Evidence for the Tabernacle at Shiloh?

Has archeological evidence been found of the Tabernacle?

During the conquest of Canaan, the Tent of Worship or the Tabernacle was set up in a hill town named Shiloh. It was here that Joshua, successor to Moses, completed the apportioning of the Land of Promise. The Tabernacle, the portable Temple built according to the exact design specifications given by God to Moses was to remain in Shiloh for over 3 centuries. It would stay here for most if not all of the era of the Judges (356 years). According to Talmudic sources, it was in place in Shiloh for a total of 369 years. Continue reading

The Strange Case of the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife”

Every once in a while, a breathless headline promises that some new discovery will turn upside-down everything you ever knew about  Christianity. Bible students know to treat such claims with great skepticism. If you are patient, it won’t be long before the claim is exposed as being much less than what it was advertised to be, or even exposed as being fraudulent. This very recent story is one such case. It provides an instructive look at the prejudices and predilections of Bible critics.

The controversial text was revealed to the world in a conference held in the shadow of Vatican City on September 18, 2012. Dr. Karen King, an American woman who is the Continue reading

The Vanished Cedar Forests of Lebanon

Without doubt, the most sought-after tree of Bible times was the majestic cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus Libani). The Bible mentions the cedar of Lebanon or cedar wood over 70 times! At one time, vast forests of these graceful trees covered the mountains of Lebanon and the eastern Mediterranean region. They grow at low elevations as well as high, but growing in the rugged  and arid conditions of the Lebanese mountains, contributes to a hardy tree with a reputation for wood that is all but indestructible. Continue reading

The Mystery of “Absalom’s Tomb” – Part 2

 

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“Absalom’s Tomb”, circa 1914

Read Part 1 Here. For reasons explained in part 1, the monument in Jerusalem that has been popularly called for centuries “Absalom’s Tomb”, is not connected with him in any way. So if it didn’t belong to Absalom, who did it belong to? The original occupant of the tomb remains a mystery, but a theory proposed in 2013 by a world renowned Israeli archeologist offers a very plausible answer. Dr. Gabriel Barkay proposes that the monument did not belong to Absalom, or Zechariah father of John nor Simeon but it did likely belong to someone else well familiar to Bible students. Continue reading

The Mystery of “Absalom’s Tomb” – Part 1

At the base of the Mount of Olives, in the valley of Kidron, just outside the city walls of Jerusalem is a striking rock-cut tomb that has been commonly called for centuries, the “Tomb of Absalom”. Passerby would traditionally throw stones at it and fathers of disobedient children would bring them there to show what happened to rebellious sons.

The attribution of the monument as the tomb of Absalom comes from the passage at 2 Samuel 18:18, ” Now Absalom, while he was alive, had taken and set up for himself a pillar in the Valley of the King, for he said: “I have no son to preserve the memory of my name.” So he named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.Continue reading

Did The Canaanites Really Sacrifice Their Children?

Were the Canaanites merciless child killers or gentle nature worshipers?

Warning: Subject matter may disturb

Historical revisionist theories regularly receive more traction among Bible critics than the facts would warrant. For example, consider the case of polytheism verses monotheism. Most religious history books teach that cultures that were polytheistic (believers in many gods) naturally progressed towards becoming monotheistic (believers in one God). This is seen, even by agnostics as being a necessary step toward becoming a more mature society. Increasingly however, Bible critics challenge that idea. They see the move from polytheism to monotheism as a negative thing. According to their revisionist version of history, gentle nature worshiping polytheistic societies such as Canaan were supplanted by aggressive monotheistic cultures like the Hebrews which were less tolerant, sexually repressed and war-like. Continue reading