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PTS DEAD SEA SCROLLS PROJECT EDITORIAL TEAM
COMPLETES THE GENESIS APOCRYPHON
The Editorial Team of the PTS Dead Sea Scrolls Project met on February 8, 2013 in the Nassau Club of Princeton to celebrate the completion of the Project's next volume: The Genesis Apocryphon. The original document is composed in Aramaic and was found by Bedouins in Qumran Cave I, which was discovered by Bedouin in the winter of 1947. New methodology and computer enhanced images help the editor significantly improve previous editions.
This document proved critics wrong who claimed no Jew composed in Aramaic in the two centuries before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. It is now more likely that some portions of the New Testament or its sources could have been composed in Aramaic, Jesus' native language.
This work is edited and translated by Dan Machiela (McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario), who previously published an earlier draft. The new text and translation are vastly improved and expanded.
Here is a section of the new translation, beginning with the speech of Noah's mother (Batenosh), who assures her husband (Lamech) that their son is human:
"I swear to you by the Great Holy One, by the King of He[aven ,...] that this seed is from you, and from you this conception, and from you the planting of [this] fruit [...] and not from any stranger, nor from any of the Watchers, nor from any of the sons of hea[ven ... Why (is) the appearance of] your countenance fallen upon you (and) contorted, and your spirit fallen upon you [... I] am speaking truthfully with you."
(Brackets  are necessary since there are holes in the leather.)
Concerned that his exceptional son was a product of the Watchers (the fallen angels mentioned in Genesis 6 and 1 Enoch), Noah's father was startled at the bright light surrounding Noah (1 Enoch); indeed later the author describes Noah's eyes which shone like the sun.
The medieval Liber de Infantia Salvatoris (Arundel 404) describes the report of the startled midwife when Jesus was born. At first, Jesus is "the intense bright light;" then he gradually took the form of an infant so that Jesus' "whole body was shining." Note the eyes, again described by the midwife: "and suddenly a great light came forth from his eyes like a brilliant flash of lighting" (74). Has the author of this infancy gospel used a topos or was he influenced by an earlier document (perhaps 1 Enoch)?
The editorial team is presently preparing the volume that will contain the Thanksgiving Hymns and related documents. James H. Charlesworth, with the help of Lea Berkuz, Doron Mendels, Hermann Lichtenberger, and Casey D. Elledge, has edited that volume. The Qumran Greek fragments, edited by Eldon J. Epp, and the Copper Scroll, edited by P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., are scheduled for submission to the Princeton editorial team during the summer of 2013.
The Foundation continues to help all focus on the books not included in the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. The definitive translations appeared in 1983 and 1985 and we launched a periodical and two monograph series to emphasize the importance of these Scriptures, according to many Jews and Christians.
THE ASOR BLOG IS AN ON-LINE PUBLICATION OF THE AMERICAN SCHOOLS OF ORIENTAL RESEARCH
The door remains sealed as it was in the first century.
Bone boxes were found inside.
Inside the tomb were found an inscription and some drawings. The inscription seems to refer to a Jewish belief in resurrection.
The meaning of the drawings will need to be debated among specialists. Did a Jew draw an amphora or a fish? If so, what did they symbolize?
THIRD AND FOURTH
We were advised April 20, the Third and Fourth runs of “The Resurrection Tomb Mystery” (US title) and “The Jesus Discovery” (Canadian title) were shifted to a later schedule (not yet publicly announced) for the Discovery Channel in the U.S.A. and Vision Television in Canada simulcast. We will post those new dates and times when we are advised.
TO BE ANNOUNCED
TO BE ANNOUNCED
This article in Haaretz about the second Talpiot tomb robotic project reports that the IAA has noted the importance of the research. IAA Jerusalem District Head, Yuval Baruch, judges the discovery to be significant. He adds that he believes the tomb is linked somehow to Jesus' earliest followers. (Haaretz article URL: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/naked-archaeologist-finds-signs-jerusalem-cave-was-used-to-bury-jesus-s-disciples-1.415231)
What is the Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins?
The Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins originated in 1975 to support the publication of the first complete edition of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Two volumes were published in 1983 and 1985; these contain introductions and translations of many "Scriptures" not canonized as the "Old Testament."
These documents were judged ancient (and not later), since copies of many of them were recovered from the Qumran Caves which preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls.
After the publication of this corpus, the Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project was launched in 1985 to make available critical texts, translations, and introductions of all the scrolls that are not simply a copy of the Bible. This massive Project which brings together over 50 Jewish and Christian scholars is approximately 85% completed. Finalizing this Project and presenting a one-volume English edition of all the Dead Sea Scrolls is the focal point of the Foundation.
