5th Annual Archaeology and the Bible Day conference:Persia and the Bible

5th Annual Archaeology and the Bible Day Conference

Theme: Persia and the Bible

Saturday 14th May 2016, 10am – 4.30pm

Persia and the Bible

For many centuries the Bible – both Old and New Testaments – has been subject to rigorous academic scrutiny. While some have defended the Bible by resorting to simplistic or wild, unustainable claims, others have dismissed it without reference to the cultures and literature that were contemporary with it. The tradition of the Archaeology department of the University of Liverpool over many decades, as exemplified by Dr. William Martin and Professors Kenneth Kitchen and Alan Millard, is upheld by this successful annual conference. The Bible is examined critically within its contemporary context, but theoretical and unprovable assumptions as to its origins are not given weight. This year sees the fifth such annual conference. Having considered Treaty, Law and Covenant, Egypt, the New Testament and Babylon over the past four years, this year we turn our attention to the Bible’s connections with ancient Persia.

Timetable 

10.00am(1 hour)     Dr. Paul Lawrence – The Medes and Persians in the Bible and beyond
  From being an inspiration for US mail, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the late Shah of Iran and modern Kurdish nationalism it can be argued that the Medes and the Persians still influence modern affairs. After looking at the history of both peoples in brief overview we shall consider their role in Bible history. What archaeological evidence is there to substantiate the Bible’s claims that Daniel, Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah all prospered under Persian rulers?
11.00am(30 mins) Break (Refreshments in Foyer)
11.30am(1 hour) Prof. Christopher Tuplin (The University of Liverpool) – The Fall and Rise of the Jewish Temple at Elephantine.
  One day (or perhaps night) in July-August 410 BC the Jewish Temple on Elephantine Island, near the first cataract of the Nile, was ransacked and burned by a group of Egyptians led by a Persian officer. This lecture discusses the causes and consequences of  this violent event and puts them in the wider context of Persian attitudes to the non-Persian religions of their imperial subjects.
12.30pm(1 hour) Lunch (in Foyer) 
 
1.30pm(1 hour) Emeritus Professor Alan Millard (The University of Liverpool) – Aramaic – the Language of the Persian Empire 
  Under the Persian kings, Aramaic was used from Afghanistan to Egypt, from Turkey to Arabia. The lecture will begin with the earliest specimen of Aramaic, inscribed statue of a ruler in the 9th century B.C.,observe its spread under Assyrian and Babylonian kings until it became the international language of the Persian Empire. Most of the Aramaic documents were written perishable materials, but some survive in dry places, and with texts on stone and notes on potsherds they illustrate aspects of life in the empire and set the letters in Ezra 4-7 and other biblical texts in their contexts.
2.30pm(30 mins) Break (Refreshments in Foyer) 
3.00pm(1 hour) Dr. Selim Adalı (Social Sciences University of Ankara) – Persia in the Book of Ezekiel
  Ezekiel 38:5 refers to Persia alongside Cush and Put, as nations gathered around Gog and Magog. Such mention of Persia has aroused much discussion among scholars. This paper seeks to go through the reception of Persia in the Book of Ezekiel. The case is made that Persia was a recognized region and kingdom before its rise as an Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. To this end, Assyrian and biblical references to Persia are presented. This provides for the opportunity to discuss the origins of the Persian Kingdom and its transition into the Achaemenid Empire.
4.00pm(30 mins) Questions for the SpeakersIf you would like to book on this course – click here Persia and the Bible booking

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