John and Judaism
The Old Testament in Archaeology and History

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Anti-Semitism and Religious Violence as Flawed Interpretations of the Gospel of John

By Paul N. Anderson

While it is a tragic fact that the Gospel of John has contributed to anti-Semitism and religious violence during some chapters of Christian history, John is not anti-Semitic. It was written by a Jewish writer, about a Jewish messianic figure, targeted first toward convincing Jewish audiences that Jesus was indeed the Jewish Messiah. Salvation is “of the Jews,” according to the Johannine Jesus, and each of the “I-am” sayings embodies a classic representation of Israel. John is no more “anti-Semitic” than the Essene community or the prophetic work of John the Baptist. See complete essay


Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition in the New Testament

By Benjamin E. Reynolds

When most people hear the word “apocalyptic,” they usually think about end-of-the-world scenarios. Whether the latest post-apocalyptic film portrays what happens after the earth has been scorched, frozen, or flooded, or what happens after robots, apes, or zombies take it over, “apocalyptic” is generally understood to refer to the end of the world as we know it. This is true within popular culture as well as with the Bible. See complete essay


Has Bethsaida-Julias Been Found?

By Mordechai Aviam and R. Steven Notley

In the nineteenth century, European and American explorers visited the Holy Land in exerted attempts to identify historical sites (biblical and extra - biblical), whose locations had long been forgotten. Many of these cities, towns and villages were destroyed or abandoned, and the only traces of their existence are to be found in passing references in the ancient historical records. The task to identify these lost sites requires a complex application of multiple disciplines, including history, toponomy, topography, and archaeology (Rainey and Notley 2006:9 - 24; Rainey 1984:8 - 11). See complete essay


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In My View - Opinion

The Ancient Israelites through Archaeology, History and Text

By Paul V. M. Flesher

Why is it important to study the ancient Israelites, a people whose history was recorded in books more than 2000 years ago? The answer is as simple as it is powerful: they created monotheism, the worship of one god.

Israelite writings recorded the many interactions they had with their god over the first millennium BCE. Collected into the Jewish Hebrew Bible and then the Christian Old Testament, they became the foundation for three of the world’s major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Nearly half of the world’s population, at least its religious population, look to ancient Israel for their religious roots. See complete essay


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