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Category Archives: science

What is in a Date

We are not talking about the fruit. We are talking about a scientific dating system that enjoys producing unrealistic dates for human history

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/nov/07/worlds-oldest-figurative-painting-discovered-in-borneo-cave

A patchy, weathered painting of a beast daubed on the wall of a limestone cave in Borneo may be the oldest known example of figurative rock art, say researchers who dated the work.

Faded and fractured, the reddish-orange image depicts a plump but slender-legged animal, probably a species of wild cattle that still lives on the island, or simply dinner in the eyes of the artist, if one streak of ochre that resembles a spear protruding from its flank is any guide.

The animal is one of a trio of large creatures that adorn a wall in the Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesian Borneo. The region’s rock art, which amounts to thousands of paintings in limestone caves, has been studied since 1994 when the images were first spotted by the French explorer Luc-Henri Fage.

The researchers come up with a 40,000 year date for the paintings using what is called uranium series analysis. If you want to know what that is just click the following link

https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/jres/122/jres.122.044.pdf

This dating system is just another way for secular scientists to justify their rejection of the truth. It is their way to say that creation did not take place 6 to 10,000 years ago. Scientists and other unbelievers claim that their dating systems are independent. But when you take a hard and close look at their dating systems you will see that they are all created by unbelievers using fallible deceived thinking which cannot verify one claim about the dating systems.

Since these dating systems all come from the same source, they are hardly independent and hardly free from error. Even calibration won’t help because the dating systems used to calibrate other dating systems also come from unbelieving sources. There is no independence found in any of the dating systems.

But there is room for doubt. Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers concede that the crusts they analysed had formed on top of a heavily weathered part of the animal painting and that pigment analyses could not distinguish the underlying paint from that of a nearby mulberry-coloured hand stencil.

At least they are honest but that won’t help they case or their cause. Nothing in this solar system existed 40,000 years ago. If we give an honest look at the development of human civilization, let’s use America as an example, why would it take humans 40,000 years to develop, when America went from the stone age to the nuclear age in just over 300 years.

The reasoning is not logical and researchers have to totally dumb down humans to brute beasts to even get close to making any logical arguments about human development. If humans took so long to develop why then did the Minoan society have flush toilets, 2 and 3 floor apartments and homes, hot and cold running water and a lot more modern-day technological advances roughly 3,500 years ago? Why did the ancient societies discovered in India, Europe and other places have grid patterns for their cities, modern day type sewers and more, thousands of years before the current modern era?

Or why did the ancient Babylonians use time capsules, a social security system long before America was a hint in Britain’s eyes? No, evolutionary arguments do not make sense nor can they explain anything about human development. Archaeology alone interferes with their theories. As a side note, it is funny that an anthropologist will find a bone or two near the surface of the earth and declare it too be millions of years old based on the dirt surrounding the discovery.

But an archaeologist digging a mile or to away and goes down over 100 feet only gets dirt dating to a few thousand years ago. Sorry but tectonic plates or other similar theories, pushing up dirt is not a realistic explanation, especially when skeletons are found in pristine condition in that supposed million+ year old dirt. Evolutionary theories do not make sense and neither does the dating of that cave painting.

The work suggests that figurative art may have emerged in south-east Asia and Europe at about the same time,

No the work does not suggest that. The researchers are suggesting that. They have no way to verify that thinking nor do they have any means to determine where cave painting or figurative art originated or who taught who the concept. What they have is paintings done by someone who lived after the creation of the world that used cave walls to tell a story, describe a hunt, graffiti or numerous other explanations for the painting’s existence

Keep in mind that evolutionists also cannot verify one evolutionary claim they make. They cannot produce one piece of verifiable credible and legitimate evidence showing that humans and life developed the way they say it developed. Yet the Bible is dismissed even though not one scientific, archaeological or other research field discovery has yet to prove the Bible false.

We reject that date for the cave paintings and that dating system. They only have one piece of supposed evidence, the date they claim, to justify their conclusions. We have more evidence for Noah’s flood than that. All this does is make the cave painting dating a fairy tale. There is no corroborating evidence supporting the date or the claims made by the researchers. Especially from non-evolutionary sources.

