Research Articles: Exodus-Conquest

Archaeological and historical articles dealing with the validity of the Exodus-Conquest narratives of the Old Testament, circa 1500-1350 B.C.

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Ai and Old Testament Chronology: Who Cares? 4/9/2014 - by Eugene H Merrill PhD

On February 8, 2014, a symposium was held at Houston Baptist University in conjunction with the new archaeological exhibit, " Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site." In this video, Dr. Eugene Merrill presents, "Ai and Old Testament Chronology: Who Cares?"

Khirbet el-Maqatir: A Fortress in the Highlands of Canaan and Proposed New Site for Joshua's Ai 3/3/2014 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

On February 8, 2014, a symposium was held at Houston Baptist University in conjunction with the new archaeological exhibit, " Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site." Dr. Bryant Wood presented the evidence from eleven seasons of excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir. No other site meets all the criteria necessary to be the Ai of Joshua 7-8.

Joshua's Ai Exhibit At Houston Baptist University Interview with Scott Stripling 1/27/2014 - by Scott Stripling DMin

The exhibit, “Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site,” will feature a Symposium and Conference that will take place on Saturday February 8, 2014.

2013 Winter Dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir 1/16/2014 - by Scott Stripling DMin

To understand the Winter 2013 excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir, we have to go back to the last day of the summer 2013 dig.

Where is Mount Sinai in Arabia (Galatians 4:25)? 12/19/2013 - by Gordon Franz MA

Proponents of the "Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia" thesis continue to appeal to Galatians 4:25 as a supporting argument for their theory. Gordon Franz shows how the first century reader would have understood Paul's geographic reference.

Victory at Ai: Archaeology and Joshua 7-8 on DVD 7/3/2013 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

"Ai is simply an embarrassment to every view of the conquest that takes the biblical and archaeological evidence seriously." This is what Bible critics have been saying for decades about the Israelite battle at Ai in Joshua 7-8...

Follow up Report on the 2013 Season at Khirbet el-Maqatir 7/1/2013 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Thank you for praying for our 11th season of excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir May 20–31. God gave us safety, with only one noteworthy accident (a broken rib), wonderful volunteers and many significant discoveries. I reported a year ago that our 2012 season was the best yet, apart from the finding of the gate in our first season. But the 2013 season eclipsed the 2012 season in terms of the importance of the finds.

Evidence for the Exodus from Egypt 6/7/2013 - by Doug Petrovich ThM MA

"Evidence for the Exodus from Egypt: The Sudden Abandonment of Biblical Rameses during the Reign of the Exodus Pharaoh"

In Search of Joshua’s Ai: 11th Season of Excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir Now Complete 6/6/2013 - by Gary Byers MA

The 11th season of excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir is now in the books. The first week was pretty amazing so that would make the second week almost spectacular!

In Search of Joshua’s Ai: 11th Season of Excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir 5/26/2013 - by Gary Byers MA

We have just finished our first week of excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir 9 miles north of Jerusalem in Israel’s West Bank. Dr. Bryant Wood and a team of 41 are staying at the Yad HaShmonah dig headquarters, while other friends have joined the group almost every day.

Testing the Factuality of the Conquest of Ai Narrative in the Book of Joshua: Part Four 3/28/2013 - by Peter Briggs

The problem addressed in this article is the arbitration among the three alternative views of the conquest of Ai narrative summarized in Part One. This is accomplished by testing the correspondence between the narrative in question and the material time-space context it purports to represent. Part Four is the conclusion of this series.

Testing the Factuality of the Conquest of Ai Narrative in the Book of Joshua: Part Three 3/13/2013 - by Peter Briggs

The problem addressed in this article is the arbitration among the three alternative views of the conquest of Ai narrative summarized in Part One. This is accomplished by testing the correspondence between the narrative in question and the material time-space context it purports to represent. Part Three...

Jericho on the History Channel Special "The Bible" 3/7/2013 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

On Sunday March 10, the History Channel will air Part Two of the five-part series, "The Bible". Last week's episode ended with a preview of Joshua and the Israelites planning to attack the Canaanite city of Jericho...

Testing the Factuality of the Conquest of Ai Narrative in the Book of Joshua: Part Two 3/5/2013 - by Peter Briggs

The problem addressed in this article is the arbitration among the three alternative views of the conquest of Ai narrative summarized in Part One. This is accomplished by testing the correspondence between the narrative in question and the material time-space context it purports to represent. Part Two...

Testing the Factuality of the Conquest of Ai Narrative in the Book of Joshua: Part One 2/27/2013 - by Peter Briggs

According to the theory of true narratives, if the conquest of Ai narrative is factual, then it must necessarily correspond to the material time-space context to which it purports to be connected and which it purports to represent. From careful exegesis of the text of the conquest of Ai narrative in the 7 and 8 chapters of the Book of Joshua, a 14 parameter criterial screen is derived to assess the correspondence between the narrative and the three candidate sites for Joshua’s Ai that emerge from past research. Through the analysis summarized in this paper, Khirbet el-Maqatir is demonstrated to be the site of the fortress of Ai, and the conquest of Ai narrative is demonstrated to meet the criteria for being a true narrative.

