Full Text for Recent Archaeology of Galilee and the Interpretation of Texts from the Galilean Ministry of Jesus (Text)

Volume 71:2 April 2007 Table of Contents Talking about the Son of God: An Introduction ............................. 98 Recent Archaeology of Galilee and the Interpretation of Texts from the Galilean Ministry of Jesus Mark T. Schuler .......................................................................... 99 Response by Daniel E. Paavola ........................................ 117 Jesus and the Gnostic Gospels Jeffrey Kloha ............................................................................ 121 Response by Charles R. Schulz .............................................. 144 Reformation Christology: Some Luther Starting Points Robert Rosin .............................................................................. 147 Response by Naornichi Masaki .............................................. 168 American Christianity and Its Jesuses Lawrence R. Rast Jr .............. ......................... ........... . . . 175 Response by Rod Rosenbladt ................................................. 194 Theological Observer The Lost Tomb of Jesus? ........................................................ 199 CTQ 71 (2007): 99-117 Recent Archaeology of Galilee and the Interpretation of Texts from the Galilean Ministry of Jesus Mark T. Schuler When Article I11 of the Augsburg Confession opens by asserting that "God the Son became a human being" (CA 111, I),' the Lutheran Confessions recognize that Jesus came into the historical-cultural context of agrarian Roman Palestine in the late Second Temple period. Recent archaeological work in Galilee has enriched our understanding of this context. Attention to archaeological insights drives us to consider the Son of God as a fully human being who lived in a particular time and place, with the result that we reject the easy slide into Docetist heresies, either ancient or modern (CA III,2-6). After a clarification of this study's methodology in the context of the history of biblical archaeology, this paper will focus on the recent archaeology of Galilee by cataloging major sites and surveys. As we proceed through the material, insights that archaeology offers for our exegesis of biblical texts will be offered. Then reconstructions of the Galilean world of Jesus based on this data will be explored. Summary comments will challenge New Testament exegetes to reconnect text and artifact. I. Methodology Any discussion of archaeology must begin by deconstructing popular notions. In Steven Spielberg's film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Professor Jones informs his college class that "archaeology is the search for fact-not truth. If it's truth you are after, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall." Archaeology is preeminently concerned with facts, although there is something romantic about a quest for the truth. In a way, biblical archaeology began as a quest for the truth. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Bible stood at the center of 1 All citations of the Lutheran Confessions are from Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert, eds., 7'he Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, tr. Charles Arand, et al. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000). Augsburg Confession references are to the German text. Mark T. Schuler is Professor of Religion, Greek, and Archaeology at Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota. intellectual life in the West. The rise of a scientific consciousness, however, raised doubts about the traditional understandings of the Bible. In parallel with this challenge of modernity, and perhaps in response to it, explorers such as Edward Robinson began to search for the biblical places mentioned in those now-questioned stories. "Underlying his approach is the search for demonstrable evidence of the accuracy of the biblical witness."2 Similarly, Charles Wilson and Charles Warren came to Jerusalem through the support of the Palestine Exploration Fund. The Fund's appeal declared, "Those who value the removal of difficulties from the right understanding of the sacred text should be foremost in helping a society which has no other aim than to remove them."3 Biblical archaeology began as a quest for truth. The work of W. F. Albright characterized the golden age of biblical archaeology. Famous for his development of a pottery and chronology sequence for the Middle Bronze, Late Bronze, and Iron Ages, Albright and his disciples entered the debates about Israelite origins raised by higher criticism. The American school became known for its positive synthesis of text and material remains, especially in the pages of the Biblical Archaeologist. As excavation methods improved, the relationship between Bible and spade began to change. For instance, Kathleen Kenyon's work at Jericho disproved John Garstang's earlier identification of City D as the one destroyed by Joshua. She dated it to the Early Bronze Age.4 Kenyon could find no evidence of significant destruction at the approximate time of Joshua. The proof of biblical truth was lacking. Consequently, Albright and his disciple G. Ernest Wright began to construct models where archaeological data "[took] precedence over the biblical text. . . . The archaeology was used to correct the biblical record, which was used in turn to interpret the archaeology," becoming what Thomas Davis calls "a circular trap."5 As had Bible defenders, advocates of other ideologies began to advance their arguments based on material remains. Yigael Yadin's work at Hazor sought to support the conquest narrative of Joshua (and, with it, Zionist 2 Thomas W. Davis, Shifting Sands: The Rise and Fall of Biblical Archaeology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 10. The first section of this paper follows Davis's outline. 3 C. Grove, "Quarterly Statement of Progress," Palestine Exploration Quarterly 1 (1869): 9. 4 Kathleen M. Kenyon, Archaeology in the Holy Land, 3rd ed. (New York: Praeger, 1970). j Davis, Shifting Sands, 121. Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 101 claims to the land).6 A second generation of Israeli archaeologists, the minimalists, question whether Solomonic Jerusalem ever existed.7 Even the concept of "biblical archaeology" has been challenged by Bill Dever's insistence on the use of the identifier "Syro-Palestinian Archaeology."s As a consequence, the Biblical Archaeologist was renamed Near Eastern Archaeology. Davis concludes that biblical archaeology is "an unsound method. . . . The demonstration of the historical validity of the Bible depended on archaeology being realia . . . objective data untouched by the questions."g Be one a crusading Indiana Jones or a budding biblical archaeologist, the distinction between truth and data is methodologically critical. Scripture and the confessions speak truth; the spade yields data. One may legitimately ask: What then is the role of archaeology in the exploration of biblical texts? Where then does one go between text and artifact? Scott Starbuck's model for integrating archaeology with biblical studies is worthy of attention. He calls it a "Chalcedonian" pattern.10 The Chalcedonian christological settlement is best illustrated by an icon of the pantocrator from St. Catherine's at Sinai. According to local lore, the iconographer wished to depict the two natures of Christ. So the two sides of the face of Jesus on the icon are quite different. The iconographer refused, however, to reveal which side was the human and which the divine, even as Chalcedon manages the tension between divine and human by refusing to explain how Jesus can be both. Rather, both are asserted "without division, separation, confusion or change." A Chalcedonian approach to text and artifact allows the two disciplines of biblical studies and archaeology to stand side by side in all their tension. In theological contexts, an authoritative epistemology that renders a canon of hallowed texts must be given full and distinct voice. At the same time, the fact that the God of the canonical text is portrayed as 6 Yigael Yadin, Hazor: Tile Rediscovey ofa Great Citadel of the Bible (New York: Random House, 1975). 