If the supposed supporting evidence comes from evolutionists, then that does not make the new evidence independent. It is like-minded people trying desperately to support their unbelief in the Bible and shore up their nagging doubts that come with the evolutionary theory.

But he is cautious about the dating in the latest study. “Sadly, this work says more about academic competition and the scramble for early dates than it does the emergence of art,” he said. “I welcome the impressive discovery and documentation of a major early art region, but I have considerable reservations about the pertinence of the dated samples to the art beneath. It is not made clear that the oldest minimum ages are clearly and unambiguously related to the figurative art.”

We are not alone in our dissent but our view comes from the truth found in the bible and won’t change when evolutionists wave amagic wand and claim they have supporting evidence. Evolutionists are not promoting the truth, only demonstrating their foolishness by not believing the words of God.

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Stick to the Truth

In Walsh’s video published by The Daily Wire on YouTube last week, he argued that although he doesn’t “question the sincerity or the faithfulness of six-day Creationist folks,” he positioned that when the belief is preached, it can “inadvertently do some harm” and “put obstacles in the way, especially for non-believers.”

https://www.christianpost.com/news/ken-ham-hits-back-after-matt-walsh-claims-creationists-make-reaching-others-with-christianity-harder-228119/

When talking about the Bible it is best to stick to the truth. Paul told us that the unbeliever cannot do anything against the truth.  The truth does not do any harm to evangelism. Misrepresenting what the Bible says does the harm. If you tell the truth, the only person putting obstacles in the way of unbelievers converting is evil.

Faith and love means that you believe God. If God said he created in 6 24 hour days then our faith and our love have us siding with God over sinful man and his words.

If you state something about the Bible that the Bible does not say, then you are not stating what God said but what you want to believe. You are not evangelizing someone to God’s faith but your own version of it. You are communicating that God cannot even get his own act of creation correct. Who would want to believe in a God like that and who would want to adopt a faith where the adherents do not even believe their own God?

The truth is, God created in 6 24 hour days just like he said. There was no failure by God to communicate his creative act to his biblical writers and their was no altering the creative act because the biblical writers did not understand any alternatives. They wrote what God told them he did and since God cannot lie, there are no alternatives to the creation accounts found in Genesis.

The people who are doing harm and creating obstacles are those who adopt and promote alternatives to the truth.

 

Not Quite

We are sure you have heard about this recent discovery

https://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/historical-evidence-for-the-exodus-may-have-been-found.html

Historical Evidence for the Exodus May Have Been Found

Well we have read about it and our title is our opinion. There are several reasons for our not accepting this possibility. We go through the article mixing our reasons with comment son other tidbits we find inside the article.

Experts are currently analyzing ruins near the River Jordan as potential proof that the story of the Exodus, is more than a legend and indeed a historical fact.

Only unbelievers consider the Exodus a legend. if you gather what facts we have and look at them closely, you would see that there is enough evidence to prove the biblical account true.

According to U.K. Daily Express, a United Kingdom media outlet, archaeologists generally agree that the Israelites were natives of Canaan, which contradicts the account in the Biblical book of Exodus.

Yes there are some and maybe it is quite a large group. Yet, scholarly beliefs do not dictate history or historical events. Israel Finkelstein is one such archaeologist but he cannot provide any evidence to support that theory. What they have found is evidence for a large influx of people around the time of the Exodus. But archaeologists being who they are, do not accept the evidence.

Archaeologists Ralph K. Hawkins and David Ben-Shlomo have now found some evidence in the Jordan Valley site of Khirbet el-Mastarah, which they believe are remnants of ruins from a nomadic people who they believe to be the Hebrews coming from Egypt.

Archaeological belief also doesn’t prove an historical event either. This is one of our reasons why we reject their theory. The Israelites were not building any buildings during the Exodus. They were given marching orders and had to conquer the land first. Plus, the wandered continuously for 40 years. They did not stop to build anything. Then, they moved from the Exodus to the conquering stage and attack Jericho. No building was done.

