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Saturday, January 30, 2010

All things bright and beautiful?

Whilst reading this recent piece in the Guardian by John Milbank and Philip Blond, and brought to our attention by Roland Boer, I was, for some reason, reminded of that famous hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful. Perhaps that verse usually passed over will make a comeback?
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.


[Most hymnals [would once] omit the following verse-]

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.


Blogger Danny Zacharias said...

Crossley quoting a hymnal— is this the end of days?

January 30, 2010

Blogger steph said...

Perfectly cynical illustration. I'm sure the Sex Pistols did a cover too.

January 30, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Its a little bit sweeping and melancholy. There was a time when the poor man/woman was in the castle living with the rich man, as a servant. The rich man may well have taken care of his servant(s). May be there are still rich folk around like that. But today the harshness of economics rules. And there are gadgets to do the work. The rich have put the barriers up to keep intruders out. The old values are practically gone. But I do not despair. There remain some great levellers that to a large extent are outside of our control. Death is one. Disease, earthquakes, wars are a few others.

January 31, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

This is more to my liking.

The liar in his castle
The sucker at his gate
He made them, deceiver and gullible
And ordered their estate.

I am talking about John W Loftus who Jim West claims to have met. It is impossible to trace him from either his degrees or professional qualifications. It would be possible to trace him if he had completed a Ph.d.(see below):


B.R.E. Great Lakes Christian College, 1977.
M.A. Theology/Philosophy, Lincoln Christian Seminary, 1982.
M.Div. Theology/Philosophy, Lincoln Christian Seminary, 1982.
Th.M. Philosophy of Religion, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1985.
Entered but did not complete the Ph.D program, Theology/Ethics, Marquette University, 1986-1987.(how very convenient)


In the ministry for 14 years as an Associate Minister, Minister, and Senior Minister.(Oh yes! Where was that?)
President of a local ministerial association.
President of a homeless shelter.
Taught apologetics, philosophy, critical thinking, and ethics courses as an Adjunct Professor at various Christian and secular colleges. (Always an Adjunt Professor)

JL is a typical JG scam. What proof can be given of any of these qualifications or professional positions? And then there are JL's inevitable books.

February 01, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Another one:

Vespasian in his castle
His historians at his gate
He made liars of them all
To explain his rich estate

February 02, 2010

Blogger Justin J. Meggitt said...

Yes, that was an awful piece in the Guardian. How convenient for all concerned.

February 02, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Another one:

The queen in her castle
Her servants at her gate
All begging for a knighthood
To go with their estate.

February 02, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Thought you might like to see this:

"Stephan A. Hoeller, (1931 - ) is a writer, scholar and religious leader. Born in Budapest, Hungary he received a Ph.D. in philosophy with a minor in the philosophy of religion from the University of Innsbruck in Austria."


February 03, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

And the biblical academics are in their castles, with the drawbridges up. So all things are not 'bright and beautiful'.

February 09, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beatiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful
The Lord God made them all.

Jan 27, 2010
New York District Attorney's Office


February 09, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful:

From http://robertcargill.com:

"Who really wrote the dead sea scrolls? that is the subject of a forthcoming documentary produced by ctvc in london for the national geographic channel. i was asked to be among the interviewees which include (in alphapetical order):

robert cargill
rachel elior
shimon gibson
jan gunneweg
gideon hadas
jean-baptiste humbert
jodi magness
yuval peleg
stephen pfann
ronny reich
adolfo roitman
lawrence schiffman
orit shamir
pnina shor

the documentary is designed to take ALL evidence into account....."

What, no Norman Golb? And Robert Cargill top of the list. We are in for a real treat, I don't think

February 10, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Each little bird that sings.

Has anyone been here? http://robertcargill.com:

Its all about Robert Cargill. We have self-promoting name-dropping photos:

1.Dr. Robert Cargill viewing the copy of the Great Isaiah Scroll at the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem's Israel Museum.

2.Robert Cargill and Jean-Baptiste Humbert with the Dead Sea Scrolls collection at the École Biblique in Jerusalem.

3.Robert Cargill and Jean-Baptiste Humbert reviewing photographs and Roland de Vaux's actual field notes at the École Biblique in Jerusalem.

4.Robert Cargill and Ronny Reich in the drainage tunnels leading from the Jerusalem Temple Mount to the Kidron Valley.

5.Robert Cargill and Pnina Shor in the Dead Sea Scrolls Conservation Lab of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.

6.Adolfo Roitman, Curator of the Shrine of the Book, reads from a portion of the Isaiah-a Scroll discovered in Cave 1 at Qumran. The Isaiah-a scroll is presently housed in the vault of the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.

7.Robert Cargill and Adolfo Roitman viewing a portion of the Great Isaiah Scroll in the vault of the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem's Israel Museum.

8.Robert Cargill and Orit Shamir at the organic materials lab of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

9.Robert Cargill and Shimon Gibson at the Wall of the Old City of Jerusalem.

10.Robert Cargill and Yuval Peleg in the locus 138 miqveh (ritual bath) at Qumran.

11.Yuval Peleg shows Robert Cargill parts of his excavation at Qumran.

12.Robert Cargill and Stephen Pfann in Cave 11 near Qumran.

So what does this tell us about Robert Cargill? He is a very humble man!

Not only that. He continues in the same article to name-drop.

"on my trip, i visited the kidron and og wadis. i walked through ronny reich’s excavation in the drainage tunnels leading from the temple mount to the kidron valley. i dug the destruction layers at en gedi with gideon hadas and climbed atop masada to ask what copies of genesis, deuteronomy, leviticus, psalms, ezekiel, and most importantly, songs of sabbath sacrifice (fragments of which were also found in qumran caves 4 and 11) would be doing on top of the mountain fortress. i walked around qumran with yuval peleg and had him interpret the site for me based upon his ten seasons of excavations there. we later had a drink at the american colony and discussed the various interpretations of qumran and a couple of recent scandals surrounding the study of the scrolls. i read from the actual isaiah scroll in the basement vault of the shrine of the book with curator adolfo roitman. i held actual scroll jars and viewed roland de vaux’s actual field notes at the école biblique with jean-baptiste humbert. i walked around the walls of jerusalem to what shimon gibson believes to be the gate of the essenes. i visited cave 11 with stephen pfann and listened while he explained his multiple cave theory. i visited the israel antiquities authority’s organic materials lab and had orit shamir show me the scroll linens, the tefillin (phylacteries), wooden bowls, and other domestic items from the caves like combs and sandals. i visited the iaa’s restoration lab with pnina shor and watched as her crew restored fragments of the dss and prepared others for travel abroad for exhibition in the united states."

The man is desperate for attention, seeking to make a name for himself. May be that was why he has stalked Raphael Golb.

February 10, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

"But those of us who seek to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God, will learn to approach the Bible as we do those whom we serve: with patience, forgiveness, empathy, and the kind of service and support that cares for the person, and not for the political position."

Guess who wrote that! Not much is going Raphael Golb's way.

February 10, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

"CTVC's purpose is to engage viewers, listeners and readers through all media with matters of religion, faith and ethics from a perspective which respects those of all faiths and those with none. CTVC is part of the Rank Foundation, a charitable organisation which puts the Christian ethos at the forefront of its activities."

So the Rank Foundation 'puts the Christian ethos at the forefront of it activities'. I think we can see where they are coming from. There would seem to be a Christian influence on the forthcoming programme: Who Really Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? While they may respect the views of those with no faith, are they truly independent? What are the 'ethics' of the Rank Foundation? And what are the 'ethics' of National Geographic? These are American organisations are they not? And there are alot of American Christians. Who runs CTVC? It wouldn't be a Christian by any chance, would it?

February 12, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

We will be having one Christian, at least, making sure he is heard, judging by his panderings to archaeologists. Have all Americans got the illness?

February 12, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Here's one who seems pretty sick:

"where does one begin? we knew golb and his defense would attempt to turn this into a soapbox for a referendum on his father’s views. we knew that he would attempt to prove his ridiculous accusations were ‘true’ by trying to drag up a bunch of conspiracy nonsense in a trial. we even knew that he would attempt to argue that identity theft and impersonation were protected under the first amendment right to free speech. we expected all this.

what we didn’t expect was for golb’s defense to use a ‘it was a joke’ defense. how would that even sound? how does one claim that a two-year campaign of harassment and defamation ultimately resulting in impersonation, forgery, and identity theft was just a ‘prank’? well, perhaps the defense would sound something like this:

[and yes, the following is a parody of what a 'just kidding' or 'intellectual prank' defense might sound like. the actual defense may differ, and the following parody in no way purports to be the actual words of raphael golb or his attorney]
you thought i was serious?? ha ha ha ha! oh man, aaahhhh, sorry. i was just kidding. it was just a prank. i was just foolin’.

sorry about impersonating you, dr. schiffman. i was just kidding. man, you should have seen the expression on your face. lol. boy, did you get punk’d. when i wrote to your grad students and wrote in the first person and pretended to be you from an email address i created that bore your name, dude, i was totally joking. when i confessed to a crime you didn’t commit on your behalf, i wasn’t bein’ serious. everyone knew i was totally kidding. dude, all those nyu administrators and your colleagues that i spammed accusing you of plagiarizing my daddy, i was so totally just kidding. i wasn’t serious. you had to know it was just an intellectual joke. i just know we’re all gonna just look back at this whole thing and just laugh.

and sorry about that cargill. when i wrote to your faculty and questioned whether you should receive your phd, i was just joshin’. my bad. you had to know that my criticisms weren’t serious. i was just playin’. all those times i accused you of plagiarism and all those times i made fun of you for being a christian, and all those times i wrote to museums like toronto and tried to keep your research from ending up in museum exhibitions, dude, i was just kidding. i wasn’t trying to cause you actual fiscal damage. not at all! it was more like an episode of punk’d. me and ashton kutcher, we’re like this. and when my dad asked for a copy of your unpublished movie script, and you actually agreed to send it to him out of a sense of professionalism, even though he was a known critic?? boy, i could have warned you on that one, dude! you were so naïve! and when you put those warnings on the top of the script and in the email accompanying the script stating that absolutely no portion of your unpublished script could be reproduced, and dad still reproduced several passages online in a critique, dude, you should have totally seen that comin’. you can’t take dad’s criticisms seriously – for crying out loud, he can only ‘publish’ (and i use the term loosely) by self-publishing some rant he wrote and then slappin’ it up on the oriental institute website. no one ever publishes his nonsense anymore. besides, dad was only kidding! and when the oi lawyers removed his critique of your movie from the oi website, he knew you and your legal advisors were just kidding too. see, we were both just kidding around. but seriously cargill, it was all just a joke. i was just playin’ a prank. why are you harshin’ my mellow??"

February 12, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

The real mystery is: who is/was funding Robert Cahill to do all that he has done in his researches on the Raphael Golb affair. This was not a complaint about about using aliases or slagging-off.

And where has Robert Cahill's
web site gone to.

February 14, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

I've found it. Its Carghill.

February 14, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright an beautiful.

Robert Carghill has been helped in his attempt to put Norman Golb down. One cannot help feeling the hand of N T Wrong in all of this. This was someone who knows about the use of aliases and how to track them. One could imagine him enjoying the chase. And Chicago is where he lives.

