Just recently a friend of mine notified me (Ted W.) of a blog written by biblical scholar, Dr. Peter Enns concerning archaeology and the Bible. The title of the blog post is “3 Things I Would Like to see Evangelical Leaders Stop Saying About Biblical Scholarship”
Here are the three things Enns would like to see Evangelical leaders stop saying: That
1. Historical Criticism is either dying or at least losing momentum in academia
2. Source Criticism of the Pentateuch is in a state of chaos.
3. Biblical archaeology basically supports the historical veracity of the Bible.
Obviously for those of us who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture all three of these is problematic. But point 3 was of particular interest to me, so this is what I responded to.
You can read Dr. Enns original post and my responses to him below here:
Enns doesn’t even follow his own advice:Here is my partial response to Enns main point in number 3:
But, to your original post (point 3) in your Blog – Here you make a sweeping generalization (which I noticed you accused someone else in the post of committing) about archaeology and the Bible.
In the three things you would like to see Evangelical leaders Stop Saying about Biblical Scholarship – number 3 – is that “Biblical Archaeology Basically Supports the Historical Veracity of the Bible”
But the very first thing you say is – (and I quote) “Biblical archaeology has helped us understand a lot about the world of the Bible and clarified a considerable amount of what we find in the Bible” But this is the very thing you said that you would like to see evangelical leaders stop saying!
But then you say – (and again I quote) – “But the archaeological record has not been friendly for one vital issue, Israel’s origins: the period of slavery in Egypt, the mass departure of Israelite slaves from Egypt, and the violent conquest of the land of Canaan by the Israelites.”
Perhaps what you should have said in your original blog is that you would like to see Evangelical leaders stop claiming that “Archaeology supports the historicity of early Israel, The Exodus and Conquest.”
On that point I gave Enns several examples (in the response) from archaeology and history, but he dismissed the evidence citing that the “consensus of scholars and archaeologists” is that Israel’s early history is highly questionable.
We’ve heard this idea of “consensus ” before – especially when it comes to the anthropogenic global warming debate and the ID (Intelligent Design) debate. I think for a future blog, I am going to do a little background research on “consensus” in scholarship and what this means. One thing is fore sure, and it is that science, history and ethics is not voted on by “consensus.” The eugenics movement in late 19th century – early 20th century America is proof of this (although Eugenics is now making a comeback).