Tel Qudadi i Tel Aviv

31/12/2010

Tel Aviv er med sine ca 100 år ein relativt ung by. Det er Jaffa, den gamle byen som har vakse saman med Tel Aviv, som står for historia. Men det viser seg at det også i den moderne storbyen finst arkeologiske spor frå ei heilt anna tid:

Secrets of an Ancient Tel Aviv Fortress Revealed
TAU researchers connect their city to the Greek island of Lesbos

Tel Qudadi, an ancient fortress located in the heart of Tel Aviv at the mouth of the Yarkon River, was first excavated more than 70 years ago — but the final results of neither the excavations nor the finds were ever published. Now, research on Tel Qudadi by archaeologists at Tel Aviv University has unpeeled a new layer of history, indicating that there is much more to learn from the site, including evidence that links ancient Israel to the Greek island of Lesbos.

«The secrets of this ancient fortress are only beginning to be revealed,» Dr. Alexander Fantalkin and Dr. Oren Tal of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology say. Their new research was recently published in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly and BABESH: Annual Papers on Mediterranean Archaeology.

(les meir)

(via Ferrell’s Travel Blog som også har med eit stort bilete av munninga av Yarkonelva)

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Om Septuaginta

31/12/2010

Dei første kristne brukte Septuaginta, den greske omsetjinga av GT, som si heilage skrift. Her gjev ein forskar med jødisk bakgrunn ei vurdering av Septuaginta si tyding i oldkyrkja:

«The translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE is said to be one of the most lasting achievements of the Jewish civilization – without it, Christianity might not have spread as quickly and as successfully as it did,» explained Nicholas de Lange, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the Faculties of Divinity and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, who led the three-year study to re-evaluate the story of the Greek Bible fragments.

(les meir)

Det er professor Nicholas de Lange (Cambridge University) som seier dette om Septuaginta i ein omtale av eit forskingsprosjekt som handlar om bruken av gresk i jødedommen i bysantinsk tid.

(via Biblical Paths)


Religion kan skapa fred

28/12/2010

Filmen Om guder og mennesker verkar interessant. Her er eit par utdrag frå artikkelen Munker skaper ettertanke i Frankrike i DagenMagazinet:

Dominikanerbror og samfunnsdebattant Arnfinn Haram, blir nevnt i rulleteksten av filmen. Det skyldes at han var konsulent for den norske oversettelsen. Det var viktig for filmskaperne at det teologiske og språklige ble riktig gjengitt. Haram synes filmen er meget god, men han tror den representerer en test for norske medier og publikum.
– Det er bemerkelsesverdig at man kan ta opp religiøse temaer så fordomsfritt og uten den fordummende ironien som man er vant med, særlig fra Norge. Spørsmålet blir om det norske publikummet skjønner dette, eller om de blir nødt til å ironisere, sier han.

Og manusforfattaren uttaler seg slik om filmen:

Det er likevel spørsmålet om å bryte opp eller om å bli som er filmens gjennomgående dilemma. Manusforfatter Etienne Comar mener alle kan kjenne seg igjen i det.

– For meg var det store spørsmålet hvorfor munkene ble i Algerie. De visste om farene. Vi ønsket å fortelle historen om livene deres, ikke deres død, sier han til The Guardian.
– Det er blitt lett å se på religion som noe negativt, men munkene i vår film viser at religion kan skape fred i like stor grad som konflikt. Hvis vi kan plante det i hodene til folk – at de alltid må holde håpet levende og dialogen gående – da er jeg fornøyd, sier han.

Denne filmen bør eg visst sjå.


Dei uskuldige barna sin dag

28/12/2010

Den kyrkjelege tradisjonen markerer 28. desember som Dei uskuldige barna sin dag, til minne om at Herodes den store skal ha drepe mange barn i Betlehem i eit forsøk på å rydda Jesus av vegen. Vårt ord ramaskrik kjem frå denne forteljinga (her).

Josef og Maria var i følgje historia i Matteusevangeliet (2,13-18) blitt varsla av Gud og dei hadde allereie flykta til Egypt.  Eg har hatt glede av å setja meg inn i den koptiske tradisjonen om dette, dvs kva denne historia betyr sett med egyptiske kristne sine auge. Les meir om dette i notata Flukta til Egypt og Theophilus» openberring.


Caesarea i storm

27/12/2010

Caesarea blei kraftig ramma av storm tidlegare i månaden (her). Nå er redselen at ein ny storm vil øydeleggja enda meir av byen som i nytestamentleg tid var hovudstad for det romerske styret i Judea.

