Research Articles: Devotionals

Articles designed for the purpose of bringing edification to the Church and relating practical life matters to archaeological discoveries.

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The Lesson of the Lamp 8/26/2014 - by Gary Byers MA

Psalm 119 is an anonymous Psalm which stands alone between two separate groupings of chapters. After the Hallel Psalms (113-118), sung at the Passover, and before the Songs of Ascent (120-134), sung by pilgrims as they ascended the hills to Jerusalem for the holiday festivals, Psalm 119 had its own unique meaning...

Increase the Harvest of Your Righteousness 8/21/2014 - by Scott Lanser MA

Dear ABR Friends, Our fiscal year calendar closed on June 30th and we look back with deep appreciation for the Lord’s grace and sustaining power for the ministry of ABR. Your continuing faithfulness in giving, volunteering, and praying made 2013-14 a most extraordinary year...

Clear Away the "Debris": An Appeal from ABR 6/11/2014 - by Scott Lanser MA

Dear ABR Friends: Please allow me this opportunity to thank you for your prayers and support for the ministry of ABR! The 2013-2014 season of ministry has been one of the most extraordinary in ABR’s history. Our dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir has uncovered amazing evidence that supports our identification of the site as biblical Ai.

The Potter 6/4/2014 - by Joel Kramer

The months since our return to Israel have been very full. I’ve been blessed to show around several wonderful church groups that have visited. I’ve completed more classes for my Masters in Archaeology. I’ve scouted various new biblical sites. I’ve had adventures that come with living in a foreign country. In it all, I’m afraid the tyranny of the urgent has crowded out some other important areas, and I apologize for the long silence here on the blog! One of my goals for Sourceflix is to show you visuals of what the Bible is talking about. This opportunity presented itself to me again one day while I was driving through the city of Hebron. I spotted a potter sitting at his wheel and stopped to see his work. Watching his hands carefully molding the clay, his foot precisely controlling the speed of his turning wheel, his concentration in applying just the right amount of pressure to reshape the clay and his delighted satisfaction as his object took the shape he desired, I saw with a new clarity my life in God’s hand. He is the Potter, I am the clay. And what is the outcome of yielding myself to His care, His control, His concentration, His pressure? It is His delighted satisfaction! May you be blessed as you yield to the Potter, your Master Creator.

Dr. David Livingston, ABR Founder, At Home With Christ 12/10/2013 - by ABR Staff

Dear Faithful ABR Supporters: It is with both sorrow and joy that we share with you the passing of our beloved friend and founder of ABR, Dr. David Livingston (1925-2013). Dave passed into the presence of Jesus around 11 p.m. on Monday, November 25, 2013. Words cannot begin to express the depth of love and appreciation we all have for him. His love for Christ and his ardent devotion to the Word of God have inspired all of us, and will continue to impact lives for generations to come.

Advancing the Kingdom: A Look Back at 2013 12/4/2013 - by Scott Lanser MA

The holiday season is before us with all of its blessings and joys and with a little busyness and stress mixed in! We hope you will experience the peace and joy of Jesus in this season as you walk as an “overcomer” in the kingdom of God. It is so important to remember that amidst all the madness around us that our citizenship is in heaven, and that the testings and trials we must experience are only for a season. Let us draw every ounce of joy from the knowledge that Christ has come to this world to bring us life and freedom, and His peace that passes understanding. And may your family gatherings and shared family traditions fill you with the warmth and love from these treasured experiences together.

Loving People, Loving Truth: Jesus Speaks to His Church 10/28/2013 - by Scott Lanser MA

New Testament Scripture displays an important panorama of passages, some hortatory and some didactic, calling the believer in Christ to be a student of written revelation and to confront false teachers and false teaching whenever it is manifested in the church. Typically this is seen in the training of individuals who will stand in spiritual leadership in the local assembly of believers: Elders must "be able to teach" (1 Timothy 3:2); Teachers will "incur a stricter judgment" (James 3:1 NASB), as they stand as guides and shepherds to God's flock.

The Precious Time Redeem 9/13/2013 - by Scott Lanser MA

Dear Friend of ABR, I write today with a mixture of emotions, reflecting on the events of September 11th, just over a decade ago when the United States was viciously attacked by terrorists connected with the militant islamist organization, Al Qaeda. It is hard to believe that 12 years have passed since those days of shock, sadness, courage, and resolve.