Genocide in Canaan? Part II 2/6/2013 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

ABR has conducted extensive research on the historicity of the Conquest narratives of the Old Testament. Regularly, we receive inquiries about the moral and theological dimensions of these events. Committed Christians are often perplexed about how to answer objections posed by skeptics. Those self-same skeptics often contact ABR, railing against God because of these events recorded in Scripture. This article seeks, in part, to deal with some of these issues by interacting with an article published in the book: "The Impossibility of God". Part II is found here.

Genocide in Canaan? Part I 2/1/2013 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

ABR has conducted extensive research on the historicity of the Conquest narratives of the Old Testament. Regularly, we receive inquiries about the moral and theological dimensions of these events. Committed Christians are often perplexed about how to answer objections posed by skeptics. Those self-same skeptics often contact ABR, railing against God because of these events recorded in Scripture. This article seeks, in part, to deal with some of these issues by interacting with an article published in the book: "The Impossibility of God".

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.

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.

Conquest Confusion at Yale 11/20/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

We recently received an email from a visitor concerning the Conquest of Canaan. He sent us an excerpt from an undergraduate course at Yale, outlining the standard liberal view on the chronology and historicity of the book of Joshua. Dr. Bryant Wood responds.

Was An Archaeological Forgery Mistakenly Portrayed As Authentic? 9/26/2012 - by Gordon Franz MA

During the summer of 2007, Bob Cornuke was a keynote speaker at Promise Keepers events. In one of his presentation he announced the discovery of a stone object that had an inscription that he claimed was translated “Yahweh,” the name of the God of the Israelites.

The Search for Ai: Audio Presentation 8/17/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

In March of 2012, Dr. Bryant Wood visited the campus of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. During that time, he presented ABR's research to the DBTS faculty. This audio presentation concerns ABR's work at Khirbet el-Maqatir and the City of Ai from Joshua 7 and 8.

Outstanding Finds Made at Khirbet el-Maqatir: May 28–June 8, 2012 7/17/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The tenth excavation season of the ABR-sponsored dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir was conducted from May 28 to June 8, 2012, under the direction of the author.[1] The following report provides readers with the most up to date information from our excavations in Israel as we continue to uncover evidence related to the events of Joshua chapters 7-8.

Book Review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology: Part II 7/12/2012 - by Rodger C. Young MA

Book review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology, by Andrew E. Steinmann. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. Hardback, 421 + xxxviii pages. Part II.

Book Review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology: Part I 7/9/2012 - by Rodger C. Young MA

Book review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology, by Andrew E. Steinmann. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. Hardback, 421 + xxxviii pages.

Khirbet el-Maqatir: Week Two 2012 6/14/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

At our final debriefing on Friday evening June 8th, Dig Director Dr. Bryant Wood, noted that this was probably the most productive season in our 10-year excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir (KeM) in relation to illuminating all 4 occupation periods at our site – Late Bronze 1 (time of Joshua), Iron Age 1 (period of the Judges), Early Roman (New Testament time) and the Byzantine period (5th century AD).

Khirbet el-Maqatir: Week One 2012 6/4/2012 - by Gary Byers MA

With our dig team of almost 40 people, this may have been our most productive and interesting week in 10 years of our excavation. With 15 squares open we have found stuff from the time of Joshua (15th century BC) to the Byzantines (5th century AD).

Excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir: 1995 to 2000 and 2009 to 2011 4/4/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

"A Border Fortress in the Highlands of Canaan and a Proposed New Location for the Ai of Joshua 7–8."

Dating Jericho's Destruction: Bienkowski is Wrong on All Counts 3/28/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

In 1990, Dr. Bryant Wood published his well known article in Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) on the destruction of Jericho and its correlation with the Biblical account. In the Sep./Oct. 1990 issue of BAR, Piotr Bienkowski wrote an article disputing Dr. Wood's conclusions. The following article engages with Bienkowski's criticisms, providing the reader with an in-depth analysis of some of the work done at Jericho, and demonstrating Dr. Wood's expertise and thorough familiarity with the evidence. This article provides some additional data not published in Dr. Wood's first BAR article, thus adding to the mountain of evidence demonstrating that Jericho was destroyed around 1400 B.C., the same time the Bible records that the events of Joshua 3-6 took place.

Digging Up Joshua's Ai: The 2009–2010 Seasons at Khirbet el-Maqatir 3/9/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

After a hiatus of nine years due to political unrest in Israel, the Associates for Biblical Research resumed excavations at Kh. el-Maqatir for a seventh season May 22–June 5, 2009, and an eighth season May 24–June 4, 2010, under the direction of the author. In 2009, 23 volunteers from the US and Canada, plus a number of local residents participated. In 2010, 38 volunteers from the US, Australia and Israel made up the dig team. The site is located in the West Bank 9 mi (15 km) north of Jerusalem. Finds continue to support the identification of the site as the Ai of Joshua 7–8.