7 David Ussishkin, "Solomon's Jerusalem: The Text and the Facts on the Ground," in Jerusalem in Bible and Arcllaeology: 7'he First Temple Period, ed. Andrew G. Vaughn and Ann E. Killebrew (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003), 112. 8 William G. Dever, "Whatchamacallit: Why is it so Hard to Name our Field?" Biblical Archaeology Reviezu 29, no. 4 (2003): 56-61. 9 Davis, Shiftir~g Sands, 155. '0 Scott R. A. Starbuck, "Why Declare the Things Forbidden? Classroom Integration of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology with Biblical Studies in Theological Context," in Between Text and Artifact; Integrating Archaeology in Biblical Studies Teaching, ed. Milton C. Moreland (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003), 104-108. being intrusive to the physical world in actual historical settings necessitates, on the other hand, the full voice of the archaeological discipline.11 Bible and spade are "wholly distinct and separate" with their own "unique integrity." At the same time they are an "inseparable unity" for revealing the historical world from which Christianity originated.12 They explicate the context, not each other. The results stand best together without division, separation, confusion, or change. As we turn now to the Galilean world of Jesus, we doff the adventurer's hat and whip to take up the spade to uncover the historical world of Jesus. 11. Recent Work in Galilee Who are the Galileans? An exploration of the Galilean world of Jesus may legitimately begin with the question, "Who are the Galileans?" According to 2 Kings 15:29, "King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured . . . Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried the people captive to Assyria." Zvi Gal's archaeological survey of the lower Galilee found no evidence of occupation in the seventh and sixth centuries.13 Most excavated sites were destroyed or abandoned in the eighth century.14 While modest settlement did occur in the Persian and Hellenistic periods, the disappearance of Galilean Coarse Ware at the end of the Hellenistic period15 plus an explosion of settlement after the annexation of Galilee by the Hasmoneansl6 point to a repopulation resulting from Hasmonean conquest.17 Jonathan Reed concludes, "The settlement history and " Starbuck, "Why Declare the Things Forbidden?" 107. 1' Starbuck, "Why Declare the Things Forbidden?" 108. 13 Zvi Gal, 77w Lower Galilee in the Iron Age (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992). lvonathan L. Reed, Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2000), 31. 15 Mordechai Aviam, "First Century Jewish Galilee: An Archaeological Perspective," in Religion and Society in Roman Palestine: Old Questions, New Approaches, ed. Douglas R. Edwards (New York: Routledge, 2004), 8. '6 Eric M. Meyers, James F. Strange, and Dennis E. Groh, "The Meiron Excavation Project: Archaeological Survey in Galilee and Golan, 1976," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 230 (1978): 7-8. 17 Eric M. Meyers, A. Thomas Kraabel, and James F. Strange, Ancient Synagogue Excavations at Khirbet Shema', Upper Galilee Israel, 1970-1972 (Durham, NC: American Schools of Oriental Research by Duke University Press, 1976), 147-152; Dan Barag, "Tyrian Currency in Galilee," Israel Numismatic Journal 6/7 (1982-1983): 7-13; and Danny Syon, "The Coins from El-Kabri, " Atiqot 51 (2006): 125-129. Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 103 numismatic profile suggest that the Galileans were descendants of the Judeans, a point that their socialized patterns of behavior left in the material culture indicate."l8 Exegetical Insight: Although distance from Jerusalem and variant topography had a slight impact on Judaism in Galilee, sharp distinctions between Galilean and Judean practice do not have a basis in the archaeological record. Galileans and Judeans were cousins religiously and in terms of their material remains. Jewish Villages The Jewish material culture is most clearly evidenced by recent excavations in the villages of Galilee and the Golan. Although Capernaum is best known for the fifth-century AD white synagogue and the Byzantine octagonal basilica surrounding the putative house of Peter, the village itself seems to have stretched 400-500 meters along the shore of the lake and inland up to 250 meters. At most the village was from 10 to 12 hectares (about 25 acres) in size, although exact confines and occupation are hard to trace as the village had no outer walls. Domestic construction employed basalt stones. The houses were characterized by courtyards surrounded by small dwellings, as a reconstruction of the house of Peter demonstrates. In the courtyards were ovens and staircases with access to roofs or to second floor sleeping chambers. A paucity of roof tiles in the ruins would indicate that the houses were roofed with reeds and mud. In general, there was only one exit from a domestic complex. The housing stock is similar to that found throughout Galilee, the Golan, and southern Syria.19 Extended families occupied these insulae (town building plots). The white synagogue at Capernaum sits atop an older basalt foundation. Beneath the synagogue is a first-century AD basalt floor along with remains of other domestic quarters. A public building may have occupied the location in the first century AD, but its identification as the free- standing synagogue of Jesus is unlikely. No other public buildings from the Second Temple period have been found. Jonathan Reed estimated a population density of 100-120 per hectare due to the organic nature of this Reed, Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus, 43. 