The discipline of Biblical Archaeology seeks to integrate both ancient material culture and epigraphic finds with study of the Bible in order to assist the student to better understand the Scriptures. 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 emphasizes three areas of competency: Archaeology, Old Testament Languages, and Old Testament Studies. Students receive first-hand experience in Archaeology through a six-week field school at Tel Shimron, Israel. Additionally, course work in Archaeology, Hebrew, and Old Testament Studies develop competencies that provide a solid basis for continuing education for ministry, for doctoral studies in Archaeology, Ancient History and Biblical Studies, or for teaching courses in Old Testament, Bible backgrounds, ancient history, and archaeology in church and school settings.
Students are not required to write a thesis but may do so if granted permission by an advisor and the department. All students must have at least one year of Hebrew or the equivalent facility with Hebrew, in order to complete the degree's required course work. Additionally, they must pass a comprehensive exam at the end of their course work.
Wheaton College Graduate School
Toll free: 800.888.0141 or 630.752.5195
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 Testament; and
- Prerequisite competency in Hebrew. Competency is defined as passing a competency exam or taking HEBR 101 Elementary Hebrew I, (or BL 610 at JUC), HEBR 102 Elementary Hebrew II, and HEBR 201 or the equivalent. These language prerequisites do not count toward the completion of degree but students may take the languages concurrently with the program.
The Old Testament Archaeology program begins with participation in a six-week excavation in Israel, ARCH 525. The remaining work is completed at Wheaton.
|ARCH 525||Archaeological Field Work (6 week excavation in Israel)||8|
|ARCH 521||Advanced Archaeology and the Old Testament||4|
|BITH 508||Intro to Hebrew Exegesis||4|
|BITH 524||Intro to Hermeneutics||2|
|BITH 542||Old Testament Hermeneutics||2|
|Winter Intensive in January or over a summer|
|BITH 565||Christian Theology||4|
|BITH 635||Hebrew Exegesis||4|
|or BITH 636||Hebrew Exegesis|
|ARCH 554||Topics in Archaeology||2,4|
|ARCH 569||Religion of Israel and ANE||4|
|or ARCH 565||Statecraft and International Relations in the Ancient Near East|
|BITH 692||Graduate Comprehensive Exam||0|
ARCH 515. Ugaritic Language and Literature. (4 Credits)
This course introduces students to the language, literature, and culture from the ancient city-state of Ugarit. It is designed to teach students essential morphology and syntax of the Ugaritic prose and poetic texts, to orientate students to the discipline of Ugaritology, and to facilitate a better understanding of the Old Testament through the study of its linguistic and cultural context. Prerequisite: HEBR 301 or permission of instructor.
ARCH 516. Classical Hebrew Inscriptions. (4 Credits)
See ARCH 416.
ARCH 517. Egyptian Hieroglyphics. (4 Credits)
An introduction to Middle Egyptian which involves learning how to read and translate texts.
ARCH 518. Akkadian Cuneiform. (2 or 4 Credits)
An introduction to cuneiform which leads students through the techniques for transcription, transliteration, and translation of Assyrian or Babylonian literature.
ARCH 521. Advanced Archaeology and the Old Testament. (4 Credits)
A study of ancient Near Eastern archaeological methods and materials and their relationship to the historical, social, and religious settings of the Old Testament, with special emphasis on Israel's early history and the monarchic periods.
ARCH 525. Archaeological Field Work. (8 Credits)
Field experience involving excavation, interpretation, and studies in related regional archaeology.
ARCH 526. Method & Theory. (2 Credits)
A basic examination of the field of archaeology and how the history of the field affects current practice. Graded pass/fail unless petitioned for a grade.
ARCH 534. Historical Geography. (2 Credits)
ARCH 545. Archaeology of the Classical World. (2 Credits)
Excavations, monuments, epigraphic materials, and papyri from the Minoan, Mycenaean, Aegean, and Greco-Roman times.
ARCH 552. Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament. (2 Credits)
A study of the history, literature, and thought within Judaism in the Persian and Hellenistic periods. In providing an important backdrop to the understanding and interpretation of the New Testament, emphasis will fall on the political and economic forces at work in Palestine, as well as the religious ideas and practices.
ARCH 554. Topics in Archaeology. (2 or 4 Credits)
Separate courses devoted to specialized topics in archaeology.
ARCH 565. Statecraft and International Relations in the Ancient Near East. (4 Credits)
See ARCH 365.
ARCH 569. Religion of Israel and ANE. (4 Credits)
See ARCH 369.
ARCH 594. Seminar: Current Issues. (2 Credits)
A seminar devoted to exploring the current issues in Near Eastern archaeology that relate to biblical studies, especially those touching on historiography, historicity, social and cultural backgrounds, methodology, and faith.
ARCH 695. Independent Study. (2 or 4 Credits)