Monthly Archives: March 2018

Papyrus Amherst 63 — Where do we stand?

The highly respected scholar Karel van der Toorn has just published his long-promised study on the Aramaic papyrus in demotic script as Papyrus Amherst 63 in the AOAT series volume 448 (Münster: Ugarit-Verlag 2018): a complete study, with excellent photographs and  a translation of the entire text with detailed philological commentary.  I hope that time permits me to offer a more comprehensive analysis of the current state of studies on the papyrus  (especially comparing his work with those of R. Steiner  and T. Holm), but for now I can only say that a quick look at the readings and translations  is suggestive of the old saying that what is correct here is not new and what is new is, with a few exceptions, probably not correct.

The most striking departure from the previous interpretations is his (to this reader more logical) assertion that the texts deal with events in western Syria and Palmyra as opposed to the region east of Mesopotamia.

We welcome the comments of others.