Biblical Studies
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Biblical Studies
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Video: The Paul Puzzle

Video: The Paul Puzzle | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
What most 21st-century Christians believe and do differs greatly from what the early New Testament Church taught and practiced.

 

The Paul Puzzle

 

With over one billion adherents worldwide, Christianity makes a claim on every seventh person on earth. Yet what most 21st-century Christians believe and do differs greatly from what the early New Testament Church taught and practiced.

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BiblePlaces Blog: Excavations at Shiloh

BiblePlaces Blog: Excavations at Shiloh | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

A news report in February stated that Tel Shiloh was to receive $4 million in government and private funding for developing the antiquities site.

 

Recent visits to the site reveal that the money is being spent on several excavation areas, the improvement of paths, and the construction of a new observation platform.

 

I am especially interested in excavations on the northern side of the site, in the relatively flat area where scholars have speculated that the tabernacle may have once rested.

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The Law, the Prophets and the Writings, Part 2: From Eden to Babylon

The Law, the Prophets and the Writings, Part 2: From Eden to Babylon | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Humanity’s journey from the Garden of Eden to the city of Babylon spanned two millennia and is retold in stories from the book of Genesis.

 

In this second article in our study of Genesis we will explore humanity’s early journey from the idyllic environment of the Garden of Eden across two millennia to urbanized life in the city of Babylon.

 

The book of Genesis can be divided into two sections: chapters 1 through 11:9 and 11:10 through chapter 50—all structured around the Hebrew toledoth, meaning “generations” or “history.” The word appears in the heading to 11 distinct accounts within the book. The first begins, “This is the history [toledoth] of the heavens and the earth when they were created” (Genesis 2:4).

 

Another way to say it would be “This is what happened to the heavens and the earth after they were created.” What then follows is a history of outcomes for the heavens and the earth followed by outcomes for individuals as their generations are recorded (see “The Structure of Genesis”).

 

Read More:  http://bit.ly/NUMp64

 

 

See Part 1: http://bit.ly/Jw4G6x

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The Arch of Titus Restoration Project

The Arch of Titus Restoration Project | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

The Arch of Titus in Rome commemorates the Emperor Titus’ victory in the Jewish War (66-73 CE). This iconic monument contains bas reliefs of Titus’ triumphal procession through Rome, including a depiction of the seven-branched menorah from the Jerusalem Temple.

 

 

Long significant for Christian art, this menorah is the symbol of modern Israel. Like the other reliefs on the Arch, the original colors of the menorah relief are no longer visible. New conservation techniques have been successfully recovered traces of the original colors on ancient monuments.

 

We will apply these to the study of the Arch: Noninvasive UV-VIS Absorption Spectrometry will be employed to it for the first time to capture traces of pigments on the relief, and 3D scanning will be used for the first time to capture the geometric detail of the relief. We hope to create the first reconstruction of the polychromy of the relief using the new digital tools for painting and displaying 3D models.

 

The results may transform our understanding of the Arch of Titus, especially the menorah panel, whose original coloration is unknown.

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Joe Boutte's comment, June 7, 2012 10:24 PM
Hope to see some of this in person one day.
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Ancient jugs hold the secret to practical mathematics in Biblical times

Ancient jugs hold the secret to practical mathematics in Biblical times | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Archaeologists and mathematicians alike have been puzzled for centuries by the use of spherical jugs in trade in the ancient world, and how merchants measured the volume of the commodities they held.

 

Now an interdisciplinary study has revealed that, far from relying on approximations, merchants would have had precise measurements of their wares -- and therefore known exactly . . .

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Sensation Before Scholarship: Gospel Fragment Tantalizes Experts

Sensation Before Scholarship: Gospel Fragment Tantalizes Experts | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

Early copies of the Gospel of Mark are not as common as the other three gospels.

 

The reason: 90 percent of Mark is in the Gospel of Matthew, so few early scribes copied it, says Daniel Wallace, founder of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts and New Testament Studies professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.

