Category Archives: Archaeology

Khirbet Qumrân et Aïn Feshkha: Fouilles du P. Roland de Vaux.

9783525540541Jean-Baptiste Humbert OP (Hg.), Khirbet Qumrân et Aïn Feshkha: Fouilles du P. Roland de Vaux.  The front matter and TOC (and a very cool photo of de Vaux) are all available here.  V&R have once again shown exceptional kindness and sent along a copy for review.  More anon.


The Philistine Cemetery

It’s all over the news.  The best report so far is by the BBC.

The discovery, made in 2013 and finally revealed on Sunday, may yield answers to an enduring mystery surrounding the origins of the Philistines.  It comes at the end of a 30-year excavation by the Leon Levy Expedition.  Expedition leaders say they discovered 145 sets of remains in several burial rooms, some surrounded by perfume, food, jewellery and weapons.  The remains date to between the 11th and the 8th centuries BC.

Etc.  Enjoy.

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Posted by on 11/07/2016 in Archaeology, Modern Culture


A New Essay by Israel Finkelstein

Does Rehob in the Beth-shean Valley appear in the Bible,  has just appeared in Biblische Notizen.

Abstract: Rehob in the Beth-shean Valley was a center of a Late Bronze city-state and is later mentioned in the Sheshonq I list. Tel Rehov is one of the most prominent Bronze and Iron Ages sites in Canaan / Israel. Yet, according to the conventional wisdom Rehob is not mentioned in the Bible. Here I suggest that Rehob of 2Sam 10:6, 8 refers to the town in the Beth-shean Valley. I also propose to view these verses and the tradition regarding Hadadezer king of Zobah in 2Sam 8:3, 5, 12; 1Kgs 11:23 as a case in biblical historiography, in which the author created a story from separate “memories”, that originated from different centuries.

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Posted by on 08/07/2016 in Archaeology, Modern Culture


Canaanites and their Imported Sacrificial Beasts

The ancient Canaanites living in Gath some 5,000 years ago weren’t sacrificing their own livestock to appease the gods. They were importing animals from ancient Egypt, archaeologists have now proven.

A donkey, as well as some sheep and goats whose remains were found in Early Bronze Age layers at Gath dating to 4900 years ago turn out to have been born and bred in the Nile valley.The discovery at the archaeological site of Tell el-Safi shows that animals were part of the extensive trading relations between the Old Kingdom of Egypt and Early Bronze Age Canaan (circa 2900-2500 BCE).

“That there were trade connections between Egypt and Canaan in the Early Bronze Age is not new. The fact that animals were a part of the trade – and that they went from Egypt to Canaan – is very interesting,” Aren Maeir, head of the excavations in Gath, told Haaretz.

read more:  Isn’t that fascinating.

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Posted by on 05/07/2016 in Archaeology, Modern Culture


The 12,000 Year Old Woman

A human foot and 86 tortoise shells were just some of the extraordinary finds discovered in the prehistoric grave of a female shaman in the Galilee, in northern Israel, dating back some 12,000 years.

Also found in what archaeologists suspect was the burial site of a female shaman, who was living in a hunter-gatherer society, were an eagle’s wing, a leopard’s pelvic bone, the leg of a pig, and tailbone from a cow, and much more.

The unique features of the woman’s interment have shed new light on human society during the late Natufian era (10,800-9,500 B.C.E.), and on how the ancients treated the dead, according to the archaeological team led by Prof. Leore Grosman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Prof. Natalie Munro of Connecticut University. The revelations have allowed the team to speculatively reenact the woman’s funerary ceremony.

read more:, with thanks to Richard Goode for the heads up.

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Posted by on 05/07/2016 in Archaeology, Modern Culture


Megiddo in the News

Watch this video interview with Israel Finkelstein-


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Posted by on 04/07/2016 in Archaeology


The ‘Plunge Into the Deep End of the Pool’ Avignonian Carnival of Biblical Studies

water.jpgCome along as we plunge into the deep end of the biblical studies pool every day of the month of June!  The water’s both warm and cool (some would say luke-warm) and you’ll enjoy it.  There’s no scum and the sharks are merely ornamental!

1-Richard Goode is asking people to dive into the middle of the pool and learn a bit of Greek.  He writes This fun and informal 5 day course aims to build confidence with the alphabet and language of the New Testament. The structure of the course assumes no previous knowledge of foreign languages. Those who attended last year’s course may wish to book for the final three days only.  Take the course and then you’ll know you want to take Greek and learn what the New Testament says and not have to rely on an interlinear like a famous Bishop has to…  (let him who has ears, ear) and you’ll one day be able to read this!  οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ· πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.

