Saturday, July 29, 2023

Docherty & Smith (eds.), The Scriptures in the Book of Revelation and Apocalyptic Literature (T&T Clark)

The Scriptures in the Book of Revelation and Apocalyptic Literature
Essays in Honour of Steve Moyise

Susan Docherty (Anthology Editor), Steve Smith (Anthology Editor)

$115.00 $103.50

Ebook (PDF)
$103.50 $82.80

Ebook (Epub & Mobi)
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Product details

Published Jul 13 2023
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 272
ISBN 9780567695895
Imprint T&T Clark
Dimensions 9 x 6 inches
Series The Library of New Testament Studies
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing


This volume addresses one of the key issues in the study of the Book of Revelation and the apocalyptic genre more broadly – the re-use within these texts of the Jewish Scriptures. A range of expert contributors analyse specific themes and passages, and also explore wider methodological questions, aiming particularly to engage with the ground-breaking work in this field of Steve Moyise.

Divided into three sections, the book first focuses on hermeneutical questions, such as the role of 'typology' in interpretation, and the relationship between the 'original meaning' of a scriptural text and the sense it acquires in a new literary context. In the following section, a series of chapters offers detailed exegetical engagement with the Book of Revelation. These probe the scriptural background of some of its major theological themes (e.g. time, sounds and silence) and significant passages (e.g. the Song of the Lamb and other hymns), and highlight fresh aspects of its reception by both ancient and modern audiences. The final section considers the place of scripture and its interpretation in a selection of other early Jewish and early Christian apocalyptic writings (including 1 Enoch, Paul's Letters and the First Apocryphal Apocalypse of John).

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Friday, July 28, 2023

There was almost a third Temple?

BELATEDLY FOR TISHA B'AV: How the Jews almost built a Third Temple. Roman Emperor Julian, who rejected Christianity and possibly sought to oppose it, proposed the Jews rebuild the Temple, however, the construction was halted, and the dream was buried after an earthquake; Dr. Yonatan Moss explains why the Jewish canon almost completely disregards this chapter in history (Itzchak Tessler, Ynet News).

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Nero's theatre found in Rome?

ARCHAEOLOGY: Ruins of ancient Roman emperor Nero's theater unearthed in 'exceptional' discovery in Rome. Archaeologists in Rome think they may have found Nero's theater during a hotel excavation (Jennifer Nalewicki, Live Science).
Archaeologists in Rome think they may have found the ruins of Nero's theater, a first-century imperial performance space that was widely described in ancient Roman texts but whose whereabouts had remained largely elusive.

The theater is named after Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, who served as Roman emperor from A.D. 54 to his death in 68. Officials are calling the discovery of the theater, located just east of Vatican City, "exceptional." It was likely where Nero rehearsed poetry and put on musical performances, according to ABC News.


For past posts on Nero, whom PaleoJudaica finds interesting for a number of reasons, start here and follow the links.

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Thursday, July 27, 2023

Archaeomagnetic reconstruction of a fire in ancient Jerusalem

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Examination of ancient pottery shards reveals how a building burned during siege of Jerusalem in 586 BCE (Bob Yirka,
The work involved analyzing shards of pottery collected from a dig site identified as the base of an ancient two-story building. Prior researchers had named it Building 100. The team followed procedures of modern fire marshals—they wanted to know where the fire started in the building and how it progressed. To find out, they studied magnetic signals hidden in the pottery shards.
The underlying article in the Journal of Archaeological Science (Volume 157, September 2023) is behind a subscription wall, but you can read excerpts at the link:
Destruction by fire: Reconstructing the evidence of the 586 BCE Babylonian destruction in a monumental building in Jerusalem

N. Shalom, Y. Vaknin, R. Shaar, E. Ben-Yosef, O. Lipschits, Y. Shalev, Y. Gadot, E. Boaretto


Evidence of fire is one of the most important features for identifying and characterizing destruction events. Analysis of microscopic remains of fire has developed exceedingly in recent years, enabling archaeologists to examine new questions relating to the intensity of destruction events and to the circumstances of the creation of destruction layers. One of the most crucial events in the history of the Southern Levant is the Babylonian destruction of Judah and its capital Jerusalem in 586 BCE, which shaped the biblical narrative and theology for generations to come. Building 100 was an extraordinarily large and rich elite building, thoroughly destroyed during the Babylonian campaign. This paper presents a study of the destruction layer excavated within the rooms of the building. FTIR spectrometry and archaeomagnetic analysis were combined in the micro-archaeological study of the remains in order to create a detailed reconstruction of the destruction event. This reconstruction sheds new light on how the Babylonian destruction was manifested in reality in the elite buildings of Jerusalem.

