Monday May 19, 2014
In a much overlooked description of 'the Essenes', attributed to the Third-Century Early Church theologian Hippolytus in Rome, there exists a completely original version of Josephus’ famous description of them. This probably goes back to a variant version of the received Josephus, the one even he says he did in an earlier work in Aramaic for his Mesopotamian brethren in the East...
Sunday Jan 26, 2014
Several historical and textual problems emerge from identifying the Dead Sea Scrolls with “the Essenes". Since most of our knowledge about "Essenes" is based on notices from the First-Century Jewish historian Josephus, it is reasonable to suppose that some of these difficulties stem from Josephus' own confusions, distortions, or purposeful obfuscations of data. In this regard, it is often overlooked that...
Sunday Oct 20, 2013
The thing that has principally held researchers back from making the kinds of connections outlined in my article “Internal vs. External Data and the Dead Sea Scrolls” two months ago (http://blogs.jpost.com/internal-evidence-vs-external-evidence-carbon-testing-dead-sea-scrolls) is the chronology of Qumran based on the External Data – as we showed – primarily including archaeology, paleography and, latterly, radiocarbon...
Monday Aug 26, 2013
Author's note: Much of what follows is excerpted from pp. 788-801 of my James the Brother of Jesus (Viking/Faber&Faber/Penguin, 1997-98); but it has been 'borrowed' so much - sometimes even without attribution - that I felt it might be good to repeat the gist of it in more popular (though admittedly still complex) form here:
Most reading this blog probably never heard of Epaphroditus. He is mentioned twice in...
Sunday Aug 18, 2013
The reason I have not written very much lately is because "Israel is in a Pickle" - and we all know it.
There is not very much new to say or say at all, except 'Stall, stall, stall'!
But have they/we enough time?
Of course, one could always say "No!" - "No, no, no" - the three "No's!", but Israel or "the Jews" (as a "Jew" myself, I feel I have the right to...