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The History and Archaeology of the Bible

Delve into the iconic stories of the Bible through the eyes of historians and archaeologists, and discover how their findings bring fascinating and revealing perspectives to the world-shaping texts of scripture.
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The History and Archaeology of the Bible is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 58.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great addition to the courses on Biblical Studies I watched this course on Plus then purchased the audio course in order to get the transcript. I used this course and a number of others to develop Bible Study lessons. As an amateur historian and an engineer like use a variety of sources. The instructor is great. I checked a number of other publications that he published.
Date published: 2021-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this. The presenter is easy to listen to, the filming is excellent, and the information is fascinating.
Date published: 2021-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not finished, but so far excellent presentation and insightful.
Date published: 2021-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It is mostly a Biblical history Mostly Bible history. Could use a bit more archaeology
Date published: 2021-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Professional Professionally produced.............................
Date published: 2021-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Archeology of the bible. Another wonderful course at great price. Very detailed and enlightening.
Date published: 2021-08-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very superficial The teacher completely ignores the facts recorded in the Bible; he didn't accept any of them though they are proven in different parts of the Bible by different people. There are facts that are hard to ignore and omit. For example, to say that Abraham and his family were idol worshipers because they lived in Ur, and area where people worshipped the moon and other gods is unacceptable to me because it shows that the commentator doesn't really studied the Bible. very well. How can you disregard the genealogy of Abraham and his family? Abraham was in the line of the Messiah. God is not going to call an idolater! Not only that, but many of the patriarchs were still alive during Abraham's life. Noah was still alive, Shem was still alive, and of course, Tera, Nahor, Serug and Eber were still alive. Actually, Shem outlived Abraham by 32 years! Eber by 3 years. Shem was one of the sons of Noah and after Noah died, received the title of Melchizedek. Don't you think that all of these ancestors told Abraham about the God who created the heavens and the earth, the story of Adam and Eve, the Flood, etc.? And talking about the Flood, have you read the enormous amount of details that we find in this story. From the day that started to the day that ended. People don't have the ability to invent these things, specially in those days. I can go on with the crossing of the read sea. In the Book of Joshua, Rahab comments that after they had heard how their God had helped them so much, they were all dismayed and afraid of them. Another misinformation: Abraham and Sarah were half brother and sister on their father's side. That's why she wasn't discarded because she couldn't conceive. She was of the family of the seed promise too and this was a way in which they protected their women. Actually Lot's sister, married his uncle. In those days the rules about incest had not being stated until Moses. When you read all of the rules that God gave Moses about family relationships, food, hygiene and many others, these rules didn't exist in any of the cultures of that time. They were all new for the Israelites. So when the teacher arrived to the New Testament and the life of Jesus, I stopped there. He was probably going to omit the obvious like the miracles that Jesus performed, the healings, the deliverances and the testimony of the writers of the Gospels and of the people that was mentioned. The same with Paul and the Christian Doctrine that he teaches in his epistles. Everything is reduced to a few rocks and ruins. I will not recommend this product to anyone because it is full of doubt and unbelief and will cause people not to believe in God and his Word. A History of the Bible should include the Bible, at least some of the important things. He mentions Josephus Flavio's History books as real History and I agree with that, but why not the Bible too? Another thing that offended me besides saying that Abraham was an idolater was when he said that if Moses was not a real figure, he had to be invented. You know, without Moses, we would no have Western Civilization, probably we wouldn't have Judaism, or Christianity. This is not magic or the result of evolution or human History, these are the sources of our beliefs and how the western culture developed.
Date published: 2021-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent courseware! Nicely paced! Professor Isbouts is a fabulous instructor. Lots of material to covered in a nicely paced format. Thank you for a Bible based course of a complex topic that is super interesting!
Date published: 2021-08-24
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Overview

The work of historians and archaeologists opens a thrilling world of discovery as they bring their methods and insights to the iconic stories of the Bible. In this course, you'll discover ancient evidence related to the Flood and the Tower of Babel, the actual path of the Exodus from Egypt, excavations related to the life of Jesus, and many other findings that throw fresh and revealing light on the scriptures.

About

Jean-Pierre Isbouts
Jean-Pierre Isbouts

Over thousands of years, the Bible was shaped by some of the most powerful empires in human history.

INSTITUTION

Fielding Graduate University

Jean-Pierre Isbouts is an art historian and best-selling National Geographic author. He has served as a member of the doctoral faculty at Fielding Graduate University, where he is a Humanities Professor, for more than 15 years. He earned his DLitt at Leiden University.

Jean-Pierre’s work includes the authentication of a canvas in Geneva, Switzerland, as Leonardo da Vinci’s first version of the Mona Lisa, which prompted a BBC TV special. In 2019, he discovered that da Vinci and his workshop produced a second version of da Vinci’s famous Last Supper fresco, and he traced the work to a remote abbey in Belgium. This was covered in a TV special on NBC’s TODAY.

