Joshua Fought The Battle of Jericho and Other Lies

In 1901, John Rembsburg in his book “The Bible” writes:

“In the 12th chapter of Joshua is given a list of 31 kingdoms which were conquered by Israel. This was in the fifteenth century B.C. From this time forward they are represented as a mighty nation by Bible historians.

Rameses III overran Canaan and conquered it between 1280 and 1260 B.C. The Egyptian records give a list of all the tribes inhabiting it. The children of Israel– the Hebrews– were not there. In the 5th century B.C., when Herodotus, the father of History, was collecting materials for his immortal work, he traversed nearly every portion of Western Asia. He describes all its principal peoples and places; but the Jews and Jerusalem are of too little consequence to merit a line from his pen. Not until 332 B.C. do the Jews appear upon the stage of history, and then only as the submissive vassals of a Grecian king.”

Jerusalem, it seems, was not the glorious capital of an empire. These findings have been accepted by the majority of biblical scholars and archaeologists for many many years.

The stories of the ancient patriarchs were among the first to go when biblical scholars from the last two centuries subjected the scriptures to linguistic, textual, and literary analysis, noting all the inconsistencies, interrupted rhythms, comparing styles, and placing the text within the archaeological, historical and geographical background and found much of it filled with anachronisms.

Exodus, the second book of the Bible, a powerful epic story of human struggle slipped from history to myth when archaeologists could no longer ignore the complete lack of supporting evidence from contemporary Egyptian accounts and the total lack of archaeological evidence of large and long term encampments in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Biblical account of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan is inconsistent with the archaeological evidence.  The famous battle of Jericho, with which the Israelites purportedly launched their campaign of conquest after wandering in the desert for forty years, has been thoroughly debunked: the city of Jericho was mostly deserted at that time and had no standing walls to come tumbling down. Cities supposedly conquered by Joshua in the 14th century BC were destroyed long before he came on the scene. Some, such as Ai and Arad, had been in ruins for as much as 1,000 years before him.

The evidence is now pretty much accepted by all mainstream archaeologists.

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Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

24 Responses to Joshua Fought The Battle of Jericho and Other Lies

  1. Jackson says:

    Thanks for the information :)

    • dave morales says:

      Bullcrap. Do you understand resonance? Why do they make soldiers march out sync over a bridge? Can a singer really break a glass with her voice. Accurate timing is impossible. Even if the dates were skewed this is ridiculous. I cant stand zealots and religion but you are the new zealots.

  2. Lisa says:

    Seriously, you need to do more research! These HAVE NOT been ‘debunked’ by archeologist or scientists and ruins and artifacts are continually being found to prove that the Bible is what it claims to be.
    I have been a doubting Thomas and a Christian and after research and reading know that the Bible is the living word of God. Anyone who searches will find HIM. There is no other way

  3. thewordofme says:

    Hi Lisa, thank you for writing.

    I have done the research…it appears that you have not though.

    I have cut and pasted one of my columns here to make it easy for you. By all means go and check this out.

    “Go to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website at this address:
    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2003/9/King%20David%20and%20Jerusalem-%20Myth%20and%20Reality

    and you will find a rather interesting article regarding the historicity of the Hebrew people, the Exodus, Joshua, Moses, the Monarchy, and early exploits of David and Saul.

    “The Bible is not – and was never intended to be – a historical document. A work of theology, law, ethics and literature, it does contain historical information; but if we want to evaluate this information we should consider when, how and why the Bible was compiled.

    Until comparatively recently, the Bible was accepted as the word of God by most Jews and Christians, and therefore scholarly works dealing with it, such as the Talmud, rabbinical commentaries, and the work of Christian scholars, concentrated on its interpretation.

    In the 19th century CE, the “Age of Reason,” scholars began subjecting the biblical texts to linguistic, textual, and literary analysis, noting inconsistencies and interrupted rhythms, comparing styles, and placing the text within the archaeological, historical and geographical background. There are still many differing opinions regarding the origin of the Bible, when it was written, and under what conditions; but it is fair to say that, outside fundamentalist circles, modern consensus suggests that the assembling and editing of the documents that were to constitute the Bible began in the seventh century BCE, some three centuries after David’s time. (The earliest actual material in our possession, part of the Dead Sea Scrolls, dates to the second century BCE at the earliest).”

    So there is dissent; when was it written, assembled, edited, put together. It did not just spontaneously appear in final form; it was worked on, edited, and played with for many centuries.

    “The saga of the Israelites, as told in the Bible, was designed as a morality tale to prove the importance of faith in the One God. The stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Joshua demonstrate that the Israelites were rewarded when they obeyed God, but were punished when they strayed.

    The historical evidence to back up these events is sparse, and, in some cases, contradictory. In particular, the account of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan is inconsistent with the archaeological evidence. Cities supposedly conquered by Joshua in the 14th century BC were destroyed long before he came on the scene. Some, such as Ai and Arad, had been ruins for a 1000 years.

