The Earliest Biblical Painting?

Judgment of Solomon

Is this it?It comes from a house in Pompeii (buried by volcanic ash in 79 AD) and is believed to show Biblical scene of the Judgement of Solomon. Bible History Daily has the whole story. Theodore Feder writes: In the building known as the House of the Physician, excavators found a wall painting clearly depicting King [Read More...]

Burial in Ancient Israel Part 4: A Biblical Interlude

Dore used just about the only method of burial NOT practiced by the Israelites for his "Burial of Sarah"

This is an ongoing series about graves and tombs in the ancient Levant, from the Paleolithic Period until the time of Christ. The entire series can be found here. I want to pause at this point and turn from the archaeological record to the Biblical record to see what evidence we have for burial and [Read More...]

Burial in Ancient Israel Part 3: The Bronze Age

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This is an ongoing series about graves and tombs in the ancient Levant, from the Paleolithic Period until the time of Christ. The entire series can be found here. The Intermediate Bronze Age is so heavily marked by a rise in lavish burials that it’s one of the central features of the age. One of [Read More...]

Burial in Ancient Israel Part 2: Early Ossuaries and Shaft Tombs

Ossuary of the Chalcolithic Period, designed to resembled a home

This is an ongoing series about graves and tombs in the ancient Levant, from the Paleolithic Period until the time of Christ. The entire series can be found here. During the Chalcolithic Period (the “Copper Age”), a new kind of burial started appearing along the coastal plain, at sites like Azor, Bene-Berak, and Hedera. This [Read More...]

Burial in Ancient Israel Part 1: The First Graves

Human remains from es-Skhul

Rather than just leaving you postless and bereft as I work on an essay, I decided to share little slices of it over the course of the week. The essay concerns burial practices in the Levant, from the earliest evidence up to the time of Christ. The way we handle our dead is of immense cultural significance, [Read More...]

Smithsonian Yanks “Jesus’s Wife”

As I mentioned on Tuesday, Smithsonian had a documentary called “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” ready to run at 8pm on Sunday night. In the wake of numerous claims that the fragment is a forgery, they’ve decided to postpone that documentary pending additional testing. From USA Today: The Smithsonian Channel has postponed plans to broadcast [Read More...]

“At any rate, a fake”

That’s the verdict of Giovanni Maria Vian, editor of L’Osservatore Romano (the newspaper of the Vatican) and an expert on patristic philology, on the “Jesus’s Wife” frament. Coptic Scholar Alberto Camplani seconded the opinion. The statements appeared in a pair of stories in today’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano, which of course means the headlines tomorrow will be “Vatican [Read More...]

Rumor: Harvard Theological Review Divorces “Jesus’s Wife” UPDATE: Or do they?

I was waiting for something more official, but the word is that the Harvard Theological Review has decided against publishing Karen King’s paper on the “Jesus’s Wife” fragment. It’s still just rumors, but the source of the story appears to be the NT Scholar Helmut Koester, and it’s percolated through enough sites without outright denials [Read More...]


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