Biblical Archaeology

Pseudo-Ezekiel - Dead Sea Scroll Manuscript 4Q386
Pseudo-Ezekiel - Dead Sea Scroll Manuscript 4Q386. Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Tsila Sagiv, photographer

Definition:

Traditionally, biblical archaeology is the name given to the study of the archaeological aspects of the history of the Jewish and Christian churches as provided in the Judeo-Christian bible, including but not limited to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Near Eastern archaeology is the term that refers to the same region, but, since not all archaeology in the area is referred to in the Old or New Testament, covers a broader range of topics.

Some, but by no means all, biblical scholars are interested in proving the absolute truth of the bible. Others see the bible as a historical document, and seek to find evidence supporting some of the events reported. See Is the Bible Fact or Fiction? for more on this topic.

Biblical Archaeology Sites: Canaan, Ephesus, Megiddo, Urartu, Jericho, Beth Alpha, Capernaum, Jerusalem, Lachish, Masada, Sepphoris, Jerash, Khirbet Qumran, Sidon , Palmyra, Sardis

Issues: Arameans, Coptic Christianity, Montanist Communities, Nag Hammadi Library, Pachomian Monastery, Pauline Missions, Synagogues, Dead Sea Scrolls, The Royal Tombs of Aksum, Great Churches of the World

See the About.com Guide to the Ancient Near East for links to sites and issues in Biblical Archaeology.

This glossary entry is a part of the About.com Guide to the Subdisciplines of Archaeology, and part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

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Hirst, K. Kris. "Biblical Archaeology." ThoughtCo, Apr. 8, 2016, thoughtco.com/biblical-archaeology-170227. Hirst, K. Kris. (2016, April 8). Biblical Archaeology. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/biblical-archaeology-170227 Hirst, K. Kris. "Biblical Archaeology." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/biblical-archaeology-170227 (accessed October 24, 2017).