    The Book of Judges, which directly contradicts Joshua, and shows the Israelites settling the land over a prolonged period, is nearer historical reality; but even it cannot be taken at face value.”

    So now we know the stories were morality tales, maybe some truth in them maybe not. There is sparse evidence for actual historicity. It mentions the lack of archaeological evidence for Joshua’s conquests…most scholars are now in agreement that the Biblical stories are myth and nothing else…a product of later authors who did not realize that scientists would eventually sift through actual evidence and find them out.

    “Around 1200 bce, semi-nomads from the desert fringes to the east, joined by elements from Anatolia, the Aegean, and the south, possibly including Egypt, began to settle in the hill country of Canaan. A large proportion – probably a majority of this population – were refugees from the Canaanite city states, destroyed by the Egyptians in one of their periodic invasions.

    The conclusion is somewhat startling to Bible readers who know the Canaanites portrayed in the Bible as immoral idolaters: most of the Israelites were in fact formerly Canaanites. The story of Abraham’s journey from Ur of the Chaldees, the Patriarchs, the Exodus, Sinai, and the conquest of Canaan, all these were apparently based on legends that the various elements brought with them from their countries of origin. The consolidation of the Israelites into a nation was not the result of wanderings in the desert and divine revelation, but came from the need to defend themselves against the Philistines, who settled in the Canaanite coastal plain more or less at the same time the Israelites were establishing themselves in the hills.”

    So now we find out that the Hebrews were actually Canaanites fleeing from those pesky Egyptians and their war machine. They didn’t come out of Egypt, led by Moses, they didn’t wander the desert for forty years, and God did not part the Red/Reed Sea.

    “Thus the founders of Israel were not Abraham and Moses; but Saul and David. It was apparently Saul who consolidated the hill farmers under his rule and created fighting units capable of confronting the Philistines. It was David who defeated the Philistines and united the hill farmers with the people of the Canaanite plains, thus establishing the Kingdom of Israel and its capital city.”

    After several years of serious part time study of religion, the Bible, and the Holy Land, and all the stories and myths floating around about God, Jesus, Paul, the early church fathers and all, I can only come to one conclusion…It’s all fake.

    The archaeologists and other scientists whose work in any way relate to religious myths, the Bible or other matters pertinent to Christianity are in almost unanimous agreement…the real evidence is not there. Practically everything relating to the Bible, God, Jesus, etc. can be called into question and I have wrote about much of it here.

    The only possible way that believers can still believe, is to just ignore science and its findings in the last fifty years or so. I don’t think anyone with a fair mind can look at the evidence surrounding the 2500-3000 year history of the Hebrews and later Christianity and believe it to be true. It’s all made up by con-men preying on the common folk. Pretty lucrative business it is, the Catholic Church is the single largest/wealthiest institution in the world. Talking about con-men…pry into the history and inner workings of the Mother Church sometime.

    I can find no evidence that an all-knowing, all-powerful godly entity is working, or has ever worked, magic here on earth, or been involved in the production of the Bible in any way. Almost all of the OT is discredited in one way or another and with all the questions of the authorship and the thousand year exclusive custody of ‘the Bible’ by the Catholic Church there is powerful doubt of its veracity or Truth.
    Israel Finkelstein, chairman of the Archaeology Department at Tel Aviv University, “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Text.”

    “The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land [of Canaan] in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom.”

  4. Kim says:

    Hmm, I am having a little problem with what is written above. I did go to your link and read the exact same info that you have included above. Y’know, just because someone claims to be an “authority” on a subject doesn’t mean what they write is THE truth. For example I offer the recent global warming debacle where now we are discovering that the “authorities” have conspired to manipulate information to accomplish their own agenda. Similarly, just because someone is a biblical researcher doesn’t mean that they want truth to be proven, in fact, potentially there are those who would love to disprove the whole or part of the Bible to put it’s authority and historicity in question. Just think what that might mean. Even within the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I imagine that there might be those who would care little about truth, but the fame and fortune of disproving the Bible…potentially a feather in one’s cap.

    Just because one authoritative source declares a thing to be so, doesn’t mean it is so. Included below is some information that seems to go head to head with what you have included above. So which study, which authority is right…

    But we shouldn’t be surprised at this unscientific assault on the Bible. As Professor William F. Albright, archeologist and head of Palestine’s American School of Oriental Research, observed,

    “The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible by important historical schools… has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history.”[4]

    Archeological evidence that confirms the Bible

    1. Written records from over 4,000 years ago. Dr. Paolo Matthiae, Director of the Italian Archeological Mission in Syria, “hit an archeological jackpot” in 1975. He discovered “the greatest third-millennium [B.C.] archive ever unearthed.” It included “more than 15,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments” and unveiled a Semitic empire that dominated the Middle East more than four thousand years ago. Its hub was Ebla, where educated scribes filled ancient libraries with written records of history, people, places and commerce.[5]

    “These early tablets display an ease of expression, an elegance that indicates complete mastery of the cuneiform system by the scribes,” said Dr. Giovanni Pettinato, former epigraphist of the Italian Mission, who worked closely with Dr. Matthiae. “One can only conclude that writing had been in use at Ebla for a long time before 2500 B.C.”

