Someone once said that the Bible is intelligible enough for a child to understand but complex enough for a scholar to devote his life to studying it. Much of that complexity lies in the historical, cultural, and religious background of the biblical writings, spanning from the second millennium BC to the first century AD. Those who devote themselves to reading the Bible in its original context will never cease to learn more about the biblical writings, their authors, and the God of the authors.
There are several ways of accessing the past. We often first turn to written documents, which can cause us to forget the importance of physical artifacts and archaeology. Biblical archaeology has helped us to understand how Israel and her neighbors lived everyday life; it has solved historical and exegetical puzzles; it is a gateway or a window to the past.
So, we thank God for DIU’s recent acquisition of a sizeable collection of ancient artifact replicas, all relevant to biblical studies. The collection belonged to the parents of our own Dr. Paul Kroeger, whose mother used this collection to bring biblical backgrounds alive for her students at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. DIU was offered the entire collection and we gratefully accepted. These replicas span the ancient world from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Israel. Both Jewish and Christian artifacts are represented, including oil lamps, coins, pottery, a menorah, and more. Among the Greco-Roman artifacts are statues, amulets, and ancient figures of various sorts.
The Biblical Backgrounds courses at DIU are now taught by Dr. Todd Scacewater (above), Dr. Joshua Harper, and AD Riddle. Together, they plan to continue the tradition of bringing alive the history and culture of the biblical epochs for those who aspire to study and translate the Bible.
Several programs at DIU involve learning Biblical Backgrounds. At the undergraduate level, we offer a BA in Scripture and Culture or a Certificate in Biblical Studies. At the graduate level, we offer an MA in Applied Linguistics and MA in Translation Advising.
We invite you to further explore our programs or apply today and join us soon for our biblical background courses. Together, we’ll bring to life the ancient world and apply that knowledge to better understand the message of the Bible.