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Category Archives: Genetics

James Tabor & Jesus

To be more specific the title should read James Tabor & the Jesus Tomb.  There are times where scholars continue to beat a dead horse and continue to try to salvage some sort of credibility for a theory that has long been honestly and thoroughly proven wrong. The following article is one of those times

https://jamestabor.com/the-top-twenty-fictions-related-to-the-talpiot-jesus-family-tomb/

We should mention that we sort of like James Tabor. We have sat in many of his lectures, read his books and read his blog from time to time. We do not agree with him, but he is a smart person. He was able to get his Ph.D. from Chicago University which we are told is no small feat. We do not feature him that often on this website because he is very verbose and it takes far too much time and space to go through his articles.

We will not go through all the 20 points, maybe a few, as he gets quite lengthy in his defense of his position. Most of his defenses do not work and only show the desperation in his position. You need to keep in mind that he has been making this argument for 12 years now and it didn’t help when he teamed up with S. Jacobovici.

Unfortunately, these are the very points that one most often sees repeated endlessly by those less informed as well as those adamantly opposed to the possibility that the Talpiot tomb is that of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.

We understand that he wants to address certain points when people endlessly bring the same ones up but after 12 years, there is a point in which you give up the theory because it is wrong. There is no possibility that the tomb is of Jesus of Nazareth and his family. To be specific, it is not the tomb of Jesus in the Gospels.

Research and discussion of the Talpiot tomb as related to Jesus of Nazareth shows contempt for Christianity and is an attack on the faith of millions.

We would  agree with him that researching this tomb would not be an attack on the Christian faith. BUT declaring that it is the tomb of Jesus of the Bible, when the Bible clearly states what happened to Jesus would be an attack. Why?  It is not because Christians are suppressing good history but because the researchers are saying the Bible is wrong and God lied.

Unfortunately for Dr. Tabor good history is not always good. By that we refer to the old adage, history is in the eye of the historian. This adage implies that history is under the influence of the beliefs, unbeliefs, and other influences held by the historian. Rarely is the objective of the historian to reach the truth. For example, Steven Ambrose, MacPherson, and Bruce Catton all wrote on the Civil War.

Each author had their own independent perspective on the events that transpired. Same events, same historical resources, same topic yet 3 different views. If you only read one of the authors, your views on the Civil War may be altered in some way.

While we agree with Dr. Tabor that the Talpiot tomb holds an ossuary with the words Jesus son of Joseph on them we would not agree that it is only a first century person. Dating is always subjective in most cases. We also think the ossuary holds the remains of a different person named Jesus. It is possible that the chlild was named after the divine Jesus, after Jesus was crucified. Making the ossuary and remains 1st century does not mean the person was contemporary with the biblical Jesus.

It would be coincidence that his father’s name was also Joseph which would influence the naming of the newborn child.

Jesus and his family would not have a family tomb in Jerusalem. If there were a Jesus family tomb at all it would have been in Nazareth in the Galilee, which is the ancestral home of the family.

We do not know where Jesus’ human family would have a tomb. We also do not know if they used an ossuary. According to Dr. Tabor, Jewish law says that a person is to be buried where they died. Well, except for Jesus and James, we have no idea where the family members died, including Joseph. Notice Dr. Tabor is saying that Jesus’ mother was buried in the tomb but if we recall correctly, they never argued that point before. Usually their argument was for Mary Magdalene that the name Mary represented.

Jesus was a poor, illiterate, itinerant peasant, and neither he nor his followers would have been able to afford a burial cave such as the one found at Talpiot.

We agree with Dr. Tabor here as we do not know the financial health of Jesus and his family members. What we are told is that Joseph was a carpenter and Judas was the treasurer.

THE OSSUARY INSCRIPTIONS

This is a lengthy section but it can all be addressed at the same time. First off, inscription reading is not easy, especially when someone is inscribing a name with a nail. Dr. Craig Evans has a good point on this as he said it is easy to make a slip when writing certain letters and go too far. We have all made that same slip with our pens and pencils

Second, inscription reading is very subjective. Different scholars who are experts on ancient writing do not always agree. This can be seen in Dr. Tabor’s article as well as the debate over the inscription on the ivory pomegranate, a relic thought to be from Solomon’s temple.  It can also be seen in Dr. Rollston’s work as he rarely attributes ancient Hebrew to ancient Hebrew. He always seems to find a way to attribute ancient writing to some other ancient Semitic society.

Third, ancient inscriptions are not preserved very well all the time. Cracks, weathering, and other influences blur the writing making it difficult to read or understand You can see that with the argument over the word ‘kai’ or ‘and’ in Dr. Tabor’s points. One expert will call an inscription a forgery while another will call it authentic.

DNA TESTING

This only proves heritage or lineage. It is not always good for identification. In other words, using DNA to find the identity of the bones marked Jesus would be impossible. It cannot prove those remains are the remains of the biblical Jesus. All that DNA can do is show that those Jesus remains are the remains of a son a Joseph had and whom they named Jesus.

The same for the son of Jesus remains. It cannot prove any divine linkage or that the biblical Jesus had a son. DNA can only prove that those remains are the remains of a son that particular Jesus had. DNA cannot prove any divine nature or even detect it. It also cannot prove that a marriage took place between Mary and Jesus.

It can prove they had a son but marriage is not the only way to have a child.

STATISTICAL STUDIES

These mean absolutely nothing. They are a waste of time and cannot bring any evidence to the table. Even if there was only 1 ossuary with the name Jesus on it, does not mean that that ossuary holds the remains of the biblical Jesus. Since ossuaries are not the only method of ancient Jews to bury their dead, it is impossible to claim that ossuary was the one.

In other words statistic do not provide evidence for reality.

THE JAMES OSSUARY AND THE TALPIOT TOMB

Everything to do with the James Ossuary and Talpiot are pure speculation and assumptions. With so much time between the original excavation and now, no one can say if it is the missing 10th ossuary.

After all of this, we say to Dr. Tabor, give it up. Let your reputation take the hit for being wrong and backing a dead horse. You will recover from it and possibly from your association with S. Jacobovici. The tomb you found belonged only to a human named Jesus who was not the biblical Jesus. The Bible tells us exactly what happend when Jesus was crucified and ressurrected. He went to heaven and his earthly body was changed. It was not moved to another tomb to be with family members.

Also, the presence of Matthew kills your theory no matter how hard you try to twist the reasons for its presence in the tomb. Research tells us that the apostle Matthew did not die in Jerusalem. He was supposedly martyred in Ethiopia. According to you, Jewish law would not permit transportation back to Jerusalem for a sympathetic burial with Jesus.

The Talpiot tomb does not hold the earthly remains of the biblical Jesus for he is risen and in heaven today.

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Peter Enns & Genesis

You can read his full article at the following link. We are only going to address those statements that are interesting and need to be addressed.

https://peteenns.com/blog-post-ask-4-questions-christianity-evolution/

I recently sat down with myself to ask myself some questions that keep coming up
every
single
time

I post anything on evolution.

