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Lessons in biblical archaeology

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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby zilch » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:33 am

pUREiNTENT wrote:I wouldn't let archaeology put too much of a crimp on your trust in the Holy Scriptures.

The fact is, archaeology both a 'soft science' (largely a kind of conjectural detective work), and hence for the most part tentative, and secondly a kind of argument from 'silence'. That is, beliefs are formulated according to arguments of plausibility or certain assumptions about the forces of history, (usually overly skeptical), and then they are 'disproven' or corrected by the shovel or contradictory/modifying evidences of various kinds.

And therefore, archaeology, while often helpful, is not the ultimate yardstick by which to measure the accuracy of the Holy Scriptures.

If archaeology is a "soft science", how would you rate Biblical hermeneutics? Just wondering.

But actually, I agree with you basically. Archaeology is by no means perfect, as froggie also points out. And you are certainly right about archaeology, and by extension all science, not being the "ultimate yardstick" by which to measure the accuracy of the Holy Scriptures. That "ultimate yardstick" can only be faith that the Bible is true and that if the real world seems to disagree, so much the worse for the real world: it's all just lies or Satan or our "fallen nature" or will be discovered in the future....

No thanks- I'll take the world straight, not through God-colored glasses. Works just as well or better and leaves my reason and love intact.

Oh- by the way, welcome here, pUREiNTENT. I'm actually a nice guy in person. You probably are too. As long as you behave nicely, I don't care what you believe- I just like to argue.

cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch
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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby IntellectualNinja » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:46 pm

pUREiNTENT wrote:No archaeological find has ever contradicted the Bible. Archaeology has only confirmed what the Bible says. As has been the case with so many other things in the Bible, as archaeology progresses, they will most certainly uncover evidence in the future. The Bible has yet to be proven wrong by archaeology.


Just out of pure curiosity, do you mind if I ask what kind of evidence would contradict the Bible or Koran?

Also, I noticed you said the Bible has yet to be proven wrong. What kind of evidence do you believe someone will find that will show it to be true if any? Does this also apply to the Koran? What about non-Abrahamic religious texts?
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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby pUREiNTENT » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:57 pm

shadowmouse wrote:Yammering off the usual tripe by rote.

How about providing links to legitimate examples by actual archeologists? AKA nothing by AIG/ICR/creotard sites


One's legitimate is another's unacceptable... belief in God does nothing to diminish your educational standing or credentials. There are numerous Biblical Archeologists out there if one wants to find cred.

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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby pUREiNTENT » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:02 pm

E-lad wrote:Having said all that, archaeology does not actually prove or disprove "the Bible," but does indeed throw into question more than it 'proves' about the bible. But it is well shown that the bible is a bit like the DiVinci Code which uses the names of real places, while the stories were highly embellished, or were of pure fiction to show a point.

Even with that, archaeology is small potatoes in disproving the bible. It is the heavyweights of Geology, physics, astronomy and biology that show the bible for what it is, an ancient book of myths that were used by pre-scientific men to explain and justify their existence- A mere cultural artifact.


Actually you are quite wrong here. Archaeology does prove the Bible and will always question until more evidence is found. And it is well shown that the Bible is God's word so doesn't just "use" areas to tell stories... LOL

The heavyweights actually do show the Bible for what it is... the Word of God that has actually shown advanced science that predates those that wrote it.

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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby shadowmouse » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:28 pm

pUREiNTENT wrote:
shadowmouse wrote:Yammering off the usual tripe by rote.

How about providing links to legitimate examples by actual archeologists? AKA nothing by AIG/ICR/creotard sites


One's legitimate is another's unacceptable... belief in God does nothing to diminish your educational standing or credentials. There are numerous Biblical Archeologists out there if one wants to find cred.

"What comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us." AW Tozer


Classic immature avoidance of legitimate discussion.

Puking platitudes.
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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby pUREiNTENT » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:58 pm

Chris wrote:There's just a few problems with your assertion. The entire nation of Egypt. :D

Problem 1: The economy of Egypt.
According to the book of Exodus a quarter of the population of Egypt just got up and walked out. This would drive the economy of Egypt through the floor. Trouble is this particular era was one of the most prosperous in Egypt's ancient history.
http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/exodusscptcs.html

Problem 2: Egypt had a number of Hittite spies during this era. We know this from the discoveries of Hattusis. Not one mentions the destruction of the whole of the Egyptian army. Little bit of a problem.
Not proof, merely nothing said... which is a common occurrence.