 

But in February, Wallace announced during a debate that not only has a new fragment of Mark's gospel been discovered in Egypt, but it is the oldest portion of the New Testament now known. He claimed the fragment dates to the first century, within decades of the time of Christ.

 

Speculation about the fragment's whereabouts has centered on the Green Collection: tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts bought over the past three years by the owners of Hobby Lobby. In December, collection director Scott Carroll issued a tantalizing message on his Twitter account: "For over 100 years the earliest known text of the New Testament has been the so-call[ed] John Rylands Papyrus. Not any more. Stay tuned …" A publicist for the Green Collection denied that it owns the Mark fragment.

 

Other New Testament scholars won't get a chance to study this gospel portion until it is published in a book about a year from now. They are admittedly skeptical, since the alleged fragment would be almost two centuries older than the current oldest copy of Mark.

 

"I won't believe it until I see it," said Simon Gathercole, editor of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

 

Peter Head, a New Testament research fellow at Tyndale House, a British residential center for biblical research, is likewise eager to get a look at the fragment before rendering an opinion.

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Was Jesus a Jew?

Was Jesus a Jew? | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Was Jesus a Jew? Discover the Jewish Jesus in "What Price the Uniqueness of Jesus" by Anthony J. Saldarini.

 

Was Jesus a Jew? Some people claim that Jesus was a Christian. Some have claimed that he was an Aryan Christian. But in recent decades scholars have been returning to ancient historical settings and discovering the Jewish Jesus. Anthony J. Saldarini’s article “What Price the Uniqueness of Jesus” cautions against wrenching Jesus out of his Jewish world.

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Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts Online - Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts

Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts Online - Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

The British Library holds one of the world's most important collections of Hebrew manuscripts, of which about 300 have some decoration.

 

All of the illuminated manuscripts and those with significant decoration are now in our Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. Their inclusion was made possible through grants from the American Trust for the British Library in memory of William T. Golden, the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, Roger and Julie Baskes, and an anonymous donor.

 

We're pleased to announce that more images will be made available in the next upload to the site.

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Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Dead Sea Scrolls

Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Dead Sea Scrolls | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Scrolls...

 

Anyone familiar with the Dead Sea Scrolls can tell you that portions of nearly every book in the Hebrew Bible are represented in these ancient texts discovered in caves near the Dead Sea.

 

The only exceptions were the Book of Esther and the Book of Nehemiah;* scholars assumed the latter had been written on the same scroll as the Book of Ezra (as was common) but simply hadn’t survived—until now. In a recent blog post,**Norwegian scroll scholar Torleif Elgvin of Evangelical Lutheran University College in Oslo, Norway, announced that he and colleague Esther Eshel of Bar-Ilan University will be publishing a collection of more than two dozen previously unknown scroll fragments, including the first known fragment of Nehemiah.

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Free High-Resolution Photos from Bible Places

Free High-Resolution Photos from Bible Places | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Free photos from the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands...

 

Note: The photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands do not have watermarks. The watermarks have been placed on these free images to promote our collection. These photos are copyrighted, but permission to use is given for personal and educational purposes.

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The Oldest Hebrew Manuscript Fragment before the Dead Sea Scrolls (Circa 150 BCE – 100 BCE)

The Oldest Hebrew Manuscript Fragment before the Dead Sea Scrolls (Circa 150 BCE – 100 BCE) | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

The Nash Papyrus, a collection of four papyrus fragments on a single sheet acquired in Egypt in 1898 by W. L. Nash and subsequently presented to Cambridge University Library, was the oldest Hebrew manuscript fragment known before the discovery in 1947 of theDead Sea Scrolls. The provenance of the papyrus is unknown; allegedly it is from Faiyum.

 

The text was first described by Stanley A. Cook in "A Pre-Masoretic Biblical Papyrus,"  Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 25 (1903): 34-56. Though Cook estimated the date of the papyrus as 2nd century CE, subsequent reappraisals have pushed the date of the fragments back to about 150-100 BCE.

