“As one looks back on the exciting discoveries made in the field of Biblical archaeology during the last three decades, one cannot help but feel somehow as Ullrich von Hutten, a 16th century humanist, felt during the time when the Renaissance and Reformation made his life a very exciting one. He said that he frequently thanked God for allowing him to live in a time when it was so interesting and inspiring to be alive. During the last few decades, as discoveries upon discoveries have been made which illuminate the Bible in so many aspects I also have often been excited and grateful to see such a bright light shining on the Bible in my time.
It is marvelous that during these last three decades scores of Biblical manuscripts in Hebrew have been found that have strengthened the confidence of those who have always believed that the text of the Bible had come into our hands essentially unaltered. It has also warmed our hearts to see that discoveries made in the Bible lands have provided evidence that an alphabetic script existed in the time of the earliest Bible writers, that such places as Sodom and Gomorrah were not cities of ancient legends, and that many historical details of the Old and New Testament stories are historically reliable. And the exciting finds that are constantly being made in the ancient lands of the Bible are catching the imagination of many earnest students of the Bible, as is clearly proved by the increasing popularity of periodicals or books dealing with Biblical archaeology. This can be seen from the fact that the Biblical Archaeology Review, just to give one example, has already now in its fourth year of publication reached a subscription list of 35,000. Who knows what the next decades will reveal? No one can predict what the soil of Palestine or Mesopotamia will bring to light before another thirty years will roll by. However, if the last thirty years are an indication of what can be expected to be discovered in the future, then we cannot set our hopes too high.
From Siegfried H. Horn, Biblical Archaeology After 30 Years (1948–1978) pp. 35–36.