Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lost and Found Report

HT: Justin Taylor

From The Jerusalem Post

A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said Wednesday.

Photo: Edwin Trebels courtesy of Dr. Eilat Mazar

The 2,500-year-old black stone seal, which has the name "Temech" engraved on it, was found earlier this week amid stratified debris in the excavation under way just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate, said archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig.

According to the Book of Nehemiah, the Temech family were servants of the First Temple and were sent into exile to Babylon following its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

The family was among those who later returned to Jerusalem, the Bible recounts.


Yeah, that wacky Bible, just full of myths and legends...

28 comments:

  1. You're so right, man! This is quite a find! It finally proves that everything in the bible is so true after all!

    Can I have some more Kool-Aid, please?

    ReplyDelete
  2. From what I understand of the research thus far, there seems to be a problem on how to read the inscription. Many times bullae like this may be read from right to left, instead of left to right. I am not sure what to make of this right now, but there is considerable debate. I am just pointing out there is controversy over the inscription. check out the ANE list.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ANE-2/message/7133

    ReplyDelete
  3. ..and even the stones cry out! and the beat goes on, and sheperd boys continue assuredly to throw stones into old caves and who knows what will turn up next? I am a Christian medical missionary and I can tell you that one would best expect to see God bring out his smoking guns in the most timely fashion! God is NEVER late!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Today, while I was watching the NFL playoffs, my donkey looked over and said "Woe to America, and why do you take advantage of me?"

    I was surprised, until I remembered the talking donkey of the old testament.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting correlation that proves the Bible...

    I was reading "Moby Dick," a quote-unquote "fictional" novel, and it mentioned London, England.

    We all know that London exists, therefore, so does the WHITE WHALE!

    Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jeffrey Burnham1/21/2008 9:49 AM

    I too am a Christian, and I'm always bewildered by other Christians (or those posing as Christians) who put so much energy into unearthing "evidence" for the Bible. We are to accept what the Bible says on faith, not on "evidence." The former is what God desires of us, an attitude of complete trust and submission to His Word. The latter is reflective of how the world operates, on its assumption of pretended autonomy, which is the sinful root of man's downfall.

    In peace,
    Jeffrey Burnham

    ReplyDelete
  7. officer ben misrepresents the post and attacks a straw man, todd katz makes fun of medical missionaries (!), anon seems to think that talking animals are ridiculous, not remembering that his worldview commits him to the belief that he himself is a talking animal, ahab is a very silly person, jeffrey burnham reckons that atheists reason logically and the other 95% of people who are religious are irrational, an astonishingly bigoted claim, so your typical set of fundy atheist comments, nothing new - just the usual tripe.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Calvin and the chipmunks1/21/2008 5:01 PM

    So Gene, if you apply archaeological evidence in this way to 'prove' the Bible, do you also believe that Jesus' bones were found in the Talpiot Tomb?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Calvin and the Chipmunks,

    Creative name, I like it. If the seal does in fact read tmch then it is significant. Does it prove the bible? No, but it does have a nice correlation between text and artifact.

    As far as the Talpiot Tomb goes... well it is pure fantasy. Jacobi and his buddies like the spot light and big claims give you that. If it was the bones of Jesus then that is what the bones would be and we would have to deal with it.

    Blake

    Blake

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous said...
    Today, while I was watching the NFL playoffs, my donkey looked over and said "Woe to America, and why do you take advantage of me?"

    I was surprised, until I remembered the talking donkey of the old testament.

    1/20/2008 10:26 PM

    **********

    Today I oppened an old can of soup. I was suprised to see a new species crawl out of it. But then I rememberd that time + chance acting on matter had that sort of power.

    ReplyDelete
  11. ahab said...
    Interesting correlation that proves the Bible...

    I was reading "Moby Dick," a quote-unquote "fictional" novel, and it mentioned London, England.

    We all know that London exists, therefore, so does the WHITE WHALE!

    Awesome!

    1/21/2008 7:47 AM

    *********

    Interesting powers of comphrehension. Did Gene claim to "prove the Bible" with his post? No. He simply showed that, yet again, the Bible is shown to be a reliable source.

    Oh, and Moby Dick doesn't purport to be, as you do deftly point out, grounded in fact.

    So, thanks for the disanalogous argument. You're about as sharp as Ahab's wooden leg!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Calvin and the chipmunks said...

    So Gene, if you apply archaeological evidence in this way to 'prove' the Bible, do you also believe that Jesus' bones were found in the Talpiot Tomb?

    1/21/2008 3:01 PM

    *************

    a) That's not what Gene was doing.

    b) And, Gene doesn;t believe that Jesus bones were found just like the vast majority of scholars don't. It's disanalogous to say that because Gene accepts putative archeological evidence that he must accept bogus evidence too. Try to catch up.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jeffrey Burnham said...

