Jerusalem and Rome Special Speaker Series

Jerusalem and Rome Special Speaker SeriesThis special two-part speaker series brings together top scholars from different fields to dive deeper into some of the themes of the Jerusalem and Rome: Cultures in Context in the First Century CE, an exhibition from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem now on display at Museum of the Bible. The event focuses on the forces unleashed during and after the Great Jewish Revolt and explores how the revolt influenced early Judaism and Christianity.

In the first session on March 25, Dr. Eric Meyers will describe the events of the Great Revolt from the Jewish perspective. He will present the dramatic events leading up to outbreak of the revolt as well as the controversial figure of Josephus and how his writings on the revolt should be understood. Dr. Mary Boatwright will examine the revolt from the Roman perspective and situate the events of the revolt within the wider first-century Roman political context. She will discuss Roman concerns and reactions to a province expressing defiance to the Roman empire.

In the second session on April 4, Dr. Lawrence Schi­ffman will narrate the dramatic rebirth of classical Judaism and the beginning of rabbinic Judaism out of the ashes of the Temple. He will… Continue reading

Combating Anti-Semitism

Combating Anti-SemitismA remarkable event took place on November 20-21 in Vienna. I had the privilege of participating in the presentation of a 150-page document entitled “An End to Anti-Semitism: A Catalogue of Policies to Combat Anti-Semitism,” which constituted the first result of a conference that was held last February in the same city. The gathering was sponsored by the University of Vienna, New York University, Tel Aviv University and the European Jewish Congress (EJC). The purpose of the conference, which included 150 scholarly presentations before some 1,000 participants, was to bring to bear an interdisciplinary analysis of the problem of anti-Semitism and call on scholars to put forward specific recommendations. I was one of the organizers, along with Professors Armin Lange of the University of Vienna and Dina Porat of Tel Aviv University as well as Dr. Ariel Muzicant, a vice president of the EJC and longtime leader of the Austrian Jewish community. Mark Weitzman of the Wiesenthal Center joined us in editing the report.

Read the rest of this article at Ami Magazine.

Buyer Beware! How Forged Dead Sea Scrolls Were Exposed by High-Tech Tests

QumranThe full release in 1991 of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the cabal of Christian scholars who held onto their rights of access and publication set off an amazing series of academic achievements: the full publication of the Scrolls by an expanded international team, of which I had the privilege of being a member, and the availability of the entire photographic archive on the websites of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Museum. These important achievements sparked an enormous amount of new research on Judaism in the Bayis Sheini period. This research extended to all areas: Biblical studies, literature, history and archaeology.

But the renewed interest in the ancient scrolls discovered at Qumran (probably Biblical Sechachah; Yehoshua 15:61) on the western shore of the Dead Sea brought with it a dark side as well. Collectors, most of whom were Evangelical Christians seeking to connect tangibly with the Bible, began to attempt to purchase fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts. Several individuals and institutions bought such fragments, believing that they were buying the real thing. Millions of dollars were paid by these collectors and institutions. Today, some 70 fragments have been identified as having surfaced on the antiquities market from… Continue reading