Seminar at Sea 2017

– March 3, 2017 | presented by Dr. William Dever


Our ever-popular “Seminar at Sea” program combines the finest Biblical scholarship with a luxurious and unforgettable vacation. Follow the Caribbean sun this coming winter on Holland America’s luxurious ship the MS Oosterdam. You will have the opportunity to relax, revive and create unforgettable memories while learning about what archaeological evidence tells us about ancient Israel and its people. Legendary Biblical scholar and archaeologist Dr. William Dever will be your guide into this fascinating realm of scholarship as you experience the beauty and wonders of the western Caribbean. BAS is delighted to be your host on this unforgettable voyage of discovery, and we invite you to join us!

Bible, Archaeology and New Reconstructions of Israel’s Past with Professor William Dever


February 24 – depart Tampa, Florida

February 25 – Key West

Key West is where Florida makes its last stumble into the celadon waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The beautiful beaches, crystalline waters and the climate have been drawing visitors for centuries, from Ponce de Leon to Harry Truman to writers like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. Area highlights for cruise visitors include the Ernest Hemingway House (full of many-toed cats), McCoy Indigenous Park (full of rescued marine animals), and numerous pristine beaches.

February 26 – At Sea

February 27 – Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras

Stunning Mahogany Bay is an idyllic enclave for cruise visitors, encompassing 20 acres of the Caribbean island of Roatan. Enjoy the cruise center's shopping and dining, then take a chairlift to the private beach. Mahogany Beach is nearly 300 yards of white sand, quiescent water, private cabanas, and adrenaline-inducing watersports. Roatan lies east of Belize, north of Honduras, and at the southern terminus of the second-largest barrier reef in the world. If you can pull yourself away from Mahogany Beach, consider a visit to the Carambola Botanical Gardens or spend some time underwater: Local diving is world-class.

February 28 – Belize City, Belize

Dive down to one of the world's great barrier reefs. Drop in to one of the caves that stipple the Yucatan Peninsula. Soak up the ambiance of the only Central American country that claims British colonial influence. Belize slots into the Yucatan between Mexico, to the north; Guatemala, to the west and south; and the Pacific; to the east. Cruise to Belize to find the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Inland, you'll discover marshes, low mountains, and riotous biodiversity everywhere you look. And in Belize City, the country's largest city, you'll discover a bit of England gone tropical.

March 1 – Cozumel, Mexico

Just off the coast of the Mexican mainland, the porous mass of limestone that arches out of the water has over time become one of the world's great ocean playgrounds. But a cruise to Cozumel with Holland America Line is about more than ethereal beaches: the island is ranked among the world's premier dive and fishing spots. And a mere ferry ride away you can explore centuries of human splendor in the Mayan ruins at Tulum, spectacularly sited on the sea cliffs.

March 2 – At Sea

March 3 – Tampa, Florida

For further itinerary details, click here to visit the Holland America Line website.

Lecture Program

Bible, Archaeology and New Reconstructions of Israel’s Past


Lecture 1:
“Biblical Archaeology”: 150 Years of Proving the Bible – Some Cautionary Tales
Professor Dever has been at the forefront of Biblical scholarship for over 50 years. The program begins with a lively presentation of stories of colorful figures and fierce controversies told from a very personal perspective.

Lecture 2:
Writing History with Text and Artifact: The Relationship between Two Sources
Primary source texts and material culture are the principal tools used by Biblical scholars to reconstruct the past. This lecture provides a critical evaluation and comparison of the reliability and use of Biblical texts and our current archaeological evidence.

Lecture 3:
Archaeology and the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel: What Do We Really Know?
Using a synthesis of the most recent archaeological evidence, this presentation provides a summary of our new archaeological portrait of Israel’s remote ancestors in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Lecture 4:
Who Were the Ancient Israelites, and Where Did They Come From?
The debate over the identity of the ancient Israelites and their origins has been one of the most hotly contested topics in the field of Biblical archaeology. This lecture offers an archaeological critique of the Biblical Exodus and conquest narratives and current theories of Israel’s origins, as well as a new proposal.

Lecture 5:
The Golden Age of Solomon: Fact or Fiction?
Recent archaeological data has helped illuminate the rise of the Israelite monarchy. Responding to skeptics, this lecture examines this evidence and presents a positive view of the monarchy’s evolution.

Lecture 6:
Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel
Archaeological science has greatly contributed to our understanding of the religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Israelites. This lecture examines the ways in which archaeology has revolutionized our understanding of what most people in ancient Israel really believed and practiced.

Lecture 7
Is It Possible to Write a History of Ancient Israel Without the Bible?
In this presentation, a bold initiative is discussed demonstrating how archaeology is now our primary source for writing any new and satisfactory history of ancient Israel.

Lecture 8
Faith and History: What Really Happened in Ancient Israel, and Does it Still Matter?
How much bearing do the events in ancient Israel have on modern beliefs? This lecture offers a discussion of the impact that new archaeological discoveries have had on religious faiths, and examines the question: What can modern, critical readers believe?

Lecture 9:
Q&A Session

Please click here to download the lecture schedule.



The MS Oosterdam

Officially christened in 2003 by Her Dutch Royal Highness, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Oosterdam is the second of Holland America’s Vista-class ships. She embraces the latest industry and environmental technologies that blend perfectly with luxurious amenities in order to provide passengers with the best experience on the seas.

Symbolic of Holland America Line's more than 140-year history of circumnavigating the globe, the centerpiece of Oosterdam is a magnificent Waterford crystal globe, prominently displayed in a three-story atrium. First-time cruisers aboard this ship will quickly recognize the traditional touches that make Holland America cruisers regulars: a warm palette of colors accentuating an extensive use of crystal, marble, inlaid woods and brass, lovely flower arrangements, priceless artwork and antiques and a full wraparound teak promenade deck with padded deck chairs.

Visit Holland America’s website for more information on the MS Oosterdam.

Tour Price

Interior stateroom: Well-appointed stateroom featuring luxurious amenities. Approximately 151–233 sq. ft.
Cost: $2,046.00 per person, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: $503.00

Outside stateroom with full ocean views: Well-appointed stateroom featuring luxurious amenities. Approximately 174–180 sq. ft.
Cost: $2,185.00 per person, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: $587.00

Outside stateroom with verandah, full ocean views: Well-appointed stateroom featuring luxurious amenities. Approximately 212–359 sq. ft. including verandah.
Cost: $2505.00 per person, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: $1299.00

Outside stateroom with verandah, full ocean views: Well-appointed stateroom featuring luxurious amenities. Approximately 212–359 sq. ft. including verandah. Optimal mid-ship location.
Cost: $2,595.00 per person, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: $1389.00

A deposit of $700.00 per stateroom is due at time of booking along with a photocopy of the picture page of each registrant’s passport. Full payment is due November 1, 2016. For bookings made after November 1, full payment is due at time of booking.

Cancellation Policy:
• Cancellation before December 1, 2016: Full refund of payment less $100.00 administrative fee
• Cancellation between December 1 and December 10: Refund of payment less $700 deposit and $100 administrative fee
• Cancellation after December 10: No refund

USI Travel Insurance Services
800-937-1387 |
Biblical Archaeology Society, code 32335


If you are unable to fill out the electronic registration form, please contact the Travel/Study department at 1-800-221-4644 ext. 216.

If paying by credit card, click here.

To pay off your balance, click here.


For more information contact:

Alicia Bregon
202-364-3300 ext 216
Biblical Archaeology Society
4710 41st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Fax: 202-364-2636