19 Vassilios Tzaferis, ed., Excavations at Capernaum, vol. 1, 1978-1982 (Winona Lake, 1N: Eisenbrauns, 1989), 217 n. 12; and Howard Crosby Butler, Ancient Architecture in Syria, Section A, Southern Syria (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1907), 120-123. fishing village, that is, between 600 and 1500 inhabitants.20 Capernaum was a typical Jewish village. Domestic insula at Capernaum Exegetical Insight: The domestic circumstances of Capernaum -extended families and neighbors living in close proximity - provide color for stories in that community narrated by Gospel writers. Tile healing of Peter's mother-in-law (Matt 8:14), the paralytic brought by friends (Mark 2:1-12; cp. Luke 5:17-26 "roof tiles"), and the disciples leaving families (Matt 19:27; Mark 10:28; Luke 5:11) all must be understoodfionl this domestic context. The livelihood of the occupants of Capernaum was drawn from the Sea of Galilee. Mendel Nun's documentation of anchorages around the sea and his collection of stone anchors and of net sinkers provide a glimpse of that life.21 Anchorages were little more than breakwaters of basalt boulders. Likewise the anchors, most weighing between 10 and 45 kilograms, were basalt stones with a single hole. Net sinkers could be of ceramic, lead, or smaller stones with naturally occurring holes. 20 Reed, Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus, 152. 21 Mendel Nun, Ancient Stone Anchors and Net Sinkers from the Sea of Galilee (Kibbutz Ein Gev: Kinneret Sailing Co., 1993). Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 105 In 1985-1986, the level of the Sea of Galilee dropped considerably owing to a drought. One and a half kilometers north of the shore of the ancient town of Migdal, the remains of a wood fishing boat could be seen jutting from the mud. The boat hull is 8.2 meters by some 2.3 meters wide. It was built using pegged mortise-and-tenon joints to edge-join the cedar and oak planking; it is further held together using iron nails. As the boat displays a number of repairs and a multiplicity of wood types, the boat likely had a storied life. Carbon-14 tests and some shards and coins found at the site allow us to date the boat to the turn of the millennium. Exegetical Insight: New Testament accounts involving boats, nets, fishing, and the lake likewise receive colorfrom such material remains (Luke 5:l-11). In Nazareth, church construction and urban expansion have obliterated architectural remains of the hometown of Jesus. Housing in this farming village near a spring was likely little more than small scattered structures of fieldstones and mud with thatched roofs. What remains are a few cisterns, storage bins, presses carved in the bedrock, and small caves. Some terracing of the hillside and a tower have been identified. Local pottery shards, grinding stones, some household items, and fragments of stone vessels have been recovered. No evidence remains of imported fine wares, marble, or any public buildings. Roman and Byzantine tombs limit the size of the town to about 4 hectares and suggest a population of less than 400 people." Nazareth was a struggling farming village, perhaps worthy of little more than the pejorative of Nathanael (John 1:46). Biblical Cana is best identified with Khirbet Qana, a low hill on the north side of the Beth Netofa Valley. Cana was an unwalled city. Streets and lanes are being defined in the excavations that provide a sense of how the town's circulation patterns worked. Around the hilltop, the housing on slopes on three sides followed the contours, with streets along the contours (vici) wider than streets climbing the slopes (clivi). Stairs are still visible in a few of the clivi.23 The hillside houses are terraced. The houses higher up the slope use the roof of the house below as a substitute for a courtyard to extend the living and working areas. On the flatter north slope are larger houses built around a central courtyard with storage rooms and even a mikz~elz (a pool 2 Reed, Arcl~neology and the Gnlilenn Jesus, 131; and David Noel Freedman, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 4 (New York: Doubleday, 1992), s.v. "Nazareth." a Peter Richardson, "Khirbet Qana (and Other Villages) as a Context for Tesus," in Jesus arid Archaeology, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006), 128. used for ritual washing). Some economic differentiation seems to be in evidence. There may even be a three-item typology: "terrace housing without courtyards, side courtyard houses, and central courtyard houses."24 That differentiation is evident as well from industrial areas on the edge of the village: columbaria (chambers for breeding doves), olive presses, dying vats, and glass wasters. A later synagogue and a Byzantine complex with stone vessels attest to the Jewish nature of the site. Exegetical Insight: The parables of Jesus frequently employ metaphors drawn from agrarian life andfrom the social diferentiation visible in communities such as Cana. Evidence of Jewish village life in these biblical sites is affirmed by work at other comparable Jewish villages not mentioned in the New Testament. Yodefat (Jotapata) is located in central Galilee. Residential areas, some with narrow lanes, were constructed in the early Roman period (ca. the first century BC). The houses were built on terraces, cut into the rock of the hillside. The residents relied on rock-cut cisterns for their water supply since there is no nearby spring, yet in some of the houses mikva'ot (stepped pools) were found. In the southern part of the town a number of pottery kilns were uncovered. Numerous clay loom weights indicate a weaving industry. The remains of a large mansion near the top of the town, some of its rooms decorated with frescos, are evidence of some wea1th.u Except for walls at the hilltop, Yodefat was an unwalled city until the period leading up to the Jewish revolt against Rome. Gamla, on a ridge in the Golan, was also walled at the time of the revolt and endured an infamous fate when Romans breached the walls. At Gamla, the vici follow the irregular contours of the hill and the clivi are stepped as at Cana. The steep slope requires that all the houses be terraced. Still there is some economic differentiation. A neighborhood to the west is better built with "flagstone courtyards, stone stairs, better finishes and larger floor areas."26 Next to the city wall is a colonnaded rectangular building with benches on all sides. It is probably a synagogue as there is a mikveh next to the entrance court. It would be the oldest synagogue in '"chardson, "Khirbet Qana (and Other Villages) as a Context for Jesus," 133-134. 25 "Yodefat -A Town in Galilee," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site (The State of Israel, 20 Nov 2000), http://www.mfa.gov.i1/MFA/History/Early%2OHistory%2O- %20Archaeology/Yodefat%20-%20A%20Town%20in%20Galilee (accessed February 18, 2007). 26 Richardson, "Khirbet Qana (and Other Villages) as a Context for Jesus," 135. Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 107 Israel, as it pre-dated the revolt and was modified to house refugees as the Roman armies advanced. Qazrin is a Jewish village in the Golan occupied since the fourth century BC. Since no appreciable changes are evident in village housing stock and domestic pottery between the Roman and early Byzantine periods?' its reconstruction provides a unique glimpse into Jewish domestic life. The main door of the home opens into the kitchen with a rough stone floor and a small oven. A storeroom is accessed through a window wall with a bedroom above. The main living room has food storage at one end. Outside is a courtyard for domestic animals. It was the center of household activity for most of the year, as is evidenced by hand mills and ovens. Food preparation was an endless task. Exegetical Insight: The domestic role and place of women is a factor in the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:s-10j. That domestic space included a main room, storage rooms, sleeping loft, a courtyard, and perhaps connected domestic quarters of members of the extended family speaks to the challenging task in searching for a lost coin. The proximity offiends and neighbors is implied by the organic nature of village life. Jewish Identity Jonathan Reed notes that artifacts found in the villages and domestic spaces of Galilee are quite similar to those of Judea. In particular, stone vessels and stepped pools indicate Jewish identity along with occasionally noted kokhim-type tombs (a Roman-period burial place cut from rock) and osteological profiles lacking pig bones. Each of these types of evidence will be here presented. Reed states that "Stone vessels are found in strata up to the first century and fade out of use in the early second century."28 Such vessels were considered impervious to ritual impurity.29 Significant numbers of these vessels have been found: at Capemaum some 150 stone vessel fragments have been identified; from Nazareth four stone vessels have been cited; at Yodefat about 200 stone vessels have been found; and stone vessels also 2' Yizhar Hirschfeld, 7'he Palestinian Dwelling in the Roman-Byzantine Period (Jerusalem: Franciscan Press, 1995), 23. 2s Reed, Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus, 44. 29 Mishnah, Kelim 10:l. For this reference, see I. Epstein, ed., Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol. 26, Kelim, Oholofh, Nega'im, Parah, Tohoroth, Mikwaotk, Makshirin, Zabim, Tebul Yom, Yadayim, 'Ukzin (London: The Socino Press, 1989). are noted in the pottery profile from Gamla, Yodefat, Nazareth, and Capernaum.30 Mikva'ot have been identified at Nazareth, Yodefat, and Garnla, along with Sepphoris, Chorazin, and other sites. As with stone vessels, these pools reflect a deep concern for ritual purity. Interestingly, no such installations have been discovered at Capernaum, perhaps due to its proximity to the lake.31 Exegetical Insight: The Gospels often portray Jesus in conflict with religious authorities. Matters ofritual purity are often central. As this conflict is heightened during Jesus'final trip to Jerusalem (Matt 21:32; 23:13, 25) and as opponents are sometimes portrayed as comingfrom Jerusalem (Matt 15:l; Mark 3:22; 7:1), it is tempting to describe Jesus' Galilean followers as less strict on matters ofpurity. The archaeology of the Jewish villages of Galilee ought to counter this tendency. Ritual purity was a sign$cant concern, especially for those with the leisure or commitment to be obseruant. For Jesus to have employed "stone water jarsfor the Jewish rites of purification" in the miracle at the wedding at Cana (John 2:6) would have been noteworthy to the obseruant. Other words and deeds running counter to the norms ofpurity would be equally problematic, even in Galilee (Matt 1530-20; John 6:66; 7:12). Kokhim-type tombs have been excavated in Nazareth and Beth-She'arim and identified at Khirbet Qana. Where bone profiles are published, pig avoidance may be an identity marker.32 Reed notes, "At sites outside of Galilee and the Golan, stone vessels, miqwaoth, Jewish burials, and pork- avoidance are not present in the archaeological profile of private space."33 An additional piece of evidence, although not distinctly Jewish, is the appearance of mechanized oil presses in the Hasmonean and early Roman periods. Nazareth, Gamla, Yodefat, Chorazin, and Khirbet Qana display presses of varying degrees of sophistication. Apparently, "the Hasmoneans repopulated Galilee with Jewish inhabitants, among them " Reed, Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus, 50. 31 Letter ofAristeas 305. For the Letter ofAristeas, see "Letter of Aristeas," trans. R. J. H. Shutt, in The Old Testament Pseudepigraph, vol. 2, Expansions of the "Old Testament" and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1985), 7-34. 32 Brian Hesse, "Can Pig Remains be Used for Ethnic Diagnosis in the Ancient Near East?" in The Archaeology of Israel: Constructing the Past, Interpreting the Present, ed. Neil Asher Silberman and David B. Small (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 238- 270. 33 Reed, Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus, 51. Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 109 Judeans, who probably brought with them knowledge of oil cultivation and the new technology of the mechanized oil press."34 Exegetical Insight: Burial and dietary practices are small factors in the Gospel narratives from Galilee, except for pork avoidance in the parable of the prodigal son. Olives are only mentioned in the parable of the unjust manager (Luke 16:6). Perhaps the presence of an olive industry is an indicator of social diflerentiation. The synagogue is popularly identified with Judaism and frequently mentioned in the stories of Jesus. With the exception of Gamla, no other synagogues from Galilee can be firmly dated to the Second Temple period.35 Lee Levine, however, has noted other sites where public buildings may have served as synagogues, such as at Qiryat Sefer, Modi'im, and Jericho.36 Levine argues that "the first-century synagogue was primarily a communal institution serving the many and varied needs of the local community, including religious ones."37 Deriving from the city gate or village square, the synagogue remained a community center even as one room took on the form of a diminished sanctuary after the destruction of the temple.% If Levine is correct, the lack of distinct synagogue architecture is what one would expect in the first century. Exegetical Insight: The reference to a centurion from Capernaum who "loves our people and . . . has built] our synagogue for us" (Luke 7:5) is problematic. Not only is there a paucity of such jirst-century structures, but such a provision by a Roman (or Herodian) is doubly problematic. If; however, "synagogue" is construed more broadly as a public gathering space for the community which was also used for religious assembly on the Sabbath, then the public benejicence on the part of an official accords with common Roman practice of euergetism. Under that Greek word lays one of the realities of a successfil public career in ancient times: if you did well, you paid some of it back to your community.39 3 Mordechai Aviam, Jews, Pagans and Christians in the Galilee (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2004), 56. 35 Synagogues at the Herodion and Masada were erected near the time of the revolt. 36 Lee I. Levine, "The First-Century Synagogue: Critical Reassessments and Assessments of the Critical," in Religion and Society in Roman Palestine: Old Questions, New Approaches, ed. Douglas R. Edwards (New York: Routledge, 2004), 84-89. 37 Levine, "The First-Century Synagogue," 93. 38 Levine, "The First-Century Synagogue," 93-95. 