    The Ebla tablets verified the worship of pagan gods such as Baal, Dagan and Asherah “known previously only from the Bible.”[5] They mention the name “Abraham” and “Ur of Chaldees” (the Biblical Abraham’s birthplace) as well as other familiar cities and places:

    “The names of cities thought to have been founded much later, such as Beirut and Byblos, leap from the tablets. Damascus and Gaza are mentioned, as well as two of the Biblical cities of the plain, Sodom and Gomorrah. … Most intriguing of all are the personal names found on the Ebla tablets. They include Ab-ra-mu (Abraham), E-sa-um (Esau)….”[5]

    Destroyed and rebuilt several times, Ebla began its final decline around 1800 B.C. Since new generations settled on top of the old ruins, it left behind a many-layered “TEL” (Looks like a flat-topped hill. Capitalized for emphasis) which archeologists will continue to explore for years to come.

    Centuries later, Moses was trained “in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Raised at Pharaoh’s court, he would have learned to write on fragile papyrus as well as clay tablets. The 1988 discovery of the TEL el Amarna letters shows us that written messages were an important part of Moses’ culture:

    “…there were about 400 cuneiform tablets discovered at this site which were part of the royal archives of Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) who reigned about 1400 BC. Among them were letters written in Babylonian cuneiform script to these Pharaohs of Egypt by various kings dwelling in the land of Canaan and Syria… written during the time of Moses [and Joshua]. They provide the first evidence of the Hebrew tribes entering into the land of Canaan in ancient times.”[6]

    That last sentence points to the completion of the Biblical Exodus — the Israelite journey, led by Moses, out of bondage in Egypt toward the land God had promised them. Perhaps the “scholars” behind the PBS “documentary” simply chose to ignore the evidence. After all, politically correct deceptions are far more acceptable than facts to a world that no longer tolerates Truth. But that’s all the more reason to be ready with answers to those who question our faith. The following archeological finds should help prepare us for the challenges ahead.

    2. The Hittite Empire: The Hittites are mentioned dozens of times in the Old Testament. Yet, a century ago,

    “critics of Biblical historicity argued that the Bible’s descriptions of the Hittite Empire were later insertions, since they were certain the Hittite Empire didn’t exist…. But in 1906 archaeologists unearthed the Hittite capital and in the years following excavated what is now known to have been a massive and very prominent Hittite civilization…

    Then from “Judaism 101″…
    Moses, Aaron and Miriam were the leaders of the Children of Israel at a pivotal time in our history: the Exodus from Egypt and the forty years of wandering in the desert before the people entered the Promised Land.

    An entire book could be written on the stories of these three people. Indeed, four books have already been written: the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, which tell the story of their life and times. This page can only begin to scratch the surface.

    The history below is derived from written Torah, Talmud, Midrash and other sources. Where information comes directly from the Bible, I have provided citations.

    As with the stories of the patriarchs, modern scholars question the historical accuracy of this information; however, scholars also claimed that the Torah could not have been written at that time because alphabetic writing did not exist … and then archaeologists dug up 4000 year old samples of alphabetic writing….Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, known as the Patriarchs, are both the physical and spiritual ancestors of Judaism. They founded the religion now known as Judaism, and their descendants are the Jewish people. Of course, technically, it is incorrect to refer to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as Jews, because the terms “Jew” and “Judaism” were not used generally to refer to this nation until hundreds of years after their time; nevertheless, for convenience and in accordance with common practice, I will use these terms.

    The history below is derived from written Torah, Talmud, Midrash and other sources. Modern scholars question the existence of the Patriarchs and the historical accuracy of this information; however, it is worth noting that scholars also questioned the existence of Babylonia and Troy… until archaeologists found them…

    I have spent a bit of time doing research on the historicity of Abraham and Moses…and what I’ve found is that your document above is one viewpoint. There are others, equally authoritative, that would, also using archaeology, disprove your article’s assertions.

    My point is, it appears that you seem quite happy to have found a source that speaks with “authority” disproving much of the Old Testament’s writings. I am asserting that there is as much evidence to the opposite…that the Bible is accurate, provable, and true.

    So, at least be honest in what you write. Do your research. Ripping apart someone’s faith in God’s Word, by quoting one “authority” is dangerous business and obviously manipulative. I would recommend that you be very careful and skip having an agenda…Go after truth.

  5. thewordofme says:

    Hi Kim, thank you for reading my post and taking the time to write your nice reply.

