Sandra Richter is the Robert H. Gundry Chair of Biblical Studies at Westmont College. Internationally known for her work on Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History, Dr. Richter brings the Old Testament to life by exploring the real people and real places from which it comes. Richter is a graduate of Valley Forge University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and earned her doctorate from the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department of Harvard University in Hebrew Bible. A veteran of many years of leading student groups in archaeological excavation and historical geography classes in Israel, she has taught at Asbury Theological Seminary., Wesley Biblical Seminary and Wheaton College. She is recognized among the laity for her The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament and is currently working on a second in that series The Fifth Gospel: A Christian Entry into the Book of Isaiah (IVP Academic). Her current research involves a forthcoming book on environmental theology (IVP) and a commentary on Deuteronomy with Eerdmans. She is also the author of several adult Bible Curriculums with Seedbed. Richter is a sought-after speaker in both academic and lay settings.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XIII, November 19 – 21, 2010
Could Mt. Ebal be Deuteronomy’s “Place of the Name”?
A vexing irony inhabits the Book of Deuteronomy. On the one hand, the book makes exclusive worship at a single site chosen by Yahweh the defining criterion of community faithfulness. On the other hand, the book fails to tell the reader where that sanctuary actually is. Over the generations, the quest to resolve this conundrum has directed scholarly attention to Shechem, Shiloh, Bethel, Gilgal, Gerizim, and even Ebal—all sacred sites identified in the settlement traditions. But since the days of W. M. L. de Wette and Julius Wellhausen, the sanctuary at Jerusalem has eclipsed all other options. Certainly “the place of the name” became Jerusalem, and this is the inarguable stance of Israel’s larger history. But as Jerusalem is not named in the Book of Deuteronomy (nor in the settlement traditions as a whole) the intended deuteronomicidentity of “the place” remains a debated question. This lecture will review the archaeological evidence associated with Deuteronomy’s “place” and demonstrate that new evidence offers a fresh entry into this longstanding discussion.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XII, November 20 – 22, 2009
The Israelites and the Environment: An Ancient Code Speaks to a Current Crisis
This presentation considers the seemingly modern topic of environmentalism through a biblical theological lens, with particular attention given to the book of Deuteronomy. Biblical law grappled with many of the same issues with which we struggle today, and required behavior on the part of God’s people in every generation that recognized humanity’s role as steward of God’s land and creatures. The laws of land-tenure, agriculture, warfare, wild creatures, and animal husbandry are examined with an eye toward the larger biblical theological message of the Bible as well as the norms of Israel’s ancient society.