#1649

2019-02-20

Negev Desert Finds and King of Hebron Inscription

With Clyde Billington

A faint drawing of Jesus Christ was discovered on the wall of a Byzantine church at Shivta in the Negev desert. And an inscription has been found mentioning the "king of Hebron." Is there any other king of Hebron besides David? These stories and more from the news digest of the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our quarterly news magazine on biblical archaeology are shared on this program, and discussed with professor Clyde Billington, co-editor of ARTIFAX.

tags: Church Byzantine Negev David Shivta King of Hebron

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#1648

2019-02-12

Yahweh Worshiped at Tel Dan

With Clyde Billington

King Jeroboam I of Israel erected golden calf statues at Dan and at Bethel, saying, "Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." (I Kings 12:28) The idols were meant to keep people from going to Jerusalem to worship in the temple. But who were the people worshiping when they came to Dan and Bethel? Apparently Yahweh and not pagan Canaanite gods, judging by a new analysis of archaeological finds from years of excavations at Tel Dan. Before that discussion with my colleague, professor Clyde Billington, we reviewed another news item from the news digests of the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our quarterly biblical archaeology magazine: the excavations at Tel Keisan, near Acre, the Persian military base from which King Cambyses II launched an attack on Egypt in 525 BC. Also discussed in this program, the discovery of a tiny beka stone, used for weighing the half-shekel temple tax that was assessed on each Jewish male.

tags: Persians Tel Dan Jezreel Valley golden calf idol Jeroboam I Tel Keisan Cambyses II beka temple tax half shilling

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#1643

2019-01-08

Top Ten Biblical Archaeology Stories of 2018

With Gordon Govier

It may take years before we know what was the most important Biblical Archaeology discovery of 2018, but every year I try to identify 10 of the top stories of Biblical Archaeology that were reported on during the year just past, some involving discoveries from many years ago. For instance, our top item, a ring with Pilate's seal, was actually discovered in the 1960s but not identified until 2018. And the statue head of the ancient king, our #2 discovery, was found in 2017 but didn't create news until it was put on display in the Israel Museum in 2018.

tags: Top Ten Seal Pilate ring

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#1635

2018-11-13

Jerusalem Inscription/The Scroll vs. The Codex

With Clyde Billington

The cover story of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine reports on the discovery of an inscription from 100 BC that mentions Jerusalem. The inscription was found at the west end of modern Jerusalem, near the central bus station. It appears 2,000 years ago this was a small pottery village that served the nearby city of Jerusalem and the pilgrims who visited its temple. We also discuss a column by Larry Hurtado in the November/December issue of Biblical Archaeology Review which reports that it were the early Christians who pioneered a new innovation in writing, the codex, which eventually displaced the scroll. The evidence is overwhelming, and fascinating.

tags: Jerusalem Inscription Dodalos potter village scroll codex Christian writers Scripture

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#1628

2018-09-04

Masada and Tel Shimron

With Clyde Billington

Masada is the most visited national park in Israel and also one of the most important archaeological sites of Israel. In the early 1960s, when Yigael Yadin excavated Masada, it was the first time crowdsourcing was used in archaeology. Yadin invited volunteers to come and work with him, and they did. And ever since, volunteers have been a key component in the institutional archaeological excavations which take place, mostly in the summer, every year. Masada still has secrets to divulge to excavators even now more than a half century later and some of them are reported in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Professor Billington and I discuss this report. We also review another article which describes the beginning of a new excavation in the Jezreel Valley, Tel Shimron. This is an ancient city which at times in history apparently outshone it's neighbor across the valley, Tel Megiddo. It will be interesting to see what this excavation reveals in the years ahead.

tags: Herod Masada Yigael Yadin Tel Shimron Garden

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