    You write:
    “But we shouldn’t be surprised at this unscientific assault on the Bible. As Professor William F. Albright, archeologist and head of Palestine’s American School of Oriental Research, observed,

    ““The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible by important historical schools… has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history. “

    Bio of Prof Albright from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_F._Albright
    “William Foxwell Albright (May 24, 1891 – September 19, 1971) was an American archaeologist, biblical scholar, linguist and expert on ceramics. From the early twentieth century until his death, he was the dean of biblical archaeologists and the universally acknowledged founder of the Biblical archaeology movement.”

    Prof. Albright followed in the path of most religious supporters. “Well here we have what the Bible says…let’s try to find stuff to prove it.” As opposed to the real unaligned scientists saying: “Let us look at the real evidence and see what it can tell us.” You will notice that Prof. Albright died in 1971 which is way before the renaissance of archaeology and other science fields that somehow impinge on Biblical matters. In the last thirty years the fields have exploded with new methodologies and peoples and abilities to interpret information.

    “Over the past thirty years, some archaeologists have led an effort to divorce archaeology in Israel from the biblical texts. Reflecting the change in biblical studies from historical reconstruction to textual criticism, the archaeology has become more sociological and processual and less a search for the realia of biblical life. The earlier assumptions of people such as Albright and Wright who faithfully accepted the biblical events as history have now been seriously questioned.” According to one of the world’s leading Biblical archaeologist William G. Dever, From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_G._Dever

    “Albright used this influence to advocate “biblical archaeology”, in which the archaeologist’s task is seen as being “to illuminate, to understand, and, in their greatest excesses, to “prove” the bible. ” In this Albright’s American Evangelical upbringing was clearly apparent. He insisted, for example, that “as a whole, the picture in Genesis is historical, and there is no reason to doubt the general accuracy of the biographical details” (i.e. of figures such as Abraham). Similarly he claimed that archaeology had proved the essential historicity of the Book of Exodus, and the conquest of Canaan as described in the book of Joshua and the book of Judges.”

    “Archaeology certainly doesn’t prove literal readings of the Bible…It calls them into question, and that’s what bothers some people. Most people really think that archaeology is out there to prove the Bible. No archaeologist thinks so.” From the beginnings of what we call biblical archeology, perhaps 150 years ago, scholars, mostly western scholars, have attempted to use archeological data to prove the Bible. And for a long time it was thought to work. William Albright, the great father of our discipline, often spoke of the “archeological revolution.” Well, the revolution has come but not in the way that Albright thought. The truth of the matter today is that archeology raises more questions about the historicity of the Hebrew Bible and even the New Testament than it provides answers, and that’s very disturbing to some people.”

    In the years since his death, Albright’s methods and conclusions have been increasingly questioned. William Dever notes that “[Albright's] central theses have all been overturned, partly by further advances in Biblical criticism, but mostly by the continuing archaeological research of younger Americans and Israelis to whom he himself gave encouragement and momentum … The irony is that, in the long run, it will have been the newer “secular” archaeology that contributed the most to Biblical studies, not “Biblical archaeology.”

    Thompson strongly criticizes his methods: “[Wright and Albright's] historical interpretation can make no claim to be objective, proceeding as it does from a methodology which distorts its data by selectivity which is hardly representative, which ignores the enormous lack of data for the history of the early second millennium, and which willfully establishes hypotheses on the basis of unexamined biblical texts, to be proven by such (for this period) meaningless mathematical criteria as the ‘balance of probability’ …”

    William G. Dever is an American archaeologist, specializing in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times, who was Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona,
    from 1975 to 2002. Dever is a 1955 graduate of Milligan College, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1966. Dever was Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum-Hebrew Union College Excavations at Gezer from 1966-71, 1984 and 1990; Director of the dig at Khirbet el-Kôm and Jebel Qacaqir (West Bank) from 1967-71; Principal Investigator at Tell el-Hayyat excavations (Jordan) 1981-85, and Assistant Director, University of Arizona Expedition to Idalion, Cyprus, 1991.

    Dever, William G. (2001), What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?

    Dever, William G. (2003), Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come from?

    Detailed curriculum vitae, University of Arizona. Accessed 2010-02-09.

    Finally:
    “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. …I am not reading the Bible as Scripture… I am in fact not even a theist. My view all along—and especially in the recent books—is first that the biblical narratives are indeed ‘stories,’ often fictional and almost always propagandistic, but that here and there they contain some valid historical information…”

    There was no Adam & Eve, no flood of Noah, no Tower of Babel, no Exodus…way too much circumstantial evidence against the old stories.

    twom

  6. thewordofme says:

    Hi again Kim,

    From “Macrohistory and World Report”

    http://www.fsmitha.com/h1/jerusalem.htm

    In his book, The Quest for the Historic Israel, Finkelstein describes David as ruling the Jerusalem area when it was still sparely populated. Finkelstein writes of “bandits and rebels” having been attracted to marginal mountainous environments. David, he suggests, may have been a bandit rebel, dominating towns as a protector, as bandit rebels often tried to do.

