Conference: The NT in Archaeology and Ancient Judaism

One of the advantages of the present crisis is that conferences that you probably would not be able to fly to are now easy to watch from home. And some of them are free, including one this weekend.

This one is hosted by “Windows into the Bible University” and it’s a virtual conference on “The New Testament in Archaeology and Ancient Judaism.” Registration is free but required.

Here is the schedule, with all times Eastern:

Saturday, June 27

10:00 am: Marc Turnage, “The Son of David: Solomon, Healing, Exorcism, and Jesus”

11:30 am: Archie Wright, “The Development of Satan in the Second Temple Period and the New Testament”

12:45 pm: Mark Nanos, “How to Read Paul and His Letters Within Judaism”

​3:00 pm: Mordechai Aviam, “On Disciples and Pottery: Excavating el-Araj and the Identification of Bethsaida”

4:30 pm: Round Table Discussion, “Reading the New Testament In Light of Ancient Judaism,” with Marc Turnage, R. Steven Notley, Archie Wright and Jeffrey Garcia

Sunday, June 28

2:00 pm: R. Steven Notley, “Reading the Gospel Parables as Jewish Literature”

3:30 pm: Jeffrey Garcia, “Crossing the Streams: John, Jesus and the Rabbis on Charity and Deeds of Lovingkindness”

4:45 pm: Marc Turnage, “The Kingdom of Heaven: Politics and Redemption in Ancient Judaism”

For more details and to register, go here.

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

The Jerusalem Post runs a story on the 2013 discovery of a winery at Jezreel. A scholarly article was published this year on the excavation in the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies.

Analysis of pottery workshops in the Jerusalem area reveals changes brought about by the Roman destruction of the city in AD 70. The underlying journal article was recently published in BASOR.

In his latest “Discussions with the Diggers,” Bryan Windle interviews Robert Mullins, focusing on his current excavations of Abel Beth Maacah. (I read yesterday that Yadin in the 1950s would have preferred to excavate Abel instead of Hazor, but he was unable to because of the military situation.)

Virtual conference on June 15-16: On the Origin of the Pieces: The Provenance of the Dead Sea Scrolls

W. Raymond Johnson of the Oriental Institute gave a lecture this week on “Medinet Habu and Tell el-Amarna: Tales of Blocks and Towers.”

SBL Press has “unpublished” Burton MacDonald’s A History of Ancient Moab from the Ninth to First Centuries BCE after determining that it “does not adequately adhere to the expected standard of marking all direct quotations from other sources.” (If you want a copy, better grab one now. Or if you already purchased, you can send it back for a refund.)

New release: A Week in the Life of Ephesus, by David A. deSilva. I enjoy the way this series makes learning historican context enjoyable. (Also available in Logos.)

Kris Udd gave a one-day Seminar on Bible Chronology at his church a few months ago, and he has made the videos and print materials available for free download. I have benefitted from Dr. Udd’s excellent chronology materials for many years, and I am happy to see them made widely available.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

“A singular two-millennia-old subterranean system of three rooms has been uncovered near the Western Wall. The three-room complex — painstakingly chiseled by hand out of bedrock prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE — is the first evidence of everyday life gone underground in the ancient city.” There’s a nice 3-minute video in English here.

An intact terracotta sarcophagus dating from the second century AD has been unearthed alongside the archaeological site of Ostia Antica” near Rome.

Researchers have found that early Iron Age Nubia utilized bitumen from the Dead Sea in funeral preparations.

An incredible, undisturbed tomb probably dating back to the Punic period has been found in Tarxien” on the island of Malta.

Eberhard Zangger and Rita Gautschy argue that a monumental depiction of the Hittite pantheon in the rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya near Hattusha actually served as an ancient calendar based on celestial events.

A study of a trash pit in Beth-Yerah/Philoteria provides insights into the diet of the inhabitants in the 2nd century BC.

The founders of Hobby Lobby are suing Christie’s auction house for selling it a stolen copy of the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet.

Some of the lectures from the Bar Ilan archaeology series have been recorded and are available online.

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken

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Bar-Ilan Lecture Series on Zoom

The Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University presents a series of public Zoom lectures on the history and archaeology of the land of Israel.

Tune in at 6pm Israel time (4pm London, 11am New York/Toronto, 8am Los Angeles/Vancouver) to hear some of Israel’s foremost researchers discuss fascinating sites in the land from pre-history to today.

Sunday, May 17: Dr. Nira Alperson-Afil – The Pre-historic Humans of the Hulah Valley

Monday, May 18: Prof. Aren Maeir – Who were the Philistines?

