Friday, January 29, 2010

The Star of Bethlehem 32 B.C. as the "Sparkling Star" Comet Recorded in Chinese Records - LexiLine Journal 533

The book review New Book on the Star of Bethlehem and Birth Chart of Jesus » The Horoscopic Astrology Blog is by Chris Brennan who writes:
"A book just came out in which the author proposes a new theory about the Star of Bethlehem and the birth chart of Jesus.The book is aptly titled The Star of Bethlehem. It was written by a Swiss astrologer named Dieter Koch, who is primarily known for his work with the company Astrodienst, as a co-author of the widely used Swiss Ephemeris....He rightly emphasizes the importance that was ascribed to planets making a helical rising in ancient astrology, and then later adds another dimension to the argument when he takes the statement that the star “stopped” over the place of Jesus’ birth as an indication that the relevant star stationed around the time the Magi arrived in Bethlehem. (pg. 57)

Eventually he unveils the crux of his argument, which is essentially that:“Jesus was born at a heliacal rising of Venus!” (pg. 59)"

In our opinion, that theory of Koch is without substance. As Nigel Henbest writes in What was the Star of Bethlehem?
"Was Venus the Star of Bethlehem? Almost certainly not - Venus makes such regular appearances as the "Morning Star" and the "Evening Star" that people observing the heavens even thousands of years ago would have been familiar with it. The Christmas Star must have been a celestial event that was truly out-of-the-ordinary....Chinese astronomers were logging their own observations of the sky at the time, and reported no brilliant supernovae. They did, however, record two bright comets. The first was Halley's Comet, which swings close by the Sun roughly every 76 years.... But the ancient Chinese saw Halley swinging by in 12 BC - too early for the birth of Jesus.The Chinese reported another celestial visitor early in 5 BC - a"broom star" on the borders of the constellations Aquarius and Capricornus. Though some astronomers think this was a nova - an explosion on a dwarf star - Colin Humphreys, a scientist at Cambridge University, argues that it was a comet. And Humphreys is convinced that this tailed wonder was the Star of Bethlehem. The Chinese records show that the celestial visitor was visible for 70 days - long enough to guide the Magi to Bethlehem. In this case, Jesus was born in the spring of 5 BC. "
Postings by others on the topic of the Star of Bethlehem discuss yet other theories:

The Star of Bethlehem, again
at Bad Astronomy discusses a theory that the Star of Bethlehem was the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus - we do not buy that at all.

Colin Humphreys, The Star of Bethlehem, Science and Christian Belief , Vol 5, (October 1995): 83-101, suggests that the Star of Bethlehem was a comet - and that is the theory which we regard to be correct - but which comet and when?

All previous efforts to identify a comet around the era currently assigned to Christ are for naught, because there is a ca. 28-year error in current chronology - see the links below - so that what we regard as the "birth" of Christ was actually his death:

The Era of Jesus: Questions in Modern Calendration
Law, Evidence and Archaeology: Errors in Biblical Chronology
Law, Evidence and Archaeology: Errors in Biblical Chronology II

The result is then that we are looking for a comet around ca. 30 B.C. rather than 0 B.C. and there is indeed such a comet which fits the Biblical account perfectly, having appeared in February in 32 BC and appearing in the heaven's at Ying Shih, which extends into Capricorn, the traditional area of Christ's birth.

See John Williams, Observations of comets, from B. C. 611 to A. D. 1640 (1871), where he writes about the Chinese observation of a comet that appears 50th in his list and was observed in February 32 B.C.:
50 B.C. 32. February.In the reign of Ching Te, the 1st year of the epoch Keen Che, the 1st moon, there was a comet in Ying Shih : its colour was a bluish white. It was from 60 to 70 cubits in length, and about i cubit in width. [emphasis added]
As written in a review of Williams work, Ying Shih is described as follows:
"Ying Shih, or as it is more usually denominated Shih, is one of the 28 stellar divisions determined by [alpha], [beta] and other stars in Pegasus, extending north and south from Cygnus to Piscis Australis, and east and west 17 degrees, and comprising parts of our signs Capricornus and Aquarius."
David Seargent in The greatest comets in history: broom stars and celestial scimitars, Volume 725, writes:
"There seems ... to have been a comet with an exceptionally long tail in the year 32 BC., but it is mentioned - and then only briefly - in just one Chinese record. Moreover, despite noting a tail of at least 70 degrees in length, the object is described as a sparkling star, a designation more normally reserved for comets with no conspicuous tail. Maybe the tail was faint....[emphasis added]
In our view, that "sparkling star" was the Star of Bethlehem.

