Archaeology terms, definitions & comments 2

There are numerous terms that archaeologists use and some of them get overused too much. In today’s article we will look at a couple of those terms and then the definition of the term archaeologist

 

#1. temple- a building used for the worship of a god or gods in some religions (Cambridge dict.)

This is one of those overused terms. it seems that the way archaeologists use this term and one other that the ancient people had no homes, no businesses, no police or law enforcement offices and so on. It is a miracle that almost every archaeologist is able to find a temple in no matter how big or how small the excavation site.

Just recently a small discovery took place and at least halfway through the article only the buildings of the elites and religious temples were mentioned. it is amazing at how astute almost all archaeologists are as they somehow managed to only find these buildings.

But homes of the elite and temples were not the only buildings in the ancient world. We know that prisons existed  with the first ones mentioned around 1,000 BC and have been known to exist since around 3,000 BC. Yet rarely do we hear of these discoveries.

In doing a little research on this topic of prisons most articles mentioned only a few with those articles mentioning the same ones. The most famous of course was the Roman Mamertine and a different website said this was the only Roman prison. But that is not true as there was at least one other called The Carcer Tullianum (Tullianum Prison in Latin) and it is said to have pre-dated the establishment of Rome.

How and why these prisons were used is not the point although we may disagree with the conclusions given about them. The point is and as Ecc. 1 tells us, there is nothing new under the sun. Which means that every building described by archaeologists to be a temple may not have been one in its era.

With nothing new under the sun, the ancients would have government civil offices, warehouses, schools, businesses, market buildings and more. There were possibly repair shops, furniture building shops and other service structures including clinics and hospitals. If you do some research you will find that some ancient surgeries were on par if not better than modern day surgeries completed by world class surgeons.

They were not limited to temples and elite housing or palaces. The over identification of these ancient buildings by archaeologists distorts the reality of life in the past

#2. palace- a large house that is the official home of a king, queen, or other person of high social rank (Cambridge)

This is another term that is overused by archaeologists and it competes with the term temple in its discoveries and identifications. The same arguments given for the temple applies here and while there may have been palaces and large estates in the ancient world, not every large building was a palace.

Just last year one real palace may have been discovered in Egypt but in our view this building may only have been a museum, a government office housing many government services and ministries and so on. In reading that article some Egyptologists are calling it a temple not a palace.

That is the thing with archaeology and archaeologists- one will say potatoe and another will say patawto using the same evidence. It is stipulated that there were palaces and temples in the ancient world but not as many as archaeologists would have everyone think.

Here is a link to another discovery of a supposed palace. Archaeologist, for both palaces and temples, are not deriving their conclusions from ancient contemporary manuscripts describing the purpose and function of each building they uncover.

Instead they come to their conclusions through muted pieces of evidence and their own thinking. They usually come from a modern perspective and how temples, palaces and other buildings are supposed to look like not from the ancient perspective and how the buildings actually looked like.

The building in Iran may have been a resort, apartment complex, or some other structure. With no ancient corroboration it is impossible to tell what the building was used for. Archaeologists are basically guessing.

#3. goddess- a female deity (Oxford dictionary)

We are sure we have mentioned this term before yet it is overused as often as temple is as archaeologists look at ancient figurines and give those old artifacts status they may not be entitled to. We say this because archaeologists will pick up an old figurine no matter how ugly it is and label it a goddess. Again they do this with no ancient manuscript corroborating their identification.

There may have been a temple of Diana, Horus, Osirus and so on but that does not mean the figurines discovered were representatives of those ancient gods and goddesses. For all we know those figurines could have been the failed attempts by pottery students to complete their assignment or joke figurines we see today or just collectibles.

We know of at least one figurine manufacturer and that one can tell us that there must have been plenty more around the ancient world. While the archaeologists involved with this discovery said they were used for economical and political reasons (with no ancient corroboration), there are far too many discoveries that label the pottery pieces as goddesses. That is just one example.

Again while the ancient people may have had religious figurines, not everyone did and not everyone uncovered is a depiction of a goddess from any age they are taken.

#4. archaeologist- a person who studies human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains (Oxford)

That is a pretty good description of  what an archaeologist does. They do try to study the past but they are handicapped by several hindrances. Those hindrances include totally destroyed information, artifacts and buildings, partial discoveries of same, bad dating and even bad identification.

Again what one archaeologist says is a palace another might say it is a temple. In a similar vein, Eilat Mazar went through this when she announced she discovered walls from the time of Solomon. She wrote a book about it. And other archaeologists take an opposing view not only of her discovery but of others that prove that Kings David & Solomon ruled when the Bible states.

That is another argument for another day. What is the point of this section is what the definition for the term archaeologist does not say. Archaeologists are skilled at digging in the dirt and uncovering some great pieces of ancient history but there are several things they are not and have no idea about.

For one thing, they are not building or construction experts. Their opinions about ancient construction are not based on expert knowledge if any real construction knowledge. Their views of royalty and past governments are not based on government expertise held by the archaeologist as the majority of them do not have any idea on how politics and governments work.

The archaeologist is creating theories, conclusions and make declarations about the past with little knowledge of what actually took place and very little inside information that would qualify them as an expert on those individual aspects of ancient life.