UPDATE (28 July): Joseph Lauer points me to the full text of the article, posted at

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Mason, Jews and Christians in the Roman World (Brill)

Jews and Christians in the Roman World
From Historical Method to Cases

Series: Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, Volume: 116

Author: Steve N Mason

Roman Judaea, Christian origins, and Roman-Judaean-Christian relations are flourishing fields of endless fascination. Amid the flurry of new research, however, which uses ever new methods in the humanities and social sciences, basic questions about what happened and how people then understood events are easily obscured. This book argues that a simple but consistent historical method can throw new light – and challenge entrenched views – on such familiar topics as Roman provincial governance, the Jewish War, Flavian politics, Judaea after King Herod, Jewish and Christian historiography, Pharisees and Essenes, John the Baptist, the apostle Paul, and Luke-Acts.

Prices from (excl. shipping): €190.00

Copyright Year: 2023

E-Book (PDF)
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-54596-0
Publication: 10 Jul 2023
EUR €190.00

Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-54387-4
Publication: 13 Jul 2023
EUR €190.00

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Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Tisha B'Av 2023

TISHA B'AV (THE NINTH OF AV) begins this evening at sundown. An easy fast to all those observing it.

The Ninth of Av is not specifically a biblical holy day. Rather, it commemorates a number of disasters that happened to the Jewish people, traditionally all on that same day of the year. These include the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Babylonians, the destruction of the Herodian Temple by the Romans, and the fall of Betar during the Bar Kokhba revolt.

Last year's Tisha B'Av post is here, with links. Another recent post is here.

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Half-shekel Great-Revolt coin found near Ein Gedi

NUMISMATICS: Half-shekel coin from revolt against Romans 2 millennia ago uncovered in desert cave. Hebrew coin minted by rebels as part of underground Jewish economy and used to pay tax at Temple in Jerusalem is discovered during six-year survey mapping area of Dead Sea Scrolls (Melanie Lidman, Times of Israel).
IAA inspectors discovered the coin in the area around the Ein Gedi oasis during an intensive survey of all of Israel’s caves in the Judean desert, in an attempt to discover and document archaeological finds before they are stolen by looters — especially additional Dead Sea Scrolls. Inspectors have spent the past six years canvassing the caves, both by foot and by rappelling down steep cliffs to reach caves tucked into the mountainside. The survey is a joint initiative from the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Ministry of Heritage, and the Civil Administration Archaeology Unit in Judea and Samaria.
Just in time for Tisha B'Av.

For more on half-shekel coins and their use for the annual Temple tax, start here and follow the links.

For more on Operation Scroll, see here and links.

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Reconstructing ancient engraving techniques

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Shining new light on ancient engraving techniques in Israel (unattributed, St Louis Jewish Light).
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) have developed new 3-D software, called ArchCUT3-D, that they have used to extract and analyze engravings from ancient Israel and that could lead to a better understanding of the engravers’ background and skills.


The two engravings are from the late second millennium BCE at Timna Valley Park. The graffito, from the same area, is modern.

For much more on the Timna Valley excavation, especially its important organic remains, start here and follow the links.

The underlying open-access article is available from the journal Nature Humanities and Social Sciences Communications:

Recognizing technique variation in rock engravings: ArchCUT3-D for micromorphological analysis

Lena Dubinsky, Marcelo David & Leore Grosman
Humanities and Social Sciences Communications volume 10, Article number: 316 (2023)


Ancient rock engravings evoke the interest of archeologists and art historians as an important remnant of human cultures. Traditionally, engraved images are studied based on iconography, iconology, and stylistic characteristics, with little emphasis on execution technology. In contrast, the research method presented in this study strives to characterize the techniques adopted for making rock engravings in ancient times, with technological variations considered as indicators of the engraver’s production process. 3-D scans of two ancient engravings and contemporary graffiti were obtained from Site 25 in Timna Park, Southern Israel. The models were analyzed with ArchCUT3-D, a software specifically developed to precisely evaluate the 3-D micromorphological characteristics of the incisions making up the engraving. The software analyzes the surface micromorphology by extracting 3-D slices of the incisions using an accurate and repeatable method. Our results indicate that different incisions were executed by remarkably distinct techniques of stroking the rock surface with a sharp tool. The identification of discriminant characteristics enabled us to demonstrate the particularities of the engraving operations, such as ergonomic conditions and the level of consistency of the engraving gesture. ArchCUT3-D thus provides a computational method for incision technique recognition through micromorphology specifications, and the reconstruction of engraving gestures and individual production procedures.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Bauckham's "Son of Man" vol. 1 now published

Son of Man", vol. 1
Early Jewish Literature

Richard Bauckham

HARDCOVER; Published: 7/25/2023
ISBN: 978-0-8028-8326-1
Price: $ 44.99
447 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9


Who is the “Son of Man”?