2- Joel Watts posted this observationYou will see bloggers on this forum disagree from time to time. You will disagree with them, from time to time. Yes, we need to issue our own opposing viewpoints. To that end, I do believe we can argue best when we are united on the essentials. As you know, the essentials in my opinion can be found best in the Nicene Creed, although the Apostles’ Creed is acceptable. In other words, we must generally agree in the Trinity. Then, let us discuss our differences.   I disagree.

Isn't all water diet water?

Isn’t all water diet water?

3-  Steve Walton announced the appearance of some evil book.  Know what’s evil?  People announcing books about evil.  That’s what’s evil.  The book is a collection of essays from some evil conference and, looking at the list of contributors, I’d say they’ve absolutely got the evil market cornered.

4-  Here’s a really interesting post about archaeologists who are mothers. Or perhaps, mothers who also happen to be archaeologists.  Doubtless, because of equality, we will next be treated to a post which features archaeologists who are fathers!

5- No one blogged anything today.

6- Ken Starr is raising funds for his legal defense and to do it he’s (no doubt) instructed Baylor University Press to sell grad students.  Might as well, right?  Baylor isn’t using them and even if they keep them they can’t afford to employ them… (NB- the sale is over as this carnival is posted, so you’ll have to wait til the next grad student fire sale….)

7-  Ian Paul debunks another of the flurry of ‘gay claims’ being made these days of various bits of Scripture and theology.  This time the ‘scholar’ suggesting that Jesus healed the centurion’s ‘gay lover’.  Apparently if you want people to think you’re cool and modern you need to gay-ify everything you can.  Even if there’s not an iota of evidence.  Such is the state of the discipline today.


8-No one posted.  Everyone, it seems, was busy discussing the long anathematized topic of universalism on the facebook and the twitter.  I know, right?  Well as they say, those who don’t learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat them.  The same goes for historical theology.  No one reads anything anymore that was published more than a month previously.

9-  The recent book edited by Christoph Heilig et al  title ‘God and the Faithfulness of Paul’ was reviewed on this very fine blog.  What a super review.  Very helpful.

10-  Bibliobloggers were literally so ‘out of office’ that I was forced to search for something, anything, to fill this space.  I found something on Barth.  That’s how tragically desperate I was.  Bibliobloggers must take the month of June off or something.  The wretches.  It’s not even that good a post.  But I’ve already said it was on Barth, so I apologize for being redundant.

11-  Phil Long reviewed a book on the Psalms!  It sounds just awful.  But at least a biblioblogger got off the summer slump couch and did something …. anything ….

12-  Good news!  In the middle (almost) of the month someone posted something (sort of) related to biblical studies!  Glory!  Read the post here (on the pseudepigrapha).

Hey stick that lemon in your water now... Ya nasty thing.

13-  Susan Docherty’s lecture on Exodus has been posted online and you can watch it here.  Thanks very much to Richard *The Lionpawed* Goode for posting it.

14- AD Riddle has journeyed to Egypt and he liked it.  So he describes it.  Everyone should go to Egypt.  Joel should go to Egypt and stay there.  But that’s another issue altogether.

15-  Not, strictly speaking, a Biblical studies themed post but one absolutely brimming over with theological substance- read Rick Brannan’s reflections in the aftermath of the Orlando mass killing.  It’s worth your time.

16-  Karen King’s absurd ‘Jesus Wife’ fragment has been exposed for the fraud it has been all along by a brilliant bit of investigative journalism.  The tale told shows that King was more concerned to ‘prove’ her pet theory about Jesus’s ‘marital status’ than to pursue the truth about a fragment patently fraudulent.   She essentially didn’t care what its provenance was, and says so.  That’s not scholarship.  That’s ideology at work under the cover of an Ivy League academic appointment.

depraved17-  Roberta Mazza has the best follow up post to the Karen King fiasco.  Read it.  And note especially the conclusion-  Now, my fellow academics, ask yourself once again: would you publish a papyrus without solid, documented provenance for a flashy appearance on the media and one more article out?

