Special Collections Hand-selected by the Biblical Archaeology Review editors
While the BAS Library is completely searchable by topic, author, title and keyword, we have also put together a number of “Special Collections” that allow you to browse a selection of relevant articles on popular topics in one place. Take this opportunity to access excellent scholarship on specific topics, easily and quickly.
Many scholars believe the Dead Sea Scrolls were either written or collected by a sect of Jews called Essenes, who are described by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and the Alexandrian Jewish philosopher Philo. However, the scrolls themselves make no explicit reference to the Essenes. Scholars infer the connection because of the congruence of Essene philosophy and doctrine as reflected in the scrolls and as described in Josephus and Philo.
Throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Jewish revolts against the imperial powers of the day helped shape Jewish history, culture and identity. What evidence do we have of these revolts? BAS editors have arranged a special collection of articles from Biblical Archaeology Review exploring the textual and archaeological evidence for these dramatic attempts on the part of the ancient Jews to preserve their culture and achieve independence.
Generations after the reign of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman emperor, the Byzantine phenomenon of traveling to sites associated with Jesus, his apostles and Christian saints and martyrs grew into a popular practice. Followers traveled in increasing numbers from all over the Mediterranean to visit sites where major Biblical events were purported to have occurred and to witness holy relics. While many sites were located in Byzantine Palestine, pilgrims also ventured to Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece and Syria. Popular travel destinations included places associated with the life, miracles and passion of Jesus. The Byzantine practice of Christian-motivated travel was disrupted in the first half of the seventh century with the Arab conquest of the eastern Mediterranean.
Astounding stories of kings, battles and palaces can captivate our imaginations when we picture the Biblical world. While grand, these stories don’t teach us much about actual lives that most people lived in the Biblical world. Archaeology provides insights into daily life—and what could be more important on a daily level than food? BAS editors have arranged a special collection of articles from the Biblical Archaeology Review and Bible Review exploring farming and dining in the Biblical world. What do organic remains teach us about ancient agriculture? Why do so many decisive moments in the New Testament occur around the dinner table? And why does Jewish law prevent mixing milk and meat? Find out in this BAS Library Special Collection.
Reading and writing are integral parts of our everyday lives, but this was not true for everyone in the Biblical era. How did the alphabet develop in the Holy Land, and who could read it? Inscriptions teach us about the culture, economy and literary traditions of the ancient occupants of archaeological sites. What role did texts play in their contemporaneous societies? Who could read them? What is the likelihood that eyewitness records of Jesus’ deeds could have been recorded? Biblical Archaeology Review editors have arranged a special collection of articles from the BAS Library exploring writing and literacy in the Biblical world, from Early Bronze Age Canaanites to the authors of the New Testament.
Art provides an unparalleled record of purposeful expression in the ancient world. Hellenistic and Roman-era art from the Biblical world shines a spotlight on Judean identity and cultural influences during a formative period in the region’s history. From the fourth century B.C.E., when Alexander the Great conquered Judea, through the Roman occupation in the first century B.C.E. and onward, Jews were exposed to Greco-Roman culture. Much of the population adopted western ways of life to elevate their political and social standing in the eyes of their rulers. Hellenistic and Roman-era art is an expression of the reconciliation of Biblical and Greco-Roman culture. BAS editors have arranged a special collection of articles on ancient art in and of the Biblical world in a BAS Library Special Collection.
The four canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John narrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Biblical Archaeology Review editors have hand-selected articles from the BAS Library that cast each of the canonical Gospels in a new light. Explore the earliest-known versions and authors of the canonical Gospels in this BAS Library Special Collection.
Recently deceased, Victor Hurowitz was a professor of Bible, archaeology and ancient Near Eastern studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel, and will be remembered as a scholar who shaped our understanding of religion in the ancient Near East. In commemoration of his illustrious career, BAR editors have put together a collection of his most popular articles from BAR and Bible Review exclusively for BAS Library Members.
“Christ” is probably the most frequently used—and least understood—word in the Bible. The term “Christ” (Greek christos) is equivalent to “messiah” (Hebrew mashiah), which literally means “anointed.” It was first used for a reigning monarch: David, for example, spoke of King Saul as “Yahweh’s messiah.” Eventually the term came to refer to God’s agent who would liberate the oppressed and introduce a new era, the Reign of God. What does archaeology tell us about ancient Jewish understanding of messianic figures? And how would a “messiah” be received by contemporaneous people?
