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Biblical Archaeology Conference to be held at King University, First Presbyterian Church Bristol, TN Nov. 13-14

BRISTOL, Tenn., September 26, 2016 – King University will host a Biblical Archaeology Conference on Nov. 13-14. The conference, which is free and open to the public, will answer the question, “What’s Going on with Biblical Archaeology in Israel.” This meeting is part of a once-a-year seminar series designed specifically for those interested in the Bible and a better understanding of its history through archaeological digs and research. This year’s conference is held in conjunction with King’s Department of Philosophy and Religion and the King Institute for Faith and Culture’s 2016-17 Lecture Series, which contemplates faith engaging culture.

Sessions over two days will cover topics from the Old and New Testaments and the latest Biblical archaeological discoveries in Israel and Palestine. Regions of interest include Jerusalem, Judah, and Azekah which overlooks the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath.

“This unique international conference on the outstanding findings and discoveries from archaeological excavations that have taken place recently in Israel and Palestine will enable participants to better understand the ancient world of the land of the Bible,” says Dr. Don Michael Hudson, conference moderator and chair of King’s Department of Philosophy and Religion. “We are honored to have Drs. Manfred Oeming, Oded LIpschits, and Yuval Gadot to share their firsthand experiences on active Biblical archaeological digs in Israel. This is a rare treat for our community. We invite our local churches and their congregations to attend.”

The conference will feature three renowned scholars and archaeologists in Biblical archaeology including:

  • Dr. Oded LipschitsOded Lipschits is a professor of Jewish History in the Biblical period at Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he founded the International MA and PhD Program in Ancient Israel Studies within the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. He also serves as the director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology. Lipschits has been the co-director with Manfred Oeming and Yuval Gadot of the Ramat-Rahel Archaeological Project since 2004, and since 2010, he has been the co-director of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition. 
  • Dr. Yuval GadotYuval Gadot, a senior lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University in Israel. He also directs the University’s excavations at the City of David and co-directs the Ramat Rahel Excavation project, and since 2012 of The Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition. Gadot holds a doctorate from Tel Aviv University where he studied the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Israel’s central coastal plain. His work includes the first full publication of the excavations at Tel Aphek and a regional study of trends in the material culture as they understood in relation to historical events. Currently, he leads an archaeological dating project involving the introduction of agricultural terraces in the Jerusalem highlands, a project that carries cross-cultural significance.
  • Dr. Manfred OemingManfred Oeming, a professor at the University of Heidelberg in Germany for 20 years, serving for the last decade as the University’s dean of the Faculty of Theology. He is considered an authority in the areas of exegesis of the Hebrew Bible, Biblical archaeology, and hermeneutics. A noted scholar and lecturer, Oeming has taught Old Testament theology and Biblical archaeology in Mainz, Osnabrück, and Heidelberg, and has written and edited numerous books and articles. He is also co-director with Oded Lipschits and Yuval Gadot of the Ramat Rahel Excavation project, and since 2012 of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition.

This fall conference will take place at King University’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn., and First Presbyterian Church of Bristol, which is adjacent to the campus. The conference will open at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13 at First Presbyterian with a panel discussion to include Dr. Oeming, Dr. Lipschits and Dr. Gadot. The preeminent scholars will address current Biblical archaeological endeavors in Israel/Palestine and will be willing to take your questions. A reception will follow at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, the following keynote lectures will be presented in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian.

4 PM: lectures and Q and A: (First Presbyterian Bristol Fellowship Hall)

Prof. Oded Lipschits: “The Age of Empires”: Ramat Raḥel as the Centre of Judahite Administration under Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Rule (20 minutes)

Dr. Yuval Gadot: Jerusalem and It’s Hinterland in the Late First Temple Period (20 minutes)

Panel Discussion (20 minutes)

5 PM: Reception (First Presbyterian Bristol Chapel)

6 PM: Keynote Addresses (First Presbyterian Bristol Sanctuary)

Prof. Oded Lipschits: Archaeology: New Methods and New Discoveries that Changed our Understanding of the Biblical Period (30 minutes)
In this lecture, Prof. Lipschits will present the modern methods and the new discoveries in modern archaeology of the land of the Bible and the way these discoveries shed new light on our understanding of the history of the Biblical Period. He will demonstrate many discoveries from his excavations and from excavations of other colleagues, and he will discuss many of the well-known periods and events described in the Old Testament.

Prof. Yuval Gadot: “Taking out the Trash”: Life in Early Roman Jerusalem as Seen through its Garbage Disposal Layers (30 minutes)
In this lecture, Prof. Yuval Gadot will present his findings from the recent excavations in the City of David in the many layers of trash from the 1st Century CE and what these excavations can teach us about life in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus.

Prof. Manfred Oeming: "The Stones and the Word”: The Importance of Archaeology for the Interpretation of the Bible" (30 minutes)
Prof. Oeming will provide a short survey of different positions regarding the connection between archaeology and the Bible and will demonstrate how both Prof. Oeming will utilize the results of excavations in Tel Azekah, Israel. Most importantly, he will present many supports for the biblical record (Canaanites, Joshua, Sennacherib, Nehemiah?). He will also discuss the current debate concerning King David. We are still missing essential evidence especially regarding David’s time. Therefore, we MUST continue to excavate, to attain more results, and continue with attempts to learn the history of the biblical period.

15 minutes for Q&A:

Monday 9:15 AM - Lecture in the Memorial Chapel, King University Campus

Oded Lipschits: “Excavating Paradise": The Ancient Palace at Ramat Rahel and its secrets (25 minutes)

Yuval Gadot: The New Excavations at Tel Azekah after 5 Seasons (25 minutes)

10 minutes for Q&A:

“We invite anyone interested in the land and history of the Bible to attend. You will enjoyr this conference immensely and gain a greater understanding of the Bible,” says Hudson.

For registration details, contact Dr. Don Michael Hudson at dmhudson@king.edu or 423.652.4154.

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