    I too am a Christian, and I'm always bewildered by other Christians (or those posing as Christians) who put so much energy into unearthing "evidence" for the Bible. We are to accept what the Bible says on faith, not on "evidence." The former is what God desires of us, an attitude of complete trust and submission to His Word. The latter is reflective of how the world operates, on its assumption of pretended autonomy, which is the sinful root of man's downfall.

    In peace,
    Jeffrey Burnham

    1/21/2008 7:49 AM

    *************


    You think anyone here believes that you're a Christian? We don't. Pack up your bags. Your "act" is tired.

    Also, 'evidence' can play numerous roles. It doesn't need to be used to demonstrate to all rational people the truth of the entirety of God's word. It can function as a defeater-defeater, for one.

    Why did the biblical writers themselves tell others that they weren't lying about the resurrection? To go check the facts with the wittnesses. They appealed to "the word."

    You're not foolin' anyone. Go back to DC.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Calvin and the Chipmunks1/21/2008 7:26 PM

    re: the Bible is shown to be a reliable source.

    I've listened to Robert Price's show 'the Bible Geek' many times- he claims archaeological evidence against the Bible is as strong as the archaeological evidence against Mormonism - to wit: there could not have been an Exodus from Egypt, since satellite photos would have revealed this evidence by now. Also there were no Davidic or Solomonic empires that correspond to what we read in the Bible. If the Bible is unreliable in these matters, it doesn't help its credibility that it got this one fact about the Babylonian captivity right. What say you?

    ReplyDelete
  15. "I've listened to Robert Price's show 'the Bible Geek' many times- he claims archaeological evidence against the Bible is as strong as the archaeological evidence against Mormonism - to wit: there could not have been an Exodus from Egypt, since satellite photos would have revealed this evidence by now. Also there were no Davidic or Solomonic empires that correspond to what we read in the Bible. If the Bible is unreliable in these matters, it doesn't help its credibility that it got this one fact about the Babylonian captivity right. What say you?"

    It is all in how you interpret the evidence. How many people left Egypt? That question all depends on how one translates the hebrew word for "eleph" is it thousand or clan? If it is the later the numbers would be significantly lower and would not have left as big of a trace.

    As far as David and Solomon are concerned there are a few problems:

    1) Have we read the biblical narrative correctly?

    2) What was the nature of an ANE "city"?

    3) Was the wealth of Solomon and David actually that extraordinary? Edwin Yammuchi, Kenneth Kitchen and others think not.

    4) Is Israel Finkelstein right about his low chronology? If he is it causes problems for a Davidic Monarchy, if he is wrong as Mazar thinks, then it is not that inconcievable.

    Finally, just because there is no evidence for something does not mean it is evidence of abscence. We just cannot say with as much epistemological certainty as we may want. Simplistic summarizations, like you gave, do nothing but muddle the questions of historical method, which you must have to answer before you start making claims.

    Blake

    ReplyDelete
  16. Article on the recent conference on the Talpiyot tomb by Christopher Rollston:

    http://drjimwest.wordpress.com/2008/01/18/christopher-rollston-on-the-talpiot-conference-a-guest-posting/

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wonder how satellites are supposed to find evidence of the Exodus.

    Does this mean satellites can show us evidence of the Persian armies marching into Greece? Can satellites show us evidence of Alexander's armies? Can satellites show us evidence of the Mongol horde?

    I think satellites show that atheists don't bother thinking before they attack Christians, but that's about it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. calvin and the chipmunks1/21/2008 9:07 PM

    rb, I don't know the details of how the interpretations of biblical data were contrasted with the archaeological data- I admit I should look into that.

    bb, well duh, satellites aren't going to show you movies of events that aren't currently happening. You're making a category mistake. If a large scale migration has occurred, there will of necessity be evidence that will be detectable.
    Do you want to engage in idiotic jibes in order to convince yourself you are right, or are you really interested in getting at the truth?
    Do triabloggers really want to know if their opponent has committed a non-sequitur, or do they just iteratively draw distinctions until they are able to claim this, without bothering to find out if their opponent has considered the distinction they have in mind?

    ReplyDelete
  19. "to wit: there could not have been an Exodus from Egypt, since satellite photos would have revealed this evidence by now. Also there were no Davidic or Solomonic empires that correspond to what we read in the Bible. If the Bible is unreliable in these matters, it doesn't help its credibility that it got this one fact about the Babylonian captivity right. What say you?

    I say *could not* is a bit strong, don't you think.

