Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve 2016

AS 2016 COMES TO AN END, PaleoJudaica has tallied up 1822 posts for the year (including this one), considerably more than any previous year since it began back in 2003. I haven't been keeping systematic track of page views in 2016, but their number has gone up considerably and has been above 120K per month for much of the year.

I have a busy semester coming, but I plan to keep posting, to keep the quality high, and to keep up the best pace I can for 2017.

As I said yesterday, I will save my list of top posts of the year for the blogiversary notice in March.

Have a fun and safe New Year's Eve.

Fitzmyer obituary

MEMORIAL: Noted biblical scholar Jesuit Father Fitzmyer dies at age 96 (Catholic News Service/National Catholic Reporter).
PHILADELPHIA Jesuit Father Joseph Fitzmyer, a leading Catholic biblical scholar, died Dec. 24 at Manresa Hall, a Jesuit infirmary in Philadelphia. He was 96.

A funeral Mass was to be celebrated Jan. 5 at St. Matthias Church in Bala Cynwyd, just outside Philadelphia, followed by a burial at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville.

The priest, who was born in Philadelphia in 1920 and was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1951, is well known for his contributions to the Anchor Bible Series and for co-editing "The Jerome Biblical Commentary."

He earned a doctorate in Semitics from Johns Hopkins University in 1956 and a licentiate in sacred Scripture a year later from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.

Fitzmyer was a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and also served as president of the U.S. Catholic Biblical Association.

An expert in the Aramaic language spoken by Christ and by many first-century Jews and Christians, the priest was noted for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gospel of Luke. He did some of the initial work in the 1950s to prepare a concordance to the scrolls and was one of the first Americans to have direct access to the documents.

He was 96! That's what philology does for you. Rest in peace.

Background here.

Authenticity and provenance in 2016

END OF YEAR OVERVIEW: 2016: The year in Authenticity and Provenance (Malcolm Choat, Markers of Authenticity Blog). (HT AJR). A post that summarizes the relevant stories from 2016, many of which will be familiar to PaleoJudaica readers, including the ‘Fragments of an Unbelievable Past? conference; the retaking of Palmyra earlier this year from ISIS and its more recent second fall to ISIS; Ariel Sabar's publication concerning the Gospel of Jesus' Wife; the Jerusalem Papyrus; and the new materials tests on the Jordanian lead codices. One of my recent posts on the last story is linked to.

Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation

Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation

Editor-in-Chief: Tat-siong Benny Liew, College of the Holy Cross
Need support prior to submitting your manuscript? Make the process of preparing and submitting a manuscript easier with Brill's suite of author services, an online platform that connects academics seeking support for their work with specialized experts who can help.

The Brill Research Perspectives series in Biblical Interpretation will provide a critical yet accessible analysis by an invited scholar of a field of study that has become or is becoming important for interpreting the Bible. This analysis, ranging from 50 to 100 pages, will not only present an up-to-date picture of the field of study in separation from biblical studies, but also how this field of study has been or can be engaged in biblical interpretation. Whether one is seeking to keep up with the rapid pace of development or exploring a field of study for the first time, this journal will be an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in interdisciplinary biblical interpretation.

Fields of study that the journal will cover includes, but are not limited to, the following:
Anthropological studies
Affect studies
Animal studies
Classical studies
Contextual studies
Cultural studies
Diasporic studies
Ecological studies
Feminist studies
Genocide studies
Global studies
Historical studies
Identity studies
Ideological studies
Legal studies
Linguistic studies
Literary studies
Marxist studies
Masculinity studies
Migration studies
Philosophical studies
Postcolonial studies/Empire critical studies
Postmodern studies
Poststructuralist studies
Psychological/psychoanalytical studies
Queer studies
Racial/Ethnic studies
Reception studies
Religious studies/Critical Studies of Religion
Rhetorical studies
Semiotic studies
Sociological studies
Spatial studies
Theological studies
Translation studies
Visual art studies

Boorer, The Vision of the Priestly Narrative

The Vision of the Priestly Narrative: Its Genre and Hermeneutics of Time
Suzanne Boorer

ISBN 9780884140627
Status Available
Price: $89.95
Binding Paperback
Publication Date October 2016
Pages 636

