Lee Levine: The Revolutionary Effects Of Archaeology On The Study Of Jewish History

Professor Lee Levine (Hebrew University) delivered a talk on “The Revolutionary Effects Of Archaeology On The Study Of Jewish History“. The lecture was part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted July 6, 2004.

Levine discusses Herod in Judea and the Dura-Europos synagogue in Syria.

The talk is available in m4a audio format:

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Aren Maeir on Media Fantasy and Biblical Archeology

Professor Aren Maeir (Bar Ilan University) delivered a talk entitled “Media Fantasy & Biblical Archeology: Must Everything Be Interpreted As A “Da Vinci Code?” as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted November 14,  2007. The talk examines media exaggerations and archaeological forgeries in biblical archaeology. The talk is available in m4a audio format:

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A very interesting character by the name of Simcha Jacobovici claims that a bunch of ossuaries were found in the tomb…. They had names such as Jacob, and Joseph, and Jesus, and Miriam, and from this, this group of scholars which included Jacobovici and James Cameron from The Titanic carried out this enormous hullaballoo, as they say, claiming that since you have these names, this is the tomb of the family of Jesus. Now, all of this is very nice, except that those names, which we know from the New Testament as being the names of Jesus’ family, were extremely common in Jerusalem during that period. So if we were to find a tomb nowadays in the Jewish cemetery and there was a David, a Solomon, a Bathsheba, and Ruth, we would hardly say that that’s David’s family. It’s just that those are common names…. [Jacobovici] connects the dots in places the dots should not be connected…. If you take a story and either you don’t know it or you hide from the viewers all the little details which make the connecting of the lines difficult, then you can do it. And that’s exactly what [Jacobovici] does a lot.

“Searching for Goliath”: Aren Maeir’s Skype Lecture on the Philistines and Tell es-Safi/ “Gath”

Professor Aren Maeir (Bar Ilan University and director of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project) delivered a lecture on the Philistines called “Searching for Goliath” on January 18, 2015. He lectured from a lab at Tell es-Safi, via Skype, to students from Grand Valley State University (Allendale, Michigan).

H/t: Aren Maeir

Free Online Course: The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem, with Oded Lipschits and Ido Koch

Professor Oded Lipschits and Ido Koch of Tel Aviv University are to present a 6-week Coursera MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the archaeology and history of Jerusalem: “The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem”.

The course will begin on October 26, 2014, and enrolments are now open.

About the Course

The period of the demise of the Kingdom of Judah at the end of the sixth century B.C.E., the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, the exile of the elite to Babylon, and the reshaping of the territory of the new province of Judah, culminating at the end of the century with the first return of exiles – all have been subjects of intense scrutiny in modern scholarship. This course takes into account the biblical textual evidence, the results of archaeological research, and the reports of the Babylonian and Egyptian sources and provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of the evidence for the history of this 100-year-long era. The course includes a detailed discussion by Prof. Oded Lipschits of Tel Aviv University, with guest lectures by leading scholars dealing with the archaeological and biblical aspects of this debated topic.

 

Course Syllabus

Week One
Introduction to geopolitics and geography of the Ancient Near East
Week Two
The turmoil of the seventh century BCE
Week Three
Judah under Babylonian rule
Week Four
The days of the destruction of Jerusalem
Week Five
Archaeology of the sixth century BCE
Week Six
The restoration of Jerusalem in the early Persian Period and Summary

Eric H. Cline: “The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel” – On Archaeology and the Bible

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Professor Eric H. Cline delivers four lectures on the current state of archaeological contributions to the understanding of the Hebrew Bible. The lectures are available as mp3s and on iTunes. The lectures were originally delivered in February 2010 to the Josephine F. and H. Max Ammerman Study Retreat.

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: Part I

Part one discusses the account of the Exodus and the conquest of Canaan.

