Current Events Articles: All posts by ABR Staff

9 New Dead Sea Scroll Fragments Discovered posted by ABR Staff

For more, visit (off-site links):

Times of Israel


Construction Ready to Begin on Life Sized Noah's Ark posted by ABR Staff

Visit Ark Encounter for more information (off-site link).

Major Artifact Confirms Biblical Account posted by ABR Staff

Major Artifact Confirms Biblical Account

ABR has been conducting excavations in Israel since 1995 at Khirbet el-Maqatir (9 miles north of Jerusalem), which meets the biblical requirements to be identified as the fortress of Ai conquered by the Israelites as recorded in Joshua 7-8.

Copyright 2013, Associates for Biblical Research. may not be reproduced anywhere, in any format, without the express written permission of the Associates for Biblical Research. Photo by Mike Luddeni.

Pottery excavated at the site indicates the fortress was in use in the Late Bronze period, circa 1500-1400 BC. The scarab is a rare type that was made in the early 18th dynasty, ca. 1485-1418 BC. This is a significant discovery since it provides an independent date for the fortress apart from pottery. According to the Bible, the Israelites left Egypt in 1446 BC and entered Canaan in 1406 BC. The scarab substantiates the historical accuracy of the narratives found in Joshua.

Named the Number One Discovery of 2013 by Christianity Today!

The Egyptian scarab from Khirbet el-Maqatir will be on display in the Dunham Bible Museum at Houston Baptist University from January 22 to December 20, 2014.

For more information, please contact:

Henry B. Smith Jr.

Associates for Biblical Research

Director of Development

Contact Page

Download Press Release

Download Museum Exhibit Flyer

Media Photo File (off site link)

Watch video footage of the Discovery of the Scarab at Khirbet el-Maqatir.

Hear Dr. Scott Stripling talk about the Khirbet el-Maqatir Exhibit at Houston Baptist University.



Press Release Maqatir Scarab Museum-1a.pdf (406.69 kb)

rev 1-10(2) full page HBU Exhibit_red crackle.pdf (1.34 mb)

Press Release Maqatir Scarab Museum-Press Conf FINAL.pdf (411.72 kb)

13th Dynasty Tomb of King Sobekhotep Found In Egypt posted by ABR Staff

The tomb discovered by the Pennsylvania University mission working south of Abydos, Sohag. The first lead to this discovery was when the huge quartzite sarcophagi of 60 tons was found in 2013. Then, parts of tablet were found depicting the name of the King and show him sitting on his throne.

For more see (off-site link): Luxor Times

Support ABR Through an IRA Distribution posted by ABR Staff

A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is an otherwise taxable distribution from an IRA (other than an ongoing SEP or SIMPLE IRA) owned by an individual who is age 70½ or over that is paid directly from the IRA to a qualified charity.


An IRA owner can exclude from gross income up to $100,000 of a QCD made for a year, and a QCD can be used to satisfy any IRA required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year. Also, the amount of a QCD excluded from gross income is not taken into account in determining any deduction for charitable contributions.


This Act authorizes an individual with a traditional IRA and who has attained the age of 70½, or older, to satisfy their required minimum distribution for 2013 by having their IRA trustee issue a check directly to a qualified charitable organization from their IRA. Such a distribution does not increase your taxable income as a normal distribution would nor can it be taken as a charitable deduction against your taxable income. The advantage is that the amount can be included in your required minimum distribution.


Should you wish to contribute to A.B.R. in this manner, Associates For Biblical Research is recognized by the U. S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(3)c charitable organization. Just indicate to us that the amount is a direct distribution from your IRA account.


For further information check the IRS website enter QCD in the search box or speak with your tax advisor. Please feel free to contact ABR Executive Director, Scott Lanser at


Joshua's Ai Exhibit At Houston Baptist University posted by ABR Staff

If it is indeed true that a picture is worth a thousand words, the ABR Khirbet el-Maqatir exhibit at Houston Baptist University (HBU), will be loudly proclaiming the reliability of the biblical text.


Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site will be a year-long exhibit of 42 artifacts from excavations in Israel at Khirbet el-Maqatir, thought to be the site of ancient Ai from Joshua 7-8.  The Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria has approved the loan of these artifacts for exhibit at the Houston Baptist University’s Dunham Bible Museum from January 21-December 19, 2014.  In conjunction with the exhibit, a symposium will be held on February 8th, focusing on the role of archaeology in understanding ancient history and biblical studies as well, including critical reflection on the excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir and what light they shed on the ancient biblical world. Starting from Genesis 12-13 and moving forward in time toward Maqatir's magnificent monastery, 4,000 years of history will be on display. Special attention will be given to the Late Bronze Age fortress (the Ai of Joshua 7-8) and the Early Roman/New Testament village (perhaps Ephraim of John 11:54). 