It is these questions and some of his comments that we will look at here. Strange that he never comes to a different answer than that science trumps God.

#1. why do you think evolution is true?

I believe that evolution is one of the things that science has gotten right, along with many other things we take for granted every day, because this is the resounding conclusion of the scientific community, including Christians trained in the sciences.

We will have to ask a couple of questions that have not been answered by anyone. First, where in the Bible do both God and Jesus say to take science over their words?  They don’t but that doesn’t seem to stop some people from doing it anyways.

Second, who is the scientific community and what authority do they have that they can say God is wrong? Of course, most people siding with science try to make the Bible a human-authored book. This way, in their minds, they are not attacking God but subjective human thinking. Unfortunately for them The Bible is not a human authored work.

We disagree. Science has not got evolution correct. In fact, they change their minds so much about that theory that the theory is useless to anyone. The fact that evolution has never existed seems to escape the mind of Mr. Enns. Another fact that seems to escape Mr. Enns is that the scientific community is made up of unbelievers, the very people Jesus described as lost, blind and deceived. So how can they get our origins right when they do not have the truth or the SPirit of truth helping them

Without actually being trained in the sciences, it would be rather stupid and arrogant of me to feel I have something to say that would sweep all that away.

It is not arrogance to sweep away the lies produced by the scientific community with the truth of God.

#2.But what about the Bible? Doesn’t Genesis have something to say about all this?

Simply put, no—not in the sense that Genesis is a competing “data set” to scientific models of cosmic and human origins.

Uhm, Mr. Enns, the correct answer is — yes. Genesis has a lot to say about our origins. Especially since our origins was not done in a scientific manner. It is science that has no say about our origins. Creation was a one-time supernatural act that was conducted by a supernatural being with all supernatural power. Science cannot comprehend that fact. What science describes is an unverifiable and unprovable alternative created by people who do not believe God and want nothing to do with him or have him part of their scientific work. How can they know more than God?

The stories in Genesis were written somewhere between 2500 and 3000 years ago, and clearly reflect cultural categories older still.

This is absolutely not true. The quoted idea comes from those scholars who do not believe the Bible or that anything prior to Omri actually took place. Usually these scholars are called Minimalists. They throw out most of the OT because they claim that there is no evidence. When shown evidence, they will close their eyes and state that the events did not happen or try to undermine the evidence in some way.

The Bible was not written as Mr. Enns claims. Most of the OT was written prior to the 5th to 7th centuries BC. Then the OT is not an adaption of other civilizations cultural works or beliefs. That would eliminate God, his supernatural status and power. It would also end salvation as we know it and have billions of people running around looking for God and his divine instructions.

Mr. Enns has no idea what his thoughts do or what problems they cause for himself and everyone.

I don’t expect Genesis or any other Bronze or Iron Age text to answer the kinds of questions we can answer today through calculus, optical and radio telescopes, genomics, biological and cultural anthropology.

Briefly, Mr. Enns does not realize it but those research fields, etc., do not answer any of our questions like Genesis does. They usually bring more questions.

#3. But aren’t you forgetting that the Bible is the very word of God? Why are you assuming that science trumps the Bible?

I’m neither forgetting nor assuming anything, nor am I unconsciously enslaved to some deeply held anti-God presupposition.

Rather, I have come to conclusions about these matters.

They are erroneous conclusions which he refuses to change when shown to be in error. We have tried before. Mr. Enns needs to answer the question, how does he think that fallible humans who use only partial evidence can come to the truth over the God who was there, did the did and has all the evidence?

The Bible speaks the “language” of ancient people grappling with things in ancient ways, and therefore what the Bible records about creation or the dawn of humanity needs to be understood against the cultural backdrop of the biblical writers, not the past 200 years of scientific investigation.

No the Bible is a divine revelation to man, who penned God’s words which contain the truth about our origins. There is no grappling being done in those pages of scripture and there is no ancient cultural spin put on God’s words. Science is not a light illuminating the truth to a dark world. Scripture is.

#4. But doesn’t Jesus trump all of this? I mean, he refers to Adam and seems to take Genesis quite literally. Don’t you think you need to obey Jesus rather than science?

The Bible says if you do not believe Moses how will you believe the words of Jesus (paraphrase John 5: 45ff). Obviously, Mr. Enns does not believe Moses and he does not believe the words of Jesus. He is not the person to go to find any answer.

As irreverent as that may seem, it is an implication of the incarnation. Jesus wasn’t an omniscient being giving the final word on the size of mustard seeds, mental illness, or cosmic and biological evolution. He was a 1st century Jew and he therefore thought like one.

So to him Jesus was just an ordinary man who can be trumped by science. Yet does Mr. Enns hold to John 3:16? If so, how can that be if he does not believe Jesus’ words about creation, Adam and Eve and other OT events? Does he pick and choose which words of Jesus he will accept and which ones he will deny? How was Jesus qualified to be our savior if he was not whom he said he was and did not have the final word on everything?

How can we go to Jesus with our problems if he was like Mr. Enns said? Obviously, Mr. Enns demotes both God and Jesus to sub standard deities or humans while promoting science over them. That is heresy, blasphemous and more negatives.

#5. So, to sum up, and since you asked, to reject evolution on Christian grounds would be to claim some superhuman insight into scientific matters that can only be described as idiosyncratic bordering on delusional, to misunderstand the nature of Scripture they are trying to protect, and to sport a heretical Christology that doesn’t take seriously Jesus’s full humanity.

First, the only one being heretical is Mr. Enns as he makes Jesus after his own image and does not grasp the full reality of who Jesus was. Second, Both God and Jesus said to believe them not science so we reject evolution on Christian grounds because it is not the truth. It is a man-made alternative to trick people into destroying themselves.

Third, those of us who know the truth know that the only delusional are those who opt for evolution over God’s word. We know that science is blind, deceived, lost and looking for answers in the wrong places by going down the wrong paths. Science is in need of a savior, it is not the savior.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2018 in academics, archaeology, astronomy, Bible, church, creation, education, faith, family, Genetics, history, leadership, science, theology

 

Deception At Its Finest

We are taking a break from the look at biblical scholars and their views. Today we turn our attention to the topic of transgender. We doubt we will be saying anything earth-shattering here but we wanted to address the issue because of the latest and more recent news concerning a reality show personality.  Our main source of information will come from the following article

https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/06/07/transgender-teen-star-jazz-jennings-excited-to-finally-get-vagina-thats-some-serious-st-yall

Then if you want more information on this so-called gender confirmation surgery, just click the next two links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_reassignment_surgery

Yes we are using Wikipedia for this as it is a very thorough and detailed article on the topic.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/loren-s-schechter-md-facs/gender-confirmation-surgery_b_1442262.html

The nature of transgender is pure deception and the person in the articles demonstrates this deception quite clearly.

