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Bezalel Porten

Bezalel Porten
Bezalel Porten has degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary (Rabbi, M.A.) as well as Columbia University (Ph.D.). He taught at the University of California in both Berkeley and Davis before making aliyah in Israel 1968. Professor Porten retired from the Hebrew University as a professor emeritus in 1998. He has completed sabbatical years at York University in Toronto, Yale University, Cambridge University, the University of Sydney, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has written ten books and over 100 articles either individually or in collaboration. His areas of interest include Biblical literature, the Jewish community at Elephantine and the Idumean ostraca.

Presenter at

  • Bible & Archaeology Fest XVI, November 22 - 24, 2013
    David the Good and David the Bad
    Why did David displace Saul? What was his fatal flaw that did him in? Why does the Biblical narrative devote so much space to his rise to power and so much on his decline with almost nothing on his achievements? This presentation examines the answers to these questions in the attempt to shed light on one of the Old Testament’s most compelling figures.
  • Bible & Archaeology Fest XV, November 16-18, 2012
    The Idumean Ostraca: Fakes and Authentics
    Some 2000 Idumean ostraca from the 4th century B.C.E. have turned up on the antiquities market and are to be found in eight institutions and 20 private collections. They encompass ten different categories including commodity chits, payment orders, accounts, workers texts and jar inscriptions. Some scholars have wondered, publicly and privately, whether any forgeries have crept into this large collection. This lecture will present the history and importance of some of these extraordinary artifacts and address the question: How can one distinguish between a really ancient text and one written in the not too distant past?

Selected Articles by Bezalel Porten

Did the Ark Stop at Elephantine?
BAR 21:03, May/Jun 1995

Selected Books by Bezalel Porten