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In 1894 Germain Morin identified a collection of 31 Pseudo-Chrysostomic sermons as the work of a single late antique Latin author. Although widely read in the Middle Ages, there is still little consensus about where or when this author wrote. Morin himself originally proposed sixth-century Naples, Adalbert de Vogüé noticed parallels with the Rule of the Master, and, most recently, Jean-Paul Bouhot and Francois Leroy have argued for fifth-century North Africa. This paper explores the collection’s contextual clues, pre-baptismal liturgy, and anti-Arian and anti-Pelagian theology to make a case for considering it the product of clerical circles within Ostrogothic Rome. The author may have been writing during the Second Semi-Pelagian Controversy (519–529 CE), perhaps in direct dialogue with Fulgentius of Ruspe. He displays an attitude towards human free will that is surprisingly similar to Boethius’s and may have been a member of the circles of Boethius, Proba, and the deacon John in the early 520s.

In: Vigiliae Christianae
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In the hope of shedding some light on what it meant to be “Jewish” in the first century CE, and perhaps in other times, this article will closely examine what “everybody knows” about Tiberius Julius Alexander – that he was an apostate from Judaism – by carefully considering the arguments of earlier writers and critiquing them, in light of the events of his distinguished military and governmental career. It will also consider some remarks of his uncle Philo that others have thought relevant, and will offer an alternative narrative of his role as second in command of the Roman army in the Jewish War.

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
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Isaiah 49:12 mentions “the land of Sinim.” Gesenius and most nineteenth-century scholars identified this place with China, but virtually all scholars today identify it instead with Aswan (Syene) in southern Egypt. It is argued here, based on the literary context, the wording “the land of [plural gentilic],” and the phonetics of Sinim, that the term means China.

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In: Vetus Testamentum
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In: Vetus Testamentum

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This note provides further arguments against a proposed Egyptian etymology of the divine name or title צְבָאוֹת (ṣᵉbāʾōt), as initially proposed by Manfred Görg, and expands a recent article by Giuseppina Lenzo and Christophe Nihan.

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In: Vetus Testamentum
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2 Chronicles 32:24–31 provides an early reading of Isa 38–39, but the brevity of the account in Chronicles makes its interpretation challenging. There is an additional motif of pride that is not easy to interpret (32:25–26). In this article I suggest that it might have been added by the Chronicler because he had noticed the admission of fault by the sick king in the psalm in Isa 38. Building on the portrait of Hezekiah found in Isa 38, the Chronicler depicts Hezekiah acknowledging that he was not worthy of the benefit received and humbling himself. Hezekiah models for the reader the Chronistic ethic of repentance. When Hezekiah is tested by God (32:31), the statement that “God left him to himself” reflects the Chronicler’s interpretation of what is found in Isa 39, where the king responded as best he could to the arrival of Babylonian envoys without the benefit of prophetic guidance. The glowing depiction of Hezekiah’s achievements in the surrounding verses implies that the Chronicler believed that Hezekiah passed this test.

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In: Vetus Testamentum
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In: Vigiliae Christianae
In: Vigiliae Christianae
In: The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Yefet ben 'Eli on the Book of Proverbs
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The Babylonian Talmud conceptualizes the proscription against consuming the tereifah/mauled animal (Exod 22:30) and reformulates it as a rule prohibiting any entity that has exited hutz limhitzato, “outside its [proper] bound.” Through a close analysis of the half-dozen sugyot that utilize this rule and their precursors, this article considers the gradual development of this conceptual category throughout the strata of rabbinic literature, concluding that the fullest development of this concept is manifest in the Stam (anonymous layer of the Babylonian Talmud). The developed conception behind the rule can be best understood in light of Mary Douglas’s conception of “matter out of place.” The rabbis make a Douglas-style argument, that, at times, the location of matter outside its proper place suffices to explain an item’s prohibited status. An appendix demonstrates that a seeming early appearance of the term hutz limhitzato in Mekhilta de-Rashbi is of medieval, rather than Tannaitic, provenance.

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In: Journal of Ancient Judaism