160 thoughts on “Oh, for gods’ sake!

  1. It is the chief city of Nibiru which is one light-day from earth, or 5.88Trillion miles.
    The truth is faith can only endure because there is no evidence. It had to be a complete whitewash for the trick to work. Any evidence at all would create a flaw in faith (a trick on human cognition), and we can’t have that now can we? I think some evidence would be the key to the collapse of religion because faith demands there be no evidence.

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    1. Initially, I never paid much attention to all the places mentioned in the bible, and it was only the fabrication of Nazareth that caught my eye.
      That many of the places listed in the NT text are simply imaginary hammers home the fact that, rather than a journey through ancient archaeology we are primarily dealing with historical fiction.

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      1. It has to be fiction for faith operate. Faith is just a reversal of terms. The founders condemned pride and call faith a virtue, which is nothing more than stubborn pride. Then offer trophies for doing what men cannot help but do. Rewarding their ego by repackaging pride as some gold standard of knowledge.

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        1. Agreed. However the likes of Mel ( and others like him) claim there IS evidence to support this faith .
          Yet when called to produce it they simply cannot.
          A major reason why an archaeologist such as William Dever deconverted.

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  2. Arimathea wasn’t really a town, it was a hobo camp on the other side of the tracks. Joseph was considered well off because he had a box to live in. So now that you really know the truth, you understand why Arimathea cannot be located today.

    This making shit up is easy, no wonder tRump is so good at it.

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    1. And there I was thinking Pilate must have been a pretty decent sort of chap for giving Joe of A the body of JC.
      *Sigh* I feel my trust has been violated.

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  3. This is actually a question to which I would rather like an informed and accurate reply, like the anticipated ‘categorically not’, although credible ‘maybes’ might do.

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    1. There never was such a place, like so many of the place names in the NT. Although you can be assured that believers have offered a number of suggestions.
      My question was very much tongue in cheek.

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        1. LIke pretty much everything about religion, if you can’t question it (prove it wrong) then faith always comes to the fore, and if you reject faith then one is either ostracized or you simply walk away leaving apologists and their ilk to constantly move the goalposts in an effort to desperately hold on to their credibility.

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      1. It’s ‘hee hoo’ time again—

        —Hee Hoo put tongue in cheek risks biting that tongue.

        As for Jo, he wouldn’t be called Jo of Arithmethingy if he wuzn’t from Aritmethingy, no? (And they calls ME dum! Sheesh!)

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  4. Arimathea is just as reliable as Jerusalem, Joppa, Tel Abib, Nazareth, Cana, Tigris, Euphrates, Hebron, the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, the Black Sea, Megiddo, Chicago, Detroit, Tokyo, Madrid, Nepal, need I go on???

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    1. John, the existence in reality of a town referred to in a work of fiction is no more evidence that the other people or events that “really happened” in that work of fiction.. actually happened… than the existence of New York is evidence that Spider Man really exists or that The Avengers assembled and saved the earth from the Chitari Warriors from another dimension.

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    2. How are you able to type so many words and yet also provide no information whatsoever? I think the best that can be said is Arimathea is as reliable as you are in answering questions. You’d make a great sphinx in a labyrinth…in which there was no chance for people to escape because you’d provide them with nonsensical riddles.

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      1. Remember, Swarn, he thinks the bible is innerant thus, any fault in understanding lies with those who read/ interpret it.
        He subtly berates anyone who adopts any view that may veer off on a tangent – including, or maybe especially ,other believers.

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    1. I love the several uses of the words probable and not probable.

      Out of curiosity, why do you think the character, Joseph of Arimathea is claimed to be a ”Rich man” yet comes from a hovel of a hamlet that no one ever heard of or knows where it is?

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  5. Whether you call it mythology, fiction or fantasy. Name it the Bible, Iliad, Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones – all good stories start with a dollop of plausibility, dash of emotional connection, pinch of geographical imagery and flourish of poetic license. Over time history professed by those in power becomes fact – it doesn’t matter if every ancient civilization has a flood myth, creation story or valiant nobody from the Shire. Arimathea is a Biblical Atlantis. Sigh. 🙂

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  6. Where’s the problem, Ark?
    The identification of Arimathea with ancient Ramathaim-zophim makes sense, so present day Rantis is the place you’re looking for.
    Yours,
    John/.

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    1. *Smile?. Do you really think I was unaware of this?
      Come on, John, this is simply speculation with no genuine evidence to support it.
      Try again, with some real archaeology instead of your usual smarmy fundy apologetic wishful thinking.

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      1. How could you have been unaware of it, Ark;
        since it’s right there in wikipedia‽ (Don’t worry, I checked the facts, elsewhere.) Speculation it may be but it remains well-founded speculation. Anyway, what would it matter if Arimathea were some other place?
        Yours,
        John/.

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        1. I asked if you really thought I was unaware of the nonsense you espoused?
          No, John, speculation is all it is.
          Much like so many of the places named in the Burble- like the ”city” of Nazareth for example.
          Arimathea was not ”some other place”, it is a ficticious place.
          You are simply bumbling along with the indoctrinated herd.
          Tell, me don’t you ever get tired of your dishonesty?

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          1. Let’s try and follow your reasoning here, Ark:
            it’s your contention that this Joseph never existed and that the Gospel writers simply invented him to cover an awkward gap in their story. (Pure speculation on your part but that by the way.) I’d have thought that it would have appealed to conspirators to locate the manor of their invented plutocrat at a place known only for one thing when that one thing was that Ramathaim-zophim was the manor of Elkanah, a rich man. Even ficticious places need a location and the Gospel accounts place Arimathea in the Roman-administered province of Judea. (Ramathaim-zophan was located in the hill country of Ephraim which eventually was divided between Judea and Samaria.)
            Yours,
            John/.

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          2. And your point is what?
            There is no archaeological evidence for Arimathea.
            And yes … the character, Joseph of … was in all probability invented.
            Like so many places and people described in the bible Joseph of Arimathea is simply a character that is used as a plot device.

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          3. If Joseph is merely a plot device, why would they bother to make up a place for him to have inhabited? What archaeological evidence could pinpoint remains of a first century hamlet as being Arimathea?
            Yours,
            John/.

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          4. Similar reason they made up a place for Jesus to have inhabited.

            Same sort of archaeological evidence used to pinpoint any place.

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          5. To quote Richard Bauckham, Nan,
            from (1st ed. pp. 81f.) — that I’m reading because Ark (backed up strongly by John Zande) is convinced that David Robertson is citing Bauckham wrongly. —

            Joseph of Arimathea doubtless had estates near a town called Ramathaim, but lived mostly in Jerusalem, where he was naturally called Joseph of Ramathaim.

            I think that you are wiser than Ark (or John for that matter) in this instance. Engagement with the probabilities is fraught with pitfalls and the only comfortable place for you all is total denial.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          6. And the evidence for this bit of nonsensical fantasy is what?
            You are like every fundamentalist who likes to dabble in apologetics:
            Start with an unsubstantiated presupposition and build on it, and evidence (or lack of) can take a back seat.

            If you wish to deal with probabilities have the integrity to acknowledge there is no evidence for any of the foundational claims of your faith.

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          7. To which piece of nonsensical fantasy are you referring, Ark?
            Don’t you think that Nan’s total denial is wiser than your attempts at engagement?