A fresh look at the Priestly narrative that places less weight on linguistic criteria alone in favor of narrative coherence

Boorer explores the theology of an originally independent Priestly narrative (Pg), extending through Genesis–Numbers, as a whole. In this book she describes the structure of the Priestly narrative, in particular its coherent sequential and parallel patterns. Boorer argues that at every point in the narrative’s sequential and parallel structure, it reshapes past traditions, synthesizing these with contemporary and unique elements into future visions, in a way that is akin to the timelessness of liturgical texts. The book sheds new light on what this material might have sought to accomplish as a whole, and how it might have functioned for, its original audience.


• Solid arguments based on genre and themes, with regard to a once separate Priestly narrative (Pg) that concludes in Numbers 27*
• Thorough discussion of the overall interpretation of the Priestly narrative (Pg), by bringing together consideration of its structure and genre
• Clear illustration of how understanding the genre of the material and its hermeneutics of time is vital for interpreting Pg as a whole
Follow the link for ordering information, etc.

Friday, December 30, 2016

SBL 2016: Hayes's response

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Christine Hayes: A Response to the SBL Forum. Professor Hayes responds to a number of reviews of her book, What’s Divine About Divine Law? For the reviews, which were also posted on AJR, see here and links.

Top 10 ETC posts in 2016

THE ETC BLOG: Top 10 Posts in 2016 (Peter Gurry).
These are the top ten most read posts for the blog in 2016 according to Google Analytics. Not all of these were written in 2016 of course.
As usual, I plan to give a list of top posts for the year in PaleoJudaica's anniversary post, which comes in late March. My habit is to list my favorite posts for the year rather than to base it on any traffic analytics.

Jesus' mother

'TIS THE SEASON: Finding Jesus’s Mother. Over at the Anxious Bench, Philip Jenkins has a look at what the four gospels in the New Testament actually say about Mary the mother of Jesus, and he clears up a little confusion caused by the fact that so many women were named Mary. Excerpt:
Any of those possibilities might be accurate, or perhaps there are other explanations I am simply neglecting. But the point is that the accounts of Mary found in the various traditions do differ very substantially, and those differences demand some thought, and explanation. They also show how vital a role tradition, rather than scripture, plays in shaping Christian belief and doctrine.

Advances in marine archaeology

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: New technologies bring marine archaeology treasures to light. Robotic submarines and ‘internet of underwater things’ to transform hunt for sunken cities and ancient shipwrecks (Ian Sample, The Guardian). This article does not deal directly with the archaeology of ancient Israel specifically, aside from a very important Neolithic site. But the potential applications of the new technologies are very wide, and are worth noting inasmuch as ancient shipwrecks and other stories about marine archaeology are often of interest to PaleoJudaica (e.g., recently, here, here, here, here, and here). Excerpt:
In January, work will start on a new project to transform the search for sunken cities, ancient shipwrecks and other subsea curiosities. Led by Italian researchers, Archeosub will build a new generation of robotic submarines, or autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), for marine archaeologists. “You can find plenty of human settlements not far from the coast,” Allotta said. “In the Mediterranean there will be a lot more Atlit-Yams waiting to be explored and studied.”

The goal of Archeosub is to put sophisticated AUVs in the hands of cash-strapped researchers. That, in part, means turning the costly, heavy technology of the military and oil industries into far cheaper and lighter robots. They must be affordable for archaeological organisations and light enough to launch by hand from a small boat, or even the shore, rather than from a winch on a large research vessel.

Slashing the cost and weight is only the start. The team behind Archeosub has begun to make the AUVs smarter too. When thrown overboard, the submarines can become part of an “internet of underwater things” which brings the power of wifi to the deep. Once hooked up, the AUVs can talk to each other and, for example, work out the most efficient way to survey a site, or find particular objects on the seabed.

"Discarded History" at Cambridge University

EXHIBITION: Cairo Geniza at Cambridge University (Edgar Asher, Ashernet, Intermountain Jewish News).
An exhibition at Cambridge University featuring a fraction of ancient Jewish manuscripts that are part of the unique collection known as the Cairo Geniza will open in April, 2017.