Aristeo Canlas Fernando writes in his REVELATION AND PROOFS - based on the Bible, accounts of the respected Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, eclipse table prepared by Fred Espanek, Jewish calendars, Jewish festivals and fasts, calendar converter of Timothy James Forsythe, moon phases by Stellafane, Pasiong Mahal (Holy Passion), and the Aristean Cycle - that JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN ON MAY 23, 33 B.C.

We agree that the birth of Jesus occurred in this era ca. 33-32 B.C.l and that the Star of Bethlehem was the Comet of 32 B.C.

It may or may not be coincidence, by the way, but the oldest surviving date for the Maya Long Count also falls "in 32 BC at Chiapa de Corzo, between the Olmec and Maya zones," Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube, Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens, p.13.
______________

Update:

The possible date of 32 B.C. must be considered in light of my previous postings.

Useful for the discussion below is this graphic of the Lion of Nemrut Dagh (Nimrud Dag) linked from the pages of the International Nemrud Foundation:

"

Here is my previous posting on this subject at LexiLine.com :

" For the best material and graphics on Nemrud Dag see the International Nemrud Foundation. The historical background and presentation is excellent but their dating of the lion's horoscope to 109 BC is simply wrong, erroneously using a feast which is dated in the old style calendar, whereas the accepted date of ca. July 5 (new style), 62 BC is correct for the astronomy, which is shown in graphic form below.

Nimrud Dag in Anatolia
(also written as Nemrut or Nemrud)

earthgif
Planets, July 5, 62 B.C. Graphic created using Starry Night Pro.

The LION of NIMRUD DAG (NEMRUT, NEMRUD)

The collar (Sun Moon and Regulus) and stars on the Lion's body (Leo) at Nemrud Dag represent the conjunction of planets near the Summer Solstice in 62 BC (including the Moon this conjunction calculates to exactly July 5, 62 BC, using the software Starry Night Pro). Tradition and a still existing feast "LOOS" at July 14 (old style calendar) states this was the date of the crowning of Antiochus, so that in new style this would be July 5. At that time, MARS, MERCURY, and JUPITER (the later three wise men) whose "gifts" are actually the colors of these 3 planets) were all in conjunction around the star of kings "Regulus" and all the rest of the planets were nearby in Cancer (Sun, Neptune, Uranus, Moon [Summer Solstice point], Venus, Pluto - only Saturn is at Aldebaran) - so that this was a fairly rare MAGNA-conjuction of planets, a REGAL Star (Cluster) of Bethlehem, occurring near the star Beth-el, "Beth-le-hem", ancient name of the star Betelgeuse, below Gemini, which was seen in ancient days as the antipode to Rasalhague (El Hai).

This massive stone relief at Nimrud Dag near Eski Kale in Anatolia is still standing today, near the greatest tumulus mound in all of Europe, perhaps erected to commemorate the then ruling Seleucid King Antiochus Theus (Antiochus of Commagene). We think that Antiochus had a son who was the later Jesus, as the son of Laodike, who, along with her children were allegedly all killed by the Parthian king after Mithradates, Antiochus' successor died. Antiochus ruled from 69-34 BC. We are sure Laodike gave one of her children (the newborn) away for safekeeping, as written in Luke. That would have been 33 BC.

Antiochus viz. Antiochos was King of Commagene, a kingdom north of Antioch, modern Antakya. Antiochus called himself Theus viz. Deus or God. He was a Seleucid king. Seleucid kings took the following titles:
They called themselves
"Epiphanes" - God manifest
and also "Savior", titles later used by Jesus. The people of Commagene had been exiled from their lands by Sargon II - these were the Jews. Jesus was the King of the Jews. According to our analysis, he was a human descendant of Antiochus (we do not discuss his divine nature).

