Dr. Bryant G. Wood is the Archaeological Director of the Khirbet el-Maqatir Excavations. He earned a M.A. degree in Biblical History from the University of Michigan in 1974, and a Ph.D. degree in Syro-Palestinian archaeology from the University of Toronto in 1985. In 1989–90, Dr. Wood was visiting professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto. In addition, he has served as adjunct professor at Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield PA; Evangelical School of Theology, Myerstown PA; Faith Theological Seminary, Los Angeles; Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster PA; and Toronto Baptist Seminary, Toronto. Dr. Wood’s extensive archaeological field work includes serving as co-director of a survey of three reservoir areas in northern Jordan, 1978; area supervisor for the Wadi Tumilat Project excavation at Tell el-Maskhuta, Egypt, 1979, 1981, and 1983; volunteer at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev excavation at Haruvit in the northern Sinai, 1981; member of the Wadi Tumilat Project survey of the Wadi Tumilat, Egypt, 1983; field archaeologist for the Associates for Biblical Research excavation at Khirbet Nisya, Israel, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994; and Director of the Kh. el-Maqatir excavation, Israel, 1995–present. Wood is a specialist in Canaanite pottery of the Late Bronze Age. 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 (1990), as well as numerous articles on archaeological subjects published in various academic journals. Dr. Wood received international media attention for his research on ancient Jericho that demonstrated the historicity of the Biblical account of the capture of the city by the Israelites. Dr. Wood has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Endowment for Biblical Research to carry on his archaeological research. He is a member of the Near East Archaeological Society and a Fellow of the Institute for Biblical Research. He is currently Director of Research with ABR and senior editor of Bible and Spade magazine.
Rev. Gary A. Byers is an ABR Staff Archaeologist and Administrative Director of the Khirbet el-Maqatir Excavations. Gary graduated with a BS and MCE from Liberty University, and an MA from Baltimore Hebrew University. His MA thesis subject was: Domestic Architecture in Iron Age I Palestine. He was the founding and senior Pastor at Fredericktowne Baptist Church, Walkersville, MD from 1974-1991. Gary’s excavation and field experience include: Senior Archaeologist at Tall el-Hammam, Jordan (2006-present); Administrative Director at Khirbet al-Maqatir, Israel (1995-present); excavation staff at Khirbet Nisya, Israel (1993-1994) and Tel Miqne (Ekron), Israel (1984). He also serves on the archaeological survey team for the ArcImaging Archaeological Expedition to Mount Ararat, Turkey (2005-present). A member of the Board of Directors of the Near East Archaeological Society, Gary is also the Program Chairman for the group’s Annual Meetings. He is presently Spiritual Life Director at the Helping Up Mission in Baltimore, Maryland, where 400 men reside in a 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program for drug and alcohol addiction.
Dr. Eugene H. Merrill has generously served as a Square Supervisor at the Khirbet el-Maqatir Excavations since 1996. He is Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, Tx. Dr. Merrill's academic credentials greatly contribute to the work of ABR, which include: B.A., Bob Jones University, 1957; M.A., 1960; Ph.D., 1963; M.A., New York University, 1970; M.Phil., Columbia University, 1976; Ph.D., 1985. Dr. Merrill has published over 190 articles in various theological journals and written or contributed to 13 books. As a scholar, Dr. Merrill regularly contributes to leading journals, periodicals, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and commentaries. He is one of the most well-known and exceptional OT scholars in the Church today.
Dr. Scott Stripling is a Field Supervisor at the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavations, focusing on the Byzantine Monastery. He teaches Humanities full-time at Wharton County Junior College and as an Adjunct Professor at Belhaven University (Biblical Archaeology and English). Scott has earned two Master's degrees (English & Biblical Literature) as well as a D.Min. with an emphasis in Ancient Near Eastern archaeology. He pastored for two decades and has written and spoken publicly on a variety of ministry, archaeology, education, and public policy issues. He is currently a field supervisor at the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project, Jordan. He also worked for two seasons as a supervisor at the Temple Mount Salvage Operation in Jerusalem. Scott does consulting work for non-profit and educational organizations, and he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for StraightWay, a faith-based drug rehabilitation program. Articles recently published include Livias: A Lost City, Is Tall el-Hammam on the Madaba Map?, Debunking the Discovery Channel (proving the real pharaoh of the Exodus), Jesus: Written in Stone (a reaction to the discovery of the James Ossuary) and Reflections on Recent Terrorist Attacks (an examination of the Koran and the concept of Jihad). Scott's book, The Trowel and the Truth, has been adopted as an archaeology textbook by several Universities. Scott is currently working on his Ph.D. thesis at Trinity Southwest Seminary.
