The Virtual Bible – a new visual resource

Accordance Blog announced  the release of:

The Virtual Bible, a new visual resource which offers three-dimensional reconstructions of the land of Israel, first-century Jerusalem, the Herodian Temple, and more. The visuals, which include still images and video fly-throughs, were developed by Dr. Daniel Warner of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Dr. James Strange of the University of South Florida, in consultation with Leen Ritmeyer, an archaeological architect who is an expert on the Jerusalem Temple.

In the foreground is the Court of the Women and the Nicanor Gate stands infront of the Temple.

Here is a link to the introductory video. The purpose of this resource is to help students visualize more accurately the physical background of events mentioned in the Bible. Some of the original videos lacked explanatory notes and therefore Accordance “added narration and music to these videos to improve their teaching value for those of us who might need a tour guide. We also added detailed text descriptions for each still image and video.” Two samples can be viewed on their blog post.

HT: Daniel Wright

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Jerusalem in Rome

Jerusalem in Rome – Searching for the Dedicatory Inscription in the Colosseum

Last week, on a visit to Rome, we went in search of the Dedicatory Inscription in the Colosseum that I had blogged about in 2008. Walking down the Via dei Fori Imperiali, the wide avenue built by Mussolini  flanking the Forum and leading to the amphitheatre was a pleasure, as the Colosseum is no longer a crazy traffic circle. Cars are banned, with buses and taxis still allowed, but with strict speed restrictions. The scene that greets you at the piazza surrounding the Colosseum still resembles a funfair, with costumed “centurions” (some smoking cigarettes) and demanding exhorbitant prices from visitors to have their photo taken with them, hawkers selling everything from souvenirs to selfie sticks and horses waiting patiently beside their carriage for their next passengers. Meanwhile scaffolding snakes its way around the Colosseum in a $35 million renovation project due to be completed in 2016.

From what we had read in an excellent article on the inscription by Prof. Louis Feldman in BAR (July/August 2001), we expected to find it lying on the ground on the right-hand side of the main entrance passageway. We described the inscription to a guard and were directed to the medieval painting of Jerusalem high up in one of the arches. This is based on a well-known depiction of the city by the Dutch theologian Christiaan van Adrichem.

Medieval painting showing Jerusalem with the crucifixion near bottom left. Photo: Leen Ritmeyer

After a fruitless search around the corridors, we tried asking at the office of the archaeological superintendent of the site, where the lady at the desk said that she didn’t  have a clue as to the whereabouts of the inscription. Put on to the phone to her boss, we were told that she thought it was on the second level. Climbing the steep travertine steps, we had views over the interior of the amphitheatre, including the  dark corridors of the hypogeum or underground area, from where caged animals and gladiators would be brought up for the entertainment of the Romans from every social class.

Approaching the area of the lift, one of the innovations designed to bring visitor facilities into the twenty-first century, but which was very difficult to find on the ground floor where it was needed, we saw two large groups of  visitors who looked spellbound. One of the groups was gathered round an exhibit showing recently discovered graffiti depicting a gladiator fight. Other graffiti showed gladiators fighting  wild beasts.

Graffiti of two gladiators, one at top left and another at bottom right, fighting two wild beasts portrayed between them. Photo: Leen Ritmeyer

An even larger crowd was gathered round two astonishingly vivid reconstruction drawings that depicted spectators sitting in the amphitheatre.

Reconstruction drawings of the upper and lower parts of the Colosseum. Photo: Leen Ritmeyer

The top drawing showed fans of the gladiators drawing on the steps the very graffiti we had just seen in the exhibition. It also showed spectators brawling and grilling meat over a portable grill, upper class ladies having their hair done and children doing what children have always done, getting into things. The bottom drawing showed in glorious detail all the activities underground.

Then I spotted the large marble block, standing against the back wall, with its pattern of holes hinting at the original dedication on the stone.

Standing next to the Dedicatory Inscription. Photo: Kathleen Ritmeyer

The phantom letters on the fifth century Latin inscription which mentioned that the building had been repaired by one Lampadius were deciphered by Professor Géza Aföldy of the University of Heidelberg. During our visit to the Colosseum, nobody seemed interested in the inscription which had an explanatory plaque with a long description of the work done by Lampadius. Only a few lines of the explanation were devoted to the fact that the early inscription (originally made of metal letters fastened to small holes which allowed specialists to retrace them after they had been erased), attributed the construction of the Colosseum to Titus and explained that it was funded ex manubis (with the proceeds of spoils of war). We only need to look a couple of hundred metres along the Via Sacra to the Arch of Titus which portrays the spoils of the Jerusalem Temple being carried off.

