Tuesday, April 30, 2019

New Photo Collections: Esther and Daniel

I am excited to announce the release of the Photo Companion to Esther and the Photo Companion to Daniel. These books both lend themselves well to illustration, and yet acquiring relevant photographs is quite challenging for a number of reasons. Our team has been at work on these resources for more than a year, and we are very pleased with the results.

Highlights of Esther include:

  • The exact spots where Mordecai overheard the conspiracy, Ahasuerus sat on his throne, and Haman waited early in the morning

  • Contemporary Persian reliefs depicting Ahasuerus, his officials, and his soldiers

  • Plans and models of the city of Susa and its palace that bring the story to life

Highlights of Daniel include:

  • Inscriptions, reliefs, and artifacts that shed light on the ancient Babylonian and Persian empires which Daniel served

  • Ancient images of lions, beasts, and human statues that provide the context for Daniel's persecution and his visions

  • A march through Daniel 11, with images of nearly every king and queen prophesied by Daniel hundreds of years in advance

As always:

  • Satisfaction is guaranteed

  • Shipping in the US is free

  • Immediate download of everything you order

Here’s one early endorsement for Esther:

An amazing resource! The photographs and graphics included in this collection are not only beautiful, they’re also extremely helpful for visualizing the world of Esther and the events described in the book. The authors are to be commended for this remarkable volume.”

Anthony Tomasino, author of Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary: Esther and Evangelical Exegetical Commentary: Esther

You can download Daniel 3 and Esther 4 to see the detail and abundance of these collections.

Our introductory prices are the best, and today you can pick up Esther for $34, Daniel for $39, or the set for $59. We also offer a download-only version. We hope that these resources prove to be extremely valuable for studying and teaching these extraordinary books that testify to God’s sovereignty and care.

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Weekend Roundup

A 3rd-century milestone found on the road leading from Sussita to Caesarea Philippi attests to the existence of Emperor Maximinus Thrax. (Haaretz premium)

Yosef Garfinkel is claiming that he discovered the fortifications that Rehoboam built at Lachish (Haaretz premium).

A few spaces remain for this summer’s excavations at Shiloh.

Aren Maeir posts some new aerial photos of Gath.

David Bivin has updated his article on the history and identification of Emmaus.

Carl Rasmussen visits Nabi Shu’ayb, the holiest Druze site in Israel.

The village of Aphrodito provides a glimpse at daily life in southern Egypt in the 6th century AD.

Zahi Hawass identifies three tunnels in the Sphinx.

A newly published inscription describes the Assyrian king “Sargon’s conquest, occupation, and reorganization of Karkemish, including his rebuilding the city with ritual ceremonies usually reserved for royal palaces in capital cities.”

An Italian team is planning to begin a partial restoration of Persepolis.

A team from Greece is photographing thousands of ancient manuscripts at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai.

“More than 300 artifacts from Queen Nefertari’s tomb are part of the National Geographic Museum exhibit ‘Queens of Egypt,’ which is on view in Washington through September 15.”

Rock&Gem explains the Minerals and Metals of the Bible (Part 1, Part 2)

The May/June issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on the Huqoq Synagogue, dogs in the biblical world, and the Assyrians.

The Biblical Archaeology Society is having a DVD Blowout Sale, with prices marked down 60-75%.

George Giacumakis died earlier this month.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Chris McKinny, Steven Anderson

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Global Smyrna Meeting on the Seven Churches of Revelation

I just received notice of a conference to be held next summer in Turkey. The invitation is open to all, and it looks like an outstanding slate of speakers and an outstanding itinerary including on-site tours led by the archaeologists. Opportunities like this, especially geared toward non-scholars, are all too rare. I expect it will be an very beneficial conference.

Below I have copied the invitation from Levent Oral (President, Tutku) and Mark Wilson (President, Seven Churches Network). Few people know biblical Turkey as well as Mark Wilson, and probably no one runs better tours of Turkey than Levent Oral.

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A unique Biblical event is coming to Turkey in June of 2020!  And we’d like you and your congregation to be a part of it. 

