Who is Vendyl Jones?
The fascinating story of renowned Biblical Archaeologist Professor Vendyl Jones.
Vendyl was born on May 29, 1930, and grew up in Sudan, Texas. By the age of 16, Vendyl knew that his life was to be dedicated to doing G-d's work. After completing high school, young Jones attended Southwestern Theological Seminary for a short time, receiving his Baccalaureate of Divinity, and a Masters Degree in Theology from the Bible Baptist Seminary. He later did advanced studies at the Bowen Biblical Museum under Dr. & Mrs. William Bowen and Biblical Archaeologist, W.F. Albright.
Between 1955 and 1956, Jones was pastor of the Dungan Chapel Baptist Church located on the border of Virginia and North Carolina. It was here that Vendyl began to realize that many anti-Jewish statements in the gospels were, as some marginal notes stated, "Omitted in more ancient manuscripts." This prompted Jones to call the nearest Rabbi, Henry Gutman, located in Bristol, Virginia, which resulted in a change in perspective due to many thought provoking facts about the Scriptures.
In October of 1956, Vendyl resigned the pastorate and moved to Greenville, SC. where he began his studies in the Talmud Torah (a children's elementary religious school) under Rabbi Henry Barneis. This education was augmented by learning with the late Rabbi Max Stauber of Spartanburg. As his knowledge increased, so did the realization that all of his earlier studies had been very incomplete. He resolved to learn, to know and to understand the Bible objectively, without any prejudices; to know what Jesus actually said in the language he spoke and what it literally meant to the people who heard him.
Continuing his studies, Vendyl lectured for the Biblical Research Society from 1964 to 1967. Within the framework of that Society, he established the Judaic-Christian Research Foundation, which later gave birth to the Institute of Judaic-Christian Research (IJCR), which has now become VENDYL JONES RESEARCH INSTITUTES.
In 1964, the Journal of Near Eastern Studies reported the 1952 discovery of the Marble Tablets in Beirut, Lebanon. That same year the Copper Scroll was found in Cave #3 at Qumran, Israel. Among those fascinated by the news accounts of this unique find was Vendyl Jones. He read with great interest how the Copper Scroll listed the hiding places of Sixty-four sacred articles which included the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. This catalyzed a personal quest that was to change his life.
In April of 1967, he moved his family to Israel to continue his studies in the Department of Judaica at Hebrew University. Here, Vendyl became involved in the archaeological aspects of Israel. Beginning immediately after the Six Day War, he was on the Stechool/Haas excavation team at Qumran, authorized by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities before the June war. Shortly thereafter, Vendyl's excavations were continued under Israeli authority through the Status Quo Law.
In the years following, Vendyl continued to work in the Judean wilderness with his friend and mentor, the late Pasach Bar-Adon. Jones also worked at Tel Debir (Kiryat HaSefer) with Professor Moshe Kohavi and Anson Rainey; the University of Tel Aviv and the Citadel of Herod in Jerusalem with Professor Hillel Geva.
Since 1972, Vendyl has conducted eight major excavations at Qumran, involving over 300 volunteers and an investment of nearly two million dollars, all of which came from individual supporters of VJRI. There has been no support or funding from the government, foundations or grants. Vendyl's expertise in the complex problems of cave archaeology, his ability to organize a team of professional experts in each discipline of archaeological technique and his dedication to the Qumran excavations for the past twenty-five years have brought him respect in each professional scientific field.
The Shemen Afarshimon, the Holy Anointing Oil, from the Holy Temple, was found in April, 1988 by the VJRI excavation team. In the 1992 excavation, the VJRI team discovered a hidden silo in the bed rock that contained a reddish snuff-looking material that appeared to be organic in nature. When it was analyzed by the Weitzman Institute and two departments at Bar-Ilan University, the tests indicated that the reddish material was a compound of eleven ingredients in the Holy Incense. Over 900 pounds of the spices were removed that year. This Holy Incense, with the Anointing Oil, are two items listed in the Copper Scroll. Uniquely, they were found in the precise order that they occur written in the Torah!
Armed with his knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew languages, his photographic memory of the Scriptures, being one of the most renowned authorities on Qumran and the Land of Israel and his expertise in archaeology and geology have all come together to make Vendyl uniquely qualified to find the treasures of the Copper Scroll.
Vendyl has spent his whole life in preparation for this moment in history that will set into motion the wheels that will result in the fulfillment of Amos 9:11-12 which reads,