Diggin’ up the Bible (The Bible and Archeology)

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“The Bible isn’t a history book, it’s a theological book,” a famous talk show host recently stated in a matter of fact manner while mocking a comment a man had sent to his email. I shouldn’t have been surprised, because even though this man claims to be a Christian many of his beliefs are contrary to the Bible. Sadly, he is only one among millions who have claimed to be a Christian yet have carried beliefs contrary to Scripture. Like this talk show host, many individuals professing Christianity believe the Bible is only a theological book, not a historical book.

This host was correct in the first part of his statement, the Bible is a theological book, but he is wrong in his belief that it is not historically accurate. His ignorance, professed on a national platform, frustrated me for days. How can someone pick and choose what parts of the Bible are accurate and what parts are not? How can the Bible be a theological book inspired by God, yet fail to be historically accurate?

As this comment was made, my mind traveled back to a Bible class I sat in many years earlier at Dallas Baptist University. My professor was pointing out how thousands of supposed “biblical errors and historical inaccuracies” had been eliminated one by one due to archeological finds until, at that time, there were only a few hundred left. His argument was—after thousands of supposed historical errors were proven false—why were these biblical critics still adamant against the possibility of the remaining supposed errors being false as well?

So how are we “Diggin’ up the Bible?” With the release of movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, most Americans have become more familiar with the historical science of archeology—the hunt for and study of ancient cultures. Like Indiana Jones, the hero of Raiders of the Lost Ark, an archeologist’s job is to carefully dig up relics and clues of the past in an attempt to reconstruct how ancient people lived, and although most Americans know what archeology is, many are unaware of what pushed this historical science to the forefront of this modern era. You see, archeology has been around for centuries, but it didn’t become a serious science until the 19th century, and regretfully, its main stimulant was to discover evidence in support of Darwin’s theory. Although archeology was thrust to the forefront with the purpose of proving Darwin’s theory true, many of its findings actually call the theory into question, and rather than digging up the missing link, one by one many of the biblical critics’ supposed errors and myths in the Bible are being eliminated.

It is also important to note that there are several rules that always apply when studying works of antiquity, and one of these rules is that the writing is always considered accurate until proven false. Yet when studying the Bible, this rule is not only eliminated, it is reversed. Everything within its pages are considered false until proven accurate. My question is, “Why is the Bible singled out and studied differently from any other ancient work, especially after so many of the people, places and events recorded within its pages have been verified?”

In the coming weeks I plan on writing about some of these supposed biblical errors and mythology that have been proven to be actual historical fact.