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.
With these 2 programs we cover some of the stories from the news digests of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine, the Winter 2015 issue, just out.
Items include the newly discovered monumental entrance at Herodium, the newly opened site of Herod’s palace in Jerusalem – where some say Jesus appeared before Pilate, and a commemorative Latin inscription to the Roman emperor Hadrian.
We also discuss a royal escape tunnel found at Iron Age Bethsaida (Geshur), a newly discovered temple of Tuthmosis III – possibly the pharaoh of the oppression in Exodus, and the 8,000-year old remains of olive oil domestication. These items and more, with commentary from professor Billington.
Continuing our review of recent discoveries in Biblical archaeology as reported in the summer issue of ARTIFAX magazine we discuss with professor Clyde Billington the discovery of curious mosaics at a Byzantine synagogue at Huqoq, and a shovel survey of what some archaeologists believe may be the real site of the biblical Bethsaida.
The first two seasons of excavations at Huqoq (near the NW shore of the Sea of Galilee) revealed mosaics depicting episodes in the life of Samson. But in this past summer’s third season the mosaics uncovered seemed to veer from the biblical account. One may even depict Alexander the Great.
What is usually called New Testament Bethsaida, the site of et-Tell, is a mile and a half from the NE shore of the Sea of Galilee. Thinking that et-Tell may be too far from the shore to be Bethsaida, some archaeologists are taking another look at Khirbet el-Araj, which is nearer the shore.
Remains of monumental buildings, ancient archives, long-forgotten cities–archaeology is this but much more. In this program we take a slightly different approach and talk about the work of women and what archaeology can tell us about that.
Our guest is Elizabeth McNamer, a professor of Religious Thought at Rocky Mountain College in Bozeman MT, who has been a director of the excavation at what is believed to be the New Testament town of Bethsaida along the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. She discusses some of the tools that women used that have been excavated in the residential quarters of the city over the past couple of decades. She compares these findings with the Bible’s description of the domestic duties in Proverbs 31 and founds a lot of congruency.
In the latest archaeological news, the Jerusalem Post has a report on Herod’s Theater Box at Herodium. We’ve covered the discovery of Herod’s tomb at Herodium and visited Herodium during our last archaeological study tour in 2008. Excavations have continued at the site and we hope to visit Herodium again during our upcoming 2011 Archaeological Study Tour of Egypt, Jordan and Israel.