Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

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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.

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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.


1588 Clyde Billington – Redating the Gihon Tower/Destruction of the Temple

Francesco Hayez painting of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

Francesco Hayez painting of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

The construction of a tower guarding the Gihon spring in Jerusalem has been redated by about 1,000 years. The significance of this redating is discussed, along with archaeological remnants of the destruction of the Jewish Temple, first by the Babylonians and then by the Romans, both on the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av, 650 years apart.

These are items from the Israel archaeology news digest from the  latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine.


1587 Clyde Billington – Bethsaida, Huqoq, & Rosh Ha’ayin

A detail of the zodiac mosaic uncovered this summer at the Huqoq excavation

Capricorn – A detail of the zodiac mosaic uncovered this summer at the Huqoq excavation overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

Catching up on the latest discoveries in biblical archaeology, professor Clyde Billington joins me to discuss some of the news digest items in the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine.

But first, a quick look at one of the top biblical archaeology stories of the summer that will be reported in the next issue of ARTIFAX, and that is the dispute of the true location of the New Testament city of Bethsaida. Excavations at el-Araj, on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee this past summer uncovered some first century remains which has renewed the debate.

For most of the past three decades, archaeologist Rami Arav has been excavating at a site about a mile from the shore called et-Tell, which he says is Bethsaida.

We also discuss the latest mosaic discoveries from the ongoing excavations at Huqoq, near the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and a giant Assyrian period cistern discovered at Rosh Ha-Ayin, near Tel Aphek and the headwaters of the Yarkon River.

 


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.


1555-1557 Craig Evans – Jesus & the Remains of His Day

Icon of Jesus from the church at Tabgha, along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Icon of Jesus from the church at Tabgha, along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

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.


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.