Another example would be ancient medical practices. Archaeologists may discover quotes from ancient people whop called on their gods to heal their ailing relatives or loved ones. Seeing those few quotes the archaeologist extrapolates those ideas to the whole of the different ancient societies.

They do this despite the fact we have more than enough medical discoveries for surgery, dental work, prescriptions and more showing the modern archaeologists that the ancients practiced medicine like skilled modern practitioners. Literacy is another example as archaeologists declare the ancient world illiterate in spite of the fact we have more writings than we can count from the ancient world.

It is also impossible to declare people illiterate when archaeologists  are working with less than 5% of the ancient world contents. Most people today are literate yet you wouldn’t know it as their writings would never survive the test of time.

While archaeologists do a good job in uncovering buildings, artifacts and manuscripts from the past, they are not experts on the aspects of life they pontificate at length. They do not have any more knowledge about the past than what the different discoveries reveal and they cannot speak for long dead people or read their minds.

Sadly, the pubic is left with what the archaeologist tells them and books, articles and research papers contradicting those theories are often suppressed (and we are not talking about the alien theorists who think aliens influenced the ancient world. Those groups seem to have found their voice and avenues of spreading their message to the public).

One example of this is the information in Chapter 11 of Dr. Charles Hapgood’s book Path to the Poles. We tried searching for the information he recorded and the locations he mentioned they were in, but to this day we have had no luck and cannot verify what he said was discovered.

The past is not as many archaeologists declare it to be.

 

 

Archaeology terms, definitions & comments

We have been publishing archaeological articles for years on this website yet it is doubtful that we have put up a glossary of terms. We are going to do so today and add a few comments under some of the terms for a better perspective on their use.

There is no particular order to these terms and we will only be able to cover a few of them. We will post links to web pages that have more terms for you to look at and learn. We are also going to copy and paste those definitions to ease our work load

Archaeology– the scientific study of the past human cultures through their material remains.

{keep in mind that science is the gathering of knowledge through experiments and observations. Some times you will see the words truth and facts as part of a scientific definition but those facts and truths are highly subjective and rarely objective in nature}

Absolute Dating– a dating method that is used to determine an object’s approximate age in calendar years

{funny thing is that absolute and approx. are not synonyms. And these absolute dates can change depending on more information or recalibration efforts on the part of scientists. There is nothing absolute about them}

BP– means before present and the year used as the marker for the present is 1950.

{Unfortunately for archaeologists, etc., 1950 no longer remains the present and its events are discussed as history. It is a very inaccurate marker and does not take into consideration the 70 years that have come and gone since that year. AD & BC are better markers but that calendar is off by a few years as well. Jesus was born during the time of Herod about 6 to 10 years prior to year 0}

Excavation unit– A square hole of predetermined uniform size that is excavated from an archaeological site

{this is also known as the Wheeler-Kenyon method of excavating an archaeological site. The weakness of this system is that valuable artifacts, manuscripts and other data are left buried for future generations. This method allows holes in the information discovered from a given archaeological site and there is no guarantee that the information left buried will not disappear before those future generations dig it up}

In Situ– Refers to an artifact that has been found in its original context

{This may be the original place the archaeologist found the artifact or scroll but it may not be the original place the artifact was left in. Due to many different factors the artifact could have been moved from its original place by grave robbers, or other people. Earthquakes and other natural disasters could have a hand in moving the artifact. Also, there are no ancient manuscripts dug up with the artifacts to provide any information as to why the item was made, who made it and who used it. For all the archaeologist knows the item could have been a treasured family heirloom passed down for man y generations The archaeologist has a lot of freedom to read into what they discover because of this void}

Prehistoric– the period of time before written records; the absolute date for the prehistoric period varies from place to place

{This is a convenient tool in the archaeologist’s toolbox. It helps them shape the past the way they want it to be and not the way it was. No one knows when writing first was invented and with this label they get to manipulate the facts as they see fit. Just because an archaeologist doe snot find MSS. At his excavation does not mean the society was illiterate and did not possess the knowledge to read and write. There are too many factors why the archaeologist did not find any written material- they looked in the wrong place or the material did not pass the test of time are just 2 of those factors}

BCE – Before Common Era. & C.E.- Common Era

{Replacements by unbelieving people who do not want to us AD or BC as their calendar marker}

Provenance – The origin, or history of ownership of an archaeological or historical object.

{many archaeological magazines, journals and other publications refuse to publish articles on unprovenanced artifacts. The reason for this is that they do not know the history of the artifact or where it was found and consider them forgeries. To give them a little credit that is the case for some discoveries but unfortunately that attitude nor conclusion should apply to all the items that comes to the attention of an archaeologist. If it was then the Nag Hammadi library would have been discarded and lost forever As would many amateur finds would}

Pictogram – A picture or symbol that represents a word or group of words

{Sometimes these items are not languages and may simply just be pictures drawn, carved or painted. Again without any contemporary corroboration it is hard to determine if it is a language, a group of symbols with their own set of meanings or just pictures called in today’s world artists’ conception}

—————————————-

The sources for these archaeological terms come from 3 different websites. #1. Glossary of Archaeological Terms; #2. Archaeology Section; and #3. Archaeological Institute of America

The Ipuwer Papyrus & the Christian

Many people do not care

When it comes to history and archaeology there is a lack of caring about what the ancients did and when they wrote their masterful works. These people have a lot more on their minds than what ancient people put down on ‘paper’.

