jerusalem were enhanced by teaching at Albright’s American School of Oriental Studies. As a professor at this institute, Glueck traveled the Middle East on surveys and also participated in some major archeological excavations. After marrying Helen Iglauer in 1931 Glueck returned to Jerusalem, where he succeeded Albright as head of the American school. He dedicated the next two decades to Middle East research. This is when his world-famous achievements of excavating Tel El Chalif, exploring Transjordan, and surveying the Negev took place. His work and books granted him international fame and he established a reputation as one of the world’s leading biblical archeologists.

In 1947, Glueck was recalled to America to lead Hebrew Union College. He held this position until 1971. During these 25 years, Glueck led the college to many great achievements. He oversaw the merger with the New York-based Jewish Institute of Religion and expanded the Cincinnati-based institution to include schools in New York and Los Angeles. In Jerusalem, he founded and nurtured the School of Biblical and Archeological Studies (now known as the Jerusalem Hebrew Union College, on King David Street).
Jewish group demands apology from Georgia lawmaker

Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA - A Jewish organization is demanding an apology from a Georgia legislator after a memo using his name claims that evolution was a myth propagated by an ancient Jewish sect.

The Anti-Defamation League sent a letter to state Rep. Ben Bridges Thursday chastising him for penning the "highly offensive" memo, which attributes the Big Bang theory to writings in the Kabbalah, a Jewish text.

Bridges has denied writing the dispatch, although one of his closest political allies, Marshall Hall, said the legislator gave him the approval to draft the memo.

I'm not sure that accusing the Kabbalah of being the source of cosmological theory is anti-Semitism: it's kind of a backhanded compliment, although that website certainly doesn't present it that way. In any case it is silly. I think it's better just to laugh at these people, not demand an apology.
"Indisputable evidence - long hidden but now available to everyone - demonstrates conclusively that so-called 'secular evolution science' is the Big Bang, 15-billion-year, alternate 'creation scenario' of the Pharisee Religion," the memo said. "This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic 'holy book' Kabbala dating back at least two millennia."
Lots of errors here. Kabbalah is a general term for a huge corpus of mystical literature, the best know of which is the Zohar. The Pharisees were long gone by the time of the Kabbalah. Most of the Kabbalistic texts are from the twelfth-thirteen centuries C.E. or later, although Sefer Yetsirah is somewhat earlier and perhaps even from late antiquity. But the author of this quote seems to be taking the Zoharic claim of authorship in the second century CE at face value. Plus, of course, the Kabbalists, whatever their spiritual contribution, did not discover the Big Bang.

UPDATE (18 February): More here
A TARGUM SPURION is noted by Ed Cook at Ralph the Sacred River and a possible new Jesus apocryphon is noted by Tony Chartrand-Burke at Apocryphicity.
THE MANDAEAN EMERGENCY CAMPAIGN is highlighted by April DeConick on the Forbidden Gospels blog.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Discovery of mosaic halts work at Jerusalem walkway
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem (The Independent)
Published: 15 February 2007

The planned walkway at the centre of the furious dispute over Jerusalem's holiest site could be further delayed by the discovery of a Byzantine mosaic.

The geometric patterned fragment was exposed by archaeological workers yesterday at the bottom of an underground shaft where one of the walkway pillars is intended to go, as The Independent examined excavation work in the area.

"We have a real time discovery," reported Gideon Avni, director of excavations and surveys at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Dr Avni said further excavations would now be needed to see whether the mosaic, probably from the fifth or sixth century AD, was part of a larger decorated room or house. He said it was too early to say whether the pillar would have to be moved. If the fragment turned out not to extend further, it could possibly be extracted and exhibited.

The discovery was the latest in a series of twists in the conflict over access through the Mugrabi Gate to the compound sacred to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif - noble sanctuary.

(Heads-up, David Stacey.)
BRUCE METZGER, requiescat in pace.

