|Language:||Greek (with Aramaic|
signatures and subscript)
(2 duplicate copies)
|Size:||30.7 cm wide|
|The one testifying:||Babatha|
|Subject of testimony:||Jesus|
|Date:||11/12 October, 125 C.E.|
|Place of discovery:||"Cave of Letters"|
|Date of discovery:||1961|
|Present location:||Israel Museum|
|Identification no.:||P.Yadin 12|
(Readable as Greek if the
"SYMBOL" font is installed)
(Adapted from Lewis 1983:61-62)
etouV enatou AutokratoroV Traianou Adrianou KaisaroV Sebastou epi upatwn Markou Oualeriou Asiatikou to b kai Titiou Akuleinou pro tessarwn eidwn Oktwbriwn kata de ton ariqmon thV eparceiaV ArabiaV etouV eikostou mhnoV Uperberetaiou legomenou Qesrei tetarth kai eikaV en Mawza peri Zoaran epi twn epibeblhmenwn marturwn emarturopoihsato Babaqa SimwnoV tou Manahmou kata Iwanou Iwshpou tou Egla kai Abdoobda Ellouqa epitropwn Ihsou IhsoutoV uiou authV orfanou katastaqentwn tw autw orfanw upo boulhV twn Petraiwn parontwn twn autwn epitropwn legousa dia to umaV mh dedwkenai tw uiw mou orfanw d[.]e..trofia proV thn dunamin tokou arguriou autou kai twn loipwn uparxontwn autou kai malista proV omeilian hn [. . . . . . .] kai mh corhgein autw tokon tou arguriou ei mh tropaieikon ena eiV ekaton dhnaria ecousa uparconta axiocrea toutou tou arguriou ou ecete tou orfanou dio proemarturopoihsa ina ei dokei umein dounai moi to argurion di asfaliaV . . . peri upoqhkhV twn uparcontwn mou corhgousa tokon tou arguriouwV ekaton dhnariwn dhnarin en hmisu oqen lamprwV diaswqh mou o uioV eucaristwn toiV makariwtatoiV kairoiV hgemwneiaV Iouliou Ioulianou hgemwnoV epi ou peri thV apeiqarceiaV apodosewV twn trofiwn parhngeila egw Babaqa iwanh tw progegrammenw enei twn epitropwn tou orfanou. ei de mh estai touto to marturopoihma eiV dikaiwma kerdouV arguriou tou orfanou ei didonteV . . . . . emarturopoihsato h Babaqa wV progegraptai dia epitropou authV toude tou pragmatoV Ioudou CqousiwnoV oV parwn upegrayen. BabaqaV SimwnoV emarturopoihsamhn kata Iwanou Egla kai Abdaobda EllouQa epitrwpwn HsouV uiou mou orfanou di epitropou mou Iouda CaqousiwnoV akolouqwV teV progegrammeneV eresasin. EleazaroV Eleazarou egraya uper authV erwthqeiV dia to authV mh eidenai grammata kai epebalonto martureV epta.
[Aramaic signatures and subscripts]
grafh QeenaV Simonou liblariuV.
In the ninth year of Emperor Trajan Hadrian Caesar Augustus, in the consulship of Marcus Valerius Asiaticus for the second time and Titius Aquilinus, before the ides of October; and according to the computation of the Arabian province: twentieth year on the twenty-fourth of the month Hyperberetaios, called Thesrei; in Maoza, Zoara district. Before the attending witnesses, Babatha daughter of Simon son of Menahem testified against John son of Joseph Eglas and 'Abdoobdas son of Ellouthas, guardians of her orphan son, Jesus son of Jesus, appointed guardians for the orphan by the council of Petra, in the presence of the guardians, saying:
Since you have not given my orphan son generous maintenance money commensurate with the income from the interest on his money and the rest of his property, and commensurate in particularly with a style of life which befits him, and you contribute for him as interest on the money only one-half (denarius) per hundred denarii, as I have property equivalent in value to this money of the orphan's that you have, therefore I previously testified so that you might decide to give me the money on security involving a mortgage of my property, with me contributing interest on the money at the rate of a denarius and a half per hundred denarii, with which my son might be raised in splendid style, rendering thanks to these most honorable times of the governorship of Julius Julianus, our governor, before whom I, Babatha, summoned the aforesaid John, one of the guardians of the orphan, for his refusal of disbursement of the maintenance money. Otherwise this deposition will serve as documentary evidence of your profiteering from the money of the orphan by giving . . .
Babatha testified as stated through her guardian on this matter: Judah son of Khthousion, who was present and signed.
I, Babatha daughter of Simon, have testified through my guardian Judah son of Khthousion against John son of Eglas and 'Abdoobdas son of Ellouthas, guardians of my orphan son Jesus, according to the mentioned conditions. I, Eleazar son of Eleazar, wrote for her by request, since she is illiterate.
And there were seven witnesses:
Yehudah son of Khthousion, guardian of Babatha: "In my presence, Babatha confirmed all that is written above. Yehudah wrote this."
'Abd'obdath son of Elloutha: "In my presence and in the presence of Yohana, my colleague, son of Egla, this testimony is written according to what is written above. 'Abd'obdath wrote this."
Yehohanan son of Aleks, by the hand of Yehoseph his son.
The writer of this is Theenas son of Simon, librarius.
This was the full name and title of the Roman emperor Hadrian who ruled 117138 C.E.
Maoza was a village in the Zoara district; Zoara was a town at the southern end of the Dead Sea. This district was in the Roman province known, after 106 C.E., as Provincia Arabia, which was the land of the Nabateans; see Bowersock (1983).
Petra was the capital of Provincia Arabia, located 40 miles south of Zoara.
This interest was evidently 1/2 denarius per month (6 denarii per year).
A denarius (plural: denarii) was the basic unit of coinage used throughout the Roman Empire.
The governor of Arabia was appointed by the Roman emperor.
Librarius is the Greek transliteration of the Latin term for a archivist/scribe.
1. What was the situation that prompted Babatha's deposition?
2. What was Babatha's proposal to resolve the situation?
3. What roles did Babatha's guardian, Yehudah, play? Why would a woman need a guardian?
Bowersock, Glen W. Roman Arabia. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1983.
Hanson, K. C. and Douglas E. Oakman. Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998.
Jones, Brian W. "Hadrian." In Anchor Bible Dictionary 3:17-18. Ed. D. N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Lewis, Naphtali, editor. Documents from the Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters. Vol. 1: Greek Papyri. Judean Desert Studies. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1989.
Yadin, Yigael. Bar Kokhba. New York: Random House, 1971.
Yadin, Yigael. "Expedition DThe Cave of Letters." Israel Exploration Journal 12 (1962):227-57.
Yadin, Yigael. The Finds from the Bar-Kokhba Period in the Cave of the Letters. Judean Desert Studies, 1. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1963.