Saturday, September 15, 2018

Review of Reading and Teaching Ancient Fiction, ed. Johnson, Dupertuis, and Shea

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Sara Raup Johnson, Rubén R.​ Dupertuis, Christine Shea (ed.), Reading and Teaching Ancient Fiction: Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman Narratives. Writings from the Greco-Roman World Supplements, 11. Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2018. Pp. xv, 320. ISBN 9781628371963. $55.95 (hb); $40.95 (pb). Reviewed by Laura Quick, Princeton University (lquick@princeton.edu).
This book is the third volume of research derived from papers presented in the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative section of the Society of Biblical Literature.1 As well as providing insights into the latest scholarly developments in ancient Mediterranean narrative including both classical authors as well as canonical and noncanonical Jewish and Christian texts, the volume also explores the use of ancient texts to encourage students to examine their assumptions about gender and sexuality, or to view familiar texts from a new perspective. As such, several of the contributions are explicitly pedagogical in orientation.

[...]

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

Review of Stuckenbruck & Boccaccini (eds.), Enoch and the Synoptic Gospels

REVIEWS OF THE ENOCH SEMINAR:
Rebecca Denova Reviews Enoch and the Synoptic Gospels (Stuckenbruck & Boccaccini)

Reviews of the Enoch Seminar 2018.09.08

Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Gabriele Boccaccini, eds. Enoch and the Synoptic Gospels: Reminiscences, Allusions, Intertextuality. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780884141198. Pp. 447. $82.95. Hardcover.

Rebecca Denova
University of Pittsburgh
Excerpt:
Organized Seminars for the purpose of sharing ideas have resulted in the publication of several books as well as an official journal, Henoch. The present volume is the result of the Seventh Enoch Seminar (Camaldoli, Italy, July 2013), edited by Loren T. Stuckenbruck and Gabriele Boccaccini. The chapters focus on similarities and differences between the Enoch literature and the Synoptics: visionary experiences, birth narratives, the portrait and function of heavenly beings, parables, “son of man,” the experience of transformation, the role of wisdom and priestly functions, demonology, and the worship of the revealer (Enoch and Jesus).
I was at the Seventh Enoch Seminar and posted on it here and here. I gave a seminar in it, but I did not publish a paper in this volume. I noted the book as forthcoming here.

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

The Aramaic DSS

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls. What are they and why do they matter? (Marek Dospěl).
Since Hebrew was the language of Israelite tradition, scripture, and culture, some may be surprised to hear that many of the Dead Sea Scrolls are in Aramaic, the common language of Jesus’s time. In his article “The Lost World of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls” in the September/October 2018 issue of BAR, Andrew B. Perrin of Trinity Western University in Langley, Canada, takes a close look at these Qumran Aramaic texts.
The BAR article is behind the subscription wall, but this BHD essay gives you a taste of it.

Some past PaleoJudaica posts on the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls are here, here, here, here, here, here (with many links to an AJR series), here (one more in that series), and here.

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

Hartog, Schofield, Thomas (eds.), The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities
Method, Theory, Meaning: Proceedings of the Eighth Meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies (Munich, 4–7 August, 2013)


Series:
Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Online
Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah, Volume: 125

Editors: Pieter B. Hartog, Alison Schofield and Samuel I. Thomas
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities explores the use of methods, theories, and approaches from the humanities in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The volume contains ten essays on topics ranging from New Philology and socio-linguistics to post-colonial thinking and theories of myth.

