Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, frag. 1

READING ACTS: The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, Fragment 1. Benjamin G. Wright III re-published the Apocryphon of Ezekiel and added a couple of possible unattributed fragments in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures vol. 1 (ed. Bauckham, Davila, and Panayotov; Eerdmans, 2013) pp. 380-92.

Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

Review of Halpern-Amaru, The Perspective from Mt. Sinai

THE BIBLICAL REVIEW: “The Perspective from Mt. Sinai: The Book of Jubilees and Exodus” by Betsy Halpern-Amaru.
Betsy Halpern-Amaru. The Perspective from Mt. Sinai: The Book of Jubilees and Exodus. Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplement 21. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015, 192 pp., 80,00 €.
A small criticism: please let's all stop using the word "incredibly" as a synonym for "very."

Report on the Barcelona papyrology conference, part 2

THE OTTC BLOG: 28th International Congress of Papyrology - Part 1 (Drew Longacre).

Part 1 was noted here. Roberta Mazza's paper, which is available to read online, was noted here.

The Madaba map again

JAMES MCGRATH: Madaba. Lots of nice photos of the Madaba map etc., on which more here and links (cf. here). But they would be easier to access if they were all on one page.

Interview with Cécile Dogniez

WILLIAM A. ROSS: LXX SCHOLAR INTERVIEW: DR. CÉCILE DOGNIEZ. Some of his earlier interviews with Septuagint scholars are noted here and links.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Updates on the Serbian amulets

YESTERDAY'S POST ON THE SERBIAN "ARAMAIC" AMULETS has had a couple of updates added concerning those mysterious magical names. If you are interested in that story, go and have a look.

Review of Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism

Gregg E. Gardner, The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. xvi, 235. ISBN 9781107095434. $99.99.

Reviewed by Danielle Steen Fatkin, Knox College (


The Origins of Organized Charity in Rabbinic Judaism by Gregg Gardner focuses on the intersection of several fields of study—early rabbinic law, the sociology of power, and late antique history. Gardner’s central arguments—that organized charity in Judaism began after the destruction of the Second Temple and that, unlike later rabbis, the tannaim created charitable organizations in order to maintain the dignity of the poor—are the product of extensive study and the innovative use of sociological and economic theory.

I noted the book here when it was published in 2015.

Favorite Geographical Story in the Bible: Results

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Favorite Geographical Story in the Bible Results (Todd Bolen). The survey was noted here. By the way, I ended up not participating, so if you were tempted to think that I submitted the following, I didn't. But if I had thought of it, I probably would have.
Perhaps the most curious vote was for “Enoch’s journey throughout the world,” with a helpful explanation for those of us who might be mystified: “Might not be in most Bibles, but it is in mine.” He or she is right: it’s not in most Bibles!
The passage in question is in the Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36), which is only in the Ethiopic Bible. But the Book of the Watchers is quoted by Jude (traditionally the brother of Jesus!) in his New Testament book in 1:14-15 as a prophecy, so its not being in the Bible perhaps requires some nuancing.

In any case it was a fun survey and I look forward to more such surveys from the Bible Places Blog.

The Treatise of Shem

READING ACTS: . Phillip J. Long continues his series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha with a new text. For the past series on the Sibylline Oracles and the ancient books of Enoch, follow the links.

William Brown also has a post on The Treatise of Shem in his Pseudepigrapha Saturday series. There are also fragments of the Treatise of Shem from the Cairo Geniza in Judeo-Arabic and Byzantine-era Jewish Aramaic. I remain to be convinced that the book is as old as the first century.

Jonathan Milgram profiled

TALMUD WATCH: Jonathan Milgram’s Mesopotamian Mishnah? Teaneck scholar studies ancient inheritance law (LARRY YUDELSON, Times of Israel).
When Dr. Jonathan Milgram of Teaneck set out to write his first book, he didn’t expect to discover an ancient rabbinic tradition at odds with settled Jewish law – especially not one about inheritance by daughters.

