Lawrence of Archaeology

T. E. Lawrence, a British intelligence officer in World War I who became an Arabian legend. But how many folks know about his work in Biblical archaeology?

T. E. Lawrence, a British intelligence officer in World War I who became an Arabian legend. But how many folks know about his work in Biblical archaeology? (Imperial War Museum, London)

Back when I was in college, I worked as an usher at a drama theatre. One night, I caught this guy trying to sneak in after the show started. “Sir, may I see your ticket please?” My demeanor startled the guy, but then he flashed me his official guest badge. On the badge read “PETER O’TOOLE”.

I took the famous actor to his seat for the performance. But then I thought to myself, “I just met Lawrence of Arabia!

The 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia, is one of my all-time favorite movies. But I have always wanted to know who the real T. E. Lawrence was. In the following article, I discovered that Lawrence was an illegitimate child. His father ran off with the governess. His father and his mother (the governess) were never able to legally marry as his father never secured a divorce from his legal wife. Lawrence’s mother eventually, torn by her guilt, found relief when she came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She was determined that her children would have a Christian education. Lawrence’s mother and a brother later went to China as missionaries.

T.E. Lawrence never really embraced his mother’s faith, but he did gain a love for the Holy Land from what he was taught from the Bible. It was this fascination with the ancient Middle East that led him to pursue archaeological work across the Palestinian landscape and beyond, eventually giving him the opportunity to serve in British intelligence to aid the Arabs to rise up against the Ottoman Turks nearly a hundred years ago. Read Stephen E. Tabachnick’s full article on BiblicalArchaeology.org to learn more.

Here is one of my favorite scenes with Peter O’Toole from the movie, where he first meets the character played by Omar Sharif:

About Clarke Morledge

Clarke Morledge -- Computer Network Engineer, College of William and Mary... I hiked the Mount of the Holy Cross, one of the famous Colorado Fourteeners, with some friends in July, 2012. My buddy, Mike Scott, snapped this photo of me on the summit. View all posts by Clarke Morledge

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