In the centuries that followed, observant Jews refused to walk under the Arch of Titus. This was their protest against this insult to Jewish independence. It must have been a very moving experience in 1948, when, as a symbolic gesture, Roman Jews deliberately walked under the arch in the opposite direction to that of the conquering Roman army.

So, we had found the Dedicatory Inscription, with no help from either of our guidebooks, the official guides or the official Colosseum website and it was missing the section that had been restored as shown in Louis Feldman’s original BAR article. Today (2nd June), the Colosseum was draped with banners in the colours of the Italian flag as the country celebrated its Republic Day. During our visit, work was going on day and night to erect the grandstands on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, from which dignitaries would watch the grand military parade that commemorates the 1946 referendum in which Italians voted for their country to become a republic. In the Colosseum, near the Imperial Box used by the Emperor, is a cross set up to commemorate Christians who were believed to have been martyred here. Today however, few of the parade’s spectators will stop to think of where the money came from to build this, the most celebrated building in the Roman Empire. And who will spare a thought for the thousands of Hebrew slaves who labored in its construction, with the pre-cut travertine blocks hauled from Tibur (today Tivoli, about 20 km from Rome). ‘To the victor belong the spoils.”

 

 

 

 

 

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A second Arch of Titus found

The Arch of Titus which stands at the entrance to the Roman Forum draws huge crowds who want to see this well-known monument that was erected in memory of the Roman siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple in 70 AD.

The Arch of Titus. Photo: Leen Ritmeyer

The interesting part is the scene portrayed on the southern intrados (inner curved side of an arch) that shows Roman soldiers carrying away the spoils of the Jerusalem Temple, i.e. the Lampstand (menorah), the Table of Shewbread and two trumpets.

The south panel showing the spoils taken from the Jerusalem Temple. Photo: Leen Ritmeyer

Today it was reported in the Telegraph newspaper that another monumental arch dedicated to Titus was found in Rome at the southeast entrance to the Circus Maximus.

Although these remains have been known for some time, they have now been more fully excavated.

The Circus Maximus. The original ground level of  was 6 meters (20 feet) lower down. Photo: Leen Ritmeyer

The remains of a triumphal arch built in honour of the Emperor Titus have been unearthed from underneath Rome’s Circus Maximus chariot-racing arena.

The arch, which was built immediately after the emperor’s death in 81AD, would have formed a magnificent entrance to the Circus Maximus, where charioteers competed against each other in races that were depicted in the 1959 Hollywood epic Ben Hur.

View of the Circus site from the south-east. The remains of a column base and parts of fluted columns that belonged to the Arch of Titus had been visible in the near foreground before the excavation took place. The tower in the foreground is part of a medieval fortification. Photo: Wikipedia

The bases of four giant columns were found underground in an area that is prone to flooding. This picture shows one of them:

The excavated remains of the great Arch built for Emperor Titus at the Circus Maximus. Photo: Handout

A CAD drawing of how the great Arch at Circo Massimo may have looked.

The excavation site is now covered up until funds can be raised to reconstruct this monumental marble arch.

Posted in Excavations, Jerusalem, News, Temple Mount | 7 Comments

The Treasury of the Temple in Jerusalem

A unique feature of our new guide book to the Temple Mount are two plans, one of the present-day Temple Mount and a corresponding map of the area in the first century, on which all the New Testament links are indicated. Comparing these two plans allows the visitor (or armchair traveler) to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples around the Temple.

This post also contains new images that have recently been added to our Image Library. Clicking on each of the watermarked images enables you to download a Powerpoint size copy (without the watermark, of course) for a small fee.

Most of the activities recorded in the New Testament took place in the Treasury, also known as the Court of the Women. When, for example, we read that Jesus taught in the Temple (Matthew 21.23; John 7.14,28; 8.2,20), he did not enter the Sanctuary itself because, as a non-Levite, he would not have been allowed inside this beautiful building which was reserved for priests only.

The Treasury was a court that was located to the east of the Temple itself, just below the Nicanor Gate.

This paved area looking out at the Mount of Olives was the place where the Treasury was located. It is an excellent place to meditate on the many events described in the New Testament that took place here.

