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Why We Study History 5

This is more for the believer than anyone else. This will be our final segment in this series as well. The study of history and archaeology is full of lessons that help the faith of those who believe the Bible and in God. By using the term God here, we are not excluding Jesus. It is just easier to use 1 name than 3.

What do we learn?

There are many lessons that can be learned thorugh the stuy of archaeology and following the Holy Spirit to the truth. You must remember that secular science is not looking for answers or the truth. They are, as has been told to us by many secular scientists, looking for th best explanation. But God is not about the best explanation. he is about his followers learning the truth for he is truth.

  1. God made all humans intelligent– We learn through the study of H & A that God did not make two types of humans. Early man who was sans any cognitive functions and modern man who was mysteriously endowed with intelligence. As we study the ancient remains we find that the ancient humans were probably more intelligent than modern ones. But that conclusion depends upon the lack of distractions ancient man had in comparison to the modern man.
  2. Ancient man knew what they were doing– By this we mean that in spite of what secular historians and archaeologists tell us, early man was not as primitive nor traumatized by the invention of fire or the wheel. They were also not knuckle-dragging cave man. While some ancient people may have lived in caves, or underground, they knew how to build, to educate, to make different metals, play music and much more.
  3. Chronology is not as the secular archaeologist, etc., claim– Most secular historical researchers say that the oldest discovered is the first item and everything else is a copy. This includes the biblical record. As we study the past, we find that the oldest discovered may not be the original. For example, the story of the flood.The Gilgamesh Epic may pre-date the compilation of the Bible but it does not pre-date Noah.
  4. The Israelites did not copy– We find that the accusation that the Israelites copied from the Babylonians is untrue. We find that the Israelites did not hold that reputation anywhere in the ancient world. The people who did have that reputation were the ancient old Babylonians.
  5. We learn that the Bible is an original work– Again the accusations that the OT is made up of stories copied from other peoples, e.g. Babylonians, but the reasoning behind these accusations do not make sense. With flood stories found all over the ancient world (from South America to Asia to Europe, etc.) there is no foundation for the copying accusation levied against the Bible. How would the Mayans copy from the Babylonians or some other Semitic group? Why would they need to? The accusations just do not add up nor do the reasons for accusing the biblical writers of plagiarism.

We get answers

Another good reason why we study H & A is that we get the answers to our questions. Secular science cannot find the source for writing, language, the different peoples and much more. But a close study of H, A & the Bible we get those answers. Language came from God, the original and the multitude of laguages. Writing most likely was taught to Adam and Eve by God or since he gave them intelligence, they figured out how to write long before the modern experts think writing began.

We also see that the idea that there are 4 to 5 different races in the world is a false idea.The differences in people come from genetics and the genetic information each group was given by God when he separated the people.There is only one human race. Scientists have discovered some amazing features about the genetic code and information locked up in our DNA. Genetics, not evolution, is the source of the differences. This explains why black people often have albino children. It is genetics not evolutionary progress.

Genetics is also exposing how the corruption that entered the world at Adam’s sin affects humans and all life. Mutations are not evolutionary progress but the chemical reaction of imperfect genes interacting with other imperfect genes.The results are not perfection or movng to perfection but addingto the imperfections already permeating this world. Genetics also helps us see how we contract different diseases but going further would distract from the current topic.

We get information we need

History is full of useful information. They have experienced the very same struggles as modern people do. As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun. People may argue that the ancient world did not have to deal with computers. But an excavation of an ancient sunken Greek ship proved that idea to be erroneous. Or the ancient parents did not have to deal with obsessive behavior over games. Well, there were ancient games that have been uncovered so we are sure the ancient parents had those issues to deal with as well.

How about drugs? We know that the ancient people had cocaine and other drugs available to them. So drug problems were a part of ancient life. We also learn that medical prescriptions, medicines, good dentistry were not new inventions. Some scholars like to say that the ancients had witch doctors and believed in superstition and did not practice proper medical procedures, etc.

To  counter that thinking, we only need to point out that the modern world is full of people and societies that believe in voodoo for medical help, witch doctors, and use their form of faith healing over proper medical care. Does their existence mean the modern world is void of proper doctors, medical practices and dentistry? No and a good study on ancient medicine, which we have done, will prove that the ancient world had quality doctors, dentists and medicines.

