Mar 17 2010

The Next Great Awakening part 13: Ancient Public Works

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:56 am

The previous post in this series is here.

Yet another of the many archaeological indications of the Bible’s historicity is announced as Archaeological Discovery Supports Scripture

Israeli archeologist Eilat Mazar has reported an exciting discovery-evidence that newly unearthed fortifications in Jerusalem were built 3,000 years ago. Based on the age of pottery shards that she found at the site, Mazar believes that the fortifications were built by Solomon, just as described in the Old Testament.Of course that’s interesting news for Jews and Christians, but there’s a lot more to this than you might expect. As the Associated Press reported, “If the age of the wall is correct, the finding would be an indication that Jerusalem was home to a strong central government that had the resources and manpower needed to build massive fortifications in the 10th century B.C.”

That’s a direct contradiction to the views of some scholars who believe, as the AP puts it, “that David’s [and Solomon’s] monarchy was largely mythical and that there was no strong government to speak of in that era.”

No wonder that Mazar calls the wall “the most significant construction we have from First Temple days in Israel.” And if she’s right, we will have another link in the long chain of evidence that demonstrates the historical veracity of the Bible.

I don’t know about you… but this sort of thing simply makes me want to shout for joy, and gives me chills. It’s exciting.

At the same time, as Chuck Colson’s article points out at the link above, our belief isn’t based on external confirmation of specific data points in scripture, but rather on the internal witness of the Scripture itself.  I can speak from my own experience that it was certain external aspects of the universe as described by science that first made me begin to take seriously some of the Bible’s claims.  But it wasn’t until I began to research the Bible on its own terms, and in its own context, that my confidence in the scripture was built. And it was built. It didn’t appear fully formed one day.

It continues to be built.

So, my opinion is that the primary value of external evidences  (archaeology, astronomy, other aspects of historical research, biology, etc.) is to suggest to skeptics that maybe just part of the Bible might be true, and make them curious enough to consider the rest.

The thing is, when you start to study it, read about the work of the best scholars, etc., you begin to realize you’re holding in your hands something utterly remarkable, and without precedent in your life.  And little by little, you begin to hear God speaking to you through it.  And so, in a sort of boot-strapping operation, you find that reading it leads you to God, who leads you to understand a bit more of it, which leads you back to God, who leads you to yet new understanding….  and so it goes.

It’s a lifetime activity.  You’ll never know all you need to know about the Bible, on the one hand, and on the other, what you have to know in order to seek God in it is remarkably little, just to start.

Not many books are suitable for beginners as well as the most advanced readers.

I did a little skulking around on the net, and found this, referred to in the article above.  You won’t regret the time you spend reading it.

The next post in this series is here.