About Dr. Cargill

Dr. Robert R. Cargill

Dr. Robert R. Cargill

Dr. Robert Raymond Cargill is Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at The University of Iowa. He is a biblical studies scholar, classicist, archaeologist, author, and digital humanist. His research includes study in the Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, literary criticism of the Bible and the Pseudepigrapha, and the Ancient Near East. He has appeared as an expert on numerous television documentaries and specials and is an advocate for social justice and public higher education. He previously worked and taught at UCLA.

A.A. – Fresno City College (Liberal Arts)
B.S. – CSU Fresno (Human Physiology)
M.S. – Pepperdine University (Ministry)
M.Div. – Pepperdine University
M.A. – UCLA (Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations)
Ph.D. – UCLA (Near Eastern Languages and Cultures)

Full CV here.

Childhood and Undergraduate Education

Dr. Robert R. Cargill was born in Van Nuys, California to Leonard and Sharon Cargill (née Costales) on February 22, 1973 (Pisces, Ox). He is of Spanish descent on his mother’s side, and Italian on his father’s side, with the Cargill name being of Scottish origin. His family soon relocated to Madera, California, a small farm town in central California that he called home for 15 years. Dr. Cargill has experienced every level of public education in California. He attended John Adams Elementary, Thomas Jefferson Junior High, and Madera High School. At age 17, his family moved to nearby Fresno, California, where he graduated from Bullard High School. He turned down undergraduate admission offers to attend UC Berkeley, USC, and Pepperdine, choosing instead to attend local community college. By working the graveyard shift at a local Walgreens, he put himself through Fresno City College, where he earned his A.A. degree and won a state championship in 1992 as a catcher with the baseball team. He then transferred to California State University, Fresno, where he followed a pre-medical curriculum and earned a B.S. degree in Human Physiology.

Graduate Education

Dr. Cargill then accepted the J.P. Sanders Scholarship to attend Pepperdine University, where he earned a Master of Science degree in Ministry and his seminary degree, the Master of Divinity. While studying biblical studies at Pepperdine, he began studying archaeology and ancient Near Eastern cultures under Dr. Randall Chesnutt and Dr. John F. Wilson. Also while at Pepperdine, he experienced the birth of his daughter, Talitha Joy. Dr. Cargill returned to Pepperdine in 2002 and taught courses in Hebrew Bible and New Testament at Pepperdine University. In 2004, he was hired by Academy Award winning actress Nicole Kidman to teach her history and religion of the Middle East. He then accepted a fellowship to attend the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned an M.A. in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations and his Ph.D. under Dr. William Schniedewind in the UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, with an emphasis in Second Temple period archaeology and biblical studies. His dissertation work focused on the archaeological remains of Khirbet Qumran, the site associated with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Archaeological Experience

Dr. Cargill has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Central and South America, and the Middle East. Dr. Cargill began his archaeological career in 1999 as a Square Supervisor in the excavations at Banias, Israel (Golan Heights) with Dr. Vassilios Tzaferis and Dr. John F. Wilson. The next year he served as Area Supervisor at Banias. In 2004, he began work as a Square Supervisor for the excavations at nearby Omrit, Israel with Dr. Andy Overman. Most recently, Dr. Cargill participated in the excavations at Hatzor, Israel in 2006 with Dr. Amnon Ben-Tor. Dr. Cargill is presently excavating with students from the University of Iowa at Tel Azekah as part of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition with Dr. Oded Lipschits of Tel Aviv University, Dr. Manfred Oeming of Heidelberg University, and Dr. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University. Dr. Cargill was a Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Research Associate while at UCLA.

Teaching Experience

Dr. Cargill is Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Iowa. Prior to coming to Iowa, Dr. Cargill had taught at Pepperdine UniversityAzusa Pacific UniversityPortland State University, and UCLA. Among his taught courses are introductions to Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, introductions to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament, the History of Jerusalem (which uses Jerusalem as a lens through which to study and compare Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), and a course comparing the evolution of the Mythologies of Otherworld Journeys in various religions.

