Beneath The Surface An Editorial Comment -- By: Henry Boynton Smith

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 018:4 (Fall 2005)
Article: Beneath The Surface An Editorial Comment
Author: Henry Boynton Smith

Beneath The Surface
An Editorial Comment

Henry B. Smith, Jr.

Biblical Archaeology—Eternal Implications

As many of our readers know, the Associates for Biblical Research is dedicated to demonstrating the historical reliability of the Bible through archaeological research and fieldwork. Readers of Bible and Spade magazine find our articles interesting, informative, and edifying.

However, in reflecting on this, several questions rise to the surface: How does the work of Biblical archaeology affect the eternal destiny of human beings? Do we merely study the research from the archaeologist’s spade so that we may increase our knowledge? Or, why even expend energy in archaeology when there are what can seem to be “more important” issues to be addressed, such as divorce, abortion, pornography and the preaching the Gospel to the lost?

While we acknowledge the importance of these social and moral issues, we believe that many members of the Christian community are missing the vital role ABR plays in the body of Christ. The absolute authority of the Bible as God’s Word is being undermined as never before. The truths found in Scripture are the source from which Christians determine that the moral issues of our time need to be addressed. Most importantly, the world’s need for a Savior is grounded in history. Undermine and destroy that history, and you make the Gospel an ultimately meaningless invention of mankind.

The enemies of the Gospel sometimes understand this reality better than the church. Consider the words of the famous atheist Thomas Huxley:

I am fairly at a loss to comprehend how any one, for a moment, can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures. The very conception of the Messiah, or Christ, is inextricably interwoven with Jewish history; the identification of Jesus of Nazareth with that Messiah rests upon the interpretation of passages of the Hebrew Scriptures which have no evidential value unless they possess the historical character assigned to them (1897: 206–208, emphasis added).

The Jesus Christ that the Christian world proclaims as Lord and Savior of all stepped into history, and His existence, actions and statements are absolutely grounded in the historical accuracy of the Old Testament. Huxley then accurately built a bridge to the New Testament:

Further, it is affirmed that the New Testament presupposes the historical exactness of the Old Testament; that the points of contact of “sacred” and “profane” history are innumerable; and that the demonstrations of the falsity of the Hebrew recor...

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