 

"Twenty four lines long, with a few letters missing at each edge, the papyrus contains the Ten Commandments in Hebrew, followed by the start of the Shema Yisrael prayer. The text of the Ten Commandments combines parts of the version from Exodus 20:2-17 with parts from Deuteronomy 5:6-21. A curiosity is its omission of the phrase "house of bondage", used in both versions, about Egypt - perhaps a reflection of where the papyrus was composed."

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The Legacy of the Scrolls

The Legacy of the Scrolls | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Sixty years after their discovery, the Dead Sea Scrolls still spark controversy and debate. How will they be remembered?

 

Proclaimed as the greatest discovery of the century, the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) quickly became the preserve of a limited academic circle. That meant that any hope they would increase our collective understanding of the Bible became rather remote.

 

In July 2008, leading DSS scholars gathered at an international conference to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the scrolls’ discovery. The event, titled The Dead Sea Scrolls and Contemporary Culture, took place at the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book, designed and built specifically to house seven of the celebrated scrolls, and now home to all of them that are in Israel’s possession. The declared focus of the conference was “to reflect on the progress made in the last ten years and to articulate our hopes for the future of Qumran studies.”

 

With respect to the scrolls, the program notes raised the question, “How can we dispel myths and inaccuracies?” Answering that question may have been an impossible goal, however, as myths and inaccuracies will always abound with a trove of documents as old as these. But the conference did reveal something of even greater importance: the diversity of opinions that surround the body of related evidence from the pre-Christian settlement at Khirbet Qumran, near the caves where the scrolls were discovered. The ongoing debate strikes at the foundation of some dearly held views regarding the scrolls’ significance.

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Earliest Evidence of Biblical Cult Discovered

Earliest Evidence of Biblical Cult Discovered | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

For the first time, archaeologists have uncovered shrines from the time of the early Biblical kings in the Holy Land, providing the earliest evidence of a cult, they say.
Excavation within the remains of the roughly 3,000-year-old fortified city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, located about 19 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem, have revealed three large rooms used as shrines, along with artifacts, including tools, pottery and objects, such as alters associated with worship.

 

The three shrines were part of larger building complexes, and the artifacts included five standing stones, two basalt altars, two pottery libation vessels and two portable shrines, one made of pottery, the other of stone. The portable shrines are boxes shaped like temples.


The shrines themselves reflect an architectural style dating back as early as the time of King David (of the biblical David and Goliath story), providing the first physical evidence of a cult in the time of King David, according to an announcement by Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeologist at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. [Religious Worship: Top 10 Cults]

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Mosaic in Israel shows biblical Samson - CNN.com

Mosaic in Israel shows biblical Samson - CNN.com | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Archaeologists are reveling in the discovery of an ancient synagogue in northern Israel, a "monumental" structure with a mosaic floor depicting the biblical figure of Samson and a Hebrew inscription.

 

The synagogue -- dating to the fourth and fifth centuries in both the Talmudic and late Roman periods -- is in Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in the country's Galilee region, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said.

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James Ossuary Trial Jerusalem: Archaeology in a hole

James Ossuary Trial Jerusalem: Archaeology in a hole | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

Nearly 10 years have passed since the world learned of the discovery of a 1st century burial box bearing the words “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” and a black stone tablet with an inscription that brought to life a passage from the Second Book of Kings describing repairs to Solomon’s Temple by King Jehoash around 800 BCE.

 

Both items, if authentic, would be the first physical artifacts ever found from the family of Jesus and the First Temple. It’s no wonder they caused a worldwide sensation, and that their subsequent exposure as fakes and the arrest of Oded Golan, a Tel Aviv antiquities collector accused of forging them, sparked international interest, even outrage.


Via Rob J Hyndman
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Free Volumes in Loeb Classical Library

Free Volumes in Loeb Classical Library | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

Many volumes in the Loeb Classical Library are now in the public domain and available for free download in pdf files.

 

Loebolus has made these conveniently available, including a zip file with all 245 volumes. The list there is organized by volume number, but we find organization by author easier to navigate.

