Monday, October 24, 2016

9th Enoch Seminar - From tôrāh to Torah: Variegated Notions of Torah from the First Temple Period to Late Antiquity

Jason Zurawski sends word of the 9th Enoch Seminar, From tôrāh to Torah: Variegated Notions of Torah from the First Temple Period to Late Antiquity in June 2017. Sounds like an exciting lineup!


Dear Members and Friends of the Enoch Seminar,
We have had a wonderful response to our initial announcement of the 9th Enoch Seminar, From tôrāh to Torah: Variegated Notions of Torah from the First Temple Period to Late Antiquity, which will take place from June 18-23, 2017, at the lovely Monastero di Camaldoli, ideally situated in the forested hills of Tuscany. See below for a detailed description of the topic and themes, as well as a list of the current participants. You may also visit the conference website for all updated information:
Participation in the 9th Enoch Seminar is very limited and is by invitation only. If you would like to attend, please be in touch with Jason Zurawski at Proposals for short papers (3000-4000 words) are being accepted through December 15th. Online registration for the meeting will begin in December.
Thank you for your time and best wishes,
Bill Schniedewind
Jason Zurawski
Gabriele Boccaccini
From tôrāh to Torah:
Variegated Notions of Torah from the First Temple Period to Late Antiquity
June 18-23, 2017
Camaldoli, Italy
The Ninth Enoch Seminar
With the support of
Alessandro Nangeroni International Endowment
University of Michigan
Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
Michigan Center for Early Christian Studies
Conference Chairs: William Schniedewind and Jason Zurawski (in collaboration with Gabriele Boccaccini)
The Enoch Seminar and the resultant volume will examine the diverse understandings of tôrāh, beginning with the texts of the Hebrew Bible through to the Second Temple period and late antiquity, moving beyond traditional paradigms such as the early usage of tôrāh as general instruction vs. the transition to nomos, as “law,” or the development of a “normative” notion of Torah (capitalization intentional) in the Second Temple period. Participants are encouraged to rethink our scholarly assumptions and preconceptions on the topic and tackle the questions anew in light of more critical philological and historical approaches. We seek to examine the various notions of tôrāh (and nomos) in all relevant literature, regardless of scholarly or denominational corpora, both within ancient Jewish/Judean traditions and in light of broader influences, whether Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman, Persian, etc. As this meeting follows and builds upon the work from the Fifth Nangeroni Meeting, “Second Temple Jewish Paideia in its Ancient Near Eastern and Hellenistic Contexts” (June/July 2015), discussions pertaining to the connections between tôrāh/Torah/nomos/dat and education, pedagogy, wisdom, etc., are especially encouraging. Our aim will be to discuss the variety of ways that tôrāh was defined and developed in the literature.
The pre-circulated papers will be presented briefly (5 min.), followed by a response (10 min.) and a sustained discussion by the participants. Major papers (5000-8000 words) and short papers (3000-4000 words) should be submitted by May 1, 2017. This will allow respondents and other participants sufficient time to prepare.
Samuel Adams (Union Presbyterian Seminary)
Sara Ahbel-Rappe (University of Michigan)
Carol Bakhos (University of California, Los Angeles)
Andreas Bedenbender (Paderborn University)
Gabriele Boccaccini (University of Michigan)
Francis Borchardt (Lutheran Theological Seminary of Hong Kong)
Calum Carmichael (Cornell University)
James Charlesworth (Princeton University)
Esther Chazon (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Federico Dal Bo (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Vicente Dobroruka (Universidade de Brasília)
Lutz Doering (University of Münster)
Oliver Dyma (Katholische Stiftungsfachhochschule München)
Steven Fraade (Yale University)
Christine Hayes (Yale University)
Ronald Herms (Fresno Pacific University)
David Jackson (William Carey Christian School, Australia)
Magnar Kartveit (VID Specialized University)
Anne Kreps (University of Oregon)
David Lambert (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Liv Ingeborg Lied (MF Norwegian School of Theology)
Paul Mandel (Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies)
Eva Mroczek (University of California, Davis)
Jason Myers (Greensboro College)
Rivka Nir (Open University of Israel)
Juan Carlos Ossandón (Pontificia Universitas Sanctae Crucis)
Anders Klostergaard Petersen (Aarhus University)
Patrick Pouchelle (Centre Sèvres – Paris)
Jeremy Punt (Stellenbosch University)
Alexander Rofé (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Ishay Rosen Zvi (Tel Aviv University)
Jacque van Ruiten (University of Groningen)
Michael Satlow (Brown University)
Brian Schmidt (University of Michigan)
William Schniedewind (University of California, Los Angeles)
Stefan Schorch (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Malka Simkovich (Catholic Theological Union)
Joan Taylor (King’s College London)
Jacqueline Vayntrub (Brandeis University)
Benjamin Wright (Lehigh University)
J. Edward Wright (University of Arizona)
Jason Zurawski (University of Groningen)

Dr. Jason M. Zurawski
Postdoctoral Fellow, Qumran Institute
Department of Old Testament and Early Judaism
Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Groningen

Secretary, Board of Directors

Postdocs in Munich

I have several friends and colleagues working in Munich now, and their Distant Worlds group seems to be quite an exciting research context. See below their announcement for two postdoctoral positions.

