Ancient History


A few years ago, I was teaching a course on the first five books of the Bible. When the class session on the 10 plagues in Exodus came around, an interesting discussion ensued among the students about the plague of the firstborn and whether or not the Israelite deity was morally justified in killing Egyptian babies. After some handwringing, one student in the class chimed in: “Since they were babies, they were innocent, [...]

Mon, Apr 16, 2018
Source: Biblical Archeology Daily

“Thou shalt not kill!” The voice of God thunders across the mountain as Charlton Heston's Moses watches the fiery finger of God etch the words onto the stone tablets of Israel's foundational moral code. This iconic moment in cinema captures the awe and reverence given the 10 Commandments over the last 2,500 years. Photo: World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo.

Everyone knows that God gave the Israelites the 10 Commandments. Some of [...]
Sun, Apr 15, 2018
Source: Biblical Archeology Daily

Very early on in the Biblical minimalism-maximalism debate, Hershel Shanks moderated at the 1996 ASOR Annual Meeting a face-to-face interchange between the prominent protagonists of both camps. Printed in the July/August 1997 issue of BAR, the published debate prefigured a series of articles and interviews that not only introduced the issue to the broader public, but also advanced the discussion among scholars.

Few topics have enjoyed as much coverage in the pages of Biblical Archaeology [...]
Tue, Apr 10, 2018
Source: Biblical Archeology Daily

Torah Scroll. What is said about tattoos in the Bible? Leviticus, the third book of the Hebrew Bible, prohibits them without giving an explicit reason. Why does the Bible prohibit tattoos? Photo: “Open Torah and Pointer” by Lawrie Cate is licensed under CC-by-SA-2.0.

What does the Bible say about tattoos?

Leviticus 19:28 says, “You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the [...]

Sat, Apr 07, 2018
Source: Biblical Archeology Daily

The Romans waged both literal and psychological warfare on the Jewish rebels in the siege of Masada. Evidence of the large-scale siege works, including the great assault ramp on the western slope of the cliff of Masada, reflects this strategy. Photo: Werner Braun.

Masada—for many, the name evokes the image of a cliff rising dramatically above an austere desert landscape. The name is famously associated with the Masada siege, the final [...]
Fri, Apr 06, 2018
Source: Biblical Archeology Daily

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