”Science Complements The Word of God”

John Kilpatrick

Three ways the sciences complement the Bible, Ark:
• Cosmology — There was a beginning.
• Geology — Mankind has dominion.
• Biology — Life has a single origin.
If you want to add the social sciences, we have also:
• Archaeology — which never contradicts what the Bible actually says.
• History — Historical geography; chronology; social history; cult history; diplomatic/military history; eyewitness records; and documentary history all complement the Biblical text. (And before you deny the historicity of the Resurrection on the grounds that the rules of modern historiography prohibit the historian from saying that the Resurrection was an historical event; just remember that those same rules insist that we record as historical fact that hundreds of people saw the Risen Christ.)
Shall we bring in Jurisprudence? Why not?
• Testimony — The eyewitness testimony to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be gainsayed.
And finally, perhaps the softest of the social sciences:
• Sociology — The Faith that was once for all delivered to the saints [Jude 3] (for which we contend) ought not be dismissed as objective evidence. Any observer can see that what the Bible calls faith is both real and rational.

 

Well … what can I say?

Over to you lot …..

 

Ark


183 thoughts on “”Science Complements The Word of God”

  1. Like harmful products, there really should be a system in place where the public can identify and register people like this planetary-sized fuck-nugget as “Dangerously Stupid, Should Only Be Given Plastic Spoons.”

    Liked by 8 people

        1. Well, there’s the thing, John,
          if I am seriously unwell/self-evidently insane, it isn’t very kind of you to call me such an offensive name, so I’ll expect an apology for that one. I notice that although there is apparently no point in talking to me, many of you don’t mind talking about me. Fair enough, but if my scribble can make you so angry that you want me and my kind registered somewhere, maybe you also have a public duty to burst my bubble, so to speak?

          Yours,
          John/.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You don’t need to be mentally ill to be wildly wrong. Being wrong is part of the human condition.

            We’ve evolved means to correct this, or minimize it as much as possible, but evangelism such as John espouses has neither contributed to, nor learnt anything, from that.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Considering we’ve been over many things on your list, and you’ve been shown to be dead wrong, but you have not altered your thinking to reflect reality is evidence that you are unwell.

            But, here’s a test we can do:

            Take your list and show each specific point to a professor in that particular discipline. Ask them to pen a brief appraisal of your statements.

            Publish those responses on your blog for everyone to read.

            Will you accept this challenge?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. So, no apology, John?
            I’m sorry about that. Your challenge does produce a problem for me in that I can’t quite recall you managing to prove me dead wrong about anything on the list. I don’t have a blog any more and I have no plans to start one but I find the idea of a professorial colloquium quite attractive. I’ll be sure to let you know if anything comes of it.
            Yours,
            John/.

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    1. I’d be tempted to feed ’em through a slot, giving them cut-throat cutlery … we could always take a leaf out of their own book, and burn ’em at a stake?

      Don’t tempt me … I feel a conversion coming on …

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I must bring up Brandolini’s law again. This bull shit requires ten times the effort to refute it as to state it. Wait, that’s their strategy, isnt it? They keep spewing out random shit and we spend all of our time refuting it. Some shit isn’t worth refuting, or even cleaning up. (Bullshit on Aisle 7, Cleanup please.)

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Why even try to refute?
      Why not just push those basic Laws of Rational Thought … and let those folks capable thereof do so, given the tools with which to do so? Where the ‘education’ systems are lacking we may just fill in some of the gaps.

      It’s possible (but not probable) that sufficient thinkers may just become indignant enough to actually think out loud. (We did …)

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    1. Four billion years worth of Evolutionary history, Judy,
      at current estimates, and only two sentences: • Geology — Mankind has dominion. • Biology — Life has a single origin. What’s the problem?
      Yours,
      John/.

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      1. Mankind has been around for 200,000 years, although our evolutionary history stretches back 7 million years to Sahelanthropus tchadensis. For the vast majority of this time, we have been prey animals.

        When did we get this dominion?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. According to James Le Fanu, John —
          p. 50 of Why us? How Science rediscovered the mystery of ourselves:

          The precipitating factor in [the] cultural explosion must, by common consent, be tied up in some way with language.

          I reckon he’s right.
          Yours,
          John/.

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          1. Language, sure, it enabled memetic evolution, but complex language like ours is the product *of* our giant frontal cortex. Our giant frontal cortex is the product of cooked meat whichproduced more calories (by orders of magnitude) without having to develop larger stomachs and digestive tracts. We had energy to burn, and evolutionary forces funnelled that into growing the frontal cortex.

            So, you’re saying our dominion started about 200,000 years ago with the final growth spurts of the frontal cortex? For about 190,000 years of that time we were still prey animals hunted by the apex predators.

            Care to try again?

            Our evolutionary history is long. Was it with Sahelanthropus tchadensis 7 million years ago? Was it perhaps with Ardipithecus, Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis, or Homo erectus?

            Please be specific.

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          2. I thought ‘Language’ was specific enough, John,
            What’s the problem?
            Yours,
            John/.

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          3. There’s about 6,600 generations since having complex language that were prey animals, hunted by the apex predators

            Does that translate to “dominion”?

            Self-evidently, your answer is wrong.

            So, care to try again…

            Liked by 1 person

          4. John,
            you said:

            There’s about 6,600 generations since having complex language that were prey animals

            And you’d have thought so if the changes accompanying the acquisition of language had followed the expected pathway of incremental change. However, genomic studies seem to show that there is no genetic reason for the new ability to think and our fairly recent ability to scan brain activity has given rise to the fairly revolutionary idea that that ability to think came all-at-once.
            So, I’ll stick with language. What did you have in mind?
            Yours,
            John/.

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          5. What on earth are you babbling on about? That was 76 words of absolute drivel. But it proves my point: there’s really no reason to engage you. You’re either truly sick in the head, which is highly probable, or you’re just a fucking idiot.

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          6. And I was referring to your complete and utter failure (or is it inability?) to address the question put to you.

            ~200,000 years ago the frontal lobe made its last growth spurt, signalling the onset of modern human beings: homo sapiens sapiens. Although frontal cortices are present in all mammals, ours is huge by comparison, enabling imagination, symbolic language, predictive and abstract thought, introspection.

            For one reason or another, you’re pointing to this as the onset of human “dominion.”

            As I pointed out, for about 170,000 years of that ~200,000 year period we were, and remained, being prey animals, hunted by apex predators.

            Does that fact translate to dominion?

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          7. No, John,
            it does not translate to dominion. However it is not hard to find a competing view of the emergence of modern man that makes more sense of the data. This is from a review of Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness. by Ian Tattersall.

            Tattersall does provide, however, an interesting, if unorthdox, theoretical support for his belief. |
            He endorses a punctuated equilibrium model of hominid evolution. That was originally suggested by Thomas Henry Huxley, but advanced in its modern form by Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge, Tattersall’s friend and colleague at the American Museum of Natural History. It suggests that hominid evolution was punctuated by speciation events (usually caused by dramatic change in climate or geography) during which groups split from one another, creating new species that might remain morphologically and behaviorally stable for hundreds of thousands of years. As various species of the genus Homo separated from one another, new traits would erupt, keeping species distinct but not necessarily cognitively improved. This model permits — and Tattersall supposes — that speciation occurs not simply by natural selection operating on individuals but also on species themselves.

            Yours,
            John/.

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          8. No, John, it does not translate to dominion.

            Precisely, which means you were wrong. The physical history of our species contradicts your worldview… Even though I’m not even entirely sure I understand what the hell point you were trying to make in the first place, especially since you claimed this “dominion” under the heading of “geology.” You are aware, aren’t you, of the differences between geology, biology, neurology?

