Wednesday, 14 December 2016

oldest alphabet is proto-hebrew?

Oldest alphabet identified as Hebrew
Controversial claim argues that ancient Israelites turned Egyptian hieroglyphics into letters

SAN ANTONIO — The world’s earliest alphabet, inscribed on stone slabs at several Egyptian sites, was an early form of Hebrew, a controversial new analysis concludes.

Israelites living in Egypt transformed that civilization’s hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 more than 3,800 years ago, at a time when the Old Testament describes Jews living in Egypt, says archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. Hebrew speakers seeking a way to communicate in writing with other Egyptian Jews simplified the pharaohs’ complex hieroglyphic writing system into 22 alphabetic letters, Petrovich proposed on November 17 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

“There is a connection between ancient Egyptian texts and preserved alphabets,” Petrovich said.

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Friday, 30 September 2016

where is abel beth maacah?

Abel Beth Maacah in the Bible

Inside the 2014 excavations of a Biblical site in Northern Israel: Part I

Lauren Monroe   •  07/07/2014

Cornell University professor Lauren Monroe shares an update from the second season of excavation at Abel Beth Maacah, directed by Robert A. Mullins and Nava Panitz-Cohen. Check back with us for more posts on this new excavation project as the season continues.

Abel Beth Maacah

Situated at the ancient border between the polities of Israel, Aram and Phoenicia, and the modern countries of Israel, Lebanon and Syria, the large tell of Abel Beth Maacah holds tremendous promise, both for understanding the history of this multi-cultural arena, as well as for refining “Biblical archaeology” methods themselves.

In 2 Samuel 20 Sheba ben Bichri, a Benjaminite, flees to Abel Beth Maacah, seeking refuge from David’s wingman, Joab. As Joab and his army build a siege ramp against the city wall, they are interrupted by the “wise woman of Abel” who admonishes, “They used to say in the old days, ‘Let them inquire at Abel’; and so they would settle a matter. I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel; you seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel; why will you swallow up the heritage of the Lord?” It is clear from her remarks that Abel has an Israelite history and lore that precedes Joab’s time and is otherwise unknown to him. Whereas Joab is a threat to Abel, Sheba legitimately seeks refuge there. In the pro-David, Judahite perspective of the text in its final form, the city’s allegiance goes with Joab and David, with Sheba’s head handed down to Joab from Abel’s ramparts – hardly what one expects from the “peaceful” in Israel.

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Monday, 26 September 2016

older than the DSS

Book of Leviticus Verses Recovered from Burnt Hebrew Bible Scroll

Oldest Hebrew Bible scroll since the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Ein Gedi

Robin Ngo  •  09/23/2016

This Bible History Daily feature was originally published in 2015. It has been updated.—Ed.


A charred Hebrew Bible scroll was discovered in the Torah ark in a Byzantine synagogue at Ein Gedi, Israel. Photo: Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority.

A burnt ancient scroll found in 1970 has finally been deciphered thanks to advanced digital technology. Four and a half decades after its discovery, the scroll was recently revealed to contain a passage from the Book of Leviticus. Excavated from the Torah ark of a Byzantine-period synagogue at Ein Gedi in Israel, the scroll had been victim to a fire that raged through the entire village. The scroll is considered to be the oldest Hebrew Bible scroll discovered since the Dead Sea Scrolls. Furthermore, the discovery represents the first time a Torah scroll has been excavated from an ancient synagogue.

When Merkel Technologies Company, Ltd. Israel performed high-resolution 3D scanning on Dead Sea Scroll fragments and phylactery cases (tefillin) in 2014, the burnt scroll from Ein Gedi was added to the batch. Afterward, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) sent the scans to be analyzed by Dr. Brent Seales, Professor and Chair of Computer Science at the University of Kentucky, who had developed digital imaging software to read the scrolls. The researchers initially discovered that the scroll contained the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus:*
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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

who is a copt? what is coptic language?

What Is Coptic and Who Were the Copts in Ancient Egypt?

A short history of ancient Egyptian language

Megan Sauter  •  08/15/2016

This Bible History Daily feature was originally published in 2015.—Ed.


