Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

The William G. Dever Archaeological Fellowship for Biblical Scholars is a travel-study award for “a qualified American untenured faculty member in the field of biblical studies who wants to acquire elementary, first-hand experience in field archaeology and research in Israel.”

Wayne Stiles explains how Kadesh Barnea helps us to know God’s will.

Jerusalem’s recent snowfall: SourceFlix shares some beautiful aerial footage.

Swedish archaeologists have found near Cairo a 2,500-year-old relief depicting two pharaonic deities. And Czech archaeologists find tomb of previously unknown pharaonic queen Khentakawess.

The original volumes of the Tell en-Nasbeh (biblical Mizpah) excavation reports are now available online for the first time. The Bade Museum website includes a couple of other downloads that may be of interest.

And now published by Gorgias Press: "As for me, I will dwell at Mizpah …": The Tell en-Nasbeh Excavations after 85 Years, edited by Jeffrey R. Zorn & Aaron J. Brody.

The Yale Babylonian Collection now has its own website.

The open access, electronic companion to Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period, volume 3/2 (Eisenbrauns, 2014) is now online.

The authenticity of two Baruch son of Neriah bullae is rejected in a new article by Yuval Goren and Eran Arie in BASOR vol. 372 (December 2014), pp. 147-158. (Abstract and article on JStor. And there’s free access to the entire issue via the BASOR website.)

“Patterns of Evidence: Exodus,” claims to solve the problem of lack of evidence, but it appears to do so by a major chronological revision. As far as I’m concerned, a movie showing on only one night (Jan 19, 7pm) in selected theaters doesn’t deserve much attention.

A full-scale sailing replica of the Ma‘agan Michael is now under construction. The original ship wrecked near Dor in 400 BC and was discovered in 1985.

Both portions of P46 have now been digitized and are available online.

Kevin Shillington has begun a series on Charles Warren on the Palestine Exploration Fund Blog.

Coming soon: Discovery House Bible Atlas, by John Beck.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, BibleX

Mizpah outer wall, db6604081112

Tell en-Nasbeh, biblical Mizpah, in 1966
Photo by David Bivin

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  • Todd, I'll pay for you to see the Patterns movie if you'll give us a well rounded critique of it. Shalom Shalom, Mike H

    By Blogger Mike Harney, at Mon Jan 12, 06:16:00 AM  

  • Thanks, Mike. The challenge is the time required to write something up. And it's more difficult to take notes in a dark theater where you cannot pause the movie. I suspect that reviews have already been written that show the problems with this view, but since they're being so covert about the conclusions, it's hard to know. This review may address it:

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Mon Jan 12, 09:53:00 AM  

  • Todd, I have read your blog for years and enjoyed reading your posts. That said, your comments concerning the movie "Patterns of Evidence" were insulting and rude and dripping with contempt. Amazing how much you ascertained from a movie trailer and not the movie itself?

    By Blogger Roger Miller, at Tue Jan 13, 12:29:00 AM  

  • Roger - nothing I said suggests that I watched the movie trailer. Nor are my comments insulting, rude, or dripping with contempt. So I'm not sure if this is a template comment you're posting around the web or if you're expecting me to say something I didn't.

    There's a press release here:
    I note this comment: "This path took him in a completely new direction challenging the traditional views about the ancient past and the Bible. Ultimately, he was forced to make a decision, whether to yield to the giants of archaeology and give up the investigation or stick with an amazing pattern of evidence that matched the sequence of events recorded in the Bible." The name of the movie suggests that they opt for chronological revisionism that fits the "pattern of evidence." The prominence of David Rohl's name in the credits suggests that they are following his theory. (He's also promoting the movie on twitter.)

    For a Wikipedia article giving some background and response to Rohl's theory, see here. In short, anyone with familiarity of the relevant fields rejects his views. Those in the church who are ignorant of the subjects are more accepting.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Tue Jan 13, 09:44:00 AM  

  • Todd, I have left a total of two comments on the Internet in 16 years in response to blogs, news sites etc. (this comment to you here will by my third one). I read, I don't leave comments. I have no connection to the producers of this movie, but what you wrote was off putting. You said: "As far as I’m concerned, a movie showing on only one night (Jan 19, 7pm) in selected theaters doesn’t deserve much attention." That comment is condescending. And "It's more difficult to take notes in a dark theater where you cannot pause the movie" - obviously you believe it is not worth your time, though others, who will write a review, will obviously have to sit in a dark theater. I am interested in this movie and have encouraged others to see it as well. As an Evangelical Christian, I am concerned that accepted (consensus) Egyptian Chronology conflicts with what is, or rather what isn't coming out of the ground. Where is the evidence of Israelites in Egypt and the Exodus? Was there a city of Jericho whose walls came tumbling down during the conquest according to accepted chronology? I follow the Darwinian evolution vs Intelligent Design debate as well. We both know where consensus science lies in those two theories, and yet it is worth challenging the consensus. Biblical archaeology, Egyptian chronology and Darwinian evolution are not physics - a hard science. I think it can handle a challenge now and then. I really have been faithfully following your blog for years and enjoying your posts (I even purchased a couple books, of a more devotional nature, based on your recommendation). It is because I valued your opinion (I mean this), that your slighting of the movie, and giving it no serious treatment, really upset me.

    By Blogger Roger Miller, at Tue Jan 13, 12:09:00 PM  

  • Roger, thank you for your comments and kind words. I'm not always sure who is commenting, and on a subject as controversial as this one, it is too easy to make an inaccurate assumption.

    I understand why you feel that I have "slighted" the movie, but it seems to me that the movie producers (or marketers) have intentionally slighted the movie themselves by offering only a single showing time. What if Boy Scouts meets that night? Or if you have to work?

    They do not owe us convenient showings or writing conditions, but neither should they expect the movie to get much attention. I suspect that the purpose of this single-night showing is precisely to AVOID negative word-of-mouth. If it was showing for a month and I went the first night and reported on what the conclusions that they have tried to keep under wraps, then some might not bother going after they read my review (assuming it is negative; if they thought it would be positive, they would benefit from a prolonged screening). As it is, we all have to pay to go the first and only night. I'm not going to play along.

    As for your questions, briefly:

    >>Where is the evidence of Israelites in Egypt and the Exodus?
    It is limited, but by revising the chronology by 300 years, you make matters much worse. For some evidence, see works by evangelical Egyptologists Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier. Douglas Petrovich is also working on some interesting material.

    >>Was there a city of Jericho whose walls came tumbling down during the conquest according to accepted chronology?
    Yes, see Bryant Wood's article here. If you revise the date by 300 years, this evidence all vanishes.

    >>I think it can handle a challenge now and then.
    Of course. But from what I can discern from the limited promotional materials, this is simply a sensationalized version of a theory that is several decades old and has the support of no experts in these fields, including all Bible-believing scholars I know of. A popular movie like this is intended to bypass the experts and go directly to people who believe the Bible is true but do not have the knowledge to evaluate the evidence.

    I hope this helps you to understand my perspective. I am eager to consider new theories, but annoyed by the presentation of old theories with marketing tactics such as these.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Tue Jan 13, 03:46:00 PM  

  • Todd - Thanks for your reply and the link to Bryant Wood's Jericho article. It was a fascinating read. I apologize for my initial response, which was emotionally overstated.

    By Blogger Roger Miller, at Tue Jan 13, 07:36:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Roger. I want this blog to be informative, interesting, and sometimes (appropriately) provocative. I don't always get it right.

    Here's a new (positive) review of the movie from a discerning layman.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Tue Jan 13, 08:27:00 PM  

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