Category Archives: Archaeology

Happy 74th Birthday, Israel Finkelstein!

Today is Israel’s birthday. He’s an incredibly influential Israeli archaeologist and he has overseen the excavation of most of Israel’s most important sites. Over the years he’s been a great friend and I appreciate his great work. Check out a plethora of posts in celebration of his birth-iversary and a gallery of images:

Happy birthday!

The Most Detailed and Careful Review I’ve Read Since James Barr Died; Because it’s his Birthiversary

8631Aren Maeir has written what can only be classified as a thorough, honest, forthright, exceptionally balanced, extremely helpful and brilliantly worded review of Avi Faust’s latest tome.

Two words: wow.  Wow!  You owe it to yourself to read it for two reasons:  1) it’s that good; and 2) it’s a model review the likes of which I have not seen since our dear brother and colleague James Barr passed away.  Indeed, I would call Maeir’s review ‘Barr-ian’ and no higher compliment can be paid to either review or reviewer.

And Now For Something Completely Different: A Half of a Carnival

This month I thought for the fun of it I’d do a half carnival.  I.e.,  offers readers the more interesting posts from across the globe as posted in the biblioblog universe for just the first half of the month.  Enjoy!

Hebrew Bible

Claims concerning a little ‘artifact’ inscribed with the name of Darius burst on the scene at the beginning of March with even the IAA itself declaring the little snippet of text ‘authentic’.  Some were rightly sceptical, as the fun little trinket was found on the surface and not in a controlled dig.  Others wanted to see for themselves before accepting the IAA’s verdict.  But at the end, it turns out that the thing was a modern piece of classroom instructional material completely invented by a Prof who put it on the ground and forgot to pick it up again.  Boy does the IAA have egg on its face now.  Perhaps going forward they will be a little more careful about vaunting unprovenanced materials.  Though to be fair with all the fakes discovered in recent years you’d think they’d know better by now.  Alas…

Much more edifying and scholarly is Sidnie Crawford White’s brilliant essay titled ‘My Journey With the Dead Sea Scrolls’.  Give it a read.  Turns out the Scrolls are cheap when it comes to paying for travel and lodging and food.  Sidnie had to pay for everything!  If she were Gen-Z she would set up a go fund me but she’s not so she’s a decent human being.

Anthony Ferguson also shared some thoughts on the Scrolls: i.e., the evolution of Tov’s understanding of them.  It’s pretty interesting.

Mark Leuchter did a really interesting (34 part) twitter thread on the now constantly recurring debate about David’s rape of Bathsheba.  If you missed it, read it now.

Judges 19 is the focus for this post on ordination exams for Presbyterians by Jan Edmiston.  Honestly, any post that begins [This post will make some readers unhappy.] has to find a spot in any Carnival.

Who did Cain marry? Eva Mroczek offers some thoughts drawn from Jewish tradition. Enjoy!

Who are the Rephaim?  A riddle.  Jonathan Yogev gives solving said riddle a go.  He’s most likely correct.

Curious about Jonah?  Want to read Jim Gordon’s thoughts on the book?  Now’s your chance!  There’s nothing fishy.  (Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week.  Be sure to tip the wait staff).

Want to excavate in Israel at a very important archaeological site in the North?  Then Jezreel is the place to be.  All the details about volunteering are available here.  Or do you prefer to excavate where the Philistine’s roamed?  Well you’re in luck because you can do that too.  Find the info here.

New Testament

James Crossley talked about Jesus as product of class struggle in a piece about his new book on the subject (written with one Robert Myles.

If numismatics is your bag, you will be interested in this post regarding the portrayal of kneeling conquered folk depicted on Roman coins.  Really great info.  Eye opening, as it were.

A-J Levine discusses the story of the woman caught in adultery in John’s Gospel.  As she rightly notes, contra the usual reading of the text, In terms of the woman herself, what people fail to ask usually is what happens to her at the end?  Jesus never says, “I forgive you.”  It’s not about forgiveness, but she’s simply left saying you’re not condemned.

It’s nice to see a couple of publications by my old friend George Raymond Beasley-Murray pop up in March on Rob Bradshaw’s resources page.  Go download them now.  Everything George wrote was absolute gold.

Dan McClellan offers a tick tock mini lecture on the meaning of the word ‘Magdalene’.  My own forays into tick tocking focus more on my incredible dance moves and mashups of kids running over their dads on skateboards.  I guess Dan is putting the platform to better use.


March was Women’s History Month and DeGruyter celebrated by offering a raft of materials for free (till April 10)- so you still have time to get in on the free-ness-ness of it.

The ‘Gospel Coalition’ hawked a garbage book based on trash eisegesis by a chap named Josh Butler who, to be completely fair, knows less about biblical exposition than Joel Osteen.  The article in TGC and the book itself were obliterated by actual scholars.  One of the better obliterations appeared from the pen (keyboard I suppose is more accurate) of Amy Peeler.  Enjoy.  And always remember, TGC is theological garbage.

Scribes and Scripture by Peter Gurry and John Meade was reviewed by Peter Montoro.  Montoro remarks … a truly excellent book that will surely become a staple in churches and seminaries all over the English-speaking world.  High praise indeed for a book I haven’t read.  How important could it be, then, hmmm?

Lindsay Kennedy (an Aussie… so I apologize in advance for including his post) reviewed a book titled AN INTERTEXTUAL COMMENTARY TO THE PSALTER: JUXTAPOSITION AND ALLUSION IN BOOK I.  Intertexuality is something like reception history but it’s the reception of biblical texts within biblical texts.  Neat, huh.  It’s like Paul quoting Psalms or Psalms quoting Genesis, etc.  It’s all the rage among the Gen-Z kids.  (When they aren’t playing Fortnite that is).

Becoming Elijah‘ was nicely reviewed by Alan Brill (no relation to the German publishing consortium).  I think if I were to become any of the Prophets, it would be Elisha.  He’s the best.  Well, after Jeremiah.

Michael Bird talks about some books in his latest Books, Books, Books episode on the YouTube.  The only interesting one is the one by Nijay Gupta.  The rest look really uninspiring.  Church Fathers, toxic masculinity, universalism?  Ick.

Niels Peter Lemche’s excellent book ‘Back to Reason’ was nicely reviewed in RBL.  It genuinely is a super book and you ought to read it if you haven’t yet.

Nijay Gupta’s excellent little book was released on March 14. A few hours previously he tweeted

@NijayKGupta — Excited to see folks are ordering #TellHerStory @ivpacademic, official release is in about 8 hours (March 14, 2023). God blessed so many women to lead, teach, and do dangerous and difficult ministry, we need to listen to, learn from, and imitate them!

If you missed it I reviewed it here.

Miscellaneous Stuff

The SBL tweeted– Registration for the 2023 Global Virtual Meeting is open! The meeting will be online 27-31 March 2023.  Access the preliminary program book here.

