Noted Archaeologist To Deliver Gannon University's Collins Institute Lecture

Posted: February 24, 2016

Bethsaida is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Israel, a 3,000 year-old city on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee that was founded in the age of King David and is said to be the home village of some of Jesus' apostles, specifically Peter, Andrew and Philip.

"Excavations at Biblical Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee" will be the subject of Gannon University's annual Collins Institute Lecture to be given by Carl E. Savage, Ph.D., director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Drew Theological School at Drew University, Madison, N.J.

The lecture will be on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in Room 219 of the Waldron Campus Center, 124 W. Seventh St.

Savage is assistant director of Bethsaida Excavations, a consortium of universities that have been digging at the 20-acre site since 1995. A specialist in the first century who studies the origins of Christianity and Judaism, he searches for material culture-artifacts-to back up the hypotheses of scholars who rely on written sources to describe ancient civilizations. "You have to have something that can substantiate what you're saying the world was like," Savage said.

Bethsaida is a particularly intriguing site because of its existence spanning two crucial periods of biblical history. It was once the capital of Geshur, a city that was destroyed by conquest in 732 BCE. Bethsaida might also be the site at which Jesus miraculously fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish (Mark 6:32; Luke 9:10) seven centuries later. The city was eventually deserted due to a geological disaster 1,600 years ago.

Savage's educational background is in biblical interpretation as well as the sociology of religion, the origins of Christianity and archaeology. He is a registered professional archaeologist and is a past president of the Association of Doctor of Ministry Education.

He is the author of "Biblical Bethsaida: An Archaeological Study of the First Century CE," and "What Does the Bible Mean?" as well as numerous journal articles and scholarly papers.

Savage began teaching at Drew's Theological School in the fall of 1999. Savage received his A.B. degree in sociology and religion from Princeton University, his M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from The Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and his M.Phil. degree from the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew. He received his Ph.D. with distinction in October 2007.

The Collins Institute Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Suzanne Richard, Ph.D., director of the Collins Institute, at 814-871-5605.  For more information about Gannon University's excavations at the Bronze Age site at Khirbat Iskander, Jordan, click here,