In pre-Christian Jewish writings, “Son of Man” was not a title, and it certainly did not indicate divinity. It was simply an expression for a man. Yet the term has held considerable interest among scholars of Christology for its use in describing Jesus in the gospels. And among those studying messianism in Second Temple Judaism, consensus about the valences of “Son of Man” in Scripture remains elusive.

In the first volume of this landmark study, Richard Bauckham pushes the conversation forward, explicating the phrase “Son of Man” as it appears in Jewish interpretations of the book of Daniel and in the apocryphal book of 1 Enoch. With philological precision and sensitivity to his sources, Bauckham attunes us to the realities of early Jewish eschatology.

Thorough and comprehensive, “Son of Man,” vol. 1, offers scholars a solid basis for understanding the context of the messiah in the centuries leading up to Jesus. Along with the forthcoming second volume, which parses the meaning of “Son of Man” in the Gospels, Bauckham’s work is essential for understanding one of the most widely used yet misunderstood phrases in the Bible.

I noted the book as forthcoming here.

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Now 125 tombs at the Gaza Roman-era cemetery

ARCHAEOLOGY UPDATE: At least 125 tombs discovered at Roman-era cemetery in Gaza (Reuters via Jerusalem Post).
Archaeologists working on a 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery discovered in Gaza last year have found at least 125 tombs, most with skeletons still largely intact, and two rare lead sarcophaguses, the Palestinian Ministry of Antiquities said.


They keep finding more tombs.

I noted the discovery and excavation of the cemetery here and here. For the two lead sarcophagi, see here and here.

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Monday, July 24, 2023

Schedtler, Royal Ideologies in the Book of Revelation (CUP)

Royal Ideologies in the Book of Revelation

AUTHOR: Justin P. Jeffcoat Schedtler, Wartburg College, Iowa
FORMAT: Hardback
ISBN: 9781009297400

£ 85.00 Hardback


Studies of the Apocalypse have long neglected the royal and messianic dimensions of its portrait of the Lamb. In this volume, Justin P. Jeffcoat Schedtler offers new insights on this topic, arguing that royal and messianic ideologies and discourses are not merely evident in the book of Revelation but also constitute one of its primary organizing principles. Moreover, they shape Revelation's Christology. Schedtler explores ideologies of kingship in the ancient Greek and Roman world, as well as Second Temple Judaism. Making previously unexplored connections in Revelations' ideological portrait of the Lamb, he shows that the portrayal of Jesus as God's chosen viceregent, offers new insights into several of the central Christological tenets in the text. They include the Lamb's reception of the scroll to rule on God's behalf, his place on a heavenly throne, the many benefactions he offers to those who remain faithful to him, and the hymnic praise he receives in response.

  • Thoroughgoing exploration of kingship ideologies and discourses in the Greco-Roman (including Second Temple Jewish) world
  • Provides a survey of Greco-Roman kingship ideologies and discourses as they relate to Revelation's narratives about Jesus
  • Connects several elements of Revelation's Christology to the claim that Jesus was God's chosen king

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Sunday, July 23, 2023

Rendsburg Festschrift (Brill)

Linguistic and Philological Studies of the Hebrew Bible and its Manuscripts

Series: Studia Semitica Neerlandica, Volume: 75

Volume Editors: Vincent D. Beiler and Aaron D. Rubin

This volume honors the extraordinary scholarship of Prof. Gary A. Rendsburg, whose work and friendship have influenced so many in the last five decades. Twenty-five prominent scholars from the US, Europe, Israel, and Australia have contributed significant original studies in three of Rendsburg’s areas of interest and expertise: Hebrew language, Hebrew Bible, and Hebrew manuscripts. These linguistic, philological, literary, epigraphic, and historical approaches to the study of Hebrew and its textual traditions serve as a worthy tribute to such an accomplished scholar, and also as an illustration how all of these approaches can complement one another in the fields of Hebrew and Biblical Studies.

Prices from (excl. shipping): €159.00

Copyright Year: 2023

E-Book (PDF)
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-54484-0
Publication: 10 Jul 2023
EUR €159.00

Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-54485-7
Publication: 06 Jul 2023
EUR €159.00

Congratulations to Professor Rendsburg!

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