Whether they admit to it or not, the Ipuwer Papyrus and a large majority of history impacts their faith, if they have one, in Jesus. If left to the unbelieving world, much of the Old Testament and foundation for the New is lost, replaced by ideas heavily influenced by unbelief.

That cannot take place as the truth cannot be hid even if the truth offends many unbelievers and keeps them from converting and taking Jesus as their Savior. The story about the Ipuwer Papyrus cannot remain in the hands of the unbeliever.

What is the Ipuwer Papyrus

One of the most interesting aspects of the Ipuwer Papyrus is that it is recorded on the Papyrus Leiden 344 and it contains information that resembles the different plagues that God sent to afflict the Egyptian people (Barry, et al, 2016).

This is what causes the controversy as there is so little physical evidence to support the biblical era that records the Hebrew sojourn in Egypt. Having this piece of ancient physical evidence would go along ways to proving the Bible true.

One of the problems that keep this piece of ancient Egyptian literature from being accepted as an account of the pre-Exodus trouble is that most scholars do not date the contents to the time of the Exodus even though the papyrus it was written on dates to about the 13th century BC. The contents are dated to between 2000 & 1700 BC (Barry, et al, 2016).

Why is there controversy

One of the main reasons why there is any controversy at all about the contents of this document is that the majority of scholars do not believe there was an actual Exodus from Egypt by the Hebrew people. That disbelief naturally influences their view on the Ipuwer Papyrus (Habermehl, A. 2018)

This attitude is an important one as unbelief tends to blind the eyes of scholars to the truth. This means that their dating of the document even though it is written on Exodus era, give or take 100 years, parchment is suspect.

But there have been scholars over the decades that have disagreed with such an early date of the contents. Most do not like being mentioned in the same sentence as Immanuel Velikovsky and have omitted his name from some of their works when those contents agree with the controversial historian. He stated that the Ipuwer Papyrus was written by someone who experienced the plagues and saw the Exodus take place (MP, 2020).

It does not read like someone was creating a scary bed time tale or a fairy tale in the likes of Hans Christian Anderson or Aseop. The Papyrus has the feel of an actual event thus it must be treated as a true story based on an actual event. Which is what Velikovsky also determined as did Von Seter (MP, 2020).

Why the early dating

This is hard to explain as there is no real reason for why the contents were pushed back between 400 and 300 years. The papyrus itself comes from the New Kingdom era, 1550 to 1070 BC, but for some reasons the contents are given a Middle Kingdom date, approx., 1885 to 1773 BC (Sutherland, 2017)

This is close to what other scholars have concluded as the correct time of the writing of the contents. One scholar has stated that the contents should be placed in the First Intermediate Era which dates to about 2123 to 2040 BC. (Murnane, 2001)

The only problem with these early dates is that there is no real historical record depicting  such a similar calamity to befall Egypt. If there was the many scholars who talk about the early dating of the contents could produce the historical record, the manuscript detailing such an invasion and so on. None have and none exist.

Yet that doesn’t stop scholars pointing to the large gap between the events described in the Papyrus and the book of Exodus. They go as far as stating that the two records are not depicting actual historical events (Kennedy, 2016).

This random categorizing of historical events is what is to be expected from those who do not accept the Bible as true. If they do not believe the Exodus is true why would they believe that any evidence for it exists or is even true?

This is what messes up people’s faith when they listen to these unbelieving scholars and accept their opinion of God’s word.

Who was Ipuwer

This is another point against the early dating of the papyrus bearing his name. It is not like he did not exist. What is not known is which Ipuwer is the author. His name or title is found in the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms. In fact, his name appears in a 19th Dynasty tomb. These are not the only pieces of physical evidence that remain for this or some other Ipuwer (Habermehl, A. 2018).

It should be pointed out that since this 13th century papyrus is the only copy available it cannot be determined to be a copy of an earlier document. There is no reason that a copy should be made. What purpose would it serve?

At least with Manetho we know he was commissioned to write his histories of Egypt but no such information is found for Ipuwer. It is possible that he recorded it for posterity so that everyone would know that the Egyptians endured a terrible storm of plagues, etc.

With the ancient Egyptian reputation of altering their history, it is no wonder corroboration is not found in official ancient government records. Nothing stops ordinary Egyptian citizens from recording what took place so their family would know the truth about their history (Habermehl, A. 2018)

The criteria used to determine the actual date

One of the main criteria that is used to determine the date of any manuscript is the writing style or the genre often applied by modern scholars according to modern definitions. Yet these different writing styles are not exclusive to the dynasty to which they are credited (Bledsoe, 2016)

People, even ancient Egyptians, are free to write in any style they want no matter what era, Kingdom or decade they happen to reside. This literary criteria is more of a straw man argument than actual fact. Many manuscripts have probably been misdated because of the accepted methods of classification.

Modern scholars do this with the Pauline Epistles trying to down grade his words to fake rather than genuine writing. It is no wonder that they would do it to the Ipuwer Papyrus as the unbeliever does not want to give credibility to the biblical record.

