Biblical Archaeology Review, Summer 2020

Summer is usually marked by archaeological excavations at significant biblical sites. In light of the current pandemic, however, many excavations have canceled or postponed their 2020 seasons. Even if you’re not able to participate in an excavation this summer, you can still dig into the Summer 2020 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review and immerse yourself in the biblical world. Explore the site of Tel Hadid near Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport and the recently opened Tomb of the Kings in Jerusalem. Then examine the oldest Christian manuscripts, epigraphic artifacts from ancient Israel and Judah with personal names, and Palmyrene bilingual inscriptions. Finally, dig into the biblical text by looking at wordplay in the Book of Genesis, the identity of the enigmatic “sons of God” in Genesis 6:1–4, the diverse role of women in the early Church, and the use of the biblical word gilulim (“idols”) to denounce worship of the scarab, the Egyptian sacred dung beetle. The Summer 2020 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has all this and more!

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 a blog by professor James Tabor about the three most important women in Mark’s Gospel, all of whom are unnamed. Then explore a collection of articles about historic pandemic diseases and humanity’s response to illness. Finally, peruse articles written by the late, renowned biblical scholar Philip J. King. 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.



Forced Resettlement and Immigration at Tel Hadid

By Ido Koch, Dan Warner, Eli Yannai, Lin Lawson Pruitt, Dennis Cole, and James Parker

When Assyria ruled supreme, it forcibly removed the ancient Israelites from their homeland and settled a new people group in their place. Explore discoveries related to these new deportees— and more—at Tel Hadid. This article includes a special supplement, Digging Deeper at Tel Hadid, to understand the site like the experts do.

How Old Are the Oldest Christian Manuscripts?

By Brent Nongbri

The earliest Christian manuscripts are almost never dated explicitly, and scholars must rely on technical analyses and circumstantial evidence to establish probable dates. Learn about the uses and abuses of the dating techniques.

What’s in a Name? Personal Names in Ancient Israel and Judah

By Mitka R. Golub

Explore how ancient Israelite and Judahite personal names—collected from archaeological materials—contribute to the study of the Bible’s historicity.

The Scarab: The Idol That Rolls in Dung

By Zohar Amar

The Hebrew Bible uses expressions of disgust to warn the Israelites against gentile idolatry. Is it possible that the rare biblical word gilulim (“idols”) refers specifically to the Egyptian sacred dung beetle, known as the scarab?



Sphinxes on the Move?
What is It?
Going, Going, Gone | Dammed to Die
The Thinker from Yehud
Gods on Parade
For Good Measure
Then and Now | Fast and Delicious
Where Is It?
Define Intervention | theophoric name
Maintaining Cultural Balance: Palmyrene Bilingual Inscriptions and Roman Imperialism
Milestone | Philip J. King
Site-Seeing | Tomb of Kings Now Open!
Book Review | Jesus and His Jewish Followers


Wordplay in Genesis
Whence-a-Word? | skin of my teeth
Clip Art
Bible Threads | Shepherding People
Biblical Profile | Exploring the Story of the Sons of God
What’s in a Name? | Sennacherib
Women in the Early Church


First Person | What Does Archaeology Say about Effective Peace Treaties?
Queries & Comments
Caption Contest