In just six weeks ABR will be wrapping up the 2017 fiscal year with mixed emotions...
Dear Friend of ABR,
In just six weeks, ABR will wrap up our 2017 fiscal year with mixed emotions. The past 12 months of ministry have focused intensely on the final season of excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir, after 14 seasons of active digging there. ABR began its mission in ministry to engage Bible critics who claimed that the biblical historical accounts concerning the Conquest of Joshua, and particularly Jericho and Ai, were inaccurate and could not be trusted. This domino that was pushed over by the detractors of the Bible was intended to create a cascading destructive effect as they sought to replace the trust Christian believers had in the Bible with profound skepticism and mistrust. Since 1969 ABR has fought this important battle over the Conquest narratives, and through rigorous, original, on-site scientific research, has turned back the tide of doubt and suspicion created by biblical minimalists and skeptics in academia and popular culture. Indeed, Khirbet el-Maqatir is now increasingly recognized to be the legitimate site of biblical Ai in the scholarly community. And when coupled with Dr. Bryant Wood's extraordinary corrective re-dating of the pottery at biblical Jericho, we have a sound basis of evidence to show to the skeptical world that the accounts of the Bible are trustworthy and true. This painstaking, long-term commitment has produced fruit that will impact the body of Christ and the scholarly world for generations!
Why has this caused mixed emotions? Only because the blood, sweat, and tears from years of work has been completed, and we are now finishing our final reports for submission to the authorities in Israel. So there is sadness, yet at the same time a deep and profound sense of satisfaction. On top of this was the fact that the Israel Antiquities Authority asked ABR if we would open a new dig at the ancient and historically important city of Shiloh. So the ABR team of scholars, archaeologists, and support staff have been working intensely in preparation for this new and exciting opportunity. Once again, ABR is running up against the buzz-saw of liberal scholarship as they re-date, reinterpret, and re-shuffle the historical data so that they can boldly claim that the accounts regarding Shiloh in the Bible cannot be trusted. Enter the ABR team! With confidence in God's inerrant word and with the tools of scientific inquiry at our disposal, ABR will enter this new and exciting opportunity to boldly stand for the word of truth!
• Because scholars believe Shiloh was the pre-Jerusalem capital and spiritual center of Israel.
• Shiloh was the religious center for Israel for over 300 years!
• Shiloh was the home of the Tabernacle, where God's presence dwelt among His people.
• Shiloh was also the home of the Ark of the Covenant.
• Shiloh is one of the most important OT cities in Scripture!
Is ABR ready for the new excavation at Shiloh?
• ABR has a record number of diggers (over 115) for the inaugural dig from May 21 to June 17!
• Over 45 are signed up for the post-dig tour of Israel!
• ABR will be the most technologically-advanced excavation in Israel.
• The ABR dig staff at Shiloh includes some of the world's foremost specialists in areas such as artifact conservation, numismatics, and ceramic typology.
• The dig at Shiloh will be the first excavation outside of the Temple Mount Sifting Project to use wet-sifting. This new process has great promise to reveal many artifacts that might otherwise be missed in the process of excavation.
• There are 13 participating universities at the Shiloh excavation.
• The full staff for the Shiloh excavation includes 37 individuals, including our dig director, square supervisors, field archaeologists and specialists.
• Check out the details on our Shiloh excavation goals and objectives at www.digshiloh.org. And go to the ABR website for the great articles and research on Shiloh we have posted there: www.BibleArchaeology.org.
Will you help us?
In my last letter, I promised an update on our progress toward raising $232,000 to fully fund the dig at Shiloh and all ABR activities and research. (Just publishing the critical final reports on our Maqatir research is a fixed expense that will cost ABR $50,000 to complete!) The following graph provides the encouraging news that in March and April, over $60,000 in donations arrived at ABR!
In the remaining weeks until June 30, ABR must raise an additional $42,000 in donations to finish the fiscal year with all critical funding in place, and to move into the 2017-2018 fiscal year in a healthy position for all ministry activities. At this time, would you please consider the most generous gift possible so that we might meet the remaining financial need? We would be grateful for your help! We covet your prayers as we seek to responsibly and effectively use all donated resources to accomplish God's purposes for ABR.
In Jeremiah 7:12 the Lord declares, 'Go now to My place that was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of My people Israel.' ABR is doing just that, and it is all possible because of the prayers and support from individuals like you. Thank you for standing with us at this critical time!
For the Praise of His Glorious Name,