Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Archaeological Evidence for the Bible

Here. 

29 comments:

im-skeptical said...

The Song of Ilion is equally supported by archaeological evidence.

Peter said...

And against the Bible here, at American Friends of Tel Aviv University:

http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=19673

Ilíon said...

From the "against" link Finding Israel's First Camels

1) First the (silly) claim --"Camels are mentioned as pack animals in the biblical stories of Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob. But archaeologists have shown that camels were not domesticated in the Land of Israel until centuries after the Age of the Patriarchs (2000-1500 BCE). In addition to challenging the Bible's historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes."

Who ever denied "that the text was compiled well after the events it describes"? What, Abraham kept a written journal which he passed on to Isaac, who passed it on to Jacob? The question is whether the history it gives is accurate.

Isn't it odd that the compilers knew better than to introduce the anachronistic use of iron, but not, allegedly, the anachronistic use of camels?

2) Then the "evidence" of the silly claim -- "The few camel bones found in earlier archaeological layers probably belonged to wild camels, which archaeologists think were in the southern Levant from the Neolithic period or even earlier."

In other words, the "evidence" that "proves" the Bible's history to be incorrect or false is question-begging.

Unknown said...

Not to mention, a supposed "lack of bones" is an argument from silence.

And also not to mention that it ignores other ancient texts, dating well into the time of the patriarchs, that do show domesticated camels, or at the very least strongly point towards it...such as ration list containing food supplies for camels, or prayers for blessings of camels milk. Or evidences of ancient bodies in iraq with bone spurs consistent with riding camels.

http://christianthinktank.com/qnocamel.html
http://www.pulpithelps.com/www/docs/988-5459
http://www.studylight.org/ls/ds/index.cgi?a=518#F10

Ilíon said...

"Not to mention, a supposed "lack of bones" is an argument from silence."

True.

But, in this case, the very article that claims that Abraham's use of camels was an anachronism makes explicit reference to "camel bones found in earlier archaeological layers" ... and then hand-waves them away.

Ilíon said...

The take-home lesson is this -- if there is a disagreement between what the Bible says and what 'Science!' fetishists say, bet on the Bible.

BenYachov said...

So basically it is how you interpret the data?

Plus human beings in general, have been domesticating animals in general, for tens of thousands of years. As far back a 30,000 BC horses have been domesticated by man. So you are telling me desert dwelling people who lived earlier than 1500 BC where so stupid as to not to think to use the native beasts with the big humps for travel or carrying heavy loads across the desert?

LAME!!!!!!!

You don't even have to believe in God to see this is stupid and question begging.

From the wiki.

"Dromedaries may have first been domesticated by humans in Somalia and southern Arabia, around 3,000 BC, the Bactrian in central Asia around 2,500 BC,[14][62][63][64] as at Shar-i Sokhta (also known as the Burnt City), Iran.[65]
In accord with patriarchal traditions, cylinder seals from Middle Bronze Age Mesopotamia showed riders seated upon camels.[66][67]"

Ilíon said...

"So basically it is how you interpret the data?"

There is no such thing as data which speaks for itself or interprets itself; data that hasn't been interpreted, that hasn't been put into a context, is, literally, meaningless. But, to put data into a context is to make and reason upon assumptions, which may or may not be well-founded, may or may not be conclusions validly derived from prior reasoning.

This is something that 'Science!' fetishists refuse to understand, or at least refuse to acknowledge with respect to *their* assumptions, which they foolishly imagine (or at least assert) to exist in some special state beyond question.

BenYachov said...

A rare moment of agreement between Ilíon & BenYachov.

Fascinating.

im-skeptical said...

"The take-home lesson is this -- if there is a disagreement between what the Bible says and what 'Science!' fetishists say, bet on the Bible."

World created in six days. Check.
Day and night before there was an earth. Check.
Eve made from Adam's bone. Check.
Insects that walk on four legs. Check.
Rabbits that chew their cud. Check.
The moon as a (lesser) light in the sky. Check.
Mustard as the smallest seed. Check.
All seed-bearing plants as food. Check.
Stars that fall from the sky. Check.
Earth as a flat circle. Check.
Sky as a firmament. Check.
etc.
etc.