            You misunderstand my Presuppositionalism which is basically a presupposition that there is no common ground that we can agree on. On the other hand if probability calculations could not take into account ‘priors’ as yet unsubstantiated then the probability of an unprecedented event could not be calculated. (Once upon a time it was thought that the probability of a catastrophic nuclear accident was zero, simply because there had never been a nuclear accident.)

            I can’t claim a lack of evidence for the foundational claims of my faith because the evidence becomes clearer all the time:
            1. There was a beginning.
            2. Mankind has dominion over nature.
            3. Life had a single origin.
            4. Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
            5. Where verification has been possible, the Bible writers have proven to be outstanding historians.
            6. (To get to our current spat) The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.
            7. Faith is not only the subjective conviction that believers experience but also the objective evidence that substantiates what is to be expected. (I suppose, in other words: faith is what believers do and have always done.)

            Yours,
            John/.

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          8. I think to argue against the points you raise would, in the main, be a futile exercise, especially points 4, 5. 6, which are blatant falsehood and for which you provide no evidence whatsoever.
            Archaeological finds flatly refute the claims of Exodus for one.

            These are thus merely vacuous assertions and not least because there is no verifiable evidence for the existence of the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth – the foundation of your faith.

            Also, it is heartwarming that you chose not to respond to lack of archaeological evidence for the claim of Arimethea, thus demonstrating this is yet another piece of fiction .

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          9. JK, I think you summed up the entire bible story and all its elements when you wrote the words “once upon a time.” For as long as I can remember, this has been the natural introduction to the fairy tale that follows.

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          10. Quite a turnaround for Richard Bauckham, Ark,
            to go from hero when you thought you could call out David Robertson for misreading Jesus and the Eyewitnesses to being a purveyor of ‘blatent falsehood.’ How’d that happen so fast?
            P.S. do trust you were able to watch the match!
            Yours,
            John/.

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          11. The blatant falsehood was directed at your claims for points 4,5,6 .

            Robertson asserted the Gospels (plural) were eyewitness authorship.
            He is wrong.
            When I initially asked him (politely) to provide a link and then evidence he did his usual act of behaving like an asinine, condescending Nob.
            And he has not to date acknowledged he misread anything. ( unless he did so this afternoon – I haven’t been over there.

            I’ll acknowledge Bauckham claimed that gJohn is eyewitness authorship – John the Elder, yes?
            Like you, not having read the book I had to do a bit of digging and found the part you quoted from.
            But again, Bauckham provides no evidence for this claim.
            Furthermore, his thesis is not supported by any recognizable evidence and contrary to the flattering remarks/critiques from primarily evangelical leaning xians – his conjectures have not been taken up by mainstream biblical scholarship.

            Yes I watched the game.
            Brilliant performance.

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          12. Okay – I popped over. I see Gary’s comments made it through moderation.
            How nice of David!
            I think Gary’s comments – where he references Bauckham – should clear up any further misunderstanding regarding what most biblical scholars (consensus) believe.

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          13. Ark,
            Since I presented all seven points as evidence — not just

            4. Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
            5. Where verification has been possible, the Bible writers have proven to be outstanding historians.
            6. … The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.

            — you can’t say that no evidence has been presented even if you do believe these particular points to be ‘blatent falsehoods.’

            As it happens, I’m sure the implications of points 1-3 are equally obnoxious to you but as evidences they are rock solid. The point of presenting these evidences in this way is that they cannot reasonably be denied, given our present knowledge. It will be argued that there is no evidence for the Maker of what-had-a-beginning but the elephant in the room, so to speak, is that there is a mountain of evidence for a beginning.

            That said, I need to call you out on the blatent falsehood charge. You make special mention of the Exodus as though archaeological finds contradict what the Bible says about it but Wiliam G. Dever (Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From, p 40) admits that there is no contradiction when he says:

            Hoffmeier only makes a case that the Exodus (or “an exodus”) could have happened, according to the Egyptian evidence, not that it did.

            Again Dever’s credentials as a Biblical scholar do not match up to his skills as an archaeologist for he imagines that the archaeology contradicts the Bible’s account of a thirty-eight year stay at Kadesh (p. 18) when actually the Bible that has no such account. We might argue about how much archaeology confirms the Biblical account but it is not falsehood to claim that

            Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.

            Once again, a mountain of evidence which ought to be taken into account before anyone makes claims of no evidence.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          14. False. The settlement pattern is evidence that there was no exodus as per the bible.

            And you have not presented any evidence to support your claims, which is all you have made.
            Perhaps, because you are an evangelical fundamentalist, the term ”evidence” is one you do not quite fully understand?

            The evidence at Jericho contradicts the bible tale. Kenyon’s work has never been refuted.
            The Humane Genome project contradicts the bible.
            Fossils contract the bible.

            You are either being willfully ignorant or simply lying.

            As I felt your comment warranted a dedicated post why don’t you interact with some of the others that commented?
            John Zande would love to discuss the Exodus with you, I’m sure.
            https://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/the-christian-fundamentalist-mindset/

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          15. Do I need to go over all the old ground again, Ark?
            The ‘settlement pattern’ is not evidence that the Exodus from Egypt did not take place but it is evidence that the so-called ‘conquest’ of Canaan conformed to the actual (consistent) Biblical record rather than the triumphalist claims of some Biblical scholars. There are long lists of Canaanites that were not driven out, for example, but also note how, in place of the expected records of peoples exterminated, we have a record of petty kings executed. There may well be problems that I have not seen but it becomes wearisome to be told that archaeology contradicts Scripture when under examination it doesn’t contradict what the Bible actually says.
            Likewise with Jericho, Kenyon proved that the ancient walls (that hadn’t fallen down) predated any possible date for the entrance of the Hebrews. Finding that the walls of Jericho that didn’t fall down were buried long before the Hebrews arrived does not contradict the Bible record of walls that did fall down!

            Neither the fossil record nor the human genome come under the rubrics of archaeology and history so I assume that when you accuse me of willfull ignorance or lying, you mean in some other places. As you know, I don’t happen to agree with you that either paleontology or genetics contradicts the Bible but the evidence that relates to fossils and genetics in the list I put forward is that Mankind has dominion over nature and that life has a single origin. I chose them carefully and your fossils/genome accusation seems to show that I chose them well.

            I will probably have a look at what you all have to say on the dedicated post and thanks for the heads up that you’ve done it.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          16. You are just spinning wheels here, John and trying to baffle with bullshit, or semantics or whatever you wish to call it.
            The science is in and bible thumpers have had their backsides handed to them.

            The archaeological evidence flatly contradicts and refutes the biblical account of the Exodus.
            Your feeble attempts at oneupmanship are pedantic and nothing short of disingenuous.
            Is this the level of (dis) honesty they taught you at LTS?
            Or maybe you too were obliged to acknowledge the lie that the bible is innerant?
            That in itself reduces your opinions on such matters to nothing more than faith, and your credibility in any honest discussion is practically worthless.

            As is equally demonstrated by your replies to comments over on Robertson’s blog, you seem disinclined to provide evidence, in fact you struggle to understand just what evidence is, and especially where it is relevant to your specious assertions.

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          17. … And yet I am in as high a gear as I can and making traction so it’s not just wheel spinning and not just semantics.

            … And yet Dever allows that Hoffmeier makes a case that the Exodus could have happened. He could not have allowed that if the contradiction and refutation were as flat as you claim. It is not oneupmanship to remind you of battles previously fought nor is it dishonest to point to what the Bible actually says.