February 15, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Robert Carghill wrote:
"As more and more scholars, universities, museums, and organizations were attacked by the puppet master and his aliases, several individuals began to track the campaign. (This how I came to begin tracking the puppet master and the aliases.)"

So Robert Carghill, who were those 'several individuals'? Was one Jim West? Was another Jeffrey Gibson? Did they assist you? You seem to be saying that it was because others were doing the tracking, you started doing the same. There does seem to be a joint effort to nobble Norman Golb.

February 15, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Robert Carghill wrote:

"As more and more scholars, universities, museums, and organizations were attacked by the puppet master and his aliases, several individuals began to track the campaign. (This how I came to begin tracking the puppet master and the aliases.)"

So Robert Carghill, who were those 'several individuals'? Was one Jim West? Was another Jeffrey Gibson? Did they assist you? You seem to be saying that it was because others were doing the tracking, you started doing the same. There does seem to be a joint effort to nobble Norman Golb.

February 15, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Robert Carghill wrote:
"Norman Golb posted a review of Dr. Robert Cargill's unpublished script for a movie entitled Ancient Qumran: A Virtual Reality Tour on the Oriental Institute web site. after requesting a copy for review. The review, entitled 2007 Article “The So-Called “Virtual Reality Tour” at the 2007 San Diego Scrolls Exhibit” contained several excerpts of Dr. Cargill's script, despite warnings on the cover of the script not to reproduce any portion of the manuscript. The Oriental Institute decided to remove Dr. Golb's article on Feb. 26, 2009."

Anyone would think that Robert Carghill had produced something that was truly original. It was his imagined model of how Qumran was. This was just another version of what is in books, such as Hirschfeld's Qumran in Context. I doubt that the model has resolved 'long simmering controversies surrounding the important Dead Sea Scrolls site', as stated on Wikipedia. It certainly doesn't seem to have done so, as far as Norman Golb is concerned.

In fact they (Carghill and Schniedewind) have confused the situation. Quoting from Wikipedia:

Referring to theories that Qumran was a fortress, the home of the Essenes, or a wealthy Jerusalem family's estate, the release states that "Cargill and Schniedewind cut the three competing theories down the middle, contending that none of them hold together without elements from the others," and further quotes Schniedewind as saying: "Once you put all the archaeological evidence into three dimensions, the solution literally jumps out at you."

What solution?

And it was all achieved in little more than a year.

February 15, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

So it does seem incredible that Qumran is not mentioned in the writings attributed to Josephus, don't you think Robert? A fortress you say! It would surely have been attacked! And even more so if it was a fortified manor house - there would have been someone important living in it. There is only a small difference between a fortress and a fortified manor house. Its all a matter of the degree of fortification. And yet the archaeolgy tells you that Qumran was attacked by the Roman army, doesn't it Robert? And there isn't the slightest whisper of Qumran in the writings attributed to Josephus. Don't you think that is very strange indeed, Robert?

Of course, Qumran was stuck out there in the wilderness and the Romans just happened to come accross it. They simply destroyed this poor pious community like squashing a tomato under their feet. It wasn't worth a mention in dispatches. Do you think that's what happened, Robert? Or does the archaeology present a different picture? Like fierce resistance!

February 16, 2010

Blogger Anders Branderud said...

"Historical Jesus"?!?

Just using this contra-historical oxymoron (demonstrated by the eminent late Oxford historian, James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue) exposes your Christian-blinkered agenda--dependent upon 4th-century, gentile, Hellenist sources.

While scholars debate the provenance of the original accounts upon which the earliest extant (4th century, even fragments are post-135 C.E.), Roman gentile, Hellenist-redacted versions were based, there is not one fragment, not even one letter of the NT that derives DIRECTLY from the 1st-century Pharisee Jews who followed the Pharisee Ribi Yehoshua.

Historians like Parkes, et al., have demonstrated incontestably that 4th-century Roman Christianity was the 180° polar antithesis of 1st-century Judaism of ALL Pharisee Ribis. The earliest (post-135 C.E.) true Christians were viciously antinomian (ANTI-Torah), claiming to supersede and displace Torah, Judaism and ("spiritual) Israel and Jews. In soberest terms, ORIGINAL Christianity was anti-Torah from the start while DSS (viz., 4Q MMT) and ALL other Judaic documentation PROVE that ALL 1st-century Pharisees were PRO-Torah.

There is a mountain of historical Judaic information Christians have refused to deal with, at: www.netzarim.co.il (see, especially, their History Museum pages beginning with "30-99 C.E.").

Original Christianity = ANTI-Torah. Ribi Yehoshua and his Netzarim, like all other Pharisees, were PRO-Torah. Intractable contradiction.

Building a Roman image from Hellenist hearsay accounts, decades after the death of the 1st-century Pharisee Ribi, and after a forcible ouster, by Hellenist Roman gentiles, of his original Jewish followers (135 C.E., documented by Eusebius), based on writings of a Hellenist Jew excised as an apostate by the original Jewish followers (documented by Eusebius) is circular reasoning through gentile-Roman Hellenist lenses.

What the historical Pharisee Ribi taught is found not in the hearsay accounts of post-135 C.E. Hellenist Romans but, rather, in the Judaic descriptions of Pharisees and Pharisee Ribis of the period... in Dead Sea Scroll 4Q MMT (see Prof. Elisha Qimron), inter alia.

The question is, now that you've been informed, will you follow the authentic historical Pharisee Ribi? Or continue following the post-135 C.E. Roman-redacted antithesis—an idol?

February 16, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Continue following the Flavian edited writings attributed to Josephus - its the only thing we have, apart from the similarly edited versions of the NT including only one gospel which is Mark.

February 16, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Page 86 of Hirschfeld's Qumran in Context shows the proposed reconstruction of the Hasmonean fortress at Qumran, Robert.

Page 91 of Qumran in Context shows the proposed reconstruction of the gate to the Herodian complex, Robert. The Hasmonean tower is still there, Robert.

Page 89 is a detailed plan of the original Hasmonean site and the expansion made during the Herodian period, Robert. A considerable battle could have been fought here.

So what's new Robert, that Norman Golb was not supposed to have commented on. Its pretty obvious what this place was, isn't it? The whole site is about 80m square.

February 16, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Page 163 of Hirschfeld's Qumran in Context has:

"Qumran Stratum III suffered a violent destruction by fire, which de Vaux attributed to the Roman army at the time of the first revolt. THE DAMAGE WAS EVIDENT THROUGHOUT THE SITE. The area to the south of the tower (Loci 12, 13, and 17) and other rooms in the main building were filled with the collapse of the walls and the roof to a height of 1.2 to 1.5m. Iron arrowheads found in the debris indicate that there was resistance AND THAT THE DESTRUCTION WAS CAUSED BY ARMED CONFLICT. The arrowheads, which have three barbed wingtips, are the characteristic Roman type of the first century C.E."

It wasn't a walkover, was it Robert.

February 17, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

In the following quotation of his, Norman Golb assumes that Jerusalem had been destroyed when Pliny the Elder wrote about Essenes: http://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/jerusalem_origin_dss.pdf

"Pliny the Elder, after all, had described that sect as having settled in the Judaean Wilderness as refugees from the destruction of Jerusalem, and as being near the
settlement of En Gedi."

Pliny the Elder does not refer to the destruction of Jerusalem at all. He wrote, if we are to believe him:

"To the west (of the Dead Sea) the Essenes have put the necessary distance between themselves and the insalubrious shore. They are a people unique of its kind and admirable beyond all others in the whole world; without women and renouncing love entirely, without money and having for company only palm trees. Owing to the throng of newcomers, this people is daily reborn in equal number; indeed, those whom, wearied by the fluctuations of fortune, life leads to adopt their customs, stream in in great numbers. Thus, unbeleivable though this may seem, for thousands of centuries a people has existed which is eternal yet into which no one is born: so fruitful for them is the repentance which others feel for their past lives!"

Pliny could have been writing in about 70 CE. He makes no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem. On the contrary, everything about the 'Essenes' seems fine and honkidory.

Norman Golb simply assumes the date of the destruction. My contention is that this was a time of peace and that the temple was not yet destroyed, but that sacrifices had ceased because the priests had been killed or abolished. And Pliny's view of the 'Essenes' was narrow because these were poor PROPHETS some of whom married. We are talking about a small number of years of peace - the period of the 'coins of revolt', Robert.

February 17, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

About the Kansas City exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Winter and Spring of 2007, Norman Golb wrote (in an article entitled, Fact and Fiction in Current Exhibitions of the Dead Sea Scrolls):

‘Soon after introductory panels present the basic themes of the exhibit, visitors are informed that the famous Copper Scroll of Cave 3 “preserved two oxidized rolls of beaten copper… containing a lengthy list that claimed the existence of hidden treasures. Whether this treasure is real or imaginary remains a tantalizing enigma to this day.” Next to this statement is a replica of the scroll, but no translation of any part of it is given. This is done despite the fact that the Copper Scroll describes the hiding of (a) Temple vessels, (b) large amounts of gold and silver ingots, and (c) scrolls (sefarin) and other texts (ketabin), as well as various localities where the sequestration has taken place. Most of the hiding-places are in the general area of the Judaean Wilderness where the Dead Sea Scrolls were eventually discovered in eleven caves. Perceiving the contradiction between the contents of this scroll and the theory that a sect of wealth eschewing Essenes lived at Qumran and wrote the scrolls there, Father de Vaux, upon confronting this text in the mid-1950s, declared it a fiction. Had the curators, however, allowed samples of this text to be presented in translation, AND HAD VIEWERS BEEN INFORMED THAT IT HAS BEEN HELD TO BE AUTHENTIC BY THE GREAT MAJORITY OF SCHOLARS WHO HAVE ACTUALLY RESEARCHED IT DURING THE PAST THREE DECADES, A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE GROWING PERCEPTION THAT THE SCROLLS ARE OF JERUSALEM ORIGIN WOULD HAVE BEEN GAINED BY VISITORS TO THE EXHIBIT. THE ABOVE FACTS ARE WITHHELD FROM THE EXHIBIT.'

The point is that both the Scrolls, and most of the temple treasure, had been brought from Jerusalem into Judea near to Qumran. This was a massive undertaking. To quote from page 243 of Hirschfeld ‘s Qumran in Context:

“We can imagine that ....priests in Jerusalem....decided to do what they could to save their holy books ....that were in Jerusalem’s libraries. They delivered them from the doomed city to someone close to them, apparently of the same social status, the owner of the estate at Qumran. He may have also supplied the jars in which some of the scrolls were found. Because of the enormous number of scrolls, we can imagine that a whole convoy of pack animals was needed to deliver them to Qumran. The owner of Qumran, probably familiar with the area, helped locate the most suitable caves in which to conceal the scrolls.”

The priests of Jerusalem knew what they were in for, and took emergency measures to hide their treasures. Such a vast undertaking could only have been done with plenty of time to spare before the arrival of the Roman army. My question is: When did they move their stuff into hiding?

February 18, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

War 2.20.1. has the significant words:

"After this calamity had befallen Cestius, many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink." The priests fled to Judea, taking with them their libraries and the temple treasure. In Josephus's original, the eminent were the high priests and their followers.