The Foundation is exceptional for the success it has enjoyed with international symposiafeaturing luminaries who are Jews and Christians (and some who feel comfortable with either category). These symposia have been held in Jerusalem, Princeton, St. Petersburg, Prague, and Boca Raton, Florida.
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Some of the proceedings are the following: The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls (3 vols.), Hillel and Jesus, The Messiah, and Resurrection.
The research and publications sponsored by the FJCO utilize all methodologies (anthropology, sociology, psychology, philology, numismatics, and theology) and all dimensions of archaeology.
The Foundation seeks to help clarify the world of Second Temple Judaism and the Palestinian Jesus Movement. The Foundation seeks to share with all interested a better grasp of Early Judaism and the Jewish context of Jesus from Nazareth.
Together, Jews and Christians join to better comprehend the thoughts of Early Judaism and Jesus' life and message. We contend that knowledge is important for a world being destroyed morally and losing its values.
James H. Charlesworth, President
Foundation on Christian Origins
All contributions are tax deductible in accordance with your tax advisor's instructions, as the Foundation is classified as a 501(c) 3 exempt organization.
TESTIMONIALS TO THE BEAUTY AND ENLIGHTENMENT
OF DR. CHARLESWORTH'S LECTURES:
In "In Search of Christian Origins", Professor James H. Charlesworth presents a thorough overview of the history of Early Christianity from its beginnings as an obscure Jewish sect in first-century CE Israel-Palestine to its dramatic ascension as the religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century. Here above are a few brief testimonials from people who attended his lecture sessions.
In addition to "elite" (in accommodations and transportation), Dr. Charlesworth brings his world renowned associates and colleagues to make personal presentation at the sites on the tour itinerary. Many of those sites are not on the typical "holy land" tour; many are not yet open to the public but only to academia; the archaeologists who meet the FJCO tour group frequently present their most recent finds, which have not yet been shared in publication or news media releases.
These selected groups are distinguished on our tours by involvement in active excavations and discussions with archaeologists. Often these scholars share with the tour group discoveries and insights not yet published.
The group photo above is a view at Qumran with Cave IV in the background.
However, for the unusual and "elite" experience that FJCO Elite Tours deliver, the following group photo shows the Roman Temple ruins on the acropolis of Horvath Omrit, a relatively newly found and uncovered site, discovered by accident when fire-fighters were working to extinguish a wildfire in what was thought to be "just more of the wilderness".
FJCO Holy Land Trips are intended for people with a serious interest in the history and archaeology of the Holy Land, beyond a pilgrimage or vacation "trip to Israel".
The Foundation helps support the production and publication of the critical editions of the Dead Sea Scrolls that are not copies of the Hebrew Bible. It joined with others, notably the Edith C. Blum Foundation and Princeton Theological Seminary, to support the following critical editions of the Dead Sea Scrolls:
• The Rule of the Community (1994)
• The Damascus Document and the War Scroll (1995)
• The Pseudepigraphic and Non-Masoretic Psalms and Prayers (1997)
• The Angelic Liturgy: Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifices 1999
• Pesharim, Other Commentaries (2002)
• Damascus Document Fragments, Some Works of the Torah, and Related Documents (2006)
The Foundation covers the costs of numerous series, including the T & T Clark volumes in the series "Jewish and Christian Texts in Contexts and Related Studies," the Faith and Scholarship Colloquies, and the proceedings of the Princeton-Prague Symposia on the Historical Jesus.
For 30 years, the Foundation has been the lone sponsor of the Syrus Sinaiticus Project which focuses on the oldest and best copy of the New Testament in a language similar to Jesus' own speech. He spoke Aramaic; the early manuscript of the New Testament Gospels in St. Katherine's Monastery is in Old Syriac (a language which developed from Aramaic).
The Foundation is helping Dr. Mordechai Aviam with his Institute for Galilean Archaeology. The Foundation and Institute opened up the excavations at Khirbet Beza, a ruin near the site of biblical Cabul and southwest of Acco where the Roman armies landed in 66 and 67 to quell the Great Revolt (66-70, 74).
Foundation President Dr. James H. Charlesworth and "Motti" Aviam discovered the remains of a Jewish village and numerous massive olive presses. They found on the surface parts of a stone vessel and a stone lamp. Both items, made from stone in accordance with Jewish purity laws, reveal the purity regulations that antedate 70 CE.
It is possible that the Foundation may find the first Galilean synagogue from Jesus' time in this most western section of Jewish Galilee.
OUR 2011 SYMPOSIUM SPEAKERS
AND AT SOME OF OUR 2012 TOUR SITES
FJCO IS A SOURCE
OF IMPORTANCE TO
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
In addition to the research it pursues based on its own curiosity and schedule, the Foundation receives questions of many types from academics, the news media, clerics in all religions and some of the public at large from around the world. Frequently, these questions relate to as-yet disputed conclusions or items of "excitement" or "controversy"presented --even "hyped as true" -- in the general news media.