Problem 3: The plagues.
Once again if the plagues actually happened then the Egyptian economy would have been ruined. Since this didn't happen then we may deduce that there were no biblical plagues.
again, this is conjecture on your part and since I can only imagine you have not written any doctorate paper on the economy of Egypt in 1300 BC, I can only imagine you are getting your information from other skeptics out to prove the Bible wrong. There are many that would disagree with you. http://www.all-creatures.org/ahlc/art-h ... roof.shtml

Problem 4: No Jewish grave goods.
If hundreds of thousands of Jews had lived and died in Egypt then numerous graves would be found with numerous grave goods. On top of this we'd find numerous Jewish goods in Egyptian tombs. We find neither.
1st you have to know where to look... me thinks you are simply agreeing with those that don't.

Would you like me to continue? Now you may declare all of this an argument from silence but what else would you expect if there is NOTHING to find? If these events never actually happened then we should find nothing and that's exactly what we do find.
I have often pondered arguments from silence... but since I do believe in the God of the Bible, all of my reasoning centers around Him. If we do not hear or see something from the past, it must be because He does not want us to see or hear about it. Laughable you say? Only if you don't believe in God... you see, if He created the universe, He can definitely require that we believe in Him with faith and not the evidence that you require.

Now biblical archaeology started out, as Froggie points out, trying to find evidence that the biblical account is accurate. But year after year, decade after decade no evidence turned up when there should be a huge mass of such evidence. With the story of the Exodus this becomes very apparent. We're not talking about traces of one or two people that it could well be argued have been missed but hundreds and hundreds of thousands. The complete lack of evidence must be explained. It simply won't do to assert - they'll be found one day. When? Where? When watering areas that the book of Exodus clearly mentioned and are well known are examined we still find NOTHING!

Not to mention the DNA evidence which shows that the Palestinians and Israelis are both Canaanites. The clashes between what is actually known of the area and the books of Exodus & Joshua and so on.
The evidence on this is very, very weak... in fact, that you are presenting it as "fact" shows that your entire theory is biased and filled with presupposition.

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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby shadowmouse » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:24 pm

pUREiNTENT wrote:Blah.

Blah.

Blah.

Smoke.

Handwave.

Snort.

La la la la la...

The evidence on this is very, very weak... in fact, that you are presenting it as "fact" shows that your entire theory is biased and filled with presupposition.


*gasp* At last! But wait, you deny your own faults, ignore facts, pull excuses from your keister, and blame everybody else instead.

If only there was some Golden Rule(tm) or a suggestion about that funny little phrase "thou shalt not bear false witness"... If only.
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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby nemesis » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:35 am

pUREiNTENT wrote:Archaeology does prove the Bible and will always question until more evidence is found.


Archeology cannot prove the Bible. If the Bible were only an historical record of the Jewish people, then archaeology could provide some confirmation of the historical accuracy of the events described. Nothing in the Bible relating to what God did or said can be confirmed by archaeology.
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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby zilch » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:33 am

nemesis wrote:
pUREiNTENT wrote:Archaeology does prove the Bible and will always question until more evidence is found.


Archeology cannot prove the Bible. If the Bible were only an historical record of the Jewish people, then archaeology could provide some confirmation of the historical accuracy of the events described. Nothing in the Bible relating to what God did or said can be confirmed by archaeology.

Exactly. And, of course, a lot of the Bible really is a historical record, even if distorted and false in some places. Some of the descriptions, for instance of the Hittites, were thought to be myths and later shown to be true, so it cannot be doubted that there is at least a fair amount of historical truth in Scripture.

But as fascinating as this all is, I agree with nemesis: no matter how accurate the history depicted in the Bible, that's no "proof" that the magical stuff is true too. Lots of myths and other religions have texts that are a mixture of accurate history and obvious storytelling. Gilgamesh is generally agreed upon to have been a historical person, the Fifth King of Uruk. Does that mean that Enkidu battled the Bull of Heaven? Not for me, and the case of the Bible is exactly the same.
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Re: Lessons in biblical archaeology

Postby Chris » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:29 pm

Let's deal with your claims one at a time shall we PI?


I wrote
Problem 2: Egypt had a number of Hittite spies during this era. We know this from the discoveries of Hattusis. Not one mentions the destruction of the whole of the Egyptian army. Little bit of a problem.


You answered
Not proof, merely nothing said... which is a common occurrence.


Since the hittite spies were supposed to report on any weakening of Egyptian military strength such a non-report was NOT a common occurence. You just pulled that 'fact' out or your arse.

