This course deals with the archaeology of the Bible Lands from the fourth millennium BCE through the intertestamental period. Topics addressed include patriarchal Palestine, Joseph and Moses in Egypt, the reigns of David and Solomon, the divided kingdom, the exile, and the intertestamental period. Upon completion, students should be able to explain how understanding of the social, political and religious background of the biblical world aids illumination of the Hebrew Scriptures.


Archaeology and the Old Testament deals with the study of the archaeology of the lands of the Bible. Through the science of archaeology and the use of historical records, such as the Hebrew Scriptures, a student can develop a fuller understanding of the biblical record and the lifeways of biblical peoples. In biblical archaeology, wherein the disciplines of history and archaeology complement each other, students and scholars gain a fuller perception of the events depicted in the Bible and learn of the cultural change (cultural process) in the Bible lands.

There are no Prerequisites or Corequisites for this course.

Germano, Michael P.

President of the University
Full Time
B.S. (1959), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; B.A. (1961), Ambassador University; M.A. (2000), Texas A&M University-College Station; M.S. (1966), Ed.D. (1968), University of Southern California; J.D. (1980), University of La Verne.
Subject Matter: 
Anthropology/Archaeology, Professional Education, Theology

Dr. Germano brings over forty years of professional experience in educational leadership, teaching, corporate and business law, entrepreneurship, and institutional advancement initiatives to the LU presidency. He is a member of the California State Bar and was admitted to practice in the federal district courts of Southern California and East Texas. He taught business law at West Coast University (Los Angeles) and at Ambassador University (Big Sandy, Texas). Affiliated with Ambassador University (formerly Ambassador College) since 1959, he served as chief academic officer at two of its campuses. He left Ambassador as a professor emeritus in 1997 and completed a master's degree in archaeology/anthropology at Texas A&M in 2000. He then left retirement to serve several years as the chief academic officer at Haywood Community College at Clyde, North Carolina. He held responsibilities in AU's involvement in archaeological excavations at Jerusalem's south Temple Mount directed by Benjamin Mazar, the Jordan Umm el-Jimal Project directed by Bert de Vries, the Syria Mozan Expedition directed by Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati, and the northern Israel Hazor Excavations in memory of Yigael Yadin directed by Amnon Ben-Tor. Ordained in 1983, Dr. Germano is an elder in the Living Church of God.

Course Credit: 
Three (3) semester hours
Instructional Objectives: 

On successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  1. Define basic terminology in biblical archaeology;
  2. Describe the geographical setting of the Levant;
  3. Cite and explain the highlights of the major archaeological periods in the Levant during the Old Testament and Intertestamental periods;
  4. Explain in general terms the field of biblical archaeology, its major means and ends, and the leading issues in biblical archaeological research;
  5. Cite and describe the significance of the major Levantine archeological sites with emphasis upon those located in Israel;
  6. Explain how archaeological research of biblical lands can illuminate parts of the biblical text in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament; and
  7. Explain the concept of culture, the nature of archaeological data, and archaeological context through definition and examples from the material cultures that provide the setting for the biblical narrative.
Required Texts: 

Textbooks for this course are:

  • Hoerth, Alfred and John McRay. Bible Archaeology: An Exploration of the History and Culture of Early Civilizations. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005.
  • Sailhamer, John H. Biblical Archaeology. Zondervan Quick Reference Library. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998.
  • Hoerth, Alfred J. Archaeology of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998.

Students may order these through the University Bookstore.

The textbooks used in this course are commercial publications. They represent the views and ideas of their authors, editors, and publishers. Living University does not endorse these texts nor vouch for their accuracy. We simply employ them in helping you master the content of the course.