Dated to the fourth–fifth century C.E., the Codex Grazier is written in the Coptic language—the fifth and final stage of ancient Egyptian language—and contains part of the Book of Acts (Acts 1:1–15:3).

What is Coptic, and who were the Copts in ancient Egypt?

The Coptic language is the final stage of ancient Egyptian language. Even though it looks very different from texts written in Old Egyptian using hieroglyphs, the two are related. In his article “Coptic—Egypt’s Christian Language” in the November/December 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Leo Depuydt gives a short history of the development of ancient Egyptian language and shows where the Coptic language fits in that timeline, as well as answering the question: Who were the Copts.

What Is Coptic?

The Coptic language developed around 300 C.E. in Egypt. It is Egyptian language written using the Greek alphabet, as well as a couple of Demotic signs. This script was much easier to learn than the earlier writing systems used in ancient Egypt: hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic scripts.

Coptic was the lingua franca of Egypt when Egypt was predominantly Christian. Many assume that the Coptic language was developed primarily to spread Christianity, but Depuydt disagrees. He supports the great Belgian Coptologist Louis Théophile Lefort’s theory that the Coptic language was created by another group—the Jews.

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Monday, 5 September 2016

khirbet qeiyafa in valley of elah

Humble olive pits are prime find at exhibit from ancient city associated with King David

Artifacts from Khirbet Qeiyafa, which dates back 3,000 years to the dawn of the Kingdom of Judah, go on display at Bible Lands Museum for first time

Charred olive pits from Khirbet Qeiyafa, which were used to date the site, on display at The Bible Lands Museum, September 2016. (Oded Antman/Bible Lands Museum)
Olive pits may be the afterthought of a meal, but they’re a crucial clue found at a biblical site near Jerusalem that is the focus of a new exhibit, “In the Valley of David and Goliath,” at the capital’s Bible Lands Museum.

Several of the artifacts from Khirbet Qeiyafa, going on public display Monday for the first time, have gripped headlines and imaginations since their discovery. These include a limestone model shrine with elements reminiscent of the First Temple and a Canaanite inscription bearing a biblical name. But a humble handful of charred olive pits — whose radiocarbon dating, to sometime between 1020 and 980 BCE, establishes that Khirbet Qeiyafa dates from the period associated with King David — are the most important, if most easily overlooked.

These rare artifacts from the murky period at the dawn of the Kingdom of Judah serve as the centerpiece of an exhibit which seeks to answer the question: Who were the people of Khirbet Qeiyafa?

“The whole idea was to bring together for the first time all those amazing finds,” curator Yehuda Kaplan told The Times of Israel ahead of the opening. Two years in the making, the exhibit endeavors to “not only to show those items, but to give the visitor the feeling he’s in the ancient city of Qeiyafa.”

Khirbet Qeiyafa’s Iron Age ruins sit perched atop a hill overlooking the Elah Valley, site of the mythical battle between David and Goliath described in the Book of Samuel. That dramatic literary backdrop provides a catalyst to excite visitors about more mundane aspects of archaeology — pottery, architecture and discarded animal bones.

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which is the oldest hebrew bible?

What Is the Oldest Hebrew Bible?

The formation of the Hebrew Bible from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Aleppo Codex

Jennifer Drummond  •  11/01/2015

What is the oldest Hebrew Bible? That is a complicated question. The Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments of the oldest Hebrew Bible text, while the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex are the oldest complete versions, written by the Masoretes in the 10th and 11th centuries, respectively. The Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript falls in between the early scrolls and the later codices.


In “Missing Link in Hebrew Bible Formation” in the November/December 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Biblical scholar Paul Sanders discusses the role the Ashkar-Gilson Manuscipt had in bridging the gap between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the later Aleppo Codex and Leningrad Codex.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered by Bedouin in 1947. Over 80,000 scroll fragments that came to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 11 caves near the Dead Sea site of Khirbet Qumran. The Dead Sea Scrolls date between 250 B.C.E. and 68 C.E. and represent the largest group of Second Temple Jewish literature ever discovered. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain two types of documents: fragments of the oldest Hebrew Bible texts and writings that—most scholars argue—describe the beliefs and practices of a community of Jews living and writing at the nearby settlement of Qumran.

