Saturday, March 24, 2018

Fifteen years of PaleoJudaica

HAPPY 15TH BLOGIVERSARY TO PALEOJUDAICA! I posted on this blog for the first time (here; first substantive post here) on 24 March 2003. Since then I have put up more than 16,000 posts.

On most anniversaries (but not last year) I have put up a retrospective anniversary post. The most recent one was for 2016 and you can follow the links from there to all earlier retrospective posts. This year you get a double-edition retrospective. I focus on posts in which I had more commentary than usual. I also include a few end-of-year roundup posts and posts on especially important stories, plus a few others I just liked.

Rabbi Sacks at St. Andrews
Latest on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife — a major breakthrough? (Yep. see here.)
Report on the St. Andrews Symposium on Divine Sonship (6-8 June 2016)
John the Jew (Camaldoli): my response to Williams (Enoch Seminar)
"John the Jew" (Camaldoli): final comments (Ditto)
Old editions of the Cave of Treasures
Back from the BNTC (Photo essay on the Roman ruins at Chester.)
Archaeology stories for Rosh HaShanah
A Hebrew papyrus from the 8th century BCE? [Now updated] (There is debate on whether this is genuine or a forgery.)
Billionaires are trying to escape the demiurgic world
Review of DeConick, The Gnostic New Age, MEGA, SBL 2016
Non-deceptive pseudepigraphy?
Archaeology top 10, 2016
Biggest 2016 archaeological discoveries
Two Prophetesses for Burns Night
Rabbinics and Second Temple Judaism
Frescoes, not phalluses, are the stars - and no sex toys (The media certainly botched this story.)
The Jordan Department of Antiquities disavows the lead codices (For much more on the metal codices, see below.)

Bar Kokhba letters anniversary
The Talmud on scriptural exegesis
Josephus, Masada, and archaeology

A four-part review of an important new book:
Review of Burke and Landau (eds.), New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 1 (part 1)
Review of Burke and Landau (eds.), New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 1 (part 2)
Review of Burke and Landau (eds.), New Testament Apocrypha (part 3)
Review of Burke and Landau (eds.), New Testament Apocrypha (part 4)

If you like OT Pseudepigrapha, please help! (bumped)
I promised an update on this one. Mainly I found that it's too early to get a sense of the impact of MOTP1. My article will be coming out in 2019 and it will have a little more to say about that then.

Bible Cat revisited (Because cat!)
Graduation 2017 (Because philologists!)
Ezekiel's Merkavah anniversary is today (Because Merkavah!)
Hurtado on representing the views of others (Good advice from Professor Hurtado and from me.)

Samuel Zinner's full publication on the Jordanian metal codices finally came out in 2017. Here is my four-part review of it:
The Jordanian lead codices: (1) The materials tests
The Jordanian lead codices: (2) The inscriptions
The Jordanian lead codices: (3) The Abgar-Selaman epitaph
The Jordanian lead codices: (4) Concluding observations

Then some new metal codices showed up:
Metal codices seized in Turkey. This has been the most visited post since Blogger started keeping records in May of 2010. And on a related note, the Turkish authorities seized many smuggled antiquities in the last year, including a number of other dubious artifacts. See here, here, here, here, and here.

Bauckham event in St. Andrews
Judah the Hammer (On why scholars should try harder to think like regular people.)
A bulla of Isaiah (the prophet?) (Maybe, but maybe not; cf. here.)
A disquieting case of scholarly forgery?

On 1 March 2018 PaleoJudaica received its largest number of views ever in a single day: 18,630. I don't know what was special about that day, but I hope it keeps happening.

I am still enjoying blogging and my readers seem to enjoy it as well. Thanks for your support! Please do keep coming back and keeping bringing your friends.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

A new blog for early career scholars in Second Temple Judaism

ASSIMILATED TO THE BLOGOSPHERE: Second Temple Early Career Academy (STECA). Founded and directed by Professor Charlotte Hempel of Birmingham University and with a team of early career scholars. Looks like this will a very useful resource for early career specialists in the field.

By the way, have you noticed that the Blogosphere is alive and well and stronger than ever?

