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John Betlyon

John Betlyon

Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and History

414 Weaver Building
Office Phone: (814) 863-8940


  1. Ph.D., Harvard University, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, 1978
  2. MTS, Harvard Divinity School, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, 1973
  3. BA, Bucknell University, American and Classical History, 1971


I have been studying the ancient Near East and the lands of the Bible for over forty years.  My work on ancient coins has enabled me to combine my interests in religion, archaeology, and ancient history.  Most recently this has meant working on the coins excavated at the site of Qatsrin in the Golan Heights.  For some reason, someone buried nearly 9,000 bronze coins in the corner of a house near the town synagogue.  I have been working on this hoard of coins like a detective trying to understand what the coins are and why they were found where they were.  I am fortunate to be able to talk about these issues in a class called “Numismatics and the Historian.” In addition to teaching at Penn State for over fifteen years, I am retired from active service in the Army’s Chaplain Corps and from ministry in the Church.  My passions now are fulfilled in the classroom and in solving numismatic and archaeological puzzles at sites in Israel and Jordan.

Recent Courses

JST 004: Jewish and Christian Foundations
JST 070: Prophecy: The Near East Then and Now
JST 120: New Testament
JST 210: Numismatics and the Historian
JST 410: Jews in the Medieval World

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