UPDATE: There is an obituary by Iain Torrance posted on the Hugoye list, one from the A.P (noted by Bob Kraft on the PSCO list), one in The Trentonian, and two from Christianity Today (here and, by Ben Witherington, here).
MORE ON THE BOOK OF NAMES: Karen Tintori and Jill Gregory ran across PaleoJudaica and have e-mailed the following:
We were researching current info on the Temple Mount on your site when we stumbled across the comments about THE BOOK OF NAMES. How fun!

We are the authors (and Jewish) and enjoyed reading the comments on your blog.

All of the Jewish content in the book is based on fact, and the manuscript was vetted by two rabbis to ensure accuracy. The gemstones on the High Priest's breastplate come directly from the Torah and the similarities between Kaballah [Kabbalah] and Tarot are also true.

The legend of the Lamed Vovniks indeed comes from the section of the Talmud Stephen Goranson mentions in his reply to your blog entry. Lamed Vovniks is the Yiddish term for the Tzadikim Nistarim, which is the Hebrew name for these 36 righteous souls of every generation. (

The Gnoseos are indeed fictional -- we created them as an offshoot of the ancient Gnostics, since Gnosticism parallels Kaballah in some ways.

We loved researching this book and spent two years writing and researching it -- and a dozen years before that trying to figure out a way to identify the Lamed Vovniks, because their identities are known only to God, not even to themselves.

We are currently researching our next thriller for St. Martin's, which involves the Temple Mount.
Watch out Dan Brown.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

TODD BOLEN has various thoughts on the Jerusalem Ramp and more.
JEWISH-TEMPLE DENIAL WATCH: Someone named Linda S. Heard, who is billed as "a British specialist writer on Middle East affairs," writes the following in an article entitled "Digging up religious hatreds" in Online
Why all the fuss about a bridge you might wonder. In truth, there is much more at issue. At the heart of the matter is Israel's belief that Solomon's Temple, destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, once stood in the same place as the Al Haram Al Sharif, known to the Jews as "The Temple Mount." The Romans were later to destroy the second Jewish Temple, built on the same spot.

Religious Jews dream of the day the temple will be rebuilt and the Sanhedrin, an assembly of Jewish judges, reconstituted.

Messianic Evangelical Christians also want the temple to be rebuilt as they believe this is a prerequisite to the �second coming� of Jesus.

In the absence of proof in the form of artifacts, Muslims refute any assertion that the Al Haram Al Sharif was built on the place where the Jewish temples once stood. In the late '80s, Jewish claims were bolstered by a tiny ivory carved pomegranate alleged to have originated from Solomon's Temple, but the museum where it was on display eventually admitted it was a fake.

Muslim suspicions that the Israeli government is using the new walkway as a pretext to dig for artifacts to support its contention are, therefore, understandable, as are their fears that Israel�s long-term goal is to demolish Muslim holy sites to make way for a new temple.
Ms. Heard has been listening to too much Palestinian propaganda. There is artifactual evidence for the Herodian Temple (notably, the Temple Mount platform itself, along epigraphic evidence) and the Second Temple is mentioned in contemporary texts. (See here for a review of the evidence for the Second and Herodian Temples.) The case for the First Temple is inferential and it is correct that no artifacts from it survive and that the inscription on the Ivory Pomegranate is a forgery, but nonetheless the evidence for the Temple's existence is compelling. (See comments here and here.) Regular readers will doubtless be sick of hearing about this, but I think it is important to answer these baseless statements whenever they turn up. Ms. Heard's piece confirms that this false propaganda, which unfortunately is widespread in the Islamic world, is spreading to the West.

UPDATE: More of the same from the same publication. An article by Nicola Nasser (" veteran Arab journalist based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied territories") has the following:
Al-buraq is the Arab-Islamic name of Al Aqsa compound's western wall, which the Jews called the "Wailing Wall" before changing it to the "Western Wall (of the Temple Mount, a widely-spread claim that has yet to be vindicated by historical fact or archeological findings) after the creation of Israel in 1948.
The same piece appears in, although the wording of this passage is slightly different.