We invite you to the Global Smyrna Meeting on the Seven Churches of Revelation to be held in Izmir (ancient Smyrna) on June 21-27, 2020.

Not only will you visit each of the Seven Churches during the course of the Meeting, but you will also hear some of the world’s leading authorities discuss these churches from the perspective of history, religion, and archaeology. A time of worship will precede each of the inspiring evening sessions. So mark these dates on your calendar and make plans to experience the Seven Churches with us.

Lecturers:

Dr. Mark Wilson http://sevenchurches.org/home/ Seven Churches Network & Asia Minor Research Center

Dr. Ben Witherington www.benwitherington.com Asbury Theological Seminary

Dr. Mark Fairchild http://www.huntington.edu/Bible/Faculty/Mark-Fairchild Huntington University.

Dr. Carl Rasmussen www.holylandphotos.org Bethel College

Dr. Jeff Weima http://www.jeffreyweima.com/ Calvin Theological Seminary

Dr. Linford Stutzman http://www.sailingacts.com/the-sailors  Eastern Mennonite University

Pastor Bernard Bell, Peninsula Bible College, Cupertino, CA https://pbcc.org/

Bishop Daniel Balais,  Philippines https://www.intercessorsforthephilippines.com/

...and more

Churches invited from:

USA, Canada, England, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and more.

To reserve a place, simply email Erin Dailey: info@tutkutours.com

For further details, please visit: www.globalsmyrnameeting.com

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Review by Phillip J. Long of Photo Companion to Acts

Phillip J. Long, Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages at Grace Christian University, recently reviewed the Photo Companion to Acts on his blog, Reading Acts. His review is the lengthiest of this work to date and we are most grateful for drawing readers’ attention to the strengths and weaknesses of this resource.

He begins by commenting on his familiarity with our work:

I first became aware of Bolen’s Pictorial Library of Biblical Lands at an ETS [Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting] in 2003. I have used these photographs in virtually every class I teach in order to add some colorful graphics to an otherwise dull PowerPoint presentation.

Big smile here! We are thankful that our photos have been so useful.

My favorite part of the review follows next:

If you are teaching the Book of Acts, then the Photo Companion to the Bible is an essential collection of images to use to illustrate your lectures and sermons. If you are a student of the Bible, you can read the text of the Bible and page through the slides in order to place the text into a physical context.

He notes a number of strengths of the collection, including the aerial photographs, the explanatory notes, the references to journal articles, and the free updates. In particular, he highlights the copyright concerns in using photographs that are alleviated by this resource.

He also provides some critiques, including slides which do not seem on topic or which may be unnecessary. You can go to his full review for those and all of his other observations.

We are very grateful to Dr. Long for his careful and thoughtful review. We invite you to consider using the Photo Companion to Acts in your own study or teaching of this book.

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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Weekend Roundup

Eggshells discovered in the City of David are the first evidence of chicken eggs used the diet of ancient Israelites.

A group of high schoolers discovered a rare gold coin from the time of Theodosius II (AD 420) on a class trip in Galilee.

A new archaeological visitor center has opened at Jokneam, at the base of Mount Carmel not far from Megiddo. The highlight is a 9th-century statue of the city’s ruler. There’s a slideshow on Facebook.

The partnership between Israel Finkelstein and Tel Aviv University physics professor Eli Piasetzky began when the latter was volunteering undercover at the Megiddo excavation.

The new Petra Museum has been inaugurated. It is located next to the main entrance to the site.

Flora Brooke Anthony provides examples of how Egyptians depicted in art their northern neighbors in the Levant.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities Newsletter for March 2019 is now online.

Adriano Orsingher explains the purpose of Phoenician and Punic masks.

Salvage excavations in Larnaca, Cyprus, revealed more than 110 tombs from the Early Bronze to the Late Roman periods.

Lightning recently struck the Acropolis in Greece, closing it temporarily.

Emory University is receiving the Senusret Collection, “one of the most extensive collections of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern artwork to be donated to a US museum.”

