Joseph Callaway

Joseph CallawayJoseph Callaway, professor of Old Testament and biblical archaeology 1958-1982, was born in Warren, Arkansas in 1920. After marriage to Sarah Fuller and several years of farm work, Callaway felt a call to the ministry and enrolled at Ouachita University of Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1948. There, Callaway excelled in the study of English language and literature and nurtured a desire to advance in learning.

That desire found fulfillment in 1951, when Callaway entered Southern to obtain an M.Div. While a Southern student, Callaway pastored the Baptist Church of Worthington, Indiana on a full-time basis. Gifted in his Hebrew, Old Testament, and archaeology studies, he undertook doctoral studies and penned a thesis on “An Introductory Study of the Basis and Nature of Messianism in the Old Testament.” Callaway found immediate employment upon graduation as a professor with Furman University of Greenville, South Carolina. Two years after he began teaching, Southern called Callaway to a professorship in Old Testament with an emphasis on Biblical Archaeology. Callaway added numerous projects to his pedagogy. In 1960, he opened the Nicol Museum of Biblical Archaeology at Southern. In 1961, he studied with famed archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon at the University of London.

Callaway also journeyed to Palestine to participate in excavations during this period. From 1964 to 1972, Callaway worked at unearthing the city of Ai, known for falling to the forces of Joshua as recorded in Joshua chapters seven and eight. Callaway labored extensively in Ai, concluding over the course of this research that the city of Ai described in the biblical account did not exist when Joshua encountered it. This opinion drew much response from biblical archaeologists due to its contravention of the biblical record. Callaway continued his work in Palestine for many years and served as the president of the Albright Institute of Jerusalem. He was a member of Crescent Hill Baptist Church of Louisville prior to his death in 1988.

Source: Joel Drinkard, Jr. "Biographical Sketch of Joseph Callaway." In Benchmarks in Time and Culture, ed. Joel Drinkard, Jr., Gerald L. Mattingly, J, Maxwell Miller. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1988.

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