We have not proved that these camps are from the period of the early Israelites, but it is possible,” noted Ben-Shlomo.

This is leading into another reason why we reject their theory. It would be impossible to link those ruins to the ancient Israelites of the Exodus.

he Christian Post reports that the archaeologists found stone ruins and pottery fragments at the site and were able to preliminarily date them to a period of time between the Late Bronze Age (1400–1200 B.C.) and the Iron Age (1200–1000).

The dating is moot. It may give us a ballpark figure but the pottery may come after the conquest or from the people living in the area when the Israeites arrived. This is another reason we reject the theory. KA Kitchen wrote in his book On The Reliability of the OT that the Israelites were expecting to be in the promised land very soon after leaving Egypt. He said that it is highly doubtful that the Israelites took heavy pottery with them. Desert travel, whether for a short time or long time does not facilitate carrying heavy equipment or kitchen ware.

Especially when the Israelites could make more once they settled in the new land.

Within a range of just a couple of miles, we may be able to see the evolution of early Israel from a domestic-scale culture [at Khirbet el-Mastarah] to a political-scale culture [at Khirbet ‘Auja el-Foqa].”

No, not really. But nice try. There are just too many mitigating factors that come into play before that could be established. So  given the reasons above, we still say not quite. The archaeologists may have come close but they do not get a cigar. Those ruins and pottery do not tie into the Exodus.

 

Some Discoveries and News

#1. https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/inscriptions/2000-year-old-jerusalem-inscription/

2,000-Year-Old Jerusalem Inscription Bears City’s Name

For the first time, archaeologists have unearthed a Second Temple period stone inscription that spells the name Jerusalem as Yerushalayim (as it’s spelled in Hebrew today), rather than Yerushalem or Shalem. The inscription, dating to the first century B.C.E., reads:

Hananiah son of
Dudolos
of Jerusalem

The Jerusalem inscription, carved on a limestone column drum, was uncovered during excavations led by Danit Levy on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Binyanei Ha’Uma, a massive convention center in Jerusalem. The IAA press release announcing the discovery describes the inscription as Aramaic but written with Hebrew letters.

Read the rest at the link

#2. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/currentevents.aspx

All of the following reports in this section come from the above link

A.Archaeologists Discover Tomb of Fifth Dynasty Egyptian Official

The tomb of a prominent official in the Egyptian Court of the Fifth Dynasty was discovered in Abusir, just north of the Saqqara region in Giza. Archaeologists unearthed a large limestone and mud brick tomb with the name of the owner and his titles engraved on the walls. The official named “Ka Ir Is” was known as the “Supervisor of the King’s affairs,” “Secret Keeper of the Morning House,” and “His Master’s Beloved.” A large pink granite statue of the tomb’s owner was also discovered which portrays him seated on a small chair inscribed with his name and titles, and wearing a wig. According to biblical chronology, the tomb itself predates Abraham’s visit to Egypt (Gn 12:10) by a several hundred years.

B.Mt. Zion Excavations Unearth First-Century Mansion and Ancient Road

Archaeologists digging at Mount Zion have uncovered the remains of a priestly mansion dating to the first century AD, as well as an adjacent structure that dates from the Hasmonean era (late first century BC). The rooms of the mansion were well-preserved with ceilings despite the fact that it had been destroyed when the Romans took Jerusalem in 70 AD. Another important find was the discovery of an ancient road dating to the Byzantine era, if not earlier. The paved street had a central drain and may be a continuation of the famous Cardo Maximus street which extended across Mt. Zion

C.Excavations at Abel Beth Maacah Reveal Cultic Shrines

Archaeologists excavating at Tel Abil el-Qameh, identified as the biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah, continue to uncover evidence of cultic activity at the site spanning several hundred years. One structure, dating to the Iron Age I, had two standing stones, benches and fragments of a bull figurine. A series of later buildings included a room with standing stones, an offering table, a cylindrical cultic stand and plastered basins. Another discovery dating to the ninth century BC was a jar on a round podium filled with astragaloi (knucklebones) which were often used in divination. The most recent discovery was yet another shrine with unmarked standing stones. Excavators have suggested this site may be associated with the “wise woman” of 2 Sam. 20:18-19, who they propose may have served in the role of an oracle.

