June 10, 2011

Archaeology and the Bible

Buon giorno. A few months ago, I saw a comment on an atheist's Weblog that astonished me in its arrogance and stupidity: Recent archaeology shows that Palestine was not even inhabited at the time of Jesus. This insipid remark reminded me of similar remarks that archaeology of the past hundred years is disproving the Bible.

Ostracon from Qeiyafa. Can you dig it?
That is just plain silly. Archaeology is not like other science (that is, not evolutionism) where hypotheses and theories are made, modified to fit data and even discarded when necessary. No, archaeology accumulates evidence. "New" archaeology is unlikely to "disprove" the archaeology that supports the Bible.

I've been up to my old tricks, and I called Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason. When I told Melinda the call screener ("The Enforcer") that I was calling about the claim that Palestine was not inhabited at the time of Jesus, she actually laughed! Greg expressed a bit of amazement as well.

In the course of the broadcast, Greg mentioned a strong site for evidence, Biblical Archaeology Review. (Let me add that wannabe "debunkers" like Finkelstein who are not taken seriously in archaeology have had their own claims debunked. Dr. Eliat Mazar has established strong evidence for the City of David.) Koukl explained further that archaeologists of the past hundred years have been taking an unreasonable and inconsistent approach to evidence. Whereas other ancient documents are "innocent until proven guilty", some "Biblical Minimalists" assume the Bible is wrong, it is not a valid historical document; the Bible is "guilty until proven innocent" by these biased approaches. Skeptics will discard good evidence from reliable archaeologists that has accumulated for many years in favor of those few philosophers who support their own presuppositions. That is intellectually dishonest, capice?

I would like to say that Greg and I had a lively conversation, but the truth is, I asked questions and he edjamakated me. Here, take about 12-1/2 minutes and listen to the conversation. By the way, I did a bit of editing to take out some verbal stumbling, but that is minimal. The entire two hour podcast is here. Addendum: Since I am in no mood (and too busy) to deal with trolls, I have shut off the comments.

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