39 Typical is the inscription: "Lucius Vennius Sabinus, with his son Efficax, gave as a gift to the people of Tifemum Tiberinum (this) fountain and the (entire) water collection system, from their property line up to the intake, for the embellishment of the community." Inscriptiones Aemiliae, Etruriue, Umbriue latinae, ed. Eugenius Borman, In sum, the archaeology of Jewish villages in Galilee points to relatively self-sufficient agricultural and fishing-based economies. Economic differentiation is present in the larger towns. Religiously, there seem to be common Jewish practices implied in the material remains. This included "use in many places of a communal meeting hall or public building and access to a communal mikveh; wealthier citizens who wished to highlight their concern for ritual purity built private mikvaot. Some used stoneware, if they could afford it."40 Jewish burial customs and dietary concerns likely prevailed. Roman Cities The conquest of Jerusalem by Pompey in 63 BC brought Roman hegemony to the eastern border of the empire. With the appointment of Herod the Great in 40 BC, Hasmonean royalty were swept away. Herod left his mark on the land with spectacular building projects: his palaces at Jericho, Masada, and the Herodion; his seaside port at Caesarea; the temples for his patron Augustus at Sebaste and near Caesarea Philippi; and his great renovation of the Second Temple at Jerusalem into the largest sacred shrine in all antiquity. Herodian construction, with modifications for topography, followed the conventions of Roman city planning.41 Roman urban planning was orthogonal. Planned Roman cities were surrounded by a wall and entered though massive city gates. The major north-south street was a cardo, the central city street that is often flanked with colonnades. An east-west street was called a decumanus. In the center of the city was a public market or forum, often surrounded by colonnades. Temples, theaters, and bath houses marked the urban landscape with public places. Caesarea Maritima was built according to this plan. Notably, Galilee was untouched by the architectural Romanization of Herod. After Herod's death, his son Antipas began the Romanization of Galilee with a reconstruction project at Sepphoris, the capital of Galilee. The excavations at Sepphoris are spectacular, a fact that may inflate their significance. A rock-cut theater adorns the northeast side of the summit. A Corpus Inscriptionum Latinorum 11 (Berolini: G. Reimerum, 1888-1926), 5942. The famous Erastus inscription from Corinth reflects similar practice. " Richardson, "Khirbet Qana (and Other Villages) as a Context for Jesus," 144. fl Dominic Perring, "Spatial Organization and Social Change in Roman Towns," in City and County in the Ancient World, ed. J. Rich and A. Wallace-Hadrill, Leicester- Nottingham Studies in Ancient Society 2 (London: Routledge, 1991), 273-293; and David Sperber, The City in Roman Palestine (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 111 Jewish quarter on the western part of the summit is replete with ritual baths. The summit is crowned with a Roman mansion including a triclinium (dining room) depicting Dionysian rites. The eastern city is orthogonal with a colonnaded cardo. At its north is a grand basilica1 structure, about 40 by 60 meters in size, that likely served as a market. Its foundation stones were Herodian. To the south of the cardo is the so-called Nile house, named for its stupendous collection of mosaics that includes a depiction of the annual cycle of the Nile. A Byzantine synagogue has been discovered north of the Roman basilica. Exegetical Insight: Although Matthm assigns theological significance to the return of Jesus and his parents to Nazareth after the death of Herod the Great (Matt 2:23), the economic opportunities in the area affbrded by such a massive project may have also provided impetus for a "builder" such as Joseph. Claims that Joseph worked at Sepphoris and that Jesus helped him there, however, cannot be substantiated. In AD 20, Antipas founded the city of Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee to replace Sepphoris as the capital of Galilee. A number of features typical of Roman urban architecture have been revealed. A colonnaded cardo lined with shops runs parallel to the shoreline for some 400 meters. A market area (or forum), Roman basilica, and bathhouse have been unearthed east of the cardo. The corner of a theater and the foundations of the southern gate of the city have been located. In the second century a temple would be built in honor of Hadrian. At Tiberias, the Romanization of Galilee continued. Exegetical Insight: Although Sepphoris is but a short distance from Nazareth and Tiberias borders the lake, neither city is mentioned in the Gospels. Did the Jewish sensibilities of Jesus keep him away fronz the centers of occupying power? Did the execution of John the Baptist cause Jesus to avoid Antipas? We have no answers to such questions. A third center of Greco-Roman culture is Hippos, which sits atop a prominent hill on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Hippos is one of the Decapolis cities and is currently being excavated.42 With a walled perimeter of 1550 meters, Hippos is some 10 hectares in size. The site is bisected by the decumanus nzaximus, a colonnaded street of some 650 meters. The eastern gate of Hippos was incorporated into the city wall and situated at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Golan. A round tower, similar to those at Tiberias, has been exposed. The main public plaza of 42 It is being excavated by the University of Haifa in conjunction with the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Roman Hippos is paved with carefully dressed basalt slabs. The forum was planned as a tristoon, a rectangular plaza surrounded on the north, west, and east sides by colonnades. Fourteen of these column shafts made of Egyptian grey granite were found scattered on the forum's pavement. To its west is a Kalybe, a monumental structure which served as a temple for the imperial cult. To the north of the forum is a Hellenistic compound bounded on its western and southern sides by an imposing wall. This wall is noteworthy, especially for its excellent construction with its layers arranged in a uniform pattern of headers and stretchers. The temenos of the compound,43 dated to the Seleucid period, is surrounded by limestone column bases. A massive column shaft and a damaged Corinthian capital suggest that the Hellenistic temple stood as much as five stories high. To the north of the platform are two long steps terminated on the east by an anta (a short stub- wall) which ends in a slender engaged column. These steps were part of a Roman basalt building, either a temple or a portico accompanying a temple. Still awaiting excavation at Hippos are other public buildings, a bathhouse, a small theater, fortifications, and domestic structures. Ternenos of a Hellenistic Temple at Hippos 43 A ternenos is an enclosed sacred precinct. It was generally a platform in the middle of which stood the temple. The platform holding the temple in Jerusalem was a ternenos. Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 113 Exegetical Insight: The tombs and mausolea lining the entrance road to Hippos provide an appropriate context for the miracle of the demons cast into the swine (Matt 8:28-9:l; Mark 5:l-21; Luke 8:26-40). The possessed individual was from "the city," and Hippos was a polis. Just to the north of the saddle leading to the city is a fearsome abyss (Luke 8:31); the nearby hillsides provide ample evidence of agricultural usage (Luke 8:32); and the bone profile from our excavation shows domestication of swine. Also of note are Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount about a city set on a hill. If the referent is to a specific city, the followers of Jesus near the Sea of Galilee would likely have thought of Hippos and its five-story limestone temple which would have been clearly visible from the lake. More than a bit of irony would comefrom the dominical instruction "so let your light shine," for the exemplar is pagan. Nevertheless, in subsequent centuries this pagan city would become the largest stronghold of Christianity on the Sea of Galilee, boasting a cathedral and at least seven other churches. A site that mediates between Jewish village and Roman city is emerging through the excavations at et-Tell, a mile and a half from the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It has been identified as Bethsaida. In a Hellenistic-Roman residential quarter, several private houses have been discovered that are similar to those in Capemaum. They have a large central courtyard surrounded by rooms with different domestic functions. The homes are constructed of basalt stones and may have had sleeping lofts, but not second stories. One is named the "Fisherman's House" because of the "plethora of fishing implements discovered there. Among the finds were lead fishing-net weights, anchors, needles, and fishhooks."44 North of it is another house designated the "Winemaker's House." It had a wine cellar and from it were recovered pruning hooks and fishing gear. According to Josephus, Herod Philip elevated the status of this village to a city and renamed it Julias in AD 30.45 At the top of the mound of the site, excavators have found minimal remains of a small temple (20 m. by 6 m.), which they have interpreted as built in honor of Livia-Julia, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberias.4 Exegetical Insight: Bethsaida is the hometown of the apostles Peter, Andrew, and Philip, and it was frequently visited by Jesus (Mark 6:45; John 1:44). It seems to have been a Jewish village upon which a modest imperial cult was imposed. One can easily envision this cult providing some of the background for the request of a Rami Arav, "Bethsaida," in Jesus and Archaeology, ed. James Charlesworth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006), 161. -15 Jeruisk Antiquities 18.28. See Trle New Cornplete Works of losephus, trans. William Whiston, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications), 588. Arav, "Bethsaida," 161. Compare Reed, Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus, 43. the Greeks from Bethsaida to Philip, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus" (John 12:21). Jesus' easy movement between Jewish villages such as Capemaum, the Greco- Roman Decapolis, and intermediate locals such as Bethsaida accords with Jesus' mission to the marginalized and resistance to excessive concern for purity. Reconstructing the Galilean World of Jesus One of the more popular and problematic reconstructions of the Galilean world of Jesus is that offered by John Dominic Crossan and. Jonathan Reed in Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts.47 In their reconstruction, the Herodian family brought a commercial kingdom to the land of God's covenant: The architecture of ancient cities was built with agricultural wealth from peasant labor and Herod needed plenty of wealth for his city and kingdom. Polycropping and self-sufficiency on family farms gave way to monocropping on estates and royal lands and to an asymmetrical exchange of goods. Landholding patterns changed and tenancy increased to create economies of scale. Coinage and currency increased in the local economy to facilitate taxation to the coffers of Herod and Rome, which funded the architectural grandeur of Caesarea. The kingdom was commercialized . . . . Luxury increasing at one end of the society made labor and poverty increase at the other.48 In this scheme, Antipas brought his father's legacy to Galilee first at Sepphoris and then at Tiberias. The power of the commercial kingdom of Rome was brutal on the peasantry. Resistance movements arose, according to Crossan and Reed, one of which was the non-violent kingdom preaching of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew steeped in the "covenant-based demands for divinely mandated equitable distribution of land."49 Anchored in this theology, Jesus supposedly taught, acted, and lived in opposition to Antipas' localization of the kingdom of Rome among peasantry. According to this reconstruction, the Gospels reflect the rural- urban tension between these two understandings of kingdom. The Jesus of this reconstruction gives voice to this tension and resists it with a prayer about God's kingdom, will, daily bread, and debt. Other resistance was violent. A major Jewish revolt, led by the Zealots, was the logical outcome of the cultural and economic oppression of the 47 John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed, Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2001). -18 Crossan and Reed, Excavating Jesus, 61-62. 49 Crossan and Reed, Excavating Jesus, 275. Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 115 Herods. Beginning in the north at sites like Gamla, Roman punishment can be traced from the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 and the final defeat of the Zealots at Masada. This reconstruction is problematic for a number of reasons. First, the thoroughgoing Romanization of Galilee is questionable. As has been pointed out by Mark Chancey and others,w actual material evidence datable to the first half of the first century has yet to be recovered in significant quantities. Only the Hellenistic temple at Hippos and the domestic houses at Bethsaida are firmly dated to the first century. The Roman bathhouse at Capernaum dates from the second century. At Sepphoris, the majestic finds are from the second century and later. Only foundation stones of the basilica are datable to the first century. Work at Tiberias has barely begun. A first-century level was identified in 2005, a marble floor supposedly of the palace of Antipas, but this identification has yet to be published. Even based on what is known from later times, both Sepphoris and Tiberias were quite small compared to the expansive projects of Herod the Great and would likely elicit less reaction.51 Romanization in Galilee began in force with the movement of the VI Ferrata legion to Jezreel around AD 120. Some detachments were stationed in Galilee itself. This deployment was part of a larger reorganization of Roman forces in the east. Roman power previously centered in Syria. As a result, by the beginning of the second century there were two legions in Palestine and a third in the new province of Arabia to the east. "The changes in the material culture of Palestine and the Trans-jordan that followed in the wake of this influx of Roman soldiers were dramatic."52 A second problem with the Crossan and Reed reconstruction is its assertion of monetization, the shift in commercial urbanization to coin- based economies that extract resources from the peasantry. The evidence of monetization in the early part of the first century is lacking. "Few Roman coins are found in first century contexts. The claims to a highly monetized economy . . . are not being borne out by the archaeological results."j3 Notably, it is "coins minted in the Galilee in the second and third centuries [that] reflect a wholesale adoption of Greco-Roman j0 Mark A. Chancey, The Myth ofa Gentile Galilee (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). j1 I would further note that the first ten years of building at Tiberias would not compare to the glories of Hippos just across the lake. jZ Mark A. Chancey, Graeco-Roman Culture and the Galilee of Iesus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 223. 53 Richardson, "Khirbet Qana (and Other Villages) as a Context for Jesus," 128. numismatic c~storns."~ Additionally, monetization does not necessarily elicit resistance. As the anthropological work cited by F. Gerald Downing has shown, "[Aln imposed cash economy does not have to destroy the traditional habitus . . . in Galilee."55 The third problem with this reconstruction is its emphasis on exploitation. Communities in Galilee expanded in number and size in the Hasmonean and Herodian periods. Commercial expansion likely was also a factor. However, if commercialization brought exploitation one would expect to find in the material record evidence of evacuation of houses of the exploited. Such evidence is lacking. Fourth, perhaps the most sigruficant flaw in the portrait provided by Crossan and Reed is the methodological mistake of constructing a Jesus, rather than keeping archaeology in its domain of providing data for a reconstruction of the Galilean world of Jesus. It is as if Crossan, in leather jacket and dusty fedora, has cracked his whip to draw our attention to "the truth" about Jesus. Such swashbuckling may be appropriate to the silver screen, but it does a disservice to archaeology and biblical studies. While much work has been done recently in Galilee, any comprehensive reconstruction of the Galilean world of Jesus must take into account the limited nature of the data from the first century AD. From recent work done by Douglas R. Edwards in compiling survey data and integrating numismatic data, a picture is emerging of a Galilean world in which villages were not isolated economically or culturally from urban centers, each other, or surrounding non-Jewish territories. There is some cultural differentiation as witnessed by the use of stone vessels and mikva'ot. Jewish villages seem to have been served by Jewish sources of pottery such as Kefar Hananya, but some villages were served by other sources. There was an active trade - even competition - in general pottery. Pervasive basalt mills and presses, columbaria, stone jars, and even coins also witness to a complex and diverse economy. The Galilean world of Jesus was a diverse economy teeming with activity; it was not a series of isolated villages.% Chancey, Graeco-Roman Culture, 192. 55 F. Gerald Downing, "In Quest of First-Century C.E. Galilee," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 66 (2004): 84. Douglas R. Edwards, "Recent Work in Galilee: A Village and its Region" (lecture, Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Washington, DC, November 18, 2006). Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 117 111. Conclusion Archaeology does not and dares not tell us who Jesus is or what he said. It does, however, challenge the biblical interpreter to contextualize the Scriptures, to hear them in the alleys of Jewish villages, amidst the smells of agrarian domestic life, on the waters of the lake, and even amidst the ashlars and pavers of Romanization. The words and deeds of Jesus are grounded in this real world, not some spiritual fantasy land, for "God the Son became a human being" (CA 111, 1). James Charlesworth issues a challenge to scholars that is applicable to all interpreters of the Scriptures: While archaeologists may pursue pure research without any interest in possible historical or theological payoff, biblical scholars no longer have the . . . luxury of avoiding data from the times and places in which the biblical records took shape. . . . For a New Testament scholar to disavow the importance of archaeology for New Testament studies . . . is a form of myopia. It leaves the Gospels as mere stories or relics of ancient rhetoric. Archaeological work, perhaps unintentionally, helps the biblical scholar to rethink and recreate the past. . . . The results are unexpectedly surprising and rewarding.57 Response to Mark T. Schuler Daniel E. Paavola Dr. Mark Schuler deserves thanks for his vivid presentation of the archaeology of Galilee, especially for bringing near these distant places and experiences. In a way, it is an incarnational work that he does and that we share. He noted that archaeology wrestles with the Bible and the spade, with data and truth, with what is already known and discoveries just made. He repeatedly showed the implications for exegesis in the ongoing discoveries. Who does not better see the disciples being called from their fishing boat when an example of such a boat has been found? This work is incarnational in a broad sense; it joins the eternal and the present, the human and the divine. God took upon himself human flesh, and all humans are touched by his life within that one body. Archaeology gives a boat, a synagogue, or a tomb, and Christians are reminded that 5' James H. Charlesworth, "Conclusion: The Historical Jesus and Biblical Archaeology: Reflections on New Methodologies and Perspectives," in Jesus and Archaeology, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006), 694-695. their Lord rescued just such a boat, spoke in such a synagogue, and was laid in such a tomb, and every place has been changed by him. Dr. Schuler's archaeological work is also an incarnational work because it exemplifies the best of theological education by bringing the truth of spade and Bible into the lives of students. One example is Kristina Neumann, a senior at Concordia University Wisconsin with a double major of history and classical studies. She worked with Dr. Schuler at Hippos in July 2006 and will be working with him again in 2007.58 His archaeology work has captivated Kristina and given her a focus for her exceptional talents. In keeping with this incarnational theme and the conference theme of theological education, I asked Kristina also to read Dr. Schuler's paper and to share her thoughts. She wrote the following paragraphs: While Dr. Schuler correctly dismisses the Indiana Jones experience as the norm for archaeological endeavors, the benefits of a Holy Land dig for a student are even greater than Hollywood could imagine, as classroom learning is truly transformed. Fieldwork has the ability to ground students in a historical context for the Scriptural accounts. Through interpretation of the evidence, students' analytical skills can be honed in bringing together theology and archaeology. Finally, any biblical dig raises questions of faith and gives a student an opportunity to refine his or her Christian belief. This learning experience translates into life experience. To some, Dr. Schuler's account of each Jewish village and Roman town may seem robbed of all biblical color in his deliberate descriptions of the archaeological