Hebrew and Jewish Studies in Leiden…

Viv Rowett writes

A matter of concern has been sent by Mervyn Richardson with a petition to sign should you feel moved so to do: As you may have heard, Leiden has decided to scale back the status of Hebrew and Jewish studies which has caused great outcry in town and gown circles nationwide. Muraoka has sent this formal petition which has been instigated by the Dutch OT Society (Sec. Eibert Tigchelaar).

I have signed it.  I hope others will as well.

Quote of the Day

Zwingli had enemies among the canons of the Great Minster. Though we can scarcely regard them as formidable, they were nevertheless troublesome. Canon Hofmann complained of Zwingli before the chapter, but his charges were so groundless and absurd as to result simply in mirth at the Canon’s expense. — S. Simpson

[On Canon Hofmann, see here].

We all have our own Hofmann.  Paul called his a ‘thorn in the flesh’, but I prefer to call mine Konrad.

‘Davidic Era’? Come On Now: The Discovery at Tel Motza

The Times of Israel informs us that

A 2,750-year-old temple and a cache of sacred vessels from biblical times were discovered in an archaeological excavation near

via the IAA

via the IAA

Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday.

The finds, unearthed at Tel Motza on the western outskirts of the capital, date from the early monarchic period and include pottery figurines of men and horses, providing rare evidence for the existence of a ritual cult in the Jerusalem region at the beginning of the Judean monarchy. The precise significance of the figurines is still unknown.

Even if the date is correct, ca. 750 BCE can hardly be called ‘Davidic Era’.  It appears to be simply an attempt to grab the public’s attention (or worse, the author of the piece doesn’t know when the ‘Davidic Era’ would have been).  That said, it’s a pretty nifty find after all and may well show, at the end of the day, that polytheism was practiced in the 8th century (and may support the prophetic denunciations of such idolatry).

via the IAA

via the IAA

“The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judea at the time of the First Temple,” said excavation directors Anna Eirikh, Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz. They said the structure’s uniqueness was enhanced by the site’s proximity to Jerusalem, which was the kingdom’s main center and the seat of kings David and Solomon.

An IAA statement described the walls of the structure as massive, and said it includes a wide, east-facing entrance, conforming to the tradition of temple construction in the ancient Near East: the rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the objects placed inside the temple, symbolizing the divine presence within. A square structure which was probably an altar was exposed in the temple courtyard, and the cache of sacred vessels was found near the structure. The assemblage includes ritual pottery vessels, with fragments of chalices (bowls on high bases which were used in sacred rituals), decorated ritual pedestals, and a number of pottery figurines.

There’s more, which do read.

Blogging/Tweeting SOTS Winter 2013 Meeting at Cambridge

sotsA quick note- I have every intention of blogging/tweeting SOTS 2013 next week in Cambridge and I’ll be using the hashtag #sots2013.  All of this is, of course, contingent on whether or not Fitzwilliam has wifi and I can manage to use it properly.  A couple of fairly large contingencies really.  At Durham a couple of years ago (oh Durham, you did try my soul) internet access was absolutely impossible.  D.V., Cambridge will be better.

So, if you don’t hear from me, blame the interweb.  If you do, blame yourself (I, as always, shall remain blameless and perfect, upright and eschewing evil).

The Very Best iPad Apps of 2012…

Ok, not really- but they are my favorite ones.

Now, can someone recommend a word processing app which will allow me to write and save documents in .doc format?

More on the IAA’s Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Project

From the Facebook page of the IOQS-

On the IAA digital library again… the IAA is about to start working on Phase 2 of the project. If anybody has any further requests, critiques, or any feedback to offer, whether general or specific, please contact me here, or preferably, via the site:

http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/ (via “Contact Us”, or by leaving a Comment on a particular image)

The launch of our first version was exciting, but I envision a much more comprehensive and useful resource. In order to help actualize my vision, and to represent the academic community at upcoming meetings, it will be helpful for me to be able to report about specific reactions from scholars.

Just one small example– my request to include the capability to search by PAM numbers was unsuccessful for version 1. I’d like to demonstrate the need for this.

Thanks!