Saturday, March 12, 2022

Tübingen University's ancient Jewish coins online

NUMISMATICS: University Of Tübingen: Ancient Jewish Coins: Germany’s Outstanding Collection Is Presented (Iednewsdesk).
Ancient Jewish coins are a rarity in German museums and have hardly been published to date. The Institute for Classical Archeology at the University of Tübingen is now presenting a collection that is exceptional in Germany in terms of its scope and historical breadth. It includes 394 coins covering all eras of ancient Judaism. The coins were scientifically examined and historically classified by a team led by Professor Stefan Krmnicek. The photos and descriptions are now available in the Digital Coin Cabinet of the University of Tübingen ( as public domain content. The scientific processing and digital documentation of the collection was made possible by the financial support of the Jewish religious community of Württemberg (IRGW).


I'm not sure how you get at all 394 coins. If you enter "Jewish" into the search engine at the url, it gives 191 results. The entry "Judaea" gives 362 results.

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The Tabernacle, the priesthood, and the cloud problem

PROF. GARY A. ANDERSON: The Date of the Tabernacle’s Completion and Consecration (
The Tabernacle is completed on the first of Nisan (Exodus 40) and is consecrated eight days later (Leviticus 9). And yet, the Book of Chronicles, Biblical Antiquities, and the Rabbis read these accounts as describing the same event. Indeed, the Torah’s final editor may have understood the texts as a continuous narrative, but chose to emphasize different themes of the Tabernacle by separating them.

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Friday, March 11, 2022

Is Turkey returning the Siloam Inscription to Israel?

POLITICS MEETS NORTHWEST SEMITIC EPIGRAPHY: Israeli official: Turkey agrees to return ancient Hebrew inscription to Jerusalem. The 2,700-year-old Siloam inscription, taken by the Ottomans and still held in Istanbul, marks direct evidence of Bible’s account of King Hezekiah’s tunnel-building in Jerusalem (Shalom Yerushalmi, Times of Israel).
Turkey has agreed to return to Israel an ancient inscription from Jerusalem, currently housed in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, an Israeli official told Zman Yisrael, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister site. It is considered one of the most important ancient Hebrew inscriptions in existence.

The gesture comes amid warming ties between Israel and Turkey and was discussed during the landmark visit of President Isaac Herzog to Ankara earlier this week, said a senior official in the Israeli entourage.


Still a rumor at this stage, but I hope it happens. For background information on the inscription, see the article at the link above and this post.

The discussions between Israel and Turkey about the Siloam Inscription have been going on for a long time. For the unsuccessful effort to arrange a loan of it in 2007, see the links collected here. For the unsuccessful offer to exchange it for two elephants (yes, really) in 2017, see here. The current negotiations reportedly involve an exchange for a Turkish artifact now in Israel.

Watch this space.

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Who killed Goliath?

TEXT AND CANON INSTITUTE: Who Really Killed Goliath? Knowledge of scribal mistakes may provide a better solution to the historical puzzle of who killed Goliath in 2 Samuel 21:19 (Kaspars Ozoliņš). HT the ETC Blog.

Did you know that the Bible is inconsistent about who killed Goliath? But I think Kaspars Ozoliņš is correct about the solution to the problem.

For many PaleoJudaica posts on Goliath the giant, see the links collected here (cf. here).

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Where, if anywhere, was Tarshish?

DR. TZILLA ESHEL: Tarshish: The Origins of Solomon’s Silver (
In a joint venture, the Phoenician King Hiram and King Solomon go to Tarshish to bring back silver—the Levant has no silver deposits of its own. Where is Tarshish? Archaeological science, specifically, the ability to trace the chemical fingerprint of silver, and Phoenician inscriptions such as the Nora Stone, point us to the answer(s).
For more on the use of lead isotopes to track the movements of Phoencian silver, see here. For more on the possible whereabouts of Tarshish, if it was a place, see here.

The word Tarshish can also mean a type of precious stone in Hebrew (chrysolite or topaz? Cf., e.g., Ezekiel 28:13). And, as Philologos noted, it nearly became the Modern Hebrew name of the planet Neptune.

Cross-file under Phoenician Watch and Ancient Material Culture.

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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Mroczek on Lied’s Invisible Manuscripts

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Other People’s Hands: A Response to Lied’s Invisible Manuscripts (Eva Mroczek).
My remarks on Liv Lied’s trailblazing new book will focus on its philosophical orientation and approach. I will consider the book as a humanistic work, an invitation to a kind of scholarship normally curtailed by the traditional orientations of our field—its theological roots, its focus on origins, its privileging of certain time periods as more significant than others, its logocentrism—and its implicit or explicit perspectives on who owns the right to claim a past and to determine its meaning.

I will do this in two related parts. First, I place the book in conversation with another work that gets us in touch with the concrete traces of human presence, Karen Stern’s Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity (Princeton UP, 2018). Second, I theorize Lied’s idea of “someone else’s manuscripts” more broadly as a pattern in our access to the past—the idea that we always owe it to “others” who have carried the texts through history, and that we have inherited certain patterns in how these “others” are identified and valued.


