Biblical Archaeology Forum

BAFtitle

The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-eighth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from evolutionary biologist Ellen Gretak on ancient DNA, Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan on the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Tomb discovery, John Ahn of the Howard University Divinity School on the Return from the Babylonian Exile, and several more events which will be listed here as the dates approach

So, please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art, and texts of ancient times in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. No reservations.

Fees per lecture are (cash or check only):free – High school students;$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members$10 – General public.

To subscribe to the entire 8-session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.

2022-2023 SEASON all lectures via zoom

 

Strong Inscriptional Confirmations of People in the Hebrew Bible Wednesday, December 14th - 8:00 PM
Tomb of the Royal Steward (Jerusalem) Wednesday, January 18th - 7:00 PM
Exile and Return: The Birth and Defining Moments of Ancient Judaism Sunday, February 26th - 7:30 PM
How to Speak to Kings in Cuneiform (The Amarna Letters) Wednesday, May 17th - 7:00 PM
Emperor in Rome, Deity in the Provinces Wednesday, June 14th - 8:00 PM

Strong Inscriptional Confirmations of People in the Hebrew Bible
Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at 8 pm via Zoom

Lawrence Mykytiuk, Purdue University

How many people named in just the Five Books of Moses have been confirmed by historians?

Bible-era inscriptions confirm the historical reality of more than 55 persons in the entire twenty-four books Hebrew Bible (Tanach). Most of these inscriptions are from the lifetime of the people in the Bible.

Of 43 Hebrew monarchs in the Hebrew Bible, 16 have been confirmed: 45% of the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel and 30% of the kings of Judah. These confirmations are about 3/8 of the Bible’s Hebrew monarchs. Also confirmed have been 25 of approximately 160 Gentile monarchs in the Hebrew Bible or about 15%.

Finally, more than 14 royal officials, priests, and others have been confirmed as recorded in inscriptions; several more await publication. These persons are Hebrew, Assyrian, and Babylonian, plus Persian-empire governors who might not have been Persian. Examples illustrate the two ways researchers identify a biblical person in an inscription.


The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-eighth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from evolutionary biologist Ellen Gretak on ancient DNA, Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan on the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Tomb discovery, John Ahn of the Howard University Divinity School on the Return from the Babylonian Exile, and several more events which will be listed here as the dates approach

So, please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art, and texts of ancient times in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. No reservations.

Fees per lecture are (cash or check only):free – High school students;$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members$10 – General public.

To subscribe to the entire 8-session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.

Tomb of the Royal Steward (Jerusalem)

Wednesday, January 18th
7:00 PM

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Tomb of the Royal Steward (Jerusalem)

Wednesday, January 18

7 PM

Matthew Suriano, University of Maryland

Hidden from view in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem are the remains of a monumental sepulcher hewn out of bedrock, known today as the Tomb of the Royal Steward.

A royal steward was a high-ranking position in the Kingdom of Judah, equivalent to a vizier or prime minister. This Tomb may have held the remains of Shebna, a royal steward during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (in the eighth and seventh centuries BCE). Shebna was criticized by the prophet Isaiah for building such a grand tomb for himself.

The Tomb is famous in modern times for its inscription in pre-Exilic Hebrew, which warns away putative grave robbers. The inscription is so rare and valuable that it was stripped from the Tomb and taken to the British Museum. This lecture traces the rediscovery of the Tomb, examines its design, and follows the decipherment and ownership of the inscription.


The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-eighth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from evolutionary biologist Ellen Gretak on ancient DNA, Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan on the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Tomb discovery, John Ahn of the Howard University Divinity School on the Return from the Babylonian Exile, and several more events which will be listed here as the dates approach

So, please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art, and texts of ancient times in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. No reservations.

Fees per lecture are (cash or check only):free – High school students;$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members$10 – General public.

To subscribe to the entire 8-session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.

Exile and Return: The Birth and Defining Moments of Ancient Judaism
Sunday, February 26, 2023 | 7:30 PM

John Ahn
Co-Hosted by BAF, BASONOVA, B’nai Israel Congregation and the Haberman Institute for Jewish Studies

What was the impact of involuntary and voluntary forced migration on Judaism, a diaspora religion? Without the historical experience of the exile and return, Judaism would not exist.

