Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

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596 Ziv Spector – Desert Journey to Har Karkom

Har Karkom

Har Karkom

During our 1996 Book & The Spade Israel tour we had the unusual opportunity to drive deep into the Negev desert, to a site called Har Karkom. Our guide was Ziv Spector of Desert Shade. We learned a lot about the desert and saw some stunning scenery.

Har Karkom is an ancient mountain that Italian archaeologist Emanuel Anati has proposed as the “real” site of the biblical Mt. Sinai. There are more than a few problems with Anati’s rationale. But I would still like to go back sometime. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

1692 Emily Master – Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Emily Master

Emily Master

Many of the archaeologists we talk with and talk about are connected to the Israel Antiquities Authority, and many of the excavations we discuss are connected to the Israel Antiquities Authority. So when I found out about this organization, I wanted to learn more.

As their website says, “The Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority is a U.S. based 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to raise awareness and provide financial support to the Israel Antiquities Authority through the promotion of archaeological research, initiation of exhibitions outside of Israel, and sponsorship of activities that share the antiquities and heritage of the Holy Land with as many people as possible.”

Emily Master is not an archaeologist, although she has worked on excavations. She is the executive director of the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

1691 – Top 10 Stories of Biblical Archaeology for 2019

Seal impression bearing the name of Nathan-Melech

Seal impression bearing the name of Nathan-Melech

A lot of great discoveries in the year just past and I review my picks for ten of the most significant Biblical Archaeology stories of the year. This is the list that I annually put together for Christianity Today.

Got a nice shout-out from Stan Guthrie over at Breakpoint.

1361 Mark Wilson – The Archaeology of Santa Claus (St. Nicholas)

This is a rebroadcast of a 2012 Christmas season interview with Mark Wilson, the director of the Asia Minor Research Center in Antalya, Turkey. 1361 Mark Wilson – The Archaeology of Santa Claus

1689-1690 Yiftah Shalev – The Givati Car Park Excavation

Yiftah Shalev

Yiftah Shalev

Located between the Temple Mount and the City of David area, the Givati Car Park Excavation has been going on for the last 12 years, methodically removing layer after layer of accumulated history. We have reported on some of the exciting discoveries of that period, including a horde of Byzantine gold coins, the palace of Queen Helene of Adiabene, the figurine of a boxer, and most recently the seal impression (bulla) of Natan-Melech, servant of the king, who is mentioned in the Bible.

Finally, we have the opportunity to discuss the excavation with one of the co-directors, Yiftah Shalev, of the Israel Antiquities Authority. We can learn some of the background of the excavation, how the focus is changing with new leadership, and some of the advanced techniques and technology being used.

 

1687-1688 John Byron – A Week in the Life of a Slave

A Week in the Life of a Slave

A Week in the Life of a Slave

A Week in the Life of a Slave is the latest release in the IVP Week in the Life series, historical fiction written by biblical scholars packed full of information about biblical archaeology and other biblical research. We talk with author John Byron, professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary about the ubiquitous slaves of the first century Roman world.

Jesus talked about slaves in his parables. They were a part of life in the first century. Byron’s book attempts to fill in some of the missing elements in the biblical book of Philemon, a short epistle written by the Apostle Paul.

As we have done with other books in this series, we are giving away our copy to a listener. But because it’s Christmas season, we’re also giving away a second book, just to be generous: The IVP Concise Atlas of Biblical History. If either of these books interest you, be sure to enter our drawing. Details on how to enter are given at the end of each program.

1686 Clyde Billington-Hippos Sussita Mosaics

Mosaic fish

Mosaic fish

Hippos/Sussita, one of the New Testament cities of the decapolis, is the home to at least a half dozen Byzantine churches which have been, or are being, excavated. The latest report from these excavations concerned beautiful mosaics found in one of the churches. The mosaics, among other things, portray Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000, which occurred (somewhere) nearby.

We discuss this discovery and others that have been reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our biblical archaeology news magazine, including a beautiful staircase at Hazor which is believed to lead to a plaza and a palace.

Then there’s the Goliath Wall at Gath, a massive city wall from the time of David and Goliath that is twice as thick as the later walls that were excavated on top of it.

And finally, year-round excavations have begun at Assos, a city along the coast of western Turkey that was visited by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:13). Archaeologists  have been working here for 38 years, but are now picking up the pace, to make the site more interesting to visitors.