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August 08, 2012

CONTACT: Dorothy D. Resig
The Biblical Archaeology Society
Phone: 1.800-221-4644 ext. 242
Fax: 202-364-2636
E-mail: dresig@bib-arch.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 08, 2012)—Herod Antipas is one of the New Testament’s most important figures that no one ever talks about. According to the Synoptic Gospels, Herod Antipas had John the Baptist imprisoned and killed at the request of the beautiful Salome. The historian Josephus locates the event at the eastern citadel of Machaerus. The archaeological finds paint a clear picture of this magnificent site’s colorful but bloody history, as Gyozo Vörös relates in “Machaerus: Where Salome Danced and John the Baptist Was Beheaded”—and we may know exactly where Antipas sat during Salome’s deadly dance. But who was Herod Antipas? This son and successor of Herod the Great ruled Galilee when Jesus lived, and he participated in the trial of Jesus. In “Antipas—The Herod Jesus Knew,” Morten HÝrning Jensen examines what archaeology can tell us about this not-so-great Herod.

Turning to the palace of a much earlier king, Archaeologist Eilat Mazar’s excavation methods are beyond reproach, but her recent claim to have discovered King David’s palace at her Jerusalem dig site has met with harsh criticism from other scholars in the field. Avraham Faust tackles the controversial discovery of David’s palace with “Did Eilat Mazar Find David’s Palace?” and reviews the evidence to show why he agrees—and disagrees—with Mazar’s theory.

Speaking of controversy, there’s a debate that’s been going on for nearly 2,000 years. In the first century C.E., during the First Jewish Revolt, the Jewish historian Josephus urged his besieged countrymen in Jerusalem to surrender to the Romans. Half a millennium earlier, Jeremiah did the same thing with respect to the Babylonians. So what’s the difference? Avishai Margalit explains in “Josephus vs. Jeremiah: The Difference Between Historian and Prophet” why Josephus was called a traitor by his fellow Jews but Jeremiah was revered as a prophet.

The diverse columns continue discussions started in previous issues of Biblical Archaeology Review. In Biblical Views April DeConick responds to Ben Witherington III’s earlier contribution about gendered language in the Bible, while Kevin McGeough’s Archaeological Views column disagrees with editor Hershel Shanks’s take on the relationship between Bible and archaeology in a past First Person. In a special installment of Another View, Yosef Garfinkel, excavator of the Qeiyafa ostracon, questions “Christopher Rollston’s Methodology of Caution” about the earliest Hebrew inscription.

There is even more to explore online at Bible History Daily, where users can access daily articles on key Biblical archaeology topics, the latest news, book reviews and dozens of free eBooks, including our new one Paul, Jewish Law and Early Christianity. Another response to Christopher Rollston’s article is on our website, from Aaron Demsky. If you haven’t tried the new digital issue, check it out here. Our BAS Library features easy access to all footnoted articles in BAR Notables and new Special Collections each month.