Priests and Priesthood in the Near East

From March 19-21, 2018, the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University hosted the “Priests and Priesthood in the Near East: Social, Intellectual and Economic Aspects” conference. The papers from March 19 are available on TAU’s YouTube channel:

  • Dominique Charpin (Collège de France), Opening Address: Recent Discoveries from Ur / Tell Muqayyar, Priests of Ur in the Old Babylonian Period: A Reappraisal in the Light of the Discoveries at Ur / Tell Muqayyar in 2017
  • Walther Sallaberger (LMU, Munich), Keynote Session I: Origins of Near Eastern Priesthood, Close to the Ruler and to the Gods: The Cultic Duties of the Cupbearer and the Role of Priestesses and Priests in Early Dynastic Mesopotamia
  • Piotr Steinkeller (Harvard University), Babylonian Priesthood during the Third Millennium BCE: Between Sacred
    and Profane
  • Louise Quillien (EPHE, Paris), Identity Through Appearance: Babylonian Priestly Clothing
  • Aren Maeir (Bar Ilan University), “The priests, the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel” (Deut 18:1): Is There Archaeological Evidence of Priests and Priesthood in Iron Age Israel and Judah?
  • Yonatan Adler (Ariel University), “Is there a Priest in the House?”: Identifying Jewish Priests (Kohanim) in the Archaeology of Roman Judaea/Palaestina
  • Julietta Steinhauer (University College London), Near Eastern Priests: A Graeco-Roman perspective

 

 

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The Database of Military Inscriptions and Papyri of Early Roman Palestine

Dr Christopher Zeichmann (University of Toronto) has made available a very useful database for the study of early Christianity:  The Database of Military Inscriptions and Papyri of Early Roman Palestine (DMIPERP).

This site is designed to aid the study of the military in the early Roman period for those interested in Judaism and Christianity of the first few centuries CE….

DMIPERP entries are divided roughly as follows: entries 1-132 were all found in Palestine and listed in roughly chronological order; entries 133-201 were texts not found in Palestine but discuss either the military in Palestine or those of a Palestinian background (esp. Jews and Gentiles born in Palestine); entries 202-224 are all surviving military diplomas for Judaea and Syria Palaestina; entries 225-296 are military diplomas of units or people originating in Palestine; entries 297-340 are Palestinian milestones erected by the military; entries 341-362 are all known pre-Constantinian military inscriptions involving Christians. There are 372 entries in total, with new entries being added following that number.

Dale Martin on Ancient, Biblical, and Modern Families

On February 9, 2017, Professor Dale B. Martin (Yale University) gave an open lecture on ‘the family’ in ancient and modern times, at the University of Kent.

The lecture begins at 5:20.

h/t: Taylor Weaver

Louis Feldman: “Why were the Maccabees opposed to the Greek Religion and Culture?”

On December 9, 2004, Professor Louis Feldman (October 29, 1926 – March 25, 2017) lectured on the question, “Why were the Maccabees opposed to the Greek Religion and Culture?“(mp3; lecture beginning at 1:12).

The talk is made available by Yeshuva University’s YUTorah Online.

 

 

Conference on Ancient and Modern Interactions with Religious Outsiders

On March 14-16th, 2016, The Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev hosted a conference called “Perceiving the Other: Ancient and Modern Interactions with Outsiders”.

The purpose of this colloquium is to re-examine both ancient Christian, Jewish, and pagan portrayals of outsiders and modern construals of these portrayals. In what ways, both positive and negative, do ancient writers interact with and relate to those outside of their religious traditions? In what ways do modern scholars appropriate and even inflect these earlier portrayals in light of their own modern preconceptions? This colloquium will devote itself to the methodological questions surrounding the use of diverse ancient sources for the construction of the other. The goal is to shed new light on ancient interactions between different religious groups in order both to describe more accurately these relationships and to provide greater understanding and sympathy amongst modern religious traditions.

