A 2000-year old tablet, written in Greek and thought to come from Nazareth based on a cryptic message accompanying it, announced the Roman emperor’s warnings against grave robbing. Housed in the Louvre since the 1930s, scholars have debated whether tit could be connected to Jesus. A new study suggests that the tablet has no connection to Nazareth.
I’ll be recording an interview tomorrow night with Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio, for later broadcast. Once it’s on-line I’ll publish a link.
Hey!! Secret Origins Revealed. Using DNA techniques on fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls has led to a number of insights about where certain texts may have come from and whether some fragments are related to other fragments. The scrolls were made from animal hides, and, as such, were subject to DNA testing. Some prior theories are proving wrong and others are being supported.
The name “Easter” is widely used for the holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, but the word doesn’t appear to have any biblical origins. The linguistic evidence suggests that the name is a variation on the name of several “dawn” goddesses in the Indo-European language families. More specifically, Eostre was a Germanic goddess whose name was assigned to the month in which the celebratory event usually occurred. Eventually, the coincidence of the holiday falling in the month named after the goddess led to the holiday being called Easter. At least that’s one widely held theory. Here’s a link to a Wikipedia article that discusses some of these issues.
Phil Long over at Reading Acts has been blogging on Revelation. Here’s a couple of links.
Welcome to the Biblical Studies Carnival 169 for March 2020! After weeks of social distancing, you can now peruse the best of biblical studies—the thrills, the fun, and all the excitement churned out across the Internet and curated here. And don’t miss the tempting prizes and games! There’s an exclusive steal of a coupon code for Carnival readers courtesy of Baylor University Press, an amazing giveaway from Lexham Press, and all kinds of free stuff from Randy Leedy of NTGreekGuy.com. Special thanks to Baylor University Press, Lexham Press, and NTGreekGuy.com for sponsoring this Carnival!
An interesting article about the rise of fears in non-Jewish cultures that Jews would take them over. The
Here’s a portion of the opening. The article goes on to explore subsequent historical developments within the Christian world in which fears that a Jew could someday become Pope fueled some Christian reactions against the Jewish people.
In 70 CE, the Roman Emperor Vespasian’s son, Titus, had defeated the Judean rebellion, destroying Jerusalem and the Second Temple. However, once victorious, he chose as his willing consort Berenice, the sister of Agrippa II, the former king of conquered Judaea. This choice was not so odd as it may sound: Berenice and her brother had opposed the Jewish revolt from the beginning. Along with the spoils of the Temple, Titus brought Berenice back to Rome, where, according to Cassius Dio (Roman History LXV 15), she lived with him as if she were his empress, exerting considerable power.
Some Romans were troubled by the romance of Titus and Berenice and spoke out against her. In her prior marriage to the king of Pontus, Berenice had required that he convert to Judaism and be circumcised. There was probably concern that Titus would be convinced to do the same. The result would be a Jewish emperor of Rome, in effect reversing the outcome of the Jewish War. Worse, Titus and Berenice’s children would be Jewish, ensuring that future emperors would be Jewish. In other words, the Roman Empire would be in Jewish hands.
A day or two late, perhaps, but still timely. Jim West hosts the February 2020 Biblical Studies Carnival.
In my 101 Myths of the Bible, I raised questions about whether the sons of Jacob formed the twelve tribes of Israel (Myth 63). The idea wasn’t new or original at the time. Variations on the argument within the scholarly community had existed well before I put my own take into the record. In a recent essay at Thetorah.com, there is a nice academic review of the question: Did Israel Always Have Twelve Tribes? Worth a read.