This court is also called the Court of the Women, as that is as far as women were allowed to enter the Temple courts. It was in this court that the Presentation of Jesus and the meeting with Simeon and Anna the Prophetess (Luke 2.25–38) took place.

A view of the large Court of the Women, also known as the Treasury in the Gospels. This court was as far as women were allowed to proceed into the Temple. Four high towers, two of which we see here in this model, each carried four golden lamps which were lit during the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus may have referred to these lights in John 8.12.

In this reconstruction drawing, we see the Temple, viewed from the east. It was surrounded by a court, called the Temple Court or azarah in Hebrew. In front of the Temple stood the Altar, the Laver (Basin) and the pillars and tables that were used in the preparation of sacrifices. Several gates and other buildings stood to the north and south of the Temple.
To the east of the Temple stood the Court of the Women (centre front). The Nicanor Gate stood in front of Herod’s Temple. It gave access to the Temple Courts from the Court of the Women.

In Luke 21.1-4 it is recorded that Jesus contrasted the gifts that the rich people gave with the two mites (Greek: lepta, singular: lepton) of the widow. How did he know that this widow had cast in two little coins? Thirteen wooden boxes with trumpet-shaped bronze funnels to guide the coins into the box were placed under the colonnades of the Court of the Women. This area was the actual Treasury. The sound these coins made against the metal would have indicated how much people offered to the Temple.

Two of the thirteen trumpet-shaped receptacles for monetary offerings placed under the colonnades that encircled the Court of the Women of Herod’s Temple Mount.

Another place shown on these maps of New Testament links in the guide book is the location of the Altar, which we commented on in a previous post. During the Feast of Tabernacles, a water-libation ceremony took place every evening, that was watched by many people standing in this Court of the Women.  When the water that was drawn from the Siloam Pool in a golden vessel was poured out on the Altar, Jesus said: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink”, pointing out that faith in him was foreshadowed by this ceremony (John 7.37-38).

After drawing water from the Pool of Siloam, a priest and his procession would return to the Temple Mount, crossing the courts and heading for the Water Gate. The priest would then be greeted by three trumpet blasts on his way to the Altar to complete the water libation ceremony.

Associated with the Feast of Tabernacles was a daily ceremonial of water-drawing. The priest (on the left) who carried the flagon of water from the Siloam Pool to the Temple was joined on the Altar by another priest who carried the wine of the drink-offering. There were two silver bowls there, one on the west side of the Altar for the water and one on the east for the wine. The bowls were perforated on the bottom to allow the liquid to flow (most probably through pipes) down the Kedron Valley, the bowl for the wine having a wider hole as wine flows more slowly than water.

Golden lampstands on high tower-like constructions were lit, casting light over the whole city. Again, Jesus used this ceremony in his teaching when he said “I am the light of the world: (John 8.12).

One of four lampstands, each of which had four golden lamps, that stood in the Court of the Women. During the Rejoicing over the Water-drawing ceremony, the golden lamps on top of these massive towers were lit. The model portrays a young priest climbing a ladder to reach the the lamps in order to fill them with oil.

It was also in this Court of the Women that during the Triumphal Entry the children cried out in the Temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21.15).

Ater Judas had betrayed Jesus, knowing that he had condemned himself, he cast the thirty pieces of silver “in the Temple” (Mathhew 27.3-5). Again, that would not have happened in the Sanctuary itself, but in this court where the thirteen money boxes were located.

Continuing the tradition of Jesus’ teaching in the Treasury, the disciples taught here too on a daily basis. In Acts 5.20,42, we read that Peter and John were commanded to do so by an angel of the Lord.

The Temple, viewed from the east in this image, was surrounded by the Temple Court. On the east (centre front), was the large Court of the Women, also known in the Gospels as the Treasury, where both Jesus and the disciples used to teach.

Posted in Jerusalem, Temple Mount | 5 Comments

Sodom and Gomorrah

Many people in the UK saw the episode of “The Search for Sodom” (see previous post) and it was apparently well received (in the USA it was shown on AHC). The identification of Tall el-Hammam with Sodom was made by Dr. Steve Collins.

A view of Tall el-Hammam at the south-eastern end of the Jordan Valley with the Upper Tall on the right and the Lower Tall on the left of the centre in the picture. In the foreground, dolmens can be seen that belonged to a huge megalithic field. (Clicking on all of our images takes you to our Image Library where you can download Powerpoint size copies for a small fee).