(Happy Valentine's Day.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH -- the National Geographic Society has a roundup:
Violence Sparked by Archaeological Projects in Jerusalem
Mati Milstein in Jerusalem
for National Geographic News
February 12, 2007

Archaeological excavations have incited violence at a Jerusalem holy site sacred to Jews, Arabs, and Christians—the man-made plateau known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount.

But two other, more obscure archaeological projects have the potential to fan the flames even further.

UPDATE: Plus, an Egyptian MP carries the controversy to a new low:
Egypt MP says only n-bomb can stop Israeli digging

By Abdel-Sattar Hatita

11:30 a.m. February 12, 2007

CAIRO – Israeli excavations near Islam's third holiest shrine in Jerusalem sparked angry reactions on Monday from Egyptian parliament members, including one who said only a nuclear bomb would halt the Jewish state's activities.

The excavations, which Israel says aim to salvage artefacts before construction of a pedestrian bridge leading to the complex also sacred to Jews, have angered many Muslims who fear the work will harm the foundations of al-Aqsa mosque. Israel says the holy places will not be harmed.

'That cursed Israel is trying to destroy al-Aqsa mosque,' Mohamed el-Katatny of President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) told a heated parliament session held to discuss the Israeli digging.

'Nothing will work with Israel except for a nuclear bomb that wipes it out of existence,' he said.

Yep, that'll sure keep that mosque safe.

Monday, February 12, 2007

THE MANDAEANS, who have been mentioned often on PaleoJudaica (see especially here, here, here, here, and here), get some well-deserved attention from April DeConick and Stephen Carlson.

UPDATE (13 February): Bad link fixed.
Michael Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic of the Talmudic and Geonic Periods (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2002)
I ordered this at the SBL meetings in Washington D.C. last November at an obscene discount, and it finally arrived today by surface mail.
THE APOTHEOSIS OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE: For some of his followers, Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson is not just the Messiah, he's God incarnate.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe as a god
By Saul Sadka (Haaretz

"Joy to the world the Lord has come."

This misquote from Isaac Watts, along with a link to a Chabad Web site, appears on a billboard. Not a real billboard, but a Photoshopped one that appears on the Web site of a Chabad activist in the U.S.

Rabbi Ariel Sokolovsky is a Moldova-born Chabad rabbi in Portland, Oregon, and a more amiable soul would be hard to find.

Yet Sokolovsky maintains a blog he entitled "Rebbegod" and refers to Schneerson as "Rebbe-Almighty" among other adulatory sobriquets.

Drawing on rabbinical sources, he attempts to show that this is not as revolutionary as it sounds. He concedes that there are few people like him who will openly call the Rebbe God. He claims, however, that many people believe it, but do not say so openly for fear of scaring people away from Chabad altogether.

"The Rebbe and God are not the same thing exactly, but I do not object to people thinking that they are the same thing."

He recounts an incident in which he confronted his teacher - a senior Chabad rabbi from the former USSR - as to why he would not openly declare the Rebbe to be God. According to Sokolowsky, the senior rabbi jokingly warned him: "there can be many gods but only one Moshiach."


[The following are questions asked of students in Safed.]

How do they view the connection between Schneerson and God? "The Rebbe is not something different from God - the Rebbe is a part of God," says a British teenaged student.

Does this not 'idolize' Schneerson, in the literal sense? "We cannot connect to God directly - we need the Rebbe to take our prayers from here to there and to help us in this world. We are told by our rabbis that a great man is like God and the Rebbe was the greatest man ever. That is how we know he is the messiah, because how could life continue without him? No existence is possible without the Rebbe."

Would they go so far as to describe the Rebbe and God as one and the same, as some extreme Messianists have done? "No, some people have gone too far and described the Rebbe as the creator.

"They say that God was born in 1902 and is now 105 years old. You can pray to the Rebbe and he will answer, and he was around since the beginning of time. But you must be careful to pray only to the Rebbe as a spiritual entity and not the body that was born in 1902."

