Biblical Archaeology Review, Spring 2020

Dig into several archaeological mysteries in the Spring 2020 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Although archaeologists have been searching for biblical sites for centuries, certain places remain elusive. The New Testament Bethsaida is one of them. Two locations have been proposed as candidates for the fishing village on the Sea of Galilee, which was later transformed into a Roman city. Explore the cases for the two contenders, el-Araj and et-Tell, and cast your vote for the best candidate. Then move south to the site of Qumran on the Dead Sea to solve another mystery. Many believe that Qumran was a celibate community, home to the Jewish sect of the Essenes. However, female skeletons uncovered at the local cemetery call this theory into question. After unraveling that conundrum, step further south to Egypt and detect the type of structures referenced in the Book of Exodus as being built by the Israelite slaves. Also, explore when literacy emerged in Judah, search for Judean refugees in the Galilee, and analyze interpretations of the biblical figures of Eve and Aseneth. Step inside the el-Jazzar mosque and read an interview with Pnina Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority. See all this and more in the Spring 2020 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review!

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 an exclusive interview with R. Steven Notley and Mordechai Aviam, directors of the el-Araj excavation. See why they believe their site is the best candidate for biblical Bethsaida. Then peruse Leonard J. Greenspoon’s updated eBook The Holy Bible: A Buyer’s Guide. If you’re in the market for a Bible, this free guide is the book for you! This Easter, dig deeper into the Gospels’ narrative of the death of Jesus and his ultimate resurrection with the free eBook Easter: Exploring the Resurrection of Jesus. 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.



Searching for Bethsaida: The Case for El-Araj

By R. Steven Notley and Mordechai Aviam

Where is biblical Bethsaida? Two sites have been identified as candidates for the biblical fishing village on the Sea of Galilee, which was later transformed into a Roman city. Explore the case for el-Araj, the site on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Searching for Bethsaida: The Case for Et-Tell

By Rami Arav

For 30 years, archaeologists have been excavating et-Tell in the Lower Golan, east of the Jordan Rift Valley. See why they believe their site is biblical Bethsaida.

Were There Women at Qumran?

By Sidnie White Crawford

Qumran is widely believed to have been an Essene settlement. But how does this identification square with the role of women in the Jewish sect as described in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which likely originated in this supposedly celibate community?

Brick by Brick: What Did the Israelites Build in Egypt?

By David A. Falk

The Bible says that the Israelite slaves specialized in making mudbricks. Through a survey of ancient Egyptian architecture, Egyptologist David A. Falk identifies the type of buildings in which these bricks likely would have been used.



The Holy Seaports
Sacred Texts Online
Who Did It?
Bronze Age Megalopolis
Milestone | Larry W. Hurtado
Where Is It?
Site-Seeing | El-Jazzar’s Architectural Gem
Facelift | Shining Up a Silver Shrine
A Wonder to Behold
Cache of Coffins Discovered in Egypt
Shedding Light on Judean Refugees
Book Review | Arguing with Aseneth


When Did Literacy Emerge in Judah?
5 Questions | The IAA’s Pnina Shor Retires
A Thousand Words | Decorated Doors of Bishop Bernward
FAQ | Did ancient Hebrew have vowels?
Biblical Profile | The Gospel According to Eve
Whence-A-Word? | apple of his eye
Biblical Bestiary | donkey


First Person | Where Is the Real Bethsaida?
Queries & Comments
Caption Contest