sites. Certainly his clinical debunking of the synagogue at Capemaum in both his paper and during a visit to the site came as a disappointment to this student, as the Christian romantic in me would have loved to be in the exact place where Jesus once was and seek out the "historical Jesus." However, this helps to illustrate one of the benefits of a Levantine dig, in that, although it may not yield physical evidence of the Christ, it does provide students with a historical context for the scriptural accounts. Being in a place like Hippos which was in existence during the time of Jesus and working among remains concurrent to his era allows a student to transcend time. Dr. Schuler outlines in his paper Scott R. A. Starbuck's Chalcedon pattern for biblical archaeology, where the "text and artifact allows the two disciplines of religious studies and archaeology to stand side by side in all their tension." Indeed, while students of all ages crave the material remains of a historical Jesus, working with artifacts from his historical context give enough perspective to illuminate the 58 Kristina Neumann won the Biblical Archaeology Revim 2007 Scholarship award for her article "And the Digs Go On: Digs2007 Scholarship Winner," Biblical Archaeology Reziiew 33, no. 1 (2007): 46-47. Schuler: Recent Archaeology of Galilee 119 Scriptures in a very satisfying manner. A student will forever be transformed, as he or she cannot help the pique of interest every time the word "Galilee" is mentioned in a Biblical text or envision Hippos as a "city set on a hill" when the words from the Sermon on the Mount are spoken (Matt 5:14). Although much of my role in the work of Hippos/Sussita was in a sixthcentury Byzantine church, excavating a place where people once worshiped provided a very tangible glimpse of what life once was like in the early Christian church that mere reading of historical accounts alone could not give. Speaking beyond the historical context provided by this experience, work on an archaeological dig refines a student's thinking. The question of methodology features foremost in any dig as an archaeologist must ensure his or her work is a dialogue with the material uncovered and not a monologue. Thomas Davis' main problem with the Biblical archaeologists was not that they were proponents of a Judeo-Christian belief, but rather that they went to the field blinded by preconceived notions of what they would find. This insistence on a biblical connection for all uncovered artifacts was greatly damaging for scientific discovery. Consequently, students of archaeology - and specifically "biblical archaeologyu-are trained to come to the data with a question, but not an answer.59 A student learns to occupy both worlds governed by the truth of the Bible and the realia of the archaeological dig, in order to better understand the specific period of ancient and classical history." Dr. Schuler once wrote to me, "If one is to say that archaeology is fact, one must first define what a fact is. I believe archaeology gives us an angle on realia, but so does theology, just in a different way."61 The student must learn to look scientifically at all uncovered material and wrestle with interpretation, simultaneously seeking out and narrowing all possibilities. A student is forced to utilize all aspects of his or her knowledge, while actively assimilating or rejecting the interpretations of others. Again, in overseeing the excavation of Cistern D in the Byzantine church, I was forced continually to re-evaluate my interpretation of the evidence as I saw it. Each day as new items were uncovered-first a piece of intricate gold, then pottery, followed by animal bones and finally a coin-I had to ask myself and others, "Why would this be here?" and "What was this used for?" The afternoon of the dig also provided for a unique opportunity, as all the volunteers came together to wash pottery. From the lowly student volunteer to the most learned theologian, we would discuss the day's findings while drawing upon each other's understanding and practice. The value of this experience for a student's thought process is invaluable. 59 Davis, Shijting Sands, 151. Neumann: "I use the term 'biblical archaeology' loosely and simply to refer to that archaeology directly relating to biblical times and locale." Neumann: "Realia simply refers to the archaeological remnants and artifacts recovered on the dig that contribute to a sense of historical understanding." 6' Mark Schuler, e-mail message to Kristina Neumann, July 22,2006. Finally, at some point on a biblical archaeological adventure, the element of faith must enter into the student's excavation experience. The temptation exists in such a dig to base one's faith on what is uncovered. Davis states that the former biblical excavators believed their faith solely depended on uncovering the historical reality of the Bible and that the realia of archaeology in Palestine would "buttress the hope of faith."62 In a way, these men and women mirrored the errors of previous Christian pilgrims, who gallivanted off to the Holy Land, haphazardly scrambling to find holy relics and holy sites as a basis of their faith. In both instances, when no scientific proof of this existence appeared, data and artifacts were fudged. A student of a biblical dig must come to terms with where his or her faith is based: on data or on spiritual truth. Are we to doubt the account of Joshua if no Jericho has yet been found? More importantly, are we to question the existence of Jesus if we cannot uncover the cross he died upon or the tomb from which he was raised? Although my dig experience dealt with a time following after Christ's life on earth, traveling to the various holy sites surrounding the Sea of Galilee and in Jerusalem made me consider the heart of my faith. Is it particularly important to know the exact location of the nativity? Is it a matter of salvation on which hill the Messiah was crucified? These questions are uniquely fueled by an archaeological experience in the Holy Land, and with the proper instructor guiding discussion, they can lead students to an affirmation of faith. These extended comments of Dr. Schuler's student show the importance of his research and its impact upon students. In the end, his presentation bridges the dividing choice of the theological educator: Shall I be a painter or a chef? Each of us likely has a preference. Painters work long, often quietly and alone, perfecting a single canvas. Their work produces a book, a thought-changing article, or some other lasting piece. The chef prefers the noise of the classroom, feeding a demanding crowd who appreciate the meal but want another tomorrow. Painters produce lasting truth and beauty; chefs provide food for today. Each is needed, though they might have difficulty appreciating one another's work. Dr. Schuler bridges these two choices. This painter gives lessons. His canvas of Galilean stone is drawn upon by many different hands. When he pauses, his students are eager to continue and likely will do so for generations. His work of archaeology is not merely past but present and future. Daniel E. Paauola is Associate Professor of Theology at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wisconsin. 62 Davis, Shifting Sands, viii.