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John McHugh

John McHugh earned a Master’s degree from Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah, USA) with a dual emphasis on Near Eastern and Native American Archaeology (1999). He has extensive archaeological excavation and survey experience throughout Syria, Jordan, and the American Southwest. He specializes in Near Eastern and Native American archaeoastronomy as well as American Indian rock art and possesses reading knowledge of Sumerian, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Qur’anic Arabic. He serves on the Board at the Utah Rock Art Research Association. He holds a valid teaching license and engages in educational outreach through the Utah Division of Antiquities and Smith Archaeological Conservancy. John is the lead archaeologist for the Utah Cultural Astronomy Project, which is committed to exposing and celebrated the wealth of scientific wisdom embedded in the religious cosmologies of Ancestral Puebloan peoples and their modern Puebloan descendants. 

His work has been read at the Society of Biblical Literature, and appeared on Good Morning America and National Public Radio (NPR). His current book, The Celestial Code of Scriptures (Monkfish Publishing), will appear in Autumn, 2021. Recent articles include: “The Mesopotamian Stellar Tableau that May Have Inspired Revelation 12:1-6,” European Journal of Science and Theology, Vol. 16, No. 6 (December 2020); “Losing Your Head over the Sun,” Ancient Origins (Sept. 2020, coauthored with Dr. John Lundwall). He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.


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The Woman Clothed in the Sun. The Tapestries of the Apocalypse (Château d’Angers) by Nicolas Bataille and Robert Poinçon (1375 and 1382) (PMRMaeyaert/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Stellar Tableau Behind The “Woman-Child-Dragon” Apocalyptic Vision Of Revelation

Comprehending the meaning behind the mysterious imagery in the Book of Revelation remains one of the most challenging facets of New Testament scholarship, and one scene in particular continues to...
Rediscovering Iconic Artifacts From Noah’s Flood In The Stars

Rediscovering Iconic Artifacts From Noah’s Flood In The Stars

The story of a primordial, global Deluge popularized in the Noah’s Ark narrative endures as one of antiquity’s most baffling enigmas. Old Testament theologians unanimously agree that the Biblical...
Three wise men and star ( losw100 / Adobe Stock)

Unveiling The Star Of Bethlehem Amid The Celestial Tableau Of Jesus’ Nativity

The ‘Star of Bethlehem’ described in the Gospel of Matthew remains one of astronomy’s greatest mysteries. Matthew 2:1-12 explains how magi or astrologer-priests observed the rising of a certain star...
Jonah and the Whale  by Pieter Lastman, (1621) (Public Domain)

How Jonah Was Swallowed By The Celestial Sea Serpent Cetus

The Old Testament saga of Jonah and his dreadful, three day and night confinement within the “belly of a whale” and disgorgement onto the shore remains one of the Bible’s most enthralling mysteries...
Pinpointing The Celestial Garden Of Eden By Hallowed Heavenly Writing

Pinpointing The Celestial Garden Of Eden By Hallowed Heavenly Writing

The historical existence of the Garden of Eden ( Genesis 2:4-3:24) remains a mystery. The Hebrew text depicts the Judaic Deity, Adam, Eve, and the villainous Serpent interacting within an intimate...
Christ walking on the sea’, by Amédée Varint.

Walking the Waves: Celestial Puns Resolve the Conflicting Accounts of Jesus’ Sea-Walk Miracle

In part one , we noted that the evangelists had set out to compile a record of Jesus’ life forty to sixty years after his crucifixion, a time when there was no eyewitness testimony left to draw from...
‘Christ Walking on the water’ (1880?) by Julius Sergius Von Klever.

Walking the Waves: How Orion’s Ability to “Walk on Water” Was Ascribed to Jesus

Jesus’ supernatural stroll across the Sea of Galilee endures as one of the most popular Christian miracles. The outset of each version is identical: Jesus directs his apostles to row to the other...