Jean-Pierre gained worldwide renown with his book The Biblical World. His books on biblical history include In the Footsteps of JesusWho’s Who in the Bible, The Story of Christianity, and Archaeology of the Bible. He has written a number of books on art with coauthor Dr. Christopher Heath Brown, including Young Leonardo, The da Vinci Legacy, and The Dalí Legacy.

Jean-Pierre is also the author of National Geographic’s Ultimate Visual History of the World and coauthor of Mapping America, written with Neal Asbury. His films include Van Gogh Revisited with Leonard Nimoy; Walt: The Man behind the Myth with Dick Van Dyke; Inside the Cold War with David Frost; and The Search for the “Mona Lisa” with Morgan Freeman. As a musicologist, he has produced recordings by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and other ensembles and soloists.

By This Professor

The History and Archaeology of the Bible
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The History and Archaeology of the Bible

Trailer

The World of Genesis

01: The World of Genesis

Consider the nature and scope of biblical archaeology, as it explores the intersection between biblical tradition and the historical record. Observe how the book of Genesis uses the legends of earlier faith traditions to make its case for the existence of a single God. Note archaeological evidence for a great flood in ancient times, and its possible connection to the biblical story of Noah.

30 min
The Tower of Babel

02: The Tower of Babel

Explore the symbolism of the tower and pyramid in ancient architecture, beginning with the famous Egyptian step pyramid at Saqqara. Learn about the Mesopotamian ziggurat, a tower-like structure composed of receding platforms, and its role in religious life and ritual. Discover parallels between the building of ziggurats and the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis.

26 min
The Journeys of Abraham

03: The Journeys of Abraham

Trace the life of Abraham, the iconic father of three faiths, from his origins in the Mesopotamian city of Ur. Witness how Abraham followed the call of God in traveling to Canaan (Palestine) to found a new nation. Take account of historical evidence related to the events of Abraham’s journey, and follow the narrative of Abraham’s search for an heir to his clan and to God’s covenant.

28 min
Joseph in Egypt

04: Joseph in Egypt

Uncover archaeological traces of Abraham’s descendants, beginning with the tragic events surrounding Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and how their clan was forced to leave Canaan. Learn the extraordinary story of Joseph’s bondage in Egypt, and his eventual reversal of fortune. See what the historical context tells us about the plausibility of Joseph’s rise to become the grand vizier to the Pharaoh.

27 min
The Story of Moses

05: The Story of Moses

Examine parallels between the history of ancient Egypt and the book of Exodus. Observe historical evidence that the Hebrews living in Egypt were forced into slave labor for the Pharaoh. See how the biblical story of Moses correlates with earlier legends and Theban history, and how the event of the Burning Bush is connected with a physical location and the life of the prophet Muhammad.

28 min
The Mystery of the Exodus

06: The Mystery of the Exodus

Grasp how the biblical story of the turning of the Nile to blood and the plagues of flies, locusts, and hailstorms brought by God may have been inspired by actual events within Egypt’s ecosystem. Then follow the exact route of the Exodus, and study historical perspectives on Moses’s parting of the waters, the rain of bread from heaven, and other key features of the Israelites’s journey.

32 min
The Settlement in the Promised Land

07: The Settlement in the Promised Land

In the Book of Joshua, learn how Joshua succeeded Moses as a military commander, and note what archaeological evidence tells us about the heroic saga of Joshua’s conquests. Then witness the rise of the Philistines as a military force and their aggression against both the Egyptians and the Canaanites. Study evidence that the Israelites settled in the highlands of Canaan during these conflicts.

29 min
The Rise of the Israelite Monarchy

08: The Rise of the Israelite Monarchy

This lecture traces the transformation of the Israelite tribes into the beginnings of a nation. Study how the tribes spread across Canaan, where they suffered constant threats from armed enemies, as archaeology shows. See how the tribes coalesced around a supreme commander, making Saul the first Israelite king. Follow the rise of David as a military hero and ultimately successor to Saul.

24 min
The Kingdom of David

09: The Kingdom of David

Explore the momentous period of David’s kingship, beginning with his selection of Jerusalem as the Israelite capital, and examine excavation evidence at ancient sites that relate to the story. Chart the dramatic events within the house of David: the story of David and Bathsheba, the tragedy of Absalom, and the struggle over succession that led to the anointing of David’s son Solomon as king.

26 min
The Temple of Solomon

10: The Temple of Solomon

Follow the arc of Solomon’s life, as he reorganizes his kingdom and develops trade, making the kingdom wealthy and powerful. Examine archaeological finds that may be traceable to Solomon’s reign. Then learn about the design and building of Solomon’s magnificent Temple, based in the architectural form of a Greek “megaron.” Witness the fortunes of the temple and the trials of Solomon’s rule.

29 min
The Northern Kingdom of Israel

11: The Northern Kingdom of Israel

After Solomon’s reign, grasp how the kingdom of Israel divided into a Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Observe how the Northern Kingdom became dominant under the powerful King Omri, creator of the capital of Samaria, excavated in the early 20th century. Learn of the divisive rule and tragic fate of Omri’s son, Ahab, and how the kingdom fell to aggression by the Assyrian Empire.