Herod was the ancient world’s builder par excellence. And it could be said that Herod’s architectural achievements were Ehud Netzer’s obsession.
Explore the area where Jesus was raised, where many of the Apostles came from, and where Jesus first began to preach.
The Philistines have a three-millennia-old reputation for being a society of warlike pagans, devoid of aesthetic or intellectual values. What does the archaeological evidence say? BAS editors have arranged a special collection of articles on the Philistines exploring their origins, cities, Biblical ailments and even their status as modern fashion icons.
That Jesus was a miracle worker is central to the Christology of the New Testament Gospels and Acts. Biblical scholars and archaeologists working in Israel have explored archaeological sites and historical records to provide context for the Biblical text. How are we to understand the miracles Jesus performs, as related in the New Testament?
Biblical societies grew, flourished and fell within an ancient world torn by warfare and defined by power struggles. What do we know of warfare in the ancient world? BAS editors have arranged a special collection of articles on, military perspectives in the Bible and Biblical world, ancient siege techniques and individual sites whose varied histories highlight the many sides of warfare.
Ancient Israel did not develop in isolation in the ancient Near East. Much of Israelite history took place within and alongside the great Mesopotamian empires that left behind an abundant archaeological and textual record. How do Biblical archaeologists approach Assyriology and the history of the broader Near East?
“Among the most controversial issues in both Biblical archaeology and Biblical studies is the nature of Jerusalem in the tenth century B.C.E. Why the tenth century? Because in the Bible that is the time of Israel’s glory, the time of King David and King Solomon, the time of the United Kingdom of Judah and Israel.”
Megiddo, Hazor, Dan, Gezer, Ashkelon. In many ways, these sites have come to define the field of Biblical archaeology. On the one hand, they are the massive, imposing mounds of stratified remains that give archaeologists material insight into the ancient past. On the other, they are Biblical cities, associated with some of the Bible’s most famous events and figures, from the conquests of Joshua to the building programs of King Solomon.
Everyone has heard of the Scrolls, but what do they actually say?
The Bible makes it clear that the official state religion of Israel was the sole worship of the God Yahweh, centered at the Jerusalem Temple. Archaeological remains, however, demonstrate that popular Israelite religion was in fact quite diverse.
Although the Bible is largely a product of the patriarchal, male-dominated societies of ancient Israel and the first-century C.E. Roman world, some of its most fascinating, evocative and inspiring characters are women.
BAR readers have long enjoyed learning about the Biblical world’s most important and exciting finds from the actual archaeologists who excavate and study them—legendary archaeologists and Biblical scholars like Yigael Yadin, William F. Albright and William Dever.
Is it possible to identify the first-century man named Jesus behind the many stories and traditions about him that developed over 2,000 years in the Gospels and church teachings?
Explore Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, his trial, passion, death and burial, and the disciples’ astonishment as they encounter the resurrected Jesus.
With a verdict soon expected in the six-year-long Jerusalem trial to determine whether or not the James ossuary, the Yehoash tablet and other ancient artifacts were illegally forged, the articles below highlight the various scholarly and scientific arguments that have been made both for and against the authenticity of these remarkable finds.
Throughout its long history, the land of ancient Canaan and Israel was often inseparably linked with the customs, traditions and military ambitions of its powerful neighbor to the west, Egypt.
It’s the most dramatic event in the Hebrew Bible—the flight of the Israelites from Egypt and their miraculous escape across the Red Sea.
Sacred ground even before Biblical times and bitterly contested at present, the Temple Mount is one of the most fascinating and important places on earth.
Many people have told us that it has been their lifetime dream to work on an excavation. With numerous digs being conducted every year, you can make that dream come true.
A renowned scholar of Samaritan studies, Alan D. Crown’s work made him one of the foremost experts on the Abisha Scroll, a copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch that was supposedly penned by Aaron’s great-grandson Abisha.
From Petrie and Albright to the 21st century, this prolific excavator had a profound impact on Israeli archaeology.
The great Bible scholar provides a wealth of insights into the Hebrew Scriptures and the ancient world.
Is the Shroud of Turin the burial cloth of Jesus Christ? Many scientists are convinced that the shroud is a medeival forgery, yet many others have presented evidence supporting the shroud’s authenticity. How can you sort through the news reports, the scientific evidence and the media hype to make your own decision about the authenticity of this famous object?