One of our oldest complete Hebrew Bibles is theAleppo Codex. Written in about 930 CE. In Jewishtradition conical books must be written in Hebrew.
Our oldest fragments of the Hebrew Bible wereuncovered at the site of Qumran near the DeadSea.
Great Isaiah Scroll is the most famous of the Dead Sea Scrolls—dates to 100 BCE., making it the oldest and best-preserved bookof the Hebrew Bible.
Third-century BCE fragment of Exodusuncovered at Qumran. One of the five books ofthe Torah. The word Torah means ―law‖.
One of our oldest complete copies of the Greek translationof the Hebrew Bible was uncovered at the Monastery of StCatherine in the Sinai. It dates to the 4th century CE.
Codex Sinaiticus one of oldest copies of theOld Testament from St. Catherin’s Monastery. The Greek translation is called theSeptuagint.
Plains of Megiddo. According to theBible the land that the Israelites enteredwas called Canaan.
Arial view of Megiddo. As early as 3500 BCEMegiddo was inhabited. Today its monumentalarchitecture provides the most impressive evidenceof the rise of the first cities in Canaan.
Mt. Hermon, northern border ofCanaan.
The Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River, It is13 miles by 7 miles and 686 feet below sea level.It is the lowest freshwater lake in the world.
The Jordan River is a major water source that flowsfrom the base of Mt. Hermon in the North throughthe Sea of Galilee into the Dead Sea.
Satellite image of the Dead Sea. NoteJordan River emptying into the sea fromthe north.
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth measuring 1,312 ft.below sea level. It has the highest concentration of salt in theworld. The lake’s salinity prevents the existence all forms of lifeexcept bacteria.
The Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water and lowest pointon earth. More than 30 percent of the water consists ofvarious salts, making its salinity ten times higher than theMediterranean Sea.
The Judean Desert extends from Jerusalemin the north to the Negev Desert on the south,and runs to the west of the Dead Sea.
A cylinder seal of the Mesopotamia creationmyth Enuma Elish. Tiamat is depicted as thedragon.
In the 1870s at the British Museum, George Smithdiscovered a story inscribed on clay tablets of theexploits of Gilgamesh. The story contained adescription of a deluge startlingly similar to thebiblical account of Noah and the Flood.
The tablet with the deluge story was the 11th and final tabletof the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Gilgamesh story also containselements similar to the Garden of Eden story in Genesis.
Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh from thepalace of the Assyrian king Sargon II (721–705 B.C.).
Mesopotamian pottery painting dates back atleast to 8-7,000 years ago.
Cuneiform Tablet. A writing system created by theSumerians in 3200 BCE. The system was based on wedge-shaped characters on wet clay tablets that would be baked.
The location of "the mountains of Ararat", where Noah’s Arkwas said to have come to rest, are simply unknown. Thelocation of the modern Ararat is shown here in Turkey.
Others before Baruch Spinoza, such as Ibn Ezra, had suggested thatMoses was not the author of the Torah, but Spinoza was more forceful.Spinoza was doubtful that Moses wrote any of the Torah. He alsoargued that the Bible should be read like any other historical work; basedon scientific principles. He is regarded as the first modern biblicalscholar.
Jean Astruc identified two sources in theTorah using different names for the deity inGenesis.
Julius Wellhausan (1844-1918 ) developed the documentaryhypothesis. He argued that the Torah is composed of fourprimary sources, representing four authors that he identifiedas JEP and D.
Ziggurat at Ur. Scholars believe theTower of Babel story is based on theZigguart, a Mesopotamian temple.