GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

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Unearthing beliefs

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Archaeology is more than stones and bones, you know. It’s also about raging arguments and clashing worldviews. And Biblical Archaeology Review has been in the thick of it since 1975.

The editors naturally want you to subscribe (for $13.97), but their Web site has fascinating freebies.

One article is on a signet thought to have belonged to nasty ol’ Queen Jezebel of the Bible. Another is “Gabriel’s Revelation,” an apocalyptic message on a 3-foot-tall block carved before the birth of Jesus. Still another is on a cave in Jordan that may have sheltered a church before 70 A.D.

A caveat: BAR sometimes enters the debates itself. Editor Hershel Shanks protested the 2007 Muslim digging under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, saying it could damage ancient Hebrew artifacts. BAR also maintains a blog on the flimsy pseudo-documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, which flamed out on The Discovery Channel last year.

One of BAR’s own buried treasures is a collection of picture galleries, three levels down and not linked from the homepage. Among the 17 galleries are artifacts from Greece and Masada, gold and turquoise jewelry from Afghanistan, and drawings of the Middle East from 1838.

Still another freebie: downloadable booklets, on things like the 2,700-year-long roots of the Olympic games. You have to sign onto BAR’s e-mail list to fetch them, but that’s free, too. And the list has news clips from other publications as well.

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Written by Jim Davis

October 3, 2008 at 4:09 am

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