            … And yet you are reduced in the end to insist on foisting on me a definition of Faith that I reject. Of course I’ve a bias towards thinking that I’m being reasonable but you feed that bias rather than challenging it.

            … And yet you want to have your cake and eat it: you can’t both dispute what evidence means and then claim that no evidence has been given. That’s double counting and you ought not do it.

            Yours,
            John/.

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          18. Hoffmeier, is an evangelical and believes the Bible innerent.
            Hoffmeier has never produced a scrap of evidence for his claims regarding the biblical Exodus, merely conjecture.

            Dever concedes that Hoffmeier made a case that an exodus could have happened. He does not and never has suggested that the Exodus |as per the bible ever happened
            This is where your ”interpretation” and the conclusions you wish to draw become little more than an attempt to obfuscate, which is tantamount to being dishonest.

            You have not produced any evidence, merely argument and supposition.
            When you produce evidence we can examine it.

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          19. By the way,I am waiting with baited breath to see your response to Gary’s request for a single published comment to support yours/Bauckham’s position regarding the ”devastating effect” his book has had on the consensus regarding bible authorship?
            I would have thought to make such an assertion you would have had a battery of such evidence on hand. Why the delay?

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          20. Did I say that Hoffmeier had proved that the Biblical Exodus took place, Ark?
            No: so don’t build a defense on sinking sand.
            Similarly, did I say that a confirmation of the Biblical account was my interpretation of Dever’s concession? No; Dever’s concession is evidence of no more than that Archaeology on this particular point — that there could have been an Exodus — does not contradict the Bible which says that there was one.
            There’s no point in insisting that the concession is not evidence of a thing for which it is not presented as evidence; that would just be smokescreen on your part.
            I have presented evidence of something. You have examined it and said that since it is not evidence of something else it is therefore not evidence at all.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          21. Of course it contradicts the bible. Dever is not saying there was an Exodus as per the bible so stop behaving like a disingenuous Nob.
            Jesus H why do you insist is being such a slime ball when it comes to such discussions.
            No one around here is buying that crap for a second, and Dever is way too savvy and respected to make any such allusions.

            Hoffmeier has never produced a scrap of evidence to support his claims. He only makes assertions. A trait of those indoctrinated with faith.
            Archaeologists and Egyptologists (except a person like Kitchen, of course) agree – there was no captivity , no Exodus and no conquest.

            The bible tale is a work of fiction, and so is Moses, and the only ones who believe there is anything to it are conservative fundamental Christians a la Kitchen, Hoffmeier and their ilk.

            And I reiterate. You have not produced evidence only claims and arguments.
            The evidence tells of the internal settlement , as Finkelstein has shown, and which Dever agrees with. The evidence tells that there was no destruction of Jericho as per the bible.

            It simply didn’t happen.

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          22. There you go again, Ark,
            You are saying that because Hoffmeier’s findings do not confirm the Biblical account they must therefore contradict the Biblical account. Neither logical, nor commonsensical, I’m afraid.
            You say

            Dever is not saying there was an Exodus as per the bible

            and since I am not saying that he is, your insistance that he isn’t is counterproductive.
            The point at issue is that I’m presenting as evidence the fact that Archaeology does not contradict what the Bible actually says. I gave you my list of foundational evidences afterwards but every time I reply to you on this thread, I have to do it next to your taunting accusation:

            You are simply bumbling along with the indoctrinated herd.
            Tell, me don’t you ever get tired of your dishonesty?

            It’s not the whole story but your contempt is a galvanising prompt to me to keep on doing what I do, since you ask.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          23. Let’s just be clear on this once and for all.
            Hoffmeier is a Christian fundamentalist. He believes the biblical tale.
            However, there is no evidence for this tale and the evidence we have refutes it.

            From what I have read this is agreed upon by all archaeologists and scholars across the religious and secular spectrum,with a few notable exceptions, and most of these have a very conservative religious agenda, such as Hoffmeier and Kitchen.

            And yes, the evidence for the internal settlement, and the archaeological evidence at Jericho to name two, flatly contradicts the biblical tale.

            So you can continue to jump through semantic hoops for all you are worth, but it makes no difference.
            The tale is a work of fiction.
            And that is all that matters.

            It’s not the whole story but your contempt is a galvanising prompt to me to keep on doing what I do, since you ask.

            So it seems you are quite happy with your dishonesty? (disengenuity) And it shows ….
            Carry on, John

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          24. You are saying that because do not confirm the Biblical account they must therefore contradict the Biblical account.

            Can you detail what Hoffmeier’s “findings” actually are? I’d be interested to see.

            Hoffmeier teaches at Trinity Evangelical Divinity College… A seminary, not a university.

            He’s never published a paper in JSTOR directly concerning the biblical narrative, rather a few on cisterns, military roads, military technology, like Observations on the evolving chariot wheel in the 18th Dynasty. That’s telling. He’s written many books on the Exodus, but anyone can write books full of nonsense. His main claim, as far as I know, is trying to move the date of Exodus back to the 17th Century BCE. This is utter madness as it adds something like 500 years to the Book of Kings, and only makes the already problematic 13th century dates entirely absurd. He wants the 17th century so it fits with the last fall of Jericho. Of course, this simply ignores the 23 other cities cited in Conquest. It also ignores the non-existence of the 26 Stations in the 13th Century, which did, however, exist in the 7th and 6th Century. Naturally, it also ignores that the Philistines only landed in 1,100 BCE, and that in the 17th Century BCE Canaan was well and truly under Egyptian military rule.

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          25. I take it, John,
            when Ark tells me that I’m ‘jumping through semantic hoops’ that he accuses me of presenting Hoffmeier’s book on the Exodus as evidence. I see no way of persuading him that that’s not what I’m trying to do, but perhaps I can explain it to you.

            I have no interest in even reading Hoffmeier’s book; it is not on my wishlist, if you want to know what he says, then you’ll have to ask someone else. What I have presented as evidence is a comment by William G. Dever.
            You may be right about Hoffmeier’s gymnastics; I don’t know and I don’t care; he wouldn’t be the first ‘conservative’ archaeologist to ‘nuance’ what the Bible actually says to fit what they think they’ve found. I do care that Dever references reviewers who admit of a demonstration that the Exodus could have happened. That’s all but you can’t insist on a contradiction on the basis of it.

            Similarly — again quoting Dever (p 47 of Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From) —

            Even Kenyon searched for an answer; she suggested perhaps later erosion had removed all traces of the Israelite “destruction layer.”

            If Dever is to be our guide to possible contradictions in what the Bible actually says and the Archaeological evidence, then it would be better to look at what he says about Ai, Gibeon, Debir, Lachish and, possibly, Hazor; but Hoffmeier’s reviewers and Kenyon herself put the Exodus and Jericho out of contention as contradictions.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          26. Again , Dever does not say that Hoffmeier makes a case that THE Exodus, as per the bible tale could have happened.
            And that is why you are being a very naughty boy.
            So once again, the physical evidence does contradict the bible.

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          27. So you have absolutely no idea whatsoever what Hoffmeier’s “findings” are.

            I see.

            And what does Dever say about Hoffmeier? Can you paste his full comment, the one you seem to be referring to, and the source. Thanks.