The calamity had been the previous death of Agrippa I in the palace. Agrippa I's earlier death was changed by the Flavians in War 2.20.1 to: "Antipas, who had been beseiged with them in the king's palace, but would not fly away with them, was afterward slain by the seditous, we shall relate hearafter." (A typical Flavian get-out to put a good distance between actual and fictitious events). Agrippa I's death was concealed by the Flavians in War 2.17.9 where they substituted 'high priest' for the king, thus: "But on the next day the 'high priest' was caught where he had concealed himself in an aqueduct; he was slain."

The defeat of Cestius's army was the defeat and flight of Agrippa I's army. This was in 66. The general of Agrippa's army reported the demise of the king and the danger his army was in to Nero.

February 18, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

After the death of Agrippa I in the month of Elul (September 66) (War 2.17.8), it was November 66 before Agrippa I's army was fully defeated. It was pretty obvious where the remnants of the fleeing army was headed for. Antipatris (War 2.19.9) was en route to Caesarea. It was from there that Agrippa I's commander, Philip, sent his men, Costabarus and Saul, to report to Nero, who was supposedly in Achia (Greece). But Nero had not left Rome then.

"But as to those who had pursued after 'Cestius' (Philip), they overbore some of those that favoured 'the Romans' (the king), by violence... Eleazar ... had gotten into his possession ... a great part of the public treasures, because they (those that favoured the king) saw that he was of a tyrannical temper, and that his followers were, in their behaviour, like guards about him."

It was May 67 when the Romans were at Jotapata (Qumran). Thus the high priests had from November 66 to May 67 to shift their libraries and temple treasure into hiding.

February 19, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

As described by the Roman historians Suetonius and Dio, Nero is reported as going on holiday to Greece in September 66 with a very large army in support. This was the very same month as his friend Agrippa I had been killed in his palace. In his youth, Nero had stayed with Agrippa as a guest at Ein Gedi. The lands around Ein Gedi had given to Nero. The holiday was political propaganda passed on by Flavian historians.

At the same time, a parallel fiction is the appointment of Vespasian as commander of forces in Syria. (War 3.1.2). The Flavian propaganda is all too obvious:

“And as he was deliberating to whom he should commit the care of the East, now it was in so great a commotion, and who might be best able to punish the Jews for their rebellion, and might prevent the same distemper from seizing upon the neighbouring nations also, he found no one but Vespasian equal to the task, and able to undergo the great burden of so mighty a war, seeing he was growing an old man already in the camp, and from his youth had been exercised in warlike exploits:”

In September 66, Nero was his own man, being 29 years old. The truth was somewhere near this (based on War 3.1.3):

“So Nero came to Alexandria, to bring back with him from thence the fifth and tenth legions to Caesarea where he gathered together the Roman forces, with a considerable number of auxiliaries from the king’s army.”

Caesarea was a secure Roman port.

February 20, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

War 3.2.1 that starts: "Now the Jews (priests) after they had beaten 'Cestius' (Philip) (Agrippa I's general). The priests now turned their 'anger' on 'Ascalon' (Ein Gedi) which had been gifted to Nero by Agrippa I, and left garrissoned with a small Roman force whose captain was one Antonius (who was known about and is not even introduced). The guard consisted of a troop of horsemen and one cohort of footmen (say about 600 men).

In War 3.2.2, the Jews (priests) marched 'as if they had come a little way' which they had (about 25 miles). Antonius was expecting them, and 'drew out his horsemen beforehand'. 'The Romans had such good success with their small numbers.' There were a large number of priests killed or wounded, but only a small number of Romans were wounded.

We get a sense of the true scale of this war.

February 22, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

War 3.2.4. (based on)

"And now 'Vespasian' (Nero) took along with him his army from 'Antioch' (Caesarea) and marched to 'Ptolemais' (Ein Gedi).
The inhabitants of 'Sepphoris of Galilee' (Ein Gedi) met him."

The Flavian editor then tells us what we know already. They (the inhabitants) "were for peace with the Romans. These citizens had beforehand taken care of their own safety, and being sensible of the power of the Romans, they had been with 'Cestius Gallus'(Antonius), before 'Vespasian' (Nero) came; and had received a Roman garrison."

"And at this time withall they received 'Vespasian, the Roman general' (Nero - the owner of Ein Gedi), and readily promised that they would assist him against their own countrymen. Now 'the general' (Nero) delivered them at their desire, as many horsemen and footmen as he thought sufficient to oppose the incursions of the 'Jews' (priests), if they should happen to come agianst them."

February 23, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The house of Hanan (the sons of Ananias) were involved. These included Ananus who was chosen as governor of the city of Jerusalem (War 2.20.3), and was charged with building up the walls of Jerusalem. He needed Eleazar's money which Eleazar and his guards had taken from the public treasury. Eleazar was probably Ananus's brother. This family operated something like a mafia. We now have a motive for the taking of the temple treaure. The family wanted to make sure that the money was available to fund the defence of Jerusalem and other places.

And so we have the introduction of 'Josephus' as a general of 'both Galilees' and 'Gamala' (War 2.20.4). 'Josephus' was substituted for Jonathan (probably later by Jonathan himself working for the Romans), another of Ananus's brothers. 'Both Galilees' were Jericho and Qumran. 'Gamala' was Machaerus. They are around Asphaltitis, not Galilee. There was no war in Galilee.

Jonathan is also also 'John of Gischala' (War 2.21.1).

Jonathan was a high priest.

February 24, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

The law was tightened for war.

'Josephus' (Jonathan) 'chose seven judges in every city to hear the lesser quarrels'. Seventy elders were appointed to hear the greater causes which he would also hear (War 2.20.5).

He knew the Romans would come, and built walls around the fortresses. 'He laboured together with all the other builders, and was present to give all the necessary orders for the purpose.'

'He also distributed the soldiers (priests) into various classes whom he put under captains of tens, and captains of hundreds, and then under captains of thousands.' This was similar to the War Scroll. Using the rules of the same document, 'he also taught them to call and recall the soldiers by the trumpets' (War 2.20.7, and 1Q7,8).

'He told them that he should make trial of the good order they would observe in war, even before it came to any battle, in case they would abstain from the crimes they used to indulge themselves in, such as theft, and robbery, and rapine and from defrauding their own countrymen'. Soldiers had to had to be pure (1Q7 is the ideal). The priesthood was a different matter, it seems.

So why haven't the academics seen the relation between the War Scroll and the war? This was a small scale war, not on the grand scale envisaged in earlier times. But the original model was there in a document which they possessed.

February 25, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

War 3.7.3 - Nero Ensnares 'Josephus' (Jonathan)

"Now 'Vespasian' (Nero) was very desirous of demolishing 'Jotapata' (Qumran), for he had got intelligence that the 'greatest part' of the enemy (the Hanan family) had retired thither; and that it was on 'other accounts', a place of security (like their fortress home)....

On the twenty-first of the month Artimus (Jyar) 'Josephus' (Jonathan) ... came from 'Tiberias' (Jerusalem) and went into 'Jotapata' (Qumran), and raised the drooping spirits of 'the Jews' (his family). And a certain deserter told this good news to 'Vespasian' (Nero), that 'Josephus' (Jonathan) had removed himself thither....So he took this news to be of the vastest advantage to him, and believed it to be brought about by the providence of God, that he who appeared to be the most prudent man of all their enemies had, of his own accord, shut himself up in a place of sure custody.

Accordingly, he sent Placidus with a thousand horsemen and Ebutius, a decurion, a person that was of eminancy in council and in action, to encomapass the 'city' (fortress) round that 'Josephus' (Jonathan) might not escape privately."

February 26, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

War 3.7.4
“ ‘Vespasian’ (Nero) also, the very next day, took his whole army and followed them, and by marching till late in the evening, arrived at ‘Jotapata’ (Qumran). And bringing his army to the northern side of the ‘city’ (fortress), he pitched his camp on a certain hill that was seven furlongs from the ‘city’ (fortress).”

The army had marched about 20 miles from Ein Gedi, along the rough coast road of the Dead Sea. This was light infantry and cavalry that encamped secretly ready for a surprise attack the next day. There were no heavy machines of war. The advance guard of Placidus was to keep a discrete distance from the fortress.

War 3.7.7
“Now ‘Jotapata’ (Qumran) is almost all of it built upon a precipice, having on all the other sides of it every way valleys immensely deep and steep..... It is only to be come at on the north side, where the utmost part of the ‘city’ (fortress) (the walled garden area) is built on the mountain, as it ends obliquely at a plain.”

Qumran is just like that. It has gulleys on three sides and a northern plain.

February 26, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

The descriptions of the war are the gross exaggerations of Flavian historians. Thus (on second thoughts), 'Vespasian' (Nero) would NOT have led the whole army (the fifth and tenth legions) against 'Jotapata' (Qumran). So assume 'Vespasian' (Nero) sent Placidus with a thousand horsemen and two battalions (approximately two thousand footmen). The commander in chief 'Vespasian' (Nero) stayed where he was, in Ein Gedi.

War 3.7.4
"By marching until late evening, he (Placidus) arrived then at 'Jotapata' (Qumran) and bringing his army to the northern side of the 'city' (fortress) he pitched his camp... seven furlongs from the 'city' (fortress)."

I can only think that this was to keep his army concealed - he would have wanted to surprise the enemy.

War 3.7.5
"Now when an assault was made the next day by the Romans, the 'Jews' (priests) at first stayed out of the walls, and opposed them.... But when 'Vespasian' (Placidus) had set against them the archers and slingers...., he himself, with the footmen got upon an acclivity (an upward slope), whence the 'city' (fortress) might easily be taken. ‘Josephus ‘ (Jonathan) was then in fear for the ‘city’ (fortress)....And when the fight had lasted all day, it was put an end to by ‘the coming of night’ (the surrender of the priests).”

The numbers killed seem realistic. The Romans had lost thirteen men, and the priests had lost seventeen men. This was the end of the battle. All of the rest of any battle details (War 3.7.8-30, and 33-36, and War 3.8 about the capture of Josephus) are in the realms of Flavian fiction. But I have a hunch Jonathan was captured at Qumran. The story of the capture of Josephus is extremely unlikely. And 'the coming of night' seems like a feeble Flavian excuse.

February 27, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

War 3.7.31
"About this time it was that 'Vespasian' (Nero) sent out Trajan against a 'city' (fortress) called 'Japha' (Masada), that lay near to 'Jotapata' (Ein Gedi)....This Trajan was the commander of the tenth legion, and to him 'Vespasian' (Nero) committed one thousand horsemen and two thousand footmen."

'About this time' was editor's speak for 'at the same time'. This was an attack on 'Japha' (Masada) at the same time as Placidus's attack on 'Jotapata' (Qumran). The pattern of the forces was the same. There was no overcommitment. Each legion was divided into two, roughly one half of each being held in reserve. The joint attack was to prevent Qumran supporting Masada or vice-versa. In the case of 'Japha' (Masada), Trajan was sent with a thousand horsemen and two thousand footmen from the tenth legion. In the case of 'Jotapata' (Qumran), Placidus was sent with a thousand horsemen and probably two thousand footmen from the fifth legion. These were short battles. The battle for 'Jotapata' (Qumran) was over in a day.

