May 2019 Updates
The last two months have been a whirlwind of activity. I have spoken at four universities: University of Northwestern, St. Paul, Dayspring Bible College & Seminary, Southern Adventist University, and Harding University.
Additionally, last week I served on a panel regarding the relationship between history and archaeology at the prestigious Lanier Theological Library. This activity indicates a high level of interest in the faith community in the excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir and Shiloh. These sites are ground zero in the battle for the reliability of the Bible.
While at Dayspring, I also filmed in the studio with Dr. Jim Scudder who hosts a national television program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Dr. Scudder and his TBN team will also be filming during Week 4 of our summer excavation at Shiloh. The number of internet searches for me and social media contacts with me have also skyrocketed in the past months.
My speaking schedule at churches has also been brisk. In the last three weeks, I spoke at three dynamic churches: Grace Fellowship in Katy, Sugar Land Family Church, and COGOP in Wake Village. These messages are available at the respective websites.
Next Sunday I will be speaking at City Church in Lufkin. As I travel, I recruit for ABR’s Shiloh excavation and The Bible Seminary (TBS), where I serve as provost.
Speaking of TBS, Dr. Lewis and I just returned from Anaheim, California with great news. TBS has advanced from applicant status to candidate status with TRACS. This time next year we anticipate being fully accredited.
Over Spring Break, I co-led an Egyptian tour with 87 people, including personal friends, ABR dig team members, and members of the TBS Board of Directors. We spent four days in the Cairo area, highlighted by the pyramids, the Egyptian museum, and a trip to Avaris. We then cruised Lake Nassar and the Nile for eight days. Each day we made excursions to temples and other sites of interest. We spent the last two days in Luxor studying the magnificent Karnak and Luxor temples. Many participants found the evening lectures to be the highlight of the trip. The trip was especially enjoyable since Janet was able to come with me.
The final registrations for Season Three at Shiloh are being processed. I anticipate about 140 registered volunteers which will likely make us the largest dig in Israel for the third straight year. If you want to come, register today at www.digshiloh.org. I am pleased to announce two exciting upgrades at Shiloh. First, we will use infrared and ultraviolet light to examine all sherds for glyptic remains which cannot be seen by the naked eye. Second, Leah Tramer from Ariel University will join our staff. Leah is an expert in ceramic reconstructions. Leah and I will work together to adjust our protocols in order to increase the number of restorable vessels from our month-long excavation (May 19 to June 21).
Students studying ceramics will have the opportunity to work with Leah in the Ariel University labs. In June, my article on Shiloh’s ceramic pomegranates will appear in Judea and Samaria Research Studies, a peer-reviewed academic journal.
I value your friendship and partnership. If you are able to make a donation to offset excavation expenses, it would be greatly appreciated. Details are below.