It's a very well-written article. Some of the author's observations are on target. For example, he says:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dever
The fact is that archeology can never prove any of the theological suppositions of the Bible.
And yet, he also says:
|what did the biblical writers think they were doing? Writing objective history? No. That's a modern discipline. They were telling stories. They wanted you to know what these purported events mean.
The Bible is didactic literature; it wants to teach, not just to describe
Funny thing is, I've read the entire Bible, both Testaments, several times, lately finishing up an interesting excercise in reading the Bible in reverse, starting with Revelation and ending with Genesis. And what's been going through my mind more and more while I've been doing this, is exactly the opposite: what I read begins to sound more and more like someone describing what happened, NOT like someone describing what something meant. The Bible reads not like a Bible story, but reads like a record of events. A rather dry and boring record of events.
I'm reminded of the story of the man who was travelling with his concubine (common-law wife, sort of) and stopped at a village to stay the night. Then the men of the village came to the house and demanded him to send his woman out so they could have sex with her. He refused. They grabbed her anyway and raped her all night long. In the morning they dumped her on the doorstep, where he found her when he went out. She was dead. He threw her over the back of his donkey and went home. There he cut her up into 12 pieces and sent the 12 pieces to the leaders of the twelve districts of the country, along with the story of what had happened. They were so outraged that they put together an army, went to that village, destroyed the village, killed all the men and took all the women.
Now, when I write that story, I spice it up a little bit. When you read it in the Bible, it's just a story of this happened, that happened, and then this happened. The writer makes no attempt to draw a lesson or a conclusion or to teach anything. It's just as if somebody wrote it down to preserve it for history, and weren't at all concerned about meaning, because at that point they didn't know what meaning it had. Its meaning could only be seen in terms of events that happened later, much later.
And I could give you any number of examples. Events where you can just say: well, that's just typical of human nature, I can understand what those people were thinking; that's exactly what would happen today in the same situation. So-and-so did such-and-such and this-and-that. There is so much perfidity in the Bible; how could those absolutely execrable events be seen to teach anything that the Bible is supposed to teach? It's real life. It's just so much like today: it's a rotten, stinking world out there; the reason being mankind.
Yes, it's a very well-written article, and an interesting read. But I think the author has probably not spent much time reading the Bible. It's interesting when archeologists turn into Biblical scholars. It seems to me they're making the same mistake they accuse Bible scholars of, that is of Bible scholars who claim to be archeological experts.
Or maybe it's a case of the archelogist finding what he wants to find and interpreting it in the light of disproving the Bible. Making the same mistake as those who find what they want to find supporting the Bible. I think both are not disinterested in their analysis of what they find.
The author says:
|I have always thought that if we resurrected someone from the past, one of the biblical writers, they would be amused
and I can agree completely with that, though what they'd be amused at might turn out to be quite different from what he thinks.