Dr. Milgram, 44, is associate professor of Talmud and rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His dissertation at Bar Ilan University had been a detailed textual analysis of the eighth chapter of tractate Bechorot in the Babylonian Talmud. When JTS hired him for a tenure track position in 2007, it was time for him to start thinking about a new research project. After all, it is publishing — more than teaching — that ensures a professor’s professional standing. Rather than revisit his doctorate, he looked for a new topic to investigate.

That research, in a book called “From Mesopotamia to the Mishnah: Tannaitic Inheritance Law in its Legal and Social Contexts,” was published this summer. The word “tannaitic” in its title refers to the rabbis of the time of the Mishnah, from the second and third centuries of the common era. The book analyzes the main areas of inheritance law in the Mishnah and other tannaitic works in light of earlier and contemporaneous legal cultures, from ancient Mesopotamian to Roman. It also compares the Mishnah’s prescribed rules with the actual practices of ancient Jews as recorded in Judean desert papyri that survived the centuries.

I noted his book here when it came out last month. One of its conclusions:
“The tannaitic tradition’s richness cannot be overlooked by anyone who studies the literature seriously,” he said. “The variety of opinions preserved in rabbinic disputes demonstrates the coexistence of competing traditions in tannaitic times. What academic Talmud study adds is another layer: by employing specific critical tools it uncovers more variety and, therefore, a more complex richness to be appreciated.”

In this case, the results of that analysis, he writes, is that in the time of the Mishnah there existed “a tradition promoting the division of equal inheritance for daughters, even in the presence of sons,” albeit, in the final edited Mishnah, a concealed tradition.

That tradition of equal inheritance, Dr. Milgram believes, was “camouflaged” by being joined with a teaching about the bequests of fathers and mothers. In the later Talmuds, similar traditions of equal inheritance for sons and daughters were attributed to gentiles and heretics.

More on the Tel Recheš synagogue

ARCHAEOLOGY AND HISTORY: Do these ancient ruins prove stories in the Bible were true? 2,000-year-old rural synagogue in Galilee may be similar to sites where Jesus taught (RICHARD GRAY, Daily Mail). No, they don't prove any stories are true, but they potentially may give us some important background for some of those stories. Excerpt:
According to the New Testament, Jesus travelled from towns and villages preaching in their synagogues.

But until now no rural synagogues have been found from around the time.

The building, which archaeologists have dated to the First Century AD, appears to have formed part of a Jewish village at a hilltop site known as Tel Recheš, near Mount Tabor in lower Galilee, Israel.

Dr Mordechai Aviam, an archaeologist at Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee who has been leading the excavations, told MailOnline that he believes the synagogue was built between 20-40AD and was in use until midway through the second century.
He said: 'This is the first 1st century synagogue in rural Galilee of the first century.

'This find, reflects the life of 1st century Galilee, which was almost totally rural.

'The site is 17 km (10 miles) as crow flies east of Nazareth, and 12 km from Nin (Naim), and although we don't have its name in the New Testament, it is in the area in which Jesus acted.

'Therefore it will give scholars of the New Testament another view of the life in the villages in which Jesus was active.
Background here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Report on the Barcelona papyrology conference, part 1

THE OTTC BLOG: 28th International Congress of Papyrology - Part 1 (Drew Longacre).
The 28th International Congress of Papyrology took place in Barcelona from 1-6 August, and it was a great success. While there were far too many papers to discuss them in any depth, I would like to highlight a few papers that were more relevant for OTTC.

That said, he summarizes a lot of papers.

Background here.

More on the Serbian Greco-Aramaic (??) incantation texts

ARAMAIC WATCH? — PROBABLY NOT: Serbian archaeologists unearth mysterious messages in Roman graves (Boris Babic, Gulf Times). This article gives some additional information on the content of the amulets which makes me doubt that any Aramaic is involved.
A large Roman-era necropolis in eastern Serbia has yielded a spectacular find for archaeologists: gold and silver foils asking favours of deities and demons via deceased couriers.
These rare amulets were found in early August in a freshly exposed family tomb at Viminacium, a first-century Roman outpost near a power plant at the small town of Kostolac.
Experts are still trying to understand the messages etched on the small plates, says Miomir Korac, the chief archaeologist.
“Dobrebao. Seneseilam. Sesengemfaranges. We don’t recognise these magic words, written in Aramaic using the Greek alphabet,” he says. “For all we know, they may have tried to turn stone into gold.”
“We’re trying, but we may never decipher it.”

