The Iranian Talmud

Shai Secunda, one of the scholars behind the Talmud Blog, has a book that is being released, The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in Its Sasanian Context (in the series Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion, from University of Pennsylvania Press). As someone interested in Judaism, Eastern Christianity, Jewish-Christian interaction, and the Mandaeans, this is a [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...]

Is the Oldest Science Fiction in the Talmud?

Anthony Le Donne suggested on his blog (and in a recent conference paper) that a story in the Babylonian Talmud, in b. Menaḥoth 29b, might be the first science fiction story. In it, Moses time travels to Rabbi Akiba’s time. But is time travel enough to make a story science fiction? I’ve long pondered this topic, namely [Read More...]

Richard Carrier Illustrates Historical Jesus Methodology

While one might or might not see fit to dispute Richard Carrier’s specific conclusions in his recent post, “The Dying Messiah Redux,” I think that the most important thing to note is the approach to history that it illustrates. Carrier argues that, because certain views expressed in Jewish literature from several centuries after the rise [Read More...]

Web Yeshiva

Today I learned about the site Web Yeshiva, which has links to a wide range of important classic Jewish texts -the Tanach, Mishnah, Talmudim, Midrashim, other commentaries, and more. I’ve added it to the “Useful Sites” page as well. [Read more...]

Review of Holger Michael Zellentin, Rabbinic Parodies of Jewish and Christian Literature

I’m grateful to Mohr Siebeck for having sent me a free review copy of Holger Michael Zellentin’s new book, Rabbinic Parodies of Jewish & Christian Literature (Texts & Studies in Ancient Judaism, 139). Anyone who studies ancient religious literature is bound to have come across stories which seem amusing and/or satirical. But determining when stories [Read More...]


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