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.

13th Dynasty Pyramid Discovered in Egypt posted by Bryan Windle

The remains of a 13th Dynasty pyramid was recently unearthed north of King Senefru's bent pyramid in the Dahshur royal necropolis south of Cairo. Archaeologists unearthed a corridor leading to the interior of the pyramid, as well as a hall leading to a southern ramp. In addition, an alabaster block inscribed with 10 vertical lines of hieroglyphics was discovered and is being studied further. The pyramid has a unique design, causing some to suggest it may have been an early attempt to build a smooth-sided pyramid. This discovery adds to the list of 123 ancient pyramids known in Egypt. The tentative date of 1700 BC would place its construction after the death of Joseph but before the birth of Moses, during the time the Israelites were living in Egypt according to biblical chronology.

Off-site Links:
- http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/262156/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Remains-of-th-Dynasty-pyramid-discovered-in-Dahshu.aspx
- http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/remains-13th-dynasty-pyramid-discovered-egypt-s-dahshur
- http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-remains-of-a-new-pyramid-discovered-in-egypt-2017-4
- http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/remains-of-pyramid-built-3700-years-ago-found-in-egypt

Capital from Solomon's Colonnade Found at Temple Mount Dig posted by Bryan Windle

The Temple Mount Sifting Project recently announced the discovery of a capital from one of the columns that formed the eastern colonnade of the Second Temple, known in the New Testament as "Solomon's Colonnade." Josephus also describes the colonnade in both Antiquities of the Jews and The Jewish War. The capital itself is in the Doric style and would have adorned the top of one of the columns that surrounded the Temple Mount area to provide shade for those who visited the Temple. Dr. Leen Ritmeyer, one of the world's leading experts on the Temple, has responded to the announcement by agreeing that the capital is likely from Solomon's Colonnade while correcting information about the size of the column the capital likely came from. The Bible records that Jesus (Jn 10:23), Peter and John (Acts 3:11), and the early church in Jerusalem (Acts 5:12) all spent time at Solomon's Colonnade.

Off-site Links:
- http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=41549
- http://www.ritmeyer.com/2017/04/05/a-capital-from-solomons-porch-on-the-temple-mount/

Tomb of Jesus Reopens to the Public posted by Bryan Windle

Following a $3.7 million renovation that took months, the purported tomb of Jesus inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been reopened to the public. The shrine, known as the Edicule, which surrounds the site that many believe is the place the body of Jesus lay before His Resurrection, had been in dire need of renovations to prevent collapse. The work was paid for mainly by the World Monuments Fund, along with financing from three denominations and a donation from King Abdullah II of Jordan. Restorers systematically removed, cleaned, and renovated the marble slabs that formed the Edicule. A window was also installed, which allows people to see the actual stone wall of the tomb for the first time. The work has made it possible to remove the unsightly black protective cage that had held the Edicule together for 70 years. Authorities are warning that more work needs to be done, however, as the recent renovations revealed that the floor and foundations under the shrine are unstable.

Off-site Links:
- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/world/middleeast/tomb-of-jesus-reopens-jerusalem.html?_r=0
- http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/jesus-christ-tomb-jerusalem-restored-collapse-tunnels/
- http://www.timesofisrael.com/newly-restored-shrine-at-jesuss-tomb-reopens-in-jerusalem/

Dr. Bryant Wood's Research on the Hittites Incorporated Into New Bible Translation posted by Bryan Windle

B&H Publishing Group recently completed a revision of the Holman Standard Christian Bible, renaming it the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). It is the first Bible translation to incorporate the research of ABR's Dr. Bryant Wood, published in 2011, in translating the various Hebrew terms that are generally rendered as "Hittites" (previously translated as "Hethites" in all English translations prior to the Geneva Bible, first published in 1560).
Hethites chart
The appearance of "Hittites" in the Bible has been a historical conundrum as there is little archaeological evidence for existence of the Indo-European people group from Anatolia, known as Hittites, residing in Canaan at the time the Bible describes. Dr. Wood's research showed that the majority of the Hebrew terms for "Hittites" (the singular forms) should be translated "Hethites," the indigenous descendants of Heth, son of Canaan (Gen. 10:15), while a small number (six plural forms) refer to the Hittites of Anatolia, modern Turkey. This solution, based on linguistic and archaeological evidence, refutes the claims of critics that the references to "Hittites" in the Bible are anachronistic or mistakes. It appears that the most famous "Hittite" in the Bible, Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, was actually a "Hethite."

Link:
- www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2011/11/08/Hittites-and-Hethites-A-Proposed-Solution-to-an-Etymological-Conundrum.aspx

Road to Emmaus Being Destroyed posted by Bryan Windle

In a recent article in Jerusalem Perspective entitled, "A Farewell to the Roman Road," David Bivin documents the slow destruction of the ancient Roman road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. This destruction is a result of neglect, erosion, the building of sewage systems and the expansion of a cemetery. Bivin begins his article by seeking to identify the town of Emmaus described in the gospel of Luke with Motza-Qalunya, although he acknowledges the early tradition of Emmaus-Nicopolis as the biblical Emmaus. He notes that both towns lie on the road that is falling into disrepair and decay, and is the likely route the disciples took to Emmaus on the day of Jesus' resurrection. Bivin is hoping to call attention to the state of this Roman road, in hopes that authorities will act to preserve these important ruins.