 

Below we have listed the available volumes of works most relevant to our studies.

 

These are not necessarily the best editions to read. For instance, for Josephus’s Jewish War, we recommend the Penguin edition. But for study and access to the original language, the Loeb Classical Library is best.

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Sites and Insights: 7 Israel Museum 'must-sees'

Sites and Insights: 7 Israel Museum 'must-sees' | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
It may sound odd to go indoors to see a museum while traveling the Holy Land, but some museums you can only see in Israel.

 

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem recently reopened after many years and millions of dollars in renovation. You may not be a “museum person,” but this one has stuff in it you should see. Especially if you have an interest in the Bible. 

While I could mention dozens of objects in the museum, I’m reducing it down to seven. Here are seven must-sees in the Israel Museum and—most importantly—why you should care. 

1.  Ketef Hinnom Amulets 

These two small silver scrolls have the priestly benediction Numbers 6:24-26 etched on them. They date to the FirstTemple Period (586 BC) and represent the earliest copy of Scripture we have. 

2.  Tel Dan Inscription 

Archaeologists unearthed fragments of a large, basalt stele that boasted of the Aramean King Hazael’s victory over Israel (2 Kings 8:12-13) and the “House of David.” This represents the only text outside of the Bible that refers to David. This is huge. 

 

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The Gospel Through the Ages

The Gospel Through the Ages | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
What is “the gospel” of the Kingdom of God? Many may think of it as a message emanating from the New Testament, but in fact it goes back much farther.

 

Say the word gospel, and many things come to mind. In a chronological stream, we might include gospel writers, gospel preachers, gospel workers, gospel truth, gospel singers—and perhaps even the 1970s religious rock musical Godspell (from godspel, “good story”), with its allusion to the English language’s debt to its Anglo-Saxon roots. 

 

Most today undoubtedly think of the gospel in terms of New Testament teaching. Yet as we’ll see, the message of God’s plan and purpose spans the entire breadth of the Bible. In the earliest days of humanity’s journey, it is introduced in terms of eating of “the tree of life,” an act that would provide the key to a right relationship with Him and would endow humanity with the ability to live not just temporarily but eternally. Eating of the tree of life could be understood as access to and use of the Holy Spirit. In the Genesis account, when Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden, the consequences include prevention of access to the tree of life and thus eternal life (see Genesis 3:22–23).

  

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Archaeologists find first proof of ancient Bethlehem

Archaeologists find first proof of ancient Bethlehem | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
The artifact, a bulla, or piece of clay for sealing a document, may prove existence of Bethlehem dating back to First Temple Period.

 

Archaeologists recently discovered the first artifact constituting tangible evidence of the existence of the ancient city of Bethlehem, which is mentioned in the Torah, according to an Israel Antiquities Authority statement released Wednesday.

The artifact, a bulla, or piece of clay for sealing a document or object, may prove the existence of Bethlehem dating back to the First Temple Period.

 

The dramatic discovery was made while sifting soil from archaeological excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting in the City of David, in the “Walls around Jerusalem National Park.”

 

The bulla, measuring 1.5 cm, was discovered bearing the name of the city, written in ancient Hebrew script. The dig is underwritten by the Ir David Foundation.

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Is Learning Greek and Hebrew Really Worth It?

Is Learning Greek and Hebrew Really Worth It? | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

For many, learning a new language is an exhausting, frustrating, and spirit-killing endeavor, one that has been scientifically proven to cause premature hair loss, marital discord, excess book throwing, and, in small rodents, cancer. So it should come as no surprise that many wonder if it’s really worth it. Should I really invest that much time and that many brain cells in learning these languages? Isn’t that why we have translations in the first place?

 

That’s a fair question. But it’s not a new one. People have wrestled with whether we really need to learn the languages for a very long time. So, rather than offering my own answer, let’s take a look at what Martin Luther had to say on the subject.

