Current Events

Keep up to date on the latest developments in the world of Biblical Archaeology and related apologetic topics. In this section, you will find links to news reports, articles and staff commentary on the most recent discoveries, reports, and controversies in Biblical Archaeology. Enjoy!

Note: The views and comments made in materials from sources outside of the Associates for Biblical Research are not necessarily those of ABR. Such materials are included only insofar as they relate to the subject of archaeology and related apologetic subjects, and are provided for your information only.

A Great New Film: Is Genesis History? posted by Henry B Smith Jr MA MAR

ABR is excited to tell our supporters about a great film hosted by Dr. Del Tackett, Is Genesis History? The film features ABR Associate Dr. Douglas Petrovich, along with a dozen other PhDs scientists and scholars. I was able to view the full pre-publication version of the movie, and can recommend it 100% to ABR supporters.

What exactly happened “In the beginning” and in the time that followed? Throughout most of history, Genesis 1-11 was considered an accurate and reliable record, but over the past 250 years it has become one of the most controversial writings of all time. Events highlighted—including the creation of the universe in six days, the existence of a real Adam and Eve, and a global Flood destroying the world—are now questioned by many...including some Christians. Where can reliable, well-researched answers be found?




Is Genesis History? is a comprehensive documentary featuring scientists and scholars looking at the world and explaining how it intersects with the history recorded in Genesis. From rock layers to fossils to lions to stars, this fascinating film will challenge and change the way you see the world.

Showing in theaters as a one-night event on Thursday, February 23 only, Is Genesis History? shines new light on our origins, providing a positive argument for the biblical Creation and Flood. Dr. Del Tackett, creator of The Truth Project, serves as your guide—hiking through canyons, climbing up mountains, and diving below the sea—in an exploration of two competing views...one compelling truth.

Find a Theater Near You

Group Tickets Available

Gatehouse Excavated at Timna Copper Mines posted by Bryan Windle

Archaeologists excavating at an ancient copper-smelting factory in the Timna Valley, believed by some to be the mines of King Solomon, have uncovered a gatehouse that dates to the tenth century BC. The fortified gatehouse and animal stables which were studied reveal a highly organized defensive system. Excavators also analyzed the well-preserved dung from the stables and discovered the remains of hay and grapes which originated from hundreds of miles away on the Mediterranean coast. The archaeologists believe this is evidence of a network of trade within the region. These latest findings match earlier analysis from 2014 of organic material and textiles which indicate a sophisticated society. Despite the claim of minimalists, this is further evidence of an organized and complex tenth-century BC culture thriving in the regions of Israel and Edom, just as the Bible describes, as well as of the military conflicts recorded in Scripture between the Israelites and Edomites in the Arava Valley. In fact, some researchers have suggested that copper may have been the resource at stake in some of these battles.

Off-site Links:
- http://www.livescience.com/57494-fortification-found-israel-mining-camp.html
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X16305867
- http://www.foxnews.com/science/2017/01/12/king-solomon-era-fort-in-southern-israel-reveals-its-secrets.html

ABR Associate Dr. Doug Petrovich Reveals Ancient "Moses" Inscription posted by Bryan Windle

ABR Associate Dr. Doug Petrovich was recently interviewed on Israel News Live to discuss his new book, The World’s Oldest Alphabet: Hebrew As The Language Of The Proto-Consonantal Script. In the one-hour interview, he reveals how he discovered that the pictographic letters of the early proto-consonantal script were actually evidence of the onset of a written form of the Hebrew language, whose pictographic letters derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs. The entire interview can be viewed here:



According to Dr. Petrovich’s translation, the earliest inscription, dating to 1842, includes the phrase, "Hebrews of Bethel, the beloved." Three of the other inscriptions are discussed in detail, and name three biblical people, including Asenath, the wife of Joseph (Gn 41:45), and Ahisamach, the father of one of the craftsmen who would build the Tabernacle (Ex 35:34). The most exciting inscription, however, may be the one which names Moses and dates to 1446 BC, the year of the Exodus. That inscription reads, "Our bound servitude had lingered, Moses then provoked astonishment."

Top Ten Discoveries in Biblical Archaeology in 2016 posted by Bryan Windle

2016 was a banner year for archaeological discoveries that confirm the reliability of the Bible. From the first-ever Philistine cemetery being unearthed, to a palace from the time of Solomon being discovered at Gezer, to the burial bed from the supposed tomb of Jesus being uncovered for the first time in 500 years, numerous finds illuminated the text of the Old and New Testaments. Some discoveries generated sensational headlines (like the first artifacts to have ever been unearthed in situ on the Temple Mount), while others, like ABR's discovery of numerous coins - including a pristine Tyrian shekel a Khirbet el-Maqatir - quietly added to our growing knowledge of biblical places. Here are the top finds in biblical archaeology in 2016, as chosen by several websites. What finds would be on your personal top ten list?