Publication Date: 21 August 2018
ISBN: 978-90-04-37616-8

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Friday, September 14, 2018

How to spot cuneiform forgeries

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: How to Spot Fake Cuneiform Tablets (Sara Brumfield).
Because cuneiform tablets can be relatively easy to make but relatively difficult to detect, there is a clear incentive for forgers to continue producing large quantities. The effects of this long tradition of forgery are already deeply rooted. Fake tablets have found their way into nearly every major collection and many small, private collections around the world.
I am surprised to hear this. My impression has always been that it was quite difficult to make convincing forgeries of cuneiform tablets. Indeed, the ASOR Policy on Professional Conduct makes an exception regarding the publishing of unprovenanced cuneiform inscriptions, in part because "cuneiform texts may be authenticated more readily than other categories of epigraphic archaeological heritage" (section E5b)

It is, of course, easy to make clay tablets that vaguely resemble cuneiform tablets and which have nonsense fake cuneiform writing on them, but these would not fool a specialist. It requires years of expensive specialized training to be able to read cuneiform tablets, let alone fake them convincingly. But apparently there are enough trained people ready to forge them that this is problem in the field. This is disquieting.

In this article, Dr. Brumfield gives even nonspecialists some tools for spotting fake cuneiform tablets. So cross-file under News You Can Use.

I hope forgers will not read her article, but I fear they may.

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William Ross has good news

CONGRATULATIONS TO WILLIAM A. ROSS, WHO HAS JUST SUBMITTED HIS PH.D. THESIS: PERSONAL UPDATE. The thesis title is “Septuagint Lexicography and Language Change in Greek Judges.”

My regular readers will recognize William as the publisher of the Septuaginta &C. Blog. He has posted may interviews with Septuagint Scholars. (See here and links.) He promises another soon. He also coedited a soon-to-be published book, Septuaginta: A Reader's Edition, which looks very useful indeed. He has published an introductory essay on it here.

William also gives us the excellent news that in January he will begin a job as Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina.

We look forward to continuing to follow his work and his blog.

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

Review of Nongbri, God's Library

THE TEXTUAL MECHANIC BLOG: Review: "God's Library," by Brent Nongbri. Timothy N. Mitchell publishes the first (that I know of) review of this new book. Excerpt:
Finally, much of the skepticism and warnings of overconfidence in dating ancient manuscripts is appropriate and warranted. Nongbri does well at highlighting issues with assigning the date of a manuscript solely on palaeography. He gives several examples from the past century of scholars attributing dates to manuscripts with little or no support from securely dated writing samples or instances of the same manuscripts being assigned widely differing dates. Christian apologists, theologians of every stripe, and historians of early Christianity should heed Nongbri’s warnings and apply an extra dose of caution and transparency when drawing conclusions or basing arguments on these early Christian books.
Brent Nongbri replies here.

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The placement of Susannah in Daniel

THE ETC BLOG: Africanus–Origen Correspondence and the Form of Greek Daniel (John Meade). Some interesting speculation about the early placement of the apocryphal story of Susannah in the Book of Daniel.

Cross-file under Old Testament Apocrypha Watch and Septuagint Watch.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Satlow reviews Baker, Jew

MICHAEL SATLOW: Review of “Jew,” by Cynthia Baker.
There is a simple and powerful idea at the core of Baker’s argument. For some two millennia, the way in which we – whether Jewish or not – use and understand the word Jew (which Baker almost always writes in italics in order that it remain “provocative” (p. xiii)) those words in other languages that Baker identifies as its cognates (e.g., Jude, juif, guideo, Zsidó, yid, yehudi) has been and continues to be overwhelmingly shaped by Christians discourse. While prior to the first century CE the Hebrew term yehudi and Greek term ioudaios were used rarely and with an ambiguous meaning, from Paul forward Christian writers would use the term Jew – not Israel or Hebrews – as a signifier for the Other, often with evil or demonic overtones. ...
Past PaleoJudaica posts on the book are here and links.

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Halakhah in heaven?

