Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fake metal codices in U.S. News & World Report

FAKE METAL CODICES WATCH: That article in U.S. News and World Report has come out in the print edition. It doesn't seem to be online, at least yet, but Joel Watts summarizes and quotes from it: Jordan Codices *featured in U.S. News and World Report. The reporter is the one who contacted me in early August. If Mr. Elkington showed Dr. Thonemann the copper codex because it was one "he (Elkington) thought seemed dubious," he did not say so in his introductory note to Thonemann which I have posted here. On the contrary, he made it clear that he thought it was ancient and suggested an Alexandrian provenance. He said he contacted Thonemann for help with deciphering the Greek. (By the way, what is a "putative investigation"?)

More background here and here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

James McGrath: AAR & SBL "Together Again"

TOGETHER AGAIN: Over at the Bible and Interpretation website James McGrath has some reflections on the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) split and reconciliation.

Background here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In San Diego

I'M IN SAN DIEGO. More later.

Reviewlet of "Footnote"

A REVIEWLET OF FOOTNOTE at Movie About Talmudic Scholars Is No "Footnote" At NY Film Festival.

More reviews are noted here.

Off to San Diego

I'M OFF TO SAN DIEGO, unexpectedly, for a family emergency. I may be able to keep up blogging pretty well, since jet lag will have me up in the wee hours of the morning anyway. But posting may be light and sporadic for the next ten or twelve days. For the moment, I've preposted one more thing, to go up in a few minutes.

I'll let you know when I'm in California.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More archaeology and politics

MORE ARCHAEOLOGY AND POLITICS: I don't have time to comment on either of these articles right now, but I do want to note them:
PA rewriting Jewish history

Special: Palestinian archeological revisionism aims to nullify Jewish connection to land

Giulio Meotti (Ynet News)
Published: 10.11.11, 15:22 / Israel News

Palestinians are using archeology to advance their statehood bid. Prominent archaeologist Gabriel Barkai called it "cultural Intifada."

The PA will seek World Heritage status for the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem, once the UN’s cultural agency (UNESCO) admits them as a full member. Hamdan Taha, the Palestinian Authority minister who deals with antiquities and culture, also listed Nablus and Hebron among 20 cultural heritage sites which he said could be nominated as World Heritage Sites.

Professor Taha is a pioneer of the new Palestinian revisionism. Last January National Geographic magazine ran a “Travel Palestine” ad that appeared to blot out the State of Israel’s existence. Published by Taha’s Ministry of Antiquities, the ad said that “Palestine lies between the Mediterranean coast and Jordan River.” This is just one example of Taha’s propaganda successes around the world.

More on Hamdan Taha here. More on Rachel's Tomb here and links.
Top archaeologist decries Jerusalem dig as unscientific 'tourist gimmick'
Dr. Eilat Mazar, who worked in close cooperation with the group - which promotes the 'Judaization' of East Jerusalem - says excavations carried out in violation of accepted procedures.

By Nir Hasson (Haaretz)

An archaeologist who worked with the Elad association in Jerusalem's City of David claims that the association and the Antiquities Authority are carrying out excavations "without any commitment to scientific archaeological work."

More on the Elad controversy here and links.

Samaritan Sukkot

SAMARITAN SUKKOT has already started:
Gallery: Samaritans celebrate Succot atop Mount Gerizim

10/11/2011 16:04

Members of the Samaritan community took part in a traditional pilgrimage marking the holiday of Succot near the West Bank city of Nablus.

Members of the Samaritan community took part on Tuesday in a traditional pilgrimage marking the holiday of Succot atop Mount Gerizim near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The article includes a photo gallery. Another photo gallery is a the MSNBC Photo Blog: Ancient Samaritan community marks the Feast of the Tabernacles with sunrise pilgrimage. And there's one more picture (scroll down) at the National Post's Photos of the Day, Oct. 11, 2011.


SUKKOT, the seven-day festival of Booths or Tabernacles, begins this evening at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating it.

Wayne Stiles has a relevant Jerusalem Post column: Sights and Insights: Succot and the waters of Siloam.