The Catholic University of America is offering Summer courses in Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, or Syriac. And they are all online! All the details are available here.  This is an amazing opportunity!

Bible and Archaeology (an initiative of the University of Iowa) tweets

@biblearch- Sign up for free today at Bible & Archaeology: . We know it can be hard to stay up with the week’s news, so we’ve created a newsletter that recaps content from the Bible & Archaeology website and YouTube channel.

This will doubtless be of interest to many.

The most exciting bit of news to come out in March was the announcement that the famous and the infamous NT Wrong will come out of retirement to host a biblioblog Carnival on April 1, after seven years of silence!  It will appear here.

And finally, if you’d like to keep up with the tweetings of most of the biblical scholars who tweet, you can follow this list.  If you know of others please drop me a note and I will add them.  Email



I hope you’ve enjoyed this half carnival.  The official carnival will appear on April 1, again, hosted by NT Wrong!  I’m very excited.  Maybe he/she/they will finally unveil the mystery of their identity!

Call For Contributions

The Carnival is coming to town on April 1.  If you see any great posts on the topics of Hebrew Bible, New Testament, books, miscellaneous stuff, or the like related to biblical studies, do let me know so I can include them.

Especially if they are from lesser known blogs.  So that they can be popular.  Like me.

It’s Lent and Nearly Purim, So Of Course there’s Been a Discovery in Israel ‘Proving the Bible True’

It doesn’t get more ‘fabulous’ (i.e., fable-istic) than this!  And even better,

Discovery was made by the international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog

How lucky is that!  And when?  Well just before Purim!  Again, how lucky is that??!?!?!?!  What are the chances that a fragment naming Darius the father of the Persian king who provoked Purim would have turned up in, say, September or some other month and not just before a holiday?  (You’re right, none).  Or when there isn’t a political crisis in Israel in which the modern state isn’t again trying to justify its claims over every square inch of the West Bank…

An inscription bearing the name of Persian King Darius the Great was discovered in Tel Lachish National Park, the first discovery of an inscription bearing the king’s name anywhere in Israel.  The discovery was made by Eylon Levy, the international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog.  Levy reportedly chanced on a 2,500-year-old potsherd with the inscribed letters of the ancient king and reported it to the Antiquities Authority.

So fortuitous….  And it doesn’t look like a modern fake at all… with letters scratched into a piece of something…

The inscription reads “Year 24 of Darius,” which dates to 498 BCE. The king’s reign began in 522 BCE and ended in 486 BCE.  Darius the Great was the father of Xerxes I, who is identified with King Ahasuerus from the Purim story.

Well there ya go!  Proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the entire book of Esther is a historical report…

“When I was walking around here with a friend just exploring the history, I was turning over pieces of pottery and stones in my hand and suddenly, I found something that had letters on it and I thought this was too good to be true.”

Yes, such things from antiquity are often just lying on the surface and ‘discovered’ in sites where there isn’t an excavation ongoing…

Levy said that three people he spoke to at the Antiquities Authority were skeptical as to its authenticity but they were intrigued.  A few weeks later, Levy received a phone call from the authority’s Saar Ganor. He said he was “on his way from the Dead Sea Scrolls labs. We’ve put it through three scanners. This is authentic. No modern hand could do it, and it’s from two and a half thousand years ago, from before the story of Purim.”

Sure, the bit of material is probably old.  The inscription?  Without any dirt in it?  No debris?  He saw letters when he picked it up and held it up for the camera with his protective gloves on (I guess he always has some with him in case of such emergencies…) and it looked clean as a whistle?

Skepticism is the only appropriate response to discoveries of this and every sort.   If something doesn’t come from a controlled dig, everyone should doubt it until it is PROVEN authentic.  And then you should still be skeptical because fraudsters are awfully good at faking things.

When Chris Rollston tells me it’s the real deal I’ll believe it.  Not until.

An Accidental Archaeologist: A Personal Memoir

An Accidental Archaeologist: A Personal Memoir, by Eric M. Meyers.

This personal and professional memoir recounts the author’s formative years and the family influences that propelled him forward. The experience of anti-Semitism in grammar school and college played a major role. The centrality of music and family were especially influential. His partnership with Carol Meyers allowed him to have a successful career in academic archaeology and in teaching at Duke University. Other endeavors, however, kept him grounded and focused on everyday matters: singing, golf, social activism, teaching, and writing. But it was teaching most of all that imbued his life with special meaning as both student and teacher confronted the riches of the past in a search for a better future.

What a lovely book.  About a lovely man.  Who tells a lovely story.  Both about himself and about his wife and family.

Most autobiographies are self aggrandizing ‘look at me, I’m super famous, admire me!’ nonsense.  Especially when written (or rather ghost written) by 20 year old pop stars who have neither lived life nor experienced actual sorrow.

Eric’s autobiography is everything a tome of the genre should be.  It’s a story that engages and grips and enthralls and informs and reflects on a life well lived.  It begins with childhood and moves into the two major phases of his life: without his wife Carol, and with her.  The final segment may be for many the most interesting, as here Eric discusses the meat of life: his life’s chief matters of importance, like music, and his calling as an academic, and his health issues, and the people of Israel.

Eric tells stories about digs and students and times and places and all the sum and substance of a fascinating life.  And yet he tells the story as one who is not boasting (though by rights he could- an esteemed archaeologist who has contributed massively to the field and who has taught generations of young students the importance of proper archaeological methods and conclusions), but rather as one who has enjoyed, yes, loved and still loves life and wishes to share that joy with others.

This is a joyful book.  A book founded in joy and a book which provokes joy, and gratitude.

I’ve met Eric a number of times at various conferences and I’ve made way to Durham a few times to hear him lecture on various matters at ‘day conferences’ and the like.  He is an authentic man.  A decent man.  A good man.  An astonishingly brilliant man.

For those who know him far better than I, they know those things about him far more deeply than I do.  And for those who have not had the genuine pleasure of knowing him ‘in real life’, this book is the next best thing.

I loved this lovely book.  I am persuaded that you will as well.

But, lest you think me too subject to ‘hero worship’ here, let me say that I do have one criticism of the volume:  it isn’t long enough.  I like big books.  This one isn’t big enough.  I want more of it, and from it.

I hope, therefore, that when Eric updates his biography 40 years from now (please, Lord, let it be so), it will be like those massive 19th century 5 volume German studies.

Until then, go read this book.

#ICYMI Last Year- The January Carnival of the Biblical Studies Carnivals: The Most Glorious Carnival from 2022 So Far

It’s Carnival time!  Enjoy the midway and all the rides, the funhouse, the bizarre and strange attractions, the food, and of course, the animals!  Stay around for a while.  it will take some time to make your way through all the attractions.  But it will be worth it.  Not because all the posts linked are good, but because they range across the whole spectrum of biblioblogging, from the good, to the bad, to the ugly.  And you get to decide which you like!  Because, freedom!