We learn how to do apologetics

In studying H & A, we find that many of the modern religions have their foundations in the ancient world. the Jehovah’s Witnesses are but one example. They are merey the modern revival of Arianism.With this knnowledge we can go to ancient Christian authors to see how they refuted the members of false religions. We can use their knowledge or be inspired by it.

We also learn that almost every religion that is untrue is uses the Bible as their main foundation.Even ancient religions like Mithraism who scholars have said was the foundation for the NT authors.  But there is several things wrong with those claims. First, Mithraism is one of the many secret religions of the world, much like the Freemasons. No one knows what the group truly believed as their original writings are lost. Their members also keep those beliefs secret.

Second, these mystery religions also are free to edit their works. They do not have a God who forbids such work. It is not beyond human comprehension to conclude that those secret religions saw the popularity of the Christian faith and edited their holy writings.

Third, the extant religious works from these mystery religions all postdate the 1st century. Which again implies it was the mystery religions who copied from the bible not vice versa.Studying H & A helps us see that the Bible is the original work and everything else is a cheap copy.

Two false religions that have made it to the modern world that have explicitly used the Bible as their foundation is Islam and Mormonism. we can tie the rise of Islam to the prophecy given Hagar about Ishmael. It will take a lot of work to come up with more evidence though. But Mohommad did copy from the Bible when he supposedly wrote the Koran. There is an author named Spencer who has written extensively on this topic and his books are worth the read.

By studying H & A, we can see that just about every claim made by Joseph Smith is wrong. There is no evidence of any religion like Mormonism in the ancient world. None whatsoever. He was not restoring any religion, but using religion to con people. Archaeology has also shown the book of Mormon to be nothing but lies. There is a good video out called The Book of Mormon vs. the Bible and in it it details how there is not one shred of evidence for one thing Smith wrote in the book of Mormon.

Unlike the Bible, archaeology has proven Mormonism to be a false religion.

We see that the different dating systems are in error

Just a brief word on this. As we study H & A, we see that the dating systems used by secular archaeologists andother researchers are not accurate. They are very vulnerable to subjective thinking and plaqued with a lack of evidence to support the claims of different dates. Even the pottery dating system is error-filled.

Some final words

This final segment and the whole series on why we study history is but a drop in the bucket from what we can learn as believers when we study H & A. We have left out a lot of details in this series. There is just not enough time to cover everything when it comes to what can be gleaned by studying H & A. The believer has a wealth of information waiting for them to shore up their faith, to show them that they are not believing the wrong holy book and much more.

They will also get a better picture of God as well. Studying the Bible is fine and it needs to be done. But it cannot be done effectively without studying H & A. To be effective Christians and protect your faith, knowledge of both history & archaeology is a must. The knowledge received thorugh these studies helps a believer combat doubts about Jesus and the OT or the Bible in general. They will see that the demand for physical evidence by unbelievers is a distraction.

They will learn that faith is always a part of the equation because physical evidence does not exist for every account, jot and tittle recorded in the Bible. The Bible tells us that it is faith that pleases God not finding physical evidence. We are allowed to find the latter because it helps build up the former. But we also learn that we will not get so much physical evidence that faith is destroyed.

Faith is the victory not physical evidence.To have strong faith we also need to see that God and his word are true. Physical evidence helps obtain that knowledge.The study of H & A is not learning a bunch of old dates and unnecessary information. it is vital to our beliefs. We become better warriors for God because we have grown up and learned the lessons we need to learn to fight the spiritual battles that come our way.

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Why We Study History 4

In this article we will not get as academic as the previous one. We will use common knowledge  only to mke a point about why the location of Tall- El-Hamman is not the biblical Sodom. Long-term readers will know that we have dealt on this subject before. They will also know that we used to have conversations with the lead archaeologist about this site and Sodom on the now defunk Biblical Archaeology Society’s forum.

We also have had many discussions with that archaeologist’s then assistants. So we are not talking behind their back. They are all welcome to post a rebutable here if they so choose. Dr. Stephen Collins is the lead archaeologist on the Tall El-Hamman site and has for the past 11-12 years publicly stated that the sight is Sodom. He bases his identification on several passages of scripture but one of the main ones is quoted below:

10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ge 13:10–13). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

We do not want to get mired down in a debate over the Hebrew word ‘kikkar’, suffice it to say that Dr. Collins limits the application of that term to fit his theory. What we are going to  focus on first, are the words in bold. ‘Lot journeyed east’. Other translations say ‘and set out towards the east'(NIV). Why is there is attention given to these few word. Simply because they say a lot more than what Dr. Collins admits to. Dr. Collins has said that these words mean that Lot did not stray from his easterly travels but if you look at them you will know that is not so.