    I say that you have a guilty until proven innocent mindset. The Bible has *repeatedly* emerged the winner against claims like this.

    H. M. Orlinsky wrote:

    "More and more the older view that the biblical data were suspect and even likely to be false, unless corroborated by extra-biblical facts, is giving way to one which holds that, by and large, the biblical accounts are more likely to be true than false...."

    Time magazine, no friend of Christianity, had to admit in an article entitled, "How True Is the Bible?":

    "After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest scientific guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived -- and is perhaps the better for the siege. Even on the critics' own terms -- historical fact -- the Scriptures seem more acceptable now than they did when the rationalists began the attack."

    I say that they lived a nomadic life in the dessert. This kind of life does not lend itself to leaving behind massive amounts of evidence.

    I say that satellite technology has uncovered caravan routs in the Sinai desert. George Stephen, a satellite-image analyst, discovered evidence in the satellite photographs of ancient tracks made by "a massive number of people" going "from the Nile Delta straight south along the east bank of the Gulf of Suez and around the tip of the Sinai Peninsula." He also saw huge campsites along the route, one that fits the description given in the book of Exodus (Randall Price, The Stones Cry Out, p. 137).

    I say that there is not a lot of evidence for ancient peoples.

    I say that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    I say you're arguing fallaciously from silence.

    I say you're all wet.

    I say Gene showed that, yet again, the Bible turns out to be reliable in what it reports.

    I say an inductive conclusion would yield the conclusion that it should be treated innocent until proven guilty. Not finding evidence isn't proof. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "rb, I don't know the details of how the interpretations of biblical data were contrasted with the archaeological data- I admit I should look into that."

    As testimony about ancient history it must be realized the scripture tells us history from a point of view. The main point of the narrative is theological, the historical events that are recounted are chosen because of their theological import. When biblical narrative makes certain claims likel, "King X (mainly Northern Kingdom Kings) did what was evil in the sight of the Lord" we need to realize that the biblical writers are not writing history for histories sake, nor are they writing to satisfy my or your curiousity. It is theological and ethical.

    Also, archaeological data need to be interpreted just as much as scripture. Only after they have both been interpreted on their own merits can we go and declare which one is right or wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Paul Manata,

    Why do you keep posting as anonymous in this thread?

    You're not trying to fool us, are you?

    PMS

    ReplyDelete
  22. calvin and the chipmunks1/21/2008 11:58 PM

    I say you're arguing fallaciously from silence.

    I say you're all wet.


    Sure, I hope so. It's no fun being a nihilistic materialist. I'm always open & will look into this. Tell me - do you have similar freedom? Robert Price once said something along the lines of "Elijah is a Sun God because he was described as a 'hairy man' and he called down fire" and I thought ... that sounds silly - it doesn't follow at all. Do you have the same type of freedom to investigate that I have?

    ReplyDelete
  23. calvin and the chipmunks said...

    Sure, I hope so. It's no fun being a nihilistic materialist. I'm always open & will look into this. Tell me - do you have similar freedom? Robert Price once said something along the lines of "Elijah is a Sun God because he was described as a 'hairy man' and he called down fire" and I thought ... that sounds silly - it doesn't follow at all. Do you have the same type of freedom to investigate that I have?

    1/21/2008 9:58 PM

    **********

    No, we have more freedom than you have.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous said...

    Paul Manata,

    Why do you keep posting as anonymous in this thread?

    You're not trying to fool us, are you?

    PMS

    1/21/2008 9:06 PM

    ************

    Would it matter if I were?

    Why try to derail the combox into a typical outburst of emotions having nothing to do with the objective merits of the arguments *themselves?*

    You're not trying to avoid rational argumentation, are you?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Balaam's Ass1/22/2008 10:27 PM

    Manata said "Why try to derail the combox into a typical outburst of emotions having nothing to do with the objective merits of the arguments *themselves?*"

    *What* arguments?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Balaam's Ass said...

    Manata said "Why try to derail the combox into a typical outburst of emotions having nothing to do with the objective merits of the arguments *themselves?*"

    *What* arguments?

    1/22/2008 8:27 PM

    *********

    The ones in the *thread*.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Egghead Noodle1/23/2008 8:55 AM

    Manata, if you think you've presented any arguments, you might want to repost them. And this time, actually put forward an argument.

    That's it, keep trying.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Egghead Noodle said...

    Manata, if you think you've presented any arguments, you might want to repost them. And this time, actually put forward an argument.

    That's it, keep trying.

    1/23/2008 6:55 AM

    **********

    Egghead,

    If you can't find the arguments in this thread you may need to re-read it. And this time, actually use those reading skills you learned in 2nd grade. That's it, hooked on phonics.

    ReplyDelete