Saturday, March 04, 2017

Assessing the damage to Palmyra's antiquities

PALMYRA WATCH: Syrian troops clear Palmyra of mines as scale of fresh damage is revealed (Josie Ensor, The Telegraph/AP).
Speaking to the Telegraph earlier this week, Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria's antiquities minister, said he was devastated by the new damage but thankful most of the structures were largely in tact and still standing.

"We must work now to preserve what is left," he said. "This isn't just the government's heritage, but the opposition's and the world's."

He will travel to the ancient site next week from Damascus to assess what needs to be restored.
Background on Palmyra, its history, the ancient Aramaic dialect spoken there (Palmyrene), and the city's tragic reversals of fortune, for now shifting for the better, is here with many, many links.

3 Maccabees

READING ACTS: What is Third Maccabees?
This “historical romance” was written in Greek sometime after the battle of Raphia (217 B.C.) and before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The book seems to know the additions to Daniel and possible the Letter of Aristeas as well, so it is probable the book was written in the first century B.C. The book may also have used 2 Maccabees, there are parallels in vocabulary and style. The book is often included in texts on the Apocrypha. The book is misnamed, since it does not contain a history of the Maccabean period, nor is it a continuation of the other two Maccabean books. The book concerns an incident unrelated to the Maccabean family, and is titled Ptolemaica in some manuscripts (deSilva, 306).

Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links.

"The Judas Passion"

NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH MEETS ORCHESTRA: Philharmonia Baroque give Judas top billing in new season (Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News).
The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra is often associated with the music of its namesake era, but the award-winning ensemble under Nicholas McGegan will open its 2017-18 season with a brand-new work.

“The Judas Passion,” by Scottish composer Sally Beamish and librettist David Harsent, is a contemporary passion that revisits the life of Judas Iscariot, exploring the age-old story through themes of forgiveness and redemption. Loosely based on Gnostic texts, it was commissioned by Philharmonia Baroque and Britain’s Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The ink on the score will scarcely be dry when Bay Area audiences hear the work, which is scheduled to make its world premiere under McGegan’s direction at the Edinburgh Festival in August. ...
Something to look forward to at the Festival. It will also be playing in the USA. The "Gnostic texts" presumably consist of the Coptic Gospel of Judas and perhaps other things.

Bhayro and Rider (eds.) , Demons and Illness from Antiquity to the Early-Modern Period

Demons and Illness from Antiquity to the Early-Modern Period

Edited by Siam Bhayro and Catherine Rider, University of Exeter
In many near eastern traditions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, demons have appeared as a cause of illness from ancient times until at least the early modern period. This volume explores the relationship between demons, illness and treatment comparatively. Its twenty chapters range from Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt to early modern Europe, and include studies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They discuss the relationship between ‘demonic’ illnesses and wider ideas about illness, medicine, magic, and the supernatural. A further theme of the volume is the value of treating a wide variety of periods and places, using a comparative approach, and this is highlighted particularly in the volume’s Introduction and Afterword. The chapters originated in an international conference held in 2013.

Review of Burke and Landau, New Testament Apocrypha

NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Apocrypha texts offer insights into early Christianity (Keith Elliot, London Times).
Two scholars, Tony Burke and Brent Landau, recently edited the first volume in a new series of noncanonical Christian texts under the title New Testament Apocrypha. ...
A brief review of Tony Burke and Brent Landau (eds.), New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1 (Eerdmans, 2016), on which more here and links. I am working on my own review of the volume for PaleoJudaica.

The Times articles are behind a subscription wall, but you can obtain limited access with a free registration.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Palmyra retaken by the Syrians

PALMYRA WATCH: Palmyra: Syrian forces 'completely retake' IS-held town (BBC).
Syrian government forces and their Russian backers have completely recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from so-called Islamic State (IS) militants, the two allies say.

The army and other pro-government forces were reported to have entered deep into the city after IS pulled out.
It ends the second occupation of Palmyra by the jihadists.

The first time they controlled the area, the militants destroyed some of its most celebrated monuments.

IS fighters were driven out in March last year, but managed to retake the city, its world famous ruins and the surrounding area in December.

The military importance of this operation is minimal, but the symbolic value of the retaking of Palmyra is considerable for both the Syrian Government and for Russia. And symbolism can count for a lot in wartime.

Again, I hope the new occupiers of Palmyra will take special care to look after the local residents, who have been though all kinds of hell.