Apollos: Eloquent and Mighty In the Scriptures 7/11/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Dr. Luke described the itinerant preacher Apollos as an “eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24). It is a rare combination to find a preacher who is both eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures. Usually a preacher is one or the other, or neither! Several examples of ones who are both are Charles Spurgeon, Charles Stanley and Chuck Swindoll. I guess if your name is Charlie you have a leg up on the competition!

"He Began to Send Them Out Two by Two..." 6/26/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Several reasons for a high attrition rate among missionaries are discouragement and loneliness on the mission field. An individual or couple may go out for a few years and when they return home for furlough, decide not to go back to the field again for these reasons. One wonders if following a Biblical pattern of mission might avoid some of these problems on the field. This paper will examine one aspect of Jesus’ instruction for mission. It is: He sent them out two-by-two in order to preach the gospel.

Epaphroditus: A Gambling Veteran 6/17/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers to imitate (follow) him as he followed the Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 11:1). Paul, in his epistle to the church at Philippi, set forth several examples of believers who had the mind of Christ – the lowliness of mind, and esteemed others better then themselves (Phil. 2:3, 5). Paul intended for the Christians at Philippi to imitate these examples: one of whom was one of their own - Epaphroditus.

Aquila and Priscilla: A Godly Marriage for Ministry 6/12/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

When the apostle Paul penned the epistle to the Ephesians in AD 62, Aquila and Priscilla were back in Rome after living and serving the church in Ephesus for several years. I am sure; however, they were not forgotten by the saints there. Perhaps the Apostle Paul had Aquila and Priscilla in mind as an example of a Spirit-filled husband and wife when he penned Ephesians 5:18-33.

Looking Back... and Pressing Forward 6/7/2013 - by Scott Lanser MA

Dear Friends, In just a few short weeks Associates for Biblical Research will be wrapping up its 2012-2013 fiscal year. It has been an exciting and challenging year, full of new opportunities and wonderful progress on important, ongoing projects and activities.

Refreshing Our Spirit 2/19/2013 - by Scott Lanser MA

The generosity of ABR supporters is truly refreshing to our spirit...

Dig Diary From Khirbet el-Maqatir: Winter 2012 Part 5 2/14/2013 - by Dee Alberty

For the third year, ABR Associate Dr. Scott Stripling led a team of diggers to Israel to excavate the Byzantine monastery at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Joining Scott and his team was Dee Alberty from Baton Rouge, LA. Dee shares her experiences in Part 5 of this diary.

Dig Diary From Khirbet el-Maqatir: Winter 2012 Part 4 2/5/2013 - by Dee Alberty

For the third year, ABR Associate Dr. Scott Stripling led a team of diggers to Israel to excavate the Byzantine monastery at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Joining Scott and his team was Dee Alberty from Baton Rouge, LA. Dee shares her experiences in Part 4 of this diary.

Dig Diary from Khirbet el-Maqatir: Winter 2012 Part 3 1/29/2013 - by Dee Alberty

For the third year, ABR Associate Dr. Scott Stripling led a team of diggers to Israel to excavate the Byzantine monastery at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Joining Scott and his team was Dee Alberty from Baton Rouge, LA. Dee shares her experiences in Part 3 of this diary.

Dig Diary from Khirbet el-Maqatir: Winter 2012 Part 2 1/27/2013 - by Dee Alberty

For the third year, ABR Associate Dr. Scott Stripling led a team of diggers to Israel to excavate the Byzantine monastery at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Joining Scott and his team was Dee Alberty from Baton Rouge, LA. Dee shares her experiences in Part 2 of this diary.

Whiter Than Snow 1/15/2013 - by Joel Kramer

A beautiful and moving video clip from ABR Associate, Joel Kramer.

Dig Diary from Khirbet el-Maqatir: Winter 2012 Part 1 1/15/2013 - by Dee Alberty

For the third year, ABR Associate Dr. Scott Stripling led a team of diggers to Israel to excavate the Byzantine monastery at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Joining Scott and his team was Dee Alberty from Baton Rouge, LA. Dee shares her experiences in this diary.

The Maqatir Expedition: A Diary of the 2011 Season 12/19/2012 - by Don McNeeley

For me the physical start of what I am calling the Maqatir Expedition began on 20 May with a departure from Norfolk International Airport in Virginia; first to Philadelphia to catch an international flight to Tel Avi, Israel, then spending two weeks excavating, and finally flying home on 4 June. In reality, the expedition started a few months earlier when I began to consider participating in the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) sponsored excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir.

