This has been a busy month with little spare time lately for blogging. Here are some recent articles of interest before I head out on another trip.
Several sites in Israel were given World Heritage status recently, including Megiddo, Hazor, Beersheba, and the Spice Route.
Some archaeologists have vented about the manner in which excavations have been carried out in Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount ramp. The source is Haaretz, so don’t expect a fair report.
And on the tomb of Jesus discovery, Gordon Franz of the Associates for Biblical Research responds.
The Jerusalem Post has a lengthy interview with the moviemaker/investigative journalist/naked archaeologist, Simcha Jacobovici.
The Biblical Archaeology Society has an interview with two scholars who lost their faith and two who didn’t. Despite its appearance, the four are not exactly a representative group. Shanks should have looked harder to find a real Christian. There’s much here worthy of commenting on, but time does not allow for it today.
9 thoughts on “Recent Articles”
I wish the article on the perfume route gave a bit more background. Or perhaps you might consider that for a future post…
I agree about BAR. I was very interested by the title, and very dissapointed after I read the article. The most conservative one of the bunch admitted his faith was almost entirely existential.
Yeah, Ehrman came off the most reasonable in that debate, except for his minor disbelief in the possibility of miracles!!
I don’t get why people have to be so “all-or-nothing” about faith and evidence. Clearly evidence is messy, but there’s enough to go on that makes one’s belief reasonable, even if it’s not “objectively verifiable” or “provable.”
The bottom line is this; archaeology can never proove the Bible. But conversely it hasn’t yet (despite various attempts to claim otherwise) disproved the Bible. Therefore archaeology can only shed light on what life was like in the past, so as to give us a better understaning of the context of the events described in the Bible. These would include the daily lives of the people, the major events that shaped the history of the site, and cultural insights. Only occasionally does it serve to give evidence to the plausability of the Bible (the existance of king Hezekiah and the belief in the deity of Christ in the early church for two examples). So yes the “evidence is messy” but there is no need for it to be “enough to go on.” This is why I think the article in BAR was on the verge of rubbish.
Ehrman seems on a crusade to destroy the traditional view of Jesus, and in his zeal his scholarship suffers. Strange says his existencial experience is enough for him (so then an existencial experience in Bhuddism would be enough for another?). Schiffman says Jews never needed evidence for thier faith, but seems confused about what that makes Judaism then (are you a Jew because you beleive in Yahweh, or because you are born a Jew? Schiffman and Dever have interesting views on this). And Dever says he is an agnostic because of his scholarship, but converted to Judaism just because everyone else around him was Jewish.
Frankly, I was hoping for a little more scholarship and a little less group back patting.
Todd, just in case you’re interested, Dr. Pfann has a blog now.
a “real Christian” … that’s a bit presumptuous Todd don’t you think…
Ken – no, I don’t.
In Israel a Christian is permitted to preach the gospel in a church building, but the clergy or anyone to even tell one about the teachings in the Bible outside of church will bring a 5 year prison sentence.
For a Christian to give a Bible or a religious article or even an act of kindness toward a Jew, such as giving a gift of food, can be interpreted as trying to convert a Jew to Christianity and can bring a 5 year prison sentence.
It is illegal for a Jewish woman to marry a Christian man or a Jewish man to marry a Christian woman. The marriage is not recognized and it is against the law.
Israel has no constitution, but it makes and changes its laws for the benefit of Jews only.
For an example, an individual from any place in the world can emigrate to Israel if only one (1) of his four (4) grandparents is/was Jewish. A Christian or Moslem Palestinian born in Jerusalem does Not have the same rights as a person born in Russia with “only” one of his/her grandparents is/was Jewish.
Christian & Moslem citizens of Israel are 3rd & 4th class citizens. They do not have the same rights, opportunities and protections as Jews.
Just look and see how they are treated at Tel Aviv airport and other places in Israel. Their humiliations by the Israelis are sinful to the core.
JUST THE HONEST TRUTH !
Some of you may be interested in an opinion piece by U. of Chicago prof Norman Golb that just came out in the Forward, entitled “Take Claims About Dead Sea Scrolls With a Grain of Salt”. The reactions submitted by readers in the “Comments” section following the article reveal a vicious conflict between defenders and opponents of the Qumran-Essene hypothesis of Scroll origins.
The link is: