(HAARETZ) -- Archaeologists have uncovered the massive walls of a 2,200-year-old Hellenistic fortification that may have been built by the Seleucid general who defeated Judah the Maccabee, the famed Jewish leader at the center of the Hanukkah story. In an unexpected twist, the discovery could also help identify the location of the biblical town of Emmaus, where the Gospels say Jesus made his first appearance after being crucified and resurrected.
Since 2017, a Franco-Israeli expedition has been digging at Kiriath Yearim, a hill overlooking the approach to Jerusalem a few kilometers west of the city, next door to the town of Abu Ghosh. The site is mainly known for being the spot where the Ark of the Covenant was kept for 20 years before being taken to Jerusalem by King David, according to the Bible.
The Khirbet Qeiyafa Archaeological Site. (Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem Spokesperson)
By: Anna Rudnitsky
Biblical archaeology was revolutionized several years ago when evidence of the existence of the alleged kingdom of David was brought to light in the form of a fortified Iron Age town excavated in the Elah Valley by Hebrew University Professor Yosef Garfinkel and Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologist Saar Ganor. The place was described by the Bible as the location of the battle between David and Goliath. The highlights of the findings of the Elah Valley excavations will be presented to the public for the first time at an exhibition scheduled to open at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem on September 5.
“Archaeology cannot find a man and we did not find the remnants linked to King David himself,” Professor Garfinkel told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “But what we did find is archaeological evidence of the social process of urbanization in Judea.”
According to Prof. Garfinkel, the evidence of urbanization fits in with what is described in the Bible as the establishment of the Kingdom of David, when small agrarian communities were replaced by fortified towns. “The chronology fits the Biblical narrative perfectly. Carbon tests performed on the olive pits found in Khirbet Qeiyafa show that the town was built at the end of the 11th century BCE,” Garfinkel explained to TPS.
"Holy harlots" in Jerusalem, temple sex in the service of Aphrodite? Many ancient authors describe sacred prostitution in drastic terms. Are the accounts nothing but legends? Historians are searching for the kernel of truth behind the reports.
The "ugliest custom" in Babylon, the historian Herodotus wrote (who is believed to have lived between circa 490 to 425 B.C.), was the widespread practice of prostitution in the Temple of Ishtar. Once in their lifetimes, all women in the country were required to sit in the temple and "expose themselves to a stranger" in return for money.
"Rich and haughty" women, the ancient Greek historian railed, arrived in "covered chariots."
The Persians on the Black Sea were apparently involved in similarly nefarious activities. According to the Greek geographer Strabo, "virgin daughters," hardly 12 years old, were dedicated to cult prostitution. "They treat their lovers with such friendliness that they even entertain them."
There are many such reports from classical antiquity. Tribes from Sicily to Thebes are believed to have indulged in perverse religious customs.
The Jews were also involved in such practices. There are about a dozen passages in the Old Testament that revolve around "Qadeshes," a word for female and male cult practitioners. The Bible calls them "lemans" and "catamites." In the Fifth Book of Moses, male prostitutes are prohibited from donating their "dogs' money" to the House of Yahweh.
Twentieth-century researchers eagerly seized on the references, which were often mysterious. Soon it was considered a fact that priests in the Eastern World performed forced defloration. It was said that there was "dowry prostitution" and "sexual copulation at the cult site."
Temple sex, according to the "Encyclopedia of Theology and the Church," was a "moral and hygienic plague spot on the body of the people."
But is this true? More and more academics are now questioning the erotic fables of the ancients.
Archaeologists in Israel's Galilee have discovered the remains of an ancient structure now said to be the Church of the Apostles – a long-debated biblical site built atop the homes of the apostles Peter and Andrew.
While mentions of the church can be found in Christian text dating as far back as the year 725 AD, there has been no confirmation of its existence, leading some to doubt that it was ever real.
Now, a team from Kinneret College in Israel and Nyack College's Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins has found what could be the first physical evidence at the site of el-Araj, in Beit Habek near the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Excavations this summer have turned up ornate mosaic floors, gilded remnants of a wall mosaic, and the fragments of a marble chancel screen that was once adorned with a wreath.
Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret Academic College, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, said this season's dig at nearby El-Araj confirmed it as the site of Bethsaida, a fishing village where Peter and his brother Andrew were born according to the Gospel of John.
short film featuring evidence that the biblical Mount Sinai is in Saudi Arabia has surpassed 1.3 million views, and among the viewers are members of radical Islamic groups that believe the movie is part of a sinister American and Jewish plot to take over the area.
As WND reported in December, the film produced by national security analyst Ryan Mauro takes viewers into a highly restricted zone in the Islamic kingdom with an abundance of features that fit the biblical description of the place where the Ten Commandments were given after the Israelites fled captivity in Egypt.
The following story was originally published: 4/4/2010
This is not news to us, but may be to most out there. The Bible clearly states that Sinai was in Midian (Arabia) and Paul says that Mt Sinai is in Arabia. Most of the so-called Biblical sites recognized today are lies: Editor
Behind the protection of Saudi Arabia's military in the Islamic nation's remote desert sands, evidence about one of the Bible's mysteries lay hidden, until two explorers decided to investigate it themselves, and the results of that adventure, "The Search for the Real Mt. Sinai," a DVD from Exploration Films, is the top seller at the WND Superstore this week.
The story of the adventurers' pursuit of information about the location of the biblical events that took place at Mt. Sinai isn't for the faint of heart: Forbidden military installations, night vision goggles to see without being seen, the heat of the desert and the threat of the kingdom's Islamic law all play a role in this documentation of the real Mt. Sinai, the holy mountain on which Moses was given the Ten Commandments.
A quarry from the late Second Temple Period that produced stone to build the Temple Mount's supporting walls has been uncovered in central Jerusalem, the Antiquities Authority said Monday.
A quarry from the late Second Temple Period that produced stone to build the Temple Mount's supporting walls has been uncovered in central Jerusalem, the Antiquities Authority said Monday. The latest discovery brought to three the number of quarries found in the city over the past two years which archeologists believe were used in the construction of the Temple walls. MORE
JERUSALEM, May 23 (Reuters) - Israeli archaeologists said on Wednesday they had discovered the first physical evidence supporting Old Testament accounts of Bethlehem's existence centuries before the town became revered as the birthplace of Jesus.
The proof came, they said, in a clay seal unearthed near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and imprinted with three lines of ancient Hebrew script that include the word "Bethlehem". MORE>>>>>>>>>
Ancient Texts Part of Earliest Known Documents (Image: Detail of the Tower of Babel stele, with the engraving of King Nebuchadnezzar II. (Copyright The Schøyen Collection, MS 2063).
A team of scholars has discovered what might be the oldest representation of the Tower of Babel of Biblical fame, they report in a newly published book. Carved on a black stone, which has already been dubbed the Tower of Babel stele, the inscription dates to 604-562 BCE.
It was found in the collection of Martin Schøyen, a businessman from Norway who owns the largest private manuscript assemblage formed in the 20th century.
Consisting of 13,717 manuscript items spanning over 5,000 years, the collection includes parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Buddhist manuscript rescued from the Taliban, and even cylcon symbols by Australia's Aborigines which can be up to 20,000 years old.
The Nathan-Melech bulla adds evidence to the authority of the Bible.
(Watch Jerusalem) He was king when the kingdom of Judah experienced its last gasp of freedom. His demise was the death knell of the kingdom. Now, archaeological discoveries in and around Jerusalem are breathing life into the epic reign of King Josiah. The most recent evidence proving Josiah’s reign and the biblical record is a seal impression bearing the name of Nathan-Melech.
