Friday, January 28, 2022

H-Judaic on Magness, Masada

H-JUDAIC REVIEW: Yigal Levin. Review of Magness, Jodi, Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth. H-Judaic, H-Net Reviews. January, 2022. URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=57139.
This present volume is intended for a nonprofessional readership, particularly an American one, as can be seen by both the units of measurement and the many references to the New Testament, even where they do not add to the reader’s understanding of the Masada story.[1] Despite the subtitle, “From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth,” it is not an in-depth study of the Masada myth, nor is it a detailed description of the archaeological finds. It is also not a guidebook, despite the short epilogue in which Magness shares her insights as a former tour guide. The title for chapter 3, “Masada in Context,” may serve as a more accurate title for the book as a whole, which geographically, archaeologically, and historically contextualizes the Masada site, story, and myth.
For other PaleoJudaica posts on the book, start here and follow the links. For more on the archaeology of Masada and the question of the reliability of Josephus' account of its fall to the Romans, start here and follow the links.

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More on the Victorian archaeology of Jerusalem

HISTORY OF ARCHAEOLOGY: How Bible Scholars and Treasure Hunters Unearthed Modern Jerusalem. They were looking for the past. They created the present (Andrew Lawler, Christianity Today).

For more on the work of Andrew Lawler, including his recent book on the same subject as this article, see here and links.

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

Thursday, January 27, 2022

An inscribed amulet from the Mount Ebal altar excavation

NORTHWEST SEMITIC EPIGRAPHY AND ICONOGRAPY: Ancient Hebrew Amulet Discovered at Joshua’s Altar in Samaria (Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency, trans. the Jewish Press).
An ancient amulet made of lead and written in ancient Hebrew was found among the remains of the excavation carried out at the archeological site on Mount Ebal in Samaria, where the biblical-era altar of Joshua bin Nun is located.

The amulet is inscribed with the letter Alef and a mark reminiscent of a lotus flower.

[...]

The amulet was recently sifted out of stored dirt that was excavated in the 1980s at the Mount Ebal site. It sounds as though the dirt was associated with the altar, and so presumably came from the closing centuries of the second millennium BCE. That fits with the description of the alef later in the article:
The results showed many grooves in the amulet, one of them resembling a bull’s head, known in ancient times as an “Alef,” the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
But the account is not very clear. The photo is terrible. I await clarification.

For PaleoJudaica posts on the Iron Age I altar on Mount Ebal, start here and follow the links. The altar is often, as in this article, called "Joshua's altar." That is a possible interpretation. But absent an an inscription saying "Joshua built this," it remains speculative.

UPDATE: Incorrect link now corrected!

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

Phoenician inscriptions excavated in Cyprus

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Phoenician Plaque Unearthed in Cyprus Archaeological Excavation (Patricia Claus, Greek Reporter).

The site is at Kition-Pampoula. There is a good photo of the plaque. Three lines have readable letters. The article does not attempt a translation. I've had a pile-on of work lately (hence the light blogging) and don't have time to hazard a dating or transcription.

Beyond the headline lapidary inscription, the article reports that the site included a pit containing Phoenician administrative ostraca, arguably from a royal administrative facility. If I am reading it correctly, the pit is in a stratum dating to 510-323 BCE. I think of that as the Persian Period. There is also a lot of information on the archaeology of the site.

I look forward to further news. Cross-file under Northwest Semitic Epigraphy.

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Jeon & Jonker (eds.), Chronicles and the Priestly Literature of the Hebrew Bible (De Gruyter open access)

NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:
Chronicles and the Priestly Literature of the Hebrew Bible

Funded by: Schweizerischer Nationalfonds (SNF)
Edited by: Jaeyoung Jeon and Louis C. Jonker

Volume 528 in the series Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110707014

Hardcover £79.00

eBook
Published: November 8, 2021
ISBN: 9783110707014

Hardcover
Published: November 8, 2021
ISBN: 9783110706598

About this book

Open Access

The study of the Books of Chronicles has focused in the past mainly on its literary relationship to Historical Books such as Samuel and Kings. Less attention was payed to its possible relationships to the priestly literature. Against this backdrop, this volume aims to examine the literary and socio-historical relationship between the Books of Chronicles and the priestly literature (in the Pentateuch and in Ezekiel).

