Three Archaeology Websites Reviewed
Archaeology fascinates modern people, for it lifts the veil on life in the ancient world. Christians are particularly interested in this field due to the light it sheds on the world of the Bible.
During the past two centuries, skeptics have sometimes asserted that archaeology disproves the Bible – or at least, undermines its credibility by revealing numerous errors. A careful study of archaeology from the 19th-21st centuries demonstrates that these claims are patently false. Time and again, the biblical view of the ancient world has been vindicated by the scholars’ shovels, spades, and research in libraries and laboratories.
The more of the Bible lands that are excavated, the more clear become the culture, languages, and backstory of Bible passages.
Unearthing The Past
Happily, digital sojourners (i.e. web-connected believers) have a trove of good materials relating to Biblical archaeology on the web. I wish to highlight three helpful & trustworthy pages.
By way of disclaimer, I will admit that the three driving forces behind these sites are acquaintances of mine: I studied with Dr. Bryant Wood during my history studies at Messiah College in the early 1990s. Todd Bolen led study tours at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies (now called Jerusalem University College) when I was a student there in the Fall of 1993. Gordon Franz has been a close personal friend for twenty-one years, and has encouraged and edified me in innumerable ways. I am indebted to these three brothers for their good service to their fellow-saints by laboring in the Word and historical research.
Veteran archaeologist Gordon Franz’s site is called Life & Land Seminars and may found here: www.lifeandland.org. His page contains numerous articles that he has written over the years on OT & NT history and archaeology. There are also excavation and tour reports pertaining to various biblical sites around the world. He updates the site regularly, and has it well-organized under various tabs such as “Life of Christ,” “Life of David,” “The Seven Churches of Asia Minor – Rev. 1-3,” etc. Technical material is sometimes discussed, but in a way that is accessible to the non-specialized reader.
Todd Bolen’s Bible Places prominently displays his excellent photography of biblical lands – some is freely downloadable, other material may be purchased. He has spent years teaching in Israel (first with the IHLS and then with Master’s Seminary’s extension campus in Israel.) He is currently completing a doctorate at Dallas Theological Seminary. His blog (blog.bibleplaces.com) is outstanding. It contains helpful news from Israel, as well as links to current archaeology on the web.
The Associates For Biblical Research (ABR) exists to teach biblical archaeology, as well as conduct fresh research in the field. Its president, Bryant Wood is well-trained with advanced degrees from the Universities of Michigan and Toronto. His writing in defense of the biblical Jericho has been particularly noteworthy in refuting the prevailing opinion set down by Dame Kathleen Kenyon. Helpful articles and excavation reports may be found at their well-organized site under such headings as “Contemporary issues,” “Exodus-Conquest,” and “New Testament Era.” What is more, it is well-worth subscribing to their quarterly print magazine, Bible & Spade. Their bookstore contains helpful audio, video, & print resources. The blog’s address is www.biblearchaeology.org
I commend these helpful website for all thoughtful Christians, as well as for those who are not convinced of the Bible’s trustworthiness.