Archive for January, 2016

Jonathan Klawans. “Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Seder?” Bible Review 17, 5 (2001).
By January 10, 2016 Read More →

Jonathan Klawans. “Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Seder?” Bible Review 17, 5 (2001).

Many people assume that Jesus’ Last Supper was a Seder, a ritual meal held in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Passover. And indeed, according to the Gospel of Mark 14:12, Jesus prepared for the Last Supper on the “first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb.” If Jesus and his disciples […]

Stephen J. Patterson. “The Dark Side of Pilate.” Bible Review 19, 6 (2003).
By January 10, 2016 Read More →

Stephen J. Patterson. “The Dark Side of Pilate.” Bible Review 19, 6 (2003).

Poor Pilate. If ever a man was caught unwittingly in the net of historical circumstance, it was Pilate. A simple Roman governor just doing his job, he could see that Jesus wasn’t the villain the Jewish crowd thought him to be. In the end, he washed his hands of the affair—tormented, it seems, by the […]

Joe Zias. Crucifixion in Antiquity – The Anthropological Evidence
By January 10, 2016 Read More →

Joe Zias. Crucifixion in Antiquity – The Anthropological Evidence

Whereas crucifixion, a form of state terror described by Josephus as “the most wretched of deaths” (Jewish Wars 7,23) persisted for hundreds of years, few are aware of its widespread use with victims being crucified on all three continents in the Ancient World.  As late as the third century A.D. poets, murderers, robbers, mischief makers […]

Vassilios Tzaferis. “Crucifixion—The Archaeological Evidence.” Biblical Archaeology Review 11, 1 (1985).
By January 10, 2016 Read More →

Vassilios Tzaferis. “Crucifixion—The Archaeological Evidence.” Biblical Archaeology Review 11, 1 (1985).

From ancient literary sources we know that tens of thousands of people were crucified in the Roman Empire. In Palestine alone, the figure ran into the thousands. Yet until 1968 not a single victim of this horrifying method of execution had been uncovered archaeologically. In that year I excavated the only victim of crucifixion ever […]

Haftarah Introduction, Bryna Jocheved Levy
By January 6, 2016 Read More →

Haftarah Introduction, Bryna Jocheved Levy

WHAT’S A HAFTARAH? The haftarah or haftorah is the selection from the books of the Prophets (Nevi’im)  read publicly in the synagogue following the Torah reading on Sabbath and Jewish holidays. The word haftarah derives from the Hebrew word meaning “parting” or “taking leave” since it concludes the scriptural readings in the morning Sabbath and […]

Isaiah 61:10-11, 62:1-12, 63:1-9, Bryna Jocheved Levy
By January 6, 2016 Read More →

Isaiah 61:10-11, 62:1-12, 63:1-9, Bryna Jocheved Levy

  Isaiah 61:10-63:9 This week’s haftarah is the seventh and final installment of a series of seven “Haftarot of Consolation.” These seven haftarot commence on the Shabbat following Tisha b’Av and continue until Rosh Hashanah. The prophet begins on a high note, describing the great joy that we will experience with the Final Redemption, comparing […]

Isaiah 60:1-22, Bryna Jocheved Levy
By January 6, 2016 Read More →

Isaiah 60:1-22, Bryna Jocheved Levy

In the haftarah for parshat Ki Tavo the prophet speaks of light: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has shone upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a gross darkness the kingdoms, and the Lord shall shine upon you, and His glory shall appear over […]

Isaiah 54:10, Bryna Jocheved Levy
By January 5, 2016 Read More →

Isaiah 54:10, Bryna Jocheved Levy

REJOICE O BARREN ONE In the fifth haftarah Isaiah (54:1-10) – Roni Aqarah, the prophet likens Zion to a barren woman who becomes a mother of many children:  “Rejoice, O barren one, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child: for more are the […]

Isaiah 51:12 – 52:12, Bryna Jocheved Levy
By January 5, 2016 Read More →

Isaiah 51:12 – 52:12, Bryna Jocheved Levy

This week is the fourth in the series of seven weeks between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashannah, where the haftarot are designed to comfort the Jewish people: the Shiva de-Nehemta, the Seven Haftarot of Consolation.  This week, when the Torah reading is Parshat Shoftim, the haftarah begins, “Anokhi Anokhi Hu menahem” – I, indeed I […]

Isaiah 54:11 – 55:1-5, Bryna Jocheved Levy
By January 5, 2016 Read More →

Isaiah 54:11 – 55:1-5, Bryna Jocheved Levy

This haftarah is the third prophecy in the cycle of seven Haftarot of Consolation, read sequentially during the seven Sabbaths that follow Tisha B’Av. The previous week, God has reassured disconsolate Zion that He will remember her. In this week’s consolation, He adds the assurances of repopulation, piety, and peace. That is, though Zion is […]