#1. Transgender teen and reality TV star Jazz Jennings posted a video to fans Monday proclaiming great excitement over finally being scheduled to get “new genitalia” later this month: “Like penis to vagina. That’s some serious s**t, y’all … I can’t believe it. I’m gonna have a vagina!

We are sorry ladies but a male being excited about receiving a vagina is not exciting to us. But the problem here is that that boy is not getting a vagina. What he is getting is a poor copy of one and one that doesn’t work like a vagina. This is what deception does. It alters the thinking of people  and gets them to believe they are getting the real deal when in reality, they are getting a forgery.

Deception is used quite often in art, where fakes are sold to unwary elites. This boy has been sold a bill of goods and he has believed it for too many years. Deception is not of God as he makes it very clear which gender a person is born as when the make their initial appearance in the world. To be excited about mutilating oneself demonstrates that there is a problem in the thinking of not only the boy but also his parents who allowed this to take place.

#2. Jennings — who was born a male but has been living as a female since the age of 5

If the boy was allowed to be living as a girl since he was 5 then we know that his parents have been deceived, as they helped him in this lifestyle. He could not have one it without their aid. What we see here is the bible verse ‘train up a child in the path he shall go and he will not depart from it’ being shown to be true. This boy has been taught that he was a girl and now he has altered his body to match what he has been taught.

A 5-year-old boy does not know enough about the world or biology, etc., to determine their own gender. His parents should have nipped this thinking in the butt and taught him that his thinking is the product of deception. They should not have encouraged this misconception ad shown him how to get rid of such thinking. That is one of the duties of a parent.

The parent is to teach the child right from wrong and as Deut. 6 tells us, they need to teach their children God’s ways, commandments and instructions. We cannot totally fault the boy because he has been enabled by those who should have known better.

#3. Jennings will receive a vaginoplasty, in which the penis is basically turned inside out to create a vagina,

This is what the surgery is called. It is also described as gender confirmation surgery yet to the rational and logical mind no surgery is needed to confirm one’s gender. The surgery is only needed to help a disturbed mind alter themselves to look like something they are not but think they are.

For more than 11 years, I have performed gender confirmation surgery as part of my surgical practice. I call it “gender confirmation surgery” because I believe that out of the myriad labels I’ve heard for the procedure — “sex reassignment surgery,” “gender reassignment surgery,” and “sex change operation,” to name but a few — none is as accurate when it comes to describing what is actually taking place as “gender confirmation surgery.”

These quoted words are from the Huffington Post link above.  It gives you one surgeon’s point of view on the name and purpose of the surgery. The problem is, it is only confirming the deception not the reality. Surgery cannot confirm gender. DNA does that and a person’s DNA never changes. A man is a man and a woman is a woman. No amount of body altering surgery, playing dress up or enabling will change that fact.

#4. On Thursday, she wrote on Instagram, “I’m doing great, thanks for all of the love and support,” and posted a hospital selfie. Jennings was assigned male at birth, but has lived as a female with the support of her family since the age of 5. (https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/m/d004d7b4-8e15-3dfa-8ddc-6e42ef78b6fc/ss_jazz-jennings-says-she%E2%80%99s.html)

This is one of the biggest myths in the transgender topic. There is no fairy godmother or Gandalf wizard waving a magic wand or saying an incantation to assign a baby’s gender at conception. If God does it, he hasn’t told us but it is highly unlikely he does. But even if God did do it, he is perfect and his assignments are not wrong nor a result of a mistake.

We can’t get the reference to this fact but maybe someday we will find it again. When the egg and the sperm connect, there is something like a billion options available for them to develop the body. But those options have to do with the color of a person’s skin, the shape of their face, the color of their hair and so on. This is why Black African parents have albino children from time to time.

BUT gender is not a part of this lottery. There is ony 2 options for gender and once conception is completed, the gender is decided and the DNA affixed. This is the simple way to explain it. There is no mistake, no real assignment, no process where the male can say I am really a girl or where the girl can say I am really a boy. No mistake was made.

The only mistake lies with the parents and society who let the child continue to be deceived and let them live in the delusion they are not whom they were born as.

#5. For me, most if not all the other names used for the procedure — or, more accurately, the family of procedures — suggest that a person is making a choice to switch genders. From the hundreds of discussions I’ve had with individuals over the years, nothing could be further from the truth. This is not about choice; it’s about using surgery as one of the therapeutic tools to enable people to be comfortable with their gendered self. (Huff Post Link)

This is the type of deceptive thinking that is part of the transgender issue. They are not making the person comfortable in their gendered self for the surgeries are not keeping the person as they were born. They are altering them to fit the delusion.

#6. Merriam-Webster’s defines “confirmation” as follows: “confirming proof; corroboration; the process of supporting a statement by evidence.” That said, if such surgery helps confirm the way a person feels he or she was meant to be, shouldn’t the name reflect that truth(Huff Post Link)

This is how far off the rails this thinking goes.The gender confirmation surgery does none of those. It mutilates the body, not bring proof to anyone and does not corroborate any thinking or statement. It is a procedure to change the body to fit the delusion in the person’s mind. Distorting definitions does not prove that transgenders had their genders switched at birth; it is merely desperate attempts to justify the thinking of those who reject God’s reproduction system.

Confirmation surgery goes along the lines of a biopsy. A person is sick and it is thought they have cancer or some other illness. Confirmation surgery looks into the body to see what is really wrong with a person. Once that is done, then steps can be taken to heal the person. None of this takes place in this gender confirmation surgery. If a person wants to confirm their gender, then just need to take a DNA test and they will know.

#7. If I can use my surgical skills and advanced microsurgical training to help people with an often lifelong struggle find peace of mind and comfort with their bodies, why wouldn’t I? (Huff Post LInk)

Because it is wrong. It helps people violate biblical teaching. It allows evil to continue to destroy a person. His talents would be better utilized on people who have real problems not on those who want to play dress up and pretend they are a man or a woman.

We have hesitated to call transgender a mental illness because we believe it is a spiritual problem and not something borne from real mental illness. It is deception and the deception is targeted at young children who do not know anything or how to protect themselves. It is also evil spirits having their way with young children. If you do not believe in spiritual warfare, you should change your mind. It is real and it does affect vulnerable children.

Many in North America do not recognize spiritual warfare for it is carefully hidden and very subtle. The secular part of society helps keep it that way. Parents do need to take it serious if their child is claiming to be another gender. Some will grow out of that thinking but others will need good, honest, correct spiritual help to guide them back to the truth.

