Biblical Archaeology Society
The Biblical Archaeology Society is a non-denominational organization that supports and promotes biblical archaeology
Biblical archaeology
For the movement associated with William F. Albright and also known as biblical archaeology, see Biblical archaeology school. For the interpretation of biblical archaeology in relation to biblical historicity, see The Bible and history....

. It publishes Biblical Archaeology Review
Biblical Archaeology Review
Biblical Archaeology Review is a publication that seeks to connect the academic study of archaeology to a broad general audience seeking to understand the world of the Bible and the Near and Middle East . Covering both the Old and New Testaments, BAR presents the latest discoveries and...

. Its past publications included Bible Review
Bible Review
Bible Review was a publication that sought to connect the academic study of the Bible to a broad general audience. Covering both the Old and New Testaments, Bible Review presented critical and historical interpretations of biblical texts, and “reader-friendly Biblical scholarship” from 1985 to...

(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
Hershel Shanks
Hershel Shanks is the founder of the Biblical Archaeology Society and the editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review and has written and edited numerous works on Biblical archaeology including the Dead Sea Scrolls....

, 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
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

 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
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is an American satellite and cable specialty channel , founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav...

, the Biblical Archaeology Society announced the existence of the James Ossuary
James Ossuary
The James Ossuary is a 2,000-year old chalk box that was used for containing the bones of the dead. The Aramaic inscription: Ya'akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua is cut into one side of the box...

. Some critics have alleged that the ossuary, which once may have held the remains of James
James the Just
James , first Bishop of Jerusalem, who died in 62 AD, was an important figure in Early Christianity...

, the brother of Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, is a forgery. Shanks has remained a staunch defender of the ossuary.
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