    Finkelstein writes:
    The evidence clearly suggests that tenth-century Jerusalem was a small highland village that controlled a sparsely settled hinterland. (David and Solomon, p. 95)

    The population remained low and the villages modest and few in numbers throughout the tenth century BCE. (p. 96)

    Finkelstein contends that here there is no clear archaeological evidence for Jerusalem’s emergence at that time as the capital of a powerful empire with elaborate administrative institutions and a scribal tradition capable of composing such an elaborate chronicle of events (p. 97).

  7. Justin says:

    Notice how the History Channel used this as factual in the Battles B.C program.

  8. thewordofme says:

    has what used as factual?

  9. Kim says:

    Isn’t it fun quoting all these great sites on the internet…I have more from wikipedia…

    The meaning of the term “history” is itself dependent on social and historical context. Paula McNutt, for instance, notes that the Old Testament narratives “do not record ‘history’ in the sense that history is understood in the twentieth century … The past, for biblical writers as well as for twentieth-century readers of the Bible, has meaning only when it is considered in light of the present, and perhaps an idealized future.” (p. 4, emphasis added)[7]
    Biblical history has also taken on different meanings in the modern era. The project of biblical archaeology associated with W.F. Albright, which sought to validate the historicity of the events narrated in the Bible through the ancient texts and material remains of the Near East,[8] has little in common with the view of history described by archaeologist William Dever. In discussing the role of his discipline in interpreting the biblical record, Dever has pointed to multiple histories within the Bible, including the history of theology (the relationship between God and believers), political history (usually the account of “Great Men”), narrative history (the chronology of events), intellectual history (ideas and their development, context and evolution), socio-cultural history (institutions, including their social underpinnings in family, clan, tribe and social class and the state), cultural history (overall cultural evolution, demography, socio-economic and political structure and ethnicity), technological history (the techniques by which humans adapt to, exploit and make use of the resources of their environment), natural history (how humans discover and adapt to the ecological facts of their natural environment), and material history (artefacts as correlates of changes in human behaviour).[citation needed]
    A special challenge for assessing the historicity of the Bible is sharply differing perspectives on the relationship between narrative history and theological meaning. Supporters of biblical literalism “deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.”[9] But prominent scholars have expressed diametrically opposing views: “[T]he stories about the promise given to the patriarchs in Genesis are not historical, nor do they intend to be historical; they are rather historically determined expressions about Israel and Israel’s relationship to its God, given in forms legitimate to their time, and their truth lies not in their facticity, nor in the historicity, but their ability to express the reality that Israel experienced.”[10]
    This apparently irreconcilable clash of views is most acute for the questions of the greatest contemporary political significance (such as the promise of land by God to Abraham) and theological import (the Virgin Birth and Resurrection of Jesus), which are also the “events” that have proved the least susceptible to extra-biblical confirmation.

    And a bit more…

    In 2001, Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman published the book The Bible Unearthed. Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts which advocated a view midway toward biblical minimalism and caused an uproar among many conservatives. The 25th anniversary issue of Biblical Archeological Review(March/April 2001 edition), editor Hershel Shanks quoted several biblical scholars who insisted that minimalism was dying,[4] although leading minimalists deny this and a claim has been made “We are all minimalists now”[43]. In 2003, Kenneth Kitchen, a scholar who adopts a more maximalist point of view, authored the book On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Kitchen advocated the reliability of many (though not all) parts of the Torah and in no uncertain terms criticizes the work of Finkelstein and Silberman, to which Finkelstein has since responded.
    Jennifer Wallace describes archaeologist Israel Finkelstein’s view in her article Shifting Ground in the Holy Land, appearing in Smithsonian Magazine, May 2006:
    He [Finkelstein] cites the fact – now accepted by most archaeologists – that many of the cities Joshua is supposed to have sacked in the late 13th century B.C. had ceased to exist by that time. Hazor was destroyed in the middle of that century,Aiwas abandoned before 2000 B.C. Even Jericho, where Joshua is said to have brought the walls tumbling down by circling the city seven times with blaring trumpets, was destroyed in 1500 B.C. Now controlled by the Palestinian Authority, the Jericho site consists of crumbling pits and trenches that testify to a century of fruitless digging.
    However, despite problems with the archaeological record, some maximalists place Joshua in the mid second millennium, at about the time the Egyptian Empire came to rule over Canaan, and not the 13th century as Finkelstein or Kitchen claim, and view the destruction layers of the period as corroboration of the biblical account. The destruction of Hazor in the mid 13th century is seen as corroboration of the biblical account of the later destruction carried out by Deborah and Barak as recorded in the Book of Judges. The location that Finkelstein refers to as “Ai” is generally dismissed as the biblical Ai as it was destroyed and buried in the 3rd millennium. The prominent site has been known by that name since at least Hellenistic times, if not before. Minimalists all hold that dating these events as contemporary are etiological explanations written centuries after the events they claim to report.
    For the united monarchy both Finkelstein and Silberman do accept that David and Solomon were real kings of Judah about the 10th century BC[44] others such as David Ussishkin argue that those who follow the biblical depiction of a united monarchy do so on the basis of limited evidence while hoping to uncover real archaeological proof in the future[45]. Gunnar Lehmann suggests that there is still a possibility that David and Solomon were able to become local chieftains of some importance and claims that Jerusalem at the time was at best a small town in a sparsely populated area in which alliances of tribal kinship groups formed the basis of society. He goes on further to claim that it was at best a small regional centre, one of three to four in the territory of Judah and neither David nor Solomon had the manpower or the requisite social/political/administrative structure to rule the kind of empire described in the Bible[46].
    These views are strongly criticized by William G. Dever,[47] Helga Weippert, Amihai Mazar and Amnon Ben-Tor.
    André Lemaire states in Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple[48] that the principal points of the biblical tradition with Solomon as generally trustworthy, as does Kenneth Kitchen, who argue that Solomon ruled over a comparatively wealthy “mini-empire”, rather than a small city-state.
    Recently Finkelstein has joined with the more conservative Amihai Mazar, to explore the areas of agreement and disagreement and there are signs the intensity of the debate between the so-called minimalist and maximalist scholars is diminishing[49]. This view is also taken by Richard S. Hess,[50] which shows there is in fact a plurality of views between maximalists and minimalists. Jack Cargil[51] has recently shown that popular textbooks not only fail to give readers the up to date archaeological evidence, but that they also fail to correctly represent the diversity of views present on the subject.