Monday, March 14

Opening Remarks and Greetings:
– Prof. Rivka Carmi, President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
– Prof. David Newman, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
– Prof. Uri Ehrlich, Chair, The Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
-Prof. Haim Kreisel, Head, The Goldstein-Goren International Center for Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Prof. Albert Baumgarten (Bar-Ilan University): John the Baptist and Jesus: An Ancient Dialogue of Disciples

Prof. Matthew Thiessen (Saint Louis University): Animalistic Gentiles according to Followers of Jesus

Prof. Uta Poplutz (University of Wuppertal): The Image of the Opponents in the Gospel of Matthew

[no video]

Tuesday, March 15

Prof. Tobias Nicklas (Regensburg University): Revisiting the Other: ‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John

Prof. Nathan Eubank (University of Oxford): Damned Disciples: the Permeability of the Boundary between Insiders and Outsiders in Early Christianity

Prof. Katell Berthelot (CNRS): The Paradoxical Resemblance of the Roman Other

Prof. Wolfgang Grünstäudl (University of Wuppertal): Different Approaches to the Core of Christianity

Prof. Shaya Gafni (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): Various ‘Others’ in Rabbinic Literature: Between Babylonia and the Land of Israel

Dr. Haim Weiss (Ben-Gurion University): The Bodily Images of Shimon Bar-Kosibah in Rabbinic Literature

Dr. Michal Bar-Asher Siegal (Ben-Gurion University): Christian Heretics in the Babylonian Talmud

Prof. Christine Hayes (Yale University): Different Differences: The Complicated Goy in Classical Rabbinic Sources

Giovanni Bazzana on The Political Theology of Village Scribes in the Sayings Gospel Q

Associate Professor of New Testament Giovanni Bazzana discusses his recent publication [Kingdom of Bureaucracy: The Political Theology of Village Scribes in the Sayings Gospel Q (Peeters, 2015)] with two respondents. The respondents will be Shaye J.D. Cohen, Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University; and Lawrence Wills, Ethelbert Talbot Professor of Biblical Studies at the Episcopal Divinity School.

The talk and responses were delivered on February 16, 2016 at Harvard Divinity School. The talk begins at 6:50.

Book summary:

The Sayings Gospel Q was composed in the central decades of the first century CE by Galilean villagers who had acquired knowledge of Greek mostly through their involvement with the public administration. The present book analyzes the text of Q in order to rediscover the terminological and ideological traces of the activity of these sub-elite scribes in the Sayings Gospel. Given the bureaucratic positions occupied by the members of this group, the peculiar use of the phrase Basileia tou theou carries a specific significance for its theological political implications. On the basis of Giorgio Agamben’s recent revision of the category of political theology, the attitude of Q on divine kingship is understood as an instance of sub-elite negotiation of social and political positions vis-à-vis the expansion of Roman imperial hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean. In this context the author(s) of Q envisage apocalyptic scenarios in which divine kingship replaces human rulers and native sub-elite bureaucrats can share in the exercise of cosmic government.
Peeters

Paul Trebilco: Early Christian Communities in the Greco-Roman City

Professor Paul Trebilco (University of Otago) delivered a paper on “Early Christian Communities in the Greco-Roman City” at the Perspectives on Urban Ministry from the New Testament Seminar in 2013, at North Park Theological Seminary.

There is a response by Stephen Chester, professor of New Testament, North Park Theological Seminary.

Lee Levine: The Revolutionary Effects Of Archaeology On The Study Of Jewish History

Professor Lee Levine (Hebrew University) delivered a talk on “The Revolutionary Effects Of Archaeology On The Study Of Jewish History“. The lecture was part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted July 6, 2004.

Levine discusses Herod in Judea and the Dura-Europos synagogue in Syria.

The talk is available in m4a audio format:

levine_lee

Steven Katz on The Jewish Encounter With Hellenism

Professor Steven Katz (Director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University) delivered a talk on “The Jewish Encounter With Hellenism” as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted February 13, 2007.

