15 Jul 2019

Bible Confirmed Again

 Some years ago, I was walking around east Jerusalem and found myself at the gates of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research. The famous name of course belongs to William F. Albright, whose “Bible in one hand, spade in the other” research style strengthened people’s faith in the veracity of the Bible in the last century.

Interestingly, the Institute now is just outside the boundary of the Israeli-Palestinian areas, and is somewhat obscure in every way, since the view that the Bible proves Jewish history is not in favor.

However, the old professor would no doubt be pleased by recent finds in Israel. He always knew that there is plenty of evidence to authenticate biblical narratives. Today it is a political question, since no one wants to “offend” the easily offended Arabs.

But one does wonder what they make of still more discoveries that prove the Bible. Another has come to light.

The Philistine city of Ziklag, where a young David found refuge from the insane Saul, is being unearthed.

According to a report in the Jerusalem Post:

“About 1,000 sq.m. were excavated; the find revealed evidence of Philistine settlement dating to the 11th-12th century BCE. Large stone structures were uncovered, including finds characteristic of Philistine culture. Stone vessels and metal vessels found on site are similar to other finds from this period that were discovered at past excavations in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gat – all ancient Philistine cities.

“Ziklag is mentioned several times in the Bible, most famously in the Book of Samuel, when the young David was granted refuge from King Saul by the Philistine King Achish of Gat. David was awarded Ziklag as a vassal state, under the protection of Achish, and he used it as a base for raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. According to the Book of Samuel, the city was destroyed by the Amalekites and the population was enslaved. After King Saul was killed in battle with the Philistines, David left Ziklag and traveled to Hebron to be anointed king of Israel.

“After a 12-year archaeological study of the entire region, Garfinkel said he believes the finds he discovered at Ziklag and Khirbet Qeiyafa are consistent with scriptural references to the geography of the area.”

The whole country of course is literally littered with such sites, but herein lies a very interesting and/or dismaying element.

The more one “proves” the Bible, or Jewish history therein, the more hatred bubbles to the surface from every area of the globe. In other words, people either don’t care about it or they are hostile to such news. It’s always been this way, but I’d argue the situation has gotten worse.

Even great apologists like Josh McDowell talk about the sea-change in attitudes today. In the past, one could appeal to people based on reason, but now, as McDowell tells us, efforts to witness to people based on evidence is met with rage. Now, the “heathens rage” by saying something like, “Why is your truth better than my truth?”

Objective truth is out the window.

Which is why, I think, archaeological discoveries will continue to decline in popularity in terms of reaching a pagan culture. Sure, some will listen, but be prepared that if you share such news—even in Sunday school!—you’ll be met with derision and scorn.

Still, those of us who are believers are strengthened by such stories as the discovery of Ziklag. There, the pages of the Bible come alive and in color for us to flesh-out our faith.

And, even the hostility to such announcements is a fulfillment of New Testament prophecy, which tells us that hearts will grow cold in the last days.