Again you ask why? Because the terms ‘journey’ & ‘set out towards’ do not limit Lot’s actions to only a direct easterly route. He is allowed options in his travels as he heads towards the east. Of course, the size of the Jordan valley plays a role in his decision. The valley covers a lot more territory than what Dr. Collins grants it. But to undertand why the Bible says Lot settled near Sodom, we need to study turn to history and study the historical cattle drives that took place in the early American West.

Lot was a rancher. He had livestock to care for and if you study history and the cattle drives you will know that ranchers are not in the business of losing their cattle or sheep or horses. They do not just come to a spot in a river and cross it no matterhow fast and treacherous the river is.That would not be an intelligent decision. History tells us that the cattle barons had their men find safe passage across the river before letting them take the animals over to the other side. This could mean that the cowboys would have to lead the herd miles north or miles south before they found a suitable crossing.

In the case of Lot, we see he headed south as he finally pitched his tents near Sodom. All historical maps and records place Sodom to the southern end of the Dead Sea, not in the north near Jerusalem. History also tells us this because many of the Arabic names for locations are put exactly at or near the historical site. There is a mountain called Sodom near the southern location for that city. It is not near Tall el-Hamman.

Getting back to the Jordan River, we know little about how slow or fast the river flowed in Abraham’s time but estimates put the river as a lot deeper, rougher than today. Part of the reason for this is that there were fewer States and people using the Jordan as their source of drinking water then as compared to now. So while Lot journeyed east, he most likely had to change course to find a safe crossing point for his livestock and family.

Since the Bible says he went towards Sodom, then we know he went south and did not stay on a direct easterly path.History again helps us with biblical passages that do not seem to present clear information on locations of cities.They do, we just have to know where to look to get the right information. Can you imagine how thick the Bible would be if God had written every passage giving us every minute detail about the travels of biblical figures? It would be so thick,no one would pick it up or take the time to read it.

With a little historical study we can see that God provided us with all the information we need to get the right locations or facts. The biblical characters knew the same information as the old westand modernn cattle barons. Historical studies show us that the ancient people knew what we know. They were not void of common sense, information on how to ranch or conduct a business.

.We get a better picture of the people of the past when we study history correctly.We can also see where people like Dr. Collins are wrong and why they are making the mistakes they are making. He may be a Christian archaeologist but Christians error too. This information enables us to avoid erroneous identifications and other theories about the Bible.

 

Why We Study History 3

We have mentioned the fact that when we study history and archaeology, we understand the bible a lot better. We also get the correct information to refute the unbelievers’ arguments. We are probably going to get a little detailed here but it is important. We are going to start with the example of the camel because it plays an important role in the biblical record. It has been mentioned around 30 times in the Old Testament alone (Kennedy, 2004), but the problem is that the archaeological record states that the domestication of camels did not take place until roughly the 9th century BC.

One of the first mistakes archaeologists, biblical scholars and others make is assuming that archaeology looking at partial evidence knows more than the God who wrote the Bible and who saw everything.The second mistake these people make is to assume that archaeology gets the facts correct.As you read Kennedy’s article, you will see how some archaeologists take the word of archaeology over that of the Bible. Just because archaeology says that the camel was not domesticated until the 9th century BC, they conclude that the Bible is the one in error. This is done even though they, and everybody connected to archaeology, have learned that archaeology is a very limited research field.

But there are historical records that will show how these archaeologists are in error. In this case, the information doe snot  come from historical religious writings but from a book about the top 25 Indian wars in America. The passage reads

Old Camp verde, located just two miles north  of Bandera Pass,on Camp Verde Creek, was the only camel post to be established in the United States. (Fisher, 1960)

We will conclude that the author of those words knew the difference between a camel and a horse; between a camel and every other animal on earth. America is not known for being the right climate for camels even though it has some fairly arid deserts. We will also conclude that the author of those words is intelligent and knows what he is talking about. If archaeologists read this record and start excavating they may end up concluding that the historical author may have lied or be guilty of being anachronistic.

Why? One, for the above reasons we just gave and two, they may have dug in the wrong spot and found nothing. A third reason would be that the camel bones did not fossilize or be spared from the wild animals that like to chew on bones or some other destructive force. The archaeological record in these cases would not support the historical record and knowing archaeologists as we do, they would obviously say that the historical record is in error. The historian side of the issue would say the reverse.

