Eric Cline has a good op-ed on “biblical archaeologists” who are frauds. Entitled “Raiders of the faux ark,” the Boston Globe piece exposes some of the “discoveries” made by guys with no archaeological training whatsoever. It’s not only worthwhile to expose such “scholarship” for what it is (and Cline does this more thoroughly in his recent book, From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible), but he avoids making a mistake that many do – lumping all religious scholars in with the nut cases. The article in full is worth reading, but here is an important paragraph:
Religious archeologists and secular archeologists frequently work side by side in the Holy Land. Among the top ranks of researchers, there are evangelical Christians, orthodox Jews, and people of many denominations. It is not religious views that are the issue here; it is whether good science is being done. Biblical archeology is a field in which people of good will, and all religions, can join under the banner of the scientific process.
From reviews I’ve read, I think I would find more to disagree with in his book than in this article. A couple of evangelical writers are working on a book debunking some of the “amazing discoveries” made in the last few decades and I’ll mention it here when that gets closer to publication.
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“Accepted” scholarship is too often disguised religious belief taught as “fact.” Seminary offers many, many such examples. I will mention one.
There have to be at least three Isaiahs. Most people accept this foundational belief of “scholarship.” Indeed, it is taught as fact, and has been for 150 years. It was taught as established fact to me, personally.
Unfortunately, I was a lawyer who had examined the evidence for Jesus resurrection, and couldn’t get around the evidence. And so, I started digging into the history of theology section.
The idea comes from an 1850’s view of the world, Western German Liberal Protestant Theology. This prevailing “scholarship” said man was the measure of all things, would soon raise up the “heathen” (indigenes) to the perfection of white people, bringing them into a perfect world.
Almost every religious belief in the last paragraph died in the trenches of WWI, or in the ovens of the concentration camps. (The theology and the religious belief in evolution survive to this day.)
In that 1850’s world view, God didn’t exist. And so there had to be three different authors for the book of Isaiah. Why? If Isaiah were authored by just one person, then prophecy happened. God did intervene in the world, in order to disclose the future to a man.
That was a forbidden belief. There had to be at least three writers later called Isaiah to get around the problem of fulfilled prophecy. Hence for 150 years the “fact” that there were at least three writers of the book we call Isaiah has been taught in seminary. As I said, evangelicals taught it to me as fact.
In addition, that belief is ascribed to by the “Christian” theology publishing centers. Try getting published if your article says there was only one Isaiah. Good luck.
Please don’t tell me about “accepted” scholarship. Too often it is merely disguised religious belief, even if it has been taught as fact for 150 years.
Oops, I left out those with other political agendas. Certain “established” scholars are claiming certain archaeological facts. Generally, these “scholars” are trying to prove the falsity of the Bible in order to establish the prior claim of the Palestinians on Israel as the home for “Palestinians.”
Don’t look to me on the last comment. I got it out of BAR, which I have read for years.
Evangelicals do not distort the evidence anywhere as much as liberals, or those with political agendas. Good luck following such “established” “scholarship.”