Politics and Theology

Politically, Dr. Cargill is a moderate independent and is unaffiliated with any American political party. He is registered to vote in Johnson County, Iowa, with “No Party” listed as his party affiliation. He describes himself as a social progressive and a fiscal conservative. He is an ardent supporter of the separation of church and state. Within scholarship, he argues for the separation of archaeology and religion. He accepts scientific facts like gravity and human evolution via natural selection, and has argued that science (and specifically archaeology) should not be used for evangelistic purposes and regularly critiques those who attempt to use what he terms “pseudoscience” to make religious claims. Dr. Cargill was raised as a Christian (Churches of Christ), but has since stated to his UCLA and Iowa classes and the NY Times that he is an agnostic, describing himself on his Facebook page as a “methodologically agnostic humanist advocating for social justice and academic inquiry studying the Persian and Hellenistic influences on Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity”. He is a member of the American Humanist Association and Project Reason. He has stated that Christian insistence upon the “inerrancy and infallibility” of the Bible and a literal interpretation of the biblical text is greatly harming modern Christianity. He does not view stories of a biblical six-day creation and a Great Flood as historical. Dr. Cargill has written extensively in favor of marriage equality, and against California Proposition 8, arguing that the state should not prohibit homosexual couples from marrying. (here and here and here)

Digital Humanities

Dr. Cargill is a faculty member of the University of Iowa consortium on Public Humanities in a Digital World, and a member of the Digital Humanities Cluster Cohort for the University of Iowa Digital Studio for Public Humanities. Prior to coming to Iowa, Dr. Cargill worked for the UCLA Center for Digital Humanities as the Instructional Technology Coordinator, and as Chief Architect and Designer of the Qumran Visualization Project, a real-time virtual reconstruction of the site of Qumran. He is an avid blogger, writing at this official blog, XKV8R, accessible either via robertcargill.com or xkv8r.com. He is Chair of the American Schools of Oriental Research Media Relations Committee, and a member of the Society of Biblical Literature Blogging and Online Publication steering committee. He has published and presented professional papers on issues dealing with blogging, online publication, and the future of instructional technology.


In August of 2010, Dr. Cargill was named one of Fresno City College’s 100 distinguished alumni as part of the college’s “100 Stars for 100 Years” program, celebrating the centennial anniversary of the college. In 2011, he was named Fresno City College’s Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipient and the 2011 Commencement Speaker at Selland Arena, Fresno, CA, May 20, 2011.

Membership in Professional Organizations

Dr. Cargill is a professional member of:

Society of Biblical Literature (Steering committee member)
American Schools of Oriental Research
(Committee Chair)
Archaeological Institute of America (Member)
Association for Jewish Studies (Member)
Israel Exploration Society (Member)

He is also involved in other social and environmental organizations including:

American Mensa
Iowa City Noon Rotary
American Humanist Association
National Geographic Society
and is a proud supporter of KSUI 91.7, Iowa Public Radio, and NPR.

Research Interests

Research interests include the archaeology of Qumran, the Dead Sea Scrolls, virtual reality, digital modeling, archaeology of the Second Temple Period, Hebrew and Aramaic, literary criticism, biblical studies, Aramaic targums, the Bar Kokhba Rebellion, and classical Judaean numismatics.

Publications and Appearances

Dr. Cargill’s first book, Qumran through (Real) Time: A Virtual Reconstruction of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, examines the settlement of Khirbet Qumran using new technological approaches in the Digital Humanities including digital archaeological reconstruction and virtual reality. His second book, The Cities that Built the Bible, surveyed the cities that contributed directly and indirectly to the composition and canonization of the Bible. Dr. Cargill has appeared as an expert on numerous documentaries and television shows, including hosting the recent National Geographic special, Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls, and serving as Consulting Producer on History‘s six-episode documentary series “Bible Secrets Revealed,” in which he also appeared.

He regularly lectures locally and nationally on topics concerning archaeology, biblical studies, the Dead Sea Scrolls, religious sects in the Second-Temple period, and linguistic ideology.


