EXCERPT On display at the Franklin Institute from May 12 to October 14, 2012. ABR Staff Archaeologist Gordon Franz provides commentary and a free study guide from a Christian perspective.

The fantastic Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times exhibition at the Discovery Times Square building in New York City is about more than just the Dead Sea Scrolls; it is about daily life in the Biblical world. The subtitle — “Life and Faith in Biblical Times” — says it all. The exhibition runs from May 12 to October 14, 2012.


The Bible is more than just another book with black (and sometimes red) letters on a page. The Bible is about real people, in real places, experiencing real events in history. Sometimes, because of our twenty-first century Western mindset and experiences, it is difficult to imagine how people lived in Biblical times. For example, the LORD metaphorically searched Jerusalem with lamps (Zeph. 1:12). When we think of a lamp, we think of a stand with a shade and a socket with an electric light bulb that illuminates when a switch is flipped. In the Biblical world there was no electricity, only olive oil and a wick to light the oil lamp. This exhibition will give you an idea of what those lamps actually looked like.


Through the exhibition you will get a glimpse into the material culture of the Biblical world and add a third dimension to your Bible study! You will also be able to experience “Oh, now I see [literally] what the Bible is talking about” moments!


As an archaeologist and a Bible teacher, I was fascinated by the whole exhibition, which is on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). I was able to view some of the latest archaeological discoveries from Israel for the first time, objects that I had only read about in the newspapers or in the archaeological journals.

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