There is nothing else to help date the contents to a previous Kingdom or back up to 400 years in history. The fact that it is considered a  poem does not render the contents to an earlier date nor to the realms of fiction. Even poems can relate the truth and record actual events of a cataclysm (Graves, 2014).

What the existence of this Papyrus does prove is twofold. One, as Kenneth Kitchen has said, the Exodus account and the Ipuwer Papyrus speak about the same topic. Two, the Exodus remained in the minds of the Egyptians for centuries after the fact (Graves, 2014).

In other words, the writer of the document considered the events real and wanted them recorded for whatever reason he may have had. It is possible that the author recorded those events because he was in opposition to the ancient Egyptian habit of altering their history.

What is the truth

One of the problems with dating an ancient document is that the date given to those documents are based on what the scholar believes, not what is true. Given the close relationship to the Biblical Exodus the bias against the Bible is a powerful influence that leads scholars to misdate important physical evidence like the Ipuwer Papyrus.

There is no reason to date it earlier than the Exodus. Because there is no historical event prior to the plagues and the Exodus that would inspire someone to record those traumatic events.

Scholars have tried to place the writing to the accepted Hyksos invasion of Egypt in the 1700 BC and onward but without success (B.A., 2001). The Hyksos probably arrived after the Exodus when Egypt was at its weakest point ever in its history save for when its people arrived in the area after the Babel Diaspora. They were not the cause of the Exodus or the plagues but the end result after the cataclysm finished its work on the Egyptian people.

There is nothing to support any conclusion other than the fact that this document records the plagues prior to the Exodus. The Ipuwer Papyrus is extra biblical support for that biblical event and shows that they Bible is true.

Some Final Words

Secular scholars may and will lie but God does not. It is time to take his word seriously and use it in daily life correctly

Works Cited

 (2001). Biblical Archaeologist 1-4, 36(electronic ed.).

Bledsoe, S. (2016). Egyptian Literature. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Graves, D.E., (2014), “Bonus 29 – Ipuwer Papyrus”, Biblical Archaeology, https://biblicalarchaeologygraves.blogspot.com/2014/12/bonus-29-ipuwer-papyrus.html

 Habermehl, A. 2018. The Ipuwer Papyrus and the Exodus. In Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Creationism, ed.J.H. Whitmore, pp. 1–6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4b1d/4f6874ab5e24509d2d307cc7185aac9651e6.pdf

Kennedy, T. M. (2016). Egypt, Plagues of. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Major Contributors and Editors. (2016). Ipuwer, Admonitions of. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

MP, (2020), “THE PAPYRUS IPUWER”, Mikamar Publishing, http://www.mikamar.biz/Pensee%20III/3-13-papyrus-ipuwer.htm

Murnane William J. (2001). Review of First Civilizations: Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt by Robert Chadwick. Biblical Archaeologist: Volume 60 1-4, (electronic ed.), 187.

Sutherland, A., (2017), “Is Ipuwer Papyrus A Report Of An Ancient Catastrophe?”, Ancient Pages, http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/08/07/ipuwer-papyrus-report-ancient-catastrophe/

The Hyksos Period

There are always mysteries

 Archaeology may solve some problems the Christian world needs answered about the Bible but due to its limited nature that field of research cannot answer them all. One of those mysteries concerns the the identity of the Hyksos.

According to most Egyptologists and other archaeologists, the Hyksos were invaders of Egypt somewhere between the 12th and the 16th Dynasties. Their appearance has been held to that time as there are few ancient manuscripts whose contents refer to that group of people . They are also scattered, lacking in detail and so on (Redmount, 2001).

This paper is not going to deal with the location of their capital or call into question the work of Dr. Manfred Bietak who has dug at the Hyksos capital of Avaris for over 40 years. Instead it is going to call into question the timeline, which Dr. David Rohl has already done with his new chronology (Wood, 2016).

The Egyptian Pharaoh Timeline

When one reads the book Egyptian Art published by Phaidon they get a very detailed analysis of Egyptian life and the artwork surrounding the different pharaohs that reigned over Egypt.

In the back of the book there is a rather detailed chronology listing all of the different pharaohs except for a couple of dynasties. There are many names missing from the 13th to 17th dynasty as those names may be lost to history.

But what is striking are the words at the top of the page. Those words read- “all dates before the seventh century BC should be regarded as approximate. The margin of error varies from some one hundred years…” (Malek, 2011)

It may not be the scholar’s fault for this discrepancy, it could be that Egyptian records do not follow legitimate chronological rules or historical requirements. This is something about the ancient Egyptians.

They were known to alter their history to make future generations more patriotic, to make those early generations look good, powerful and wise. Even the records recorded in stone cannot be trusted as there is no way to know if they were not edited after their initial inscribing (Harrison, 2005).

With the lack of documents referring to the Hyksos it is also impossible to fully verify what has been said about them and their place in Egyptian history. Since very little is known of this people it is possible that their place in the Egyptian chronology is erroneous and may be applied to a later date.

The Many King’s list

 The problem isn’t just with the lack of manuscripts discussing the Hyksos, there are problems with the many different king’s lists that Egyptologists have used to determine the order of Pharaohs and when they reigned.

