Sunday, March 17, 2024

Daniel Pioske on “The Bible and Archaeology: Problems and Possibilities"

 Friday, April 5, 2024, 3:30 pm

IN PERSON, Iverson Hearth Room (ASC340), Anderson Student Center, University of St. Thomas

Please see the St. Thomas campus map & Parking info; the Anderson Student Center ramp and the Anderson Parking facility are closest

Abstract: The past century was witnessed numerous excavations carried out at sites identified with locations named in the Bible. This talk discusses certain problems that arose with efforts to authenticate the historical character of the biblical writings through archaeological finds recovered at these locations and how the Biblical Archaeology movement met its demise by the 1990s. It then turns to how the relationship between archaeology and the Bible might be in pursued in the next century through ways that are both more sensitive to the interpretive questions this relationship raises and more historically rigorous.

About the speaker: Dan Pioske is an Old Testament scholar at the University of St. Thomas whose research centers on how the biblical writers thought about and experienced the past. These interests typically touch on matters of epistemology and hermeneutics, broadly speaking, or questions of knowledge and how we might interpret ancient texts written in a world far different from our own. In light of these interests, his work examines how the stories of the Bible both resonate with and resist what has been learned through archaeological excavations carried out in the past century, and how these writings' relationships to what has been recovered archaeologically contribute to a better appreciation of the claims they make.

Prior to St. Thomas, Dr. Pioske taught at Georgia Southern University and Union Theological Seminary, New York. He has participated in digs in Ashkelon, Israel, and Zincirli, Turkey, and studied in Göttingen, Germany. He is a native of Kelso Township in the southern prairie lands of Minnesota where he grew up on a family farm.

Dr. Pioske's publications include: 


The Bible Among the Ruins: Time, Materiality, and the World of the Biblical Writers (Cambridge University Press, f/c).

Memory in a Time of Prose: Studies in Epistemology, Hebrew Scribalism, and the Biblical Past (Oxford University Press, 2018).

David's Jerusalem: Between Memory and History (Routledge, 2015).

Recent Articles:

“’And I Will Make Samaria a Ruin in the Open Country’ (Micah 1:6): On Biblical Ruins, Then and Now.” Revue Biblique 129.2 (2022): 161-82.

“An Archaeology of Ancient Thought: On the Hebrew Bible and the History of Ancient Israel.” Harvard Theological Review 115.2 (2022): 171-96.

“Observations on the Appearance of Royal Inscriptions in Alphabetic Scripts in the Levant: An Exercise in ‘Historically Anchored Philology’” (w/F.W. Dobbs-Allsopp) Maarav: A Journal for the Study of Northwest Semitic Languages and Literature 23.2 (2019): 389-442.

“The ‘High Court’ of Ancient Israel’s Past: Archaeology, Texts, and the Question of Priority.” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures 19.1 (2019): 1-25.

“Material Culture and Making Visible: On the Portrayal of Philistine Gath in the Book of Samuel.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 43.1 (2018): 3-27.

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