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          9. And, knowing your aversion to such links, Ark,
            I’d have continued to look for a quote elsewhere if I’d known about the link. It makes no difference to me save that my intention is to demonstrate that paleontologists do not all agree that human dominion was preceded by 5000-6600 generations of Human misery. The quote I gave from James Le Fanu was ‘The precipitating factor in [the] cultural explosion must, by common consent, be tied up in some way with language.’ John has stated his objections quite strongly in terms of my idiocy but perhaps you know another chink in Le Fanu’s credentials?
            Yours,
            John/.

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          10. I was only interested in your use of Tattersall and his relationship with Templeton.
            I am not the only one who would consider that this may well sully his credentials, especially if it also turns out he has Christian leanings.

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          11. Where I did my first degree, John,
            Paleontology was taught in the Geology department. Besides that, Man’s dominion is both global and earthly.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          12. Did you pass?

            Taught in the geology department (which is strange in and of itself) does not mean geology is palaeontology, biology, or neurology. Of these four things (geology, palaeontology, biology, and neurology) three have to do with the animal that is man. One does not… The one you selected.

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          13. Not very well, John,
            I got a third. I’ll give your criticism serious thought.
            Yours,
            John/.

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  3. If you want to add the social sciences, we have also:
    • Archaeology — which never contradicts what the Bible actually says.

    Wow! But they have that one covered too: when God created (a) Himself, and then (b) the Creation … (wait for it~!) He also created the fossils and other such junk to confuse those He created to be unbelievers.

    (Ark: I dunno where you find them but this one is Precious! Please do nothing to discourage him, he’s already made my day! Boom boom!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think your last attempt at countering this claim was better, Argus,
      https://attaleuntold.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/the-christian-fundamentalist-mindset/

      Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
      Nor agree with it … and quite gainsay it often.

      The archaeology statement was the one Ark chose to pursue on https://theweeflea.com/2019/06/18/another-brick-in-the-wall-the-threat-to-children/ (talk about a moth drawn to the flame!) He at least gave a sizable quote from William Dever before withdrawing with complaints about excessive moderation (again.)
      Yours,
      John/.

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      1. Oh, I replied to your nonsense about the Dever quote. On that score you can bet your arse, However, your Fundamentalist chum has refused to allow at least two attempts out of moderation. In fact, he simply refuses to allow any reply that genuinely challenges his fundamentalist view.
        He then spews religious garbage that would make a first year seminary student blush with embarrassment.

        Ask any deconvert. Ask Matt Dillahunty!

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        1. You haven’t actually got round to telling us what it was that David didn’t let through moderation, Ark.
          You’re not even telling us what we should ask these deconverts.
          It’s your blog – spit it out!
          Yours,
          John/.

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          1. Why on earth would I bother to repeat my comments on this post?
            You aren’t suggesting that David did not keep back comments I hope?
            You know as well as I do what he’s like. One only has to look at the vast majority of his egotistical ignorant, asinine replies to anyone who so much as hints at disagreeing with his POV.
            The visitors here have already taken your silly list to pieces I don’t think it would make any difference if I added to it.
            After all, you are entrenched in your fundamentalism and no science is going to change that for the time being, now is it?
            However, if you are genuine about your claims then I concur with John Z’s suggestion that you ask several professors to assess your assertions and than we can take it from there.

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          2. The nadir of desperate unbelief, Ark!
            You disappoint me. I didn’t think that you’d have anything to say but I did believe that you’d say it anyway. Thank you for publishing my list, by the way but saying that you disagree with a proposition is not ‘taking it to pieces.’
            Yours,
            John/.

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          3. Oooh …. fishing are we John K?
            Not biting, I’m afraid.
            If you won’t take the word of professionals who are experts in these respective fields, then seriously, what is the point of me even trying to offer you anything?
            Read Nan’s comment ….

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Well there we have it, Ark,
            and I thought you were just spouting insults or whatever on David’s blog so that he would not allow it to be posted and you could cover up the fact that you’ve chosen the wrong champion in William Dever. Call me delusional but when he says ‘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. We are neither of us prepared to take his word as authoritative because you — unless I’m very much mistaken — don’t take his view that ‘Some things described there really did happen’ while I find him wanting when it comes to dealing with what the Bible actually says. E.g. on p18 of Who Were the Early Israelites he talks of ‘an entire generation, forced to camp for thirty-eight years at the oasis of Kadesh-barnea’ but since that’s pretty much the opposite of what the Bible teaches his mistake gifts us a sort of complementary confirmation. The Bible says that they did not camp at Kadesh for thirty-eight years and the archaeology of the site confirms that they didn’t.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          5. Didn’t we just go through all this with John? We explained Dever is quite gentle in his approach. Ze’ev Herzog isn’t so gentle. But here is Dever in a 2008 interview with PBS:

            “Forty years ago it would have been impossible to identify the earliest Israelites archeologically. We just didn’t have the evidence. And then, in a series of regional surveys, Israeli archeologists in the 1970s began to find small hilltop villages in the central hill country north and south of Jerusalem and in lower Galilee. Now we have almost 300 of them.

            The settlements were founded not on the ruins of destroyed Canaanite towns but rather on bedrock or on virgin soil. There was no evidence of armed conflict in most of these sites. Archeologists also have discovered that most of the large Canaanite towns that were supposedly destroyed by invading Israelites were either not destroyed at all or destroyed by “Sea People”—Philistines, or others.

            So gradually the old conquest model [based on the accounts of Joshua’s conquests in the Bible] began to lose favor amongst scholars. Many scholars now think that most of the early Israelites were originally Canaanites, displaced Canaanites, displaced from the lowlands, from the river valleys, displaced geographically and then displaced ideologically.

            So what we are dealing with is a movement of peoples but not an invasion of an armed corps from the outside. A social and economic revolution, if you will, rather than a military revolution. And it begins a slow process in which the Israelites distinguish themselves from their Canaanite ancestors, particularly in religion—with a new deity, new religious laws and customs, new ethnic markers, as we would call them today.”

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          6. I suspect the name Friedman will be thrown into the mix at any moment. Or Woods. Or Kitchen or Hoffmeier.
            I’m listening …. Wait for it.

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          7. Herzog’s Ha Eretz article is available at http://www.umich.edu/~proflame/neh/arch.htm .
            A cursory glance suggests that Herzog’s line is almost identical to Dever’s and the difference in tone is down to the different opponents in view. Dever wrote Who Were the Early Israelites in opposition to the so-called ‘Copenhagen School’ minimalists taking care that he wasn’t too closely identified with ‘maximalists’ like Kenneth Kitchen either. Herzog, by contrast, was writing in a Left wing newspaper against the views of some of the small religious parties usually needed to form a Right wing coalition government.
            This makes the Dever/Herzog line pretty much a middle way in the discipline and my reckoning is that what really happened in the Bible stories more often than not fits their line rather better than what they are disagreeing with does. Hence my constant going on about what the Bible actually says.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          8. As we both love William Dever, JK.

            To make a long story short, today not a single mainstream biblical scholar or archaeologist any longer upholds “biblical archaeology’s” conquest model. Various theories of indigenous origins prevail, in which case there is neither room nor need for an exodus of significant proportions. To put it succinctly, if there was no invasion of Canaan by an “Exodus group,” then there was no Exodus. …the ancestors of the majority of ancient Israelites and Judeans had never been in Egypt. They were essentially Canaanites, displaced both geographically and ideologically. (Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective, p. 404)

            Liked by 1 person

          9. Goes some distance to proving my point, Ark:
            so-called Biblical archaeology quite often deviated from what the Bible actually says which is hardly surprising when it was being done against the background of competing theories of literary composition and redaction. It was all too easy to attribute the signs of destroyed civilisations to the Israelite invasion when a). the sponsors of expeditions were expecting such signs to be uncovered and b). there were scant documentary records of those Sea Peoples who were actually responsible. There are theories of internecine conflict that are invoked to explain those signs of destruction that do occur during the settlement period but Dever pushes it a bit when he says: ‘Various theories of indigenous origins prevail, in which case there is neither room nor need for an exodus of significant proportions.’ An exodus of any proportion would have been significant to the families involved in it and they wrote the history of it! Moreover, saying that ‘the ancestors of the majority of ancient Israelites and Judeans had never been in Egypt.’ implies that a minority had and that minority – if it was indeed the minority – was a significant factor in the changes that took place at that time.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          10. As Egypt controlled the entire area at one point it seems reasonable that many peoples migrated around the area.

