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Washington, DC, United States, 2011/12/30 - The January/February 2012 issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review is the “Find A Dig” issue which lists the various archaeological excavations taking place in the Holy Land. Other topics are explored pertaining to Bible scholarship in this issue.
With the new year comes the January/February 2012 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR). Digs in Israel and Jordan are a doorway to the Biblical past, but they also offer volunteers the adventure of immersion in the modern and exotic Middle East. In “Join a Dig, See the World” by Joey Corbett, the annual guide to excavations takes you out of the trenches to explore the cultural opportunities enjoyed by dig volunteers. Readers can even go online to read about the dig adventures of BAR editors.
Speaking of excavations, a mere hundred yards from the Western Wall, a new excavation reveals Jerusalem’s layered ancient history—from the building blocks of Solomon’s city to seals of First Temple elite to the bustling thoroughfare of Roman and Byzantine Aelia Capitolina. But several mysteries remain, as explained by excavators Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, Alexander Onn, Shua Kisilevitz and Brigitte Ouahnouna in “Layers of Ancient Jerusalem.”
Then we get two different perspectives of the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a parable about a man from Judea who is beaten by robbers and then left for dead. After others have passed him by, a kind Samaritan treats his wounds and brings him to an inn where he can be cared for. Since the fourth century, a site called Ma‘ale Adummim has been identified as the location of this famous inn and soon became a pilgrimage site. As Yitzhak Magen describes in “Inn of the Good Samaritan Becomes a Museum,” that inn has now been excavated and turned into a mosaic museum that can be appreciated and enjoyed by Samaritans, Christians, Jews—and others as well. Meanwhile, in the Biblical Views column, New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine looks at some common misconceptions about the parable and reveals how the authentic reading is even more shocking.
Moving back in time more than a thousand years, the late-13th-century B.C.E. Merneptah Stele has long been known for containing the earliest reference to Israel outside of the Bible. As reported in “When Did Ancient Israel Begin?” three German scholars now say they may have found another hieroglyphic inscription almost 200 years older naming “Israel.” So the Bible may be more accurate than some thought.
Fredric Brandfon discusses “the science of digging a hole and the art of telling a tale” in Archaeological Views, reviewing the ways archaeologists relate their finds to the Biblical text.
In addition to Bible History Daily, where visitors can access daily Web articles on key Biblical archaeology topics, the latest news, book reviews and dozens of free eBooks, the Biblical Archaeology Society Website is all about digs right now. The Find a Dig site has more info about dozens of excavation opportunities, as well as scholarships and a free eBook about the dig volunteer experience. And the BAS Library online features easy access to all footnoted articles in BAR Notables, as well as new Special Collections each month.