Biblical Studies
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Biblical Studies
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Out of Egypt: Archaeologists find ancient scarab in Jerusalem

Out of Egypt: Archaeologists find ancient scarab in Jerusalem | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Rare Egyptian artifact dates back to the 13th century B.C.E., the era when some scholars speculate the Exodus may have occurred • Scarab bears name, in Egyptian writing, of the sun god Amon-Ra, one of Egypt's most important deities.

 

Just in time for Passover, Israeli archaeologists have found a rare Egyptian artifact in Jerusalem. An Egyptian scarab, dating back to the 13th century B.C.E. (the era when some scholars speculate the Exodus may have occurred) was uncovered on Thursday at an excavation sponsored by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the City of David National Park.

 

The seal is about a centimeter and a half in length and was used to stamp documents.

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Ancient Inscription Refers to Birth of Israelite Monarchy

Ancient Inscription Refers to Birth of Israelite Monarchy | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

The use of the word “established” seems to indicate that the king ascended to the throne by the establishment of his monarchy rather than by familial succession. Given the provenance of the find—a Judahite fortress—only two possibilities seem available: David or Saul. Puech leans toward Saul—the first Israelite king.


According to the Bible, Saul was chosen by the high priest Samuel to rule over the Israelites. Saul, who, together with three of his sons, died on the battlefield at Mt. Gilboa, was not succeeded on the Israelite throne by any of his descendants, but by David the son of Jesse of the tribe of Judah. Puech dates the beginning of Saul’s reign to approximately 1030 B.C.E., and David’s to approximately 1010 B.C.E.

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Mount Ebal - by A. Zertal

Mount Ebal - by A. Zertal | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

Archaeological surveys are no easy task. They involve combing an area on foot, day after day, month after month, in order to map and register all sites in the area. All the historical sites known to us were discovered because of ancient traditions handed down from generation to generation, or by accident, or as a result of systematic archaeological survey. Over the millennia sites have been forsaken and cities abandoned and destroyed, and their names have often fallen into oblivion. Many a time an archaeologist faces the difficult riddle of discovering the name of a lost city or identifying the people who inhabited it.


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Dr. James Strange on the Use of Texts by Archaeologists

From VISION MEDIA PRODUCTIONS. Professor James Strange of the University of South Florida discusses the appropriate usage of texts in archeology, an approach that appears to be avoided by those who see archeology as purely an anthropological pursuit.

 

Strange was recorded at the Annual Meeting of ASOR (American Schools of Oriental Research) in San Diego, November 2007.

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Citing Chapter and Verse: Which Scripture Is the Right One?

Citing Chapter and Verse: Which Scripture Is the Right One? | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
What believers in religion and believers in scientific investigation have in common.

 

The topic this past Sunday on the show “Up w/ Chris Hayes” (MSNBC) was the statistical correlation between deniers of global warming and religious believers. Participants included such luminaries as Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion,” and Steven Pinker, author of “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” a new book arguing that the world has gotten less violent as the tide of fundamentalist faith has receded and given way to the dictates of reason. It was no surprise that the panel’s default position, stated almost explicitly by Susan Jacoby, was that religion clouds the mind of those who, if they were only sufficiently educated, would arrive at the conclusion supported by the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence and reject the blind adherence to revealed or ecclesiastical authority that characterizes religious belief.


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Millsaps' professor's new book puts apocalypse in context

Millsaps' professor's new book puts apocalypse in context | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Society is obsessed with the apocalypse.

 

Society is obsessed with the apocalypse.

 

Consider zombie movies, the Mayan calendar's Dec. 21 "end" date, a TV show called Doomsday Preppers and religious figures like Harold Camping making their own predictions.

 

While some find evidence of this in the Bible, a Millsaps religion professor's new book offers a more hopeful interpretation of "apocalyptic" biblical texts.

Revelation, often read as a end-time prophecy, should be read in context, said professor Benjamin Reynolds.

 

He is the author of Between Symbolism and Realism: The Use of Symbolic and Non-Symbolic Language in Ancient Jewish Apocalypses 333-53 B.C.E.

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Israeli cave was seen as porthole to Roman underworld, researchers say

Israeli cave was seen as porthole to Roman underworld, researchers say | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Researchers say Twins Cave may have been site of pagan ritual that lighted the way to Hades' realm.

 

We often hear about how Jerusalem is holy to followers of the three major monotheistic religions. But what is less well-known is that the surrounding Judean hills were home to pagan ritual sites involving Greco-Roman gods. One such site, linked to the harvest goddess Demeter, has been identified at the Twins Cave, according to a study released by the Yad Ben-Zvi historical research institute last week.

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A Pulpit of Preconceived Ideas

A Pulpit of Preconceived Ideas | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
As scholars reexamine early Christian history they find that the practices of Jesus and the apostle Paul were much more Judaic than has been thought.

