Top 10 Bible History Daily Posts in 2018

Ring in the new year by looking back

From 6,500-year-old DNA to the possible signature of the prophet Isaiah, Bible History Daily covered quite a range of topics in the last year! Below, check out our top 10 blog posts published in 2018 that received the most web traffic. Did your favorite post make the cut?


 
#10. 6,500-Year-Old DNA Points to Ancient Migration
By Robin Ngo
According to a recent DNA study, around 6,500 years ago, humans migrated from modern-day Turkey and the Zagros mountains of Iran to Israel’s Upper Galilee region, helping to introduce cultural changes in the southern Levant during the Late Chalcolithic period.

istituto-sacra-famiglia-catacomb

The excavation under Rome’s Istituto Sacra Famiglia. Photo: © INRAP, Dist. Rmn-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY.

#9. Video Lecture: The Origin of Heaven and Hell
By Robert R. Cargill
Because there was no concept of an afterlife in early Israelite religion, there was no concept of a heaven or hell. But following the exile and return from Babylon and the coming of the Greeks, Jewish literature suddenly began to contain references to heaven and hell.

#8. A Subterranean Surprise in the Roman Catacombs
By Sarah K. Yeomans
In 2002, a burst pipe caused a sinkhole to form in the basement of Rome’s Istituto Sacra Famiglia, revealing several hundred burials. What were these evidently non-Christian burials dating to the second century C.E. doing in the middle of one of Rome’s most important Christian catacombs?

#7. Newly Deciphered Dead Sea Scroll Reveals 364-Day Calendar
By Robin Ngo
Of the estimated 900 documents that comprise the Dead Sea Scrolls, two remain unpublished—until now. Scholars Eshbal Ratson and Jonathan Ben-Dov recently deciphered one of the last two remaining Dead Sea Scrolls. Written in code, the scroll describes a 364-day calendar used by the Qumran community that lived in the Judean Desert.

#6. Was Pontius Pilate’s Ring Discovered at Herodium?
By Robert Cargill
A ring discovered in 1969 at Herodium has finally been analyzed. It bears a Greek inscription reading “PILATO”—is this a reference to Pontius Pilate? Under what circumstance would Pilate (or anyone else for that matter) inscribe a ring with the name PILATO?

#5. The Story of Ruth
By Adele Berlin
Along with the Song of Songs, the Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and the Book of Esther, the Book of Ruth is one of the Five Scrolls of the Hebrew Bible—texts that are read today during major Jewish holidays. Despite its short length, the Book of Ruth carries strong thematic connections with the rest of the Bible.

#4. Jesus and the Cross
By Steven Shisley
Most scholars believe that early Christians did not use the cross as an image of their religion. So how did the cross become modern Christianity’s most popular symbol?

#3. Virtually Explore Jesus’ Tomb at the National Geographic Museum
By Samuel Pfister
3D technology brings Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre to life in the National Geographic Museum exhibit Tomb of Christ in Washington, DC. The church, first constructed by Roman emperor Constantine in 335 C.E., stands over the suspected site of the burial of Jesus after his crucifixion at Golgotha.

isaiah-bulla

This bulla (seal impression) reads “[belonging] to Isaiah nvy.” Photo: Ouria Tadmor/© Eilat Mazar.

#2. Did the Ancient Israelites Think Children Were People?
By T. M. Lemos
The Book of Exodus presumably reflects the views of its Israelite authors on their deity, morality, and the like. Why then would the Israelites have imagined Yahweh slaughtering Egyptian children for sins the children themselves had not committed?

#1. Isaiah’s Signature Uncovered in Jerusalem
By Megan Sauter
The Ophel excavations at the foot of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount have yielded numerous exciting discoveries, including a new Biblical signature. Archaeologist Eilat Mazar reveals what may be a seal impression of the prophet Isaiah—unveiled in BAR for the first time ever in honor of Hershel Shanks’s retirement as BAR Editor.
 


 
Our free eBook Ten Top Biblical Archaeology Discoveries brings together the exciting worlds of archaeology and the Bible! Learn the fascinating insights gained from artifacts and ruins, like the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where the Gospel of John says Jesus miraculously restored the sight of the blind man, and the Tel Dan inscription—the first historical evidence of King David outside the Bible.
 


 

The runners-up:

abdiel-coffin

Made of wood and decorated with gold, glass, and paint, ‘Abdiel’s outer coffin was excavated from the burial chamber of his tomb. Photo: © Hypogées (P. Chapuis/MAFB).

‘Abdiel: Egyptian Vizier and “Servant of the God El”
By Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

Egyptian Papyrus Reveals Israelite Psalms
By Marek Dospěl

2,000-Year-Old Jerusalem Inscription Bears City’s Name
By Robin Ngo

Fragment of Homer’s Odyssey Unearthed at Olympia
By Robin Ngo

How Were Biblical Psalms Originally Performed?
By Marek Dospěl

Masada Dig Reveals a Pleasure-Garden at King Herod’s Palace
By Robin Ngo
 


 
Our free eBook Ten Top Biblical Archaeology Discoveries brings together the exciting worlds of archaeology and the Bible! Learn the fascinating insights gained from artifacts and ruins, like the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where the Gospel of John says Jesus miraculously restored the sight of the blind man, and the Tel Dan inscription—the first historical evidence of King David outside the Bible.
 


 

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  • Wes says

    We look forward to reviewing these topics – again.

    Plus a related question:

    How was the Top 10 Countdown determined?


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