From Walther Sallaberger []

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich is one of the leading European universities, with a tradition reaching back more than 500 years. In 2012, the university established the Munich Graduate School for Ancient Studies ‘Distant Worlds’ with funding from the German Excellence Initiative. The Graduate School is an interdisciplinary research network bringing together LMU and research institutions in Munich to provide an optimal environment for disciplinary research and the promotion of junior academics in the field of ancient studies. As part of its doctoral study and postdoctoral training programme, the Graduate School combines research from a broad spectrum of disciplines within the field of ancient studies.

The Graduate School invites applications for the following positions:

2 Postdoctoral Positions
Salary grade 13 TV-L / 100%

These temporary positions are available from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2019.
It is possible to apply for a one-year extension in the form of a scholarship.

Each of the positions will coordinate a junior research group. The junior research groups are oriented towards one of the seven focus areas

1. Constructions of Norms
2. Constructions of Elites
3. Constructions of the ‘Beautiful’
4. Organisation of Coexistence
5. Organisation of Exchange
6. Organisation of Dealing with Dissent
7. Organisation of Memory and Forgetting


Successful candidates will conduct an independent research project contributing to one of the seven focus areas, to be chosen by the candidates themselves. In pursuing their research, candidates will be supported by mentors chosen from the group of Principal Investigators of the School.

They will collaborate with doctoral students in an interdisciplinary junior research group and coordinate the activities of that group (supported by mentors).

They will develop new research perspectives in the field of ancient studies together with doctoral students, Principal Investigators and other members of the Münchner Zentrum für Antike Welten.


In order to qualify for application, candidates must have completed their doctorate in the field of ancient studies with outstanding results. Applicants will need to submit a proposal for an independent research project. They should demonstrate their openness towards working in an interdisciplinary context as well as an interest in basic and theoretical questions.

The School offers the scope for individual academic development and an inspiring research environment.

Applicants with disabilities who possess essentially equal qualifications will be given preference. LMU Munich is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity, and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Please submit the following required application documents

(A) as one pdf file:
(1) Application letter (letter of motivation)
(2) Curriculum vitae
(3) List of publications and list of courses taught
(4) Degree certificates
(5) Research proposal (max. 7.500 characters incl. spaces) plus bibliography
(6) Sample of your written work (app. length: 10–12 pages).

(B) as pdf file:
completed application form
(download via:

(C) 2 Letters of reference:
To be emailed directly by the referees to citing the reference number DW-PostDoc/17_your_name

Please submit your complete application in German or English citing the
reference number DW-PostDoc/17 at the latest by 1 December 2016
exclusively via email to:

You can find further information on the Graduate School "Distant Worlds“
on the following website:

For further questions please contact Ms Anna Waldschütz

HT Agade

Sunday, October 23, 2016

New 8th Century Papyrus from Judah?

I have just heard of reports of a new papyrus from Judah mentioning Jerusalem that sound very exciting (NB the photo on the news article is not of this papyrus, but a much later semicursive document)! It was discovered in the Judean Desert and purchased on the antiquities market, placing it in a somewhat compromised position in the eyes of some. Supposedly it can reliably be dated to the 8th century BCE, which makes it a remarkably rare document from pre-exilic Judah on a perishable writing support. Apparently it will be presented in Jerusalem at the annual New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region conference on Oct. 26-27, 2016. If anyone has the chance to see the presentation, I would greatly appreciate any important details about this interesting document!

HT Todd Bolen

Update - Årstein Justnes pointed out the following related links:

Roberta Mazza

Jim Davila

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Aramaisms in the Septuagint

New from SBL Press:

L’influence de l’araméen sur les traducteurs de la LXX principalement, sur les traducteurs grecs postérieurs, ainsi que sur les scribes de la Vorlage de la LXX
Anne-Françoise Loiseau

Loiseau presents examples of Greek translations of verses from the Hebrew Bible that clearly illustrate the influence of Aramaic or Late Hebrew on the semantics of the Septuagint translators. The author postulates that the Greek translators based their translations on Hebrew-Aramaic equivalents maintained as lists or even on proto-targumim such as those found at Qumran, both predecessors of the later Aramaic targumic translations. Loiseau’s examples provide convincing explanations for different coincidences occurring between the Greek translations and the interpretative traditions found in the targumim and help elucidate a number of puzzling translations where two Aramaic words that are very similar graphically or phonetically were erroneously interchanged.
Paper $45.95, ISBN 9781628371567
Hardcover $60.95, ISBN 9780884141938
Kindle, ASIN B01M0PUT0T 
Google Play, ISBN 9780884141921
270 pages • 2016 • Septuagint and Cognate Studies 65

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More Coverage on Possible DSS Forgeries

Nina Burleigh has a recent, short Newsweek piece out on possible DSS forgeries: "Newly Discovered Dead Sea Scrolls are Skillfully Crafted Fakes, Experts Suspect". Not much new, but interesting to see coverage in popular media outlets.

HT Rick Bonnie

Ancient Worlds in Digital Culture

I just received word of a new Brill volume on Digital Humanities projects and Biblical Studies that looks interesting.

Ancient Worlds in Digital Culture, Edited by Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley, David Hamidović in collaboration with Apolline Thromas.

Saturday, October 15, 2016