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Contemporary Issues

Commentary on recent archaeological discoveries, current issues bearing on the historical reliability of Scripture and other relevant news concerning the Bible.

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'I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me.
If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.'
-- John 5:43 ESV

I recently wrote an article for our friends at Answers in Genesis about archaeology and the Conquest. One of the subjects I discussed in my article, of course, was the issue of Jericho and Kathleen Kenyon's conclusions that seemed to undermine the account in Joshua 6. Following the publication of that article, I participated in an online chat to talk about the article and other archaeology matters. One of the participants accurately noted that the reaction by OT scholarship and the archaeological community to Kenyon's claims was eerily similar to the reaction people had to unbiblical theories such as Darwinism, the Documentary Hypothesis, and so on. When the scholar comes along, in his own name, peddling an idea that is at odds with Scripture, most people are inclined to jump on the bandwagon, lickety-split. Human history is littered with the ghastly consequences of these terrible ideas.

Unfortunately, the Church is not immune from this tendency. Professing believers who are not well-grounded in Scripture are easily susceptible to claims that are not biblical. Or, even worse, they set out to manipulate the text of Scripture to accommodate the vacuous novelty of the day. There is no more egregious example of this than recent attempts by professing believers to actively distort what Scripture clearly teaches about homosexual behavior and the institution of marriage. In a desperate attempt to capitulate to the spirit of this age, Scripture is twisted and undermined at every turn in order to legitimize activity that God clearly condemns as an abomination.1 The real tragedy is that the person who engages in such activity is led to believe that God endorses it. Instead of being freed by the power of Christ, the person remains a slave to their sin. And others who might otherwise have turned away from such unnatural behavior are now encouraged to pursue it. It is profoundly tragic.

Of course, ABR does not specialize in dealing with cultural and moral issues of the day, but we are acutely aware of them and are impacted by them. And these issues do strike at the heart of what ABR is about: the authority of the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The wickedness of the present age extends into every corner of our existence. Naturally, this also includes the world of archeological scholarship, where every attempt is made to undermine, distort, diminish and twist the Bible. ABR continues to labor to answer these distortions, and provides research and articles to equip you to faithfully defend the Christian faith. We need your prayers and support so we remain faithful to Scripture and our Lord.

My friends, we must remain vigilant. Do not receive what the scholars, cultural messengers and skeptics say without first seriously and prayerfully scrutinizing their claims in light of the Word of God (I Thes. 5:21). In addition, their ideas must also be weighed against alternative interpretations of the archaeological evidence. Archaeology is often an inexact science and does not rise to the level of God's Word in terms of its authority or clarity. Do not accept their authoritative claims on the surface. Their arguments will most often be found wanting.

Instead, receive the Word of the One who was sent from the Father.

To Yahweh be the glory, forever and ever!

 

This article was first published in the Summer 2014 issue of Bible and Spade.

[1] One of the most hideous examples of this distortion is God and the Gay Christian, by Matthew Vines. For a response, see God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines, edited by R. Albert Mohler Jr. (off-site link).

A strong temptation for Christians with advanced training in the sciences is to compromise on the plain sense of the biblical text when faced with apparent conflicts between it and popular scientific views. Some such views are clearly contrary to Scripture, such as Darwin's theory of evolution, and are promptly rejected by those who value the Bible as God's revelation. Other views, however, are more subtle in the way they conflict with the Bible, causing some to wonder, 'Maybe the

Archaeological sites are in danger around the Ancient Near East. While there are antiquities laws in place throughout the region, they rarely suffice to deter the destruction. Once the crime is committed, the data is irretrievably lost, or at best, it is devalued. The plot of Clive Cussler's best-selling novel, Crescent Dawn, portrays the conflict between those who want to preserve antiquities and those who want to plunder or destroy them. Sadly, this goes far beyond fictional depictions. There are four main causes of the destruction of antiquities...

We presently live in a culture of great skepticism and confusion. Many scholars, scientists, historians and forces within culture believe the Bible is an outdated, irrelevant book, filled with fables, stories, and mythological constructs that are not based on reality. Members of the ABR staff gathered together in a roundtable discussion to talk about some of the criticisms presently being leveled against the Bible. In this 11 part series (on a 2 DVD set), find out why you can trust the Bible.

Check out this preview of the latest issue of Bible and Spade, soon to be delivered to our members and subscribers.

Recently, archaeological remains were discovered in Jerusalem that affirmed the presence of Hasmoneans in Jerusalem during the second century BC. This was in accord with historical texts, such as the book of 1 Maccabees. In this brief article, Dr. Scott Stripling illustrates how the principle of the 'benefit of the doubt' is often applied to some written texts, but with a double standard when it comes to King David and the Bible.

Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef and Dr. Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures have used radiocarbon dating in an attempt to pinpoint the time when domesticated camels arrived in the southern Levant, pushing the standard estimate from the 12th down to the 10th century BC. The findings, published recently in the journal Tel Aviv, are being used to argue that camels were first used in the mining operations near the end of the 10th century BC. They state that this is the first evidence of domesticated camels in ancient Israel. Such proclamations erroneously extrapolate the findings of the research far beyond what the actual data proves. In reality, there is abundant evidence that the Bible's mention of camels as early as the time of Abraham is contextually and historically accurate. In this article, TM Kennedy demonstrates the accuracy of the biblical texts in their historical setting as it pertains to camels.

Mark Daniels of WFIL in Philadelphia interviews ABR Director of Development, Henry Smith.

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ABRT 24 | 4/13/2019