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          28. On p. 40 of Who Were the Early Israelites, Dever writes:

            ‘Easily the best survey of the evidence from a conservative viewpoint is the recent work of James K. Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: the Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (1996). The last words of the book argue for a historical exodus:

            There is ample supporting evidence from Egypt, some of which has been presented here, to come to this conclusion, not to mention hundreds of references and allusions to the Israel in Egypt and exodus events in the remainder of the Hebrew Bible. Because of the weight of these two lines of evidence, it seems premature to dismiss the biblical traditions of Israel’s birth as a nation in Egypt, an event still commemorated anually by Jews when Passover is observed. (1996: 226)

            Reviewers have pointed out, however, that Hoffmeier only makes a case that the Exodus (or “an exodus”) could have happened, according to the Egyptian evidence, not that it did.’

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          29. I’m going to jump in here and I’m sure John Z won’t mind and will add his thoughts later.
            The key words/phrases to take note of here in this comment are as follows.

            ”from a conservative viewpoint”.
            He is a conservative Christian after all. Bible first and foremost.

            an exodus” – Friedman speculated about an exodus involving the Levites if memory serves.

            ”There is ample supporting evidence from Egypt, some of which has been presented here,”
            A misleading comment as it states there is more evidence than what Hoffmeier discusses without telling what all this ample evidence is. Are we supposed to guess or take his word for it?
            (”I have thousands of marbles – here are 50 examples.”)

            ”The last words of the book argue for a historical exodus:”
            Yes, they argue for an historical exodus, but Hoffmeier produces no evidence that there was The Exodus, only maybe, perhaps, there was AN exodus.
            Did this involve twenty or thirty, a few hundred, a few thousand?

            Does he tackle The Exodus itself? Does he address such issues as Kadesh, Jericho, Joshua’s supposed Conquest?
            And of course, if he is punting the biblical Exodus he has to take as a given that the text is accurate, and yet archaeology tells us it is not.

            Hoffmeier, like every other individual who puts their religious beliefs first, and then builds upon it, seems quite content to blur the lines when and where it suits or where and when the evidence from the real world doesn’t quite match up to his presuppositional, bible-based view.

            And this is why such biased speculation, while comforting to those who desperately need the bible to be true … or trueish are indebted to the likes of Hoffmeier for shoring up their rather shaky foundations.

            Under these circumstances is it really any wonder the likes of Lee Strobel , and Wallace sell an awful of copies of their books?

            Haven’t you heard, JK? People love a good fantasy story, and a great many will convince themselves it is true.

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          30. from a conservative viewpoint

            Critical word choice there. And he cites no evidence of an exodus, rather evidence of Semitic people *in* Egypt. And on this, I agree with him. There is evidence, and it’s no more surprising than finding evidence for Russians in the US, or Italians, or Greeks. Egypt was the superpower of the day, it attracted many, many, many nationalities, especially those from immediately neighbouring countries.

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          31. As it happens, Ark,
            it has always been Dever’s criticism of Hoffmeier that has interested me here and I only included the quote from Hoffmeier because John was interested in what Dever had to say about him. The significant extension to what I’d already posted is: ‘Reviewers have pointed out …‘ which both points to Dever not presuming to pose as an expert on Egyptian archaeology — he is an expert in a closely related field — and also to the expertise of the reviewers, who would not have been asked their opinion had they not been Egyptologists. If these reviewers had been able to show a contradiction then they would have.
            However, in copying out the full quote I took more note of Dever’s use of ‘evidence’ than I have before. It is not the evidence that Hoffmeier surveys that Dever objects to but Hoffmeier’s conservative interpretation of the evidence. This is not just semantics.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          32. And who are these Egyptologists who concur with Hoffmeier’s view?
            Are they saying there were Semitic people’s in Egypt as John Z has pointed out?
            Kitchen also is an expert in certain fields of Egyptology. Hoffmeier is credited as being a specialist in issues of Old Testament historicity and archaeology.
            Which makes no mention of him being a specialist in Egyptology, even though he worked on the Akhenaten Temple Project Furthermore, he is a professor out of Trinity and we should all know what that means , yes?
            The usual drivel about the bible is the innerant inspired words of god etc .

            The main issue I have with your approach to this entire enterprise of attempting to find veracity in the ”book” you so love is that you do not, have not, and never will present evidence that demonstrates the veracity of the tale within the Bible.
            Because there simply is not any. At best all you can wring out of it is Historical Fiction.
            Yes there may have been Semitic peoples in Egypt. Yes there may have been some sort of an exodus. and later a joining of tribes.
            But as to the veracity of the biblical tale?
            No.
            So it seems rather silly to try to demonstrate Hoffmeier’s credentials on this issue when the is no evidence for the biblical tale, and as pointed out more times than I care to recall, there IS evidence of an internal settlement pattern that, based on this evidence,, shows that settlement was by and large relatively peaceful, and certainly not the genocide as recorded in Joshua.

            In closing.
            Faith governs your worldview. If you are not willing to approach these issues in a manner that suggest you are honestly prepared to accept what the evidence is really saying and not what you would like it to say, then stick with faith and the evangelical perspective.

            Ark

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          33. Wow! Talk about, ‘Light the blue touchpaper and stand back!’, Ark,
            You ask,

            And who are these Egyptologists who concur with Hoffmeier’s view?

            But nobody said anything about Egyptologists concurring with Hoffmeier’s view so there was no need to go off on one, as they say.
            To reitterate, Hoffmeier surveyed the evidence and came to a conclusion. The reviewers of the book allowed that Hoffmeier has demonstrated that an Exodus could have taken place from Egypt (at the time Hoffmeier thought) but these same reviewers did not allow that that meant that an exodus did take place. Dever — not being an Egyptologist — deferred to the reviewers’ judgement but says nothing about any reviewers who concurred with Hoffmeier.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          34. So what we have then, in essence, is a group/some/ a couple? of Eqyptologists who consider that an exodus could have taken place. ( although no specific references are listed by you. For example: Who are these Egyptologists? Were there more than two Egyptologists? Were there any dissenters regarding any sort of exodus?).
            No numbers and no further details.

            It seems you haven’t read Dever’s book, ( I stand under correction) neither have you read Hoffmeier’s book on this topic, and I’ll venture you haven’t watched any of Hoffmeier’s videos on The Exodus either. Note: not an exodus, but The Exodus),

            And yet you feel inclined to toss out quotes and offer comment after comment about an exodus as if this in any way whatsoever adds anything to the biblical tale?

            I am curious, at what point do you think the reality will hit home that you are offering nothing of any real substance and simply making yourself look a tad silly?

            As Jimi Hendrix once sang:
            And so castles made of sand …. melt into the sea …. eventually.

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          35. John, by way of a demonstration, allow me to summarise what the reviewers are saying of Hoffmeier’s proposition:

            I’m Australian, and I presently live in Brazil. There is a small but robust Australian expat population here. Evidence for our presence can be found by any investigator in a few trade organisations, bank branches, a couple of pubs, and even a meat pie shop in SP. For many varying reasons, Australians are here. That is a fact, and by this fact alone it is *possible* the equally small population of Australian expats in Argentina all travelled south from Brazil at some point in time.

            Liked by 1 person

          36. Ark,
            I’m sorry that you’re not getting the point but I’m not attempting to do what you accuse me of doing. You say:

            you feel inclined to toss out quotes and offer comment after comment about an exodus as if this in any way whatsoever adds anything to the biblical tale

            But — quite apart from the fact that to my recollection I have only given a couple of quotes, both from Dever — neither of them were meant to add anything to the Bible. I’ve been quite consistent all along that Archaeology doesn’t contradict what the Bible actually says. I find confirmation of that in Dever and so far you have not been able to mount the beginnings of a challenge (which is more of a disappointment than a relief.)

