By: Daniel Ogden
When seeking “hidden” knowledge, ancient Greeks and Romans visited sacred oracles and consulted necromancers, who communed with the dead. The necromancer’s art often involved strange journeys, sleep-and-dreaming rituals and even blood sacrifices—since the ghostly shades were thought to need a tonic of fresh blood to become reanimated. Our modern fascination with exorcism and vampires suggests that necromancy is hardly dead.
The stories of Sodom and its destruction, whether historical or not, were clearly understood to have occurred near the Dead Sea, among the so-called “cities of the plain” mentioned in Genesis 13, verse 12. But where exactly was this plain, and was a particular site associated with Sodom?
Does this fragmentary hieroglyphic inscription contain the first mention of Israel? According to a recently published article by Manfred Görg, Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis, the name-ring on the right may indeed read “Israel,” and they date it almost 200 years earlier than the reference to Israel on the Merneptah Stele.
By: Nicola Denzey Lewis
Brown University Religious Studies professor Nicola Denzey Lewis answers frequently asked questions about the apostle Peter. Denzey Lewis appears in the CNN series Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery, which aims to investigate artifacts that shed light on the world in which Jesus lived.