Early Explorers of Bible Lands

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Jack P. Lewis

ISBN 978-0-89112-451-1

208 ppg

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Acclaimed scholar and professor Jack Lewis narrates the lives and contributions of a number of nineteenth-century explorers of Bible lands whose work set the stage for modern biblical archaeology.

Here are the stories of John Lewis Burckhardt, William Francis Lynch, James T. Barclay, Selah Merrill, and other explorers of Bible lands from the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Most of these men did not engage in archaeology as we commonly define it today, but their contributions set the stage for modern archaeology. They were not excavators, but students of geography, nature, languages, customs, traditions, and the Bible--all of which are vital to a more refined understanding of the Bible.

As they traversed Palestine, these explorers encountered inscriptions and even previously unidentified languages (e.g., Hittite). Lewis's accounts reveal their interests, almost presciently, in the categories of anthropology as currently defined--cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology. These pursuits laid the groundwork for the more comprehensive and interdisciplinary studies that have eventually become the trademark of both biblical studies and the archaeology of the biblical world. As Lewis shows, we owe explorers a great debt of gratitude for their pioneering work.



About the Author

JACK P. LEWIS holds PhD degrees from Harvard University and Hebrew Union College. He was Thayer Fellow at the Albright Institute of Archeological research, Jerusalem, in 1967-68 and a Senior Fellow in 1983-84. Now retired, Lewis taught Bible at Harding University and Harding School of Theology for fifty years. He has authored more than a dozen books, including The English Bible from KJV to NIV, A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature, Archaeology of the Bible Archaeological Backgrounds of Bible History, and Archaeological Insights into the Interpretation of the Minor Prophets. He has made over thirty trips to the Holy Land. He served churches in Texas, Rhode Island, and Kentucky, and continues to serve as an elder of the White Station Church of Christ in Memphis, Tennessee.