Archaeology is always breaking new ground, and in spite of its antiquities, making new news. This dry as dust occupation has got to be tedious and boring to the point of tears, as boring as another day in the life of Methuselah. Nothing is any duller than stones and dirt. And like a mole in the ground sifting through miles of dirt searching for little remnants of teeth and bones and pottery and arrow heads and relics of cornerstones and maybe a clay tablet or two, is about as exciting as a mouthful of dusty crackers. However, when Mr. Dig hits pay dirt that all changes. What could be more exciting than the uncovering of Pompeii and Herculaneum and Troy?
Like one witty-wife said before a large group of her peers; “There is one great advantage of being married to an archaeologist; the older you get the more interesting you become to your husband.” Therefore encourage your daughters to marry archaeologists.
Much of ancient history is a lost world as mysterious as Jules Verne‘s underground world, “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” It is dust upon dust, empire built upon the bones and blood and treasure of a previous empire. Ancient history is filled with unanswerable questions; but archaeology does remove a lot of its dust and din and like detectives using forensic evidence they give us some definitive answers to the who-what-where and when of the ancient past.
The thing that excites me the most about two-hundred years of Biblical archaeology is that it ended up doing the very opposite of what many liberal Bible scholars taught , thought and hoped it would do; prove their belief that the Bible is a man made book filled with legends; a book of mythology no more worthy of reverence than the mythologies of Zeus and Thor or Hercules. Loud touting liberal magazines like Time and (now on life support) Newsweek all had their front cover stories with their, “I hae ma doots” columnists. There gone, their pre-archaeological criticisms have slithered away into the duty tombs of hoopla
While the impressive findings of Biblical archaeology do not prove the Bible to be the Word of God, they do what you would expect them to do, correspond with the facts of recorded history, which it does like a hand in a glove. It’s a science that gives millions of Bible reader’s further confidence that the book they read each day and they take to their churches each Sunday is an accurate historical book. The rest is revelation knowledge.
Modern archaeology will never be able to prove whether George Washington chopped down a cherry tree or threw a coin across the Rappahannock River; but it can prove that he lived in Rappahannock in a spacious eight-room home, verifying that his family was well-off for its day. It doesn’t prove a lot of other things that we know historically about George Washington. Likewise archaeology changes nothing regarding our faith in the deity of Jesus Christ as our savior from sin. His life is an historical fact more established than the belief that the Roman Tiberius was ever an emperor. Confirmation to the facts is all you can expect from archaeology.
Over 30 historical figures in the New Testament have been confirmed by ten non-Christian sources; and 25,000 Biblical sites discovered by archaeology have not refuted one verse in the scriptures.
Archaeology is a very important subject to us as Christians because our faith is not one of cherished myths but one based on bushels of facts and events. Gath, Gaza and Goliath; Jericho, Jerusalem, Jesus; his death, burial and resurrection etc, etc, are all facts, or they are as mythological as unicorns. No middle ground here.No Twinkie defense here. However, as important as archaeological scholars are, let us not be so naive as to believe that all of them are fair and objective in their interpretation of the facts. Some are uncompromising ideologues and have been known to tamper with the facts. Some write articles and go on TV making public announcements that later prove to be Orwellian lies. As usual, the liberal media does not follow up with the plain truth. Archaeology is not an infallible science; a lot of it is mere speculation. I put more faith in the Bible itself than in the interpretations of archaeologists. So far that assumption has proven to be a wised one.
Authentic Christianity is based upon the Bible, the God-breathed revelation of the Holy Spirit. Archaeology can expand our knowledge and understanding of various texts in the Bible; but our faith is not established upon it. Neither archaeoogy, nor councils nor synods are our final authority.
The Bible constitutes the finest and most dependable history in the entire ancient world. Its accuracy puts the burden of proof squarely on those skeptics who endlessly seek to cast doubt upon its authority.
“Glory, Glory Hallelujah the Truth is marching on.”
That’s Something to Think About!