Friday, September 06, 2013

The legend of the ten Lost Tribes

FROM 4 EZRA TO A MEDIEVAL ALEXANDER ROMANCE: Exploring the legend of the ten Lost Tribes: Throughout its long history, the myth of the 10 Lost Tribes has served as a kind of signpost, a spotlight illuminating the 'right’ path to take in response to the most complex existential questions of Jewish history. (Eli Yassif, Haaretz). Excerpt:
Defining the story of the 10 Lost Tribes as a myth is often, and misleadingly, understood as an assertion that any attempts to identify the tribes will, by definition, not succeed because the story is, after all, an imaginary rather than a factual historical or anthropological one. But that is not why this story is one of the greatest myths of Jewish culture. Rather, its significance results from the fact that it illuminates some dark corners of Jewish consciousness, creates a narrative of support and encouragement when Jewish communities in the Diaspora have faced tough situations, and unequivocally through narrative technique, expresses a profoundly important point that has accompanied Jewish history since its inception: the nature of the Diaspora and the minority Jewish community’s attempt to confront a Muslim or Christian majority.

‘Carried over the waters’

As far as we know, the oldest source that refers to the myth is the Fourth Book of Esdras from the Jewish Apocrypha, written shortly after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, toward the end of the 1st century C.E. This tradition interprets one of the central visions described in 2 Esdras 13:40-48 ‏(King James Version‏): “Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river. For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half; and the same region is called Arsareth ... But those that be left behind of thy people are they that are found within my borders.”
Cross-file under "Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch."

Outside the Bible

LAWRENCE SCHIFFMAN: The Significance of Outside the Bible. That is, the forthcoming book by that title (TOC and excerpt here).

While you're ordering it, don't forget to order your copy of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, which comes out at the end of this month. (No, really this time!) There is very little overlap between the two works and you really should have both.

Harland, Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations (rev.)

REVISED ONLINE EDITION: Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations: Claiming a Place in Ancient Mediterranean Society (Philip Harland, 2013).

More on Philip Harland's work is here, here, here, here, and here.

"we have to imagine a scene of extreme carnage"

LAST WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: In the Talmud, Minds Full of Torah Instead of Bowls Full of Sacrificial Blood: Daf Yomi: Could Judaism ever go back to now-alien-seeming rituals from before the destruction of the Temple? Excerpt:
The Talmud, and rabbinic Judaism as a whole, have a deeply paradoxical relationship with the Temple. On the one hand, the Temple in Jerusalem is the only divinely authorized location for worship and sacrifice; Judaism as it is described in the Torah, especially in the books of Exodus and Leviticus, cannot be practiced without a Temple and a priesthood. That is because the heart of Israelite worship consisted of the slaughter of animals and the offering of their blood. According to Pirkei Avot, avodah, the Temple service, is one of the three pillars on which the world rests, along with Torah and deeds of kindness. Even now, Jews continue to mourn the destruction of the Temple—as we did this summer on the fast day of Tisha B’Av—and to look forward to its reconstruction.

At the same time, however, rabbinic Judaism was able to come into being only in the Temple’s absence. Everything we now think of as integral to classical Judaism—the study of texts, the synagogue, the liturgy, the Talmud itself—emerged as a response to the destruction of the Temple and the discontinuation of its sacrifices. After two thousand years, we have grown so accustomed to Judaism without a Temple that, if we think seriously about it, the prospect of rebuilding the Temple must seem deeply alien.
Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

BASOR editorship

JOB: Publications Committee Seeks Editor for the Bulletin of ASOR
Review of Applications to Begin September 16, 2013

Latest Biblical Studies Carnival

AT NEAR EMMAUS: Biblical Studies Carnival: August, 2013.

The Story of the Jews

RADIO TIMES: The Story of the Jews: Series 1 - 1. In the Beginning. Follow the link for a brief review by David Butcher, a clip, and a link to the whole show, which is presented by Simon Schama.

Background here, here, and here.


INSPIRED BY THE WAR SCROLL: Interview with Joseph Spencer, Author of ‘Wrage’ (Mayra Calvani, blogcritics).
What was your inspiration for Wrage?

When I decided to expand Grim into the Sons of Darkness series with Wrage, I wanted to incorporate themes which intrigued me from religion and history to tell epic stories. The “War Scroll” from the Dead Sea Scrolls foretells of an apocalyptic fight between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness in which Light will earn eternal peace by destroying Darkness. Each son in the Sons of Darkness series will represent a deadly sin, and each son in my future Sons of Light series will symbolize a cardinal virtue.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Search engine referrals

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN, and PaleoJudaica has lots of new search engine referrals from the last year to share. As usual, I swear that I have not made any of these up, and I have done a little censoring to preserve PaleoJudaica family values. The material in parentheses are my own commentary. This year I have grouped the searches thematically and under broad categories for easy reference.