Antiochus claimed to be a "King of Kings"
who traced his lineage back to Zeus on the Greek Side
and to Xerxes and the great Persian kings on the Persian side. He was the first human ever to try to merge the religions of both sides into one universal religion, incurring the wrath of the Roman legions, who invaded Commagene, but were at first repelled, since Antiochus was the first "Western" king to apparently use gunpowder, imported from China. It was only when Julius Caesar invaded Commagene, that the kingdom was doomed and it was this campaign which led to Julius Caesar's famous saying: "veni, vidi, vici" - "I came, I saw, I conquered".

Antioch was the first Christian city and home of the Biblical Luke,
who wrote about the life of Jesus.
Is this a clue to who Jesus was?

GO TO
WHO WAS JESUS?"

or read the material from that link below

"Who was Jesus as a Human ?
Jesus was clearly a human, perhaps divinely inspired.
There is no great doubt that he actually lived on Earth
and started Christianity according to his Father's Wishes.

But who was his father "human" father?



King Antiochus (Antiochos) of Commagene

King Antiochus Theos (God) of Commagene was a Seleucid king.
The Seleucids were kings who called themselves "God" and "Savior".
Antiochus Theos (God) ruled from about 69 B.C. to 34 B.C.

What did Antiochus have to do with Jesus?
Let us look into the evidence.


The Three Kings or Wise Men

Who were the three Zoroastrian "Wise Men" who allegedly
visited the Christ child? Here we find a significant clue.
The THREE Wise Men allegedly gave gifts of gold,
frankincense (milky white) and myrrh (yellow to reddish-brown).
Could these colors be "THREE" planets of conjunction on July 5, 62 BC

shown on a stone relief at Nimrud Dag, temple of Antiochus
(also written as Nemrud, Nemrut and Dagh) in Commagene?



Nimrud Dag (Nemrut Dag) in Commagene

Link to Nimrud Dag.

The large stone monument of a Lion at Nimrud Dag is a "relief"
1.75 meters high and 2.4 meters broad. IT IS STILL STANDING,
virtually unscathed, on the western terrace at Nimrud Dag
in the Commagene (ancient Assyrian KUMMUH) north of Antioch.

Nimrud Dag is a fantastic place. The earth mound tumulus
at Nimrud Dag
is the largest in the world, having a diameter of 150
meters, a height of 49.8 meters West and 39.45 meters East.

KUMMUH is the city from which the original inhabitants
were deported by the imposter
Sargon II to the south from the
Mesopotamian city of Bit-Yakin (looks like a Hebrew name),
whose OWN residents in turn were deported in the other
direction to Kummuh - which accounts for the presence
of the Hebrews there. The Babylonian Captivity?

This large stone relief at Nimrud Dag is the relief of a maned LION
surrounded by and covered with stars. In addition to these stars,
there are three LARGER star-like symbols above the back of the lion,
identified clearly by inscriptions above them as
Jupiter, Mars and Mercury (identification by Otto Puchstein,
an archaeologist who excavated the site).
The three planets correspond in their colors
to the 3 gifts of the wise men.



The Three "Wise Kings"

Puchstein called the stone relief the "first" historical horoscope.
(Vergangene Welten, Faszinierende Funde, Verlag Das Beste,
1986, "Zwischen Zeus und Zarathustra [Zoroaster]".)

It can be dated by astronomy to circa July 5, 62 BC.

The planets at Nimrud Dag represent 3 wise "god kings"
according to archaeologist Friedrich Carl Doerner as follows:

1st planet - Zeus and Ahura Mazda
(LexiLine note: = Jupiter, heavenly father)
2nd planet - Apollo, Mithras, Helios, Hermes
(LexiLine note: the Sun, to which Mercury belonged)
3rd planet - Artagnes, Herakles, Ares
(LexiLine note: Aries, March, to which Mars belonged)

Moreover, on the breast of the lion, there is a horizontal crescent
moon with the Star Regulus inside it (signifying Antiochus).



nimrud

Above is the concentration of planets near the Summer Solstice 62 BC.
It was a MAGNA-conjunction.



Antioch and Christianity

The significance of this relief, the entire Nimrud Dag complex,
and its East and West altar terraces
to Biblical matters has been overlooked for millennia.