Over the millennia, the human footprint on the earth has many layers, and archaeology fascinatingly uncovers them, bringing to the surface artifacts long buried.  Each artifact is a piece of the story of an earlier time and civilization.  The exhibit and symposium focusing on excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir connect us with people across two millennia who lived between 3500 and 1500 years ago, helping us understand humankind across the ages.


Topics addressed include the epic struggles during the Israelite conquest of Canaan, the Roman occupation of Judea, the Jewish revolt resulting in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and the establishment of the Church in the early Christian era.  Archaeology’s role in interpreting the Bible and Israel’s early history will also be addressed.


Three scholars will organize the exhibit (Dr. Scott Stripling, Dr. Diana Severance, Dr. Bryant Wood).  Four scholars will be the lecturers and facilitators at the symposium (Drs. Bryant Wood, Eugene Merrill, Leen Ritmeyer and Scott Stripling).


Visitors to the exhibits and audience at the symposium will gain a renewed appreciation for the changing evidences of mankind’s civilization and culture across the centuries.  Their examination of archaeological and historical evidence will develop critical thinking skills.  They will also better be able to assess the historicity of the Bible, the foundational text for Western civilization.


Hear Dr. Scott Stripling talk about the Khirbet el-Maqatir Exhibit at Houston Baptist University and the Symposium on February 8, 2014.



Symposium and Conference: February 8, 2014


Throughout 2014, the Dunham Bible Museum will be hosting the special exhibit Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site.  Over 40 objects from the excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir, thought to be the site of the biblical Ai, will be brought from Israel to HBU just for this exhibit.  In conjunction with the exhibit, the Dunham Bible Museum will host an Archaeological Conference on February 8, 2014.  The conference will be in the Belin Chapel of the HBU’s Morris Cultural Arts Center.  The Dunham Bible Museum is nearby and will be open throughout the Conference.  The following are confirmed speakers and topics:


Dr. Eugene H. Merrill


Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the author of over 10 books.  He was an Associate Editor of the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, a translator of the New King James Version and the New Living Translation, and an editor of the Holman Christian Standard Bible. Dr. Merrill is a Square Supervisor at Khirbet el-Maqatir.


                          Dr. Leen Ritmeyer


Founder of Ritmeyer Archaeological Design, which offers “consultancy on archaeological background and illustration to groups as diverse as Hollywood movie companies, National Geographic, the ESV Study Bible and the new GLO Bible study computer program.” Ritmeyer is architect for the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavations, the premier archaeological architect for Jerusalem, and numerous other archaeological sites. 




                          Dr. Scott Stripling


Chair of Humanities and Foreign Languages at Wharton County Junior College. He is director of the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation, and has supervised excavations at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan and the Temple Mount Salvage Project in Jerusalem.



                          Dr. Bryant Wood


Director of Research with the Associates for Biblical Research, consulting editor for Bible and Spade, and ceramic typologist of the excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir.  He is author of The Sociology of Pottery in Ancient Palestine: The Ceramic Industry and the Diffusion of Ceramic Style in the Bronze and Iron Ages.


Saturday, February 8, 2014


9 am – Dr. Bryant Wood, “ Khirbet el-Maqatir: A Border Fortress in the Highlands of Canaan and a Proposed New Location for the Ai of Joshua 7-8”


10:15 – Dr. Eugene Merrill, “Ai and Old Testament Chronology: Who Cares?”


11:30-1:00 Lunch Break


1 pm - Dr. Scott Stripling, “Ritual Purity at Khirbet el-Maqatir’s First Century Village and the First Jewish Revolt Against Rome”


2:15 – Dr. Leen Ritmeyer, “Does the Byzantine Church at Maqatir reflect the sacred architecture of the Temple in Jerusalem?


3:30 – Closing panel discussion


Cost for the conference is $25, which includes lunch on Saturday.  There is no fee for Houston Baptist University faculty, staff, and students, but they MUST register for the conference and purchase meal tickets if eating at the conference.  Registration is available online on the HBU Website or by mail, with registration mailed to:

Dunham Bible Museum

Houston Baptist University

7502 Fondren Road

Houston, Texas 77074 

The deadline for registration is February 1, 2014. 


For more information contact:

Dr. Diana Severance at 281-649-3287 or


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