But one thing is for sure, parents are not to listen to the ungodly secular world on these issues. They do not have the truth about transgender identification. They do not have the truth about sexual preferences either. Sadly, we do not think that the majority of pastors, youth pastors, church members are prepared enough to handle these issues. Hopefully we are wrong. Protecting our children from spiritual deception begins at the moment of conception.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2018 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, education, faith, family, General Life, Genetics, homosexuality, leadership, theology

 

Bad Archaeology & Archaeology

The first two terms are the name of a couple of websites owned and used by

http://www.badarchaeology.com/

The problem, of course, comes in when that person and his writing partner set themselves up as the final authority on the research field of archaeology. They aren’t but they like to see changes take place in the field of archaeology. We will look at some selected quotes taken from several different pages on that website.

#1. James and I are fed up with the distorted view of the past that passes for knowledge in popular culture. We are unhappy that books written by people with no knowledge of real archaeology dominate the shelves at respectable bookshops

They have good company. Eric Cline, Robert Cargill, Joe Zias and other archaeologists do not like this either. To a point we do not either. But the real problem  comes in when these archaeologists lump legitimate Christian and other researchers in with the likes of Ron Wyatt, S. Jacobovici and others who really do distort the field of archaeology with their weird views and conclusions.

We take issues with the authors of that website because they use their own standards to make the divide between real and bad archaeology. That is their first mistake. Their second mistake comes in when they declare that their accepted way to do archaeology is the only way to do it. Well archaeology is not like God’s plan of salvation which only has one way of being saved. There are many ways to dig into the past to get the information needed to decipher what actually took place.

Not all the paths are correct but there is more than one way to do archaeology. Oh and, once you get to the truth, no more corrections are needed.

#2. A quick look through the comments that have been made on various pages will throw up some interesting views. In particular, you will find that our critics accuse us of arrogance, bullying, closed-mindedness, even being in the pay of governments to suppress The Truth™. We are none of these. If you return to the site time and again, you will find that we update our pages when new information comes along, correcting errors that we have made. This is something that Bad Archaeologists never do.

You may say this is a good thing as science says it is self-correcting. But the problem is that who is to say that the corrections are correct? Because secular science and archaeology are deceived fields of research and do not have the Spirit of Truth guiding them, there is no guarantee that these men got it right with the second, third or even fourth correction. It is also wrong and irresponsible to develop theories based on limited information.

Another problem is that these men are not going for the truth. If they were, they would realize that the truth is not always found in their accepted ways of doing archaeological research. Sometimes the fringe people stumble onto the truth and do not know how they got there. For the believer, archaeology is all about getting to the truth not the best explanation or the best description of a given excavation site. We are not to lie or sin in our historical work. We are also not to mislead either.

#3. Bad Archaeology is all around us. Many of its ideas are pervasive in popular culture. Its publications sell more than publications dealing with real archaeology. Its web presence is much stronger than that of real archaeology. This is especially true of internet forums, where the most bizarre of conspiracy-oriented ideas are given free rein. With this site we are trying to show that most Bad Archaeology is completely vacuous and valueless. In doing so, I hope that we can also provide a reference point for Good (or at least, Better) Archaeology.

Again the issue is that the term Bad Archaeology is far too broad and generic. It is also very subjective and can contain anything the authors of that website do not like. That means they will include many good archaeologists and the information they uncover. We read several of their articles, the one we thought was the most honest and factual was the one on the Peri Reis map. They made some good points that bear analyzing and reconsidering. We like Dr.Hapgood and read his 3 books which are filled with a lot of useful information. We are prepared to take Matthews’ analysis if it bears out to be correct.

But with that said, real biblical archaeologists have debated this point and those arguments are featured over at Bible and Interp website. There are many problems with communication by real archaeologists which make this situation true. It is too long to go into here, but suffice it to say that sensationalism sells. It sells better than religion sells the ancient past.

We will agree that there are a lot of bad archaeologists out there and most of them try to convince everyone that aliens did it. The other problem we find with this category is that the authors of that website think they get to pick and choose who is a bad archaeologist and who isn’t. There is a lot of bias at play here and that is unfair to those archaeologists who do not meet the approval of the establishment. There is a lot of bias in the field of archaeology. But this does not make the searchers for Noah’s ark credible. Many of those would fit into the category of bad archaeology.

#4. By and large, Bad Archaeologists do not cite excavation reports, catalogues of artefact types, studies of monument classes or the sites and monuments records of places. Perhaps they find the amount of detail overwhelming. Perhaps they do not understand the technical jargon used by their authors. Perhaps they believe that the answers to the questions they pose are not to be found in these minutiae because their questions are too big.

We do not cite excavation reports catalogs, studies, etc., very often. This does not make us bad archaeologists. It makes us discerning because those reports are more subjective than factual. One example is Stephen Collins. He states in almost every report that Tall el-Hamman is likely Sodom. That is a biased opinion not a conclusion based on fact.

We also do not quote from many of the studies on monuments because again, those are subjective and a lot of reading into those monuments take place. Archaeologists tend to think they can read long dead minds and know the motivation behind why something was carved or placed where it was found. They can’t and sometimes, those monuments, if portable enough, could have been moved several times, for different reasons, over the millennia.

To say that good archaeologists must quote from these works is unrealistic and limits the work of archaeologist. We could say that non-Christian archaeologists’ work should be ignored because it is bad archaeology. Their work doesn’t fit with the Bible. We do apply that rule to their conclusions, assumptions, speculations and so on but it does not apply to their work.

Why is this so? Because Christians are not part of every dig. Non-Christian archaeologists do uncover information that no believer has first-hand access to. They cannot get it till the excavation report or book is published. We encourage believers to read non-Christian archaeologists not for their deceived opinions and conclusions but for the information they cannot get anywhere else. To cast them off would be a disservice to believers.

Same with this bad archaeology mentality used by Matthews and his writing partner. They are closing off sources of information needed to learn about the past. Bad archaeologists do dig up information that is sometimes useful. Not everything they do is bad. Of course, not everything established archaeologists do is good. Their work is filled with their perspective and their unbelief.

#5. Many Bad Archaeologists make extensive use of ‘out-of-place artefacts’ or ‘archaeological erratics’. The purpose of drawing these artefacts to their readers’ attention is to cast doubt on the orthodox interpretations of the past that have been developed by archaeologists, usually by questioning what they wrongly perceive to be a linear view of cultural evolution or by trying to undermine conventional chronologies. Occasionally, they are used to cast doubt on models of human evolution (either to demonstrate the creationist claim that humans were created a little over six thousand years ago on the sixth day of Genesis or to demonstrate that humans have been around for billions of years or originally came from elsewhere). More frequently, they are used to cast doubt on the origins of technological civilisation and to show that phenomena such as electricity were known and exploited in the distant past. A few have used them as evidence for time travel or clairvoyance.

The bias of Matthews and his writing partner are exposed. They do not like anything Christian which tells you that their whole definition of bad archaeology is based on their personal bias and nothing objective or superior to them. Those writers are also of the mindset that ony an archaeologist can determine what took place in the past. They are mistaken as archaeology is far too limited for them to ascertain much about past activities.