MOSAIC MAGAZINE: What Happens in Heaven? Study. Of What? Jewish Law. “In heaven there will be no law,” an American legal giant once wrote. For Jews, it’s exactly the opposite (Chaim N. Saiman). Adapted from Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law by Chaim N. Saiman. Princeton University Press, 2018. Excerpt:
The rabbis of the Talmud also frequently describe heaven through the image of God’s throne, an emblem of His sovereignty over all created things. But, in one particular text, the Talmud presents a picture of heaven quite unlike anything in the Bible, an image that is indeed unthinkable, if not blasphemous, outside of its uniquely rabbinic context. It opens as follows (Bava Metzia 86a):
They were arguing in the Academy of Heaven.
Sit with these words for a moment. First, focus on the noun “academy.” In this talmudic passage, heaven is not a place of angels, halos, lyres, pearly gates, or fluffy clouds, or of chariots, smoke, lightning, or thunder. The essence of heaven is an academy—a yeshiva—a place of Torah study.
Remember, you can access only three free articles per month from Mosaic. This is the second one I have linked to in September.

Cross-file under New Book.

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Erich Gruen retrospective

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: A Wandering Jew: Some Reflections (Erich Gruen). Excerpt:
Where were the Jews in all this? Nowhere to be found. I had visited Israel a couple of times and lectured on classical subjects (no one would have invited me for any other reason). Ancient Jews had not previously been on my research horizon. Then came the next and biggest shift. I plunged into the history of the Jews in the Greco-Roman era. Why the sudden switch? My friends and colleagues, of course, drew what seemed the obvious conclusion: I was going back to my roots. The wandering Jew had come home. I was, after all, the child of holocaust survivors from Vienna. It seemed perfectly logical that, after a brief detour, I returned to my authentic identity and pursued the path long marked out and only temporarily postponed. A “brief detour”? Of more than a quarter century? Not likely. The shift was a logical one all right. But not for that reason.

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The Gospel of John

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Gospel of John Commentary: Who Wrote the Gospel of John and How Historical Is It? A look at some of the questions surrounding the Bible’s most enigmatic gospel.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Helen Bond is Head of Divinity at Edinburgh

CONGRATULATIONS TO PROFESSOR BOND AND TO NEW COLLEGE: ‘The best people to study religion can be those not of any set faith’ (Jody Harrison, The Herald).
IT was set up to be a bastion of Presbyterian tradition and for more than 400 years it has been a male-only preserve.

But now, for the first time, a woman has taken up the post of Head of the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, ending centuries of only male posteriors occupying the chair at the top of the table.

Professor Helen Bond said she hopes to bring a fresh outlook to the role and to inspire others to take a look at a subject some may regard as dusty and dry.

A historian, published author, and scholar of the early life of Jesus, the professor was previously a lecturer at the school and will fill the top job for the next five years.

[...]
Many past PaleoJudaica posts involve Helen Bond. Some of them are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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

The Sparta-Israel Conference

WHAT HAS SPARTA TO DO WITH JERUSALEM? JEWS AND GREEKS EXPLORE LONG, DEEP RELATIONSHIP. A conference in Sparta that looked at the rich history between the two peoples (VETTE J. DEANE, Jerusalem Post).
The Present: The conference

A friendship was renewed in the heat of early September between the Byzantine ruins at Mount Taygetos and Ancient Sparta.
“Sparta-Israel Conference: Renewing an Ancient Friendship” was attended by members of B’nai B’rith’s “Philon” lodge of Athens, B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem, the Municipality of Sparta and the Greek-Israeli Cooperation Institute. The main objectives of the September 4-6 conference were analyzing “historical and cultural aspects of the ancient friendship between the Spartan kings and the high priests of Israel” and “promoting future cooperation between Greece and Israel on development, tourism and cultural issues.”

[...]
But the conference also covered ancient history:
The Past: The letters

A far more ancient dispute arose during the conference – the letters from First and Second Maccabees, non-canonical Jewish books written in the Hasmonean period. This correspondence between Jews and Sparta was used as the inspiration for the conference in the hope of creating a narrative that can serve as a basis for future Israeli and Greek cooperation. However, the letters’ authenticity was and still is disputed.

[...]
The correspondence in question is in 1 Maccabees 12, not 2 Maccabees. You can read it at the link. Really, how hard would it have been to check that and give a correct reference?

I'm pretty sure the only reference to Sparta ("The Lacedaemonians") in 2 Maccabees is in 5:9, also mentioned in the article.