The Aleppo Codex, the oldest Hebrew Bible that has survived to modern times, was created by scribes called Masoretes in Tiberias, Israel around 930 C.E. As such, the Aleppo Codex is considered to be the most authoritative copy of the Hebrew Bible. The Aleppo Codex is not complete, however, as almost 200 pages went missing between 1947 and 1957.

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Online free Torah

free online torah in 3 languages - hebrew, english and russian.
you can access the hebrew torah online.
click on the url below:

Monday, 29 August 2016

book review of Michael J Gorman's Reading Revelation Responsibly

Book Review will appear in September Issue of Berita STM.
It is also uploaded on Academia.

Book Review of Michael J. Gorman’s Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness: Following the Lamb into the New Creation (Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2011).

When Christians think about the Book of Revelation, apocalyptic ideas immediately come to mind such as wars and rumours of wars, devastating earthquakes, the rapture, and the antichrist. People are asked about their position concerning Christ’s second coming whether it is amillennial, pre-millennial or post millennial. Many Christians are conditioned to read Revelation in this way because of popular level literature like Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth or Kirban’s 666 or LaHaye’s Left Behind series. No wonder a sizeable portion of Christians are bewildered and subsequently confused by the message of Revelation leaving them with more fear than hope.

Gorman’s book takes a different stand – he firmly believes that there is a different way to read the Book of Revelation.  It is to read the book in a ‘responsible’ way –‘responsible’ here means to be faithful to what the text actually says instead of importing a foreign biblical timeframe or a narrative script into the book. He takes the position that one ought to read and interpret Revelation in a ‘serious and sacred’ way (pp. xiii-ix). Since there are different ways of reading Revelation, it is obvious that some readings are inferior to others and at worst, unchristian because they are not true to the book’s message.

Gorman’s stand concerning the Book of Revelation is that it is first and foremost a book about the living Christ, not the antichrist; it is about faithful discipleship in the world and not about the rapture. Revelation has often been hijacked by Christians of the millennial persuasion so that readers are made to be overly concerned about the identity of the antichrist or the date of Jesus’ second coming or how the rapture will occur. Gorman correctly notes that Revelation is more concerned with people’s response to Christ and how to have relevant worship and witness to Him. Secondly, Revelation is the ‘antithesis of a religion that idolizes secular power’ (p. xv) which was what the imperial cult was trying to do in the first century AD – coercing people to bend the knee to Caesar. Revelation is a message for Christians to be ‘uncivil’ in our response because we have a different Lord and King and our worship and witness is for Him only.

Gorman’s book is divided into ten chapters. The first four chapters deal with the background of the book of Revelation.  The first chapter is called the 3 P’s – the Puzzle, Problem and Promise of Revelation. The short chapter surveys the different reactions to Revelation and how the book continues to pose a puzzle to current readers. Chapters Two and Three deal with the Form and Substance of Revelation. Form and substance are closely intertwined (p. 10). Firstly, it is important to know what we are reading because failure to do so can cause us to misinterpret the material. If we misunderstand the form or genre of Revelation, we often end up misreading it. Revelation is a unique piece of genre as it is a hybrid genre - epistolary, prophetic and apocalyptic (p. 13).  Secondly, what are the contents of Revelation? What were the circumstances to cause it to be written?  What crisis was the book responding to? Knowing this can give us clues to the message of the book – Gorman calls it ‘a theopoetic reaction to a theopolitical crisis’ (p. 31). The fourth chapter deals with five different reading strategies one can employ on the book. Gorman helpfully critiques the position of the ‘Left Behind’ series and other similar approaches to Revelation (pp. 71-73).

