The Prayer Hall at Megiddo: The World’s Oldest Church Building?
Wednesday 22nd May 2013 at 6.00pm
King’s College, K2.31, Nash Lecture Theatre, Strand Building, London WC2R 2LS
The remains of an early Christian place of worship were discovered in 2005 in the grounds of the Megiddo Prison in northern Israel. The excavator has dated the ‘prayer hall’ to the early third century, which would make it the oldest surviving church building, but the dating has been challenged by other authorities. The lecture will give an overview of the discovery, discussing the date of the building and assessing its significance for our knowledge of early Christian architecture, early Christian belief and early Church life.
Dr Edward Adams is Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at King’s College London, where he has taught since 1996. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Parallel Lives of Jesus: Four Gospels, One Story (2011), and The Earliest Christian Meeting Place: Almost Exclusively Houses? (forthcoming, later in 2013, from Continuum/Bloomsbury).
Lawrence H. Schiffman
The Utopian Temple Plan of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Monday 3rd June 2013 at 6.00pm
Lecture Theatre G6, Ground Floor, Institute of Archaeology,
University College London, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPY
The Temple Scroll, recovered by Yigael Yadin during the Six Day War, rewrites much of the Pentateuch, setting out a utopian Temple plan for a gargantuan Temple extending over virtually all of what was then the city of Jerusalem. In addition, this scroll provided detailed prescriptions for the offering of sacrifices and other Temple rituals. This illustrated lecture will examine the architecture of the Temple complex, giving careful attention to the various structures, their purposes, and the manner in which they can be traced in biblical literature.
Lawrence H. Schiffman, currently Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Judaic Studies at Yeshiva University, taught for thirty nine years at New York University, where he was Edelman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Chair of the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. A specialist in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism in Late Antiquity, the history of Jewish law, and Talmudic literature, and the director of New York University’s program at the archaeological excavations at Dor, Israel, from 1980-1982, he is the author of many articles and books, including, most recently, The Courtyards of the House of the Lord: Studies on the Temple Scroll (2008) and Qumran and Jerusalem: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism (2010). He has featured in many TV documentaries on PBS and on the BBC and has lectured widely in universities, academic conferences, and for community organizations.
Organised jointly with the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London