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“A rare 2,000-year-old silver shekel coin, thought to have been minted on the Temple Mount plaza from the plentiful silver reserves held there at the time, has been uncovered in Jerusalem” by an 11-year-old girl participating in a sifting operation.

A Roman game carved into the city square near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate is known as Alquerque, a kind of proto-checkers (Haaretz premium).

Archaeologists have identified six prominent characteristics of royal architecture in the Levant during the time of Israel’s kings. The underlying journal article is here.

Andrew Lawler tells the story of when rabbis entered an area under the Temple Mount through Warren’s Gate with hopes of finding the Ark of the Covenant.

Archaeologist Barak Monnickendam-Givon is interviewed on The Jerusalem Post’s Zoomcast series about archaeological evidence related to Hanukkah and the Maccabees.

Israel21c has an article on 6 archaeological discoveries related to the Maccabees.

Bryan Windle’s top three reports in biblical archaeology is out for the month of November.

For the Thanksgiving episode of The Book and the Spade, Gordon Govier shares the story of his own “life in ruins” (direct link).

Zoom lecture on Nov 30: “The Mysteries of the Ark of the Covenant,” by Thomas Christian Römer

Zoom lecture on Dec 16: “Agrippa II: – The Last of the Herods,” by David Jacobson

It looks like another Christmas in Bethlehem without tourists.

Amazon has a buy-2-get-1-free special on the ESV Archaeology Study Bible and other books.

Preserving Bible Times is shifting their resources over to a digital-only format, and now until the end of the year, they are offering their print books and CDs and DVDs at reduced prices.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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Archaeologists in Egypt have found proof that they are excavating a rare ancient sun temple, the third ever found and the first to be uncovered in 50 years.”

After a ten-year closure, Egypt has begun plans to restore the Aswan Museum on Elephantine Island.

Saudi Arabia has opened the Nabatean site of Hegra to foreign tourists for the first time ever. This detailed article about Petra’s little sister includes many beautiful photos.

Four known Mycenaean corbel arch bridges in the vicinity of Mycenae and Arkadiko villages in Greece are considered to be some of the world’s oldest bridges. Two of them are still in operation and have been so for at least 3,000 years.”

Lina Zeldovich has written the best article I’ve ever read on bathroom practices of ancient Romans.

Now online: “Propaganda, Power, and Perversion of Biblical Truths: Coins Illustrating the Book of Revelation,” by Gordon Franz

It is interesting to see the Tehran Times run a story about Susa without ignoring its role biblical history. (The Bible is effectively outlawed in Iran, and all websites related to the Bible, including this one, cannot be accessed.)

The Biblical Archaeology Society has announced its 2021 Publication Awards Winners.

“Holly Beers and David deSilva discuss life in the first century with Biblical World host Lynn Cohick. Holly and David both wrote novels that explore life on the ground in Ephesus, giving readers a unique opportunity to experience Paul’s world in a very personal way.”

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Andy Cook

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Archaeologists have excavated a fortress in the Shephelah of Judah that was destroyed by John Hyrcanus circa 112 BC.

The winter issue of Biblical Archaeology Review is out, and the cover story argues that the “Tomb of the Kings” was built not for Helene of Adiabene but for Herod Agrippa I whose death is recorded in Acts 12.

David Hendin talks about his life in numismatics and why he has written now six editions of his Guide to Biblical Coins.

Matti Friedman writes a feature piece for Smithsonian Magazine on the impact of excavations at Timna on scholarly reconstructions of the kingdom of Solomon.

A call for papers has been issued for The First International Academic Conference on New Studies in Temple Mount Research.

Zoom lecture on Dec 1 ($10): The Rise of the Maccabees: What Archaeology Reveals About Antiquity’s Last Independent Jewish Kingdom, by Andrea Berlin

New video: “The Archaeology of Ancient Israel: Past, Present, and Future, Part 1,” with Kyle Keimer.

“The newly launched ArchaeoTrail App allows you to create a smartphone trail for the visitors of any archaeological site around the world free of charge – including your own site.”

Matthew Adams, director of the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, is interviewed about his work at Megiddo and how archaeology has changed over the last 20 years.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Andy Cook

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Last year I alerted you to my colleague William Varner’s book on the Passion Week, and he has now completed a trilogy on the life of Christ. The second book he wrote is called Anticipating the Advent, a timely book as we begin the season where we are looking forward to celebrating Jesus’s birth.

The third book was just released last week, and it covers everything between the Advent and the Passion Week. Entitled Messiah’s Ministry: Crises of the Christ, this book offers Varner’s reflections on a lifetime of studying and teaching the life of Christ at The Master’s University. Some chapter titles will give you an idea of the uniqueness of this book’s approach:

  • Messiah and the Men of Qumran
  • Messiah in the Water
  • Messiah and Women
  • Messiah and the Goyim
  • Messiah and the Mystery Man

Those who know Dr. Varner will not be surprised by the happy juxtaposition of academic and devotional throughout the book, illustrated by each chapter’s closing with a recommended resource and a prayer.

This book will always have a special place on my shelf because of the inscription on the dedication page. Will and I have been colleagues for 25 years now, originally separated by an ocean but now by just a hallway, and I am grateful for his personal encouragement, steadfast faith, and joy in the Lord. But all readers will benefit from his careful research and keen insights into the life of Christ in this book and all three in the trilogy.

