Bible and Interpretation
Here at Bible and Interpretation, our goal is to provide superior essays and identify news on important questions and discoveries regarding the Biblical period. We work hard at delivering quality material to our readers every week, and that leaves little time for tooting our own horn.
But this month, September, it turns out that B&I scooped Biblical Archaeology Review not once but three times! In two of them, BAR depends directly on our publication for their information.
The first piece came from Bible and Interpretation’s associate editor and University of Evansville Professor Jennie Ebeling. Her provocative and ground breaking article, Where are the Female Dig Directors in Israel?, appeared on our site in May 2011.1 In it, Professor Ebeling argues that women remain underrepresented as leaders of archaeological excavations. To illustrate the point, she draws upon information appearing in BAR’s directory of excavations and directors. This quick reference became enough for a BAR headline to trumpet in its September issue that BAR Helps Reveal Archaeology’s Gender Gap—an unwitting role to be sure.2
For the second essay, Bible and Interpretation scooped BAR completely, not just with the topic but with the article itself! As our readers know, B&I is always on the lookout for news about the trial of Oded Golan, whom the Israel Antiquities Authority has accused of forging antiquities, especially the inscription found on the so-called James Ossuary. So when an August 31st email from the Biblical Archaeological Society announced a new essay on the BAR website by Golan himself, we momentarily hoped that news on the trial was breaking. But upon closer inspection, Golan’s entire article turned out to be one we had already published, word-for-word, in spring 2011, “The Authenticity of the James Ossuary and the Jehoash Tablet Inscriptions—a Summary of Expert Trial Witnesses.3
Golan’s essay is a composition we published in response to an article by Gideon Avni, Director of Excavations and Surveys for the Israel Antiquities Authority. In March 2011, Avni had challenged the authenticity of the James ossuary in an important article published here in Bible and Interpretation, “On Archaeology, Forgeries, and Public Awareness: The ‘James Brother of Jesus’ Ossuary in Retrospect.”4 That of course is the ossuary under debate in Golan’s trial and Golan immediately requested that he be able to respond to Avni’s piece. We agreed and published his article. That article later appeared essentially verbatim on BAR’s website. After leaving our prior publication uncredited, it is good to see that they have finally provided the appropriate citation to Bible and Interpretation.
The third essay in which B&I scooped BAR also appears in this month’s issue of BAR. In July 2011, we published an article studying the authenticity of a controversial oil lamp, which the Israel Antiquities Authority claimed was forged by Oded Golan.5 Seeking to establish BAR’s prior claim to the story, author and editor Hershel Shanks claims that the magazine had the opportunity (but not the good sense) to publish on this lamp in 2001.6 Their poor decision gave B&I the opportunity to scoop BAR once again!
Here at Bible and Interpretation we are still working to provide you significant and up-to-date news and analysis about Middle Eastern archaeology and history related to the Bible. Visit Bible and Interpretation regularly or you may find that your information is months out of date!
Rather peculiar set of episodes. Is BAR threatened by B&I? Perhaps I will donate to your site.
#1 - Mike Foster - 09/07/2011 - 19:16
i am very impressed with B&I. it has become my go to website for biblical studies....especially old testament hebrew bible studies....thank you, norman randolph
#2 - norman randolph - 12/07/2014 - 22:39