I don't think they are going to decipher those words. They look to me to be variants of magical terms found in the Greek Magical Papyri (notably Semesilam and, with various spellings, Sesenengen Barpharanges). It is possible that one or more of them are inspired by Aramaic or Hebrew terms (cf. Abracadabra), but in practice any putative original Hebrew or Aramaic meanings would be irrelevant. They mean something like "Abracadabra" or "Hocus Pocus" in English, that is, "this is a powerful magical word that makes things happen."

If these words are what is passing for Aramaic in the amulets, there isn't any Aramaic. But watch this space as more information comes out.

The article has a little bit more on the context of the finds and (not quoted) some more information about the site.
A golden amulet with Greek lettering was found alongside a child’s remains in a recently exposed family tomb holding 11 bodies, while another, with a still unexamined silver and gold leaflets, was buried alongside a young woman.
The content of the Viminacium amulets still baffles experts, but previously uncovered tablets carried a wide range of wishes, from the good, to the very evil.
I shall be very interested in learning more about the texts in the opened amulets and also hearing more about the still unexamined ones.

Background here.

UPDATE (19 August): Reader Martin Schwartz has written to draw attention to his article "*Sasm, Sesen, St. Sisinnios, Sesengen Barpharanges, and ...'Semanglof'" in Bulletin of the Asia Institute Volume 10 (1996), which you can read at the link. It is a quite detailed analysis of a number of the magic names found in the Greek magical texts, including one of the ones above. Aramaic appaers to be involved, but, as above, that does not make the Serbian amulets Aramaic texts.

ANOTHER UPDATE: As I look at the word Dobrebao, a possible Hebrew etymology occurs to me. Dobre could be a (bad) transliteration of Dibrê (דברי), "words of," and bao could be a transliteration of bohu (בהו), "chaos."

For the latter, compare the name of the Gnostic demiurge, Yaldabaoth, which arguably consists of the Aramaic word Yalda, "the child of" (ילדא) and an Aramaic word cognate to bohu, i.e., bahut (בהות), to mean something like "the child of chaos" or "child of disgrace."

In this case "Words of chaos" would be a pretty nice magic word of power. This is speculation, but it seems reasonably plausible.

Tu B'Av 2016

THE FESTIVAL OF TU B'AV begins this evening at sundown. Best wishes to all those celebrating. This is a holiday mentioned in the Mishnah and the Talmud, but for centuries not a great deal was made of it, until it was revived in modern Israel as a kind of Jewish Valentine's Day. In The Forward, Josefin Dolsten has an article listing the 8 Quirkiest Facts About Tu B’Av — the ‘Jewish Valentine’s Day’ You Never Heard Of. And two posts on the holiday from last year are here and here.

Sibylline Oracles 11

READING ACTS: A History of the World – Sibylline Oracles, Book 11. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

Review of "Ben-Hur"

CINEMA: Ben-Hur review – rowdy revamp takes a Roman holiday from reality This retelling of the classic tale, from the director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is unafraid to make wholesale changes, and all the better for it (Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian). Three of five stars. Includes SPOILERS.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The decipherment of Phoenician

PHOENICIAN WATCH: The Rosetta Stone of Malta: Cippi of Malta Offers Key to Decoding the Phoenician Language (Kerry Sullivan, Ancient Origins [Link updated 6 June 2023]).

Ancient Origins produces articles of rather uneven quality, ranging from pretty good to not so much. (Deane Galbraith, call your office!) This one is not bad, although it does contain errors. For example, the Phoenician god's name is spelled "Melqart" (as later in the article), not "Malqart," and the city's name is "Carthage," not (!) "Cartridge." But it does give the basic story of the first modern decipherment of a Phoenician inscription.

You might want to follow some of the links in the bibliography at the end of the article. Or you can read the whole story of the discovery and decipherment of the Maltese Cippi inscriptions in an article by Reinhard G. Lehmann: Wilhelm Gesenius and the Rise of Phoenician Philology in Biblische Exegese und hebräische Lexikographie (ed. John Barton et al.; Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 427; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), 209-266. [Updated on 6/6/2023 to link to author's page.]

