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Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 results
Prize Find: An Incense Shovel from Bethsaida
Slowly it emerged from the ground: a beautiful, 8-inch-long bronze incense shovel, the prize find of the 1996 excavations at Bethsaida, near the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The shovel lay in a first-century C.E. refuse pit. Just...
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1997
Searching for Bethsaida: The Case for Et-Tell
For 30 years, archaeologists have been excavating et-Tell in the Lower Golan, east of the Jordan Rift Valley. See why they believe their site is biblical Bethsaida.
Biblical Archaeology Review, Spring 2020
The Fluid Bible
The blurry line between biblical and nonbiblical texts
We like to think of Holy Writ as unchanging, but the ancients didn’t. A study of the Dead Sea Scrolls reveals that texts could exist in different forms—even be consciously modified—without losing their sanctity.
Bible Review, June 1999
Return to the Cave of Letters: What Still Lies Buried?
A small shovel started it all. In the summer of 1996, at the excavation of the Galilee site of Bethsaida (which we codirect), we uncovered a small bronze incense shovel. Others like it were used in the imperial cult throughout the Roman...
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2001
Were There Women at Qumran?
Qumran is widely believed to have been an Essene settlement. But how does this identification square with the role of women in the Jewish sect as described in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which likely originated in this supposedly celibate community?
Biblical Archaeology Review, Spring 2020
Long-lost city found north of Galilee shore
Bethsaida is the town that disappeared. Soon after playing a prominent role in the Gospels—Bethsaida is mentioned more often in the New Testament than any city except Jerusalem and Capernaum—this fishing village on the Sea of Galilee simply...
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2000
A View from the Caves
Who put the scrolls in there?
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 11 caves in the Judean Desert near a site known as Khirbet Qumran, or the ruins of Qumran. Père Roland de Vaux of the École Biblique et Archéologique Française, who excavated the site in the 1950s,...
Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2011
For the Prosecution
Professor Maier’s extensive rebuttal of my earlier essay is a most welcome engagement from an authority who has written widely on the figure of Pilate.1 I am happy to offer a reply. First, however, a word on name-calling. Professor Maier’s...
Bible Review, June 2004
Esther Not Judith
Why one made it and the other didn’t
Brave, wise and stunningly beautiful, Esther and Judith have much in common. Both Jewish heroines live under foreign domination. Both risk their lives to save their people from...
Bible Review, February 2002
New Mosaic Art from Sepphoris
BAR readers know Sepphoris well. In the BAR 14:01 issue the mosaic known as the Mona Lisa of the Galilee appeared on the cover and was the prize find of the 1987 season.a More recently, in the BAR 18:03 issue, Sepphoris was the chief exhibit...
Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 1992
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri
The Remarkable Discovery You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Discovered in the Egyptian desert over a century ago, the Oxyrhynchus Papyri have provided invaluable insights into the life and times of an early Roman Christian community of the Nile Valley. As our author explains, these priceless documents, which include everything from little-known gospels to revealing personal letters, intimately portray the beliefs and daily lives of ordinary Romans and Christians, making them one of the greatest archaeological finds ever.
Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2011
The Dead Sea Scrolls: How They Changed My Life
In this issue four prominent scholars tell BAR readers how the scrolls changed their lives. Harvard’s Frank Cross is the doyen of Dead Sea Scroll scholars; his views come in an interview with BAR editor Hershel Shanks. In the pages that...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2007
Has Every Book of the Bible Been Found Among the Dead Sea Scrolls?
It is a commonplace that every book of the Hebrew Bible except Esther has been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Actually, this is true only if you count Ezra-Nehemiah as one book—as,...
Bible Review, October 1996
Uncovering Herod’s Seaside Palace
The great port city of Caesarea was born out of the genius of one man: Herod the Great (c. 73–4 B.C.E.). This Idumean politician, with the support of the rulers at Rome, rose to become king of Judea. On the site of a dilapidated town, he...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1993
Excarnation: Food For Vultures
Unlocking the mysteries of Chalcolithic ossuaries
For nearly a century before the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 C.E., Jews, especially in the Jerusalem area, would inter the bones of their deceased in stone boxes, or ossuaries, about 2 feet long and a foot high. The ossuary had to be...
Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2011
The Dark Side of Pilate
Poor Pilate. If ever a man was caught unwittingly in the net of historical circumstance, it was Pilate. A simple Roman governor just doing his job, he could see that Jesus wasn’t the villain the Jewish crowd thought him to be. In the end, he...
Bible Review, December 2003
Looking Back on 20 Years of Jesus Scholarship
Thirty years ago, the historical Jesus was dead. By 1975, it was clear that scholars had very little to say about him. If students were assigned anything to read on the subject, it was usually Gunther Bornkamm’s Jesus of Nazareth from...
Bible Review, Summer 2005
Searching for Herod’s Tomb
Somewhere in the desert palace-fortress at Herodium, Palestine’s master builder was buried
Dedicated to the memory of David Rosenfeld.a I had no idea of searching for Herod’s tomb when I began my archaeological work at Herodium. But I confess it has now become something of a minor obsession with me. Whether I will eventually...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1983
The Last Days and Hours at Masada
The last stand in the First Jewish Revolt against Rome took place on the nearly diamond-shaped mountaintop of Masada, site of a palace-fortress completed by Herod the Great (37–4 B.C.E.). Jewish Zealots who occupied Masada at the start of the...
Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 1991
In Search of Herod’s Tomb
Josephus tells us that the site of Herodium was the final resting place of the skilled builder and hated king Herod the Great, but Josephus failed to identify the exact location of the tomb. For 35 years, Herod’s tomb eluded archaeologist Ehud Netzer. Finally in 2007 a ruined mausoleum and a smashed sarcophagus were uncovered, providing the long-sought answer. But excavations at Herod’s magnificent eponymous desert retreat have now revealed much more, including a royal theater box with colorful paintings.
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2011