Titled “Discarded History,” the exhibit displays a small percentage of 300,000 manuscripts originally found in the geniza, or storeroom, of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat. Some documents date back over 1,000 years.

For many, many past posts on the Cairo Geniza and its manuscripts, see here, here, here, and links.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ancient Jerusalem VR tour

THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: New App Offers Users Virtual Tours Of Ancient Jerusalem (Jewish Business News).
A new VR app has been released in time for the Chanukah holiday. Lithodomos VR‘s tool allows users to see Jerusalem as it once looked back in antiquity when the Temple still stood.

The idea is simple. When tourists visit sites in Jerusalem such as the Western Wall Plaza and the areas around it they see things as they look now, 2,000 years after it was all destroyed by the Romans. Imagine if when looking up at the Temple you could see how it once looked when the Second Temple — as it was fully renovated by Herod — stood in all of its glory. Well now you can with the help of virtual reality goggles.

Sounds interesting, although it's hard to tell how good it is without seeing it.

Restored Second Temple-era road unveiled in Jerusalem

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: City of David unveils latest groundbreaking archeological discovery to mark jubilee year. Regev: UN resolution is ridiculous, cannot undo thousands of years of Jewish history (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).
Political, religious and historic luminaries gathered underground at the City of David National Park’s archeological site on Tuesday to unveil a restored 2,000-year-old road leading to the Western Wall, and condemn last week’s UN resolution against settlement construction.

As rain and sleet poured down, Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat stood together several meters under the Givati parking lot in Silwan to light a large silver hanukkia at the end of the ancient road.


The hours-long ceremony, initiated to officially begin united Jerusalem’s 50th jubilee-year celebrations, also featured rare relics, including millennia-old ballista balls, jugs and jewelry, discovered by archeologists who excavated the once well-travelled road during the Second Temple period.

The approximately 50-meter roadway, built near the Herodian Pool of Siloam, where pilgrims once immersed themselves, begins south of the City of David, and ends at the foot of the Western Wall’s Robinson’s Arch.

Cross-file under Politics.

Another Fine interview

MENORAH QUESTIONS: 7 facts about menorahs, the most enduring symbol of the Jewish people. Yeshiva University Professor Steven Fine’s new book illuminates the candelabra’s 3,000-year history — from tabernacle to Titus to today (Renee Ghert-Zand, Times of Israel).
The Times of Israel discussed with Fine various subjects covered in his book, asking seven questions — one for each branch of the menorah.
Earlier PaleoJudaica posts on Professor Fine's new book, The Menorah, and on the history (especially the ancient history) of the menorah are collected here.

Biblical Archaeology 2016 Top Ten

LIST MANIA: Biblical Archaeology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2016. A glimpse at the important excavation work revealed this year (Gordon Govier, Christianity Today).
Archaeological discoveries announced in 2016 help us better understand the Bible and the biblical world, and affirm the Bible’s details about events and people.

Below are the top findings from the important excavations taking place in the lands of the Bible or that have a biblical connection. (This list is subjective, and based on news reports rather than peer-reviewed articles in scientific publications.)
We're not really at the point of having peer-review publications for 2016 discoveries. Such things take some time. But I give the author credti for being aware of the issue. Perhaps my constant harping on the subject is having some effect. I hope so.

This list overlaps partially with other 2016 lists, but each has its own interests. Again, many of the stories were covered by PaleoJudaica over the last year.

Best 2016 archaeological finds in Israel

ANOTHER LIST: The best archaeological finds in Israel of 2016. Humans have been living and fighting and loving and dying in Israel for hundreds of thousands of years. Here is what we found this year (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz).
Israel is soaked in blood and relics of human history. Primitive humans passed through Israel on their way out of Africa: now we know what they ate. Israel is part of the area where human society formed: 12,000 years later, we have found their homes. Modern civilization arose in these parts, as did the three big monotheistic religions: all left behind gods, death and destruction at which we now gaze in awe. Here are just some of the stories in Israeli archaeology in 2016.