And, to the many who sent links (a portion of which are included below), thank you!  This was, I think, the first Carnival I’ve run that has included so many links from so many different people.

The Funhouse (Hebrew Bible/ OT/ LXX)

Ken Schenk has a little video where he presents Genesis 1.  Or talks about Genesis 1.  Youtube, you say?  If I’m going to include podcasts (those godless examples of what used to be called ‘radio shows’) then yup, Youtube will make it in too.  #Bam.

Robin Parry is doing a series on ‘Creation’.  He posted the third installment in early January.  Find the earlier ones on his page.

The inestimably brilliant John Barton has a response to the question, ‘What is Scripture?‘  If you don’t read any of the other links in this Carnival, read that one.  And then read the rest of them.  Or most of them.  Some of them are rubbish but you won’t know which till you read them.

The good folk at the University of Goettingen have put together the ‘Ugarit-Portal‘.  You definitely need to take a look.

Brian Davidson briefly suggests that the imprecatory Psalms can be seen as prayers in the context of personal struggles.  I’m not my own enemy, so I prefer to pray them against the wicked people out there.  Amen.

Gary Greenberg was all about Exodus in January:

  • Part 3: Why Can’t We Date the Exodus? Part 3: The Problem of Solomon’s Chronology – Bible, Myth, and History (
  • Part 4: Why Can’t We Date the Exodus? Part 4: The 430-Year Sojourn – Bible, Myth, and History (
  • Part 5: Why Can’t We Date the Exodus? Part 5: The 400 years of slavery – Bible, Myth, and History (

He had a couple of posts before January but I can’t link to those for obvious reasons. You can find them over at his place.

Joel Baden lectured on Exodus.  The first session happened on January 10th.  Each Monday in January had another session.  If you missed it, you missed a treat, but you can watch the videos.  Here’s the firstHere’s the secondHere’s the third. You can track down the rest at the Yale Divinity School Youtube channel.

Bart Ehrman discusses the partitions of the book of Isaiah.  I’m one of the ‘Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah, and Trito-Isaiah’ sort.  Gimme three Isaiahs!

The Hawarden ‘Old Testament in the New Testament’ Conference is still on track to be held in person this year.  The Conference organizer, Susan Docherty, has a reminder that the interested register as they can.

Speaking of ‘The Old in the New’, Stephen Carlson tweets

@sccarlson- Old-in-the-New folks, after you’ve gone through and done all this detailed work distinguishing between quotation and allusion, then what? What’s the point of this classification?

I suppose the answer is ‘what’s the point of Gospel source criticism? What’s the point of any textual investigation aside from textual criticism?’ Because, it seems to me, some things are just interesting in and of themselves. Not everything has to be done for some grand utilitarian purpose, does it? No. Some things should be done just for the sake of doing them.  Did John quote Isaiah or just allude to him?  That’s worth looking into even if you can’t sell it on Ebay.

Brent Niedergall reviewed a book on the Psalms.

The ‘dry bones’ passage from Ezekiel has evidently provoked a dance.  Who knew.

Claude Marriottini has a new book on the Violence of God.  He talks a little bit about the topic here.  Claude is a good scholar and a reliable teacher.  Give him a read.

150 Men at Nehemiah’s Table? The Role of the Governor’s Meals in the Achaemenid Provincial Economy It’s an essay.  By Liz Fried.  She’s fantastic.  Go read it.

I- yours truly- blogged the sessions of the SOTS Winter Meeting.  You can drop in on them here.  Others tweeted parts of it.  Chiefly you can follow the papers as delivered from the tweets of Nathan MacDonald.

Rabbi Ruttenberg provided an interpretation of the ‘hardening of Pharaoh’s heart’.  It’s quite enjoyable.

Interested in Job’s family?  Who isn’t.  So here you go:

La famille de Job dans les différents livres de Job. Le texte hébreu, la Septante et le Testament de Job en comparaison, in: ThZ 77, 2021 [published 2022], 290-307, by Walter Buehrer.  You’re welcome.

What the….  But why?  Why?  Why??????????

For the latest Hebrew Bible info virtually daily, join Jack Sasson’s Agade List.  To request subscription send a plain text email to and ask to be added to the List, mentioning your preferred email address.

The Food Court (New Testament)

Interested in Matthew 2?  This may either satisfy that interest or cure you of it altogether, forever.  It’s a post by Ken Schenck.

Jim Tabor has a new post up about the Roman world of Jesus.  It’s a post worth your time.  Unlike that book about Jesus you picked up at Barnes and Noble written by the latest fad mega-churcher.

Do you love old manuscripts? Do you love Greek? Do you love? If you do, then you’ll love this:

@CSNTM– #ManuscriptMonday New year, old manuscript! Papyrus 52, held at The John Rylands Library in Manchester, is a fragment of the Gospel of John dated by many to the 2nd or 3rd cent. This tiny artifact has received much attention and investigation by scholars.

Do you also like manuscripts touted as a big deal that turn out to be total garbage like the ‘first century Mark’ fragment?  Well good.  Here’s Elijah Hixson on the farce of first century Mark.

Did you miss SBL in November?  Are you sad that you couldn’t sit in on a paper about the Apocryphal Acts?  Cheer up.  Tony has put the paper online.  So you can read it yourself.  Or, if you want to re-enact the live experience, just ask your spouse to read it to you while you doomscroll twitter just like you would if you had attended SBL!

Just when you thought the ’empire’ trope had suffered the fate of ‘form criticism’ it rears its head once again!  That’s the great thing about biblical studies fads, they live on, somewhere, forever.  Like covid-19…..  After slogging through the pop-ups festooning the page you’ll be able to read Philip Jenkins’ nostalgic piece.

Jay the anonymous software engineer shared some thoughts on Mt 27:1-2.  It’s brief, and carries on some of the usual tropes that are historically questionable. Cf. Barrett ad loc.

Are you curious about the interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12?  Would you like to read an exceptional bit of exegesis?  Then you’re in luck.  Margaret Mowczko has it.

Do you like the Carpocratians?  Are you also a fan of Morton Smith?  well Mike Kok is about to make your day with his essay Morton Smith and the Carpocratians.  Mike is a Canadian, but don’t hold that against him.  Do you like mysticism and initiation into Hellenistic mysteries?  Well once again, you’re in luck, because James Tabor has a post for you.

Pete Enns group blog has a new contributor, Jennifer Bashaw, and she’s posted her first post on Peter’s group blog and it’s about why Paul’s letters aren’t enough if you want to understand ‘salvation’.  Amen.

Matthew and Luke have different genealogical listings.  Alex Krause takes a look.

Andrew Perriman drafts Jesus as a participant in the climate crisis debate.  Jesus is drafted for every cause.  He’s drafted more than the lead car at every NASCAR race.  I wonder how many of these drafts he turns up his nose at.  I wonder how often in heaven he’s like ‘For pete’s sake, leave me out of this!’.  Quite a lot I imagine.

