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This lecture sorts through the major scientific, historical and archaeological issues related to the “James ossuary” controversy and the ongoing debate over its authenticity. We examine the variety of media and academic responses to the first-century bone box inscribed “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” and clarify what we know about the box and its inscription, and what remains uncertain.
Professor Zuckerman highlights the exciting new ways that ancient technologies allow us to decipher ancient texts and artifacts. In this dynamic presentation, he literally shines a light on some of the most important inscriptions in the field of Biblical archaeology, from the Copper Scroll to Ugaritic texts. Zuckerman’s demonstration of the groundbreaking InscriptiFact software answers critical questions on ancient Jewish coinage, the Dead Sea Scroll scribes and much more.
In “The Temple, Aramaic Epigraphy and the Historical Jesus,” Bruce Chilton of Bard College explains how these three separate fields of study can be combined to understand better the Jewish context of Jesus’ life and teaching. Chilton dismisses the notion that Jesus was simply pro-prophecy and anti-ritual, examining numerous analogies in Christian and Rabbinic literature. Using Aramaic inscriptional evidence, especially from first-century Judea and Galilee, Chilton sheds light on the language Jesus spoke and how it relates to the cleansing of the Temple described in the Gospels.
Speculating on the whereabouts of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel has been popular for longer than the search for the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Suggestions for where they ended up have ranged from America and Britain to India and Africa, and virtually every place in between. However, few proper investigations of this “mystery” have been conducted. Now, utilizing three separate and completely independent sources—the Biblical account, contemporary neo-Assyrian inscriptions, and archaeological remains from both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah—it can be confidently shown that the Ten Tribes of Israel were never lost.
The Israelite exodus from Egypt is clearly the most important event in the Hebrew Bible, and yet there is presently no direct archaeological evidence to support the tradition, causing some scholars to question whether it was a historical event. Archaeology, however, can provide important background material that enables the events of the book of Exodus to be visualized, and discoveries at various sites in Egypt have made it possible to identify some of the places mentioned in Exodus. In this insightful lecture, Professor James Hoffmeier of Trinity International University reports on his archaeological excavations at Tell el-Borg as well as geological work in Sinai, sharing images of Egyptian iconography and inscriptions, plans and other fascinating visual materials.