Background here and links.

Revue de Qumran 28.2 no. 108 (2018)

153 - 155 - Remembering Peter W. Flint (1951-2016)
PERRIN, Andrew B.

157 - 173 - A Textual History of Deuteronomy 11:4a and its Place in Traditions of the Reed Sea / Crossing

175 - 190 - The Words of the Luminaries as a Meditation on the Exile
PENNER, Jeremy

191 - 213 - Jes 6,8-13 in 1QJesa
HELMS, Dominik

215 - 256 - Communal Meals at Qumran Revisited

257 - 265 - New Light and Some Reflections on the List of False Prophets (4Q339)
GOLANI, Shira J.

267 - 277 - Interlinear Additions and Literary Development in 4Q163/Pesher Isaiah C, 4Q169/Pesher Nahum, and 4Q171/Pesher Psalms A
HARTOG, Pieter B.

279 - 285 - A New Reading of Genesis Apocryphon (1Q20) 20.10
Syntax, Semantics and Literary Function
DANIEL, Andrew G.

287 - 312 - Recensions
You can read the abstracts for free, but you need a paid personal or institutional subscription to read the full articles.

Ilan, Massekhet Hullin

Massekhet Hullin
Text, Translation, and Commentary

[Massekhet Hullin.]
2017. XIII, 671 pages.
A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud V/3
139,00 €
ISBN 978-3-16-155200-7

Published in English.
The Babylonian Talmud's Tractate Hullin is the longest in the Order of Qodashim with twelve chapters and over 140 pages. The Order of Qodashim (“holy things”) deals with the Temple in general. The word hullin, however, means “profane things” and actually describes the kosher slaughter of beasts for human consumption outside the temple. Even though this topic is not overtly gendered, and neither does it pertain specifically to women, Tal Ilan discusses over 100 traditions that touch on women and gender in this book, She shows that “women” forever served as good “tools” with which to discuss various topics such as halakhic reliability, or the use of magic, but more specifically that while the tractate is intensely interested in beasts and beast anatomy, women most often serve as points of comparison with beasts for authors of the Talmud. In this way, the rabbinic world view of the intermediate position of women between human and beast is repeatedly demonstrated throughout the tractate.

Frescoes, not phalluses, are the stars - and no sex toys

MORE ON THE OMRIT HOUSE: Ducks, not phalluses, real stars of 1,900-year-old find in northern Israel. Archaeologist at Roman settlement of Omrit, near Hula Valley, says phallic find that grabbed headlines pales in comparison to pastoral frescoes discovered at Roman manor (Ilan Ben Zion, Times of Israel). The frescoes:
While excavating the settlement surrounding the temple in June, [expedition co-director Daniel] Schowalter and his team stumbled across the frescoed room.

In the room they found a broken fountain with “a really nicely painted fresco of a nature scene with ducks floating on the water and fish swimming underneath and plants and everything else.”

“Apart from that fountain, the walls of the room have a pattern that looks like a lattice fence, and if you look through the lattice fence you see in the background trees, bushes, leaves, maybe some birds,” he told The Times of Israel in a telephone interview.

“It’s really cool because clearly they were trying to portray that you were looking through a fence into a garden.”
The phalluses:
When the ancient builders at Omrit lay the foundations for the stoa, they filled in the existing houses with rubble. In the fill were found little terra cotta phalluses, Roman amulets.

While the phalluses grabbed headlines recently, Schowalter downplayed their significance.

“They’re very small, about three centimeters (just over an inch) long, and one is complete and the other is broken,” he said. “It’s a pretty simple find, and we frankly don’t know where it came from because it was part of the fill. It was basically dumped in.”

Phallic amulets were commonly used by Romans to ward off the evil eye, referred to in Latin as fascina. They were etched into stones at crossroads, hung as pendants around the necks of children, and placed in gardens and hearths for totemic protection.
The reports about these objects took a lurid turn pretty quickly. The Daily Mail headline involved a 1,900-year-old Roman house covered in PENIS-shaped amulets. That's right, the house was covered in the amulets.

Yahoo News carried the misunderstanding a step further with: Archaeologists find Roman house ‘covered in metal penis amulets’. Now the house was covered in metal penis amulets. Evidently Yahoo misunderstood the stock photos of metal fascina from Wikimedia Commons as finds from the Omrit house. And note the fake-news quotation marks in the headline. There is no such quote in the article.