            If Dever is letting you down then produce another champion. He was never going to be as solid an anti-Biblical advocate as you would have liked and his stated purpose of refuting the so called Minimalists puts him far too close to the Maximalists — Kitchen, etc. — for him to be of any more than of passing interest to you. I’m going to quote him again:

            Archaeology is and will continue to be the primary sourse of new data for rewriting Israel’s early history. New readings of the Biblical texts are welcome, however, and may be helpful in some cases — if there can be a constructive dialogue.

            P. 167 of Who Were the Early Israelites?

            Not so silly, Ark but thanks for the Hendrix quote.
            Yours,
            John/.

            Like

          37. I’ve been quite consistent all along that Archaeology doesn’t contradict what the Bible actually says

            Yes, it does. In fact, it reveals a completely different history of the early jews.

            Liked by 1 person

          38. What is it that he is not comprehending? It can’t be ignorance, but is seems like stupidity or bloody mindedness, as at every turn he claims he is not denying this or that then comes with an asinine comment about pushing against an open door ?
            I cannot work out what point JK is trying to make.
            In fact, his non points come across as bloody ridiculous.
            Archaeology irrefutably demonstrates that there was no Captivity,Exodus or Conquest as portrayed in the bible and this fact contradicts the bible tale. Period.
            What else is there, for his god’s sake?

            Liked by 1 person

          39. If the point JK is trying to make is that archaeology does not contradict the biblical tale, then his is wrong.
            If he thinks that the claim that there may have been an exodus in some way redeems the bible tale then I am at a complete loss.

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          40. Well, here’s a nice quote from Dever saying it DOES contradict the bible:

            “Archaeology as it is practiced today must be able to challenge, as well as confirm, the Bible stories. Some things described there really did happen, but others did not. The Biblical narratives about Abraham, Moses, Joshua and Solomon probably reflect some historical memories of people and places, but the ‘larger than life’ portraits of the Bible are unrealistic and contradicted by the archaeological evidence”

            Liked by 1 person

          41. @JK
            Dever has shifted his position on several occasions as and when evidence presented itself that contradicts his original belief, but never has his position moved closer to accepting the biblical tale.
            And as has been pointed out to you time and again, the archaeological evidence flatly contradicts the biblical tale.
            From Captivity to Conquest …. and everything in between.
            If you wish to make a case then you have to present evidence.
            Until now all you have ever done is make an argument.

            Like

          42. Probably. Wiki poage on Converts to Judaism says “William G. Dever, former Evangelical minister who converted to Reform Judaism and became a world-renowned Biblical scholar, though he says he no longer believes in God.”

            Liked by 1 person

          43. Fair enough, John.
            Why are you pushing so hard at an open door?
            Yours,
            John/.

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          44. Sorry, John,
            Posts got separated quite a distance. The ‘open door’ reference means that I don’t have any problem with your analysis of what the reviewers that Dever mentioned, will have allowed. I just don’t get why you imagine that I would think otherwise when I keep saying that it’s what Dever makes of it that interests me.

            About Dever, the book I keep quoting was published in 2003. Ark seems fairly sure that he hasn’t become any more Bible-friendly in the meantime, so should I be dealing with a later book or are you going to find another champion. There’s no point in claiming Dever’s backing for your claim where he doesn’t … — Okay, it’s happened again but this time I spotted it. I’ll send this and say something about your 2006 quote in another post.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          45. @ JK
            In the interests of not prolonging this discussion any more than is necessary, it would be far better for all concerned if you laid your cards on the table and explained exactly what you do believe regarding the issue at hand.
            Thanks.

            Like

          46. John,
            your ‘contradiction’ quote from Dever reads as follows:

            Archaeology as it is practiced today must be able to challenge, as well as confirm, the Bible stories. Some things described there really did happen, but others did not. The Biblical narratives about Abraham, Moses, Joshua and Solomon probably reflect some historical memories of people and places, but the ‘larger than life’ portraits of the Bible are unrealistic and contradicted by the archaeological evidence.

            As we have come to expect, he gives a lot more credence to the underlying veracity of events recorded than you have allowed for but that’s not why you’ve quoted it. I can only think of two kinds of ‘larger than life’ portraits in the Bible — which is bothersome; there must be more — and one of those is patently meant to be unrealistic. Nobody listening to Moses thought that the walls of Jericho literally ‘reached up to heaven.’ The other larger-than-life example concerns the big numbers of people which were traditionally taken to have been calculated by taking a straightforward headcount. However, even today, woe betide the pastoralist who can’t work out how many sheep per acre a pasture will bear and similarly, soldiers must put a tariff on the value of various cadres of fighting men, with some experienced officers worth many thousand raw recruits.
            I doubt if Dever’s speculation that the Biblical narratives about Abraham, Moses, Joshua and Solomon probably reflect some historical memories of people and places is going to divert Ark at least from continuing to deny that they existed at all.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          47. Goodness, you really are blinded, aren’t you? It’s actually quite disturbing reading your comments.

            So, you want black and white? Here is the world’s leading authority on “biblical” archaeology, Professor Ze’ev Herzog, Tel Aviv University;

            “The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years”

            Clear enough?

            Just in case it’s not, here is Kevin D. Miller, Christianity Today, saying exactly the same thing back in 1999:

            “The fact is that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery”

            Like

          48. And here is Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, from 2013 (if I remember correctly):

            Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the Patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

            Let’s repeat that last line: nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.

            And in case you didn’t know, in 1998, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the primary American professional body for archaeologists working in the Middle East, changed the name of its magazine from Biblical Archaeologist to Near Eastern Archaeology simply because the bible had been determined to be (beyond all doubt) an entirely unreliable historical source to direct research into the early Jews, pre-Babylonian captivity.

            These are the facts. They are not secret. They are in the public domain, but as Professor Magen Broshi, Chief Archaeologist at the Israel Museum explained:

            “Archaeologists simply do not take the trouble of bringing their discoveries to public attention.”

            Or as Professor William Dever (whom you seem so interested in) said:

            “Scholars have known these things for a long time, but we’ve broken the news very gently.”

            Liked by 1 person

          49. Desperate overreach, John:
            The Kevin D. Miller ‘quote’ is actually from 1998 and Miller’s own introduction to it is

            Welcome to the intellectual world of the biblical minimalists, a new breed of radical scholars who would turn Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and even King David into legends and myths by the stroke of their pens. As far-out as their pronouncements may sound, their work is filtering its way into our world through seminary textbooks and media soundbites. The effect is a wholesale rejection of the Bible’s accounts of Israel’s origins—a matter of no small concern to believing Jews and Christians.

            And far from Miller saying exactly the same thing as Herzog, The paragraph that you quote-mined begins with the sentence which explains that

            Answering these skeptics, however, is not always so easy as one might expect.

            If Miller is facing up to Herzog et al, why would he say ‘exactly the same thing?’ You are viewing the part of his comments that you lifted as a capitulation when it is no more than a straightening of the lines. The task of answering sceptics — as Miller puts it — is made impossible when self-styled sceptics are actually cynics pretending to be sceptics.

            Anyway, I’m sure that Ark will put his hand up to his part in my interest in Dever. I pointed out to him quite a while ago that Dever can hardly be expected to back up minimalist claims when his express purpose in writing popular books was to counter the Copenhagen school of minimalist archaeologists. But he persevered with championing Dever so I bought a couple of books.

