Biblical Archaeology Review, Winter 2022

The Winter 2022 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review celebrates the latest discoveries that continue to shape our understanding of the biblical world. “Mesha’s Stele and the House of David” takes a close look at King Mesha of Moab’s famous inscription and the new photographic evidence that may confirm its reference to David’s kingdom. “The Genesis of Judaism” examines the latest archaeological and historical evidence to determine when early Jews first began to observe the laws of the Torah.

“Enduring Impressions” highlights Judah’s long tradition of stamped jar handles, revealing an innovative administrative system that persisted across more than six centuries. And for those who have always wondered how Christmas came to be celebrated on December 25, “Calculating Christmas” examines an early Christian inscription that shows how the date may have first been determined.

Strata highlights the latest in Dead Sea Scrolls research, with an article on the incredible technology that allows scholars to digitally unwrap and read the interiors of rolled-up scrolls. We also interview Joe Uziel, head of Israel’s Dead Sea Scrolls Unit, whose team works to document and conserve the more than 25,000 scroll fragments. And for the collector and travel enthusiast in all of us, read about a fantastic Byzantine reliquary that reveals Christianity’s long fascination with Holy Land keepsakes.

Epistles looks at the early Jewish laws, customs, and traditions that governed Joseph and Mary’s engagement in first-century Galilee and also profiles the mysterious Rephaim, mythical characters often associated with death and the underworld in the Bible. Finally, we examine how ancient scribes understood the written word and the very different function that writing served in antiquity.

Visit us online, at Bible History Daily, to see the latest news in biblical archaeology or to delve into additional articles, eBooks, and videos about key Bible and archaeology topics. And be sure to check out our exclusive online interview with Rona Avissar Lewis, new director of the Israel Exploration Society, who discusses the organization’s storied past and bright future. Watch the interview today!

All-Access Members can explore the BAS Library, which features every article ever published in Biblical Archaeology Review, Bible Review, and Archaeology Odyssey, as well as Special Collections of articles curated by BAR editors.



Mesha’s Stele and the House of David

André Lemaire and Jean-Philippe Delorme
The Mesha Stele details the victories of King Mesha of Moab over the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. It was found at Dibon, Moab’s capital, and dated to the ninth century B.C.E. The stone contains a possible reference to the “House of David” as Judah’s rulers, which seems to support King David as a historical figure. Thanks to recent photographic evidence, our authors argue that this reading can now be confirmed.

The Genesis of Judaism

Yonatan Adler
Throughout much of history, Jewish life and culture have been characterized by strict adherence to the practices and prohibitions given in the Torah. The origins of that observance, however, have remained a mystery. Consider the archaeological discoveries and ancient texts that reveal when and why ordinary Judeans first adopted the Torah as their authoritative law.

Calculating Christmas: Hippolytus and December 25th

T.C. Schmidt
When did December 25 become the date for Christmas? An inscribed statue and several patristic manuscripts show an early association of Jesus’s birth with December 25. Investigate the early church fathers’ calendrical calculations that resulted in this date.

Enduring Impressions: The Stamped Jars of Judah

Oded Lipschits
In ancient Judah, seal impressions stamped onto storage jars supported a centuries-long administrative system designed to collect and store agricultural products to pay the kingdom’s annual tribute to its foreign overlords. Examine the different impressions, attested from the eighth to second centuries B.C.E., that evidence this longlived, centrally organized system.



Lod Mosaic Center Opens
Who Did it?
Tutankhamun: Excavating the Archive
What Is It?
New Chapter for the Albright
Deborah and Barak at Huqoq
Linear Elamite Deciphered!
Sacred Souvenirs: Remembering Holy Land Places
Milestone: Joseph Aviram (1915–2022)
Milestone: Norman Gottwald (1926–2022)
Milestone: Claus-Hunno Hunzinger (1929–2021)
Test Kitchen: Roman “French” Toast
Going, Going, Gone: Iraq’s Capital Catastrophe
5 Questions: Preserving the Dead Sea Scrolls
Arch-Tech: Reading “Invisible” Dead Sea Scrolls
Century Mark: The Discovery of King Tut’s Tomb
Book Review: The Destruction of the Canaanites


Wedding Bells in Galilee?
Define Intervention: What is “Patristics”?
In the Beginning, Was There a Word?
What’s in a Name?: Ankhesenamun
Biblical Profile: The Riddle of the Rephaim
Biblical Bestiary: Dove


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