Biblical Archaeology Society Nov. 17–19 Washington Court Hotel

The Industry

archaeology and religious studies

The Attendees

200 armchair archaeologists digging for deities

The Issues

Zero to Hero: Bart Ehrman, author of The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot, explained how the controversial gospel’s perspectives differ considerably from New Testament doctrine. Example: Since the Messiah needed to escape his mortal body to ascend to heaven, Judas was acting as an obedient, courageous disciple by handing Jesus over to the high priests.

Tattle Tell: James Hoffmeier detailed recent fieldwork at Tell el-Borg, the site of two Exodus-period forts dating as far back as 15th century B.C.E. Fired red bricks forming the foundation of a circa 13th-century B.C.E. moat dispels the age-old theory that Romans invented the clay building material. “I’ll give them the mortar, but not the brick,” said Hoffmeier.

Yeow-weh: Back in the day—prophet Ezekiel’s day—gang rape and mutilation were legitimate and conventional ways for men to assert power over women, said “Yahweh’s Wives” session presenter Michael Coogan. “Husbands forgave wives’ adultery, wives forgave husbands’ battery, and they lived happily ever after.” Coogan suggested reading the Bible in its entirety, absorbing all of its “complexity, splendor, and horror.”—Rob Tierney

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