Mrs. Suzanne Lattimer serves as a Square Supervisor at Khirbet el-Maqatir. She attended Bryan College in Dayton, TN and received her B.A. in Bible and Piano Performance, with a minor in Koine Greek. She went on to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in Deerfield, Illinois and received her M.A. in Near Eastern Archaeology and Semitic Languages. While at TEDS, she studied under James Hoffimeier, Kenneth Kitchen, and K. Lawson Younger Jr. Suzanne participated in ABR's excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, and served as a square supervisor in 2010, 11 and 12. She has also dug at Tel Dor in Israel, in the Great Smoky Mountains with the National Park Service, and interned at the ABR office. She has written articles for children in Bible and Spade, and has spoken to many children and adult Sunday School classes about the importance of archaeology.
Mr. Michael Luddeni NAPP has graciously served the ministry of ABR for over 20 years. An avid lover of archaeology and the Bible, Mike has served as the Dig photographer at Khirbet el-Maqatir excavations since 1995. He also served at the ABR excavations at Khirbet Nisya under the direction of ABR founder, Dr. David Livingston. Mike also works as the photographer at the excavations at Tall el-Hammam, Jordan. Mike has traveled extensively through Europe and the Middle East photographing ancient sites and museum objects and artifacts of the Biblical world. He formerly served on the ABR Board of Directors and has archived thousands of pictures for the ABR ministry, volunteering as the photo and graphics editor for ABR's flagship publication, Bible and Spade magazine.
Dr. Brian Peterson has worked at Khirbet el-Maqatir since 2010, as both a labourer and a square supervisor. His passion is marrying the truth of the Word with historical records and archaeology. In 2003, he completed a Master of Theological Studies from Beeson Divinity School and in 2004 completed his second master’s degree, a MAOT, from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Brian graduated in 2009 with a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from the University of Toronto. Since then Brian has taught classes at the Gambia Theological Institute in the Gambia, West Africa as well as spending a year (2010) as an Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Prairie Bible College in Alberta, Canada. In the summer of 2011, Brian joined the faculty of Lee University in Cleveland, TN as a part of the School of Religion in the Theology Department where he presently teaches a variety of Old Testament classes and Introductory Hebrew. Brian has published several articles and essays. His dissertation has been published by Wipf and Stock in the Princeton Theological Monograph Series entitled “Ezekiel in Context: Ezekiel’s Message Understood in its Historical Setting of Covenant Curses and Ancient Near Eastern Mythological Motifs."
Mr. Joel Kramer is the son of an oil company worker, raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After graduating from college with a BA degree in communications, he moved to the 95% Mormon town of Brigham City, Utah where he married his wife Cathy, began a family, and started Living Hope Ministries. The vision was to focus on the medium of film to both educate Christians about Mormonism and produce tools that would more effectively equip Christians in their witness to Mormons. Joel and his team released four films, DNA vs. The Book of Mormon (2003), Called to Be Free (04), The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon (05) and Lifting the Veil of Polygamy (07). The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon proved to be the most effective tool in bringing Mormons to Christ because it not only taught the falsehood of the Book of Mormon, but emphasized the truth of the Bible. To teach Mormons what is true about the Bible became Joel's passion, so he moved his family and Living Hope Ministries from Utah to Jerusalem, Israel in 2007. The name of the ministry was changed to SourceFlix and the vision broadened beyond, but not excluding, Mormonism. SourceFlix has produced four more films from Israel : The Jesus Tomb Unmasked (2009), Jericho Unearthed (2009), The Bible vs. Joseph Smith (2010) and The Sacrifice (2011). Joel dilligently serves the ABR ministry on the ground in Israel: filming, providing vital administrative assistance for the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation, and informing ABR about the events happening on the ground in Israel today.