 

Most scholars, because of a long-standing bias in the theological world, have avoided the subject of early Christianity's Jewishness. But a change has been under way for some time, and it is causing a rethink of some of the underlying approaches of traditional Christianity. If understood in their totality, the implications are indeed profound.

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Google Helps Readers Understand Scroll Translations

Google Helps Readers Understand Scroll Translations | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Google Helps Readers Understand Scroll Translations...

 

In recent months, the project has expanded to allow visitors to view two separate, verse-by-verse English translations of the Isaiah Scroll, one based on the standard translation of the Masoretic text, and the other provided by scroll scholar and regular BAS lecturer Peter Flint. In viewing the two translations side by side, readers can consider the various ways an ancient text can be translated and the slight variations in meaning and interpretation that can result.

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Amazon.com: From Sabbath to Sunday : A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity (9781930987005): Samuele Bacchiocchi: Books

Amazon.com: From Sabbath to Sunday : A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity (9781930987005): Samuele Bacchiocchi: Books (From Sabbath to Sunday : A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance...

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Reclining in the Upper Room

Reclining in the Upper Room | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Each of the Gospels tell us something about the last supper Jesus ate with His disciples prior to the crucifixion. Matthew says, Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus...

 

Rather than picturing small round or rectangular standing tables, these words would have called to mind a room with a large U-shaped triclinium dining table with cushions.

Persons lying down to eat would recline around the outside of the table with the upper body supported on their left elbow. At large tricliniums the food was served from the center of the U-shaped table. (The World of the Bible Replicas)

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The Profit Of Employing The Biblical Languages Scriptural And Historic

The Profit Of Employing The Biblical Languages Scriptural And Historic | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

This article supplies scriptural and historical justification for keeping the biblical languages central in training vocational ministers of God's Word. It makes no attempt to clarify how to maintain skill in Hebrew and Greek.3 Rather, the argument is designed to clarify why congregations and schools should stress original language exegesis when equipping shepherds.

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Google and Israel Museum Create Virtual Museum Experience

Google and Israel Museum Create Virtual Museum Experience | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Google and Israel Museum Create Virtual Museum Experience...

 

Google and the Israel Museum launched an interactive search engine and Web site this week that allows visitors to take a virtual tour of the museum’s vast collection of Biblical antiquities. In addition, ultra high-resolution images and detailed descriptions of more than 500 objects from the collection are now available with the click of a mouse.

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New Bible translation aims at 'own it but haven't read it' demo

By Stephen Walsh, CNN Professor David Capes says the Bible "is probably the most owned and least read book out there. That's because, for many, it's too difficult to understand.

 

The "own it but haven't read it" demographic is his target market, says Capes, who teaches the New Testament at Houston Baptist University and was part of a team that compiled "The Voice," a new translation of the King James Bible. Capes told CNN that the motivation behind the translation, seven years in the making, was to emphasize the meaning behind the words.

 

"'The Voice' considers the narrative links that help us to understand the drama and passion of story that is present in the original languages," according to the website for the book. "The tone of the writing, the format of the page, and the directness of the dialog allows the tradition of passing down the biblical narrative to come through in 'The Voice.'"

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Joshua's altar: the discovery that can't seem to overcome political obstacles

Joshua's altar: the discovery that can't seem to overcome political obstacles | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
In the place where Jewish tribes became a nation about 3,200 years ago, Professor Adam Zertal has collected surprising evidence of a biblical connection • "If you support a revolutionary idea," he says, "you sever yourself from the establishment."...

 

Indeed, 27 years since the sensational discovery of “Joshua’s altar” and approximately 20 years after it was made public, the world's most important Biblical archaeological site still lies shrouded in darkness. How many Israelis know about it? How many of them have visited it? This site is the Holy Grail of Biblical archaeology, the most significant site to be discovered in centuries. But it is significant not only scientifically and archaeologically. Rather, Zertal claims and proves through his knowledge that in that place, we became a nation 3,200 years ago, shortly after the Israelite tribes entered Canaan.

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BiblePlaces Blog: The Implications of an Altar on Mount Ebal

BiblePlaces Blog: The Implications of an Altar on Mount Ebal | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

I intended to ignore this article (as I do many others), because I doubt that the identification is accurate and this article in Israel Hayom is but a popular presentation of a discovery now 25 years old. So you’re not reading this here because I agree that the “altar” on Mount Ebal is “the world’s most important Biblical archaeological site” and the “the Holy Grail of Biblical archaeology.” But the article helpfully points out scholarly biases that affect interpretation.

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Evidence in Science and Religion, Part Two

Evidence in Science and Religion, Part Two | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Further discussion, with reader commentary, on what believers in religion and believers in scientific investigation have - and don't have - in common.

