Does Archaeology Prove The Bible? -- By: Clifford A. Wilson

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 01:1 (Winter 1972)
Article: Does Archaeology Prove The Bible?
Author: Clifford A. Wilson


Does Archaeology Prove The Bible?

Clifford A. Wilson

People often ask, “Does archaeology prove the Bible?” In fact, many people are interested in archaeology only because they believe it “proves the Bible”. However, few scholars today would look on archaeology as merely the means of proving the Bible, worthy as that objective may be.

Archaeology An Academic Discipline

Archaeologists are professional men, very often with little or no interest in the Bible except as another history textbook. They are academics who excavate slowly, methodically, expertly. They write their reports often with no reference whatsoever to the Scriptures. Archaeology touches many cultures, and men all over the world are interested in their forebears whether or not they are associated with Biblical history.

University and other grants to archaeologists are not available merely because of an interest in the Bible, and excavators no longer dig their trenches with a spade in one hand and a Bible in the other.

The author doing his part in digging up the past at Tel Gezer, Israel.

Clifford Wilson is Professor of Old Testament and Archaeology at Columbia Bible College in Columbia, South Carolina. He was formerly Director of the Australian Institute of Archaeology. Dr. Wilson is well known as a radio speaker and lecturer on the subject of Biblical Archaeology and is the author of a number of books on Biblical archaeology and Bible backgrounds.

An excavation proceeds methodically, and then technical reports are published while the dust of thousands of years is again allowed to settle at the excavated site. Other scholars then study these reports and translate the recovered documents that were written on clay or papyrus or some other medium, and quite often they find that the recovered records have a remarkable relevance to the Scriptures, God’s Word of Truth.

It is indeed true that very often archaeology does endorse particular Bible happenings. Some would say that in this way it “proves the Bible”, though such a statement should be taken with reservation since it is far too sweeping. There are many thousands of facts in the Bible which, of course, are not capable of verification, because the required evidence has long since been lost. However, it is remarkable that where true confirmation is possible, the Bible withstands investigation in a way that is unique in all literature.

This is not to say that viewpoints about the Bible have never changed because of archaeological findings. Indeed, quite often it has been necessary ...

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