Qumran Cave 12: Update 3

Discussion of the recent Qumran-vicinity cave finds since the previous post tracking the story here includes:

  • Ami Magazine (HT: Lawrence Schiffman): Information about the new cave find with a fuller discussion of matters related to earlier Qumran-vicinity finds. In the cave’s apparently blank parchment fragment, Schiffman also suggests we find evidence for how demonstrably later forgeries could still carbon date to the turn of the eras.
  • Bible History Daily (HT: Craig Evans and Jim Davila):  Discussion of the propriety of designating the new find as “Cave 12,” given that current reports indicate no scrolls have been recovered.
  • Christian Science Monitor (HT: Craig Evans) and Trinity Western University (HT: Craig Evans): Similar information to that found elsewhere.
  • National Geographic (HT: Craig Evans): Reports an estimate from Randall Price of “probably another 50 sites that merit investigating in the near future,” as well as comments like those summarized above from Lawrence Schiffman on how recent forgeries might appear on old material. In a humorous turn, Schiffman “shockingly” dispels hope of “find[ing] the diary of the three wise men” in possible further Judean Desert discoveries.
  • theLAB: Primarily reflections on the significance of previous Dead Sea Scroll finds with a couple comments on the new find similar to those provided elsewhere.

What seems to be shaping up as the key question about the status of this new find’s designation as “Cave 12” is the question “What makes a cave worthy of inclusion inside the numbering?”—actual textual finds tied to the location or simply a strong possibility that ancient texts were once located in the cave? Barring additional news about thus-far undisclosed contents from this cave, the apparently blank parchment showing text under multispectral examination, or known texts’ being re-provenanced to this cave, it seems more in keeping with the criteria applied to derive the existing 11-cave scheme not to include this new cave as a twelfth in that sequence. But, of course, the new find remains quite significant and reopens important questions about possible issues of provenance for texts currently classified as deriving from the standard 11 caves.

For further background and discussion, see Qumran Cave 12, Qumran Cave 12: Update, and Qumran Cave 12: Update 2.

Niese’s and Loeb’s Josephuses

All seven volume’s of Niese’s edition of Josephus’s works are available online. Most are available on Internet Archive in both black-and-white and full color. But, for volumes 2 and 5, one has to go to the black-and-white text only scans on Google Books:

Several of the Loeb series volumes are aggregated on Loebolus:

A Seal Impression from Hezekiah

From Jim Davila:

THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM: Impression of King Hezekiah’s Royal Seal Discovered in Ophel Excavations South of Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“First seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king ever exposed in situ in a scientific archaeological excavation

Discovery brings to life the Biblical narratives about King Hezekiah and the activity conducted during his lifetime in Jerusalem’s 1st Temple Period Royal Quarter”

This is an exciting discovery, chiefly because, as it says above, this is the first seal impression mentioning Hezekiah which has been uncovered in a scientific excavation. Other Hezekiah bullae (clay seal impressions) have surfaced on the antiquities market since the 1990s, but one could always doubt their authenticity. There is no doubt that this one is authentic. It is very sad that the papyrus document it once sealed has long ago disintegrated into dust.

For more details and comment, see PaleoJudaica.

Thesis-style Numistmatism Wanted

From AWOL:

The American Numismatic Society has created an Open Access digital library. One purpose is to host unpublished and/or orphaned MA and PhD theses/dissertations that have numismatic content. As a part of this library your thesis will be Open Access, full-text searchable, and http://schema.org properties will help Google relevance. If you (or someone you know) wants their research hosted for free (CC-BY license) alongside other numismatic work, email Andrew Reinhard at areinhard@numismatics.org.

Walton, Matthews, and Chavalas, Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament

Walton, Matthews, and Chavalas, "The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament"
John Walton, Victor Matthews, and Mark Chavalas

Ahead of class this fall, the folks at InterVarsity have kindly forwarded John Walton, Victor Matthews, and Mark Chavalas’s Old Testament backgrounds commentary (2000). According to the publisher’s description,

The unique commentary joins The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament in providing historical, social and cultural background for each passage of the Old Testament. From Genesis through Malachi, this single volume gathers and condenses an abundance of specialized knowledge—making it available and accessible to ordinary readers of the Old Testament. Expert scholars John Walton, Victor Matthews and Mark Chavalas have included along with the fruits of their research and collaboration

  • a glossary of historical terms, ancient peoples, texts and inscriptions
  • maps and charts of important historical resources
  • expanded explanations of significant background issues
  • introductory essays on each book of the Old Testament

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament will enrich your experience of the Old Testament—and your teaching and preaching from Scripture—in a way that no other commentary can do.

Roads to Rome (and Elsewhere) for Digital Classicists

Alison Babeu has a new ebook freely available in PDF format: “Rome Wasn’t Digitized in a Day”: Building a Cyberinfrastructure for Digital Classicists (Washington, D. C.: Council on Library and Information Resources, 2011). According to the publisher,

The author provides a summative and recent overview of the use of digital technologies in classical studies, focusing on classical Greece, Rome, and the ancient Middle and Near East, and generally on the period up to about 600 AD [sic]. The report explores what projects exist and how they are used, examines the infrastructure that currently exists to support digital classics as a discipline, and investigates larger humanities cyberinfrastructure projects and existing tools or services that might be repurposed for the digital classics.

For more information and the text itself, see here (HT: Charles Jones).