It was in my college years that I encountered a book by Joseph Free, a former Wheaton professor, called Archaeology and Bible History. It was apologetic in focus but brought to my attention the tremendous impact that archaeology and cultural background studies could have on our understanding of the Old Testament. It was in the very year that I read that book that I made the decision to pursue Old Testament studies as a vocational discipline. Instead of training to be an archaeologist, I determined to focus my attention on studies comparing the culture and literature of the Bible and the ancient Near East. I have never lost my fascination with this subject. But comparative studies only provide one of the means by which I try to get people excited about the Old Testament. I am saddened by how little exposure to and understanding of the Old Testament many Christians have, but I am passionate in doing whatever I can do to remedy this spiritual and theological loss.