Dr. Yiftah Shalev, codirector of the Jerusalem excavation that uncovered the artifact, told Watch Jerusalem in early April, “It’s a relatively rare name. It’s the first time that it was found on any document outside the Bible. … In the Bible itself, it’s mentioned only once.”
That record is found in 2 Kings 23:11: “Then he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech, the officer who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire” (New King James Version).
Forward: The Ebla tablets are not discussed too often by historians and archeologists, and there is a good reason why. These ancient writings absolutely prove the authenticity of the Bible, and blow away the skeptics view that Genesis is a relatively modern book!
by Clifford Wilson, M.A., B.D., Ph.D.
The new findings at Ebla are possibly the most significant discovery yet made so far as they relate to the background of early Bible times. The impact on some areas of Biblical knowledge will indeed be startling.
Where Ebla is Located … and the Work Begins
Tell Mardikh -- the ancient Ebla -- is on the main road to Aleppo in Northern Syria, being not quite half way between Hamath and Aleppo. It is nearer to Aleppo than to Hamath. There is a mound and a small village about one kilometer off the highway. Professor Paolo Matthiae of the Rome University has been excavating there since 1964, but his work was not spectacular until 1968 when his team produced a statue dedicated to the goddess Eshtar, and bearing the name of Ibbit-Lim, a king of Ebla. This endorsed the positive identification of the city. The kingdom of Ebla had previously been known in Sumerian, Akkadian and Egyptian texts, and the excavators had good clues when they began digging in this 50-feet high mound. Now their hopes were bright for the future.
Scientists from England are trying to preserve the language spoken by Jesus and tied to Hebrew and Arabic. The language is called Aramaic. Aramaic is one of the Semitic languages, an important group of languages known almost from the beginning of human history and including also Arabic, Hebrew, Ethiopic, and Akkadian (ancient Babylonian and Assyrian). It is particularly closely related to Hebrew, and was written in a variety of alphabetic scripts. (What is usually called "Hebrew" script is actually an Aramaic script.) 0ur first glimpse of Aramaic comes from a small number of ancient royal inscriptions from almost three thousand years ago (900-700 B.C.E.). Dedications to the gods, international treaties, and memorial stelae reveal to us the history of the first small Aramean kingdoms, in the territories of modern Syria and Southeast Turkey, living under the shadow of the rising Assyrian empire.
Professor of linguistics at the University of Cambridge, Geoffrey Khan, has begun a quest to record the ancient language that’s been around for three thousand years before it finally disappears.
The Ipuwer Papyrus (c. 13th century BCE), on display at the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden.
To many, the biblical account of the 10 plagues and the Exodus is simply too fantastical to be believed—pure legend found only within the pages of the Bible, Israelite propaganda. But what if it isn’t? What if there was an Egyptian eyewitness account of the divine punishment and suffering described in the Bible?
Once again Archeology proves the Bible's accuracy!
Two minuscule 2,600-year-old inscriptions recently uncovered in the City of David’s Givati Parking Lot excavation are vastly enlarging the understanding of ancient Jerusalem in the late 8th century BCE.
The two inscriptions, in paleo-Hebrew writing, were found separately in a large First Temple structure within the span of a few weeks by long-term team members Ayyala Rodan and Sveta Pnik. MORE
A page from the earliest surviving Bible, of which another fragment has been discovered in Egypt
A British-based academic has uncovered a fragment of the world's oldest Bible hiding underneath the binding of an 18th-century book.
Nikolas Sarris spotted a previously unseen section of the Codex Sinaiticus, which dates from about AD350, as he was trawling through photographs of manuscripts in the library of St Catherine's Monastery in Egypt.
The Codex, handwritten in Greek on animal skin, is the earliest known version of the Bible. Leaves from the priceless tome are divided between four institutions, including St Catherine's Monastery and the British Library, which has held the largest section of the ancient Bible since the Soviet Union sold its collection to Britain in 1933. MORE>>>>>>>