Lee’s Peterson Discovers 1st Century Artifact

Friday, January 31, 2014
 Garrett Shepherd is shown holding a first-century A.D. jug handle; Also pictured is the Egyptian Scarab amulet depicting a mythological griffin; Simmons holding a Herodian-era lamp moments after discovery; and Peterson standing beside a first-century fenestrated “window wall.”
Garrett Shepherd is shown holding a first-century A.D. jug handle; Also pictured is the Egyptian Scarab amulet depicting a mythological griffin; Simmons holding a Herodian-era lamp moments after discovery; and Peterson standing beside a first-century fenestrated “window wall.”

Lee University School of Theology’s Dr. Brian Peterson, working with the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR), discovered an Egyptian Scarab amulet in the fortress of Khirbet el-Maqatir during his fourth archaeological trip to Israel this past summer. The artifact, dated to the Late Bronze I period (1550-1400 BC), was discovered at the proposed site of Ai, located nine miles north of Jerusalem.

 

According to Peterson, Egyptian Scarab pendants, which originated with the Egyptians, were designed in reverence to their devotion to the dung beetle and sun god.

The beetle would cover its food with dung and roll it with its legs; the Egyptians believed this motion was associated with the movement of the sun across the sky, therefore proclaiming their devotion to the sacred dung beetle. Worn by the upper class, it was used to seal scrolls and represent a life of good luck and fertility.  

 

According to Christianity Today, Peterson’s discovery was “the most important archeological discovery in 2013.” Despite continued debate among various biblical scholars and archaeologists, the Egyptian Scarab amulet helps to confirm that the archaeological excavation site of Khirbet el-Maqatir is indeed the location of Ai, the biblical city destroyed by Israel in Joshua chapter eight.

 

“My time working with ABR has been both enriching and rewarding,” said Peterson. “One never knows what the next spade full of dirt will uncover. Four years of meticulous work in the same few square meters of Khirbet el-Maqatir finally paid off this summer. It is truly an exhilarating experience that changes the way one reads the Bible. In a moment, you can change history and the history books.”

 

Dr. Bill Simmons, professor of New Testament and Greek at Lee, accompanied Peterson as a colleague and laborer.

 

“As a professor of New Testament studies, the dig integrated the history, culture, and geography of Israel more than any other experience to date,” said Simmons. “Literally unearthing the world of the first century, handling the artifacts of a bygone era, and listening to lectures by seasoned archaeologists reveals the multifaceted nature of the program.”

 

Garrett Shepherd, recent Lee alum, also attended the trip during his last semester as a student.

 

“Each night we would have a session that explained the history of Khirbet el-Maqatir and how it fit into the story of Joshua, geographically and archaeologically, as well as studies on the city of Jericho and its archaeological finds,” said Shepherd. “Even though the Body of Christ is so ‘divided,’ one thing that really stood out to me was how we all came together as one in order to prove the Bible's historical veracity.”

 

Twelve more Lee students will have the opportunity to accompany Peterson this May as he returns to the location of the Egyptian Scarab discovery. Students will explore and excavate the location for additional artifacts as well as receive class credit hours to fulfill the university- required cross-cultural experience.  

 

Peterson enjoys spending a portion of his summers doing archaeology in Israel. His passion is combining biblical narrative with historical and archaeological records.  

 

Peterson joined the Lee faculty in fall 2011 as an assistant professor of Old Testament where he currently teaches a variety of OT classes and Hebrew. Prior to joining the Lee faculty, he taught Bible classes at The Gambia Theological Institute in the Gambia, West Africa, as well as spending a year as an assistant professor of OT at Prairie Bible College in Alberta, Canada. 

 

Peterson earned his PhD at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto, a master’s in Old Testament from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a master’s of Theological Studies from Beeson Divinity School. He received his bachelor’s of Biblical Studies at Zion Bible College in Barrington, R.I.

 

 


Victory Over Temptation

I am not sure that I am ready to declare that temptation to evil is good, but it is certainly clear that it is often used by God for good.  Immediately following the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit sent Him into the wilderness for the express purpose of being tempted by Satan.  Because Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy chapter eight during the temptations and because both ... (click for more)

Washington Hills UMC Celebrates 46th Anniversary This Sunday

Washington Hills UMC will be celebrating their 46th Church Anniversary this  Sunday, at 11 a.m.   Rev. Donald Swift, pastor of Lenon-Seney UMC in Knoxville TN will be the keynote speaker.  Rev. Swift began his ministry career as a member of Washington Hills and is now the Senior Black Elder in the Holston Conference (non-retired) serving in an active Clergy capacity.  ... (click for more)

President Of Realtor Association And Family Were Starting On Vacation When They Were Caught In Deadly Wreck

The president of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors was starting out on vacation with his wife, Tina, and their two children when they got caught up in last Thursday’s deadly crash along I-75.   Six people were killed and six others injured.   The Close family, including children ages six and 12, was able to escape injury.   They ... (click for more)

Athens, Tn., Doctor, Wife, Daughter Die In Crash Of Small Plane That Hit House Near Boston

An Athens,Tn., physician, his wife and college-age daughter died Sunday evening in the crash of a small plane that struck a house 30 miles southwest of Boston on Sunday evening. The victims were Dr. Joseph Rick Kalister, the emergency room director at Starr Regional Medical Center's Athens campus, wife, Betty, and their daughter. The doctor and his wife were en route for a ... (click for more)

Six Commissioners Owe Us An Explanation - And Response (2)

Two-thirds of the Hamilton County Commission owe us an explanation as to why they feel it appropriate to take $900,000 of our money out of savings to spend on whatever suits their fancy, oversight be darned.  Those six commissioners are: Randy Fairbanks (D-1), Jim Fields (D-2), Warren Mackey (D-4), Sabrena Turner-Smedley (D-7), Tim Boyd (D-8), and Chester Bankston (D-9).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tonight, Take A Second

Peter Whibberley, known globally as “The Time Lord,” will freely tell anyone, “There are consequences of tinkering with time,” but tinker we must because the world – planet Earth -- is spinning slower. So tonight at 7:59:60 p.m. EDT, the Senior Research Scientist at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory will add an extra second to the hour – and our day -- before it becomes 8:00 ... (click for more)