Virtual Magic Bowl Archive

AWOL shared a link to the Virtual Magic Bowl Archive, which features photos taken by Matthew Morgenstern, I believe. The practice of making and using magic bowls is something that Jews and Mandaeans in Mesopotamia shared in common. [Read more...]

3D Ziggurat Modeling

Via All Mesopotamia, I discovered that someone did 3D modeling of a ziggurat. Below is a sample. Click through to see more. [Read more...]

Noah’s Flood Website

I just learned of a new website, Noah’s Flood, created to look at stories of natural cataclysms from long before the Bible up through the new Noah movie. I have only taken a quick look, but it looks interesting and worth sharing. [Read more...]

Noah’s Precursor

Irving Finkel in the New York Times and The Telegraph and also Jerry Coyne on his blog (reprinted in The New Republic) have noted the interesting story (mentioned here a while back) about a Mesopotamian version of the flood myth, another one that is much older than Genesis, featuring a coracle – i.e. a round boat. Click through any [Read More...]

AAR Traditions of East Late Antiquity Session

Here is the lineup for the Traditions of East Late Antiquity Exploratory Session that will take place at AAR in November: From Jerusalem to the Karûn: What can Mandaean Geographies Tell Us? Charles Häberl, Rutgers University “On the Creation of Adam”: A Greek/Syriac “Kephalaion” from Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeos Timothy Pettipiece, University of Ottawa [Read More...]

Young-Earth Creationism vs. the Plain Meaning of the Creation Stories

Having recently addressed a number of points of incompatibility between young-earth creationism and Christianity as most Christians understand it and have understood it down the ages, I was asked if I could address the common young-earth creationist objection that  “No one simply reading what the words clearly say would EVER suppose God/Moses were describing a development [Read More...]

Recycled Stories in the Bible: The Flood

In today’s class, we discussed how awareness of an earlier tradition of telling versions of the same story – as in the case of the Genesis flood story, paralleled in ancient Mesopotamian literature in the Atrahasis and Gilgamesh epics – can be important for understanding the later version of the story in question. [Read more...]

Melammu, the Mandaeans and other Mesopotamians

Charles Jones posted at Ancient World Online about the Melammu project, which has a digital library dedicated to “The Intellectual Heritage of Assyria and Babylonia in East and West.” The site contains numerous interesting pieces, but not surprisingly the one that grabbed my attention was Amar Annus’ “Some Otherworldly Journeys in Mesopotamian, Jewish, Mandaean and [Read More...]

Review of John Walton, Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology

I am grateful to Eisenbrauns for sending me a free review copy of John H. Walton’s book Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology. This is the most recent of several books Walton has written which relate in some way to this topic. I wrote a multi-post review of Walton’s book The Lost World of Genesis One [Read More...]

Clergy Letter for Imams (and More From the Evolutionary Blogosphere)

Open Parachute and Panda’s Thumb both report on the expansion of the Clergy Letter Project to include Muslim clergy voices in support of evolution. Also related, Sabio Lantz tells how evolution cost him his job. Jerry Coyne discusses the laryngeal nerve as evidence for evolution. Biologos continues the series on Mesopotamian sacred geography and the [Read More...]


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