With this issue, we are excited to present to you, our loyal readers, the new, enlarged, enriched BAR.
For many readers of our sister magazines, Bible Review and Archaeology Odyssey, who are not regular readers of BAR, this will be their first issue. We have consolidated all three magazines into BAR, as it was 20 years ago. And our design director of almost 30 years, Rob Sugar, has presented us with a new, updated design to celebrate the new BAR.
But a new design isn’t the only change in BAR. We’ve added the popular columnists that used to appear in Bible Review—Ben Witherington, Mary Joan Leith and Ron Hendel. One of them will now appear in each issue of BAR. In addition, we are adding to each issue of BAR a guest columnist on archaeological matters. The first guest columnist, in this issue, is my old friend Bill Dever.
We’re also importing into BAR the feature of Bible Review that its readers voted to be the most popular part of that magazine: Leonard Greenspoon’s “The Bible in the News.”
BAR will now include other features that might otherwise have gone into Bible Review. One such item that would have gone into Bible Review I am particularly pleased to publish here: a fascinating interview with leading feminist Bible scholar Phyllis Trible.
We’re also including in the new BAR articles that might have gone into Archaeology Odyssey. The story on a female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, which is featured on our cover, is an example. Other new features will take us beyond the confines of the Holy Land to the larger Biblical world, which is really an integral part of Biblical archaeology.
Does that mean we’re pulling back from our usual coverage of the archaeology of the Holy Land and the Biblical world? Absolutely not!
And this issue proves it—with items such as the two articles on Hazor, one of the great Biblical mounds. Long-time staff member Sharon Zuckerman, following in the footsteps of the renowned Yigael Yadin and his distinguished successor Amnon Ben-Tor, explains her ideas about finding a cuneiform archive that we know is buried there, but has somehow eluded us. In addition, staff member Doron Ben-Ami discourses on the ubiquitous standing stones at Hazor and places them in the context of other such cultic stones found all over the ancient Near East.
And that’s just the beginning. Dennis Groh evaluates the influence of the third-fourth-century church father Eusebius on our knowledge of the ancient world. We’ve all heard of Eusebius, but few of us really know much about him. After reading Groh, we will geographically arrive at a new understanding of the man and his contribution.
We are also proud to publish the story about the desert caves to which Jewish refugees fled during the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome (132–135 C.E.), written by the alleged criminals archaeologist Hanan Eshel and his graduate student Ro’i Porat. The pair purchased fragments of ancient Biblical manuscripts from the Bedouin in order to rescue the badly decaying fragments and are being charged criminally by Israel Antiquities Authority director Shuka Dorfman for purchasing looted antiquities. The entire Israeli (and international) academic community is up in arms at this inanity, but at press time Dorfman has persisted. More on this in our usual 079Update section, “Finds or Fakes?”
As always, let us hear from you—what you like and what you don’t like, what to eliminate and what you want more of.
Jeff Zorn, a visiting professor at Cornell University, on hearing that we were folding Bible Review and Archaeology Odyssey into BAR, wrote me that he did not subscribe to Bible Review because “it just never had enough content of direct interest to me.” He did subscribe to Archaeology Odyssey, but stopped “because I could not justify the cost:content ratio.” As for BAR, its “content has gone down considerably over the last decade at least.”
Well, after picking myself up from the floor, I am determined to try harder. Our goal is simple: To provide our readers with the best of scholarship in this admittedly tumultuous field, in understandable and inviting language, fearlessly telling you what we think, but exposing you to all sides of the issues so you can make up your own mind.
Even though you may not agree with everything we print, we hope that you will come away feeling informed and involved.
With this issue, we are excited to present to you, our loyal readers, the new, enlarged, enriched BAR. For many readers of our sister magazines, Bible Review and Archaeology Odyssey, who are not regular readers of BAR, this will be their first issue. We have consolidated all three magazines into BAR, as it was 20 years ago. And our design director of almost 30 years, Rob Sugar, has presented us with a new, updated design to celebrate the new BAR. But a new design isn’t the only change in BAR. We’ve added the popular columnists that used to appear […]
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