The Battle Continues: Won't You Join Us? 12/14/2012 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

In June 2008, the Lord graciously reopened the doors for The Associates for Biblical Research to once again begin excavating at Khirbet el-Maqatir, Israel. This site has credible archaeological and geographical evidence to be correlated with the city of Ai, found in the momentous, redemptive-historical events of Joshua 7-8. A team of ABR staff and volunteers has traveled to Israel in 2009 through 2012 to perform further excavations at our site.

Come Over and Help Us... 11/19/2012 - by Scott Lanser MA

A special Christmas season message from ABR Executive Director Scott Lanser.

Coming and Going: Doors and Doorways in the Biblical World 10/19/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

As a pastor in Frederick, Maryland for almost two decades, I visited thousands of homes in the community. In order to earn the right to share my message with those in each house, I soon learned the importance of being able to make a connection with them. One of the ways I learned to do that was to pay attention to the things that were visibIe in their home and attempt to find common ground about it. Redskins gear was an easy connection for me, Dallas Cowboy stuff was not!

Because the Days are Evil... 9/4/2012 - by Scott Lanser MA

Please read this important ABR ministry update from ABR Executive Director, Scott Lanser.

400 Prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament 7/27/2012 - by Paul Humber MDiv

The Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear that the Old Testament spoke of Him, stating: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me” (Jn 5:39). My recently published book, "400+ Prophecies, Appearances, or Foreshadowings of Christ in the Tanakh (Old Testament)," is a conscientious effort to take Jesus at His Word and to discover Him in pages of the Old Testament.

Never Bow the Knee! 6/14/2012 - by Scott Lanser MA

A special end of fiscal year message and appeal from ABR Executive Director, Scott Lanser.

Finding That Which Has Been Lost 5/29/2012 - by Scott Lanser MA

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.” - 2 Kings 22:8

Remembering Clifford A. (“Cliff”) Wilson, May 10, 1923–April 4, 2012 5/3/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

On April 4, 2012, long time ABR Associate and friend, Dr. Clifford Wilson, went home into glory with our Lord. Dr. Bryant Wood shares his thoughts about Dr. Wilson's life and ministry.

Sadness over Saul 3/19/2012 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

In the Summer of 2007, I traveled to Israel for the first time...

The Value of Archaeology in My Faith Walk 3/13/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

Growing up on the east coast of the United States, my father instilled in me a love of American history. He regularly took me to historic battlefields and famous forts where I could often imagine myself in that place at the time important events occurred there. After my own spiritual awakening during my first year of college, my interest in American history shifted to an interest in the world of the Bible. Results of archaeological excavations in the Holy Land fascinated me. From the beginning of my spiritual walk, God used archaeology to encourage my faith.

The Future is Bright for ABR! 12/15/2011 - by Scott Lanser MA

The Associates for Biblical Research is known for archaeological fieldwork and painstaking biblical research. The work produced by ABR is widely used by Bible students, archaeologists, professors and teachers, some of whom believe the Bible to be the Word of God and some who do not. The one thing everyone can count on from ABR is extensive and careful analysis of scientific and biblical evidence. This commitment to detailed scholarship is coupled with an equally important commitment to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Indeed, ABR is devoted to upholding the reliability of the Bible and to communicating the evidence that affirms the historical accounts of Scripture. As we look to the future, ABR will continue its commitment to these all-important objectives.

The Thundering Christmas Voice 12/1/2011 - by Scott Lanser MA

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’” Job 37:5-6

More Than Dirt... 9/6/2011 - by Scott Lanser MA

Dear Friends, It's hard to believe, but the Fall is upon us and ABR is gearing up for another season of digging at Khirbet el-Maqatir in our ongoing search for Joshua’s Ai. As a friend of ABR you have heard us speak of this important archaeological excavation and its impact on the world of biblical scholarship. But the impact of our dig at Maqatir is certainly not for scholars alone, but will impact all Christians, encouraging God’s people around the world.

2011 Year End Report to the ABR Family 7/19/2011 - by Scott Lanser MA

A few weeks ago I alerted the friends of ABR about our financial needs at the close of our 2011 fiscal year on June 30...

