Inside BAR

May/June 2016


From the Garden of Eden to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the May/June 2016 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has it all! Discover evidence of the Biblical Exodus, examine the stunning Lod Mosaic, compare the Biblical patriarch Joseph to King Esarhaddon of Assyria, study population estimates of ancient Jerusalem, learn about the nefarious figure of Lilith, look at time in the Gospel accounts of Easter, search for the location of Golgotha—and much more!

Does archaeological evidence connect with Israel’s Exodus from Egypt—a central event in the Bible? Egyptian artifacts and sites are examined in “Exodus Evidence: An Egyptologist Looks at Biblical History.” They indicate that the Biblical text does indeed recount accurate memories from the period to which the Exodus is generally assigned.

A series of stunning mosaic floors dated to around 300 C.E. were uncovered in Lod, Israel. Plants, birds, fish and animals are depicted in the mosaics—but no human figures. Hershel Shanks considers who made these mosaics in “The Lod Mosaic—Jewish, Christian or Pagan?”

Even though he was not the oldest of his brothers, Esarhaddon was named heir apparent of his father Sennacherib, ruler of the Assyrian empire. But because of his jealous brothers, Esarhaddon had to leave Nineveh and take refuge elsewhere. The pattern of jealous brothers, exile and eventual success is also seen in the Biblical story of Joseph. Does one tale inform the other? Eckart Frahm compares the two in “‘And His Brothers Were Jealous of Him’: Surprising Parallels Between Joseph and King Esarhaddon of Assyria.”

Archaeologist Hillel Geva says that population estimates for ancient Jerusalem are too high. See his new estimates, which begin with people living on no more than a dozen acres, in “Ancient Jerusalem: The Village, the Town, the City” by Hershel Shanks.

Who were the original humans that God created in the Garden of Eden: Adam and Eve? Or Adam and Lilith? Dan Ben-Amos takes a close look at the opening chapters of Genesis—and ancient Jewish mythology—in “From Eden to Ednah—Lilith in the Garden” to see whether or not Lilith came before Eve.

Also included in this issue are the First Person column “A Scepter from the Temple?” by Hershel Shanks; the Bible in the News column “Of Biblical Proportions” by Leonard J. Greenspoon; the Biblical Views column “It’s About Time—Easter Time” by Ben Witherington III; and the Archaeological Views column “Golgotha: Is the Holy Sepulchre Church Authentic?” by Marcel Serr and Dieter Vieweger. Two reviews are featured as well: Bruce Chilton reviews The Norton Anthology of World Religions: vol. 1—Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism; vol. 2—Judaism, Christianity, Islam (New York, London: W.W. Norton, 2015) edited by Jack Miles, Wendy Doniger, Donald Lopez Jr. and James Robson (vol. 1), and Jack Miles, David Biale, Lawrence Cunningham and Jane Dammen McAuliffe (vol. 2); and John D. Currid reviews Threshing Floors in Ancient Israel: Their Ritual and Symbolic Significance (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015) by Jaime L. Waters.

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. Learn about the serpent in the Garden of Eden in an exclusive Bible History Daily post, “How the Serpent Became Satan,” by Shawna Dolansky. Also, discover what Biblical scholars and archaeologists can teach us about the Exodus in the free BAS eBook Ancient Israel in Egypt and the Exodus. If you haven’t tried the BAR Tablet Edition yet, check it out by downloading our highly-rated app, available on Android, iPad 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, such as Noah and the Genesis Flood, which examines what textual and archaeological sources tell us about Noah and the Biblical flood story.

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