A group for scholars of or interested in ancient Judaism.
This study argues that there is a tradition, arising from a ‘Jewish milieu’, based around the exegesis of select biblical passages, indicating that the messiah bears the Divine Name. This tradition appears to predate the Christian movement, and is referenced also in rabbinic literature. In the first section we highlight a tradition regarding the…[Read more]
Paper delivered at Cornell University, March 7, 2013 to the Department of Near Eastern Studies.
A review of Karel van der Toorn’s Becoming Diaspora Jews: Behind the Story of Elephantine (Anchor Bible Reference Library). New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019. Pp xi, 270. Hardcover: $65. ISBN: 9780300243512.
This article asks the question how post-exilic readers would have read 1-2 Samuel in Yehud. It answers the question by looking at ancient Mediterranean models of textual authority and education.
This essay explores how and why three early Christian figures–Epiphanius, Romanos the Melode, and Ambrosiaster–have, at various times, been imagined as former Jews. By applying a hermeneutics of conversion, this essay argues that the significance of these three Christians’ ex-Jewishness lies not in its historicity (or falsity) but in the way…[Read more]
Andrew Jacobs deposited “This Piece of Parchment Will Shake the World”: The Mystery of Mar Saba and the Evangelical Prototype of a Secular Fiction Genre in the group Ancient Jew Review on Humanities Commons 7 months, 3 weeks ago
The 1940 evangelical novel The Mystery of Mar Saba by James H. Hunter shares with a later, secular genre of novels I call gospel thrillers a common plot (the discovery of a new gospel from the first century and a race to prove or disprove its authenticity) but also common anxieties about biblical authority mapped onto geopolitical, theological,…[Read more]
Philip J. Lowe deposited The Premise and Paraenesis: Rhetorical Studies and the Connection of the Christ Hymn with the Corresponding Paraenesis of Colossians in the group Ancient Jew Review on Humanities Commons 11 months, 1 week ago
Much has been written on the epistle to the Colossians. Much less has been written on Colossians and rhetoric. Even less has been written on the connection of praise and paraenesis found in the epistle. If the book of Colossians can be understood as epideictic rhetoric, then a connection between its paraenesis and the encomium to Christ…[Read more]
This essay examines the issue of David’s (lack of) clothing in 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 15. It asks: what potential meanings would be at play for ancient readers of these texts? Drawing on research into social memory and “forgetting,” it argues that Judean readers would partially warrant Michal’s distaste for David’s dressing-down, while still…[Read more]
The Q hypothesis has long dominated the study of the Synoptics. It is often heralded as the key to Synoptic interpretation, yet it is simultaneously challenged at nearly every juncture. Regarding parable study, the Q hypothesis offers much by way of identifying redaction, but the impact of identifiable redaction is often overvalued. Those choosing…[Read more]
An exploration of the paradoxical celebrity of ascetic renunciants in early Christianity, using the example of Simeon Stylites, the pillar saint.
This article treats late ancient rabbinic texts (ca. 1st-early 3rd cents. CE), reading them as biology, and following their ideas about the limits and possibilities of reproductive and species variation. I read sources from the tractates of Niddah, Kil’ayim, and Bekhorot, in the Mishnah and Toseta, as expressions of a science of generation, or a b…[Read more]
In spite of renewed scholarly interest in the religion of Judeans living on the island of Elephantine during the Persian period, only one recent study has addressed the religious significance of the fired clay female figurines discovered there. The present article seeks to place these objects back on the research agenda. After summarizing the…[Read more]
Writing Demetrias: Ascetic Logic in Ancient Christianity
Johannes Bernhardt deposited Die Jüdische Revolution. Untersuchungen zu Ursachen, Verlauf und Folgen der hasmonäischen Erhebung in the group Ancient Jew Review on Humanities Commons 1 year, 2 months ago
The Seleucid Antiochus IV profoundly intervened in the cult of Jerusalem in 168 BC. Under the leadership of the Hasmoneans, an uprising developed against these interventions, which led to the restoration of the cult, the establishment of the Hasmoneans as high priests and the independence of Judea. Against the background of widely differing…[Read more]
In this paper I argue that Philo’s Embassy to Gaius makes use of the literary paradigm
of theatricality, a strategy of representation marked by the portrayal of multiple
and competing discourses amongst those in unequal relations of power, as
well as an emphasis on the arts of acting and discernment. Th e Embassy marks an
appearance of the t…[Read more]
Scholarly reflections on the concept of the will as it is articulated in late ancient texts have centered on the male individual and the difficulties he faces as he tries to train or direct his intentions. By contrast, in this article we seek to explore late ancient concepts and negotiations of the will by considering a cluster of ancient Jewish…[Read more]
This article argues that the Gospel of Thomas was written in Alexandria, not in Eastern Syria as is the current consensus. The arguments in favor of a Syrian Gospel of Thomas are not as strong as is often assumed, and a stronger case can be made for Alexandria. The Gospel of Thomas has a number of features that suggest it was a product of the…[Read more]
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