The Politics of Ebla

As might be expected, BAR’s “Assessing Ebla,” BAR 04:01, by Paul C. Maloney is the best and most comprehensive overall popular treatment of the Ebla Tablets yet to appear. There is, however, later news, as well as another side to the Ebla story—a political side. This political aspect makes everyone connected with Ebla vulnerable, […]

Did the Patriarchs Live at Givat Sharett?
Small unwalled village near important 18th-century B.C. city of Beth Shemesh fits Biblical description of patriarchal settlements By Dan Bahat

In the June 1978 BAR, we published a seminal article by Norman Gottwald entitled, “Were the Early Israelites Pastoral Nomads?” BAR 04:02. Professor Gottwald there argued that the Patriarchs were not semi-nomads, instead, they lived in small countryside villages and engaged in agriculture. Professor Gottwald called for the systematic excavation of often-ignored “minor” sites […]

The Work of a Lifetime Destroyed—Three Years Later

Early in the afternoon of October 26, 1975 a fire struck the cramped, book-filled office of Father Albert Jamme at Catholic University in the nation’s capital. The fire probably started from neon tubes in a ceiling light fixture, but the exact cause is uncertain.

An Israelite Village from the Days of the Judges

One of the most critical battles in early Israelite history was fought about 1050 B.C. between the Israelites and the Philistines. At that time, the Bible tells us, the twelve tribes had settled the land and the Ark of the Covenant had been installed at Shiloh under the authority of Eli the High Priest. […]

An Alphabet from the Days of the Judges

At a site called Izbet Sartah, now believed by some scholars, to be Biblical Ebenezer, a recent excavation by Tel Aviv and Bar-Ilan Universities has uncovered a small clay potsherd—unrelated to the Biblical story—which, however, is the most important single find of the excavation. The sherd contains the longest proto-Canaanite inscription ever discovered.a The […]

How It Came About: From Saturday to Sunday
Roman repressive measures following the first and second Jewish revolts spurred Christian change to Sunday worship By Samuele Bacchiocchi

Scholars have long debated how the first day of the week—Sunday—came to be adopted by a majority of Christians as the day of rest and worship in place of the Biblically-prescribed, seventh-day Sabbath. (In Hebrew, the seventh day is called Shabbat from which the English word Sabbath is derived).

Editorial: Free Hadrian
BAR asks readers to protest withholding of Hadrian photo by Israeli Antiquities Department

In 975, an American tourist uncovered a statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian on an Israeli kibbutz. We had intended to picture the head of this rare bronze statue on the cover of this issue of BAR. It seemed a perfect tie-in with the story “How It Came About: From Saturday to Sunday,” in which Hadrian figures so prominently.

Coming in BAR—Did Yahweh Have a Consort?

An astounding inscription has been found in the Sinai Desert which indicates that some worshippers believed that Yahweh did have a consort or asherah.