General Introduction
– The perils of Vacation Bible School
– Introducing our guest
– Listener feedback
– Grubbsy’s new job

The Topic at Hand
– Indiana Jones, of course
– What tools archaeologists actually use
– Other people’s junk
– Archaeology as destructive science
– Slow but steady

The Pre-Archaeological Imagination
– Hebrew slaves and the pyramids
– Anglo-Saxon David and Goliath
– What does archaeology contribute to our sense of history?
– The everyday life of the ancients

The Effect of Archaeological Exploration on Biblical Commentary
The Enuma Elish and Genesis as polemical text
– The prophets and the cave paintings
– The Bible as sacred texts among texts
– Gilmour goes Calvinist
– Greek philosophers plagiarize the Bible

Christian Biblical Studies and Mainstream Archaeology
– Their rocky relationship
– The argument over the Exodus
– The failures of the Israelites
– The liberal Protestant response
– Polyvocal history
– Reactionary conspiracy theories
– How archaeology helps us read Lewis and Tolkien

Luke’s Particular Dig Site
– Khirbet Qeiyafa
– David and Goliath
– Did David even exist?
– When did Israel become a kingdom?
– The big city on the border
– Naming as interpretation

Hoaxes and False Proofs
– Noah’s Ark
– Filmmakers and archaeologists
– Ancient recycling
– The Naked Archaeologist and the nails
– Joseph Smith’s bad archaeology
– Phony archaeologists as flattering to the profession
– News coverage of the sciences

Our Advice
– Treat archaeology as a tool, not a final answer
– Don’t ignore archaeology
– Recognize that archaeological interpretations frequently change


Brueggemann, Walter. Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.

Calvin, John. Commentary on the Psalms. Trans. David C. Searle. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2009.

Dalley, Stephanie. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

Dodge, Arthur J. Homer or Moses?: Early Christian Interpretations of the History of Culture. Philadelphia: Coronet, 1988.

Kagan, Donald. The Peloponnesian War. New York: Viking, 2003.

Philo. The Works of Philo. Trans. C.D. Yonge. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2005.


7 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #51: Archaeology”
  1. Hey guys, maybe the three of you can come with me to the excavation next summer. You could do a podcast from Israel. What would that be like?

    Enjoyed talking with you. Best wishes!

  2. Thanks for a great interview, Luke!

    A podcast with all of us in the same room would be a first, in Israel or not! Pitching in on the dig would be cool, though probably not in the cards for next year. I can dream, though!

  3. Great episode guys! I only wish I was as well-spoken as Luke. (Nathan, I was listening, and I did appreciate it 😉 ).

    I have a couple questions for Luke, if I may. As an ancient historian, what resources would you recommend for someone who wants to get a basic idea of the playing field as it pertains to biblical history/archaeology? I ask this specifically because I have seen some in the “New Atheist” crowd who are increasingly appealing to such fringe positions regarding the origin of Christianity as the idea that the city of Nazareth didn’t even exist during Jesus’ time, or even that Jesus himself didn’t actually exist as a real human being. As a non-historian and non-archaeologist, nevertheless, I have some basic understanding of the historical reliability of the gospels and other historical and archaeological findings, etc. in at least establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus did indeed exist, and so on, but responding to such charges and having some scholarly resources to point to in this regard would be helpful. Do you have any recommendations along these lines?

  4. Dan,
    Thank you for listening. Glad you enjoyed the episode!

    I will give a few online resources here since they are easily accessible and up-to-date. Most of these are scholarly bloggers. All, in my opinion, do a good job of discussing, analyzing and explaining issues related to the Bible and archaeology. All lean towards “conservative” points of view but often include links/references to opposing viewpoints.

    Prof. Todd Bolen has daily analysis of archaeologically-related news, problems and events, plus excellent photos. –

    Prof. Ferrell Jenkins discusses insights and issues and frequently cites scholarly sources. Excellent pictures too. –

    Dr. Leen Ritmeyer is an archaeological architect specializing in Jerusalem. His unique insights provide valuable perspectives, and he creates great resources for teachers/students. –

    “The Book and the Spade” is a weekly 15-minute podcast on biblical archaeology. They frequently interview archaeologists and scholars. Pretty much everybody who’s anybody in the field has been on this program. –

    If you want to follow a blog by an active archaeologist, visit Dr. Aren Maeir’s blog on the Tel es-Safi excavations. The site is identified as Philistine Gath (Goliath’s hometown and a major Philistine city). He post regularly, even in the off season. It’s probably the best excavation blog out there right now. Their dig season begins next week on July 4th. –

    All of the blogs are searchable, so you can find scholarly discussion on just about any significant issue. These are starting points that can lead you to other resources as well. Good luck!

    Feel free to visit my blog as well:
    I’m about to head to Israel to join this year’s dig at Khirbet Qeiyafa. I plan to post regularly while I’m there.

    – Luke

  5. Luke,

    Many thanks for the resources! These are going in my feed reader!

    Good luck on your dig. I imagine you get as much enjoyment out of working in the field in your area of study as I do in mine!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.