The Associates for Biblical Research have made an announcement about the items they have uncovered in their latest excavation in Shiloh
Associates for Biblical Research announces the discovery of a ceramic pomegranate from its second season of excavations at the ancient city of Shiloh in Israel. The pomegranate was among 500 other objects registered during the dig that was conducted in May and June 2018
This is all good and fine. We are glad that there are some Christian archaeologists out there digging away and making discoveries. What bothers us though is the following words:
The discovery of the ceramic pomegranate is strong evidence that Shiloh was likely a temenos (a sacred, dedicated precinct) during the early history of Israel
It is not likely but a fact. We already knew that Shiloh was the place where the Israelites placed the tabernacle when they first settled the Promised Land. In fact, there has been written about long before ABR got there. Here is an interesting news piece from 2015
Shiloh was established by Joshua, son of Nun, approximately 3,500 years ago, as the spiritual capital of Israel. The Tabernacle was placed there, and Jews from all over the land came to worship at the location (Joshua 18:1). The Tabernacle stood in Shiloh for over 350 years according to Jewish tradition, and its remains can still be seen today.
Th next link will get you some good pictures of the area:
The next link provides an interactive map and a few words on the site including its religious heritage. The article dates to 2012:
Then wikipedia tells us that archaeological excavations at Shiloh began almmost 100 years ago
Soundings were first made in 1922 by Aage Schmidt. A Danish team led by Hans Kjær (overseen by W.F. Albright) excavated for three seasons between the years 1926-32. A probe was done by Sven Holm-Nielson and Marie-Louise Buhl in 1963. An extensive excavation was done by Israel Finkelstein during the years 1981-84.
So when Christians talk about biblical cities, events and so on, they should be careful of the words that they use. It isn’t likely but reality that Shiloh was the religious center for the Hebrews until David and Solomon made their changes. Let’s not mislead people when we do our reporting. Let’s also not follow secular rules and expectations when we construct our reports either. present the facts, draw the correct conclusions and stick with the truth.