Tuesday, May 19: Prof. Shawn Zelig Aster – Shiloh and the Earliest Israelites in the Land of Israel

Wednesday, May 20: Prof. Aren Maeir – Excavations at the Tell es-Safi, Biblical Gath of the Philistines, home of Goliath

Thursday, May 21: Dr. Amit Dagan – The “Raiders” of the Lost Ark: The Unbelievable Story of Parker’s Expedition in Jerusalem

Sunday, May 24: Prof. Shawn Zelig Aster – Lachish: The city that save Jerusalem from the Assyrians

Monday, May 25: Prof. Yvonne Friedman – The City of the King of Kings: Crusader Jerusalem

Tuesday, May 26: Dr. Naaman Marom – The Nimrod Fortress and the Mongol Invasion

Wednesday, May 27: Dr. Avi Picard – Shaar Ha-Aliyah: Israel’s Ellis Island

HT: Aren Maeir

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

The British Museum has made nearly 2 million photos from its collection available for free use under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial license.

Smithsonian: What Rome Learned from the Deadly Antonine Plague of 165 A.D.

National Geographic describes the important role Hittite chariots played in the war with Egypt at the Battle of Kadesh in 1275 BC.

Jodi Magness has been invited to deliver the Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology in 2022.

The Online Egyptological Bibliography is being made available for free during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mark Hoffman has discovered The Ancient Theater Archive, with detailed information about theaters all over Europe and the Middle East.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos from the only fully preserved structure where Roman emperor worship took place (and part 2).

Ferrell Jenkins captured a photo of Mount Gilboa with a nice atmospheric effect.

John DeLancey has produced a 6-minute devotional video about Joppa.

ibiblestock.org is a new resource featuring many photos and videos of Israel. In addition to the free offerings, the entire library is available for sale on a USB key for $290. Some of the Israel  are are available for free.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Jason Beals, Joseph Lauer

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

“Scientists at the University of Chicago are developing a machine learning system that can automatically transcribe text found on ancient clay tablets.”

The Unionville Times offers a guide to virtual tours of museums in Europe and the US.

Colette J. Loll led the investigation into the forged Dead Sea Scrolls at the Museum of the Bible and she offers her assessment of the story.

Erin L. Thompson, a professor of art crime, discusses the cost of forgeries donated to museums.

Appian Media has begun a new podcast entitled “Digging Deeper” and hosted by Barry Britnell and Dan Kingsley. You can check out the trailer here.

Organising an Empire: The Assyrian Way” is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) taught by Karen Radner in six teaching units that take about 19 hours to complete. Began yesterday.

The current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has been opened up for all to read.

Ferrell Jenkins shares “then and now” photos of the “Tomb of the Kings” in Jerusalem. See also Tom Powers’s extended comment about the date of the Pool of Hezekiah.

Israel’s Good Name went for a hike to Khirbet Luza, near Moza, and saw a striped hyena in the wild.

This year’s Infusion Bible Conference has been postponed. “Paul in His Roman World” will be the subject of the conference in June 2021.

Forthcoming: Has Archaeology Buried the Bible?, by William G. Dever

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

In the ANE Today, Alex Joffe looks at pandemics in ancient and modern times.

The Museum of the Bible has begun a video podcast series entitled the “Lonesome Curator.” Episode 8 is on Lachish.

The coronavirus has changed burial practices in the Holy Land.

Church leaders are discussing how to allow some kind of celebration of Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

There’s a report of illegal digging on the Temple Mount.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is offering its April lecture series on Pompeii via Zoom.

Google Arts & Culture has created an interesting photo story entitled “Exploring the Phoenician Shipwreck” from an expedition in 2019 off the coast of Gozo, Malta.

Mark Hoffman had some time for blogging yesterday:

Now is a good time to watch “The Week That Changed the World: A Journey through the Passion Week” with Wayne Stiles.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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Weekend Roundup

Israel is moving forward on plans to extend the high-speed train line to a station near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Restoration work has begun on the floor of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Two ritual baths south of Jerusalem are overflowing with water following the winter rains.

$1.3 million has been given to support marine archaeological research off Israel’s coast.

Volunteer applications are being accepted for excavations at Tell Keisan this coming September.

A BBC documentary describes the discovery of a hoard of silver decadrachm coins in Gaza, and what happened to them next.

Egypt has sentenced the brother of an ex-minister to 30 years in jail for smuggling antiquities.

Iran’s Basij Resistance Force is apparently threatening to destroy the historic tomb site of Esther and Mordecai, located in Hamedan.

Wayne Stiles was at Colossae last week and he reflects on the significance of the site and Paul’s letter to the church.

An archaeology park featuring a Roman theater is being developed in Ankara.

Debate continues over whether a skull unearthed 120 years ago near Pompeii belonged to Pliny the Elder.

Italian archaeologists have found underneath the Roman Forum an ancient shrine and sarcophagus that was likely dedicated to Romulus.

A conference on “Sheshonq (Shishak) in Palestine” will be held in Vienna on March 6-7.

