Interview with Dr. Nicolae Roddy

Dr. Nicolae Roddy, Professor of Older Testament at Creighton University, is co-director of the Bethsaida Excavations Project, a consortium of universities excavating Bethsaida, an important city in biblical narrative located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Dr. Rami Arav, professor of religion and philosophy at University of Nebraska, Omaha (UNO), re-discovered the site and identified it as Bethsaida in 1987. Since 1990, UNO has led a consortium of institutions in uncovering and studying artifacts. Their work has shed new light on the archaeology of the Bible Land and the way scholars interpret the Bible. In this interview, Dr. Roddy talks about biblical archeology and how it relates to his study of the Older Testament. (Episode 2)


  1. It’s good to hear from Dr Roddy again. I remember well when he spoke at St Elizabeths a few years ago. As per the discussion that touched on the book of Joshua, I was reminded of a passage in Joshua that I find fascinating. In 5:13 and following it says Joshua saw a man standing in front of him holding a sword. Joshua asks, “Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?” The man replies, “Neither, but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Joshua falls down and worships him and then is told to take off his sandals because he is on holy ground. I wonder if either the two interviewers or Dr Roddy have anything to say about this section. . . .

  2. Hi, Renée, how are you?! Yes, I remember you. Indeed, what you find fascinating about the passage is quite significant for that conversation back then. It serves our thesis that the fundamental human predicament in the OT is Israel’s misplaced trust in human institutions–in the case, its chariots and charioteers, horses and horsemen. Here the divine messenger is independent, representing God’s own side. It reminds me of that quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln–something to the effect of not praying that God would be on his side, but praying that he might be on God’s side. Here the prophetically-influenced writer negates Joshua as the person who will save (ironic, given the meaning of his name), in favor of the divine warrior.

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