Lex Talionis and the Human Fetus 1/10/2012 - by Meredith G Kline PhD

The Winter 2012 issue of Bible and Spade may be the most important issue we have ever produced. It is dedicated to the subject of child sacrifice in the ancient world and Israel, and modern day abortion. This article is being reproduced here in conjunction with the release of this issue. In it, Meredith Kline demonstrates that the law of Moses considered the fetus to be fully human, affording the child legal protection while in the womb. We pray that this issue of Bible and Spade and our online articles will help changes hearts and minds on this critically important subject.

New Evidence Supporting the Early (Biblical) Date of the Exodus and Conquest 11/11/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Evangelical scholars are divided as to when the Exodus-Conquest events took place—some say the 15th century BC, while others hold to the 13th century BC.

The Search for Joshua's Ai: Digging in Israel with ABR 10/18/2011 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

"Ai is simply an embarrassment to every view of the conquest that takes the biblical and archaeological evidence seriously." Or at least, that is what many of the critics say...

The Search for Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir 2011 7/18/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

The 9th season of the Associates for Biblical Research’s (ABR) excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir was held in May and June, 2011. All 9 seasons have been sponsored by ABR and under the direction of Dr. Bryant Wood. Located 9 miles north of Jerusalem in Israel’s West Bank, we call this dig “The Search for Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir”.

The Search for Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir, 2011: Days Seven to Ten 6/6/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

On Friday June 3, we finished the 9th season of ABR’s Excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Before the day was over, we had been treated to a second breakfast by the Palestinian family who has stored our tools for the last 3 dig seasons, we hosted a visit by the Master’s College IBEX study tour group, we filmed 3 YouTube videos and wrapped up our excavation.

The Search for Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir, 2011: Day Six 5/30/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

We have now started our second week at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Much to Dr. Bryant Wood’s chagrin, we have not made much progress on the Late Bronze 1 fortress (the Ai of Joshua).

The Search for Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir, 2011: Days Three to Five 5/28/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

I got lost in a flurry of activity this week and have missed a couple days of reporting. Today is Saturday and a bunch of us went to the Shabbat service with Jewish believers in Jesus here at Yad HaShmonah. Earlier this morning we actually experienced the latter (spring) rains frequently mentioned in the Scriptures. This one, a short but hard downpour about 9 AM, was a really later latter (spring) rain for this country. But, in all honestly, it brought no significant relief from the heat – 96 degrees yesterday!

The Search for Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir, 2011: Day Two 5/24/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

For the first day of the dig, we were pretty pleased at how well we got things going. Today, we got into our squares in earnest. While pottery, tools, weapons and jewelry are interesting, my favorite find in archaeology is architecture. Walls and floors make me a happy archaeologist, and today I was really feeling it!

The Search for Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir: Season 9-Day One 5/23/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

At 4:30 this morning, I believe we had the best early breakfast ready and waiting for us in the 9 years I have been digging at Khirbet el-Maqatir and staying at Yad Hashmona!

The Search for Joshua’s Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir: Season 9-Set Up Day 5/22/2011 - by Gary Byers MA

Tomorrow we begin the first day of excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir, 10 miles north of Jerusalem in Israel’s West Bank. Directed by Dr. Bryant Wood, this is the dig’s 9th season, all sponsored by the Associates for Biblical Research.

New Light on the "Forgotten" Conquest 4/14/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

When one hears about the conquest, one automatically thinks about the conquest of the land west of the Jordan River described in the book of Joshua and Judges 1. The area is commonly referred to as Canaan, the Promised Land or Cisjordan. Prior to crossing the Jordan River and claiming this territory, however, Israel conquered lands east of the Jordan River in the area known as Transjordan. Although this “forgotten” conquest is described in only a few short verses in Numbers 21, with additional details given in several other passages, the territory captured was large, extending from the mid-point of the Dead Sea in the south to Mt. Hermon in the north, a straight-line distance of some 140 mi (225 km) (see map). By comparison, the distance from Dan to Beersheba in the Promised Land is about 145 mi (233 km).

Finding the Lost City of Ai: Joshua 7-8 with Dr. Bryant Wood (Part Eight) 2/22/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood answers questions after his presentation on Joshua's Ai and ABR's excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir, Israel.

Finding the Lost City of Ai: Joshua 7-8 with Dr. Bryant Wood (Part Seven) 2/13/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the Conquest of the Biblical city of Ai, discussing the scholarly debate, the evidence he has encovered, and the case for Khirbet el-Maqatir as the Ai of Joshua.

Finding the Lost City of Ai: Joshua 7-8 with Dr. Bryant Wood (Part Six) 2/7/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the Conquest of the Biblical city of Ai, discussing the scholarly debate, the evidence he has encovered, and the case for Khirbet el-Maqatir as the Ai of Joshua.

Finding the Lost City of Ai: Joshua 7-8 with Dr. Bryant Wood (Part Five) 2/1/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the Conquest of the Biblical city of Ai, discussing the scholarly debate, the evidence he has encovered, and the case for Khirbet el-Maqatir as the Ai of Joshua.

Finding the Lost City of Ai: Joshua 7-8 with Dr. Bryant Wood (Part Four) 1/21/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the Conquest of the Biblical city of Ai, discussing the scholarly debate, the evidence he has encovered, and the case for Khirbet el-Maqatir as the Ai of Joshua.