            You have to demonstrate the veracity of the biblical tale: Captivity, Exodus and Conquest of which there is no evidence whatsoever, and what evidence we do have paints a completely different picture, as people like Dever Finkelstein and almost the entire archaeological, historical and scholarly consensus have pointed out.

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          11. But we are not discussing archaeological finds as proof of Biblical veracity, Ark,
            The claim is bold but modest in scope for all that: Archaeology never contradicts what the Bible actually says. So the first task is to get a grip on what the Bible actually says. The old discipline of Biblical Archaeology was faced with what must have seemed to them a surfeit of evidence from which they concocted the Biblical Archaeology Conquest Model, never mind that the Bible only actually mentions the destruction of three out of thirty-one cities. Given that Judges is part of the Biblical account, Dever contradicts himself, big style — W. G. Dever, ” The Exodus as Cultural Memory” in Levy, et al, Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture, p.404 —

            The overall biblical narrative is clear; and it is about genocide, the extermination of the entire Canaanite population, men, women and children. And this is said to be Yahweh’s will. I would reject that, historically and morally. Fortunately, it didn’t really happen, as the authors of Judges acknowledge (and the Deuteronomic historians accepted, by putting Joshua and Judges back-to-back in the Canon).

            We could say that the outdated (and unbiblical) Conquest Model is like a scorched–earth viking raid whereas what the Bible really gives us is like the here-to-stay Norman Conquest. You are right that the archaeological evidence for the conquest is capable of an internal feud and displacement interpretation but that does not mean that the Archaeology of the bronze age/iron age boundary in any way contradicts the Biblical Record. For Dever to claim that it contradicts what it should say (but doesn’t) is the weakest part of his argument.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          12. If you say it’s that simple, Ark,
            then it must be, I suppose.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          13. I get it, Ark,
            You introduced a quote from Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective and then realised that sixty scholars could not really manage to hold a conference about Exodus — not to mention producing a 500+ page book — without putting the lie to your oft repeated claim that there is absolutely no evidence for it!

            It’s a pity that they don’t even do reprints of books like this or your ‘recommendation’ could have been added:

            What is this continual waffle?
            Are you accepting of the biblical tale of the Exodus – yes or no?
            It is that simple.

            Yours,
            John/.

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          14. There is no evidence as per the biblical tale. None.
            However, your belief does not hinge on evidence.
            So, I reiterate, do you believe in the Exodus tale as it is written in the bible.
            Yes or no?

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      2. Ark,
        You’re hanging on by your fingernails.
        It’s pathetic.
        Once again, thank you for giving my ‘wafflings’ wider circulation than they would have had but I don’t think there are going to be any more serious challenges on this site so I think I’m out.
        Yours,
        John/.

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        1. Aahh … and naturally when put on the spot you bail.
          Why is it do you think that fundamentalists all come across as so shallow when asked perfectly legit questions that challenge the very root of their unsubstantiated belief?
          You simply do not have the integrity to stand up and be counted, which is why you forever equivocate.

          Oh, and trust me on this. No skeptic would give you the time of day the way you behave.

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          1. Yes, John,
            It’s too difficult for me and it causes me problems.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          2. As the evidence reveals a completely different picture to what you have traditionally been brought up to believe – as is the case with most of us, I’d venture – on what grounds do you steadfastly refuse to accept it?

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          3. This is the heart of my problem in answering your yes/no question, Ark,
            You say that the evidence reveals a completely different picture to what you have … been brought up to believe and that is not the case. (Yes, I was brought up to believe what the Bible teaches but I was also warned of the human capacity to read into Scripture what we — all of us in one way or another, you included — suppose ought to be there and I was encouraged to think for myself.)
            So, take it or leave it: my savancy apparently gives me a surefootedness in handling evidences that I did not know I had until it was provoked in me; my idiocy makes it really difficult to fill in forms and answer questions like, ‘Is this a good time to have a conversation?’ (My unguarded reply to the last would be something like, ‘How on earth would I know whether it’s a good time or not?’ but, knowing that that’s not an acceptable answer, the question can reduce me to bumbling incoherence.)
            So the best answer I can give to your ‘Exodus’ question is, ‘What have I said that would make you think anything else?.’
            Yours,
            John/.

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          4. The evidence we now have for a relatively peaceful internal settlement refutes the biblical tale of the Exodus.
            But if you have another view that supports the biblical tale as it is presented then, for goodness’ sake let’s hear it.

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          5. Gladly, Ark.
            We don’t know how exactly how many Israelites left Egypt because what was important to the narrator was that all of them left — ‘not a hoof left behind’ — including even the bones of Joseph. However, we do have a record of the families that left Egypt in Numbers 26: fifty-five families in all plus the four families of the Tribe of Levi who were not counted in either of the two censuses (Num. 1 and 26). We get a valuable insight into the size of these fifty-five families in Num. 26:9-11 where we read of the death of 250 men, comprising, as I understand it, two-thirds of one of the four families of Reuben. If we assume that this was an average clan (not an unreasonable assumption) we get a ball park figure of around 60,000 people in total.
            The fighting strength of Israel — 603,550 in Num. 1:46; and 601,730 in Num. 26:51 — was obviously not worked out from a simple head-count calculation because, for instance, it was normal to value officers in terms of the number of men they commanded:
            C.f. [2 Samuel 18:1-3]
            ‘Then David mustered the men who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. And David sent out the army, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the men, “I myself will also go out with you.” But the men said, “You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that you send us help from the city.”‘
            David was obviously a special case and his commanders, wanting him out of the way, may just have been flattering him. But the flattery wouldn’t have worked if measuring worth in thousands wasn’t a thing. So what was the estimated worth of Joshua or Caleb? Leadership change is the key to the significant changes in the fighting strength numbers of individual tribes, with a clan chieftain of Simeon right at the heart of the rebellion of Num. 25 — cue a drastic reduction in fighting strength — and Manasseh needing a corresponding increase because of the decision of half the tribe to stay in Transjordan. The big numbers allow for better comparisons.
            T.B.C.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          6. To clarify. You are suggesting that the number of people listed in Exodus is incorrect and that a more likely number who fled Egypt was 60,000.
            Is this correct?

            Sorry, I forgot to add.
            Is this based on your interpretation of the Hebrew word elef?

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          7. Why not go right to the source, Moses’ census: Num i 46 So all the Israelites twenty years of age or older who could serve in Israel’s army were registered according to their families. And the total of those registered numbered 603,550.

            By extrapolation, men (fighting age) + men (above fighting age) + women + children = 2.5 million.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. It is generally the apologetic assertion that the Hebrew word elef can have other meanings regarding its numerical value.
            I suspect that JK has limited his focus rather than broaden it as you have shown here.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. I’m not saying that either number is incorrect, Ark,
            merely pointing out that they mean different things. If anything, my ‘ballpark’ figure has less claim to be ‘correct’ but since the ‘fighting strength’ numbers seem not to be about how many Israelites came through the wilderness but for comparison, both have restricted but real uses. The dispute between lexicographers about whether elef means ‘captain of a military contingent’ or ‘clan chieftain’ is irrelevant here since either would take scores of ‘thousands’ out of the number of individuals. If both putative uses are to be expected then the need for specially skilled representatives — c.f. Num. 1:4-16 — to make the calculations becomes all the more pressing.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          10. The numbers are specific, and repeated in the second census.

