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On display at the Franklin Institute from May 12 to October 14, 2012. ABR Staff Archaeologist Gordon Franz provides commentary and a free study guide from a Christian perspective.

The fantastic Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times exhibition at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is about more than just the Dead Sea Scrolls; it is about daily life in the Biblical world. The subtitle - 'Life and Faith in Ancient Times' - says it all. The exhibition runs from May 12 to October 14, 2012.

The Bible is more than just another book with black (and sometimes red) letters on a page. The Bible is about real people, in real places, experiencing real events in history. Sometimes, because of our twenty-first century Western mindset and experiences, it is difficult to imagine how people lived in Biblical times. For example, the LORD metaphorically searched Jerusalem with lamps (Zeph. 1:12). When we think of a lamp, we think of a stand with a shade and a socket with an electric light bulb that illuminates when a switch is flipped. In the Biblical world there was no electricity, only olive oil and a wick to light the oil lamp. This exhibition will give you an idea of what those lamps actually looked like.

 Through the exhibition you will get a glimpse into the material culture of the Biblical world and add a third dimension to your Bible study! You will also be able to experience 'Oh, now I see [literally] what the Bible is talking about' moments!

 As an archaeologist and a Bible teacher, I was fascinated by the whole exhibition, which is on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). I was able to view some of the latest archaeological discoveries from Israel for the first time, objects that I had only read about in the newspapers or in the archaeological journals.

A Guide for a Self-Guided Tour

I have written a 38-page guide specifically for an Evangelical Christian audience. The guide can be used for a self-guided tour of the exhibition by home-schooled students, Christian school classes, Bible study groups, Sunday school classes, church youth groups, and individuals who are interested in the world of the Bible. Please feel free to download the guide and visit this incredible collection of rare objects from Israel that illustrates life and faith in Biblical times. 



Where, When, and How Much?

The Franklin Institute is located at 222 North 20th Street in Philadelphia. The exhibition is open daily from 9:30 AM to 5 PM and will run from May 12 to October 14, 2012.

Ticket prices are $31.50 for adults, $25 for students. Groups save more than 25%. To reserve tickets for individuals of Groups of 15 , you can call 215-448-1200 or email [email protected] Visit for more information.

Headsets are available for an audio tour of select objects with commentary by Professor Lawrence Shiffman of Yeshiva University; Professor Bill Dever, retired from Arizona State University; and Professor Ronnie Reich of Haifa University and the Israel Antiquities Authority. Headsets may be rented for $6 apiece.

For pictures of some of the objects on display:

Click on Media

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