Biblical Archaeology Society
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The Biblical Archaeology Society is a non-denominational organization that supports and promotes biblical archaeology. It publishes Biblical Archaeology Review. Its past publications included Bible Review (1985–2005) and Archaeology Odyssey (1998–2006). The Biblical Archaeology Society also publishes books about biblical archaeology aimed at a general readership. The Society has, for more than 30 years, run seminars and tours offering an opportunity to learn directly from world-renowned archaeologists and scholars. It also produces videos (DVD) and CDs on archaeology and biblical archaeology.
The Biblical Archaeology Society and its leader, Hershel Shanks, have been at the center of several controversies.
In 1991, the Biblical Archaeology Society published A Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls, making the Dead Sea scrolls available to scholars around the world. Previously, access to the scrolls was limited to a small team of specialists who had been invited to translate them.
At a 2002 press conference co-hosted with the Discovery Channel, the Biblical Archaeology Society announced the existence of the James Ossuary. Some critics have alleged that the ossuary, which may have once held the remains of James, the brother of Jesus, is a forgery. During the forgery trial, which lasted for several years, Shanks remained a staunch defender of the ossuary. On March 14, 2012, the defendants were acquitted of all charges of forgery.
- Hershel Shanks, Verdict: Not Guilty" Bible History Daily, March 2012