Newly Discovered Cultic Site Outside Jerusalem Matches Biblical Narrative

Aerial photo of the temple at Motza at the end of the 2013 excavation. (P. Partouche, SkyView)
P. Partouche, SkyView

In the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, archaeologists Shua Kisilevits and Oded Lipschits discuss the discovery of a 3,000-year-old temple on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Instead of confirming the biblical story, the authors believe their discovery has “fundamentally changed the way we understand the religious practice of the Judahites.” Or put another way, they believe their discovery runs counter to the history described in the Bible.


On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal looks at the discovery of the cultic place at Tel Motza alongside the history of the Bible. Far from disproving the text, Nagtegaal shows how the physical description of the cultic place and its dating aligns well with the biblical narrative.

Show Notes

Another Temple in Judah,” by Shua Kisilevitz and Oded Lipschits (behind paywall)

Revealed: In First Temple Era, Another Massive Temple Was in Use Near Jerusalem,” by Amanda Borschel-Dan