Prof. Lester L. Grabbe of the University of Hull has written a fascinating piece on cultural memory that juxtaposes the Alamo with Masada in Israel. In this article he takes a look at how two "last stands" were remembered and what sort of symbols they've become. It's not every day that biblical studies and San Antonio (where I live) history come together. Read "History and the Nature of Cultural Memory: The Alamo and the 'Masada Complex'".
If you're interested in how archaeology relates to the study of the Bible then I'd like to recommend a new course being created by Logos Mobile Ed. It is titled "Archaeology in Action". My friend Greg Monette is an associate producer and my doctoral supervisor Craig A. Evans is the "talking head" guide. This course features a wide-array of world class archaeologists such as Jodi Magness, James F. Strange, James R. Strange, Mordechai Aviam, and many more. You can learn more about the course here.
I wrote a short review of Samuel L. Adams' Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea (Louisville: WJKP, 2014) for Review and Expositor. Presuming the editors find it useable, it should be available this year. I'm allowed to share a first draft on this blog, but I think readers of blogs are savvy enough to learn about the content of a book so that I won't need to reduplicate that part here. Instead, I'll share my first and last paragraphs:
And the last one:
I'd like to highlight two articles that are relevant for students of formative Christianity:
(1) One thing I learned in Israel this summer: we must be cautious when using the word "peasant" to describe first-century Galileans, especially Jesus and his disciples. The archaeological record brings that designation into question. Sharon Lea Mattila's "Toward an Alternative View of Village Life in Greco-Roman Palestine and Egypt" for the ASOR Blog.
(2) As is well-known, the role of social memory theory in the study of formative Christianity, especially the historian's Jesus, has been a hot topic for a few years now. Over on The Jesus Blog Anthony Le Donne has posted comments that he made on the stability of memory as it relates to eyewitnesses along with those by Richard Bauckham and Chris Keith: Richard Bauckham Responds.