Second-Temple era mikve discovered

A SECOND-TEMPLE-ERA MIKVE has been discovered near Kibbutz Tzora (which is near Beit Shemesh and thirteen or so kilometers west of Jerusalem):
Mikve Discovery Tangible Proof of Jewish Civilization in Tzora
It comes down to water. The upgrading of a water supply system paves the way for the discovery of a mikve.

By Aryeh ben Hayim (Arutz Sheva)
First Publish: 10/11/2011, 6:14 PM

Samson was moved by the divine spirit between Tzora and Eshtaol.

Now the Israel Antiquities Authority has discovered the remains of a mikve( a ritual bath) from the Second Temple period (first century BCE-first century CE) as part of an archeological rescue dig prior to the installation of a water line by the Mekorot Company at an antiquities site, c. 2 kilometers north of Kibbutz Tzora.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maarav: new issue and supplementary data

AWOL: Maarav Supplementary data online. Plus there's a new issue out.

The pseudepigrapha in the paleoblogosphere

OLD TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA WATCH—Some recent blog posts of interest:

Duane Smith has an abnormally interesting post on Aḥiqar: The Wolf And The Snake.

At Rogue Classicism, David Meadows links to Barbara Zaragoza's Delphi, Greece: In Search of Sibyls. She's looking for the Greek Sibyls rather than the later Jewish and Christian versions in the Sibylline Oracles, but still. More on the Sibylline Oracles here, here, here, here, and here.

Slactivist Fred Clark: The Nephilim fossil of upstate New York. (Via Remnant of Giants.) The story of the Nephilim is told more fully in the Book of Giants.

And sort of relevant (on the PGM, and Old Testament material is involved too): Roger Pearse: Jesus in the Greek Magical Papyri and More on Jesus in the Greek Magical Papyri.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tommy Wasserman on Larry Hurtado Day

TOMMY WASSERMAN: A WONDERFUL DAY IN EDINBURGH. Indeed it was. Tommy reports on Friday's day-conference in honor of Larry Hurtado.

Who owns Maimonides?

WHO OWNS MAIMONIDES? Joshua Halberstam has a rambling (in a good and interesting way) review of Herbert A. Davidson's new book, Maimonides the Rationalist, in Jewish Ideas Daily.

Reviewlet of Ehrman & Plese, "The Apocryphal Gospels"

REVIEWLET by Nick Owchar in the LA Times:
Bookmarks: 'The Apocryphal Gospels' by Bart D. Ehrman, Zlatko Plese
The volume includes the gospels of Thomas and Judas, 'The Vengeance of the Savior' and more.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

An army of Scrolls scholars?

AN ARMY OF SCROLLS SCHOLARS? That's Melissa Bell's take in the Washington Post:
Google’s Dead Sea Scrolls is latest crowdsourcing project


For the religious scholar, seeing the fragile animal skin written on between the third and first centuries BCE now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, would have required a trip to Jerusalem until the scrolls went online last month as a project between Google and the Israel Museum.

While Google touts these projects as part of its mission to make all the world’s information available online, the scrolls’ existence in digital form serves a secondary purpose: allowing amateur detectives to seek clues that elude scholarly academics.

The posting of the scrolls for the masses is the latest example of academic crowdsourcing, inviting the usually anonymous community of people online to contribute know-how, money or work to a given project. And scientists, journalists and academics have begun to recognize the value in that crowdsourced knowledge, turning to the community to unlock some of the most persistent mysteries of the world.


And what will the masses contribute to unlocking the secrets of the nearly 1,000 Dead Sea Scrolls? That may just be a question for the ages.
Maybe. Original work on the Scrolls requires some very specialized training, and I'm not aware of any initiatives that have broken down Scrolls-related problems into easily crowdsourced formats (as with the AIDS and NASA projects mentioned in the article). But we'll see what happens with Google's Digital Dead Sea Scrolls project (background here) and also the recent Ancient Lives project on the Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

Nathan MacDonald interviewed

MY COLLEAGUE, DR. NATHAN MACDONALD, is interviewed by David A. Burnett at the The Time Has Been Shortened blog: Monotheism and the Bible: Origins, Issues, and the Status Quaestionis – Hebrew Bible/OT Part 1.