Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

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1572-1573 Sidnie White Crawford – The Dead Sea Scrolls at 70

Sidnie White Crawford

Sidnie White Crawford

It’s been 70 years since the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered in a desert cave overlooking the Dead Sea near the ruins of Qumran. The value of that discovery has changed over the years as our understanding of the scrolls has changed. We discuss current perspectives on the Dead Sea Scrolls with Sidnie White Crawford, a Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and professor of the Hebrew Bible at the University of Nebraska.

1571 Clyde Billington – Solomon’s Donkey Dung and Dan Wall Fall

The Iron Age Gate at Dan

The Iron Age Gate at Dan

Two of the top archaeology news stories in the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine concern the dating of copper mining operations at Timna through ancient donkey dung and the collapse of the wall near the Iron Age Gate at Dan following recent rainfall.

These stories and more from the latest issue of ARTIFAX are discussed with my ARTIFAX co-editor, professor Clyde Billington.

1570 Clyde Billington – Dead Sea Scroll Fragments and Hippos Theater

An evening visit to Hippos/Sussita

An evening visit to Hippos/Sussita

There are a number of unpublished Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the possession of U.S. institutions. We discuss the significance and meaning of this situation, and whether they will be published soon. This story is one of the news digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine.

The discovery of a large theater, apparently used for cultic worship, at the decapolis city of Hippos/Sussita is another news development reported in ARTIFAX. We discuss these stories and others from the latest issue.

1569 Clyde Billington – Temple Mount Sifting Project

Sifting Temple Mount material

Sifting Temple Mount material

For the last decade the Temple Mount Sifting Project has been sifting material illegally excavated from the Temple Mount in 1999. The project is about 70 percent completed but has now gone on hiatus. It appears to be partly a funding issue but also a slowdown so that the important publishing of the finds can catch up.

Among recent finds, the discovery of a column capital from the Temple Mount, perhaps from Solomon’s portico. We discuss these latest developments as well as other reports from the news digest of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine.

1567-1568 Alice Mandell – The Amarna Letters

Alice Mandell

Alice Mandell

Called by one author, “a preface to Biblical History,” the Amarna tablets describe the Canaanite world just before the Israelites arrived. These diplomatic messages were sent from Canaanite kings and others to the Pharaoh Akhenaton, describing and complaining about various circumstances. These cuneiform tablets were discovered in Amarna, Egypt, in the late 19th century and are still being discussed and debated by Egyptologists and biblical scholars.

In this 2-part recorded conversation, Alice Mandell, Assistant Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature in the University of Wisconsin Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, describes some of the latest discoveries and latest debates about these tablets and the ancient world they describe.

 

1566 John DeLancey – The Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The newly renovated edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The newly renovated edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Photo by John DeLancey

This Easter, the Church that marks the traditional location of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is coming out of a 4 million dollar renovation.  John DeLancey, co-leader of our Israel tour next year, is just back from another visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and discusses the newly renovated edicule in its rotunda.

The edicule, a small structure that covers the tomb of Jesus, has been rebuilt and strengthened against collapse.

In addition, we review news coverage of a recent open house at the Israel Antiquities Authority warehouse where relics from the time of Jesus are displayed for reporters.

1565 Joel Pless – Pompeii & Herculaneum

Victims of Mt. Vesuvius eruption in situ.

Victims of Mt. Vesuvius eruption in situ.

A window into the Roman world of the New Testament is afforded through the ruins that have been excavated at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The two cities were destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

But is there even more of a biblical connection? An answer that may surprise you from Joel Pless, professor at Wisconsin Lutheran College, in this interview.

Yes we do know that the apostle Paul traveled in this area, near the end of his ministry, but there’s more than that. Tune in and listen.

Photo: By Lancevortex – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47499