February 28, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

The later Flavian propaganda is evident in the accounts of the taking of 'Jotapata' (Qumran) and 'Japha' (Masada). The Flavian editors have Vespasian following Placidus with his whole army (War 3.7.4), calling a council of war (War 3.7.8) after the Romans apparent failure to win the victory. In War 3.7.31, the editors have Titus being sent to 'finish the victory' won by Trajan. Probably, neither Vespasian nor Titus were involved, but were back at camp crawling to Nero.

Vespasian knew all about misclaimed victories. He had arranged one for Claudius who had visited Britain.

February 28, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.


War 3.7.31
"When Trajan came to 'the city' (Masada), he found it hard to be taken, for besides the natural strength of its situation, it was also secured by a double wall;"

These are two characteristics of Masada. The 'natural strength of its situation', and there was a casemate wall at the summit.

"but when he saw the 'people' (priests) of this 'city' (fortress) coming out of it, and ready to fight him, he joined battle with them,"

The 'people' (priests) were no doubt protected by the 'circumvallation' wall which was built as a part of the original defensive system of Masada.

"and after a short resistance which they made, he pursued after them: and as they fled to their first wall, the Romans followed them so closely, that they fell in together with them: but when the 'Jews' (priests) were endeavouring to get again within their second wall, their fellow 'citizens' (priests) shut them out, as being afraid the
Romans would force themselves in with them."

The defenders were thus trapped in the casemate wall.

"for they (the priests) fell upon the gates in great crowds, and earnestly calling to those that kept them, and that by their names also, yet had they their throats cut in the very midst of their supplications; for the enemy (the Romans) shut the gates of the first wall, and their 'own citizens' (fellow priests) shut the gates of the second, so they were enclosed between two walls, and were slain in great numbers together; many of them were run through by the swords of their own men, and many by their own swords."

This was an act of suicide, done in a panic. Some of the priests got others to kill them, and some killed themselves. The story was immortalised later in the myth of Masada.

March 01, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

I have realised that the action of the defenders of 'Japha' (Masada) was no accident. They were trapped between the casemate walls, with no hope of escape. It was a deliberate act of suicide. This clinches it for me. The extant story of Masada (War 7:8 and 9) is a complete fabrication.

March 01, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

The defending priests of 'Japha' (Masada) were in fact trapped between two sets of gates, with no way of escape.

The attack on Masada was over in less than a day.

March 02, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The academic in his castle
The amateur at his gate
The former builds a pack of cards
With what other academics state.

March 02, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

So why did the defenders of 'Jotapata' (Qumran) and 'Japha' (Masada) get things so wrong that they were each taken in a day? Why did 'Josephus' (the high priest Jonathan) go into 'Jotapata' (Qumran), surely knowing there was a price on his head?

In the case of 'Jotapata' (Qumran), the Romans "had skill as well as strength; the other had only 'courage', which armed them, and made them fight furiously". (War 3.7.5). Was it just 'courage', or was it a belief that God was going to fight for them? "Truly the battle is Thine
and the power from Thee! It is not ours. Our strength and the power of our hands accomplish no mighty deeds except by Thy power and by the might of Thy great valour." (Vermes, 1QM:11). And 'Josephus' (Jonathan the high priest) had to be there to "marshal all the formations" and to "recite aloud the Prayer In Time of War...Speaking he shall say: Be strong and valiant; be warriors! Fear not!" (Vermes, 1QM:15). These were naive priests following their
war Scroll slavishly.

Tactically, it was a fatal mistake was to come outsde the walls the the fortress. The defenders of both 'Jotapata' (Qumran) and 'Japha' (Masada) did so. Why? In the case of 'Jotapata' (Qumran), they built a camp outside the walls. "Now when an assault was made the next day by the Romans, the 'Jews' (priests) at first stayed outside the walls, and opposed them; and met them, as having formed a camp before the 'city' (fortress) walls." (War 3.7.5). But this was also a requirement of the War Scroll. "All those who are ready for battle shall march out and pitch their camp before the king of the Kittim and before all the host of Satan gathered about him for the Day of revenge by the Sword of God." (Vermes, 1QM:15).
The War Scroll empasises 'marching out', 'advancing', and 'setting out for battle'.

March 03, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

An insight into Robert Carghill: his quote re Raphael Golb:

"n.b. i’m imagining raphael choking down hard drives and notepads with aliases and passwords on it as the nypd is searching his apartment. in hindsight, it would have probably been better than letting the ny da’s office get into his emails. then again, digestion probably wouldn’t have helped in raphael’s case. what he was writing was already crap on the way in."

March 04, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Hey Robert. Who would Rod of Alexandria be? I once knew a Rod, but he was supposed to be an Australian. I understand you have written to each other.

"truth and peace"

March 08, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Robert, on the one hand you condemn Raphael Golb, on the other you correspond with the master of aliases 'Rod of Alexandria'.


You wrote: // February 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM


good post. thanx for the summary.
quick question: did jodi really reveal to the class that she was the peer-reviewer on a number of my article submissions and that she rejected each of them?

thanx. -bc

You also wrote: // February 26, 2010 at 10:39 AM

thank you, rod. again, good summary. it’s essentially what she said at my book review session. you’re welcome to chat me offline if you want to discuss further. btw – i’ve added you to my blogroll.

thx again – bc

Its interesting that Jodi Magness rejected all your submissions that she peer-reviewed.

March 09, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

So, Robert, the key question must surely be: What was Qumran (Jotapata) at the time of the Roman invasion of 66 CE? Was it a high priest's residence? I think it was. The battle plan for its defence was that of the War Scroll. The same was true of Masada (Japha). Masada (Japha) was taken in a day and it became the headquarters for the Roman army led by Nero himself. (As an arhaeologist, you might like to find the remains of a similar encampment in Galilee).

It is obvious that the Romans would have taken such military places before taking Jerusalem.

The Roman army was let into Jerusalem by the 'Essenes' or prophets, secretely, without much of a fight. (War 4.4.7) The so-called Idumeans were Romans - who shielded themselves, tortoise fashion. We now see the true purpose of the invasion. The Romans "sought for the high priests" to kill them. They killed Ananus and Jesus. The aim was to abolish animal sacrifice.

Nero's troops did not destroy the sanctuary. They left it for the 'Essenes' or prophets.

Then there was five years of peace. The 'Essenes' or prophets flourished (Pliny the elder). Land was bought and sold again. Coins were minted that celebrated the release from animal sacrifices and the power of the priests. There was pure joy in the 'coins of the revolt', with no expectation of war.

But Vespasian was waiting for his chance, in Syria.

March 10, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

For a laugh:

"for the Idumeans fenced one another by uniting their bodies into one band, and thereby kept themselves warm, and connecting their shields over their heads were not so much hurt by the rain."
(War 4.4.6)

We are supposed to believe these were Idumeans, who huddled together to keep warm, and used their shields as umbrellas to keep the rain off during a storm. There was no storm. This was how the Romans chose to approach the city gates, quietly and secretly at night. Some of the 'zealots' (the prophets) came out of the temple where they had been imprisoned, probably having sawed through the door locks, overpowered the guards on the gates, and let the Romans in. (War4.4.7).

The story is heavily garbled by Flavian historians in the extant text of War 4.4.6,7. One thing is clear. There was pre-arrangment, or some means of signalling, in the Roman's approach to the walls, and the exit from the temple of the prophets to attack the gates. This was game-over in a short space of time.

March 10, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

"for truly, as the night was far gone, and the storm was very terrible, Ananus gave the guards in the temple leave to go to sleep; while it came into the heads of the zealots to make use of the saws of the temple, and to cut the bars of the gates to pieces." (War 4.4.6)

"It came into the heads of the zealots" makes the 'sawing through the bars of the gates' seem like it wasn't pre-planned. It was. This would have had been done well in advance of any Roman attack, in mutual agreement.

As for Ananus telling the guards they could have a nap, that is a real stretch, and during an apparent storm to boot.

March 10, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it a rest, Geoff.

March 19, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Thanks Robert Cargill for deleting my posts to your blog.



Owen Jarus interviewed Yuval Peleg, and wrote: "I also questioned him on his idea that the Dead Sea Scrolls were deposited in the Qumran caves by refugees who were fleeing the Roman army after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD."

Peleg's idea:
OJ: One question that I had about the idea that people were depositing these scrolls on the way out is why didn’t they just carry them with them so to speak?
YP: Beyond Qumran?
OJ: Beyond Qumran
YP: You to have to see the area - Qumran is the last station. The water came to the cliffs after Qumran. You have to go through the water, through the Dead Sea, in order to go south. Or climb the cliffs. Continuing to go with scrolls and stuff? Just put it in the caves.

Its a ridiculous idea. If the Roman army was surrounding Jerusalem, hoards of people carrying scrolls (on donkeys or by foot) would hardly have gone unnoticed. The Scrolls were deposited in the few months before the invasion of Nero's armies, and that means before 66 CE. This was a massive operation by anyone's standards. The priests knew that Nero was coming for them because they had killed Agrippa I and James the prophet. Now Nero was going to eliminate the priests.

But what danger would the Scrolls have been in if left in Jerusalem? It has struck me as incredible that the Romans were not aware of the existence of the Scrolls. You can bet they would have have been greatly interested in the War Scroll.

The Scrolls were originally under the control of the king, Agrippa I. From the king's (and the Roman's) point of view, some of the documents (the War Scroll is a good example) would have been extremely sensitive. War 2.17.6 looks highly suspicious. It was probably originally as follows: "The priests set fire to the palace: after which they made haste to where the archives were reposited. The keepers of the records fled away. Some of the high priests went into the vaults, under ground." As night follows day, the burning of the palace was followed by retrieval of the archives. This would agree with Rengstorf: the Scrolls came from one library, Agrippa 1's library. The priests would certainly not have wanted their scrolls burned. The burning of contracts belonging to creditors was pure obfuscation.

In the the garbled text of Life 8, we have something very close to a this: "But he told them, that now they had been so unfortunate as to be made a 'present' by Nero to Agrippa...that the archives were now removed." This was in a speech of one 'Justus' (possibly Ananus the leader of Jerusalem) who was encouraging the priests (people) to revolt out of the hatred they bore for the prophets of Ein Gedi (the people of Sepphoris).

So now we have a motive for taking and hiding the Scrolls. The priests wanted to revive the old warrior priesthood.

March 21, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Robert Cargill wrote (you can tell his writing):

"specifically, there is a third ’salient’ theory that essentially blends the two polar opposite approaches. it is a theory that has been researched and advanced by scholars like stephen pfann (see his articles here, where i first encountered the theory). the theory works well with the research of lawrence schiffman (nyu) and john collins (yale). i adopted this approach in my recent book, qumran through (real) time. this theory is alternatively called the ‘multi-cave’ theory, the ‘cave cluster’ theory, or the ‘multi-party’ theory (or make up your own name). but in the long run, i am convinced it will be known as the dominant theory concerning the origin of the dead sea scrolls: that different groups (including essenes, priests, zadokites, sadducees, zealots, pharisees, and/or other unknown jewish groups) hid different scrolls (including the damascus rule, the serekhs (1qs, 1qsa, and 1qsb), biblical literature, and extra-biblical/pseudepigraphical literature) in different caves or cave clusters"

So a party of Essenes comes out of Jerusalem riding their skinny donkeys in a mule train carrying their scrolls heading for cave allocated to them near Qumran. Then comes the Sadducees only their donkeys looked very well fed. They too had their own allocated cave to deposit their scrolls. These were followed by the zealots, looking very furtive, who thought they were the only ones going to heaven. They had their own scrolls to deposit in their own special cave. Then finally, comes the Pharisees, the untouchables. They kept well away from all the rest in their own separate cave with their scrolls.