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The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: Part II

Part two discusses David and Solomon. Both kings have been the subject of controversies and debates. A reference to the “House of David” was found in 1993 on an inscription in the north of Israel — the first extra-biblical mention of David yet discovered — allowing us to reconsider the evidence for David and Solomon.

mp3 iTunes

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: Part III

Part three discusses how the expansionist ambitions of the Neo-Assyrians from Mesopotamia in the eighth century BCE spelled an end to the kingdom of Israel and gave rise to the tradition of the Ten Lost Tribes. The question of where the exiled members of these tribes ended up continues to be debated.

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The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: Part IV

Part four discusses how Nebuchadnezzar and the Neo-Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem not once but twice, burned the Temple of Solomon to the ground, and exiled the leading citizens of Jerusalem and Judah to the far-away city of Babylon. It also provides an in-depth look at Jewish history during the Babylonian period.

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Eric H. Cline is Chair of the Department of Classical and Semitic Languages and Literatures at The George Washington University.

Israel Finkelstein’s Website: Including eBook, Articles, Videos, and Lectures

Israel Finkelstein, Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, Tel Aviv University, has a very useful personal website containing resources on the Bible and Archaeology.

The site includes his eBook:

The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History of Northern Israel, Ancient Near East Monographs 5 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013).

a number of his journal articles and book chapters, for example:

The Historical Reality behind the Genealogical Lists in 1 Chronicles“, Journal of Biblical Literature 131 (2012): 65-83.

A Great United Monarchy? Archaeological and Historical Perspectives“, in: R.G. Kratz and H. Spieckermann eds. 2010. One God – One Cult – One Nation: Archaeological and Biblical Perspectives. Berlin (2010): 3-28.

and a number of videos and lectures, including:

The Wilderness Itineraries: Who, How and When did Biblical Authors Know About the Southern Deserts

h/t:`Jim West

Two Gershon Galil Lectures: Israel and Palestine in the 11th-9th Centuries BCE and the “Cheap Wine” (יין חלק) Inscription (Hebrew)

Two lectures on Ancient Israelite/Palestinian archaeology delivered by Prof. Gershon Galil (University of Haifa) are available on YouTube. They are:

Israel and Palestine in the 11th-9th Centuries BCE” (ישראל ופלשתין במאות האחת עשרה והעשירית לפני הספירה), The Kingdom of David and Solomon in Light of New Epigraphic and Archaeological Data Conference, University of Haifa, December 2, 2013

‘Cheap Wine’: The Earliest Hebrew Inscription Uncovered in Jerusalem” (יין חלק, הכתובת העברית הקדומה ביותר שנחשפה בירושלים), December 2013

Yet given the fragmentary nature of the inscription, its translation is highly uncertain, and it provides no sound basis  for drawing meaningful conclusions about biblical literature or its contents.

Daniel Fleming – “Ancient Israel”: An Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

Professor Daniel Fleming, of New York University, presents an introductory course on the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible called “Ancient Israel“, which is available to view on 27 videos (on YouTube).

For additional class materials, see the course page at New York University.

Geza Vermes on the Dead Sea Scrolls

The following is a talk by Geza Vermes on ‘The Story of the Dead Sea Scrolls’.

The Story of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a lecture presented by Professor Geza Vermes at Louisiana State University’s Hill Memorial Library on September 29, 2009. Geza Vermes was born at Mako in Hungary in 1924. He studied in Budapest and in Louvain (Belgium), where he read Theology and Oriental history and languages, and in 1953 obtained a doctorate with a dissertation on the historical framework of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Beyond Belief: Radio 4 Episodes

The Radio 4 series, Beyond Belief can be downloaded as mp3s, and many of the episodes are relevant for biblical studies.

One biblical studies contribution is from Francesca Stavrakopoulou covering the history of ‘biblical archaeology’, historicity,  and the Dead Sea Scrolls and the historical Jesus. There is also further discussion about archaeology in relation to contemporary political issues, particularly those involving Christian Zionism, Israel and Palestine.

