Biblical Archaeology Review 38:4, July/August 2012

First Person: LaBianca’s Four Different Kinds of “Past”

By Hershel Shanks

Some months ago I received my regular copy of the Newsletter of the Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, with the latest report on its longstanding dig at Tall Hisban, an archaeological mound in the Central Jordanian Highlands. As I wrote to the current head of the Hisban publication project, Øystein LaBianca, I was surprised to see that the report contained “not a word about the Bible. Not a citation. Not a mention of ancient Israel.”

The man who led the Hisban expedition from its inception in 1968 through 1976 and the man for whom the museum is named, Siegfried Horn, was my friend, a remarkable human being (while serving as a Seventh-Day Adventist missionary in the Dutch East Indies, he was interned by the Japanese for more than six years before and during World War II), a great archaeologist, a member of BAR’s editorial advisory board, a contributor to this magazine and author of a chapter in our Ancient Israel text. “I wonder,” I said in my e-mail to LaBianca, “what Siegfried would have thought.”

The reply from Sten, as he is known, was prompt and very thoughtful.

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