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 …

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Hezekiah’s Religious Reform—In the Bible and Archaeology

David Rafael Moulis   •  08/16/2017 One of the most significant changes in the religious life of ancient Israel occurred during the reign of the Judahite king Hezekiah, in the late eighth century B.C.E. The Hebrew Bible provides us with this image: “He removed the high places, broke down the pillars, and cut down the sacred pole (asherah). He broke …

First Person: Misogyny in the Bible

Christopher Rollston is one of the world’s leading paleographers of ancient Near Eastern inscriptions. I have been harshly critical of some of his views, principally regarding unprovenanced inscriptions—inscriptions that have surfaced only from the antiquities market, not from a professional archaeological excavation. They may be forgeries, he argues. Although my criticism of Chris’s position is …

What’s Missing from Codex Sinaiticus, the Oldest New Testament?

Compare differences between the King James Version and Codex Sinaiticus Two hundred years after Constantine Tischendorf’s birth, questions remain as to the conditions of his removal of Codex Sinaiticus from St. Catherine’s Monastery. Dating to the mid-fourth century C.E., Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest complete manuscript of the New Testament. In his article “Hero or …

The Animals Went in Two by Two, According to Babylonian Ark Tablet

We all know the story of Noah’s Ark. Ever since George Smith’s 1872 translation of Babylonian texts similar to the Biblical Deluge (see “George Smith’s Other Find” below), we’ve also known about echoes of the Genesis narrative in pre-Biblical Mesopotamian texts. A recently translated Old Babylonian (c. 1900–1700 B.C.E.) tablet has literally reshaped our vision …

How Bad Was the Babylonian Exile?

Biblical Archaeology Society Staff   •  09/22/2016 “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, sat and wept, as we thought of Zion.” —Psalm 137:1 [JPS] The Babylonian Exile that resulted from King Nebuchadnezzar’s sixth-century B.C.E. capture of Jerusalem has traditionally been portrayed with the Judahites lamenting their circumstances. But the textual remains left by …