I don't have time to dig up (heh) all the past posts, but many of these stories were also covered by PaleoJudaica over the last year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

CUA receives Ethiopic manuscript collection

ETHIOPIC WATCH: Catholic University Receives Donation of Ethiopian Manuscripts Valued at More Than $1 Million.
The Catholic University of America is now home to one of North America's most important collections of Ethiopian religious manuscripts, thanks to a generous donation from Chicago collectors Gerald and Barbara Weiner. The handmade manuscripts, which originate from Ethiopia and which date back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, include more than 125 Christian manuscripts, 215 Islamic manuscripts, and 350 "magic" scrolls.

With this donation, which is valued at over $1 million, Catholic University is now the holder of the fifth largest collection of Ethiopian Christian manuscripts in the United States and the largest collection of Ethiopian Islamic manuscripts outside of Ethiopia.


Elliott, "Beyond the Bible"

CHRISTIAN APOCRYPHA WATCH: NASSCAL Member Publication: J. K. Elliott Goes “Beyond the Bible” in TLS.

Review of Feeney, Beyond Greek: The Beginnings of Latin Literature

Denis Feeney, Beyond Greek: The Beginnings of Latin Literature. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2016. Pp. xii, 377. ISBN 9780674055230. $35.00.

Reviewed by Jackie Elliott, University of Colorado Boulder (


This characteristically elegant and learned book essentially takes what we know about the origins of Roman literature and re-frames it in a larger, comparative context. That larger context illuminates not only how peculiar it is for a literature to have developed at all in the ancient world (either in Greece or at Rome) but especially how peculiar it is that Roman literature, from its origins and successively, presents itself as a continuation and development of Greek literature. (Ovid, Am. 15 and Accius’ Didascalica are Feeney’s opening examples of that representation.) Feeney’s object is “to de-familiarize the terms of comparison and of reference we use in describing the Roman experiment so as to bring the strange developments of the period into perspective” (p. 8). His engaging comparative data and the work he does to breathe life into facts and ideas we have long lived with (e.g. the First Punic War becomes the “Great War” on analogy with the war of 1914-18, explained in n. 2 on pp. 279-80) readily assist him in that aim.

The subject is not of direct interest to PaleoJudaica, but the book does touch on some matters of interest, such as Manetho, Berossus, Carthage, "the Hebrew texts," and Ancient Near Eastern literature. There appears not to be much, if anything, on translations of the Bible into Latin.

SBL 2016 video: Williams on the so-called "Septuagint"


Related post here.

Reconstructing a Cairo Geniza manuscript

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH (DECEMBER 2016): The Long Art: T-S AS 144.331 (Katelyn Mesler).
“Life is short, the art is long.” So begins one of the foundational texts of Greek medicine, the Aphorisms of Hippocrates. The ‘art’ of which Hippocrates wrote was the knowledge and skill to be acquired by physicians, but the sentiment has been expressed in other contexts, not least of which is R. Tarfon’s saying, “The day is short, the work is great” (mAvot 2:15). Faced with hundreds of thousands of textual fragments, far too many still unidentified, researchers of the Cairo Genizah might sometimes feel the same. But the increasing number of catalogs, digitization of fragments, and other electronic sources are helping make the research more productive than ever, even for a newcomer to the field such as myself. And so, I’d like to share with you a story about T-S AS 144.331.

The shelfmark in question is actually a collection of 82 small fragments from numerous different sources, some in Hebrew, some in Arabic, and some with little or no legible text.

This commentary by Maimonides on a Hebrew translation of Hippocrates is not of direct interest to PaleoJudaica (although I do touch on Maimonides from time to time). But the process of the reconstruction of the manuscript from tiny fragments using new technologies is of much wider potential application and interest. It may, for example, prove useful for the Dead Sea Scrolls, of which many thousands of tiny fragments still remain unidentified. Cross-file under Technology Watch.

Past posts noting Cairo Geniza Fragments of the Month in the Cambridge University Library's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit are here and links.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Biggest 2016 archaeological discoveries

PHOTO ESSAY: The 9 Biggest Archaeology Findings of 2016 (Owen Jarus, Live Science).

