A Tribute To Dr. David Livingston -- By: Gordon Franz

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 22:3 (Summer 2009)
Article: A Tribute To Dr. David Livingston
Author: Gordon Franz

A Tribute To Dr. David Livingston

Gordon Franz

On May 26, 2005, ABR held its annual banquet at Calvary Church, Lancaster, PA. This night had a special focus honoring the life and ministry of Dr. Livingston, not only for his role in founding ABR, but on his influence in the lives of others. The following article was a message that night presented by Gordon Franz, giving insight into the man who began this ministry.

Tonight we are here to honor Dr. David Livingston. It has been my privilege to know David and his wife Esther for the last 28 years. We first met in January 1977. I was a student at Christian Heritage College in El Cajon, California. One of the three-week modules I had to take in my history major was Biblical Archaeology. Dr. Clifford Wilson was schedule to teach the class, so I was all excited about taking a class with the famous Dr. Wilson. When I returned to school after the Christmas break, I found out that Dr. Wilson was not going to teach the module, but instead, somebody named David Livingston was. I did not have the foggiest idea who this person was. He wasn’t famous, he hadn’t written any books, he did not have a radio program... but one thing he had going for him was that he was from the East Coast!

The school was going through some growth problems at the time. Our small class (if my memory serves me correctly, there were six or seven in the class) met in the periodical room of the library! Dave was very flexible and presented a great class. He exposed us to new information such as the concept of divine kings. He spent a lot of time talking about the Exodus and Conquest. I liked his ideas of the legend of Keret and the fall of the moon city, Jericho. Of course, he also talked about his ideas regarding the location of Bethel and Ai. Most of the material is on his website, www.ancientdays.net.

During the course of the class, we had to do a term paper on an archaeological topic. I chose to do something on the date of the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. When I got my paper back, I received an “A” for my efforts and a note from Dave saying, “You need to study in Israel and solve this problem once and for all.” Well, I went to Israel, but I have not solved this problem.

Dave encouraged me to study at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem. It was during that year that Dave got permission to excavate Khirbet Nisya, which he believed was biblical Ai. I guess I was the right person in the right place at the right time, because I was able to do some of the legwork for him in Jerusalem and Ramallah before the dig in order to get this dig organized.

Dave and ABR had its first season at Kh. Nisya during the summer of 1979. It went well, but I saw the disappo...

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