As we have shown previously, the geographical data preserved in the Scriptures, especially in Gen. 13, strongly point to the eastern side of the circular alluvial plain north of the Dead Sea for the location of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim. Archaeological excavations have shown that the site of Tall el-Hammam was terminally destroyed in the Middle Bronze Age, which was the time of Abraham.  As Tall el-Hammam is the largest site (62 acres) of the pentapolis, this makes it the best candidate for Sodom. In Gen. 14, the King of Sodom appears to be the spokesman of these cities, indicating its leading role. Additionally, Sodom is also the only kikkar city that has been mentioned in its own, for example in Ezek. 16 and in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

However, according to Gen. 19, Sodom was not the only city that was destroyed. If Tall el-Hammam is Sodom, then it is necessary to be able to identify the other cities of the Kikkar, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim (Gen. 10.19; Gen. 13, etc). Geographically these cities were named from south to north, i.e. Sodom is the southernmost and Zeboiim the northernmost of these cities. This is apparently reminiscent of ancient “Map lists”, especially those of ancient Egypt, where the direction of Transjordan routes are mentioned from south to north, i.e. viewed from Egypt. The names are also grouped in two doublets: “Sodom and Gomorrah” – “Admah and Zeboiim”.

The southern end of the Jordan Valley widens out into an almost circular area. This area is called in Gen.13 the Plain (Hebrew: Kikkar – circle or disk) of Jordan. The Kikkar ends where the Jordan flows into the Dead Sea. The Cities of theKkikkar, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim were located in the eastern part of the Kikkar, as that is the area that can be seen from Bethel/Ai.

One mile (1.6 km) northeast of Tall el-Hammam is a smaller tall,  (Tall Kafrein), which was the largest satellite city of Tall el-Hammam (there are other smaller sites in the vicinity of Tall el-Hammam, also belonging to this Canaanite city-state). Dr. Steve Collins identifies the site of Tall Kafrein with Gomorrah. This site was also destroyed in the Middle Bronze Age and has the same archaeological profile as Tall el-Hammam and Talls Nimrin, Bleibel and Mustah (see below).

The archaeological site of Tall Kafrein viewed from Tall el-Hammam. This site in the centre of the picture has been identified as Gomorrah, as it is the largest satellite city of Tall el-Hammam. The fertile area in front of the tall is part of the well-watered Plain (kikkar) of the Jordan.

Sodom and Gomorrah are usually mentioned together as, for example, Bethel and Ai are mostly mentioned together. As Bethel is larger than Ai (Joshua 7.3), it reasons that the first site mentioned should be the largest.  Tall el-Hammam is indeed much larger than Tall Kafrein.

There are three other sites a little further to the north, of which Tall Nimrin (identified by Steve Collins with Admah) is the second largest of the five cities of the kikkar and nearby are two smaller twin satellite talls, Tall Bleibel and Tall Mustah (Zeboiim). Admah was probably the capital of the second Canaanite city-state in this area. Zeboim means two gazelles and these two sites straddle a valley through which the road from the highlands to the Jordan Valley runs.

A view of the archaeological site of Tall Nimrin, which has been identified with Admah by Steve Collins. The modern road in the foreground has destroyed part of the archaeological site.

A view of the eastern part of the archaeological site of Tall Nimrin. The building of the road exposed remains of ancient walls and stratigraphic layers.

The two small talls of Bleibel and Mustah, which can be seen respectively to the left and right in the centre of the picture. They have been identified collectively with  Zeboiim. Tall Bleibel corresponds to Zeboiim north and Tall Mustah to Zeboiim south. The road that descends from the highlands plateau to the Jordan Valley runs in between these two sites. The artificial lake in the foreground was created by the modern Kafrein Dam.

A view of Tall Mustah, the southern of the two Zeboiim sites.  It is located on the south side of  the road that descends from the highland plateau. Even today, an army post is located at the site of Tall Mustah.

The small hill in the foreground is an archaeological site that has been identified with Zeboiim north.  It is located on the north side of  the road that descends to the Jordan Valley.

Posted in Excavations | 6 Comments

The Search for Sodom

On Wednesday the 6th of May at 21.00pm, and Thursday the 7th of May at 13.00, an episode called “The Search for Sodom” in the series of “Secrets of the Bible” will be broadcast in the UK. This will be on Yesterday TV (Freeview Channel 19, Sky Channel 537), with the programme being available on UKTV Play service for the following week.