A second example comes from our time in Korea. Many people who have lived in that country probably have written, as we have done, about the camel ride in one of the amusement parks that dot the Korean landscape. Now again, everyone knows that the Korean environment is not conducive to raising camels or domesticating them. Yet these camel ride does exist and the last time we were there, it was the only camel in the country.

But if archaeologists go and dig for remains of the camel to prove the written record, they may not find the physical evidence they need.If they excavate say in Daegu they would be out of luck as the camel ride is only in the outskirts of the Seoul metropolitan region. The place is called Everland but even if they dig in the right area, they may not be able to find any bones of the camel or camels used. This is because the bodies of the camels were removed to a separate burial site. They are not buried on the property or they may have been cremated due to the lack of space in Korea.

What these to examples show is that the archaeological record is going to be the record that is in error. Not the biblical record. Yes, there may have been remains of camel domestication in the 9th century BC but that does not mean that camels were not domesticated and used by Abraham and others in the 19th to 23rd centuries BC. It is also possible that the camel domestication industry did not start prior to the 9th century as the demand was not there in earlier times BUT that does not mean that the people who used camels did not import camels or purchased their livestock from someone who had a camel importing business. For all we know Abraham and Lot brought their camels from Ur.

People needed to work in ancient times just like they do today and they may have tried their hand at selling imported camels.It is a possibility. In spite of what archaeologists claim, the ancient people had to work, some had their own businesses and so on.

How does this relate to the biblical record? As you can see, it is not the Bible that is in error here. What is in error is not only the archaeological record because it has not dug in the right places; but also the archaeologists who use the archaeological record to bolster their unbelief and opposition to the Bible. The use the weakness of archaeology for their benefit and are not being honest about what the archaeological record maintains. The archaeological record cannot be used as an infallible guide to the ast.

It misses or ignores evidence, even factual historical records, to build its perspective of the past. History will give us facts we need, if we follow the Holy Spirit to the truth instead of stopping where the experts stop. History, with God’s help, brings us the truth that will set us free.

Works Cited:

The Date of Camel Domestication in the Ancient Near East by T.M Kennedy, 2014, Retrieved January 20, 2018 from http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2014/02/17/The-Date-of-Camel-Domestication-in-the-Ancient-Near-East.aspx

Great Western Indian Fights by Members of the Potomac Corral of the Westerners, 1960, pg. 42

 

When is a Lie a Lie?

We are sure you have heard all the accusations hurled at believers when discussing theological topics with unbelievers, especially atheists. They love to pull out the lie accusation as if they have caught the believer in a willful attempt to deceive. Before we go any further, we have to admit that there are those believers who do real lies. We are saddened by this fact and it needs to stop. Nothing is gained for God when a believer sins to meet their objective or hide their lack of education

But this situation aside, most of the accusations made by unbelievers are false. The believer is not purposefully telling an untruth. There are reasons for this as well. They are as follows:

  1. The believer doesn’t know– this is often the case given the level of historical and biblical illiteracy permeating the church today. But there is no shame in saying ‘I don’t know. ‘At least you were honest and represented yourself correctly. Instead of creating a stumbling block by making something up, you leave a door open in the unbeliever. If you do not know then you do not know. One key is you can always do some research and find the right answer. The honest is the best policy mentality is Christian and is supported by the Bible.
  2. The believer is misinformed- This is often the case when it comes to biblical knowledge. The pastors, youth ministers and other church leaders/teachers do not know or have been misinformed themselves. They pass on this erroneous information and set their congregations up to be embarrassed and the receiver of abuse or false accusations. This situation can be the product of two sources. Either the leadership has been misinformed or they just do not know and are giving the best answer they can. A third option is that they have never tried to know, which does take place.
  3. The believer is lied to– Believe it or not Christians (including church leadership) do lie to other believers. They also give bad or unbiblical advice. The passing on of faulty information is not lying, because the believer believes they hold the correct information and telling what they know. There is  no attempt to intentionally deceive here.
  4. The believer is never taught– This is often the case because too many churches focus on worship and evangelism only. While both are biblical and need to be done, they do not take priority over teaching the flock correctly. Jesus said “feed my sheep” not ignore the need for knowledge. The failure to teach the truth, to teach it correctly has been a problem in the church for generations. It is not a modern problem alone. We are not talking about intellectualism here but gaining knowledge and the truth. God wants his people to be knowledgeable and filled with the truth

We are not going to point fingers here. That would be too easy. But we are not perfect either. We are confident that everyone is aware of the problem and who is responsible. But it isn’t just a leadership problem. The Bible was written for every believer, not pastors, missionaries, youth leaders, and so on. When God says to study to be approved of him, he is not leaving the normal church member out of the edict. They are to study as well. They need to learn the truth, they need to be properly educated and they need to know how to answer the unbeliever (both their arguments and questions).

