Date of Award


Document Type



Christian Studies

First Reader

Dr. Danny Hays

Second Reader

Dr. Trey Berry

Third Reader

Dr. Jay Curlin


This following thesis will examine the past, present, and future state of affairs in Biblical Archaeology. I will attempt to examine the field of Biblical Archaeology by examining the history of the discipline leading up to its present state, as well as examining a current problem with future ramifications. In the Section 1 I will examine past figures in Biblical Archaeology that contributed to its growth into its modem form. I also will compare past archaeological methods to the recent methods employed by Biblical archaeologists. Next, after giving an introduction to the discipline, in Section 2 I will examine a particular site where current archaeological methods are used, Hazor. Hazor is an important site in any discussion of Biblical Archaeology because of its rich history, its connection to biblical events, and its importance to biblical archaeologists (Razor is one of the most excavated tels in all of lsrael; it has been excavated by past archaeologists [Yigael Yadin] and current ones [Amnon Ben-Tor]). Also in this section, I will examine the career of current archaeologist Arnnon Ben-Tor. Dr. Ben-Tor's career is important to this discussion because he is connected with the past of the discipline (studied and worked under Yigael Yadin), to the present of the discipline (his current work at Razor), and the future (his views against the minimalist idea of the Bible). Finally, in the Section 3 of this thesis, I will examine a current issue in archaeological writings and discussions which will have effects on the future of Biblical Archaeology, the minimalist vs. maximalist debate.

The introduction section to Biblical Archaeology is for the purpose of informing the reader of the past of the discipline, major figures, terms, and excavation methods past and present. The next section on Hazor and Amnon Ben-Tor attempts to present to the reader a current site in the field of Biblical Archaeology, demonstrating methods used in excavation, finds, and current argued connections with archaeology and the Bible. The final section introduces the reader to a heated topic relevant to the future of Biblical Archaeology. This topic is relevant to Biblical Archaeology because of its imbedded proposal that Biblical Archaeology is essentially a worthless enterprise.

These four issues work together in this thesis in order to give the reader a basic understanding of Biblical Archaeology both past and present. The goal of this thesis is to engage the conversation of Biblical Archaeology with the hopes of laying the foundation for future research, as well as to become familiar with a field important to the biblical studies enterprise.



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