Review of Jodi Magness, Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit

I am long overdue to review Jodi Magness’ book Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus on my blog. It is so full of interesting detail that it simply wouldn’t do to skim through it quickly. Many readers will have encountered at some point a picture book which children [Read More...]

Review of William Dever, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel

I mentioned in a recent post that I had been reading William Dever’s book, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel: When Archaeology and the Bible Intersect. That book (for which I am grateful to Eerdmans for having sent me a review copy) deserves more than just a mentioning in the context of Gen [Read More...]

Talpiot Tomb Geology

CNN, the New York Times, the Independent, the Jerusalem Post, and the Guardian have had articles about it. James Tabor has mentioned it on his blog more than once, and others like Mark Goodacre, Bob Cargill, and Ben Witherington have also chimed in. I am referring, of course, to the not at all new suggestion [Read More...]

Geza Vermes Lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls

HT 3quarksdaily [Read more...]

Handling Ancient Artifacts

The handling of mummy masks by Josh McDowell, allegedly in the interest of getting his hands (literally) on a first-century copy of Mark and perhaps other New Testament texts, has been getting a lot of attention. Some – including me at one point – have missed exactly what he said as a result of not watching the video [Read More...]

Secrets of Early Christian Galilee

My friend Eldad Keynan shared the above video on YouTube. Eldad is fascinated with a subject that is far too neglected, namely the evidence of Christianity in ancient Galilee. We know from both Jewish and Christian texts that Jewish Christianity had a significant presence in the region in the first few centuries after the time of [Read More...]

Virtual Magic Bowl Archive

AWOL shared a link to the Virtual Magic Bowl Archive, which features photos taken by Matthew Morgenstern, I believe. The practice of making and using magic bowls is something that Jews and Mandaeans in Mesopotamia shared in common. [Read more...]

Among the Tombs

My friend Eldad Keynan has set up a website, focusing on tombs in Israel, a subject that greatly interests him, and me as well. I remember visiting a tomb with him in 2011 which is supposedly that of Joshua of Sakhnin, but which Bellarmino Baggatti thinks might have been the tomb of Jacob of Sakhnin, a [Read More...]

Biblical Sodom Unearthed?

An article in World News Daily suggests that archaeologists may have uncovered the Biblical city of Sodom. Apparently the city was destroyed by fire and brimstone, and archaeological excavations show that all of the family tombs in the city belonged to same-sex couples who were dressed in fabulous clothing with no clashing colors. This would [Read More...]

Egregious Misuse of Archaeology

Yesterday I became aware of an article that illustrates the dubious way Biblical inerrantists use (and that is the appropriate word, rather than something like “engage in”) archaeology. It included this: Peterson supports conservative Christians getting involved in archaeology in order to use archaeology as a way to prove the Bible historically. “We interpret the [Read More...]

Was Jesus Sold for Drug Money?

The short answer to the question in the title of this post is almost certainly “no.” But it still seemed worth sharing the news article that came to my attention, claiming that an archaeologist has found the tomb of Judas, and in it, a pipe with traces of cannabis resin. I suspect that this may [Read More...]


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