“Life Lessons from Israel: Dan” is the latest video produced by Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours.
Israel’s Good Name recounts his visit to Herodium.

Now is the time to register for the 2019 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath.

“The arched stone-built hall in Jerusalem venerated by Christians as the site of Jesus' Last Supper has been digitally recreated by archaeologists using laser scanners and advanced photography.”

Carl Rasmussen’s posts this week focus on Jesus’s crucifixion, including (1) crucified man from Jerusalem; (2) bone box of Caiaphas; (3) Church of the Holy Sepulcher; and (4) the best rolling stone tomb in Israel.

Pilgrims in Jerusalem yesterday celebrated Good Friday and Passover.

Police arrested several people who were planning to smuggle two baby goats onto the Temple Mount for a sacrifice.

The Samaritans celebrated Passover on Thursday evening. See below for a few photos my son took at the event.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Steven Anderson, Chris McKinny

"He was led like a lamb to the slaughter..."

"And as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth..."

"He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken..."

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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Weekend Roundup

A large statue of Trajan has been discovered in Laodicea.

Archaeologists have excavated another thermopolium in Pompeii, bringing the number to about 80.

Steps believed to be from the palace of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem have been re-opened to visitors in Rome after 300 years.

The palace of Nero is now open to visitors and includes virtual reality features.

An ancient shipwreck off the Greek island of Alonissos is now being opened to recreational divers.

“Archaeologists have uncovered more than 100 ancient inscriptions [from the Middle Kingdom] carved into rock at Wadi el-Hudi, where the ancient Egyptians mined amethyst.”

The Temple Mount Sifting Project will re-start its sifting work on Jerusalem Day, June 2, but at a new location.

David Moster has released a new 5-minute video on butter churns from the ancient world.

Eisenbrauns has a 40-50% off sale through Sunday on some books related to ancient Israel.

New release: Excavations at Karkemish I. The Stratigraphic Sequence of Area G in the Inner Town, edited by F. Zaina. The print volume is available for purchase; the pdf is available for free (third item from the bottom).

Keith Taillon explains how Egyptian obelisks ended up in Paris, London, and New York City.

Luxor Times posts photos of the Grand Egyptian Museum, scheduled to open next year.

Brent Nongbri explains the archaeology of early Christian manuscripts.

The study of imagery from U2 spy planes is revealing numerous archaeological features.

Carl Rasmussen is giving a nicely illustrated tour of the Tomb of Annas, beginning with the exterior and continuing inside.

Ferrell’s favorite photo is one he took last week of a ewe and lamb grazing along the road from Jericho to Jerusalem.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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Saturday, April 06, 2019

Weekend Roundup

A 1st-century Jewish settlement is now being excavated near Beersheba, and one find is an early depiction of a nine-branched menorah.

Christopher Rollston offers some reflections on the Nathan-Melek seal impression, concluding that it is “most likely” that this is the same person mentioned in the Bible.

“Excavation work carried out in Ramses II’s temple in Abydos, Sohag, has uncovered a new temple palace belonging to the 19th Dynasty king.”

Hasmonean-era tombs near Jericho have been looted recently.

Conservation work was done on the Western Wall ahead of the Passover holiday.

“Ancient Color” is “a new exhibition at University of Michigan’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, dives deep into the material and application of pigment in ancient Rome, and in doing so highlights a colorful, international history.”

Opening today at the Peabody Museum: “Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks: Highlights from the Yale Babylonian Collection.”

With 40 inches of rainfall so far this year, the Sea of Galilee rose 6 inches last weekend.

Recent rains caused flash flooding near the tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae.

David Moster explains “Telling Time in Ancient Israel” in a new 9-minute video.

Wayne Stiles has just announced a tour to sites in Turkey and Greece, including a 3-night cruise to the Greek isles.

Reported on April 1: the discovery of the world’s oldest break-up letter.

If you’ve been thinking about registering for the Institute of Biblical Context conference this June, note that the early bird discount ends on Wednesday.

This video shows footage of Jerusalem one month after the Six-Day War in 1967.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Alexander Schick

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