Incidentally, in addition to his foundational work on Phoenician, Jean-Jacques Barthélemy also deciphered Palmyrene, the Aramaic dialect of Palmyra, on which more here and links. And again, this post explains why PaleoJudaica is interested in ancient Phoenician and Punic.

Favorite Geographical Story in the Bible

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Reader Survey: Favorite Geographical Story in the Bible (Todd Bolen, Bible Places Blog). I'll have to think about this one. The results are to be published on Thursday.

Sibylline Oracles 8, continued

READING ACTS: Christological Poems – Sibylline Oracles, Book 8.217-500. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

A Metatron crop circle?

ARCHANGEL METATRON WATCH: Who or What Made This Mothership Crop Circle? (Allie Beckett, - really).

Gueeess whooo?

Mothership Glass is famous for creating some of the most expensive glass pieces in the world, but do they also make crop circles?

This astonishing crop circle popped up in the UK countryside a few days ago. Astonishing because, well, it’s nearly an exact replica of the Mothership Glass logo.

Yes, this crop circle really did appear overnight in Wiltshire, England, last week. But wait! There's more:
Looking deeper into the sacred geometry of the crop circle, you can see that there is a hidden star tetrahedron in the Metatron Cube lying on the more noticeable Flower of Life pattern. Interestingly, the only repeated letter is “H,” while all the other letters are unique symbols.
People are pertinently asking: Was this crop circle created by a bong company? Well, we already knew all about Metatron and cannabis. You can see a Metatron's cube here (cf. here and here).

Reviving Syriac in Syria

MODERN ARAMAIC (SYRIAC) WATCH: Syriac Christians revive ancient language despite war (Ahmed Shiwesh, ARA News).
QAMISHLI – The Syriac-Assyrian Christians in Syria’s Hasakah, like other communities in the province, are trying to revive their language and have education in their mother-tongue. The ongoing instability in the country has given the Syriac-Assyrians an opportunity to have education in their own language.

Prior to the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, the Syriac-Assyrian Christians were not allowed to have education in their own language, similar to the Kurds. The only language of education used to be Arabic, due to the totalitarian policies of the ruling Baath Party that excluded other ethnic minorities. This Christian community has shown appreciation for this great opportunity that came amid the current hard situation in Syria.

The Syriac-Assyrians have recently launched a language centre known as “Ourhi Centre” in the city of Qamishli in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province. The project is aimed at educating the Assyrian language and train potential teachers to bear the mission of reviving this ancient language.

Good for them. I hope it goes well, despite the adverse circumstances.

I noted some of the work going on in Qamishli a couple of months ago here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ancient ballista ball found at Gush Etzion

EXCAVATION: Ancient ballista ball unearthed by students in Gush Etzion from Bar Kokhba revolt. "This is a discovery of historic magnitude because this battle was the last battle fought by a Jewish army in Israel until modern times" (, Jerusalem Post).
An ancient ballista ball, claimed to be one of those used by Jewish warriors fighting against the Roman Empire during the Bar-Kochba revolt, has been unearthed by high school students in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem.

Some past posts on the archaeology of the Gus Etzion region are here and links.

Review of Stone, Ancient Judaism: New Visions and Views

JAMES MCGRATH: Ancient Judaism: New Visions and Views.
Stone’s book will or should be of interest to scholars of Judaism, who should engage with the history of transmission and preservation of Jewish literature outside as well as within Jewish circles; and to scholars of Christianity, who will almost certainly be aware of the importance of extracanonical Jewish literature, but may not know it in sufficient detail, nor realize the ongoing impact it had as more than mere background for Christian origins. To anyone interested in the New Testament, ancient Judaism, or concepts of “canon,” it is essential reading. I hope you read it, and find it as fascinating as I did!