Chapters Five to Nine represent Gorman’s theological engagement with the text of Revelation. The chapters are divided according to the natural divisions in Revelation (chapters 1-3 – seven pastoral –prophetic epistles; chapters 4-5 – the central vision of Christ; chapters 6-20 – visions of the judgement of God; chapters 21-22 – final vision). He adds one helpful chapter on the ‘Conflict and Characters - The Drama of Revelation’ which covers the plot of the book and the chief characters in the plot. Understanding the drama of Revelation helps us to see the ‘big picture’ and not lose sight of the forest. The final chapter is entitled ‘Following the Lamb – The Spirituality of Revelation’. The chapter attempts to synthesize the message of the previous chapters and poses an application question: ‘What kind of church and what kind of Christians is the Spirit who speaks in Revelation aiming to form? (p. 176).

The book ends with a Postlude. Here Gorman provides seven words (three pairs and a final single word) as a way to summarize the total message of Revelation: Look and Listen; Worship and Witness; Come out and Resist; Follow!

Should all Christians read this book? Or should those interested in ‘end times’ read this book? The answer is a wholehearted ‘yes’. It is a must for all serious students of the Bible. It alleviates our fears and worries about how the world will end – Christ will ultimately triumph. It does not provide us with an escapist mentality and attitude – the world is evil and we should have nothing to do with it. All the more, Revelation reminds us to actively engage with the world with uncivil worship and witness! It reminds us what type of Church Christ is looking for in our time. Is it one timid with fear and overawed by imperial colonialist power? Or one marked by ‘courageous nonviolent warfare’ and ‘embodied witness and mission’ (pp. 183-184)?

Friday, 26 August 2016

ancient stone jars workshop

Jewish Purification: Stone Vessel Workshop Discovered in Galilee
A 2,000-year-old stone production center points to ritual purity

Robin Ngo  •  08/25/2016

Where do the “Stone Age” and the time of Jesus meet without the aid of a space-time wormhole? At the Galilean site of ‘Einot Amitai near Nazareth in northern Israel, where archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old quarry and workshop that produced chalkstone vessels.

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

dead sea scrolls being digitized

If digital technology poses any threat to the market for words printed on real paper—and the jury is still out on that one—then it must also be credited for exposing us to texts from the ancient world.

Last fall we posted about how the Israel Museum digitized the Dead Sea Scrolls, nearly 1,000 texts found on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in 1946. They are the earliest known surviving manuscripts from what is called the Hebrew Bible. Digitizing the texts—most were on parchment but some were written on bronze or papyrus—allows viewers to zoom in to examine the writing and even the paper fibers of hundreds of fragments.

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

is the Holy Spirit feminine? and other things like Mother God...

There are some Christians who go on the internet and read some cranky stuff and then come to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is feminine...and thereby also conclude that God is feminine or there is a version of a Mother God et cetera...

The conclusion is quickly reached because they are told that since the Hebrew word (ruach) for spirit is feminine, the Holy Spirit is therefore feminine. In Christian theology, the Holy Spirit is commonly understood as masculine since the Third Person of the Trinity is always referred to as 'He'.

In the Hebrew language, there is no third category of neuter like in Greek. Hence, everything is classified as either masculine or feminine. The word 'spirit' is ruah and is classified as feminine.

But you will see that these categorizations are often arbitrary since there are only two choices to pick from. For example, is a star (kokab) masculine or feminine? In Hebrew, a star is masculine. A people (`am) is also masculine but a city (`ir) is feminine. A book or scroll (sefer) is masculine but the heart (leb) is also masculine. The law (torah) is surprisingly feminine although a statute (hoq, another word for law) is masculine. So, the rule is that we don't press the 'male-female' distinctions too greatly in Hebrew. This is because it is often difficult to know what is the criterion to determine whether something is masculine or feminine

In the Greek language, there is a third category introduced which is neuter. This third category allows more flexibility compared with the Hebrew. Hence, we find the Greek word for spirit is pneuma and it is not feminine but a neuter noun! As a neuter noun, it will be an 'it'.

So, to respond to those who thus claim that the Holy Spirit is feminine because ruach is feminine and thereby generate other crazy ideas like God is Mother God...let me say 3 things:

1] From long tradition and Christian theology, the Holy Spirit is always accepted and understood as a 'He' alongside God the Father and of the Son, Jesus.