Now I'm not sure if they (Cargill and Pfann) mean this was before or after the 'destruction' of Jerusalem.

But hang on a minute! None of the above are mentioned anywhere in any of the documents they were supposed to be depositing. There were no Essenes, no Sadducees, no zealots, and no Pharisees. They were all priestly documents. The multi-party, multi-cave theory is irrelevant. There were no ‘Essenes’, Sadducees, Zealots, Pharisees, and/or other unknown Jewish groups. These groups did not exist at the time. Jacob Neusner has more or less proved that. They are not mentioned in either the DSS nor in Philo. Perhaps they would like to cite the interpolations in Josephus, if they dare.

But the priests did exist and so did the prophets (called ‘Essenes’ in Josephus). And the priests were led by the controlling Hanan family. The war was against such priests.

What else would you expect from Stephen Pfann of UHL and Robert Cargill of UCLA?

March 22, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Robert Cargill, Ph.D, thinks that the Copper Scroll is insignificant!

Robert R. Cargill (for the Center for Digital Humanities, UCLA, Jul. 2009, http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/copper.shtml) wrote:

"But for the wise, the Copper Scroll is little more than what scholars have claimed since the beginning: an anomaly discovered among the otherwise informative manuscripts comprising the Dead Sea Scrolls."

Well, well well! Our relatively newly qualified expert tells us that the Copper Scroll is an anomaly. This is what comes of doing your archaeology in front of a computer, and not having an appreciation of the writings attributed to Josephus. Added to that he just couldn't wait to have a go at amateurs like Robert Feather who I am sure has tried in all sincerity to come up with a plausible and researched case for the Copper Scroll (even if I can't accept it). And why does our expert have to even mention the ridiculous Jimmy Barfield? Robert Cargill must think like Jim West, that the general public are idiots.

This is what Cargill wrote about various people including one very wise Scholar, Norman Golb. Cargill reveals his sensitivies:

"But it is not just wannabe archaeologists that prey on the Copper Scroll. Some scholars holding to fringe theories about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls regularly make the Copper Scroll a central pillar of their unlikely arguments. The University of Chicago’s Norman Golb has made a name for himself in part by appealing to the Copper Scroll to argue in support of his version of Karl Rengstorf’s theory that none of the Dead Sea Scrolls were produced at Qumran. Others, like author Robert Feather, have written several books touting the Copper Scroll’s connection to treasures from Egypt. The fact that most scholars have wholly dismissed claims by the Barfields, Golbs, and Feathers of the world has not stopped the latter from publishing books and raking in money from a public more than willing to entertain speculation and sensationalist claims over scholarly consensus and sound academic research." And never mind about the money Cargill hopes to rake in for his little virtual reality project.

Most Scholars have NOT dismissed claims made by Norman Golb.

The Copper Scroll was deposited near Qumran around the same time as all the rest of the Scrolls, essentially by the same people, the high priests. They were certainly NOT deposited by people fleeing from a fallen Jerusalem, OR by various groups such as Pharisees, Essenes, Zealots and Sadducees, as agreed by Cargill in the multi-party theory of Pfann. The Scrolls were taken from Agrippa I's library, by the high priests shortly before the Romans arrived. The high priests were about to be destroyed by the fifth and tenth legions of Neros army who were to come from Alexandria. These legions were led by Nero himself.

The priests had already murdered the prophet James. They then proceeded to ransack and burn Agrippa I's palace, and raided Agrippa I's library where the scrolls going back two or three hundred years were kept. (The Flavian historians have rebels burning the archives to destroy evidence of debts. War 2.17.6) They found Agrippa I in an aqueduct and murdered him (the Flavian historians, in a typical reversal, have the rebels murdering the high priest Ananias. War 2.17.9). Subsequently, against the wishes of public and prophets, the high priests, by force, sequested a large amount from the public treasury to fund the building of defences. (War 2.20.3). This treasure was the subject of the Copper Scroll. Thus the Copper Scroll was a real document, about a real treasure, that was stolen for a purpose. It was certainly NOT an 'anomaly'.

March 29, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, Joseph Ratzinger, the Pope, solemnly do confess... Shackle me if you must, did I just commit identity theft and engage in a fraudulent scheme to influence a debate?

As has been reported elsewhere, Mr. Cargill contacted the University of Chicago at the beginning of 2009, requesting that an article by Norman Golb critical of his work be removed from the University website. This hardly appears to be the conduct of someone who supports the basic academic principle of free and open debate, on which the integrity of our educational system rests. The University regarded Mr. Cargill's emails as "threats of nuisance litigation," and suggested that he respond to Golb on the merits - an invitation he apparently declined. Golb's article was taken down from the Oriental Institute site out of fears of nuisance litigation, but was then posted again on the main University site (a fact Cargill omits when answering questions put to him by the media).

Those who seek to silence opposition while appealing to the alibi of the official DSS "peer review" process offer a strangely elitist version of "digital humanities." Those who project imaginary Qumran "findings" onto a computer while talking Christian charity and smearing a scholar's family, reveal apparent ignorance about the current state of research worldwide. In France, only one scholar still openly defends the sectarian theory. The younger generation there studied Golb's book and simply abandoned the old theory because their rationalist training led them to realize it was untenable. But in America, evangelicals and religious scholars in general are playing an increasingly "respectable" role in education and politics; the situation with DSS dogmatism and the criminalization of irony as "identity theft" is an expression of that trend - as is the Texas textbook scandal, which will have nation-wide impact.

Charles Gadda delightfully confronted the dogmatists on their own ground, investigating and exposing each of their embarrassing secret practices one by one, and no matter what the outcome of the Raphael Golb case, rational humanists will ultimately realize that Gadda and his many friends (special mention should be made of Robert Dworkin) did the right thing, with humor, irony, and a fascinating appeal to fairness which has yet to be answered. And, as they read and discuss the legal briefs available at


and the law review articles condemning the case that are presumably being prepared by First Amendment specialists, they will begin to wonder why Raphael Golb was really prosecuted.

Much is made of the terrible, thundering "who is Charles Gadda?" question - I'm told that "Carlo Emilio Gadda" was the name of a famous Italian novelist who was concerned with irrationality and digressions of logic. But little is said about the unethical policies evident in efforts to impose a fake "consensus" on the public, in secret arrangements like the hiding of the names of the three individuals (Magen Broshi and two other dogmatic defenders of the sectarian theory) constituting the "scientific committee" behind the museum exhibits, or in the unavailability to the public of a secret "response" to charges of plagiarism and misrepresentation at NYU. A "culture of cover-up and confidentiality" has now also been exposed at the Vatican, and there too we hear talk of a "campaign of vile smears." Coincidence, or logical similarity?

April 08, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if my previous comment came through. One thing that should be clearly understood is that Golb's article was, contrary to Carghill's half-lie, immediately reposted on the University of Chicago website. I.e., it was moved from the OI site to the main University site: see the text (quite informative as to the quality of Carghill's work) at
Carghill then contacted U of C faculty members again, requesting that the article be taken down from the main University site, and the University's counsel advised him that his messages were viewed as threats of nuisance litigation. How's that for "digital humanities"?

April 08, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

I don't see what Cargill has to complain about. Argument would have been better than requesting that the article be removed.

April 08, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

James you recently wrote:

"The critical study of the Bible is at the heart of the humanities."

The end of biblical studies is nigh, and its not because of economics, although that may be a factor. The study of the bible is probably no longer a consideration of most who seek to understand human beings today. And most human beings manage quite well without it. It is relegated to being the plaything of biblical scholars.

But may be you are right when you say that the structure of universities needs to be rethought. For example, your department could go into a department of ancient history. Then it could be free of any "theological" influence. And it would be free to explore the real history.

April 14, 2010

Blogger Hannah said...

This is Hannah Bevills, Editor for Christian.com which is a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians, to directly fulfill Christian's needs. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the ENTIRE christian community an outlet to join together as one (no matter denomination) and better spread the good word of Christianity. Christian.com has many great features aside from the obvious like christian TV, prayer request or even find a church/receive advice. We have emailed you because we have interest in collaborating with you and your blog to help us spread the good word. I look forward to an email regarding the matter, Thanks!

God Bless

|Hannah Bevills|Christian.com|

April 15, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

I have just received Golb's book Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls (with a new afterword).

Page 154. 'There were no legal documents found at Qumran.'

Now I never thought of that. How does Cargill's/Pfann's theory stand up? They believe that some of the documents were produced at Qumran and some produced in other places. Quite clearly, none of them were written at Qumran.

April 21, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

And Robert Cargill, Golb does give credit to Rengstorf, one whole Chapter (6).

April 21, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

There was one legal document found at Qumran. The Copper Scroll from Cave 3. Robert Cargill thinks the Copper Scroll is an anomaly or insignificant. It wouldn't by any chance have been placed there by the very same priests who deposited the Scrolls, would it? It was "found in a recess behind other manuscripts". (Page 117 of Golb's book: Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls).

April 22, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Its a brilliant book. I wish I had read it years ago. I don't totally agree with it, but there is so much in it that makes sense to me. And I have only just started to read it.

Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls by Norman Golb.

April 22, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

While on holiday this week, I read Golb's book Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls (up to and including Chapter 7). It has been quite an eye-opening experience.

Golb believes that the scrolls found at Qumran (and elsewhere) were taken from Jerusalem libraries. He says that they were all copies, i.e. there were no autographs (an autograph is an original by the author) which one would have expected in such a large collection. I wonder why the Jews didn't hide the temple scrolls which surely would have had accompanying autographs?

May 03, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

It seems unlikely that the scrolls from the temple were hidden. Surely some (of what would have been a massive quantity) would have been found. Golb uses the reported finds near Jericho (Origen and Timotheus, pages 105-110 of his book) to support his case for the widespread deposit of scrolls from Jerusalem libraries. These reported deposits near Jericho occurred, according to Golb, at the same time as those at Qumran (and possibly Masada for that matter).

This leaves another question: Why did the scrolls in Golbs book have to come from a number of libraries in Jerusalem and not one library?

May 04, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Golb calls 4QMMT the Acts of Torah. It was produced in a distinct idiom that Golb says was late. Six copies of the manuscript were found in cave 4. If the Acts of Torah was addressed to a royal person (like a king), where would you expect it to be stored before being transported to Qumran cave 4?
In the kings library?

May 06, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Six copies of 4QMMT in one cave (4) would indicate that they came from one source. These manuscripts would have been gathered together at the same time for transport to Qumran.

It would be a king's business to know everything going-on in his nation. The king's library would contain only copies of religious texts. The originals (autographs) were held in the temple library. These are possible explanations of the variations of manuscripts, and the fact that no original scrolls have been found in deposits. Golb had to explain to Broshi what he meant by an "autograph letter" (page 188 of his book).

