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Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 1996


Special Section

What Was Qumran?


It’s a game everyone can play. You don’t have to be a scholar to decide which arguments are the most convincing. And it’s one of the more tantalizing questions concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls: What was the nature of Qumran, the settlement adjacent to the caves where...Read more ›

What Was Qumran?

Not a Country Villa

By Jodi Magness

Everyone wants to know who lived at Qumran, the settlement adjacent to the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. And sometimes it seems that everyone has a different opinion. With hopes of helping to solve the riddle, I’d like to address the other side of...Read more ›

What Was Qumran?

A Ritual Purification Center

By Edward M. Cook

Qumran has remained a mystery long enough. Forty-five years after excavations first began, all the evidence from the site has still not been satisfactorily reconciled by any single theory. Jodi Magness, in the accompanying article, makes a persuasive case for what Qumran was not. I believe I...Read more ›


Edomites Advance into Judah

Israelite defensive fortresses inadequate

By Itzhaq Beit-Arieh

Like many peoples mentioned in the Bible but otherwise almost unknown, the Edomites are coming to life through the wonders of archaeology. Ironically, however, some of the most dramatic finds are being excavated in Israel rather than in the Edomite homeland east of the Arava, the valley...Read more ›

Archaeological Hot Spots

A roundup of digs in Israel

By Hershel Shanks

In an oft-repeated story that the Patent Office denies, a 19th-century Commissioner of Patents announced that he would retire because everything that could be invented would soon be invented. I was reminded of this story as I traveled from dig to dig in Israel recently. Hasn’t everything...Read more ›

The Wired Bible

Software programs and Internet resources for Bible study

By Steve Deyo

“Open 24 Hours!”—an apt slogan for computerized Bible study in 1996, thanks to the explosive expansion of the Internet this year. The hugely successful World Wide Web, by far the most widely used portion of the Net, allows you to trace the apostle Paul’s...Read more ›

Backward Glance: An Archaeologist Before His Time

George Reisner and the first American dig in the Holy Land

By Kenneth Atkinson

In the spring of 1942, knowing he was about to die, archaeologist George A. Reisner asked to be taken from a Cairo hospital back to the pyramids he had excavated at Gizeh. In his will, he bequeathed his extensive excavation notes to the Boston Museum of Fine...Read more ›