Jesus in Non-Christian Sources

By Lester L. Grabbe The few references to Jesus in non-Christian sources do not tell us much, but they do attest to his existence. This and the question of whether they tell us anything about him that we do not otherwise know makes examination of these sources a fascinating exercise. Tacitus (56- c. 120 CE) …

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Exodus: The History Behind the Story

Prof. Israel Knohl The Elephantine Stele and the Great Harris Papyrus both describe Pharaoh Setnakhte’s war against the Levantine usurper Irsu in 1186 B.C.E. Reading these accounts together with Manetho’s story of the war against Osarseph offers us a possible historical context for what eventually became the Bible’s story of the exodus of Israel from …

Where Does Yhwh Come From?

By Martin Leuenberger In the last two decades there has been a massive revival of religious-historical approaches to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, including the study of archaeological evidence and cultural history. One of the more controversial issues concerns the origins of Yhwh, the god of the Bible The importance of this question is obvious, since it …

Decoding Göbekli Tepe: Secret Society AND Space Observatory?

A paper by authors Martin B. Sweatman and Dimitrios Tsikritsis, titled 'Decoding Göbekli Tepe with archaeoastronomy: What does the fox say?' published in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry , vol 17, no. 1. (2017) proposed that a key purpose of the Göbekli Tepe site was to serve as an astronomical observatory to monitor comets and their meteor showers, principally of …

Alternative Facts: Domitian’s Persecution of Christians

Mark Wilson   •  07/24/2017 Ancient portrait of Roman emperor Domitian (r. 81–96 C.E.) As I revisited a critical biography of the Roman emperor Domitian by the scholar Brian W. Jones recently,1 I was reminded that “alternative facts” and “fake news” are not just a contemporary phenomenon. On occasion ancient writers similarly tried to spin their version …