Probably the best King’s list is the Royal Canon of Turin. When discovered it contained almost all or part of 222different names of Pharaohs who ruled. The problem with this list is that since its discovery, over 2/3 of the document has disintegrated, no good photos were taken and no real scientific examination has been done on the papyrus (Lundstrom, 2020).

With so much information lost it is hard to construct a proper order for all of the kings who ruled Egypt. Part of the solution came from the Abydos, The Saqqara and the Karnak king’s list. There are issues with those lists as well as as the two former lists were not designed to be a chronological compilation. Like Karnak, Saqqara did not list all the kings and Karnak listed names of Pharaohs that appeared on no other list (Lundstrom, 2020).

There are other problems with these lists and those issues tend to make determining the correct order or rulers, including the Hyksos, very difficult. There is no document tying those king’s list together or showing how they are connected. They each may have a different purpose, like the Saqqra list which was supposed to be made honoring ancestors. The lack of connection makes discovering the different rules very difficult (Lundstrom, 2020).

There is always Manetho

Manetho lived during the 30tth Dynasty and wrote his history for the Greek rulers who came to power after Alexander the Great conquered the land. His three volume history of Egypt, called the Aegyptiaca, has not survived except by quotations in other ancient author’s works. It was this work that helped divide the ancient pharaohs into 30 dynasties (Kinnaer, 2018).

But as stated, there is so little known about Manetho. And what makes matters worse is that his 3 volume history does not survive except through different quotations

“we can know his writings only from fragmentary and often distorted quotations preserved chiefly by Josephus and by the Christian chronographers, Africanus and Eusebius, with isolated passages in Plutarch, Theophilus, Aelian, Porphyrius, Diogenes Laertius, Theodoretus, Lydus, Malalas, the Scholia to Plato, and the Etymologicum Magnum.” (Manetho, 1964).

The important passage about the Hyksos is found in Josephus and to quote from his work

“In his reign, for what cause I know not, a blast of God smote us; and unexpectedly, from the regions of the East, invaders of obscure race marched in confidence of victory against our land. By main force they easily seized it without striking a blow;4 and having overpowered the rulers of the land, they then burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of the gods, and treated all the natives with a cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others.” (Manetho, 1964)

The only real time that this could have taken place was after the Pharaoh and his army were destroyed during the Exodus. While it is quite possible that the Hyksos could have come to power through non military means, like Joseph had, that does not seem probable as they would have had to have complete control over the Egyptian military and other high offices to make the coup work and it is hard to consider the Egyptian army rebelling against their own people in favor of foreigners. Among other obstacles.

Since the Hyksos presence in Northern Egypt has been referred to as an invasion, there really is not record of any invasion of Egypt during the 13th or 14th dynasties that would explain their entering the land (ABR, 2005).

Egypt was not a weak nation until the Exodus took place making it possible for an invading force to take the land without, as Manetho describes, striking a blow. Their army was gone as was their Pharaoh and reeling from all the plagues including the loss of the first born, the people of Egypt were not in the frame of mind or position to defend their land.

Ahmose I may have expelled the Hyksos as the Rhind papyrus has mentioned but it is possible that it was after his stated rule of 1550 to 1525 BC. (Dunn, 2020). Because of the sparsity of records it is hard to say and theories do abound.

One must be cautious when using Manetho because he was commissioned by Ptolemy II to write the histories and given Egyptian mentality, Manetho could have changed Egyptian history to make the country seem better than it was (Kinnaer, 2018). Without copies of his original work it can never be certain what was written in his books.

Who were the Hyksos

This is a very good question and no one really knows who exactly they were. It has been said that they were a Semitic people who had found their way to Egypt and got as far as Avaris (Mark, 2017).

Others have said that the Hyksos were a near eastern people or from Asia but the existing documentation does not really go into detail as to their exact origin (Youngblood, 1995).

There is even trouble trying to find the meaning behind the name Hyksos. Some people call it an incorrect translation as they disagree with the shepherd kings definition and prefer the one that accompanies the words hikau khausut which means rulers of foreign lands (Dunn, 2020).

There may some confusion at work as Manetho was writing centuries after the fact> he may have got his data mixed up either by accident or on purpose. This confusion has had scholars attaching the name Hyksos to the Hebrews who were in the land with the ones who were said to have ruled the land between the 13th and 17th dynasties. The key to remember is that Hyksos came to Egypt from mysterious origins and left the country to a mysterious fate.

Which leaves the opening that the Hyksos could have been the Amalekites who were a people who were described as one of the first nations rendering their origin unknown and who died out from history a few centuries later without any records about their civilization left extant.

This destruction of any knowledge falls in line with what God said he would do to the Amalekites after their attack on Israel in Exodus 17. In verse 14 God told Moses- “14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven” (NASB).

If this is the case, the Amalekites could easily gone to Egypt after their battle with the Hebrews and took over the land as far as Avaris without striking a blow. There was no one left to stop them from doing that.

The Pharaoh who did not know Joseph

Since the Bible does not mention the name of the Pharaoh who took over after Joseph died many theories abound. One respected archaeologist has said that the only time the Hebrews could have been in Egypt and built Pithom was during the claimed Hyksos time (Wood, 2008).