Since Chronicles and Pentateuch (and also Ezekiel) studies have been regarded as separate fields of study, we invited experts from both fields in order to open a space for fruitful discussions with each other. The contributions deal with connections and interactions between specific texts, ideas, and socio-historical contexts of the literary works, as well as with broad observations of the relationship between them.

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Bledsoe, The Wisdom of the Aramaic Book of Ahiqar (Brill)

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:
The Wisdom of the Aramaic Book of Ahiqar

Unravelling a Discourse of Uncertainty and Distress

Series: Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, Volume: 199

Author: Seth Bledsoe

This book offers fresh readings of the Aramaic book of Ahiqar, an oft underappreciated ancient wisdom text. In undertaking a comprehensive literary analysis, incorporating both the drama and the sayings together, Bledsoe shows that Ahiqar’s didactic impulse is founded on a sense of uncertainty about life, offering advice for those in times of distress, much like the titular character himself. While Ahiqar shares many features with instructional literature like Proverbs, the ambiguous cosmic and social order imagined in the text resonate more strongly with the likes of Qoheleth or Job. Bledsoe also takes seriously the Elephantine context, suggesting that the social and political ethic evinced by the work would have resonated strongly with the Judean community in Achaemenid Egypt.

Copyright Year: 2022

Prices from (excl. VAT): €138.00 / $166.00

E-Book (PDF)
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-47312-6
Publication Date: 25 Oct 2021

Hardback
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-47311-9v Publication Date: 08 Dec 2021

The Wisdom of the Aramaic Book of Ahiqar. Unravelling a Discourse of Uncertainty and Distress.

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Moore, Literary Depictions of the Scribal Profession in the Story of Ahiqar and Jeremiah 36 (De Gruyter)

NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:
Literary Depictions of the Scribal Profession in the Story of Ahiqar and Jeremiah 36

James D. Moore

Volume 541 in the series Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110753042

PDF & EPUB £79.00
Hardcover £79.00

eBook
Published: December 6, 2021
ISBN: 9783110753042

Hardcover
Published: December 20, 2021
ISBN: 9783110752540

About this book

This is the first study to compare the allusions to scribal culture found in the Aramaic Story of Ahiqar and the Hebrew Tale of Jeremiah and Baruch’s Scroll in Jeremiah 36. It is shown that disguised in the royal propagandistic message of Ahiqar is a sophisticated Aramaic critique on the social practices of Akkadian scribal culture. Jeremiah 36, however, uses loci of scribal activity as well as allusions to scribal interactions and the techniques of the scribal craft to construct a subversive tale. When studied from a comparative perspective it is argued that the Story of Ahiqar, which has long been associated with the well-known court tale genre, is an example of a subgenre which is here called the scribal conflict narrative, and Jeremiah 36 is found to be a second example of or a response to it. This observation is arrived at by means of rigorous manuscript examination combined with narrative analysis, which identified, among other things, the development of autobiographical and biographical styles of the same ancient narrative. This study not only provides new perspectives on scribal culture, Ahiqar studies, and Jeremiah studies, but it may have far reaching implications for other ancient sources.

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Monday, January 24, 2022

The first University of Chicago PhD

HISTORY OF SCHOLARSHIP: How the University’s first Ph.D. graduate strengthened ties between Chicago and Japan. Eiji Asada, who earned his doctorate in 1893, helped bring English education to his native country (Max Witynski, uchicago news).
In the late 1880s, a young Japanese scholar named Eiji Asada came to the Chicago area to pursue a bachelor’s degree in theology. He took a summer course from William Rainey Harper, and the two developed a friendship based on their shared interest in Semitic studies and linguistics.

[...]

That's right. He was a Hebraist and a Semitist.

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

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Grappe, La Maison de Dieu / Das Haus Gottes/ The House of God (Mohr Siebeck)

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: La Maison de Dieu / Das Haus Gottes. Edité par / Herausgegeben von Christian Grappe. [The House of God.] 2021. IX, 425 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 471. 149,00 € including VAT. cloth ISBN 978-3-16-161008-0.
Published in German.
The present volume seeks to shed light on various facets of the theme of the House of God, primarily in biblical and parabiblical writings, but also in the writings of Jewish and Christian authors of antiquity and, beyond that, in the Qur'an, the Reformers, and up to the present day.
The essays are in German, French, and English.

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