            And even *if* the number was smaller, the fact remains that the first towns in the hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were founded bear absolutely no cultural note (language, architecture, technology, clothing, diet, pottery, etc.) to people who’d just spent 400 years in Egypt.

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          11. No, Ark,
            I’m not necessarily wrong, but the writer of the blog undoubtedly is. He misses the point completely that eleph can mean both one thousand and clan chief/cohort commander. Note that the position I’m taking is being attacked — by non-experts — from both sides; by those who want the big numbers to be right (so that the passage through the wilderness will be seen to be all the more miraculous); but also by those who want them to be spectacularly wrong. That in itself doesn’t make me right but it might suggest that there is more to what the lexicographers say about the use of the word than either side gives credit. In any event, the contention that the big numbers are values struck to enable the making of easy comparisons cannot be said to be unreasonable, given the expert opinions.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          12. Then the thing to do is provide evidence from a verified expert if you doubt the writer.
            I reckon he did an exemplary job. I also found a couple of Christian sites that came away with the same outcome – the numbers are correct.

            Of course the tale is myth, so what ever deviates from the biblical text pushes your claim of veracity further into the wilderness ( pun intended)

            In the end, the numbers game is just mental masturbation.
            It is on the ground where the truth lies and for your claim you have nothing
            – and this is key.
            So I really don’t care one way or another, to be honest. But once you start deviating from the Exodus text as it is written then why stop there?
            Lets look at the every other ridiculous claim, shall we?
            There’s no reason we can’t dismantle every foundational claim.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. Lety’s ask a Jewish rabbi:

            “The Aish Rabbi Replies:

            It is written in the Torah, “The Children of Israel journeyed… 600,000 adult males on foot, besides the children.” (Exodus 12:37)

            Since the verse only includes the number of men who were 20 years of age and over, we can extrapolate the total population by including the women and children as well.

            According to Rabbi Yonasan ben Uziel (circa 1st century CE, author of an Aramaic translation of the Five Books of Moses), there were 3 million Jews in total who witnessed the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. (see Targum Yonasan – Exodus 12:37) It is probable that a comparable number of Jews left Egypt.”

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          14. Qualified expert, Ark?
            Okay, how about article אלוף in NIDOTTE by Gordon H. Johnston.

            Earlier scholars derived ‘allup II from ‘elep II, one thousand (#547), and proposed that ‘allup II means chief of one thousand … However, more recent lexicographers reject this approach and suggest that ‘allup II is more closely related to ‘elep III, tribe clan.

            You are assuming that given enough rope, I’ll hang myself and maybe that’s true but you’ve just set a trap and fallen into it yourself. If the experts are to be believed, I’m not deviating from the Exodus text and to insist that I must be because it suits your argument that both I and the text must be wrong is a wrong move on your part IMHO.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          15. I assume nothing.
            I merely want to understand.

            As far as the numbers go, reducing the number of fleeing Israelites to something like 20,000 is more logical.
            However, even if this were the correct interpretation – there is no agreement as I am sure you are aware – it does nothing to increase the veracity of the tale as there is no evidence for 20,000, 60,000 or 2.5 million.
            And of course it tends to kick in the teeth the assertion that the bible is God Inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit.
            I mean, what sort of half arsed deity would allow such a glaring mistake? Especially as being omniscient He would know the nonsense it would cause?
            Be that as it may ….
            All this area of the argument achieves is (possibly) a greater understanding of ancient Hebrew. Which is a good thing of course. Or at least it would be a good thing if these experts were able to agree.

            But what the experts do agree upon is that the Exodus tale is myth, or if you prefer, a work of geopolitical historical fiction.
            And this is the reality.
            If you believe it was 20,000 – 60,000 or whatever figure makes you happy, then give yourself a hug.
            Once you have descended from the warm afterglow maybe you could think about evidence?

            And please don’t write IMHO.
            Humble is the last thing you are.

            Regards
            Ark

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          16. Gordon H. Johnston, of the Dallas Theological Seminary?

            Seriously?

            And the article Ark linked to showed the numerous times the word is used throughout the OT. Are all those wrong?

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          17. Yes, I Googled his profile, but as there are plenty of qualified experts of the Jewish and Christian persuasion who consider the numbers recorded on the bible are the correct representation /interpretation of the Hebrew word I didn’t bother to raise the point. And JK knows Johnson’s qualifications I’m sure.
            Also, if you read the linked piece you will have noticed Kitchen’s name among these luminaries.
            I just sighed.

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          18. I’ve got similiar but it’s Globo (Br), which means the only sport on this morning would be some soccer game from 1970, or volleyball from 1986. They don’t know what cricket is.

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          19. Emily says you can watch on your phone as the malware does nothing to phones apparently. Just block the ads and clear your browsing data afterwards.

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          20. You are a time-waster of massive proportion, John,
            Yes, seriously Gordon H. Johnston because it’s in the NIDOTTE and he wrote the article! — I notice that Philip Brown who wrote the blog page that Ark linked to doesn’t get disparaged for teaching at Cincinnati! — but then as far as I can discern reasoning behind your current tag-teaming, the reasoning seems to be that Brown is wrong because the Bible is wrong and I’m wrong simply for disagreeing with Brown (and a whole load of other bloggers who take the same line.) That in my book is double counting. Similarly with the Rabbis.
            If you want to find a critic of my position that you sort-of agree with then look no further than Wm. Dever who finds the arguments around אלף to be ‘implausible’ which is fair enough. He’s entitled and you’re welcome to share his doubts. I was asked to give the other view — ‘But if you have another view that supports the biblical tale as it is presented then, for goodness’ sake let’s hear it.’ which is what I’m attempting to do.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          21. True enough, you were asked, and you did. In fact, you did what every evangelical apologist does: shut your brain off and turn to another evangelical apologist (teaching at a bible school) to say exactly what you want to hear.

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          22. If you say so, John.

            As is very clear, nuancing the big numbers to highlight the importance of leadership in the late bronze age/early iron age world, cuts very little ice polemically with those who are dead set on the numbers being a simple total because simple totals, being huge, are much easier to rubbish.
            When the whole defense of unbelief is based on the premise that ‘there is no evidence,’ even an ‘Exodus’ small enough to get under the radar is going to be rejected. But this makes it all the more important to challenge the ‘mandated genocide’ part of the it-never-really-happened narrative.
            To select a couple of examples:
            1. Given the subsequently-proved prowess of Joshua and Caleb, the two wilderness-surviving spies, it is likely that all twelve spies were chosen as champions for their respective tribes. The other ten baulked: at the challenges of Canaanite organisation (though ‘nationhood’ was an empty boast for many of them); at the ‘cities’ dotting the landscape (though most of them were no more than the big house of the ‘king’ surrounded by the hovels of his retainers); and at the size of the Canaanite’s mercenaries (though they could surely have ran rings round an albeit heavily armoured champion afflicted with giantism.)
            2. The ancient cities had been destroyed long before the Exodus, apparently by raiders who had no interest in occupation or settlement. The Canaanites seem to have been opportunists who used every fair and foul method of coercion and exploitation to occupy the land. They were so dysfunctional that archaeological opinion is torn between attributing the destruction of Hazor, for example, to the Israelite conquest or to some out-of-hand internal feud. According to Num. 21, it was the capture of some Israelites by a Negev-dwelling warlord calling himself the king of Arad that prompted the Israelite people to devote the cities of ‘this people’ to destruction. Ironically, this ‘king of Arad’ seems not to have actually occupied the ancient city of Arad and nearby Hormah [i.e. ‘Destruction’] was so named because of the vow made there rather than because a city there was destroyed.
            T.B.C.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          23. When in doubt, consult the rabbis. The rabbis agree with the big numbers. And as already pointed out, even if it were a smaller number the fact remains that the first towns in the hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were founded (some 300 years *after* the supposed arrival) bear absolutely no cultural note (language, architecture, technology, clothing, diet, pottery, etc.) to people who’d just spent 400 years in Egypt. That, John, is damning evidence that there was no “arrival” of foreigners.

