Guest / Limited Access /

The following Christianity Today editorial originally appeared in Oct. 23, 1995, issue of the magazine.

Christians and Jews owe a lot to biblical archaeology. Over the past century, archaeologists have repeatedly confirmed and illuminated the historicity of the biblical record. Although, as Calvin taught us, we trust the Bible because of the inner witness of the Spirit, having physical evidence that confirms the historical context of God's saving acts bolsters our faith.

But will biblical archaeology survive? An acerbic essay entitled "The Death of a Discipline," published recently in the lively Biblical Archaeology Review, decries the trend in American universities to downgrade or eliminate programs in biblical and Middle East archaeology. According to the author, William Dever of the University of Arizona, the secular academic institutions that have been leaders in this field (Arizona, Chicago, UCLA, and Harvard, among others) have failed to keep their programs fully operational. In Dever's case, his institution has decided to cancel their program. Likewise, writes Dever, religious schools have cut back their commitments to biblical archaeology. (Counter to Dever's argument, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary has made a strong commitment to biblical archaeology and continues to educate specialists at the master's level.) The picture Dever paints is bleak. Other archaeologists interviewed by Christianity Today quickly noted Dever's gift for hyperbole, but they joined him in sounding the alarm: the situation is indeed serious.

Alarums and ExcavationsWe urge evangelical Christian institutions to stand in the gap, to create academic programs and cooperate in field archaeology ("digs") and to promote the importance of biblical ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Tags:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThe Church’s Three-Part Harmony
Subscriber Access Only
The Church’s Three-Part Harmony
Why evangelical, sacramental, and Pentecostal Christians belong together in one body.
Recommended5 Women Every Christian Should Know
5 Women Every Christian Should Know
From Katharina Luther, who escaped a convent and became a radical reformer, to Amanda Berry Smith, an itinerant minister who was born a slave, these women changed history.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickThere’s No Crying on Social Media!
There’s No Crying on Social Media!
Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.
Christianity Today
Why We Dig the Holy Land
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.