Caesarea blei kraftig utbygd av Herodes den store. Eg har tidlegare i dag (her) vist til ein artikkel av Geza Vermes om Herodes. Han omtalar bygginga av Caesarea slik:

The middle period of Herod’s rule (25 to 13 BCE) is characterised by his spectacular building activities at home and abroad, culminating in the construction of Jerusalem’s Second Temple and the creation of the city and port of Caesarea.

Haaretz skriv nå om stormen sine herjingar i den gamle hamnebyen:

Archaeological authorities are trying to repair the astonishing amount of damage to the ancient Herodian city before another storm strikes and compounds the devastation.

(…)

Just before the storm, Margalit and his colleagues at the antiquities authority and the development corporation warned of the danger facing the ancient port: In early November they appeared before the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee and presented a plan for its preservation, including the shoring up and extension of the now-collapsed breakwater. They warned then that if such steps were not taken, parts of the ancient Caesarea would be damaged this winter.

About 10 days after that meeting, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov came to Caesarea, where he heard from local authorities about the dangers to the most popular tourist site in Israel after Masada; Caesarea has about 1 million visitors annually. The minister promised to act – but the storm got there before him. The waves, with the help of winds of 100 kilometers per hour and more, fulfilled the darkest of predictions. At present, say Margalit and his colleagues, the ancient port is totally vulnerable to the waves, and there is no way to assess how much damage has been caused below the surface of the water. Other areas of Caesarea archaeological park, north and south of the port, did not benefit even from the protection of the breakwater, meager as it was.

For example, near the ancient synagogue south of the port, 2,000 year-old (Roman ) artifacts, 1,500-year-old (Byzantine ) treasures, and 1,000-year-old (Crusader ) relics were swept into the sea and lost forever.

(les meir)

(via BiblePlaces Blog)


Herodes, den store?

27/12/2010

Er det rett å kalla Herodes for den store? Skulle han heller vore kalla Herodes den grufulle?

Geza Vermes har skrive ein lengre biografisk artikkel om Herodes i Standpoint Magazine januar/februar 2011. Han skriv om blant anna om politikk, familiefeidar og byggjeprosjekt som blir knytt til Herodes.

(Oppdatering: Merk at eg til slutt her i notatet siterer ein kommentator som meiner at Vermes forsøkjer å omskriva historia og gjera Herodes mindre grufull enn han var).

Her er nokre avsnitt frå Geza Vermes» artikkel:

Herod the Terrible or Herod the Great?

The Christian world has inherited a wholly negative image of king Herod (74/72-4 BCE), during whose reign Jesus was born (Matthew 2:1, Luke, 1:5). Matthew’s legendary account, Nativity plays and Christian imagination have turned Herod into the Ivan the Terrible of antiquity. When the three wise kings, or rather oriental magicians (magoi in the Greek Gospel), arrived at the royal palace in Jerusalem and asked about the recently born king of the Jews, Herod pretended to be helpful and directed them to Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of the Messiah, on condition that they promised to let him know the whereabouts of the babe. He, too, wished to greet him, he lied, when in fact he planned to murder the potential rival. So when the magi failed to return, he let loose his soldiers on the infants of Bethlehem.

The extensive secular chronicles provide a more nuanced biography, one that is almost as detailed as those of Roman emperors. Our chief informant is the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-c.100CE), who devoted most of Book I of his Jewish War and Books XIV to XVII of Jewish Antiquities to the life and times of Herod. Josephus uses as his main source the universal history of Nicolaus of Damascus, the well-informed teacher, adviser and ambassador of Herod. The fact that Josephus often criticises the king suggests that beside the court historian’s pro-Herod chronicle, he had also at his disposal another account sympathetic to the Hasmoneans, the Jewish priest-kings, who from 152 BCE ruled the Holy Land, first independently and after 63 BCE under the aegis of Rome, until Herod took their throne in 37 BCE.

(…)

Her er nokre avsnitt som handlar om tempelet i Jerusalem:

The jewel in the crown of his exclusively Jewish creative activity was the construction of the Second Temple. It started in 19 BCE and was financed by him. The Western Wall of Herod’s Temple still stands and is the holiest site in Judaism. The size of the building was substantially larger and higher than the Temple erected at the end of the sixth century BCE. To reassure the inhabitants of the city, Herod assembled in advance all the building materials, and hired and trained the stonemasons and carpenters.