Dr. Cargill was married to his partner, Roslyn, on March 20, 2010. He has a daughter, Talitha; a son, MacLaren; fraternal twins – a son, Quincy; and a daughter, Rory Kate; and a son, Judah. He resides in Iowa City, IA. He is a Mensan and a Rotarian and spends much of his spare time computing, reading, and hiking.

Full CV here.

[bobcargill and XKV8R are Dr. Robert Cargill of The University of Iowa (and formerly of UCLA).]

75 Responses

  1. Not just intelligent, you are incredible handsome, what a hunk!

  2. We have a few college students online from college of California State University Fresno and we love your blog postings,
    so well add your rss or news feed for them, Thanks and please post us and leave a comment back and well link to you. Thanks Jen ,
    Blog Manager, California State University Fresno

  3. […] dott. Robert Cargill pone ora alcune domande e commenti molto […]

  4. This man is brilliant and what a stud :-)

  5. Dr. Cargill,
    I live in Guadalajara, Mexico and only want to express my sincere admiration for you and your work. Last week I watched a documentary on the History Channel about real Archaeologist vs. Indiana Jones movies and you were there! I’ve found your job fascinating as well as your personality….very different (handsome) from the rest (with all my respect) Congratulations!


  6. Dr. Cargill just watched your particpation in the History Channel special about Archeology & the myth of Indiana Jones. I truly respect the work you are going to perserve Ancient sites. I love Archeology and am facinated with your work.
    Thank You,
    Jeffrey Mena

  7. Bring back the mullet.

  8. never had one. never never never.

  9. You look bitter and deep deep down inside, you may have a soul.

  10. bitter, no. i only taste bitter to the following:

    • – fans of glenn beck
    • – hamas, hizbullah, christian crusaders, jewish religious militants, or anyone who kills in the name of god
    • – pseudoscientists
    • – unprofessional scholars who don’t play nice
    • – those who use archaeology as a political weapon
    • – those who use archaeology to make sensational, unsubstantiated religious claims
    • – those who abuse religion to make money or divide people
    • – petty, anonymous people who hide in the shadows, gossip, and spend their time trying to destroy the reputations of others in secret, and not in their own name

    so ya, if you’re one of the above, i might sound a little bitter to you. to all others, i’m a colleague, funny (on occasion), clever (on ever rarer occasion), and a trusted friend. -bc

  11. Since these decoding documentaries were being scattered everywhere about the origin of Christian faith; more challenging about the divinity of the Almighty, it always makes me curious and sometimes sip off from my glass of faith. Well, if I could, I would hire you as my historian. Keep it going dude! Your blog is interesting and your contributions regarding your professional field is outstanding.

  12. Great reply on the bitter comment. You, sir, seem to rock on multiple levels. For this, we thank you. Keep it up, man.

  13. […] an excellent blog post entitled A Note to Christians Opposing Gay Marriage: Get Over It, impressively-credentialed Christian academic Dr. Robert Cargill eloquently outlines how Christianity has evolved beyond […]

  14. Hello Prof Cargill,

    I really like your blog, and appreciate the fine work that you and like-minded (and sorta-like-minded) colleagues are doing: Ehrman, Smith, et. al.

    … You are a lucky guy to be able to be at UCLA. I received a BA and MA (History) there in 73 and 74 … and I count my UCLA days as among the best of all; and I hope they haven’t put buildings now on ALL the green space !

  15. I like your daughter’s name…especially since I am planning to name mine (if/when she comes) Talitha Gladys! :)

  16. Why did you appear on “Ancient Aliens?” It’s quite possibly the worst show on History, no small feat for a channel that specializes in loggers, pawn shop owners and other assorted stupidity.

  17. in the pilot, i was among a number of scholars and scientists asked to refute the show’s claims (see here).
    in season 1, i was one of the few scholar arguing that it’s all nonsense. while there may be life out there, it is not responsible for anything we are or have on earth.
    after viewing how few clips of my rebuttals they used in season 1, i declined season 2. if i appear at all, it is reused clips from season 1.
    it really is complete nonsense. but people watch it.

  18. Hi Dr. Cargill,

    I was reading through your “About” page and was very surprised to see that your birthday is on February 22, 1973. My birthday is on the same day, exactly 10 yrs later! I wish you a very happy birthday and much success on your research.