The reasoning behind that identification was that the new Hyksos king would have no real knowledge of Egyptian history and would not have been told about Joseph and his achievements (Wood, 2008).

That is hard to ascertain as it does not fit in with what the Pharaoh had said when he declared that the Hebrews were to be made slave. Another theory also pins the enslavement on the Hyksos as the person creating this theory stated that this was something the Egyptians would not say and it was something that the Hyksos would say (EU, 2020).

That explanation makes no sense as the Hyksos were trying to rule a large group of people already. Most likely the Egyptians outnumbered the Hyksos and with the latter not conquering the whole land, there were far too many free Egyptians to worry about than the Hebrews.

The Egyptians on the other hand had something to fear from the growing number of Hebrews as they had, like every other ancient civilizations, reason to believe that the Hebrews would join forces with their enemies and conquer the land.

If the Hebrews were under Hyksos control, then they could have easily escaped to the free part of Egypt and joined forces with the Egyptians and drive out the invaders. With the Egyptians as the ones who enslaved the Hebrews, that hope and possibility disappears as the Hebrews had no place to escape to.

To find the Pharaoh of the Exodus, it it may be left to a search of one who was not a first born child unless the Pharaoh was spared from being killed in the last plague. The Pharaoh who took over for the one killed at the Red Sea could not be a first born child.

As the Bible tells us- “4 Moses said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt, 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.” (Exodus 11 NASB).

It is also possible that the Pharaoh who enslaved the Hebrews was not the same as the pharaoh of the Exodus for this reason- “ 19 Now the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” (Exodus 4 NASB).

It is hard to say but that seems to be the indication. In finding the identity we have the clues just as we have the clues as to when the Hyksos ruled in Egypt and who the Hyksos were.

The Egyptian timeline cannot be left up to unbelieving Egyptologists to figure out. They are not in search of the truth and may still be carrying out the ancient Egyptian tradition of creating a history that makes their people look better than they were. They also do not have God helping them.

Works Cited

ABR, (2005). Bible and Spade, 18(1), 9.

Dunn, J., (2020), “ Who were the Hyksos”, Tour Egypt, http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/hyksos.htm

EU, (2020), “Date of the Exodus”, Evidence Unseen, http://www.evidenceunseen.com/date-of-the-exodus/

Harrison, R.K., (2005), “Old Testament Times”, Baker Books

Kinnaer, J., (2018), “ Manetho”, The Egyptian Site, http://ancient-egypt.org/who-is-who/m/manetho.html

Lundstrom, P., (2020), “the Royal Code of Turin”, Pharaoh.se, https://pharaoh.se/royal-canon-of-turin

Malik, J., (2011), “Egyptian Art”, Phaidon, Pg. 430

Manetho. (1964). History of Egypt and Other Works. (T. E. Page, E. Capps, L. A. Post, W. H. D. Rouse, & E. H. Warmington, Eds., W. G. Waddell, Trans.) (p. vii). Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press; William Heinemann Ltd.

Mark, J., (2017), “Hyksos”, Ancient History Encyclopedia, https://www.ancient.eu/Hyksos/

Redmount, C. A. (2001). Ethnicity, Pottery, and the Hyksos at Tell El-Maskhuta in the Egyptian Delta. Biblical Archaeologist: Volume 58 1-4, (electronic ed.), 183.

Wood, B., (2016), ‘DAVID ROHL’S REVISED EGYPTIAN CHRONOLOGY: A VIEW FROM PALESTINE”, Biblia.work, https://www.biblia.work/sermons/davidrohls-revised-egyptian-chronology-a-view-from-palestine/

________, (2008), “From Ramesses to Shiloh: Archaeological Discoveries Bearing on the Exodus-Judges Period”, Associates for Biblical Research, https://biblearchaeology.org/research/conquest-of-canaan/2403-from-ramesses-to-shiloh-archaeological-discoveries-bearing-on-the-exodusjudges-period?highlight=WyJoeWtzb3MiLCInaHlrc29zJyIsIidoeWtzb3MnLXRoZSJd

Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., & Harrison, R. K., Thomas Nelson Publishers (Eds.). (1995). In Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Bart Ehrman Has Written Again 2

Having done some more reading in Dr. Ehrman’s book that we wrote about several days ago, we came across an argument that should be discussed in some detail.

The argument comes between pages 189 and 193 and we will quote from those pages then respond to Dr. Ehrman’s words. He bases his argument on the work of  anthropologist Jan Vansina who studied oral traditions n Rwanda and Burundi during the years 1955 to 1960 (pg.189).

Dr. Ehrman makes his first mistake here as he assumes that what humans do in 20th century Africa is what the Biblical Authors and the people of Israel did in the the 1st century AD. even though the cultures were vastly different and operating under a different set of rules.

A key point for Vansina is that tradition involves a chain of transmission that can be charted as follows:observer – prototestimony – chain of transmission – final informant – recorder – earliest written record (pg 190)

This order of oral to written transmission may work in secular societies when the people involved are not passing on holy information  meant for all people to follow. It does not work when passing on scriptures written by God for all people to know the truth.

Dr. Ehrman makes his second mistake here assuming that God works like unbelievers when creating written communication to his creation. The Bible tells us that God works in is own ways and that his words are higher than ours.