The Good Samaritan and the prophet Oded… Do they have elements in common?  Probably not I suspect, but the anonymous blogger who posted the thing might have other thoughts.  You may enjoy the post if you 1) like anonymous posts; and 2) like literary intertwinings even if they are imaginary.

Mike Bird on Romans 8 and the assurance of God’s love in hard times.  Job would like a word.

Jesuscreed has a bit of a discussion about the Pharisees.  His springboard is A-J Levine’s new book on that subject.  Scot is pro-Pharisees.  Enjoy his post.

Tyndale House had a seminar on the ending of Mark.  If you missed it, it’s on the YouTube.  And there’s a very useful resource page for Mark 16 if you want to investigate things further.

Scot McKnight has a post on the Pharisees.  But you’ll have to pay up.  It’s for ‘paying subscribers’ only.  Conversely, you could just buy A-J Levine and Joseph Sievers’ book and get a lot more bang for your buck.

The Animal Exhibition (Archaeological Stuff)

Have they found the birthplace of Mary Magdalene?  No.  But no doesn’t sell papers or drive tourists to visit sites in hopes of touching some holy relic or standing in some spot where some biblical personage may have stepped.  Which reminds me, the relic quest is as alive and well, under the guise of ‘science’ as it ever was in the 16th century when Erasmus derided all the fraud and mocked the relic hunters by pointing out that if all the fragments of the cross on display in Europe were collected the wood would be more than is found in all the forests of Bavaria.  Anyway, as always, Candida does a super job explaining the situation.  She’s tremendous.  Read anything she writes.

Bob Cargill interviewed Shua Kisilevitz, the director of the Tel Moza excavation.  It’s a text piece and a video that you’ll want to take a look at.  And be sure to check out the website’s News page.  It lists archaeological stories chronologically and is pretty thorough.

There was a Dead Sea Scrolls conference this Summer sponsored by NYU and they posted it on Jan 5 for all the folk who missed it.  So it was blogged.  Here.

A lecture by Tel Aviv University archaeologist Yuval Gadot on Iron Age and Persian Era Jerusalem is slated for Feb 17 at noon EST.   Sign up.

And, speaking of signing up, Candida Moss tweeted

Birmingham Biblical Studies Seminar @PTRBirmingham is delighted to welcome @catebosh from @UCLA to discuss “Aramaic and Empire” in Bilingual Inscriptions. Come learn about archeology, language, and identity! Register here.

Clay Sealings from the Temple Mount and Their Use in the Temple and Royal Treasuries.”  Enjoy.

Just how much can the most famous of the Dead Sea Scrolls prove?  Isn’t that a good question?  It’s asked here.  By someone named Anthony Ferguson.

Avraham Faust has three new articles out this month. Some online. Track them down. He’s such an exceptional scholar.

  1. Faust, A, and Safrai, Z., in press, Toward a Quantitative History of Ancient Israel: Burials as a Test Case, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 65 (published online).
  2. Faust, A., and Sapir, Y., 2021, Building 101 at Tel ‘Eton, the Low Chronology, and the Perils of a Bias-Perpetuating Methodology: A Response and a Proposal for the Study of All the Phases in the History of Buildings, Palestine Exploration Quarterly 153: 304-334.
  3. Faust, A., 2021, Cyprus and the Land of Israel: The Mediterranean as a Bridge and the Diverse Consequences of Cultural Contact, in J. Charlesworth and J.G.R. Pruszinski (eds.), Cyprus Within the Biblical World: Borders Not Barriers, London: T&T Clark, pp. 26-40.

Israel Finkelstein uploaded a boatload of papers to his page in January.  Yes, literally, a boatload.  And, just in case you didn’t know, he also has a YouTube channel.  It too has a boatload of material.  Yes, a literal boat load.

Finally, Todd Bolen does a weekly roundup of archaeology related stuff.  It’s a very worthwhile post each week, though mildly annotated.

The Strange and Bizarre (Books and Reviews)

Jennifer Neyhart blogs about books of all sorts, including biblical studies and theology.  If you aren’t familiar with her blog, give it a visit.  She’s super.

Adele Reinhartz wonderful Bible and Cinema is out in a new second edition.  I mention it because it’s something you should know.

Nijay Gupta recommends a concise dictionary of New Testament theology stuff.  Brian Davidson recommended some Accordance commentaries.

Taming The Beast: A Reception History of Behemoth and LeviathanReviewed here.  It’s a MUST read volume.

Some hearty soul purportedly read the two volumes of the new Cambridge Greek Lexicon and wrote a review!  NOTE- said review will only be available freely till the end of February, so read it whilst you can.  The reviewer seems fixated on sexual terms and the entries for race and ethnicity.  I guess it takes all kinds, doesn’t it…

Kara Slade’s new book is reviewed here.  Kara is a delight, and it sounds like her new book is as well.  I don’t have the time to read it right now though….  Maybe soon….

Paul Davidson, amateur Bible enthusiast, reviews The Dismembered Bible.  It sounds like a fun book.

Liz Fried’s new commentary on Nehemiah was reviewed here.  The commentary features a very unique additional online ‘tool’.  You’ll have to read the review to find out what it is.

Mike Bird reviews a commentary on Jonah and calls it ‘splendid’.  Aussies and their fancy words.

Rick Brannan has a book out (or it will be momentarily) titled ‘Fragments of Christianity‘.  It may be of interest to you.  Or it may not.  I don’t know.  I can’t read your mind.

Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity is reviewed here by someone who’s name I can’t find on their ‘about me’ page.  I guess that’s ok.  Maybe he or she just doesn’t like fame.

Mike Bird kicked off January with a list of books he is going to read in 2022.  Not once, though, did he say ‘God willing’!!!!  Gasp.  Astonishing behavior from someone who is surely familiar with James’ clear dictum- ἐὰν ὁ κύριος θελήσῃ καὶ ζήσομεν καὶ ποιήσομεν τοῦτο ἢ ἐκεῖνο. (Jas. 4:15)

I reviewed a new little book titled ‘The Rewards of Learning Greek and Hebrew‘.  You’ll enjoy it and the book.

Will’s book is out.  Get it.  Your kids don’t need to eat.  Or skip the rent:

Sandra Jacobs posted her review of Sovereign Authority and the Elaboration of Law in the Bible and the Ancient Near East on her page.  Give it a read. you say?  Yup.  Because if I’m going to include podcasts and youtube stuff I’m going to include Academia.  Because, frankly, blogging manifests itself in many formats these days.

Not, strictly speaking, a book review, but related thereto I think-

@candidamoss — Birmingham Biblical Studies Seminar @PTRBirmingham : @FordhamNYC professor Sarit Kattan Gribetz will discuss her award winning @PrincetonUPress book “Time and Difference in Rabbinic Judaism” on Wed Feb 2 at 8am PST/11am EST/4pm GMT. Register here.

