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The Final Days of Jesus and the Realities of Roman Capital Punishment: What Happened to All Those Bodies?

By Mark D. Smith

In 1968, archaeologists discovered “The Crucified Man of Giv’at ha-Mivtar,” whose skeleton was unearthed in a rock-cut cave tomb on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem.[1] This tomb was typical of many inhabited by the elite of the region in the first century CE, with chambers and niches (Kokhim in Hebrew), cut into the walls, like drawers in a morgue. Bodies placed in the Kokhim were often left to desiccate for a year or so, and then, at least for those who could afford it, the bones were commonly transferred to ossuaries.[2] This particular tomb housed an ossuary which contained a 24-28 year old male. His Hebrew name was scratched into the side: Yehohanan ben Hagkol. See complete essay

Outsider designations in the New Testament

By Paul Trebilco

How did the early Christians speak about ‘outsiders’? What language did they use? Group identity or group definition involves the group understanding both who they are, and who they are not. For a group, understanding ‘them’, those people who are ‘not us’, is just as important as understanding who we are See complete essay

New Perspectives on Amos: The Vision Reports in 7:1–8:2

By Göran Eidevall

While working on a commentary on the book of Amos (Eidevall 2017) I developed a new hypothesis concerning this book’s history of redaction and composition: While the first two parts, chapters 1–2 and 3–6, contain an original core of prophecies from the monarchic period, the final part, comprising chapters 7–9, consists of exilic and post-exilic additions. See complete essay

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In My View - Opinion

Why the Hebrew Bible is so Easy/Difficult to Interpret

By Kenneth Seeskin

Any interpreter of the Hebrew Bible faces a number of challenges. It is not just that the text describes a prescientific culture that lived over 2,500 years ago. That much could be said of Homer’s Iliad. It is rather that the Bible contains a number of features that make it unique.

The first is that it claims to be the word of God or at least to inform us about the actions and thoughts of God. Although one might expect people who read the Bible to approach the subject of God with humility, history shows that the opposite is the case for generations of readers have gone to great lengths to show that their views are in perfect harmony with God’s views. See complete essay

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