A few people have asked me, “How did you become involved with an archaeological dig in Israel?” My answer: “Quite unexpectedly.”
I taught a church class on “Archaeology and the Bible” during the summer of 2008 and used this blog to share extra information from the class. When discovery of the Khirbet Qeiyafa inscription was announced, I wrote a couple of posts on the subject. It did not occur to me that anyone in Israel with an active Google Alert on Qeiyafa could find what I had written.
Two years ago, while preparing to depart on an evangelistic trip to Spain, I received an unexpected message from Barnea Selevan in Israel. He had found my blog and invited me to join the summer dig at Qeiyafa. I had to make a decision on this while preparing to leave for my 3-week trip. At one point I was sitting at an airplane gate in Philadelphia, emailing Barnea for answers to questions and my wife for permission to go.
I received the answers and permission I needed and went on to enjoy one of the richest and most educational experiences of my life. I spent 3 weeks with the Qeiyafa dig in the summer of 2009 and returned for two more weeks in 2010. Lord willing, I plan to return again this coming summer.
The experience with the excavation enriched my Bible study more than I could have imagined. It has become a genuine investment in my life’s work, to understand and teach the Scriptures. I am thankful to enjoy this growth and its benefits while still in my 30’s. Lord willing, there may be many more years for me and those I teach to benefit from this biblical learning experience.
Do you want to do this and enrich your understanding of the Bible? If you are a male or female between ages of 14-ish and 70+, you can do this too. If you only do it once, your understanding of the Bible will be deeper and richer for the rest of your life. If you are a Bible teacher or plan to be one, how many people will benefit from your up-close, personal immersion in the Bible Lands? Your teaching and study can only grow better from this experience.