The Israeli Antiquities Authority has announced that a charred scroll dating back 1,500 years has been deciphered. Guess what they found? If you guessed a Biblical text, you’re right.
The scroll was found in a synagogue at the Ein Gedi site near to where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in some caves. Archaeologists have dated the scrolls around 500 A.D., making them the oldest Biblical text next to the Dead Sea Scrolls. What the charred scrolls contained had been a mystery for some time. But thanks to CT scans and some modern, digital-imaging software, researchers with the University of Kentucky were able to read a passage out of the book of Leviticus. It is the first time that archaeologists have found a Torah scroll in a synagogue.
Only in Jerusalem can one find 2,000 year old ruins under the living room floor – as one couple recently unveiled. A mikveh was a ritual pool of water where one could cleanse oneself both symbolically and physically. It was a practice that was very common among devout Jews during the time of Christ – particularly those among the Essene communities.
This find, in a section of Jerusalem commonly called Ein Kerem, is important because it validates an Essene presence in the heart of the city. The Essenes for many centuries were thought to have lived only in sheltered monasteries in the wilderness. There are many traditions in Israel that have identified John the Baptist and his family as being a part of these Essenes in Jerusalem. You can read the full story of the find here:
Earlier this year, archaeologists discovered what they believe to be the tomb of the Queen of Sheba, an ancient Biblical character shrouded in mystery.
Professor Joseph Yang of Oxford University led a team of archaeologists in the discovery of the tomb in Northern Yemen near the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Saba. You can read the full article of the discovery here:
Professor Yang lists several reasons why he believes this to be the tomb of the ancient queen:
“The carbon-dating, the location, the inscriptions, the characteristics of the skeleton and the nature of the artefacts on the site all seem to confirm that the bones are indeed those of the famous queen regnant who visited Salomon. The tomb is located just outside the ruins of Ma’rib, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Saba or Sheba, and many inscriptions in the tomb refer to “Bilqīs,mqtwyt of Sheba’ which means Bilkis, high chieftess on Sheba. All the evidence we have found until now seems to suggest that this is indeed the biblical queen of Sheba.”
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) just announced this past Tuesday that a rare inscription has been found inscribed on a clay jar near the site of David’s famous battle with Goliath. The name was that of one of Saul’s sons and a rival of David’s for the throne. Here is a link to the article:
The Valley of Elah was one of my favorite places when we visited Israel. It is relatively quiet and peaceful; and very rural. I remember finding handfuls of little clay pieces from pottery that was very old. It was very enjoyable to visit. We also climbed up a very steep hill where the army of Israel was hiding from the Philistine giant. At the top pf the hill was a very old, stone altar. We also gathered smooth stones from the creek bed below to take back with us!