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.

 

 


Rivermont Presbyterian Hosts Chuck Brodsky In Concert

Rivermont Presbyterian Church, 3319 Hixson Pike, will present Chuck Brodsky in concert on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. Chuck Brodsky hits the heart of folk music: honest, lean, and passionate. His work is laden with narrative, social commentary, humor, and personal experience.  Larry Groce, Mountain Stage (National Public Radio) said he was “one of the finest singer-songwriters ... (click for more)

"His Love, Our Hope" Series Continues Sunday At Middle Valley Church Of God

Middle Valley Church of God, 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Does God Really Love Me?" in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.  This sermon is part of a special series of sermons based on the need for the church to be revived.  The series is titled, 'His Love, Our Hope.'  All are invited to participate.   ... (click for more)

Appeals Court Rules Against WWTA In Lawsuit Brought By Apartment Complex Over $8 Monthly Charges To Units

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an apartment complex that sued the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWTA) over an $8 monthly charge per apartment unit for preparing private service laterals. The court overturned a granting of summary judgment in favor of WWTA by former Judge Jackie Bolton. The appeals court said American Heritage Apartments, ... (click for more)

1 Dies In House Fire In Rhea County

Rhea County Fire Department officials said one person died in an early-morning house fire on Saturday. The call came at about 6:30 a.m. The brick residence is on Fisher Road. S tate arson investigators were on their way. (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Boots, Idiots & Guns

As the month of February was born this morning, allow me to hurriedly share three leftovers that were still in last month’s basket: * * * A first-grade teacher had endured a long day and was helping her students bundle up for the trip home when one of the little boys asked for help getting on his boots. Soon she could see why. Even with her pulling, and him pushing, the ... (click for more)