Mysterious Structure Under the Sea of Galilee

Sonar image of structure on the floor of the Sea of Galilee

I filed this one away in Evernote this summer and forgot to blog it, but it’s too cool to let pass: A huge, cone-shaped monument has been discovered by a team of Israeli archaeologists conducting a geophysical survey on the southern Sea of Galilee. According to a paper published in the International Journal of Nautical [Read More...]

Hopeful Signs? UPDATE #2: Not a Hoax

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The optimist in me says “yes.” The cynic says, “public relations ploy.” I try paying more attention to the optimist. In any case, it’s welcome. From the President of Iran: It’s worthwhile remembering that the Iranian people (particularly the young) tend to have positive feelings towards America, by and large. (They tend to despise the [Read More...]

Jew-Hating Has-Been Wants You To Pay Attention To Him

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I used to love Pink Floyd and Roger Waters. I collected everything, spent countless hours listening to them, and paid good money to see Waters solo in concert twice (Hitchhiking and Radio KAOS tours).  It’s funny, but I started listening to them less and less–particularly the later, Waters-dominated material–as I got older and recognized the [Read More...]

The Temple Mount: A Virtual Tour

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Courtesy of the Israeli Minister of Construction and Housing and a group called The Heart of the Nation comes this virtual tour of the Temple Mount, complete with 360-degree views of various locations. It’s was released to coincide with Tisha B’av, which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples. A couple of caveats: [Read More...]

Dead Sea Scrolls Heading to Boston Next

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I wrote about the Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times exhibit when it visited Philadelphia last year. The scrolls still fascinate because they’re a kind of missing link between the closing of the Old Testament and the opening of the New, giving us a picture of some elements of Judaism as it [Read More...]

Bread in the Old Testament

Pyramid of Pepi

Bread was a staple food in ancient Palestine, made daily in every household. It was such a commonplace item that we don’t get details of types, production, and consumption in the Biblical texts. If we look to the wider documents of the Ancient Near East (ANE), we find the same constant reference to “bread,” but [Read More...]

Ancient Temple Shows Signs of Conflict, Desecration

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Excavations at an 11th century temple complex outside of Jerusalem show evidence of the tensions among the Israelites, Canaanites and Philistines. On the floor of the temple… … excavators found shards of painted chalices and goblets — not the type of containers that would have been used for daily household activities. They also found animal [Read More...]

Frank Moore Cross, Requiescat in Pace

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It’s impossible to have even a cursory knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls without encountering Frank Moore Cross, who died last Wednesday at age 91 from complications from pneumonia. His work on Semitic languages and Canaanite myth informs a great deal of what we know about the development of Hebrew writing. Cross retired from a long and distinguished [Read More...]


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