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          24. When archaeologists began digging at identified Bible sites in Palestine in order to confirm what the Bible has to say about the conquest of Canaan, they got results that initially put their confirmation bias into overdrive. What they found appeared to fit the bill as evidence of destroyed cities was brought to light; and these cities were exactly where they expected them to be. It did not matter to them that the circumstances of the destruction did not exactly match what the Bible actually said happened because the archaeologists were convinced that the Bible records had been written up long after the events themselves and there were bound to be inconsequential differences.
            Happily for our programme of looking at what the Bible actually says, subsequent digging showed that the widespread destruction had taken place a long time before any Israelite intrusion. When scholars looked again at Joshua they found that very few of the cities mentioned are specifically said to have been destroyed. Although it is candidly admitted that Judges substantiates that there was no slaughter of Canaanites on the genocidal scale imagined by the early Palestine archaeologists (and many more people beside); some scholars still insist that Joshua must imply the ‘mandated genocide’ that they find so objectionable in Deuteronomy.
            But what does Deuteronomy actually say? Here is part of the eve-of-campaign address to the troops — [Deut. 9:1f.] —

            Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’

            What it means for a city to be ‘fortified up to heaven’ remains to be seen but Joshua — [Josh. 12:7-24] — specifies the ‘dispossession’ in terms of the defeat of thirty-one petty kings. There were holdouts that bothered the Israelites for generations but for many of the people the settlement period must have seemed more of a liberation.
            T.B.C.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          25. Come on, Ark,
            When you said ‘if you have another view that supports the biblical tale as it is presented then, for goodness’ sake let’s hear it.’ you must have known it would take me some time to answer. You know that there are a couple of major issues that I haven’t dealt with yet but I hadn’t realised that so much of the ‘dispossession’ that undoubtedly took place can simply be explained as regime change. (N.B. ‘Captivity’ is the wrong word in this sequence.)
            Yours,
            John/.

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          26. JK,no matter how you try to shoe horn any scenario into your Christian worldview you are forever going to come up short – and if you are honest you know this as well.

            There simply is no on-the-ground evidence.

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          27. Remember, Ark,
            that I’m not trying to prove that the Egyptian Sojourn/Exodus/Conquest happened but only that the archaeology does not contradict what the Bible actually says. Fulminating that there is no evidence for things that the Bible doesn’t say happened is a waste of everybody’s time and energy (and I would add ‘in my humble opinion’ but the expression seems to mean something different to you than it does to me.)
            Besides, not all evidence is archaeological. The biggest complaint you and John have made so far is about the big numbers that mark the fighting strength of Israel. When we look at the second, successful assault on Ai, we find evidence that those big numbers don’t represent a headcount of individual fighting men. Joshua takes all the fighting men with him, he sets a force of 30,000 men behind the city and another, of 5,000 between Ai and the nearby town of Bethel, keeping the rest of the troops with himself to act as a ruse. Now, the number of men with Joshua would presumably be about the same size — 3,000 men — as the force already defeated by the men of Ai after the first, unsuccessful Israelite attack during which about thirty-six men were killed. A force of 38,000 men is not excessive since it was deemed important that all the fighting men of Israel should take part; but the number must have been figured out by a different route from the census totals of six hundred thousand plus. Ai means ‘Ruin’ and the defeat of some ruin-inhabiting gangsters had less effect on other nearby cities than did the subterfuge of the Gibeonites who conned the Israelites into making a treaty with them.
            The evidence is that these other cities were not destroyed and the Biblical explanation of that is that only a few of those who left to attack the Gibeonites, returned to their own cities and that to hide in them rather than to defend them.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          28. Remember, I said the smaller figure sounded more reasonable, but this would mean that any claims of the text being god -inspired were flushed down the toilet.
            I also said it did not really matter ( to me) what the figures were because it is simply a geopolitical foundation myth.

            Bottom line: There is no evidence of Israelites being in Egypt as described in the bible.
            There is no evidence of encounters of any sort with wandering Israelites by any nation during those 40 years, and there is no evidence of any sort of sudden mass arrival and conquest.
            However, there is evidence of gradual and mostly peaceful internal settlement.

            So if there is no evidence to support the biblical story/claims then even this ”no evidence” contradicts the bible tale.

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          29. The biggest complaint you and John have made so far is about the big numbers that mark the fighting strength of Israel.

            Wrong. The most damning element (where archaeology FLATLY contradicts the bible narrative) is the total absence of evidence for the arrival of foreigners in the hills where the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were founded… 300-400 *after* said event. Archaeology also FLATLY contradicts the bible conquest narrative. Archaeology also FLATLY contradicts the stations of the exodus. Archaeology also FLATLY contradicts the presence of the Philistines at the time of the exodus.

            Would you like me to go on?

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          30. And your reason for ‘going on’, John,
            would be? Since I’ve only just arrived at the hill country in this account, your complaints about anything other than the big numbers have been in anticipation of what you expect me to say later, rather than about anything I’ve already said. I take it that your flat denials are based on the work of scholars you’ve already quoted in our correspondence but not only is it a trivial thing to demonstrate that they have again and again misread what the Bible actually says, your denial of there being any evidence at all demonstrates that you have misread them; for time-after-time what they do is talk down the significance of the evidence; not say it isn’t there. A classic case of this is where Dever talks down the big number arguments by saying they’re implausible but Ark wants to make much more of that than Dever does.
            Ark’s given me enough rope for me to hang myself but I have not done so yet. I don’t know that I’m not going to but so far, I’ve found more confirmation that my hypothesis is correct than I could have hoped for. Brandolini’s law — cited above by Steve Ruis — works both ways and puts a measure on how difficult it is to get someone out of the proverbial rabbit hole. For someone who doesn’t hold on to Thereisnoevidence as an article of faith, it might well appear that you are the one down the rabbit hole in this case.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          31. Let me know when you want to address all the other cases where archaeology FLATLY contradicts the bible narrative… the one’s you just simply ignored.

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          32. The over-realised expectations of the famous ‘West Bank’ archaeologists, who found evidence of destruction in places like Jericho and assumed Israelite“”Conquest”” led to disappointment at lesser digs where no evidence of such destruction has been found. The two sites most often mentioned because of this lack are Heshbon and Dibon, which were captured in the Transjordanian campaign before the Israelites crossed the Jordan. But once again, the disappointment turns out to have been misplaced, because, for a start, if the pious excavators of Heshbon had bothered to use a Bible concordance, they would have found ample reason in what the Bible actually says not to expect a late bronze age/early iron age destruction layer at Heshbon. Quite beside any confusion caused by the wholesale changing of place names that the Israelites engaged in, the texts are consistent that King Sihon left Heshbon to attack the in-transit Israelites and never returned. The one text that may be understood to refer to Heshbon as being ‘devoted to destruction’, is primarily talking about the territory of another king, Og, and an assumption is needed to infer that the two territories were treated in the same way. Unless what we have is the ‘wrong’ Heshbon, that assumption is proven to be unwarranted. The remains of Heshbon — if that’s what they are — are exactly as we ought to have expected.
            (It is hardly surprising that the archaeology of Transjordan lags way behind that of all the surrounding areas but the ruins of Og’s kingdom are particularly hard to explore: his capital, Edrei, has a modern city built right on top of it and most of those sixty cities that were devoted to destruction are on the Golan heights.)
            Dibon only figures in the ‘disappointing’ category because the city eventually built there was of great importance in much later history. In the defeat of Sihon, Dibon features as the place where the rout came to an end but that was the case surely because Dibon is on the edge of the Arnon Gorge [ Wadi Mujib] and not because there was a settlement there. When it comes to evident destruction in that area, the exception that proves the rule is the archaeological site at Tell el-‛Umeiri where a strongly fortified town was destroyed at the right time but not occupied afterwards. The simple reason for this is that the tribes that occupied the territories captured in Transjordan wanted to stay there because it was good cattle-country. When these tribes were negotiating the terms on which their fighting strength would cross the Jordan leaving their families and flocks behind, they said that they would build cities to protect their wives and children but they put these ‘cities’ on a par with the sheep fold they also proposed to build so the cities must have been more like stockades than the existing Canaanite fortified towns which lay abandoned, sometimes for good.
            T.B.C.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          33. If this version were true, a): it doesn’t comport with the biblical tale, and, b) it does not address the other issues John pointed out regarding culture, language, pottery etc.
            So we have two stories of an event, yet neither includes any evidence to match the reality of the situation on the ground. And neither in Egypt or anywhere else.

