The Lanier Center for Archaeology with Steve Ortiz

Steve Ortiz

Steve Ortiz (PhD) directs the Lanier Center for Archaeology at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Since he was a young man, he has been digging up Israel and teaching students what archaeology has to teach us about the Ancient Near East and the world of Scripture.  Steve fell in love with archaeology as a young boy and with the guidance and encouragement of his father, he has made it his life long pursuit. 

In this podcast he talks about his own archaeological adventures as well as the mission of the Lanier Center for Archaeology.  Dr. Otiz and his colleague, Tom Davis, have the most vibrant and important school for training others in how and why we do these excavations.  They are currently recording inscriptions in Egypt and excavating sites in Israel with other schools and universities.  

The artifacts left behind by civilizations is referred to as ‘material culture. The material culture of the Bible has a great deal to teach us about the world of Abraham and his kin.

To hear the podcast (20 minutes) listen here.

The Lanier Center for Archaeology at Lipscomb University

If you enjoy archaeology and material culture, check out these other episodes-

Joshua, Judges, and Jesus, Part 1

Joshua, Judges and Jesus, Part 2

The “Book” of Kings and Exilic Identity with Nathan Lovell

Dr. Nathan Lovell

Nathan Lovell, senior lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew at George Whitefield College in Cape Town, South Africa is an Australian who has lived in South Africa with his wife for the past ten years. He joins David Capes on “The Stone Chapel Podcast” to talk about his book, The Book of Kings and Exilic Identity: 1 and 2 Kings as a Work of Political Historiography (T. & T. Clark).  Initially, our books 1 & 2 Kings were one book, and they share common themes and concerns. Written from exile this “book” looks back over 400 years of the history of Israel and Judah to ask a single question: what does it mean to be God’s people in exile? With no temple, no land, a broken covenant, and no king how ought they envision their lives as God’s people? In fact, many exiles questioned whether they were still God’s people, yet the book of Kings ends with a glimmer of hope.  The Davidic king is released from his confinement and sits at the table of the Babylonian king.  The Davidic line has not come to an end.  God has not failed his exiled people.

To hear the podcast (19 minutes) click here.

The Stone Chapel is a podcast of the friends and staff of the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas.  It is hosted by Dr. David Capes, Senior Research Fellow at the library and former faculty member at Houston Baptist University and Wheaton College.  The purpose of the podcast is to bring to our audience great conversations from the world’s leading experts in theology, biblical studies, archaeology, Church history, the Dead Sea Scrolls, ethics, ministry, and a host of other topics close to the mission of the library.

The Lanier Theological Library is a magnet for scholars, church leaders and influencers.  For the last ten years, it has welcomed hundreds of academics and church leaders from across the globe for public lectures, study, panel discussions, consultations, and encouragement.

These podcasts as well as the Lanier library and the Stone Chapel are generously underwritten by Mark and Becky Lanier and the Lanier Theological Library Foundation.  If you have questions or comments, please be in touch: Email

Cultural Translation

Dr. Daniel Master, Professor of Archaeology at Wheaton College, reflects on how knowledge of ancient cultures benefits exegesis and translation. He also speaks about his exciting new venture of leading the excavations at Tel Shimron and invites listeners to join the dig this summer or in the future!Daniel_Master

Cut and paste the URL below:

or click here.

You can also find us on ITunes!

John McRay, RIP

John McRay died recently.  From 1980 to 2002 he taught in biblical studies at Wheaton College, the place I now teach and where I serve as Dean of the School of Biblical and Theology Studies.  When he retired, he was awarded emeritus status.5121

I never met John personally, but I did know him through his books.  I used his book on Paul the apostle in undergraduate courses at Houston Baptist University, until Randy Richards, Rodney Reeves and I wrote our own.  It was a solid book on the apostle, but I didn’t always agree with him.

Perhaps John’s greatest accomplishment in scholarship came through his study of the New Testament through the land and material culture of Israel.  He was part of the digs at Caesarea (Maritima), Herodium and Sepphoris, three premiere sites in Israel.  Through his passion for the people and the land–and students–he became a beloved member of the Wheaton faculty.

If you’d like to know more about John, there is a good article about him on his Wheaton Emeritus site:

I’m grateful now to be a small part of the history of a college that has done so much to serve the church and benefit the world.

Today, I led in Graduate orientation at Wheaton College and we had students from China, Zimbabwe, England, Colombia, and all around the country.  In part, the success of our program goes back to people like Dr. John McRay.  Rest in peace, John.