4QMMT was critical in a servile (Golb calls it polite) way of the king about the law and the activities he permitted in the temple. So one might well expect his servants to be very interested in 4QMMT.

May 07, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

4QMMT shows that the king (you) was in charge of the temple. The priests operating the temple were 'they'. And those making implicit complaints about the king were only just below the king in status. They were a group of high priests, the 'we'.

Quite clearly, Judaism was breaking down as a workable faith. The 'we' group thought the blind, the deaf and maimed should be barred from the temple. And the king was against that.

May 08, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

I have used the wrong word (servile) to describe the language used by the ‘we’ group of 4QMMT. These high priests thought of themselves as superior to the king and the ‘they’ group who had become almost nominal in the way that they obeyed the law, setting a trend.

The ‘we’ group chose an indirect method to communicate their displeasure to the king. They couldn’t bring themselves to tell him to his face, and cowardly accused the king of crimes against the law in this way. The ‘they’ group who were actually ‘breaking’ the law were used as an excuse. Trouble was clearly brewing-up.

Eisenman and Wise are unsure if 4QMMT was first century BC or first century AD (page 183 of their book their book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered). Golb says the text was written in a first century AD idiom (as was the text of the Copper Scroll).

May 09, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

4QMMT tells us a lot about the 'they' group of priests. They were the popular 'in crowd’ supported by the king. ‘They’ were not concerned about:
1.Where the grain came from for the temple sacrifices or who might have touched it.
2. What kind of vessel they cooked the meat of a sacrificed animal in, or where, or how they cooked it. They made a soup of it in the temple, which presumably the people enjoyed.
3.Eating the grain offering with meat offered on a different day.
4.The purity from sunset of those priests involved with the Red Heifer ceremony.
5.Using the skins and bones of ‘unclean’ animals for handles of vessels which ‘they’ would bring into the temple.
6.Sacrificing outside the temple and Jerusalem.
7.Not burning the offal of sacrificed animals outside Jerusalem.
8.People eating the fetus of a sacrificed animal without offering the fetus.
9.Women marrying gentiles or bastards or those with damaged male organs.
10.Letting the blind or deaf take part in temple worship.
11.Pouring liquids from an ‘impure’ vessel into a ‘pure’ vessel.
12.People bringing dogs into the temple.
13.Collecting the first fruit and the fruit of every fourth year of trees planted for food, or one tenth of the cattle and sheep as tithes for themselves.
14.People suffering from a skin disease living at home and eating food considered pure.
15.People sinning inadvertently not bringing a sin offering.
16.Contact with a dead person.
17.Fornication and the intermarrying of priests with non-priestly families.
18.People wearing clothes that are a mixture of fabrics and planting a field with mixed crops.

May 09, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The lack of concern of the 'they' group of priests (1-18 above) was practical if not almost modern. It reflected the reality of life, a workable religion. The 'they' group of priests were more concerned, for example, about eating food than sacrificing it. Sacrifice had become incidental for them, a means to a good meal, provided by God.

In sharp contrast is the strict rules adopted by the priests of the 'we' group who had "broken themselves from the majority of the people, and refused to go along with them on these matters." The 'we' were a powerful group of priests who felt they could address a king in a subtle, but offensive way. The ‘we’ group wrote to the king:

“And ‘we’ recognize that some of the blessings and curses have come, those written in the Book of Moses; therefore this is the end of Days, when those in Israel are to return to the Law of God with all their heart, never to turn back again. Meanwhile the wicked will increase in wickedness… Remember the kings of Israel and understand their works. Whoever of them feared the Law was saved from sufferings; when they sought the Law, then their sins were forgiven them. Remember David. He was a man of pious works, and he, also, was saved from many sufferings and forgiven. And finally, ‘we’ wrote you about some of the works of the Law, which ‘we’ reckoned for your own good and for that of your people, for ‘we’ see that you possess discernment and knowledge of the Torah.” (The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, by Eisenman and Wise, page 200).

This was an explosive situation.

May 10, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

I have for a long time suspected that there was extensive mis-information in the writings attributed to Josephus. Yet these writings are quoted extensively as though they are all genuine.

Some years ago I spoke to Robert Eisenman by telephone. He said his wife came from a place very near to where I lived and that he used to teach in a local school when he was in the UK. When I told him of my doubts about the writings attributed to Josephus, he said something to the effect: that Vespasian had his 'secret police' everywhere. And the Flavian editors were having fun. He certainly used the word "fun". He also said he was a Jew, which may speak volumes.

Eisenman gave me the impression that I was justified in my beliefs that the writings attributed to Josephus have been heavily tampered with.

May 12, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

The Roman historian Tacitus is frequently quoted in support of the writings attributed to Josephus. (For example, by Martin Goodman in his book Rome and Jerusalem). But this is what Tacitus says about himself:

"I would not deny that my elevation was begun by Vespasian, augmented by Titus, and still further advanced by Domitian; but those who profess inviolable truthfulness must speak of all without partiality and without hatred." (Tac. Hist.1.1)

This is almost a confession that he had been dishonest in writing the history of the Flavians. He had no doubt written what he had been told to write. He had been truthful in reporting what he heard from the Flavians.

Tacitus continues:

"I have reserved as an employment for my old age, should my life be long enough, a subject at once more fruitful and less anxious in the reign of the Divine Nerva and the empire of Trajan, enjoying the rare happiness of times, when we may think what we please, and express what we think."

It seems he was glad to be more honest in his reporting of later history during more relaxed times.

May 15, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

There seems to be nothing that connects the so-called procuratorial coins to the procurators, unless there is something I don't know. Where does the idea of procuratorial coins come from?

According to James VanderKam in his book The Dead Sea Scrolls Today, 91 procuratorial coins have been found at Qumran, and 33 of those are from Nero's reign.

Why can't they have been just Roman coins issued to be respectful to Jews? There were no Emperor's images on the coins, just the Emperor's name and the date at which he ruled. They would then be related simply to the reign of the Roman Emperor by date.

May 18, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

On page 22 of his book The Dead Sea Scrolls Today, James VanderKam refers to coins found at Qumran as reported by de Vaux.

Among the phase II coins (that were found) were:

Coins of the so called first revolt (AD 66-70): zero from year 1, 83 from year 2, five from year 3, and zero from year 4.

From the decrease in coins from 83to 5, De Vaux thought that Qumran was destroyed by the Romans in 68. But was there another reason for the decrease? On page 14 of his book, VanderKam says that "a decisive event must have occurred to account for this difference." Then immediately following-on he says, "Some Roman arrowheads were also uncovered". So he leaves one to assume that the decisive event was the destruction of Qumran. But I would like to suggest another reason. The decisive event was the death of the Emperor Nero in 68.

May 19, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

There was no war in Galilee. This 'history' was fabricated by Flavian historians. The fortresses were captured first followed by Jerusalem. The story of the capture of Jotapata in Galilee, was the exaggerated story of the capture of Qumran.

The Roman forces were led by Nero, in 66. The "Idumeans" were Nero's forces who were let into Jerusalem by those opposed to the writers of 4QMMT.

The coins of revolt were not coins of revolt at all. They were coins of a people granted their freedom by Nero. This was the reason for the 83 year 2 coins of 'revolt' being found at Qumran. A group who opposed the writers of 4QMMT had moved into Qumran along with their friends the Romans. 33 coins from Nero's reign were found. Nero was killed in 68. This would explain the sudden reduction in the number of coins of the 'revolt' to five for year 3 (68) and zero for year 4. The Jews had lost their support, and the liar Vespasian was hovering.

May 22, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all things are bright and beautiful...like an over weight Christian women for example.
The Atheist Perspective

May 23, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The reason there was no attempt to hide the scrolls from the temple was because the group in charge of it (those who held it) was in opposition to the group who had raided Agrippa I's palace.

The group who occupied the temple were the ones who let the "Idumeans" into Jerusalem. These "Idumeans" made their approach to the walls of Jerusalem tortoise fashion (with their shields over their heads), the story goes to keep the rain off. This was a battle tactic of Romans. And they were under the command of Nero.

The "Idumeans" entered Jerusalem and did what they had come to do, kill the high priests, such as Ananus. It was probably his father Ananias who had written 4QMMT. Their group was messianic, for the law, trying to impose their views on the rest.

Nero did not destroy the temple. The temple scrolls were saved along with the autographs. He granted freedom to the Jews. Coins were minted in celebration. Land sales were resumed (as revealed in land sale documents). The war was all over in 66 and Nero went back to Rome via Greece in early 67 - the "Idumeans" left Jerusalem for no apparent reason.

Probably, animal sacrifices had stopped by then.

May 23, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

On page 148 of Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, Golb wrote:

"It is important to note that the official archives of Jerusalem were destroyed by fire set by the Jewish insurgents in AD 66 during the interfactional strife raging at at the time, described by Josephus in vivid detail. because of the loss of these archival records, virtually no documentary texts of the years before A.D. 70 survived." (War 2:427 Thackery; War 2.17.6 Whiston)

This was a lie perpetrated by Flavian historians. There was interfactional strife between those who supported the keeping of the law according to 4QMMT and those who had a more relaxed attitude. The event was the raiding of Agrippa I's library from which the scrolls were taken in 66. There would have been only copies of scrolls in this library, i.e. there were 'no documentary texts' (defined as legal documents by Golb). Other scrolls (including autographs and 'documents') were kept safe in the temple by opponents of those who raided Agrippa I's library. The temple records were destroyed when Titus under his father Vespasian destroyed the temple after first stealing all its gold.

June 05, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Norman Golb wrote (Page 259 of Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls) that "in 1980 I had already concluded my first presentation of the theory by stating that the manuscripts:"

"are remnants of a literature showing a wide variety of practices, beliefs and opinions.... removed from Jerusalem before or during the seige.... Determination of the nature of their concepts and practices.... may best be achieved not by pressing them into the single sectarian bed of Essenism, but by separating them out from one another, through analysis, into various SPIRITUAL CURRENTS which appear to have characterized Palestinian Judaism of the intertestamental period."

Now why did Golb refer to "various spiritual currents"? Was this because all Jews thought of themselves as Jews, but that they differed in their views. Did those manuscripts have labels that served to differentiate one type of Jew from another, one with a certain “spiritual characteristic from another with a different “spiritual characteristic”? Given the information contained in the scrolls, Golb could have written no other. In those manuscripts, there are no Pharisees, no Sadducees, no Essenes, no sicarri , no zealots, and no Judas the Galilean, the supposed author of a fourth sect. They are written retrospectively, as “sects” into the writings attributed to Josephus. They are the inventions of later writers with an agenda. Josephus’s original discussion was about priests and prophets, two “orders”, who had existed among the Jews peacefully “for a long time together”. At the time he originally wrote, there was strife going way back (original Antiquities ) and civil war (original War) between them.

June 09, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Here is the first interpolation of the "sects" in Ant.13.5.9,[171]:

"At this time there were three sects among the Jews, who had different opinions concerning human actions; the one was called the sect of the Pharisees, another the sect of the Sadducees, and the other the sect of the Essens. Now for the Pharisees, they say that some actions, but not all, are the work of fate, and some of them are in our own power, and that they are liable to fate, but are not caused by fate. But the sect of the Essens affirm, that fate governs all things, and that nothing befalls men but what is according to its determination. And for the Sadducees, they take away fate, and say there is no such thing, and that the events of human affairs are not at its disposal; but they suppose that all our actions are in our own power, so that we are ourselves the causes of what is good, and receive what is evil from our own folly. However, I have given a more exact account of these opinions in the second book of the Jewish War."