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          34. I think that you’ll find that what I’ve just written does agree with what the Bible actually says, Ark,
            and that there is no contradiction so far. I think I’m progressing towards the place John’s been talking about but I haven’t enough information. He can call me out for any omissions when I get there but if you will insist on a blanket ‘no evidence’, I don’t know how to proceed other than by taking on the sites one by one.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          35. There are several issues here.
            1) The numbers.
            2) The interpretation of the word/term eleph. (1000)
            3) And the complete lack of evidence on the ground – In Egypt, the Exodus itself, and the Conquest/entry.

            Your attempt at an interpretation does not, in fact, line up with the evidence for any of the biblical scenarios and will only find heads nodding among those that consider the Exodus was a genuine historical event- as portrayed in the bible .

            And it might be worth for you to consider that, nowhere in the bible does it state that this particular text or that should be considered analogy.
            ” …. all scripture is God- breathed, …” ( or breathed out by God).
            I’m sure you are fully aware of this line and where is comes from?

            The best way for you to proceed is to acknowledge that the biblical tale is geopolitical myth.

            Perhaps John Z will offer you something different?

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          36. They all do it, John Kilpatrick is one of the better ones, but he still plays with semantics.
            To an educated mind reading the figures (2 million plus) seems nonsensical ,and so they try any which way to rationalize this so as not to denigrate the bible story.
            But as has been pointed out many times, once you muck about with one part of the tale nothing lines up anymore.
            Accept it as it’s written or kick it into touch.

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          37. Ark,
            Since — as you say — I could ‘expect to find heads nodding [only] among those that consider the Exodus was a genuine historical event — as portrayed in the bible, that rather proves my point. My entire case is built on the observation that the mistakes of the original Biblical Archaeological school were down to not sticking to what the text actually says; and that the revision of their findings has — at least in the scholars that you have directed me towards — not taken the old departures from the Biblical narratives into account in their criticisms. But if those heads are nodding — given what I’ve repeatedly said that I’m attempting to do — surely that shows that what I’ve been saying does line up the archaeological evidence with what the Bible actually says?
            If you were to point out that fewer of these heads would nod should I attempt to explain the seeming discrepancy between the census numbers and the numbers at Ai, you would — at least initially — be right. However, I would expect them to understand a simple account of the uses of ﬡﬥף from the dictionary. (John complains that the author of the dictionary article works at a Bible School but where else is someone with a doctorate in a Biblical Language going to find work? Besides, the guy has been a visiting professor at Chicago University!) I would also expect anyone with a passing knowledge of statistics to agree that raw data will — in certain circumstances — be less useful than a value that takes various factors, such as the comparative worth of a commander of men, into account.
            I remember your opinion of 2 Peter, Ark, but I’m still rather surprised that you quote it in the context of denying the analogy of faith because the verse before — 2 Pet. 1:20 — is the corollary of Rom. 12:6 which does, at least in the Greek, mention ‘analogy’: ἀναλογία. The full text of 2 Pet. 1:19-21 is And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
            As you say, you have to accept it as it’s written and that includes assuming that the contradictions are deliberate, but that’s another story.
            Yours,
            John/.
            P.S. Jericho next.

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          38. You are looking for something that isn’t there JK,
            It never was and never will be.
            If you were at least half way honest you would start in Egypt. Bit of coursr there is no evidence there either, and you know this as well.
            The word elph only means 1000 according to the Hebrew Lexicon.

            And you are still to address the total absence of evidence as pointed out by John Z regarding culture language pottery etc.

            Yes, I think 2 Peter is pseudoepigraphic …. but most Christians especially of the more evangelical persuasion do not.

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          39. The strategic location of Jericho made it the natural reference point for border events and relationships; mainly do do with the Jordan crossing; but also as a significant border point between the territories of the Northern and the Southern tribes of Israel. There is surprisingly little subsequent mention of the destruction of the Canaanite city but there is not a single reference to those ancient cities on whose ruins Canaanite Jericho was built. There are events deliberately associated with Jericho that explain the archaeology of the region from the conquest/settlement period onwards and one could be so bold as to say that some mistakes would never have been made if careful enough attention and due credence had been given to what the Bible actually says.
            Appropriately enough, when the Israelites were encamped on the far side of the Jordan from Jericho, an itinerary of all the places they’d used as staging posts was followed by the ‘settlement’ instruction to occupy, not destroy, the cities captured in Canaan. The measure in which they were able to do this is the hight of the disappointment of excavators who do not find the ‘destruction layer’ that was never there in the first place! If we take the Biblical account seriously, the first problem is that Jericho was not occupied by the Israelites in the way that soon became de rigueur. As it happened, Jericho became the middle and largest of three monuments to the Israelite crossing being preceded by the understated pile of twelve stones collected from the riverbed at the crossing point and followed by the great pile of stones in the Valley of Achor that marked the grave of Achan who had looted Jericho. The command not to remove ancient landmarks would have applied to all three because landmarks in the main comprised piles of stones, prominent trees and wells but all are subject to the vicissitudes of time and even the fallen remains of Canaanite Jericho have been weathered away.
            The question intensifies with the saga of the Ai expedition where again there was never any intention of occupation. Indeed the very name ‘Ai’ means ‘Ruin’ and it seems very clear that the ruins were only occupied by the Canaanites for the purpose of resisting the Israelite advance. It is almost always assumed that Jericho was one of those cities of renown whose ‘walls reached up to heaven’ but the lie to that is given by one Adonizedek, King of Jerusalem, who compared Gibeon — a city whose people had conned the Israelites into making a treaty — with Ai, much to Ai’s disadvantage; saying that Gibeon was like ‘one of the royal cities.’ There is no difficulty in equating a royal city with a city whose fortifications reached the sky (figuratively speaking) but Adonizedek’s comparison leaves Jericho looking more like the occupied ruin than the regional centre. It could be that an attempt to simulate royalty might have made the walls so high that they fell down easily: we don’t say that something is Jerrybuilt for nothing. But I think that there’s more to it than that. Part of the defiance of Jericho was to have the house of the prostitute built into the wall and the roof of that house was flat, most probably for ritual purposes. We have the behaviour of the Midianites — significantly just across the Jordan from Jericho — to explain the use of ritualistic sex in provocation of Israel’s law; and therefore Israel’s God.
            For centuries, whenever there was reference to building in that vicinity, it was done under the name The City of Palm Trees which was sometimes before and after attached to ‘Jericho’ as a sort of motto. When Hiel of Bethel decided to rebuild Jericho as ‘Jericho’, its construction served to mark the beginning of another assault against the worship of the God of Israel. None of this contradicts the archaeological findings on the ground.
            T.B.C.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          40. Of course, you’re ignoring the rather awkward fact that Canaan was under Egyptian military rule at the alleged time of both the Exodus and Conquest, with Egyptian administrative centers located in Gaza, Yaffo and Beit She’an, as well as on both sides of the Jordan River.