Here's a perfect example: The Talpiot II so-called "Tomb of Jesus".
PLEASE NOTE: THIS INFORMATION ABOUT TALPIOT I AND II TOMBS IS PRESENTED IN REPLY TO READERS WHO HAVE ASKED FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONTROVERSIES IN ONE OF BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY'S NEWEST ISSUES. PROFESSOR CHARLESWORTH AND THE FOUNDATION CONTEND THAT NO CONVINCING EVIDENCE SO FAR PROVES THAT THE TALPIOT TOMB CONTAINED THE BONES OF JESUS.
In April 2012, the Discovery Channel will run a special program on the Talpiot II "Tomb of Jesus",again produced by investigative journalist Simcha Jacobovici. Click here for the Discovery Channel schedule, which will list the program date and time as broadcast time nears.
PURPOSE OF THE FOUNDATION
The purpose of the Foundation is to explore the life and thought of all early Jews, especially those who claimed Jesus was the Messiah, in antiquity and to clarify the origins of Christianity.
Among its accomplishments,celebrated internationally, are the scholarly demonstrations that Jesus was a faithful Jew, that Christianity originated as a small but identifiable group of Jews within First‐century Judaism, that the Gospels of Matthew and John are Jewish compositions (which is in marked contrast to the claims of German scholars who were widely influential during the first half of the 20th century), and that the canon of Jewish scripture was not closed during Jesus’ time.
WORK OF THE FOUNDATION:
RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION
The Foundation has tended to focus its work on two areas:
1) studying, analyzing and publishing the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish “sacred” documents celebrated as Scripture by Jesus’ contemporaries, and
2) incorporating within biblical research the archaeological discoveries and insights obtained by scientific excavations in the Holy Land.
FRIENDS OF THE FOUNDATION
The Foundation is a non‐profit organization, formed April 29, 1983, and exempt under IRS Sec. 501(c)(3). Foundation officers contribute to the Foundation and receive no remuneration.
FJCO has depended on the support of individuals, corporations and other foundations that recognize and appreciate the achievements of FJCO in furthering understanding of the common origins of Christianity and Judaism.
Most importantly, FJCO's documents, archaeological and Scrolls research has clarified and corrected many of the historical beliefs of the centuries that accounted for not just misunderstandings, at best, but hatreds, discrimination and violence that resulted in the death of millions and destruction of civilizations.
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Those FJCO achievements remain the desired long-term products of the FJCO's work, which obviously requires financial support to continue.
Many of our financial supporters have told us that one of the prime reasons they provide funding gifts is because they "feel good about being able to make a personal contribution in building human relations and understanding through the FJCO's work". It's a never ending task; we hope our supporters will enjoy that feeling of always "giving so it helps".
How can one help FJCO forge ahead into its long-term future of financial reliability? There are several ways.
THE SIMPLEST WAY TO BECOME A
"FRIEND OF THE FOUNDATION"
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Contributions to FJCO make a wonderful gift to a friend, loved-one or business associated with the acknowledge of thanks and recognition in honor of a graduation, significant birthday, wedding anniversary, special honor by a church or synagogue, a promotion in one's profession or in memory of a friend or family loved-one.
As a 501(c)3 Charitable Educational institution, your contributions are tax deductible in accordance with your tax accountant's advice.
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A GROWING NUMBER OF SUPPORTERS
ARE BECOMING A "2-5-50 FRIEND" OF THE FOUNDATION.
You can both do good and feel goodabout making a personal contribution in building human relations and understanding if you join FJCO's "2-5-50 Friends of the Foundation" group.
MORE ABOUT 2-5-50 BENEFITS...
It takes a promise to contribute $2,000 each year for 5 years. Our initial goal is to recruit 50 Friends (and we are nicely on the way), who will be invited to special events, receive special considerations and become part of a cadre whose contributions will help complete the final publication of a body of Dead Sea Scroll work.
The $500,000 which this 2-5-50 Friends group representswas formerly contributed by two major public corporations in the imaging and graphics industry, but whose literal "fortunes" have been depleted to where they can no longer provide this funding. Without question, FJCO's success to date has benefited from their various forms of support, and we have expressed our gratitude and respect for them in the past with wishes that their futures will also become brighter.
So you see, that's a main reason the 2-5-50 Friends program is so important. We can talk about a flexible contribution plan over time in smaller chunks. All we need and hope is to hear from you. Just send an email with your questions or request and your phone number, and we'll be happy to discuss what your involvement with the Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins can mean for you.
The Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization pursuing answers to the "mysteries" of the first century about Judaism and Christianity, before and after the birth of Jesus from Nazareth. Click here to see the IRS Search Page to verify any questions. Click here to see an image of the Search Results page.