Larry Toombs, distinguished archaeologist and Old Testament scholar, passed away on December 14, 2007, at 88 years of age.
Toombs served as a senior staff archaeologist at excavations in Jericho, Shechem, Tell el-Hesi and Caesarea Maritima, making numerous important contributions to the field during his 40-year career. He had a special knack for teaching, and he influenced countless students of archaeology and Biblical studies. He was once quoted as saying, “I cannot understand people who say, ‘Go back to the Bible.’ We have not caught up with it yet.”
Born in 1919 on Prince Edward Island, Canada, Toombs first pursued studies in the sciences and served as a meteorologist for the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. After the war, he attended divinity school, was ordained and went on to earn a Ph.D. at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, where he eventually became a professor of Old Testament studies.
Toombs developed his interest in archaeology while at Drew and later studied it at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem and at the Institute of Archaeology in London. He joined the faculty of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and was named professor emeritus when he retired in 1984.—D.D.R.