            We know this from both Egyptian records and the famous Amarna letters.

            So, care to explain why the regions military SUPERPOWER ignored attacks going on in *their* land?

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          41. There are plenty of references in Joshua to having come from Egypt to Canaan but there are only a couple of oblique references to the Egyptian presence in Canaan. Just a few years ago, the presence of ‘chariots of iron’ in Canaan would have been taken to indicate the presence of the Hittites, inveterate enemies of the Egyptians; because it was believed that they had a head start with early iron-age technology; but that was a misconception derived from the Egyptians not using ‘unclean’ materials like iron for religious purposes. Now we know that ‘iron chariot’ equals Egyptian presence and the archaeological record obligingly shows that there were Egyptian officials with garrisons in a few widely-separated locations at that time. Despite the fact that their long-standing hegemony over the region was finished, it was still worth the Egyptians’ while to maintain a strategic presence, if only to keep an eye on the Hittites and, of course, the Assyrians.
            It was not long before Gaza was taken over by the Philistines and we would be excused for thinking that the Israelite conquest had proceded only up to Gaza save for the ‘chariots of iron’ remark at the beginning of Judges which is attached to the notice of what must have been a very brief occupation of Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron. The two notices would be deemed contradictory were they not placed next to one another. The one thing we can be sure of if we take the text at face value is that Judah pulled out of Gaza because of the returning Egyptians rather than because of the invading Philistines.
            From the Egyptian point of view, Canaan was a very convenient buffer between them and their enemies. At the time of the Philistine invasion it seems to have been the Egyptian policy to withdraw from Gaza and leave it to the Philistines. This withdrawal served the dual purpose of straightening the Egyptian border and placing at the end of the heavily fortified Way of the Philistines, a martial people who were never going to be able to invade Egypt but who would hold back and even deter those who could. It is hard to see why Canaan should not be considered as a buffer state between great powers rather than as a satellite state of Egypt and Philistia even more so.
            There is no mention of chariots of iron in connection with Joppa and no way of knowing if the allocation to Dan of the land up to Joppa meant that the Egyptians there were not to be attacked. Dan could not shift the Amorites who had gravitated to the area around Joppa and resorted to, instead, driving out a small Canaanite tribe who were notionally under the protection of Sidon but who received no aid from them because they were too far away. That this unprovoked attack by Dan is roundly condemned and no good is ever seen to have come from it provides a commentary on all the other Israelite acts of conquest but whether or not it was intended that they should risk stirring up Egypt by attacking Joppa is something of a moot point because they didn’t.
            There ought to be little doubt that the fear of the iron chariots was partly a fear of Egyptian retaliation but Bethshan remained outside Israelite control for quite some time after the Egyptians left. That the Egyptians apparently did nothing about the burning of Hazor demonstrates that they weren’t there as peacekeepers; if things didn’t touch them personally, they did not react. This observation does not depend on it having been the Israelites who burned Hazor because opinion among the current excavators is split with some favouring an internecine argument that got out of hand and others noting that the burning of Hazor during the conquest is what the Bible actually says.
            However, it is very likely that the Israelites could not occupy where the iron chariots were found simply because they had no mandate to attack Egyptians. There were mechanisms for merging Egyptians and Edomites into Israel after three generations because of the hospitality shown by both, however grudgingly, over many years. Joshua told the ‘Joseph’ tribes that one day the iron chariots would prove to be no hindrance to occupation of the plain but he specifically talks about them being under Canaanite control when that would happen. In the meantime he instructed them to clear the hill forests to create pastoral lands and live there. In recent times — using techniques that weren’t available during the heyday of archaeological attempts to confirm the Biblical account — over three hundred sites of new occupation at the time of the conquest have been identified. This is the celebrated ‘settlement pattern’ and it conforms to what the Bible actually says.
            T.B.C.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          42. Interesting.
            What sources are you citing and can you explain why no noted archaeologist ( that I am aware of) recognizes
            the explanation that you describe in this post?

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          43. but there are only a couple of oblique references to the Egyptian presence in Canaan.

            Yes, WHAT references?

            An example of the Egyptian hegemony over the Canaan, particularly during the new kingdom (the times of Exodus/Conquest), is the valley of Meggido which depended entirely on Egyptian protection and support and how it was essential for their chieftains to show their unflinching loyalty to the Egyptian monarchy. Look up the famous Amarna letters, particularly where Biridiya, the chieftain of Meggido, is practically groveling for the help of king Amenhotep IV. Notice that Biridiya is addressing the king of Egypt as “my lord, my god and son,” and not as “Pharaoh.”

            “To the king, my Lord and my God and Sun, thus speaks Biridiya, the loyal servant of the king: At the feet of the king, my Lord and my God and Sun, seven times and seven times I prostrate myself.

            May the king know that since the archers have gone back, Labayu [chieftain of Shechem/ biblical town of Jacob and where Joseph is allegedly buried] carries out acts of hostility against me, and that we cannot shear the wool and that we cannot pass through the gate in the presence of Labayu, since he knows that you have not given (me) archers; and now he intends to take Meggido, but the king will protect his city so that Labayu does not seize her. In truth, the city is destroyed by death as a result of pestilence and disease. Grant me one hundred garrison troops to guard the city, lest Labayu take it. Certainly, Labayu has no another intentions. He tries to destroy Meggido.”

            Remember, Egyptian administrative centers were located in Gaza, Yaffo and Beit She’an, as well as on both sides of the Jordan River. This striking presence is not mentioned in the biblical account. At Beit She’an houses were built according to Egyptian style, complete with door lintel inscriptions in hieroglyphics well into the 1st millennium. Egyptian architectural structures, square-shaped houses made of mud-brick, occur at Aphek, Ashdod, Beth Shan (1550 and 1700 houses), Gaza, Hesi, Jemmeh, Joppa, Tell el-Farah S (Sharuhen) and Tell Masos and Tell esh- Sharia (Ziklag). It’s also believed the Timna copper mines continued to be controlled by the Egyptians until perhaps Ramses VI.

            Yet all this was seemingly unknown to the authors of the biblical narrative.

            And you still haven’t answered WHY the days SUPERPOWER did not react to bands of Hebrews running riot across *their* land.

            Liked by 1 person

          44. JK seems to be suggesting that the Egyptians couldn’t be bothered, using Canaan as a buffer zone against the Asyrians, if I am reading him right.
            Maybe I missed something but his explanations always seem so convoluted.

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          45. There is precedent, I guess. After all, the Soviet Union did allow tiny Estonia to invade and take over Poland in 1961, believing they’d still be a good enough buffer against NATO.

            Liked by 1 person

          46. No idea. The Amarna Letters are the go-to written source for what was happening throughout Canaan at that time. They contradict the biblical narrative so thoroughly that historians dismissed the bible as a historical source. The authors of the tale simply had no idea of what the *actual* geopolitical reality of the day was.

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          47. I’m aware of the Armana letters as you know, so JK’s take is somewhat confusing.
            And he continues to tout that archaeology does not contradict the bible which I find even more baffling.

            Liked by 1 person

          48. Helps to imagine him typing in foetal position, rocking back and forth in the corner of some damp, dark room, mumbling “It’s all true. It’s all true. It’s all true. Mother told me. It’s all true.”

            Liked by 1 person

          49. If I recall, I once described this disparity between the geopolitical realities of the day and the biblical narrative as something like imagining someone 500 years from today writing a European history where, in the story, tiny Liechtenstein invades AND conquers France in 1942, yet forgets to mention the thirty-two German Wehrmacht divisions stationed in the country.

            It’s that bizarre.

