People & Cultures in the Bible

People & Cultures in the Bible

Pieter Bruegel Bethlehem Painting

Jul 13

How December 25 Became Christmas

By: Andrew McGowan

Theological scholar Andrew McGowan examines how December 25 came to be associated with the birthday of Jesus and became Christmas, a holiday celebrated by Christians around the world.


Jul 11

Tour Showcases Remains of Herod’s Jerusalem Palace—Possible Site of the Trial of Jesus

By: Robin Ngo

Visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City can explore remains of King Herod’s palace, which may be where Roman governor Pontius Pilate tried and condemned Jesus of Nazareth to death.

The North Church (left) and its baptistery (right) at Shivta in Israel’s Negev Desert. Photo by Dror Maayan, courtesy of Emma Maayan-Fanar

Jul 10

Jesus in the Negev

By: BAS Staff

At Shivta, a large early Christian site in southern Israel, scenes painted on the ruined walls of two monumental church buildings have been recently identified […]

Magi illustration

Jun 27

Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh?

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

Were the gifts of the magi meant to save Jesus from the pain of arthritis? It’s possible, according to researchers at Cardiff University in Wales who have been studying the medical uses of frankincense.

Jun 25

Lydia and Tabitha in the Bible

By: Megan Sauter

While the majority of the leaders of the early Christian church were men, the New Testament describes several prominent women leaders as well. Teresa Calpino analyzes two of these women—Tabitha and Lydia—in her Biblical Views column in BAR.

Silvestro Chiesa_The Sufferings of Job

Jun 20

Job Challenges God by Suing: God Responds

By: BAS Staff

After losing his health, wealth and children in inexplicable tragedies, the righteous and devout man Job questions God as to what he must have done to deserve such a heavy punishment. When he can think of nothing else, Job challenges God by suing God to provide evidence of his wrongdoing.

Mariotto Albertinelli Jesus

Jun 15

When Was Jesus Born—B.C. or A.D.?

By: Megan Sauter

In which year was Jesus born? While this is sometimes debated, the majority of New Testament scholars place Jesus’ birth in 4 B.C. or before.


Jun 13

Who is the Wise Woman of Abel Beth Maacah?

By: BAS Staff

In 2 Samuel 20:14–22, this woman stands up to Joab, the commander of King David’s army, and adroitly negotiates the salvation of her town.

Ferdinand Christian Baur

Jun 13

The Quest for the Historical Paul

By: James Tabor

What can we reliably know about Paul and how can we know it? As is the case with Jesus this is not an easy question.

The Face of Jesus?

Jun 6

What Did Jesus Really Look Like?

By: BAS Staff

What did Jesus look like? In “Painting a Portrait of Jesus,” D. Moody Smith examined the difficulties in answering this question.