SU19-01 Archaeological Mysteries of the Bible

Viewed from the perspective of “a letter written to each of us,” the Hebrew Bible can be seen as a work outlining an incredible history, geography, spirituality, and cultural identity. However, there are many passages that remain enigmatic to this day. In this course, we will use the literary and archaeological record of the ancient Near East to help explain some of the enigmas that have confronted scholars for millennia. We will explore such questions as: Was there a Garden of Eden, and if so, where was it? How accurate are the accounts of Joseph and his amazing coat of many colors? Were there one or two Egyptian pharaohs involved the exodus tradition? Do we know what happened at Sinai, and where it was located? Join us as we go looking for answers

Steven Derfler has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology/ archaeology/Jewish studies from the University of Minnesota and Tel Aviv University, and a doctorate in classics and archaeology from the University of Minnesota. He has been researching and teaching about ancient civilizations for more than 40 years. A recently retired professor, he is the director of Educational Resources, Inc., a consulting firm.