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Research Topics

The Babylonian Exile & the Persian Period 587 - 334 BC

The Battle of Thermopylae is one of the most heroic battles in the annals of military history. Three hundred Spartan soldiers, lead by their king Leonidas, engaged in a mission of 'suicidal self-sacrifice' by holding off the mighty Persian army for three days at the pass at Thermopylae which was no more than 20 yards wide. This battle has been made into a Hollywood movie entitled, simply, '300' (2006).

This past month, for the third year in a row, I again participated in the half-marathon race as part of the 2010 Baltimore (Maryland) Running Festival. Just for the record, running does not really describe what I did, and this year was my worst effort to date. But enough about me, participation in the event prompted me to consider a bit more carefully the origin of the event, which led me back to Queen Esther. My own academic work and interests have always been in the earlier periods of Biblical history. In fact, I have tended to consider the Persian period as modern history. I have had minimal contact with Persian material in my archaeological field work and my interest in that period has basically centered on my annual cycle teaching the book of Esther. 

In this essay we will examine the command that God gave to Jeremiah to redeem a field from his cousin, Hanamel of Anathoth. Particular attention will be given to the archaeological background to this chapter and how it illustrates the Biblical text. Jeremiah's obedience to God's command, in spite of a hopeless situation, was a vivid lesson to the people of Judah that God would return His people from the Babylonian captivity...

This article seeks to give Ezekiel 26:1–14 a close reading. Special emphasis will be given to its literary structure and the use of metaphors. The history of Tyre will be examined in the light of archaeology and ancient records. It is our contention that when the passage is exegeted carefully and properly, these verses are excellent witnesses to the divine inspiration of the Bible. More liberal Biblical scholars, however, have seized upon these verses as a parade example of the fallibility of Biblical prophecy.

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019