Sandra Richter is professor of Old Testament at Wesley Biblical Seminary and affiliate professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. She is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Harvard University’s Near Eastern Language and Civilizations department. One of her contributions at Wesley and Asbury has been the creation of an Israel Studies program specializing in historical geography and archaeology. Sandy has taught as an adjunct professor at Gordon College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, as an instructor at Harvard Divinity School, and as a teaching fellow at Harvard University. Her current research interests include the intersection between Biblical law and contemporary environmental issues. She is a frequent lecturer and speaker in university, church, and other settings.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XIII, November 19-21, 2010
Could Mt. Ebal be Deuteronomy’s “Place of the Name”?
A vexing irony inhabits the Book of Deuteronomy. On the one hand, the book makes exclusive worship at a single site chosen by Yahweh the defining criterion of community faithfulness. On the other hand, the book fails to tell the reader where that sanctuary actually is. Over the generations, the quest to resolve this conundrum has directed scholarly attention to Shechem, Shiloh, Bethel, Gilgal, Gerizim, and even Ebal—all sacred sites identified in the settlement traditions. But since the days of W. M. L. de Wette and Julius Wellhausen, the sanctuary at Jerusalem has eclipsed all other options. Certainly “the place of the name” became Jerusalem, and this is the inarguable stance of Israel’s larger history. But as Jerusalem is not named in the Book of Deuteronomy (nor in the settlement traditions as a whole) the intended deuteronomic identity of “the place” remains a debated question. This lecture will review the archaeological evidence associated with Deuteronomy’s “place” and demonstrate that new evidence offers a fresh entry into this longstanding discussion.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XII, November 20-22, 2009
The Israelites and the Environment: An Ancient Code Speaks to a Current Crisis
This presentation considers the seemingly modern topic of environmentalism through a biblical theological lens, with particular attention given to the book of Deuteronomy. Biblical law grappled with many of the same issues with which we struggle today, and required behavior on the part of God’s people in every generation that recognized humanity’s role as steward of God’s land and creatures. The laws of land-tenure, agriculture, warfare, wild creatures, and animal husbandry are examined with an eye toward the larger biblical theological message of the Bible as well as the norms of Israel’s ancient society.