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The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies Provides a comprehensive survey of Biblical scholarship in a variety of disciplines.

Founding of Archaeological Societies

Nineteenth-century Palestine and its surrounding region were of growing public interest. Petra had been rediscovered for Europeans by J. L. Burkhardt (1784–1817) in 1812, and well illustrated by L de Laborde (1830), and then by the artists David Roberts (in Palestine 1838–9) and W. H. Bartlett (in Palestine 1841–4). The River Jordan and the Dead Sea had been explored in 1848 by an American naval lieutenant, W. F. Lynch. The development of Sunday schools, the church-goer's interest in the Bible, the general growth of education, the arrival of Cook's Tours, coupled with cheaper printing technology, all fed the interest. Steamships and railways opened tourist routes for the wealthier classes, while politicians and businessmen dreamed of a land route to India via the Levant. The foundation of the Palestine Exploration Fund (1865), whose aim was the scientific investigation of ‘the Archaeology, Geography, Geology and Natural History of Palestine’, met a growing intellectual interest, and through its journal, the Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement, presented the results of continuing exploration and excavation to its subscribers. The British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, modelled on similar schools in Rome and Athens, was founded in 1912, with an offshoot in Amman in 1978. Similar societies appeared elsewhere: the first institute of the American Schools of Oriental Research was founded in Jerusalem in 1900, soon followed by its Bulletin. Also in Jerusalem, the French Dominicans established the École biblique et archéologique in 1890, with their journal, the Revue biblique, in 1892. In Germany, the Deutscher Verein für Erforschung Palästinas, with its periodical Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins, was founded in 1877, and the Deutsches evangelisches Institut für Altertumswissenschaft des Heiligen Landes, with its Palästina-Jahrbuch, appeared in 1900. In Israel, the Israel Exploration Society (formerly the Jewish Palestine Exploration Society, founded in 1914) launched the Israel Exploration Journal in 1951. All these societies have had an enormous impact on the world of biblical scholarship.

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