Rob Bradshaw has posted an oldie but a goodie: Studies in Matthew by BW Bacon.  Lot’s of you are fans of Bacon, or so you say.  So surely this will be of interest.

Phil Long (the Carnival Ringmaster) reviewed a book on Israel’s Wisdom Traditions.  Why do we need another book on Wisdom when we have von Rad and RBY Scott?  Phil writes

McLaughlin’s Introduction is an excellent introduction to the biblical wisdom books with a few added features to distinguish itself from other introductions. Including Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon extend the introduction into the Second Temple period and his chapter on the continuation of these traditions beyond the First Testament is helpful, even if too brief.

Brent N. interviewed the author of some book or other about some New Testament related thing.  Part one of the interview is here. Part two, here.  The title of the book is New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity.  New documents ya say?  How relevant could they be if they’re new?  Anyway- there ya go.  He also reviewed another NT themed book.  It’s some sort of student’s guide.  I didn’t really read the review or the book.  But you can if you want to.

Carl broke his decades long blog silence and posted on books he’s read in the last year.  See you next January, Carl….

William Ross reviewed A New Hebrew Reader for the Psalms.  William makes this horrifying confession at the outset of his review: It’s been a while since I did a book review, but I want to make sure to highlight a great new resource that is likely to interest my readers. Hendrickson Publishers has just produced A Hebrew Reader for the Psalms: 40 Beloved Texts, compiled and edited by Pete Myers and Jonathan G. Kline.  Shameful.  The failure to review, not the review itself.

The Midway (All the Miscellaneous Stuff)

Phil Long did a super job with the December Carnival (appearing 1 January).  Phil is a really great guy. A perfect way to start the New Year.

Jim Eisenbraun is blogging!  Welcome to biblioblogdom, Jim!

Elijah Drake’s tale of attending a megachurch made me sick.  What a fraud of a ‘church’.  Ιησους….

Sometimes text critics have a reputation for being boring.  And, truth told, they usually are.  And sometimes they themselves get so bored with what they do that they wander cemeteries looking for graves…  Or at least the graves of other text critics.  If you’re ever stuck next to a text critic at a party, flee.  You’ll be overcome with boredom if you don’t.  You’ve been warned.

The EABS has issued it’s call for papers for its next meeting.  The deadline for submissions is February.  Here’s the info page.

There’s something called the ‘secular’ web and someone called John McDonald who seems to be a very nice person.  He mentioned this site.  Frankly I prefer John’s sort to the ‘Molechgelicals’.

Newman U. is hosting a conference titled Language and Religion.  If you’re in the area you ought to arrange to go.  It’s in June, so covid will be over by then. Or at least the obsession with it will be.

Todd Brewer has a nice brief bit on Barth and Billy Graham.  Give it a look.  And if interested consult Barth in Conversation, vol 1, pp 124-125, 158, 160, 227; Barth in Conversation, vol 2, pp 96-97.

People are bizarrely still trying to define the Trinity.  It’s like watching mice run through a maze that has no exit.  And Tertullian’s mocking of philosophy is justified once more.  So it’s fun for that reason alone.  As you listen to the podcast, just keep repeated in your mind ‘Philosophers are the patriarchs of heretics’ and it will be super enjoyable.

If you’re a scholar of Syriac, or just beginning your studies, this conference may be your thing.  The deadline is Jan 31 but I bet if you send yours in in the next few days it will make the cut.  The Department of Theological Studies at Fordham University and Dorushe invite proposals for the Eighth Dorushe Graduate Student Conference on Syriac Studies, to be held at Fordham University (NYC) on June 9-10, 2022. The deadline for abstracts is January 31, 2022.

2022 is the 500th Anniversary of the publication of Luther’s famous ‘Septembertestament’.  The folk at are celebrating and they invite you to do the same:

Dieses Jahr feiern wir 500 Jahre Lutherbibel.  Im @Bibelmuseum zeigen wir ab Mai die Ausstellung <das man deutsch mit ihnen redet> 500 Jahre Lutherbibel. Das Zitat stammt aus Luthers <Sendbrieff vom Dolmetzschen> von 1530. Luther erklärt hier, wie die Bibel zu übersetzen sei, nämlich, <man muss die mutter ibm hause/die kinder auff der gassen/den gemeinen mann auff dem marckt drumb fragen/vnn den selbigen auff das maul sehen/wie sie reden/vnd darnach dolmetzschen/so verstehen sie es den/vn mercken/das man Deutsch mi jn redet.>

Join in!

Sadly news came in January that the text critic Robert Hull Jr. died.  May he rest in peace.  Also, sadly, January 26th the Old Testament scholar John Endres, SJ passed from this life.  He was an amazing mind.

Brent posted his least popular posts of 2021…. I would do that but all of my posts are popular. Amen. Better luck in 2022 Brent…


Visit Phil’s master list of past and present carnivals.  Phil also lists the upcoming carnivals:

  • 192 February 2023 (Due March 1) – Bobby Howell, The Library Musings @SirRobertHowell
  • 193 March 2022 (Due April 1) – Amateur Exegete, @amateurexegete
  • 194 April 2022 (Due May 1) –
  • 195 May 2022 (Due June 1) – Bob MacDonald at Dust @drmacdonald

The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal

Thursday 19th January
5.00 pm (GMT [12:00 Noon EST]) virtually on Zoom
Prof Yonatan Adler (Ariel University)
The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal

Zoom access will be available from 4.45 pm (GMT [11:45 am EST]) and the lecture commences at 5.00 pm (GMT [12:00 Noon EST]).

Our first lecture of 2023 will be held on Thursday 19 January at 5.00 pm (GMT [12:00 Noon EST]) when Prof Yonatan Adler will be speaking about The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal, followed by a Q&A session (see attached poster). To register, please write to and the link will be sent to you approximately 48 hours prior to the lecture. If however you haven’t received it by the morning of the lecture please check your junk/spam box.

Throughout much of history, the Jewish way of life has been characterized by strict adherence to the practices and prohibitions legislated by the Torah: dietary laws, ritual purity, circumcision, Sabbath regulations, holidays, and more. But precisely when did this unique way of life first emerge, and why specifically at that time? In this revolutionary new study, Yonatan Adler methodically engages ancient texts and archaeological discoveries to reveal the earliest evidence of Torah observance among ordinary Judeans. He examines the species of animal bones in ancient rubbish heaps, the prevalence of purification pools and chalk vessels in Judean settlements, the dating of figural representations in decorative and functional arts, evidence of such practices as tefillin and mezuzot, and much more to reconstruct when ancient Judean society first adopted the Torah as authoritative law. Focusing on the lived experience of the earliest Torah observers, this investigative study transforms much of what we thought we knew about the genesis and early development of Judaism.

