Abila Lecture

Lectures on Biblical Archaeology

The Abila Lecture in Biblical Archaeology is a bi-annual lecture series that promotes understanding of the archaeology and history of the Biblical world to audiences at John Brown University and in Northwest Arkansas. Each year the Abila Lecture will bring in two scholars to speak on the history and archaeology of the Biblical world. Abila Lectures held in the Fall will typically focus on the Old Testament and lectures in the Spring on the New Testament. Funding for the lecture series has been provided by generous donors to John Brown University’s Abila Archaeological Project which excavates at Abila of the Decapolis in Northern Jordan.  All lectures are free and open to the public.  We hope you will join us.

 “John Brown University in the Holy Land: the First 100 Years.”

Tuesday, October 29, at 7 p.m.

Cathedral of the Ozarks, John Brown University

Dr. David Vila is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at John Brown University where he teaches Old and New Testament Survey courses, four courses on Islam, as well as a course on Hinduism and Buddhism. Much of Dr. Vila's research and publications focus on early Christian-Muslim relations and the early development of Arabic Christianity. In addition, since 1990, he has been involved with an archaeological excavation in northern Jordan at the ancient site of Abila of the Decapolis. In 2008, he was named Director of the Abila Archaeological Project and has been leading the excavation ever since. In 2006, he started the Jordan Summer Studies Program at JBU which provides the opportunity for students to work with the excavation while earning JBU academic credit. He is currently working on a book entitled The Churches of Abila that documents the five Byzantine churches found at Abila. He is also in the midst of a book on the 11th-12th century Muslim theologian al-Ghazali.


Past Lectures

Fall 2019 - Dr. Vila - John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas 

"John Brown University in the Holy Land: The First 100 Years" Video

Spring 2019 - Dr. Tom Davis - Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas

''Saint Paul on Cyprus: Archaeology and the Transformation of an Apostle"  Video

Fall 2018 - Dr. John H. Walton – Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

"Lost World of the Israelite Conquest"  Video

Fall 2017 - Dr. Daniel Master, Wheaton College

"Ashkelon and the Philistines" Video unavailable

Spring 2017 - Dr. David Vila, John Brown University

"Excavating Abila of the Decapolis:  The First Thirty-Six Years"  Video 

Fall 2016 - Dr. Tremper Longman III,  Westmont College

"If Jericho Was Not Razed, Is Our Faith in Vain?:  Why History Matters" Video

Spring 2016 - Dr. Robert Smith, Mid-Atlantic Christian University

"Looking for Joseph of Arimathea's Tomb:  Archaeology and the Burial of Jesus" Video

Fall 2015 - Dr. Steven Ortiz, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Tel Gezer: Gateway to Jerusalem - Recent Excavations at King Solomon's Fortified City" Video

Spring 2015 - Dr. David Chapman, Covenant Theological Seminary

"Crucifixion in the Roman World:  a Historical and Archaeological Survey" Video

Fall 2009 – Dr. Anson Rainey, Tel Aviv University

“Whence Came the Israelites and Their Language”