Sunday, March 18, 2019
Archaeology is the enemy of deception; a threat to those who would rewrite history. The Bible is also the enemy of deception; overflowing with, what is for many, inconvenient truth.
King Hezekiah's seal impression found in Jerusalem
"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever" (Psalm 12: 6-7).
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God..." (II Timothy 3:16).
“For several centuries scholars have used the Bible as a primary historical source for understanding both the material and spiritual biblical worlds. Of course, their assumptions, goals and methods have varied and developed over the years. Early critical analysis of the Bible during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries focused on the task of determining whether certain narratives in the Bible were factual or not. This focus led, by the end of the nineteenth century, to an optimism that, through critical analysis of the texts, “factual” questions could be resolved that would illuminate the way in which the biblical narratives must be understood. For much of the twentieth century this optimism grew into a positive attitude among scholars who believed that, by critically examining the Bible in light of historical texts, considered together with new discoveries being uncovered by archaeology in biblical lands, it would be possible to write a secular history of the Bible. Consequently, funding for large-scale excavations in biblical lands reached an apex during the second half of the twentieth century, especially between the two world wars. After World War II, renewed excavations in the 1950s through the mid-1970s reflected the optimism and promise of a “biblical archaeology” and the close cooperation between researchers, theologians, philanthropists, private and government funding agencies, and broad-based interest on the part of the general public.”
“This situation changed dramatically, however, during the last three decades of the twentieth century. Scholars trained specifically as archaeologists dominated archaeological fieldwork in the modern nation-states of the ancient biblical world, and many of their discoveries, the result of a more systematic approach to archaeological fieldwork, raised difficult questions regarding the historicity of biblical texts. At times the results seemed to contradict events described in the Bible. Whereas the early generation saw some hope in finding an “essential continuity” between the events that were deemed factual and the biblical narratives, the results of recent research have tended to conclude that such continuity is unlikely to emerge.”
“The rise of a more specialized discipline (dubbed Syro-Palestinian archaeology) during the later 1970s and 1980s coincided with new methodological and science-based approaches to archaeology, sometimes referred to as “new archaeology” or “processual archaeology.” The rise of processual archaeology intensified the split between biblical studies and field archaeology that had begun even before the 1970s, with the separation becoming greater still as new scientific investigations failed to “prove” biblical events. …The optimistic days when scholars such as William F. Albright and G. Ernest Wright could proclaim that archaeology would resolve many biblical debates were over.”
“As we assess the situation at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we recognize that archaeologists of the lands of the Bible and biblical scholars have long since departed from a common path of shared goals. …Field archaeologists by necessity concentrate more on anthropological and archaeological theory or material culture studies than on the literary history of the Bible. Likewise, biblical scholars today tend to focus their research within the subfields of theology, biblical history, philology, form criticism, literary analysis, and comparative religions; they have little time to work in any depth in areas closely related to their specialty and at best only “dabble” in archaeology. Many biblical scholars seem to think that participation in a few field excavations is enough to make one a proficient archaeologist, while many field archaeologists believe that knowledge of Hebrew is enough to master the biblical texts or to reconstruct a history of the biblical world. In reality, however, both disciplines require years of intensive study to attain a fluency of the languages of material culture or the related subspecialties of biblical studies. The result is that archaeologists and biblical scholars spend less and less time communicating with each other, which fosters the perception that the related fields of material culture and text have very little to contribute to each other. Even when the conversations take place, the two groups often find themselves speaking different languages” (Andrew G. Vaughn and Ann Killebrew, Jerusalem In Bible And Archaeology, 2003, p. 1-3).
"We propose to reverse the usual scientific procedure in Biblical Archaeology. The research agenda should be archaeological/anthropological, relying on patterns identified in the archaeological record. Explanation of these patterns, however, should include all lines of evidence, with an important place reserved for the biblical texts. From a cultural perspective, the Bible as an ‘unconscious revelation’ is invaluable." (2010, S. Bunimovitz and A. Faust).
Reconstructing Biblical Archaeology - https://www.academia.edu/5571197/Bunimovitz_S._and_Faust_A._2010_Reconstructing_Biblical_Archaeology_Toward_an_Integration_of_Archaeology_and_the_Bible_in_Levy_T.E._ed._Historical_Biblical_Archaeology_and_the_Future_-_The_New_Pragmatism_London_Equinox_pp._43-54
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