Papalinton said...

Pick up Finkelstein and Silberman's "The Bible Unearthed". It is the seminal historical and archeological tractate of modern scholarship. And it is for the general reader. One very helpful feature that the two researchers introduce is a concise but thorough summary of the Biblical version of the time period in question at the beginning of each chapter. Then, for most chapters, the authors discuss pre-1980 archaeology which until recently had been interpreted as supporting the Biblical account. The balance of each chapter presents the latest findings of archaeology which almost invariably contests the historicity of the Biblical version.

As we all know Biblical Archeology departments in all self-respecting higher education institutions closed down decades ago, due to lack of historicity in Christian Apologetical accounts of the Middle-Eastern region. You would do well to come up to speed on current knowledge and understanding of that time period.

Papalinton said...

I can't stress this enough; I do like my informed textbooks to be newer than 2,000 years old.

Papalinton said...

FYI
HERE is the very latest on the historicity of camels in the middle-east.

Peter Johnson said...

Except for the shouting,

Thanks for reflections on the interpretations of archeological findings.

BenYachov said...

>"The take-home lesson is this -- if there is a disagreement between what the Bible says and what 'Science!' fetishists say, bet on the Bible."

This taken at face value this is in fact true. 'Science!' fetishist aka Gnus know neither science, philosophy or theology. Also they arrogantly can't tell the difference between science vs 'Science!' fetishists. St Augustine said if a particular interpretation of Scripture contradicted the known science then that interpretation must yield.

For example:
World created in six days. Check.

According to Augustine & Phillo, Genesis 2:4 teaches "World Created instantaneously" therefore Genesis One must be
an allegory.

See what mean?

BenYachov said...

>HERE is the very latest on the historicity of camels in the middle-east.

But it's not really that it doesn't tell us anything new nor is it immune from the objections already stated here and the arguments put forth by Unknown's links.

Plus the skeptical comments from one of the religious skeptics in the comments box is telling.

QUOTE"I am hardly a big Bible advocate, but if I were this article does not seem to provide conclusive proof that camels weren't used earlier or that domesticated camels weren't somehow present and then disappeared. I would need more detail before I'd use it as reference to challenge my religious friends."END QUOTE

I am glad to see some religious skeptics do think critically unlike the usual suspects who post here. At best maybe this article shows there wasn't wide spread Camel domestication by the locals in Israel but Abraham came from Mesopotamia which the sources on the wiki say had domesticated Camels during the middle bronze age period which was right around the time of the Patriarchs.

BenYachov said...

>Pick up Finkelstein and Silberman's "The Bible Unearthed".

Data is undeniable but then again like I said it is often the interpretation of the data which is at issue.

In which case I would recommend the works of Kenneth Kitchen. Who comes up with the same data as Finkelstein but has a different spin on it's meaning.

Kitchen is a believer and Finkelstein is an Agnostic.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Reliability-Old-Testament-Kitchen/dp/0802803962

Ilíon said...

Son of Confusion, confused: "This taken at face value this is in fact true. 'Science!' fetishist aka Gnus know neither science, philosophy or theology. Also they arrogantly can't tell the difference between science vs 'Science!' fetishists. St Augustine said if a particular interpretation of Scripture contradicted the known science then that interpretation must yield."

You know how you've recently discovered the term/concept 'positivist' and can't seem use it often enough? Well, guess what? *You* are (ahem) reasoning like a positivist ... and a 'Science! fetishist.

In Augustine's day, 'science' was intended to discover actual truth about the world, and it also wasn't seen as separate from 'philosophy'. Unfortunately, they made a number of assumptions which turned out to be incorrect, and which they mistook for philosophical first principles, rather than assumptions that may or may not be correct.

In the present day, 'science' isn't about truth -- and increasingly, it isn't even about sound reasoning (blame the need to protect Darwinism, coupled with the positivist drive to redefine 'science' to be "applied atheism") – it’s about control: scientists don't really concern themselves with whether their theories are true, but only with whether they are useful in extending their control over whatever it is they wish to control, and moreover, they have no tools within science to distinguish any false statements generated by their theories from true ones.

How many times does this have to be pointed out?

Only a person of deficient understanding – or of deficient honesty – tries to make ‘science’ the arbiter or truth.