The Dating of Hazor's Destruction in Joshua 11 Via Biblical, Archaeological, and Epigraphical Evidence 1/6/2011 - by Doug Petrovich ThM MA

Undoubtedly, one of the hottest topics in the field of OT biblical studies in recent years is the dating of the Exodus.[1] Essentially, there are two prevailing positions: the early Exodus view, which contends that the Israelite Exodus transpired during the middle of the 15th century BC, and the late Exodus view, which purports that the Israelites actually left Egypt nearly 200 years later, during the 13th century BC. On the side of the latter view, biblical archaeologists such as James Hoffmeier contend that a 13th century BC Exodus better fits the material evidence, in large part due to alleged connections between sites mentioned in the biblical text—such as the store-city of Raamses (Exod 1:11), which he asserts “is likely to be equated with the Delta capital built by and named for Ramesses II, that is, Pi-Ramesses”[2]—and excavated or identifiable sites in Egypt.

Finding the Lost City of Ai: Joshua 7-8 with Dr. Bryant Wood (Part Three) 12/8/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the Conquest of the Biblical city of Ai, discussing the scholarly debate, the evidence he has encovered, and the case for Khirbet el-Maqatir as the Ai of Joshua.

Finding the Lost City of Ai: Joshua 7-8 with Dr. Bryant Wood (Part Two) 11/29/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the Conquest of the Biblical city of Ai, discussing the scholarly debate, the evidence he has encovered, and the case for Khirbet el-Maqatir as the Ai of Joshua.

Finding the Lost City of Ai: Joshua 7-8 with Dr. Bryant Wood (Part One) 11/1/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the Conquest of the Biblical city of Ai, discussing the scholarly debate, the evidence he has encovered, and the case for Khirbet el-Maqatir as the Ai of Joshua.

An Appraisal of the 2010 Drews and Han Wind Setdown Models of the Exodus 14 Sea Crossing 9/24/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Carl Drews and Weiqing Han of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, conducted 19 computer simulation tests of wind setdown at three suggested locations for the sea crossing described in Exodus 14 (2010). Wind setdown is the drop in water level caused by wind stress acting on the surface of a body of water for an extended period of time. The three test locations for the sea crossing were the north end of the Gulf of Suez, the mouth of a coastal lagoon in the eastern Nile delta at Tell Kedua and the north end of Ballah Lakes in the Isthmus of Suez at Tell Abu Sefeh...

“LB Palace, Here We Come!”: Reflections on the 2010 Season at Hazor 8/12/2010 - by Gordon Franz MA

This summer was the 21th season of the Hazor archaeological excavation. It was conducted from June 20 to July 30, 2010, under the able leadership of the co-directors: Professor Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman. Most of our efforts for this season were concentrated in Area M on the northern slopes of the Upper City overlooking the Lower City. The co-area supervisors in charge of this area were Sharon Zuckerman and Shlomit Becher. This was my eighth season excavating at Hazor and I can honestly say it was the most pleasant, productive, and interesting season I have experienced at Hazor...

Shechem: Its Archaeological and Contextual Significance 6/25/2010 - by Col. (Ret.) David G. Hansen PhD

Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well in John 4 is an excellent example of the importance of context in developing a passage. The story takes place near the Old Testament city of Shechem. Shechem is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. The city had been abandoned by New Testament times, but Stephen reiterates its importance in his speech in Acts 7:16. A small village, Sychar, was near the ruins of Shechem in New Testament times and is mentioned in the John 4 account (Jn 4:5). Unfortunately, most Bible studies of events at or near Shechem, and commentaries on the Book of John, omit Shechem’s pivotal role in Bible history and how it fit into God’s salvation plan.

Search for and Discovery of Joshua's Ai 6/24/2010 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Please watch this four minute video created by ABR Volunteer Roy Crase from the 2010 Season at Khirbet el-Maqatir...

ABR Excavation Timelapse 6/9/2010 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Here are moving pictures from the 2010 season of The Search for Joshua's Ai at Khirbet el-Maqatir. This video and accompanying music were produced by Nathan Lundquist. Many thanks to Nathan and his wife Whitney for this excellent video and for helping ABR on the Dig.

Researching Ai 5/14/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

After the Israelites defeated Jericho in the southern Jordan Valley, they then attacked the fortress of Ai in the highlands (Jos 7–8). Both of these sites have produced archaeological findings that have seemed to be in conflict with the Bible. Scholars have been quick to point out that these discrepancies lead to the conclusion that there was no Conquest as described in the book of Joshua. But is the problem with the Bible or with the interpretations of the archaeologists?

Researching Jericho 4/22/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

It was not until I was doing research for my Ph.D. thesis in the early 1980s that my attention was drawn to the findings at Jericho. In reviewing all of the published pottery from the Late Bronze Age in Palestine, I came across John Garstang’s pottery from the cemetery and destruction level at Jericho. Although earlier than the focus of my thesis, I was struck by the amount of pottery he had published that dated to the Late Bronze I period (ca. 1500–1400 BC), the time of the Conquest and the very time period Kathleen Kenyon said was missing from the tell...