  19. Thanx and happy birthday to you as well.

  20. Best “about” page ever! Anticipated every question I had.

  21. […] storia non ha senso”, dice Robert Cargill. “Perché non [considerare] i chiodi scoperti nella tomba di Gesù, che Simcha affermò di […]

  22. Good Evening Dr. Cargill: I have seen several episodes (currently tonight) on Green Planet called Biblical Mysteries Explained and saw you in brief snippets giving us very intriguing and powerful explanations on the topic at hand. Your viewpoint was very thought provoking and it made me want to investigate you further. I am a very spiritual person and my faith in God is unmoving. Thank you for your work and giving us the viewer a clear interpretation of factual occurances during the time of Christ. I wish I could know someone such as you on a deeper level. Thank you for all that you do,

  23. thanx laura. :)

  24. If we dismiss the Bible as an accurate truth….dont we dismiss God himself ??

  25. If you dismiss the Bible as accurate truth…dont you dismiss God Himself ??

  26. no, not at all.

  27. Dear Dr. Bob,

    What an incredible journey you have had! I am so proud of your accomplishments, and even more proud of the voice. Keep it up!


    Monica (high school friend of Steph C. Tischmacher)

  28. Do you have a website where I could go and read about/learn about the history of middle east religion that you shared with Nicole Kidman in 2004?

  29. no website. that was all done privately. sorry. -bc

  30. Hi Dr. Bob! I’m watching Ancient Aliens on Netflix and was intrigued by your opinions…I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to religion and think the alien thing is interesting, but just about as implausible as some of the things that religion claims! Anyway, just wanted to tell you that your blog is interesting and I love your wit!

    :) Sabrina

  31. Thank you for being a voice of reason, even when it’s on the network they dare to call the “History” channel. And you’re certainly easier on the eyes than the crackpots too ;)

  32. Those who can do
    Those who can’t teach

  33. Actually, the quote I learned in junior college is:
    “Those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, teach.
    Those who can’t teach, teach teachers.”
    The problem, of course, with the quote is that ‘those who can’ usually learned from a teacher, so it doesn’t really work, and those who repeat it usually betray their lack of intelligence.
    But I do appreciate the blue-collar mentality. ;-)

    I prefer:
    “Critics are like eunuchs: they know how, they just can’t.”
    But I appreciate the criticism. ;-) -bc

  34. Hello Dr. Cargill,
    As a former classmate of yours, I am pleased to read of your accomplishments. I would be most interested in learning what you have researched about the Second Temple time period, especially given that fact that I am just beginning a study of it in regards to Daniel’s prophecies. Any literature that you could direct me towards would be greatly appreciated. Congratulations on the accomplishments. Sylvanna A.

  35. Daniel’s “prophecies” were written by an anonymous author in the 2nd Century BCE, but claimed to recount details from 400 years earlier. It is a popular book because the apocalyptic visions employed at the end of the book are ripe for radical interpretations. The fact that chaps. 2-7 are written in Aramaic (and not Hebrew) is evidence of its late authorship.
    A good place to start would be: Collins, John Joseph (1994). Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Hermeneia: a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible). Augsburg Fortress Publishers. p. 499. ISBN 0800660404.
    Thank you for your kind words. All the best! – bobcargill

  36. You have my dream job. My favorite thing to do in the summer is take my 9 year old down to the creeks in my woods and dig in the dirt. We have found some neat things. The kid found a fossilized claw. He gets so excited about archeology alot like I did back when I was his age. I’m gonna make sure he keeps the fire.

  37. Your page mentions being raised a Christian. Are you still a Christian? Do you still believe the deity of Abraham is real? What about all the other thousands of gods man has claimed to be real? Why don’t you treat Yahweh the same way you do Vishnu or Xenu? Do you believe the bible is “holy”? Why not the Bhagavadgītā? What proof do you have that your deity is real and all others are fake? Perhaps you can use your alien debunking skills on your own illogical theological beliefs.

