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Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2003



The Shechem Temple

Where Abimelech Massacred a Thousand

By Lawrence E. Stager

In the time of Abimelech, a powerful warrior in early Israel, great events occurred in a fortified temple in Shechem. I believe that temple was found in an excavation at Shechem more than 75 years ago. But neither the original Austro-German excavators nor the...Read more ›

Literacy in the Time of Jesus

Could His Words Have Been Recorded in His Lifetime?

By Alan R. Millard

How likely is it that someone would have written down and collected Jesus’ sayings into a book in Jesus’ lifetime? Several lines of evidence converge to suggest it is quite probable. The first factor to consider is how prevalent literacy was in Jesus’ time. Full literacy means...Read more ›

Treasures in the Storeroom

Family Tomb of Simon of Cyrene

By Tom Powers

The ossuary (bone box) inscribed, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” has become famous all over the world.a There is another group of now nearly forgotten bone boxes, however, that are also very likely connected to Jesus. They very probably belonged to the family of Simon...Read more ›

Brother of Jesus Ossuary

New Tests Bolster Case For Authenticity

By Edward J. Keall

“By accident most strange,” Shakespeare reminds us in The Tempest, can come “bountiful Fortune.” So, it might be argued, was the case with the tragic accident in which the now-famous ossuary (bone box) inscribed “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” broke last fall on its way...Read more ›


Why It’s So Hard to Name Our Field

By William G. Dever

Cynical observers claim that when a discipline falls to questioning its name, it is already moribund. I would argue, however, that periodic (and even painful) reassessment is a sign of robust health. And nothing is a better clue to our identity than the name...Read more ›



The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Reviewed by Hanan Eshel


Jamalgarhi, Pakistan