Archaeology and the Seven Churches

This is a fascinating interview with Mark Driscoll and Dr. Andrew Jackson, one of the foremost authorities on biblical history in the country of Turkey.

In the first video, Dr. Jackson explains the history and importance of the city of Ephesus:

In the second, Dr. Jackson discusses the seven churches of Revelation:

The interviews above are well worth your time and provided some particularly interesting nuggets for me. For example, the order of the seven churches listed in Revelation 2:1-3:22 is deliberately organized for the travel circuit through each region is a very helpful bit of information as it means there was a specific reason for why the books were placed in the order they were.

Most of all, the videos remind me just how important the study of history is to our understanding of Scripture. Archaeological expeditions allow us to get a much better sense of what the culture was like, to see some of the remains of the cities where the gospel first went forward and bring believer today that much closer to our earliest counterparts.

And it’s all the more reason to give thanks.

Do you look into archaeological expeditions of biblical sites? If so, what’s been the most interesting you’ve learned?

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  • Rob Holliday

    I spent some time in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom with the US Army, and had a chance to see both the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar’s palace, multiple ancient ruins in Baghdad, as well as the ancient ruins of Nineveh, in now Mosul. Although it wasn’t an archaeological venture, it was amazing to think that I could have been near the grounds where Jonah finally called the people of Nineveh to repent. For what it’s worth, I’m excited to hear of a return expedition into the mountainous region of Mt. Sinai to continue investigation of potential landing sites of the Ark; how fascinating would that find be and the reaction of all interested, given the secular desire to categorize the story of Noah’s Ark as more mythology.

    On another note, I find it very interesting that many biblical archaeology, as a field, seems to bring both the secular and the faithful to its ranks, albeit for differing and competing reasons. I recently read an article in National Geographic that described the cutthroat, competitive nature of some of the archaeological excavations in the Holy Land. And while there were riches to be found, as described in the article, most of the competition was for notoriety and boasting rights. Seems such an ironic goal, given the pursuit.

    Thanks for posting!