So it stands to reason that the formula quoted above may work for certain tribes in Africa who were under no command to preserve the truth of their traditions. It does not work for God’s word.

…this is exactly what happened with the traditions about e as passed down from eyewitness to the authors of our earliest written accounts, either the Gospel writers or the authors of the now lost written reports they utilized (pg. 190)

This is a rather bold statement by Dr. Ehrman and it is his third mistake in presenting this argument. He has no proof that, one, the Jewish believers of the first century operated in this manner especially since the written word had long been practiced by the Jewish people.

There is also no evidence that oral tradition was being used at this time by anyone in the “civilized” world. Two, Dr. Ehrman has absolutely no proof that the Gospels were written in this manner. He says this is exactly how it was done but where is his evidence?

Dr. Ehrman does not produce any in his book nor does he provide any footnotes leading the reader to his evidence. He wants his readers to blindly follow and accept his words even though he offers nothing to validate his point of view.

Vansina argues that when testimonies are recited frequently, because of the vagaries inherent in the oral mode of transmission, they change more often than when recited only on once occasion (pg. 191)

This is a stretch because if the story is told only once and never repeated, then it is not an oral history but maybe just a fairy tale or a campfire story meant to scare people for entertainment.

besides that, and which is Dr. Ehrman’s fourth mistake, is that he assumes that God is incapable of having the same story told over and over without having any of the details change.

Dr. Ehrman excludes God totally from the picture making the Gospels a simple story book tale instead of recognizing it as the word of God. While some of this may be possible for the Pseudepigrapha  it is not possible for the word of God.

Also, as a side note, the Pseudepigrapha may be part of what we would call historical fiction or just plain fiction and not fake scriptures at all. Dr. Ehrman and other scholars ignore this possibility for their own reasons.

In any case, Dr. Ehrman is saying that the Bible is written solely by fallible humans who relied on false tales about Jesus then wrote those tales down and made them part of  the Christian church.

It is absurd . We also have no known physical evidence leading anyone to that conclusion.

Traditions experience massive changes not simply because people have bad memories…when people pass along testimonies about the past, they are telling the stories for a particular reason to a particular audience…largely depends on the way he tells the story and on the individual twist he gives it (pg. 191)

Again this may work for those sleep over times when teenagers have their friends over and their dad tells a particular story. Or it may work when the youth pastor has a specific message to his young charges but it does not work for God or the biblical authors.

As we know, Luke stated that he researched everything carefully. That means he did not stop at just oral accounts that were altered through many transmissions. He found the truth and recorded it.

This  shows Dr. Ehrman’s 5th mistake. He assumes that the biblical authors were not very intelligent and just wrote whatever they felt like writing. His next mistake was forgetting that the bible’s author is God and that God had a particular reason for writing the Gospels the way the were recorded.

He wanted all men to be saved. The audience God was writing to was not limited to the 1st century Jewish people and the Roman world. It was for all people of all times.

It is therefore not surprising to find that very often the original testimony has disappeared altogether. (pg.192)

Dr. Ehrman’s 7th mistake is assuming he is omniscient and that he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the current biblical gospels are not the originals. He also forgets that there were enough eyewitnesses left alive, both followers and non followers of Jesus who could correct any mistake recorded in the Gospels.

Then Dr. Ehrman ignores the fact that none of the early Church fathers alluded to or even quoted from any of those supposed original works. In other words, Dr. Ehrman is arguing from silence and without foundation.

It happens that the same [persons with regard to the same series of events will tell two different, even contradictory stories. (pg.192)

In this 8th mistake, Dr. Ehrman ignores the reality and fact that two people can see the same thing yet focus on different details. Their stories are not contradictory, just focusing on other details that were also part of the event.

I think it is fair to say that people  in oral cultures do not preserve their traditions intact with verbatim accuracy from one telling to the next. They not only do not do so, they also do not care to do so (pg.192)

Again we see Dr. Ehrman over stating his hand and making his 9th and 10th mistakes in this argument against the biblical record. First, the Jewish people were not living in an oral culture. They had their own language, their own writing, and lived as many modern nations live today in a literate society .

Second, he assumes that those writing the Gospels were not operating under strict divine rules and had complete freedom to record whatever they wished. Then if the apostles did not care to get it right why did they travel so far to reach others with this good news?

Obviously not only did the biblical authors care that they got the writing correct, God cared as well and made a promise to preserve his word. Another fact, Dr. Ehrman ignores in his haste to trash the Bible.

…if these differences create irreconcilable differences, then we know that something has been changed… (pg. 193)

There are no irreconcilable differences in the Gospel accounts except to those who, like Dr. Ehrman, do not believe in Jesus. They never accept the truth and the true explanation. This was his 11th and last mistake i presenting this argument.

Dr. Ehrman cannot prove one word he said and he had to go to the 20th century to get some  secular human mode of transmission and teleport it back to the 1st century to try to make his argument work.

It didn’t. In fact, Dr. Ehrman should be embarrassed by his effort as he presents not one shred of 1st century proof to back up his claim. He distorts the actions of the people of Jesus’ time, insults their intelligence, and totally excludes, as well as insult God.

