Tuesday, October 23, 2018

New Excavation at Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa

(Post by A.D. Riddle)

The Jordan Valley Excavation Project will be starting a new excavation at Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa, a fortified city on a hilltop overlooking the Jericho Valley, just north of Jericho. Registration is now open for the inaugural 2019 season which will run from May 26 to June 23. The project is co-directed by David Ben-Shlomo and Ralph K. Hawkins. For information, visit the project’s website at www.jvep.org.


Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa was surveyed by Adam Zertal, who identified a casemate wall and towers (see photo blow). Zertal concluded, “The main settlement in the site was founded at the beginning of the Iron Age IIB and it was possibly abandoned during Sennacherib’s campaign to Judah in 701 BCE.” But until now the site has not been excavated. The Jordan Valley Excavation Project is interested in determining if there are earlier settlements beneath the Iron IIB remains. One reason for thinking there might is the Jordan Valley Excavation Project discovered Late Bronze II/Iron I at the site of Khirbet el-Mastarah, right next door to Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa. Zertal identified ‘Auja el-Foqa as Ataroth in Joshua 16:5, and Shmuel Ahituv suggested it is the town of Na’arta mentioned in an inscription from Jerusalem. The project’s website provides more details.

Tower at Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa (www.jvep.com). 

This map shows both Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa and Khirbet el-Mastarah, and their relation to the Jordan Valley and Jericho.




Saturday, October 20, 2018

Weekend Roundup

An ancient artifact discovered in Rome was apparently an instrument, but scholars are uncertain if it was a lute or a lyre.

An analysis of fish teeth discovered around Israel sheds light on the extensive fish trade in the ancient Mediterranean world.

A new discovery raises the possibility that Pliny the Younger got the date wrong for the destruction of Pompeii.

The restored synagogue at Umm el-Qanatir (Ein Keshatot) has been dedicated.

Aren Maeir led a one-day excavation at Gath to remove a balk filled with pottery, and he shares many photos.

Archaeological evidence from Gath supports the historicity of the Bible’s description of Goliath (Haaretz premium).

Authorities captured two antiquities thieves who were plundering the Galilean site of Horvat Devorah.

Pressure has increased on the city of Jerusalem to cancel the plans to build a cable car to the Western Wall and City of David.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has begun a new series: The History of the Temple Mount in 12 Objects.

A new study surveys ancient sites about to be destroyed as the reservoir fills behind the Ilisu Dam in Turkey.

BibleWalks has posted several hundred drone videos of ancient sites throughout Israel.

The November courses at The Institute of Biblical Culture include The Book of Psalms I and Ancient Near Eastern Texts II.

The Crossway ESV Bible Atlas is available at a pre-pub discount for Logos Bible Software.

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Hasmonean kings and children in the ancient Near East.

Susan Masten, Curator of Antiquities at the Museum of the Bible, is the guest this week on The Book and the Spade.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, A.D. Riddle, Paleojudaica

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

New Book on Jesus' Final Days in Jerusalem

(Post by A.D. Riddle)

A few years ago, we mentioned a number of new titles addressing the topic of crucifixion (you can read that here). One of them was by one of my teachers, Eckhard Schnabel, who is now on faculty at Gordon Conwell. I think I had a total of four classes with Schnabel, and I was always amazed at the breadth and depth of his learning. So I was happy to learn that Eerdmans has recently released a new volume by Schnabel entitled Jesus in Jerusalem: The Last Days (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018).


I once heard a rumor about Schnabel (I am not sure if it is true) that he complained that there are not enough big books in the world, but that he is doing his part to correct the deficiency. For those who likewise think there is shortage of big books, then this 704-page tome will be a welcome contribution.

From the publisher:
This is the first book to describe and analyze, sequentially and in detail, all the persons, places, times, and events mentioned in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’s last week in Jerusalem. 
Part reference guide, part theological exploration, Eckhard Schnabel’s Jesus in Jerusalem uses the biblical text and recent archaeological evidence to find meaning in Jesus’s final days on earth. Schnabel profiles the seventy-two people and groups and the seventeen geographic locations named in the four passion narratives. Placing the events of Jesus’s last days in chronological order, he unpacks their theological significance, finding that Jesus’s passion, death, and resurrection can be understood historically as well as from a faith perspective.