The common believer meets more unbelievers than pastors, etc., save maybe for missionaries. They need to be prepared to answer why they believe and that does not mean just quoting the 4 spiritual laws or Christian fad. Unbelievers have real questions which need real answers and real information. Good evangelists also need the right information. Billy Graham has often lamented his lack of training in theology.

When unbelievers accuse you of lying, it may simply be a way for them to hide from the truth or to try to get the believer to doubt their faith. It is a trick to get the believer to lose confidence in their church, pastor and God. To thwart this attack, a believer needs to study the right materials and follow the Holy Spirit to the truth. But even if a believer has the truth, it does not mean the unbeliever will stop accusing them of lying. It just means that the unbeliever has decided to adopt the lie over the truth.

The key for the believer is to find the truth, adopt it into their lives and stick to the truth no matter what the unbeliever does. It is only through the truth (and being honest using love) that the believer will succeed.

 

Why We Study History- 2

We get evidence to support the historical Jesus. We came across this in a study course we got for our electronic library. It is by Dr. Craig Evens, a bible scholar we like. Here is what he said and we will quote it verbatim so nothing is lost.

Introduction

The name of Jesus occurs in a variety of other texts. There may not be any narrative exactly, or teachings offered, or something like that, as we saw in the other sources that we have reviewed. But this is a very unique set of materials. These are incantations and charms, magical papyri, foils—tin foil, silver, gold foil, that are called lamellae—amulets, bowls, and even a recently discovered magician’s cup. I think you’ll find this fascinating.

Jesus in the Greek Magical Papyrus

Let’s begin with, I think, the most important one. It’s from the Greek Magical Papyrus section 4. It begins at line 3007. It goes all the way down to 3086. It begins this way: “I adjure you by the god of the Hebrews, Jesus.” What? That’s amazing. Jesus is called the god of the Hebrews? This is pagan. It’s not Jewish. What Jewish charm would ever refer to Jesus as the god of the Hebrews? It’s not Christian, either. Jesus is the Son of God. He’s the Savior. He’s the Christ, the Messiah. He’s not “the god of the Hebrews.” This is an interesting line.

I adjure you by the god of the Hebrews, Jesus … I adjure you by the seal that Solomon placed on the tongue of Jeremiah.… I adjure you, the one who receives this conjuration, not to eat pork, and every spirit and demon, whatever sort it may be, will be subject to you.… Keep yourself pure, for this charm is Hebraic and is preserved among pure men.

I’ve only read a few lines and snippets. This charm is attributed to one Pibicus, who was a famous magician in Egypt. Remember what I said earlier: Egypt was the capital of magic in Late Antiquity.
So, what we have here is a pagan charm that at its beginnings probably had some Jewish elements in it. Solomon had quite the reputation as an exorcist and authority. It has some Jewish tradition in it, and in the passage of time, the Jewish tradition is expanded and enriched. And at some point in time—we don’t know when, second century, perhaps, maybe a little later—even the name of Jesus is inserted, identified as the god of the Hebrews.
Why would a charm like this, a pagan charm, appeal to Jesus? Because he has the reputation of being a mighty healer and exorcist. A great power that even the demons fear.

Evans, C. A. (2014). NT313 Jesus and the Witness of the Outsiders. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

While we use faith to believe that Jesus was historical, a little evidence helps shore up that faith.

 

Why Study History?

As you may have realized by reading this site, we place a lot of history and archaeology information on these pages.One reason is that we love history and archaeology. They are fascinating subjects though not as fascinaing as genetics (which we also study) A second reason is that we can learn a lot from studying history.

