“Go ye now unto My place which was in Shiloh where I caused My name to dwell at the first” (Jeremiah 7:12). Beginning this May, Freed-Hardeman University Graduate School of Theology students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about biblical archaeology as they go to Shiloh to search for evidence of the tabernacle.
A two-week short course, BIB599A Biblical Archaeology, will be taught by Dr. Jonathan Moore May 15-26, 2023. The study abroad portion, a 10-day trip to Israel, is set for May 25-June 5, 2023. It includes participation in an ongoing excavation at the biblical site of Shiloh.
Since Dr. Moore and his wife, Kim, have underwritten a substantial portion of the cost of the trip, students this year will incur only $500 in out-of-pocket funds for the trip. Regular tuition for the three-hour course will apply, but scholarships may be applied to the cost. Enrollment will be limited to 10 students. Credit earned may be used as elective hours in any of the FHU Graduate School of Theology master’s programs.
The Moores, in fact, have established an endowment to ensure the program continues in perpetuity. Dr. Moore has also negotiated a discounted price for this year’s trip so that others who would like to go on the trip this year will be able to do so for a reduced rate. Information regarding the trip is available at seeinghisworld.com or may be obtained by emailing Dr. Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Moore, a podiatric physician, is the founder, owner and managing partner of Cumberland Foot and Ankle Center in Somerset, Kentucky. Established to serve rural areas of South-Central Kentucky, it has become the largest podiatric practice in Kentucky, with clinics in 13 counties. It supports 12 full-time providers and more than 80 employees.
In addition to his extensive medical training, Dr. Moore has earned a Master of Arts in biblical studies and a Doctor of Philosophy with an emphasis on Old Testament archaeology from Amridge University.
The excavation at Shiloh is under the oversight of Associates for Biblical Research. Dr. Moore was a group leader at Shiloh in 2019 and an assistant square supervisor in 2022.
For four years, he served as an instructor for Bible Land Passage Tours and helped to develop and instruct a faith-building instructional series for World Video Bible School.
The Moores’ three children have all attended FHU. Gabrielle (’18) and her husband, Dillon Tucker (’18), live in Warner Robins, Georgia; Audrey (’19) and her husband, Nathan Sears, are in Somerset; and son Jon is scheduled to graduate in May and will begin graduate school this fall at Vanderbilt University. Their nephew Braydon Moore is also a current FHU student.
Although Dr. Moore has provided medical education nationally and internationally for more than 20 years, he says his true passion is teaching the Bible. “For this reason, I am excited to begin teaching on a graduate level. With years of experience working and guiding in Israel along with a long-standing relationship with Dr. Scott Stripling and the archaeological team with Associates in Biblical Research, my dream is to share these experiences with students, so they may be built up in the faith to become faithful teachers, elders, deacons and leaders in the Church,” he said.
“The Moores’ generous gift will enable students enrolled in FHU Graduate School of Theology to engage the field of biblical archaeology from an insider’s perspective. This opportunity would otherwise be cost-prohibitive for most students, but is certain to be a culturally rich, faith-affirming exercise that makes scripture come to life,” Dr. Justin Rogers, FHU Graduate School of Theology Director, said.
Students participating in high-impact practices connect learning with life. In this case, the place of learning becomes the archeological site, but the connection with scripture in this unique way will last a lifetime. I am deeply grateful for the Moores’ investment in FHU students. This short course will be a difference maker,” FHU President David R. Shannon said.
Shiloh, a Canaanite town, became the central sanctuary site of the Israelites during the period of the judges (14th-11th century BC). After Joshua led the Israelites in their conquest of Canaan, “the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there…” (Joshua 16:6). Until Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, Shiloh was the spiritual center of Israel. At Shiloh, Hannah prayed for a son, and Samuel heard the voice of God calling him. According to Jewish tradition, Shiloh remained Israel’s religious center for 369 years, until the tabernacle was destroyed by the Philistines.
Some evidence from earlier excavations seems to suggest the site being investigated may have been the location of the tabernacle. Associates for Biblical Research began excavations at Shiloh in 2017.
The FHU Graduate School of Theology seeks to prepare men and women for service to the church by providing advanced Christ-centered training in biblical studies, theology and Ministry. Individuals may connect with the school at facebook.com/FHUGraduateSchoolofTheology and fhu.edu/gradtheology.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associates, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.