    ~~~~~~

    I guess the point I would make again is this…If the “authorities” on these issues cannot agree, and obviously they cannot, there must be a reason for it. If it were to be a “proven” point, the discussion would be over. Obviously, neither side of the debate can prove their point well enough to silence the discussion. So I’m curious how you document your ability to make the declarations you have made with such certainty?

    I don’t know if you are a follower of Christ. But if you are then you know that from cover to cover, the Bible is a document about trusting in and obeying a transcendent God who is beyond human ability to completely understand, being that we are finite and He is not. It is a FAITH book. Not a “blow-your-brain- faith” but a trust in a good God, bigger and smarter and more loving than I could ever hope to be. If I can know everything that God knows, then my God is too small. Archaeology, at best, is a journey to discover artifacts (things left behind) to allow us a picture of what happened long ago. Truth be told, there is room enough in the science of archaeology, as in every other science, for the scientist’s interpretation…which, c’mon, does happen! There is certainly enough evidence for the Truth of the scriptures (not to mention the reality of His real time activity in my life) to cause me to trust in that transcendent God for my life. I would just say again, ripping apart someone’s faith in God’s Word (not mine, BTW), by quoting some “authority” who hasn’t yet proved his hypothesis, is dangerous business and obviously manipulative. Go after truth, and if the “truth” you are expounding isn’t 100% absolute, then please, hold off until it is.

  10. thewordofme says:

    Hello again Kim, thanks for your reply.

    I love quoting from the internet. It’s usually when I find something that I have been thinking about for a long time and I’m delighted to find those who agree with me…and they can usually express it better than me. :>)

    There are many things that ARE true in the Bible, but NOT everything is. I do know that science is continually chipping away at a lot of it. I think the story of Noah and the universal flood was the first thing that that was considered mythical, as naturalists of the 1600’s started to notice that the story could not be true as they started to learn about and explore stratigraphy and geology.

    In our modern times the sciences are matured and the flood story is universally dismissed by all but fundamentalists who seem to ignore the evidence because of their view that the Bible is 100% true. It is not.

    The sciences of archaeology, paleontology, and other related earth sciences have found conclusive evidence that man/women have been walking the earth for tens of thousands of years and we had many intermediate forms such as Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo Neanderthals’ and these forms have gone back from 30,000 BC to 200,000 BC and beyond.

    You tell me what YOU think this means for the Adam and Eve myth. Modern human types on earth for 200,000 years….or Adam and Eve for 6,000 years. Is the Bible which is a 1700 year old document in which we don’t actually know who wrote what, and that is proven to have mythical stories in it…or scientific evidence that has accumulated for over 200 years from many different disciplines and keeps growing and keeps reinforcing what it has been saying for years.

    DNA evidence, which is new to the controversy between religion and science, also backs up the ongoing science about ancient humans…and we use the same kind of DNA evidence to put criminals in prison and even death row occasionally.

    Of course there are other things that are now seen to be myths and allegorical stories to teach and inspire people of the times and not to be taken as truths. How is one to take the imprecation to “not suffer a witch to live?” (Which the Catholics sure took advantage of in the Dark Ages by killing up to 3 million “witches”) and what about the silly laws to not mix fabrics or different crops in the same field. How about the laws to separate women who are menstruating and women who have given birth to boys to be separated for 40 days, and if they give birth to girls for 80 days.

    How about the churches tromping all over women and keeping them down…I don’t think that came from Jesus, he seems to be a gentle soul as portrayed in the bible…I think it came from a church hierarchy that was making up things as they went along and wanted exclusivity in how to run it…another sign that there is no God behind it. You might also have noticed how religions of all flavors has seeped into secular life and kept women down all over the world for many many centuries.

