In Search of Context
The Bible remains as the most important and influential book ever produced. The teachings of the Bible have shaped cultures throughout the world. Due to its great significance and widespread readership, the Bible can be misunderstood – especially when readers fail to understand the original culture to which it was written.
As a Christian archaeologist, it is my duty and privilege to study, illuminate, and explain the ancient culture of biblical times to help bridge the cultural gap created by time, distance, and worldview. As I peel back layers of dirt to reveal the nuances of cultures and customs, my appreciation of the Bible and the ANE people grows exponentially.
Archaeology has done much to illuminate and enhance the study of the Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls provided very early copies of most Old Testament books and give evidence for the reliability of Scripture. Many biblical people have been attested through inscriptions and artifacts. And the unearthed ruins of biblical cities illustrate how well biblical writers understood the geography of the land. But more often than not, the finds at sites in Israel are mundane in nature, primarily dealing with the daily life of ancient peoples. I find much joy when I uncover clues to how people lived and how these people thought about the world around them.