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Justus of Tiberias

(111 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] Jewish historian of the 1st century ce. His works are only known through the polemical remarks of Josephus ( Vita 336ff.) and references by and excerpts in Christian authors (Julius Africanus, Eusebius, Photius, Diogenes Laertius). Justus wrote a history of the Jewish Revolt, in which he had participated in Galilee, directed against Josephus. A chronicle of the Jewish kings from Moses to Agrippa I is only attested in fragments (FGH 734). His authorship of Commentarioli de scripturis is doubtful (Jer. Vir. ill. 14). Andreas Lehnardt Bibliography ¶ …

Blessing and Curse

(3,866 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Steymans, Hans Ulrich | Lehnardt, Andreas | Fitzgerald, John T. | Greiner, Dorothea | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Historical and Systematic Theology– VI. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies From the perspective of religious studies, blessing and curse are dense, complex terms, hard to summarize in a single concept that would include every religious symbol system. They should not be thought of primarily as opposites but as parallel polyvalent ter…

Ezra/Books of Ezra

(4,102 words)

Author(s): Koch, Klaus | Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] I. General – II. Canonical Book of Ezra – III. 1 Esdras – IV. 4 Ezra – V. 5 Ezra, 6 Ezra I. General In the Masoretic canon, Ezra and Nehemiah were considered one book of Ezra on into the 15th century. The LXX adopted this as Esdras β᾿ and numbered its chapters 1–23;…


(319 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] (“holy”), a short Hebrew-Aramaic prayer handed down in various versions and containing supplications for the coming of the kingdom of God and for peace, in addition to doxological formulae. The “Half Qaddish” is recited in alternation with a prayer leader at the beginning and especially at the conclusion of the main sections of the liturgy (Prayer: XI; in the latter case often with an additional Aramaic. supplication for p…


(3,243 words)

Author(s): Achenbach, Reinhard | Lehnardt, Andreas | Liss, Hanna | Ochs, Peter
[German Version] I. Old Testament The noun tôrāh (הרָוֹתּ) is usually derived from the verb הרי/ yrh, “show,” hiphil “instruct.” In Israelite wisdom literature, it denotes ethical and religious instruction by parents (Prov 1:8; 4:1; 6:20; 31:26) or sages (Prov 13:14) as well as religious instruction by priests (Jer 18:18). As a term denoting the law (Law and legislation: II; LXX: νόμος/ nómos), it stands at the end of an ongoing theologization of the law in ancient Israel, following the Deuteronomic centralization of the cult (Josiah) and the establishment…

Megillat Taʿanit

(338 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] ( Meg. Taʿan.), “Scroll of fasts,” lists 35 days on which, because of joyous events in the past, fasting (V, 1), and in some cases also mourning, are forbidden. The Aramaic list, following the Nisan year, goes back to the time of the Second Temple, even though Hananiah ben Hiscia ( b. Šabb. 13b) or his son Eleazar, known from Josephus ( Bell. II 409), is named as its author; it was completed only in the 2nd century ce (first mentioned in m. Taʿ an. 2:8). In addition to Purim (Feasts and festivals: III, 1) and the lesser Pesach (Num 9:9–12), dates are mentioned that recall liberation from Seleucid (Hanukkah, cf. 1 Macc 4:59; “Nicanor Day,” 1 Macc 7:49) and Roman oppression (for the Roman retreat from Jerusalem, cf. Jos. Bell. II 450f.). Some days of rejoicing are also attested from non-rabbinic sources (e.g. Festival of Xylophory, m.Taʿ an. 4:5; cf. 11QT 19.23; Jos. Bell. II 425); other references, such as a “day of blowing the trumpet” for rain, cannot be identified; a “Trajan's Day” was added later. As early as 300, certain half-f…

Ishmael ben Elisha

(199 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] Along with Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph", Ishmael was one of the most important rabbinical scholars of the Tannaitic period (c. 100 ce). Only isolated, vague references in rabbinic literature imply biographical details. Since there were several rabbi Ishmaels and he is usually mentioned without patronymic, their historicity can hardly be verified. He may have been from a priestly family ( b. Ber. 7a; ARN A 38…


(487 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] (Heb. for “scrolls”). The plural Megillot is an artificial designation for the five books Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Qohelet, and Esther, which belong to the third part of the Old Testament ( Ketuvim, Writings; Old Testament, Bible: II, 2), but which did not yet form a unit at the time of canonization; only from the 10th century were the writings grouped together following the Pentateuch and according to the order in which they were used liturgically (see

Torah Shrine

(312 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] Almost every Jewish and Samaritan synagogue contains a repository for the Torah scroll(s). There is archaeological evidence of Torah shrines (Dura-Europos: II); there are also representations in Palestinian mosaic floors (Beth-Shean, Hammat-Tiberias [Mosaic art: III, fig. 2]); in antiquity …

Job, Testament of

(293 words)

Author(s): Lehnardt, Andreas
[German Version] The Testament of Job is a pseudepigraphal Jewish wo…