The Name Yahweh in Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts 3/8/2010 - by Charles Aling PhD and Clyde Billington PhD

It is generally accepted that the term Shasu means nomads or Bedouin people, referring primarily to the nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples of Syria-Palestine. There are two significant hieroglyphic references in New Kingdom period texts to an area called “the land of the Shasu of Yahweh.” Except for the Old Testament, these are the oldest references found in any ancient texts to the God Yahweh. The purpose of this paper is to study these two references and assess their possible importance in dating the Exodus account...

ABR’s 2009 Excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir: The Infant Jar Burial 2/9/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Infant jar burials beneath the floors of domestic houses are a relatively common find at archaeological sites in Israel. They are mostly from the Middle Bronze period, less common in Late Bronze I and unknown in Late Bronze II. The infant jar burial excavated by the ABR team during the 2009 season at Kh. el-Maqatir, although similar to other known examples, is unique in that Kh. el-Maqatir is a fortress and not an urban center...

Amenhotep II and the Historicity of the Exodus Pharaoh 2/4/2010 - by Doug Petrovich ThM MA

The present in-depth work examines the trustworthiness of Biblical history by using the Hebrew exodus from Egypt as a test case. More specifically, an examination of the exodus-pharaoh’s life will reveal whether Biblical history can be harmonized and synchronized with Egyptian history, and whether Biblical chronology is clear and trustworthy when relevant passages are interpreted literally. The need for evaluating the former premise is that many Egyptologists are leading the charge to deny the veracity of the exodus, attempting to persuade Biblical scholars and the Christian populace at large that the exodus never actually occurred...

Recent Research on the Date and Setting of the Exodus 10/19/2009 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Sadly, most contemporary Biblical scholars deny the historicity of God’s miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egypt as documented in the Old Testament (Ex 2–12) and alluded to in the New Testament (Acts 7:36; Rom 9:17)...

"Yahweh Inscription" Discovered at "Mount Sinai"! 10/11/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

Robert Cornuke, the founder of the BASE Institute claims to have seen, and has photographs of, an ancient stone artifact from Mount Sinai that is inscribed with the name of the LORD, “Yahweh,” on it!

Reflections on the 2009 Season at Hazor 8/27/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

This year the Hazor archaeological excavation was conducted from June 21-July 31, 2009 under the able leadership of the co-directors: Professor Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman. Most of our efforts for this season were concentrated in Area M on the northern slopes of the Upper City overlooking the Lower City. In charge of this area were the co-area supervisors: Sharon Zuckerman and Shlomit Becher...

The Bible According to Karnak 8/13/2009 - by Gary Byers MA

The Bible indicates that many important Biblical characters spent time in Egypt: Abraham (Gn 12:10–13:1, Jacob (Gn 46–50), Joseph (Gn 39–50), Moses (Ex 2–12), Joshua, (Nm 14:26–30), Jeremiah (Jer 43:6–8) and even baby Jesus (Mt 2:14–21). Trade routes led from Canaan directly to the Nile delta region, where Goshen was located. Called Lower Egypt because the Nile flows from the mountains in the south (Upper Egypt) to the Mediterranean Sea in the north, this is the part of Egypt where most Biblical characters lived and Biblical events took place...

The Exodus Controversy 8/9/2009 - by Mario Seiglie

It seems that every year, especially around the spring Passover season when Jews and many Christians commemorate Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, newspapers and magazines publish articles questioning the validity of the Biblical account of the Exodus...

Jericho Unearthed: DVD Preview 8/6/2009 - by Joel Kramer

This DVD extensively features Dr. Bryant Wood on the ground in Israel at the site of Jericho. The evidence from Jericho is presented, the basics of archaeology are explained, and the history of excavations at Jericho are also outlined. Jericho Unearthed has a cutting edge feel and presentation that is useful for Bible study, Sunday school and teaching teenagers. Jericho Unearthed can be used by Christians scholars and laymen alike as an effective witnessing tool in support of the Bible's inerrancy and historical reliability.

The ABR Excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir: Review of Past Work and Report on the 2009 Season 7/17/2009 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

After a hiatus of nine years, ABR has resumed work at Kh. el-Maqatir, a promising candidate for Joshua’s Ai (Joshua 7–8). The site is located approximately 9 mi north of Jerusalem and 0.6 mi west of et-Tell, the site most scholars identify as Joshua’s Ai. There is a major problem identifying et-Tell as Joshua’s Ai, however, as the site was unoccupied at the time of the Israelite Conquest of Canaan...

Traditional Site of Bethel Questioned 7/8/2009 - by David Livingston PhD

Unfortunately, Dr. Rainey has presented little for the Beitin = Bethel case that has not already been considered. He has ably restated traditional opinions regarding the location. In spite of the evidence we present in our first article, he obviously concludes we are wrong (which, of course, he has every right to do). However, we urge the reader to look carefully at all the evidence, and lack of it, and decide for himself on the basis of evidence, not votes. We urge serious readers to become familiar with our previous article...