  38. huh? yes. depends on who you ask. probably not, unless defined less specifically. probably not, unless described more generally. who says i don’t? holiness is ascribed bottom up, not top down. same. none. what illogical theological beliefs?
    you seem to be stringing together a series of questions based upon a false assumption. why do that?

  39. I’m fascinating with Dead Sea Scrolls. I would like to visit Qumram and all those surprinsing sites. Do you think that there exist more scrolls hidden or have you free access to all of them?

    Forgive my bad english, but I’m spanish, writting from Barcelona.
    Do you have planned to come to Spain for any conference? I would liket to listen to you.


  40. I’m not going to attack you, Bob. However, I cannot help but wonder why you don’t aggressively attack secular science in the same manner as you do that which stands for Christian belief. You speak of “pseudoscience”, but those are words that secular scientist throw around to rhetorically debunk any scientific research that may point toward the biblical record’s veracity. Higher education has taught many secular-leaning students to doubt everything except for their own secular mantras of which they have set up as a pseudo-religion. You know as well as I that there are plenty of secular scientific claims that are weak at best, but yet you would rather hone your attacks for those of faith.
    According to Jesus’ description of God, he is not desiring to allow himself to be found by critics and skeptics. God does not say, “I will be discovered by smart men and women with a few years of study and a stamped piece of paper declaring their superior intellectual authority”. He aims to reveal himself to those who start from the belief that he exists and that he will reward those who seek him. All the intellectuals and all of their conjecture cannot and will not change that.

  41. I have recently purchased a book called “The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls” by Phillip Davies, George Brooke and Phillip Callaway. In the book there are several photos of the better preserved scrolls and they are laid out in such a way that a person could, if one were so inclined, translate the scrolls. I know that they have already been, but I am not generally one who will assume that someone else’s interpretation is more accurate than one I could do myself with the right tools. I was wondering if you could recommend some resources that I might use for my own translation of the scrolls. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks.

  42. García-Martinez, Florentino, The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, (Translated from Spanish into English by Wilfred G. E. Watson) (Leiden: E.J.Brill, 1994).
    Vermes, Geza, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, London: Penguin, 1998. ISBN 0-14-024501-4


  43. So, were you laughing at me while typing out your reply? I went to the link you suggested and about fell off my chair. I expected it this to be a project that would take me the rest of my life, but I was hoping to be able to stop and have an occasional meal.

  44. there are a lot of scrolls and frags… ;-)
    get vanderkam’s ‘the dead sea scrolls today’ for an intro.

  45. Thanks, I will. Just so you know, not that it matters, but I’m not so arrogant as to think I’m going to find some breakthrough that ties it all together and answers all of the important questions. I just feel that we have come to a point where people are willing to believe anything, yet stand for nothing. I think (at the risk of sounding “churchy”) that God will hold each of us accountable for not seeking truth, but instead believeing everything we hear, or believeing whatever is convienient. I think God will reveal truth to those actually seek it for the sake of knowing the truth, and not for the sake of justifying rhetoric, agenda, or ideologies.

  46. Your CV and studies are respectable & extensive. And yes archaeology should be approached independently from studies of religion.

    But the trouble is, it’s pretty difficult to find what you actually believe about all this. (Even the University church website you attended doesn’t state what they actually believe).

    Why fill up most of your blog with cricitism of the worst of what everyone else does? That stuff’s obviously dodgy. You should state the core essentials of what you clearly believe & how the evidence changes your view of life & faith. (Thanks!)

  47. What do I believe?
    I believe we should learn to think for ourselves, but that our conclusions should be rooted in fact, evidence, experience, sound reason, and logic.
    Science never proves, it only disproves. Only by eliminating the obviously errant can we begin to approach some sense of ‘truth’.

  48. You often finish your lectures with the statement “Any Questions?”
    So, here are my questions:

    – Do you believe mankind owes any kind of apology to (a) ‘God’ ? Have you ever apologised for anything to (a) ‘God’?
    – Who do you worship, (if anything/anyone) ?
    – Do you think Jesus was a ‘liar’, ‘lunatic’, ‘Lord’ or something else?