Then the Express had to transmogrify the story to its illogical conclusion: Ancient SEX TOYS discovered by archaeologists examining ruins of Roman house. (All capitalizations in these headlines are in the originals.)

For the record, these were ceramic amulets; there were two of them, one broken; they were just over an inch long; and they weren't sex toys.

Remember how the media handled this story when they try to tell you, well, anything.

The frescoes do sound very interesting and I look forward to more information about them.

Background here.

A Hasmonean messianic age?

READING ACTS: Simon the Hasmonean Messiah? – 1 Maccabees 14:4-15.
Undoubtedly this description of Simon is propaganda, but it is biblical propaganda. Describing the Hasmonean dynasty in terms reminiscent of the dreamed of eschatological kingdom is designed to put Simon on the best light possible. But that Simon’s propaganda should draw on these particular images from the Hebrew Bible indicates some (many?) in the second century B.C. were looking to the restoration of a kingdom as anticipated in the prophets.
Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Steiner, edition of Papyrus Amherst 63

RICHARD STEINER: The Aramaic Text in Demotic Script: Text, Translation, and Notes ( HT Aaron Koller on Facebook.

This file is full-on philology applied to one of the most difficult of our surviving ancient Aramaic epigraphic texts. But if you just want to get some idea of what the text says, you can read the English translation in the right-hand column.

In addition to being difficult, Papyrus Amherst 63 is a fascinating and important document. Past PaleoJudaica posts discussing it are here and here. Cross-file under Aramaic Watch, although the papyrus also includes material in Hebrew/Canaanite.

Chemistry and the DSS

DECODED SCIENCE: Dead Sea Scrolls: From Copper to Parchment, An Archeological Treasure Trove ( John A. Jaksich).
The Essenes, a Jewish sect of the first century CE, hid the Dead Sea Scrolls (and other artifacts) from the Roman occupiers in caves near Qumran. Bedouin shepherds discovered the first of the scrolls 70 years ago.

Since the discovery, the scrolls have generated a lot of scholarly buzz, as archaeologists and physical scientists worked together on the find.

Two copper scrolls are among the most talked-about items, but animal skin and papyrus scrolls are also fascinating to scientists.

How can chemistry assist with the examination and preservation of ancient documents such as this?
I prefer to say "Qumran sectarians" rather than "Essenes" when dealing with the Dead Sea Scrolls. I won't get distracted by that subject now, but I have collected many relevant past posts here. This essay looks at the chemistry of dealing with the Copper Scroll and it also has some notes on the composition of the inks used on the parchment scrolls.

Past PaleoJudaica posts on the Copper Scroll are here and many links.

Biblical Studies Carnival - February 2017

PURSUING VERITAS BLOG: February 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival (Jacob J. Prahlow). I believe that counts as Carnival 132.

Roman mining in Spain

PUNIC WATCH: Archaeologists Uncover Vast Ancient Roman Mining Operation in Spain. The Romans exploited an even more ancient mine but built elaborate ventilated underground galleries, going deeper than had been thought possible at the time (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz). This article initially appears unrelated to the interests of PaleoJudaica, but then it turns to both copper mining in Israel and to the ancient Carthaginians.
It was partly pursuit of valuable metals that motivated Rome to invade places as far-flung as Israel. Certainly the ancient copper mines in today's southern Israel stepped up production during the Roman occupation.

In Spain too the Romans didn't introduce mining, they exploited mines already in use. But first they had to overthrow the mines' new overlords, the Carthaginians.

Copper and iron had been mined in Andalusia for over 4,000 years. Come the late third century B.C.E., the Punic general Hamilcar Barca of Carthage set out to expand his empire and founded Carthago Nova (New Carthage) on Spain’s southeast coast. He also took over the mines of Munigua.

Within mere years, the Spanish mines had refilled the original Carthage's coffers.

Inevitably, the Punic ambitions led to conflict with Rome. In 218 B.C.E., the Roman commander Cornelius Publius Scipio landed on the Iberian Peninsula with a Roman army and targeted the mines, including those in New Carthage and Castulo, in an attempt to cut off Carthage’s metal supply and strangle its economy.