The Woman Who Would Be King: National Geographic Review 6/30/2009 - by Col. (Ret.) David G. Hansen PhD

The National Geographic, April, 2009, issue has a report about the Egyptian 18th Dynasty queen, Hatshepsut, by writer Chip Brown. I also wrote an article about Hatshepsut in Bible and Spade, Winter 2003, that was republished in ABR’s electronic newsletter and on their website. In that article I argued Hatshepsut was the “Pharaoh’s daughter” mentioned in the second chapter of Exodus...

Location of Biblical Bethel and Ai Reconsidered 6/25/2009 - by David Livingston PhD

For over a century most scholars have been agreed that the village of Beitin, north of Jerusalem, is the site of biblical Bethel. A large quantity of literature has been published based on this assumption. With such careful and painstaking work, much of it basic to an understanding of Palestinian archaeology and history, it hardly seems possible that Beitin may not actually be Bethel after all. Nevertheless, that is what we purpose...

Where are the Israelite Burials From the Wilderness Wanderings? 6/18/2009 - by Gordon Franz MA

Some have raised the objection that Mount Sinai could not be in the Sinai Peninsula because millions of Israelites died during the Wilderness Wanderings and no graves of any of these Israelites have been discovered in the Sinai Peninsula from this period. Recently we received such an inquiry...

Update from Khirbet el-Maqatir Week Two 6/7/2009 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood describes some of the work from the second week of the 2009 season at Khirbet el-Maqatir...

Update from Khirbet el-Maqatir Week One 5/29/2009 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood describes some of the work from the first week at Khirbet el-Maqatir...

The Search for Joshua's Ai 4/28/2009 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The sites of Joshua’s Ai, Beth Aven and Bethel, are chronologically and geographically linked by Josh 7:2 and related passages. Joshua’s Ai is commonly thought to be located at et-Tell and Bethel at Beitin. Assuming these two identifications to be correct, no viable location for Beth Aven has been suggested. A detailed review of the geographical and archaeological data pertaining to et-Tell and Beitin reveals that et-Tell does not meet the biblical requirements for Joshua’s Ai, and Beitin does not meet the biblical and extrabiblical requirements for Bethel. Based on present evidence, the only combination that meets the complex matrix of biblical and extrabiblical requirements for the three sites is to locate Bethel at el-Bira, Beth Aven at Beitin, and Joshua’s Ai at the newly excavated site of Khirbet el-Maqatir...

The Number of Israelites in the Exodus 4/16/2009 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Recently, ABR received the following question about the number of Israelites that left Egypt in the Exodus. Dr. Bryant Wood replies...

The Biblical Date for the Exodus is 1446 BC: A Response to James Hoffmeier 3/30/2009 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The date of the Biblical Exodus-Conquest is clear. 1 Kgs 6:1 and 1 Chr 6:33–37 converge on a date of 1446 BC for the exodus and the Jubilees data and Judges 11:26 independently converge on a date of 1406 BC for the beginning of the conquest. The 1406 BC date is further confirmed by archaeological data from Jericho, Ai (Kh. el-Maqatir) and Hazor...

A Critical Analysis of the Evidence from Ralph Hawkins for a Late-Date Exodus-Conquest 3/16/2009 - by Bryant Wood and Rodger Young

Ralph Hawkins sidesteps the insurmountable problems associated with a late-date exodus-conquest and offers five arguments which he suggests may open up the possibility of a renewed consideration of the Late Date Exodus-Conquest as a viable choice for evangelicals...

Moses and Hatshepsut 2/27/2009 - by Col. (Ret.) David G. Hansen PhD

One of the most interesting questions about Old Testament history concerns the Exodus occurrence and who might have been the Pharaoh. I will use current information about references to “Pharaoh’s daughter” (Ex 2:5, 7, 9, 10; Acts 7:21; Heb 11:24) as a foundation for investigation...

Jericho: Does the Evidence Disprove or Prove the Bible? 1/30/2009 - by Scott Ashley and Jerold Aust

Kathleen Kenyon declared the Biblical story to be false and the academic world accepted her conclusions. Do her conclusions hold up to scrutiny?

What Do Mt. Horeb, The Mountain of God, Mt. Paran and Mt. Seir Have to Do with Mt. Sinai? 11/17/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The short answer to our title question is that the Mountain of God, Mt. Horeb, Mt. Sinai and Mt. Paran are all names for Mt. Sinai, and Mt. Seir is important for determining the location of Mt. Sinai. The long answer...

Historical Synchronisms and the Date of the Exodus 11/7/2008 - by Charles Aling PhD

For those that hold a high view of Scripture and believe the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt actually happened, there are two major positions today regarding when that event occurred...

New Discoveries at Rameses 10/26/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

In the Spring 2004 issue of Bible and Spade, I reported on the important discovery of a royal precinct at Rameses, the setting of events recorded in the early chapters of Exodus. The article summarizes the results of excavations undertaken from 1993 to 2000. In the present article I would like to bring readers up to date with the results of further work at the site in the fall of 2004 and spring of 2005, based on a preliminary report published by the excavators...

