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
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
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
“A Columbian College of Arts and Sciences professor is using cutting-edge imaging technology to decipher the inscriptions on fragments of broken pottery excavated more than 50 years ago in Jordan. The fragments, long thought to be lost, were recently rediscovered.”
Biblicalstudies.org.uk provides great free, open-source, and online resources for the study of the Bible. This week they posted the addition of The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, a lexicon by Moulton and Milligan (printed in 1929 and in the public domain). If you are a student of Greek and the New Testament, you may want to download this PDF from their website.Continue reading
My friend Jonathon Clinesmith has started a new podcast called PostBiblical. I’m honored that he included me in the first three episodes dealing with a bit of the background and context for the life of Jesus and the New Testament.
Studying the Hebrew prophets is a regular act of realizing that, as Abraham Heschel addressed, distinguishing between the pathos of the prophet & the pathos God is often impossible. In Jeremiah, for example, it can be unclear if it is Jeremiah who is weeping for his people or God. Continue reading
Today’s one year Bible reading passage from the Hebrew scriptures begins the Book of Job. Continue reading
1. Total Solar Eclipses Are Not Rare, But Seeing One May Be
Although an individual, remaining in a single region her or his whole life, may never see a total eclipse or perhaps witness such an eclipse only once or twice in a lifetime, the occurrences of total eclipses is not rare. Total solar eclipses happen somewhere in the world about every 18 months. There will be five in the next six years:
Sometimes the scripture has these often brief, but revealing, almost tongue-in-cheek elements (that I love) in which it feels like the reader is sort of let in on a joke or a story where everything may not quite be what it seems.
In the Book of Judges, the people come to Gideon and say, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” Continue reading