Inside BAR

September/October 2017

Explore the Biblical sites of Samaria, Hebron and Gath in the September/October 2017 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Join us as we search for the Temple Menorah, revisit connotations of infertility in the Bible, and delve into how a comet transformed the Roman world. Further, see archaeological evidence that confirms the existence of 23 political figures from the New Testament.

King Omri of Israel selected Samaria as his capital and built an elaborate palace there in the ninth century B.C.E. What did this palace look like, and was it destroyed when the Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Israel in 721 B.C.E.? Join Rupert Chapman as he examines this ancient palace in “Samaria—Capital of Israel.”

Mentioned nearly 100 times in the Hebrew Bible, Hebron was a significant Biblical city. In “Hebron Still Jewish in Second Temple Times,” David Ben-Shlomo details recent excavations at Hebron that have uncovered the town from the Second Temple period. Its population—we can now confidently say—was still Jewish at that time.

There is little doubt that the Temple Menorah was taken to Rome after the destruction of Jerusalem. However, Rome was sacked, and the Temple Menorah was looted. After disaster befell the cities that housed it as a spoil of war, was it returned to Jerusalem? Fredric Brandfon explores this possibility in “Did the Temple Menorah Come Back to Jerusalem?”

Archaeology has confirmed 53 people from the Hebrew Bible. What about the New Testament? Lawrence Mykytiuk examines the political figures in the New Testament who can be identified in the archaeological record and by extra-Biblical writings in “New Testament Political Figures Confirmed.” To see Mykytiuk’s extensive evidence, covering King Herod and his royal family to lesser-known figures, visit Bible History Daily.

Also included in this issue are the First Person column “Did the Kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon Actually Exist?” by Hershel Shanks; the Classical Corner column “A Comet Gives Birth to an Empire” by Sarah K. Yeomans; the Biblical Views column “Reevaluating Biblical Infertility” by Joel S. Baden and Candida R. Moss; the Archaeological Views column “Board Games in Biblical Gath” by Shira Albaz, Itzhaq Shai, Haskel J. Greenfield and Aren M. Maeir; and a review by Oliver D. Hoover of Reign and Religion in Palestine: The Use of Sacred Iconography in Jewish Coinage (Equinox, 2016) by Anne Lykke.

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 an exclusive post by David Rafael Moulis of the Charles University in Prague, who looks at the archaeological evidence of King Hezekiah’s religious reform. Visit our new BAS Streaming Video Site to stream or download lectures about the Bible and archaeology by world experts from the comfort of your home, office or classroom. 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, including one examining writing and literacy in the Biblical world, from Early Bronze Age Canaanites to the authors of the New Testament.

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