The talk is available in m4a audio format:

Katz-Steven

Steven Katz on The Emergence of the Hasmonean State and its Political and Theological Consequences

Professor Steven Katz (Director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University) delivered a talk on “The Emergence of the Hasmonean State and its Political and Theological Consequences” as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted January 30, 2007.

The talk is available in m4a audio format:

Katz-Steven

Richard Bauckham on the Geography and Culture of Galilee and Its Fishers

bauckham

Dr Richard Bauckham (University of St Andrews) delivered the 2014 Thomas Burns Memorial Lectures on ‘The Sons of Zebedee: The Lives of Two Galilean Fishers’, at the University of Otago. The lectures provide a detailed examination of the geographical-social context of Galilee in the time of Jesus.

The lectures are available on iTunes, and are downloadable in mp4 video and mp3 audio formats:
1) The World of the Lake of Galilee’ – Tuesday 12 August (video) (audio)
2) ‘The Fishing Industry’ – Wednesday 13 August (video) (audio)
3) ‘Zebedee and Sons’ – Thursday 14 August (video) (audio)
4) ‘Called to Fish for People’ – Tuesday 19 August (video) (audio)
5) ‘Sons of Thunder’ – Wednesday 20 August (video) (audio)
6) ‘Jerusalem’ – Thursday 21 August (video) (audio)

Jew and Judean – A Marginalia Review of Books Forum

Jew-or-Judean

In a Marginalia forum on August 26, 2014, eight scholars write replies to Adele Reinhartz’s essay, “The Vanishing Jews of Antiquity”, Marginalia, June 24, 2014. Responses are by Steve Mason, Daniel Schwartz, Annette Yoshiko Reed, Joan Taylor, Malcolm Lowe, Jonathan Klawans, Ruth Sheridan, James Crossley. In addition, Adele Reinhartz provides a reply.

The essay and responses are available for download in epub and mobi formats.

Richard Bauckham with Chris Marshall: Jesus in Context Conference

Professor Richard Bauckham and Dr Chris Marshall presented a lecture series on the historical Jesus, at Carey College, 7-8 August 2014.

 

Richard Bauckham, “The World of the Lake of Galilee”

Richard Bauckham, “The Fishing Industry”

Richard Bauckham, “The Historical Jesus”

Interview with Richard Bauckham

Chris Marshall, “A Parable of Restorative Justice”

Interview with Chris Marshall

Robert R. Cargill – Jerusalem: The Holy City

jerusalem-cargill

Lectures from Dr Robert R. Cargill’s course “Jerusalem: The Holy City:  A History of Jerusalem from Ancient Canaan to Modern Israel” (University of California, Los Angeles; Spring 2010) are freely available for viewing on iTunes. The course consists of 18 lectures, on 27 videos, and is accompanied by a syllabus.

This course surveys the religious, political, and cultural history of Jerusalem over three millennia as a symbolic focus of three faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course content will focus on the transformation of sacred space as reflected by literary and archaeological evidence by examining the testimony of artifacts, architecture, and iconography in relation to the written word. We will study the creation of mythic Jerusalem through event and experience. Course requirements will focus on developing advanced writing skills.

