Biblical Archaeology covers thousands of years of Old Testament history. It also includes three years of the public ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Professor Craig Evans of Houston Baptist University has a new book, Jesus and the Remains of His Day, that focuses on some of the most important archaeological discoveries that tell us about Jesus, his ministry, and the world he lived in.
Jesus’ ministry was centered around the Sea of Galilee and today cities along the seashore are being excavated, including Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene. But there’s a lot more, and we discuss these discoveries in these three programs.
UPDATE: This week’s Biblical Archaeology news is about the 12th cave discovery near Qumran. Up to now there’s only been 11 caves in which Dead Sea Scroll materials were found. Archaeologists have now identified one more. This week’s guest, Craig Evans, has an article on the Logos Academic blog, and also an article on the Fox News Opinion website. There’s always something new happening in Biblical Archaeology.
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.
The Exodus and Conquest is a murky period archaeologically. Many archaeologists believe that the archaeological evidence does not support the biblical account of what happened during that period. Bryant Wood is NOT one of those archaeologists.
In fact, Bryant Wood has dedicated his archaeological career to investigating the evidence for the destruction of Jericho (about which we first interviewed him many years ago) and for the existence of the city of Ai, destroyed by the Israelites in Joshua 7 & 8.
In this 2-part interview we discuss his perspective on what the evidence shows from Jericho, Hazor, and the site of Khirbet el-Maqatir, which he has been excavating for much of the last 20 years.
One year later, we bring our listeners up to date on the latest from University of Kentucky Computer Science professor Brent Seales and his computer program for virtually opening unopenable ancient texts.
Further work has been done on the carbonized scroll from Engedi that we discussed a year ago, revealing its total contents are the first two chapters of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. New dating, based on the form of the letters in the text, reveals that this book is as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
More news digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine covered in this week’s program with ARTIFAX co-editor Clyde Billington, including:
- The discovery of the garbage dump from first century Jerusalem including the remains of the Last Supper (not identified yet, but it’s got to be in there somewhere)
- A cache of first century writing tablets from London, at the other end of the Roman Empire
- An abecedary (alphabet listing) from 15th century BC Egypt, the time of Moses
- And conclusive evidence that the ancient Coptic papyrus fragment that mentions the wife of Jesus is actually a forgery
Information on subscribing to ARTIFAX is at the radioscribe website.
Another update with news of the latest discoveries and developments in biblical archaeology from the pages of the summer issue of ARTIFAX magazine.
The news includes the collapse of one of Solomon’s Pools south of Bethlehem, part of the system that fed water to Jerusalem for centuries; new excavations taking place in Judean desert caves overlooking the Dead Sea, to preempt looting in the area; and the discovery of an ancient glass factory near Mt. Carmel, one of the two main centers of glass production in the ancient world .
ONLINE UPDATE: One of our listeners, professor Carl Rasmussen, sent along this link to a story about a 9-ton slab of glass found in Israel back in the 1960s. He also sent a link to a photo of ancient glass items from the Israel Museum.
A number of archaeological sites in Israel have water systems that have been excavated – Megiddo, Hazor, Beersheba, Sepphoris, and even Jerusalem – and all are marvels of engineering. But the water system at Gezer may be the largest and earliest of them all, and perhaps not even (originally) a water system.
Dan Warner, professor of archaeology and Old Testament at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, has been excavating at Gezer’s water system for seven years and discovered that the mystery increases with each succeeding year. On these two programs he brings us up to date on what they’ve discovered so far and what they still need to do.