    Do the above mentioned things seem like they came from a God, or do they seem like the silliness that comes from male chauvinist pigs? Do you detect a pattern of deception here? The very beginning of the holy book is putting forth stories that are demonstrably false. Is one supposed to ignore actual checkable scientific facts and evidence? Do you want to spend the rest of your life worshiping what is increasingly shown to be myth?

    You see, it is not just one or two or three things about the Bible and Judeo-Christianity that is shown to be wrong, it is truly many things and they add up…I think…to proof of hoax.

    You write:
    “Go after truth, and if the “truth” you are expounding isn’t 100% absolute, then please, hold off until it is.”

    OK I will hold off on the Exodus thing until I get further results, but I should tell you that there has never been found any evidence for the truth of a million or more souls traveling for 40 years in the Sinai desert…archaeologists have been looking for a hundred years…

  11. tatyana says:

    Wow…. what an idiot.

    we learn the same thing in my Catholic prophet Bible class.

    As you should know maximalism is dying out…. and that’s fine with all the other Christian minimalists.

    The Bible undoubtedly contains history, but how much history is revealed through other means. It’s an old text and you will find that historical texts written before the Enlightenment weren’t historical at all…. But because of the bias in it, does not mean it’s bogus.

    and about exodus.. haven’t u read the link u posted? One theory is that they were canaanites…. either way, it was NOT a million souls…. Finkelstein would say that the Davidic monarchy was actually a tribe. their population was not very big.

    tell me something we didn’t learn….

  12. thewordofme says:

    Hi Tatyana, thank you for writing.

    I don’t want any personal attacks or name calling on my blog Tatyana. Just write what you are meaning to say in a logical manner and in a nice way.

    The Bible itself says that there were 600,000 young men of fighting age…then there are the women and children and old folks to consider…this could easily add up to 1 million, and likely more.

    Young men of fighting age to me means at least 17 to 18 years of age, if not older. Then take into account that they wandered the Sinai desert for forty years…by the time they were ready to invade Jericho they would be 57 to 58 or more years old…not exactly prime fighting age in those times. Late fifties in those times was oooold. Bunch of old geezers. :-)

    At any rate the walls of Jericho were gone by the time Joshua and his crew got there…if he existed. After all the story was written 800 to 1000 years after it was supposed to happen.

    My feelings are that it’s all just made up myths and camp-fire stories. A lot of the Bible is true, but NOT all of it.

    Now how can I tell you something you didn’t learn? Do you feel that you know it all now?

  13. thewordofme says:

    Hi Justin,

    I’m tired of your nasty and immature way of writing. You need to learn more about the religion you espouse and a lot more about manners and adult ways of communicating.

    You probably think you are a wizard at writing and explaining yourself…but you are far from there.

    I will correspond and argue with anyone that can keep it friendly and useful…I will not argue or put up with such as you.

  14. Justin says:

    How am I being unfriendly? I am just making my point large and clear and on the ‘Failed Prophecy of Jesus’ as you call it why haven’t you responded on the Messianic prophecies I showed you?

  15. Justin says:

    I just read this more throughly and do you think that I am a child or something?
    I am in sixth form or as you would call it in America high school.
    A wizard what are you talking about? And you say that I am being immature.
    I look over my comments more and try and make them more ‘friendly’
    Personally I think you are just saying you don’t want to debate with me anymorre because I showed you the Messianic prophecies.
    Anyway I’ll try and endurse your advice.

  16. Justin says:

    Oh yah and why did you take away the first comment I posted yesterday?

  17. thewordofme says:

    Hi Justin ,

    I was working on reply to your messianic prophecy post when I noticed your post–the one I removed.

    I will be glad to continue debating you here, but only if you write with respect. That basically means to not call me or others names…you know like; stupid, lame, idiot, etc.

    I respect you as a thinking, functioning person and I like to ‘talk’ to people like you, but like I said before, I don’t respond well to name calling and disrespect.

    Sound fair to you?

  18. thewordofme says:

    Hi again Justin,

    I had already deduced that you were fairly young…sorry if I sounded too condescending, but I was trying to verify what I was thinking. It pays to know your opponent and have at least a rudimentary knowledge of where their mind is.

  19. edie says:

    I think the only thing that has been proven here is that one sees what they want to see. You either have faith or you don’t. Allegory or Complete literal truth. Does it matter? Not really. What matters is Love and the belief that we are all forgiven if we learn to forgive.

  20. thewordofme says:

    Hi edie, thanks for commenting.

    I agree that what matters is love, but I would also add family, community, country, and the green hills of earth. Your mention that we are all forgiven prompts me to say, “Forgiven for what.” I don’t go around sinning so I’m fine thank you.

