The Washington, D.C.-area Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia (BASONOVA) and Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) will be hosting a guided tour of a Greek Orthodox Church (October 4) and a lecture titled “Exodus: Myth or History?” (October 20) in the upcoming weeks. Not in the D.C. area? The Biblical Archaeology Society offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.
On Sunday, October 4, BASONOVA members and guests will visit Saint Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church (Falls Church, VA) during its Fall Festival. Guests are invited to attend the festival bazaar and purchase samples of the delicious food served by parishioners. At 3 pm, Father Costa Pavlakos will begin a tour of Saint Katherine’s, beginning in the sanctuary. As part of the tour, he will discuss the procession of the Church service and speak about the history of the church and its unique martyrology.
Saint Katherine, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt during the fourth century C.E., was the daughter of the ruler Constus and she was said to have been very beautiful and unequaled in kindness. When Saint Katherine refused the edict of Emperor Maxentius to reject Christianity, she was sentenced to a deadly torture known as “the wheel.” Yet when Katherine was placed in the device with sharp blades, the wheels broke loose and killed many pagans.
The Emperor had Katherine beheaded on November 25th around the year 305, making her a martyr. Her body was lifted by heavenly angels and taken to Mount Sinai. A band of monks later discovered her body and built a monastery near the spot of discovery. St. Katherine’s was one of the voices heard by St. Joan of Arc. Her relics are enshrined in the monastery of Saint Katherine on Mount Sinai.
In the free eBook Ancient Israel in Egypt and the Exodus, top scholars discuss the historical Israelites in Egypt and archaeological evidence for and against the historicity of the Exodus.
On Tuesday, October 20, English Egyptologist and best-selling author David Rohl will present the latest findings from Goshen in Egypt’s Eastern Delta that he believes confirm the Exodus tradition. The dating of this archaeological evidence is two hundred years earlier than the reign of Ramesses II; his reign is the time when most scholars place the Exodus story, yet is a period when no evidence for an Exodus has been found. This absence of evidence in support of the Ramesses Exodus Theory has led many scholars and some influential rabbis—unfairly, in Rohl’s view—to reject the Exodus tradition as genuine history.
Following Rohl’s illustrated presentation, archaeologist Eric Cline and epigrapher Christopher Rollston, both of the George Washington University, and Egyptologist Betsy Bryan of Johns Hopkins University will offer their critiques of Rohl’s findings and interpretations and suggest whether or not Rohl’s theory should impact the historicity of the Exodus story. Sparks may fly!
Not in the D.C. area? The Biblical Archaeology Society offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.
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