Rollston’s Summary of the Inscription from Talpiot

Chris posted a very precise summary of the discussion of the Talpiot ‘Jonah’ inscription today, the summary of which is

In short, in terms of readings for this very brief inscription (just fourteen graphemes!), I continue to contend for the following reading: DE OSTAE OU PSŌ AGB, while also considering viable: DI OSTAE OU PSŌ. In terms of the verb, it could be understood (as I suggested on March 15, Rollston 2012b) as psaō, with either the transitive or intransitive meanings I mentioned then (i.e., “I touch not,” or “I crumble not away”/”I disappear not”). Conversely, because we do see the shortened form of the negative attested epigraphically in Greek (i.e., o for ou; perhaps also compare the phenomenon of crasis in Greek), it is also viable to suggest (as I did in Rollston 2012a, that is, February 28) that the verb preceded by the negative is indeed upsoō (i.e., “lift,” “raise up,” “exalt”), especially since a number of ossuary inscriptions refer to the movement or non-movement of ossuaries or bones (see Rollston 2012b for these references). Of course, in the latter case something such as this is tenable: “Because of the bones, I lift not (the ossuary), O Agabus,” or “Because of the bones, I Agagus, lift not (the ossuary),” with the ossuary being understood, as it is the thing being written upon. Of course, something such as “Here are the bones, I lift not (the ossuary/bones), O Agabus,” or “Here are the bones, I Agabus lift (the ossuary/bones) not” are also plausible. In sum, I consider this inscription to be about bones, and it is also clear that the tetragrammaton is simply not used in this inscription.

Bulletin of the MA Program in Archaeomaterials at Tel Aviv University

It’s a free publication and freely distributed.  Perhaps you’ve not heard of it- but it should be on your reading list.  The current number, for instance, contains an article titled

The administration of 9th-6th century BC Judah as seen through the examination of clay bullae.


Provenance Study of the Pottery assemblage from the Uluburun Shipwreck.

For more information on the bulletin contact: It really is an interesting little publication.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible

Eerdmans have sent for review this volume:

The substantial value of the Dead Sea Scrolls for biblical studies is well known. However, it can be difficult to remain on the cutting edge of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship. In this volume leading expert James C. VanderKam offers detailed summaries of significant ways in which the scrolls can enrich the reading and study of the Bible. Each chapter brings readers up-to-date with the latest pivotal developments, focusing on relevant information from the scrolls and expounding their significance for biblical studies. This rich compendium from a distinguished scholar is essential reading for all who work at understanding biblical texts and their contexts within the ancient world.

Said review will appear here when it’s posted.  Stay tuned.

The truth about Patrick.

For All the Saints

Magonus Sucatus Patricius was born about 385 in an unknown town of Roman Britain. He was the son of a certain Calpornius and of his wife, Concessa. Patrick’s father appears to have been a decurion (a town councilor) and was thus a man of some social standing. He was probably advanced in years when he took holy orders as his father (Patrick’s grandfather) Potitus had done before. Potitus was a presbyter, and Calpornius a deacon. Both had probably joined the clergy for the same reason: to escape the increasing financial burden of municipal office in the late Roman Empire. The atmosphere of Patrick’s home and social surrounding was, as he himself attests in his Confession, anything but devout.

At the age of sixteen, Patrick was captured by Irish raiders from the family estate, which was probably situated in southwestern Britain near the sea, at a place known as…

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The Immorality of the Treyvon Martin Murder

The entire civilized world wants to know why the brutal murderer of Treyvon Martin isn’t under arrest even though he gunned down the unarmed boy for no reason.

Police recordings made the night a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain allegedly shot and killed an unarmed 17-year-old boy outside his stepmother’s home sent the boy’s mother screaming from the room and prompted his father to declare, “He killed my son,” according to a family representative.

The series of emergency and non-emergency calls to police depict the apparent progression of events on Feb. 26 that led to the watch captain, George Zimmerman, 28, who is white, allegedly shooting Trayvon Martin, a high-school junior who is black, as the teen made his way home with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.

Apparently a white guy can gun down a black kid in Florida just on simple suspicion and unfounded bias-

The Sanford, Fla., Police Department, relenting to massive public pressure, plans to release parts of the 911 tapes pertaining to the shooting, multiple sources told ABC News.  But police wanted the boy’s family to hear the tapes before they were released to the public, a family source told ABC News.  A week after ABC News uncovered questionable police conduct in the investigation of the fatal shooting, including the alleged “correction” of at least one eyewitness’ account, outrage that the shooter remains free is intensifying.

Sanford, Florida…  your police department needs to be investigated by the FBI.  And the shooter needs to be arrested.  What’s wrong with you?