Because they do not accept the discoveries does not mean they did not take place when they are dated. Their skepticism is not the deciding factor on what did or did not take place. While we will agree that the use of time travel and clairvoyance is wrong, neither are of God, we do not agree with their bias about bad archaeology. Non-believers and bad archaeologists will get some things correct.

Archaeology does not help the theory of evolution at all. Archaeology is a study of ancient societies and civilizations not a study of supposed life development. Archaeology has yet to prove evolution correct and in all cases has shown it to be wrong.

But bias plays a role in what information does or does not get out to the public. What we see in Matthews and his writing partner is the same attitude we see in Jim West, Eric Cline,Robert Cargill  and other biblical archaeologists. They think only they can determine what took place in the past and that the Bible can only be understood and expounded upon by scientific experts.  Those are very elitist attitudes and very wrong.

It tells us that they want to close the field of archaeology to only those who meet their demands and criteria, for the sole reason they do not want to be embarrassed. They know as well as we do that the majority of major archaeological discoveries have come from amateurs or non-archaeologists. Their jealousy plays a role in their division of the field.

Just think, if archaeological excavation was limited to professional archaeologists we would not have the Nag Hammadi library, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Greek Computer and much more. Professional archaeologists do not always dig in the right places and there are far more sites waiting to be excavated than there are professional archaeologists.

You need to remember that dating is very subjective and fallible. The dating systems were created by sinful, fallible imperfect people. Do not expect perfection from imperfect people.

#6. Some Bad Archaeologists believe that there are missing elements of our shared history: achievements that have been overlooked or suppressed, links between times and places that have not hitherto been noticed, whole civilisations that are unknown to conventional history.

We know that the establishment has done just that. They did it with Woolley and they do it with anyone who disagrees with their accepted conclusions. This is a fact of life in the field of archaeology. Egyptologists do it to those who disagree with their theories about the Sphinx and the Pyramids. Now not all those people who disagree with the establishment is correct, but they need to be taken on a case by case basis and not lumped into one category based on secular human bias.

One of the most successful fringe writers of recent years, Graham Hancock is a leading light of a group of people who like to call themselves the ‘New Egyptologists’ to give a spurious sense of academic credibility. Others include his contemporary David Rohl, who has proposed a radical new chronology of Egyptian history to align it with the chronology of the Old Testament by reducing the dates of Egyptian kings. Hancock also tries to establish an alternative chronology, but it is one that pushes back some of Egypt’s most familiar monuments into a very distant past

We like Hancock because he does a lot of our legwork for us. His books are filled with information that is very useful in understanding the past and the Bible. We do not agree with his conclusions but that does not make him a bad archaeologist. It makes him misguided and wandering down the wrong path. It also shows us that evil will let people discover some truths while deceiving them to go into the wrong direction when talking about the past.

We do agree that the Egyptian chronology is off. By how much, we are not sure. The main source for the Egyptian chronology comes from a couple of sources. One source is Manetho. An Egyptian priest writing not from the beginning but somewhere in the middle or later stages of the Egyptian empire. We do not have one original or copy of his complete work. In fact, his work survives be mere quotes from other ancient authors. A couple of those authors also do not agree with each other on what Manetho said. This is not enough to build a whole history on but archaeologists and Egyptologists do it.

There are more details about this but again that would be a topic for another day.

While we like some of the information we can glean from the Bad Archaeology website, we do not like or agree with their elitist attitude. We also do not like their bias, their hatred for the truth and so on. People like this are not trying to get the truth exposed, they are trying to keep it under wraps. Their generic category hides so much information while letting false teaching get to the public. They are not doing anyone a great service.

We could say that they were doing a lot of self-serving work but we cannot read their minds. Their real reasons are their own. But one thing is for sure, they are not working with God to get the right information to the people. Believers need to work with the Spirit of Truth if they want the right information and to have the truth.

 

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2018 in academics, archaeology, astronomy, Bible, church, education, faith, Genetics, history, leadership, science

 

James McGrath & Inerrancy

James McGrath is another professor we have talked with through his website over the years, until we were banned. We do not see eye to eye on many things, including inerrancy. We are using his meme article as it is short and says the points we like to address. Unfortunately, we cannot copy memes, but will do our best to manually quote them

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2018/06/inerrancy-redux.html

But first a look at his opening statements.

#1. As I emphasized in recent posts, the reason that I abandoned biblical inerrantism is that it is not merely unbiblical, but anti-biblical

What authority makes this claim? if you follow the link in the quoted words, you have to go to his article to do that, you will see that his conclusion is not based on any religious authority, it is not based on God’s words, but merely of his misunderstanding of the bible and the way it was written. His reason is as follows:

The contradictions, discrepancies, and difficulties are there within the Bible, because human beings have put these texts with their differences into the collection we call the Bible.

He cannot prove those claims and most contradictions are not contradictions. The same goes for discrepancies. Rational and logical research has borne that out.

#2. It silences all but at most one of the diverse voices within the Bible, and denies or explains away rather than accepts the evidence that the Bible itself provides for its own human fallibility

Actually, it silences false teachers, false prophets and those who reject the truth.  There is no evidence showing any hint of human fallibility. These are mere accusations to allow someone to pursue and believe their own personal subjective ideas about Christ, God and Christianity. By removing the label of inerrancy, people get to import their personal preferences into the faith and the Bible.

#3. Bible inerrancy has no real impact on making the Bible clearer or making those who read it correct, but rather the only effect of Biblical inerrancy is to make its adherents more dogmatic

Dr. McGrath is in error here as we see that his argument is not really against inerrancy but the truth. He does not like what the Bible says so he needs a way to change it. Instead of providing real evidence, from alternative divinely inspired material, he goes after the softer and easier target. Inerrancy does make the Bible clearer for we see that God created as he said he did and we learn in Genesis 2 that God provides different details about his creative act. If the Bible was not inerrant, then any opinion, theory and conjecture would be clouding the issue.

Confusion is not of God but that is what Dr. McGrath is promoting with these words and his stance on biblical inerrancy. He takes away the answers God gives us and opens the questions up to a multitude of ideas that would overwhelm anyone who didn’t know any better.

#3. Inerrancy is about the desire to have one’s own views regarded as inerrant

There is more to that quote but this is the main point. It is a wild accusation because Dr. McGrath cannot verify this and he cannot state that those people he claims to be presenting their own views are actually presenting their own views over the truth. The above statement also flies in the face of Jesus’ words– ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Inerrancy helps us see the truth and know it. Any other status for the Bible does not do that. Those alternatives merely hide the truth from its readers.

and the failure to humbly recognize one’s own human proneness to err… shows that this doctrine is not merely wrong but a direct frontal assault about the Bible’s teaching about God…

What makes that quoted statement wrong is the fact that Dr. McGrath thinks that anyone who disagrees with him is wrong. Changing to the truth actually does show that people recognize humbly that they made an err and now change to what God is saying in the biblical text. Inerrancy helps correct those erroneous views. His words also show that he and others like him are the ones doing the frontal assault on biblical teaching about God. They are changing the Bible and who God is, not those who declare it inerrant.