Antioch (Turkish Antakya) was the FIRST Christian city
- anywhere. Moreover, it was the "School of Antioch"
- as opposed to the "School of Alexandria"... -
"which stressed the literal interpretation of the Bible
and the completeness of Christ's humanity."
(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

The Western world has followed the School of Alexandria,
"which emphasized the allegorical interpretation of the Bible
and stressed Christ's divinity". This has led to consequent
historical, calendric and religious errors.



The "Kings of Kings"

Antiochus called himself a "king of kings"
much as Jesus was called a king of kings in the Bible.

As the inscriptions at Nimrud Dag show, Antiochus traced

1) his father's lineage through the Achaemenids
(the famous kings Cambyses, Darius, Xerxes, Artaxerxes)
to the Persian godking Ahura Mazda and Zarathustra (Zoroaster), and
2) his mother's lineage through the Seleucid Kings to
Alexander the Great and to the godking Zeus.
Such a "king of kings" was unprecedented in history.



"Given of Mithra"

Moreover, the father of Antiochus was King Mithradates
(the name Mithra-dates means "gift of Mithra",
but in the sense of "given of, born of Mithra").

This corresponds to a planet on the Nimrud Dag relief
Mithras or Mercury/Sun (son of the sun),
just as in the Pharaonic Egyptian tradition
since Mercury belonged to the sun.

Hence, when the Bible speaks of the "gifts" of the 3 Kings,
there has occurred an ancient mistranslation of names
such as Mithradates ("gift of Mithra").
It is a NAME of the king as "given or born of a god or
goddess" and not "that the king has given a gift".



The Birth of Christianity

Antiochus' downfall came when he tried, as the first person ever,
TO UNITE THE RELIGIONS OF EAST AND WEST.
This is monumentally recorded at Nimrud Dag.

This was the birth of "Christianity"
which his "son" of Theos (God)
carried on in his life and preaching
(for what else was Christianity but this idea?).
It was the "cross" or the blend of religions into one idea.

The efforts of Antiochus to unite all religions under one house
brought on the wrath of the Romans
(King Herodus also sided with Rome against the Parthians)
and meant the ultimate forced loss of the Kingdom
of Commagene to Roman rule.



Saviors, Galatia, Nazareth

After Antiochus passed away, and his son Mithradates II proved too weak to withstand the Parthians (Persians), the Parthian king had Antiochus' wife Laodike and allegedly all her children killed. But did Laodike save one of her sons by giving him to a foster couple?

It was the "pagan" regions of Anatolia, such as Commagene,
which were called "Galatia" in ancient times
(see also Biblical Acts, Galatians, Paul and Luke),
much as "Galilae" of the Bible was also called the region
of the pagans after the Syrian conquest, so that when the Bible
speaks of Galilee as the origin of Jesus, this means "to the North"
or "the Black Sea region" or "to the end of the land".

It was only Mary who originally came from Nazareth, and it was
an "Angel" (i.e. a "courier" of the "God" Antiochus) who came to the
virgin Mary in Nazareth "in the sixth month"
[in the sixth month of something...but what?]
Once we read the Bible carefully, it is all very clear.



Luke in the Bible

From reading Luke (and Luke, not coincidentally, was "a man from
Antioch, Syria" see Enc. Brit.) we will come to the likely
conclusion that Antiochus' wife Laodike - in order to save a newborn
son from being killed by the Parthians (a legend retained in the Bible)
had thus given the [presumed] newborn son to Joseph and Mary
to keep and raise incognito.



"In the Sixth Month"

Luke 1, 26 states that in the "sixth month" [of the pregnancy]
Gabriel (the word means courier), in the days of Herodes,
king of Judaea (Herodes ruled from 37 BC to 4 BC
came to the virgin Mary and Joseph in Nazareth.
But what had happened before that visit?

Gabriel had first come to the aged and barren
Zacharias and Elisabeth and had promised them a son.
He had also gotten a vow from Zacharias that he would
not talk about the matter to anyone. Why the secrecy?

Thereupon, Elisabeth, allegedly pregnant, did not permit herself
to be seen for 5 months - obviously pretending to be pregnant.
Then, "in the sixth month" Gabriel went to the virgin Mary
and Joseph, promising Mary even more than Elisabeth,
a "virgin birth" of a "king of kings".

The virgin Mary at this time then went
to the house of Zacharias and Elisabeth, and
- as Elisabeth hears Mary's greeting -
the child of Elisabeth "passes" into Mary's body.
This is all straight from Luke in the Bible.