Ferrell Jenkins answers questions about the six water jugs at the wedding of Cana.

Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee during Jesus’s ministry, is the subject of the latest archaeological biography by Bryan Windle.

To listen to the latest episodes on The Book and the Spade, see this page.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Keith Keyser, Explorator

Gezer Solomonic gate from northeast, mjb1902200736

This week on our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram streams we featured sites related to Israel’s kings, including this one of the gate at Gezer that was built by King Solomon’s administration.

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Archaeology Conference in SoCal: The Time of Israel’s Kings

The Master’s University, where I teach, is hosting an archaeology conference on February 29, and you are invited. The schedule is as follows:

Afternoon Sessions
2:00 PM Dr. Chris McKinny | Archaeology of Ahab: The Strength of the Northern Kingdom
3:00 PM Dr. Seth Rodriquez | Archaeology of Hezekiah: Judah Struggles to Survive
4:00 PM Dr. Todd Bolen | Archaeology of Esther: God’s People in Exile
5:00 PM Hors d’oeuvres

General Sessions
6:30 PM Dr. Chris McKinny | Archaeology of David: Israel’s Rise to Prominence
7:30 PM Dr. Seth Rodriquez | Archaeology of Solomon: Israel’s Golden Era
8:30 PM Q&A
9-10 PM Cookies and Coffee in the University Exchange

The afternoon sessions require registration, and the modest fee of $25 includes an hors d’oeuvres dinner, a free gift from one of the speakers, and a chance to mingle with Drs. Rodriquez and McKinny. The evening sessions are free to all. (The non-chronological sequence of the lectures is intentional in order to present the most popular topics when the attendance is higher.)

Longtime readers of the blog are familiar with both Chris and Seth, as they have contributed here over the years. They live and teach in Texas and Colorado, respectively, and we are flying them in for the weekend. The other speaker is of little consequence, flown in from nowhere, and he has brazenly refused to follow the topic of Israel’s kings, even though he wrote his master’s thesis on the reign of Jeroboam II and his doctoral dissertation on the reign of Jehu. He supposed that people might find a study of the archaeology of Esther to be unique and fascinating.

As you can see from the banner below, this series is part of the university’s annual Creation Summit, though this year the organizers have opted to deviate from the origins theme in order to focus on biblical archaeology. So this is an exciting and unusual opportunity, and if you are able, I hope that you will join us.

Creation Summit banner

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Weekend Roundup

The stories this week are about as random as I can remember, making it challenging to figure out a logical sequence. We’ll start with Jerusalem, and we’ll end with a photo that was popular this week on our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram stream.

Journalists were given a tour of the newly reopened Roman square underneath the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem.

With the water level up nearly 6 feet in the last month, Israeli authorities may have to open the dam of the Sea of Galilee for the first time since 1992. (There’s a beautiful sunrise photo at the end of this article.)

Nof Ginnosar and the Sea of Galilee are the focus of the latest in the “Life Lessons from Israel” video series.

“Russian Archaeology in the Holy Land,” by Yana Tchekhanovets and Leonid Belyaev, is the lead article in the latest issue of ANE Today.

Biblical Byways is offering a low-budget study tour of Israel for Spanish speakers in September.

A replica of a 2,600-year-old Phoenician ship finished its five-month transatlantic voyage last week when it arrived in Miami.

Archaeologists have recovered 1,400 cuneiform tablets from the lost Sumerian city of Irisagrig, but they don’t know where that ancient city was located.

The traditional tomb of Ezekiel (in Iraq, not the one in Iran) is again becoming a place of pilgrimage.

Saudi Arabia plans to create the world’s largest living museum in Al Ula by 2035.

For more than a decade now, “Athens-based photographer and animator Dimitris Tsalkanis has cultivated a sort of unusual hobby: recreating ancient Athens via 3D modeling software.”

An archaeologist in Spain is on trial for forging a third-century depiction of Jesus’s crucifixion.

Salman Abu Sitta will be lecturing in London on February 28 on the subject of the “1871 Survey of Western Palestine Revisited: The Visible and The Hidden.”

New book: Roman-Period and Byzantine Nazareth and Its Hinterland, by Ken Dark

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott talks about her recent book Food in Ancient Judah on the OnScript podcast.

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos of the atad tree, the worthless bramble mentioned in Jotham’s parable in Judges 9.

The archaeological biography on King Ahaz features an altar, a seal, and a toilet.

The Global Smyrna Meeting on the Seven Churches of Revelation offers lectures and sites visits given a whole host of popular teachers, including Mark Wilson, Ben Witherington, Mark Fairchild, Carl Rasmussen, and Dana Harris.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer

Wadi Lubban view northwest of Shiloh, db6604081205

This beautiful valley is located in the tribal inheritance of Ephraim, not far from Shiloh. Photo taken in 1966 by David Bivin.

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