We are not going to quote more from that article because the issue of inerrancy has ramifications that Dr. McGrath does not like to think about. if the Bible is not inerrant and filled with human thinking, then we have no assurances of salvation or eternity. It is impossible for anti-inerrantists to pinpoint exactly which scripture passage is inerrant and of God and which one is from a human point of view.

Under their thinking, we cannot know God or Jesus and we can never find the truth even though Jesus said we could. In that article, that we quoted from, there were many links to other articles. We took the time to read through some of them and what we found was that Dr. McGrath and others he quotes, do not use one biblical argument to support their view.

It is all their personal opinion and the faulty use of passages that bring them to their conclusions. It is not God leading them to the truth because Dr.McGrath and others like him have never found any alternative divinely inspired scriptures to replace the passages they claim are in error and of human origin. We have made that point before but it is an important point.

Without those verified alternatives, and by verified we mean approved of by the ancient church, written by apostles, etc., they have no foundation for their arguments. Those alternatives have to meet the ancient criteria and not modern ones.

If their arguments are correct, then we must ask, where are the replacement scriptures to guide the church and believers today? Who gets to decide which  scriptures are out and which new ones are in? Obviously, we cannot appeal to the apostles because they have been gone for some time now. We should note that when the apostles caste lots for replacement disciples, they did not impose their personal views or preferences at all. They left the selection up to God. We do not know of one Bible scholar willing to do that today.

The argument against anti-inerrantists is not long. We just point to the passage that says God is not the author of confusion. Anti-inerrantists introduce confusion not bring the truth to light. Who are the anti-inerrantists that they think they know better about the Bible than God does? They do not have any smoking guns, they do not have any historical verification for their words and they do not have textual confirmation for their claims. If you get a chance to compare the ancient manuscripts, you will see that they all basically say the same thing.

Dr. Bart Ehrman and others may claim that there are over 400,000 errors found in the NT alone. According to Dr. Daniel Wallace that is more than the number of words in the NT .Also, according to Dr. Wallace over 99% of those errors do not change a doctrine, an instruction, a command and so on. In other words, anti-inerrantists have nothing to stand on except the fact that they cannot humbly accept God’s word and feel the need to change it according to their personal preferences.

The Bible is inerrant and that should scare a lot of people.

 

Peter Enns & Creation

We do run out of topics to write about. News stories are not varied enough to continually use as sources for biblical points. In our early blogging days we used to go to supposed Bible scholars as our source. But if you have read those people, you would see that writing about their points is difficult. That is because they go on and on and on and on and on… you get the point. James Tabor is notorious with that skill.

But in spite of that we have decided to use Bible scholars as sources again. We will just be more selective in the articles we address.Our problem is that there are an overwhelming amount of material we can choose from. To get away from the abuse issue for a bit, we decided to address Peter Enns and his view on creation:

11 Recurring Mistakes Evangelicals Make in the Evolution Debate

You can read about it at the following link:

https://peteenns.com/11-recurring-mistake-evangelicals-make-evolution-debate/

If we can we will only take about 1 point from each of those 11. The topic of evolution is another subect that will not go away. The reasons for that are for another post.

#1. It’s all about the authority of the Bible

The Bible is not just “there.” It has to be interpreted.

He is wrong. Why? because there is no biblical instruction or command to interpret the Bible. That idea is sinful and leads people away from the truth. There is not one verse in the Bible where God tells Moses or any of his biblical authors his words, then turns around and says, now have my people interpret what I said. The list of reasons for why that point is wrong is long and detailed. Suffice it to say that if God’s word is to be interpreted, then how could God judge disobedient people?

We see example after example of people, start with Eve, who ‘interpreted’ God’s instructions, did sinful acts and then got punished for them. If God’s words were meant to be interpreted they could not be punished. Also, there is also no command or instruction given by either God or Jesus to use the secular world and secular science as a light on God’s word. The reverse is true but the church cannot be the light unto a dark world if it let’s darkness influence its vision.

No legal system could function if interpretation was to be the guiding teaching.

#2. You’re giving science more authority than the Bible.-

To say that science gives us a more accurate understanding of human origins than the Bible is not putting science “over” the Bible—unless we assume that the Bible is prepared to give us scientific information.

Again Mr. Enns demonstrates his error filled thinking.  He also demonstrates his lack in understanding God and the Bible. Science cannot give us a more accurate understanding of human origins because human origins was not done in a scientific way. It was done in a way that God demonstrated his power over everything in this world. His creative act gives us confidence that God is stronger than anything life throws our way, even when unbelieving Bible scholars try to usurp the biblical record.

The Bible doesn’t have to give us scientific information about human origins. It only has to record the truth and what God actually did. It has to give us biblical facts and the truth.  Science had nothing to do with creation. Creation was a one-time supernatural act done by a supernatural God who has more power than any human can image. The Bible tells us the truth about God and our origins.

#3. But the church has never questioned the historicity of Adam-

Knowing what the history of the church has thought about Adam is not an argument for Adam’s historicity, as some seem to think/, since the history of the church did not have evolution or any scientific discoveries to deal with until recently.

We put a / in that quote to divide what we are talking about. Before that line Mr. Enns errs. It is an argument for Adam’s historicity. If Adam was not historical, the biblical authors would have corrected the error and if they didn’t, Jesus would have during his time here on earth. Since neither have done so and there are no credible manuscripts recording that they did, the fact that the church throughout history has accepted Adam’s historicity is an argument for it and that tradition has been substantiated by the evidence.

People like Marcion and Thomas Jefferson have tried to cut Adam out of the Bible, you know where their thoughts lie in history and in the church.

After the /, Mr. Enns demonstrates his lack of knowledge of history. It is well recorded that the first recorded discovery we have of evolution being discussed was found in the 6th century BC in China. The book After the Flood by Bill Cooper has that remark recorded. Then Solomon’s words that there is nothing new under the sun does not exclude evolution.

The idea that something came from nothing has been around for a very long time. A lot longer than Mr. Enns envisions. Mr. Enns also forgets that supposed scientific discoveries were made by unbelievers. These are people who do not have the spirit of truth guiding them to the truth. Their supposed discoveries come with the help of evil, who deceives and lies to people. Those supposed scientific discoveries should not be accepted by the believing world.

#4. Both Paul and the writer of Genesis thought Adam was a real person, the first man. Denying the historicity of Adam means you think you know better than the biblical writers-

All biblical writers were limited by their culture and time in how they viewed the physical world around them.

This is a lie. One that Mr. Enns has repeated on a number of occasions. So have other supposed bible scholars, scientists and evolutionists. Like Hitler said, if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it as true… (paraphrased a bit).  That is what Mr. Enns and others are doing. They lie about the biblical writers, deny their supernatural help and make claims about them that they cannot verify. Peter told us that early biblical prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit when they wrote so why would God leave that out of the equation when his authors wrote his words?

