Beneath The Surface: The Life And Legacy Of Dr. David Livingston -- By: Scott Lanser

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 22:3 (Summer 2009)
Article: Beneath The Surface: The Life And Legacy Of Dr. David Livingston
Author: Scott Lanser

Beneath The Surface: The Life And Legacy Of Dr. David Livingston

Scott Lanser

Dr. David Livingston has devoted his life to teaching the Word of God and upholding and defending the Bible. He has been an inspiration to laymen and scholars alike and to all those who love the Bible, the Word of the living God.

As the founder and director of ABR, David was led of God to establish a ministry that would demonstrate the reliability of the Bible and provide an umbrella organization under which like-minded scholars could serve. His passion was fueled by the distortions of critics who declared that whole portions of Old Testament narratives were unhistorical.

In 1979, David began his excavations at Khirbet Nisya in search of the lost city of Ai. The city of Ai was one of the Conquest cities spoken of in the book of Joshua, as the Lord led Israel to conquer the land He had given them. The dig at Nisya would last 24 years, during which time David would earn his Ph.D. from Andrews University in 1989.

Foundational to his work at Ai was his breakthrough research properly establishing that the city of Bethel is located at el-Bireh and not at Beitin. This correction to the work of WF. Albright clearly fit the biblical data more precisely, and opened the door to the correct identification of the city of Ai.

David pioneered a new model for establishing a dig in Israel, without large foundations or funding sources being the primary underwriters of such excavations. His work in raising teams of diggers who would fund their own way to Israel to participate in the project had never been tried before. Under David’s skillful leadership this new model took shape, and in this way the entire dig was funded. Indeed, this approach has been followed by ABR in every subsequent dig. In addition to this model, David worked closely with the Israeli Antiquities Authority to maintain a strong relationship so that trust would be established. That relationship has lasted for over 30 years, and ABR continues to enjoy the fruit of that relationship down to this day. Until David Livingston, no private Christian organization could have conceived of operating its own dig. Thanks to David’s visionary leadership and his dogged determination, evangelicals have been given extraordinary opportunities for archaeological excavation in Israel.

David’s leadership of ABR has drawn together a team of scholars who continue his vision to the present day. That vision, focused on dismantling the false conclusions of biblical critics and re-establishing the proper interpretation of archaeological evidence, continues as a key objective of ABR. ABR scholars also write on any number of different issues that affect the reliability of the Bible. Some areas of fo...

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