            We have discussed Herzog before in a slightly different context. I think we can both agree that he is prepared to go much further than Dever’s contradiction where there are ‘larger than life’ claims. (And so he must for Dever’s mealy-mouthedness would be of no use at all to Herzog’s overtly political agenda.) I think you’re making a tactical mistake but you’ve flagged up Herzog’s claim so I await the evidence, if any, upon which the claim is based.
            Yours,
            John/.

            Liked by 1 person

          50. @ JK
            Again … for all three of us involved in this discussion, please tell us exactly what your position is on the issue of the Captivity, Exodus, and Conquest, including the characters involved.
            It will save an awful lot of back and forth which is difficult enough under the constraints of work/ time zones and the inevitable misunderstanding that occur when trying to discuss anything over the internet.
            Simply lay out your position as clearly as you can and, please, without any ambiguity.
            Thanks

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          51. I can’t access the entire article on Christian Today so it is impossible to know what his reasoning is or his conclusions.
            I have looked for another copy of the article but to no avail.
            Everyone who cites it – Christian naturally – links to the original article and I am not prepared to fork out my hard earned Shekels just to read it!

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          52. So it is. I did have a copy of it, but Veles only knows where it is now. Nothing really of note in it. He’s honest about the total absence of evidence, but tries to keep the door open, and smears anyone and everyone who dares state what has been known for decades.

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          53. I believe, Ark,
            that the Archaeological evidence does not contradict what the Bible actually says. You will be pleased to hear that this belief is not founded on exhaustive knowledge of either the Bible or Archaeology so I’m testing it. So far the only real challenge has come from William Dever’s larger-than-life categorisation of some Bible texts.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          54. I believe, Ark,
            that the Archaeological evidence does not contradict what the Bible actually says.

            On second thoughts, it would be better and far easier to grasp exactly what you mean if you could offer a few examples of how you come to the belief that ”Archaeological evidence” does not contradict the biblical tale.

            Thanks.

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          55. Yes I believe what the Bible says about the Exodus, Ark,
            but I’ve found you to be quite resistant to accepting my right to disagree with received wisdom about what the Bible actually says, so I am sceptical about your ability not to read into my simple affirmation, a whole nest of viperous misreadings and misunderstandings.
            However, my belief in the Biblical Exodus is not evidence of anything significant and I reckon the failure of Archaeology to contradict what the Bible actually says is significant.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          56. Thank you.
            Good heavens, I fully accept your right to disagree!
            What I don’t accept is any belief based on religious conviction to inculcate/indoctrinate others with any notion that what you believe is based on evidence pertaining to the tale. and especially children and anyone else who is emotionally vulnerable or in some way intellectually unable to employ critical thinking.
            Other than these provisos, believe away old chap.

            I look forward to your more detailed answer to my follow up comment.

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          57. RE your second thoughts, Ark,
            I think that’s a good question, deserving of a fairly long answer — plus ça change — which I’ll get to crafting after some sleep. Chronic fatigue is its own time zone.
            Yours,
            John/.

            Liked by 1 person

          58. Good for you. I guess you just don’t like seeing it used when it’s attached to sentences like Millers’ concession.

            “THE FACT IS that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery”

            And you are aware, aren’t you, that overwhelming majority of non-orthodox Jewish rabbis accept the Pentateuch to be a work of historical fiction.

            “Defending a rabbi in the 21st century for saying the Exodus story isn’t factual is like defending him for saying the Earth isn’t flat. It’s neither new nor shocking to most of us that the Earth is round or that the Torah isn’t a history book dictated to Moses by God on Mount Sinai,” (Rabbi Steven Leder)

            Now, if the rabbis can accept the facts, and adapt to them, why can’t you?

            Liked by 1 person

          59. No, John,
            I have no problem with what Miller says other than that the ‘four hundred years’ probably included events before and after the Egyptian sojourn. What I’m objecting to is you saying that Miller’s statement —

            not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery.

            — is exactly the same thing as Herzog’s

            The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years.

            If you are having difficulty in seeing how there is a difference just extract the two clauses that treat of the sojourn in Egypt.
            HERZOG: we did not sojourn in Egypt
            MILLER: the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt..s
            Yes, both agree with Miller’s statement about direct archaeological evidence but the conclusions they draw are quite the opposite of one another. They are therefore in no way saying the same thing.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          60. Don’t you ever get tired of the mental gymnastics and reality-denial you have to perform just to maintain your beliefs?

            Now, I asked you a question concerning rabbis. Why did you ignore it?

            Again: If the rabbis can accept the facts, and adapt to them, why can’t you?

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          61. Not aware of any reality-denial, John,
            but then I wouldn’t be, would I? Illuminate me.
            I find your assumption that I haven’t also had to adapt my thinking to embrace facts strange. Why do I feel as though I’m being asked if I’ve stopped beating my wife?
            Yours,
            John/.

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          62. Some examples of things that have brought me to hypothesise that archaeology does not contradict what the Bible actually says and be strengthened in the belief.
            1. SODOM: At one time it was received wisdom that the Biblical Cities of the Plain had never existed, then someone found a clay tablet with Sodom mentioned on it. That’s a beginning.
            2. JERICHO: This has to be the central thing and could provide more than one anecdote but what stands out is an appearance on British television of John Bimson standing on the Tell es-Sultan, explaining briefly how the top layer will have eroded away.
            3. AI: Here — not Jericho — is the real crisis in Levantine Archaeology vis a vis the Bible. What has been found at Ai has genuinely rocked the certainties of scholars in a way that the absence of evidence at Jericho never could. And yet ‘Ai’ means ‘Ruin’ and the reported behaviour of the invaders indicates that they thought whatever the Canaanites had built to be pretty despicable. The digging at Ai may have rocked the old Bible Archaeological establishment back on its heels but I reckon that the finds seem to fit in well enough with what the Bible actually seems to say.
            4. KADESH-BARNEA: Not a place where the Israelites would have wanted to linger, given the horrendous decisions they made there but it has managed to become the site of a foundationally-important piece of circular thinking. Archaeologists have quite rightly scotched the notion that a city with two million residences flourished there for forty years. What the Bible actually says is that the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years and visited Kadesh briefly. People let their imaginations run away with themselves but you can’t say that Archaeology contradicts the Bible in a thing that the Bible expressly says did not happen.
            5. ‘CONQUEST’: How many Sunday-school kids are disappointed when the Boy’s Own adventures of Jericho and Ai disappear from the Biblical text? In Joshua there is a list of places conquered but in Judges there is an even longer list of failures to conquer. The petty kings who fell in the struggle are enumerated but who is to say how few stood with them ‘to the last man’ or for how many was the Hebrew incursion a liberation rather than an occupation? Where there is an unambiguous Biblical claim of conquest at Hazor, it is the Bible that seems to contradict itself with one King Jabin killed in Joshua’s campaign and another killed when Barak judged Israel with the help of Deborah. Archaeology doesn’t contradict the Bible about Hazor though, because the city in this case was destroyed by fire, just as the Bible actually says.
            6. WALLS OF JERICHO: An argument can be made for seeing a contradiction between Archaeological findings and ‘Larger than life’ expressions but nobody ever believed that the walls of Jericho actually reached up to heaven.
            7. CENSUS FIGURES: similarly, the large numbers in the two desert censuses pose far fewer problems if they are considered, not as simple headcounts but as comparative values that incorporate the military value of leaders rated as worth hundreds or even as thousands of men.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          63. Some examples of things that have brought me to hypothesise that archaeology does not contradict what the Bible actually says and be strengthened in the belief.