Rafi Greenberg: Archaeology and Identity in Modern Israel and Palestine

Brown University provides a lecture by Rafi Greenberg of Tel Aviv University, on Archaeology and Politics in Israel/Palestine.

Archaeologists play an important part in molding the collective memory of the communities with which they interact. As active participants in the creation of heritage, archaeologists in Israel and Palestine have a role as public intellectuals and a responsibility to past, present and future. This presentation explores the interface between archaeology and the emergence of diverse modern identities in Israel and Palestine: secular and religious, national and ethnic, indigenous and territorial.

Ancient Near East Monographs: SBL Open Access Series

Ancient Near East Monographs/Monografías sobre el Antiguo Cercano Oriente is an open access series from the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL):

The focus of this ambitious series is on the ancient Near East, including ancient Israel and its literature, from the early Neolithic to the early Hellenistic eras. Studies that are heavily philological or archaeological are both suited to this series, and can take full advantage of the hypertext capabilities of “born digital” publication. Multiple author and edited volumes as well as monographs are accepted. Proposals and manuscripts may be submitted in either English or Spanish. Manuscripts are peer reviewed by at least two scholars in the area before acceptance. Published volumes will be held to the high scholarly standards of the SBL and the Centro de Estudios de Historia del Antiguo Oriente. The partnership between the SBL and the Centro de Estudios de Historia del Antiguo Oriente was initiated under the auspices of SBL’s International Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and represents the type of international scholarly exchange that is the goal of ICI.

The General Co-editors are Ehud Ben Zvi and Roxana Flammini.

PDFs of the titles include:

Israel Finkelstein, The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History

Lester L. Grabbe and Martti Nissinen (eds.), Constructs of Prophecy in the Former and Latter Prophets and Other Texts

Alan Lenzi, Reading Akkaddian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction

Graciela Gestoso Singer, El Intercambio de Bienes entre Egipto y Asia Anterior: Desde el reinado Tuthmosis III hasta el de Akhenaton

Juan Manuel Tebes, Centro y periferia en el mundo antiquo: El Negev y sus interacciones con Egipto, Asiria, y el Levante an la Edad del Hierro (1200-586 a.C)

Alan Lenzi has also written an accompanying article ‘Why You Should Submit Your Manuscript or Proposal to the Online, Open-Access Ancient Near East Monograph Series’

In Our Time: Online and Podcasts (BBC Radio 4)

In Our Time is a BBC Radio 4 programme on the history of ideas and is presented by Melvyn Bragg. Its range of episodes are classified under the headings ‘Religion’, ‘History’, ‘Culture’, ‘Philosophy’, and ‘Science’. The format consists of Bragg asking questions to, and leading a discussion with, a panel of academics. There are over 600 episodes – either for listening online and/or download – and the full archive is available here. There are numerous episodes covering topics in biblical studies and relevant areas:

Prophecy (13 June, 2013)

Gnosticism (2 May, 2013)

King Solomon (7 June, 2012)

Judas Maccabeus (24 November, 2011)

The Dawn of the Iron Age (24 March, 2011)

The City [Part 1] (25 March 2010)

The Augustan Age (11 June 2009)

St Paul (28 May, 2009)

Miracles (25 September, 2008)

The Greek Myths (13 March, 2008)

Hell (21 December, 2006)

Heaven (22 December, 2005)

Archaeology and Imperialism (14 April 2005)

Angels (24 March, 2005)

Zoroastrianism (11 November, 2004)

Babylon (3 June 2004)

The Fall (8 April, 2004)

The Alphabet (18 December, 2003)

The Devil (11 December, 2003)

The Apocalypse (17 July, 2003)

The Lindisfarne Gospels (20 February, 2003)

The Soul (6 June 2002)

In addition to the episodes listed above, there are episodes on a range of topics and individuals which will be directly relevant to certain areas of biblical studies research (e.g. Plato, Pliny, Roman satire, Wyclif, Erasmus, Milton, historiography, cultural memory).