Niac College, Peter Andrew, Steve discussed on The Eric Metaxas Show
There folks, have you ever wanted to talk to an actual archeologist? Because I don't. But actually, that's not true. Listen, I know if you know me, you know, I love archeology. I love biblical archeology in my new book as atheism dead. A third of the book is devoted to biblical archeology. It's really exciting when you know the details when you know the stories. It's just undeniably exciting. So you can imagine, I was pretty excited when I learned that doctor Steve not lay could come into the studio why you're saying why Eric because he's an archeologist. He's a distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian origins at niac college and he is at the center of a very, very, very exciting New Testament dig, doctor Steve, Natalie welcome. Thank you for having me here. You can tell I'm bursting with country fresh flavor over this issue. I just can't. Where do we start? Just tell my audience, the nutshell version of what you are privileged to be working on right now. I like to describe the site as the last lost city of the gospels. Most people don't realize they go to Israel, they visit there. They get off the bus. There's a sign, telling them their accessory, or mojito. They don't realize that almost all of these biblical sites got lost. They were destroyed, abandoned, forgotten. And we've been in a process for the last 150 years of rediscovery. Okay, so when you say got lost, you're saying over 2000 years, we lost track. So in the last 200 years, roughly, we have been finding the places we've read about. We've been showing that they exist that they're true. But you're telling me that the one that you're working on now is the last one. This is the one that we did not know where it was until recently. Exactly. There was an alternate site suggested about a mile and a half from where we are. They've been digging there since 1987. But it had problems. And there were a lot of hesitations people weren't willing to sign off on it being Bette, which is an important site. Apart from capernaum and the Galilee, it's the second most mentioned site in the gospels. Okay, so when you say Beth's bits say debt, for people just tuning in, why is that important? What happened there, according to the gospels that we would know about. It's the home of Peter Andrew and Phillip. So Jesus is apostles are coming from there. It's also in the region of beta where the feeding of the 5000 takes place. You also have various healings taking place there, Jesus ministry of healing. Whenever he gets into the boat to go to the other side, that is Beth Satan. That is translated. You're telling me until 5 minutes ago, we did not know where it was. Not until we started excavating. And now we know. Yes. And we're excited. It should be. You should be. This is a big deal. It is a huge deal. I thought Peter was from capernaum. No. But didn't they have a home? What's in capernaum? He anyway, we'll talk about that another time. But so you're telling me that until this dig, which leading, we didn't know. When did you know and how did you, as I have looked into this world of biblical archeology, I've found it interesting that people sometimes settle on identifying something. They're not sure, but they kind of settle on it because it's the best bet. And years pass, and then later they realized, no, no, no, it's over here. That's basically what happened with Beth site. Exactly. Again, there's often times there's various disciplines that are used to try to identify a site. Archeology is usually the last word. Let's say it comes in and confirms whether there are material remains that match the historical descriptions. And sometimes we find that places that were previously thought to be a particular location are not. And that's what happened in this occasion. And it's there were questions being raised. There were various suggestions already in the 19th century as to where it might be. One of the sites, as I mentioned, an Israeli archeologist was excavating there. But it's about a mile and a half from the Lake shore. And one of the things we know about beza is that it is a fishing village. And you don't build a fishing village, a mile and a half from the Lake. So what happened? They began digging there and they dug for 30 years. And again, there were questions raised about it. Various people raised questions. I published in 2007 in a peer reviewed journal. Challenging that site started a huge conversation and basically we were challenged if we thought it was someplace else we should excavate it. See, I love, I love the way this works. And again, it's only because I wrote my recent book that I've started to understand how this works because a big part of my book I talk about the discovery of biblical sodom, doctor Stephen Collins, Albuquerque. And it's the same thing where eminent biblical archeologists had sort of settled on a couple of other sites. And when you looked into it, you said, well, they've got some those sites have some real problems. So if you were an archeologist, you'd say, gosh, I wonder if we could ever find the real thing. And that's kind of what happened with you, right? I mean, you said that this place, yeah, it could be it, but if it's a fishing village, I mean, anybody who's walked a mile and a half recently understands, you don't build a fishing village. And now a 30 minutes away by foot on foot. As I grew up in Oklahoma, and we would say that's a long way to pull your boat..