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AGAIN, YOU SHOULD KNOW THESE THINGS: Dozens of Tri-State students compete in WCPO 9 On Your Side/Scripps Regional Spelling Bee. Two winners advance to National Bee (WCPO Cininnati).
The two winners outlasted dozens of students from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana:

Irene Calderon from Summit Country Day School won the Ohio event with the word "Talmud," a collection of writings on Jewish law and custom and religious practice.
Congratulations to both winners. In past PaleoJudaica-highlighted spelling bees the winning words have included m-a-m-m-o-n-i-s-t-i-c, p-s-e-u-d-e-p-i-g-r-a-p-h-a (twice!), and N-a-a-s-s-e-n-e.

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Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity

Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity

Edited by Harold Tarrant, University of Newcastle Australia, Danielle A. Layne, Gonzaga University, Dirk Baltzly, University of Tasmania and Monash University, and François Renaud, Université de Moncton
Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity offers a comprehensive account of the ways in which ancient readers responded to Plato, as philosopher, as author, and more generally as a central figure in the intellectual heritage of Classical Greece, from his death in the fourth century BCE until the Platonist and Aristotelian commentators in the sixth century CE. The volume is divided into three sections: ‘Early Developments in Reception’ (four chapters); ‘Early Imperial Reception’ (nine chapters); and ‘Early Christianity and Late Antique Platonism’ (eighteen chapters). Sectional introductions cover matters of importance that could not easily be covered in dedicated chapters. The book demonstrates the great variety of approaches to and interpretations of Plato among even his most dedicated ancient readers, offering some salutary lessons for his modern readers too.
Phil of Alexandria is, of course, represented, as is Gnosticism and other matters of interest. HT the Newtwork for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity.

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Artifacts recovered from Jobar Synagogue ruins?

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SKULDUGGERY? SYRIA ACCUSES ISRAEL OF REMOVING JEWISH ARTIFACTS FROM DAMASCUS TEMPLE. “This is yet another attempt by the Syrian regime to distract attention from the atrocities it is inflicting on its own people,” said Israel's UN envoy (Daniel J. Roth, Jerusalem Post).
LOS ANGELES - The Syrian government on Thursday accused Israel of conducting a clandestine operation, together with Turkey, to remove ancient artifacts from a synagogue near Damascus.

In a formal complaint sent to the United Nations Security Council, Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari accused the two countries of cooperating with “terrorist groups” to remove valuable items from the 2,000-year-old Jobar temple.

The artifacts reportedly include manuscripts. The claim is that they were smuggled to Istanbul and then New York.

The Jobar Synagogue was badly damaged in the Syrian fighting in 2013 and then substantially destroyed in 2014. I followed events as they were reported. See here and links.

Two thoughts on the current report. First, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN gave a good response to the Syrian accusation. But I don't see a denial of the accusation in it. Second, I do not condone such activities. But if there were any ancient artifacts in the ruins of the Jobar Synagogue, I hope they are safe.

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Repairs begun on the (traditional) Tomb of Nahum

RENOVATIONS: Hebrew prophet's tomb in Iraq saved from collapse (Judit Neurink, Al-Monitor).
Al-Qosh, on the Ninevah Plains, is home to several historic monasteries and churches as well as the synagogue, which houses the tomb of Nahum, the prophet who in 615 B.C. correctly predicted the downfall of the Assyrian kingdom. While the town's churches have been well maintained due to the efforts of the Christian community, the synagogue — despite Nahum being regarded as a prophet by the three major monotheistic religions — was allowed to crumble after the last Jews left town for Israel in 1951.

The good news is that after years of aborted attempts to save the building, a US organization — ARCH, the Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage — was finally able to send a team of engineers to secure the building in January before it fully collapsed. Some of the walls and part of the roof had already collapsed, and columns with Hebrew inscriptions are barely standing, endangering the tomb, which lies beneath a green covering.
This is good news indeed. The poor condition of the synagogue has been a matter of concern for some time.

Background on the (traditional) Tomb of Nahum is here and links.