Course Calendar: 
Lesson Readings
Lesson 1 Beginnings
Topic 1 Introduction to Biblical Archaeology Hoerth, Chapter 1 (pp. 13-30)
Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 1 (pp. 9-29)
Sailhamer, “Introduction” (pp. 9-18)
Archaeological Periods in the Levant (chart)
Dating Methods (supplemental material)
Basic Concepts in Biblical Archaeology (supplemental material)
Topic 2 Archaeology and Genesis Hoerth, Chapter 9 (pp. 183-200)
Sailhamer, “Archaeology and Genesis” (pp. 1-11)
Lesson 2 Mesopotamia
Topic 1 Mesopotamia Before Abraham Hoerth, Chapter 2 (pp. 31-55)
Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 2 (pp. 31-65)
Sailhamer (p. 44)
Topic 2 Abrahamic Mesopotamia Hoerth, Chapter 3 (pp. 56-74)
Lesson 3 PatriarchalPalestine and Egypt
Topic 1 The Land of Canaan Hoerth, Chapter 4 & 5 (pp. 75-123)
Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 4 (pp. 95-
Sailhamer, “The Patriarchs” (pp. 35-46)
Topic 2 Ancient Egypt Hoerth, Chapter 6 & 7 (pp. 124-164)
Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 3 (pp. 67-94)
Lesson 4 The Exodus and Conquest
Topic 1 The Exodus and Mt. Sinai Hoerth, Chapter 8 (pp. 165-182)
Germano, “The Exodus Enigma”
Sailhamer, “Exodus, the Conquests, and the Judges” (pp. 47-66)
Topic 2 The Conquest Hoerth, Chapter 10 (pp. 201-222)
Germano, “Hazor: The Head of All Those Kingdoms”
EXAM 1 Covering Lessons 1-4 (100 points). Time for completion: 2 hours (120 minutes).
Lesson 5 Judges, Kingship and the United Monarchy
Topic 1 Joshua’s Closing Years and the Judges Hoerth, Chapter 11 (pp. 223-239)
Topic 2 The Beginnings of Kingship Hoerth, Chapter 12 (pp. 240-257)
Topic 3 David as King Hoerth, Chapter 13 (pp. 258-276)
Sailhamer, “The United Monarchy” (pp. 65-74)
Topic 4 Davidic Jerusalem  
Topic 5 Solomon as King Hoerth Chapter 14 (pp. 258-295)
Lesson 6 Judah and Israel
Topic 1 The Early Divided Kingdom (931-841) Hoerth, Chapter 15 (pp. 296-319)
Topic 2 The Late Divided Kingdom (841-722) Hoerth, Chapter 16 (pp. 320-339)
Topic 3 Judah Alone (722-586) Hoerth, Chapter 17 (pp. 340-367)
Lesson 7 Ezra and Nehemiah
Topic 1 The Exile Hoerth, Chapter, 18 (pp. 368-387)
Topic 2 Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah Hoerth, Chapter, 19 (pp. 388-403)
Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 5 (pp. 130-147)
Sailhamer, “The Exile and the Postexilic Period” (pp. 95-108)
Topic 3 Jerusalem and the Second Temple Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 6 (pp. 149-207)
Lesson 8 Inter-Testamental Period
Topic 1 Alexander the Great and the Ptolemaic Rule Hoerth, Chapter 20 (pp. 404-413)
Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 7 (pp. 209-245)
Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 8 (pp. 247-265)
Topic 2 The Maccabees and the Third Temple Ward, “First Maccabees: The Remarkable Chronicle of the Maccabees”
Topic 3 The Seleucids Hoerth, Chapter 19 (pp. 413-417)
Topic 4 The Hasmoneans Hoerth, Chapter 19 (pp. 417-418)
Topic 5 Roman Rule Hoerth, Chapter 19 (pp. 418-421)
Hoerth and McRay, Chapter 9 (pp. 267-280)
EXAM 2 Covering Lessons 5-8 (100 points). Time for completion: 2 hours (120 minutes).
Course Requirements: 

Icebreaker Assignment
To officially begin this course you must complete an icebreaker assignment by which you introduce yourself to your classmates through posting a short autobiography on the course Discussion Forum. A student can earn 30 points by posting the Icebreaker assignment on time. These points could make the difference between an A or a B, or passing or not passing this course.

  • The icebreaker assignment must be submitted not later than Wednesday, August 24.
  • Post your biography as a reply to the "Icebreaker" topic on the lesson “Welcome and Overview” Discussion Forum.
  • Please read and comment on at least two other bios by the due date in order to get credit.
  • Full credit for this assignment will only be given if all three of the above requirements are met.