2] Even though ruach is feminine, in Greek pneuma is neuter. In the New Testament, when the Holy Spirit is referred to by Jesus, the verb used alongside the neuter noun is not a 'it' which we would expect but a 'He'. Thus, we read in John 16:13, the 'spirit of truth' is called a 'He' even though the 'holy spirit' is a neuter noun.

3] Like ruah (spirit) which is feminine, the word nepesh (soul) is also feminine in Hebrew. But that doesn't mean all of us are feminine because our souls are feminine! One has to be consistent. If nepesh is feminine and nepesh is often used to describe the person ('a living soul' Genesis 2:7), then we must be all feminine! But that is an illogical deduction, and so is claiming that the Holy Spirit is feminine.

Friday, 12 August 2016

roman frescoes from tzippori

Rare Roman-era frescoes uncovered in GalileeTeam working at site of ancient Tzippori discover ‘monumental building’ decorated with images of exotic animals

A fresco showing a tiger's tail found in Tzippori, dating from the early second century CE (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

A team of archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem uncovered rare Roman frescoes at Tzippori National Park in the Galilee.

The university said Wednesday the frescoes adorned a monumental building that dates back to the start of the second century AD, and include “figurative images, floral patterns and geometric motifs.” Another fragment shows a man holding a club.

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Friday, 5 August 2016

what did the ancient Hittites eat?

Archaeological team prepares 4,000-year-old Hittite meals

Archaeological team prepares 4,000-year-old Hittite meals




September 8, 2015

Archaeological team prepares 4,000-year-old Hittite meals

An archaeological team excavating the ancient site of Alacahöyük, one of the most significant centers of the ancient Hittite civilization, cooked pastries belonging to Hittite cuisine that dates back 4,000 years. The foods found on Hittite tablets were cooked without modern technology or equipment

The 4,000-year-old Hittite cuisine was cooked in Alacahöyük, an important Neolithic settlement and Turkey's first nationally excavated area. Aykut Çınaroğlu, the head of the excavations and professor of archaeology at Ankara University, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Chef Ömür Akkor, an excavation team member, prepared a special Hittite menu in light of the available archaeological findings. "We conducted research on kitchen culture, food and bread of Anatolian-Hittite cuisine dating back 4,000 years," he said. Akkor added that the food was cooked by imitating the period's conditions. "Ancient settlers wrote that they ate cold meat, cooked onion and bread on a festival day. They did not use yeast while making bread or cook them in moist ovens. The team tried to make it with pounded wheat, not sifted flour," he said.

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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Prophet of the Exile

Deutero-Isaiah: The Prophet of the Exile

Most Christians believe that the book of Isaiah was written by one person, the prophet Isaiah who lived in Jerusalem in the eighth century B.C. This belief is based on two factors. First, people believe that Isaiah wrote the whole book because the book bears his name.
Second, people believe that Isaiah spoke about the coming Messiah and thus, to deny that Isaiah was the author of the book is to deny the inspiration of the Bible. Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible believe that, if the Bible says Isaiah wrote the book, then to deny that Isaiah wrote his book is to deny the inerrancy of the Bible.
This view, however, is misleading for two reasons. The Bible is the inspired word of God even though Isaiah did not write the whole book of Isaiah. Second, just because the name of a person is on the title page of a book, it does not mean that that person wrote the book. Let me explain.
In the Old Testament we have the book of Samuel, more precisely, we have 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel. But 1 Samuel 25:1 says: “Now Samuel died.” But 1 Samuel continues through Chapter 31 and then there is 2 Samuel. If Samuel died in Chapter 25:1, who wrote the rest of the book? We do not know and that is not important, because whoever wrote the book of Samuel was as inspired to write the book as if Samuel had written the whole book himself.
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Monday, 1 August 2016

the sayings of Jesus in Gospel of Thomas

The Sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas

Simon Gathercole examines the enigmatic Gospel of Thomas

Robin Ngo  •  06/29/2015

This third-century papyrus leaf—known as POxy 1—was discovered at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt and contains sayings of Jesus written in Greek. Scholars later determined the text was from the elusive Gospel of Thomas referenced by early Church Fathers. Photo: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Jesus says, “Blessed is the lion that a person will eat and the lion will become human.”
Jesus says, “Every woman who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.”