  49. Why did you delete my questions on your blog?? At the end of your lectures you always invite questions. Here it is again:

    1) do you believe mankind owes some kind of apology to (a) ‘God’ ? If so, have you ever done this?
    2) have you ever worshipped anyone/anything?
    3 Do you think Jesus was a ‘liar’, ‘lunatic’, ‘Lord’, or something else?

    Kind regards! Samantha.

    p.s. it’s a simple question, please answer. (Because you deleted the last one, this time I’m archiving an image of this question appearing on your blog).

  50. I just listened to the lecture you gave, where you tried to get into the Al Aqsa mosque. Why did you try to fake a confession to get in there? This is disrespectful to both Muslims & Allah. If you’re an American Christian (?) you should know better.

  51. hey – why did you delete my comment?? If you’re going to remove anything, it should be the discussion of your fake confession at Al Aqsa in that podcast. All I’m asking is for basic respect. Thanks.

  52. no. yes. define worship. something else.

  53. samantha,

    i didn’t delete your question. i don’t have to answer it, but i did. what is your point?

    i have moderated comments. i don’t sit at the computer blogging all day. some days i don’t check wordpress. when i don’t, the comments build up. then i approve them. then i respond to some.

    be patient. my blog doesn’t revolve around you. ;-)


  54. i’ve been in the al-aqsa mosque. why am i being kept out?

    and how did i ‘fake a confession’? do you really think i believe in more than one god? is god not great? if not, how is what i said ‘disrespectful’? if anything, it is quite REspectful, no? i at least took the time to learn what muslims believe, and to honor and respect the faith by including the beauty of the history of the islamic faith in my lectures.

    no disrespect. i just want in. and apparently, i was not [something] enough to get in. how did the attendant at the door take one look at me (without even speaking to me) and deny me entrance?? do i fit a particular profile that is rejected out of hand? if so, how is that respectful to one who has given his life to portraying the positive aspects of islam in the classroom to american students?


  55. mohummad,

    i didn’t delete your comment. they are moderated, and when i go out of town, they take a while to approve and respond to.
    i removed nothing. i’ll remove nothing. i disrespected no one or nothing.



  56. (oh ok, no worries – didn’t realise there was an intermittent time lag on the blog…)

    umm ‘worship’ maybe any of: adoration/veneration/homage towards someone/something as a ‘Deity’.

    (Many thanks for your answers on my other questions!)

  57. I just stumbled onto your work… And this is refreshing. I am a Sociology professor in New Mexico, but was raised in very rural Kansas entrenched within extremely fundamentalist Church of Christ teachings. (i.e. I didn’t dance, I didn’t speak as a woman, I didn’t wear shorts, we didn’t celebrate Christmas as Christ’s birth…) I now am a very progressive (liberal) feminist teaching a variety of perspectives and cultures. I am the “black sheep”… No contact with my parents in over a decade (Okay with that… The milita and white seperatism didn’t fit me) I define my family with my husband (a Lutheren from SF Bay Area! Crap!). But overall, I tell my students to investigate the source of their reality. In our society, we accept the doctrine without knowing the source of such doctrine. However, with scholars that are able to break down the power structure, we can move closer to a truth.

  58. As salaam aleykum, Dr. Cargill –
    As you certainly must be aware, the shahadah is the step that one takes to become a Muslim. It is only to be done with reverence and with the honest belief that only God is worthy of praise, and that Muhammad was his prophet and servant. If you believe in those two things, then welcome to Islam, and may Allah guide you. If you didn’t, your actions would be seen as an affront. There are many places in the world that you cannot just walk into – the private quarters of the Vatican, the meeting room for the Mormon Tabernacle’s President, the Oval Office, etc. Faking a conversion would say more about a person than about the restrictions.

    That said, I find your writings interesting, and open-minded. I invite you to become a Muslim if your initial shahadah was not serious, and I invite you to consider studying Sufism as a way to see a more inclusive side of Islam. And may God provide for you the pathway you seek.


  59. Hello, Professor.

    I’m not religious, not a blogger, and I know God personally. He is indescribable, but challenges us in Holy Scripture to ‘prove Him’. I did.