The fact that the Spirit of Truth was sent to Jesus’ followers to lead them to the truth shows that Dr. Ehrman is trying to change the Bible in order to put salve on his hurting soul.

 

Archaeology isn’t a Magic wand

The internet is full of websites that are authored by or allow former ministers and missionaries to join. If you go to these and read their stories you will find a number of different reasons why these Christian leaders lost their faith

The same happens to scholars and archaeologists. many have lost their faith because Archaeology did not turn up what they had wanted or expected to find. Or they had a misconception of God and how he works.

Approx. 13 or 14 yeas ago the former editor of Biblical Archaeology Review sat down and talked with 4 different scholars and archaeologist. During their work in archaeology 3 of them either lost their faith because of the failure of archaeology to confirm what they wanted to confirm. 1 was already a Jewish archaeologist so his view centered around the OT.

All three lost their faith because of their professional work in the field of archaeology. The 4th, a biblical scholar,lost his faith because his concept of God did not match up with the reality of the world.

We can’t reprint their whole interviews but here is the summary Of their words:

Contrary to his stated early views, he no longer believes that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

Contrary to traditional Baptist belief, he does not accept that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. He is now left with a ‘faith’ that has no objective roots, a faith disconnected from the real world. This is not Christian faith.

He does not accept that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

Contrary to the views of his family upbringing, he does not believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God (if he ever really did).

{you can read their words at the following link and get their identities there as well https://creation.com/losing-faith-how-secular-scholarship-affects-scholars}

Having a faith in God is always going to be challenged. Evil does not want God to have one soul enter heaven and he is working hard to end the faith of those who believe in Jesus.

He will use science and archaeology to accomplish his goals as there are so many people unable to put science or archaeology in their proper place. They tend to think that both are authorities and overrule the word of God.

Archaeology is not a magic wand or potion that miraculously uncovers the physical evidence  that believers want to see. They often follow thee unbelieving archaeologist who formulates the idea, hypothesis, theory or conclusion that if the physical evidence is not found then the event did not happen.

That was Kathleen Kenyon’s conclusion about Jericho when she did not find what she was looking for when she excavated at that ancient city (Bryant, 2008 https://biblearchaeology.org/research/conquest-of-canaan/3625-the-walls-of-jericho?highlight=WyJqZXJpY2hvIiwiamVyaWNobydzIiwiamVyaWNobyciLCInamVyaWNobyIsIidqZXJpY2hvJyJd).

Many unbelieving scholars accepted her unpublished conclusion without hesitation or question. As did so many believers over the years. Her problem was that she simply dug in the wrong spot yet many people gave up their faith because of her inability to use archaeology to prove the Bible true.

This is the problem.Archaeology is not infallible. There are too many things that can go wrong with this research field that to rely on it to bolster one’s faith is asking for trouble.

Yes archaeology will provide plenty of physical evidence to verify and prove the bible true. With those results we can strengthen our faith but that is about it. we see how God’s word is true and that the history recorded in the Bible is the accurate version.

Trying to build one’s faith using archaeology is doing what Jesus warned us not to do in Matthew 7:26 & 27. It is building on the sand. Archaeology is not the solid rock foundation Jesus told us to build upon. It is just a human research field we are allowed to participate in to discover many things about God and our history

Jesus is the solid foundation that we build on. We follow his words and instructions correctly if we want to make it through this life. Those 4 scholars and archaeologists did not do that.

They did not take the time to follow God’s words correctly or even learn what they truly mean. Instead they let their frail human understanding be rocked when their chosen field of research failed them.

Archaeology will fail everyone. It is not God nor has the attributes of God. The field of research is also heavily influenced by evil, which means that the secular and some Christian archaeologists are very blind to what they uncover and how it applies to the Bible.

When reading about archaeology or even participating in it one must follow the leading of the Spirit of Truth to get to the truth. part of that truth is that archaeology is too limited to be relied upon for the physical evidence people seek.

We rely on Jesus and the Bible to keep our faith strong even when archaeologist claim the field of research has proven the Bible to be in error. God does not make mistakes so when that happens, it is the archaeologist who is in error as his experience, education levels and so on, do not match God’s.

They do not even get close to God’s foolishness.

Archaeology’s Table of Contents

This will be the last of the book’s content that I will post. There will be more posts about the book from time to time

Table of Contents

 

Introduction – 4

 

Archaeology & Faith- 8

 

The Problem of Objectivity- 14

 

Archaeology’s Limitations- 19

 

The Issue of Archaeological Forgeries- 25

 

Amateurs Outdo the Experts- 31

 

Archaeological Reports- 38

 

There is No Smoking Gun- 44

 

Is It Biblical Archaeology or Not- 49

 

Pseudo Archaeology- 55

 

Similar Histories- 62

 

The Archaeological Eras- 68

 

Who Owns Archaeology- 74

 

Nothing is New Under the Sun- 80

The Amount of Biblical Evidence- 87

 

Does Archaeology Prove the Bible True- 94

 

The Anti Biblical Bias in Archaeology- 99

 

The Bible is a Reliable Ancient Text- 105

 

Why We Study History- 110

 

Why We study History 2- 115

 

Some Final Words- 120

 

About the Author- 125

You can find the book at: https://books2read.com/u/bW1Z0G