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Old 05-21-2009, 11:46 AM   #76
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Join Date: May 2002
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Originally Posted by Darth Eclipse View Post
Okay, the people who wrote the Bible are not anonymous. They say who they are. Some even write about their own experiences.
While I agree that there are authors whom we're reasonably sure of their identity, most of the core texts within biblical mythology are by anonymous authors. The 'gospels,' the Pentateuch, etc.

You've never read the Bible, have you?
Yes. In depth.

Anyways, you tell me where in the Bible it contradicts itself. Tell me one place. Just one place. You can tell me more if you would like but I only need one.
Sure. One contradiction: In Matthew, a book written by an anonymous author (hint: the title isn't the author), Joseph's (the father of Jesus) is alleged to be Jacob. However, in Luke (another anonymous author), Joseph's father is supposed to be Heli. Who was Jacob's father?

Here is one example of how historically accurate the Bible is: Shechem, Bethel, Haran, and Gerar have all been excavated and proven to be in existence at Abraham's time.

"Proven to be" of the time of Abraham is a fallacious assumptions since Abraham is a myth and without evidence for existence. However, if we extrapolate that you mean [i]the time at which Abraham is said to have lived,[i] then we mean a period contemporary with Ur, the site of which is a tell in Iraq called el-Mukayyar and its peak occupancy was at around 2600 BCE.

Bethel, also known as Beiten, its occupation was at around 1240-1235 BCE.

Shechem, also known as Tell el-Balatah, was occupied from about 1900 - 100 BCE.

Gerar was first occupied at around 1300 BCE (if memory serves correct).

And Haran I've never heard of, but I'll take your word for it that it is real (or perhaps you mistyped).

None of these settlements are shown to have occupation levels during the 3rd millennium BCE, which is the period Abraham is alleged to have lived.

Even his home town of Ur has been discovered and excavated.
Ur has been excavated. No sign of Abraham, however. Indeed, there's more evidence for the historicity of the mythical figure Gilgamesh than Abraham!

What you're doing is committing a fallacy which presupposes that since place-names in biblical mythology really do exist, therefore biblical accounts of events are accurate. The problem is, many if not most of the place-names do not coincide with suggested timelines of biblical mythology. Indeed, the stories written in the Old Testament, particularly the Pentateuch, read as historicized fiction. In other words, the anonymous authors of the Pentateuch (that's the first five books of the OT, by the way) seemed eager to propagandize their legitimacy to the people. If anything, this is human nature and a common political practice still in use today.

An abundance of evidence surfaced to disprove the notion that Abraham's era was one of ignorance. Found were receipts for business transactions; temple hymns; others were mathematical tables with formulae for calculating square and cube roots as well as simpler sums. All these were strangely contemporary. According to Millar Burrows "...his name appears in Babylonia as a personal name in the very period to which be belongs." (What Mean These Stones?, p.259).
And yet none of this is relevant to demonstrating the veracity of biblical claims. Was there a point you were getting at? Perhaps, as an archaeologist, I can help you elucidate it.

Another: Forty-six times the Hittites are mentioned in the Bible (Joshua 3:10). No mention is made of them in secular history.
The Egyptians wrote extensively on the Hittites and the Battle of Qadesh. The writings can be found on temples at Abu Simbel and Medinet Habu. But then I'm not sure what you mean by "secular history." Very little information provided in biblical mythology is actually useful in reconstructing the Hittite Empire. Indeed, there is still some question as to whether the Hittites described in biblical mythology are actually the same culture we archaeologists have finally assigned the name "Hittite." I tend to think they probably are, after all, even the anonymous authors of the Old Testament would have been aware of an Empire this size and would naturally have incorporated them into their mythos.

And another: Jericho was excavated by Dr. John Garstang between 1930 and 1936. He found that the great wall was 12' think and the outer wall 12' thick both being thirty feet high, fell "down flat".
I'm always amazed at the ability of those with preconceived conclusions to seek only that data which are confirming, and ignoring or searching no further for data which are contradictory. The way science is done, my friend, is that the person with an hypothesis seeks first to falsify it. What you're doing is starting with a conclusion and seeking only to confirm it.

Garstang's excavations took place in the 1930s and the science of archaeology was still in its infancy. There was much still to be learned about stratigraphy, dating, and applying context.

Kathleen Kenyon came along in the 1950s and improved upon Garstang's work. She showed that the famed "walls of Jericho" were not of the period that the Israelite conquest is alleged to have occurred but of a much earlier period. Kenyon, being a Christian, reasoned that the anonymous authors of the Old Testament would easily have assigned the destruction of Jericho's walls by earthquake to be a divine intervention (Kenyon 1957: 262).

The double walls there were much older and likely for an entirely different purpose than fortification. Jericho is the lowest, permanently inhabited place in the Levant (if not the world) and, thus, prone to flooding (they were an agricultural settlement). The walls were double and probably designed to protect the settlement from the incursion of water. Indeed, the "wall of Jericho" is dated back to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (8300-7400 BCE) along with a stone tower designed for grain storage (probably the world's first grain silo) which would get that grain off the wet, flood prone ground.

"As to the main fact, then, there remains no doubt: the walls fell outwards so completely that the attackers would be able to clamber up land over their ruins into the city."
Unfortunately for biblical literalists who hold that biblical mythology is the inerrant word of a god, this doesn't work. The Israelite conquest would have occurred in the 13th century BCE. Jericho simply wasn't occupied at that time in the way the bible suggests. The walls that were there fell in the 15th century BCE and the site remained unoccupied until the 14th century BCE and then only by a poor, almost insignificant, settlement which was completely unfortified.

What likely happened was that there was an oral tradition that told the story of how the walls were toppled during an earthquake and Israelite propagandists hijacked and exploited it, fitting it into their own history for selfish purposes, adjusting the timeline accordingly. In other words, the anonymous authors of the Pentateuch were liars.

If you want some more, I can give you more. Just ask.
You decide. I'm an archaeologist and an anthropologist. I can do this all day.

Please, make sure to read everything I posted.
It would be better if it was actually coming from you and not Danny Vess. I recognize his words. Are you in the habit of plagiarizing the works of others? The least you can do is cite his essay, Is the Bible Historically Accurate? and give him credit where credit is due.

In the end, the best you've done is attempt to argue that because biblical authors were aware of the place-names in the Levant, and included these place-names in biblical mythology, that, therefore, biblical mythology is the divine word of a god.

This argumentation is flawed in many ways, not the least of which is that many of the place-names in biblical mythology simply do not match the chronology presented. Listing kings and names of cities is one thing. Many ancient texts do this. Implying that because these lists are accurate (assuming for a moment that they are), the magical and supernatural portions of the bible are also accurate is fallacious.


Albright, W.F. (1939). The Israelite Conquet of Canaan in the Light of Archaeology. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 74, 11-23.

Dever, William G. (2003). Who Where the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Finkelstein, Israel; Silbermann, Neil Asher (2002). The Bible Unearthed. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Finkelstein, Israel (1988). The archaeology of the Israelite Settlement. Jerusalem: 295-302.

Gonen, R. (1992). The Late Bronze Age. In The Archaeology of Ancient Israel, A. Ben-Tor (ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kenyon, Kathleen M. (1957). Digging Up Jericho. London: Ernest Benn Limited

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