    He made Himself known to me in too many ways to journal. I cannot know all about Him, but a part of His Holy Spirit now lives within my heart, works through my life. He teaches me more only as I can learn, assimilate and apply each thing as I recognize the opportunity He provides.

    In our search for true peace, true physical evidence of Him, and the
    way to know that we know, it is always elusive until we are willing to
    understand real ‘faith’, even as a child.

    I’ve spoken to Mr. Barfield several times on the phone, who was interested in many things about why Israel might reject his desire to dig, and if I was aware of any biblical or history applications to certain sites. I gave him a few opinions and scriptures of reference, then lost contact with him. [He chuckled when I mentioned that he sounds like
    Bill Clinton to me. The evidence and witnesses against him don’t sound good. It disturbs him, but he didn’t elaborate on it too much. He seemed fearful in many ways.]

    Re God: I had to know and dig for myself whatever I could. In my simple searching, I could have easily gotten deeper into ‘analysis paralysis’, often close. My findings: He is so easily available that most miss Him altogether. It is not the books, not the pages, nor man’s discoveries that are Holy but are the very Words -of a few available versions which correlate as closely as possible to each other- which are actually alive/ living. He transcends all that we fully know. Just how I do not know, but shall know one day. He is God,
    we are not.

    He allows us to learn and paraphrase for ourselves in our own language, I believe, because He is not ‘legalistic’..being more interested in a pure personal relationship than anything else so that
    we then become teachable, open to His Spirit’s help within us, bypassing most all of whatever tags and interpretations mankind has tried to place on Him only to confuse themselves.

    He is not at all interested in what are our human accomplishments, nor how often we seek new ways to impress Him with anything at all. He just wants to know us, and for us to know Him…first. Once this is in place, sincerely and naively, He begins to lovingly teach us at whatever level we are on, because He knows all things, can do all things, and can be anywhere [or everywhere] He needs or wants to be. His ways and thoughts are truly not like ours, but are higher.

    I wasted forty four years of my life keeping Him on the back burner of my mind, making excuses, doubting, not knowing how to proceed. One day an elder friend blurted out, “If you weren’t so stubborn, you could see just how simple it is to believe in Jesus!” It took seven more individuals to finally get my attention so that I would take Him seriously, then during the crisis of a lifetime, He began to show me things I could not have seen about myself, Himself, and it’s been more than amazing since 1986. I am what my friends call a younger elder because He is always with me, working through my life as I allow it and stay close to Him.

    In conclusion, I can assure you that no one can ‘give’ Him to another, because no third person can know what goes on between two others. He will have it no other way. This is a mystery that helps us
    to know when we have made contact with Him. It’s a supernatural
    phenomenon that he planned individually for each human He created. Only He can read the intentions of the heart and mind, so He is reading yours as you read this.

    From your above replies I was prompted by your words that are familiar, similar to how I used to answer, speak, think. Hopefully this helps in some way.

    God bless you. Lynda

  60. […] que se depreende da sua biografia, Cargill também é uma pessoa religiosa (sim, ele escreve “deus” em minúsculas, mas […]

  61. Hi Dr Carghill

    I have a question to ask you concerning reliability of Bible chronology/dating, Herod The Greats’ death and Jesus year of Birth?

    I read an article you wrote in 2009 re: supporting the use of C.E and B.C.E dating and I am in agreement that using B.C.E/C.E is the correct thing to do.
    it was this article here:

    However there were some statements I disagreed with and some I was just curious over, my main thought being the accepted or most likely date for Jesus year of birth based on evidence available?

    You made this comment: “According to multiple ancient sources, Herod died in 4 BCE.” and in light of that your reasoning you came to the conclusion that “Jesus was born around 7 B.C.E!”

    Those dates would obviously have major implications for certain events recorded in the Bible and peoples faith in its reliability.

    Your reasoning looked well founded so I looked into those dates a bit closer and during research I came across this article on Herod (which provides solid references for its research).

    Under the Paragraph ‘Date of His Death’ there is sound evidence and reasoning for Herod death being in 1 B.C.E and Jesus being born in Autumn of 2 B.C.E.

