Tag Archives: Biblical Archaeology Review

The fourth archaeological expedition to Tel Lachish

Announcement has been made through various sources of the anticipated fourth archaeological expedition to Tel Lachish. Archaeologists who have been working at Khirbet Qeiyafa (the Elah Fortress), Yosef Garfinkel, Michael Hasel, and Martin Klingbeil, announced a new excavation at Lachish in the Nov./Dec. 2013 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. BAR has made available a collection of seven articles dealing with the third excavation (1974-1984) under the direction of Prof. David Ussishkin.

These links may be broken in the near future, but if you have access to the BAR on CD or Logos this may serve as a helpful bibliography.

Lachish is thought to be the second most important city of Judah after Jerusalem. This is based on the fact that both the Assyrians and the Babylonians destroyed the city immediately before moving to Jerusalem. Rehoboam (931-913 B.C.) built Lachish and other cities in Judah for defense (2 Chronicles 11;5-9). Other kings fortified them to be used for the storage of food, oil and wine.

Our photo below shows Tel Lachish from the air. In the bottom left quarter (south west) of the photo you will see a small parking lot with a path leading through them to the gate of the city. To the right of the path, beginning at the grove of trees you will see the siege ramp built by Sennacherib, king of Assyrian, in 701 B.C. The photo also shows the defensive Judean counter-ramp found in the 1983, and described by Ussishkin in the 1984 article.

Tel Lachish from the air. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tel Lachish from the air. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The previous excavations at Tel Lachish (earlier called Tell ed-Duweir) are,

  • A British expedition directed by James L. Starkey and Olga Tufnell – 1932-1938
  • Israeli expedition directed by Yohanan Aharoni, Tel Aviv University, 1966, 1968

Use the Search box to locate other entries on Lachish.

HT: Steven Braman

200th issue for Biblical Archaeology Review

bar_200_35040c100l-tYesterday I received the 200th issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. I have all issues of the magazine since that first small single color issue in March, 1975. When I bought the earlier issues in Libronix format for the computer I gave my paper copies to a young teacher.

Not everyone likes BAR. It has been a controversial magazine. No wonder. Editor Herschel Shanks has been controversial. But, I have enjoyed it all the way. I first met Herschel and his right hand gal, Suzanne Singer, at the ASOR meeting in New Orleans in 1979. I ate at the same round table with them, Prof. David Ussishkin, and Prof. William Sanford LaSor. Still, every time I see Herschel. I have to go through the introduction process.

Before BAR, unless we attended the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, we had to depend on the reports in Biblical Archaeologist for popular articles on archaeology. My recollection is that the magazine was often late and the photography poor. Agree or disagree about Shanks and the magazine, one thing is for sure. It has made biblical archaeology a popular topic.

More information about this issue, with an opportunity to buy and subscribe, may be found at the magazine web site: Biblical Archaeology Review.

This special issue of BAR contains the following features:

  • A first personal article by Gabriel Barkay on “The Riches of Ketef Hinnom.” It was during this excavation that Iron Age tombs were found, one of which contained the tiny silver plaque with the oldest known text of a Bible reference.
  • Photos by the late photographer David Harris.
  • Ten top discoveries.
  • BAR’s Crusades, like the one to get the Dead Sea Scrolls published.
  • Letters we loved.
  • Much more.

In typical Shanks fashion, we are told that “The best is yet to come!”

March/April edition of BAR online

Biblical Archaeology Review announced today that the entire March/April edition is available online. Certainly this is to gain subscribers. Nonetheless it is a good opportunity for those who have not read the magazine to take a look.

Subjects include an article about a seal bearing the name Jezebel. Does it belong to the wicked Phoenician Queen, wife of Ahab?

Another article is about Emmaus, or Emmaus-Nicopolis, where Jesus met with some disciples after his resurrection (Luke 24:13ff.). Here is a photo I made of the fifth century baptistry at Emmaus in 2005.

Baptistry in 5th century church at Emmaus. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

BAR has a photo of this baptistry, but calls it a “baptismal font.” The article says,

Two steps lead down into the basin where the penitent would stand when the priest poured water over him (the basin is not large enough for total immersion).

Of course, I must disagree with BAR. Many a preacher has baptized in a bathtub or some other small vessel when nothing else was available. In New Testament times baptism was immersion, as the word indicates, and as history records. The first known instance of the pouring of water as a substitute for immersion is the case of Novation in A.D. 251. It may well have been that pouring was practiced by the 5th century at Emmaus, but it is a departure from the New Testament (Romans 6:3-4). Baptism is commonly called a washing in the New Testament (Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 10:22).

Anyway, go online and read these and other articles from the current issue of BAR. Here is the link.