Off-site Links:
- http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/news/top-10-biblical-archaeology-discoveries-in-2016/
- http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/december-web-only/biblical-archaeology-top-ten-discoveries-of-2016.html
- http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.761814
- https://bryanwindle.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/top-ten-discoveries-in-bible-archaeology-in-2016/

Stolen Relief of Queen Hatshepsut Returned to Egypt posted by Bryan Windle

A limestone relief that was stolen from Queen Hatshepsut's temple in Luxor was recently returned to Egypt. The relief, which is engraved with hieroglyphics, was stolen from the temple in 1975 and smuggled out of the country. It recently surfaced at an auction in Spain and was purchased by a British collector. Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities, working with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the British Museum, were able to prove that they were the rightful owners of the relief and it was returned to them. It will be placed back in its place at Queen Hatshepsut's temple, where restoration work is currently being done by Polish archaeologists. While Queen Hatshepsut is never mentioned by name in the Bible, there is evidence that she may have been the "Pharaoh's daughter" who pulled Moses from the bulrushes and raised him in the Egyptian royal courts.
 
Off-site Links to News Reports:
- http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/253502/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Stolen-relief-of-Queen-Hatshepsut-recovered-from-L.aspx
- http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/12/20/egypt-receives-ancient-stolen-limestone-relief.html
 
ABR Articles Regarding Queen Hatshepsut:
- http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/02/27/Moses-and-Hatshepsut.aspx
- http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/02/04/Amenhotep-II-and-the-Historicity-of-the-Exodus-Pharaoh.aspx

Jordanian Lead Books in the News posted by Bryan Windle

A recent media report (see below) has brought the Jordanian Lead Books back into the news. A group of 70 lead, ring-bound books became news in 2011, although there had been Internet rumous about them as early as 2007. Many scholars have expressed doubt as to their authenticity, or at least urged caution due to the sensationalistic claims were being made about them (i.e., claims that their discovery was of greater significance than that of the Dead Sea scrolls), as well as the lack of information about the lead books that was coming from a single source (authors David and Jennifer Elkington). The latest report presents the findings of tests done on the lead in the codices, showing that they were made of ancient lead (something that was already known from earlier tests that had been done). It also presents the sensationalistic claim that the lead books contain the earliest portrait of Jesus Christ, that "Christ was not starting his own religion, but restoring a thousand-year-old tradition from the time of King David," and that "The God he worshipped was both male and female." As many have pointed out, the fact that the lead used in the books is of ancient origin does not prove their authenticity, as modern forgers are skilled in using ancient materials. Moreover, calls to release the full, unedited findings of the tests and make available all of the photographs of the lead books to critical scholars has gone unheeded by the Elkingtons. Until such time as trained scholars are given access to study the lead books and publish their findings, claims made in the media regarding their authenticity and significance should be viewed with skepticism.
 
Off-site Links:
1. The sensationalistic article in the Daily Mail can be read here:
- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3985150/Is-written-mention-Jesus-2-000-year-old-lead-tablets-remote-cave-genuine-claim-researchers.html

2. A scholarly response can be found here:
- http://paleojudaica.blogspot.ca/2016_12_04_archive.html#7108291391090192367
- http://paleojudaica.blogspot.ca/2016_11_06_archive.html#8380115713898171799
 
3. Read ABR's original Current Events post about the Lead Books here:
- http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2011/03/30/Possible-Discovery-of-Early-Christian-Books-in-Jordan.aspx
 
4. Some helpful summaries of the Lead Books by Todd Bolen from 2011 are here:
- http://blog.bibleplaces.com/2011/03/early-christian-lead-books-discovery.html
- http://blog.bibleplaces.com/2011/04/jordan-lead-codices-evidence-of-forgery.html

Charles Ryrie's Manuscript Collection Auctioned posted by Bryan Windle

The late Charles Ryrie's famed collection of Bibles and manuscripts, one of the largest private collections ever assembled, was recently auctioned off by Sotheby's. Many of the items sold for well over their pre-sale estimates, with the total collection fetching $7,341,818 (it had been valued at $3.5-5.4 million). Ryrie's collection included rare Greek manuscripts, a Luther vellum Bible, and pages from a Guttenberg Bible. The highest-selling item was a Wycliffe Bible which sold for $1.4 million, triple its estimated value. Many items in this auction were the first in decades to hit the open market, and thus Ryrie's splendid collection elicited much interest. While the buyers remain anonymous at this point, perhaps some of these treasures will find their way into museums so that they can be viewed by the public and studied by scholars in the future.
 