Yonatan Adler is an Associate Professor at the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Ariel University, where he also heads the Institute of Archaeology. Recent excavations include the sites of ‘Einot Amitai and Reina in the Galilee. In 2018, he was appointed by the Minister of Culture to the Israeli Council for Archaeology.

He has written extensively on the subject of archaeological evidence relating to the observance of Torah law, covering topics such as ancient ritual immersion pools, dietary laws, ancient tefillin found in the Judean Desert, and chalk vessels. His latest book, The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal, was published by Yale University Press in November 2022.

This talk is free to members and non-members.

Via both Jack Sasson and Joseph Lauer.

The End of the Year Biblioblogger Extravaganza: Collecting the Best Posts of 2022

You read that right, friends.  This Carnival isn’t just the best biblioblogging posts for the month of December.  It’s the best of the entire YEAR!

The best of the footballers… He’s not in the Carnival, but he would be if this were the best of the footballers, 2022.

Usually, posts are divided into major groupings.  But this Carnival the best posts in all categories from 2022 will be found below, by month!

Every year there are dozens of ‘the best of the year’ lists.  And this one is no different.  Well it is a little bit, because it actually IS the best of the best.

So friends, pull up a chair, relax, sit back, and enjoy the very best material (with extensive annotation and commentary from your beloved Carnival host, me) from your biblioblogging friends month by month for 2022.


The best post of January was, by far- Taking Stock of the “First-Century Mark” Saga: What can we learn from the overzealous excitement about the earliest known copy of our earliest Gospel? By Elijah Hixson. Honestly friends, if you missed this post you missed a real gem. It is exceptionally conceived and brilliantly executed.

The Second best post of January was this little review of a very fine book titled Family and Identity in the Book of Judges. Super book. Super review!  There are some really excellent women scholars and there need to be more of them.

Sadly our SOTS colleague and friend John Sawyer died at the start of the year.  You may not be as familiar with him as you are other Hebrew Bible scholars but believe me, he was a giant in the field.


The very happy news was shared in February that the Tyndale Bulletin is now completely freely available!  Who shared it?  I did.  You’re welcome!

And in February A-J Levine discussed her book at a symposium held in Rome.  You can watch it here if you missed it then:


Chris Rollston took the claims of a ‘Mount Ebal Curse Inscription‘ to the woodshed and beat it silly,  It was the best archaeological post in March and it was in all likelihood the best Archaeological post of the year.  Though I don’t know that for sure since I haven’t seen or read every post on the topic this year and unlike those weirdos who do ‘best of’ lists without even so much as a blush of shame, I don’t make untrue claims.

That said, it was in March that I recalled the greatest of the Biblioblog carnivals, by Deane Galbraith.  22 years ago.  Gosh, that’s a long time.  Anyway, this end of year glance back would be profoundly incomplete if it didn’t urge readers, as I did in March, to take a look at Deane’s Carnival.  Seriously.

Sad news from March: the goodly and delightful Joseph Blenkinsopp died that month.  He was a wit and a genius.  A fixture at SBL, CBA, and SOTS.  😦   Norman Gottwald also died that month.


Sam Perry and friend had their book on Christian Nationalism reviewed and, believe me, if you haven’t read it yet, your ought to.  It is an important topic for biblical scholars and theologians and church historians.  And even though Perry is just a sociologist, with not always the best understanding of, or grasp on, matters theological, his analysis, from a social-sciences perspective, is pretty good.  If you keep in mind that Perry isn’t a theologian or biblical scholar his book will not annoy (if only he had stayed completely in his lane).

Joan Taylor is an absolute genius.  If you missed her discussion on Mary Magdalene in April you missed a treasure.  And you can correct your evil neglect right now:


James McGrath wins the prize for the best post in May (sure, it was from May, 2019, but let’s be honest, most of the time newer isn’t better, is it).  James is, if you aren’t familiar with him, the nerd’s nerd.  He loves everything Sci-Fi and he loves biblical studies and he loves Classical music and he is as sharp as a tack.  And, again, though the post is older, it is still very much worthy of inclusion in this End of the Year Carnival.  And if you don’t like it, do a Carnival yourself!  Otherwise the sage remark of Kierkegaard applies:  ‘Critics are like eunuchs.  They know what should be done, but they can’t manage to do it themselves’.

And if you missed this lecture, now’s your chance to watch it.  It is a brilliant discussion of what archaeology has to tell us about the part women played in earliest Christianity:


Not to seem inappropriately boastful, but in June I passed along word of the final book Philip Davies published (in 2018) – for those who had not seen it yet (because apparently more people read stupid novels and sci fi garbage than substantive biblical studies books… Pillocks).  Anywho, I pass along word of it once more, here at the end of the year, because it deserves a wide(r) readership.  If you haven’t read it in 2022, read it in 2023.

And though it appeared first in June of 2021, this post on bullies in academia deserves another read.  Especially by those who have to endure the attacks of the flying monkeys sent out by the behind-the-scenes manipulators whose lives are empty and minds are full of schemes and plans to undermine and undo anyone who dares disagree with them.

Somewhat along the same lines of academic bullying is the topic of anti-expertise.  Both bullies and dilettantes have as their aim the overriding of expertise, for their own particular reasons.  If you missed Nina Burleigh’s brilliant discussion concerning the forsaking of expertise, watch it now:

June is the 6th month.  It’s a good time to look back just as January provides the same opportunity.  The year is half done, and so is our End of the Year Extravaganza of Biblioblogging delightfulness.


Posted in July, the best of the lot for that searing month was this gem on ‘The Myth of the ‘Ignorant’ Fishermen’.  It takes a look at the widely held belief that the disciples of Jesus were just backwater rednecks who probably didn’t know how to read, or think, and just were happy to ‘know Jesus’ so they didn’t need ‘to know no doctrine’ (just like certain Christians today who don’t need doctrine, they just need Jesus).  If you missed it, now’s your chance.

And now for something completely different- for conference attendees who have a ‘question’ (that isn’t a question at all now is it, precious…)

The good Christian Brady tweeted that gem in July.  Worth sharing for sure.

Chris Rollston, always worth reading, posted a rebuttal of claims made by Gershon Galil about the so called ‘Jerusalem Stone’.  Chris is THE go to guy for epigraphy.


Linear A decipherment and a recent debate were the events provoking this post from August.  Linear A huh.  Fun.  Where else will you find posts about long abandoned languages if not in the most beloved of all the biblioblog carnivals?  Nowhere.  You’re welcome.

There were two books published in Open Access in August.  Both Aramaic text sourcebooks.  The first, A Handbook of the Aramaic Scrolls from the Qumran Caves, and the second, Aramaic Daniel.  In case you missed them.

Who doesn’t love free books?


