On November 21st, over 2,800 evangelicals began ascending into Denver, CO, to participate in the 74th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. Among those who were attending the Near East Archaeological Society’s annual meeting were biblical archaeologists from various locations and theological backgrounds. Participating in this meeting is always a great time where one reconnects with friends and fellow scholars while discussing a plethora of archaeological issues pertaining to the Bible.
Looking forward to the start of the conference, Denver welcomed us with a few inches of snow. The mountains were covered with snow as we began the meeting on Tuesday morning by hearing about the physical remains of Paul’s journey to Rome. An additional 19 unique presentations, many by Associates for Biblical Research members, followed this presentation, and we heard and talked about the Exodus route and the terminus of a pilgrim’s journey to Abila in Jordan. Of course, we also listened to many talks on current excavations in Israel, such as the excavations at Shiloh, Ebal, el Foga, Tel Nagila, and the ancient village of Shikhin in Lower Galilee. In addition to the excavation reviews, we also heard an analysis of how the walls fell at Jericho from a civil-engineering viewpoint, an analysis of the distribution of black bitumen tables, a discussion of Iron Age weapons of war, and a fascinating discussion on the use of divine names in Scripture in light of ancient Near Eastern literature. The bottom line is that the annual meeting was filled to the brim with great presentations that enhanced our understanding of the Bible. We averaged 44 attendees per session, for a total of 874 persons attending the 20 sessions.
Our next annual meeting will be in San Antonio, TX, November 14–16, 2023. I hope that many of you will take the time to come to San Antonio and enjoy the excellent set of presentations on the Bible.