Sep 30 Blog
By: Shawna Dolansky
The serpent in the Garden of Eden is portrayed as just that: a serpent. The story in Genesis 2–3 contains no hint that he embodies the devil, Satan or any other evil power. So where does the devil come into the details of Eden? Biblical scholar Shawna Dolansky examines how the serpent became Satan.
Aug 31 Blog
By: Nicola Denzey Lewis
Brown University Religious Studies professor Nicola Denzey Lewis answers frequently asked questions about the apostle Peter. Denzey Lewis appears in the CNN series Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery, which aims to investigate artifacts that shed light on the world in which Jesus lived.
Jan 3 Blog
By: Megan Sauter
Were there synagogues before the Romans destroyed the Temple, or did they develop only afterward? Communal structures from the Second Temple period have been discovered, but should they be considered synagogues even though they don’t share the major architectural feature common to post-destruction synagogues?
Nov 17 Blog
Aug 16 Blog
In the history of crucifixion, the death of Jesus of Nazareth stands out as the best-known example by far. Crucifixion in antiquity was actually a fairly common punishment, but there were no known physical remains from a crucifixion. Then, in 1968, archaeologist Vassilios Tzaferis excavated a Jerusalem tomb that contained the bones of a crucified man named Yehohanan. As Tzaferis reported in BAR, the discovery demonstrated the brutal reality of Roman crucifixion methods in a way that written accounts never had before.
Jul 28 Blog
By: Hershel Shanks
The 92nd Street Y in New York City called me a few months ago, asking me to speak. We discussed possible topics, and I finally chose “What’s a Greek God Doing in an Ancient Synagogue?” They also agreed to my asking two real experts to join me on the platform: Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Steve Fine of Yeshiva University. We had a good time—and so did the enthusiastic audience—but we didn’t solve the problem, at least to my mind.