In a daring attack, when the water in the harbor had dropped lower than usual, 500 Roman soldiers waded ashore and, passing the forts, conquered New Carthage. From that point things went steadily backward for the Carthaginians in Spain.
The modern name for Carthago Nova is Cartagena, a town in Spain which makes much of its Punic heritage. For past posts on the copper mines of Timna, see here and links.

This also seems like a good time for a reminder of why PaleoJudaica takes an interest in the ancient Phoenicians and Carthaginians.

Is Palmyra being retaken by Syria?

PALMYRA WATCH: Palmyra: Syrian forces 'enter' IS-held town (BBC).
Syrian government forces have entered the ancient city of Palmyra, pushing back militants from so-called Islamic State (IS), activists say.

The troops and their allies, backed by Russian air strikes, have reportedly seized part of a neighbourhood in the west of the city.

According to Google, this report is from 8 hours ago. In just the last couple of hours there have been further reports that ISIS has withdrawn from most of the city and is on the run. For example, from Tass: Syrian troops enter Palmyra, militants retreating in panic — media. The Syrian Army is attacking the retreating Islamic State terrorists from air as well..
Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen reports that the Islamic State members have left most parts of Palmyra, planting mines in buildings and on roads. The Syrian army and militiamen have begun to clear the mines.

The Syrian air force is attacking the retreating Islamic State groups from air. As a result, a militant convoy heading to Al-Sukhnah has been eliminated.
The BBC reports that the Russians are providing air support to the offensive, which doesn't surprise me. I predicted back in December, when ISIS retook Palmyra, that Russia would not let the matter go unanswered for long.

I hope the retaking of Palmyra goes smoothly and with as little harm as possible to the beleaguered civilians there. I have no particular love for the Syrian side, but the site is better off in their hands than in those of ISIS.

And, please, don't lose it again.

Background on Palmyra is here and links.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Esler on the Babatha Archive

THE OUP BLOG: Ancient legal papyri bring lost world to life (Philip F. Esler).
Everyone has heard of the ancient Jewish religious scrolls discovered at Qumran by the Dead Sea in the middle of the 20th century. But who is aware that nearly 100 legal papyri have been found in the same region, or that they allow unparalleled access to the ancient social world of Judea and Nabatea in the period 100 BCE to 200 CE?

Then, as now, you went to a lawyer (‘scribe’ to use their term) when you had a big problem or a big opportunity in your life. Legal papyri concern issues that mattered. And then, as now, it was in the parties’ interest to make sure that they stated they facts accurately; with these documents there are no issues of literary genre or religious belief to obscure our interpretation of the data. Yet the scholarship these papyri has attracted so far focuses almost entirely on their legal dimensions.


There was early success by a team at Wadi Murabba‘at in 1952. But in March 1961 a member of a team led by Yigael Yadin exploring a cave high in a cliff face in Wadi Hever hit the jackpot. A stone rocking under his foot disclosed the cunningly concealed hiding place in which a Jewish woman Babatha, daughter of Shim‘on, had hidden some of her personal possessions and a leather sachel containing her archive of 35 legal papyri. She had been hiding in the cave with other Jewish fugitives from the Romans at the end of the Bar Kokha revolt from 132-135 CE.

The Romans, who had built a camp on the plateau directly above the cave, must have captured Babatha and her companions and either killed or enslaved them. Other objects were found in the cave, including a cache of beautiful bronze vessels (see Image 2) and letters from Bar Kokhba himself, for which reason it is called ‘the Cave of the Letters.

These 35 papyri tell us so much about Babatha and her family by birth and marriage that we now know more about her than any other Jewish woman from antiquity. The Greek papyri from the archive were published in 1989 and those written in Jewish or Nabatean Aramaic in 2002.

Babatha and her archive have been mentioned from time to time on PaleoJudaica. Substantive posts are here, here, and here. Cross-file under Nabatean Watch (Nabataean Watch).

UPDATE:: Just to be clear, the inspiration behind this essay is Professor Esler's new book, Babatha's Orchard: The Yadin Papyri and an Ancient Jewish Family Tale Retold (OUP, 2017).

Levick, Vespasian (2nd ed.)

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2017.02.53
Barbara Levick, Vespasian. Second Edition. Roman Imperial Biographies. London; New York: Routledge, 2017. Pp. xxvi, 345. ISBN 9780415708890. $140.00/£90.00​.

