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Although the Bible gives a detailed description of Solomon’s Temple, we have no physical remains of the building destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. Thanks to the recent excavation of several hitherto-unknown ancient Near Eastern temples, however, archaeologists are shedding new light on similarities and differences between these temples and King Solomon’s structure.
Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2011
“Then Solomon said … ‘I have built thee an exalted house, a place for thee to dwell in forever.’” (1 Kings 8:12–13) A vision of Isaiah, “I beheld my Lord seated on a high and lofty throne; and the skirts of his robe filled the Temple.” (...
Bible Review, April 1994
Visitors to Jerusalem understandably are often confused by the jumbled and disconnected layers of the past that exist side by side with the teeming modern city. Jerusalem at the time of the First Temple—the Jerusalem of the Bible, the...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1989
“In the fourth year of his reign over Israel, Solomon began to build the House of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:1). Bible scholars call this the First Temple. King Solomon built this Temple on...
Bible Review, October 1988
Stylistic and architectural similarities between the cave of Machpelah enclosure at Hebron and the Temple Mount enclosure in Jerusalem have been clearly demonstrated by Nancy Miller in “Patriarchal Burial Site Explored for First Time in 700...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1985
A banqueting complex was recently identified just beside the Temple Mount. Dating to the time of King Herod, it projects the splendor and comfort enjoyed by royal guests. With its two dining halls and a fountain room in between, this composite triclinium is probably the most splendid Herodian building that has survived the 70 C.E. Roman destruction of Jerusalem.
Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2017
In the November/December 2008 issue of BAR, we reported on an inscribed limestone stela that had been purchased on the antiquities market by Judy and Michael Steinhardt and is on permanent loan to the Israel Museum.a The incomplete stela,...
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2010
Jerusalem is not only one of the oldest cities in the world, it is one of the few cities which has been continuously inhabited for more than 40 centuries. From before 1850 B.C., when the first wall surrounded and defended Jerusalem, people...
Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1981
Discovering the idolatry of the even maskit
Leviticus bans the Israelites from bowing upon a maskit stone. But what is a maskit? A recently deciphered Assyrian inscription may hold the key to identifying this mysterious prohibited object.
Bible Review, October 1999
How the deity became more distant from Exodus to Deuteronomy
A spectacular sound and light show greeted the Israelites when the new nation encountered God for the first time at Mt. Sinai.1 The awesome display of divine presence and power so terrified the Children of Israel that they begged God not to...
Bible Review, October 1998
Readers Letter Sparks Article When reading Victor Hurowitzs Inside Solomons Temple, BR 10:02, a question suddenly occurred to me that I should have thought of years ago. In the shrine of the temple were two huge, gold-plated, olive-wood cherubim, writes...
Bible Review, October 1994
Reading an introduction to biblical criticism, a beginning student might well think he or she is peering into a bowl of alphabet soup—or perhaps perusing a catalogue of foundations and corporations. Letters are all over the place, especially...
Bible Review, June 1996
Made by Man...or God?
While Moses was up on Mt. Sinai receiving the first edition of the Ten Commandments, the people down below grew impatient and asked Aaron, Moses’ brother, to make them another god to...
Bible Review, April 2004
I have never been to Israel. But after visiting the Explorations in Antiquity Center just an hour outside of Atlanta in LaGrange, Georgia, I have a much better idea of what it was like to live there 2,000 years ago. The center, which opened...
Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2008
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
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
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
Iconography in the Ancient Near East
Tryggve N.D....No Graven Image? Israelite Aniconism in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context
Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1997
New church discoveries from the Biblical world
A few years ago the archaeological world, not to mention the popular press, was abuzz with news that an early Christian church had been discovered on the grounds of an Israeli prison at Megiddo. As BAR reported in an article by archaeologist...
Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2011
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