Archaeology Says YesThe field of archaeology has its share of Biblical minimalists who find it necessary to discredit the historic records found in the Bible.New archaeological research is turning many originally minimalist positions upside down.
Archaeology Says Yes
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The currency of the Kingdom of God is faith. Without it, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Romans 10:10 reads:
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Even sin is defined in God’s Word as the absence of faith. Romans 14:23: “...for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” The first sin of this world’s human race occurred when our great-grandmother Eve believed Satan’s words over God’s. It was an act of unbelief—the exact opposite of faith. In Genesis 3, we see Satan addressing Eve in the garden. He says, “Yea, hath God said,...?” She bought his story at the price of her own soul. Since then, all of her progeny have labored under the law of sin and death, commonly known in science as the second law of thermodynamics.
Unbelief comes in all flavors—one to please every pallet—from Biblical minimalists to the outright atheistic rejection of God. A very short list follows:
1. Biblical minimalists.
2. Challengers of the inerrancy of the scriptures.
3. Challengers of the literalness of the Word.
4. Those who accuse the writers of the scriptures of plagiarism.
5. Those who claim the scriptures are contaminated because they were recorded in the oral tradition for hundreds of years before they were recorded in print.
6. Challengers of the authorship of the books of the Bible.
7. Challengers of the majority-text, which is foundational to the New Testament, found in the King James Version, erroneously replacing it with the minority-text.
8. Those who claim the Bible was inerrant only when we had the original signatures.
9. Those who continually claim what they find in the “original” Greek and “original” Hebrew is different and superior to what is written in the King James.
10. Dispensationalists who claim that miracles, etc., were only for the days of the apostles.
11. Those who lift up devil gods of all sorts.
12. Evolutionists who have built their hugely flawed theory on the sinking sand of uniformitarianism, and so on.
The short list just mentioned is not based on matters of interpretation or scholarship. These are matters of unbelief. GodSaidManSaid addresses all these issues and more. At the time of this printing, there are 314 feature subjects archived on this website. They’re all designed to prove that God is. Have you personally made your peace with God? Would you like to enjoy the certainty of salvation? Click onto “Further With Jesus” for immediate entry into the kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.
The field of archaeology has its share of Biblical minimalists who find it necessary to discredit the historic records found in the Bible, and for the sake of this article, the Old Testament in particular. They challenge the Garden of Eden, Noah’s ark, Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, Joshua fitting the battle of Jericho, David and Goliath, Solomon’s empire, and more. But be advised that new archaeological research is turning many minimalist positions upside down. In a short review by Dr. Bryant G. Wood in Biblical Archaeology, this point is obvious. Dr. Wood is director of research at Associates for Biblical Research in Akron, Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. in Syro-Palestinian archaeology from the University of Toronto, as well as an M.S. in nuclear engineering, and has served as a mechanical engineer at General Electric where he performed data collection and analysis for 13 years. Dr. Wood understands the nature of fact. We will review some of Wood’s findings in the typical GodSaidManSaid rhythm.
GOD SAID, Psalms 78:58-64:
58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
59 When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:
60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.
62 He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.
63 The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.
64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.
MAN SAID: The Bible is an unreliable record of ancient history, laden with distortions and fairy tales.
Now THE RECORD. In the March/April 2007 issue of Biblical Archaeology, under the banner title, “Let the Evidence Speak,” Dr. Wood cites the record:
According to the Biblical narrative, the Israelites established a religious center at Shiloh during the period of the Judges that was destroyed and abandoned around the middle of the 11th century B.C. Excavations at Shiloh have revealed public buildings from that time (Iron I period) and a destruction dating to the mid-11th century. [End of quote]
GOD SAID, Judges 18:26-27:
26 And the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house.
27 And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.
MAN SAID: The Bible is an unreliable record of ancient history, laden with distortions and fairy tales.
