Sneak Peek of “Bible Secrets Revealed” on History, beginning Nov 13, 2013

Dr. Bart Erhman (UNC, Chapel Hill) appears on

Dr. Bart Erhman (UNC, Chapel Hill) appears on “Bible Secrets Revealed” airing on History beginning Nov 11, 2013.

You can sneak a peek at the first teaser/trailer of “Bible Secrets Revealed” on the History web site.

Drs. Bart Ehrman, Candida Moss, Francesca Stavrakopoulou, and Reza Aslan are shown inviting viewers to come and watch.

The series begins airing on Nov 13, 2013 at 10/9c. The series airs every Wednesday for the next six weeks.

I can also reveal a list of some of those scholars who will be appearing in the series. This partial list (in alpha order) includes:

Reza Aslan (University of California, Riverside)
Gary Burge (Wheaton College)
Robert R. Cargill (University of Iowa)
Bart Ehrman (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Lori Anne Ferrell (Claremont Graduate University)
Israel Finkelstein (Tel Aviv University)
William Fulco (Loyola Marymount University)
Jeffrey C. Geoghegan (Boston College)
Bryan Givens (Pepperdine University)
Mark Goodacre (Duke University)
Bradley Hale (Azusa Pacific University)
James Hoffmeier (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
Amir Hussain (Loyola Marymount University)
Alvin Kass (NYPD)
Chris Keith (St. Mary’s University College)
Peter Lanfer (University of California, Los Angeles)
Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Dale Martin (Yale University)
Candida Moss (University of Notre Dame)
Bob Mullins (Azusa Pacific University)
Elaine Pagels (Princeton University)
Yuval Peleg (Israel Antiquities Authority)
Pnina Shor (Israel Antiquities Authority)
Jordan Smith (University of Iowa)
Daniel L. Smith-Christopher (Loyola Marymount University)
Francesca Stavrakopoulou (University of Exeter, UK)
James Tabor (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
David Wolpe (Sinai Temple, Los Angeles)
Jennifer Wright-Knust (Boston University)

I invite those of all faith traditions, sects, and denominations, as well as atheists, agnostics, secular humanists to watch the series, as History presents a scholarly look at the difficult texts and traditions within the Bible.

New History Channel Documentary “Bible Secrets Revealed” Begins Airing November 11

History logoI’m pleased to announce that a new documentary series will begin airing on History beginning Monday, November 11, 2013 at 10:00pm / 9:00 Central.

The series is entitled, Bible Secrets Revealed, and is produced by Prometheus Entertainment for the History channel.

The titles of the six episodes and their schedule of appearance are as follows:

“Lost in Translation” – November 11, 2013
“The Promised Land” – November 18, 2013
“The Forbidden Scriptures” – November 25, 2013
“The Real Jesus” – December 2, 2013
“Mysterious Prophecies” – December 16, 2013
“Sex and the Bible” – December 23, 2013

The documentary features dozens of the world’s top biblical scholars, religious studies scholars, archaeologists, and historians, who offer different points of view while addressing some of the more difficult readings in the biblical and extra-biblical texts.

It is also worth note that portions of the documentary were filmed on site during the 2013 season of archaeological excavation at Tel Azekah.

Please tune in to this documentary, which seeks to address difficult biblical scriptures and teachings in a responsible, academic, yet entertaining manner. The series is certain to be compelling as much for its scholarship as for its examination of secrets buried deep within the biblical texts, that have often traditionally been known only to scholars.

chronicle of higher ed asks what’s best done with the dead sea scrolls

An infrared image of a fragment of Deuteronomy 27, part of Azusa Pacific U.'s Dead Sea Scrolls acquisition.

An infrared image of a fragment of Deuteronomy 27, part of Azusa Pacific U.'s Dead Sea Scrolls acquisition.

a new article by jennifer howard of the chronicle of higher education asks an important question: ‘what’s best done with the dead sea scrolls?’ in the article, howard examines the pros and cons of religiously-affiliated universities acquiring fragments of the dead sea scrolls for the sake of publicity.

But for some scholars, the purchases are more a cause for concern than for celebration. Will such acquisitions by academic institutions, even though they are made legally, help drive up the market for looted antiquities and rare artifacts? And is the boost to scholarship really worth the large sums of money those fragments cost?

she also makes note of my recent satirical blog post announcing the acquisition of some dss fragments by other previously unknown dead sea scrolls-centered institutions.