Do NOT create a NEW discussion. Simply tell the class about yourself and your goals. This is not the place for a profession of faith, or the details your conversion experience, or problems you have had with previous fellowships, as that information is more of a private nature. Here you inform your classmates what you would like them to know about you. As we have people from all over the world enrolled in this course each autobiography will help us know, understand and appreciate each other. This assignment is worth 35 points.

Students must complete the course by the last official day of instruction as set forth in the academic calendar.

Refer to “Course outline and assignments” section for reading assignments.

All writing assignments in this course should follow the MLA style as set forth in Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide by Lester & Lester. Please cite your sources and use quotation marks where needed. The Files feature on an assignment page lets you submit your work so your instructor can have it handy for download, review, and grading.

Distance learning emphasizes self-motivation. The instructor functions as a facilitator with the student as the driving force in mastering course content. Students are encouraged not to put off completing their readings and assignments. While there are many different learning styles, the following strategy should serve the needs of most students.

  • Look over assigned readings.
  • Read the assigned readings making notes before viewing the assigned lecture.
  • Define terms in the assignment. The exams will specifically test basic terminology. Students should develop their biblical and theology vocabulary as they proceed assignment by assignment.
  • As students view lectures,they should complete their notes.
  • Complete the answers for the writing assignment.
  • Each week students should review notes, geographical terms and locations, and the words they defined.
  • If a student has a question, ask. Questions should arise in the teaching-learning process. By bringing questions to our attention, students not only acquire assistance but they also maintain the interaction necessary in higher education. To submit a question just click on the instructor’s name on the “Course Info” page and send your question by email through the Populi system.

This course includes several lectures by Dr. Germano and some guests. Links to lectures are in the lessons.

Each of the eight lessons has an associated online exam of not more than 25 questions. They are open book quizzes, but under no circumstances are students to print a quiz. Please be aware that an open book quiz is not a workbook exercise. It is a test where the student can consult his or her notes and books. Students have ninety minutes to complete each quiz. Quizzes are objective tests (which may include true/false, matching, multiple-choice questions covering lectures, readings, vocabulary words and any discussion topics. There are two closed book exams(midterm and final exams) of fifty objective questions each. These are proctored examinations which are to be taken either online or with paper and pencil.

Terms and phrases
Each assignment includes a set of terms and phrases for you to learn. This exercise is to help you develop and expand your biblical and theological vocabulary as you proceed through the eight assignments and to help you focus on the context of the content you are reading. Examinations will specifically test your mastery of the basic terminology of this course. Many students find looking over vocabulary words just as they go to bed at night and as they arise in the morning helps commit them to memory. Be sure to review your definitions before an examination. For some terms and phrases, we have given a scriptural link. We selected the NKJ, the New King James Version, as our default for scriptural text. When alternate scriptures appear we provide the appropriate link as NASB, KJV, RSV, NIV, and the like.

A course grade will be determined based on the number of points a student has earned over the semester as follows:

  • Icebreaker Assignment (30 points)
  • Writing Assignments (eight, each worth 40 pointsfor a total of 320 points)
  • Quizzes (eight, each worth 50 points, for a total of 400 points; online, open book)
  • Exams (two, each worth 100 points, for a total of 200 points; proctored, online, closed book)
  • “What I Learned” Essay (20 points)
  • Course Evaluation (30 points)
  • TOTAL 1000 points

Grades are in the traditional American style of an A, B, C, D, or F. In distance learning, we believe that the measure of mastery of course subject matter is completion of 80% of the objectives for a course. That means that we want students to earn at least 800 points in this course. If they do not do so then they have not achieved the level of the mastery we would like them to have. We want this course to be competency-based and so it is possible for the entire class to receive an A or a B. There is no artificial curving of scores in the assignment of grades (if you do not know what that means, do not worry about it). Mastery of the material is what one’s goal should be.

Grades, assigned by points, are as follows:

A 900-1000 points
B 800-899 points
C 700-799 points
D 600-699 points
F Below 600 points

Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.