    I have to say that having cross referenced the available sources that I agree with those dates of 1 and 2 B.C.E.

    I see you wrote that 4 yrs ago, In light of this would you agree with those dates or would you stand by your 2009 article? if you stand by 4 and 7 B.C.E can you explain why?

    Kind Regards

    p.s Either God exists or he does not, there is no in between, that is a basic Truth,
    So whilst I would not try and be dogmatic in what I believe out of the two, if God did not exist then inconsistencies would be expected for a Book written over a period 1600yrs by 40 odd different writers,

    However sound reasoning also dictates that if God exists and the Bible writers claim divine inspiration then indeed it was inspired; and therefore would be wholesale accurate and not inconsistent as many claim, which means often the claimed inconsistencies are either blatant misinterpretation or innocently not having all the facts available; and for me every time I have ever researched a claim the bible is inaccurate or unreliable I have to admit the Bible wins out every time. Which leave me with the conclusion that its harmony is inspired,,,there you are I have given away whether I believe God exists or not ;-)

  62. […] the positive side, what the History Channel, advised primarily by Dr. Robert Cargill of the University of Iowa, is addressing is undeniably important. Evangelical churches typically avoid questions regarding […]

  63. I like your theories :)

  64. With respect to your own journey into becoming an agnostic, I get a sense that the one mistake Christians cannot see themselves making is in insisting that the Old Testament stories are not just stories meant to illustrate some moral point, but true life, historical events. Once a child picks up some elementary education, studies dinosaurs then to look at rocks etc, that child has to decide to be intentionally ignorant (fear of losing faith) or to throw out the baby with the bath water by saying that since the stories couldn’t possibly have occurred the Bible is not inspired, there is no God, bye bye faith of my parents. The leaders of conservative churches will either lose their congregations or change their view of the Bible as inspired, historical and accurate.

  65. Hello Dr. Cargill,

    I am currently watching your free class on Jerusalem and appreciate you sharing it. I was also raised CoC and had decided by about 15 years of age their insistence on a literal Bible interpretation was utter nonsense. The elders thought I would be a preacher someday, but the more I studied the less likely that was to occur. I am currently living and teaching in Saudi Arabia and have had a lot of opportunities over the last 5 years to visit many sites in the Middle East. Thanks again for the free class, I am enjoying it greatly.

    All the best,


  66. Dr. Cargill,

    With all do respect I believe you are one of the most dangerous men in the 21st Century. Your false teachings and inaccurate statements used are what is contributing to the destruction of our Christian Nation. Yes…I said Christian Nation. Just as you have declared degrees, studies, education and credentials behind your name the pharisees and sadducees in the Bible were also educated fools. My prayer is that you either come to the truth and realities of Jesus Christ or your heretic comments stop immediately. You are deceiving milions with your lies.

  67. DJ,

    There is nothing respectful at all about your little temper tantrum. Name ONE Christian principle this country is allegedly founded on: loving your enemies? Nope. Forbidding interest on loans? Nope. Leaving the poor the gleanings of your field? Nope. Taking care of the widowed and the orphan? You all call them lazy welfare cheats and spread calmuny after calmuny about your fellow man. But please, do continue railing against people like Dr. Cargill, furiously pounding on your iPad from the comfort of your home while informing female relatives of your family they should not be educated in the slightest becase, as 1 Timothy says about women: shut up.

  68. Regarding your murder of Ms DeShazo with your words. I pray her eyes never fall on your breath-taking gall. I am a former agnostic, but fell in love with Christ at age 40, 29 years ago. In that time I have witnessed a great deal of the work of the flesh among believers. If you believe the gospel, you have reached a new low. If you are an atheist, forgiveness is in order; if not, chastisement is due. Ancient Words stirs within me a deep appreciation of Scripture, I know nothing of its author, but as author of this verbal assassination I know all I need to about you.
    J.E. Ashbee

  69. […] archaeological evidence disputing the claim that the Bible is based on history. In chapter 10, Robert Cargill shows that by employing modern science to interpret archaeological findings, rather than […]

  70. I would love to talk to you I went to Israel in 1980 and would love to go again just loved the book

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