Where does Mr. Enns get this tidbit about biblical authors? It certain wasn’t from the Bible nor was it from Jesus. In fact, in John 5 Jesus validates Moses’ words when he said, how can you believe my words when you do not believe Moses’ words? So if it isn’t from the Bible and it isn’t from Jesus or his disciples, where is the origin of this so-called fact about biblical authors?

It comes from evil. Why? So that people’s faith can be destroyed. The biblical authors had divine help and knowledge and what they recorded was the truth. Secular science does not even attempt to find the truth so their ideas need to be ignored.

#5. Genesis as whole, including the Adam story, is a historical narrative and therefore demands to be taken as an historical account-

It is a common, but nevertheless erroneous, assumption that Genesis, as a “historical narrative,” narrates history

We forget the name of the archaeologist or historian who once said- if the OT is not true, then Israel becomes the only nation incapable of writing its own history. The idea that the people of Israel cannot write their own history and need the help from outsiders is preposterous. It is ridiculous as well. How can people working with limited amounts of sources, evidence, and 2 to 5,000 years away from the events be more correct than the people who lived the history?

No it is erroneous to think that Genesis is not history. One glaring fact that undermines Mr. Enns’ point is, where is the true history of Israel if the OT is not true? We do not get any credible, or divinely inspired alternative history from anyone including believing archaeologists, bible scholars and historians. There is none. Genesis is actual history

#6. Evolution is a different “religion” (i.e., “naturalism” or “Darwinism”) and therefore hostile to Christianity.

Christian evolutionists do not see their work in evolutionary science as spiritual adultery.

Of course they don’t. They are deceived people who have ceased or failed to believe God. 1 Cor. 13 tells us that love believes all things. You can’t claim to love God when you do not believe him when you disagree with parts of the Bible.

We also disagree with calling evolution a religion. It is merely false teaching, a lie, heretical and those who opt for it over God’s words in Genesis are sinning.

#7. Since Adam is necessary for the Christian faith, we know evolution can’t be true-

Evolution causes theological problems for Christianity.

No it doesn’t. For years we have asked the question, Where in the Bible do both God and Jesus teach that we are to take science over their words?’  So far we have not received one answer. That is because they don’t. Both God and Jesus tell us to believe them and believing Genesis, the creation account as stated in that book and other biblical books is part of believing and loving them.

When you start believing evolutionists, Christian theistic evolutionists, Progressive Creationists and others who tell a variation of the creation story, you have stopped believing God on that issue.

#8. Science is changing, therefore it’s all up for grabs-

Science is a self-critical entity, and so it should not surprise us to see developments, even paradigm shifts, in the near and distant future.

The Bible does not teach that the truth changes. Being self-critical does not mean that science has a hold on the truth or that it is even bringing the truth to the people. In fact, science and its supporter publicly state that science is not about answers or the truth. It is about the best explanation. But neither God nor Jesus said to go for the best explanation. Again, John 5 tells us that we are to follow the spirit of truth to the truth.

Science does not hold the truth and refuses to accept it.

#9. There are scientists who question evolution, and this establishes the credibility of the biblical view of human origins-

However, the presence of minority voices in and of itself does not constitute a counterargument to evolution.

Yes it does. The majority is not always right. Remember the Bible tells us that people are like sheep. This means that we cannot trust the majority view to be the truth because many people will follow lies. This is underscored by the verse, men love darkness rather than light and other similar verses which tell us the evil men will get worse and so on.

You should have noticed by now that Mr. Enns does not use one scriptural passage to support his views. That failure is important and lets believers know that the arguments against the Bible are not true, from evil and have nothing to do with God. Neither does the teacher, speaker or the writer. Mr. Enns may claim to be a Christian, love the Bible, Jesus and so on but his words demonstrate otherwise.

#10.Evidence for and against evolution is open to all and can be assessed by anyone-

Since evolutionary theory is the product of scientific investigation, it follows that those best suited to evaluate the scientific data and arguments are those trained in the relevant sciences—or better those who are practicing scientists and therefore are keeping up with developments.

Again the answer to this is a solid ‘no’. It ignores the fact that there are false teachers in the world and the fact that science, any variety of it, is permeated with false teachers. The best people to assess scientific thinking is not fellow scientists but those who know the truth and can spot false teaching.  Being scientific is not criteria for knowing the truth. This applies to any field of study.

#11. Believing in evolution means giving up your evangelical identity-

Many arguments I have heard against evolution come down to this: my evangelical ecclesiastical group has never accepted it, and so, to remain in this group, I am bound to reject it too.

Since we do not care about ‘evangelical identity’ we are sure you would not be giving that up if you decide to believe the evolutionary false teaching. YOUR CHRISTIAN identity is another matter. The word Christian is defined as Çhrist-like’. Jesus never claimed that Moses and the first 2 chapters of Genesis were wrong. To be Christ-like, then means you follow suit and reject false teaching and accept the book of Genesis like Jesus did.

As we stated earlier, to love God means you believe all  things. Those ‘all things’ include the first 2 chapters of  Genesis, the flood account and more.

False teaching comes in many varieties. They are not found just in secular academic institutions. They can be the nicest of people, claim to be Christian, go to church and Sunday School. The Christian has to be discerning, not desperate. The Christian has to go for the truth and let the spirit of truth guide them to it. The spirit of truth will not lead anyone to disagree with God’s word.

 
 

When Unbelievers Claim There is no Evidence

It happens a lot. One of the more popular targets is the biblical account of Noah’s Flood. Atheists and unbelievers claim there is no evidence for the deluge recorded in Genesis. They are lying of course, because even secular explorers have found evidence for the flood and have recorded it. The problem is, those explorers credit the discovery to some other issue catastrophe.

For an example, we are going to use wikipedia because the information is common

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_Provincial_Park

The park is situated in the valley of the Red Deer River, which is noted for its striking badland topography. The park is well known for being one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world. Fifty-eight dinosaur species have been discovered at the park and more than 500 specimens have been removed and exhibited in museums around the globe. The renowned fossil assemblage of nearly 500 species of life, from microscopic fern spores to large carnivorous dinosaurs, justified its becoming a World Heritage Site in 1979.

What Wikipedia and other websites fail to mention is that the majority of these dinosaurs were found fleeing something. They laid where they were overcome. The secular world would have you believe that a comet or some other catastrophe wiped out the dinosaur population but those theories do not make sense when you see how the bones lay and their global presence.

But there is documented evidence for Noah’s flood

http://dakotascba.com/Evidence-for-Noah%27s-Flood.php

That webpage only documents a few of them. But we are getting a little far afield here. You may find, as we have, that many unbelievers, including atheists, have claimed that there is no evidence for certain biblical events. But they would have a hard time proving that Mardi Gras takes place in New Orleans in one year, let alone prove that it was a yearly event. Especially when they only have a minute amount of artifacts, literature and other pieces of evidence to draw their conclusions from.

