Archive for April, 2016

Who Were the Biblical Philistines?
By April 19, 2016 Read More →

Who Were the Biblical Philistines?

What does archaeology tell us about the biblical Philistines?

Posted in: The Exodus
Shaye J.D. Cohen. “Did Ancient Jews Missionize.” Bible Review 19, 4, (2003).
By April 18, 2016 Read More →

Shaye J.D. Cohen. “Did Ancient Jews Missionize.” Bible Review 19, 4, (2003).

Was ancient Judaism a missionary religion? Well, it depends on what you mean by “missionary.” In one sense—say, in contrast to Christianity—Judaism, with one exception of short duration, never was. From earliest times Christianity saw the propagation of its faith as one of its central tenets. Early Christians taught that paganism was empty and worthless […]

Posted in: Greco-Roman Period
Anti-Semitism in the Muslim World
By April 18, 2016 Read More →

Anti-Semitism in the Muslim World

Hitler and the Nazis took antisemitism to the Muslim world and North Africa. There, they sought to recruit local Muslims to join them against their common enemy.

Interior of the synagogue at Sardis, in modern Turkey, 4th-6th centuries CE.
By April 17, 2016 Read More →

Interior of the synagogue at Sardis, in modern Turkey, 4th-6th centuries CE.

The synagogue of Sardis is notable for its size and location. In size it is one of the largest ancient synagogues excavated. In location it is found in the center of the urban center, instead of on the periphery as synagogues typically were. This attests to the strength and wealth of the Jewish community in […]

Posted in: Greco-Roman Period
Letter from Ben-Gurion to Chaim Halperin, Mar. 29, 1955.
By April 17, 2016 Read More →

Letter from Ben-Gurion to Chaim Halperin, Mar. 29, 1955.

Translation: “I read your letter and I do not accept the assumption that all existing national treasures in our country have been discovered or are already known.  I do not see myself as a researcher although I explore for myself from time to time subjects that I have interest in or I am asked about.  […]

The Pharaoh of the Exodus, 1279-1213 BCE
By April 14, 2016 Read More →

The Pharaoh of the Exodus, 1279-1213 BCE

Exodus 1: 8             “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.”   Mummy of Ramesses the Great Exodus 14:23 “The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea.” Battle of Kadesh, Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel The Battle of Kadesh […]

Posted in: Passover
Slaves escape and are seen at Migdol, 1250 BCE
By April 14, 2016 Read More →

Slaves escape and are seen at Migdol, 1250 BCE

Numbers 33:5-7: “The Israelites set out from Rameses… and they encamped at Migdol.” Slaves Escaping into Sinai Are Seen at Migdol, Papyrus Anastasi V, c. 1250 BCE: “I was sent forth from the broad halls of the palace… following after two slaves. When I reached the fortress, they told me that the scout had come […]

Posted in: Passover
The unleavened bread, 1351 BCE
By April 14, 2016 Read More →

The unleavened bread, 1351 BCE

Exodus 12:15:             “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread…”   Egyptian leavened bread from the Tomb of Kha, 1351 BCE, Museo Egizio, Turin, Italy

Posted in: Passover
Brickmaking without straw, 1250 BCE
By April 14, 2016 Read More →

Brickmaking without straw, 1250 BCE

Exodus 5:18: Pharaoh:  “So go now and work; for you will be given no straw, yet you must deliver the quota of bricks.” Wall painting from the Tomb of Rekhmire, 15th Century BC Papyrus Anastasi IV, 1250 BC:       “. . . and there are neither men to make bricks nor straw.” British Museum […]

Posted in: Passover
If Moses lived 120 years, he would have been alive during the reign of King Tut, 1332–1323 BCE
By April 14, 2016 Read More →

If Moses lived 120 years, he would have been alive during the reign of King Tut, 1332–1323 BCE

Was there a man called Moses, and if so, when did he live? Exodus 7:7: “Moses was eighty years old and Aaron was eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh.”  Deuteronomy 34:7: “Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.”  Working backwards from […]

Posted in: Passover