Jordan Jones

Jordan Jones, PhD student, classics

Brings biblical archaeology to the public

“In addition to being one of the kindest, most professional graduate students in the university, Jordan is largely responsible for the growth of the Bible & Archaeology project… His tireless efforts make him an ideal ambassador for the University of Iowa.” -Robert Cargill, Roger A. Hornsby Associate Professor in the Classics

Sacramento, California

Faculty mentor/advisor:
Robert Cargill, PhD, Roger A. Hornsby Associate Professor in the Classics; editor, Bible & Archaeology

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
PhD in classics, expected graduation in 2027

Please describe your research:
My research focuses on the texts and archaeology of ancient Israel. I am interested in exploring how these materials can be used together to tell us more about both the real people behind these textual and material and remains as well as the often-conflicting traditions that are expressed in the text of the Hebrew Bible.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
Research into the textual and archaeological history of ancient Israel matters because the Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament, has had and continues to have a significant impact on our culture. However, without an understanding of the history, both archaeologically and textually, that is responsible for the Hebrew Bible we risk seriously misunderstanding the material. My hope is that by working in the space where these fields interact, I can act as a bridge capable of facilitating a broader public understanding of this material.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
I was able to begin participating in research in my first year upon arriving at Iowa. As the managing editor of Bible & Archaeology, I was able to immediately begin work on bringing accurate and accessible information about the Hebrew Bible and the archaeology of Israel to a public audience.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?
Being a part of this research opportunity has dramatically reshaped my perspective of what it means to meaningfully engage with the public, especially around a topic as popular and personal as the Hebrew Bible. The process of daily content creation has not only forced me to broaden the scope of my research but has led me to develop new skills and put me in contact with a broader network of scholars participating in this work.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to continue my research into the texts and archaeology of ancient Israel and the creation of accessible public-facing content related to these fields.

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