Military officers study ancient and more recent battles to learn new techniques on how to condut warfare. Even the Indian wars of the American expansion has contributed to modern warfare. We came across the following quote from the book, Great Western Indian Fights by members of the Potomac Corral of the westerners. On page 24 it reads:

The primitive indian warrior made a contribution to the art of warfare. His swift, silent, harassing, small-scale operations were the forerunners of the commando raids in World War II. At least one description of western indian raiding tactics  was used in the training of American troops for action in the Pacific. General Douglas macArthur paid tribute to the indian as an efficient fighting man-  As a warrior, his fame is world-wide. Many successful methids of modern warfare  are based upon what he evolved centuries ago (Bold ours). Individually he exemplified what the line fighter could do by adaption to the particular countryside in which he fought.

The study of the past is not just for military leaders though. Modern farmers could benefit from studying ancient farming techniques to help them yield a better crop. We know of one example but the reference is lost for now. (That is due to the amount of reading and researching we do). But there was one civilization who elevated their crops and placed them in smaller sections, not too small. Their harvest yield was greater than if they had farmed using the traditional flat one large group method.

The second example is for believers and answers the question why should Christians study hstory. This example is already wel known as it involves Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. In studying archaeological discoveries we find that the wife giving her servant to her husband was a cultural act. It was not a biblically instructed method of having a child.

While the account is in the BIble, we learn that this act actually took place and that both Sarah and Abraham followed their current cultural norms. This does not mean that cultural norms are to be followed or are better than God’s ways.God allowed it to take place but he did not give permission for this chain of events.We have to be careful when reading ancient actions recorded in the Bible and not make the mistake that because it is mentioned, in the Bible, that we have permission to go and do likewise.

We must remember that God does not give permission to his followers to commit sin.

Why Should Christians Study History?

Besides the above two examples, there are plenty of reasons why believers need to study history and or archaeology. Here is a list of reasons why all believers should do some historical study:

  1. God wants us to study- he says so in I Timothy. He wants knowledgeable followers not ignorant ones
  2. We get to the truth- studying history and archaeology is but one way to get to some truth. It is not the only way and they do not hold all truth
  3. We learn that many cultic beliefs are not new but have ancient foundations
  4. We get information on how to refute cultic and other false religious beliefs
  5. We get respect from unbelievers- this is because we actually know something. One of the biggest complaints from atheists is that Christians do not know the Bible or their history
  6. We get information  to refute other unbelievers and their alternative theories
  7. We learn that the secular experts are not telling the truth
  8. We protect our faith- too many unwary and unprepared young believers lose their faith when they encounter those unbelieving professors who do not believe in God, accept that he exists, or believe the Bible
  9. We learn that the Bible is correct and that the secular experts, professors, etc., do not know more than God
  10. We learn how to follow the Holy Spirit to the truth (John 16:13)

These are only ten reasons why believers need to study history and archaeology, even as a hobby. You do not have to quit your job, etc., and go do a full-time advanced degree to learn these things from history and archaeology.

How Should Believers Study History & Archaeology

The how to is as important as the study. This is for the simple reason that believers can be sidetracked by evil and go off in the wrong direction. If this happens then they would be like the evolutionist looking for the truth by going down the wrong paths and looking in the wrong places for their answers. Here are some steps in how to study history and archaeology

  1. Ask God for help- you will not get to the truth by excluding the one who holds all truth
  2. Follow biblical instructions- Psalm 1 is one big key- do not follow the unbeliever or their counsel.Another is found in Ecc.- nothing is new under the sun.
  3. Read good books- we wrote on this recently. You will not find all the information you need in Chrstian books. You will have to read good secular works to get all the evidence and information you need. You will need God to help you not stray into adopting the secular theories or ideas.
  4. Remember that the bible contains actual history- there has never been a historical or archaeological discovery yet that proves the Bible wrong or disagrees with the Bible. What disagrees with the Bible is the archaeologists’theories, assumptions, leaps to conclusions, speculation and so on.
  5. Remember that God does not lie and the Bible is not wrong- the people who lie are those who do not believe in God or follow him
  6. Read the church fathers and other ancient writers- but again remember that they were human and may not have all the answers even though they lived earlier in history.
  7. Stick to the truth- never stary from it. Once you find th etruth, adopt it, keep it and adapt your life accordingly. Even in your discussions with unbelievers, do not stray from the truth
  8. Remember that the secular way is not God’s way- this includes the secular scientific method. Archaeologists want believers to be objective but that is impossible. Dr. WM. Dever said so in his book, Did God Have a Wife. God said it first in the Bible when he said you are either on his side or your not on his side. There is no grey middle ground. The secular scientific method only looks for the best explanation NOT the truth. There is a difference.
  9. Learn the different schools of thought and why they are wrong or right- Minimalist sometimes sound like the believe the Bible but they reject most of the OT.
  10. Learn the difference between credible archaeologists and bad ones- this includes bible scholars, historians and so on. Ron Wyatt was not a good archaeologist,There are many more of them out there. Be wary of S. jacobovici and a guy out there named Rude (he does a Rude Awkwning scheme).Just like every part of society there are frauds in history and archaeology who sound good but are way off the mark.

