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Birth place of Jesus.


A Jewish sect that opposed the Pharisees; sometimes identifies as a group of Sadducees. A recent review holds that the Hebrew term bytwsyn, bytysyn, traditionally rendered as "Boethusians," in reality were slightly altered forms of byt 'ysin"House [='school or 'community'] of Essenes."


Cairo Genizah manuscripts

Contents of the genizah (storage area) of the Palestinian synagogue of the Jews in medieval Fustat (Old Cairo, Egypt). Includes letters, legal documents and literary texts many of which contain dates and datable historical references. See also genizah.


A collection of those biblical books designated as holy scripture. Canonization refers to the process whereby certain popular biblical texts were accepted as authoritatively holy while others were excluded during the reign of Constantine.


Common Era; indicates that a time division falls within the Common/Christian era; same as AD.


A religious tradition whose roots reach deeply into the Judaic traditions current in the first century BCE. There are several descendants of the original Christian faiths that use unique variants of the biblical texts. There are the Amharic, or Ethiopians. There are the Greek Orthodox. There are Gnostics. There are also the descendants of the church of James. It is clear that it is much easier to define Christianity in terms of its current Catholic Canon, and its protestant variants, complex as that may be, than in terms of historical roots which are clouded by the effects of time, mishap and generations of intervening redactors.


A group of manuscript pages stitched together on one side to form a book; as opposed to pages sewn together on both sides to form a continuous scroll that had to be rolled up for storage and unrolled to be read. Codices were more compact and easier to read, carry and store and for these reasons largely replaced the scroll in early Christian times.


An inscription, usually at the end of a manuscript, giving the name of the work, its author, date and place of composition, and sometimes other information.


A form of execution under Roman law reserved for revolutionary activity.

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