These bizarre statements are two of the 114 sayings of Jesus found in the Gospel of Thomas. The Gospel of Thomas is a non-canonical collection of the sayings of Jesus reputed to have been dictated to the apostle Thomas. In “The Gospel of Thomas: Jesus Said What?” in the July/August 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, New Testament scholar Simon Gathercole examines what these 114 sayings of Jesus reveal about the early Christian world in which they were written.

A work called the Gospel of Thomas has long been known from references by Church Fathers as far back as the third century. What was actually in the Gospel of Thomas, however, remained elusive until the 20th century. Excavations at an ancient garbage dump in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, around the turn of the 20th century uncovered papyri fragments containing sayings of Jesus that had been dictated—the papyri claimed—by Jesus to his disciple Thomas. Scholars date these papyri to the early to mid-third century C.E.

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Thursday, 28 July 2016

ugarit language and culture

every serious student of the OT knows the importance of Ugarit. one OT scholar who excelled in Ugarit was the late Peter Craigie. read also his book Ugarit and the Old Testament if you want to see how important Ugarit is for OT studies.

see one of his articles here:

You already know that understanding the Bible’s original languages of Greek and Hebrew is an important prerequisite for serious biblical study.

But what about Ugaritic?

The Israelites didn’t speak Ugaritic. The Bible wasn’t written in Ugaritic. What makes understanding Ugaritic so important for understanding the Hebrew Bible?

What is Ugaritic?

Before we see why it’s so important to know Ugaritic, let’s take a closer look at the people who spoke it.

Ugaritic was the language spoken by the people who lived in the city-state of Ugarit. This city was located directly east of Cyprus, and directly north of Israel.

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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

where was john the baptist beheaded?

Machaerus: Where John the Baptist was Beheaded

Restoration work gives archaeological context to Biblical scene

Megan Sauter  •  01/12/2015

Who beheaded John the Baptist in the Bible? What were the circumstances of his death? This famous Biblical episode—the notorious dance that ended in death—is recounted in Matthew 14:1–12 and Mark 6:14–29. The sordid details play out much like a Greek tragedy: Princess Salome dances before her stepfather, King Herod, at his birthday party. Pleased, he offers to grant her anything that she desires. After conferring with her mother, Herodias, Princess Salome asks for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. (Earlier, John the Baptist had angered Herodias by saying that her marriage to Herod was not legal; Herodias had previously been married to Herod’s brother, Philip, but had divorced him so that she could marry Herod.) Herod complies with the wish of Salome, and John the Baptist is beheaded.


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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

6 millennia old but ‘almost fresh,’ Masada seeds unravel barley’s origins

A new study has allowed scientists to peer thousands of years back in time via a grain of barley found in the Judean Desert.

Barley seeds, dated to 6,000 years ago, have become the oldest plant genome to be sequenced, an international team of researchers announced in a journal article published Monday. Analysis of the 6,000-year-old cereals supports the hypothesis that the key crop was domesticated thousands of years ago in the Jordan Valley.

A team of scientists from Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom and the US employed a wide array of disciplines — archaeology, archaeobotany and genetics — to study the material found in the Yoram Cave. The findings were released in the academic journal Nature Genetics.

The Chalcolithic kernels were discovered in a cavern overlooking the Dead Sea on the southern end of Masada, a mountaintop better known for Jewish rebels’ last stand against the Roman Empire in the first century CE. (for the rest of the article, pls go to the url below)

Sunday, 24 April 2016

scarab seal

Beautiful scarab seal found in Tel Dor, south of Haifa.

Beautiful ancient scarab seal discovered near Haifa

Beautifully-preserved seal from 17-18th Centuries BCE was owned by a senior Egyptian official of equivalent rank to Joseph in the Bible.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 4/24/2016, 1:41 PM

The ancient scarab seal
The ancient scarab seal
Tel Dor dig

A 3,700-year-old scarab seal found by a birdwatcher at Tel Dor, in northern Israel, dated to the 13th Dynasty. (Tel Dor Excavations, courtesy)

A rare, ancient scarab seal belonging to a senior official in the 13th Pharaonic Dynasty was recently discovered in northern Israel at the Tel Dor archaeological dig, 30 kilometers south of Haifa.
The seal, which dates back to the 17-18th Centuries BCE, was discovered by amateur archaeologist Alexander Ternopolski, who handed it immediately to the archaeological team working at the site.