Reviewed by Christopher Mallan, St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford (


This is a biography for those who prefer their biographies to be more about the times than the man. Levick’s Vespasian is a political history of mid-first century AD structured around the figure of Vespasian. Within these parameters, Levick’s book remains an important and useful contribution to scholarship. As the greater part of Vespasian is unchanged from its first incarnation, it is sufficient to provide a brief summary of its contents before turning to the question of whether the second edition represents a substantial improvement on the first.

As the review notes, Vespasian was an important figure in the Great Revolt/Jewish War of 66-70 CE. Some past PaleoJudaica posts involving Vespasian are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Historical reliability of Luke-Acts, part 3

THE BIBLE PLACES BLOG: Luke and Acts: Historical Reliability - 3 (Michael J. Caba). This post is on Herod Antipas (Herod the Tetrarch).

Earlier posts in the series have been noted here and here.

Assyrian palace found under destroyed (traditional) Tomb of Jonah

DISCOVERY: Islamic State looting uncovers ancient palace beneath Jonah’s Tomb. Archaeologists in Iraq find residence of biblical kings Sennacherib and Esarhaddon in IS-dug tunnels beneath ruined shrine, according to report (Times of Israel/AFP).

Past posts on the (traditional) Tomb of Jonah and its destruction by ISIS in 2014 are here, here, here, and here.

Pro-Government forces near Palmyra

PALMYRA WATCH: Activists: Syrian Pro-Government Forces Near IS-Held Palmyra (AP). Great. ISIS vs. the Syrian Government and Hezbollah. That's not much of a choice, but the latter will at least take care of what's left of the ruins on the site if they recapture it.

Background on Palmyra, its history, the ancient Aramaic dialect spoken there (Palmyrene), and the city's tragic recent fate, now a second time, in the hands of ISIS is here with many, many links.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hempel on the Community Rule

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Community Rule Manuscript Tradition from Qumran and the Growth of Ancient Jewish Texts (Charlotte Hempel).
Qumran’s Glimpses into Textual Evolution

One of the most fascinating insights provided by the Dead Sea Scrolls is the way they allow us a first-hand glance at the way in which ancient texts grew. By looking at the original manuscripts we are almost watching ancient texts grow and evolve in front of our eyes. The question of how ancient texts developed over time has been and continues to be of great interest to scholars of the Hebrew Bible. The important difference for Qumran studies is that we have actual ancient manuscripts to check the theory in crucial places.

True. And that makes it all the more frustrating that scholars still can't agree on basic questions like in what order the different versions of the text developed. So it is probably even more difficult to solve the similar but more complicated questions about, say, the redaction of the Pentateuch. [Update: dead link now fixed.]

Earlier essays in AJR's current series on the Dead Sea Scrolls (in honor of the 70th anniversary of their discovery) are noted here and links.

Cutting open the Copper Scroll

VIDEO: 1955 Film of Cutting Open of the Copper Scroll. Posted by the Leverhulme International Network Project for the Study of Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archival Sources, courtesy of Judy Brown, John Allegro's daughter. Seen on Facebook etc.

For clarification (the accompanying text is a bit confusing), the original film is 1 minute 21 seconds long.

For past PaleoJudaica posts on the Copper Scroll, start here and follow the many links back.

Jesus, Judah the Maccabee, and cleansing the Temple?

READING ACTS: “The Lord Leading Them On” – 2 Maccabees 10:1 and Mark 10:32.
In New Testament studies it is somewhat commonplace to say the Jews at the time of Jesus were expecting a messiah who was a military leader or a Davidic king. In popular preaching this is usually stated without any sort of evidence. There is some reason to think at least some Jewish people in the first century had this view of the messiah, although it was not the only way to think about the messiah in the first century.

This semester I have been teaching a class on the Second Temple period as well as a series of Bible studies in the Gospel of Mark. When I was preparing to teach Mark 10:32-34 for this week, I ran across a potential allusion to the military activity of Judas Maccabees in the Gospel of Mark. I am sure someone what noticed this before, but let me offer this as an illustration of how reading Second Temple period literature helps to illuminate the New Testament.


Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links.

Matt on the Zohar

NPR INTERVIEW: Decades Later, Translation Of Jewish Text Will Open Zohar's Gates To English Speakers.

Now we'd like to tell you about an important Jewish text that will finally be available in English. In May, publishers will release the final volume of the first authoritative English translation of "The Zohar." Judy Silber from member station KALW in San Francisco tells us about the significance of this text and about the scholar who's dedicated nearly two decades to revealing its secrets.
That scholar is, of course, Daniel Matt.