This is so obviously a later interpolation, being completely unrelated to the surrounding text. The interpolator even "gets one in" to convince the reader that War was written before Antiquities. This was true of the Flavian versions. It was not true of Josephus's original accounts. Of course this won't do for Wikipeadia which is devoid of intelligence.

The DSS show that at this time such "sects" did not exist.

June 15, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Did the prophets die out 400 years before the time Christ was supposed to have existed? I went to a play last night that took you quickly through the bible. It was a joint effort put on by the Saltmine theatre Company and and Wycliffe Bible Translators. It was a very good performance by professional young actors. A young person from Wycliffe who worked in Nigeria was the compere. At the end of the show she made an appeal, saying that £10 would buy a translation of one verse of a foreign language in which there was no bible. She compared the experience of people who had no access to a translation of the bible in their own language with a time of 400 years between testaments when God did not speak through the prophets who were supposedly silent. But were they silent?

I was with my wife who is a Christian, so I obligingly payed-up.

June 16, 2010

Anonymous Henricus said...

Met allen eerbied voor den hoogleeraar, zijn kritiek is gewoonlijk even willekeurig als zijn exegese vaak oppervlakkig is.

June 17, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The following is from Ant.13.11.2:

"But here one may take occasion to wonder at one Judas, who was of the sect of the Essens, and who never missed the truth in his predictions; for this man, when he saw Antigonus passing by the temple, cried out to his companions and friends, who abode with him as his scholars, in order to learn the art of foretelling things to come? "That it was good for him to die now, since he had spoken falsely about Antigonus, who is still alive, and I see him passing by, although he had foretold he should die at the place called Strato's Tower that very day, while yet the place is six hundred furlongs off, where he had foretold he should be slain;
and still this day is a great part of it already past, so that he was in danger of proving a false PROPHET." As he was saying this, and that in a melancholy mood, the news came that Antigonus was slain in a place under ground, which itself was called also Strato's Tower, or of the same name with that Caesarea which is seated at the sea. This event put the PROPHET into a great disorder."

We have a prophet mentioned twice. And he had friends who were "scholars". It was of course a school of prophets. The prophets were in existence. History was being re-written (garbled) and the prophets were written out of it. Here they are only mentioned incidentally - "But here one may take occasion to wonder at one Judas". But they were the central characters in Josephus's original account, which probably had nothing to do with Antigonus.

June 17, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

"With all due respect for the professor, his criticism is usually as arbitrary as his exegesis is often superficial."

Its a pity there were not more like him.

June 17, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

Alexander Jannaeus was 49 when he died, "after he had reigned twenty seven years, and lived fifty years, within one." (See the last sentence of Ant.13.15.5).

Ant. 13.16.1 begins: "So Alexandra when she had taken the 'fortress'." This should surely be something else. One possibility might be: "So Alexandra when she had taken the "kingdom". We know that Alexandra began her reign on the death of Alexander (War 1.5.1).

Alexandra died when she was seventy three, after reigning for nine years. (Ant. 13.16.6) This means she was 64 years of age at the start of her reign, when she was 15 years older than Alexander. With such a large difference in age, I cannot see that Alexandra (Shelamzion in the DSS) ever was the wife of Alexander.

June 22, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Thus the 'advice' that Alexander gave on his deathbed to Alexandra was a lie of the editor. (Ant.13.15.5). The nation bore 'ill-will' to Alexander alright. In an act of revenge, he had ordered about eight hundred of the prophets (the 'seekers of smooth things' in the DSS) to be crucified, and 'while they were living, ordered the throats of their children and wives to be cut before their eyes'. (Ant.13.14.2). This was in Jerusalem. It was ever likely therefore that the leading people of Jerusalem would want to see Alexander's dead body, to know he was truly dead. And the idea of Alexandra coming to Alexander weeping and lamenting is ridiculous, a fiction of the editor. (Ant. 13.15.5). She had been kept under house arrest for a very long time, ever since the death of her real husband, John Hyrcanus 1. It was Hyrcanus who had told Alexandra to follow the 'Pharisees' (prophets). We know from the DSS that the Pharisees did not exist.

Alexandra and her family were imprisoned when Alexander took over the throne, after Hyrcanus's death. Hyrcanus had five sons. (War 1.2.7). But his wife is never named, no doubt a deliberate editorial change.

June 23, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Ant.13.10.7. [299] “But when Hyrcanus had …..administered the government in the best manner for thirty-one years, and then died, leaving behind him five sons, he was esteemed by God worthy of three of the greatest privileges, - the government of his nation, the dignity of the high priesthood, and prophecy; for God was with him,”

This is an original text of Josephus. There is no mention in it of Pharisees, Sadducees or Essenes, who are incorporated into a fanciful story in the text immediately preceding. The editor reassures the reader: “but about these two sects, and that of the Essens, I have treated accurately in the second book of Jewish affairs” (he neglects to mention that he also covered them in Antiquities). The story reflects what was known about the time – there was tension between priests and prophets. Hyrcanus was a high priest and prophet. He never left the Pharisees and joined the Sadducees, because they did not exist then.

There was no question of Hyrcanus leaving one ‘sect’ and joining another. There may have been a question of him favouring prophets over priests. “He was greatly beloved by them” (the “Pharisees” were the editor’s substitute for prophets, Ant.13.10.5) . This is why I believe he told his unnamed wife (really Alexandra, the mother of his five sons) to “do nothing without them (the prophets) in the affairs of the kingdom”. (Ant.13.15.5)

June 24, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

In Ant.13.11.1, we are asked to believe that after the death of Hyrcanus, the eldest of his sons, Aristobulus, sought to "put a diadem" on his head. Hyrcanus had previously been able to foretell that he (and his brother, Antigonus) "would not long continue in the government of public affairs". We are also asked to believe that apart from Antigonus, Aristobulus put the rest of his family including his mother (who supposedly disputed the government with Aristobulus) in prison. Then we have a weird story about the death of Antigonus, followed immediately by the death of Aristobulus. From this sequence of unreal events, one may conclude that the editor was covering-up.

June 29, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The death of Antigonus at the hand of his brother, Aristobulus, is weird. It is made more weird by the appearance of one Judas the Essene who predicted Antigonus's death. I now think that Eisenman was right. Judas, another word for Jew, in his many appearances as a prophet, was the editor's hate figure, who was used to explain events that had other causes.

Not content with one weird story, the editor then follows it with with another. Aristobulus is supposed to have been so disturbed by the murder of his brother (and his mother) that it caused him to utter the words "why do I deliver up my blood, drop by drop, to those whom I have murdered?"

These stories are clearly fabrications.

June 30, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

The story of the death of Hyrcanus, the death of Hyrcanus's unnamed wife at the instruction of her son Aristobulus, the weird stories about the deaths of Antigonus and Aristobulus the eldest sons of Hyrcanus, is immediately followed by this equally contrived story of Alexander Jannaeus's rise to power:

Ant. 13.12.1. [320]

"When Aristobulus was dead, his wife Salome, who, by the Greeks, was called Alexandra, let his brethren out of prison, for Aristobulus had kept them in bonds, as we have said already, and made Alexander Jannaeus king who was the superior in age and in moderation. This child happened to be hated by his father as soon as he was born, and could never be permitted to come into his father's sight till he died. The occasion of which hatred is thus reported: when Hyrcanus chiefly loved the two eldest of his sons, Antigonus and Aristobulus, God appeared to him in his sleep, of whom he inquired which of his sons should be his successor. Upon God's representing to him the countenance of Alexander, he was grieved that he was to be the heir of all his goods, and suffered him to be brought up in Galilee. However, God did not deceive Hyrcanus; for after the death of Aristobulus, he certainly took the kingdom; and one of his brethren, who affected the kingdom, he slew; and the other, who chose to live a private and quiet life, he had in esteem.

Ant. 13.12.2.[324]

When Alexander Jannaeus had settled the government in the manner that he judged best,..."

July 01, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

Alexander was supposed to have been hated by his father as soon as he was born, and was never seen by his father. This seems most unlikely.

Apparently, God appeared to Hyrcanus while he was asleep (as God does) and told him neither of his two eldest sons, Antigonus and Aristobulus, would be his successor, but Alexander would inherit all his goods. Hyrcanus was supposed to have been so displeased, that he ordered Alexander to be brought-up in Galilee. This again seems unlikely.

But when Alexander became king, he killed one of Hyrcanus's sons. This seems more realistic.

In fact, it seems that Alexander was not one of Hyrcanus's sons at all. If we look at Ant.13.13.1, we see that Alexander was the son of Cleopatra. He was a foreigner who had converted to Judaism. He had gained the succession by intrigue and conquest. He may have circumcised himself, but, according to a later writer, "he did not circumcise the foreskin his heart". (1QpHab Col.11:13).

July 02, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

So lets be clear about one thing. Alexander Jannaeus was not the son of Hyrcanus.

He was the son of a Cleopatra, an Egyptian, who employed Jews Chelsias and Ananias, the sons of Onias, as generals of her army. It was Onias that built the temple of Heliopolis, like that at Jerusalem. (Ant.13.10.4). But there was one difference. It did not have an altar for sacrifice of animals. It was a form of Judaism that although it had a sanctuary, it did not have animal sacrifice. Onias was a prophet, not given to to sacrifice for sins.

There was a strong Jewish influence of prophets among the Egyptians, and Alexander had been raised in it.

July 04, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

13.10.5 [372] As to Alexander, [his own people] {the multitude} were [seditious against him {pleased}; for at [a festival] {the Feast of Tabernacles} which was then celebrated, when he stood upon the altar, [and was going to sacrifice], the nation [rose upon] {praised} him, and

[pelted him with citrons which they then had in their hands, because the law of the Jews required that at the feast of tabernacles]

everyone [should have] {waived their palm} branches

[of the palm tree and citron tree; which thing we have elsewhere related.]

They [also] reviled

[him as derived from a captive, and so unworthy of his dignity and of]


[At this he was in a rage, and slew of them about six thousand.]

He also built a partition-wall of wood round the altar

[and the temple, as far as that partition]

within which it was [only] {un} lawful for the priests to enter; and by this means he [obstructed] {pleased} the multitude

[from coming at him].

July 05, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The truth is compressed into a simple statement in War 1.2.8.

"8. But then these successes of John (Hyrcanus) and of his sons made THEM be envied, and occasioned a sedition in the country; and many there were who got together, and would not be at rest till THEY brake out into open war, in which war THEY were beaten."

John Hyrcanus and his sons Antigonus and Aristobulus were beaten in a war. This war was an invasion by Alexander.

July 06, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

All things bright and beautiful.

May be the history of Hyrcanus wasn't all compressed into War 1.2.8. May be we have some jiggery-pokery in the text immediately before.

