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Minimalists Flummoxed Again

In the field of archaeology there is a group known as the "Biblical minimalists." This is basically a group of scholarly unbelievers. They regularly challenge the reliability of the Scriptures, citing what they have called chronological and historic errors.

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Minimalists Flummoxed Again

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Anxiety is a terrible curse and it is a product of sin. This world is full of fear, uncertainty, situations beyond our control, dangers, frustrations of all stripes, etc. Brother Peter’s salutation in I Peter 1:2reads in part,

...Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

These words are such a marvelous contrast — a demonstration of God’s glorious love. The first part of the phrase quoted above is "Grace unto you..." God’s grace is personified in a person — Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. And then, "...peace, be multiplied." The peace of God’s redeemed abounds and is literally multiplied by an eternal, infinite factor — "everlasting peace." 

The world has no real peace to offer. In order to enter into God’s multiplied peace, one needs an out-of-this-world encounter. Jesus calls this encounter "born again." Have you been born a second time? Would you like to experience the grace of God and find the peace that passes understanding? GodSaidManSaid has infinitely good news for you. Today is your day of salvation. Click onto "Further With Jesus" for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 30:6:

Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

GOD SAID, II Peter 1:20-21:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

MAN SAID: The Bible is a compilation of old writings of mere men, written many times hundreds of years after the purported events took place. These writings are not the oracles of a non-existent God and surely not to be taken literally. 

Now THE RECORD. This is GodSaidManSaid feature #533 that proves the full veracity of the glorious Word of God. Every Thursday eve, God willing, it grows by one. Thank you for coming. May your childlike faith abound. 

Jesus foretold one of the signs of the end of the world as we know it in Matthew 24:12:

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

The love for the inerrant, majority-text, the Textus Receptus, the Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible, is fast becoming a love of the past. The love for God’s perfect Word is truly waxing cold. Years ago, a young brother came to me and said he was considering a formal theological education and wanted my advice. I counseled against such a move and suggested instead the same university Peter, James, and John, etc., attended — The Feet of Jesus University. To some this advice may seem extreme or even childish, but consider this statistic cited by Ken Ham of the Answers in Genesis ministry. In a survey of Christian colleges, the percentage of teachers in the religion department who believed in a young earth, created in six literal 24-hour days as proclaimed in Genesis, was 14.8%. And that is just where the compromise begins. God spoke to the compromisers in Israel and had this to say in Malachi 2:8-9:

8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

Since the Garden of Eden, Satan and his understudies have challenged and mocked Holy Writ. But be advised that death is swift and judgment is sure. 

In the field of archaeology there is a group known as the "Biblical minimalists." This is basically a group of scholarly unbelievers. They regularly challenge the reliability of the Scriptures, citing what they have called chronological and historic errors. Biblical minimalism displays itself in various stripes:

• The doctrine of dispensationalism that relegates all miraculous action to the days of Christ

• An army of so-called original Greekers and Hebrewers who challenge the fidelity of the Textus Receptus (received text)

• They claim there is no young universe, no Adam’s rib, the Red Sea becomes the Sea of Reeds, no virgin birth, no Jesus Christ, no Hell, no Devil, etc.

But as in all cases, the minimalists have consistently failed in their challenges to God’s Word, without fail. This feature concerning Biblical minimalists in the field of archaeology will once again highlight their gross error. 

The headline of the feature in the May/June 2011 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, written by Yosef Garfinkel, reads, "The Birth and Death of Biblical Minimalism." Several paragraphs have been lifted from this feature for your review:

"Biblical minimalism," as it is known, has gone through a number of permutations in the recent past. Its modern career began about 30 years ago, when BAR was still a youngster. Since then it has been part of the ongoing debate regarding the extent to which historical data are embedded in the Hebrew Bible.

