Michael Hasel, director of the Institute of Archaeology at Southern Adventist University, and Ron Clouzet, former dean of the School of Religion at Southern, will present the “Astonishing Discoveries in the Land of the Bible” series at the Hendersonville and Foster Seventh-day Adventist churches in Western North Carolina on August 15-18. The event gives people the chance to experience the Bible like never before as they travel with presenters through Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, survey the ancient city of Babylon, and find hidden treasures in the land of Israel.
Astonishing Discoveries sheds light on some of the major biblical archaeological discoveries of the last two centuries. Each of the five presentations include pictures of sites, ancient artifacts, and historical context, which help the audience gain a renewed understanding of what they read in Scripture.
The series has been most often used as a precursor to bigger evangelistic series. It is designed to draw in different demographics of people that may not be as familiar with evangelistic meetings and the Adventist Church.
“We don’t deal with the same religious topics in this series as you tend to see in other evangelistic meetings,” Hasel said. “We focus more on biblical archaeological discoveries that help get people interested in learning more about the Word of God.”
The archaeological evidence discussed in the presentations breathes new life into the Bible.
“The archaeological discoveries covered in the series have helped many people experience a spiritual turning point in their lives,” Clouzet said. “About 30 percent of the guests that show up often register for future evangelistic meetings.”
Each night of the five-part series taking place at the Hendersonville and Foster churches will feature a different biblical subject. The first presentation focuses on Egyptian wonders, covering everything from the Rosetta Stone to Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh.
On the following evening, listeners will hear about what archaeology has discovered at the ancient city of Babylon in the last 150 years, and learn how those discoveries have fulfilled 2,500 year-old prophecies. The third meeting surveys long-lost treasures found in Palestine that has revolutionized the modern world of biblical archaeology.
The series finishes with a two-part morning and evening event on Saturday, August 18. The morning presentation will feature the Sea of Galilee, Cesarea Philippi, and the city of Jerusalem, while answering claims made by Dan Brown and others who’ve written about Jesus Christ. The evening presentation will conclude the series by examining the messages God sent to the seven churches of Revelation, and demonstrate how those messages are still relevant to us today.
Hasel is the curator of the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum and director of the Institute of Archaeology. He has taught at Southern since 1998 and has participated in several excavations and study tours in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, and Turkey. His most recent work has been at Khirbet Qeiyafa in Israel, and has earned the Institute of Archeology a $10,000 sponsorship this year from Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries International. The money will be used for the publication of evidence that was uncovered at the site.