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Review of The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek

BYRN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Franco Montanari, Madeleine Goh, Chad Schroeder, The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek. English Edition edited by Madeleine Goh and Chad Schroeder, under the auspices of the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2015. Pp. lx, 2431. ISBN 9789004193185. $125.00. Reviewed by Panagiotis Filos, University of Ioannina (>.
In conclusion, the new Brill Greek dictionary is a most welcome addition to the current lexicographic store for Ancient Greek and is set to become a primary resource for the study of Ancient Greek, especially as regards non-literary texts and post-classical authors. It goes without saying, though, that other dictionaries, especially LSJ will continue to be of importance, as far as words of literary origin are concerned in particular.9 In any case, the ultimate gamble is the future of bilingual Ancient Greek dictionaries as a whole in times of growing financial hardship for classical studies: ‘δεῖ δὲ χρημάτων’ obviously needs no dictionary aid to be promptly understood nowadays.

HT Larry Hurtado. Past PaleoJudaica posts (often leading to Hurtado posts) on The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek are here and links.

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Pigeons in the Byzantine-era Negev

OSTEOLOGY AND COPROLOGY: Haifa U. Reveals Role of Pigeons in Turning the Negev Green 1,500 Years Ago (JNi Media, The Jewish Press).
Pigeons played a central role some 1,500 years ago in transforming the Byzantine Negev into a flourishing garden, according to a new study conducted at the Zinman Institute of Archeology at the University of Haifa and published Wednesday in the journal PlosOne.

The study, which focused on the ancient settlements of Shivta and Sa’adon, found archaeological evidence that the Byzantines in the Negev did not raise their pigeons for food, but to fertilize the dry loess soil and making it more suitable for intensive agriculture.

I noted another article that mentioned this research here. The same research group has been working on ancient gerbils in the Negev as well.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Lester on Sibylline Oracles 4 and 5

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Dissertation Spotlight | Olivia Stewart Lester.
Olivia Stewart Lester, “Prophets and Their Rivals: Interpretation, Gender, and Economics in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4–5,” PhD Dissertation, Yale University, 2017.
The ongoing appeal of prophecy as a rhetorical strategy in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4–5, and the ongoing rivalries in which these texts engage, argue for prophecy’s continuing significance in a larger ancient Mediterranean religious context. In this way, my book adds to a growing body of scholarship challenging widespread narratives about prophecy’s decline in Second Temple Judaism and in early Christianity, as well as narratives about the decline of Greek oracles and divination, in the early Roman imperial period. Prophecy persists in tenuous political moments, reinforcing the authority of those who feel their power is under threat.
For more on Sibylline Oracles 4 and 5, see here, here, here, and here. Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

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The New Moon Festival

PROF. MICHAEL L. SATLOW: What Does Rosh Hodesh Celebrate? (
Tracing the meaning and motifs of Rosh Hodesh (the new moon festival) from the biblical through the talmudic periods reveals a day of two different meanings.

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Will Palestinians claim the DSS at UNESCO?

POLITICS: PALESTINIAN CLAIM TO DEAD SEA SCROLLS MAY BE NEXT UP AT UNESCO. Ex-agency head to ‘Post’: Mixing religion and politics is dangerous (Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post).
The next “prize” the Palestinians will likely claim as their own at UNESCO will probably be the archeological site of Qumran and its Dead Sea Scrolls, Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said on Wednesday.

He spoke at a panel on the denial of Jewish history in international organizations at the Foreign Ministry-sponsored sixth Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem.

The claim was attempted back in 2009 and it has been rumored since 2016 that it will be tried again. See here and links. This is just a rumor so far, but it could happen. I don't think the claim will be any more successful than it was in 2009. UNESCO is already (see here and here and links) about to lose the support of the USA and Israel.

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Williamson, Isaiah 6-16 (ICC)

Isaiah 6-12
A Critical and Exegetical Commentary

By: H.G.M. Williamson

Published: 08-02-2018
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 808
ISBN: 9780567030597
Imprint: T&T Clark
Series: International Critical Commentary
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
RRP: £75.00
Online price: £67.50
Save £7.50 (10%)

About Isaiah 6-12
This eagerly anticipated volume is the second installment in H.G.M. Williamson's International Critical Commentary on first Isaiah.

For over one hundred years International Critical Commentaries have had a special place among works on the Bible. They bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis - linguistic, textual, archaeological, historical, literary, and theological - to help the reader understand the meaning of the books of the Old and New Testaments.