PaleoJudaica has noted some of these stories as well. For the Noah's Ark mosaic at the Huqoq Synagogue excavation, see here. For the charred Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll, see here and links. For the excavation of the tomb (of Jesus?) in the Holy Sepulcher (Holy Sepulchre), see here and here and links. For the recently published Dead Sea Scrolls (some of which seem likely to be forgeries), see here (cf. here) and links. For the Jerusalem papyrus (whose genuineness is also in debate), see here and here and links. And note also the very recently announced discovery of inscribed, but as yet unreadable, scroll fragments from the Cave of the Skulls.

Jewish Studies postdoc at Washington University

H-JUDAIC: JOB: Washington University in St. Louis, Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures: Friedman Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Jewish Studies. Open to any field within Jewish Studies. "Applications will be reviewed beginning February 8, 2017."

deSilva, From Herod to Hadrian


"History of Herod the Great and his kingdom, to 4 BC."

From the division of Herod's kingdom to the Second Jewish Revolt.

HT James McGrath.

Wisdom and Jesus at Christmas

OLD TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Christmas lightning (Brad Roth, The Doxology Project Blog).
The Wisdom of Solomon, an ancient scripture now found in the Protestant Apocrypha, is sometimes read on Christmas Eve. It goes like this:
For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne, into the midst of the land that was doomed, a stern warrior (Wisdom 18:14)
The passage was originally intended as a poetic description of the coming of the angel of death to take the Egyptian firstborn, but it gets retrofitted in Christian tradition to describe the coming of Christ on Christmas. Talk about reinterpretation. I love the action and intensity of the text. The night’s “swift course was now half gone.” The word “leaped from heaven.” The word landed in a doomed land as “a stern warrior.” It gives Christmas Eve a bit of an edge.
I didn't know that, although now that I look at the passage I suppose that it hardly could have been otherwise. By the way, the full references is Wisdom 18:14-15.

Reviving frankincense and myrrh

"A GRASS-ROOTS PROJECT": Revival of Biblical plants. Israeli farmer growing ancient flora like myrrh (RUTH EGLASH). This article was originally published in the Washington Post, but I seem to have missed it. This is a reprint in the Journal Gazette.
KIBBUTZ ALMOG, West Bank – Guy Erlich is a pioneering Israeli farmer, but not in the way you might imagine.

Instead of developing new crops or innovative biotechnology, Erlich is engaged in a grass-roots project: Reviving ancient plants mentioned in the Bible.

Think frankincense and myrrh, plus a few others.

At his farm on Kibbutz Almog, a West Bank settlement a stone’s throw from the Palestinian city of Jericho and a few miles from the Dead Sea, Erlich is growing ancient plants once used to make holy balms, perfumes and natural medicines.

Frankincense and myrrh, along with gold, are forever intertwined with the Christmas story as the gifts the wise men took to the baby Jesus in the city of Bethlehem, just 20 miles from here.

I noted another project to revive frankincense and myrrh here several years ago.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Languages and scripts of the DSS

While the majority of Dead Sea Scrolls were written in Hebrew, the collection also includes many Aramaic and Greek texts, as well as some Arabic texts and a small number of Latin fragments.

A good brief overview. A lot of people don't realize how many Latin and Arabic manuscripts have been discovered in the Judean Desert.

Seen on Facebook.

Kaiser, Studien zu Philo von Alexandrien

Kaiser, Otto

Studien zu Philo von Alexandrien

[Studies on Philo of Alexandria]

Ed. by Witte, Markus
In coop. with Hofmann, Sina
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 501

99,95 € / $140.00 / £74.99*
eBook (PDF)Publication Date: November 2016ISBN 978-3-11-049265-1

Aims and Scope
The volume presents studies by the Marburg Old Testament scholar Otto Kaiser on the works of the Jewish religious philosopher Philo of Alexandria in the context of intellectual and cultural history. They examine issues of Jewish Biblical exegesis along with Philo’s anthropology and cosmology, his understanding of ritual and prayer, and his ideas about living a virtuous life and overcoming death.
HT Torrey Seland.