Martin Luther wrote a wonderful little tract titled “To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germany That They Establish and Maintain Christian Schools.” In it he gives three reasons why we should study the languages. And stick with his argument all the way through.

 

His first two answers might not surprise you much, but the third is where the real payoff is.

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Religion or Way of Life?

Religion or Way of Life? | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
What is religion? This module from our online Bible study course, Foundations, explores the answer.

 

CLEARING AWAY THE FOG 

 

With more than two billion adherents—approximately a third of the world’s population—Christianity is the largest religion. Most people who claim to be Christian belong to one or another denomination or confession, each of which has differing beliefs and practices defined by a statement known as a creed.

 

Within Christianity, there are hundreds of sects with diverse and often contradicting creeds, all claiming to have derived from the same source, the Bible. It is a picture of confusion. 

 

Adding to this complexity are the many other non-Christian religious beliefs, including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, New Age and their various offshoots.

 

Never before have we had within our reach such a vast smorgasbord of ideas and easy-to-access philosophies. While some optimistically view all the world’s religions and philosophies as valid and necessary expressions of spirituality and believe that there are many roads to “god,” others conclude that the fruits apparent in religious history justify turning away from all such forms of belief.

 

The numerous possibilities and contradictions within these various world religions and philosophies have frustrated and bewildered many people and have left others disillusioned and skeptical.

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King David's 3,025th Birthday Celebrated at New Museum

King David's 3,025th Birthday Celebrated at New Museum | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Tel Aviv's Beit David Museum offers two fun-filled free days honoring birthday of greatest Jewish king ever.

 

A new museum in Tel Aviv – the Beit David Museum, dedicated to the House of David – offers two fun-filled free days honoring the holiday of Shavuot, which is also celebrated as the 3,025th birthday of greatest Jewish king ever.

 

The twin-day treat will take place on Monday, 21.5, and Tuesday, 22.5. It will include a lecture at 7:00 p.m. Monday by Dr. Chaim Luria ongenealogy and King David's DNA, and events for children starting at 11:00 a.m. on the following day. These will include actors dressed as biblical characters who will teach the children about King David in a fun way.

 

The museum, located on 5 Brenner St. in central Tel Aviv, opened just four monthsago. It contains archeological exhibits from First and Second Temple times and includes artifacts of special significance in the story of King David: for instance, one section displays slingshot stones found in the Emek HaEla region, where David killed Goliath with a single accurate stone to the head.

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The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is unique not only because it is the lowest point on Earth, but also because it is filled with natural treasures, with zoological and botanic riches and because the region has witnessed remarkable historical events.

 

A nice video showing the Dead Sea area...not necessarily a Biblical Studies video - but good resource showing the area.

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Can the Dead Sea be brought back to life?

Can the Dead Sea be brought back to life? | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
The Dead Sea has lost a third of its surface area. Finally a rescue plan is being drawn up, financed by the EU.

 

If you keep a sharp eye open as you drive the world’s lowest road, along the Israeli side of the Dead Sea, you may spot a short black line painted on a cliff face some feet above your head. It was made a century ago by British geographers, floating on a boat on the sea’s surface, to mark its level at the time.


But if you then turn, as I did this week, to look for the present-day sea, you’ll only spot it far beneath you, at the bottom of another cliff. For its level has since fallen by more than 80 feet, mainly over the past few decades.


At the same time the sea, famously the saltiest on Earth, has lost a third of its surface area. Indeed, the maps and atlases that show it as a single stretch of water are long out of date. It has shrunk so much that it has separated into two distinct lakes, connected by a canal to prevent the southernmost one from drying up altogether. And the waters are continuing to drop by more than three feet a year.


The dying of the Dead Sea is a huge, under-reported, environmental disaster. It was once described by a water minister of Jordan, on the opposite shore, as worse than the better-known catastrophe of the desiccation of Central Asia’s Aral Sea, because it is happening faster and threatens greater danger to the region’s economy and ecosystems, as well as the world’s cultural and religious heritage. Yet this weekend sees the beginning of an attempt to save it.

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