Williamson continues in this tradition, adding to his already published volume on Isaiah 1-5. Covering the next seven chapters of Isaiah Williamson incorporates a range of secondary scholarly material with examination of all the key textual and critical issues surrounding the text.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Genesis Apocryphon on display in Jerusalem

EXHIBITION: Enigmatic Dead Sea Scroll makes rare show in Jerusalem. Genesis Apocryphon, sole surviving copy of ancient text expounding on biblical tales of Noah, Abraham, to go up on display in Jerusalem's Israel Museum for first time since its discovery 70 years ago; scroll contains 'parallel stories we don't have in the Hebrew Bible,' says exhibit's curator (AP via Ynet News).

Cross-file under Aramaic Watch.

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Review of Burke and Landau, MNTA1

READING ACTS BLOG: Book Review: Tony Burke and Brent Landau, New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 1 (Phil Long).
Burke, Tony and Brent Landau eds. New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 1: More Noncanonical Scriptures. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2016. 635 pp. Hb; $75. Link to Eerdmans

In his forward to this new collection of Christian apocrypha, J. K. Elliott asks “When is enough, enough?” Well he may ask, since he edited the seven hundred page The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford, 1994). To quote Jordan Belfort from Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street, “More is never enough.” This new collection edited by Burke and Landau is the first volume of a new series of non-canonical writings which promises to greatly expand the number of apocryphal texts available to students of the early church. Volume one collects thirty texts newly translated with introductions by experts in this literature. A second volume is planned and Burke hopes the project can be expanded to include a third and fourth volume.

"More is never enough." I like that. I haven't mentioned this before, but I recently began a year of research leave and I am hard at work on volume two of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (MOTP2). We're planning on stopping with the second volume. Future generations can take it from there. But meanwhile, I look forward to many other volumes of MNTA.

For my four-part review of MNTA1, start here and, as usual, follow the links. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch.

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The discoverers of that lost bit of Incense Route

NABATEAN (NABATAEAN) WATCH: 86-year-old guide helps discover section of Incense Route lost for millennia. Traversing 100 kilometers in five days, Shuka Ravek fulfills dream and walks from Petra to Avdat in the footsteps of Nabateans (Amanda Borschel Dan, Times of Israel).
At 86, the grandfather of Israeli hiking finally fulfilled a decades-long dream.

Over five days, trailblazing outdoorsman Yehoshua “Shuka” Ravek traversed some 100 kilometers (62 miles) by foot, walking from Petra, Jordan, to Avdat in the Israeli Negev. From February 18-23, Ravek walked along with a group of some 40 Israelis and, before crossing the border, a handful of Jordanians — and two camels.

Why the camels? The octogenarian’s goal was to accurately retrace the steps of the ancient Incense Route, laid down circa 3rd century BCE by Nabatean traders. He wanted to see if the path, first used by the mysterious desert dwellers and later by the Roman invaders, could really have supported this means of transportation.

And if fulfilling a dream wasn’t enough, on the final day, the group of hikers discovered and mapped out a “lost” 7.5 km (4.6 miles) section of the path that had eluded searching scholars for decades.

I noted the discovery of the lost stretch of the Incense Route here. The current article gives additional historical and human interest background.

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An Aramaic challenge

RELIGION AND LITERATURE OF ANCIENT PALESTINE BLOG: Uncertain reading in TAD B7.3/Cowley 44. Ryan Thomas offers a hard-core paleographic and philological problem for those who like such things. If you do, have a look and see if you can offer him a solution.

Cross-file under Aramaic Watch.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Isaiah the prophet

THE ISAIAH BULLA AND THE BIBLE: Isaiah the Prophet, Man or Biblical Myth: The Archaeological Evidence. Finding seal marks ostensibly from Isaiah the Prophet and Hezekiah within mere feet of each other in Jerusalem is intriguing; so are other seals of other non-visionary Isaiahs found in Israel from that time (Phillipe Bohstrom, Haaretz).
A 2,700-year-old seal impression on clay unearthed in Jerusalem this February piqued enormous interest, after its finder, the leading Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, said it may have been the personal seal of Isaiah the Prophet himself. Biblical scholars have been quarreling ever since.

