I have speculated that the desert Hasidim legion that came to the aid of King Alexander Jannai at Shechem in 88 BCE was in fact the same army that formed the nucleus of the Maccabean rebel force that defeated the Seleucid Dynasty roughly 80 years previously. Further, that this autonomous army survived east of the Jordan River for another 50 years and was active during the reign of King Mattathias Antigonus. However, it does seem incredible that a fighting force could remain intact for over a 130 year period yet largely avoid mention by historians. Today I read of a group of 12th century crusaders who appeared in Tbilisi in 1915 ready to offer their services in WWI. See The Last of the Crusaders. Truth is stranger than fiction. (9-11-2012).
Second Temple ossuary was recovered from looters in 2009 bearing the inscription, "Miriam daughter of Yeshua son of Caiaphas, priest". zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com. Caiaphas had a son named Yeshua and granddaughter named Miriam (Mariamne). Where have we heard those names before? :) Here is the 2011 press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority on the Miriam ossuary. (9-5-2012)
Prof. Tabor has an interesting article up on his blog concerning the connection of both the Essenes and the DSS community to the Jesus movement. I particularly like his list of doctrines common to the DSS and NT. I just might steal reprint with proper attribution that list in a future work I am planning on the DSS community. I'm on board with the notion that the Essenes as described by Josephus / Philo closely approximate the early Nazarene movement but do not agree with the concept that the DSS community was Essene. I'm working on an article theorizing that Mattathias Maccabeus was the famed "Teacher of Righteousness" from the DSS. In Herodian Messiah, I argued that Mattathias Maccabeus was an ancestor of Jesus found at Luke 3:24. Usually, A = B = C, means A = C. Thus, the burden will be upon me to build the case that the Nazarene movement had a close connection to both the DSS community and the Essenes but that the DSS community was not Essene. (6-26-2012)
Google’s Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged. I personally am all for Google publishing as many books as possible. The more free accessible knowledge available online the better. The existence of Google's vast online book collection found at Google Books has been an invaluable assistance to me in researching my own books. 4-5-2009.