Because it’s important to remember such things when you’re an academic:

Chris Rollston, again, wins the prize for best archaeological post by urging us to tap the breaks back in August about the much ballyhooed ‘Ishmael Papyrus’.  Don’t recall the ‘big news’?  Alas, that’s because so many claims turn out to be nonsense that it’s hard to keep them all straight.  You don’t need to remember the fragment and the absurd claims made of it to enjoy Rollston’s ripping of it.

September was the 10th anniversary (I know, right?!?!?!?) of the publication in HTR of Karen King’s false claim that a new ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ was probative for biblical studies.  Ariel Sabar showed, in his excellent book on the subject, that the artifact was a fraud and the entire process of its publication was riddled with wrongs.  Here he provides a super thread on the twitter on the anniversary.

Do you like wet bread?  Probably not.  Anyway, you’ll like this post by Brent Niedergall about wet bread in Qoheleth.  Wet bread… it’s gross isn’t it.


Nick Posegay posted one of the most interesting threads to appear on twitter in 2022, on the Cairo Genizah.  Don’t miss it again.  It’s really terrific.

The second award winning post from the month of October is – Uncovering the Dead, Dethroning the King: Divine Embodiment in 1 Samuel 28:14.

1 Samuel 28:14 describes the appearance of the ghost of Samuel, who, upon King Saul’s request, was raised by a medium. We identify four key elements of the ghost’s visage, all of which relate to the living Samuel or King Saul, or their relationship, and all critique King Saul and foreshadow the loss of the kingship and his demise. 

We were all saddened to learn of the death of Gordon Fee in October.  😦  So did John Meier.  😦 😦   I had chatted with John about historical Jesus stuff at CBA many times.  His ‘Marginal Jew’ will now, it seems, remain forever unfinished.  😦

It’s grippingly good.  Those two offerings are the best of the month, and may even be the best of the year.  But I’ll let you decide that for yourselves.


A super lecture was offered by A-J Levine on the interesting topic of Life After Death:

If you didn’t watch it in November, take a few minutes and watch it now.

Incredibly useful and exceedingly worthy of your good attention is the new site – Biblia Hebraica transcripta.

Sad news of the death of E.P. Sanders circulated among the guild.  Google will pull up numerous obituaries.  Also passing from this life in November was the amazing linguist and Hebrew Bible scholar Ernst Jenni.  He was, and will forever remain, an extraordinarily important contributor to the field of biblical studies.

… das ist das ganze Alte Testament transkribiert, mit Satzeinteilungen versehen, morphologisch, morphosyntaktisch und syntaktisch analysiert, sodann mit Funktionen für Dokumentation, Kommentierung, Suche, Analyse und Visualisierung bereichert.


Eric Meyers published his long awaited autobiography this month.  Eric is a fascinating person and an excellent scholar/ archaeologist.  In fact, I think I can say this without fear of contradiction, he is the greatest American archaeologist of all time (so far) and teamed up with his wife Carol they are the greatest American archaeologists ever!  I’m sure his memoir will be incredibly interesting.

Also archaeologically themed, this incredibly important public statement by many of the leading archaeologists in Israel regarding the constant flow of un-examined, non-peer reviewed ‘discovery’ announcements was posted by Aren Maeir (with a follow up here).  It is ESSENTIAL reading and may well be the most important (long term) blogpost of the year.  It is time for archaeological discoveries to be subjected to peer review before being published.  There’s just too much garbage out there claiming to be ‘earth shattering’ that turns out to be pure trash (see the ‘Tomb of Jesus’ Midwife‘ rubbish from December for a relevant example).

One of the most, if not the most, interesting biblical studies related posts of the month was the zoom lecture on Money in Judea: From the Bronze Age to Bar Kochba.  You’ll be able to view it on the facebook page linked here.  If you missed it, that is.

The best mention of a new book was made by Nijay Gupta whose fantastic book will come out in early 2023.  Seriously friends.  Seriously.  His book is fantastic.  If you don’t read any other book in 2023, read his.  (And when ours on Martin Bucer comes out read it too).  Ok, read two books in 2023.  (I’m pretty sure you’ll need to read more than that, but you have to start somewhere).

James Spinti doesn’t burden readers with long posts as though he were writing a book and each chapter is its own post.  Thankfully (since long posts are annoying and silly).  Instead he gives short but very thoughtful snippets of insight.  And he did so again in December.  Enjoy.

Mike Aubrey has a bibliography of conditionals in Greek.  You can check it out, conditionally.  The condition being your willingness to do it.  If you’re a Greek language nerd, you’ll want to.  If you’re still eating playdough and / or glue, though, you probably won’t care to.

December was the month during which the sad news that David Clines died arrived in our inboxes.  He was fondly remembered by many and a Symposium honoring his life and work has been scheduled for April.  He will be missed.

And the best series of the year was posted by Michael Kok titled Mark Was not a Pauline Gospel.  It’s tremendous.  Take a little time and give it a read through.


Thanks for stopping by.  And consider putting together a Carnival yourself.  As Phil Long notes

Contact me via email, or DM on twitter (plong42) to discuss hosting a Biblical Studies carnival. If you are a new BiblioBlogger, this is a good way to get your blog some recognition. And, to quote Jim West, ”if you do one, it makes it unlikely that I will!”

Amen.  Now

I am In Absolute Agreement With this Statement on Unexamined Archaeological Claims

Public Statement

We, the undersigned, archaeologists and historians from research institutions throughout Israel, of various backgrounds and worldviews, wish to make a public statement.

Occasionally, and up until recent days, archaeological finds and discoveries (that are at times presented as revolutionary and game changers in the history of the Land of Israel) have been published in the popular press and on social media, prior to peer review, and to the full presentation, with high quality illustrations, of these finds in scientific publications, even long after the initial public notification.

As is clear to anyone dealing with science and research, one of the foundations of all research and discovery is that results must go through a process of peer review prior to publication, to check for quality, suggest improvements and comments, and in some cases, reject a suggestion. Without this process, research is conducted without proper checks and balances. In addition, research colleagues (in this case archaeologists and historians) cannot properly ascertain, and if need be disagree, with these claims.

We cannot but stress that until the publication of finds or research results in a scientific and peer-reviewed publication, any claim made should be related to as unfounded, and is also unworthy of publication in the popular press.