It tells the story of how Dr. Steven Collins found the location of the ancient city of Sodom. Steve Collins is dean of the College of Archaeology and Biblical History at TSW University, Albuquerque NM, USA.

Dr. Steven Collins pointing to the site of Tall el-Hammam on an aerial photograph displayed on Mount Nebo in 2009. Photo: Leen Ritmeyer

I first met Steve in 1996 at the excavations of Kh. El-Maqatir, a site in Benjamin in the Land of Israel that the excavator, Dr. Bryant Wood, believes to be biblical Ai (Joshua 8). Steve has researched the geographical and archaeological evidence for the location of the biblical city of Sodom for almost two decades until he found the site of Tall el-Hammam, based on his reading of Genesis Ch. 13.

A view of Tall el-Hammam at the southern end of the Jordan Valley with the Upper Tall on the right and the Lower Tall on the left of the centre in the picture.

Genesis 13 contains many geographical pointers that tell us exactly where Sodom was located. This chapter tells us that Sodom was located east of Bethel/Ai (vs.11) and situated in the Plain of the River Jordan. The Hebrew word for “Plain” is kikkar- a flattish round area, geographically located at the southern end of the River Jordan. This round area can easily be seen on any map or satellite image of Israel.

The southern end of the Jordan Valley widens out into an almost circular area. This area is called in Gen.13 the Plain (kikkar – circle or disk) of Jordan. The Kikkar ends where the Jordan flows into the Dead Sea. The Cities of the Kikkar, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim were located in the eastern part of the Kikkar, as that is the area that can be seen from Bethel/Ai.

The view of the Kikkar from Bethel-Ai, looking east. Photo: Mike Luddeni

A reconstruction of Tall el-Hammam in the Middle Bronze Age. The excavator of the site, Dr. Steve Collins, has pointed out that the geographical data preserved in the Scriptures, especially in Gen. 13, strongly indicate the area northeast of the Dead Sea for the location of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim. Archaeologically speaking, Tall el-Hammam is also the best candidate, as its terminal destruction occurred in the Middle Bronze Age, which was the time of Abraham.

The TV program details one of the major finds in Tall el-Hammam, that being the gate mentioned in Genesis 19.1: “Lot sat in the gate”. The first evidence of the gate was found in 2012:

Steve (right) and I standing in the gate opening. Photo: Daniel Gallasini.

The remains of several towers, including a large flanking tower, made it possible to draw a preliminary reconstruction drawing of the facade of the gate of Sodom:

During the excavations of Tall el-Hammam in 2012, a large flanking tower (left) and entrance (centre) through the Middle Bronze Age city wall were found. The gatehouse behind the entrance was found the following year. This reconstruction drawing shows what the main gate of Tall el-Hammam would have looked like.

We expected to find a gatehouse with chambers during the digging season the following year. The gatehouse was indeed found, but instead of internal chambers, many column bases were discovered, giving this gatehouse an internal layout that was highly unusual in the Ancient Near East.

During the excavations of Tall el-Hammam in 2013, a large gatehouse with pillars was found behind the main entrance to the Middle Bronze Age city. This reconstruction drawing shows what the main gate of Tall el-Hammam would have looked like. The drawing shows a right angled pathway through the gatehouse with a space at the side where the elders and judges of the city would have congregated.

Many other exciting finds were made, such as melted potsherds and burnt skeletons, that testify to a terrible and fiery destruction, reminiscent of that described in Genesis 19. If you have the opportunity, “The Search for Sodom” is well worth watching!

Posted in Excavations | 7 Comments

Illegally Digging Up The Temple Mount

Hillel Fendel of Israelnationalnews (Arutz 7) reports that the stone floor inside the Dome of the Rock is being dug up by tractor under the guise of “replacing carpets”.

This cutaway drawing of the Dome of the Rock shows The Rock around which this Islamic structure is built. The Rock, shown in yellow, was the Foundation Stone of the First and Second Temples on which the Holy of Holies was built.
Below The Rock are steps that descend into a cave called al-Maghara.
The floor of the Dome of the Rock is shown in grey.

Using the excuse of “replacing carpets,” the Waqf (Islamic Trust) on the Temple Mount began digging up the stone floor today inside the Mosque of Omar – the site of some of the most sacred areas of the two Holy Temples of Kings Solomon and Herod.

