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The Bible and history.

Sometimes, scholars and speculators have tried to anchor Biblical events into the history of the Middle East - with varying results.
There is a plethora of sites out there, from academic to lunatic, which claim to do this.
I thought I'd open a thread ( and probably a couple of cans of worms as well) to discuss this.
I'll start with this link;
Honey 56

Hi Jim,
Two of my favouire topics, history/humanities and biblical studies!
I would really love to join in, but do not have the wherewithal unfortunately.

Therefore, I would be really interested in hearing your thoughts on this (or anyone elses) but I am afraid that will have to be the sum of my involvement, an interested spectator!

I will be able to ask loads of question though  

Would you be willing to critique this peice for us (me) Jim?


Hi, Honey.
I find this kind of research fascinating...and speculating about the reverberations equally so.
Many critics have used the paucity of references to Bibical events outside Israel as a hammer to beat the believers with.
Many others have tried to fit Biblical events into world affairs twisting the eveidence to fit their own ideas of what it should be.
Archaeology is concerned with neither; it simply presents the available evidence for all to interpret.

   Here are some fascinating glimpses.
Obviously, by thwe Eighteenth Dynasty, if we are to accept scripture in any real way, Abraham has already been to Egypt.  Rhe name of Yahweh is known and seen as seperate from other gods ( the Egyptian word 'netjeru' is roughly, but not completely, co-existant with Greco-Roman concepts of 'gods' ) As the article shows, foriegn gods were incorporated and assimilated into the Egyptian Ennead ( Pantheon) at the drop of a hat...except, uniquely, for Yahweh.
The fact that the NAME occurs during the long riegn of Amenhotep III Nebmaatre may well be significant. We know his son, Amenhotep IV Neferkheperrure had some sort of experience making him leave the state religion, concentrate on an aspect of the sun, the Aten, which he declared as 'sole god'.
We know, too, that Egypt experienced some sort of political crisis, and, at the same time, plague was noted in many Middle Eastern countries. Egypt was not spared, but seems to have escaped relatively lightly.
We might speculate that the climate was right for a foriegner to rise to high office...and we know Joseph did so, according to Genesis.
The records are chaotic for this time, but a central authority seems to have held the economy together, despite the religious and political tturmoil.

Excavations at Meggiddo (Armageddon) where numerous wars were fought, including one by Amenhotep III, have revealed an enigmatic inscription dating to either Amenhotep II or Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten.
It is on a potshard, and reads..

.....shining like the Aten in glory, who gives food, man from a far country..."
Not proof, but interesting!

One well known name that precedes Abram is that of Melechizedeck, and he as a king would have had subjects, do you think Melechizedeck would not have known the name YHWH, and if he did, how would he, and again, if he did then did his subjects as in those of his kingdom.

Realy it comes down to when was the name in the term YHWH known among men, and was it at any time known and spelt due to another language being the norm which begs the question, what was the language of Noah?

Was all language renewed when the tongues were confused, was there a people who were not involved in the confusion of tongue, and if so, what was their language.

How did Enoch, Methuserla, and such like regard a name of God?

While we travel back in time what names were held by the authoritive powers that established pre flood, did these names have meaning and did they become re-established post flood.

and does anybody know where I left me pliers?

bernard (hug)

Hi, Bernie;
The problem we have is ibn dating the Biblical events and putting them inthe context of varifiablee History outside Israel.

For exampkle, you quote the name Abram. This name, and other familiar Biblical names such as Abel, Seth, Sarah and Esa(u) are known from the 'library' recovered from Sumer. Whether they belong to the people mentioned in Genesis, though, cannot be proven archaeologically. However, the fact that they shared a common linguistic core is possibly telling.

Can you anchor the Biblical chronology into world history?
If so what is your evidence which does this?
Honey 56

Hi Jim,
Thank you for your post.
I know you have a very specail interest in the archeology of Egypt, and when you get going on this subject, it is totally infectious!  
From a believers point of view it give me a tremendous kick when archeological finds agree with biblical truths and even when the sceptics doubt this, as they do. I find with an open mind and with some research and with the passage of time,  this is often false scepticism.
God's word will never return empty to Him!

What do you make of this Jim

I really hope that you can appreciate this, the evidence is really interesting (but very visual)


Interesting link, Honey.
The problem, though, is that the documentary is biased. I'm always a little sceptical of certain 'Biblical archaeology' programmes. They seem to be made by people who have an agenda to try to prove the Bible is true, and look for evidence to confirm this.
Real archaeology cannot have such an agenda; all it can do is find the evidence and open it up for others to interpret.
As for Sodom and Gomorah; these 'cities' would be, in reality, large villages by our standards.  At the time of Abraham ( possibly) 2500BC,  there would have been very few cities on the earth as we would know them. Even those of Babylon, or Ur, or Akkad, or Memphis, would probably support a population of no more than ten thousand each. Farming techniques just wouldn't be able to support a major urban population.
Identification of Soddom and Gommorah is difficult without inscriptional detail. Literacy outside sites of major civilisations ( Akaad, Sumer, Ur, Egypt at this time ) was primitive. The 'Library' found at Ebla, however, has tantalising glimpses of names and places mentioned in Genesis, though we can't place them with the Genesis names with certainty.
However, the language suggests a proto-Semitic (Hebrew) tongue. Forum Index -> Christian chat
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