Montreat Conference Center

Asheville, North Carolina

| with Mark Goodacre, Duke University and Ziony Zevit, American Jewish University


This spring, the Biblical Archaeology Society will host a very special program in the spectacular mountains of western North Carolina. We invite you to join us for a week of expert Biblical scholarship, wonderful company and relaxation in the beautiful setting of the Montreat Conference Center, located near the charming town of Asheville, North Carolina. Professors Mark Goodacre of Duke University and Ziony Zevit of the American Jewish University will present a total of 20 lectures over the course of five days, offering participants an opportunity to learn about the latest in Biblical research from renowned Biblical scholars who are also two of BAS’s most popular speakers.

Montreat is a 4,000-acre retreat center nestled in a valley of North Carolina’s famous Blue Ridge Mountains, approximately 30 minutes from the Asheville Regional Airport. This idyllic mountain retreat features miles of various-level hiking and walking trails, as well as a centrally located tranquil lake for boating, fishing or simply strolling around. Participants will spend six nights and five full days enjoying the best of both Biblical scholarship and a beautiful springtime vacation in the mountains.

Accommodations are at the historic, yet recently renovated Assembly Inn that overlooks shimmering Lake Susan and is within strolling distance to the center’s main facilities. Make more lovely memories with like-minded folks by joining BAS at Montreat with the best that Biblical scholarship and nature have to offer!

Please note that there are no phones or televisions in the guest rooms. Participants who require alarm clocks should bring their own. Please also note that hairdryers and toiletries are NOT provided by the hotel.


To download a PDF version of the schedule, click here.


If paying by credit card, click here.

If paying by check, click here.

Problems with registration please call 1-800-221-4644 ext 216.

Seminar Price

Deposit (full payment due April 25): $500
Full payment (based on double occupancy): $2,200
Single Supplement (payment per person): $350

Includes: Room with private bath in the lovely, recently renovated Assembly Inn and all meals, beginning with dinner the evening of May 25 and concluding with breakfast on May 31.


Montreat Conference Center


Montreat Conference Center
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757

Please note that check-in is after 3:00PM on Monday, May 25 and check-out must be done before by 11:00AM on Sunday, May 31.



The Asheville, NC regional airport is the closest airport to Montreat, located approximately 30 miles away. Participants are responsible to arranging their own transportation to and from the Montreat conference center. There are several options available. Car rentals are available at Asheville airport. For those who do not wish to rent a car, there are two local companies who provide transfer services between the airport and Montreat conference center. Please contact these companies directly to organize your transfer service.

Marvels Transportation

Diamond Executive

Lecture Program

Mark Goodacre's Lectures

The Apocryphal Gospels
For centuries, people around the world have been familiar with the Gospels of the New Testament. The stories of the life and teachings of Jesus in the books of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are perhaps some of the best-known accounts in the Biblical cannon. But what about the myriad of writings and accounts that did not make it into the “final cut” of the Bible that we know today? New Testament scholar Dr. Mark Goodacre of Duke University takes us on an exploration of the Gospel accounts that did not make it into the New Testament, and examines their implications for our understanding of the life of Jesus, his contemporaries and the world they lived in.

Lecture 1: The Proto-Gospel of James
A compelling prequel to the Gospels, the account known as the “Proto-Gospel of James” centers on the life of Mary and Joseph as well as narrates Jesus' miraculous birth in a cave in Bethlehem.

Lecture 2: Infancy Gospel of Thomas
This account introduces the bizarre adventures of the miracle-working, precocious, irascible
child Jesus.

Lecture 3: Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Thomas gospel is full of Jesus' sayings and yet contains no passion narrative, no miracle stories and no story narrative. However, this valuable text may nevertheless shed light on the historical Jesus and the development of earliest Christianity.

Lecture 4: Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of Philip is the most notorious among the lost gospels, and features the lines that gave rise to the fictional account of Jesus’ life that featured so prominently in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

Lecture 5: Gospel of Mary
A gospel written in the name of a woman, depicting Mary Magdalene not as the repentant prostitute of western Christian tradition, but as an important visionary and leader in the early church.

Lecture 6: Gospel of Peter
Written in the name of Jesus' right-hand man, the Gospel of Peter tells an alternative version of the Passion story in which a walking, talking cross emerges from the tomb on Easter morning.

Lecture 7: Secret Gospel of Mark
Discovered in 1958, the Secret Gospel of Mark depicts Jesus in a night-time encounter with a young man, but could this unusual text in fact be a modern hoax?

Lecture 8: Gospel of Jesus' Wife
First published by Harvard Divinity School in 2012, this tiny fragment features Jesus’ mention of "my wife.” But is it actually no more thana 21st-century forgery?

Lecture 9: Fragmentary Gospels
Many gospels only survived in fragmentary form. One of them, the Egerton Gospel, is a curious hybrid with similarities to both the Synoptic Gospels and John. Another, the Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony, is our earliest evidence of an attempt to blend the four gospels into
one narrative.

Lecture 10: Gospel of Judas
First published in 2006, the Gospel of Judas instantly attained notoriety - could this really be an alternative take on the gospel story, in which Judas Iscariot is now a hero?

Ziony Zevit's Lectures

Sweet-Singers, Story-Tellers and Scribes
Most narratives in the Hebrew Bible are short, filling a chapter or less. Yet, despite an appearance of straightforwardness and simplicity, they are often complicated stories, whose characters, driven by unstated motivations, move in undescribed settings. This renders biblical narratives easy to read but difficult to understand. Understanding them, however, enables us to enter the thought-world of those who wrote them in ancient Israel, a world very different from our own. Hebrew Bible scholar Dr. Ziony Zevit of the American Jewish University examines the context of some of the most well-known but perhaps little-understood narratives of the Old Testament.

  1. How Did the Bible Come to Be?

  2. The Creation of the Cosmos

  3. Abraham and the Binding of Isaac

  4. Stories about Child Sacrifice

  5. Why Was Israel Enslaved?

  6. Reading the "So-Called" Ten Commandments

  7. Some Characteristic Features of Biblical Narrative

  8. Ruth and Real Estate

  9. The Garden Story (Part I)

  10. The Garden Story (Part 2)


Cancellation Policy: We are liable to Montreat’s standard cancellation rates and rules for housing and food costs and for administration fees.

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is highly recommended. You are encouraged to apply now. Request from your travel agent “Trip Cancellation for any Reason”, insure all luggage and valuables. BAS/Montreat /and their parent company, Lifeway, cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to your luggage or property. Travel Insurance should be obtained for all trips.

The insurance company below is provided as a courtesy by the Biblical Archaeology Society; there are many other travel insurance companies with similar offerings: USI Travel Insurance Services, 2950 Camino Diablo, # 300, Walnut Creek, CA 94597-3991. Contact them via their web site or call them at 1-800-937-1387. Please mention that you are taking a tour with the Biblical Archaeology Society Travel Study Programs and our code is 32335.


For more information contact:

Diane at or call 202-364-3300 ext 216.
Please give your name, email and phone number.

Biblical Archaeology Society Travel Study Programs
4710 41st Street NW
Washington, DC 20016-1705
Toll free: 1-800-221-4644 ext.216
Fax: 1-202-364-2636