Israel in Egypt 9/24/2008 - by Gary Byers MA

The main route between Canaan and Egypt was along the northern coast of Sinai. A number of Biblical figures no doubt traveled this road. Known to the Egyptians as “the Way of Horus,” and in the Bible as “the road through the Philistine country” (Ex 13:17), it ended in the eastern delta in the Goshen region. This is the part of Egypt where most Biblical characters lived and Biblical events took place...

New Evidence from Egypt on the Location of the Exodus Sea Crossing: Part II 8/23/2008 - by Gary Byers MA

If the Reed Sea can be located somewhere along the marshy lake district of the Isthmus of Suez, which separates the cultivated delta from the barren desert, then the place names in the Exodus account can be centralized to a specific area...

New Evidence from Egypt on the Location of the Exodus Sea Crossing: Part I 8/19/2008 - by Gary Byers MA

It may come as a surprise to many students of the Bible that in the original Hebrew text the body of water the Israelites crossed when leaving Egypt is called yam suph, “Sea of Reeds,” not Red Sea...

Carbon 14 Dating at Jericho 8/7/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

ABR has received multiple questions on this subject. Dr. Bryant Wood provides a brief response...

Egypt and the Bible 7/26/2008 - by Gary Byers MA

Throughout history, Egyptians lived almost exclusively in the Nile River Valley and its expanded delta. Only ten percent of Egypt’s surface, it has supported 99 percent of the nation’s population from earliest times...

Egyptian Domination of Canaan during Joshua/Judges 7/8/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

ABR is always pleased to help sincere seekers get sound Biblical and archaeological answers to their questions. We hope our readers will clearly see that the Bible is trustworthy...

Is Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia? 6/10/2008 - by Gordon Franz MA

This article will examine four aspects of the question regarding whether or not Mt. Sinai is located in Saudi Arabia. First, the credibility of the claims will be questioned. Second, the false assumptions by the proponents of Jebel al-Lawz will be disputed. Third, the Biblical evidence will be discussed. Fourth, the archaeological evidence will be examined...

The Walls of Jericho 6/9/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Jericho was once thought to be a “Bible problem” because of the seeming disagreement between archaeology and the Bible. When the archaeology is correctly interpreted, however, the opposite is the case. The archaeological evidence supports the historical accuracy of the Biblical account in every detail. Every aspect of the story that could possibly be verified by the findings of archaeology is, in fact, verified...

The Lost Ark of the Covenant: Still Lost 5/5/2008 - by Gary Byers MA

The Ark of the Covenant is in the news again. This time it comes from a world-renowned, truly distinguished, widely published scholar who is speaking from his field of expertise. Tudor Parfitt is professor of Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London...

Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho? A New Look at the Archaeological Evidence 5/1/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The story of the Israelite conquest of Jericho (Joshua 2-6) is one of the best known and best loved in the entire Bible. The vivid description of faith and victory has been a source of inspiration for countless generations of Bible readers. But did it really happen as the Bible describes it?

Ark of the Covenant: Lost or Found? 5/1/2008 - by Gary Byers MA

Long pondered by the community of Biblical scholarship, the rest of the world began considering this question with the release of the hit motion picture “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Today there are no lack of possibilities...

From the Mailbag 4/20/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

How should Christians react to the "consensus of experts" that there was no Exodus or Conquest as recorded in the Old Testament?

The Rise and Fall of the 13th Century Exodus-Conquest Theory 4/17/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The 13th century exodus-conquest theory was formulated by William F. Albright in the 1930s, based largely on Palestinian archaeological evidence, and promoted by him throughout his career. In spite of the fact that the theory runs counter to Scripture, a number of evangelicals continue to hold to this view...

Further Considerations on the Location of Bethel at El-Bireh 4/15/2008 - by David Livingston PhD

The correct locations for both biblical Bethel and its twin city of Ai are crucial for chronology (since excavation at the-wrong sites could be completely misleading chronologically), topography (this should fit the detailed biblical description) and geography...

Locating Biblical Bethel 4/14/2008 - by David Livingston PhD

Most scholars today locate Old Testament Bethel at the Arab village of Beitin about 11 mi north of Jerusalem. An examination of the evidence, however, indicates that this identification in incorrect. Finding Ai has been a major focus of ABR’s research work...

The Role of Shechem in the Conquest of Canaan 4/5/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Shechem is the natural capital of the hill country of central Canaan. It is protected by mountains, has an abundant water supply, and is blessed with wide, fertile fields to the east and west. Throughout much of the Middle and Late Bronze Ages and into the Iron I period, it was the most powerful city-state in the region...

In Search of Mt. Sinai 4/4/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Surprisingly, the location of Mt. Sinai, one of the most significant places in the Bible, is not known with any degree of certainty. Over the years some two dozen sites have been proposed, none of which meets the Biblical requirements.

The Royal Precinct at Rameses 4/3/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

When Jacob and his family migrated to Egypt, they were settled in “the land of Rameses.” Initially, they were property owners there. Soon, however, the Egyptians subjected the Israelites to bondage, using them as slave laborers to build the city of Rameses...

The Ark of the Covenant: Where has It Been? 4/2/2008 - by Gary Byers MA

Where is the lost Ark of the Covenant? There are numerous theories and, occasionally, even claims. Unfortunately, nothing substantial has ever been produced demonstrating the Ark's present whereabouts...

