Dr. Christopher Rollston is working on translating ostraca inscriptions found at Machaerus. Machaerus is the site where, according to tradition, John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded under the reign of Herod Antipas. The location is in Jordan. Read a tiny bit more about Machaerus, the ostraca, and the work at the George Washington University link.Continue reading
Dead Sea Scroll Detectives on NOVA
Tonight (Nov 6, 2019) NOVA will broadcast and stream “Dead Sea Scroll Detectives“.Continue reading
10th Century Manuscript of Exodus, in Hebrew transliterated with Arabic and with traditional Hebrew vowel points
Viewable online at the British Library is a fragmentary codex of Exodus (containing Exodus 1:1-8:5 in 21 folios, including covers) with Hebrew transliterated into Arabic, but with traditional Hebrew vowel points. The work is incredible and beautiful and dates from the 10th century. It was purchased from an antiquities dealer in Jerusalem in the 19th century.
Here’s a summary of the contents from the British Library:Continue reading
The Out of Context Podcast
My good friend, Ben Freeman, and I sat down and recorded some of our conversations for a podcast. It was a blast (and Ben did all the work). In this first episode we cover a bit of our history and a wide range of topics, some of which are sparked by Ben’s question of whether dogs have souls.
Assyrian Astronomical Tablets Contain Earliest Known Reference to Aurora Glow
From Live Science:
The descriptions, written in cuneiform, were found on three stone tablets, dating from 655 B.C. to 679 B.C. They predate other known historical references to auroras by about a century, researchers reported in a new study.
Unique 3000 Year-Old Assyrian Seal Found in Turkey
The Archaeology News Network and the DailySabah websites have info on the discovery. Here’s a snippet from the DailySabah website:Continue reading
Israel Antiquities Authority showcases Beit Shemesh “Gloriorius Martyr” Church
The Israeli Antiquities Authority showcased information about the excavation of a sixth-century Byzantine church in Beit Shemesh with an exhibit at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. The excavations were directed by Benjamin
Here’s a snippet about the excavation of the church structure from the full article:Continue reading
Today’s Year in the Gospels Reading: John 6:1-15
Here is today’s Year in the Gospels reading from John 6:1-15:Continue reading
Largest coffin find in Egypt in over a century
From Reuters:Continue reading
Ein Asawir (En Esur): 5000 year old city in the news
Several different news outlets (MSN, HaAretz, UPI, and others) are carrying the story from the Israeli Antiquities Authority press release about excavations at Ein Asawir (En Esur) of a large 5000 year old city in the north of modern day Israel (southeast of Haifa, in the Sharon plain). The 5000 year old city was also apparently built on another city/village which was inhabited 2000 years earlier, and this earlier city apparently included a temple structure. According to the reports, the location “spanned 160 acres and is estimated to have had 6,000 inhabitants.”Continue reading
The Oldest existing manuscript of Origen’s Hexapla, his parallel Bible.
I encourage everyone interested in biblical manuscripts and transmission of the biblical texts, to read this informative Cambridge library article about manuscript Taylor-Schechter 12.182 (T-S 12.182), the oldest known fragment of Origen’s Hexapla. It contains very good information and great explanatory illustrations.Continue reading
Great National Geographic Article on the city of Jerash
Jerash, located in modern Jordan, was one of the “10 Cities”, the Decapolis, mentioned in the Gospels (see references to Decapolis here and specific mentions of Jerash [Gerasa] here). National Geographic, as always, does a fantastic job of of a visual presentation, with photos and reconstructions of the ancient city, as well as giving an overview of the history of the location. I have yet to visit Jerash, but I hope to in the near future.Continue reading