New book on the Aramaic “Targum Chronicles” by Leeor Gottlieb

Dr. Leeor Gottlieb (BIU), core member of the RIAB Minerva Center, has just published a new book:

Gottlieb, L. 2020. Targum Chronicles and Its Place Among the Late Targums. Supplement to Aramaic Studies, Volume 16. Leiden: Brill.

Here is the book’s overview:

Targum Chronicles and Its Place Among the Late Targums heralds a paradigm shift in the understanding of many of the Jewish-Aramaic translations of individual biblical books and their origins. Leeor Gottlieb provides the most extensive study of Targum Chronicles to date, leading to conclusions that challenge long-accepted truisms with regard to the origin of Targums. This book’s trail of evidence convincingly points to the composition of Targums in a time and place that was heretofore not expected to be the provenance of these Aramaic gems of biblical interpretation. This study also offers detailed comparisons to other Targums and fascinating new explanations for dozens of aggadic expansions in Targum Chronicles, tying them to their rabbinic sources.

“Targums Wordmap” – A New Tool for Aramaic Targum Studies

Dr. Leeor Gottlieb, one of the RIAB Center senior members, has notified me of a short video in which the Targums WordMap, a new, cutting edge tool for Aramaic Targum Studies, is described. This is a module in the Accordance biblical studies program.

Here is a brief description of the program that Leeor sent me:

The Targums Wordmap database links every equivalent word in the Hebrew Torah and all its Targums. It is the product of the Equivalent Project – a research initiative headed by Dr. Leeor Gottlieb of Bar-Ilan University – which strives to identify and link the contents of ancient biblical translations back to their equivalents in the Hebrew Bible, thus creating a comprehensive synopsis and thesaurus of equivalents of the ancient translations of the Bible.

If you open several parallel panes of Torah and Targums, just float over a word in one text and immediately see all of its equivalents in all other open panes. Targums Wordmap also offers a special alignment pane to view the Hebrew and Aramaic verses as a comprehensive electronic word for word synopsis for reading the Torah and its Targums. The powerful cross-textual search capabilities in Targums Wordmap enables you to search words in one text based on their equivalents in another! For example, would you like to search for all the Nifal verbs in the Torah translated by Ithpeel verbs in Pseudo-Jonathan? Not a problem! Do you want to find every case where Targum Neofiti translates a Hebrew singular noun with an Aramaic plural noun? These and other previously inexecutable searches are possible now with the Targums Wordmap. Just formulate your search in the Text command dialog box and the Targums Wordmap will provide the results for queries heretofore impossible to perform. Top it off by using the new Intertext definitions in the Analysis pane to display a full breakdown of your results.


Seminar on “Material Religion in the Ancient Near East”, June 4, 2020 at BIU

A full-day seminar on “Material Religion in the Ancient Near East” by Prof. Nicola Laneri (Università degli studi di Catania and School of Religious Studies at CAMNES/Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence) will be held at Bar-Ilan University on Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Description: The seminar will follow an innovative material-oriented approach within which the materiality of the remains of ancient ritual actions (i.e., relics of human body, senses, objects, built environment, natural phenomena and animals, utterance) will be viewed and interpreted as part of a complex network of relationships between forms of materiality and beliefs in  supernatural beings (i.e., ancestors, spirits, creation of a cosmos of deities, belief in one god) among ancient Near Eastern communities from 12.000 years ago until the first millennium BCE. In particular, after a broad methodological and theoretical introduction, some case-studies (e.g., the relics of the cult of the ancestors in prehistoric Near East, the temples of ancient Mesopotamia during the fourth and third millennia BCE, an early second millennium BCE ceremonial complex in southeastern Turkey, and, finally, the rise of monotheism in Israel during the first millennium BCE) will be tackled in order to further understand the role played by materiality in framing the evolution of the religious mind of ancient Near Eastern societies.

Laneri seminar first noticeLaneri seminar first notice

One day conference on EB/IB Cult, May 21, 2020

A one day conference dealing with cult and related issues in the EB and IB, will be held at Bar-Ilan University on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

The initiative and organization of the conference is by RIAB Center junior members, Shira Kisos and Kristina Reed.
The conference will be a joint activity of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, the Institute of Archaeology, and the Minerva RIAB Center, all of Bar-Ilan University.
See her a PDF with the details and registration form (and a JPG of the call as well):
EB Cultic Conference_May 21_20_Bar-Ilan University_Page_1
For questions and inquiries, please write to:
Hope to see you at the meeting!

Proceedings volume on identity workshop has appeared

The proceedings of the RIAB Center workshop “(Re)Constructing Identities in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant”, which was held at the University of Leipzig on Nov. 14, 2017, has been published.

Dr. Omer Sergi (TAU) who organized the workshop, also took upon himself to edit the volume, as a special issue of Die Welt des Orients.

The full title of the volume (which has six papers) is:

Sergi, O. ed. 2019. (Re)constructing Identities in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant. Die Welt des Orients 49/2. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen.

WdO 49 2 Reconstructing ID cover

1st volume of RIAB Series – Table of Contents

The first volume of the RIAB Minerva Center publication series – “Research on Israel and Aram in Biblical Times” (RIAB), which is published by Mohr Siebeck (of Tübingen), as a sub-series of the “Oriental Religions in Antiquity” (ORA) series, is about to appear.

The volume, entitled – Researches on Israel and Aram: Autonomy, Interdependence and Related Issues. Proceedings of the First Annual RIAB Center Conference, Leipzig, June 2016, is edited by A. Berlejung and A. Maeir (center co-directors). It represents not only the proceedings of the first annual conference of the center (and two more are currently in preparation), but hopefully the first of various volumes relating to the topics of the center.

See here for the contents of the volume: TOC_RIAB1.