Fear of Man or Fear of God? Living a Life of Conviction over Compromise 7/12/2011 - by Scott Lanser MA

Recently I had a most disturbing conversation with a young man who was attending a prestigious Christian liberal arts college. As we chatted, I expressed the value of being involved with ABR in our quest to uphold the authority of the Bible. I was chagrined by his less than enthusiastic response; he actually became slightly distressed, and glibly commented he was concerned about his reputation if he would join ABR, because it might negatively affect his scholarly pursuits.

The Master Potter: Pottery Making in the Bible 7/5/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Pottery played a vital and important role in the everyday lives of the people of Bible times. It is not surprising therefore, that pottery and pottery making is often mentioned in the Bible. Many times prophets and preachers of the Bible used everyday experiences as object lessons to illustrate spiritual truths. The bowls, jars, and the manufacturing processes which produced them were familiar to everyone. The holy men of God used these to good advantage. This article will briefly consider how pottery was made during Bible times and explore a few of the references to pottery making in the Bible.

Please Stand With Us: UPDATE! 6/19/2011 - by Scott Lanser MA

As many of you will recall we sent out an urgent appeal just 2 weeks ago that ABR was in need of an additional $40,000 by June 30 so that all of our financial commitments could be met for this fiscal year...

Psalm 63: Longing to Worship the LORD While in the Wilderness 6/10/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

Let’s be honest, we do not live in a perfect world, nor is our homeland Paradise. There is a Millennial Kingdom coming when King Jesus will rule from Jerusalem with justice and righteousness, but that day is still in the future. We live in the nasty, here and now where Murphy’s Law is the norm. “If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong!” This world we live in is far from perfect. It is a world where injustice is the norm and unrighteousness prevails.

Please Stand With Us! 5/27/2011 - by Scott Lanser MA

Please help ABR finish our fiscal year with all our needs met! Your donations are critically needed…

The Crags of the Wild Goats 5/11/2011 - by Joel Kramer

One of the powerful realities of the Bible is that it accurately describes the ancient world — it’s people, its places, its animals. While not all those descriptions of ancient times are still observable today — some are. En Gedi, in the Judean Wilderness, is one of those places. You’ll see Ibex on the cliffs of En Gedi, just as David would have seen them. As you watch, maybe you can imagine one of the pictures the Psalmist had in mind when he penned Psalm 104. I hope you enjoy!

Our Rich History and the Future of ABR 4/29/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

For the past forty years, the Associates for Biblical Research has demonstrated how archaeological evidence lines up with the biblical text. From its inception, ABR (as it has come to be known) was founded on the belief that the Bible can be trusted as an accurate source of historical information and that the results of archaeological investigation will line up with what the Bible says...

Spiritual Lessons from the Pool of Siloam (Part 1) 4/1/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

Rev. Gary Byers explains the archaeology and history of the Pool of Siloam, and the miracle associated with the blind man of John 9.

Inspiration: The Oracles of God 9/16/2010 - by Erich D Schwartz

The Oracles “To them were entrusted the oracles of God” (Rom 3:2, author’s translation, as are all Scripture quotations henceforth).

The Life and Legacy of Dr. David Livingston 8/5/2010 - by Scott Lanser MA

Dr. David Livingston has devoted his life to teaching the Word of God and upholding and defending the Bible. He has been an inspiration to laymen and scholars alike and to all those who love the Bible, the Word of the living God. As the founder and director of ABR, David was led of God to establish a ministry that would demonstrate the reliability of the Bible and provide an umbrella organization under which likeminded scholars could serve. His passion was fueled by the distortions of critics who declared that whole portions of Old Testament narratives were unhistorical...

A Tribute to David Livingston 4/19/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

On May 26, 2005, ABR held its annual banquet at Calvary Church, Lancaster, PA. This night had a special focus honoring the life and ministry of Dr. Livingston, not only for his role in founding ABR, but on his influence in the lives of others. The following article was a message that night presented by Gordon Franz, giving insight into the man who began this ministry...

A History of ABR: Its Founders and Associates (1969-1994) 7/12/2009 - by Esther Livingston

In memory of those board members who put forth effort, time, prayers, funds, and were the rock on which this work was based; To these, who have now gone on to their reward in Glory, I would like to give special recognition...

Ken Ham at the ABR Banquet 5/18/2009 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

On Thursday May 14, 2009, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis Ministries spoke at the Associates for Biblical Research annual fundraising banquet...