For many, many past posts on the Zohar and on the English translation of it headed by Prof. Matt, start here and here and follow the links.

The Talmud on real estate transactions

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: If You’ll Buy That, the Rabbi’ll Throw the Golden Gate in Free. This week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study examines the origin of rules for real estate transactions.
Chapter Three of Tractate Bava Batra deals with a crucial issue in real-estate law. How does a person prove that he is the legal owner of a piece of property, such as a house or a field? In modern societies, there are government registries that keep track of deeds to property. But even now, clearing title to real estate can be a complicated process, which is why most property transactions involve the purchase of title insurance. After all, how do you know, when you buy a house from someone, that he has the right to sell it to you? What if the house was never his to begin with, and he is only squatting on the property? Or what if he previously sold it to someone else? In Talmudic times, poor record-keeping and difficulties of communication made such problems even more complicated.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Review of Mason, A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74

Steve Mason, A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. xii, 689. ISBN 9780521853293. $150.00.

Reviewed by Matthew V. Novenson, University of Edinburgh (


When I discovered the package containing Steve Mason’s A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74 in my office mailbox, my first response was excitement, since I, like many scholars of Judaism in antiquity, had known about and been anticipating Mason’s summa on the war for some years now. My second response, upon opening the package, was surprise at the book’s title, since one of Mason’s professional calling cards is his insistence upon using “Judaean” rather than “Jew” or “Jewish” for Greek Ἰουδαῖος and Latin Iudaeus. (I can only guess that the title represents a compromise between author and publisher, since in the pages of the book Mason uses his customary “Judaean” throughout.) My third and lasting response, upon reading the book, was deep appreciation for Mason’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the contexts of the war and his nimble handling of numerous historiographical problems. Mason’s Jewish War was originally commissioned for Cambridge University Press’s Key Conflicts of Classical Antiquity series, a match made in publishing heaven. But whereas the previous entries in that series—Michael Kulikowski’s Rome’s Gothic Wars and Waldemar Heckel’s Conquests of Alexander the Great—weigh in at about 240 pages, Mason’s Jewish War runs to nearly 700. While a series-appropriate 240-page “foundation for undergraduates with no background in ancient history” (as per the series description in the CUP catalogue) on the Jewish War from Mason would be very welcome, the book that he has in fact produced is a far more interesting one.


YU Professor Joseph Angel

INTERVIEW: Featured Faculty: Professor Joseph L. Angel (Arthur Schoen, YU Commentator).
Professor Joseph L. Angel is an Associate Professor of Jewish History at YU, where he teaches Bible and Jewish History courses in YC, IBC, and Revel. A recent tenure recipient, Professor Angel has been teaching at YU since 2008, the same year he received his PhD from NYU.
Professor Angel is a specialist in the Dead Sea Scrolls. A couple of past PaleoJudaica posts on him and his work are here and here.

New e-Clavis entires

AWOL: New Additions to e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha (February 2017). There are new entries in the e-Clavis bibliography (on which more here) on the following texts:
Apocalypse of Peter (Greek/Ethiopic) by Cambry Pardee
Dialogue of the Savior by Anna Cwikla
Gospel of Philip by Emily Laflèche
Gospel of Jesus’ Wife by Ian Brown
History of the Virgin (East Syriac) by Tony Burke
Pseudo-Clementines by F. Stanley Jones
Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch.

1 Enoch 83-84

READING ACTS: A Righteous Remnant in 1 Enoch 83-84.
It is very difficult to date with certainty any section of 1 Enoch, but if these two chapters were originally an introduction to the Animal Apocalypse (which follows in 1 Enoch 85-90), then the historical context of the righteous remnant in the present generation the Maccabean revolt and the righteous ones who remained faithful to the Law when tested by Hellenists.

But is this prophetic speech created to support the Hasmoneans (as the righteous ones struggling against the Greeks), or the Hasadim as they struggled against the later Hasmonean kings? Defining the “righteous remnant” seems to be a regular feature of apocalyptic literature (in the ancient world or today).
Past posts in Phil Long's series on the Second Temple Period are noted here and links.

Studies in Late Antiquity 1.1. (2017)

NEW JOURNAL: Studies in Late Antiquity Launches First Issue. Follow the link for subscription information and the TOC for the first issue. You can access all the content for free online. For you, special deal!