            1. SODOM: At one time it was received wisdom that the Biblical Cities of the Plain had never existed, then someone found a clay tablet with Sodom mentioned on it. That’s a beginning.

            Received wisdom? What does this mean? And how does this relate to contradicting archaeology?

            Are you referring to the Ebla Tablets?

            2. JERICHO: This has to be the central thing and could provide more than one anecdote but what stands out is an appearance on British television of John Bimson standing on the Tell es-Sultan, explaining briefly how the top layer will have eroded away.

            Again, this has no real bearing on the tale as told in Joshua. At all times you are alluding to/claiming your god is the central player, thus, any alternate explanation to the current accepted one has to include the miraculous tales as given. This is the problem for Christians, and especially fundamentalists such as Kitchen and Hoffmeier.
            Without the miraculous all you – and they – are doing is offering an alternate natural version. No God Required.

            3. AI: Here — not Jericho — is the real crisis in Levantine Archaeology vis a vis the Bible. What has been found at Ai has genuinely rocked the certainties of scholars in a way that the absence of evidence at Jericho never could. And yet ‘Ai’ means ‘Ruin’ and the reported behaviour of the invaders. Remember, we indicates that they thought whatever the Canaanites had built to be pretty despicable. The digging at Ai may have rocked the old Bible Archaeological has no bearing on the establishment back on its heels but I reckon that the finds seem to fit in well enough with what the Bible actually seems to say.

            I am struggling to find secular support for Stripling’s claims. Do you know of any?

            4. KADESH-BARNEA: Not a place where the Israelites would have wanted to linger, given the horrendous decisions they made there but it has managed to become the site of a foundationally-important piece of circular thinking. Archaeologists have quite rightly scotched the notion that a city with two million residences flourished there for forty years. What the Bible actually says is that the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years and visited Kadesh briefly. People let their imaginations run away with themselves but you can’t say that Archaeology contradicts the Bible in a thing that the Bible expressly says did not happen.

            So as not to let your imagination run away with itself I will simply refer you to John Zande’s excellent article on Kadesh.
            https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/kadesh-barnea-gaza-the-exodus/

            5. ‘CONQUEST’: How many Sunday-school kids are disappointed when the Boy’s Own adventures of Jericho and Ai disappear from the Biblical text? In Joshua there is a list of places conquered but in Judges there is an even longer list of failures to conquer. The petty kings who fell in the struggle are enumerated but who is to say how few stood with them ‘to the last man’ or for how many was the Hebrew incursion a liberation rather than an occupation? Where there is an unambiguous Biblical claim of conquest at Hazor, it is the Bible that seems to contradict itself with one King Jabin killed in Joshua’s campaign and another killed when Barak judged Israel with the help of Deborah. Archaeology doesn’t contradict the Bible about Hazor though, because the city in this case was destroyed by fire, just as the Bible actually says.

            Yes, contradictions abound. If the evidence does not support conquest then why record it? Such contradiction immediately throws the entire text into doubt and this type of thing, along wth hard evidence, is what finally led to the consensus that there was in fact no conquest.

            6. WALLS OF JERICHO: An argument can be made for seeing a contradiction between Archaeological findings and ‘Larger than life’ expressions but nobody ever believed that the walls of Jericho actually reached up to heaven.
            Or fell down at the sound of trumpets ….
            ‘’ An argument can be made’’! Are you that afraid of honestly acknowledging a contradiction when confronted by one, even as ridiculous as this?
            By the way, John, I love your use of the Theological Two-Step when you oh-so-carefully phrase such comments!

            7. CENSUS FIGURES: similarly, the large numbers in the two desert censuses pose far fewer problems if they are considered, not as simple headcounts but as comparative values that incorporate the military value of leaders rated as worth hundreds or even as thousands of men.

            Another somewhat vague attempt to blur the lines. Once you start to second guess the text then why stop at the Exodus?
            Why not move straight to the empty tomb? There is no evidence for this and never has been. Yet who needs evidence when we have people like Habermas who are in possession of his facts and the credulous lap it up.
            So, we are, ostensibly, back to where we started: all you have is an argument and your faith. Both unsupported.

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          64. Thanks for the link to John’s article, Ark;
            It proves my point exactly. The key paragraph is:

            In the Exodus tale, Kadesh Barnea (today known as Tell el-Qudeirat) is the site between the Wilderness of Paran (Num 13:3) and the Wilderness of Zin (Num 13:21) where the 2.5 million Hebrew refugees (Exodus 12:37) spent 38 continuous years in the 14th Century BCE before entering Canaan.

            Since John has provided texts for where Kadesh was and a text that gives the number of Israelite men — about six hundred thousand, from which his estimate of 2.5 million Hebrew refugees can be extrapolated — but no text for a thirty-eight year settlement at Kadesh. Why not? Because the Bible is quite explicit that that never happened.
            Thank you for the mention of Stripling, of whom I had not heard, but my remarks relate to the traditional site of Et-Tell.
            Funny that you should mention ‘consensus’ in connection with Hazor since the two collaborators in the latest dig — Amnon Ben-Tor and Sharon Zuckerman — apparently came to opposite conclusions about the evidence with Ben Tor seeing evidence of conquest and Zuckerman, of an out-of-hand internal dispute among Canaanites. To be fair to Zuckerman, the Bible does provide evidence that the Canaanite despots were well capable of self-destructive fratricide but while Zuckerman (and whatever is left of the ‘consensus’) might contradict the Biblical account of the temporary conquest of Hazor, the Archaeological evidence itself does not.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          65. Argue the point with other Christians.
            Your view seems to be a minority one.

            https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/26-the-journey-continues-from-sinai-to-moab/the-israelites-remain-at-kadesh-barnea/
            Again, it is all simply myth in any case.
            As I mentioned in my previous comment, unless you include your god in the tale and all his comings and goings any argument you present is simply meaningless.
            And as the tale is not true, the archaeological evidence demonstrates this and most surely does contradict the bible.

            Maybe Christians should get their stories straight? Be nice if you were all on the same page.
            Back to square one.
            No evidence.
            Regards
            Ark

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        2. @ John K
          Considering how much you love to jump in and offer your Apologetic Sixpenneth, I am rather surprised you haven’t yet commented on Robertson’s claim regarding most scholars believe that the the gospels are ”eyewitness authorship”?
          I for one would be very interested in your take?

          Like

          1. I’m quite impressed that you managed to get a quote from p.240 of Jesus and the eyewitnesses, Ark,
            especially when you haven’t been able to cut-and-paste ‘Richard Bauckham’ from the time David cited him. Moreover it’s a very important quote, so well done!
            It probably ought to be pointed out that ‘Bible scholarship’ and ‘Bible scholars’ are two overlapping categories but there are many more Bible scholars than those who have recognition in the academy. Nevertheless, Jesus and the eyewitnesses seems, in little over a decade, to have rendered most of the ‘chinese whispers’ reconstructions obsolete. As your quote shows, it was very different story in 2003.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          2. You will excuse my atheist unscholarlyness, but do I read you correctly that you are acknowledging that Robertson’s claim regarding ”eyewitness authorship” is, as pointed out, a load of hogwash?