A small tractor was brought into the famous gold-domed structure and dug and removed earth there, with no permit to do so. Such work requires permission from and supervision by the Antiquities Authority, as well as approval from the Ministerial Committee on Archaeological Digs in Holy Sites.

The Antiquities Authority said the works were not coordinated with it, and added, “Further questions must be directed towards the police, who are the sovereign body there.”

The joint Temple Mount Movements umbrella organization, HaMateh HaMeshutaf, reports that any change in the floor, and certainly a penetration into the earth below, is liable to cause irreversible damage to the foundations of the Holy Temple and the surviving remnants of the Holy Temple periods.

This is understandably a cause of concern, especially as there is no information of how deep the excavation is. It is not known therefore what was found or damaged below the floor.

It may be helpful to remember that in 1959, sections of the floor were also dug up for the purpose of strengthening the columns and walls of the Dome of the Rock with reinforced concrete. These secretly taken photographs showed the bedrock  below the pavement:

Scaffolding poles stand on the floor of the Dome of the Rock at upper right and in the foreground, metal bars for reinforced concrete can be seen. The bedrock is estimated to be located a foot and a half (50cm) below the floor. Photo: Studium Biblical Franciscanum.

Here the bedrock is visible close to the central north column of the Dome of the Rock. Photo: Studium Biblical Franciscanum.

This photograph was taken close to the south-southeast corner of the Dome of the Rock. Photo: Studium Biblical Franciscanum.

In all of these photographs, the bedrock appears to be located not more than a foot or two below the floor of the Dome of the Rock. It is important that this excavation is carried out under archaeological supervision for even if nothing other than soil is found, the configuration of the bedrock may cast light on the layout of the Second Temple that stood here almost 2000 years ago.

HT: Joe Lauer

Posted in Excavations, Jerusalem, Temple Mount | 3 Comments

Voice of Israel interview

Kathleen and I were recently interviewed by Eve Harow of the Voice of Israel. She runs a special program called “Rejuvenation with Eve Harow”.

Eve Harow

Eve is a long-time community activist and tour guide from the Judean hills. Her extensive work in Israel advocacy has taken her all over the world. Each week she discusses archaeology, nature and interviews Israelis on current events in the Middle East and the Jewish world.

In the wake of the publication of our guidebook to the Temple Mount, she wanted to know how we got involved with the archaeology of Jerusalem and especially that of the Temple Mount. Our part of the interview, called “Preserving the Holy” was broadcast on April 5th and can be listened to here.

“The Ultimate Guide to an Ultimate Site”

Posted in Jerusalem, Products, Temple Mount | 2 Comments

Radio interview on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

I was recently interviewed by John Enarsson of “Cry for Zion” on Temple Mount issues and also on our new guide book to the Temple Mount, which we reported on in previous posts here and here. These are some of the questions that were asked:

1. Do we know beyond a reasonable doubt that the (1st and) 2nd Temple stood on the Temple Mount? Why? What would be the most important reasons?

2. Do we have good reason to believe that the Holy of Holies was centered on the Foundation Stone? Why? What is the feeling in the scholarly field on this question?

3. A few years ago, you debunked the sensationalistic theories of Ernest L. Martin. Today, the adventurer and author Robert Cornuke is making Martin’s ideas about the Temple popular again to a wider audience. Have you read Cornuke’s book TEMPLE and could you comment on it?

 4. Josephus has long been a favorite source for archeologists. What role do traditional rabbinic sources like the Mishnah play for archeologists like yourself?

You can listen to the 30-minute audio podcast, which includes the interview, here:

Radio interview

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Historic Reenactment of Passover in Israel

BreakingIsrael News reports on an historic reenactment of Passover by the Temple Insitute.

Priests are preparing to sacrifice a Passover Lamb. Photo: Temple Institute

The Institute posted on its Facebook page,

“This was the most accurate and authentic reenactment of this service to have taken place in nearly 2,000 years.”

It included all the stages of the ritual, such as checking the animal for blemishes, slaughtering it, collecting its blood and bringing it to the corner of the altar, skinning the animal and separating its inner parts, and roasting it whole in a special Passover oven.

The proceedings can be watched on this video.

Kohanim blowing silver trumpets and carrying lambs to the place of the offering.(Photo: The Temple Institute)

 

Posted in Jerusalem, News, Temple Mount | 2 Comments