"Plus Three Months"

Mary remains another "THREE months" (this makes nine
months total) - and returns home only after Elisabeth allegedly
gives birth to a son, who is baptized Johannes by the courier's decree,
- contrary to established family custom, since there had been
no Johannes in the family of Elisabeth or Zacharias -
and THEN the baby "lives in the desert" (under what identity?)
until he is ready to appear before the folk of Israel.

Obviously, Mary has taken the baby, not Elisabeth's baby anyway,
with her. On the order of Gabriel, the baby Johannes is
called Jesus at the circumcision , so that Jesus and
John (Johannes) the Baptist ARE in fact surely the same.

Indeed, before Judas gives Jesus the kiss of death,
the identity of Jesus - as the son of the king of kings -
is not known to the masses, so that he must have been known
as someone else during most of his life, and this can
only be as John the Baptist. In Matthew 16, 14, there is in
fact the phrase that many say that Jesus "is" John the Baptist.



When was the Census ?

In discussing the early life of Jesus - there is mention of the
census during the reign of Augustus Caesar in Luke 2,
which is thought to have occurred ca. 28 BC.

Moreover, in the same context, it talks
about a census in SYRIA ("to the North") under Quirinius.
There is no census anywhere in this region - as related
in the Bible - for the period around 0 B.C. Indeed, this has been
one of the arguments some have raised to claim that the story
of Jesus is a fiction. But the story is true - from a human perspective.
The chronology is just 30 years removed from reality.
This does not mean that the man Jesus may not
have been possessed of "divine grace", however each of us
wants to define that term.



Jesus Did Live and
Did Start the Christian Faith

Jesus did live as a man, and he did start Christianity,
pursuant to this father wishes. The story is true.
The "Divinity" of Jesus, however, is a Question of Faith.

"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tel Aviv Jaffa Archaeological Find is "Dip" of Big Dipper - LexiLine Journal 532

I could not be more pleased!

The archaeological news of the past week was the spectacular discovery of a prehistoric building in the Tel Aviv - Jaffa area (Ramat Aviv)..."on the northern bank of the Yarkon River, not far from the confluence with Nahal Ayalon."

To my luck, the Jewish Journal not only carried the story but also included a photograph of the site by Assaf Peretz / Israel Antiquities Authority which I include here (enlarged to 80% of the width of the posting) because of its importance - together with the original label:



Israel Antiquities Authority workers during the archaeological excavation of the oldest building ever found in Tel Aviv,
estimated to be 7,800-8,400 years old, Jan 10, 2010. (Assaf Peretz / Israel Antiquities Authority)

I have taken that photograph and simply traced the most prominent lines of the ground plan as follows:


Note that the large room in the foreground is strangely not square and that the entire design of the "building" is somewhat peculiar for such an allegedly ancient construction. As I have discovered, this prehistoric building is part of the megalithic survey of the Holy Land by astronomy in ancient days, a survey which I deciphered some years ago and posted to several locations, including my Ancient World Blog as follows:




As you can see, given the megalithic sites known at that time, the "dip" viz. "ladle" of the Big Dipper was missing. Ramat Aviv now fills that void, as Tel Aviv - Jaffa is located on the coast nearly halfway between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee, exactly where we would expect this part of Ursa Major to be located.

In the astronomical context of my decipherment of the ancient megaliths of the Holy Land, this puts Tel Aviv - Jaffa at the location of the "Dip" of the Big Dipper.
The design of the archaeological find is a nice match for this part of Ursa Major. Note also that the large room in the foreground at Ramat Aviv also has a small megalith with marks which look like the "dip" of the Big Dipper and a "hearth" in the shape of the dip of the Big Dipper. This may be chance, but these artefacts should be investigated more carefully to make sure that I am not seeing things that are not there. In fact, it will be of interest to view the official archaeological plot of this ancient site.