Giants, demons, Enoch, and Israel

OLD TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA WATCH: Giants, Demons, and the Land: The Paranormal Geography of Israel [WATCH] (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News). The Book of 1 Enoch and the Book of the Giants serve as inspiration for a recent eschatological video on the Land of Israel.
A new video describing how the land of Israel is truly the battleground between good and evil has revealed an incredible new understanding of Biblical forces in the literal land. The video was created by a young woman who sees Israel’s geography as a graphic demonstration of what she calls The Epic Battle of Duality.

Not surprisingly, the Nephilim and the biblical giants in Joshua's time figure into the narrative as well.

Ms. Siegel's video and the enthusiuastic Breaking Israel News coverage provide a very interesting example of modern Jewish apocalypticism, heavy on the dualism but not entirely avoiding eschatology. And it makes use of noncanonical scriptures. Such ideas have probably been around for a long time, but they have been more prominently lately, perhaps because of the rise of Breaking Israel News and of the Third Temple movement. I have noted recently that Christian apocalyptists are also starting to make use of noncanonical scriptures.

As always, my interest here is sociological, not theological, and mention of such things on PaleoJudaica does not constitute any kind of endorsement. The theology I bypass as a matter of faith and not my concern. The historical claims in the video are as problematic as you might guess from the content described above. Nevertheless, it's always nice to see the Old Testament pseudepigrapha getting some attention.

For my thoughts on the Third Temple movement (represented especially by the Temple Institute), see, recently, here, here, here, and links. I have lots more on the Book of Giants here and links. And I have endless past posts on 1 Enoch, which you can find in the blog search engine. See, for example, here and links for basic orientation.

Sibylline Oracles 8

READING ACTS: Nero Redivivus – Sibylline Oracle, Book 8.1-216. Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

The Talmud in Russian

TALMUD WATCH: Russian Jewish Publishing House Moving Forward With Russian Translation of Talmud (Menachem Rephun, JP Updates).
“We started with this current project three years ago, working out how we envisioned the layout and how we wanted to do it,” Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi and Knizhniki chief editor Boruch Gorin was quoted as saying by

Gorin added that the publishing house hopes to release around four volumes a year.

“If all goes well, the entire Talmud will be published in Russian within 10 to 12 years,” Gorin said.

The printing of the Talmud, and all Jewish religious texts, was banned under the Bolsheviks. The repression of Jewish texts lasted until the 1980s, when the last Chumash (Five Books of Moses) printed was in 1918. Gorin and his team are undeterred by the skepticism voice by some who feel that interested Russian Jews should learn the text in the original Hebrew and Aramaic, rather than relying on a translation.
In recent years translations of the Talmud have been undertaken in Arabic, Dutch, and Italian. And the Steinsaltz translation of the Talmud into English was completed in 2010.

Monday, August 15, 2016

First-century synagogue excavated in Galilee

ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient synagogue discovered in Galilee. Leading up to fast of Tisha B'Av marking destruction of two temples, archaeologists make massive discovery in northern Israel which survived Roman attacks; Expert says find also important for Christians (Yitzhak Tessler, Ynetnews).
A synagogue dating back to the end of the Second Temple Era was discovered on the Tel Recheš Peak in the Galilee last week in a rare and unique archaeological find.

Last Tuesday, an excavation team discovered, just ten centimeters below the peak’s surface, a synagogue from the first century AD. The find contained a huge and impressive room nine meters high and eight meters wide with walls lined with benches made of limestone blocks. Diggers also discovered one of the two foundational pillars supporting the synagogue's roof.

The discovery is important not only because it coincides with the three-week mourning period preceding the fast of Tisha B’Av marking the destruction of the First and Second Temples, but because of its significance for the Christian population. The finding also reveals insights into customs of the ancient Jewish community and sheds light on watershed moments in Jewish history.


Why Did Vespasian and Titus Destroy Jerusalem?

