Friday, October 04, 2013

Shai Secunda interviewed

THE BOOK OF DOCTRINES AND OPINIONS: An Interview with Dr. Shai Secunda about The Iranian Talmud (Alan Brill).

Background here.

Dirk Smilde Scholarship

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Dirk Smilde Scholarship 2013-2014.
In addition to the Dirk Smilde Fellowship, the Qumran Institute of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (University of Groningen) is delighted to present the Dirk Smilde Scholarship for excellent PhD students and postdocs in the fields of Hebrew Bible, early Judaism and Dead Sea Scrolls.

The scholarship amounts to € 1,000 a month. Regarding the duration of the scholarship, we offer a range between a minimum of three and a maximum of six months. This should start January 2014 at the earliest and end July 2014 at the latest.

Simultaneously, the 2013-2014 Dirk Smilde Fellow Prof. Dr. Steve Mason (University of Aberdeen) will also reside at the Qumran Institute of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies from January to May 2014.

The proposed research should fit within the Qumran Institute’s research theme “Cultural Encounters in the Ancient World”.

Awards are made on academic merit, evaluated by an academic committee.
The deadline is 31 October. Follow the link for application details. More on the Dirk Smilde Fellowship here.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Anxious Ezra varia

THE ANXIIOUS BENCH: FORGETTING EZRA. Philip Jenkins relates some interesting information on 2 Esdras/ 4 Ezra.

I have some old essays on the ancient Ezra literature posted at my Old Testament Pseudepigrapha website:
4 Ezra
The Apocalypse of Sedrach

The following are by Ted Bergren:
5 Ezra
5 Ezra translation
6 Ezra

Some past posts on PaleoJudaica are also relevant:

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

St. Andrews symposium on ancient readers and their scriptures

CALL FOR PAPERS: The St Andrews Symposium for Biblical and Early Christian Studies. The Symposium takes place on 2-3 June 2014 and the subject is Ancient Readers & Their Scriptures: The Texts, Reading Strategies, and the Versions of the Hebrew Bible in Second Temple and Early Judaism. Follow the link for information on submitting a paper proposal (deadline 1 February 2014).

Talmudic cosmology and the scientific method

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: We No Longer Live in the World of Talmudic Rabbis. What’s a Modern Jew to Do? In the Bible, the rabbis had the most accurate possible description of the world—a flawed and limited cosmology. Excerpt:
Just about every page of Talmud I read makes clear to me that the rabbis lived in a different world than we do. But this week’s Daf Yomi reading showed that this was true in the most literal sense: The world, for the rabbis, was not our planet Earth, a small blue planet orbiting the Sun in the vastness of empty space. To them, as to all educated people of their time, the Earth was the center of the universe, surrounded by a series of concentric spheres, the outermost of which was studded with stars. “The Jewish Sages,” according to Pesachim 94b, “say the celestial sphere is stationary, and the constellations revolve in their place within the sphere.” In this they differed from the Gentile sages, who “say the entire celestial sphere revolves, and the constellations are stationary within the sphere.”
Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and here and links.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Embodying the ancestors

SERVING THE WORD: "I am Adapa, Sage of Eridu" How and Why did Mesopotamian Exorcists Embody their Ancestors? A forthcoming paper by Seth Sanders. As Seth observes on Facebook, there is an interesting conversation to be had about the relationship between these Mesopotamian traditions and the much later (but still ancient) Jewish pseudepigrapha attributed to Enoch and others.

UPDATE (2 October): Jared Calaway comments with reference to the Greek Magical Papyri etc.

Mor Gabriel Monastery update

Turkey: Syriacs to regain Mor Gabriel’s land in ‘democratization package’
Tuesday 1 October 2013

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

The land of the historic Mor Gabriel Monastery will be returned to the Syriac community in Turkey as part of the “democratization package” announced by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today, while the package fell short of meeting the expectations that the Halki Seminary could be reopened.

Background here and links. Cross-file under "Syriac Watch."

Monday, September 30, 2013

York Symposium

THE YORK CHRISTIAN APOCRYPHA SYMPOSIUM concluded on Saturday. The organizer, Tony Burke, promises a post mortem at his Apocryphicity blog, but meanwhile, there was lots of realtime commentary, often with photographs, at the #yorkca twitter feed.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A tale of stolen Torah scrolls

PHD DIVA: One Of Our Torahs Is Missing ... Two very old Samaritan Torah scrolls, in fact. Since 1995. Dorothy King has the story at the link.