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Finding God's Forgiveness

Finding God's Forgiveness | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Even religions disagree on how to define forgiveness. Belief systems that claim a biblical basis have significantly divergent views on the subject.

 

Forgiveness is a growing issue in a world that’s struggling with the personal impact of current and recent wars, domestic violence, theft, betrayal, deceit, abuse and murder. The list doesn’t stop there, because what needs to be forgiven covers every human wrong—what the Bible terms “sin.” And that troubling word is one reason to agree on terminology from the start. Without that, clarity about forgiveness and related issues from a biblical perspective will be impossible to achieve. Without a common language, the best we’ll do is to talk at cross purposes.

 

Just what does the Bible say about sin, repentance and forgiveness? Who does the forgiving—God, the victim, both? What does it mean to go the other way (repent)? And what exactly is sin?

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The New Testament: Rightly Divided or Torn Apart?

It is generally thought that the various New Testament writers were divided in what they believed and taught. Do their writings bear this out?

 

It’s become a popular notion that the early apostles were not united in their beliefs and doctrines. Paul, a Hellenistic Jew from the Diaspora, is depicted as one who disagreed with the Judean apostles, especially Peter and James. It’s said that he created Pauline Christianity, distinct from the teachings of Jesus’ first followers. Scholars also view the apostle John as having a separate approach, establishing what they refer to as Johannine Christianity.

 

If all of this is true, then we should expect to find great doctrinal conflict at the heart of the New Testament writings. This is what many scholars have taught during the past 150 years, following the thinking of the influential German theologian F.C. Baur and the Tübingen School. We should expect Paul to contradict James and Peter and vice versa; we should find examples of John disagreeing with Jude and James and Peter, and they with him.

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A nice new tool to understand the Dead Sea Scrolls

A nice new tool to understand the Dead Sea Scrolls | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Yesterday I did a Dead Sea tour. On the way to Ein Gedi, we passed Qumran and I spent some time speaking to my guests about the Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered there.

 

Today I found out that Google has added a really great feature to their Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Project. If you’re not familiar with the project, basically, Google has teamed up with the Israel Museum to great a high resolution, digital version of the scrolls, for anyone to examine for free online. Recently they added a new feature, that allows you to roll over any verse and see several different translations of that verse.

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How Ancient Taxes Were Collected Under King Manasseh

How Ancient Taxes Were Collected Under King Manasseh | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

A new bulla inscribed in paleo-Hebrew provides evidence of Judah’s tax system.

 

King Manasseh was not popular with the Biblical authors (as Barkay puts it, “they hated his guts”), but Assyrian records suggest that he implemented heavy taxes on his people in order to pay tribute to King Esarhaddon and then King Ashurbanipal, Sennacherib’s successors in Assyria. These ancient taxes thus helped King Manasseh maintain relative peace in Judah during his 55-year reign.


Via Rob J Hyndman
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Christ's disciples' remains 'discovered' - Telegraph.co.uk

Christ's disciples' remains 'discovered' - Telegraph.co.uk | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Telegraph.co.ukChrist's disciples' remains 'discovered'Telegraph.co.ukSome Israeli archaeologists, however, said that some contemporary Jewish communities, including the Pharisees and the Essenes, also believed in resurrection.

Via Peter Nathan
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The Dead Sea : Image of the Day

The Dead Sea : Image of the Day | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
The lake between Israel and Jordan provides a bounty of salt and of history.

Via Sakis Koukouvis, Erskine S.Weekes-Libert, David Hulme
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Off the Beaten Track: Pilgrimage to the Temple

Off the Beaten Track: Pilgrimage to the Temple | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it
Exploring the ruins of the Second Temple can be a great way to celebrate Passover, Easter.

 

What better way to celebrate Passover or Easter than by exploring the ruins of the Second Temple in Jerusalem? Before doing so, however, one must first understand the history of the Temple and the politics surrounding it.

 

Judaism has gone through major changes over the last 3,800 years or so. From Abraham to Moses it was all about personal relationships between man and God; God revealing himself to man and guiding him in the ways of morality with the promise of establishing a new nation in a fertile land.

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Where Did the Philistines Come From?

Where Did the Philistines Come From? | Biblical Studies | Scoop.it

The excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath, the site of Gath of the Philistines mentioned in the Bible (e.g., 1 Samuel 6:17), have produced many fascinating finds,* and the summer of 2011 was no exception.

 

While uncovering an impressive destruction level dating to the second half of the ninth century B.C.E., when Gath was the largest of the five cities of the Philistines and perhaps the largest city in the Land of Israel during the Iron Age, excavators found an exceptionally well preserved horned altar reminiscent of the Israelite horned altars described in the Bible (Exodus 27:1–2; 1 Kings 1:50).


Via Rob J Hyndman
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