Does the Rebbe have a will of his own? What if the Rebbe and God disagree? "That is a ridiculous question! They are not separate in any way."

So the Rebbe is a part of God. "Yes, but it is more complex than that. There is no clear place where the Rebbe ends and God begins."

Does that mean the Rebbe is infinite omnipotent and omniscient? "Yes of course," an Argentine student says in Hebrew. "God chose to imbue this world with life through a body. So that's how we know the Rebbe can't have died, and that his actual physical body must be alive. The Rebbe is the conjunction of God and human. The Rebbe is God, but he is also physical."

For more on the movement see here and just keep following the links back.
Jerusalem mayor orders new walkway plans
2/12/2007, 12:24 a.m. CT
The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Jerusalem municipality will submit new plans for a walkway leading to a disputed holy compound, a City Hall spokesman said Monday, but work was scheduled to continue at the site.

The plans for the new walkway up to the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount already were approved by City Hall, but Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski now will demand a longer and more transparent planning process that will allow residents to see the plans and submit protests, spokesman Gidi Schmerling said.

Tensions in the city have been high since last week, when Israel began work outside the compound. The new walkway is meant to replace an ancient earthen ramp that partially collapsed in a snowstorm three years ago.

Israel says the work, about 60 yards from the compound, will not hurt Muslim holy sites but the project has drawn fierce protests from Palestinians and Arab countries.

The new City Hall decision will have no effect on the work currently under way at the site, where archaeologists are carrying out an exploratory dig to ensure that no important remains are damaged when the walkway is built.

But Schmerling said it could delay construction, which was set to begin in about six months' time. The new walkway was originally expected to be completed within a year.


On Sunday, the Cabinet voted overwhelmingly to push ahead with the work. There were no objections to the decision, the government said in a statement, though three ministers abstained.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Calm Prevails in Jerusalem on Day After Excavation Clashes

Published: February 11, 2007

JERUSALEM, Feb. 10 — A few stone-throwing incidents occurred Saturday, but Jerusalem streets were largely quiet a day after the police clashed with Palestinians protesting Israeli construction work near the religious compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Some tires were burned and rocks thrown at police officers in east Jerusalem, an area largely populated by Arabs, and some rocks were thrown at a bus full of Canadian tourists near the Mount of Olives, said a Jerusalem police spokesman, Inspector Micky Rosenfeld. “No one was injured, and as far as we are concerned, things are relatively calm and quiet,” Inspector Rosenfeld said. The police presence, he said, was down from 2,000 officers on Friday.

In Bethlehem, some 30 Palestinians were arrested Saturday after brief clashes with Israeli troops near Rachel’s Tomb, the police said.


“Whoever needed to be informed was informed,” Inspector Rosenfeld said. “Both security and Muslim leaders, the Waqf and Israeli Arabs leaders knew exactly what will take place and when.”

This in contrast to the claims that the Waqf had not been informed. The construction was suspended yesterday for the Sabbath, but is scheduled to continue today.

Also, Haaretz has a good editorial ("Digs, lies and the Mugrabi bridge") by Nadav Shragai connecting the current disturbances with the larger issue of Muslim Jewish-Temple denial, which PaleoJudaica has been covering for years. Excerpts (but read it all):
Still, one good thing did happen. The Mugrabi bridge plan exposes the great Muslim denial - the denial of the Jewish bond to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Temple. Dr. Yitzhak Reiter described the whole story in his study, From Jerusalem to Mecca and Back - a must for anyone wishing to understand the roots of Muslim behavior, even in the Mugrabi bridge affair - but his work remained, regrettably, an academic study, failing to prompt an appropriate public relations campaign on Israel's part. Now the public is receiving another demonstration.

Who among us knows, for example, that the al-Aqsa Mosque, which according to contemporary studies was built some 1,400 years ago, is now claimed to have been built at the time of the world's creation, during the days of Adam or Abraham? And who is aware of the fact that increasing numbers of Muslim academics and religious leaders claim it existed even before Jesus and Moses and that Islam preceded Judaism in Jerusalem?

