Oct. 10, 2012
-- “Is it a she or is it a he?” is only one of the tantalizing questions raised by the remarkable finds at Kuntillet ‘Ajrud in the Sinai desert. In the November/December 2012 issue of BAR, “The Persisting Uncertainties of Kuntillet ‘Ajrud” explores this remote site. Why was it built? What is it? Why was it abandoned? And why has it taken nearly four decades to publish the final excavation report? One thing is clear, however: Several inscriptions recovered in the excavation mention the Israelite God “Yahweh.”
There’s much more in this issue of BAR. In an unprecedented breakthrough, paleographer Ada Yardeni recently identified the handwriting of a single scribe on more than 50 Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran and Masada. What can this say about the scribal community at Qumran? Scroll expert Sidnie White Crawford elaborates in “Scribe Links Qumran and Masada.”
Then, a new look at some even older caves. Nearly a century ago, French archaeologist Raymond Weill excavated what he identified as tombs in Jerusalem’s City of David—perhaps the royal necropolis of the kings of Judah as located in the Bible. As Jeffrey R. Zorn explains in “Is T1 Davıd’s Tomb?” some scholars have since disputed this claim, but a new examination of more recent archaeological evidence suggests that archaeologist Weill might well have been right. Get a closer look at more photos and excavation drawings from the tombs online.
At this time of year, most Christians are focusing on the birth of Jesus, but BAR is taking a different look at the beginning of Christianity. A small group of observant Jews were the first followers of Jesus. But Christianity evolved into a largely gentile movement over the next century. When were non-Jews first accepted as Jesus’ followers, and how were they distinguished from the original Jewish Christians? Read “From Jewısh to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity”
by Geza Vermes to find out.
BAR columnists offer more on myriad Bible and archaeology topics. In his First Person, editor Hershel Shanks asks what to do when the experts disagree. Leonard Greenspoon surveys popular uses of the Biblical phrase “It is better to give than to receive” in The Bible in the News. After a momentous year in Great Britain, Henry W. Morisada Rietz explores the Biblical connections of “God Save the Queen” in Biblical Views. And Yonatan Adler uses the case of chalkstone vessels to further the discussion in Archaeological Views of the relationship between text and archaeology.
Continue exploring online at Bible History Daily, where visitors can access daily articles on key Biblical archaeology topics, the latest news, book reviews and dozens of free eBooks, including the new Ancient Israel, Egypt and the Exodus. Users can also try BAR’s digital issue and download our brand-new iPad app.