Scholars have long debated whether Josephus learned Scripture while he was in Jerusalem or only once he got to Rome. The question intersects with, and is hard to answer without, a more general assessment of language use and the education of the (priestly) elite in Jerusalem at that time. This paper argues that Josephus knew little Hebrew and never learned to read Scripture in the original; he was, in this respect, typical of the Jewish elite. His introduction to written Scripture was in its Greek translation, in Rome.
Overt statements regarding a remnant are strikingly absent in the book of Amos, leading many scholars to find sentiments therein that might lend credence to Amos’ vision for an Israel that survives judgment. In this paper, I analyze the manner in which Amos 3:12 has functioned in this endeavor to find a remnant of Israel in the book. I argue that no such remnant is in view in Amos 3:12 specifically, nor in the book generally. I examine the rhetorical context of Amos 3:12, as well as the syntactical properties of the verse, which help to underscore the role of divine judgment. I place the verse in the setting of ancient Near Eastern legal culture to show how Amos 3:12 functions in terms of Israelite guilt and punishment relative to divine innocence. Finally, I explore how the reading herein is consistent with the rest of the book of Amos.
Most studies of the law of the priesthood in Aramaic Levi have focused on comparing its individual laws to those in the Torah/Pentateuch. This article argues that these types of comparisons are anachronistic and obscure the distinctive portrayal of sacrifice in Aramaic Levi. The law of the priesthood does not merely respond to, expand, or revise earlier ideas about sacrifice found in “biblical” texts. Rather, the practice and function of sacrifice in Aramaic Levi is constructed around the deity’s senses of sight and smell. Inasmuch as the law of the priesthood presents a fundamentally different idea of sacrifice than the one presented in Leviticus, it speaks to the continuum of distinct Jewish ideologies of sacrifice in the mid-Second Temple period.
The article adopts an approach to the history of Belarus’, which plays with imaginations. It opens up two vistas concerning the past that are marked by fictional texts. The former belongs to developments before World War I and is connected with a short story by Jakub Kolas, whereas the latter attends to events of World War II and is related to a novel by Jerzy Kosiński. In both cases supplements to the main texts offer insights into Soviet history, on the one hand into the era of revolutionary culture of the 1920s, and on the other hand into the political thaw of the 1950s. The result is an illustration of the metamorphoses that took place in the transitional region of Central and Eastern Europe in the process of Soviet modernization.
As extreme dependence of Belarus’s economy on Russian hydrocarbons poses a national security threat, the Belarusian Government decided to mitigate this challenge by constructing a nuclear power plant (NPP) that will cover two fifths of the domestic electricity demand and contribute to increased excess electricity generating capacity for export to the EU. This article assesses a combination of diplomacy and domestic adjustments to develop four scenarios representing the most feasible mechanisms to address the challenges associated with this excess capacity. Having evaluated each scenario’s advantages, drawbacks, costs, and probability, it concludes that, in the current political and diplomatic environment, Belarus will have to consume all its NPP’s energy domestically. This, in its turn, will necessitate significant economic adjustment.
The dominant axiom of Belarusian historical linguistics holds that the Belarusian literary language was created in the 19th century. According to this perspective, the contemporary Belarusian literary language is a new entity, separate from the old writing tradition. Its supporters therefore sanction the thesis that this writing tradition was broken, despite recent research proving the continuity of the Belarusian language. The present analysis shows that the reproduction of cliches about ‘the breaking of the tradition’ in textbooks used for teaching Belarusian language cause significant cognitive dissonance. Modern conscious Belarusians are building their identity based on the tradition of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, feeling themselves its heirs. The building of a modern identity should, however, incorporate references to language which is an important component of it. The analyzed textbooks contradict this by maintaining that the Belarusian literary language has its roots in the 19th century.
The many-sided work of Michaś Skobla (b. 1966) takes a variety of forms, including that of prose writer, critic, editor, anthologist, parodist, translator, radio correspondent and lyric poet. The article aims to outline the main features of his writing, with particular emphasis on his parodies and lyric poetry, in this way showing his central role in the Belarusian literary process of today.