Opening evening shows how traditional approaches of archaeology still defy postmodern theory
The opening event of the annual gathering of members of the
What was evident was an organization that was fighting back against the tides of post modernism that influences so much in academia today. In his opening remarks, president Eric Meyers of
Norma Kershaw was part of the welcoming committee this evening, as was David Noel Freedman of the
The focus of the evening was a lecture by Jodi Magness, a religious studies professor of at the
Eric Meyers, in a brief discussion during the reception following the meeting spoke to the vitality of the traditional approach to archaeology. According to Meyers, the difficulty is that younger members are too interested in anthropology by itself and won’t consider the textual evidence that needs to be brought into the discussion.
So the first evening ended on a high note with a reception.
Where is an offical report on archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem?
Last week we noted that a conference about archaeological finds in
Results of those discussions of recent archaeological finds in
But the only source for the National Geographic appears to be the World Net Daily. Interestingly the WND provides no details of any responses or divergent views from the elite of Israeli archaeologists who were also part of the seminar. The original announcement for the Seminar indicated that several leading archaeologists had other interpretations of Mazar’s finds. And no Israeli newspapers appear to have covered the seminar. I asked Joe Zias, a former Curator of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who is involved in archaeology and lives in Israel about any official statement on the seminar to which he replied that there were “none . . . which I saw" but that he knew "that no one accepted her theories.”
Additional section of text given to Israeli Foundation
The Aleppo Codex holds a special place in the study of the Hebrew Bible. Copied in about 920 CE, it was the oldest complete copy of the Masoretic text until it was partially destroyed during riots against the Jews in
The majority of the Codex was smuggled into
The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz has a report on the recovery of one section of the codex. Lest you take everything for granted in the Haaretz report, please read John Hobbins comments and corrections on his blog at Ancient Hebrew Poetry. Better still have a personal inspection of the Codex on its website. The Ben Zvi Institute in
Video feed available of current Spencer Trask lectures
Paula Fredriksen, Aurelio Professor of Scripture at Boston University, is the presenter of this years Spencer Trask Lecture Series, provided by Princeton University Press. This years presentation in the annual lecture series, established by a gift from Spencer Trask in 1891, is entitled Sin: The Early History of an Idea. Videos of these lectures, from which we have already provided some excerpts (see here and here), are available on-line in various formats at: http://www.princeton.edu/WebMedia/lectures/
Good work Paula!
Paula Fredriksen locates the point of decontextualising Paul
"But when he is talking about the gentile sanctification, he is not speaking as it can sound in English – oh it’s nice . . . they’ve been made holy. It means something special. It means something ritual. It means that they are fit to come into proximity with the zone of holiness that is represented first of all by the temple. When Paul uses temple language – as he does continuously to his gentile audiences -- he says you are a temple; you are God’s temple -- God’s spirit dwells in you.
"Way back in the 20th century when I was at university, we were told that meant that Paul didn’t like this t
"What happens after the temple is destroyed is that this vocabulary remains in Paul’s letters but the typography that interprets the vocabulary begins to switch from temple and ritual space to the idea of the Greco-Roman universe. And it’s that transposition, the way that Paul’s letters and the way that the early Christian message will be translated in the period after the destruction of the temple and where sin will be imagined with different nuances and with different points of exit and entry that I will get to tomorrow night." 1:04:26
Dramatic Change in Perspective
"One of the biggest changes that’s happened in the scholarly world since I was introduced to it back in the 1970’s is the way that Judaism . . . is seen as the context of Christianity rather than as its contrast.” 44:18
Columnist raises age old question
Theodicy -- an unfamiliar word that relates to the question of why a benevolent God would allow evil and suffering to exist in this world. Stanley Fish, a columnist for the New York Times examines two new titles that address this problem.
Something we can easily forget in a world that prizes rationalism is that this problem has perplexed people throughout time. The Hebrew Scriptures tell us about Job whorestled with this issue and Fish appropriately notes the statement by a 3rd century BCE Greek philosopher:
These questions are as old as Epicurus, who gave them canonical form: “Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence, then, evil.”
The circumstances that held in the time of Jesus Christ and the early church gave plenty of opportunity for these questions to arise again. Jesus himself drew attention to those who had been killed by a tower falling on them as well as the case of the Galileans who had been slaughtered by Pontus Pilate as they were sacrificing in the temple to their God! (
Despite facing all the types of personal “anguish” that Bart Ehrman takes to himself, somehow these people had a vision of the future that put present suffering into context and made it bearable. They had an explanation for theodicy that we seldom consider. The idea of eschatology that is so often discussed in terms of the early church implies another factor that is frequently overlooked. If the present age had to come to an end and be replaced, then something was clearly wrong with the current situation. Many saw it in geopolitical terms: the Jewish nation was downtrodden and, better times would only come when that changed. But Paul addressed this question, not in terms of geopolitics but by reference to the fact that this was not God’s world. The world was ruled by another god who was able to transform himself into an angel of light (
Much kudos to Stanley Fish for raising the issue and addressing the two books that he does.
Leading archaeologists gather to debate the meaning of recent finds in Jerusalem
Over the last year, some remains of monumental buildings have been found in Jerusalem, which the principal archaeologist involved in the discovery dates to the 10th Century BCE. As with any discovery, alternative views exist. To that end Aren Maeir advises of a conference scheduled for this week in Israel:
Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls links explained
Robert Cargill, a doctoral student at UCLA is interviewed on Biblioblogs. Links are provided to his project of creating a three dimensional model of
Of Priests, Atheists and Book Reviews
The Times Literary Review this week generates some interest for those concerned about religion. It provides a review by John Polkinghorne, a priest in the Church of England of two books by atheists – Richard Dawkins and John Humphrys. In reality, he confronts Dawkins by reviewing a book written by John Cornwell against Dawkin’s ‘God Delusion’ Actually all three are larger than life individuals who hold a place in the public arena.
You will learn some of the two atheists and their approaches in the review. But Polkinghorneis not just a priest. Prior to taking up orders in the Church, he was a Professor of Mathematical Physics at
As with blogs, the comments by readers are always worth considering.
Monthly Summary of the best of the 'Biblioblogs'
On the first day of each month, one 'Biblioblogger' -- those individuals who write blogs that are related to the Bible and Biblical studies -- is assigned the task of producing a Carnival of the best blogs of the month from Bibliobloggerdom. This month the challenge fell to John Hobbins of Ancient Hebrew Poetry who excelled himself. No, the blogs weren't translated into Hebrew, outlined in prosody or parallels, but John brought his fine mind to bear on the scope of coverage of this part of the Internet.
In fact, John went over and above by producing two additional postings, beside the carnival itself. The second provided a summary of what didn't get included. A third post gave John the chance to do some mapping of this sphere to help put the various blogs into a context. John is clearly aiming to generate some heat and excitement among his fellow bloggers. Well done John for extending yourself and each of us as you have.
For his part, Mark Goodacre of NT Gateway noted and thanked John for the effort but noted the omission of the discussion of Monotheism a subject that has been posted on several times in the later part of the month.
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