  • east anglian daily times beyond 2000bc
  • the great mother
  • klasicisms
  • alexander the great's mother in bed
  • alexander the great's mom and dad
  • alexander the great death wish
  • alexander the great's body
  • alexander the great dead body
  • phoenician judaism
  • old testament gaint og
  • dead sea scrolls enema instructions (eew!)
  • essenes enemas
  • josephus giant bones on display in
  • 2005 c-130 giant nephilim skeleton
  • strange menorahs
  • fishman becoming people talmud (sounds more like Lovecraft)
  • "the talmud and other diet books"
  • a king james version bavil
  • rashi on 12/11/12 at 7 pm
  • "holy prepuce" circumcision jesus christ
  • "crucifixion postures" (used in pilates?)
  • the latest report on the ist century mark man
  • greek translation of revelation (translation?)
  • news scriptdoomsday relates to the book of revelation
  • ancient spiritual gnosis texts for beginners gnosis
  • configurations of the fate of heaven beneath the twelve (not a video game)
  • configuration of the fate of heaven that ...
  • is codex sinaiticus is fake (short answer, no)
  • 1-7-13 mystic, john dee

  • cuneiform numbers 1-10
  • "lifeless water" akkadian
  • paleo hebrew name for adam
  • paleo tetragrammaton ring
  • book of enoch bangla translation
  • aramaic popular in 2012
  • syriac for thirsty
  • chaldeans spoke quenya language
  • she flies with her own wings in amharic (and you should see what she can do in Ge'ez!)
  • roman numeral 08-16-2009

  • british new testament conference whisky room
  • mystical book reviews blog

  • angelina jolie stretch marks
  • angelina jolie без грим (means "without makeup" in Russian; appeared repeatedly)
  • lara croft angelina jolie hot (again, repeatedly)
  • angelina jolie breast augmentation
  • monica bellutchi
  • monica bellucci at 20 years old
  • "intertextuality * life of brian" (well, why not?)
  • singer madonna carthage must be destroyed (new hit!)
  • jim davila wood carver (not me)
  • jimmy davila art teacher, az (not me)
  • never see the day with james davila (not me?)
  • james davila blot (me?)
  • davila paleo (not the diet)
  • paleodudaica (Dude!)
  • pleojudaica

  • complete metatron's cube tattoos
  • metatrons cube tattoo
  • tatoo papyroi

  • human got bitten by lion (not Daniel, presumably)
  • man jump on lion dan into bronx zoo (probably the guy who got bitten)
  • jesus will save you picture
  • criteria for interpretatvie dance contest
  • j mark iwry married to darryl
  • "on the matter of the man with three wives"
  • orgasm interview
  • 10-11 age real dangle gold earrings in toronto
  • annezimmermann fotos 2012 (makeup again!)
  • historic importance of 11-11-11-18
  • ridge cemetary hours open
  • published: sunday, march. 22, 2009- 12:00am
  • nuclear medicine physicians
  • professors in surgeons

Rosh HaShanah

HAPPY ROSH HASHANAH (Jewish New Year) to all those celebrating! The holiday begins this evening at sundown.

Some background here.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Monday, September 02, 2013

York Symposium update

FURTHER TO MY EARLIER POST involving the York University Symposium on the Christian Apocrypha, Sarah Veale e-mails to let me know that the Symposium has its own website: York Christian Apocrypha Symposium.

Rollston update

CHRISTOPHER ROLLSTON just keeps landing on his feet throughout all the tribulations: From Washington to Jerusalem: Personal Reflections on a Year to Remember. Congratulations, Chris, on the National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Background here and links.

BNTC wrap-up

THE BRITISH NEW TESTAMENT CONFERENCE finished on Saturday afternoon and I trust that by now everyone is safely home or has at least reached their next destination. Excellent papers, excellent networking, lots of good catching up with friends and colleagues, a couple of good whisky evenings, and perfect weather throughout. Special thanks to the BNTS committee, notably the Secretary, Paul Middleton, and the President, Loveday Alexander, who provided much prompt and helpful guidance and feedback for the preparations. Thanks also to last year's organiser at KCL, Davina Grojnowski, who cheerfully endured endless questions beginning "How did you ..." over the last year. Thanks to our Conferences Group and Residence Management at St. Andrews, who provided smooth sailing throughout. Also many thanks to John Dunne, my chief conference assistant, and the other postgraduate assistants: Garrick Allen, Jamie Davies, Euichang Bryan Kim, and Jesse Nickel.

I'm already very much looking forward to next year's BNTC at Manchester.

I took Sunday off (yes, even from blogging!), but am back to work today trying to catch up on everything I have left undone over the last month or two.