Stone, Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Angels and Biblical Heroes

Armenian Apocrypha Relating to Angels and Biblical Heroes
Michael E. Stone

ISBN 9781628371543
Status Available
Price: $55.95
Binding Paperback
Publication Date October 2016
Pages 322

Explore how the vivid and creative Armenian spiritual tradition shaped biblical stories to serve new needs

Michael E. Stone’s latest book includes texts from Armenian manuscripts that are relevant to the development and growth of biblical themes and subjects. Most of these texts have not been published previously. Stone has collected a fascinating corpus of texts about biblical heroes, such as Joseph and Jonah, Nathan the Prophet, and Asaph the Psalmist. In addition, he has included documents illustrating particular points of the biblical story. This work reflects not just on how the Bible was interpreted in medieval times, but also how its stories and details were shaped by and served the needs of the vivid and creative Armenian spiritual tradition.


• Expanded stories from Exodus
• Introductions,translations, and notes
• Insights into the Armenian "Embroidered Bible," through which many biblical incidents were known to Armenian literature, art, and thought
Follow the link for ordering information, etc.

Otero and Morales, The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions

The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions
Studies in Celebration of the Fifth Centennial of the Complutensian Polyglot

Andrés Piquer Otero and Pablo Torijano Morales, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

In The Text of the Hebrew Bible and its Editions some of the top world scholars and editors of the Hebrew Bible and its versions present essays on the aims, method, and problems of editing the biblical text(s), taking as a reference the Complutensian Polyglot, first modern edition of the Hebrew text and its versions and whose Fifth Centennial was celebrated in 2014. The main parts of the volume discuss models of editions from the Renaissance and its forerunners to the Digital Age, the challenges offered by the different textual traditions, particular editorial problems of the individual books of the Bible, and the role played by quotations. It thus sets a landmark in the future of biblical editions.

The Coptic Acts of Pilate

ALIN SUCIU: Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Sahidic Version of the Acts of Pilate.
Anthony Alcock has prepared an English translation of the Sahidic version of the Acts of Pilate. This text constitutes the source of many apocryphal Passion narratives composed in Coptic. ...
Follow the link for a link to a pdf file of the translation. Cross-file under Coptic Watch and New Testament Apocrypha Watch.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Schiffman on Jerusalem after the Maccabean Revolt

PROFESSOR LAWRENCE H. SCHIFFMAN: JERUSALEM AFTER THE MACCABEAN REVOLT. Professor Schiffman has posted another recent article in Ami Magazine.

Why are Hanukkah and Christmas out of sync?

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Hanukkah overlaps with Christmas this year. But why all the moving around? (Josh Hafner , USA TODAY).

Christmas (as celebrated in the Western Church) is timed according to the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar. But Hanukkah is timed according to the Jewish religious calendar, which is technically a luni-solar calendar (not a lunar calendar, as the article says - although it does describe the details correctly). This Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle, but is periodically corrected with a leap month so that it stays in reasonably close alignment with the solar year. So the two holiday can be quite out of sync in their timing, but they do line up sometimes.

The reason many Orthodox Christian traditions celebrate Christmas on 7 January is that they are still marking it according to the old Julian calendar.

In antiquity the Enochic and Qumran Jews used a purely solar calendar that was rounded off to a 364 day year, which conveniently meant that each religious festival was on the same day of the week each year. But it also meant that their calendar moved out of alignment with the actual solar year by a day and a half each year. Whether and how this was corrected is not perfectly clear.

Past posts on Jewish calendars are here and here and links. Cross-file under 'Tis the Season and ditto (Hanukkah Edition).

Davies on DSS and ancient Judaism

BIBLE ODYSSEY: Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Judaism (Philip R. Davies).
The significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls is to… early Judaism is huge. It’s on two levels. ...

Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J., 1920-2016

SAD NEWS: Remembering Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J. (America Magazine).
Father Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J., died peacefully this morning at Manresa Hall, Merion Station, Pa. He was 96. Father Fitzmyer was a leading Catholic biblical scholar, and we asked several scholars influenced by his life and work to offer their remembrances.

Father Fitzmyer's biblical scholarship was wide-ranging. I am most familiar with his foundational work on the languages of ancient Palestine and the Semitic background of the New Testament. At the Agade list, Jack Sasson also points to his Wikipedia entry, which gives some details on his career and his publications.

Requiescat in Pace.

Christmas 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all those celebrating!

Posts of Christmas past are collected in my 2015 Christmas post and links. Posts relating (sometimes loosely) to Christmas in the last year are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.