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.

Full Episode of History’s “Bible Secrets Revealed” Episode One: “Lost In Translation” Available Online

Bible Secrets Revealed on History

In case you missed it, you can watch the FULL EPISODE of History‘s Bible Secrets RevealedLost In Translation” online for free.

And don’t miss next week’s episode, “The Promised Land“, airing Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 10/9c.

Tweet your comments and feedback about the show with hashtag #BibleSecretsRevealed

clips from “jerusalem, the holy city” with dr. robert cargill now available on youtube

Dr. Robert R. Cargill's YouTube Channel

Dr. Robert R. Cargill's YouTube Channel.

i have begun posting clips from my jerusalem, the holy city class on youtube. you can see portions of other lectures here on my youtube channel. the full course lectures are also available on itunes u.

here’s a clip discussing the archaeological debate over the existence of david and solomon. the discussion looks at the debate over the interpretation of megiddo stratum va/ivb (5a/4b) and how that affects the discussion of the existence of david and solomon.

ucla history of jerusalem class available free on itunes u

Dr. Robert R. Cargill, UCLA lectures in his class, Jerusalem, the Holy City.

Dr. Robert R. Cargill, UCLA, lectures in his class, "Jerusalem, the Holy City."

my history of jerusalem class at ucla is entering its third week. so far, six itunes u lectures have been made available to the public for viewing. if you’re up for a free class on the history of jerusalem, download the free itunes u lectures and enjoy!!

asor publications now available online for free

ASOR (American Schools of Oriental Research) Logothe american schools of oriental research (asor) have made a very wise and forward-thinking decision: they are making their journals available online for free.

i applaud this decision because it will not only increase public access to credible archaeological information, but it will also increase readership of their journals and ultimately drive both asor membership and subscriptions to print versions of asor journals. at the same time, the public will have ready access to quality, peer-reviewed archaeological information. this should increase the public’s awareness about the ancient near east and will help combat the sensationalism that can be found in other for-profit archeological publications that focus on issues of religion and biblical studies that are not peer-reviewed like biblical archaeology review.

why pay for adverts on content that is sensationalized, opinionated, and not peer-reviewed when you can read articles about the archeology of the ancient near east written by the best scholars in the world for free?

  • near eastern archaeology is available here.
  • basor (bulletin of the american schools of oriental research) is available here.
  • journal of cuneiform studies is available here.

chuck jones has the details here. you can also access quick links from dr. jones’ post to all of the older volumes on jstor.

many thanx to asor for making this data available online for free.

academic publishers should make digital copies of their books available online for free

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education

attention academic publishers. a new article by david wiley in the chronicle of higher education‘s ‘wired campus’ section entitled ‘giving away academic books online can actually help print sales‘ makes a lot of sense, and there is data to back it up.

The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago has been digitally distributing free copies of its books, but print sales have not declined. “After the complimentary distribution of 21 titles in 2008 that had for many years only been available in print, sales of these titles increased by 7 percent compared with the previous two years,” institute officials reported on their Web site.

i was particularly struck by a comment by james boyle, co-founder of the center for the study of the public domain at duke university school of law. he explains why it is beneficial for academic publishers to make digital volumes available for free:

First, most people hate reading a book on a screen, but like finding out if it is worth buying. I am sure I have lost some sales, but my guess is that I have gained more new readers who otherwise would be unaware of my work, and who treat the digital version as a ‘sampler,’ to which they then introduce others.

this actually makes a lot of sense. a scholar can flood the market with his or her ideas, which increases the visibility of the book and its arguments. those arguments then become a more talked about part of the public and academic debate because of increased familiarity with the subject matter. if the argument withstands scholarly scrutiny, it will become a ‘must have’ volume. because scholars take pride in their libraries (much like popular music listeners *have* to have the new cd of their favorite artists), they will order the book. thus, the free distribution of academic books in a digital form allows readers a preview of a book they might not otherwise have purchased. (and does this strategy sound familiar??)

this won’t necessarily work with popular books, because popular readers aren’t concerned with building up their libraries. but for academics, this is a marketing strategy that makes a lot of sense because it appeals to a scholar’s fundamental desire: the ability to say, ‘i’ve read that. in fact, i have a copy if you want to borrow it.’

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