Tomorrow is the beginning of Passover. Dr. James F. Strange has a really good post over at the American Schools for Oriental Research (ASOR) blog about Passover practices in the first century. I encourage you to read it in it’s entirety. Here are some excerpts:
You may be seeing headlines today on various news sources about the “Jesus Wife” manuscript. While students of ancient Christian texts from the early to Medieval period will find this fascinating, most of the headlines are sensationalistic. It’s important to note that this Coptic manuscript looks to be from the 8th century and has very little potential to have any connection to the historical Jesus.
One thing that I have appreciated since getting back from my trip to Israel is a deeper understanding of the locations and journeys in the scripture. This week I have been thinking both about Jesus’ last week in Jerusalem (celebrated next week by Christians as Holy Week) and also about his last journey from Galilee to Judea (which likely would have started a week or less earlier).
From the Israeli Antiquities Authority:
“A 3,300 Year Old Coffin was Exposed Containing the Personal Belongings of a Wealthy Canaanite – Possibly an Official of the Egyptian Army
Among the items discovered – a gold signet ring bearing the name of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I.
Something wonderful has been happening to me: I’m beginning to fail where I used to find success.
Christianity Today has a good interview with Darren Aronofsky which provides some background on the material in the new Noah movie. It seems that Aronofsky and Ari Handel researched a wealth of ancient, primarily Jewish, traditions and texts for material in the movie. These traditions/texts ranged from the Book of Enoch, the Jubilees material, the Genesis Apocryphon text from Qumran and other ancient collections such, Genesis Rabbah, the Talmud, etc. Some of these date from well before the time of Jesus and down to a period 500 years after the New Testament.
I’m not sure how much material from these texts will be used, but here’s just some of the Flood related content in three of them:
The Spirit immediately threw him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
“Then the word of YHWH of armies came to me:
‘Ask all the people of the land and the priests,
“When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months
for the past seventy years,
was it really for me that you fasted?
Yesterday a known drug dealer in the neighborhood asked to talk to me. Known him for years & talked several times. This time was different.
— Luke Whitmire (@lukewhitmire1) February 28, 2014
One of the great things about being a teacher is getting it wrong.