Article: Fiery Sheol in the Dead Sea Scrolls

At long last, my article in Revue de Qumran 27/106 (France-based) is out! It is downloadable from my…/_Fiery_Sheol_in_the_Dead_Sea_Scr…

Special thanks go to Prof. Shani Tzoref, who had first introduced me to the fascinating world of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of Sydney, and who then unhesitatingly helped proofread this article at the University of Göttingen. I am constantly inspired by her great erudition and undaunted courage! Lots of hugs to you, Shani! 🙂

Here is the shortened abstract:

This paper highlights that a fiery underworld is attested in several Qumran texts, expressed through the uniquely Hebraic term “Sheol” (שׁאול). After a brief overview of the use of the term in the Hebrew Bible, it will be shown that the more watery Sheol in the Hebrew Bible stands in contrast to the fiery Sheol in several non-biblical Hebrew Dead Sea scrolls. Rather than probing the origins of this fiery imagery, this article will mainly explore the literary functions of the fiery imagery. At the end, my conclusion is that the Dead Sea Scrolls not only contain an imagery of fiery Sheol, the relevant scrolls also attest to an annihilating concept of the afterlife that creates tensions with Josephus’ description of the Essene beliefs about the afterlife.

Fun fact #1:

The article has 22 pages, 81 footnotes, 6 different languages in varying proportions!

Fun fact #2:

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2013 SBL international meeting. For verifications, you are very welcome to have a look at the following links:

The publisher is kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of RevQ 27/106:



Announcement: Two Articles Passed the Double-Blind Peer-Reviews

A year after the defense of my dissertation.

5 months after the tutorial I led.

Another semester has just gone by.

A tiny update from me to you: Two of my articles have passed the double-blind peer-reviews (abstracts can be found in my

They are accepted by two good academic journals.

ZAWThe first one is called Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (European Science Foundation Ranking A). Here is the link to the journal’s website:

So if any of you has some new ideas about the scholarly research of any parts of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, you can just write it down, and email the editors for a peer-review. Don’t worry, they accept articles written in not only German, but also English and French.

RdQ104The second one is called Revue de Qumran (European Science Foundation Ranking A). Here is the journal’s beautiful website:

Again if any of you has some new ideas about the scholarly research of any parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, just send your articles to the editors for a peer-review.  Articles in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish are welcome.

If the information provided by the editors is correct, my articles will be in print in December 2015. Of course, I will then make proper thanks to the kind and friendly people who have not given up on me and have helped in the improvements of my articles 😀

Resource: College de France Lecture on the Philistines by Aren Maeir

According to the biblical materials, the Philistines emerge primarily as an opponent, an archetype whom Israel should never emulate or get close to (see the multiple examples cited in P. Machinist, “Biblical Traditions: The Philistines and Israelite History,” in The Sea Peoples and Their World: A Reassessment [ed. E. D. Oren; Philadelphia: University of Pennysylvania Museum, 2000], 53-83, esp. 67-69).

But things can be a little bit more complicated from an archaeological point of view! In the stimulating lecture held at the College de France in paris on 25.02.2015, Prof. Aren Maeir shows us how entangled the Philistine culture can be with the Israelite and other cultures in the surrounding world. You can check out the lecture in the following video, which does remind me of my summer adventure at the 2013 Tel Burna archaeological excavation:

Three things from the video amaze me in particular:

1. On the basis of the ancient DNA tests, the Philistines were responsible for importing pigs from Europe into the Levant! (25:15 onwards)

2. There are oraganic residue of incenses from Sri Lanka in the Philistine Iron Age IIA chalices! (43:15 onwards)

3. Some Jerusalemites might have been attracted to the Philistine religion, such that a jar made in the Jerusalem area and inscribed with an Israelite name was found in a Philistine temple precinct! (51:38 onwards)

Interesting mixture of cultures, isn’t it? 🙂