18-  Numerous bloggers are expressing shock and surprise that a Harvard Prof might have been wrong.  I’ll not link to them, however, because it really is absurd that anyone thought the so called ‘Jesus wife’ fragment was legit in the first place.  Some people like their scholarship the way they like their politics: if someone in their party says it, it’s the truth and everyone else is lying.

jimmys_hot_dogs19-  The bloggers were all out celebrating Father’s Day.  So none posted.  That or they were trying to come up with new and clever ways to make the Jesus Wife fragment worth talking about.  Still.

20-  Jim Davila had a snippet of a post on the Similitudes of Enoch and the New Testament.    Fun times.

21-  Now here’s a good one for you.  I’ll just let you enjoy it fully for yourself.  It’s about Brexit.  And Numbers 32.  By Steiner.  A gifted and thoughtful Catholic biblical scholar.

[A post that isn’t related to the field of Biblical studies but which you should read anyway is by Joel Watts and is on guns.]

22-  Father’s in the Bible.  A worthwhile read.  And it might surprise you.  The only shortcoming is the avoidance of the fatherly advice of the Proverbist.  There we find, certainly, the sort of guidance Fathers should be known for but presently are not.

23-  Larry Hurtado does a bit of interaction with an essay in JBL on the dating of P75.  Larry makes some interesting remarks.  It’s the deep end of textual criticism.  Dive on in.

womenAnd, on another topic, there’s a pretty interesting post titled ‘The Silence of Our Friends‘ by a lady person who thinks that the voices of women should be taken more seriously and engaged with more widely.  I happen to agree.  Gender has no bearing on the sharing of ideas.

24-  The Brits voted to leave the EU.  And some of the ETS sorts continued to debate trinitarian questions which were debated and resolved centuries ago.  Both events proving two things: 1) people don’t learn from history; and 2) people do weird and unnecessary things when they don’t learn from history.

25-  First, and most importantly for me, today is the 33rd anniversary of my marriage to my lovely bride.  Happy Anniversary, Doris.  (Can you believe how blessed she is?)

Also, Helen Ingram posted a response to the response to #Brexit.  It’s very much worth reading.  It contains authentically brilliant gems like this:

For some time now I have worried that we are raising a generation of special snowflakes who do not know how to accept defeat. Every single kid in a class wins a prize at sports day, they all get a shot at going to university and they’re all going to win the X Factor and get a multi-million pound record deal. My neighbour has a son who regularly wins trophies at his football club, even though he can barely kick a ball. Another friend has a daughter who brings home trophies from dance class every week, even though she’s the most ungraceful, unwieldy child I’ve ever met. Losing is hard for the younger generation because they’re not prepared for it and we’ve taught them that they will always get a reward no matter the outcome. To make matters worse, many have realised that if they shout and scream then they can get their own way and so, rather than deal with childhood tantrums, we’ve pandered to them and encouraged them into early adulthood as a type of behaviour that produces results.

Frank Emanuel (happy now, Frank?)

I include it here because it does have bearing on biblical studies because it has bearing on biblical scholars.

26-  Jim Davila posted a call for papers for a Septuagint conference.  The Septuagint is fun.  And it’s the Bible of the early Church.  That’s why you should own a Septuagint.  And read it.  You’ll never get very deep in the pool if you don’t.

27-  Well look who is on the twitter!  I never thought I’d see the day.  Surely a person biblical scholars, and text critics especially, will want to follow.

boredAnd, finally, finally, finally, RR finished his 499 part review of a book the title of which I do not even now remember any longer.  It’s about Jesus- because that’s the only thing the blog on which it appears ever discusses.  But other than that, you’re on your own to figure out where it came from and where it ended up.

28-  The best analysis of the nonsense foisted on the public by Harvard Theological Review and Karen King appeared at the end of the month in a most unlikely, but utterly dependable source. ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ my eye.

sots29-  We were reminded by Mat Collins of the early stages of the establishment of the Society for Old Testament Study.  It’s a neat little statement of fact.

30-  Great news at the end of the month!  Really super great news!!!!!  George Athas avoided posting ANYTHING AT ALL the entire month of June!  #Glory!  What does this mean?  It means not a single solitary biblical scholar from the Southern Hemisphere blogged in June, leaving world domination, justifiably, to we northerners!  Long may the North Rule.

We hope you enjoyed yourself!  Towel off now and get back to work!  Visit the official carnival (wherever it is.  I don’t know because I don’t really care.  Unless it’s by George Athas, in which case, disregard the final entry for the month.)

See you next month!

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Posted by on 01/07/2016 in Archaeology, Bible, Biblical Studies Carnival, biblioblogs, Books, Humor, I really dislike Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Modern Culture


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