Posts in the category “Archaeology.”

March, 2006

Honey, I Want an Ark

What would you do with an Ark if you had one?

Posted Friday, March 31, 2006 by Brian Beers
Categories: Popular CultureArchaeologyHumor   Comments: None
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Now that my office is (mostly) done, I think I need another project. Johan Huibers of the Netherlands is building his own 1/5 size replica of Noah’s Ark. He intends to stock it with farmyard animals and sail it on the interior waters of the Netherlands.

This isn't just a lark though. Huiber's is building this replica as a testimony of his faith. The line from the BBC article which I found most poignant was:

Mr Huibers, who plans to open the vessel as a religious monument and zoo, hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands.


I struggle to comprehend that European nations have so utterly forgotten the truth. But I do like Huiber’s approach. “This will speak very much to children” he says, â€œthey'll hear the creak of the wood, smell the smell of the dung.”


Honey…I want one. We could sail it around Puget Sound.

Thanks to Todd at Bible Places blog

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April, 2006

The Church of the Holy Sepulchure in Pictures

Posted Friday, April 21, 2006 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Archaeology   Comments: None
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Since Sam just gave you all the arguments for and against the two main burial sites of Jesus, I thought I would pass along a few pictures and a few stories about them. I'm still a little unsure about how to do the picture thing in the blog, so it will be a fun experiment with this as well. Thanks to Brian for his help. This post will take a look (literally) at the Church of the Grave (as it is called in Hebrew). Read more of The Church of the Holy Sepulchure in Pictures

The Garden Tomb in Pictures

Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2006 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Archaeology   Comments: None
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We have seen the Church of the Grave in pictures, now we can move on to the Garden Tomb. There are not as many stories here, however. The Protestants just get along better than their Catholic/Orthodox friends in the Church of the Grave, I guess.

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October, 2006

Copper in Edom

Posted Sunday, October 29, 2006 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Archaeology   Comments: None
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Some of you may have seen this recently, but for the rest of you here is a review of an important archaeological find. How does a copper mine in Edom help to demonstrate the reliability of the Bible? Read on.

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December, 2006

Has Paul has been found?

Posted Sunday, December 17, 2006 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Archaeology   Comments: 1
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Some of you have seen the articles stating that the body of Paul has been found. Anyone skeptical? Todd Bolen, who is not shy about saying something is false, has a fascinating look at the current news. Check it out.

He also had an interesting article on the (lack of an) inn at Bethlehem. He says that Luke does not refer to an innkeeper or an inn, but to an upper room. He says the real significance of the passage is that the family of Joseph and Mary rejected them. But in contrast to those who say that there is no chance that Bethlehem had an inn, he shows that it is quite probable that it did. But you can read that for yourself. Merry Christmas!

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May, 2007

Herod's Tomb

Posted Tuesday, May 08, 2007 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Archaeology   Comments: None
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It was announced recently that Herod's tomb has been found. An article describes it and Todd Bolen discusses whether it is authentic or not. There were no bones found and the tomb was ransacked shortly after he was buried, but it was apparently very richly made. Unfortunately, there is no inscription. The main clue is that the tomb was at Herodium, where Josephus says Herod was buried. Read more of Herod's Tomb

January, 2008

Israelite Religions, Richard Hess

Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old TestamentArchaeology   Comments: None
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This is simply a massive work by Richard Hess, combining insights from a wide range of fields. The bibliography itself is fifty pages long! Hess sets out to examine what religion actually was for the ancient Israelites, using the Bible, extra-biblical literary sources, and archaeology. The reason this topic is highly debated is because there seems to be ideas of what Israelite religion was, depending on which source you examine. The Bible seems to be mostly a monotheistic document, focusing on YHWH and Jerusalem. But then there are also inscriptions like the Kuntillet 'Arjud texts which describe YHWH having a consort, and a temple at Arad which seems to serve two gods. How does all this fit together? Hess argues against a two position view, in which there is the official religion (as seen in the Bible) and then a popular religion which was actually followed by the people (as seen by archaeology and inscriptions), pointing out that this dichotomy is not as clean as it is presented to be. For example, the Lachish and Arad letters are thoroughly Yahwehistic. And the Bible itself mentions service of other gods by Israelites. Hess argues for a continuum, without strict lines between the positions. There were people who followed YHWH, and there were those who followed Baal, and there were those in between. The book is really  more of a reference work that something you just sit down and read (note the subtitle: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey), so it is helpful to have on your shelf and turn to when you have a question about a specific text or idea. He also includes a very helpful section on why he rejects the Documentary Hypothesis, including a whole paragraph list of various ways people take the sources today differently than Wellhausen. When there are this many different ideas, then perhaps one should go back and reexamine why we even started down this path. Overall, this would be helpful both to scholars studying preexilic religion in Israel and for teachers of the Bible who are interested in what else is going on in Israel during the time of the Bible. One of my personal goals is to make the Hebrew inscriptions more known among evangelicals, and Hess discusses many of them in this book. I highly recommend this work! Read more of Israelite Religions, Richard Hess

April, 2008

Life in Biblical Israel

Posted Saturday, April 26, 2008 by Charlie Trimm
Categories: Old TestamentArchaeology   Comments: None
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King, Philip J., and Lawrence E. Stager. Life in Biblical Israel. Library of Ancient Israel. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001.

This book is simply an amazingly broad and comprehensive study of life in ancient Israel. While the book is written in prose like a traditional book, the deep structure is that of an encyclopedia. If one wants to learn about any aspect of life in ancient Israel (and most likely see some gorgeous pictures in relation to it), then one can simply turn to the table of contents and immediately find it. This book is very useful to have one’s shelf within easy reach at any given moment.

King and Stager wrote this book to illustrate what life was like for both the average Israelite as well as the elite. This area of interest was neither of much interest previously nor able to be studied until the rise of archaeology, since so much of the Bible has to do with the elites. So King and Stager write using archaeology, other ancient Near East cultures, and the Bible to show the reader what life would have been like in ancient Israel.

The first main chapter (chapter 2) is about the Israelite house and household, covering domestic architecture, family relationships, food, and illness. The third chapter covers farming, animals, water sources, arts, and travel. The fourth chapter looks at royal architecture, urban water sources, and warfare. The fifth chapter examines clothing and adornments, music, dance, and literacy. The last chapter is about sacred sites, ritual objects, religious practices, death, and the afterlife.

The pictures are another strength of the book. This is one of the most beautiful books on the Old Testament I have ever read. It seems that every other page had a color photo illustrating some point the authors were talking about. Some of these were essential to understanding the description, such as the photo of how keys worked in the ancient world (33). The chart of pottery types and Hebrew words was helpful in visualizing what they would have looked like, very useful as one reads about seemingly dozens of different types of jugs and jars in the Old Testament (144-145).

There are many interesting tidbits in the book along the journey that may or may not be true. They theorize that anointing kings with oil came from a remedy for head lice (75) (a correlation vs. causation problem?). They identify the “price of a dog” in Deuteronomy 23:19 as related to a healing cult centered around dogs rather than relating to prostitution (83). Ekron produced a thousands tons of oil every year (96). Grape production requires a stable society, since it is a multi-year process (98). The apparel of women did not differ much from that of men, although they do recognize there must be some difference because of the laws against dressing like the other gender (272).

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