25 min
The Rise of Assyria

12: The Rise of Assyria

In the 9th century BCE, Assyria emerged as a near-invincible military power. Trace the motives behind their major wars of conquest, and view the majestic bas-reliefs that recount the empire’s triumphs. See how new military technology drove their conquests, and how the empire continued to expand, forcing mass deportations of the peoples held in captivity. Assess the Assyrians’ contributions to astronomy.

22 min
The Rise and Fall of Judah

13: The Rise and Fall of Judah

Now delve into the history of the second Hebrew nation, Judah. Track the expansion of Judah under its early kings, and note how Judah and Babylon suffered as vassals of the Assyrians. Examine the historical record of their ill-fated rebellion against Assyrian rule. Then witness how Judah again challenged the Assyrians, whose successors, the Babylonians, dealt a death blow to the kingdom.

27 min
The Persian Era

14: The Persian Era

During their Babylonian exile, learn how the Israelites became a distinct community in religious terms. Then follow the rise of the Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great. Grasp the singular character of Cyrus’s rule, as he built fair trade and raised the quality of life for all within his realm, allowing full religious freedom for subjected peoples and restoring their religious shrines.

26 min
The Empire of Alexander the Great

15: The Empire of Alexander the Great

The two biblical books of the Maccabees recount the Greek period in Judea (Judah). Trace the process by which the vast influence of Greek culture, called Hellenism, reached Judea. In the wake of Alexander’s short-lived empire, learn how the Judeans came under the rule of the Egyptian Ptolemies, an era which led to the creation of synagogues and the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek.

26 min
Judea in the Early Roman Empire

16: Judea in the Early Roman Empire

Rome played a pivotal role in the development of both Judaism and Christianity. Study Rome’s social and political structure, and witness its rapid ascent to become a major empire, a time when Judean society became fragmented into the factions of the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes. Follow the resulting tensions within Judea, and how the kingdom eventually fell to the Romans.

29 min
The Kingdom of Herod the Great

17: The Kingdom of Herod the Great

Track the events through which Herod became the Roman ruler of Galilee following the assassination of Julius Caesar. Note how Herod secured his kingdom, and visit key sites from the period, including Scythopolis and Herod’s great city of Sebaste. Take account of how Herod ruled, forestalling rebellion by offering employment, repressing dissent, and expanding the Second Temple.

26 min
The World of the Gospels

18: The World of the Gospels

Learn how accounts of Jesus’s life spread through oral tradition following his death, forming source material for the Gospels along with early Christian writings. Examine the question of who wrote the Gospels, and how they originated in Christian communities that sought scripture and liturgy for their worship. Note the key differences between the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John.

27 min
The Birth of Jesus

19: The Birth of Jesus

Consider how both prophesy and miraculous signs figured in the birth of Jesus, and why it was essential that Jesus be born in Bethlehem. Grasp the tensions within the story related to Mary’s immaculate conception. Note how Matthew and Luke explained the journey to Bethlehem, and the ways in which their Gospels serve to frame Jesus’s birth with a divine purpose.

27 min
Young Jesus

20: Young Jesus

In a departure from traditional assumptions about Jesus’s youth, examine evidence suggesting that Joseph and Jesus were actually farmers. Learn of the strife and violence that consumed Galilee at this time, surrounding bloody peasant revolts against Rome, events that would undoubtedly have impacted Jesus’s family. Also consider where Jesus may have learned the Torah and become a rabbi.

27 min
Jesus and John the Baptist

21: Jesus and John the Baptist

Take the measure of the dissident figure of John the Baptist, who preached in the wake of repression and violence against the Judeans by the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. Learn about John’s role as an apocalyptic prophet, and grasp Jesus’s motives in seeking John and being baptized by him. See how John came into conflict with the Roman authorities, leading to his death at the behest of Salome.

31 min
The Ministry of Jesus

22: The Ministry of Jesus

Study three phases of Jesus’s ministry, as he cast a wider and wider net with his message. Take account of Jesus’s role as a healer, and of his central vision of the Kingdom of Heaven as social change. See how his ministry responded to the humanitarian crisis of brutal taxation and dispossession of the Judeans, and how, in its final phase, he determined to take his message to Jerusalem.

33 min
The Passover Events in Jerusalem

23: The Passover Events in Jerusalem

Travel in detail into the highly charged events of Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem. Grasp why Jesus reacted with anger to the presence of moneychangers in the Temple, and why his actions led the Temple’s high priest to seek his death. Visit the palace likely to be the place where Jesus was tried by Pontius Pilate, and follow the highly unusual sequence leading to Jesus’s Condemnation to Crucifixion.

31 min
The Rise of Christianity

24: The Rise of Christianity

Observe the process through which the Christian movement gathered force in the decades following Jesus’s death. Learn how Paul undertook three missionary journeys across the Mediterranean world, finding particular receptiveness among Gentiles. Note how Christianity’s message of universal redemption resonated with many in the Roman world, ultimately becoming the sole religion of the Empire.

33 min