I don't have a view either way on the question of the authenticity of the letters. But at minimum the letters, even if they aren't authentic, show concern for Greek-Jewish relations in the Hellenistic period.

Cross-file under Old Testament Apocrypha Watch.

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Review of Stern, Writing on the Wall

BOOK REVIEW: What It Was Like to Be a Jew in the Roman Empire. Jewish graffiti from synagogues, tombs, theaters, and public spaces build up a picture of what it was like to be a Jew in the Roman empire (Candida Moss, The Daily Beast).
A new book by Brooklyn College of CUNY professor Karen Stern seeks to change all that. In Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity, she gives us a glimpse into the lives of the ancient Jews forgotten by historians but who left their mark on their environment. She draws together the evidence for Jewish graffiti from synagogues, tombs, theaters, and public spaces to build up a picture of what it was like to be a Jew in the Roman empire.

Her explorations found graffiti of numerous kinds: some are just texts (recording the names of the writers); some, she argues, are prayers demanding the attention of those who might pass by the spot; others have imagery of menorahs, obelisks, horses, ships, and even shrouded skeletons. Some of the graffiti is pious and poignant: a graffito from catacomb 20 in Beit Shearim reads “Be of good courage, pious parents! No one is immortal!” Another graffito close by almost flippantly wishes the occupants “Good luck in your resurrection!” Communicative inscriptions like these are found all over the ancient Mediterranean, in Southern Europe, Mesopotamia, and what is now Israel. Graffiti is and was omnipresent.
Past PaleoJudaica posts on Dr. Stern's book and her work are here and links.

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

On the Binding of Isaac

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: The Binding or Sacrifice of Isaac. How Jews and Christians see differently (Robin M. Jensen).
The Akedah (ah-kay-DAH), or binding of Isaac, is one of the most powerful narratives in the Hebrew Bible. For nearly 2,000 years, however, it has been read somewhat differently by Jews and Christians. It is even portrayed differently in the pictures they make. For most Christians, the Hebrew word akedah is unfamiliar; more often than not, they will refer to the episode as the sacrifice of Isaac rather than the binding of Isaac.
Yet, as we shall see, at various times Christians and Jews were aware of each other’s interpretation of the story.

[...]
This is a reprint of an old (1993) article from Bible Review. But it remains a very good survey of literary and art historical traditions about the Binding of Isaac in Jewish and Christian antiquity.

For past PaleoJudaica posts on the Aqedah which deal with some of the same traditions, see here and here and links.

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The ANE Today reviews the MOTB

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: About That Museum in Washington (Alex Joffe). Dr. Joffe is the editor of The Ancient Near East Today. This is a longish review of the Museum of the Bible. Two excerpts:
Some readers are doubtless ready to stop right here. That would be a mistake, not only because they’d miss some witty insights, but because the museum itself is a serious place that deserves consideration and respect, if only because of the questions it poses for us about the Bible. Who has the right to interpret the Bible? The museum makes it clear that, following the Protestant tradition, all people do. But using what tools? That’s where things get complicated.
And:
Academics have hardly been faithful stewards of the Bible any more than other forms canonical knowledge; efforts to reclaim the Bible on the part of faith were also inevitable. If these also lead to more earnest engagement with the Bible as literature, tradition and morality on the part of academics and intellectuals, all the better. Unfortunately, I see the opposite occurring; Biblical reclamation will be met with further academic approbation, which will only increase the distance between academia and society, heightening mutual suspicion and alienation, and setting up at least one side for a nasty surprise. As Lincoln said, “Certainly there is no contending against the Will of God; but still there is some difficulty in ascertaining, and applying it, to particular cases.”
For many past PaleoJudaica posts on the MOTB, start here and follow the links.