And more yet. Tel Aviv is a modern city originally founded in the year 1909 as a neighbor to Jaffa (today a part of Tel Aviv). Jaffa is one of the world's oldest cities. The Wikipedia writes :
"Jaffa (Hebrew: יָפוֹ‎, About this sound Yāfō (help·info); Arabic: يَافَا‎, About this sound Yāfā (help·info); Latin: Joppe; also Japho, Joppa as transliteration from the greek "Ιόππη") is an ancient port city believed to be one of the oldest in the world.[1] Jaffa is now part of Tel Aviv which is why the city's full name is Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel. The name of the city is supposed to be mentioned in the Egyptian sources and the Amarna Letters as Yapu. There are several legends about the origin of the name Jaffa. Some say it is named for Japheth, one of the sons of Noah, who built it after the Great Flood.[citation needed] The Hellenist tradition links the name to "Iopeia", which is Cassiopeia, the mother of Andromeda. Pliny the Elder associates the name with Jopa, the daughter of Aeolus, god of wind. The Arab geographer Al-Muqaddasi mentions it under the name Yaffa, which is used by Arabic speakers today."
That the name is seen to have an astronomical context is remarkable in itself, and Cassiopeia would ordinarily be a hot contender for this location, if it were not for better information provided to us by Richard Hinckley Allen in his book Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning , where he writes at page 423 about Ursa Major (the Big Dipper):
"Hebrew observers called the constellation Dōbh; Phoenician, Dub; and Arabian, Al Dubb al Akbar, the Greater Bear, " Dubhelacbar with Bayer and Dub Alacber with Chilmead, " all of these perhaps adopted from Greece. Caesius cited the "Mohammedans' " Dubbe, Dubhe, and Dubon; and Robert Browning, in his Jochanan Hakkadosh, repeated these as Dob."
What is now quite clear from the modern archaeological discovery at Tel Aviv /Jaffa
is that the name JAFFA Latin: JOPPE = DOBH, DUB, DUBB, DUBBE, DOB "Ursa Major".
DOBE in Indo-European e.g. Latvian means "hollow, cavity, hole, DIP", i.e. DIP in English.

In the ancient survey of the holy land, the city Jaffa thus arguably took its name from the "dip" in the constellation of the Great Bear.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

David Rohl and His Errors of Ancient Chronology - LexiLine Journal 531

Normally, being the moderator of this list, I do not approve of emails which link to commercially sold items.

However, I did approve the previous posting by a list member because David Rohl is important for the study of the History of Civilization in recognizing that there are serious defects in the mainstream chronology of ancient eras.

Let it be known, however, that I personally do not buy Rohl's analysis at all - and I have read his books.
In my opinion - he erroneously moves the chronology forward in time - which is a capital mistake - rather than moving chronology - correctly - backward.

If Rohl would try to correct his chronology by matching the Exodus with the explosion of the volcano Santorin ca. 1627 BC, he would be on the right track.

I do have Rohl to thank for my knowledge of the work of Artapanus, who wrote a biography of Moses in ancient days and stated clearly that Moses was born in the reign of Pharaoh Chaneferre - which puts the birth of Moses at around 1700 BC - that is also the correct date in my estimation (ca. 1707 BC), which puts Exodus at ca. 1627 BC when, according to the Bible, Moses was 80 years old.

Rohl's moving of the chronology forward is totally false. Why Rohl does not try to match the Biblical and Pharaonic chronologies by assuming that Artapanus was writing the truth is a mystery to me. How can Rohl ignore this kind of evidence - evidence which he himself initially presented!!? No unbiased researcher can do so. No one. The key to finding historical truth is to be neutral in your judgments. You have to FIRST reconstruct chronology based on the available written history - and that is the Bible and Artapanus - which confirm each other. Only if that does not work - but it DOES work - can you try alternative approaches.

Nevertheless, there may people out there who would be interested in reading someone other than myself who also correctly recognizes that mainstream scholars are clueless about chronology. Still, as long as Rohl moves chronology forward, his efforts are a complete waste of time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The German Tale of the Loreley is "Megalithically True

[The text and graphic to this posting is in preparation and will be posted soon - we hope later today. We have already posted this file empty online because we need this link as an update link for a previous posting on the Loreley at LexiLine Journal 301.]

The Academic Battle over the Dead Sea Scrolls - LexiLine Journal 530

Climategate is no exception.
Academia can be a cesspool of vanities and distortion.
We knew this long ago.
Some of the rest of the world is now just finding that out.