The contents of the book are organized into five sections: People, Places, Timelines, Events, and Significance. Below is the full table of contents. (Note from the contents that Schnabel appears to locate the events of Jesus' last week in the year AD 30, whereas others argue for the date AD 33.)

People
1. Jesus
2. The Twelve
3. The Eleven
4. Two Unnamed Disciples
5. Simon Peter
6. Andrew
7. James son of Zebedee
8. John son of  Zebedee
9. Thomas
10. Philip
11. Judas son of James
12. Judas Iscariot
13. Nathanael
14. Lazarus
15. Simon the Leper
16. Cleopas
17. Nicodemus
18. Joseph of Arimathea
19. Unnamed Disciple from Emma's
20. Two Anonymous Disciples
21. Owner of a Colt in Bethphage
22. Man with Water Jar in Jerusalem
23. Owner of House in Jerusalem
24. Young Man in Gethsemane
25. Women Disciples
26. Martha from Bethany
27. Mary from Bethany
28. Mary the Mother of Jesus
29. Mary the Wife of Clopas
30. Mary from Magdala
31. Mary the Mother of James and Joseph
32. Mother of James and John
33. Salome
34. Joanna
35. Acquaintances of Jesus
36. Pilgrims
37. Crowds
38. Tax Collectors
39. Prostitutes
40. Vendors, Customers and Moneychangers on the Temple Mount
41. Blind and Lame
42. Children
43. Gentiles/Greeks
44. Rich People
45. Widow
46. Members of the Sanhedrin
47. Chief Priests
48. Sadducees
49. Experts of the Law
50. Lay Aristocrats
51. Pharisees
52. Annas, Former High Priest
53. Caiaphas, High Priest
54. Malchus, Slave of Caiaphas
55. Malchus’s Relative
56. Two Female Slaves of Caiaphas
57. Retainers
58. Officers of the Jewish Executive
59. Jewish Security Forces and Their Captain
60. Witnesses
61. Herodians
62. Herod Antipas
63. Soldiers of Herod Antipas
64. Pontius Pilate
65. Pontius Pilate’s Wife
66. Soldiers of Auxiliary Troops
67. Centurion
68. Barabbas
69. Simon of Cyrene
70. Women of Jerusalem
71. Two Criminals
72. Man with Sponge at Golgotha

Places
1. Jerusalem
2. Temple Mount
3. Mount of Olives
4. Bethany
5. Bethphage
6. Gethsemane
7. Akeldama
8. House of Jesus’ Last Supper
9. Residence of Annas
10. Residence of Caiaphas
11. The Sanhedrin Building
12. Praetorium
13. The Lithostrotos
14. Residence of Herod Antipas
15. Golgotha
16. Jesus’ Tomb
17. Emmaus

Timelines
1. The Year AD 30
2. Saturday-Sunday, Nisan 9 (April 2-3)
3. Sunday-Monday, Nisan 10 (April 3-4)
4. Monday-Tuesday, Nisan 11 (April 4-5)
5. Tuesday-Wednesday, Nisan 12 (April 5-6)
6. Wednesday-Thursday, Nisan 13 (April 6-7)
7. Thursday-Friday, Nisan 14 (April 7-8)
8. Friday-Saturday, Nisan 15 (April 8-9)
9. Saturday-Sunday, Nisan 23 (April 16-17)

Events
1. The Anointing in Bethany
2. Jesus’ Approach to Jerusalem
3. Jesus' Prophetic Action on the Temple Mount
4. The Jewish Authorities’ Scheme to Eliminate Jesus
5. The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree
6. Controversies and Jesus’ Public Teaching on the Temple Mount
7. The Greeks Seek Jesus and the Unbelief of the People
8. The Jewish Authorities' Planning of Jesus’ Arrest
9. The Betrayal by Judas Iscariot
10. Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, of the End, and of His Return
11. Preparations for Passover
12. The Last Supper in Jerusalem
13. Arrest in Gethsemane
14. Preliminary Interrogation before Annas and Peter’s First Denial
15. The Trial before the Sanhedrin with Caiaphas Presiding and Peter’s Denials
16. Transfer of Jesus’ Case to Pontius Pilate
17. The Trial before the Roman Prefect with Pontius Pilate Presiding
18. The Walk to Golgotha
19. Jesus' Crucifixion
20. Jesus' Burial
21. The Death of Judas Iscariot
22. The Guards at the Tomb
23. The Empty Tomb and Jesus’ Appearance to the Women
24. Jesus' Appearance to the Disciples

