January 17, 2019

Q. YOUR BOOK MAKES CLEAR THAT WE CAN NO LONGER SEE MAGDALA AS SOME LITTLE INCONSEQUENTIAL VILLAGE WHERE MARY CAME FROM. INDEED IT HAD A CONSIDERABLE HISTORY BOTH BEFORE TIBERIAS WAS EVEN BUILT, AND AFTER THE TIME OF JESUS. WHY DOES THE TOWN FADE INTO OBSCURITY AFTER THE JEWISH WAR? A. The city certainly declined in population: the northern part (where the synagogue and the fish workshops are) was abandoned over a period, though the southern area evidently remained a… Read more

January 16, 2019

Q. WHAT FROM ALL THIS STUDY OF THE ARCHAEOLOGY CAN WE LEARN ABOUT MARY FROM MAGDALA? IF WE TAKE LUKE 8.3 AT FACE VALUE, SINCE SHE IS MENTIONED FIRST THERE, COULD SHE HAVE BEEN REASONABLY WELL OFF FROM THE FISHING INDUSTRY IN MAGDALA WHICH ALLOWED HER TO HELP PROVISION THE DISCIPLES WHEN ON THE ROAD? IS THERE EVIDENCE OF NON-ELITE BUSINESS WOMEN IN GALILEE (AND BY NON-ELITE I MEAN SOMEONE NOT CONNECTED TO HEROD ANTIPAS, AS JOANNA THE WIFE OF… Read more

January 16, 2019

Q. ONE OF THE MOST INTRIGUING PARTS OF YOUR BOOK IS WHERE YOU DELINEATE THE VARIOUS DIFFERENT ROLES INVOLVED IN THE FISHING INDUSTRY, AND SUGGEST THAT FISHERMEN THEMSELVES WERE LIKELY TO BE OF MODEST MEANS, WHEREAS THE OWNERS OF THE FISH PROCESSING PLANT COULD BE QUITE WELL OFF. IS IT NOT POSSIBLE THAT SOME FISHERMEN WERE INVESTED IN THE PROCESSING OPERATION AS WELL? A. Fishing was very hard work and took all the time someone had during the fishing seasons… Read more

January 15, 2019

Q. IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT DISCOVERY OF SYNAGOGUES AND MIKVEHS IN VARIOUS PLACES IN GALILEE, IT APPEARS THAT THE AGE OF TRYING TO CARICATURE GALILEE AS ‘GALILEE OF THE GENTILES’ AND SO NOT VERY JEWISH, OR AT LEAST TRYING TO SUGGEST THAT NON-THEOLOGICAL AND NON-RELIGIOUS READINGS OF EARLY JEWISH LIFE IN GALILEE IS BADLY MISTAKEN. WOULD YOU AGREE? IT APPEARS GALILEANS WERE VERY DEVOUT, VERY CONCERNED ABOUT TORAH, AND RELIGIOUS PRAXIS. A. Yes, that picture of a “Gentile Galilee”… Read more

January 14, 2019

Q. WHAT FOR YOU WAS THE MOST EXCITING AND IMPORTANT DISCOVERY AT MAGDALA OF RELEVANCE TO NT STUDIES? A. In spite of what I have just said bout the fish workshops, I think this has to be the synagogue together with the synagogue stone. When discovered in 2009, the synagogue was the first synagogue from before 70 CE within Galilee to be excavated. (When I say that, people often say: But what about Capernaum? The synagogue you see at Capernaum… Read more

January 13, 2019

Q. RICHARD WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL WORK AT MAGDALA? YOUR PREVIOUS SCHOLARLY WORK HASN’T REALLY FOCUSED ON ARCHAEOLOGY PER SE. A. I was doing some work on James and John the sons of Zebedee (for a biography that I hope I’ll be able to get back to, now that this diversion to Magdala is complete). I wanted to know what it was like to be a Capernaum fisherman. I began to realize that Magdala dominated the fishing… Read more

January 12, 2019

Hardcover: 460 pages Publisher: Baylor University Press (October 15, 2018) Language: English ISBN-10: 1481302930 ISBN-13: 978-1481302937 $80.00 hardcover If you are a reader of BAR (Biblical Archaeology Review), or a contributor to the magazine, as I am, you will know that archaeology is on the one hand a science, and on the other hand an art, an art that involves piecing together fragmentary evidence and drawing conclusions about all kinds of issues— chronology, provenance, culture, history, people groups, belief systems,… Read more

January 11, 2019

I have read the many reviews of this movie, and I have to say….. those folks are mostly too jaundiced or have seen too many movies in a row (or they are allergic to movies that have something of a lesson or moral for us all). This movie is laugh out loud funny, and it is also poignant and can make you cry. Rather quickly you come to care about Philip and Dell and Yvonne and their lives and dysfunctions,… Read more

January 11, 2019

Here’s a fine interview with my old friend Bill Craig, one of the more effective apologetes for the Christian faith. See what you think. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/21/opinion/sunday/christmas-christian-craig.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage Read more

January 10, 2019

Here’s some possible guidance for Christian families trying to figure out where to send their children to college. Naturally, I commend Asbury University… but here’s some more help…. Bible College vs Christian College: https://www.christiancolleges.com/resources/bible-college-vs-christian-college/ Christian College Denominations Guide: https://www.christiancolleges.com/resources/christian-college-denominations/ Christian College Accreditation Guide: https://www.christiancolleges.com/resources/christian-college-accreditation-guide/ Financial Aid and Scholarships for Christian Colleges: https://www.christiancolleges.com/resources/financial-aid/ Read more

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