The Recent Testimony Of Archaeology To The Scriptures -- By: Melvin Grove Kyle

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 067:267 (Jul 1910)
Article: The Recent Testimony Of Archaeology To The Scriptures
Author: Melvin Grove Kyle

The Recent Testimony Of Archaeology To The Scriptures

Rev. Melvin Grove Kyle

Recent” is a dangerously capacious word to intrust to an archaeologist. Anything this side of the Day of Pentecost is “recent” in biblical archaeology. For this review, however, anything since 1904 is accepted to be, in a general way, the meaning of the word “recent.”

“Recent testimony of archaeology “may be either the testimony of recent discoveries or recent testimony of farmer discoveries. A new interpretation, if it be established to be a true interpretation, is a discovery. For to uncover is not always to discover: indeed, the real value of a discovery is not its emergence but its significance, and the discovery of its real significance is the real discovery.

The most important testimony to the Scriptures of this five-year archaeological period admits of some classification: —

1. The Historical Setting Of The Patriarchal Reception In Egypt

The reception in Egypt accorded to Abraham and to Jacob and his sons,1 and the elevation of Joseph there,2 peremptorily demand either the acknowledgment of a mythical element in

the stories, or the belief in a suitable historical setting therefor. Obscure, insignificant private citizens are not accorded such recognition at a foreign and unfriendly court. While some have been conceding a mythical element in the stories,3 archaeology has uncovered to view such appropriate historical setting that the Patriarchs are seen not to have been obscure, insignificant private citizens, nor Zoan a foreign and unfriendly court.

The presence of the Semitic tongue in Hyksos’ territory has long been known;4 from still earlier than patriarchal times until much later, the Phoenicians, first cousins of the Hebrews, did the foreign business of the Egyptians,5 as the English, the Germans, and the French do the foreign business of the Chinese of to-day; and some familiarity, even sympathy, with Semitic religion, has been strongly suspected from the interview of the Hyksos kings with the Patriarchs;6 but the discovery in 1906, by Professor Petrie,7 of the great fortified camp at Tel el-Yehudiyeh set at rest, in the main, the biblical question of the relat...

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