"3.[This Simon] {John} also had a plot laid against him, [and was slain at a feast] by his son-in-law Ptolemy {Alexander}, who put his wife and two sons into prison, and sent some persons to kill John, who was also called Hyrcanus. But when [the young man] {Hyrcanus} was informed of their coming beforehand, he made haste to get to the [city] {temple}, as having a very great confidence in the [people] {priests} there, [both] on account of

[the memory of the glorious actions of his father, and of]

the hatred they could not but bear to the injustice of Ptolemy. Ptolemy also made an attempt to get into [the city by another gate] {temple}; but was repelled by the [people] {priests}, who had just then admitted of Hyrcanus; so he retired presently to [one of] the [fortress] {citadel.}

[es that were about Jericho, which was called Dagon] .

Now when Hyrcanus had

[received the high priesthood, which his father had held before, and]

had offered sacrifice to God, he made great haste to attack Ptolemy, that he might afford relief to his [mother] {wife} and [brethren] {sons}."

So was this nearer to the truth? Was Ptolemy Alexander Hyrcanus's son-in law?

July 07, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

"4.So he laid siege to the [fortress] {citadel}, and was superior to Ptolemy {Alexander} in other respects, but was overcome by him as to the just affection he had for his relations; for when Ptolemy {Alexander} was distressed, he brought forth his [mother] {wife}, and his [brethren] {sons}, and set them upon the wall, and beat them with rods in everybody's sight, and threatened, that unless he would go away immediately, he would throw them down headlong; at which sight Hyrcanus's commiseration and concern were too hard for his anger.

But his [mother] {wife} was not dismayed, neither at the stripes she received, nor at the death with which she was threatened; but stretched out her hands, and prayed her [son] {husband} not to be moved with the injuries that she suffered to spare the wretch; since it was to her better to die by the means of Ptolemy {Alexander}, than to live ever so long, provided he might be punished for the injuries he done to their family.

Now John's case was this: When he considered the courage of his [mother] {wife}, and heard her entreaty, he set about his attacks; [but] {and} when he saw her beaten, and torn to pieces with the stripes, he grew [feeble, and was entirely overcome by his affections] {stronger}.

[And as the siege was delayed by this means, the year of rest came on, upon which the Jews rest every seventh year as they do on every seventh day. On this year,]

Therefore, Ptolemy {Alexander}

[was freed from being besieged, and]

slew the [brethren] {sons} of John with their mother

[, and fled to Zeno, who was also called Cotylas, who was tyrant of Philadelphia.]"

Here we see what really happened to Hyrcanus's wife and his sons Antigonus and Aristobulus. As we will also see in the next episode, Ptolemy Alexander (Jannaeus) did not 'flee to Zeno'.

July 09, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

5.”And now [Antiochus] {Hyrcanus} was so angry at what he had suffered from [Simon] {Alexander}, that he

[made an expedition into Judea, and]

sat down before [Jerusalem] {the citadel} and besieged [Hyrcanus] {Alexander}; but [Hyrcanus] {Alexander} opened the [sepulchre of David] {armoury of Hyrcanus},

[who was the richest of all kings,]

and took thence

[about three thousand talents in money]

{the weapons}, and induced [Antiochus] {Hyrcanus}

[, by the promise of three thousand talents,]

to raise the siege. Moreover, he

[was the first of the Jews that had money enough, and]

began to hire foreign auxiliaries also.

[6.However, at another time, when Antiochus was gone upon an expedition against the Medes, and so]

{This} gave [Hyrcanus] {Alexander} an opportunity of being revenged upon him, he immediately made an attack upon the [cities of Syria] {city of Jerusalem}.

[, as thinking, what proved to be the case with them, that he should find them empty of good troops. So he took Medaba and Samea, with the towns in their neighborhood, as also Shechem, and Gerizzim; and besides these, he subdued the nation of the Cutheans, who dwelt round about that temple which was built in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem; he also took a great many other cities of Idumea, with Adoreon and Marissa. 7.He also proceeded as far as Samaria, where is now the city Sebaste, which was built by Herod the king,]

and encompassed it all round with a wall, and set his [sons] {generals}, [Aristobulus] {Chelcias} and [Antigonus] {Ananias}, over the siege; who pushed it on so hard, that a famine so far prevailed within the city, that they were forced to eat what [never was esteemed food] {is not lawful}.

[They] {He} also invited [Antiochus] {Ptolemy}, who was called [Cyzicenus] {Lathyrus}, to come to [their] {his} assistance; whereupon he got ready, and complied with [their] {his} invitation.

{Hyrcanus} [but] was beaten by [Aristobulus] {Alexander} and [Antigonus] {Lathyrus}; and indeed he was pursued as far as Scythopolis by these brethren, and fled away from them. So they returned back to [Samaria] {Jerusalem}, and shut the multitude again within the wall; and when they had taken the city, they demolished it, and made slaves of its inhabitants. And as they had still great success in their undertakings, they did not suffer their zeal to cool, but marched with an army as far as Scythopolis, and made an incursion upon it, and laid waste all the country that lay within Mount Carmel.

8.But then these successes of [John] {Alexander} and [of his sons] {Lathyrus} made them be envied, and occasioned a sedition in the country; and many there were who got together, and would not be at rest till they brake out into open war, in which war they were beaten."

The successes were those of Alexander and Lathyrus, not Hyrcanus and his sons. 'They' who 'were beaten', were Hyrcanus and his followers. Alexander was the wicked priest. Lathyrus was his brother. Both were sons of a Cleopatra. Both were violent rulers.

“Behold, an accursed man, a man of Satan, has risen to become a fowler’s net to his people, and a cause of destruction to all his neighbours. And his brother arose and ruled, both being instruments of violence. They have rebuilt Jerusalem and have set up a wall and towers to make it a stronghold of ungodliness ….in Israel and a horror in Ephraim and in Judah … They have committed an abomination in the land, and a great blasphemy among the children of Israel. They have shed blood like water upon the ramparts of the daughter of Zion and within the precincts of Jerusalem.” (4Q175)

July 10, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

“Behold, an accursed man, a man of Satan, has risen to become a fowler’s net to his people, and a cause of destruction to all his neighbours. And his brother arose and ruled, both being instruments of violence. They have rebuilt Jerusalem and have set up a wall and towers to make it a stronghold of ungodliness ….in Israel and a horror in Ephraim and in Judah … They have committed an abomination in the land, and a great blasphemy among the children of Israel. They have shed blood like water upon the ramparts of the daughter of Zion and within the precincts of Jerusalem.” (4Q175)

This was the one-sided view of the writers of the Scrolls, probably written after the death of Alexander Jannaeus (who reigned for 27 years). It was the view of the priests who wanted to apply the law rigidly. Ptolemy Alexander Jannaeus was a supporter of prophets, the leaders of the 'seekers of smooth things' who 'flouted the law', according to the scrolls. They were the 'part of the Jews that favoured him', War 1.4.5.

The party of the priests 'had a perpetual war with Alexander'. He 'ordered eight hundred priests to be hung upon upon crossses in the midst of the city'. And a surprised 'eight thousand of his opposers fled away the very next night' (a flight strangely 'terminated by Alexander's death'). (War 1.4.6). In this passage from War there is no mention of the party of opposition to Alexander being 'Pharisees'. They are described in non-descript terms as 'opposers'. Similarly, those for Alexander are described as 'that part of the Jews which favoured him'. (War 1.4.5). These two passages have been altered by a later editor to conceal the true identity of what were priests and prophets in opposition.

July 18, 2010

Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

The latest film starring professor Robert Cargill complete with beard: Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls, on the National Geographic Channel.


Cargill thinks that one third of the Scrolls were written at Qumran. He (probably) wrote in the pre-amble:

"Forensic science has cut through the debate to reveal that at least a third of the Dead Sea Scrolls were written at Qumran."

Now that's a bold assertion! 'Forensic science has cut through the debate', eh! I'll be very interested to see what these 'forensic scientists' have to say. Anything to get some scroll writing monks back at Qumran! This is like Joe Zias's and James Tabor's Qumran Essene toilets, scientifically proven, you know!

I wonder if Cargill can feel his beard burning.

July 20, 2010

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September 22, 2010

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November 23, 2010

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June 04, 2011

Anonymous ruth.grimsley@virgin.net said...

Hello James, great to hear your talk last night at St Mark's. "To the Finland Station" is by Edmund Wilson. It's basically about "the historical Marx," lol! Ruth (Grimsley)

June 23, 2011

Anonymous ruth.grimsley@virgin.net said...

Mm, to continue with my beautiful thoughts about Marxism and Christianity, I can tell you that Christianity has often seemed to inspire various unpleasant emotions in Marxists, and that all these emotions have been generated by, I think, the sin of Envy. Marxists are VERY CROSS that there is another, and very popular, world-view that operates reasonably successfully. Of course Chrsitianity doesn't have all the answers, for example, to questions like why God allows suffering to afflict the innocent, or allows earthquakes and tsunamis to happen. But Marxism has its gaps too. It places no value on the earth's resources - this was much debated by the Comrades in the 1930s, and is of course becoming, regrettably, a more urgent problem by the day. Similarly, Marxism posits the perfectability of human nature, something which it got wrong from day 1 and which Christianity got right from day 1.
So much for the serious issues, now for the goss: has Prof Eagleton REALLY become, or developed a soft spot for, Roman Catholicism? If so, the temptation is to comment that he's only exchanged one totalitarian world-view for another. Ooh, I'm such a BITCH!

June 24, 2011

Anonymous ruth.grimsley@virgin.net said...

Finally, I have been thinking about what you told me about Christians and Marxists converging and co-operating over the last 15 years: I had no idea this was happening, as I told you. Actually, I think I can see why it's happening, and it's for a good reason. Probably - and correctly - appalled by what rampant consumerism is doing to both human beings and the Earth, Christians and Marxists are finding common ground in the altruism that permeates both their world-views. Jolly good show, chaps & ladies! Marxists will probably call the great evil "late capitalism," and we could give it the name of Moloch, the All-consuming. But it's all the same sh*te. Have a nice day! Ruth

June 24, 2011

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June 04, 2013

Blogger Steve Finnell said...


The thought process of some Christians is puzzling to say the least. Why do some believers in Christ question that God has the power to guide men to translate Bibles that are inerrant, trustworthy, accurate, faultless, reliable, infallible.

Some of the same Christians who believe the following miracles of the Bible, doubt that God can produce an inerrant translation of the Bible.

They believe that Aaron's staff became a serpent. (Exodus 7:10-12) However they do not believe that translations of the Bible are trustworthy.

They believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead. (John 21:14) However they do not agree that Bible translations are inerrant.

They believe that the dead man Elisha stood up on his feet. (2 Kings 13:20-21) However they doubt that Bible translations are infallible.

They believe Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. (John 11:37-44) However they do not affirm that Bible translations are reliable.

They believe that God turned Lots wife into a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26) However they are not convince that God has given us a translation of the Bible that is accurate.

Even those who state that the King James translation is the only accurate translation, believe that Mark 16:16 does mean what is says: They say "Has been baptized shall be saved" actually means, "Has already been saved before they were baptized." The assert that Acts 2:38 actually means "Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ because your sins have already been forgiven." They really do not trust the KJV either.

Ninety-nine percent of the Bible translations are accurate, trustworthy, inerrant translations of God's word.

A few of my favorites are New American Standard Bible, King James Version, New King James Version, English Standard Version, and New International Version. There are also many other reliable translations.

YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

May 01, 2014


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