Current Digital Issue May/June 2015 Vol. 41 No. 3

About this issue: Ancient synagogues, iconoclasts, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”—the May/June 2015 issue of BAR packs a lot of punch in 72 pages. The issue leads with two articles featuring beautiful mosaics from places of worship. In Synagogues—Before and After the Roman Destruction of the Temple, Rachel Hachlili explores whether there were synagogues before the Romans destroyed the Temple or if they developed only afterward. In Iconoclasts and Fishermen—Christian Symbols Survive, Zaraza Friedman examines Christian motifs in mosaics destroyed by eighth-century iconoclasts in a church at Horvat Beit Loya in Israel. Read more…

Synagogues—Before and after the Roman Destruction of the Temple

Rachel Hachlili

Were there synagogues before the Romans destroyed the Temple, or did they develop only afterward? Communal structures from the Second Temple period have been discovered, but should they be considered synagogues even though they don’t share the major architectural feature common to post-destruction synagogues? Read more…

Iconoclasts and Fishermen—Christian Symbols Survive

Zaraza Friedman

In spite of the zeal of eighth-century C.E. iconoclasts who destroyed mosaic depictions of fishermen in a church at Horvat Beit Loya in Israel, the symbolism of this early Christian art can be recovered. Fish and fishermen were important symbols in Christian iconography—the latter often representing Jesus or the apostles. Read more…

A Short History of the Dead Sea Scrolls and What They Tell Us

Lawrence H. Schiffman

Controversy and intrigue have swirled around the Dead Sea Scrolls for nearly seven decades. What have we learned from the plethora of textual and archaeological research? What do the scrolls tell us about the history of Judaism and Christianity? And who were the people who lived at the Dead Sea site of Qumran? Read more…

The Saga of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

Hershel Shanks

When Harvard’s Karen King announced at a 2012 scholarly conference in Rome that a fragment of an authentic fourth-century gospel had come into her hands in which Jesus, speaking in the first person, refers to “my wife,” that was only the beginning. Read more…

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