Off-site Links:
- http://blog.bibleplaces.com/2017/03/the-destruction-of-road-to-emmaus.html
- http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/16208/

Ancient Palace Discovered Underneath the Tomb of Jonah posted by Bryan Windle

Archaeologists in Iraq have been documenting ISIS's destruction of the purported tomb of Jonah, which they blew up soon after their seizure of the area in 2014. They discovered that ISIS had dug tunnels under the shrine and into the previously unknown palace of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon. While investigating the tunnels, archaeologists found a cuneiform inscription of King Esarhaddon, dating to 672 BC. In another tunnel, an Assyrian stone sculpture of a demi-goddess was discovered. This is the first evidence of ISIS tunneling in ancient mounds in search of artifacts to plunder and sell on the antiquities market. Archaeologists are working against time to document as many of the finds as possible, since the tunnels look ready to collapse soon. 2 Kings 18 and 19 describe Sennacherib's unsuccessful attack on Jerusalem, his murder, and how Esarhaddon eventually came to the throne.

Off-site Links:
- http://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-state-looting-uncovers-ancient-palace-beneath-jonahs-tomb/
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/27/previously-untouched-600bc-palace-discovered-shrine-demolished/
- http://www.foxnews.com/science/2017/03/06/biblical-kings-palace-uncovered-beneath-shrine-destroyed-by-isis.html

See ABR’s Dr. Scott Stripling on “Expedition Unknown” posted by Bryan Windle

Dr. Scott Stripling, Director of ABR’s Shiloh Expedition, will be featured this week on the Travel Channel’s program, “Expedition Unknown.” It airs on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 9pm EST. In this week’s episode, host Josh Gates goes in search of the Ark of the Covenant. Dr. Stripling will be discussing biblical Shiloh and how it relates to the Ark of the Covenant.

Don’t miss out on this chance to learn more about the Ark, as well as discover fascinating facts about Shiloh. The Associates for Biblical Research will be leading an excavation to Shiloh this coming summer. You can learn more about the opportunity to “Dig Shiloh” at our link below.

Off-site Links:

- http://www.travelchannel.com/schedule.2017.03.08.EST
- http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/expedition-unknown
- http://www.biblearchaeology.org/page/Join-Us-In-Our-Excavations-at-Biblical-Shiloh.aspx

Two Encore Performances of New Documentary, "Is Genesis History?" Announced posted by Bryan Windle

Due to popular demand, two encore performances of the new documentary, "Is Genesis History?" have been announced for March 2nd and March 7th. The movie was first released to cinemas nationwide for a one-night event on Thursday, Feb. 23rd. It explores the origins of the world, with the host, Dr. Del Tackett, interviewing scientists and scholars from different fields. It seeks to answer questions that arise from the book of Genesis and modern science: Was everything created in six days? Did man evolve from apes? Were Adam and Eve real people? What happened to the dinosaurs? With help from experts in their fields, the documentary provides a positive case for creation in six normal days and the historicity of the account of mankind's origins in the book of Genesis.

Off-site Link:
- http://isgenesishistory.com/

View the Trailer Here:
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTh_YFh3Fvg

Roman-era Gateway Unearthed at Beit She'arim posted by Bryan Windle

Excavations at Beit She'arim in northern Israel have revealed a previously unknown Roman-era gate structure along an ancient road leading into the town. The gate system was built of limestone blocks, and included postholes for doors as well as a circular tower. Despite the fact that Beit She'arim literally means "House of Gates," the town was believed to have been too small to have been fortified. While Beit She'arim may have been insignificant in size, it was an important town in the second century AD, as it was the headquarters for the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, and was where the Mishna (Jewish oral law) was compiled.

Off-site Links:
- http://www.timesofisrael.com/archaeologists-shocked-to-find-ancient-gateway-at-house-of-gates/
- http://hamodia.com/2017/02/15/gate-remnant-discovered-beit-shearim/

New Dead Sea Scroll Cave Discovered posted by Bryan Windle

For the first time in over 60 years, a new Dead Sea Scroll cave has been discovered west of Qumran, near the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. If confirmed, this would be the 12th Dead Sea Scroll cave. A team of archaeologists from Hebrew University, along with Dr. Randall Price and students from Liberty University, recently excavated the cave and found the remains of six jars which were identical to the jars found in several other Qumran caves. The cave appears to have been looted, as the jars were broken, no scrolls were found, and two pick-axes from the 1950s were found, probably left by the looters. One jar did contain a rolled-up blank parchment. Scientific testing will determine if the ceramic and parchment share a similar origin to those discovered in other Dead Sea Scroll caves. Other finds include a leather strap for binding scrolls and a cloth for wrapping scrolls. Moreover, the mouth of a 13th cave, still sealed, may have been discovered nearby, providing the tantalizing possibility of more Dead Sea scrolls yet to be discovered.

Off-site Links:
- https://academic.logos.com/new-dead-sea-scroll-cave-discovered-after-60-years/
- http://www.timesofisrael.com/new-dead-sea-scroll-cave-found-near-qumran-but-scrolls-are-gone/
- http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.770515

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