Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

Latest

1554 Brent Seales – The Library at Herculaneum

prof. Brent Seales

prof. Brent Seales

We check in again with Brent Seales, chair of the computer science department at the University of Kentucky, for an update on his efforts to read ancient scrolls which are unreadable without a X-ray scan and his software to virtually unroll the scrolls. Professor Seales first got our attention a year and a half ago with the news that he had virtually unrolled a carbonized scroll of Leviticus, excavated in 1970 from a burned synagogue on the Dead Sea shore at Engedi.

At the time he took up the Leviticus scroll professor Seales had been at somewhat of a dead end on his efforts to read scrolls from the Villa of the Papyri, excavated a century and a half ago from Herculaneum. The ink on the scrolls was indistinguishable from the burned black papyri. But now professor Seales believes he’s found the solution to that problem, and it may well be that this ancient library, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, is once again going to be available to interested readers.

1553 Clyde Billington – Top Ten Biblical Archaeology stories of 2016

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Every year we draw attention to all of the interesting excavations in Biblical Archaeology by highlighting ten of the most exciting discoveries or announcements of the previous year. This year the top discovery on the list goes right to the heart of the Christian faith, the opening up of the traditional tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. There are nine more on the list, one all the way at the other end of the Roman Empire.

You can tune in or download and listen, or you can check the written version that was published by Christianity Today magazine.

1296-1298 again, with Thomas Oden

3933Five years ago we interviewed theologian Thomas Oden about his new InterVarsity Press book, The African Memory of Mark. It was an intriguing new perspective on the author of the shortest Gospel.

Thomas Oden died December 8, 2016. He was 85. We are rebroadcasting these programs in his memory.

Oden has an interesting story about his theological journey, as reported in Christianity Today and other publications. Terry Mattingly also had a column on Thomas Oden.

 

1552 Clyde Billington – Lachish Gate Shrine & New IAA Archaeology Campus

Excavating the toilet at the Lachish Gate Shrine.

Excavating the toilet at the Lachish Gate Shrine.

A second look at some of the top archaeology stories from the Autumn 2016 issue of ARTIFAX magazine with co-editor Clyde Billington.

On this program we discuss the recently renewed excavations at Lachish and the discovery of a gate shrine which appears to have been permanently desecrated by the installation of a toilet.

We also discuss the Israel Antiquities Authority’s new archaeology campus in Jerusalem, as well as the reopening of the restored Mamertine Prison in Rome, where Peter and Paul may have been held.

1551 Clyde Billington – Gezer Palace/Cana Cave Workshop

Professor Clyde Billington

Professor Clyde Billington

Professor Clyde Billington, the new president of the Near East Archaeological Society and fellow editor of ARTIFAX magazine, joins me to discuss some of the news items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX.

Our discussion includes this summer’s excavation of a palace from the time of Solomon at Tel Gezer, the discovery of the cave that may have been the source of the water/wine containers present at the wedding in Cana attended by Jesus and his disciples, the results of the excavations in the priestly quarter of first century Jerusalem, and a possible gem from the Jewish High Priest’s ephod.

1549-1550 Frankie Snyder – Tiles of the Temple

Frankie Snyder

Frankie Snyder

A mathematician has come up with designs of the floors of the first century temple, the temple of Jesus’ time, built by King Herod. These geometric stone tile floors are called Opus Sectile, a design brought to Israel by Herod and used in many of his projects.

In these two programs Frankie Snyder describes her detective work and what has been discovered about this unique flooring design.

1548 Darrell Bock – The Tomb of Jesus

Darrell Bock - Dallas Theological Seminary

Darrell Bock – Dallas Theological Seminary

Archaeologists and conservators in Jerusalem are repairing the edicule, a small structure that covers the traditional location of the tomb of Jesus in the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. During a 60-hour period they were able to remove the marble covering of the stone tomb and observe for the first time in four and a half centuries the actual stone bench on which the body of Jesus is believed to have lain.

But could this actually be the Tomb of Jesus? There are questions about which site is right so we went to Darrell Bock, Research Professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary to seek some answers.