The Very Model of a Biblical Philologist

Josh Tyra made this delightful video. David Lamb and Darrell Pursiful brought it to my attention. It is a parody of a famous Gilbert and Sullivan song. Mandaic gets a mention! [Read more...]

Son of Man

I’ve been wondering for some time whether extreme skepticism of the depiction of Jesus even in our earliest sources hasn’t gone too far. A number of scholars have been bringing the pendulum back the other way. Bart Ehrman, for instance, thinks that Jesus thought himself to be the Messiah. If we remove all such views and [Read More...]

Abba isn’t Daddy

Both Steve Caruso and I have made this point before. But Steve has reduced the point to a very simple infographic, and so I thought it was worth sharing.   [Read more...]

Targum Neofiti Online

Via Ancient World Online, I learned that the Vatican Library has put Targum Neofiti online! If you are not familiar with them, the Targumim are Aramaic paraphrases of the Bible, which provide important insights into how ancient Jews understood their Scriptures.   [Read more...]

Christopher Rollston on the James Ossuary

Steve Caruso shared the video below featuring Christopher Rollston and Gabriel Barkay talking about the James Ossuary. (If you missed it, see also Steve’s recent Twitter exchange with Jesus.) Of related interest, the Israel Antiquities Authorities has an online archaeological database that is full of useful resources.   [Read more...]

Abba Again

It is now two weeks since we finally dived into the details of the Lord’s Prayer in my Sunday school class. Moving at our usual fast pace, we covered one word on that occasion: Father. I highlighted the evidence for Jesus have addressed God as abba in Aramaic, and the misconception that abba meant “daddy” [Read More...]

Performing Ancient Texts in the Original Languages

My colleague Chris Bungard is one of the performers (the first you see) in the above video, which was made as part of an NEH Summer Institute: Roman Comedy in Performance. It got me thinking. Has anyone done something similar with Biblical texts, acting out and narrating stories in the original languages? [Read more...]

Win a Slightly Defective Jesus!

OK, so I left the word “pendant” out of the title. Steve Caruso is holding a giveaway on the Aramaic NT site. Click through to enter! [Read more...]

Spoiler about the Doctor’s Regeneration?

Is this a leaked set of images from the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special? No, actually the Doctor at the end is Chris Brady, of the blog Targuman, in his new Facebook profile picture. Steve Caruso made the composite image and shared it on his Aramaic Blog. When I dress up in my regalia for [Read More...]

Grants for Cataloging Eastern Christian Manuscripts

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) announces grants available for cataloging work in its eastern Christian collections in Arabic/Garšūnī, Armenian, Old Church Slavonic, and Syriac. These grants are funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Many of these collections are greatly understudied and catalogers thus have prime opportunities for new and further research, as [Read More...]

Religious Studies and Christian Agendas

In a blog post on the Religious Studies Project website, Raphael Lataster, a postgraduate student at the University of Sydney, has suggested that there is a Christian agenda behind even the supposedly secular study of religion. And he makes that claim because of his own experience of wanting to research mythicism at university. From what [Read More...]


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