Daily Archives: 2 Nov 2014


If you’re only a Christian on Sunday at Church and not on Tuesday in the voting booth- your faith is false and has no bearing on your life.

The Suing of Zias by Jacobovici: An Update

From the Jerusalem Post

What do Jonah and the whale have to do with where Jesus was really buried and a trip to Rome?  Cross-examination on Sunday in the defamation lawsuit of a filmmaker-journalist against a former Antiquities Authority official went to the heart of these issues.

In 2007, Simcha Jacobovici’s documentary, The Lost Tomb of Jesus, was aired with the jaw-dropping conclusion that, based on archaeological finds dating back to 1980, Jesus had been buried and had a tomb.  In Jacobovici’s 2012 film The Jesus Discovery/The Resurrection Tomb Mystery, Jacobovici implies that the tomb was on the estate of Joseph of Arimathea, who according to the New Testament was a member of the Sanhedrin who claimed Jesus’s body after he was crucified.

More relevant to Sunday’s testimony, Jacobivi also claimed that a second nearby tomb contained a symbol relating to Jonah and the whale, which, if true, could date that tomb and possibly the first tomb to the earliest days of Christianity.  Such evidence could strengthen a variety of Jacobovici’s conclusions, others of which included saying there was significant evidence that Jesus had been married to Mary Magdalene and had children, all of whom were buried together in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The conclusions struck at many of the core beliefs of the largest sects of Christianity, according to which Jesus was resurrected, never married and had no children. The theories were not new, but it was one of the largest stages the ideas had been given, and was extensively covered by international media. A vast majority of academics said that the films’ conclusions were flawed, but a small minority of academics strongly defend Jacobovici’s conclusions.  In October 2011, Jacobovici filed a defamation suit against his harshest critic, former Antiquities Authority official Joe Zias, claiming damage of NIS 8.57 million and demanding NIS 3.5m. The case was brought before Lod District Court Judge Ya’acov Sheinman.

And more, which do read.

“No Stone Unturned”: James Aitken’s Newest Work

Jim is a scholar of the LXX without peer. He is this generation’s Alfred Rahlf’s. If he writes something, you should read it.

No Stone Unturned

No Stone Unturned
Greek Inscriptions and Septuagint Vocabulary
Critical Studies in the Hebrew Bible – CSHB 5
by James K. Aitken
Eisenbrauns, 2014
xiv + 140 pp., English
ISBN: 9781575063249
List Price: $28.95
Your Price: $26.06

Choice: An Observation

Many believers today remind me of this fictional exchange:

Man- I’m having a hard time with body odor.
Friend- I know what you mean. We have all talked about it.
Man- I just don’t know what to do. I put deodorant on. It’s just not helping.
Friend- maybe you could climb up out of that pig pen for starters…

Many believers today seem to think they can live in the sty and still be clean. They make poor choices and then blame God for their unpleasant condition.

Perhaps the first step towards a solution to most problems believers encounter is a little time looking in the mirror.

To Borrow a Phrase From Barth that he Borrowed from Paul- That Woman Should be Quiet in the Church


If she only knew something about theology she would recognize modalism when she saw it.  But since she doesn’t, she’s happy to parrot lame pseudo-theology when she sees it and her poor, poor ignorant followers, knowing less than she (else they wouldn’t lap up her every regurgitating like desert water) wouldn’t pass it along.

I realize that in our day everyone with a twitter account or a silly book out is deemed an expert by society- but it just isn’t the case.  That woman should be quiet concerning theological issues.  And were she a he, I would say the same.  She’s simply teaching falsely.  But how could she do otherwise.

Encouraging Words of Luther, to the Angry Atheists…

In appearance and words you simulate modesty, but you are so swollen with haughtiness, arrogance, pride, malice, villainy, rashness, superciliousness, ignorance, and stupidity that there is nothing to surpass you.  — Martin Luther

Today With Zwingli

A friend, writing from Ravensburg, in Wurtemberg*, twenty-two miles east-north-east of Constance, had informed Zwingli, under date of November 2, 1522, that at the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg that year it was declared that the Pope had four plans in hand: “peace between Cæsar and Pompey [i. e., between the Emperor and the King of France]; the annihilation of the cause of Luther; the reform of the Church; and a war against the Turks.”

This was the occasion of Zwingli’s Latin pamphlet, hastily written as usual, entitled: “A suggestion of the advisability of reflecting upon the proposal made by Pope Adrian to the princes of Germany at Nuremberg; written by one who has deeply at heart the welfare of the Republic of Christ in general and of Germany in particular.”**

It is characterised by Zwingli’s qualities of clear-mindedness, candour, modesty, and Christian zeal. It contains several skilful quotations of Scripture. It expresses great scepticism as to the reality of the alleged papal schemes except the crushing of Luther; and against that it utters an emphatic protest. No reformation could come from Rome.***

Reformation has never come from, or to Rome.

***Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 176–177).

Bezalel Porten’s Proposal to Amend the ASOR Professional Guidelines

Bezalel recommends the following amendment to the ASOR professional guidelines and offers it to the ASOR public for consideration:

Propose E.1.d.ii

ASOR recognizes the unprecedented phenomenon that in the early-1990s there were uncovered at (an) unknown site(s) somewhere in the general vicinity of Hebron close to 2000 Idumean ostraca. These have been scattered among nine museums and libraries and 21 private collections. The fact that they were written by scores of scribes is ample warranty for their authenticity. It is inconceivable that any modern team could have put together a corpus covering such diverse topics as commodity chits, payment orders, accounts, workers’ texts, name lists, land descriptions, as well as numerous fragmentary pieces. Virtually none of the topics and many of the personal names were previously unknown. In a period of no written sources, the texts illuminate family organization, onomastics, various facets of economic life (e.g. metrology), and land organization; and allow us to fine-tune the power struggles of the Diadochi as reflected in mundane contracts from the land of Idumea.

Study of the texts has yielded, among other things, a list of 19 chits for wheat flour written by a single scribe during a few months of 344 BCE. This list allowed us to identify and restore a text found at Maresha whose date was damaged. Written by the same scribe, this single, provenanced chit belonged at the head of the unprovenanced nineteen. The Maresha piece demonstrated the authenticity of the Idumean pieces and the latter informed us how to interpret the Maresha piece. Some thousand pieces have already been published in four different publications (Lemaire, Ephʿal & Naveh, Porten & Yardeni) and several individual studies have also appeared.

Therefore, in accord with its existing policy, established in November, 2004 by ASOR’s Board of Trustees, ASOR allows this limited exception to its publication and presentation policy: The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the ASOR blog The Ancient Near East Today may receive articles dealing with these ostraca. In all cases the author(s) should indicate that the pieces are unprovenanced and state in what collection or library they may be found.

Bezalel Porten at #SBLaar14 and a New Volume of Aramaic Ostraca

Folk interested in Aramaic ostraca should take note of this: On Friday morning, November 21, at 8:25 a.m., in the Diamond 2 room at the Westin San Diego, during the ASOR meetings, Prof. Porten will be making a presentation regarding this important new publication.

Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea, Vol. 1

Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea, Vol. 1
Dossiers 1–10: 401 Commodity Chits

EIS – Eisenbrauns
by Bezalel Porten and Ada Yardeni
Eisenbrauns, 2014
Pp. liv + 472 + CD, English
Cloth, 8.5 x 11 inches
ISBN: 9781575062778
List Price: $149.50
Your Price: $134.55