Read a chapter of “The Cities that Built the Bible” for free

Robert Cargill with Yuval Peleg (ז״ל) at Qumran in July, 2013.

Robert Cargill with Yuval Peleg (ז״ל) at Qumran in July, 2013.

My new book, The Cities that Built the Bible, won’t be released until March 15, 2016, but you can read an excerpt for free online today. In fact, you can read the complete text of Chapter 9: Qumran, including the end notes.

Click here to read part of the Introduction and Chapter 9: Qumran.

The book argues that we wouldn’t have the Bible we have today without these cities, which I explore in the book, and that a knowledge of the history and archaeology of these cities helps us better understand the text of the Bible.

Chapter 9 specifically looks at Khirbet Qumran, a city that is important because of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls–a discovery that sent shock waves through the academic and religious communities. I’ll explain what impact this discovery had, and along the way, highlight the fascinating backstory including the multiple legends, outlandish stories, eccentric characters, and a first-person account of the unbelievable cybercrime legal saga surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls.

So help yourself to a free excerpt of The Cities that Built the Bible. And remember that you can preorder the book today at citiesthatbuiltthebible.com.

Cover of The Cities that Built the Bible by Robert R. Cargill, Ph.D.

Why I Wrote ‘The Cities that Built the Bible’

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum

On March 15, 2016, HarperCollins will be releasing my latest book, The Cities that Built the Bible. You can read more about the book and preorder your copy today at http://citiesthatbuiltthebible.com.

In a nutshell, I wrote the book because Nicole Kidman once asked me where the Bible came from, and I didn’t have a ready answer. So I spent the next decade researching the question. But instead of asking who wrote it, or how it became the holy word of God to believers, I wanted to demonstrate how various ancient political entities and international events–each represented by a particular city–contributed to the composition of the Bible.

I also wanted to look at the Israelite, Judahite, Jewish, and Christian responses to these events, as these reflections upon the successes and tragedies experienced by those who believed in the Hebrew God became some of the very texts preserved in the Bible.

Cover of The Cities that Built the Bible by Robert R. Cargill, Ph.D.So join me as we travel through these ancient cities and we’ll explore their history, their archaeology, and how each of them drove the building of the Bible.

For both the religious and the non-religious, understanding the forces that shaped this most influential of books is possible on a guided tour through The Cities that Built the Bible.

Preorder today at http://citiesthatbuiltthebible.com.

 

 

Preorder now: The Cities that Built the Bible

On March 15th, my latest book, The Cities that Built the Bible will be released by HarperOne. Cover of The Cities that Built the Bible by Robert R. Cargill, Ph.D.

The book has a simple thesis: without the cities of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Ugarit, Nineveh, Babylon, Megiddo, Athens, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Qumran, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Rome, we wouldn’t have the Bible as we have it today. I wrote this book in order to demonstrate the influence that certain cities in antiquity had over the composition and canonization of the Bible. Each city discussed in the book makes key contributions that produced the Bible we have today.

Now to be sure, I could have discussed a number of other cities like Corinth, Thessaloniki, Ephesus, Constantinople / Istanbul, İznik (Nicaea), etc. (and to be honest, I did originally, but had we left them in the manuscript, we’d be looking at an expensive 2-volume set), but these are the cities that made the largest contributions to the development of the Bible.

I’ve written this book so that everyone can read it, from specialist to newcomer; from those who know Hebrew and Aramaic and Greek to those who have only heard of those languages. I include a number of my own stories (like that time I, well, kind of entered into Lebanon illegally, or the time I got to visit the secret vault inside the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are stored) and experiences on archaeological excavations and other travels through the Holy Land. I deliberately included a ton of relevant Bible verses in an effort to demonstrate how the social setting and the archaeological discoveries from each of these cities influenced and relate directly to the Bible.

As I said earlier, The Cities that Built the Bible is on sale March 15, but you can preorder your copy today at the book’s website, http://citiesthatbuiltthebible.com. It is my hope that the book will deepen your understanding of the biblical world, the history of the eastern Mediterranean, and will inspire you perhaps to travel to a few of these places. Once you’ve preordered your copy of The Cities that Built the Bible, visit the Media section of the website to read and download quotes from the book that you can share on your social media sites. And please link to http://citiesthatbuiltthebible.com when you post them!

Enjoy the book! Tell your friends. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. And I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.

Happy Saturnalia 2015!

IO SATURNALIA!

Saturnalia

Wishing you and yours a happy winter solstice season. Here’s to keeping the Saturn in Saturnalia.

Today at Iowa Dept. of Classics: Dr. James McKeown (Univ. Wisconsin-Madison) lectures on “Medicine and Superstition in the Ancient World”

Do not miss today’s University of Iowa Department of Classics Colloquium lecture, “Medicine and Superstition in the Ancient World” by James McKeown, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

The lecture will take place on Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 5:00 – 6:00 PM in 302 Schaeffer Hall on the campus of the University of Iowa.

Medicine and Superstition in the Ancient World by James McKeown

call for papers: brown university workshop in digital humanities and religious studies

Brown University Workshop in Digital Humanities and the Study of Religion in Antiquity

Brown University Workshop in Digital Humanities and the Study of Religion in Antiquity

Workshop Call for Papers
February 13-14, 2012
Brown University

The Program in Judaic Studies in collaboration with the Brown University Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship is pleased to announce plans for a two-day workshop devoted to investigating the ways in which the digital humanities has or can change the study of religion in antiquity. The workshop will take place on February 13-14, 2012, at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

We invite proposals for papers and presentations that explore the intersection of ancient religion and the digital humanities. We are particularly interested in presentations of projects that have the potential to open up new questions and avenues of research. Can digital tools not only allow us to do our work faster and more thoroughly but also enable entirely new kinds of research? How might different digital data (e.g., textual, geographic, and material culture) be used together most productively? The workshop will concentrate primarily on research rather than directly on pedagogy or scholarly communication. One session will be devoted to “nuts and bolts” issues of funding and starting a digital project.

The focus of the workshop will be on the religions of West Asia and the Mediterranean basin through the early Islamic period. Proposals relating to other regions, however, will also be considered.

Please submit proposals of up to 300 words by October 31, 2011, to Michael Satlow (Michael_Satlow@Brown.edu).

Workshop Themes
While all areas relating to the intersection of the ancient religion and the digital humanities are open, we anticipate focusing our discussions on four themes and encourage submissions that relate directly to them:

  • Corpus Development.
    While this has comprised the bulk of the effort to date, we welcome further discussion and investigation of best practices, challenges, and standards. How should data be structured?
  • Digital Tools.
    What resources that might apply to the analysis of our data already exist? Can they be easily configured to work with the data? We will be demonstrating some projects that might have applications to our data. What tools would we like developed?
  • Interoperability.
    How might data from different corpora operate together? How might data interoperability advance research?
  • Visions.
    In an ideal world, what would we like to see? What do we want to be able to do and what scholarly questions could these new approaches help to solve or open? We welcome presentations of prototypes or even mock-ups.

Workshop Accommodations
Attendance at the workshop is open to all. Travel subsidies may be available for presenters. Discounted accommodations are available at The Saunders Inn at Brown (http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/Saunders_Inn/). All workshop activities will take place within walking distance of the Saunders Inn.

For travel information, see http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Conference_Services/prov_travel.php.

Sponsors
The workshop is generously funded by the Ruth and Joseph Moskow Fund in the Program for Judaic Studies. It is co-sponsored by the Brown University Library as well as the Departments of Religious Studies and Classics and the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.

(via James McGrath via Stoa Consortium via Michael Satlow.)

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