E-seminar : Archaeology and the Bible

E-seminar : Archaeology and the Bible

SEM 41 - Archaeology and the Bible  

From 7th October to 30th November 2019

by Hervé Tremblay 


Course code: SEM 41

Professor: _ _


For centuries, the Bible has been considered as a historical source. Since there were no other sources, the Bible received a basic credit. Early archaeological surveys in the 19th century first seemed to show that this was right. The different “Histories of Israel” followed this understanding. But in the last decades, new archaeology changed it all. If the results of this new archaeology are right, the whole historical question in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, has to be completely rethought. What does this imply for the believers?

Objectives (3 to 4)

- To know biblical history as presented in the canonical texts.

- To know archaelogy and its evolution in its methods and interpretation.

- To evaluate the findings and interpretations of archaeology in regard tot he iblical field.

- To understand what it implies for a Judeo-Christian faith that is based on history and that seems to lose any credible basis.


Learning Outcome

  • This seminar should bring a deep reflection on the historical basis of Judeo-Christian faith.
  • If archaeology is right (it is a big “if”), how should today’s scholars and believers think or re-think faith if nothing of the founding events ever happened.
  • Understand the complexity of the question and the options available for scholars and believers.



  • The student must know well the biblical history as presented in the canonical texts.
  • The student must also know contemporary archaeology, especially in the Middle-east, its method, its religion or political independence, the interpretation of its results.
  • In the end of the process, the student will have to be able to conjugate the two sets of data: a questioned and challenged history and an uncertain archaeology.
  • Finally, the student will be invited to “re-think” or “re-interpret” the importance of history for today’s believers. Does archaeology definitely killed biblical history?


Evaluation Methods:

A contribution of XXX for each step

Participation in the debate during the second week (quality over quantity)