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Author: John I. Rigoli & Diane Cummings

Emperor Nerva’s Reform of the Jewish Tax

7 months ago

123 words

Under Domitian (emperor from 81 to 96 C.E.), the Fiscus Iudaicus was administered very harshly, and there was no shortage of informers (Suetonius, Domitian 12.1–2). In particular, new victims of the tax were non-Jews who “lived a Jewish life without publicly acknowledging that fact” (i.e., Jewish sympathizers and gentile Christians) and Jews who “concealed their…

From damage to discovery via virtual unwrapping: Reading the scroll from En-Gedi | Science Advances

11 months ago

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Computer imaging techniques are commonly used to preserve and share readable manuscripts, but capturing writing locked away in ancient, deteriorated documents poses an entirely different challenge. This software pipeline—referred to as “virtual unwrapping”—allows textual artifacts to be read completely and noninvasively. The systematic digital analysis of the extremely fragile En-Gedi scroll (the oldest Pentateuchal scroll…

Scientists Read Ancient Hebrew Scroll Without Opening It

11 months ago

206 words

The charred manuscript is too delicate and damaged to unfurl. So researchers figured out how to read it from the outside. At first glance, you could easily mistake this scorched, 2,000-year-old scroll for a hunk of lump charcoal. It’s been burned and crushed, it crumbles at the touch, and it looks absolutely, hopelessly unreadable. Yet…

Restored splendor at the Catacombs of Domatilla – La Croix International

11 months ago

324 words

Restored splendor at the Catacombs of Domatilla. Recent renovations at Rome’s largest underground cemetery located south-east of the city, have revealed several previously unknown frescoes. The Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology, which is responsible for the Roman catacombs, has unveiled the latest restorations of the Catacombs of Domitilla south-east of the Eternal City. According to the German…

1 Timothy 2: Paul’s Original Language, Timothy’s Original Context – The Junia Project

11 months ago

623 words

It was to Timothy, in Ephesus, that Paul wrote his letter warning against false teaching. Given the context his warnings were well-deserved. Throughout history, the church has been characterized by a male-dominated social hierarchy. This worldview has been so pervasive that some even consider it to be “God’s created order.” In light of the prevalence…

Roman Inscriptions | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

11 months ago

165 words

Relatively few inscriptions survive from the Roman Republic; the vast majority belong to the Imperial period—that is, from the time of the first emperor Augustus (27 B.C.–14 A.D.) until the third century A.D. The number of inscriptions set up in the late Roman period (fourth–sixth century A.D.) was much reduced but still much larger than…

Roman Plumbing: Overrated

11 months ago

184 words

Ancient Rome’s toilets, sewers, and bathhouses may have been innovative, but they didn’t do much to improve public health. Though the ancient Romans may be more well-known for things like military prowess and leafy hats, they have also been lauded for being awesome at toilets.The book 100 Ideas That Changed the World cites the flush…

A Short History of Ordination (Part I) – Memory, Meaning & Faith

11 months ago

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A Short History of Ordination (Part I) by Darius Jankiewicz With few exceptions, most contemporary Christians consider ordination a legitimate rite of setting selected members apart for the purpose of pastoral ministry and oversight in the Christian Church.  It is also generally assumed that the rite finds its foundations in the Old and New Testaments.…

The Dead Sea Scrolls – Conservation

11 months ago

165 words

  Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars and conservators have been concerned with their conservation, preservation and documentation. For over 2,000 years, the Scrolls were preserved in a relatively stable environment: the caves of the Judean Desert. Removing the fragile Scrolls from their caves not only interrupted their environmental stability, but also…