For the past few days I have been attending the annual meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society and the Evangelical Theological Society. NEAS is a small organization which meets in association with the ETS each year. This gives one the opportunity to attend meetings of either society. ETS has grown tremendously over the years that I have attended — first about 1976, I think. This year more than 2600 persons registered for the meeting. Even though I no longer teach, I like to attend these meetings in order to keep abreast of recent scholarship in areas in which I have special interest.
Among the lectures I heard at NEAS are the following:
Douglas Petrovich (University of Toronto) presented an impressive lecture on “More signs of societal upheaval in Egypt during the days of Joseph.”
Randall Price (Liberty University) was scheduled to make a presentation on Messiah in the Temple: A New 3-D Digital Computer Model of the Second Temple based on historical and archaeological data,” but his co-presenter was not able to make the trip from Germany. Dr. Price gave a presentation in refutation of the recent claims of a Chinese group who claimed they had found Noah’s ark on Mount Ararat.
Mark Wilson (Asia Minor Research Center) and Nadin Burkhardt (University of Frankfurt) spoke about the new excavation of the Priene synagogue (in Western Turkey).
Steven Ortiz (Southwestern Baptist Seminary) spoke about the most recent excavations at Gezer. Dr. Ortiz is one of the directors of the dig where much evidence from the 9th and 10th century B.C. is coming to light.
Eric Mitchell (Southwestern Seminary) told about the landscape archaeology associated with the current excavations at Gezer.
Bryant G. Wood (Associates for Biblical Research) presented the finds from the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Wood thinks that this site is an excellent candidate to be identified with biblical Ai, rather than the generally accepted site at Et-Tell. Wood is director of this dig in the Palestinian West Bank.
I asked Michael Luddeni, photographer for Bible and Spade and several excavation projects, to make a photo of Leon Mauldin and me with Dr. Bryant Wood.
Steven Collins (Trinity Southwestern University) made an excellent presentation on the rise and ruin of a bronze age city-state at Tall el-Hammam, Jordan. Collins is director of this dig.
James H. Charlesworth (Princeton Theological Seminary) was an invited speaker who gave a lecture on two Herodian pools north and south of the Jerusalem temple as they relate to the Gospel of John (chs. 5 and 9). These, of course, were the pools of Bethesda and Siloam. He argued that both pools were mikvaoths (ritual pools) at the time.
There were other good lectures at NEAS. Some of these scholars make similar presentation at the ASOR or SBL meetings.
Among the lectures I heard at ETS, I found these two to be extremely good:
British scholar N. T. Wright (St. Andrews University) spoke on “Justification yesterday, today and tomorrow.”
Eugene H. Merrill (Dallas Theological Seminary) gave the presidential address at the banquet on “Old Testament Scholarship and the man on the street: whence and whither?”
When I was still teaching I attended lectures dealing primarily with the subjects I was actively teaching. Now I attend anything that strikes my fancy. Because I frequently travel to the Middle East I enjoy keeping up with the archaeological excavations in those areas.