I next wrote
Problem 3: The plagues.
Once again if the plagues actually happened then the Egyptian economy would have been ruined. Since this didn't happen then we may deduce that there were no biblical plagues.


You replied
again, this is conjecture on your part and since I can only imagine you have not written any doctorate paper on the economy of Egypt in 1300 BC, I can only imagine you are getting your information from other skeptics out to prove the Bible wrong. There are many that would disagree with you. http://www.all-creatures.org/ahlc/art-h ... roof.shtml


First it is hardly conjecture to state the obvious. Ancient societies in general but Egypt in particular were agrarian. They relied upon the production of grain. Destroy that and you have severely disrupted their economy. Not only that but Egyptian religion would have been given a body blow by the death of the eldest child whose job in Egyptian society was to assure the well being of his parents in the next life. By killing off the eldest child it basically ensures the parents will starve or cease to exist in the next life according to Egyptian belief.

Next your site quotes copiously from a papyrus and asserts that it comes from the time of the exodus. Garbage!


Allow me to quote wikipedia here
The papyrus itself (Papyrus Leiden I 344) is a copy made during the New Kingdom of Egypt.[1] The dating of the original composition of the poem is disputed, but several scholars have suggested a date between the late 6th dynasty and the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1850 BCE-1600 BCE),[4] and appears to describe how the Hyksos took over Egypt.[5] [6] The theme of this work had previously been taken either as a lament inspired by the supposed chaos of the First Intermediate Period,[5] or as a plea to Pepi II Neferkare depicting the fall of the Old Kingdom.


Notice two points?
1) It was written long before the exodus according to several scholars.
2) It describes an earlier period and NOT the exodus.
3) Finally I haven't written my doctoral dissertation but I studied under those who have concerning Egypt, especially during the New Kingdom period.


I wrote
Problem 4: No Jewish grave goods.
If hundreds of thousands of Jews had lived and died in Egypt then numerous graves would be found with numerous grave goods. On top of this we'd find numerous Jewish goods in Egyptian tombs. We find neither.


You replied
1st you have to know where to look... me thinks you are simply agreeing with those that don't.


Just a few points.
1) We do know where to look. Around building projects. We find no jewish graves or grave goods.
2) To have that many slaves Egypt would have to have been a slave-based society like ancient Rome. It wasn't. Egypt was a slave-owning society. Learn the difference.
3) I studied this at university. I have a degree in history that included several units in archaeology. My teachers were both orthodox and minimalist. Maximalists are a dying breed.


I wrote
Would you like me to continue? Now you may declare all of this an argument from silence but what else would you expect if there is NOTHING to find? If these events never actually happened then we should find nothing and that's exactly what we do find.


You replied
I have often pondered arguments from silence... but since I do believe in the God of the Bible, all of my reasoning centers around Him. If we do not hear or see something from the past, it must be because He does not want us to see or hear about it. Laughable you say? Only if you don't believe in God... you see, if He created the universe, He can definitely require that we believe in Him with faith and not the evidence that you require.


Ah but the Great Bunny Rabbit in the sky overruled your God and let the evidence speak for itself. See I can invent stuff too. Your turn :D .

I wrote
Now biblical archaeology started out, as Froggie points out, trying to find evidence that the biblical account is accurate. But year after year, decade after decade no evidence turned up when there should be a huge mass of such evidence. With the story of the Exodus this becomes very apparent. We're not talking about traces of one or two people that it could well be argued have been missed but hundreds and hundreds of thousands. The complete lack of evidence must be explained. It simply won't do to assert - they'll be found one day. When? Where? When watering areas that the book of Exodus clearly mentioned and are well known are examined we still find NOTHING!

Not to mention the DNA evidence which shows that the Palestinians and Israelis are both Canaanites. The clashes between what is actually known of the area and the books of Exodus & Joshua and so on.


You replied
The evidence on this is very, very weak... in fact, that you are presenting it as "fact" shows that your entire theory is biased and filled with presupposition.


My 'presupposition' is to follow the evidence. The DNA evidence would be considered to have an 80-95% degree of certainty. This is weak to you? This is the second time you've chosen to hurl round accusations of bias. We don't censor here so unless you like insults being returned in kind...take a chill pill M'kay? If you find that your emotions are too aroused to dispassionately discuss topics like these then here's a radical suggestion...choose another topic. There are hundreds on this site. But try and apply a bit of dispassion or get used to giving and getting a fair amount of invective. :D
Last edited by Chris on Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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