Gerald Flurry is constantly seeking to find ways to be relevant in the world like he believes Herbert Armstrong was. He built his own mini-me campus and auditorium near Edmond Oklahoma. He stole hundreds of HWA's works and republished them, got sued, lost the case, and then paid $3,000,000.00 for the rights to publish them. Then proceeded to rework them to edit out anything HWA might have said to make Flurry look like a self-appointed idiot, He started the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation in order to imitate Herbert's Ambassador International Cultural Foundation so he could share the same abbreviations (AICF). Abbreviations are important in COG land, it makes them closer to HWA than they really are.
Flurry also has his students from the cult college participate in archeological digs in Israel just like HWA did. While HWA worked with Benjamin Mazare, PCG has worked with Eilat Mazar, the great-granddaughter of Benjamin Mazar. When she has made a lot of discoveries, she is not held in the highest esteem for her interpretations. She fits right in with the distorted interpretations of Gerald Flurry.
Mazar was a biblical maximalist and, according to herself, "I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other, and I try to consider everything."
However, Israel Finkelstein and other archaeologists from Tel Aviv University have flagged concern that, with reference to her 2006 dating of the "Solomonic city wall" in the area to the south of the Temple Mount known as the "Ophel", "the biblical text dominates this field operation, not archaeology. Had it not been for Mazar's literal reading of the biblical text, she never would have dated the remains to the 10th century BCE with such confidence. Nevertheless, scholars now agree with Mazar's dating of this structure.
Mazar was cautioned by epigrapher Ryan Byrne following the 2008 confusion over the inscription on the Shelomit seal, that "in the mad dash to report biblical artifacts to the public or connect discoveries with the most obscure persons or events reported in the Bible, there is sometimes a tendency to compromise the analytical caution that objects of such value so dearly deserve."
Flurry had an office in Jerusalem several years ago until he got the brainy idea to buy the Bicket Wood campus of the old Ambassador College so that he can be closer to Hill Tara in Ireland where he believes he and his cult will soon dig up the mound and recover the Ark of the Covenant that Jeremiah brought to Ireland when he supposedly visited it centries ago. When the campus sale fell through he bought Edstone outside of Bricket Wood and closed down the Jerusalem office due to finances.
Now that the end is just a few months away Flurry needs to spend millions on a new foundation and office to be built in Jerusalem.
In order to impress the faithful followers of Flurry, they announced this on the 32 anniversary of the founding of the PCG by Flurry.
Brad McDonald wrote the following the other day in a mailing to the faithful:
It was around five or six years ago now that Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry first mentioned his plan to start an archaeology institute. I remember the mix of emotion I experienced listening to the idea—the excitement and anticipation pickled in gravity and trepidation.
The idea was logical. We have practiced archaeology in Jerusalem, mainly in support of Dr. Eilat Mazar and Hebrew University, since 2006. We’ve helped Dr. Mazar uncover some truly astonishing biblical artifacts, including King David’s palace and the clay seal of Judah’s King Hezekiah. Our predecessor, the late Herbert W. Armstrong, worked alongside Prof. Benjamin Mazar, Eilat’s grandfather, for almost 20 years. After 50 years of participating in (and even sponsoring) archaeological digs, starting an archaeology institute was the next logical step.
Still, founding an institute would mark a major development. It would require an office in Jerusalem, qualified staff and researchers and a substantial research library. It would mean in-depth research, working alongside scholars and scientists, and then publishing. It would be a pretty audacious enterprise!
How did we get on?
This past weekend (January 16-17)—exactly 36 years after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong and less than one year after the death of Dr. Eilat Mazar—we finalized and launched the website of the Armstrong-Mazar Institute of Biblical Archaeology (AMIBA).
We have an archaeology institute!
This is what Flurry has on the main page of the Armstrong-Mazar Institute of Biblical Archeology and how they intend to educate Israel and the world:
Welcome to the Armstrong Institute of Biblical Archaeology (AIBA). AIBA’s mission is to showcase Israel’s biblical archaeology and to make it available to the largest audience possible, most especially to the people of Israel.
AIBA is a non-profit academic and educational institution headquartered in Jerusalem, Israel.
AIBA seeks to share and promote Israel’s biblical archaeology via multiple platforms, including: 1) this website, which publishes articles, scientific reports and videos on Israel’s biblical archaeology; 2) Let the Stones Speak, a full-color, 32-page bimonthly print magazine; and 3) private tours of the Ophel and the City of David, as well as public seminars and archaeological exhibits.
AIBA also sponsors and participates in archaeological excavations in Jerusalem, primarily in the City of David and on the Ophel. (To learn more about past projects, or to follow our ongoing projects, see Excavations & Projects.)
AIBA has deep roots in Israel and in the field of biblical archaeology. The institute collaborates and works in partnership with many of Israel’s esteemed academic institutions, including Hebrew University, the City of David Foundation, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and the Israel Exploration Society. AIBA is named after Herbert W. Armstrong and Dr. Eilat Mazar, two personalities with a long and rich history with both Israel and biblical archaeology.
Herbert Armstrong was a prominent 20th-century Bible scholar, minister and humanitarian. He was also a keen supporter of biblical archaeology and the Jewish state. From 1968 to 1986, Mr. Armstrong supported multiple archaeological excavations in Israel, most notably the “Big Dig,” a massive excavation on the Temple Mount led by Hebrew University professor Benjamin Mazar. (Our Excavations & Projects page has more information on this.)
Dr. Eilat Mazar, granddaughter of Prof. Benjamin Mazar, was one of Israel’s greatest biblical archaeologists. Eilat was responsible for making some of biblical archaeology’s most sensational discoveries, including King David’s palace, King Solomon’s royal complex, Nehemiah’s wall and the seals of King Hezekiah and Isaiah (among other finds). Dr. Mazar was a brilliant scientist who not only deeply valued the scientific method but recognized the crucial role the Bible plays in the study of Jerusalem’s ancient history.
Since 2006, AIBA has proudly sponsored and worked alongside Dr. Mazar in her excavations in the City of David and on the Ophel. We endeavor to preserve Dr. Mazar’s archaeological legacy and keep it alive by approaching biblical archaeology with the same dedication to scientific and academic integrity, and the same passion, urgency and love. (You can learn more about the work and legacy of Dr. Eilat Mazar here.)
AIBA’s overarching mission can be divided into five specific objectives:
To promote the Bible as a credible and essential historical resource in the practice of archaeology in Israel
To feature and continue the archaeological work of Dr. Eilat Mazar and her grandfather, Prof. Benjamin Mazar
To analyze and explain archaeological excavations and discoveries past and present in the context of the Bible
To challenge the unwarranted and unsupported criticisms leveled against the use of the Bible in archaeology in Israel
To encourage archaeologists to consider and employ the Bible in the practice of archaeology