Saturday, March 05, 2022

Conserving a Maltese Phoenician sarcophagus

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Rare Phoenician sarcophagus covered by Rabat trenching works excavated. 600BC Phoenician stone sarcophagus discovered 21 years ago being examined by University and heritage experts over fears of damage from increased roadworks (Matthew Vella, Malta Today).

See also: Phoenician sarcophagus discovered in Rabat being conserved, will go up on permanent display (Malta Independent).

The sarcophagus, alas, appears to be uninscribed.

Cross-file under Punic Watch, if you define Punic broadly as Mediterranian colonial Phoenician, rather than narrowly as Carthaginian.

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Hilpert, Die Komposition der Chronikbücher (De Gruyter)

NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:
Die Komposition der Chronikbücher

Redaktionsgeschichtliche Studien zu 2 Chr 10-36

The Composition of the Books of Chronicles: Editorial Historical Studies of 2 Chr 10–36

Andreas Hilpert

Volume 526 in the series Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110698534

eBook
Published: January 19, 2022
ISBN: 9783110698534

Hardcover
Published: January 31, 2022
ISBN: 9783110698435

About this book

The Books of Chronicles are generally considered the works of a single author, who attempts a canonical synthesis of the Hebrew Bible. This study examines the history of King Judas (2 Chr 10–36) to reach a different conclusion. The Chronicles were revised across the books. The texts of the Chronicles should now be understood as historically evolved documents, which document a historical transformation of theology.

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Friday, March 04, 2022

Preview of Tobolowsky, The Myth of the Twelve Tribes of Israel

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Publication Preview | The Myth of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Andrew Tobolowsky).
... Basically, we now realize that there would have been multiple different versions of Israelite identity over time, regardless of the origins of the ethnic concept, and that it, like all identity concepts, would respond constantly and dynamically to changing circumstances and, for that matter, the changing needs of the authors of any given vision. ...

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Review of Dershowitz, The Dismembered Bible

IS THAT IN THE BIBLE? Did Biblical Authors Literally Cut and Paste? A Review of The Dismembered Bible by Idan Dershowitz (Paul D.).
In a new monograph titled The Dismembered Bible, up-and-coming scholar Idan Dershowitz (University of Potsdam) takes a crack at explaining the physical methods that were used by Hebrew scribes in the process of editing and redacting the Old Testament. In particular, he argues that mechanical cutting and pasting — a phrase that has become mere metaphor in the digital age — was the actual method used by some biblical authors to compose their texts. He also argues that this technique has left detectable fingerprints in the text — out-of-place or “jumbled” snippets that cannot be explained by conventional scribal errors.
I noted the publication of the book here. Prof. Dershowitz has also been in the news recently for his book defending the authenticity of the Shapira Scroll fragments.

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Thursday, March 03, 2022

Looted Steinhardt artifacts returned to Jordan

REPATRIATION: US returns Michael Steinhardt’s looted antiquities to Jordan. American and Jordanian authorities’ press statements about ceremony in Amman make no mention of billionaire, who agreed to surrender trafficked artifacts to avoid prosecution (Agencies via Times of Israel).

The article refers to two ancient Jewish tombstones among the nine artifacts, but they are not pictured with the other seven. The writer of the article would like to know more about them. So would I.

For more on the Steinhardt case, see here.

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Antiochus Epiphanes in Illinois?

THE POCKET CHANGE BLOG: .
Coins in strange places are great things. Nevertheless, it has always been of some personal disappointment to me that there never seemed to be many examples of Seleucid coins in odd places, excluding those that survived the centuries to be restruck as Jewish coins of the Bar Kokhba War (AD 132–135). This all changed a few months ago when I discovered the June 17, 1882, issue of Scientific American.
The coin seems now to be lost. How it ended up in a field in Illinois remains a mystery.

For more on the coins of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, see here. He was, of course, the chief bad guy of the Maccabean Revolt, as recorded in the Book of Daniel and the books of 1-2 Maccabees. Cross-file under Numismatics.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Biblical Studies Carnival 192

THE LIBRARY MUSINGS: Biblical Studies Carnival 192 (Bobby Howell).

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

Nati, Textual Criticism and the Ontology of Literature in Early Judaism (Brill)

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:
Textual Criticism and the Ontology of Literature in Early Judaism

An Analysis of the Serekh ha-Yaḥad

Series:
Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, Volume: 198

Author: James Nati

The Dead Sea Scrolls have demonstrated the fluidity of biblical and early Jewish texts in antiquity. How did early Jewish scribes understand the nature of their pluriform literature? How should modern textual critics deal with these fluid texts?
Centered on the Serekh ha-Yaḥad – or Community Rule – from Qumran as a test case, this volume tracks the development of its textual tradition in multiple trajectories, and suggests that it was not understood as a single, unified composition even in antiquity. Attending to material, textual, and literary factors, the book argues that ancient claims for textual identity ought to be given priority in discussions among textual critics about the ontology of biblical books.

Copyright Year: 2022

Prices from (excl. VAT): €119.00 / $144.00

E-Book (PDF)
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-47218-1
Publication Date: 01 Nov 2021

Hardback
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-47194-8
Publication Date: 04 Nov 2021

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Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Where did Peter really live?

APOSTOLIC HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY: Where Did Peter the Apostle, Disciple of Christ, Really Live? Scripture is conflicting about the hometown of Peter the Apostle, but historian R. Steven Notley believes he has uncovered key clues that point in only one direction (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz). HT Rogue Classicism.

The debate over which site was the ancient city of Bethsaida (El-Araj or et-Tell/e-Tell) continues. But, thanks to the recent discovery of a Byzantine-era church building at El-Araj, the question of Peter's residence has become part of the discussion. I have commented at length on the current state of the question here. I have nothing to add at present.