It is also difficult for believers to prove that the Amalekites were a real people. But they were and God placed a judgment on them

Scripture records the long-lasting feud between the Amalekites and the Israelites and God’s direction to wipe the Amalekites off the face of the earth (Exodus 17:8–13; 1 Samuel 15:2; Deuteronomy 25:17).(https://www.gotquestions.org/Amalekites.html)

When God destroys something, it is pretty difficult to find any evidence of their existence. It is not impossible as God left evidence of the pre-flood world. Right now, we are siding with the theory that the Hyksos were the Amalekites. We can’t prove it because both peoples have no evidence for their existence. Just the similar  historical record and the coincidence of lining up with God’s judgment.

Then  there are other reasons why we cannot find physical evidence. One such reason is the misguided idea that certain evidence must be found in a certain manner. When Sir. Woolley said he discovered the remains of Noah’s Flood, he was rebuked by his peers and the archaeological establishment at that time because the evidence was not uniform.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it,there has only been one global flood. No one except God would know what the physical evidence should look like for a global flood.

That misguided assumption is just one reason why we cannot locate all the physical evidence unbelievers demand to see before they believe. But,sadly, even if believers did come up with evidence for biblical events, and they have i.e. Sodom and Gomorrah, those pieces of physical evidence are often rejected, even by those claiming to be Christians.

One lesson that needs to be learned here is that believers do not dig to appease or convince unbelievers. Nor do they dig at the command of those same sinners. You can discover the ark itself and prove beyond a shadow of doubt that it is THE ark and most unbelievers will find some excuse to dismiss it as a fake. If we dig, it should be for the right biblical reasons.

Remember we are under the command to have faith not search for physical evidence. Of course, believers should be participating in archaeology and cover the same ground as unbelieving archaeologists if nothing else but to keep the latter honest. The former should be producing the truth not more theories or conjectures, assumptions etc. about the past. Sometimes we are hard on Christian archaeologists but that is because they follow secular rules and do not follow God’s instructions in their work.

Other reasons that allow unbelievers to claim that there is no evidence for the bible comes in the form of natural disasters, construction, wars and more. We get a news letter on archaeology which has a story on one construction project that may wipe out a lot of our historical past

http://patternsofevidence.com/blog/2018/05/11/desert-dams-threaten-digs-near-bible-lands/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Thinker113Dams&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=Thinker113Dams&inf_contact_key=167187a95d9f771c23693f68606ca67f66947d284bf877531a226733c77097e6

Desert, Dams Threaten Digs Near Bible Lands by Dave Aeilts | May 11, 2018

For years, archaeology has focused big money and time uncovering and unraveling the mysteries of Egypt. Because of the Exodus, those interested in the Lands of the Bible have closely followed what is unearthed in the land of the pharaohs. Would it surprise you to learn that some of Egypt’s pharaohs came from an ancient land known as Nubia (the Land of Cush or Kush) whose boundaries straddled today’s Egyptian-Sudanese border.

Researchers are now racing to excavate Nubian ruins at sites scheduled to be inundated by water when Sudan constructs three dams planned for the upper Nile River. If rising lakes behind the dams do not bury these ruins, howling desert sandstorms and the urban creep of a population hungry for a better lifestyle may destroy these antiquities.

It is a very good article on why physical evidence for our past has disappeared over time. Construction projects wipe out a lot of our history. You may recall how some homeowners in Israel have dug underneath their homes and found ancient buildings etc. Archaeology is limited and one of its limitations is that archaeologists cannot dig everywhere. That is not an argument to employ more archaeologists but stating the reality that homes, office buildings etc., cannot be moved to please the unbeliever and their demand for more physical evidence.

As K A Kitchen has pointed out in his book The Bible In Its World, archaeologists are lucky to excavate up to 5% of any given site, including Megiddo (one of the few continuous excavations that is still ongoing). Not only is construction a nemesis of archaeology but erosion and other natural events fall into that category as well. Earthquakes destroy a lot of the archaeological record. So do landslides, tornadoes, tidal waves and more.

Wars take their toll as well as invading forces ruin or destroy archaeological sites. The most recent groups are the Taliban and ISIS. The latter of course has been accused of looting to raise needed money.

What does all of this mean for the believer? While physical evidence does help our argument, it is not essential. When an unbeliever demands physical evidence to prove a biblical event or our words, we merely point out to them that God placed everyone under the requirement of faith. We will have physical evidence to help our arguments BUT we will not have so much that our faith is destroyed.

Faith is always going to be part of the equation. That is our response to unbelievers who make demands for physical evidence. To find salvation, they need to follow God’s rules. One of those rules is that we come to Jesus by faith. We accept Genesis by faith, we accept the whole Bible by faith, so must the unbeliever if they want to see God and enter his kingdom.

The Bible tells us that it is by grace through faith that we are saved. We are not saved through physical evidence though it will help unbelievers take that step of faith required for salvation. Some physical evidence will also shore up our faith. In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, we have that evidence. it is not the northern location championed by some one we know and have opposed for years.

It is not where Ron Wyatt claimed either. it is found in a region that has been uninhabitable for millennia

https://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a007.html

http://www.icr.org/article/have-sodom-gomorrah-been-discovered/

It is funny to us, not ha ha, that the very reason Dr. Stephen Collins and some of his associates dismiss the southern location is the very reason that proves the location. They have told us directly in discussions years ago, that the land surrounding Bab edh-Dhra and Numeira was so bad why would anyone live there? Their question stems from their faulty perception of the territory. They were not looking at the land as the Sodomites and Gomorrahians, plus Lot and Abraham, saw it. They were looking at the territory after God had destroyed it and came to their faulty conclusions.

As believers, if we are going to use archaeology in our evangelistic efforts, we must be looking at the physical evidence from the correct perception point. We must be honest and not force the evidence to fit our beliefs. There is plenty of evidence to prove the Christian faith and the Bible true without altering any of it or forcing it to fit our perspective.

When unbelievers ask why we reject one archaeologist’s conclusion over another, we must be ready to give an answer. That answer must be the truth. Why do we reject Dr. Collins’ identification as Tall el-Hamman as Sodom, when so many biblical scholars and archaeologists accept it? Because he manipulates the evidence to fit his views and he manipulates the biblical passages for the same reason. He ignores real evidence that demonstrates he is wrong, for whatever reason he may have.

You see using physical evidence is not going to be a sure thing when trying to convert someone to the Christian faith. It is not always enough to keep Christians from making archaeological mistakes. When unbelievers ask us for physical evidence, you can always respond by stating how Christ changed you. That is physical evidence as well and it is real, in the present and happening to a live person. It is not something that came from thousands of years ago.

 
 
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