People & Cultures in the Bible

People & Cultures in the Bible

Ecstasy of Paul, Poussin

Apr 11

If I Ascend to Heaven … Paul’s Journey to Paradise

By: James Tabor

The various types of the heavenly journeys we have reports about can be divided into four basic categories, based upon the fundamental purpose or outcome of the ascent as reported in a given text. Generally speaking, the first two categories are more characteristic of the Ancient Near Eastern, or archaic period, which would include most texts of the Hebrew Bible (OT). The latter two categories are more typical of the Hellenistic period, which reflects the perspective of the NT.

Late-15th-century painting of The Last Supper by the Spanish artist known as the Master of Perea.

Apr 6

Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Seder?

By: Jonathan Klawans

Many assume that Jesus' Last Supper was a Seder, the ritual Passover meal. Examine evidence from the synoptic Gospels with scholar Jonathan Klawans.

Roman Catacomb Painting at the Catacombs of Santa Priscilla

Apr 4

The Last Days of Jesus: A Final “Messianic” Meal

By: James Tabor

On Wednesday Jesus began to make plans for Passover. He sent two of his disciples into the city to prepare a large second-­story guest room where he could gather secretly and safely with his inner group.

The Ravenna mosaic of Jesus. Photo: Sant’Apollinare Nuovo Ravenna, Italy/Bridgeman Images

Apr 2

Did Jesus Exist? Searching for Evidence Beyond the Bible

By: Lawrence Mykytiuk

Did Jesus of Nazareth, “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), really exist? What’s the evidence outside of the Bible? Classical and Jewish writings from the first several centuries C.E. give us a glimpse of the person who would become the central figure in Christianity mere decades after his crucifixion.

Mordechai Beck's Moses

Apr 2

Who Was Moses? Was He More than an Exodus Hero?

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

Who was Moses? Was he more than an Exodus hero? Discover the Biblical Moses with Peter Machinist in his article “The Man Moses.”

last-supper

Mar 31

Jesus’ Last Supper Still Wasn’t a Passover Seder Meal

By: Jonathan Klawans

Many people still assume that Jesus’ Last Supper was a Seder, a ritual meal held in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Passover. In this exclusive Bible History Daily guest post, Boston University Professor of Religion Jonathan Klawans provides an update to his popular Bible Review article questioning this common assumption.

The sunken courtyard outside the entrance to the cave of Salome. Courtesy Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority

Mar 27

Saint Salome’s Resting Place?

By: BAS Staff

At the site of Horvat Qasra in the Judean foothills, between the fifth and the eighth centuries, Byzantine Christians frequented a small tomb chapel cut […]

Judas Betrays Jesus with a Kiss 1873 in 'The story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation'

Mar 26

Why Did Judas Identify Jesus with a Kiss?

By: Hershel Shanks

I’ve been reading a new book titled Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem “On the Life and the Passion of Christ”: A Coptic Apocryphon by the Dutch scholar Roelof van den Broek.1 In case it has escaped your attention, it provides a new translation of an eighth-century Gnostic gospel in Coptic from Egypt that has been in the Morgan Library in New York since 1908, a gift of J.P. Morgan.

Zev Radovan

Mar 26

Nehemiah—The Man Behind the Wall

By: Dorothy Willette

Few people are familiar with the Biblical figure Nehemiah, and yet he was instrumental in the rebuilding and reestablishment of Jerusalem in the fifth century B.C. following the Babylonian exile.

Herod Tomb

Mar 24

How Was Jesus’ Tomb Sealed?

By: Megan Sauter

What kind of stone sealed the tomb of Jesus? Was it a round (disk-shaped) stone or a square (cork-shaped) stone? While both kinds of blocking stones are attested in Jerusalem tombs from the time of Jesus, square (cork-shaped) stones are much, much more common than round (disk-shaped) ones.