Inside BAR

January/February 2017


Although the weather outside is frightful, BAR is so delightful, and since you’ve no place to go, read it slow, read it slow, read it slow. Despite the cold of winter, now is the time to think ahead to summer 2017—and make plans to excavate the Biblical world. Explore new archaeological discoveries in the January/February 2017 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, including opportunities to join a dig.

Each year students and volunteers from around the world travel through time by participating in excavations. In “Digs 2017: Digging Through Time,” Ellen White explores the history of the land of the Bible while digging into its archaeological past. Learn about this year’s exciting excavation opportunities.

After you’ve settled your summer excavation plans, look at significant discoveries from past archaeological seasons. Excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa have uncovered a second city gate from the 10th century B.C.E., the time of King David’s reign. No other Israelite site from this period has more than one gate. In “REJECTED! Qeiyafa’s Unlikely Second Gate” by Yosef Garfinkel, Saar Ganor and Joseph Baruch Silver, see what Qeiyafa’s two city gates tell us about the Kingdom of Judah in David’s time.

The January/February 2017 issue also investigates new questions in Biblical studies. In the Genesis creation narratives, God arguably speaks Hebrew; in fact, everyone speaks Hebrew until the Tower of Babel. If Hebrew were a holy language, one would expect it to be unique—set apart from other languages—but it is not. In “How Hebrew Became a Holy Language,” Jan Joosten posits that perhaps Hebrew did not start out holy—but instead became holy.

In addition to exploring archaeological sites that have been excavated and sites that you can excavate, this issue introduces a Biblical site that we would like to locate and excavate. Where is the original Pool of Siloam, the water pool that fed Jerusalem in the First Temple period? While the Roman-period Pool of Siloam—where Jesus cured the blind man—has been discovered, the earlier Pool of Siloam remains unknown. Hershel Shanks investigates a possible location—another piece of the great Jerusalem water system puzzle—in “The Pool of Siloam Has Been Found, but Where Is the Pool of Siloam?”

Also included in this issue are the First Person column “Gedenkschrift” by Hershel Shanks; the Site-Seeing column “Archaeological Remains in Holy Sepulchre’s Shadow” by Jonathan Klawans; the Biblical Views column “Love Is Strong as Death—but Don’t Spend the Family’s Wealth” by Philip Stern; the Archaeological Views column “Mount Zion’s Upper Room and Tomb of David” by David Christian Clausen; a review by Craig Evans of The Samaritans: A Profile (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016) by Reinhard Pummer; and a review by Paul J. Kosmin of Antioch and Jerusalem: The Seleucids and Maccabees in Coins (London: Spink, 2015) by David M. Jacobson.

Visit us online at Bible History Daily to see the latest news in Biblical archaeology, as well as additional articles and videos about key Bible and archaeology topics, including a Bible History Daily guest blog post by Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin about animals in the Hebrew Bible. Visit our Find a Dig website for detailed information about excavations seeking volunteers, and hear from our 2016 scholarship recipients, who volunteered last summer at ancient sites throughout the Biblical world. If you haven’t tried the BAR Tablet Edition yet, check it out by downloading our highly-rated app, available on iPad, Android and Kindle Fire tablets. And be sure to explore the BAS Library, which features every article ever published in BAR, Bible Review and Archaeology Odyssey, all footnoted articles in BAR Notables and Special Collections of articles curated by BAS editors.

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