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  7. Quite the opposite, Ark:
    Sorry that I wasn’t clearer. Bauckham’s book seems to have triggered a scholarly tipping point and the ‘unqualified dasapproval ‘ of a few reviewers of the first edition is not going to be enough to dismiss this growing consensus as ‘hogwash.’
    Yours,
    John/.

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    1. Again, your response seems to be somewhat vague.
      Bauckman clearly states that the gospels are not ”eyewitness authorship”, as Robertson is claiming, and this is the consensus view of scholars.

      Furthermore Robertson seems to believe that Bauckman does support eyewitness authorship – baffling as he alludes to having read the book.

      Where did you get the idea that Bauckham doesn’t believe that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses

      David Robertson

      I asked Robertson for evidence or a simple link to support this claim of ”eyewitness authorship” and he refused,
      which suggests he is once more being disingenuous and/or he has made a balls-up and simply has not the integrity to acknowledge this.

      So it appears you too have rejected Bauckman’s assertion – the current consensus – and also not provided a scrap of evidence to support your fundamentalist view.
      Sorry old chap, but I will stick with what the experts have been saying and still are:.
      the gospels, are not eyewitness authorship and the authors are anonymous.

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      1. Ark,
        so as you might remember, what you are calling ‘Bauckman’s[sic] assertion’ reads:

        The argument of this book — that the texts of our Gospels are close to the eyewitness reports of the words and deeds of Jesus — runs counter to almost all recent scholarship. As we have indicated from time to time, the prevalent view is that a long period of oral transmission in the churches intervened between whatever the eyewitnesses said and the Jesus traditions as they reached the Evangelists [the authors of the Gospels]. No doubt the eyewitnesses started the process of oral tradition, but it passed through many retellings, reformulations, and expansions before the Evangelists themselves did their own editorial work on it.

        It is quite remarkable that you think that I’m denying it. What Bauckham was saying in 2003 was that his book ran counter to what you call ‘the current consensus.’ More of an admission than an assertion, I’d say, but one that highlights the remarkable success that this one book has since had in changing the conversation. In this instance you are most definitely floundering against the tide and I, for one, very much doubt your ability to swim.
        Yours,
        John/.

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        1. Bauckham is NOT asserting the gospels are eyewitness authorship which is what Robertson is claiming, and this is what I called him out on.
          My mention of ”current consensus” was in reference to this fact. I acknowledge this may have been a little confusing – as the consensus view is that the gospel authors are unknown.

          If you have evidence to the contrary regarding eyewitness authorship – please feel free to present it.

          And no archaeological evidence for your Arimathea claims?
          What next, Moses was a real person and the Exodus as described in the bible was an historical event?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Until I’ve had opportunity to read the whole book, Ark,
            I’ll go with Simon Gathercole’s foreword to the second edition rather than your assessment of what Baucham is or is not asserting.
            In the meantime, here is my ‘sixpenneth’ as you call it. To my mind the New Testament books can be grouped into four ‘families’ of texts with each family containing one gospel. This would give us:
            1. Matthew and James (Matthew: disciple therefore eyewitness; James: family member therefore eyewitness.)
            2. Mark, Peter and Jude (Peter: disciple therefore eyewitness; Jude: family member therefore eyewitness; Mark: possible eyewitness to Gethsemane [Mk. 14:51f.] but more probably quasi-‘ghost’ writer for Peter.)
            3. Luke, Paul and Hebrews (Luke: not an eyewitness but a great collector of eyewitness accounts, presumably from the eyewitnesses themselves; Paul: by his own account an eyewitness ‘as one born out of due season.’; Hebrews probably written by a close associate of Paul’s and if Barnabas, an apostle therefore eyewitness.
            4. John (John: an apostle therefore an eyewitness.)
            Yours,
            John/.

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          2. Your claim of discipleship for Matthew (for example) is completely without foundation.
            There are no original texts and the names were added sometime in the second century.

            So how do you arrive at any sort of ”eyewitnesses” is beyond me, and the current scholarly consensus supports this.
            However, as I have asked repeatedly, if you have evidence for your claims then please present it.

            I am at least partially heartened that you don’t agree with Robertson’s ridiculous assertion regarding gospel authorship.

            If you have (Link?) Simon Gathercole’s foreword to the second edition I’d appreciate reading it. Thanks.

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          3. Simon Gathercole’s Foreword is viewable on the Kindle page for Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Amazon.co.uk don’t bother to say ‘see inside’ anymore but clicking on the book-cover image still works.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Is this is?

            Winner of the 2007 Christianity Today Book Award in Biblical Studies, this momentous volume argues that the four Gospels are closely based on the eyewitness testimony of those who personally knew Jesus. Noted New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham challenges the prevailing assumption that the Jesus accounts circulated as “anonymous community traditions,” asserting instead that they were transmitted in the names of the original eyewitnesses.

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          5. And it does you no credit to claim a disagreement that patently isn’t there!

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          6. What can I say, Ark?
            I think I’m agreeing with Richard Bauckham that the Gospels have eyewitness authorship and you are telling me that he doesn’t say that. You put up a quote from Bauckham’s book that says he disagrees with what was the prevalent view at the time of writing but you manage to read it as an endorsement of the view that he’s disagreeing with!
            If Richard Bauckham means to deny eyewitness authorship of the Gospels then this book is a very funny way of doing that. You claim to be baffled that David — having read the book — ‘seems to believe that Bauckman does support eyewitness authorship‘ but I have that same impression from reading the paragraph that you supplied. The charitable suggestion is that you’ve misread the paragraph.
            (and the publisher’s blurb is not taken from Gathercole’s Foreword: you have to tap the book image to get that.)
            Yours,
            John/.

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          7. think I’m agreeing with Richard Bauckham that the Gospels have eyewitness authorship and you are telling me that he doesn’t say that.
            He doesn’t .
            Nutshell. He asserts the gospels are close to eyewitnesses and their stories related to the Evangelicals (authors)
            Eyewitness testimony is not eyewitness authorship.

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          8. I think I’m agreeing with Richard Bauckham that the Gospels have eyewitness authorship and you are telling me that he doesn’t say that.

            Do you have problems reading, John?

            From what Ark posted from the book’s foreword: this momentous volume argues that the four Gospels are closely based on the eyewitness testimony of those who personally knew Jesus.

            Are closely based DOES NOT mean eyewitnesses authoured the stories.

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          9. And let’s not forget, there’s no mention of who, exactly, these supposed “eyewitnesses” were, or how far removed they were.

            People like John live in a fantasy world. You can show them two dots, and if they *want* to see it, they’ll see a giraffe, named Eric, who likes tea, and lawn bowls.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. Yes, John,
            I can read, and I read in the very same paragraph of Bauckham’s Introduction

            In the case of one of the Gospels, that of John, I conclude, very unfashionably, that an eyewitness wrote it.

            Now you might want ‘Close’ to mean two generations later but for Bauckham, ‘Close’ does not preclude eyewitness authorship.
            Yours,
            John/.

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        2. that the texts of our Gospels are close to the eyewitness reports of the words and deeds of Jesus

          Deliciously deceptive language: “…are close to…”

          Deliberate word choice to make any desperate apologist salivate.

          “…are close to…” actually means, two generations removed, at the earliest.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It never has been.
            Obfuscation is the name of the game.
            Have you been keeping up with Neil’s look at Mark and how there never was a human Jesus but merely a belief in a divine entity?
            Fascinating stuff.

            Liked by 1 person

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