Archive for January, 2016

Bust of the Emperor Constantine I, ruled 324-337 CE
By January 31, 2016 Read More →

Bust of the Emperor Constantine I, ruled 324-337 CE

Constantine can rightfully claim the title of Great, for he turned the history of the world into a new course and made Christianity, which until then had suffered bloody persecution, the religion of the State. Excerpted from Catholic Encyclopedia.

Column from a synagogue reused in a Christian context with a cross imposed on a menorah, Laodicia, Asia Minor
By January 31, 2016 Read More →

Column from a synagogue reused in a Christian context with a cross imposed on a menorah, Laodicia, Asia Minor

Image courtesy of Holy Land Photos. The image of the menorah on this column  fragment, flanked by a shofar, a ram’s horn, to its right a lulav, a palm frond, to its left, was a well-known visual trope in Jewish art across the empire, but our piece is distinguished by the fact that this is the […]

Earliest known depiction of Lazarus, Callistus Catacombs, Rome, 3rd Century CE
By January 31, 2016 Read More →

Earliest known depiction of Lazarus, Callistus Catacombs, Rome, 3rd Century CE

The wall painting to the right of Jesus raising Lazarus is a classic example of early Christian art depicting Christ as a miracle worker. When Jesus wasn’t disguised as a Shepherd or as a Greek god, followers often showed him in the act of his biblical miracles. Far from being as inflammatory as the resurrection, showing Jesus’ […]

Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 28b- The Composition of the Blessing Against the Heretics
By January 25, 2016 Read More →

Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 28b- The Composition of the Blessing Against the Heretics

After discussing the significance of the number eighteen regarding the prayer of the “Eighteen Benedictions,” the Bablyonian Talmud discusses the origin of what is considered to be the additional nineteenth blessing, denouncing non-believers, which has been incorporated into the prayer. As to those eighteen benedictions — there are nineteen! R. Levi said : The benediction relating to […]

Christian Catacombs at Callistus, Rome, 3rd century CE
By January 24, 2016 Read More →

Christian Catacombs at Callistus, Rome, 3rd century CE

Until after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (A.D. 70) the Christians were regarded as a sect of the Jews; hence those Jews who were converted by the Apostles at Rome were buried in the catacombs of their fellow-countrymen. The question arises as to where those converted from heathenism by the Apostles found their last […]

Robert Kysar. “John’s Anti-Jewish Polemic.” Bible Review 9, 1 (1993).
By January 24, 2016 Read More →

Robert Kysar. “John’s Anti-Jewish Polemic.” Bible Review 9, 1 (1993).

In the previous article, Professor Charlesworth calls the Gospel of John the most Jewish of the Gospels. This means, not that it is pro-Jewish or sympathetic to Jewish interests, but that it is by and about Jews acting in a Jewish environment. In fact, the Gospel of John is also probably the most anti-Jewish of […]

Moshe Weinfeld. “The Jewish Roots of Matthew’s Vitriol.” Bible Review 13, 5 (1997).
By January 24, 2016 Read More →

Moshe Weinfeld. “The Jewish Roots of Matthew’s Vitriol.” Bible Review 13, 5 (1997).

The Evangelist Matthew considered himself and his followers Jews. The gospel writer saw himself as being involved in a Jewish struggle, as he and the emerging rabbinic movement vied for leadership. Anthony Saldarini, in his excellent BR article on the Gospel of Matthew 23, correctly portrays Matthew’s attack on the “scribes and Pharisees” as an […]

Paula Fredriksen. “Did Jesus Oppose the Purity Laws?” Bible Review 11, 3 (1995).
By January 17, 2016 Read More →

Paula Fredriksen. “Did Jesus Oppose the Purity Laws?” Bible Review 11, 3 (1995).

In the last century, especially in the last few decades, historians of Christianity have increasingly understood Jesus of Nazareth as a participant in the Judaism of his day. Many scholars, however, while emphasizing Jesus’ articulation of Jewish ethics, or his Jewish scriptural sensibility, or the apocalyptic convictions he shared with so many contemporaries, draw the […]

William Sanford La Sor. “Discovering What Jewish Miqva’ot Can Tell Us about Christian Baptism.” Biblical Archaeology Review 13, 1 (1987)
By January 17, 2016 Read More →

William Sanford La Sor. “Discovering What Jewish Miqva’ot Can Tell Us about Christian Baptism.” Biblical Archaeology Review 13, 1 (1987)

Until the discoveries of modern archaeology, we knew about ancient Jewish ritual immersion baths only from literary texts. Now, however, archaeology has provided us with numerous examples of Jewish ritual immersion baths, called miqva’ot (singular, miqveh), dating to the late Second Temple period, prior to and during the time when John the Baptist lived. These […]

Joseph A. Fitzmyer. “Did Jesus Speak Greek?” Biblical Archaeology Review 18, 5 (1992).
By January 17, 2016 Read More →

Joseph A. Fitzmyer. “Did Jesus Speak Greek?” Biblical Archaeology Review 18, 5 (1992).

That Jesus spoke Aramaic there is no doubt. By Jesus’ time numerous local dialects of Aramaic had emerged. Jesus, like other Palestinian Jews, would have spoken a local form of Middle Aramaic1 called Palestinian Aramaic. Palestinian Aramaic developed along with Nabatean Aramaic (in the area around Petra in modern Jordan), Palmyrene Aramaic (in central Syria), […]