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

Ben
I wouldn't be touting Kitchen too loudly.

"On the Reliability of the Old Testament": K. A. Kitchen
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,998
#87 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament [My bolding]

"The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts": Neil Asher Silberman, Israel Finkelstein
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#11 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > History of Religion
#11 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Archaeology
#14 in Books > History > World > Religious > Judaism [My bolding again]

And please take particular note of the categories [in bold]. Kitchen's book is wholly subsumed within the category of religious propaganda. Finkelstein and Silberman's opus is a bona fide academic and intellectual research-oriented treatise. No peddling the Christian mytheme for them.

Just sayin'

BenYachov said...

So Paps what you are telling me is you have no scientific argument to make so you are falling back on your kneejerk brand of name calling?

Apologetics! Christian Propoganda!

Predictable for you Kangaroo boy.

Kitchen is a respected academic and Egyptologist. In fact he has been a harsh critic of the New Chronology which has taken off in some Christian archeologist apologetic circles.

He is hardly a propagandist merely an Academic.

But your lowbrow atheist apologetics has little improved.

Didn't you once claim Nazareth didn't exist in the first century when I first encountered you? Citing the work of a music teacher turned archeologist & Jesus myth-er?

I recall even Finkelstein rejects that nonsense.

Nice try thought. You keep pretending you know what you are talking about. It provides the rest of us with a great deal of amusement.

BenYachov said...

>You know how you've recently discovered the term/concept 'positivist' and can't seem use it often enough? Well, guess what? *You* are (ahem) reasoning like a positivist ... and a 'Science! fetishist.

No I reason like a Catholic not a Protestant heretic. Positivism is tedious.

>Only a person of deficient understanding – or of deficient honesty – tries to make ‘science’ the arbiter or truth.

Rather it is the arbiter of scientific and empirical truth. A Positivist is the idiot who claims those are the only real naturally knowable truths.

The brief moment of agreement ends.

Ilíon said...

Son of Confusion, refusing to be un-confused: "The brief moment of agreement ends."

Well, you are, after all, intellectually dishonest; in a word, a fool.

Ilíon: "Only a person of deficient understanding – or of deficient honesty – tries to make ‘science’ the arbiter or truth."

Son of Confusion, refusing to be un-confused: "Rather it is the arbiter of scientific and empirical truth. A Positivist is the idiot who claims those are the only real naturally knowable truths."

What is this 'scientific truth' of which you speak? What is this 'empirical truth' of which you speak? For that matter, what and where is this 'Science!' of whom you speak?

Does Mr 'Science!' say what-and-only that-which-is-true? That is, does Mr 'Science!' *never* assert 'A' today, but 'not-A' tomorrow (*)? Does Mr 'Science!' invariably remain discretely mum when he doesn't yet know where the truth lies? Is this how he became the infallible arbiter of 'scientific truth' and 'empirical truth'?

Is it indeed the case that whatever is 'scientific truth' or 'empirical truth' today will, without fail, be so tomorrow?

No, it is not the case, and we all know that it is not the case … but some of us (most of us) *refuse* to understand what that point of knowledge means. For, to understand this bit of knowledge is to begin to resist the siren call of scientism. But, because most of us want the (false) security that scientism promises, most of us leave that bit of knowledge – that everyone of us, Christian and anti-Christian alike, acknowledges with his mouth – disconnected from anything else: the words come out your mouth, but the meaning never reaches your heart.

(*) with the proviso that whatever he does assert to be true, is, in fact, and without fail, true?

Son of Confusion, refusing to be un-confused: "No I reason like a Catholic not a Protestant heretic. Positivism is tedious."

Are you saying that *all* Catholics are fools, who not only don’t understand what they’re talking about, but also *refuse* to learn/understand the truth of what they’re talking about?

Damn! That’s cold.

Ilíon said...

Since we’re being all ‘empirical’ here… here is a question concerning astronomy, the second-best of the 'hard sciences':

What is the 'scientific truth' concerning the distance between Earth and the Perseus Arm of the Galaxy?