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS (REALLY): Why Did Vespasian and Titus Destroy Jerusalem? The Roman Political Perspective on the Destruction of the City (Dr. David Gurevich,
Abstract: What brought Rome to present a military campaign against the small and distant province of Judaea as a great victory? Why did such a small rebellion succeed for so many years? What brought Titus to raze the most important metropolis of Judaea when much less would have put down the rebellion? Finally, why did the Flavian emperors actively publicize the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple? The answer to these questions should be sought not in Jerusalem, but in Rome and its political climate.[1]

Sibylline Oracles 7

READING ACTS: Christian or Gnostic? – Sibylline Oracle, Book 7. Philip skips from Book 5 to Book 7. He doesn't specify why, but it's probably because Book 6 is just a brief hymn to Christ that doesn't even mention the Sibyl. It's not clear how it ended up the in the collection at all. But perhaps he'll come back to it anyway, since it has some points of interest.

Past posts in the series on the Sibylline literature are noted here and links. I have some comments on Sibylline Oracles Book 5 in that post. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

More on the Unbelievable Past Conference

LIV INGEBORG LIED: Fragments of an Unbelievable Past? Background here.

Essene Apocryphon

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND POPULAR CULTURE WATCH: Pottenger’s cats show the way to good health (Liam Harkness, Mr. Harkness urges that we avoid feeding ourselves or our cats heavily processed food, which seems like good advice to me. But what caught my eye in his article was the citation at the very end:
I find my own conclusion echoed in an ancient Essene passage translated from the Dead Sea Scrolls written 2,500 years ago: “Live only by the fire of life, and prepare not your foods with the fire of death, which kills your foods, your bodies and your souls also.”
Alas, there is no such passage in any of the Dead Sea Scrolls — none of which, incidentally are as old as 2500 years. This quotation actually comes from a modern apocryphal gospel called The Essene Gospel of Peace, which you can read online here. It was published in the twentieth century by one Edmund Bordeaux Szekely. From the content, it is obviously a modern composition. Back in 2008 I noted it when it was cited for its advice on administering enemas. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Phoenician ship under construction

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Activities of the Gate of the Sun Festival kick'off in Tartous (H.Zain, Malaysia Sun). Tartous is on the coast of Syria.
The festival includes various entertainment andsport activities including beach soccer, sail boatshow, Jet Ski race, basketball and volleyball,artistic evenings, fashion shows and electing the festival beauty queen and launching the construction of a Phoenician ship.
It was the Phoenician ship, of course, which caught my eye. I can't find any additional information about it, though. This makes me think of the construction and many sailing adventures of the Good Ship Phoenicia, but that was a very ambitious undertaking and so far I see no indication that the current project is on the same scale.

Schiffman on the Second Temple

BIBLE ODYSSEY: The Second Temple (Lawrence H. Schiffman).
As the central Jewish place of sacrificial worship from about 515 B.C.E. until its destruction by the Romans in 70 C.E., the second temple in Jerusalem played a major role in the religious and national life of the Jewish people. ...

Tov, Davis, and Duke (eds.), Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection

Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection

Edited by Emanuel Tov (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), Kipp Davis (Trinity Western University), Robert Duke (Azusa Pacific University)

This volume contains thirteen previously unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls fragments, twelve Hebrew Bible fragments and one non-biblical fragment, presented with the full scholarly apparatus and advanced reconstruction techniques. The books from the Hebrew Bible are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, Micah, Psalms, Daniel, and Nehemiah. The latter is an especially important addition to known material. The non-biblical fragment probably represents a new copy of 4QInstruction.

The work on these fragments was conducted under the auspices of the Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative, whose mission is to publish research conducted collaboratively by scholar-mentors and students. The ultimate goal is to provide students with the opportunity to develop as scholars under the guidance of their scholar-mentors.
Peter Gurry has a post on the book at the ETC Blog: First Museum of the Bible Volume Released with 13 Previously Unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls. Background on the not-uncontroversial Museum of the Bible and the associated Green Collection is here and links.

Stol, Women in the Ancient Near East

AWOL: Women in the Ancient Near East, By Marten Stol. An open-access eBook.

Coptic papers at Claremont

COPTIC WATCH: Papers Presented by the Göttingen Crew at the Recently Concluded Congress of Coptic Studies (Alin Suciu). The papers were on the Coptic Bible, Coptic digital humanities, and Greek and Coptic fragments of a lost Patristic text. The 11th International Congress of Coptic Studies at Claremont Graduate University, which took place in late July, was noted as upcoming here.