Now THE RECORD. Dr. Wood continues:
Judges 18 describes the migration of the tribe of Dan from their allotment west of Benjamin to Laish, which they renamed Dan. The time of this event can be bracketed to sometime in the 12th century B.C., most likely shortly after the arrival of the Philistines in 1177 B.C. The Israelites burned the city, whose previous inhabitants had a relationship with the coastal town of Sidon. Stratum VII at Tel Dan/Laish was destroyed by fire in the early 12th century. A tomb from Stratum VII contained imported Mycenaean pottery and local pottery made in the area of Sidon. The next phase of occupation was by squatters who used collared-rim store jars, typically associated with Israelite settlement, made from clay foreign to the Tel Dan area. [End of quote]
GOD SAID, Joshua 11:10-13:
10 And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.
11 And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.
12 And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.
13 But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.
GOD SAID, Joshua 8:28:
And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day.
MAN SAID: According to William Dever in Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2006, “There was no military conquest of Canaan.”
Now THE RECORD. Again, from Dr. Wood‘s article:
When we come to the Conquest, we are in the era of Biblical history in which scholars claim there is definitive evidence showing the Bible to be wrong. In assessing this so-called “evidence,” however, it is clear that it is the interpretations of various researchers over the years that are in error, not the Bible. During the course of the Conquest, the Israelites burned three places by fire: Hazor, Ai and Jericho. Since there is nothing like a good fire to link archaeology and written history, we will examine the evidence from those three sites.
We have already suggested that the c. 1230 B.C. destruction of Hazor should be assigned to the events of Judges 4. Is there an earlier destruction that could be associated with Joshua? As a matter of fact, there is. Evidence was found in both the upper and lower cities that the site was destroyed by fire in the 15th century B.C. Significantly, cultic centers seemed to have been singled out for especially harsh treatment by the conquerors in the 15th century.
Excavations at et-Tell have presumably “wiped out the historical credibility of the conquest of Ai.” The identification of et-Tell as Joshua’s Ai, however, was the result of a series of scholarly blunders that have been uncritically accepted to this day. It simply does not meet the Biblical requirements. From 1995 to 2000, I directed an excavation at Khirbet El-Maqatir, just a little less than a mile west of et-Tell, which does meet all of the requirements to be Joshua’s Ai. We found a small border fortress dating to the 15th century B.C. that had been destroyed by fire.
The account of Jericho in the Book Joshua is another Biblical narrative whose reputation had been sullied by the incompetent scholarship of earlier researchers. Garstang and Kenyon were the major excavators of Jericho. Coogan states that Garstang’s dating of the destruction there to c. 1400 B.C. was in error since his “knowledge of stratigraphic excavation and ceramic chronology ... was not very advanced” and “Kenyon redug at Tell es-Sultan and corrected Garstang’s dates.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In actual fact, Kenyon never published an analysis of her pottery to support her claims. Sadly, her impromptu dating has been blindly accepted without question. Garstang, on the other hand, published a detailed study of his destruction-level pottery that is useful even today. While it is true that Garstang misunderstood the fortification system, his date of the destruction was right on the money. [End of quote]
When God says yes, Satan will raise a thousand carnal accomplices to say no. But God’s Word is truth, and truth has no opinion. God’s Word is truth and truth has zero tolerance for all contrary positions. Two plus two equals four; 3.99 just won’t do. Those who reject truth will reap the fruits of doing it wrong.
When unbelief is your starting point, all manner of sin and death will follow. But when faith is the starting point, all of life stands up and says YES! The spirit says yes. Archaeology says yes. Paleontology says yes. Microbiology says yes. Geology says yes. Neuroscience says yes. Medical science says yes. Psychology says yes. When faith is the starting point, everything says yes, and we have life, and life more abundantly. Are you ready to say yes?
Authorized King James Version
Wood, B.G., “Let the Evidence Speak,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2007, pp26,78
Psalm 13:3 (KJV)
Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;