For previous essays in the AJR forum (SBL 2021 panel) on Liv Ingeborg Lied's book, Invisible Manuscripts, see here. For more on Karen Stern's book and her research, see here and links.

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Zoom Event: Annette Yoshiko Reed, "Forgetting Second Temple Judaism"

H-JUDAIC: EVENT: Annette Yoshiko Reed, "Forgetting Second Temple Judaism: History, Memory, and the Dead Sea Scrolls" -- Streaming live on Zoom (April 7 at 7:30pm Eastern). The event is free, but requires pre-registration.

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Hybrid Conference: Dura-Europos: Past, Present, Future

SOCIETY FOR CLASSICAL STUDIES: Dura-Europos: Past, Present, Future - Celebrating the Centennial of Excavations at Dura-Europos.
Yale University’s interdisciplinary ARCHAIA program is pleased to share news of its upcoming hybrid conference: Dura-Europos: Past, Present, Future. This three-day event (March 31-April 2, 2022) is arranged to celebrate the centennial of excavations on-site at Dura-Europos (Syria). Papers and discussion will explore the town’s regional and long-distance ties in antiquity, 21st-century geopolitical entanglements, and avenues for future research. Registration is free, and online attendance is open to all.
For many PaleoJudaica posts on the site of Dura-Europos, its late antique synagogue, and that synogogue's remarkable murals, start here (cf. here) and follow the links.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2022

AJR on Lied, Invisible Manuscripts (of 2 Baruch)

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Lied's Invisible Manuscripts: a Review Forum.
The book that serves as the point of departure for our discussion today is my recently published book, Invisible Manuscripts: Textual Scholarship and the Survival of 2 Baruch (2021), which is available open access via the publisher, Mohr Siebeck.

In Invisible Manuscripts, I explore an omission in scholarship on early Jewish writings in Christian transmission: the general inattention paid to the manuscripts that preserve these writings as cultural artefacts. ...

AJR has also posted the first essay responding to the book:

What Can Manuscripts Tell Us about the Texts They Preserve? A Response to Liv Ingeborg Lied’s Invisible Manuscripts (Matthias Henze).

I consider the scholarly turn to the reception histories of the ancient texts, and especially the new interest in the lives of the manuscripts, the single most significant development in recent decades in the study of the texts that are traditionally called the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. I have learned a great deal from you, Liv, and from many of our colleagues. Thank you. But I also appreciate where my own thinking and vocabulary have yet to change and evolve further (here I think in particular of New Philology).
My work receives favorable mention in the second essay.

For more on the Syriac manuscript Codex Ambrosianus B.21, which contains the only complete manuscript of 2 Baruch, see here (with photos of a facsimile of the first page of 2 Baruch) and here (with photos of the original manuscript in Milan and of Professor Lied and others, including me), and here.

For some other PaleoJudaica posts on 2 Baruch, notably links to Phil Long's blog series on the book at Reading Acts, see here and here and links, plus here.

I have linked to Liv's blog posts on 2 Baruch here and here, and on Codex Ambrosianus B.21 here, here, and here.

I have presented the case for the Jewish provenance of 2 Baruch in my book, The Provenance of the Pseudepigrapha (Brill, 2005), pp. 126-131. I argue that 2 Baruch promotes Torah observance, a Jewish ethnic identity, and a Jewish (and distinctly not Christian) concept of the Messiah. I have not yet seen Liv's book, so I don't know if she has replied to my arguments.

Cross-file under Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Watch.

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"Feminine Power" at the British Museum

EXHIBITION: British Museum Announces FEMININE POWER: THE DIVINE TO THE DEMONIC. British Museum announces first ever exhibition on female spiritual beings through the ages (A.A. Cristi, Broadway World). The exhibition opens on 22 May this year. It is quite cross-cultural. Notable for PaleoJudaica:
Since the late first millennium AD, Lilith has been known within Jewish demonology as the first wife of Adam and the consort of Satan. Her origins are thought to lie in Mesopotamian demons. The exhibition will include a ceramic incantation bowl from 500-800 AD Iraq, featuring a rare early image of Lilith in female form. Buried upside down under the thresholds of houses these bowls were inscribed with charms to protect the named patrons from demonic forces and regularly name Lilith; sometimes as grammatically singular and feminine, but also masculine or plural.

Lilith as "consort to Satan" presumably refers to her cohabitation with Sama'el, notably in the Kabbalistic Treatise on the Left Emanation.

For past posts on Lilith, start here and follow the links. For posts on the Babylonian Aramaic incantation bowls, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and links.

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

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

More on the incantation bowls seized in Jerusalem

APPREHENSION UPDATE: ‘Magic’ bowls among trove of ancient artifacts seized in raid on Jerusalem home. Ramat Shlomo resident suspected of illegal antiquities trade had three 1,500-year-old incantation bowls from Iraq, hundreds of other rare treasures (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel).

