4 Reasons Archaeology Cannot Prove the Bible-
#1. The goal of biblical archaeology is not to prove the Bible
That idea was once the goal of archaeology for some people. Not everyone but as time went on and more unbelievers took over the field, that goal was changed.
The danger of saying some archaeological discoveries prove the Bible is that the language is polarizing. Some discoveries seem to prove it; others seem to disprove it. Consequently, archaeologists fall into two camps: those desiring to prove the Bible and those desiring to disprove it.
It is good he used the word ‘seem’ because it takes a lot of research to make sure a discovery says what it says. Often, as in the case of the Noah’s ark expeditions and Minimalist conclusions, ideas and identifications are read into the discovery before any real research can properly identify the site and the discoveries.
Too often people jump the gun for whatever reason they may have and say something about the discovery before a clear identification can be made. For example, Noah’s ark. No one has a clue what gopher wood is. To say that an unidentified piece of wood is gopher wood is wrong and misleading because no one can be sure if the unidentified wood is gopher wood or not. It may be some other species of wood no one knew about.
It is impossible to disprove the Bible even if some unbelieving archaeologist claims he has made a discovery doing just that. Nelson Glueck said that no archaeological discovery has disproven the Bible before he died in the very early 70s. Since that time, we will add that no archaeological discovery has proven the Bible false. That is approx. another 50 years of archaeological work.
What tries to claim that the Bible is wrong are the conclusions, assumptions, leaps to conclusions, speculations and conjectures offered by any given archaeologist. We have seen a lot of that taking place over the years. See our example in our previous post about camels.
The main goal of archaeology of today may not be to prove the Bible true, but that does not mean that archaeology cannot prove the Bible true. It just has to stop following the secular world and start following God’s instructions. So that author is a little misleading with that point.
#2.The Bible presents an enormous historical and geographical portrait of the ancient world
The period of history reflected in Scripture is around 2,000 years, and includes locations spanning from the banks of the Euphrates in present-day Iraq to the Nile River delta in Egypt. Yet even though the world of the Bible is expansive, archaeology’s tools have become increasingly narrow.
Well he is wrong with that figure. The Bible covers around 6 to 10,000 years of history, not 2 thousand. He is also wrong with the geographical scope as well. Paul’s travels took him through Asia Minor and to Rome. Then he is wrong about archaeological tools. There are more tools available today for the archaeologist to use than there ever was when archaeology first began to be pursued. Even Kenyon and Wheeler invented one for excavation style. We disagree with the use of the Kenyon Wheeler invention but it is used extensively throughout archaeology.
Say archaeologists find something remarkable, like a series of proto-Hebrew inscriptions addressed to King David. This would not “prove the Bible is true.” It would simply prove that one aspect of Scripture seems to correspond to the extrabiblical witness about the existence of a ruler in Israel named David.
He does not have a good track record. He is wrong here as well. It does prove the Bible true in one aspect. It used the term King David in the right time period. We are ignoring his use of the term ‘proto-Hebrew’ because it is nonsensical and inaccurate. This example would show that the extra-biblical discovery agrees with the Bible. It also shows, like the Dan stele and others like it, that King David did exist. So the Bible is proven true about the existence of King David.
#3. Archaeology is unable to address the Bible’s theological claims
Biblical archaeology is capable of providing data that helps recreate the ancient Israelites’ world. But it is unable to address the Bible’s theological claims. For example, recent publications of cuneiform texts from “Judah town” in Babylon point toward the presence of a Judean community residing around Babylon during the sixth century B.C. This does seem to correspond to the witness prophetic books like Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Yet these texts make no mention of why the people were in Babylon, or how their residence there ties to rampant idolatry and covenant disobedience, as the biblical writers depict. The documents corroborate the biblical narrative, but they do not speak to the theological realities of Israel’s exile.
He is going out on a limb here to make his title’s point true and accurate. It would be unrealistic to think or expect that the Babylonian records would mirror the biblical text. God’s reason for the Babylonian captivity may not have been revealed to the Babylonians. They may simply look at it as a conquest to have power and control over another people.
The fact that the Babylonians mention that they took Hebrews prisoner helps prove the biblical record true.That verification then lends its reputation to the credibility of the theological issues. If God was accurate in the captivity then he would be accurate in the theology as well. We do not look to secular works to judge God and his words.
#4.Archaeological discoveries can confirm but cannot prove the Bible
So how should we discuss biblical archaeological discoveries? They can confirm and support the Bible’s historical portrait, but they cannot inductively “prove” the Bible’s truthfulness.
That author does not seem to understand the definition of the word confirm’. If you confirm something, you have proven it true.
to establish the truth, accuracy, validity, or genuineness of; corroborate; verify
So if archaeology is confirming any biblical event, then it is proving the Bible true.
Even though archaeology does do what that author says it cannot do, we still cannot blindly accept everything coming out of the world of archaeology. As in the many cases of searching for Noah’s ark, even supposed believers make claims they cannot show as accurate or true. We still have to be discerning as archaeology is a very vulnerable discipline and easy to manipulate. The opinions and conclusions given by archaeologist are almost always subjective.
This is why we tell people to not follow the rules of secular science, even when doing archaeology. it is secular science that is deceived and blind, not the Bible or God’s instructions.