Today, thousands of Islamic rulings, publications and sources deny the Jewish roots in Jerusalem and its holy places. They claim that the Temple didn't even exist in Jerusalem but was located in Nablus or Yemen. An Islamic legal pronouncement (fatwa) on the Jerusalem Waqf (Muslim religious trust) Web site says King Solomon and King Herod did not build the Temple at all, but merely refurbished an existing structure that had been there from the days of Adam. Today, many Muslims call the Temple "the greatest fraud crime in history" and many Muslim adjudicators attach the world "so-called" to the word "temple."


It is therefore easy to understand why the Muslims are so afraid of archaeological digs, not only on the Temple Mount itself but also around it, although these digs also shed light on Jerusalem's Muslim history. Muslims fear these excavations, not because they physically endanger al-Aqsa's foundations, but because they undermine the tissue of lies proclaiming that the Jews have no valid historical roots in the city and its holy sites.
That is a very good point that needs to be made over and over again. (For the evidence for the existence of the First and Second Judean/Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount, see here and here.)

I find that analysis more persuasive than Uri Avnery's in Media Monitor's Network ("The Method in the Madness")
The Israeli government argues that the bridge is separate from the Temple Mount. The Muslims insist that the bridge is a part of it. Behind this tussle, there is a lurking Arab suspicion that the installation of the new bridge is just a cover for something else happening below the surface.

At the 2000 Camp David conference, the Israeli side made a weird-sounding proposal: to leave the area itself to the Muslims, but with Israeli sovereignty over everything beneath the surface. That reinforced the Muslim belief that the Israelis intended to dig beneath the Mount, in order to discover traces of the Jewish Temple that was destroyed by the Romans 1936 years ago. Some believed that the real intention was to cause the Islamic shrines to collapse, so a new Temple could be built in their place.

These suspicions are nurtured by the fact that most Israeli archaeologists have always been the loyal foot-soldiers of the official propaganda. Since the emergence of modern Zionism, they have been engaged in a desperate endeavor to "find" archaeological evidence for the historical truth of the stories of the Old Testament. Until now, they have gone empty-handed: there exists no archaeological proof for the exodus from Egypt, the conquest of Canaan and the kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon. But in their eagerness to prove the unprovable (because in the opinion of the vast majority of archaeologists and historians outside Israel - and also some in Israel - the Old Testament stories are but sacred myths), the archaeologists have destroyed many strata of other periods.

But that is not the most important side of the present affair. One can argue to the end of days about the responsibility for the Mugrabi walkway or what it might be that the archaeologists are looking for. But it is impossible to doubt that this is a provocation: it was carried out like a surprise military operation, without consultation with the other side.
The accusation that Israeli archaeologists "have destroyed many strata of other periods" is bizarre. Archaeological excavation involves the "destruction" of the excavated parts of the site, which is why it is always accompanied by careful documentation of any strata excavated. This is elementary.

Enough for now.
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBITION at Union Station in Kansas City opened last Thursday.

UPDATE: Also, some Dead Sea Scroll replicas are on display in Kirtland, Ohio.
Student wins iMac computer in spelling bee
By: Jacob Fullmer

USU's [Utah State University's] annual spelling bee was held Tuesday in the TSC Sunburst Lounge. The two finalists were Jordan Brimley and Tyler Pack.
USU's annual spelling bee was held Tuesday in the TSC Sunburst Lounge. The two finalists were Jordan Brimley and Tyler Pack.

You have the right to repeat the word. You have the right to hear the definition. Anything you spell can and will be used against you in this spelling bee.

Participants in this year's spelling bee were read their "spelling rights" and challenged by some of the English language's hardest tongue twisters and rule breakers.


A few students with backgrounds in ancient languages were expected to perform well. But some participants expressed frustration with the words they received. In the final round, some spellers received "mammonistic," a word with Aramaic origins, while others received "monopsony," deriving from Greek.

My emphasis