This article has new information about the inscriptions on the three seized bowls. Background here.

One of my first posts on PaleoJudaica included a translation of an Aramaic incantation bowl. That bowl also involved R. Joshua bar Perahya ("Joshua ben (son of) Perachiah") and had a divorce procedure against the demons.

The post had many useful links. Almost all of them have evaporated in less than twenty years. Maybe we should have stuck with clay tablets.

UPDATE (9 March): I have collected links to many of my posts on the Babylonian Aramaic incantation bowls here.

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Thomas & Melton (eds.), Reading Lamentations Intertextually (T&T Clark)

Reading Lamentations Intertextually

Heath A. Thomas (Anthology Editor), Brittany N. Melton (Anthology Editor)

$120.00 $84.00

Ebook (PDF)
$108.00 $75.60

Product details

Published Nov 04 2021
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 352
ISBN 9780567699589
Imprint T&T Clark
Dimensions 9 x 6 inches
Series The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing


This book addresses intertextual connections between Lamentations and texts in each division of the Hebrew Bible, along with texts throughout history. Sources examined range from the Dead Sea Scrolls to modern Shoah literature, allowing the volume's impact to reach beyond Lamentations to each of the 'intertexts' the chapters address.

By bringing together scholars with expertise on this diverse array of texts, the volume offers a wide range of exegetical insight. It also enables the reader to appreciate the varying intertextual approaches currently employed in Biblical Studies, ranging from abstract theory to rigid method. By applying these to a focused analysis of Lamentations, this book will facilitate greater insight on both Lamentations and current methodological research.

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Monday, March 07, 2022

Magic bowls and ivory plaques seized in Jerusalem

APPREHENDED: IAA uncovers ancient magical bowls in home of Jerusalem resident. 1,500-year-old "incantation bowls" were among hundreds of antiquities found, believed to be intended for the illegal antiquities trade (JUDITH SUDILOVSKY, Jerusalem Post).

The incantation bowls will have come from Iraq. If you want to see some more of them, go here. And for many PaleoJudaica posts on such bowls, run "Aramaic incantation bowls" through the blog search engine.

Reportedly the IAA thinks that the decorated ivory objects come from the north, perhaps Samaria. Other similar object have been found there. The IAA would know better than I. Decorated ivory plaques have been found in Samaria, Syria, and Iraq.

UPDATE (9 March): More here, and note the update.

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TC 26 (2021)

TC: A JOURNAL OF BIBLICAL TEXTUAL CRITICISM has published a new volume: 26 (2021). All articles are about the New Testament, but some touch on matters relevant to first-century Judaism. The reviews are of books on the New Testament and early Christianity, the Septuagint, and Psalms in Syriac and Hebrew. TC is an open-access journal.

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Sunday, March 06, 2022

Ritmeyer reconstructs the Magdala synagogue

LEEN RITMEYER: A reconstruction of the Magdala Synagogue. Did Jesus preach in this synagogue?

For many posts on the ancient city of Magdala (Migdal today), the two first-century synagogues excavated there, and the Magdala Stone found in the first synagogue, start here and follow the links.

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

Christian, Zu Entstehung und Theologie von 1/4QInstruction und der ‚Zwei-Geister-Lehre‘ (1QS III,13–IV,26) (Brill)

Zu Entstehung und Theologie von 1/4QInstruction und der ‚Zwei-Geister-Lehre‘ (1QS III,13–IV,26)

Geheimwissen, Erwählung und Prädestination

Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah, Volume: 135

Author: Meike Christian

This study challenges the common classification of 1/4QInstruction and the Treatise of the Two Spirits (1QS III,13–IV,26) as “pre-sectarian”. The analysis refrains from the distinction between “sectarian-” and “non-sectarian-texts” and supplies detailed comparisons as well as a redaction-critical investigation without any presuppositions about the historical setting of 1/4QInstruction and the Treatise. This way it re-evaluates the formation of the two compositions and brings to light connections and developments that have been concealed so far.

Die vorliegende Studie stellt die verbreitete Klassifizierung von 1/4QInstruction und der Zwei-Geister-Lehre als „pre-sectarian-texts“ in Frage. Anstatt von übergeordneten Kategorien auszugehen, vermeidet diese Untersuchung historische Vorannahmen und richtet den Blick aufs Detail, indem sie anhand von Textvergleichen sowie einer redaktionskritischen Analyse eine Neueinordnung der beiden Werke vornimmt. Auf diese Weise werden bisher verborgende gedankliche Entwicklungen und literarische Abhängigkeitsverhältnisse aufgedeckt, sodass die beiden Werke in einem neuen Licht erscheinen.

Prices from (excl. VAT): €139.00 / $167.00

Copyright Year: 2022

E-Book (PDF)
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-47307-2
Publication Date: 25 Oct 2021

Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-47306-5
Publication Date: 28 Jan 2022

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