In general this is a good article. It covers the issues surrounding the Isaiah bulla in some depth. It also addresses the larger questions concerning the prophet Isaiah and his book. Usually these are handled well. I will flag one glitch:
In Isaiah 20:1, the Assyrian king's name is spelled SRGN, which is the Aramaic version. The Assyrians spoke Aramaic (a language very like Hebrew, originally spoken by the Aramaeans that would eventually become the international language for trade in Assyria and Babylon too).
The phrase that I have highlighted in bold is not expressed very clearly. It may be a misunderstanding of Isaiah 36:11, in which the Judean leaders ask the representative of the King of Assyria to speak in Aramaic, which they knew, but the common Judean people who were listening did not understand. It is true that Assyrian (and Judean) diplomats would have spoken Aramaic. They would have needed it to interact with their Aramean neighbors in what is now Syria. But the Assyrians overall did not speak Aramaic. They spoke — wait for it — Assyrian, which was a dialect of Akkadian. Akkadian was a Semitic language that was written in cuneiform script.

Specialists agree that the Book of Isaiah was written by three or more people over period of centuries. The exceptions are those, such as Professor Millard. who believe in single authorship "on grounds of faith." The efforts toward the end of the article to undermine multiple authorship are not convincing. Both the Dead Sea Scrolls and the works of Josephus were written centuries after the events. They did not have any more information than we do, and we have better tools to analyze that information.

All that said, this is a good article and you should read it all.

Background on the recently discovered Isaiah bulla is here (cf. here) and links. For more on Herodotus and the destruction of Sennacherib's army, see here.

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The Talmud on why God permits idolatry

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Truth or Coincidences. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi’ Talmud study, the Rabbis offer desperate—or reassuring—explanations for why God does not interfere in the world in order to prevent sin.
One of the remarkable things about the Talmud is the way it can jump, without a pause, from the most technical, legalistic arguments to the largest philosophical questions. For the rabbis, the how of the law is not separate from the why; both are ways of asking about God’s will, and so both belong in the same discussion. A good example of this came in last week’s Daf Yomi reading, in chapter four of Tractate Avoda Zara. Most of the chapter has to do with whether Jews may drink (or derive other kinds of benefit from) wine that has been handled by gentiles. To answer this question, the rabbis spend many pages considering real and hypothetical cases and parsing the differences among different kinds of handling—stirring with the hand versus treading with the feet, for instance.

And then, in the Mishna in Avoda Zara 54b, we suddenly find ourselves confronted with the most basic questions about God and sin. ...

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

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Review of Leuchter, The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity.

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity (Ethan Schwartz).
Mark Leuchter. The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity. Oxford University Press. New York, 2017.
It would be a mistake, however, to focus on the Levites in the first part of Leuchter’s title at the expense of the “boundaries” in the second. For Leuchter has written neither an encyclopedic catalogue of the Levites’ appearances nor a linear reconstruction of their history. Rather, the book is undergirded by a keen perception of the Levites’ penchant for appearing at the boundaries—whether spatial, temporal, ethnic, cultic, or literary.
Richard Elliott Friedman's recent book, The Exodus, has some similar interests.

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"Copy" or original?

THE ETC BLOG: ‘The copy is the original’ (Peter Gurry). An example of awkward cross-cultural miscommunication. Be sure and read the Aeon article to see the full scope of the problem. In the twenty-first century it's getting harder to tell what is real.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Quick on Deuteronomy and Aramaic curses

Curses in the Book of Deuteronomy and in Old Aramaic Inscriptions

The law code of the book of Deuteronomy is capped with a series of curses that threaten harm upon any individual that should fail to keep the Deuteronomic laws. While this method of divine encouragement to keep the commandments of God might seem surprising from a theological point of view, curses were an integral part of the legal, political and religious life of the ancient Near East, found in a variety of ancient texts including the Hebrew Bible, Neo-Assyrian treaties, and Northwest Semitic inscriptions. Placing the biblical curses within the larger context of this ancient Near Eastern material provides new insights into the background and function of the curses in the book of Deuteronomy.

See Also: Deuteronomy 28 and the Aramaic Curse Tradition (Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

By Laura Quick
Assistant Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies
Princeton University
March 2018
It seems the Arameans were fond of "futility curses." Cross-file under Aramaic Watch and New Book.