Here are links to and quotes from two items of a few years back –

PhysicsWorld.com Perseus arm is closer than thought "Astronomers have made the most accurate measurement ever of the distance from the Sun to the Milky Way's nearest spiral arm, known as Perseus. They estimate the distance to be about 5.86 x 1016 kilometres (around 6,198 light years), which is more accurate by an order of magnitude less than previous calculations. The result resolves a long-standing discrepancy between two different techniques for measuring distances in the Milky Way and could also help us improve our understanding of how such spiral arms form (Sciencexpress 1120914)."

NewScientist.com "… Astronomers using this technique had previously estimated the distance to Perseus, the arm immediately beyond the Sun, at more than 13,000 light years. But other researchers arrived at half that distance using a method that compares the apparent brightness of massive, young stars with estimates of their intrinsic brightness.
Now Xu's team has used a third technique - 100 times more accurate than the other two - to conclude the Perseus arm is indeed relatively close, at just 6400 light years from Earth.
"

So, which claimed distance – if either – is actually true? The answer is: "No one knows" and "That is a question 'Science!' is not equipped to answer."

Meanwhile, the various implications of all this go right over everyone’s heads … because they don’t *want* to understand that 'Science!', does not, and cannot, deliver truth, except by accident and then it offers no tool to distinguish any accidental truths it delivers from everything else.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"Apologetics! Christian Propoganda!"
Yes, that's what it amounts to. They are Amazon classifications, not mine. I reiterate:
Kitchen's book:
#87 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
Finkelstein's book:
#11 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > History of Religion
#11 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Archaeology
#14 in Books > History > World > Religious > Judaism"

Note: History of religion, Politics and Social Sciences, Archeology, History World Religious.

Not my words, Ben, but a factual statement about what categories of knowledge and areas of research have been impacted by the work in the respective books.

Kitchen is a respected Egyptologist but that does not translate into expertise in Old Testament studies and he should have kept his nose out of it judging by the book's very limited influence and the insignificant impact of its narrow religious-inspired focus.

Your sources are marginal at best and are pretty much drawn from the periphery, from outliers not connected with the main focus of contemporary research.

BenYachov said...

So basically Paps your superficial analysis based on how Amazon categorizes his book is more authoritative then the actual content of the Book or the facts of Kitchen's biography?

Whatever you say Kangaroo boy. I got this bridge not far from where I live in Brooklyn. I'll sell it too ya dirt cheap.

>Kitchen is a respected Egyptologist but that does not translate into expertise in Old Testament studies....

Quite a statement coming from a guy who relies on the work of an Amateur Archeologist ex-music teacher and Jesus myth'er.

Kitchen has been on digs in the Holy Land. You spent your days as a gym teacher for Kangaroos in a public school.

Now you are just trying to bore me.

Ilion OTOH has succeeded in boring me because I don't have a clue what the bug up his ass is.


Take Care Laurel and Hardy.

im-skeptical said...

"So, which claimed distance – if either – is actually true? The answer is: "No one knows" and "That is a question 'Science!' is not equipped to answer.""

And once again, Ilion shows his ignorance of how science works. He doesn't seem to understand that different methods have been used to estimate stellar distances, and nobody ever said they provide pinpoint accuracy (or absolute truth).

The problem is that if you look at a star, you can't tell how far away it is. Imagine viewing a candle 10 miles away, or a small torch 20 miles away. Can you tell the difference? If you know precisely how much light the object emits, you could measure the light you see and calculate the distance. Accuracy depends on how good your brightness estimation is, of course. This is one of the techniques that was used before 2005. Nobody said it was perfect.

Then, with the Very Long Baseline Array, they were able to make a geometric measurement (looking at a star from opposite points in the earth's orbit of the sun, and measuring the algle between the two) to make a more precise measurement.

Ilion mistakes science for a religion. It doesn't claim to have all the answers, as religions do. But over the years, it has given us progressively better answers.

frances said...

Son of Confusion, refusing to be un-confused: "The brief moment of agreement ends."

Well, you are, after all, intellectually dishonest; in a word, a fool.


See how these Christians love one another........

planks length said...

Frances,

Now you and I have our brief moment of agreement. Such internet manners are inexcusable.

(Equally inexcusable are comments such as "Quit the superstitious supernatural drivel, Plank." and the like.)