From Ramesses to Shiloh: Archaeological Discoveries Bearing on the Exodus-Judges Period 4/2/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Attempts to correlate the findings of archaeology with the biblical record for the period under review have seemingly met with insurmountable ob­stacles. Much of the scholarly community today has despaired of making any valid connections and has dismissed biblical history prior to the king­dom period as nothing more than myth and legend...

Beth Aven: A Scholarly Conundrum 4/1/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Scholars have been unable to come up with a viable site for Beth Aven. The reason is clear. Since the inception of historical-geographical research in Palestine, Bethel and Ai have been incorrectly located, thus obscuring the location of Beth Aven...

Amenhotep II as Pharaoh of the Exodus 2/22/2008 - by William Shea PhD

The Biblical book of Exodus does not name the Pharaoh whom Moses encountered after his return from Sinai. This absence has provided the occasion for considerable controversy and speculation as to just who this Pharaoh was and when he ruled in Egypt.

Did Anthrax Plague the Egyptians? 10/17/2007 - by Brad Sparks

Did anthrax plague the Egyptians at the time of Moses and the Exodus of the Israelites? Many Biblical scholars believe that the Biblical Ten Plagues were an interconnected series of catastrophic natural events that included an attack of anthrax on animals and humans...

Israel's Origins 10/10/2007 - by David Livingston PhD

For some time now many archaeologists, based on certain interpretations of the available evidence, have become convinced that there was no violent military assault on the land by Israel. They believe the entire account is myth...

Mount Sinai is NOT Jebel al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia 10/3/2007 - by Gordon Franz MA

This paper examines three aspects of the identification of Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia. First, the paper questions the credibility of the claims. Second, the paper disputes the false assumptions by the proponents of Jebel al-Lawz. Third, the paper examines the archaeological evidence...

Extra-Biblical Evidence for the Conquest 5/30/2007 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

One of the challenges facing those who hold to a historical Conquest as presented in the book of Joshua is that there is alleged to be no other documentation for this event outside the Bible...

David Rohl's Revised Egyptian Chronology: A View From Palestine 5/23/2007 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

David Rohl purports to have produced a better correlation between the findings of archaeology and the Bible by revising Egyptian chronology. Rohl, however, cannot so easily be brushed aside...

Let the Evidence Speak 3/28/2007 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

As one schooled in the scientific method, it disturbs me that, in addition to the say-so of esteemed authority figures, many times opinions are driven by preconceived notions, received knowledge, arguments from silence or majority opinion...

Debunking "The Exodus Decoded" 9/20/2006 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The Exodus Decoded made its US debut August 20 on the History Channel. Produced and narrated by Simcha Jacobovici, the film purportedly provides new evidence to demonstrate the Exodus really happened. Some of Jacobovici’s points are old hat...

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?"...

The Ark of the Covenant 6/21/2006 - by Leen Ritmeyer PhD

The Ark of the Covenant was undoubtedly the most holy piece of furniture ever made, if it can be referred to as such. It consisted of a rectangular chest made of shittim wood and covered over with gold, and inside it Moses placed the two tablets of the law...

Thoughts on Jebel al-Lawz as the Location of Mount Sinai 5/17/2006 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

We can ascertain the general location of Mt. Sinai from data given in the Bible. The Bible tells us exactly how long it took the Israelites to travel from Mt. Sinai to Kadesh Barnea...

Rameses: Wrath of God or Man? 5/3/2006 - by Gary Byers MA

The Discovery Channel special Rameses: Wrath of God or Man? suggested the eldest son of Rameses II (the Great) was the firstborn son of the Egyptian Pharaoh killed by the tenth plague...

Great Discoveries in Biblical Archaeology: The Merenptah Stela 3/15/2006 - by Gary Byers MA

The only mention of Israel in Egyptian texts, and the earliest mention of Israel anywhere outside the Bible, is a seven-foot tall granite monument from the mortuary temple of Pharaoh Merenptah...

"The Cites are Great and Walled Up to Heaven" 1/30/2006 - by Col. (Ret.) David G. Hansen PhD

One of the most vociferously attacked historical accounts in the Bible is the Old Testament description of the Israelite Conquest of Canaan as recorded in the book of Joshua. According to many critics, the archaeological evidence does not support either the Biblical version or date of the Conquest events...

From What Did Moses Compose Genesis? 12/26/2005 - by David Livingston PhD

Evangelicals agree that Moses wrote Genesis and that the first five Bible books are "The Books of Moses." But, where did Moses get the information for Genesis? He wasn't present for any of the events mentioned in it...

The Bible, Archaeology and the Study of Military Affairs 10/24/2005 - by Col. (Ret.) David G. Hansen PhD

Almost all scholars of the art and science of warfare believe that the basic principles of war, strategy and tactics have changed little throughout time. Most will concede that...

Joshua's "Long Day" and Mesopotamian Celestial Omen Texts 8/29/2005 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

A story has been circulating on the Internet that calculations done on NASA computers produced evidence for Joshua's long day. This is not a new story. The account has no basis in fact...

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