Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology


1598-1599 Randall Price – Biblical Archaeology in Context

Handbook200Earlier this year when we talked with Randall Price about the discovery of “Cave #12” at Qumran, he invited us to check back with him when his book was published. Well the book is out, it’s called the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology. It’s a great resource of information about the relevant discoveries in biblical archaeology, book by book.

This handbook makes the final connection to the biblical text that we sometimes fail to make in our discussions about the latest discoveries and developments, and is up-to-date with recent finds. The book also includes some good words about ARTIFAX, our quarterly news magazine about biblical archaeology. We highly recommend this new book.


1597 Clyde Billington – Smashed Pharaoh Statue Head from Hazor

Smashed pharaoh's head

Smashed pharaoh’s head

More news stories from the archaeology news digests of the autumn issue of ARTIFAX magazine, including information on the discovery of the smashed head from a statue of an Egyptian king of the Old Kingdom period that somehow found itself to an archaeological level dated 1,00 years later, at the Canaanite city of Hazor.

Other news stories include the discovery of a possible Canaanite Temple at Tel Burna (believed to be the Old Testament city of Libnah), the discovery of Hellenistic Greek temple at Gadara (overlooking the Sea of Galilee), and a complaint about the city of Tiberias, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.


1596 Clyde Billington – Jerusalem’s Roman Theater

the recently excavated Roman Theater in Jerusalem

Archaeologist Joe Uziel, inside the recently excavated Roman Theater along the western wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

More stories from the news digest of the Autumn issue of ARTIFAX magazine, including the cover story on the discovery of the first Roman theater ever found in Jerusalem. Although Josephus mentions a Roman theater in Jerusalem in the first century, this new discovery is apparently not that theater, for reasons discussed on the program. This is a very small theater and may have been used for governing purposes, rather than entertainment.

Other topics discussed on this program include the discovery of a Byzantine era mosaic at the Damascus Gate with a connection to the famous Nea Church built by the Emperor Justinian, and the discovery of bullae (clay seal impressions) from the First Temple Period.

1595 Clyde Billington-Museum of the Bible

Museum of the BibleA new museum of biblical archaeology is opening in Washington DC this month, the Museum of the Bible. In this conversation we review some of the controversy surrounding this new museum in Washington DC, and some of the news reports about the museum in the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine.

1594 Hershel Shanks – Kathisma Church

shanks-headshotBiblical Archaeology Review reports that founder and long-time editor Hershel Shanks is stepping down. BAR, as it’s called, has been a key resource over the 35 years of our program, and we’ve interviewed Hershel several times. One of the most recent interviews concerned the Kathisma Church excavation, a site between Jerusalem and Bethlehem dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

1590-1591 Ben Witherington – A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem

Francesco Hayez painting of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

Francesco Hayez painting of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

This is the third in a series of “In the Week of…” books about first century Christianity and the world in which it existed, informed by Biblical Archaeology and related research. Ben Witherington, a professor of New Testament at Asbury Seminary, has written two of these books.

Professor Witherington uses his knowledge of the biblical world to paint the most accurate picture possible of this major event that overshadows the New Testament and introduces us to several biblical characters, a few decades after the time of the gospels.

My biggest complaint is that the book is too short. We become interested in these characters but the book ends before we can really get to know them. And, sadly, it appears as though this may be the last book of this series.

Each of these books in this series we have offered to our listeners as a thank you for listening. So if you would like to get your name in the drawing for this book, send an email telling how you found out about this program, how long you’ve been listening, what you like about it, etc. And send the email before November 1st. The address for this contest is radioscribe<at>gmail<dot>com.

1589 Clyde Billington – Caesarea & the Tsunami

Aqueduct at Caesarea

Aqueduct at Caesarea

More on the latest in biblical archaeology from the news digests of the autumn issue of ARTIFAX magazine: The IAA is going to investing more money to excavate and reconstruct the city of Caesarea Maritima, the seaport that Herod built on the Mediterranean shore, where visitors can already see impressive remains, including a Roman aquedect, a Roman theater, the remains of Herod’s palace, Crusader walls, etc.

We also discuss an archaeologists theories about an ancient tsunami that may have struck the Levantine coast, with ties to a biblically recorded earthquake, plus an explanation of why the story of the biblical judge Othniel contains evidence that supports the early date of the Exodus.

All of this discussed with professor Clyde Billington, my co-editor at ARTIFAX magazine.