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

4500 year old egyptian sun boat discovered

Ancient Egyptian boat discovered near pyramids

A worker at the site where Czech archaeologists discovered an ancient funerary boat in the Old Kingdom necropolis of Abu Sir, southwest of the capital Cairo, today. The discovery of the more than 4,500-year-old wooden boat, which archaeologists believe to have been owned by an elite person to the pharaoh, was made at the Abusir South cemetery. – AFP pic, February 1, 2016.
A worker at the site where Czech archaeologists discovered an ancient funerary boat in the Old Kingdom necropolis of Abu Sir, southwest of the capital Cairo, today. The discovery of the more than 4,500-year-old wooden boat, which archaeologists believe to have been owned by an elite person to the pharaoh, was made at the Abusir South cemetery. – AFP pic, February 1, 2016.Czech archaeologists have unearthed an ancient funerary boat near the Abusir pyramids south of Cairo, officials said toay, in a discovery that could shed light on shipbuilding in ancient Egypt.
The discovery of the more than 4,500-year-old remains of the wooden vessel, which archaeologists believe belonged to a prominent member of society, was made at the Abusir South cemetery, an antiquities ministry statement said.
While members of the team were clearing a mastaba or ancient tomb, they found parts of the 18-metre-long boat covered in sand and lying on a bed of stones, the ministry said.
"This is a highly unusual discovery since boats of such a size and construction were during this period reserved solely for top members of the society, who usually belonged to the royal family," the director of the Czech mission said in the statement.
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Sunday, 24 January 2016

a paradoxical dilemma

i face a great paradox. on one hand, Christians past and present laud and praise the life and ministry of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. but what about his one act to join the conspirators to get rid of Hitler? Bonhoeffer however failed. Hitler did not die, and Bonhoeffer together with others lost their lives. the great war prolonged and more people suffered and died.

today in a certain country, there is a sort-of dictator, almost an untouchable. he and his wife skim off from the country's coffers and continue to bleed the nation dry. attempts by others within the circle to remove him by legal means has failed. he continues to get away and boasts of his near-invincibility.

What if a modern day 'Dietrich Bonhoeffer' arises and decides to collude with others that 'it is more expedient for one man to go than for a whole nation to suffer' and takes action to get rid of this dictator? even if he fails and is arrested and executed, will we see his actions as martyr-like and his aim sound and noble? will we extol him and call him a modern-day Bonhoeffer?

Friday, 8 January 2016

solomon, socrates and aristotle?

Solomon, Socrates and Aristotle

In the earliest Biblical painting, Greek philosophers admire the king’s wisdom

Is it possible that the earliest existing picture of a scene from the Bible also includes the philosophers Socrates and Aristotle as onlookers? It is not only possible; I believe that is the case.
The earliest depiction of a Biblical scene comes from a site that is perhaps better known to some for its erotic art than for its religious devotions: Pompeii. The city was buried in volcanic ash in 79 A.D. following the eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius. It was a devastating tragedy for Pompeii’s residents but a boon to modern scholars and art historians.
In the building known as the House of the Physician, excavators found a wall painting clearly depicting King Solomon seated on a raised tribunal and flanked by two counselors. As described in the Bible, two women have come to the Israelite monarch, each claiming to be the mother of the same infant. When Solomon orders the baby to be divided in half, the real mother, shown at the foot of the dais, pleads with him to spare the child and announces her willingness to relinquish her claim. The other woman is shown standing by the butcher block on which the infant has been placed. As a soldier raises an axe to do the king’s bidding, she seizes what she believes will be her portion, saying, according to the Biblical text, “Let it be neither mine, nor thine, but divide it.” It is obvious who the real mother is. The child is given to her unharmed as soldiers and observers look on, marveling at Solomon’s wisdom (1 Kings 3:16–28).
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