Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

395-396 Adam Zertal & the Mt. Ebal altar


Every little while a major national magazine does a major treatment of Biblical Archaeology. This month it’s Smithsonian magazine. As usual the article delves into the ongoing struggles between the maximalists and the minimalists. I thought it was a pretty good assessment and recommend it’s reading to you.

The article starts out with a tense journey in armored vehicles to an archaeological site on Mt. Ebal, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, with archaeologist Adam Zertal. The structure Zertal has found there is believed by him to be the altar that the Bible describes in the book of Joshua, built by the newly arrived Israelites, following the Exodus. (Joshua 8:30, originally commanded by Moses in Deut. 27:4.)

This is one of the archaeological sites I’m still hoping to visit one day. But a few years ago I did get a chance to visit Zertal in the small archaeological museum he’s built at Kibbutz En Shemer, where he lives. So I’ve dug those interviews out of the archives and we get to hear them again. Enjoy!

If you want to read more, go here.

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