D.Submerged Church Honoring Council of Nicea Discovered

Aerial photographs commissioned by the government of the Bursa Province in Turkey revealed the remarkable outline of a church submerged in Lake Iznik, near ancient Nicea. It is located in only 10 feet of water, about 160 feet from shore. Archaeologists believe the church may have been built on the site of the former Senate Palace, where the first Council of Nicea took place in 325 AD. Underwater excavations have revealed several graves dating to the fourth century underneath the basilica’s main wall which included coins dating to the reign of Emperor Valens (364-378 AD). There is evidence that an earlier pagan temple to Apollo might lie beneath the church.

E.Over 1000 Clay Seals Discovered in Central Israel

A huge cache of clay seal impressions (known as bullae) was found at the ancient Hellenistic city of Maresha, located in the Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park. Archaeologists recently discovered seven previously unknown rooms in the cave complex of Maresha, including one that had 1020 untouched clay seals lying on the floor amidst broken pottery. An initial study of 300 of the clay seals suggest they date primarily from the second century BC and may have been part of a private archive. The delicate, unfired bullae depict images of various gods, such as Apollo, Athena, and Aphrodite, as well as cornucopia, masks and animals. Only a few bore Greek letters and numbers, perhaps indicating dates; none of the seals in the initial survey had written inscription

F. Evidence of Aramean Destruction Unearthed at Biblical Gath

Archaeologists working at Tell es-Safi – biblical Gath – have released their first summary from the 2018 excavation season. This year they focused entirely on the lower city at the site, and unearthed significant evidence of the destruction by Hazael, King of Aram at Damascus in the ninth century BC. This confirms what is recorded in the Bible in 2 Kings 12:17: “About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem.” The remains of the siege system built around the site have been discovered, as well as evidence of defensive actions taken by the residents of Gath in attempting to use soil from the garbage dump to fortify and buffer the inside of the city wall against the Aramean forces.

G. Ceramic Pomegranate Discovered at Biblical Shiloh

The Associates for Biblical Research has announced the discovery of a ceramic pomegranate during the 2018 excavation season at biblical Shiloh. Shiloh was the center of Israelite worship and site of the tabernacle for over 300 years. The 20 cm-long pomegranate was unearthed in situ, and still had four of the five prongs intact. Pomegranates were common motifs in the Israelites’ worship at the tabernacle, having adorned the hem of Aaron’s robe (Ex 28:34; 39:26), and later in the first temple (1 Ki 7:17, 42). This discovery confirms the biblical description of Shiloh as a temenos (a sacred, dedicated precinct) early in Israel’s history.

H. New Study Suggests Whales Were Once Native to the Mediterranean Sea

A study recently published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biology), suggests that whales once swam in the Mediterranean Sea. Researchers from the Université de Montpelier used DNA barcoding and collagen fingerprinting to identity a collection of ancient whale bones from Roman and pre-Roman archaeological sites near the Strait of Gibraltar. The results indicated that the bones belonged to two species of whales: right whales and grey whales. Given the proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, the researches believe that the Mediterranean Sea was once a calving ground for these whales. Furthermore, they conclude: “The evidence that these two coastal and highly accessible species were present along the shores of the Roman Empire raises the hypothesis that they may have formed the basis of a forgotten whaling industry” some 2000 years ago. Biblical critics have questioned where a fish big enough to swallow Jonah in the Mediterranean Sea came from. While the Bible never calls the fish that swallowed Jonah a whale – it simply describes it as a “great fish” – the new study is evidence that whales were once native to the Mediterranean Sea

I. Another Stunning Roman-Era Mosaic Discovered in Lod

Excavators have unearthed another spectacular 1700-year-old mosaic in the ancient city of Lod (called Lydda in the New Testament). In 1996, the famous Lod Mosaic was discovered, and in 2014, another one was found in the courtyard of the same structure. At that time, the corner of a third mosaic could be seen, but it was under a parking lot. Now, four years later, that mosaic has been unearthed and is another stunning example of Roman-era workmanship. The house in which the mosaics have been unearthed is believed to have been a luxurious villa belonging to a wealthy Jewish merchant. Based on pottery and coins uncovered in the excavations, it appears the villa was in use from the first century AD to the late third or early fourth century AD. The new mosaic, like the others, depicts scenes of nature with animals and fish, but not people. Archaeologists hypothesize that this may be because of the Jewish belief in the divine prohibition against graven images.

