Jesus of History vs Jesus of Tradition

In the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, they provide one of their article free online.  You can read the article here.  The article, an interview with Sean Freyne, is very interesting.  I appreciated the insight that archaeology has provided in understanding what first century Galilee was like.  I definitely disagree with some of what he says.  I see no reason why Jesus was not born in Bethlehem.  I also do not think that the Greek myths have anything to do with the virgin birth.  Finally, I think he way off the mark on the resurrection.  His explanation of the resurrection of Jesus does not come close to explaining how Christianity started or the radical transformation of former skeptics like James and Paul.  I appreciate Freyne’s archaeology much more than his theology.  Still, it is an interesting article.

Biblical Archaeology Review

The September/October 2010 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review is out.  The main articles are:

“Achziz Cemetaries: Buried Treasure from Israel’s Phoenician Neighbor” by Eilat Mazar

“Did the Ancient Israelites Drink Beer?” by Michael M. Homan

“Queen of the Philistines: BAR Interviews Trude Dothan”

“The Fault Beneath Their Feet: How the Israelites Found Water Inside Hazor” by Ram Weinberger, Amihai and Eyal Shalev

Biblical Archaeology Review

The July/August issue of Biblical Archaeology Review is now out.  The main articles are:

“Jezreel – Where Jezebel Was Thrown to the Dogs” by David Ussishkin

“The Nash Papyrus – Preview of Coming Attractions” by Marvin A. Sweeney

“From Vespa to Ashkelon: BAR Interviews Lawrence Stager”

“The Destruction of Pompeii – God’s Revenge?” by Hershel Shanks

There are also web articles always available at their web-site:

Biblical Archaeology Review

I just finished reading the May/June 2010 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.  The feature articles were:

Godfearers in the City of Love by Angelos Chaniotis

Escape Clause

The Devil Is Not So Black as He is Painted (An interview with Israel Finkelstein)

The Dig-for-a-Day Experience by Suzanne F. Singer

Volunteers Find Missing Pieces to Looted Inscription by Dorothy D. Resig

What is Ancient Judaism?

Most of us take the phrase “Judaism” for granted, even in its ancient setting.  Josephus scholar Steve Mason had a very interesting article on what the word “Judaism” really means in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.  You can read the article here.  I found it quite fascinating.

Secret Gospel of Mark

One of the most controversial discoveries in the area of early Christianity is the Secret Gospel of Mark by Morton Smith.  Smith claimed that was an authentic citation of the Secret Gospel of Mark and a previously unknown letter by Clement.  Others have claimed that it is a forgery.  I tend toward believing that it is a forgery, not necessarily by Smith, but at least by whoever put it in the book from which Smith discovered it.  The Biblical Archaeology Society has provided a nice translation for people to check out and judge for themselves.  You can find the translation for the Secret Gospel of Mark here.  They also have a good free article on the “discovery” of the Secret Gospel of Mark that you can find here.