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Washington, DC, United States, 2015/02/11 - Biblical Archaeology Review, the largest and most popular Biblical archaeology magazine in circulation with more than a quarter million readers worldwide, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the March/April 2015 issue.
Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), the largest and most popular Biblical archaeology magazine in circulation with more than a quarter million readers worldwide, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the March/April 2015 issue of BAR.
No question: BAR is exciting and beautiful with glorious color pictures. And many of the world’s leading archaeologists and Biblical scholars write popular articles for it.
But BAR (biblicalarchaeology.org) is also controversial, especially with regard to its editor, Hershel Shanks. The magazine is both loved and hated. A former litigation lawyer for the United States Department of Justice, Shanks started the magazine after a year’s sabbatical in Israel in the 1970s. He too is both scorned and admired.
Shanks and the magazine are generally credited with freeing the Dead Sea Scrolls from a group of scholars who refused to let other scholars see them. Shanks published secreted texts and even clandestine translations in the pages of BAR. Subsequently, Shanks was sued in a Jerusalem court by a leading Dead Sea Scroll scholar who recovered a judgment against him for $40,000 a judgment affirmed by the Israel Supreme Court.
Shanks also defends the authenticity of the inscription on the now-famous ossuary (bone box) reading “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” The bone box came from the antiquities market, and the Israel Antiquities Authority contends it is a forgery. A leading Tel Aviv University archaeologist has accused Shanks himself of being a “forger.”
So how does Hershel Shanks do it? How does he dominate the Biblical archaeology discussion with fascinating articles by the world’s leading authorities from Israel, the United States and countries around the world?
Was there an Israelite exodus from Egypt? Did King David conquer Jerusalem? Did Solomon build the Temple? Where is Herod the Great buried? What is the evidence for Jesus’ existence apart from the New Testament? What’s the story on Jews in Christian Jerusalem? What were women’s lives like in ancient Israel? These and other interesting questions are discussed and debated in Biblical Archaeology Review found at biblicalarchaeology.org/magazine and at select retailers.