There are plentyg links at that website to pursue each story if you want

 

 

The Archaeology of Sodom 6

V. Conclusion

In the beginning it was mentioned that this paper would look at the different aspects surrounding the three possible locations of the city of Sodom. It was also stated that a positive identification would be made. That has been done already during the examining of the evidence and the archaeological and scriptural criteria.

The theory that Sodom is located under Sodom does not hold up to scrutiny because the area lacks both archaeological evidence and does not meet all the scriptural criteria needed to be the actual location.

Giving Dr. Albright and others the benefit of the doubt, it is possible, due to the archaeological evidence uncovered, it can be concluded that that region was part of the Jordan Valley and it was destroyed by God. It can further be concluded that one or two of the lesser cities may have been located where the dead Sea lies.

That is about as far as that identification can go. Because it fails the key verse found in 2 Peter, this location is disqualified and cannot be considered Sodom’s location.

Tall el-Hamman is also disqualified. It fails to meet both the archaeological and scriptural criteria despite the claims and arguments of the lead archaeologist and his supporters on that current excavation.

Too much is read into the passages of scripture and the archaeological discoveries for it to be a viable candidate. You cannot create an example then have it buried for 4000 years. Also, you cannot call God a liar and say his words are not true. The fact that the hiatus lasted only 500 years and not for all time undermines any credible claim made about it being Sodom.

God said it would not be inhabited again and archaeology has shown that Tall el-Hamman was occupied throughout many differ eras after its destruction.

The only credible location left is the Bab edh-Drah region. It remains a desolate area where nothing lives, per God’s word. Plus, it has been exposed to all generations in all eras for all time.

Then, the archaeological evidence uncovered by many of the excavators over the past two centuries have shown that it was well watered, had agricultural use and maintained a population until it was destroyed.

The discovery of a trade route also adds to the support of scripture as this location would meet all sorts of travelers at different stages of wealth. The treatment they received at the hands of the inhabitants would support Ezekiel’s description (16:49) that they were treated harshly.

This one point could support Tall el-Hamman’s identification if the other criteria were met. They weren’t so this verse stands alone in favor of Tall el-Hamman but has lots of company in Bab edh-Drah’s identification.

The importance of this discussion and paper can be seen in the Bible verses that God will not be mocked. Neither in sin or in making archaeological identifications. God cannot be called a liar even if the archaeologists claim to be Christian.

Also, the Bible tells us that God cannot lie thus when he says it will not be inhabited then Sodom, etc., will not be inhabited. Only the Dead Sea and Bab edh-Drah locations prove that God does not lie.

Finally, even in archaeology, God cannot be glorified when he is said to be a liar. We will give the excavator and his supporters the benefit of the doubt and that their actions were unintentional but when Christians do archaeology there is only a few purposes.

One, is to glorify God. Two, is to get to the truth, and three, to keep the unbelieving archaeologists and scholars honest. Christians do not undermine God and his work, and we do not do faulty archaeology or biblical scholarship.

 

The Archaeology of Sodom 5

IV. A Word on Translation

Translating different ancient terms can be tricky, original intent and definitions can be lost over time. It can also be very subjective. Take for example the term kikkar. This is the term that Dr. Collins interprets to justify his claiming that Tall el-Hamman is Sodom. According to him the Hebrew term strictly refers to the Jordan River area near Jerusalem and Jericho and includes his excavation site (Collins, 2008, 2013).

But his is not the only interpretation that is applied to that term. It has been recorded that the term has included the whole Dead Sea boundaries, north and south (McClintock & Strong, 2000). This is a definition that may be left to one’s interpretation and accepted locations.