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Review of Rosenberg, Signs of Virginity

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Signs of Virginity (Rebecca Kamholz). Excerpt:
Rosenberg’s book sets out to examine rabbinic paradigms of how virgin women’s bodies work, how the loss of that virginity happens, and therefore, what evidence proves the existence of virginity. This book forms a new entry into the subfield of gender studies within rabbinics, as well as the new and growing interest in modern takes on the study of virginity in Late Antique Judaism and Christianity. In the present study, Rosenberg examines what has been considered proof of virginity in Jewish and later Christian cultures, and the ways male sexual behavior is incentivized to provide those proofs. However, this book is unusual among its peers in focusing, despite its titular emphasis on the verification of female virginity, not on the representation of virginity itself, but rather on how various paradigms of virginity shape masculinity and male sexual behavior.
For the full publication details of this new book from OUP, see here.

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

Late-antique pilgrimages to the Holy Land

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Pilgrims’ Progress to Byzantine Jerusalem. Ancient pilgrimages to the Holy Land (Megan Sauter).
Jerusalem has been revered as a holy city for millennia—with pilgrims a staple feature in its bustling streets. Egeria’s Travels and the journals of the Bordeaux Pilgrim and the Piacenza Pilgrim demonstrate that this was as true in the Byzantine period as it is today.
In the September/October 2014 issue of BAR, “After Hadrian’s Banishment: Jews in Christian Jerusalem” examines the diverse population of Byzantine Jerusalem. Despite being banned from living in Jerusalem after the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (132–135 A.D.), Jews were once again living in the city by the Byzantine period.
The BAR article is an adaptation by Hershel Shanks of "a lengthy scholarly study by Professors Yoram Tsafrir and Leah di Segni of Hebrew University in Liber Annuus, published by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum." As usual, the BAR article remains behind the subscription wall. But the BHD essay is a summary of and introduction to it and is itself informative.

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

Happy birthday to Eilat Mazar

SLIGHTLY BELATED GOOD WISHES: Eilat Mazar Is Born. September 10, 1956 (The Jewish News).
Archaeologist Eilat Mazar is born. Mazar is a third generation Israeli archaeologist and is most well known for her work at the City of David site in Jerusalem. She is a professor of archaeology at Hebrew University.

[...]
This brief article seems to be recycled from 2014, but never mind. I hope Professor Mazar had a good birthday in 2018. She has appeared often in PaleoJudaica posts. A few posts about her or interviewing her in recent years are here, here, here, and here.

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

Monday, September 10, 2018

PSCO 56 (2018-19)

THIS YEAR'S PHILADELPHIA SEMINAR ON CHRISTIAN ORIGINS:
The Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins (PSCO) is a colloquium in ancient Judaism, early Christianity, and cognate fields. Its active membership includes teachers and research scholars in the study of early Judaism and early Christianity from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and beyond. (For more information, see “Who We Are.”)

The topic for the fifty-sixth year of PSCO is “Beyond Patristics: North Africa in the First Millennium”. Theodora Naqvi, Jillian Stinchcomb, Steve Weitzman, and Julia Wilker will coordinate the year's sessions. For more information, see our topic page.

[...]
Follow the links for details.

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

Does God ever remit punishment?

DR. RABBI ZEV FARBER: Does YHWH Remit Punishment? (TheTorah.com).
As part of the selichot prayer service, the rabbis cut the biblical phrase וְנַקֵּה לֹא יְנַקֶּה “[YHWH] does not remit punishment” to read only וְנַקֵּה, which yields the opposite meaning, “[YHWH] remits punishment.” Although this edit is surprising, the rabbis are responding to a serious tension in the biblical text: Is YHWH a merciful God who pardons, or a vengeful God who will never remit punishment?

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Ululation and Rosh HaShanah

PHILOLOGOS: Where Do the Names of the Shofar Calls Come From? At least one of them might stem from the days when Jews ululated (Mosaic Magazine).
It may be that y’lalah was the biblical word for a lamenting ululation, and that tru’ah generally (although not always, as we have seen) denoted a martial or celebratory one. And if this theory is correct, it answers our two questions. In the form of a ululation, an intended wail might also be interpreted as a cheer, a battle cry, or a cry of jubilation—and while some ancient rabbis thought this was how the shofar should be sounded on Rosh Hashanah after the opening t’ki’ah, others were of the opinion that so ambiguous a sound was inappropriate and should be replaced by a sh’varim.
Got that? It makes more sense in the context of the whole article. Remember, if you read it, that's one of your three free monthly articles from Mosaic.

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Eat like a Babylonian

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: BAR Test Kitchen. Eat like the ancients. With Babylonian, Roman, and Syrian recipes!

Cross-file under Culinary Archaeology.

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

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Rosh HaShanah 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR (ROSH HASHANAH - Jewish New Year 5779) to all those celebrating. The New Year begins tonight at sundown.

Some posts on the holiday over the last few years are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. For biblical and historical background on Rosh HaShanah and on Jewish calendars in general, see here and here.

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

Professor John Rogerson (1935-2018)

THE SAD NEWS has come from the Society of Old Testament Study (SOTS) list (etc.) that Professor John Rogerson passed away on the 4th of September. The SOTS Membership Secretary, Revd Dr Janet E Tollington, has circulated the following information about him:
John was born in 1935, was ordained into the Church of England and became world renowned as a biblical scholar, holding the Chair at Sheffield for many years before his retirement. He joined SOTS in 1965 and served the Society faithfully in many capacities over the years – Secretary (1972-77), Foreign Secretary 1990-97), Archivist (1998-2004). He was elected as President for 1989 and in 1992 his Short History of SOTS 1917-92 was published by the Society to mark its 75th Anniversary. John addressed the Society several times at its meetings – the last occasion being in 2007 – and was a very regular attender until increasingly poor health made this more difficult in recent years. May he RIP.
His wikipedia page, which at the moment has not been updated to note his passing, is here.

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Lithodomos goes to Jerusalem

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Virtual reality tour brings biblical-era Jerusalem to life (AP). Lithodomos, the app with the virtual reality tour of ancient Jerusalem, is being adopted by the Tower of David Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Background here and links.

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

Review of Berthelot, In Search of the Promised Land?

H-JUDAIC BOOK REVIEW:
Kraus on Berthelot, 'In Search of the Promised Land?: The Hasmonean Dynasty between Biblical Models and Hellenistic Diplomacy'

Author: Katell Berthelot
Reviewer: Matthew A. Kraus

Katell Berthelot. In Search of the Promised Land?: The Hasmonean Dynasty between Biblical Models and Hellenistic Diplomacy. Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2017. 494 pp. $125.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-525-55252-0.

Reviewed by Matthew A. Kraus (University of Cincinnati) Published on H-Judaic (September, 2018) Commissioned by Katja Vehlow (University of South Carolina)
Excerpt:
The book is more than a rejection of a pervasive assumption that the Hasmoneans rewrote the biblical conquest. Instead, Berthelot relates her analysis to broader issues germane to the period: Were the Hasmoneans influenced by religious/biblical or political/Hellenistic models? Was there a consistent Hasmonean policy or did their policy vary depending on their ruler? Do the primary sources reflect the actual positions of the Hasmoneans or how they and others chose to represent them? Space does not allow a full description of the rich content and discussions in this work. Therefore, following a brief summary of the book’s structure, I will focus on the author’s reading of 1 Maccabees 15:33-34 and its relationship to some of the broader debates about the Hasmoneans.

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The Siloam Inscription

THE HOLY LAND PHOTOS' BLOG: Siloam Inscription from Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

Regular PaleoJudaica readers, I know you are well familiar with the Siloam Inscription and the negotiations with Turkey in recent years for its return to Israel. But in the linked post, Carl Rasmussen shares a nice photo he himself took of it. It gives you a sense of what it looks like in front of you - and how difficult it is to read. You can click on the image to enlarge it. Have a look.

My past posts on the Siloam Inscription are here and links. It is a Hebrew inscription from c. 700 B.C.E. found in Hezekiah's Tunnel (associated with the Pool of Siloam) in Jerusalem.

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