Off-site Links:
- https://danielbwallace.com/2016/12/06/ryries-bibles-and-manuscripts-auctioned-off/
- http://artdaily.com/news/92220/-1-7-million-Wycliffite-New-Testament-leads-Bible-Collection-of-Dr--Charles-Caldwell-Ryrie#.WE6PNFzJKcS

World’s Oldest Alphabet is Based on Hebrew Language posted by Bryan Windle

ABR Associate Dr. Douglas Petrovich has published his first book, The World’s Oldest Alphabet: Hebrew as the Language of the Proto-Consonantal Script. For 150 years, scholars have puzzled over a series of early inscriptions, identifying some of the pictographic letters and translating a few of the Semitic words, but making little headway beyond that. Dr. Petrovich’s new book solves the puzzle, demonstrating that this early proto-consonantal script was Hebrew, and successfully translating all of the disputed letters in 16 inscriptions dating from 1842 to 1446 BC. In addition, his translation of these inscriptions shows that three biblical people are named (Asenath, Ahisamach, and Moses), and demonstrates the far-reaching impact of early Israelite culture. The Associates for Biblical Research would like to congratulate Dr. Petrovich on his new book.

Off-site Links:

1. Order Doug’s ground-breaking book: http://store.carta-jerusalem.com/forthcoming/734-the-worlds-oldest-alphabet-9789652208842.html

2. See a PDF sample: http://store.carta-jerusalem.com/Carta-preview/The%20World%20oldest%20alphabet%20Sample.pdf

3. View an online discussion forum on Academia.edu about Doug’s book:
https://www.academia.edu/s/6862d5d3ab/the-early-history-of-the-alphabet-an-open-response-to-christopher-rollston

4. Fox News interview: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/12/05/hebrew-may-be-worlds-oldest-alphabet.html

5. Jerusalem Post article: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Expert-claims-inscriptions-from-Egyptian-exodus-proves-Hebrew-is-worlds-oldest-alphabet-474718

Khirbet el-Maqatir Exhibit Opens January 2017 posted by Henry B Smith Jr MA MAR

In January of 2017 the University of Pikeville will open "Khirbet el-Maqatir & a Journey through Biblical History." This walk-through exhibit will feature over 250 artifacts from the world of the Bible. Of particular interest will be artifacts from the site of Khirbet el-Maqatir - the location of Ai mentioned in the book of Joshua and the possible site of Ephraim of the book of John.

The opening weekend special events will occur from Thursday, January 19 through Saturday January 21. The Thursday night event on the 19 will be an opening dinner where guests can meet and greet with visiting archaeologists and museum curators. A full buffet will be served to include sliced roast beef, herb roasted chicken, salad, vegetables, hot rolls and dessert. A dinner ticket includes admission to the exhibit on either Friday or Saturday and the visitor will be assigned a time for their exhibit visit on one of those days. In order to include this dinner event in your plans you must purchase either the "Opening Weekend Events Pass" or the "Opening Weekend Couples Pass."

Exhibit tickets on Friday or Saturday, the 20 & 21, will allow the visitor access to the historic York House in Pikeville where the 250 artifacts will be showcased. The visitor will also have the opportunity to visit with archaeologists and museum curators who will be on site to share the exhibit with visitors. Donor passes grant visitors admission to the exhibit as often as they desire for one low price beginning on January 27 and all regular business hours after that date. Currently, the exhibit is scheduled to be open every Friday and Saturday from that date through the summer.

Buy your Tickets Today to visit: Khirbet el-Maqatir & A Journey through Biblical History (off site link).


The local Hilton Garden Inn has a special rate for visitors for the exhibit: Hilton Garden Inn (off-site link).

 

World's Oldest Harbor Discovered in Red Sea posted by Bryan Windle

Archaeologists diving off the Egyptian coast near Wadi el-Jarf have discovered the world's oldest known harbor, dating back 4600 years. Papyri discovered near the site identify it as the harbor built by King Cheops (known also as Khufu), to import materials to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. A 200-meter-long, L-shaped pier built of limestone blocks was discovered underwater, which would have served as a breakwater to protect the boats anchored in the harbor. Divers also found 22 limestone anchors in situ where the ships would have been moored. Next to the harbor, archaeologists unearthed the remains of two large stone structures, possibly used for administrative purposes. Between these structures, close to 100 stone anchors were found, some of which had ropes attached to them. Many of these had inscriptions that named the boat they belonged to. The discoveries at the Wadi el-Jarf harbor are testament to the sophisticated level of organization and administration the Egyptians had developed at that time.
 
Off-site Link:
- http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/archaeology/1.754616

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