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The Ancient Jews (and Temple) of Elephantine Island 


Season 2: Episode 55
The Ancient Jews (and Temple) of Elephantine Island 
Date Aired: 2/26/2024

In the sixth century BCE, on a tiny island in the Nile River, once stood a temple to Yahweh. Far from Jerusalem, the ancient Jews of Egypt’s Elephantine Island worshipped a mighty god they called “Yaho” in one of the first diaspora Jewish communities outside of Palestine. How they got there and who they became is a fascinating and little-known story. On today’s episode, Helen and Dave talk with historian Karel van der Toorn, professor of ancient religion at the University of Amsterdam and author of Becoming Diaspora Jews: Behind the Story of Elephantine.

Listen to the episode on the Biblical Time Machine website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclaimer: The Society of Biblical Literature is not responsible for the content of this podcast. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Society of Biblical Literature, its members, or its staff.

  • The Biblical Time Machine Podcast is hosted by Helen Bond and Dave Roos. Helen Bond is professor of Christian origins at Edinburgh University. She is the author of Women Remembered: Jesus’s Female Disciples, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel, and The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. Her research focuses on the social and political history of first century Judaea, the historical Jesus and the canonical gospels. Dave Roos is a journalist and writer who contributes to, HowStuffWorks and the popular podcast Stuff You Should Know. Dave has a degree in religious studies from Duke University.