Biblical Archaeology Review, Fall 2020

For millennia, humans have attempted to depict the divine. The Fall 2020 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review offers some intriguing examples of this phenomenon. First explore male figurines from sites in ancient Judah, which might represent the Israelite God, Yahweh. Then examine early Christian depictions of Jesus in which he holds what looks like a magic wand—but is it? Finally, step into 1 John 4 and discover what it means when it says that “God is love.” The Fall 2020 issue also includes a survey of ancient pandemics, an investigative piece on the location of Galatia (the region where the biblical letter of Galatians was addressed), and a study of manual labor in early Christian monasteries in Egypt. Explore the site of Tel Rekhesh in northern Israel, see how superheroes affect our reading and interpretation of biblical figures, and investigate life and social conflict in ancient Galilee—the backdrop of the Gospels.

Visit us online, at Bible History Daily, to see the latest news in biblical archaeology or delve into additional articles, eBooks, and videos about key Bible and archaeology topics, including virtual tours of the Priscilla Catacombs and the Catacombs of the Hebrews, in Rome. Enjoy our free eBook Recipes from the BAR Test Kitchen to cook up some ancient dishes. Explore the BAS Library, which features every article ever published in BAR, Bible Review, and Archaeology Odyssey, as well as Special Collections of articles curated by BAS editors, such as the Khirbet Qeiyafa Collection with articles about recent finds from Khirbet Qeiyafa and their implications for the Kingdom of Israel’s history.



The Face of Yahweh?

By Yosef Garfinkel

Archaeologists have uncovered male figurines from sites in ancient Judah. Could these represent the Israelite God, Yahweh?

Who Built Tel Rekhesh?

By Shuichi Hasegawa, Hisao Kuwabara, and Yitzhak Paz

After the Assyrian conquest of the northern Kingdom of Israel and deportation of its people in 722 B.C.E., who lived in the land? A large building complex at Tel Rekhesh hints that the new inhabitants came from Mesopotamia.

Jesus the Magician? Why Jesus Holds a Wand in Early Christian Art

By Lee M. Jefferson

Jesus often holds a stick or staff in early Christian depictions of him performing miracles. If not a magician’s wand, what is it? Explore the tradition and meaning of the miracle-working tool.

Social Conflict in Ancient Galilee

By Sarah E. Rollens

Social theory helps biblical scholars bridge the worlds of archaeology and text. In a case study, see how it illuminates life and social conflict in ancient Galilee—the backdrop of the Gospels.



Colorful Centennial
Another Forgery Case, but in Reverse!
Fake Dead Sea Scrolls at the Museum of the Bible
Who did It?
Virtual Museum Tour | 12 Stops Through Biblical History
In Situ
Classical Corner| Pandemics in Perspective
Monks at Work: Ideals and Reality in Early Egyptian Monasticism
Archaeology Argot | horse-and-rider figurine
Test Kitchen | Unwinding with the Ancient Babylonians
Test Kitchen Recipe | Unwinding Stew
The Summer Lipscomb University Saved Biblical Archaeology
Book Review | Bible and Bedouin


Superheroes and the Bible
What’s in a Name? | Akhenaten
How Many?
Galatia in Text, Geography, and Archaeology
Text Treasures | Nag Hammadi Codices
Biblical Bestiary | bee
Text Arcana | What “God Is Love” Actually Means
Text Arcana Sidebar | Four Kinds of Love in Greek
A Thousand Words | The Prophet Windows


First Person | Unprovenanced Antiquities: Learning the Hard Way
Queries & Comments
Caption Contest