In the midst of political collapse and the annexation of the Southern Kingdom of Judah during the sixth century BCE, how did a kingless and kingdom-less people maintain authority and coherence? With the return of exiled Judahites from Babylon and those who fled to Egypt, plus others from smaller satellite nations like Moab, complications arose in articulating a post-exilic, “normative” Judaism.

A compromise was reached through the formulation of the final form of the Hebrew Bible. The text became the doctrinal constitution of a new state: defining laws, stipulations, and narratives with poems and other writings on post-exilic citizenship. Two seminal, opposing views dominated the conversation and redaction process: the orthodox/conservative (Persian Jews) and liberals (Egyptian Jews).

John Ahn is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Howard University School of Divinity

This lecture will begin at 7:30 pm at B’nai Israel Congregation: 6301 Montrose Rd Rockville, MD 20852


The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-eighth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from evolutionary biologist Ellen Gretak on ancient DNA, Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan on the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Tomb discovery, John Ahn of the Howard University Divinity School on the Return from the Babylonian Exile, and several more events which will be listed here as the dates approach

So, please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art, and texts of ancient times in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. No reservations.

Fees per lecture are (cash or check only):free – High school students;$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members$10 – General public.

To subscribe to the entire 8-session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.

How to Speak to Kings in Cuneiform (The Amarna Letters)
Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 7 pm at the Bender JCC

Alice Mandel, Johns Hopkins University

The Canaanite Amarna Letters are cuneiform diplomatic letters that were sent to the Egyptian royal court on behalf of Levantine rulers in the mid-14th century BCE.

While the letters present as direct communications between elites, recent developments in the study of the tablets’ clays, paleography, and linguistic features offer insight into the people behind these letters: the scribes who wrote them.

Analysis of the layout, design and the linguistic and meta-discursive features in the letters are informative about scribal education and practice, but they also suggest that the scribes played an important role in diplomacy. This presentation will outline the study of the Amarna Letters, and it will highlight the creative ways that Canaanite scribes used cuneiform to reach out to their scribal peers in Egypt.

The general public is welcome to attend BAF in-person events by paying $10 at the door: cash or check only.


The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-eighth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from evolutionary biologist Ellen Gretak on ancient DNA, Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan on the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Tomb discovery, John Ahn of the Howard University Divinity School on the Return from the Babylonian Exile, and several more events which will be listed here as the dates approach

So, please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art, and texts of ancient times in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. No reservations.

Fees per lecture are (cash or check only):free – High school students;$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members$10 – General public.

To subscribe to the entire 8-session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.

Emperor in Rome, Deity in the Provinces

Wednesday, June 14th
8:00 PM

Emperor in Rome, Deity in the Provinces
June 14, 2023 at 8 PM via Zoom

Barbara Burrell

Sheer familiarity has blinded classicists and historians to the oddity of the Roman imperial cult. Countless cultures across the globe had rulers who were either gods (e.g. Egypt and Japan), descended from gods (Shang dynasty China, the Inca), or in some way super-human (the Yoruba, the Aztec). In all these cases, however, the king’s divinity was most clearly recognized within the core region which he ruled, and most strongly manifested in his capital.

The Roman emperor, however, was supposed to be so honored only in the periphery, not in the center. Hailed as a god by provinces, cities, and citizens of his empire, he was allegedly treated as a mere mortal in Italy, and especially in Rome.

This lecture will re-open this question, and examine the material evidence that the living emperor presented himself, if not as a god, at least as a god-to-be in his capital, Rome.

Barbara Burrell is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Cincinnati


The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-eighth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from evolutionary biologist Ellen Gretak on ancient DNA, Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan on the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Tomb discovery, John Ahn of the Howard University Divinity School on the Return from the Babylonian Exile, and several more events which will be listed here as the dates approach

So, please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art, and texts of ancient times in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. No reservations.

Fees per lecture are (cash or check only):free – High school students;$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members$10 – General public.

To subscribe to the entire 8-session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.