Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Collection! — Ruth Photo Companion

(Post by A.D. Riddle)

Yesterday, the BiblePlaces newsletter went out with a big announcement about our newest Photo Companion. If you did not receive the newsletter (or if you did not take a moment to read it yet), you can check it out here.

The Photo Companion to the Bible launched last year with the release of The Gospels. Now, we are pleased to announce the latest volume in the series, the book of Ruth.
Ruth is chock-full of cultural and geographic scenes which the BiblePlaces team has illustrated with 350 modern and historic photographs. The photographs are arranged chapter-by-chapter and verse-by-verse in PowerPoint files, accompanied by descriptions, notes, Bible citations, and labels.

Whether you are a student, a teacher, a pastor, or a lay person who studies the Bible, we believe you will truly appreciate this carefully selected assortment of photographs.

To mark the release of this new volume, Ruth is on sale this week for only $20. The price includes free shipping (in the U.S.) and immediate download. Visit this page for further details and to order.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Weekend Roundup, Part Two

Egypt has announced the discovery of a Greco-Roman temple near the Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert.

The world’s oldest bridge, a 4,000-year-old Sumerian structure, will be preserved through a partnership between Iraq and the British Museum. There’s a video here.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is exhibiting ten fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls, along with 600 artifacts, until September 3.

CBS News reports on rival groups seeking to leverage technology to read 2,000-year-old charred Herculaneum scrolls.

Michael Rakowitz has recreated one of the lamassu from Nineveh that was destroyed by ISIS. It is now on display in Trafalgar Square.

“The Acropolis Museum in Athens is welcoming the summer season with an extraordinary free concert of music played on an ancient Greek water-organ.” You can see a reproduction in operation here.

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has received a million dollar grant “to implement a sustainable, extensible digital library platform and set of curatorial processes to federate records relating to the cultural heritage of the Middle East.”

A box in storage at Swansea University in Wales was discovered to contain a relief of Hatshepsut.

Nachliel Selavan guides tours through the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focus on the Exodus story.

A post adapted from the new ESV Archaeology Study Bible identifies the “10 Most Significant Discoveries in the Field of Biblical Archaeology.”

HT: Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer, Agade, Steven Anderson

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Saturday, April 07, 2018

Weekend Roundup, Part One

David Gurevich considers the effects of re-dating Jerusalem’s Middle Bronze walls on our understanding of Jerusalem in the time of David and Solomon.

Why do the locals of Jerusalem dump their trash everywhere? Wayne Stiles suggests some reasons and makes an application to our lives.

Archaeologists have filed a petition against the Israel Antiquities Authority for its approval of the prayer platform below Robinson’s Arch.

Scientists are studying dust deposits in the Jordan Valley in order to understand changes in landscape and climate in antiquity.

If you’ve hiked the Israel Trail and the Jordan Trail, you might want to consider the Sinai Trail (especially if you are brave).

“Southwest Baptist University [in Bolivar, Missouri] is hosting the biblical archaeology exhibit ‘Khirbet el-Maqatir — A Journey through Biblical History’ through Dec. 8.”

If you want to dig at one of the most exciting excavations in Israel, you need to get your app in now!

John DeLancey shares a video of the quiet Capernaum shoreline and explains the significance of the location.

Tampa Bay Online runs an obituary for James F. Strange.

Congratulations to Seth Rodriquez on his appointment to the faculty of Colorado Christian University!

HT: Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer, Agade, A.D. Riddle

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Thursday, April 05, 2018

Early Bird Discount for IBC Conference

I just noticed that the early-bird discount ends next Wednesday for the Institute of Biblical Context conference in June. If you were thinking about attending, now is the time to secure your spot. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope to meet some of you there, either for the first time or to catch up.

I previously explained why I think this is an outstanding conference, but I’ll note here the theme for each day:

  • Day 1: The Shepherding Context
  • Day 2: Shepherding Stories in the OT
  • Day 3: Shepherding Stories in the Gospels

I predict that many attendees will go away saying, “I’ll never think about sheep and shepherds the same way again!”


Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Luke & Acts (9): Book of Isaiah

(Posted by Michael J. Caba)

This series of posts examines the historical reliability of the New Testament books of Luke and Acts by comparing these books to other ancient textual sources and the archaeological record. Supplemental information of additional interest is often given as well.

The text in Luke 3:3-6 speaks of the ministry of John the Baptist and makes reference to "the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet." Interestingly enough, we now have an actual ancient copy of the book of Isaiah referred to by Luke, which, having been penned in ca. 125 BC, was written prior to the time Luke wrote his work. This ancient text, commonly called the Great Isaiah Scroll, is a well-preserved copy of the Old Testament book of Isaiah. Further, this same scroll is featured in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The entire scroll is shown in the following photo, which can be seen in more detail by clicking to enlarge.

Having been found in 1947, the Great Isaiah Scroll was one of the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls to be discovered, and—with the exception of some small damaged portions—it contains the entire text of the biblical book of Isaiah. Moreover, a handy digital version that scrolls electronically and has a translation app is now available to the public. This digital version is part of the larger Digital Dead Sea Scrolls collection.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, which contain nearly all of the Old Testament books plus a number of other ancient works, were found in caves located in the hills around the ancient community of Qumran, which is designated by the red arrow on the following map cropped from the Satellite Bible Atlas.

The following photo shows a general view of the slopes west of Qumran where some of the caves are located.

The next photo shows the exterior of Cave 1 in which the Great Isaiah Scroll was found.

This final photo displays the interior of Cave 1 in which the first seven scrolls, including the Isaiah Scroll, were discovered.

Commonly thought to be written between 200 BC and AD 70 by a group of Essenes inhabiting the community of Qumran, the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the Great Isaiah Scroll, represent a simply unrivaled collection of ancient biblical manuscripts. Further, though they do not deal with Jesus or the early Christians directly, they are a tangible remnant of the era during which Jesus lived.

For other similar correlations between the biblical text and ancient sources, see Bible and Archaeology - Online Museum.