In
About New York - Raphael Golb’s Aliases Enlivened Debate Over Dead Sea Scrolls - NYTimes.com

Jim Dwyer reports on a unique "cyberbrawl" over the Dead Sea Scrolls which highlights all of the advantages and disadvantages of "dialogue" about controversial academic topics on the Internet (and elsewhere).

As Dwyer writes, the accused is Raphael Haim Golb, a Ph.D. graduate of Harvard and of New York University Law School, who allegedly tried to discredit one or more academics taking a different position on the Dead Sea Scrolls than his own father, a professor, who is apparently not implicated himself in the matter:
"Mr. Golb’s father is Norman Golb, a professor at the University of Chicago and a critic of claims that the Dead Sea Scrolls were the work of a sect called the Essenes, thought to have lived near the Qumran caves where the scrolls were found. Professor Golb has suggested that the scrolls were actually the product of several libraries in Jerusalem and were taken to the caves around the time the city fell to the Romans in the year 70. This is not a dispute for the fainthearted. Golb the Son has taken up his father’s cause with all the vigor permitted by multiple Gmail accounts.

Mr. Golb is 49 years old and had 50 e-mail aliases. He used pseudonyms to post on blogs. Under the name of a professor he was trying to undermine, prosecutors charged, Mr. Golb wrote a quasi confession to plagiarism and circulated it among students and officials at New York University. ....

In court papers filed last week, Mr. Golb’s lawyers argued that prosecutors were trying to criminalize the commonplace. Both sides in the Dead Sea Scrolls debate, they said, use “sock puppets” -" fake identities -" on the Internet to make it seem as if scores of people are arguing a point."
Read Dwyer's highly elucidating article in full here.

We had always suspected that conspiracies of academics and "academic schools of thought" are rampant on the Internet and in the "peer review good old boy networks", and we hope as this case unravels, that these odious practices come more and more to the surface.

There are a few of us out here - true academics in the scholarly sense - actually trying to find out what really happened in man's history. But believe me - we are a handfull - a handfull only.

Friday, January 01, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010 and WELCOME TO THE NEW DECADE OF THE 2010s - THE TEENS (the 2000s were the AUGHTS) - LexiLine Journal 529

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!

Our group membership is approaching the 500 mark and we welcome all new members who joined in the past year. We hope to have a much more scintillating year in 2010, as I have a lot of new things in the pipeline.

How did you spend your New Year? Give our newsletter a bit of life to start the year and post about it!

The New Year always begins for us with the televized live New Year's Concert (in German "Neujahrskonzert") of the Vienna Philharmonic (Wiener Philharmoniker) which is broadcast worldwide (ca. 11:15 a.m. European time) and this year reached a record 72 countries.

Each year a conductor of world renown is invited to conduct the orchestra and today it was the amazingly dynamic 85-year old French conductor Georges Prêtre ("his interests include riding, swimming, aviation, judo, and karate") whose presentation in 2008 was so warmly received that he was invited again for 2010, conducting in a manner which we to us reflects "the Vienna style".

This year's concert proved to be an absolutely spectacular presentation sponsored by Rolex, who must have put a lot of money into this year's concert, judging by the sheer professionality and extravagance of the production. For example, the 77-year old Italian fashion designer Valentino (Valentino Garavani) was enticed out of retirement to design 18 ballet dresses for two ballets danced for the first time at the Museum of Art History in Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum, KHM). We heard comments that these were the most beautiful, feminine ballet dresses that some people had ever seen.

The conductor in 2011 will be Franz Welser-Möst, "who in 2010 becomes the General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera. Franz Welser-Möst has been musical director in Nörrköping and Winterthur, principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of the Zurich Opera. Since 2002 he has been Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra."

The concert is so popular that each year lots are drawn for the privilege of buying tickets, and registration for the ticket drawing commences this year on January 2 and ends on January 23. A registration from MUST be filled out and each registrant can register once only (multiple registrations are ignored) for any or all of three concerts: the Preview Performance (Dec. 30, 2010, 11:00 AM), the New Year's Eve Concert (December 31, 2010, 7:30 PM,), and the New Year's Concert (January 1, 2011, 11:15 AM). No one can obtain more than two tickets and prices range up to €940 per seat for the New Year's Concert, which is the most expensive concert of the three in terms of tickets. (See Ticket Drawing.)

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