But, while the term literally means round or oval shape, there is no proof that the literal definition was used by Moses when he penned the term.  There are plenty of examples in the Bible where the term means a plain and that definition can be applied to Genesis passages. Dr. Collins uses Nehemiah to justify his restriction of application to his northern location (Collins, 2013).

Yet there are problems with that use of Nehemiah 3:22 and 12:28. One such problem is connecting Nehemiah’s use and definition to Moses’. The two biblical authors lived several hundred years apart from each other and it stands to reason they may have different applications of the term.

There is no translational or physical evidence to make the connection. There is also no rhyme or reason why Dr. Collins should add the literal meaning when Moses may not have. It is possible that the term kikkar refers to the whole region not just the northern location.

For example, in British Columbia there is a valley called the Okanagan valley. Inside this valley are two lakes which are connected to the same river. The northern lake is called the Okanagan while the southern lake is called the Skaha.

At no time does the term Okanagan exclude the Skaha, no matter how you define the term valley. The Skaha region may not look the same as its northern neighbor, it may have different crops and foliage and so on. Also, it may be called by its own name separate from the Okanagan Valley, but it has always been part of the Okanagan Valley.

The same concept applies to the Jordan River and the southern Dead Sea region. There is no rational explanation to exclude the latter from being part of the kikkar.  There is also no reason to add the literal definition to the term to restrict a geographical location.

In other words, the limiting the term kikkar to a small flat disk in the northern Dead Sea region is a subjective act, not a credible one.

 

The Archaeology of Sodom 4

III. Meeting the Scriptural & Archaeological Criteria

The identification of the city of Sodom and the other towns that were destroyed in Genesis not only have to meet archaeological criteria, they have to meet scriptural criteria as well. This section will discuss both the archaeological evidence uncovered for all sites and use 3 to 4 key scriptures to see if each site passes the biblical criteria for Sodom

A. The Dead Sea

As stated earlier, Dr. Albright is one of the leading scholars to conclude that the cities of the plain were buried under the Dead Sea. His observations were supported by the discovery of dead trees buried up to 23 feet deep (Wood, 1974, & Hattam, BA Vol. 5). These trees provide tow key archaeological points and one scriptural point. The area was well-watered, and the Dead Sea was smaller at the time.

Another archaeological discovery helps solidify that identification. The discovery of sulfur balls throughout the southern region of the Dead Sea provides more evidence that the area was destroyed by fire from heaven (Ark Discovery, 2018). The fact that a discredited unprofessional archaeologist promoted these sulfur balls as evidence does not diminish their evidentiary role.

But the presence of the sulfur balls does not provide a specific location for the destroyed area. They may indicate the length and breadth of the valley that was destroyed when God’s judgment came.

Another point against this site as Sodom is that it does not meet all the scriptural criteria needed for it to be that city. 2 Peter 2:6 says

and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;

While water can be and is a destructive force, it covers the example that God left behind for all time. No person throughout history can see the destruction, save for a few parts, and without clear evidence people can conclude that the story is a myth.

This location does meet one important scriptural criterion though. That one is found in Jeremiah 49:18

Like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors,” says the Lord, “no one will live there, nor will a son of man reside in it.

The area is uninhabited due to the rise in the Dead Sea levels. It is safe to conclude that while Sodom may not be located under the Dead Sea, that area may have been part of the overall destruction that took place in Abraham’s time. This is not the location of Sodom.

B. Bab edh-Drah

Through the many different excavations that have taken place this location serves as the best one that meets all the archaeological and scripture criteria applied to the location of Sodom.

It meets the 2 vital scriptures mentioned above. The site is destroyed and serves as a reminder or example for all people throughout all eras what happens when people disobey God. In a discussion on this site with Dr. Collins and a couple of his supporters on the now defunct BAS discussion forum, Dr. Collins and his supporters asked a simple question- who would live in such a desolate area?

Their mistake was that they were looking at the area after the destruction thinking it was in this condition for all time. They did not see the area before the destruction to make their assessment of the region (BAS Discussion Forum, 2005ish).

