Lawson Younger’s new book on Aramean political history

A very important volume on Aramean political history has just appeared – that should be a major resource for many years to come.

The volume, by Prof. K. Lawson Younger of Trinity International University, is entitled:

Younger, K. L., Jr. 2016. A Political History of the Arameans: From Their Origins to the End of Their Polities. Archaeology and Biblical Studies 13. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

Here is a flyer for the book: younger-aramean-book-notice


New study on the definition of the “Ashdodite” language in Nehemia 13:23-24, by Prof. Angelika Berlejung, RIAB center co-director.

A new study by Prof. Angelika Berlejung, co-director of the RIAB center has appeared. In this study, the “Ashdodite” language mentioned in Nehemia 13:23-24 is discussed and identified. Inter alia, the possible connection to the Aramaic language is discussed.

Here is an English abstract of the article:

The article discusses the term „Ashdodite“ in Neh 13:23-24 as well as the reference to „Ashdod“ in Zech 9:6 (incl. LXX). It is argued that the authors did not have a specific language (Aramaic, Philistine, Canaanite, Phoenician, Greek, local dialects), or the city of Ashdod in their mind, but used „Ashdod“ and „Ashdodite“ as a chiffre for the co-existence and mixture of all possible languages and of all the people of different origins. „Ashdod“ and „Ashdodite“ are from a Yehud-centered perspective the construct of „the other“, and of the diversity of the multi-ethnic and multi-lingual (western) Mediterranean World.

The full title of the article is:

Berlejung, A. 2016. Was ist eigentlich “Aschdodisch”? Überlegungen zu Neh 13,23f. und Sach 9,6. Pp. 13–25 in Nächstenliebe und Gottesfurcht Beiträge aus alttestamentlicher, semitistischer und altorientalistischer Wissenschaft für Hans-Peter Mathys zum 65. Geburtstag, eds. H. Jenni and M. Saur. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 439. Munster: Ugarit-verlag.

Dr. Leeor Gottlieb awarded ISF grant on the Aramaic Targums of the Pentateuch

Dr. Leeor Gottlieb (BIU), who is a member of the RIAB Center, has informed me that he has been awarded a 4 year grant from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF).

The title of the research project for which he received the grant is:

“The Equivalent Project: The Targums to the Pentateuch”

Project Summary: The Equivalent Project strives to identify and link the contents of ancient biblical translations back to their equivalents in the Hebrew Bible. The current research proposal focuses on the Aramaic Targums of the Pentateuch, with the intention of completing the Targums of the Prophets and Writings, and then other ancient translations, in later phases of research. The goal of the long-term project is to ultimately create a comprehensive thesaurus of equivalents of the ancient translations of the Bible, which will greatly enrich the scientific community and students of the Bible and its transmission.

Photos of the 1st International Meeting, Leipzig, June 2016

Below is a selection of pictures from the 1st International Meeting of the RIAB Minerva Center, which was held on June 5th-9th, 2016, at the University of Leipzig.

Pictures from Pre-Conference Workshop (5/6/16):

Pictures from the 1st day of the conference (6/6/16):

Pictures from the 2nd day of the conference (7/6/16):

Pictures from the 3rd day of the conference (8/6/16):

Pictures from the 4th day of the conference (9/6/16):

The First International Meeting of the RIAB Center meeting, Leipzig, June 5th-9th, 2016

Last week, the first international meeting of the RIAB Center was conducted in Leipzig. The conference, with participants from Israel, Germany and countries throughout the world, was a resounding success.

For an overview of the conference, see here is the final conference program and abstract booklet – Program and abstracts_Leipzig June 2016_RIAB

The conference proceedings will be published in the new series RIAB

Below is a newspaper article, which appeared in the Leipziger Volkszeitung, on the conference and the opening of the center.

Minerva Center in Leipziger Volkszeitung

Pictures from the meeting will be posted in the coming days.

Lecture at BIU by Prof. Angelika Berlejung

On Monday, May 9th, 2016, Prof. Angelika Berlejung, co-director of the RIAB Minerva Center, who was in Israel to participate in the 4th workshop, presented a lecture at Bar-Ilan University to a group of students and researches from various institutions in Israel. The lecture dealt with evidence of social climbing among the Judahite exiles in Babylonia, based on unpublished data from new Al-Yahudu texts (see here). Prof. Berlejung demonstrated, based on the appearance of different types of materials and possessions mentioned in these texts, how the Judahite exiles managed to improve their social and economic standing in the span of the 2-3 generations documented in the texts.

Following the lecture, there was a interesting discussion and questions and answers by participants and Prof. Berlejung.