The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle formats. The book’s foreword is written by Robert H. Gundry, and endorsements include these:

“The issues addressed by Dr. William Varner in Messiah’s Ministry relate to the credibility of Jesus’ stunning claims concerning Himself. Throughout His ministry, Jesus claimed to be the Messiah/Christ and to be God come in the flesh (Matt 16:16; John 11:27; Matt 26:63; John 20:30–31). When Paul told them about the remarkable claims and accomplishments of the Nazarene, the Bereans “searched the Scriptures to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11) and thus believed. You will be blessed to walk with Dr. Varner through some of those Old Testament Messianic anticipations which God used to impact the truth-seeking Bereans so long ago.”

Douglas Bookman, Shepherds Theological Seminary

“The best way to describe this excellent work by Dr. Varner is to point out . . . two things which are quite unique to this work. First, he covers what many other similar books cover about the Messiah being a Prophet, Priest, and King. Some of the insights in these three categories, however, are still unique to him and are worthy of consideration and study. Second, here are some new emphases that most books on the Life of Messiah simply do not cover: backgrounds from the Hebrew Scriptures and a frame of reference from rabbinic theology prevalent in first century Israel which is what the Messiah had to interact with whether it came from the Pharisees or from the Sadducees or from the Herodians. This material provides additional perspective in understanding Messiah’s person and work and points out the uniqueness of Dr. Varner’s work. This work is highly recommended, and I encourage all to read this volume as well as the other two volumes in the trilogy.”

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Director of Ariel Ministries

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“The Egyptian-German mission has uncovered a collection of decorated blocks and fragments from the King Nactanebo [Nectanebo] I temple at the Matariya archaeological site in Heliopolis.”

A perfectly intact room that was lived in by slaves has been discovered in a suburb of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.” There is a 1-minute video here.

Archaeologists have discovered an latrine in the ancient theater of Izmir (biblical Smyrna), probably intended for use by actors.

“New excavations at the site of Blaundus in western Turkey are shedding light on the burial practices of ancient Asia Minor.”

Hurriyet Daily News has a short story on the use of healing bowls in antiquity.

Excavations of the Mycenean necropolis of ancient Rhypes has revealed various assemblages of grave goods and bronze swords.

Turkish Archaeological News has a day-by-day roundup of archaeological discoveries throughout the country in October, including the discovery of a 1st century altar at Alexandria Troas.

Giorgia Baldacci explains how clues from the cultural context of the Phaistos Disc support its authenticity and help to date it to 1750 BC.

George Athas discusses the intertestamental period on the Undeceptions podcast.

Microsoft has teamed up with the Greek government to digitally preserve ancient Olympia.

The Roman denarius has influenced currency throughout the Mediterranean world for the last two thousand years.

Rome’s Barberini Mithraeum, a mysterious cavern dating to the third century AD, is to reopen to visitors every second and fourth Saturday of the month, from 13 November.”

The 23rd season of excavations has begun at the site of ancient Ecbatana, capital of the Medes.

Upcoming trips of interest with Tutku Tours:

  • In Paul’s Footsteps in Turkey, with Mark Wilson (Apr-May 2022)
  • By Sea & Land: Paul’s Journey to Rome, with Charl Rasmussen and Glen Thompson (Apr-May 2022)
  • Seven Churches of Revelation and John of Patmos (Jay-June 2022)
  • Greece & Turkey: The Cradle of Christianity, with Mark Fairchild (July 2022)
  • Paul at Illyricum, with Mark Wilson (Sept 2022)
  • Sailing Acts: The Seaports and Sailing Routes of Paul, with Linford and Janet Stutzman (Sept 2022)

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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A new study suggests that Sennacherib’s army collected three million stones in order to construct the massive siege ramp at Lachish in about 25 days.

Researchers studying dolmen fields in southern Jordan discovered several unfinished dolmens, providing insights into how these megalithic tombs were constructed.

Authorities have recovered more than 6,000 ancient coins from the owner of a jewelry store in Ashkelon.

“Why is a citrus fruit – also known in Hebrew as etrog – featured in the magnificent mosaic paving the main hall of a caliphate castle in Jericho?”

La Sierra University’s Archaeology Discovery Weekend is being held today and tomorrow with the theme, “Southwest Turkey: Famous Cities, Churches, and Synagogues.”

In the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast, “Kyle and Chris interview Erez Ben-Yosef (Tel Aviv University) concerning his work on the 11th through 9th century BC copper industry in the Arabah of Israel and Jordan.”

Jordan is eager to end its tourism slump, and the recent filming of movies including Dune, Aladdin, and Star Wars: Rogue One may help to attract visitors.

Zoom lecture on Nov 15: “Coin Deposits: From Ancient Synagogues in Late Antique Palestine,” by Tine Rassalle

Zoom lecture on Dec 2: “Synagogues as Jesus Knew Them,” by James R. Strange

New release: Excavations in the City of David, Jerusalem (1995-2010), by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron

New release: To Explore the Land of Canaan: Studies in Biblical Archaeology in Honor of Jeffrey R. Chadwick, edited by Aren M. Maeir and George A. Pierce (DeGruyter, $100)

Registration has opened for the 2022 season at Tel Burna.

The Institute of Biblical Culture is now taking registrations for a beginning course in Biblical Hebrew starting in January.

The Top Ten Discoveries Related to Joshua and the Conquest includes some familiar finds and some new ones. With 53 footnotes, this is a well-researched summary that will very useful for many.

The video downloads and conference notebook for the Infusion Bible Conference on Paul and His Roman World are now available for purchase. This is a valuable resource.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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