Archaeologically we find that the region matches up with 2 destructions of the cities, one from above. We find remains of wadis and agricultural farming and we find a lack in many items. One of course, is the missing homesteads. These can be explained by the fact that they were destroyed.

It is unrealistic to think that a destruction would leave a lot of remains when modern people make evidentiary demands for proof. One cannot also expect the well-watered status to remain or regain its pre-destruction nature when God has said it will be destroyed forever and eft as an example.

This location even passes the scriptural criteria found in Genesis 13

11 So Lot chose for himself all the [g]valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward.

Bab edh-Drah is eastward of the location of Abraham and Lot when they parted ways. It may not be due east, but the Bible does not state that Sodom and cities were due east of Bethel.

It would also be a mistake to assume that Abraham and Lot stayed in the same location when the strife took place. We do not know exactly where they were standing when their observation was made.

You may think this is a stretch but when people ranch, their livestock is not always near home. Depending on how much land they owned, depends on the location of the pasture. If they were free range men, then their livestock could have been anywhere and close enough to see the whole Jordan Valley including Bab edh-Drah.

C. Tall el-Hamman

While this site produces a lot of archaeological evidence to support the claim that it is Sodom, this site fails to meet both the archaeological and scripture criteria. Yes, there may have been a destruction layer, but that layer cannot be tied to Lot or God’s judgment.

A town being fortified does not automatically qualify Tall el-Hamman as Sodom as Dr. Collins suggests (Collins, 2008). Many smaller towns have gates and walls.  If one studies the ancient remains found in Korea, one would see that Seoul was walled and had a gate. Yet, many smaller fortresses exist and have walls and gates. They cannot be mistaken as Seoul. To say that Tall el-Hamman is Sodom based on a wall and a gate is presumptuous at best.

But what real makes the difference and disqualifies Tall el-Hamman is its failure to meet scriptural criteria. Despite what Dr. Collins says (Collins, 2008) this location does not meet any scriptural passage of scripture.

Dr. Collins uses Genesis 13 as his foundation for his identification, particularly verse 11 quoted above but everything he declares as evidence is read into that passage of scripture. Lot may have started out towards the east and even in a due easterly direction, but the scriptures do not say that, nor does it say he stayed in an easterly direction.

Lot owned livestock and he may have seen that the Jordan River was too strong for his animals to cross. Since livestock is sold by both weight and being alive, it would not be profitable for Lot to attempt to cross the Jordan River.

Being a good business man and since ranchers raise animals for profit, he could have easily turned south before reaching the Jordan. With the Dead Se not as large as it is today, the area in that region may have been easier to traverse than the Jordan. This keeps animals alive for sell and keeps giving them enough food to eat to maintain their weight.

Another passage that trips up the northerly location have been quoted above as well. Jeremiah states that God says no one shall live there again. Well the archaeological history of Tall el-Hamman makes God a liar. According to Dr. Collins the hiatus lasted only 500 years and people returned to live in the area.

That defies the biblical criteria. Then the site has been buried for 4000 years +/- a few generations, so it cannot serve as an example as Peter stated it was. You can’t leave an example then bury it.

Another piece of evidence that Dr. Collins uses is the couplets theory in which the importance of a town was based on where it was used in a sentence (Collins, 2008). Yet, while that is an attractive theory for many archaeologists, it fails here. Bud Abbot’s surname was not placed first because he was bigger and more important than his partner Costello.

He may have been taller, but he was not bigger than his partner. His surname was placed first because it sounded better. The name flowed, unlike Costello & Abbot. The same for Sodom & Gomorrah. It is highly unlikely that the name Sodom was placed first because it was more important than Gomorrah. It just sounded and flowed better than Gomorrah and Sodom.

In careful analysis of Dr. Collins’ evidentiary points for Tall el-Hamman, everything stated for identification is read into the passages of scripture. Not one verse states that Sodom was more important or bigger than any of the other towns.

The archaeological evidence uncovered by Dr. Collins and his workers speak not to confirm his identification but to disqualify it as Sodom.  It certainly does not meet the scriptural criteria.

 
 
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