Interpreting the Bible through Archaeology
It has long been recognized that archaeology is an indispensable tool for interpreting the Bible because it provides cultural, historical, social, religious, and linguistic information that sheds light on the context of biblical passages. The program offers a concentration in Old Testament and Near Eastern Studies and emphasizes four areas:
- Biblical Geography
- Biblical Languages
- Biblical Studies
This program provides students with a solid basis for doctoral studies in Archaeology, Ancient History, Biblical Studies, and Church History. Students are not required to write a thesis but may do so if granted permission by an advisor and the department. All students are required to pass a comprehensive exam unless the thesis option has been granted. Those who consider this program as a terminal degree will be well trained for teaching courses in Old and New Testament, Bible backgrounds, ancient history, and archaeology in church and school settings.
There is a required semester of study in Israel at Jerusalem University College (JUC) and six weeks of summer excavation for credit. Admission is contingent upon current U.S. State Department travel advisories for the Middle East.
Admission to the program does not require a specific undergraduate major. Students must, however, demonstrate:
- a basic knowledge of Bible content and historical periods of the Old or New Testament; and
- prerequisite competency in Hebrew.
- Competency is defined as passing a competency exam or taking HEBR 301,(or BL 610 at JUC), 302, and 401. These language prerequisites do not count toward the completion of degree requirements, but students may take the languages concurrently with the program.
The program begins with participation in a six-week excavation in Israel during the summer prior to the first semester. The first fall semester is taken in Israel at Jerusalem University College, and the remaining work is completed at Wheaton.
View Degree Sequence for a course listing.