To allay religious worries, he associated the Jewish clergy with the project, and to please them he ordered sumptuous robes for 1,000 priests. The main sanctuary, completed in 18 months, was inaugurated in a grandiose ceremony entailing the sacrifice of 300 oxen. The Temple was one of the marvels of the ancient world. According to a Jewish saying, «He who has not seen the Temple of Herod, has not seen a beautiful building in his life.» Work continued long after Herod’s death and did not end until the procuratorship of Albinus in 62-64 CE, a few years before its destruction in the first rebellion against Rome in 70 CE.

As far as the Jewish religion was concerned, the enlarged and embellished Temple added extra attractiveness to cultic worship and thus increased the number of pilgrims who came from the four corners of the ancient world to worship in Jerusalem. Just over three decades after Herod’s death, Jewish pilgrims present in Jerusalem for the feast of Shavuot or Pentecost included, according to the Acts of the Apostles (2:9-11), people from Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphilia, Egypt, Cyrene, Rome, Crete and Arabia. Moreover, Herod’s liking for the learned Pharisees, who endorsed him when he was most in need of support, and his fondness of the Essenes, whose prophet Menachem predicted that one day Herod would become king, further contributed to the active promotion of the intellectual and spiritual life of Judaism.

(…)

Her er det konkluderande avsnittet hans, der han kjem tilbake til omtalen av Herodes den store:

In short, both Jewish and Christian traditions treat him as Herod the Terrible. The historian, however, is fully aware, despite Herod’s grave shortcomings, of his unparalleled political and cultural accomplishments. In particular, his long friendship with Augustus was highly beneficial to the inhabitants of Judea and the Jewish religion. Moreover, while Herod enjoyed the enviable status of a «client king, friend of the Roman people», none of his descendants, if the short reign of Agrippa I (41-44 CE) is discarded, was sufficiently esteemed by Augustus and his successors to receive the title «king of the Jews». All in all, in view of these unquestionable achievements Herod deserves to be known as the one and only Herod the Great.

Les heile artikkelen her.

(via PaleoJudaica)

Oppdatering 30.12.2010:

Todd Bolen på BiblePlaces Blog kommenterer artikkelen her og hevdar at Vermes prøver å omskriva historia for å gjera Herodes mindre grufull enn han var!

Geza Vermes tries to rewrite history in a lengthy article on Herod the Great, arguing in part that Herod was the victim of nasty old St. Matthew who “transformed him into a monster.”  I thought it was interesting how the author preferred the passive voice when describing the deaths of the people that Herod murdered.  For instance, “Augustus with a heavy heart allowed Herod to try his two sons, who were found guilty and executed by strangulation in Sebaste/Samaria.”  Josephus provides the only surviving account of the episode. He writes of Herod, “He also sent his sons to Sebaste, a city not far from Cesarea, and ordered them to be there strangled” (Wars 1.551; 1.27.6).


God jul 2010!

25/12/2010

Det er mange flotte tradisjonar i jula. Éin av dei tar Aftenbladet vare på: avisa har kvar jul ein leiarartikkel om julebodskapen.

I år la eg spesielt merke til to moment i leiarartikkelen Tro, håp og en ny start. For det første det heilt sentrale at jula har med tru å gjera. For det andre at me ved lesing av juleevangeliet, kan sjå meir av Gud ved å leggja merke til hans val av menneske og miljø der Jesus blei født.

Etter ei innleiing om kva som er viktige verdiar i jula, held leiarskribenten fram:

Det er et stort sprang fra den nøkterne og velkjente historien om en barnefødsel i Betlehem til troen på at det er et budskap med innhold og relevans for hverdagsliv i verdens rikeste land. Det går an å møte historien med en tro på Guds storhet, der valg av omgivelser og menneskelige vitner av det fattigste slaget, blir et evangelium i seg selv. Symbolsk forklart blir budskapet større og viktigere: Å knytte tro til et lite, uskyldig barn, til et håp og til en oppgave om å formidle opplevelsen til andre, gjør juleevangeliet til noe langt mer. Det har skapt grunnlag for undring og tilbedelse gjennom to tusen år. Og det har framfor alt gitt løfter og håp.

Det er ikke alt det andre som knyttes opp mot julebudskapet som er julen, selv om tradisjoner er viktig. Det er dette enkle, men likevel så vanskelige trosbegrepet. Troen gir håp, skaper livsverdier og grunnlag for å starte på nytt. Likegyldigheten er troens motsats. La derfor julens budskap være en inspirasjon til tro, håp, medmenneskelighet og samvær.

(frå leiarartikkelen i Stavanger Aftenblad 24. des. 2010)

Med denne helsinga frå avisa ønskjer eg lesarane av bloggen ei velsigna julehøgtid!


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