1 Syllabus for Spring 2010 ANNEA 10W: Jerusalem, the Holy City (CARGILL) 4/20/10 Free View In iTunes
2 VideoLecture 1.1: Jerusalem as Sacred Space (Part 1) (4/1/2010) 4/2/10 Free View In iTunes
3 VideoLecture 1.2: Jerusalem as Sacred Space (Part 2) (4/6/2010) 4/7/10 Free View In iTunes
4 VideoLecture 2: Canaanite Jerusalem (4/8/2010) 4/8/10 Free View In iTunes
5 VideoLecture 3.1: David’s Jerusalem (Part 1) (4/8/2010) 4/8/10 Free View In iTunes
6 VideoLecture 3.2: David’s Jerusalem (Part 2) (4/13/2010) 4/13/10 Free View In iTunes
7 VideoLecture 4.1: Solomon’s Jerusalem (Part 1) (4/13/2010) 4/13/10 Free View In iTunes
8 VideoLecture 4.2: Solomon’s Jerusalem (Part 2) (4/15/2010) 4/15/10 Free View In iTunes
9 VideoLecture 5.1: Hezekiah’s Jerusalem (Part 1) (4/15/2010) 4/15/10 Free View In iTunes
10 VideoLecture 5.2: Hezekiah’s Jerusalem (Part 2) (4/20/2010) 4/21/10 Free View In iTunes
11 VideoLecture 6.1: Josiah’s Jerusalem (Part 1) (4/20/2010) 4/20/10 Free View In iTunes
12 VideoLecture 6.2: Josiah’s Jerusalem (Part 2) (4/22/2010) 4/22/10 Free View In iTunes
13 VideoLecture 7.1: Exilic Jerusalem (Part 1) (4/22/2010) 4/22/10 Free View In iTunes
14 VideoLecture 7.2: Exilic Jerusalem (Part 2) (4/27/2010) 4/27/10 Free View In iTunes
15 VideoLecture 8: Persian Jerusalem (5/4/2010) 5/4/10 Free View In iTunes
16 VideoLecture 9: Hellenistic Jerusalem (5/6/2010) 5/7/10 Free View In iTunes
17 VideoLecture 10.1: Hasmonean Jerusalem (Part 1) (5/6/2010) 5/7/10 Free View In iTunes
18 VideoLecture 10.2: Hasmonean Jerusalem (Part 2) (5/11/2010) 5/11/10 Free View In iTunes
19 VideoLecture 11: Herodian Jerusalem (5/11/2010) 5/11/10 Free View In iTunes
20 VideoLecture 12: Jerusalem in Revolt (5/13/2010) 5/14/10 Free View In iTunes
21 VideoLecture 13: Byzantine Jerusalem (5/18/2010) 5/18/10 Free View In iTunes
22 VideoLecture 14: Islamic Jerusalem (5/20/2010) 6/7/10 Free View In iTunes
23 VideoLecture 15: Crusader Jerusalem (5/25/2010) 5/25/10 Free View In iTunes
24 VideoLecture 16: Mamluk and Ottoman Jerusalem (5/27/2010) 5/31/10 Free View In iTunes
25 VideoLecture 17.1: 20th Century Jerusalem (Part 1) (6/1/2010) 6/1/10 Free View In iTunes
26 VideoLecture 17.2: 20th Century Jerusalem (Part 2) (6/3/2010) 6/5/10 Free View In iTunes
27 VideoLecture 18: 21st Century Jerusalem (6/3/2010) 6/5/10 Free View In iTunes
28 VideoRandom Questions for/about Dr. Cargill (6/3/10) 6/5/10 Free View In iTunes

Phil Harland – Online Edition of Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations

harland-associations-synagogues-and-congregations

Dr Philip Harland has made available a revised, online edition of his book Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations: Claiming a Place in Ancient Mediterranean Society (September 2013) with clickable links to inscriptions that are collected together on the book’s sister-site Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Companion to the Sourcebook.

A groundbreaking study. Harland’s focus on associations in Roman antiquity as a way better to understand civic social life and the social sensibilities of those involved in such associations sets the stage for a reconsideration of the place of ancient Christianities and Judaisms in the Roman order. What emerges is a realistic picture of the ancient Christian associations of Asia Minor that produced such texts as 1 Peter, the Apocalypse of John, and the Pastoral Epistles. This new picture emphasized the concrete, day-to-day ways in which ancient Christians did claim a place for themselves within the empire, and soundly dismisses conceptualizations of Christianity as an isolated sect. This is an indispensable step toward re-imagining ancient civic life, ancient religion, and the origins of Christianity as well.

– William Arnal, University of Regina, Saskatchewan (on the first edition)

Part One (“Associations in Asia Minor“) can be downloaded or read online free, and the entire book may be downloaded at a pay-what-you-will price ($0-$15).