The Known, the Unknown and the Debatable
BAR recaps the Ebla story

With all the twists and turns, the claims and denials, the arguments and the counter-arguments, is there anything we can be certain about in the Ebla story?

Interview with David Noel Freedman

The following interview with Professor David Noel Freedman was conducted by BAR Editor Hershel Shanks on November 25, 1979. Professor Freedman has been more influential than anyone else in the United States in publicizing the Ebla tablets. In early 1976, Freedman flew to Rome to talk to Paolo Matthiae and Giovanni Pettinato, the University […]

New Ebla Epigrapher Attacks Conclusion of Ousted Ebla Scholar
Professor Archi disagrees with Professor Pettinato’s Biblical connections.

Dr. Alfonso Archi of the University of Rome’s Institute of Near Eastern Studies and the new chief epigrapher of the Italian Mission to Ebla, has vigorously disputed the conclusions of his predecessor, Dr. Giovanni Pettinato, linking the Ebla tablets to the Bible.

The Raw Material
The full texts of 24 Ebla tablets have been published—this is what scholars must start with. By Paul C. Maloney

When scholars speak of a document’s having been fully and formally published, they usually mean that the publication includes a readable photograph, a complete transliteration of the text, perhaps a hand copy of the text, and possibly a commentary on the readings.a By this definition, I am aware of only 14 Ebla texts that […]

Were Christians Buried in Roman Catacombs to Await the Second Coming?

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Marble Faun, a novel about young artists struggling to learn their craft in 19th century Rome, a group of painters visits the catacomb of Callistus on the old Appian Way. As they wander through the tunnels, their way lit by flickering candles, one of the young women becomes separated from the […]

A Rare Look at the Jewish Catacombs of Rome

No one seems to know why it is so difficult to see the Jewish catacombs of Rome. But it is.

Using Quintilian to Interpret Mark

The passage from Mark which follows, has always been a puzzle: If your hand offends you, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled, than with both hands to depart for hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot offends you, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life lame, than with both feet to be thrown into hell.