Daily Archives: January 25, 2012

Words Meaning “Deity”

Maybe someone out there will find this useful. I’ve been analyzing the semantic ranges of the different ways the authors use the words that mean “deity.” As part of this research, I’ve been putting together a document that lists every occurrence of the three Hebrew words and one Aramaic word that mean “deity,” both generic (“god[s]“) and appellative (“God”): elohim, el, eloah, and elah. I finally finished and thought I would share. You can find the Word doc here and the PDF here. I list the word, the number of occurrences, the individual references, and then the number of occurrences by book. I go from the most common word (elohim: 2600 occurrences) to the least common (eloah: 58 occurrences). The next step is to separate out the references to Yhwh from the references to other deities.


New Jordan Codices Photos

David Elkington has released six more photos on his Facebook page of what he describes as “leather pages” from the codices collection. They are below.

Some initial thoughts:

- The edges of the pages are remarkably crisp for two thousand year-old leather
– The pages and the plates were together when the holes were punched
– The plate under page I has the star iconography found on several demonstrably forged plates, and the leather is clearly cut to fit that plate.
– Page II seems to have two layers of material underneath it. This plate is likely the middle layer, given the correspondance with the holes and the menorah image. I don’t know what kind of chemical interactions create that kind of image. Notice the rather intentional border on the right side of the plate
– Page III seems to me to be a lead plate, not a leather page. The script is the same as on the plate that underlies the other page, although it appears engraved rather than cast. The hole on the left is punched right through the text, as it is on the other plate, undermining the notion that the text itself was of any actual value to whoever punched the holes. The erratic arrangement of the text and iconography appears intentional, which is indicative in my mind of a naive attempt at archaizing.
– The crude iconography is the same as on many of the demonstrably forged plates


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