Past posts noting that the journal was forthcoming are here and here.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Textus 26 (2016) now in print


Studies of the Hebrew University Bible Project

Edited by: Dr Michael Segal

Publisher: The Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies
Jewish Studies, Bible Studies
Publish date: February 2017
Language: English
Volume: XXVI
Danacode: 45-632026
ISSN: 0082-3767
Cover: Paperback
Pages: 282
Format: 24x17 cm
Weight: 600 gr.
Articles in this volume:

Emanuel Tov - The Development of the Text of the Torah in Two Major Text Blocks

Michael Segal, Emanuel Tov, William Brentת Seales, Clifford Seth Parker, Pnina Shor, Yosef Porath, with an Appendix by Ada Yardeni - An Early Leviticus Scroll from En-Gedi: Preliminary Publication

Kristin De Troyer - Reconstructing the Older Hebrew Text of the Book of Joshua: An Analysis of Joshua 10

Armin Lange - 4QXIIg (4Q82) as an Editorial Text

Gary A. Rendsburg - How Could a Torah Scroll Have Included the Word זעטוטי?

Nancy Benovitz - Psalm 91:1 and the Rabbinic Shemaʿ in Greek on a Byzantine Amuletic Armband

Yosef Ofer - A Fragment of the Aleppo Codex (Exodus 8) that Reached Israel

Rachel Hitin-Mashiah - Main Division in the Verse in the 21 Prose Books: Syntactic Study

Jordan S. Penkower - An Esther Scroll from the 15th Century: Determining its Type among Five Traditions (Oriental, Sefardi, Ashkenazi, Italian, Yemenite)
Volume 26 is now complete and available in print form, but the articles are also available with open access online. I noted the online version last year here.

Lieu et al. (eds.), Manichaeism East and West

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Manichaeism East and West. Notice of a new book: Lieu, Samuel, Nils Arne Pedersen, Enrico Morano & Erica Hunter (eds.). 2017. Manichaeism East and West (Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum – Analecta Manichaica 1). Brepols Publishers.

Deutsch, The Illustrated Pirkei Avot

The Illustrated Pirkei Avot: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Ethics

Ships on or before April 20, 2017.

Composed almost 2,000 years ago, Pirkei Avot is Judaism’s oldest and most important book of wisdom and ethics.
The book was designed to be memorable. Its ideas sticks in your head and grow as you do. There is no other book quite like it.
In this volume, Jessica Tamar Deutsch has fully and finally opened up Pirkei Avot for easy public consumption. The Illustrated Pirkei Avot pairs a complete English translation of the work with more than 120 richly illustrated drawings. (The complete Hebrew text is included as an appendix.)
Deutsch’s book is perfect for both children and adults; for personal use, classroom use, or for reading to children. It is a pleasure to hold and a pleasure to read.
Cross-file under Mishnah Watch.

Embryology in Jewish and Ancient Middle Eastern Sources

DR. LEAH MAZOR: Embryology in Jewish and Ancient Middle Eastern Sources: Korot vol.23 2015-2016.
Samuel S. Kottek (ed.), Embryology in Jewish and Ancient Middle Eastern Sources: Korot vol.23 (2015-2016). The Magnes Press

The present volume 23 of Korot has as main topics, first, embryology in Jewish and ancient Middle Eastern sources, and second, medicine in the Holocaust
Follow the link for details. The first section includes articles on the Septuagint and Philo of Alexandria

HT reader Yoel.

Destro and Pesce, From Jesus to his First Followers

From Jesus to his First Followers: Continuity and Discontinuity
Anthropological and Historical Perspectives

Adriana Destro and Mauro Pesce, University of Bologna
From Jesus to His First Followers examines to what extent early Christian groups were in continuity or discontinuity with respect to Jesus. Adriana Destro and Mauro Pesce concentrate on the transformation of religious practices. Their anthropological-historical analysis focuses on the relations between discipleship and households, on the models of contact with the supernatural world, and on cohabitation among distinct religious groups. The book highlights how Matthew uses non-Jewish instruments of legitimation, John reformulates religious experiences through symbolized domestic slavery, Paul adopts a religious practice diffused in Roman-Hellenistic environments. The book reconstructs the map of early Christian groups in the Land of Israel and explains their divergences on the basis of an original theory of the local origin of Gospels’ information.