James Tabor Temple Find

Two of Ten Aramaic Lines That Were Found


Former WCG member and current UNC Professor James Tabor made the news related to a Temple find in Jerusalem:

Rare 2nd Temple inscription found

Jerusalem Post – July 29, 2009

A unique ten-line Aramaic inscription on the side of a stone cup commonly used for ritual purity during Second Temple times was recently uncovered during archaeological excavations on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion, it was announced Wednesday.

Inscriptions of this kind are extremely rare and only a handful have been found in scientific excavations made within the city.

The archaeological excavations are being carried out within the Gan Sovev Homot Yerushalayim national park, close to the Zion Gate. The work is directed by Professors Shimon Gibson and James Tabor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with the co-ordination of Evyatar Cohen and Dr Tsvika Tsuk of the Israel Parks Authority.

The excavations follow work carred out at the site in the 1970s by Magen Broshi, when a monumental Arabic inscription from the thirteenth century was found. The inscription is due be exhibited in the new archaeological wing to be opened next year at the Israel Museum.

The new Aramaic inscription from the first century CE is currently being deciphered by a team of epigraphic experts in an effort to determine the meaning of the text, which is clear but cryptic. The dig also produced a sequence of building remains dating back to the First and Second Temple periods through to Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1248277923672&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Of course, until it is translated, the impact of this Temple-related find is hard to determine.  It may give insight into biblical practices or provide historical information to better understand the culture of the time or ?

And speaking of the Temple, an apparently Arabic source reported that 200 Jews visited the Temple yesterday and caused some concern:

GAZA, July 29 (KUNA) — A number of Jewish extremists on Wednesday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and preformed religious rituals, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said.

The foundation said in a statement that more than 200 Jewish extremists entered the Mosque within 30 minutes only and were positioned all over its vicinity, noting that the intrusion was “significance” in terms of timing and size, especially as it coincided with eve where the Jewish people celebrate the anniversary of temple ruins at Temple Mount.

However, the Foundation sent an urgent appeal to the Muslims and Arabs, as well as Palestinians of 1948 to rescue and support the Mosque.  http://www.khabrein.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24278&Itemid=57

Readers of the COGwriter page may recall that last week, some Jews announced plans to try to visit the Temple area on either late Wednesday or today (Planned Temple Mount Ascent).

However, I have not seen reports of an actual ascent yet from other sources (including the website of the group that planned an ascent).   But if it is true, it suggest that nothing really happened other than some Jews are willing to take risks to accomplish their religious goals.

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