Is the title “Who Supports Who” correct? Maybe it should read, “Who Supports Whom” or possibly even “Whom Supports Who” is right. Grammar, isn’t it just one of those interesting exercises while trying to figure out the correct way to write something you really want to say? The word interesting, used in conjunction with grammar, might not be the first word or thought that comes to mind here, but it’s the one that we’ll go with. It has similarities when used with another subject that one often deals with. That subject is time.
Modern mankind is stuck in chronological time. But, thinking about time is another one of those interesting exercises. Have you ever noticed how time flies when you’re having fun? I thought so. Time is funny that way. My wife and I recently celebrated another anniversary. She made a comment about how long we had been married. She then qualified it by saying, “It doesn’t seem possible that we’ve been married that long.” In these examples time is relative.
The field of archeology deals with time chronologically. It looks at artifacts from the past and tries to ascertain the dates they were made. Some of those artifacts go back to a far distant past. However, those who do the looking only started doing so about one hundred and fifty years ago. Regretfully, those early pioneers weren’t always following a strictly scientific approach.
Some of those early findings were later found to be a little short of accurate. But there are times where more recent archeologists have occasionally been a little short of accurate themselves. This fact is certainly the most obvious within the Biblical archeological landscape. There have been ongoing disagreements and disputes about what has or hasn’t been found, the context surrounding the findings, and even what it is that some of those findings are showing us today.
So, in another sense, the timelines and the disputes of these archeologists are relative too. Confirmations are problematic. No one alive today was there at that time and can tell us who is right and who is wrong. Yes, yes, ancient artifacts, in particular pottery provide scholars with a way to accurately differentiate between the lives of the individuals who used them. But by themselves, they cannot ascertain the time those artifacts were created. Timelines based on the pottery found is limited solely to determining one culture’s preceding another by making stylistic comparisons and by its location in the strata. Comparisons of contemporaneous and consecutive communities need an outside source of reference to establish, with a high degree of confidence, how long ago those cultures existed. To say otherwise is to be disingenuous.
Fortunately, there is just such a source. That resource is the Bible. It alone provides archeologist’s with an accurate point of reference to establish when those ancient cultures flourished. Even the long enduring ancient Egyptian culture needs a reference point to put their long timeline in the proper age/era.
One can and should follow the current archeological dig at Tall el-Hammam. It just so happens to be the most significant archeological finding since the Dead Sea Scrolls. It should rank just above the recent finding of King David’s palace. This distinct categorization of tall-el-Hammam‘s importance is based upon the fact that there is only one place where the palace of David could be located, which is in the Old City of Jerusalem. The location of Tall el-Hammam is where Lot with his family escaped Sodom’s destruction. Well, everyone except Lot’s wife.
Without going into the many details, suffice it to say Tall el Hammam, Sodom, is not where the maps of ancient lands have Sodom located. But recent dig findings have ensured Tall-el-Hammam is correctly identified as Sodom. The location for where to look for Sodom was determined by carefully reading the Biblical texts. Dr. Stephan Collins is the person in charge of the ongoing excavation. He has a website you can visit, www.tallelhammam.com , and he has a number of excellent programs on YouTube. Two of these programs are,” Why Sodom matters – Genesis 13:1 – 12 – Dr. Steven Collins” and “As it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah – Dr. Steven Collins.” There are other fine examples if you choose to dig deeper (pun intended). They detail everything that has been examined to make sure that Tall el-Hammam is the historical Sodom. Dr. Collins first located this site by strictly following the directions described in Genesis 13. Everything that the archeological dig has since uncovered coincides with the Biblical narrative of Sodom. Gomorrah has subsequently been located and displays the same destructive force that occurred in Sodom and that destruction occurred at the same time as Sodom.
This is merely the latest in a long line of archeological discoveries that show how the Bible confirms the ancient event s and places that have been discovered by the archeologists. An abecedary of the Semitic language has been found in Egypt before alphabetic writing was supposed to have existed. It provides individuals with the alphabets of two distinct forms of Semitic language. (For further references about this subject look at the article in a previous blog posting titled “Declarations of Encouragement.”) The abecedary basically confirms that Moses and others were writing Hebraic, at that time, in Egypt. It is another example of how the Bible corroborates what archeologists find at their sites. Looking at the Biblical archeology from this perspective turns current assumptions completely on its head and is a consistent way to truly study Biblical archeology.
Whether or not scholars want to admit it, Biblical archeological discoveries don’t provide confirmation of what was written in the Bible. The scriptures provide proof of what the archeologists find, and dig up. The doubters, sceptics, and antagonists, mostly known as minimalists, who try to dispute the Biblical accounts, end up choking on the feathers of each new crow they have to eat. Time after time, as new findings are uncovered, they are historically confirmed by the scriptures.
With that said, one change needs to be made when making a reference to Biblical archeology. It goes back to answering the initial question of who supports who? Undoubtedly, the Bible supports Biblical archeology and not the other way around. Time and again Biblical archeology agrees with the Bible. It is time to reaffirm the superiority of God’s Holy Word. The Bible removes the relativity of the foolish arguments some have made. The Bible gives archeologists a record of the times and events as they occurred. Even the title Biblical archeology is an apt description of the way the study was originally intended to be.
When speaking with non-believers one may have an opportunity to talk about God’s Holy Scriptures. If so, then one more way to give credence to the Bible is by speaking to its accuracy relating to the way the Bible supports the findings of archeologists. It alone gives a true understanding of the lives and times of the people found within the scriptures.