BiblePlaces Newsletter

Vol 20, #3 - November 9, 2021

This newsletter highlights two items. First, the sale on the Photo Companion to Paul’s Epistles ends this week. You can purchase this collection of more than 8,000 slides for only $129 with the coupon EPISTLES. We have received some very encouraging notes from those who have already ordered the set, and you can see more endorsements and details in the newsletter we sent out recently.

Second, we have some new photos of the dramatic discoveries recently opened to the public at the Herodium. The famous discovery of Herod’s tomb made after decades of searching is well-known, but some may not know that more than just the tomb was found at Herod’s fortress near Bethlehem.

Next to the burial monument, archaeologists unearthed and renovated a small theater, a royal guest room, and a grand staircase leading to the summit. My daughter visited the Herodium in September after the new discoveries were opened to the public, and this newsletter’s free photos are courtesy of her sharp eye and skillful use of the camera.

Thank you for reading. If you know anyone who would enjoy this newsletter, please feel free to share it.

Todd Bolen
Photographer, BiblePlaces.com
Professor of Biblical Studies, The Master’s University

New Release Sale: Paul's Epistles

The Photo Companion to Paul’s Epistles includes 9 volumes, with photographs illustrating each letter, chapter, and verse, and detailed notes explaining each image and its context.

Everything is in PowerPoint format, making it easy to search, adapt, and put to quick use.

The entire collection of Paul’s epistles is on sale through Friday for $129, using the coupon code EPISTLES. Upgrade pricing is available for those who previously purchased Romans and/or 1-2 Corinthians (email us for the upgrade option). Purchase the set today as a DVD+download or as download-only.

Featured BiblePlaces Photos:
New Discoveries at Herodium

The featured photos this month provide a look at the newly discovered and renovated theater, guest room, and staircase at King Herod’s mountain fortress in the Judean wilderness.

For more photos, download the free “Herodium: New Discoveries” PowerPoint. For a complete set of photos of Herodium and other biblical and historic sites, see the Judah and the Dead Sea volume in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.

Herod’s Theater

The theater was first discovered in 2008, halfway up the northern slope of the hill. Constructed in 15 BC in preparation for the visit of Marcus Agrippa, a Roman leader and friend of King Herod, it is estimated that the small theater could seat 450 people. This photograph shows the theater after significant reconstruction work was completed.

The Royal Guest Room

Variously called a “royal box,” a “royal visiting room,” and a “royal guest room,” this room is located just atop the theater (as can be seen in the photo above). Like the theater, it was apparently prepared in anticipation of Marcus Agrippa’s visit. The room was decorated in typical Herodian style, with painted reliefs and plaster ornamentation.

The Monumental Staircase

The Herodium was ascended by a steep stairway 300 feet (95 m) up the outside of the mountain, and then through a tunnel which continued for 200 feet (60 m) through the hill. This staircase leads up past the theater and the tomb monument and into the palace-fortress at the summit.

The Arched Entrance

The monumental staircase and corridor were part of a later construction phase, built shortly before Herod’s death. This entryway cuts directly through the artificial hill and was built with thick walls and sturdy arches in order to prevent the fill from collapsing down into the tunnel.

Reception Room

The stairway and corridor lead up into an entry room decorated with frescoes. The excavators have suggested that this staircase was for use by Herod’s court and visiting dignitaries, while other as-yet-undiscovered paths may have been used for more mundane occasions. Like many of the other structures on the summit, this room showed signs of use by Jewish rebels.

Consider ordering the Paul’s Epistles collection this week at our launch price of $129. This unique and highly-praised resource makes a great gift for pastors and teachers. Purchase includes immediate download and free shipping (in the US). Use coupon EPISTLES to receive the discount. Purchase the set as a DVD+download or download-only.


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All contents © 2021 Todd Bolen. Text and photographs may be used for personal and educational use with attribution. Commercial use requires written permission.