Center for Biblical Research

Tidewater Bible College (TBC) is proud to provide administrative support and oversight of the research efforts performed by Dr. Don McNeeley, specifically related to an archaeological excavation in Israel and other research efforts associated with the Bible.  At a recent Board of Directors meeting, the establishment of the Center for Biblical Research (CBR) was approved. The CBR focus is archaeological research in Israel and research on the biblical text.

Current efforts underway at CBR include continued support of the Khirbet el-Maqatir and the new excavations at Shiloh, the site where the Tabernacle stood for many years. These excavations have provided a better understanding of the biblical periods.  As a synopsis of these excavation results, the following is provided.

Four periods of occupation exist at Khirbet el-Maqatir: an Amorite Bronze Age fortress, an Israelite occupation from the late Judges Period (Iron I-II), a city from the NT era (Late Hellenistic/Early Roman), and a Byzantine monastery. Prior to 2010, the work of the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) at Khirbet el-Maqatir focused almost entirely on the Bronze Age fortress that appeared in approximately 1550 BC, in the Middle Bronze III (MB III) period, and which suffered violent destruction in about 1400 BC, near the end of Late Bronze I (LBI).

The Shiloh excavations are providing an insight into the patterns of life encountered by the Israelites when they conquered the land.  We have only two seasons under our belt, so stay tuned for new revelations as we continue to dig at Shiloh.

Dr. McNeeley's primary research area is the Israelite occupation from the late Judges Period (Iron I) thought the Davidic Monarchy (Iron II).  The experience and knowledge that he obtains during his time in Israel is brought back to TBC and integrated into his and other faculty's classes.  This process aligns with TBC's desire to provide education that "integrates Christian spirituality with the classroom experience."  Additionally, his efforts are assisting in obtaining significant recognition for the school as he, in 2013, became the Director for Information Technology for the excavation and is developing a "Cloud" based database for the dig staff.  During the 2015 and 2016 excavation seasons, he acted as the Excavation Administrator for the Maqatir dig. Finally, in 2018, he served as the Administrator for the Shiloh dig and continues to act as the IT director for that excavation as well.

A rather new research area is a textual analysis of Exodus 1:11b that states "They built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses.  Specifically, the research will be focused on why the Hebrew word is here translated as Raamses while, in other locations, the translation is Rameses.  Not sure where this line of research will follow; so stay tuned on what is happening at the CBR.

Another research effort resulted in an article for the Bible and Spade journal.  Please take some time and read the Coins of Maqatir article.

These efforts take resources and time.  Please consider supporting these research efforts by making a donation on the school's website by clicking here.

If you are interested in learning more about these research efforts or would like to have a presentation at your church, please send me an email at