While the biblical book of Judges ends with several ignominious episodes from Israel’s history, the book of Ruth relates a different story altogether.
The book of Judges concludes with the story of the final judge, Samson, followed by the recounting of several ignominious episodes from that time in Israel’s history. The dark nature of those stories stands in stark contrast to another from the same era—that of a non-Israelite woman named Ruth.
The Magdala Stone, found in Israel, is forcing scholars to revisit ideas about synagogues and their relationship to the Second Temple around the dawn of Christianity.
A fascinating find.
(From the article): But what makes the stone such a rare find in biblical archaeology, according to scholars, is that when it was carved, the Second Temple still stood in Jerusalem for the carver to see. The stone is a kind of ancient snapshot.
The staurogram, a crucifixion symbol made out of the Greek letters tau-rho, is 200 years older than the oldest previously-known images of Jesus on the cross.
The practice is not borrowed from the first century followers of Jesus.
(from the article) Some believe the early church avoided images of Jesus on the cross until the fourth or fifth century. In “The Staurogram: Earliest Depiction of Jesus’ Crucifixion” in the March/April 2013 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Larry Hurtado highlights an early Christian crucifixion symbol that sets the date back by 150–200 years.
What does God look like? Did Jesus have blond or dark hair? And why do we want to know?
Artistic depictions of gods and divinities are interwoven throughout history and across civilizations. Ancient Egyptian notions about gods and goddesses and the afterlife were illustrated in images on sarcophagi and tomb-wall decorations. Similarly, temples, streets and homes in Mesopotamian, Grecian and Roman cultures were filled with visual reminders of their deities.
This is not the case when we come to the God of the Bible, who asserts that He is the Almighty, beyond the knowledge or ability of any artist to depict. Indeed, His Second Commandment expressly forbids and condemns the worship of images.
The conflict between giving and acquiring material goods is an ancient dilemma. What does the Bible say about balancing these concepts?
Jesus didn't imply that we shouldn't work. However, He assured His followers that God knows what we need, and that worrying about such things is futile: “Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28–30).
Over several centuries, Greek thinking displaced the Hebrew foundations of Jesus' message, creating a religion far removed from what He intended. What were the practices of the Apostle Paul and the first Christian church?
In many churches, there is almost no public reading of the Word of God. Worship is filled with music, but congregations seem uninterested in listening to the reading of the Bible.
Indeed, in many churches there is very little reading of the Bible in worship, and sermons are marked by attention to the congregation’s concerns, not by an adequate attention to the biblical text. The exposition of the Bible has given way to the concerns, real or perceived, of the listeners. The authority of the Bible is swallowed up in the imposed authority of congregational concerns.
Thousands of fragments of pottery, candles, ceramics and figurines dating to the end of the First Temple discovered during excavations in Jerusalem.
Archeologists Dr. Joe Uziel and Nahshon Zanton said that the engraved letters date back to eighth century earthenware, and that the bowl can be traced to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem under King of Judah Zedekiah, around 586 BCE.
They believe the inscription may be an address, and possibly contained an offering, given by the person whose name was inscribed on the vessel, they said.
Israeli archaeologists have discovered a quarry from the Herodian period north of the Old City of Jerusalem. The quarry was revealed in the course of construction of Highway 21. The IAA press releasedescribes the results of the excavation.
The Arch of Titus Project will have important significance for the study of Roman architecture, as no monument of the Flavian period has yet been subjected to pigmentation analysis to reveal its original coloration. It is also projected to be of great importance for the study of the appearance of the sacred vessels of the Second Temple in the first century CE, as well as of the Herodian building projects in ancient Judaea, especially King Herod’s rebuilding of the Second Temple in the first century CE.
(From the article): Prof. Steven Fine noted that in the first presentation at the upcoming April 4 Kennes Torah Umadda (Congress of Torah and Science) in Jerusalem he will be discussing — for the first time in Israel — the discoveries made by the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project last summer and the implications of advances in the study of polychromy for the study of the arch (and of Jewish visual culture in general).
The Israel Museum’s exhibit Herod the Great—The King’s Final Journey guides visitors through the Herodian world and the end of the illustrious king’s life, as brought to light by the late archaeologist Ehud Netzer.