Encouraged by Ozark 10/7/2008 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Many of us are gravely concerned about the overly experientially oriented and anti-intellectual tendencies of the modern church, which often avoids dealing with difficult issues, in-depth theology, and apologetics. Seeing students being trained with a respect for the Word of God encouraged myself and the rest of the ABR staff...

The Parable of the Two Builders 2/6/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

When Jesus preached a sermon, told a parable, or gave a discourse, He always used object lessons that were familiar to His hearers in order to illustrate His point...

Love God with All Your Mind! 1/28/2008 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

One of the most troubling characteristics of today’s Western Christian church is the susceptibility of its members to emotional manipulation by charismatic leaders and to secular arguments and ideas...

Commit It to the Flames 1/2/2008 - by Scott Lanser MA

In spite of the perception of greatness among certain academics and philosophers, David Hume's reasoning is seriously flawed on a number of fronts. ...His philosophy too should be cast to the flames!

Greatest Fish Stories Ever Told 12/5/2007 - by Gordon Franz MA

As the calm waters reflected the slowly rising sun over the Sea of Galilee, a lonely figure walked from Capernaum along a path near the rocky shore of the lake. On this spring day, He noticed the flowers...

Prayer Letter from ABR Director of Research 10/15/2007 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Seeds of doubt are planted by the media, museums and other institutions, and in our public schools. In addition, there is a growing promotion of anti-Christian belief systems such as atheism, cults, false religions and the occult...

Prayer Letter from ABR Director of Research 8/10/2007 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

In my last prayer letter I spoke about the decline of Biblical faith in America, particularly among our young people. I mentioned a study by the Barna Group which indicated that 60% of Christian teens will turn from their faith in early adulthood...

The Resurrection and the Value of a Soul 7/18/2007 - by Scott Lanser MA

The high point of the Christian calendar should be the Day of Resurrection. We have just now celebrated this day of days with our church families with songs and messages of the triumph over death and hell of our great Savior...

Prayer Letter from ABR Director of Research 6/5/2007 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

It began in Europe. Over the course of the 19th and early 20 centuries, the seeds of doubt in the veracity of Scripture...

Does Biblical Archaeology Exist? 4/18/2007 - by Brian Janeway PhD (c)

It will come as news to Bible and Spade readers that, in fact, there is no Biblical Archaeology. From Ronald Hendel’s perspective, Biblical Archaeology and Santa Claus exist only in the imaginary world of the infantile or the untutored...

It Feels Like 1960! 11/11/2006 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The staff of ABR stands with only a few in defending the Biblical record with archaeological research and fieldwork. Will the church go on the offensive, taking back the history of the Bible and refuting claims that undermine its accuracy...

Confronting Baal-Zephon: The Spiritual Message of the Meeting of Israel and the Armies of Egypt 7/12/2006 - by Scott Lanser MA

You may ask, "you mean it’s actually important to know where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea?" or "Does it really matter which mountain is Mt. Sinai?"...

Why Did God Send the Flood? 6/28/2006 - by Austin Robbins DD

The Biblical account of the great flood of Noah’s day opens with an enigmatic passage, Genesis 6: 1-4. The record of Noah, it seems, could easily have omitted them, going directly from the end of chapter five to 6: 5 without losing any essential information pertaining to the flood. The flow of the Genesis narrative seems to be interrupted by these verses...

Biblical Archaeology: Eternal Implications 4/26/2006 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The absolute authority of the Bible as God’s Word is being undermined as never before. The world’s need for a Savior is grounded in history. Undermine and destroy that history, and you make the Gospel an ultimately meaningless invention of mankind...

The Mystery and Miracle of God's Artifacts 1/16/2006 - by Scott Lanser MA

When I turn to the topic of archaeology, I often ponder the hows and whys of God's plan and use of tangible history in the form of artifacts, manuscripts, and other such things buried in the sand, hidden in ancient ruins, or tucked away in some secret cave...

So You Want To Be An Archaeologist? 11/5/2005 - by Gary Byers MA

Just as it happened to me, many people I meet have a great interest in archaeology - especially Biblical archaeology. Unfortunately, there are very few positions to excavate in the Middle East, especially for foreigners. So, even Indiana Jones had a day job - as a university professor!

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Jesus spent much time on and around the Sea of Galilee with His fishermen-disciples. These disciples,...
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For many years, Jericho has been a "problem" in Biblical archaeology since scholars claimed that there...
Psalm 119 is an anonymous Psalm which stands alone between two separate groupings of chapters. After...
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