Much of the discussion focused on the Biblical narrative about the tenth century B.C.E., the time of David and Solomon, the period known as the United Monarchy. Was there a United Monarchy? Were David and Solomon kings of a real state? Indeed, did they actually exist? Or were they simply literary creations of the Biblical writers? For the minimalists, King David was "about as historical as King Arthur." The name David had never been found in an ancient inscription.

Hardly had the minimalist argument been developed than it was profoundly undermined by an archaeological discovery. In 1993 and 1994, several fragments of an Aramaic stela were found at the long-running excavation of Tel Dan led by Avraham Biran of Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. The historical references in the inscription and the paleography of the writing make it clear that it dates to the ninth century B.C.E. Moreover, the text specifically mentions a king of Israel and a king of the "House of David" (Hebrew, bytdwd ), that is, a king of the dynasty of David.

This discovery led to a reexamination of the well-known Mesha Stela, a contemporaneous Moabite inscription discovered more than a century ago. André Lemaire, a senior paleographer at the Sorbonne, identified in that text an additional reference to the House of David. This was subsequently confirmed by another senior paleographer, Émile Puech of the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem.

Thus, there is at least one, and possibly two, clear references to the dynasty of David in the ninth century B.C.E., only 100—120 years after his reign. This is clear evidence that David was indeed a historical figure and the founding father of a dynasty.

This led to the collapse of the minimalist paradigm in which David was little more than a myth. There was a David. He was a king. And he founded a dynasty.  [End of quote]

When confronted with the discoveries, the minimalists regrouped, and in an effort to support their position, they challenged the dating. Again from Biblical Archaeology Review:

According to the Low Chronology, urbanization in Israel and Judah occurred only at the end of the tenth century B.C.E., and David and Solomon were not rulers of a kingdom but rather local tribal leaders.

In the early days of attempting to support or refute the Low Chronology, various problems in carbon-14 dating were exposed and corrected, and the advocates of the Low Chronology declared without hesitation that the dating results of hundreds of samples clearly supported the Low Chronology. Conversely, the same dates were also presented as supporting the traditional high chronology. It is indeed quite bizarre to see the same corpus of radiometric dates used to support both chronologies.

More recently, more reliable radiocarbon samples were tested from Megiddo (Stratum K-4), Yokneam (Stratum XVII) and Tell Keisan (Stratum 9a), all in the Jezreel Valley and Acco plain, that is, all in the northern kingdom of Israel. These layers represent the last Iron Age I settlement in each site. All of these strata were followed by destruction layers, which make dating more reliable. The results were written up by 2007, although not published until 2009, by Finkelstein and his colleague Eli Piasetzky. The results show an uncalibrated, weighted average destruction date of 2852 ± 13 years B.P. (before present). After calibration, the date is around 1000 B.C.E. This is exactly the dating indicated by the traditional high chronology decades ago. Thus, Finkelstein is not only the founding father of the Low Chronology, but also its undertaker.

The argument that Judah was an agrarian society until the end of tenth century B.C.E. and that David and Solomon could not have ruled over a centralized, institutionalized kingdom before then has now been blown to smithereens by our excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, where we have been in the field for the past four summers.  [End of quote]

Other kings of Israel are recorded in the accounts of neighboring nations: Solomon, Omri, Ahab, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Hoshea, Jehoiachin, Jehu, Manasseh, Menahem, Pekah, and Uzziah, as well as a host of non- Israeli (but Biblical) kings and personalities. God’s Word is a reliable historical record of all that it puts forth. Wise men and women take heed. 

GOD SAID, Proverbs 30:6:

Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

GOD SAID, II Peter 1:20-21:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

MAN SAID: The Bible is a compilation of old writings of mere men, written many times hundreds of years after the purported events took place. These writings are not the oracles of a non-existent God and surely not to be taken literally.

Now you have THE RECORD. 




References:

Authorized King James Version

Garfinkel, Y., "The Birth & Death of Biblical Minimalism," Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2011, pp46-50

Ham, K., "A Tsunami of Compromise," Answers Update, vol. 18, issue 5, p1

 

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