Signers of the Petition (alphabetically)

  1. Prof. Oren Ackerman, Ariel Univ.
  2. Prof. Yonatan Adler, Ariel Univ.
  3. Dr. Shira Albaz, Bar-Ilan Univ.
  4. Dr. Ella Assaf Shpayer, Tel Aviv Univ.
  5. Prof. Yoram Cohen, Tel Aviv Univ.
  6. Dr. Amit Dagan, Bar-Ilan Univ.
  7. Dr. Uri Davidovich, Hebrew Univ.
  8. Dr. Adi Eliyahu, Ariel Univ.
  9. Dr. Avner Ecker, Bar-Ilan Univ.
  10. Mr. Daniel Ein Mor, Israel Antiquities Authority
  11. Prof. Esther Eshel, Bar-Ilan Univ.
  12. Prof. Yuval Gadot, Tel Aviv Univ.
  13. Dr. Asaf Gayer, Ariel Univ.
  14. Prof. Isaac Gilead, Ben-Gurion Univ.
  15. Dr. Shai Gordin, Ariel Univ.
  16. Prof. Yuval Goren, Ben-Gurion Univ.
  17. Prof. Naama Goren-Inbar, Hebrew Univ. and Israel Academy of Sciences
  18. Prof. Dan’el Kahn, Univ. of Haifa
  19. Dr. Ido Koch, Tel Aviv Univ.
  20. Dr. Assaf Kleiman, Ben-Gurion Univ.
  21. Prof. Gunnar Lehmann, Ben-Gurion Univ.
  22. Prof. Yigal Levin, Bar-Ilan Univ.
  23. Prof. Oded Lipschits, Tel Aviv Univ.
  24. Prof. Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan Univ.
  25. Prof. Ofer Marder, Ben-Gurion Univ.
  26. Dr. Haggai Misgav, Hebrew Univ.
  27. Prof. Nadav Na’aman, Tel Aviv Univ. and Israel Academy of Sciences
  28. Prof. Steve Rosen, Ben-Gurion Univ.
  29. Prof. Joel Roskin, Bar-Ilan Univ.
  30. Dr. Omer Sergi, Tel Aviv Univ.
  31. Prof. Itzik Shai, Ariel Univ.
  32. Dr. Deborah Sweeney, Tel Aviv Univ.
  33. Prof. Zeev Weiss, Hebrew Univ.
  34. Prof. Boaz Zissu, Bar-Ilan Univ.

I simply CANNOT agree more.

Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum: Volume 5, The Early-Roman Period (30 BCE–117 CE)

The period between the Roman take-over of Egypt (30 BCE) and the failure of the Jewish diaspora revolt (115–117 CE) witnessed the continual devaluation in the status of the Jews in Egypt, and culminated in the destruction of its Jewish community. This volume collects and presents all papyri, ostraca, amulets and inscriptions from this early Roman period connected to Jews and Judaism, published since 1957. It is a follow-up of the 1960 volume 2 of the Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum. It includes over 80 documents in Greek, Demotic, and Hebrew, both documentary and literary.

The expansion of the scope of documents, to include languages other than Greek and genres beyond the documentary, allows for a better understanding of the life of the Jews in Egypt. The documents published in this volume shed new light on aspects discussed previously: The Demotic papyri better explain the Jewish settlement in Edfu, new papyri reveal more about Jewish tax, about the Acta papyri, and about the developments of the Jewish revolt. The magical papyri help explain cultural developments in the Jewish community of Egypt. This volume is thus a major contribution to the study of the decline of the greatest diaspora Jewish community in antiquity.

First century Judaism is best accessed not in the literature of the elites but in the fragmentary remains of the regular people who lived their lives in that significant era.  The present volume collects every documentary papyri and literary papyri from 30 BCE to 117 CE left by Jewish Romans or rather Jewish inhabitants of the Roman empire.  There are tax receipts, bath receipts, poll tax receipts, various sorts of ostraca, lists of names, letters, and all of the sorts of things you might find if you rummaged through your neighbor’s paper trail trash.

There is also an additional Jewish papyrus in an appendix and another appendix features early Roman inscriptions and finally a list of non Jewish documents not included in the collection.

There are indices of literary sources, papyri, ostraca and inscriptions, Roman rulers, Months, Names of Jews, Ethnica, Titles, professions of Jews, geographical locations, technical terms, and religion.  There is also a table of measurements.

Also included are a list of abbreviations, a short explanatory note on the reconstruction of the text, and a very, very well written introduction to Papyri of the Early Roman Period.

Each text is thoroughly described including date and provenance.  Each also offers a brief bibliography and a short description.  The text itself is either reproduced in transliteration or the font of its original language.  Side by side sit that original text and an English translation.  Textual notes and explanations of readings follow that.

That sounds like rather a lot, so to illustrate I will simply offer a photo of one of the texts:

There simply is nothing in scholarship as important as primary sources.  Any collection of primary sources is worth shelf space in your personal library and most certainly in your school’s library.

This collection opens a window on the Roman world in the first century as seen through the eyes of Jews.  For New Testament scholars, historians, interpreters, and exegetes the value of such a collection is clear.  As is the importance of such a collection for scholars of early Judaism.  How regular folk lived their lives; what they bought, sold, and traded for, how they occupied their days, all are incredibly valuable for those who wish to understand an era.

This volume is efficient, precise, and engorged with details.  It is the sort of reference volume you will probably not sit down and read through.  But it is certainly a reference volume you will turn to again and again and again.

The Final Lecture in the Series, ‘Ancient Attire’

Via Jack Sasson from Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme:

Join us for the sixth and final lecture in the digital lecture series Ancient Attire.

Friday 16 December at 3pm (local time in Oslo).

The lecture ” Dress, Adornment and the Material Language of Power: Royal Textiles in Assyria” will be presented by Dr. Salvatore Gaspa, University of Padua. Sign up here:

The lecture is open for all, but registration is necessary.

About the lecture: Elite textiles documented from texts and visual art of first-millennium BC Assyria represent a valuable source of information on the rich textile industry that developed during Assyria’s political dominion in the ancient Near East. The lecture will explore Neo-Assyrian royal textiles, their components and peculiarites combining textual and visual data. The analysis will also address the question of how royal textiles were an integral part of the power narrative of the Assyrian kings, playing a role of manifesto of the royal ideology.

Ancient Attire is a digital lecture series on Dress, Adornment and Vestimentary Codes in the Ancient Mediterranean World. The aim of this series is to investigate vestimentary codes in ancient cultures, and to explore how these concepts relate to gender, hierarchy and power.

Money in Judaea: The Bronze Age to Bar Kokhba


How did money work before the invention of coinage? And what happened when coins suddenly arrived on the scene? Come and explore the history of money in ancient Judea with renowned numismatic expert, David Hendin.

Before coins existed, exchanges took place using metals of various standards, which market traders weighed using ancient scale weights in a range of shapes. Coins were introduced to ancient Israel gradually from the seventh century BC onwards — with local issues appearing during the Persian period.

The Jerusalem mint became the source of coinage of Antiochus VII, going on to produce coins for the Hasmoneans, Herodians, and Prefects and Procurators of Judaea, as well as through the Jewish War. Judean coins were also struck during the Bar Kokhba revolt, but not in Jerusalem.

David Hendin is author of Guide to Biblical Coins 6th Edition, and 16 other books. Hendin is first Vice President and Honorary Curator of the American Numismatic Society, which granted him the ANS Trustees Award in 2022. He has participated in fieldwork at Sepphoris in 1985, 1986, and 2011 with Duke/Hebrew Universities.

Email to register: