Saturday, August 24, 2019

Freedman Award goes to Andrew Perrin

CONGRATULATIONS! TWU professor honoured for Dead Sea Scroll research. Dr. Andrew Perrin receives 2019 David Noel Freedman Award (Ryan Uytdewilligen, Aldergrove Star).

For some past posts on Dr. Perrin's research, see here, here, here, and here and links.

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Friday, August 23, 2019

A fishy mosaic at Hippos-Sussita

DECORATIVE ART: Miracle of the Multiplication Mosaic Found on ‘Wrong’ Side of Sea of Galilee. The mosaic in the Burnt Church of Hippos-Sussita shows five loaves and two fish, like the ones Jesus used to feed 5,000 men, but the depicted fish look Nilotic, not local (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz premium).

Besides the apparent mixup about what kind of fish Jesus used in that miracle, the Burnt Church also has inscriptions in really bad Greek. So maybe fact-checking was a low priority.

But the archaeologists are very happy with the discoveries. So am I.

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An inscribed Moabite altar!

NORTHWEST SEMITIC EPIGRAPHY: Biblical War Revealed on 2,800-Year-Old Stone Altar. The altar reveals new details about a rebellion against the Kingdom of Israel (Owen Jarus, Live Science).
The altar bears two inscriptions. The words are in the Moabite language and script, while the numerals in the inscriptions are in Hieratic (an Egyptian writing system). The altar appears to date to a time after Mesha, king of Moab, successfully rebelled against the Kingdom of Israel and conquered Ataroth (sometimes spelled Atarot), a city that the Kingdom of Israel had controlled. By this time, Israel had broke in two with a northern kingdom that retained the name Israel and a southern kingdom called Judah.

[...]
The inscriptions were recently published in the open-access journal Levant (Volume 50, 2018 - Issue 2, pp. 211-236): An inscribed altar from the Khirbat Ataruz Moabite sanctuary (Adam L. Bean, Christopher A. Rollston, P. Kyle McCarter & Stefan J. Wimmer).
Abstract
A cylindrical stone incense altar inscribed with seven lines of text in two separate inscriptions was discovered in a cultic context during 2010 excavations at Khirbat Ataruz in Jordan. The two short inscriptions are written in Moabite language, using an Early Moabite script datable to the late 9th or early 8th century BCE. Both inscriptions also employ Hieratic numerals. Inscription A appears to tabulate small quantities of metal, possibly for some purpose relating to the cultic context of the inscription. The longer Inscription B appears to be potentially dedicatory and/or commemorative in focus, but remains largely enigmatic. These inscriptions provide a new important historical witness to the period after the Moabite conquest and occupation of Khirbat Ataruz/Atarot described in the Mesha Inscription.
This is a very important discovery. The decipherment of the inscriptions, especially the second one, are tentative. But any new inscriptions in Moabite are a welcome addition to a small corpus.

The other major Moabite inscription is the Mesha Inscription (Mesha Stele, Moabite Stone), on which more here and keep following the links.

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Review of Nissinen, Ancient Prophecy

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Ancient Prophecy: Near Eastern, Biblical, and Greek Perspectives (William Kelly).
Martti Nissinen. Ancient Prophecy: Near Eastern, Biblical, and Greek Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Opening paragraph:
Through several decades of productive and influential work, Martti Nissinen has established himself as a leading scholar in the study of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East. With Ancient Prophecy, Nissinen weaves together his experience, skill, and insight into an impressive monograph. What results is one of the most complete and authoritative accounts of the prophetic phenomenon in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean.

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Review of The Alexander Romance: History and Literature (ed. Stoneman et al.)

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Richard Stoneman, Krzysztof Nawotka, Agnieszka Wojciechowska (ed.), The Alexander Romance: History and Literature. Ancient narrative. Supplementum, 25. Groningen: Barkhuis & Groningen University Library, 2018. Pp. xv, 322. ISBN 9789492444714. €95,00. Reviewed by Chiara Di Serio, Universit√† di Roma 'La Sapienza' (chiara.diserio@uniroma1.it).

Alexander is connected to Jewish traditions in one recension of the Alexander Romance. The volume under review also has an article on Alexander traditions in some Jewish texts.

For past PaleoJudaica posts involving the Alexander Romance, see here and links, here, and here.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Carthage exhibition in Rome

PUNIC WATCH: Carthage exhibition at the Colosseum in Rome. From 27 Sep 2019 to 29 Mar 2020 (Wanted in Rome). The title of the exhibition is Carthago. The immortal myth.

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Carthage vs. illegal houses

PUNIC WATCH: Battle of Carthage: Tunisia demolishes homes to protect ancient site. Carthage's place on UNESCO World Heritage list is under threat, due to what the UN cultural body calls "uncontrolled urban sprawl." Residents and civil society activists see government demolitions as discrimination (Reuters via Israel HaYom). This is a difficult situation. Apparently it is especially important to get planning permission to build a house in the vicinity of Carthage.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Laato, Understanding the Spiritual Meaning of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:
Understanding the Spiritual Meaning of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions

Series:
Studies on the Children of Abraham, Volume: 6

Editor: Antti Laato

Understanding the Spiritual Meaning of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions analyzes the historical, social and theological factors which have resulted in Jerusalem being considered a holy place in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It also surveys the transmission of the religious traditions related to Jerusalem. This volume centralizes both the biblical background of Jerusalem’s pivotal role as holy place and its later development in religious writings; the biblical imagery has been adapted, rewritten and modified in Second Temple Jewish writings, the New Testament, patristic and Jewish literature, and Islamic traditions. Thus, all three monotheistic religions have influenced the multifaceted, interpretive traditions which help to understand the current religious and political position of Jerusalem in the three main Abrahamic faiths.

Publication Date: 5 August 2019
ISBN: 978-90-04-40685-8

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Knoppers memorial

FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Oded Lipschits, Carol A. Newsom, Konrad Schmid. In memoriam Gary N. Knoppers. (November 14, 1956-December 22, 2018).Section: Editorial. Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (HeBAI),Volume 8 (2019) / Issue 1, p. 1 (1). You can download this brief obituary as a PDF file for free.

For more on the late Professor Knoppers and his work, see here and follow the links.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Kaminsky on election in the HB

THE BIBLE AND INTERPRETATION:
Election in the Hebrew Bible

Much of the Hebrew Bible speaks against the idea that the nations will convert to Israel’s religion and it is rare to find a passage that speaks of a complete dissolution of all distinctions between Abraham’s family and the other nations of the world.

See Also: Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election (Wipf and Stock, 2016).

By Joel S. Kaminsky
Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies
Chair, Religion Department
Smith College
August 2019

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Review of Lee, The Greek of the Pentateuch

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: John A. L. Lee, The Greek of the Pentateuch: Grinfield Lectures on the Septuagint 2011-2012. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. xx, 360. ISBN 9780198816133. $99.00. Reviewed by Dries De Crom, Tilburg University (d.j.l.a.decrom@tilburguniversity.edu).
In this study, John A.L. Lee returns to the language of the Greek Pentateuch, the topic of an earlier monograph which is, to the best of this reviewer’s knowledge, one of the most widely quoted studies on this particular topic.2 The driving force behind the present volume is “the overriding objective of demonstrating the Pentateuch translators’ intimacy with the Greek of their time” (p. 2). Indeed, the author repeatedly stresses the independence of linguistic and stylistic features in the Greek Pentateuch from its Hebrew parent text. He deploys numerous examples from papyrological, epigraphical, biblical and non-biblical sources to firmly embed the Greek Pentateuch in the language of its time and place. The result is a study that is exemplary in many ways.

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