Significance
1. Jesus Is the Messiah, the King of the Jews
2. Jesus and the Temple
3. Jesus’ Death
4. Jesus' Resurrection
5. Jesus' Mission and the Mission of His Followers


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a mass slaying carried out during the reign of Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus. The article briefly mentions other updates provided at a conference this week in Jerusalem. (The conference schedule is online here.)

Breaking Israel News has created a 3-minute video about the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in Israel, located on the Mount of Olives.

The inauguration ceremony for Tel Hebron is scheduled for Tuesday.

“The Story of Ancient Glass in Israel” is a 12-minute video created by the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

There is controversy over a new bill in Israel that would allow guides without licenses to serve pilgrims and some foreign groups.

Walking the Text has just announced a Turkey Study Trip for next August.

James McGrath visited the Museum of the Bible and shares a photo essay.

Timothy P. Harrison will be lecturing at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on Monday, Oct 29 at 7 pm in Hinckson Hall. His topic is “A Kingdom of Idols: Tayinat (ancient Kunulua) and the Land of Palastin.”

Now online: Yosef Garfinkel’s recent lecture on “Searching for the Historical King David: Excavating Kh. Qeyiafa and Kh. al-Ra'i.”

HT: Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Jared Clark

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

New Discovery: Jerusalem Inscription from 100 BC

Archaeologists working in Jerusalem have discovered a stone column with an inscription mentioning Jerusalem that dates to 100 BC. The inscription is now on display at the Israel Museum, and scholars are debating whether it should be labeled as written in Hebrew or Aramaic. From The Times of Israel:

The earliest stone inscription bearing the full spelling of the modern Hebrew word for Jerusalem was unveiled on Tuesday at the Israel Museum, in the capital.

While any inscription dating from the Second Temple period is of note, the 2,000-year-old three-line inscription on a waist-high column — reading “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem” — is exceptional, as it is the first known stone carving of the word “Yerushalayim,” which is how the Israeli capital’s name is pronounced in Hebrew today.

The stone column was discovered earlier this year at a salvage excavation of a massive Hasmonean Period Jewish artisans’ village near the Jerusalem International Convention Center [Binyanei HaUma], at what is now the entrance to the modern city, by an Israel Antiquities Authority team headed by archaeologist Danit Levi.

The discovery is reported on the official press release, IAA’s Facebook page, and The Jerusalem Post. The Arutz-7 story includes a 2-minute video from the press conference.

HT: Joseph Lauer

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Saturday, October 06, 2018

Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists are uncovering more of the Minoan palace of Zominthos in Crete.

Political instability is threatening many historical sites in Libya, including remains of the Roman Empire in the city of Sabrath.

Archaeologists have discovered a tomb from the 5th Dynasty in Abusir, Egypt.

John Swogger explains his work as an archaeological illustrator in using informational comics to explain various aspects of archaeology.

The proliferation of sinkholes along the Dead Sea shore has resulted in new life next to the briny waters.

Some priests in Jerusalem have reenacted the Sukkot water-libation ceremony in the City of David.

The Ancient Coins of Israel is an informative 10-minute video produced by the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The annual Batchelder Conference at the University of Nebraska Omaha will be held on November 9-10. The Friday plenary address will be by Jodi Magness on her excavations at Huqoq. (No info online at the time of this posting.)

The Albright Institute has announced its lecture and workshop schedule for October and November.

Carl Rasmussen has written a couple of posts related to city gates, including its defense and illicit worship.

Ferrell Jenkins has created an index of his articles related to church history.

Here’s a photo to add to your lecture slides: the 1974 passport for Ramses II.

HT: Judi King, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade, Jared Clark

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