Why is it important to study correctly

We will give an example of why you cannot rely on Christian authors only. We continue to use this example even though we lost a 30 year friendship over critiquing this author. Erwin Luzter is a profilic Christian writer with many admirers and he wrote a book one time on Hitler and the Cross. We were just beginning our historical and archaeological studies, or a little ways into them, when we came across the book. Our first thought was, great now we will get the truth behind Hitler’s use of the Cross.

We were very disappointed. Mr. Lutzer did very poor research, did not discuss the issue correctly or deep enough and did not provide any real answers to the topic. He also provided no real information that could be used to help refute unbelievers when they used Hitler’s example in their arguments against Christianity. What we got was chapter after chapter of the gospel message. Yes he sacrificed the instructing believers for a continual repeat of what they already knew.

We threw the book away or gave it to someone else. It was useless for that topic. But this is not a rare event in Christian writing. Too often, and we know Christian archaeologists who do the same thing, the believer does poor research, ignores topics that need to be discussed, follow secular ways, use the gospel message far too often, and do not know what they are talking about. We tried to correct a couple of Christian archaeologists one time on their research but the response we got was not good.  You have to do good research and you have to know what you are talking about.

We can support our position here with a biblical example. While Jesus said to go out and preach the gospel, he did not say preach it to the believers all the time and keep them at square one. He did say ‘feed my sheep’, and Paul added to this by saying ‘grow up as a believer'(paraphrase). You cannot grow up and feed the sheep if you continually tell them the same gospel message over and over.

God said, as we stated earlier, to study and to study you need to do it right. Ken Ham and others state that you cannot divorce the gospel from the subject you are talking about. In feeding the sheep you are not divorcing the gospel if you do not mention it. You are building upon the gospel by giving the believer the food they need to grow up as a spiritual being. A choior leader does not keep having the choir sing ‘Jesus loves me’ and hope they will build musical talent. No he keeps giving them more music and more difficlut music so that they grow as a choir

The same goes for believers. You do not keep feeding them the gospel they have already accepted and expect them to be ready to be used of God. You need to feed them more information, more difficult information, teaching them how to use it so they will not lose their faith. Sticking only to the gospel only keeps believers vulnerable to evil. You have to know something. And that means going beyond square one and learning all that you can with God’s help.

God does not want child warriors. He needs soldiers who know something, know what they are talking about, so that they can be used more effectively to win souls for him.The enemy does not have child warriors. They study and they learn but what they study and learn is through deceived eyes and are led away from the truth.

This is why we lose so many young people to the secular world. they are not prepared to face what will come their way. Parents, church leaders, pastors, youth ministers fail their charges because they do not prepare themselves and other believers correctly. They do not give their people the right information or how to use it correctly.(we are being very general here).

Some Final Words

As we stated earlier, history and archaeology are but one way to study and get to a lot of truth. There are other subjects you can study and achieve a lot of the same results. The key is to make sure you are learning from God and not a demon disguised as an angel of light. Real, correct study is not easy and takes work. We understand that most believers do not have a lot of time. But that may be due to what was known as a problem in our undergraduate days- priorities.

How good a believer, how good a spiritual warrior we become depends upon our priorities. That is a decision only you can make for yourself. It is also a change that only you can make. We just put the informationout there so you can see that there is more to the Christian life than what some people think. Pleasing God is not about the number of souls who make a decision for Christ. It is about learning how to use faith correctly and obeying God. Studying is obeying God.

Growing as a believer is obeying God. Jesus said, ‘you will know the truth’, but he did not say it will always be handed to you on a silver platter. SOmetimes you have to study to find it. You may also have to wrestle with conflicting ideas before you get to it. But one thing is for sure, the truth is there waiting for you to get to it.

 

Just a Reminder

that we still have our information and resource site.

it was originally designed for pastors, teachers and missionaries but anyone can use the information to help their knowledge and faith grow

http://www.dakotascba.com/

 

 
 
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