I have following the debate over the site of Bethsaida for a long time. For posts, start at the last link above (plus here) and follow the links.

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

An Elamite royal inscription fragment from Persepolis

PERSEPOLIS WATCH: Elamite inscription attributed to Xerxes the Great found in Persepolis (Tehran Times). HT Rogue Classicism.

For the Neo-Elamite kingdom and its capital, Susa, see here. I have mentioned other Neo-Elamite inscriptions here, here and here.

The article also has a discussion of the inscriptions found at the Persepolis Fortification and the Persepolis Treasury, although it does not mention the Aramaic material. (Persepolis was the ceremonial royal capital of the Achemenid Empire.) For more on the Persepolis Fortification Archives, see here and many links. And for many PaleoJudaica posts on Persepolis, start here and follow the links.

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

BMCR reviews The Cambridge Greek Lexicon

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: The Cambridge Greek lexicon.
James Diggle, Bruce Fraser, Patrick James, Oliver Simkin, Anne Thompson, Simon Westripp, The Cambridge Greek lexicon. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021. Pp. 1529 in 2 volumes. ISBN 9780521826808 $84.99.

Review by
Luuk Huitink, University of Amsterdam. l.huitink@uva.nl
Arjan Nijk, University of Leiden. arjannijk@hotmail.com

A long and detailed review. It concludes:
All in all, CGL is a pleasure to use due to its attractive presentation (both on the outside and on the inside), its contemporary translations, the wealth of information it provides concerning usage, and the fresh insight it provides in the semantic structure of certain key concepts in Greek culture. It will no doubt become a standard work of reference for students throughout the world and it will save scholars a trip to the fuller LSJ or Montanari for most quotidian purposes. However, some unfortunate decisions in coverage, together with its somewhat experimental approach to lexicography, make it a flawed colossus.
For previous PaleoJudaica posts on the Cambridge Greek lexicon, see the links collected here.

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

Monday, February 28, 2022

Ein Gedi's ancient synagogue

ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE: Unique Sites of Israel: A Mosaic Treasure at Ein Gedi! (Nosson Shulman, The Jewish Press Blogs).

The article discusses the late-antique synagogue at Ein Gedi, its decorative mosaics, and their Aramaic inscriptions. Surprisingly, it does not mention the main thing for which the synagogue has been in the news in recent years: the charred Leviticus scroll found there in 1970, which was deciphered in 2015 with the help of new, non-intrusive scanning technology. For that scroll see here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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Review of Fee, Bodmer Papyri, scribal culture, and textual transmission

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Bodmer Papyri, scribal culture, and textual transmission: collected works on New Testament textual criticism.
Gordon D. Fee, Bodmer Papyri, scribal culture, and textual transmission: collected works on New Testament textual criticism. New Testament tools, studies and documents. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2021. Pp. 382, xviii. ISBN 9789004311411 €154,00.

Review by
Brent Nongbri, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society. brent.nongbri@mf.no

Regular PaleoJudaica readers will recognize the reviewer from his blog, Variant Readings, to which I link sometimes.

I have collected PaleoJudaica posts on the Bodmer Papyri here.

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

BAR, Spring 2022

BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY: Biblical Archaeology Review, Spring 2022. Including articles (behind the subscription wall) on the origins of the Philistines, early worship of Jesus in the Arabian Peninsula, a palace of Herod at Banias, storage jars in ancient Israel, and more.

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

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Berthelot, Jews and Their Roman Rivals (Princeton)

NEW BOOK FROM PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS:
Jews and Their Roman Rivals: Pagan Rome's Challenge to Israel

Katell Berthelot

How encounters with the Roman Empire compelled the Jews of antiquity to rethink their conceptions of Israel and the Torah

Hardcover
Price: $45.00 / £35.00
ISBN: 9780691199290
Published (US): Oct 26, 2021

Published (UK):Dec 21, 2021
Copyright: 2021
Pages: 552
Size: 6.13 x 9.25 in.
22 b/w illus. 2 maps.

Overview

Throughout their history, Jews have lived under a succession of imperial powers, from Assyria and Babylonia to Persia and the Hellenistic kingdoms. Jews and Their Roman Rivals shows how the Roman Empire posed a unique challenge to Jewish thinkers such as Philo, Josephus, and the Palestinian rabbis, who both resisted and internalized Roman standards and imperial ideology.

Katell Berthelot traces how, long before the empire became Christian, Jews came to perceive Israel and Rome as rivals competing for supremacy. Both considered their laws to be the most perfect ever written, and both believed they were a most pious people who had been entrusted with a divine mission to bring order and peace to the world. Berthelot argues that the rabbinic identification of Rome with Esau, Israel’s twin brother, reflected this sense of rivalry. She discusses how this challenge transformed ancient Jewish ideas about military power and the use of force, law and jurisdiction, and membership in the people of Israel. Berthelot argues that Jewish thinkers imitated the Romans in some cases and proposed competing models in others.

Shedding new light on Jewish thought in antiquity, Jews and Their Roman Rivals reveals how Jewish encounters with pagan Rome gave rise to crucial evolutions in the ways Jews conceptualized the Torah and conversion to Judaism.

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Introduction to late Egyptian history

THE WORLD IS FULL OF HISTORY: Late Period and the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods, an introduction (Dr. Amy Calvert, Smarthistory). An illustrated capsule history of Egypt from the 25th dynasty to the end of the Roman period. It only mentions Judaism in passing, but much of the article provides useful background for ancient Jewish history.

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