(From the article): An extraordinary archaeological exhibit opened on February 12 at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It marks the journeys of two men separated by 2,000 years. One journey was the funeral procession of King Herod the Great—feared, hated and lionized—whose monumental works still mark the landscape of Israel; the other journey was the life work of renowned Israeli archaeologist Ehud Netzer, who described Herod as “a king who lived and breathed the art of construction, deeply understood its ways and, quite simply, loved to build.” In fact, one might fairly say that Netzer himself lived and breathed the man and the works of Herod.
The biblical book of Revelation, or the Apocalypse, has certainly come in for a lot of misunderstanding and misinterpretation for most of the past two thousand years. Let’s think about seven such myths of #Revelation and show where they go astray from a biblical point of view. http://bit.ly/1WFDDiD
The biblical book of Revelation, or the Apocalypse, has certainly come in for a lot of misunderstanding and misinterpretation for most of the past two thousand years—even the title is often misquoted as “Revelations.” From the idea of Armageddon being the end of the world to the claim that the book is primarily historical, misconceptions and myths abound. Let’s think about seven such myths of Revelation and show where they go astray from a biblical point of view. http://bit.ly/1WFDDiD
What is the ancient Near East? Is it useful for understanding the Bible? Dr. John Walton explains that without knowing the ancient background to texts, we ma...
Dr. John Walton presents a synopsis of the role of understanding the world of the Ancient Near East when working to exegete and understand scripture. Understanding the way the ancient Hebrews, Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, etc… thought, organized their societies, used language, and built relationships provides critical background information that helps us to understand the texts we have today.
A web-exclusive supplement to Lawrence Mykytiuk's “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible” feature in the March/April 2014 issue of BAR
In “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible” in the March/April 2014 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Purdue University scholar Lawrence Mykytiuk lists 50 figures from the Hebrew Bible who have been confirmed archaeologically. The 50-person chart in BAR includes Israelite kings and Mesopotamian monarchs as well as lesser-known figures.
The book of Revelation is an enigma to most who read it. Does such a puzzling book have any real value?
Of what value is the book of Revelation? Does it foretell the cataclysmic end of the world? Is it a historical record of events long past, or perhaps a call to moral responsibility? Or should it be read merely as first-century literature aimed at a first-century audience?
The writings of the Bible were completed about 2,000 years ago, but on Wednesday author, filmmaker and pastor Erwin McManus reminded church leaders who are trying to reach young people that the Bible will continue to be relevant into the future.
But McManus says young people are setting down their Bible's not because they're running away from God, but because they're searching for authenticity and truth. Young people see the Bible as the impetus behind the "monotonous culture of the '50s where people pretended to be affected by God but actually lived very hollow lives," he said, though they don't realize what they're looking for can be found in the scriptures.
Part of an ancient Egyptian king's unique sphinx was unveiled at a dig in northern Israel on Tuesday, with researchers struggling to understand just how the unexpected find ended up there
Tel Hazor, which Ben-Tor calls "the most important archaeological site in this country," was the capital of southern Canaan, founded circa 2,700 BC and at its peak covering approximately 200 acres and home to some 20,000 Canaanites. It was destroyed in the 13th century BC.
"Following a gap of some 150 years, it was resettled in the 11th century BC by the Israelites, who continuously occupied it until 732 BC," when it was destroyed by the Asyrians, Ben-Tor said.
Scholars and church leaders have claimed over the centuries that the apostle Paul advocated a complete departure from Jewish practice within the New Testament Church. Today, that consensus is changing.
A Cyber-Archaeology expedition at Petra provided insights on structural conservation and the next generation of archaeological data presentation.
(From the article): A recent two-day Cyber-Archaeology expedition at Petra provided new insights on the site’s structural conservation and helped create the next generation of archaeological data presentation.
In a new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, religious scholar and author John J. Collins tells the history of the scrolls and the controversies they have prompted, and explores the questions they ask and answer about Judeo-Christian history.
The article and interview are interesting. However, I found that the comments from readers to be especially intriquing. One points out one of the flawas in the work of John Collins:
"This interview accepted too uncritically the standard story that the Dead Sea Scrolls are relics of an Essene community living in Qumran. This story is controversial. The alternative story is that the Qumran remains represent a military camp, not Essenes, and that the Scrolls represent a wide collection of documents from the personal libraries of lots of people trying to save them in troubled political times. If this alternative view is true, then the Scrolls cannot be expected to present a unified point of view, but rather show us a spectrum of beliefs in the society over the course of several hundred years."
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