Biblical Archaeology Review 28:2, March/April 2002

Queries & Comments

Render Unto Archaeology …

James A. Gieseke (Queries & Comments, BAR 27:06) is typical of certain true believers in his self-serving, muddled thinking, which claims that if archaeology verifies empirically verifiable things, the matters that can’t be verified empirically must also be true. Just because there is evidence of the Temple doesn’t mean that God ever dwelled there, responded to sacrifices made there or that the 12-year-old Jesus discussed scripture with elders there. The crucial issues for believers have received no verification from archaeology, nor could they. There are, however, some claims in scripture that the evidence seems to go against, for example, that Jericho was even occupied during the period in which the Bible claims Joshua’s army destroyed it.

Neither BAR’s editors nor archaeologists think that archaeology can show whether there is a God or that Jesus was or is God or that “He” died for “our” sins or that God gave Moses anything at all on Mount Sinai or that God parted the Red Sea. Yet true believers behave as though something of theirs is being attacked when it cannot possibly be attacked by science.

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