The Value and Limitations of Archaeology, Part 2 (The Covenant & the Cross #7)

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is Acts 17:11 which reads: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from C.S. Lewis. He said: “In most parts of the Bible, everything is implicitly or explicitly introduced with ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ It is not merely a sacred book but a book so remorselessly and continuously sacred that it does not invite — it excludes or repels — the merely aesthetic approach. You can read it as literature only by a tour de force… It demands incessantly to be taken on its own terms: it will not continue to give literary delight very long, except to those who go to it for something quite different. I predict that it will in the future be read, as it always has been read, almost exclusively by Christians.”

Today, we are going to continue our overview of some topics that will help us as we study the Bible throughout future episodes.

Our topic for today is titled: “The Value and Limitations of Archaeology (Part 2)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Michael A. Harbin.

First, today, let us consider The Beginnings of Archaeology

The first serious archaeological expedition was the excavation of Nineveh in 1845-1954 by A.H. Layard, only 30 years before Wellhausen’s work was published. While this discovery was important and started a trend, in some respects, archaeology did not begin gaining consideration until after the famous excavation of Troy by Heinrich Schliemann between 1870 and 1890, about the same time Wellhausen was writing.

Another question we must ask is, How Much Has Been Excavated?

One noted scholar estimates that what archaeologists have recovered is but a fraction of what is there — which is in turn a minute fraction of what was produced. In some respects, archaeological work is as if we arrive on the scene of a town hall or library that has burned and are able to pick up a few scraps here and there that survived the destruction. Now, based on this material, we try to reconstruct the entire history of the town. As Yamauchi states, “Far more than our need of these archaeological materials for an understanding of the Bible is our need of the Bible for an understanding of the materials.”

On our next broadcast, we will continue looking at “The Value and Limitations of Archaeology.”

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