Dr. Jim Luther has served as a square supervisor during the 2009 season at Khirbet el Maqatir, and as both square supervisor and assistant to the director during the 2011 season. Prior to his work with ABR, Jim worked on the Tel Zeitah excavation during the 2007 season. He earned a B.A. from Bob Jones University, M. Div. from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, M.A. from the University of Detroit, and a Ph.D. from Bob Jones University. After receiving his doctorate, Jim spent a year as visiting scholar at the University of Michigan. Early in his ministry, Jim had the honor of launching the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, and was a professor of Biblical Exposition there for 6 years. During this time period, he also served for 10 years as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Northville, MI; and was an adjunct professor at William Tyndall College and Birmingham Bible Institute. Dr. Luther has written several articles for publication, and won an award from The Evangelical Press Association for his series on the life of Joseph in 2005. He currently serves as one of the pastors of Lynn Haven United Methodist Church, a large, growing, Christ honoring center of evangelism in the Panama City, FL area.
Mrs. Sandy Souza lives in Concord, California, and works in the Pathology Department at the local hospital as a medical transcriptionist. She has dug 8 seasons at Khirbet Nisya and 9 seasons at Khirbet el-Maqatir and worn many hats for ABR. She also dug with the ABR group at Hazor in 2004, traveled to Egypt in 2005 for the Biblical Egypt Tour, and attended one session working on the Temple Mount Project in 2008. Sandy has coordinated and supervised object registration at both Khirbet Nisya and Khirbet el-Maqatir. Sandy gladly instructs and trains others in this vital and important function. The most rewarding comment to Sandy from these diggers has been: "I wish I had learned this on the first day of the dig because it has made both the digging process and everything to do with the pottery more interesting, interrelated with the digging, and concatenated." Sandy attends New Life church in Alamo where she serves on the Women's Missions Committee.
Henry B. Smith Jr. is the Director of Development for the ABR, serving in that capacity since October 2004. Born and raised in northwestern New Jersey, he graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University in 1992. With a 13 year sales and management background, he earned an M.A. in Theology with an emphasis on Apologetics from Trinity Seminary in Indiana, graduating with high honors in 2005. Since 2006, Henry has been enrolled in the M.A.R. program at Westminster Theological Seminary, emphasizing apologetics and Biblical languages. Henry has spoken to many churches, Sunday schools and Bible studies about the importance of archaeology as an apologetic tool in defending the authority and inerrancy of the Bible. Henry served as a volunteer at the Hazor excavations in 2007, was the host of the ABR Biblical Egypt Study Tour in 2008, the host of ABR's Israel Tour in 2010, and has served as the administrative assistant for the ABR excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir since 2009.
Dr. Louis T. Klauder Jr. has degrees in physics from Princeton Univ. and the Univ. of California at Berkeley. Most of his career has been in physics, in computer programming, and in railroad track geometry engineering. He became interested in the archaeological work being carried out by ABR as a result of attending a 2007 lecture by Dr. Bryant Wood on the excavations at Khirbet el Maqatir. Dr. Klauder first participated in the excavation in May/June 2009. After that season, Dr. Klauder began assisting Dr. Wood with preparation of digital image files portraying the more significant pottery finds in the style and format commonly used for publication of archaeological pottery. He participated in the Spring 2011 and 2012 seasons at Khirbet el Maqatir as pottery registrar, spending most of the time processing pottery and recording the critical details (shape, diameter, color, hardness, roughness, surface treatment, inclusions, etc.) needed for publication of each significant sherd. Between digs Dr. Klauder continues to assist in creating digital pottery drawings to help prepare for publication of the archaeology of the site.
Dr. Bryant Wood discusses his extensive research pertaining to Joshua 7-8 in this eight part video presentation from 2008.