Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Archaeological Proof? (1)

From the Errancy Discussion list, 5-4-97:

Amateur Apologist, whom I will refer to as AA, has regurgitated the same
apologetic tripe about archaeological evidence that has been repeatedly
discredited. I will resume my response to his "evidence" where I left off.

Today biblical personalities that were denied for hundreds of years like...
King David can be confirmed by the study of the science of archeology 

as 100% true and accurate. King David for example was considered to 
be a myth by many universities. Yet in 1993 archeologists dug out a 
stone tablet at Tel Dan in Israel clearly refering to the "house of David" 
(Bait Daveed), identifying him as king of Israel. This was the first inscription 
outside the Bible dated to about the ninth century B.C. 

If the Tel Dan inscription referred to the house of David so "clearly," then
why has this inscription been a point of considerable controversy among
biblical scholars? If AA has followed the controversy in *Biblical
Archaeological Review,* he would know that some contend that it has been
mistranslated by "archaeological maximists," who seize even questionable
archaeological evidence as confirmation of the biblical text. Furthermore,
this was not the first extrabiblical inscription that allegedly referred to
David. The Moabite Stone, which AA refers to later, also contained a
statement that some have said is a reference to David, although it too has
been disputed.

At any rate, let's assume that both the Moabite Stone and the Tel Dan
inscriptions made unquestionable references to David. How would this prove
the Bible to be "100% true and accurate"? The sentence in which AA used
this expression was poorly structured, but this was what he seemed to be
arguing. Archaeological records that contain references to the "house of
David" would give only evidence that there was a character named David. 

It would in no way confirm the specific claims that the Bible makes about
David. How would these inscriptions, for example, confirm that David killed
a giant named Goliath with only a stone hurled from a sling? How would they
prove that David pursued and destroyed the Amalekites as claimed in 1 

Samuel 30? The German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered 
the ancient sites of Troy and Mycenae, allegedly using the *Iliad* as his 
guide. Would Schliemann's discoveries prove that the *Iliad* was "100% 
true and accurate"?

Also king Omri, another king of Israel was found recorded in the well 

known Stela of King Mesha of Moab, which also included are three kings 
of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser III, Saragon II, and king Shalmanesser III. 

Yes, but the Moabite Stone gives an entirely different version of the war
with Moab recorded in 2 Kings 3. According to the biblical version, the
Israelites were soundly defeating the Moabites until they saw Mesha
sacrifice his eldest son as a burnt-offering on the wall of the city, at
which time they retreated because of a "great wrath" that came upon 

them. (Yeah, right!) In the Moabite Stone inscription, Mesha claimed 
that he routed the Israelites under the guidance of his god Chemosh. 
Maybe AA can tell us why we should believe the biblical version over 
the Moabite version. Could it possibly be that AA will argue that we 
should accept the biblical version because it is the "word of God," 
whereas the Moabite Stone isn't?

Other Assyrian inscriptions found in Nineveh(Neenawa) in Iraq confirmed
kings Ahab, Jehu, Joash, Menehem, Pekah, Ahaziah, Uzziah, Ahaz, 

Hezekiah, Manasseh, Jehoiachin and Hoshea. 

Yes, this is all known, but isn't it a bit strange that all these references
have been found to biblical characters who weren't nearly as prominent 

in Israel's history as David and Solomon, yet no UNDISPUTED references 
have been found to these two kings who reign when Israel was at the height 
of his glory. In fact, no references PERIOD to Solomon have been found. 
One would think that if the Bible is "100% true and accurate," there would 
have been discoveries made of many extrabiblical references to the 
exploits of these two kings.

And with such strong evidence, no honest scholar can refute the history of
the Bible. 

Oh, really? Then perhaps AA can tell us if Heinrich Schliemann's
discoveries give such "strong evidence" that "no honest scholar can 

refute the history of the" *Iliad*? AA apparently can't understand that 
these records he refers to do not provide confirmation of all the events 
and deeds attributed to these characters but only make references that 
give very likely confirmation that they were real historical characters. 
Like most biblical maximists, AA cannot see the difference.

The well known Black Obelisk in the ruins of Nimrod was also found 

confirmes the biblical accounts of the conquest of the Assyrian King 
Shalmaneser II over King Jehu of Israel (841-814 B.C) confirming the 
accounts of the Book of Kings. 

Well, Shalmaneser II was king of Assyria from 1031 to 1020 B. C., almost 

two centuries before Jehu was king of Israel, so I assume that AA means
Shalmaneser III, who was king of Assyria from 858-824 B. C. Now all that AA
needs to do is find the biblical reference to Shalmaneser's defeat of Jehu.
The story of Jehu is told in 2 Kings 9-10, but it relates only Jehu's
usurpation of the Israelite throne by the massacre of King Joram and his
family and royal entourage, and a subsequent massacre of Baal worshipers.
Jehu's story begins in chapter 9 and continues through 10:18. At this
point, the story of Jehu turns to his massacre of all the priests of Baal,
which continues from 10:19 to 10:30, after which we are told that Jehu "took
no heed to walk in the law of Yahweh" (v:31). The final four verses of
chapter 10 relate some skirmishes that Jehu had with Hazael, but nothing is
mentioned about Shalmaneser's conquest of Jehu. In fact, 2 Kings 10:30
states that Yahweh was so pleased with Jehu's massacre of the Israelite
royal family and the priests of Baal that he promised Jehu that his sons
would reign over Israel for four generations. So where is this biblical
account of Shalmaneser's conquest of Jehu that the Black Obelisk of 

Nimrod "confirmes" [sic]? Second Kings 17:1-6 claims that Shalmaneser 
attacked Israel during the reign of Hoshea, but this was long after Jehu 
"slept with his fathers" (2 Kings 10:35). 

With evidence like AA is giving us, who can doubt the integrity of the
Bible? I will continue my response to AA's compelling evidence later.

Farrell Till

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