    Much of the Bible has now been dis-proven and it keeps getting more so as the years go by. Bible literalists are the only ones left who think the old sheep / goat herder stories are real. As I mentioned earlier earth scientists have been searching for over a hundred years for ANY evidence of a million people crossing and being there for 40 years in the Sinai…nothing. The funny part is that they have found evidence of other peoples crossing or living there in earlier and later times and in much smaller groups, but nothing that verifies the Exodus story.

    It doesn’t make sense to believe in and use your time and money and energy in make-believe. Of course I know that you are thoroughly brain-washed in your belief, and nothing I can say here will make you read for yourself and find the truth. However I will continue to write about this stuff and I know at least a few people will have their eyes opened. There are over a billion non-believers in the world and we are rated as #3 in all polls of religions, and growing…kinda ironic isn’t it?

    • you people have tried and tried to disprove the bible and thus far have failed to do so…kindly read the new testament from beginning to end, the folks like yourself are mentioned in there as well..yes I imagine there are billions like yourself but the bible says few will enter into the kingdom of heaven

      • the word of me says:

        Hi Steve, thank you for your reply.

        You write:
        “You people have tried and tried to disprove the bible and thus far have failed to do so.”

        Yeah Steve, it’s not so much trying to disprove the Bible as it is going about doing their scientific research into a myriad of different things, some of which just happens to impinge on the Bible.

        Since I wrote this post back in April of 2009 there have been many things happening in science that impact the Christian Bible and world-view. It will still take a few more years for the consequences to be felt at a church level. Right now it is the scholars who are wrestling with the new information.

        Perhaps the biggest revelation is that DNA research has found that we modern peoples (with some exceptions) carry a small percentage of Neanderthal blood/genes in our bodies. That means me and you may carry parts of this ancient bloodline. It also means that our ancestors in the old world mated and produced viable fertile offspring with a relative of ours…Homo-neanderthalensis.

        This has a rather sad implication for religious people. There is a long line of ‘Homo’ species that go back hundreds of thousands of years in the past…we are the last surviving members of the ‘Homo’ species and we ARE related to them, or we would not have been able to mate and produce offspring. The archaeologists have been saying this for decades…we ARE descended from the great ape line and the DNA has just recently confirmed this fact.

        Read up on your science and meet your relatives…Homo-neanderthalensis, Homo-heidelbergensis, Homo habilis, Homo-erectus, etc., etc.

        From archaeology we know that modern humans (Homo-sapiens) have roamed the earth for about 200,000 +- years. From DNA research we know that there was never a time during that period when the human genome had been down to just 2 people (Adam and Eve) or 6 or 8 people (Noah’s family).

        Combining the two facts from above and we can extrapolate that there was never an Adam and Eve as written about in the Bible.

        Geology experts have been saying since the early 1700’s that there was never a world-wide flood somewhere around 2300 BC (or at anytime) and I tend to believe them because there is now SOOOO much evidence against it.

        Archaeologists have confirmed over and over that humans have inhabited most of the earth for tens of thousands of years. The Biblical Tower of Babel event was supposed to have happened a few hundred years after the Noachian flood…around 2000 BC We know for a fact that humans were in China, Asia, Europe, Australia, India, and North and South America…they had been for MANY thousands of years. I really doubt that they were grunting at each other.

        Scores of archaeologists have been scouring the Sinai desert for over a hundred years looking for ANY sign that more than a million Hebrews spent 40 years there during their escape from slavery in Egypt. There is NO evidence to be found. There is other evidence for small groups passing through before, during and after this time, but absolutely nothing to be found to back up the Biblical story. Also to be noted is there is no Egyptian evidence to back up the story…none.

        Excerpt about an Israeli magazine story on Israeli archaeologist Ze’ev Herzog in 1999:

        “*Ze’ev Herzog’s Haaretz weekly magazine cover page article “Deconstructing the walls of Jericho” attracted considerable public attention and debates. In this article Herzog claims that “the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel.

        Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, Jehovah, had a female consort (Asherah) and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period (c920-900 BC ) of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai”

        *Ze’ev Herzog (born 1941) is an Israeli archeologist, professor of archaeology at The Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University. Ze’ev Herzog is the director of The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology since 2005.

        Notice in there the mention of the walls of Jericho. Along with Jericho, all of the other cities and towns (save one) mentioned in the Bible that Joshua was supposed to have conquered…he didn’t.

        Since SOOOOO much of the Christian dogma rides on these above mentioned stories to be true all is up in the air at this time. The Adam and Eve story will have the biggest repercussions because with no ‘Fall’ there is no ‘Original Sin’ and if there is not that sin from the ‘garden’, there is no need for Jesus (conveniently forgetting for the moment that we now know that we ARE descendent of apes, not god created 6000 years ago). Double whammy.

        There is more, but this is enough for now. The facts in the matter are that science HAS disproved Adam and Eve, the Noachian flood, the Tower of Babel, the Exodus, and Joshua.

  21. thematrixq says:

    Reblogged this on ?verything!.

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