Some scholars feel queasy at the thought that universities will shell out that kind of money in these hard-pressed times, even for objects as symbolically and historically important as pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls. On his blog, Robert R. Cargill, a Biblical archaeologist, imagined “a race of archaeological one-upmanship,” in which institutions compete to scoop up high-profile objects in order to boost their academic reputations.

Mr. Cargill is the institutional technology coordinator of the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of California at Los Angeles, and the chief architect and designer of UCLA’s Qumran Visualization Project. “Universities are charged with educating people, not acquiring cool artifacts,” he said in an interview. “If someone gives a university something, OK. But universities should spend the bulk of their money on educating students and not on cheap public-relations ploys in an attempt to increase credibility overnight with the purchase of an antiquity.” Mr. Cargill also worries that high-profile acquisitions will encourage would-be looters to see what else they can dig up and put on the market.

jennifer did an excellent job with the article and it is certainly worth the read.

azusa pacific acquires dead sea scrolls fragments

A fragment of the biblical book of Nehemiah photographed in infra red with the unusual skills of Bruce and Ken Zuckerman and Marilyn Lundberg Melzian of West Semitic Research in Rolling Hills Estates, California for Lee Biondi of Los Angeles, CA

A fragment of the biblical book of Deuteronomy photographed in infra red with the 'unusual skills' of Bruce and Ken Zuckerman and Marilyn Lundberg Melzian of West Semitic Research in Rolling Hills Estates, California for Lee Biondi of Los Angeles, CA

azusa pacific university has acquired dead sea scroll fragments from biondi rare books of los angeles, california and legacy ministries international.

this announcement from the institute for judaism and christian origins shows one of the fragments that has been acquired by azusa pacific university. the research on the fragment is by james charlesworth of princeton theological seminary, and the hi-res infra red photographs are by bruce and ken zuckerman and marilyn lundberg melzian of the west semitic research project.

codicology:

width: circa 38 millimeters, four lines of text, black ink on brown leather, holes, especially a tear from above line three through line four, no margins, no horizontal or vertical lining visible; no writing on back. Though the SP has more sense divisions than the so-called MT, there is no division indicated before the beginning of verse six (end of line four).

date:

The fragment is too small to be cut for AMS C-14 analysis. While there are few consonants, one can judge the work to be mostly in a late Hasmonean Book Hand.

text:

Deuteronomy 27:4b-6

(4) “[And when you have cross]ed the Jo[r]dan, you shall set u[p these stones, about which I charge you] today, on Mount Gerizim, and coat [them with plaster. (5) And there, you shall build an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of st]ones. [You must] not wield upon them an iron (tool). (6) [Of unhewn] st[ones you must build the altar of the LORD] your [God], and you shall offer upon it burnt offerings to the LOR[D your God.]”

Azusa Pacific University Logo

Azusa Pacific University Logo

azusa pacific acquires five dead sea scroll fragments

Azusa Pacific University

the library at azusa pacific university in azusa, california just east of pasadena has acquired five dead sea scroll fragments. a press release states:

Joining Princeton University and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, APU becomes only the third institution of higher education to own original Dead Sea Scroll fragments.

4Q271 - A fragment of the Damascus Document

4Q271 - A fragment of the Damascus Document

according to the press release:

Four of the fragments were obtained from Lee Biondi of Biondi Rare Books and Manuscripts in Venice, California. The fifth fragment came from Legacy Ministries International, a Phoenix, Arizona-based nonprofit committed to telling the story of the Bible and assembling artifacts, objects, Bibles, and documents tracing the history of Scripture.

congratulations to azusa pacific university and their administration for this acquisition. as a visiting professor last semester, i know how quickly apu is rising in their academic standing and their commitment to scholarship. i thoroughly enjoyed their students and the deans and chairs have assembled a top-notch faculty.

as for the scrolls, this acquisition further establishes the pasadena area in the history of the dead sea scrolls scholarship. the huntington library in near by san marino, ca broke the monopoly of the dead sea scrolls when it announced in 1991 it would make available a complete microfilm copy of the scrolls in its archives. soon thereafter, emanuel tov, director of the dss project, announced open access would be granted to all material in the official collection. now, some of the actual fragments have come to southern california.

for more:

APU acquires 5 pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls

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