            Liked by 1 person

          50. Yes, I remember this analogy.
            I simply cannot understand why all the time and effort people like JK put into this when the evidence is not there to support the bible tale.
            Also, ignoring all the other factors makes such claims even more untenable.

            Liked by 1 person

          51. The two cogent Bible references to ‘chariots of iron’, Ark,
            are at Joshua 17:14-18 and Judges 1:18f.. The other stuff about the Egyptians and the iron age seems to be pretty commonplace so I think when you’re asking why ‘no noted archaeologist … recognizes [this] explanation’ you’re referring to the Israelite reluctance to settle where the iron chariots patrolled. Truth is that I can’t explain why for it’s a no-brainer, really: If the Egyptians were using iron chariots when the Israelites arrived then the Israelites arrived in the early iron age and not in the bronze age. The required disposition of the Israelites toward the Egyptians is found at Deuteronomy 23:7f. All I’ve done is put two and two together so I can’t explain why nothing is said about it even if just to dismiss it.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          52. We’re talking about two different time periods, John.
            simply put:
            Amarna letters → Bronze Age → Egyptian obligations to keep peace throughout Canaan.
            Iron chariots → Iron Age → Egyptian protection given to Canaanites living near Egyptian-occupied centres.

            In the early iron age the Philistines invaded and took over Gaza; apparently the Egyptians did not retaliate, or if they did they were unsuccessful. Would such a slight have gone without retaliation during the thirty year period covered by the Amarna correspondance? I don’t think so.

            Yours,
            John/.

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          53. The Philistines invaded in 1100 BCE, after the Egyptians had left. They lost in Egypt, then moved north. This initiated the migration of people from the coastal states to the hills, which were uninhabited before this time.

            We are talking about the New Kingdom, which is the time of the Exodus/Conquest.

            The authors of the tale had NO IDEA of the geopolitical realities of the day. Period.

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          54. As far as I know the New Kingdom lasted from 1550–1069 BC, John,
            so the Philistine incursion was well within that time.You’re right of course that neither Joshua nor Judges comments on the geopolitical setup at the time when the Amarna letters were being written but it seems to me that both display considerable knowledge of Canaan at the beginning of the Iron Age, when the continuing though greatly diminished Egyptian presence was marked by their possession of iron chariots at at least two of the three sites that you mentioned.
            Yours,
            John/.

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          55. Learn actual history, John. The height of Egyptian rule over Canaan was during the 18th Dynasty (1550 to 1292 BCE)… the period of Exodus/Conquest. By the end of the 18th D they’re influence had waned greatly. By the 20th Dynasty (Philistines landing) they had withdrawn from the Levant completely, mostly fighting wars in on the southern and western borders.

            As I said to Ark earlier:

            I once described this disparity between the geopolitical realities of the day and the biblical narrative as something like imagining someone 500 years from today writing a European history where, in the story, tiny Liechtenstein invades AND conquers France in 1942, yet forgets to mention the thirty-two German Wehrmacht divisions stationed in the country.

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          56. The trouble is, John,
            that every time I go looking for ‘actual’ history, I find confirmation that those who wrote the Bible knew what they were talking about. You could have checked your own understanding with a little searching of the Wikipedia References.
            Mazar, Amihai. “Tel Beth-Shean: History and Archaeology.” In One God, One Cult, One Nation. Ed. R.G. Kratz and H. Spieckermann. New York: 2010 can be found at
            https://www.academia.edu/2579699/Tel_Beth_Shean_History_and_Archaeology .

            This review paper by the acknowledged expert on Tel Beth-Shean even explains why the monuments of early iron age Bethshan — the time of Egyptian weakness — are more numerous and more ostentatious than those of the Amarna-letters period when Egypt was strong.

            Yours,
            John/.

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      1. Ark … what are you doing, still and blogging at this time of night—shouldn’t you be in bed and dreaming unholy dreams of the Virgin Mary?

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  4. Brilliant! This fantastic argument has CONVINCED me that Jesus Christ is not only God, He is my personal Lord and Savior, too! Never have I read more inerrant truth as that cited here. This person is super duper smart, has a HUGE brain, and has FANTASTIC knowledge about God, the universe, and the nature of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My heart now is bursting with love and my sinful soul is now finally saved! Amen! Praise Jesus! Praise God! Praise the Bible, and praise the brilliant person who has now convinced me of these truths with the fantastic argument above! Oh, RAPTURE!! Oh, LOVE!!! Oh my god, I just pulled a back muscle, gotta go take an aspirin. ‘Bye.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Prayer is effective, and much cheaper.
      Just make sure you put the right address on your prayer before you post it (Gods tend to get a bit ratty with you when you that their name in vain).

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Jeff you change gods the way some of us change pants, frequently! Can you decide whether the Koran is the true book and Islam the true religion or if it is this nonsense

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MAKA:

        Both of them is. Simple logic, no? Same God = same word (just different scribes) ergo both infallible (it means correct in every respect).

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          1. Perhaps I might sell him on Saint Argus, latest and final in the long line of prophets?

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  5. Lies, lies and more god dammed lies. These people have the insatiable will and a strong determination to have their own ideological truth that is contrary to facts. Some of these Christian people manipulate their doctrine to claim God is compatible with the scientific world, yet others reject some or all of science so obviously factual events, rational thought and secular matters have literally no place in their worlds.

    They call their faith as an excuse to creditability, but in reality their brains have changed into accommodating their fantastic claims as truth that rarely allows them to have any concept or realisation of how delusional and stupid they have become. There is truth in the idea that if you want something to be true, it is.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Forgive a dum’ old dog for needing clarification — are you telling us that there appear to be contradictions?

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  6. I’ll go one further ark/ and dare to say what Kilpatrick omitted, but he no doubt would agree with this observation:

    It is scripture alone which gives true science its correct context. Scripture is the necessary jewel which gives science its only correct setting.

    If you would spend the time researching things in the good book that no man could possibly know- except for revelation- then you would see that science does not fear truth, nor is it embarrassed/ ie, the kinds of Genesis, the hare which proves scripture is spot on regarding the cud- the botany/ the flora and fauna/ the provable aeronautical impossibility of the bumblebee/ the industry of the ant/ honey made for man: by an insect!!!!!

    On and on and on is scripture ever true/ and all fake scientists revealed.

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    1. I think sucking on a little charcoal will help you with your verbal diarrhea problem. Honestly CS, you are simply confounding in your ability to promulgate absolute nonsense.

      The bible could disappear today and science would still go on, but Christianity would be gone. Humans have had questions and searched for answers long before the Bible, and will long after it.

      Also I thought honey was for the bear. Winnie the Pooh is going to be so sad.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. CS:

      “Scripture is the necessary jewel which gives science its only correct setting.” … I disagree with what you say, but love the way you say it. (There’s an almost Elizabethan resonance sometimes in your wordings.)

      Dammit, Sir — you add a touch of class, sometimes.

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          1. Me too … but credit where it’s due. He may be a nut but sometimes he’s a classy nut.

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  7. What gets me is these delusional nitwits just claim (x) like it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. When there is nothing to show these assertions are anywhere near what they claim them to be, and then they expound on their pretend facts as if they were the experts on the matter.

    Experts in make believe bullshit. Anyone can do that. Most of us have the integrity not to…

    Bigfoot are transdimensional creatures with a penchant for pizza. (Now you know where that last slice went)

    Leprechauns all have little bitty clovers on their underwear. (Made by sweat shop leprechaun children in China)

    Donald Trump is secretly a unicorn crossed with a lizard man. (Duh)

    Assertions like this are easy enough to do, but then to pretend you are the absolute expert on the topic requires a certain personality malfunction beyond description. It’s freaking mental.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. All I have to say Is that the compulsive editor within me insists your heading should be changed to ‘Complements’, the grammar of which seems to be the only thing he has got right. Not the statements, all of which can be (and have been, here) refuted from beginning to end.

    Like

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