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Mary Magdalene the "apostolesse?"

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Mary Magdalene’s Myth: The Latest Chapter (Philip Jenkins). Professor Jenkins has not yet seen the new Mary Magdalene movie (nor have I), but it has inspired him to discuss some issues about the historical and traditional Mary Magdelene. It develops that she was referred to as an apostle ("apostolesse") in 15th century England.

Interesting discussion about which resurrection appearances of Jesus might be more historical. But that question raises metaphysical and psychological issues as well ...

Background on the new Mary Magdalene film is here.

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Priestly laws in the Torah

PROF. JEFFREY H. TIGAY: Why Are Laws for Priests Included in the Torah? (
The Torah’s program to democratize knowledge and create an educated laity.

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Koller, Elitzur and Bar-Asher Siegal (eds.), Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew and Related Fields

Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew and Related Fields
Proceedings of the Yale Symposium on Mishnaic Hebrew, May 2014

Edited by: Aaron J. Koller, Elitzur A. Bar-Asher Siegal

Purchase options: Price Site price
Printed book $ 47.00 $ 42.30
Online book & Download $ 35.25
Publisher: The Program in Judaic Studies, Yale University, New Haven
In collaboration with: The Center for Jewish Languages and Literatures. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Categories: Hebrew and Jewish Languages, Linguistics and Language
Publish date: January 2018
Language: English
Danacode: 45-341040
ISBN: 978-965-481-067-8
Cover: Hardcover
Pages: 445
Weight: 985 gr.

The eighteen studies presented here originated in a symposium held at Yale in 2014, attended by scholars from Europe, Israel, and North America. The papers approach the subject of Mishnaic Hebrew from many different angles and directions, including grammar, from morphology to syntax to pragmatics; the relationship between the literary dialect and epigraphic evidence; manuscripts; questions of language contact, lexicography, social history, and medieval traditions; and the problem of translating Mishnaic Hebrew into modern languages. The contributors to this volume are among the leading scholars in the field and the collection represents both the current state of research and the cutting edge of future work.
Follow the link for the TOC and ordering information.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Gnostic America Conference at Rice University

APRIL DECONICK: Gnostic America Conference, March 28-31, Rice University.
I am pleased to announce the Gnostic America Conference. We will convene at Rice University on March 28-31. The conference is free and open to the public. We are exploring the afterlives of Gnosticism in America.


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Shofar sheep

FOR TRUMPETING: ISRAELI SHEPHERDESS USES MODERN SHEEP BREED TO REVIVE ANCIENT SHOFAR SOUND. Turning her flock's horns into shofars is part of God's plan, says Lewinsky, who calls herself a "traditional and God-fearing Jew" (Reuters/Jerusalem Post).

Some background on the use of the shofar is here.

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Clandestine Aramaic

SO ANGELS AND THE IDF DON'T KNOW ARAMAIC? Incarcerated Peleg Protestor Asks Friends to Send Letter in Aramaic So IDF Won’t Understand (Yeshiva World).

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Neef, Arbeitsbuch Biblisch-Aramäisch

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: HEINZ-DIETER NEEF. Arbeitsbuch Biblisch-Aramäisch. Materialien, Beispiele und Übungen zum Biblisch-Aramäisch. [A Guide to Biblical Aramaic. Materials, Examples and Exercises in Biblical Aramaic. 3 rd revised and expanded edition.] 3rd reviewed and revised edition 2018. XVIII, 208 pages. 29,00 €. sewn paper. ISBN 978-3-16-156012-5.
Published in German.
With its 16 lessons, this guide is an introduction to the biblical Aramaic language. A textbook with a didactic concept, it contains materials, examples and exercises as well as paradigm tables, a vocabulary list, the answers to the exercises, a subject index and an index of biblical passages. The exercises, i.e. the verb and nominal forms to be determined, as well as the texts to be translated, are all from the Aramaic part of the Old Testament. The book has been designed so that readers who have no knowledge of Hebrew or another Semitic language can also use it. Since the answers to the exercises are given, the book can also be used for autodidactic studies and the indexes make it a good reference work.

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