Some towns or villages mentioned in the Bible are hard to locate at this late date. Unbelievers cite that to prove the Bible is unreliable.
That’s a good example of irrational scepticism. To take a counterexample, most of us use maps at one time or another to find where some place is, or chart the best route.
Yet even in the age of modern cartography, when there’s a surfeit of information, maps routinely leave out small towns or side streets.
Indeed, it can be hard to find a map with all of the pertinent information. You have to spend time combing through different maps to find the one that meets your particular needs.
Yet it would absurd to say a particular town never existed just because you can’t find it on the map.
On a related note, maps map time as well as space. Maps need to be periodically updated. What was there 5 years ago may be gone today. What wasn’t there 5 years ago may be here today. The best way to get lost in a hurry is to use an out-of-date street map.
Entire towns can become ghost towns. Cities and towns can be renamed. Or consider the fate of Petra.
The fact that we can’t correlate a few Biblical place names with identifiable sites unsurprising. What’s striking is how many we can still correlate at this late date.
Many TV dramas are ostensibly set in one place, but actually filmed in another. The film crew may gather some footage from the ostensible setting for establishing shots, then film the rest on location in a different place.
I remember a short-lived TV drama which was ostensibly set in Seattle, but actually shot in Vancouver BC. The pilot episode really was shot in Seattle. Indeed, I knew exactly where a particular scene was filmed. But after the pilot, they shifted to Vancouver.
I could tell the difference, but you’d have to be one of the locals to tell the difference.
Likewise, I remember another show which was actually filmed in British Columbia, but it had an episode which was ostensibly set in the woods outside Spokane, Washington. It looked like a temperate rain forest. Well, the Spokane area doesn’t resemble a rain forest. The episode was obviously shot in British Columbia.
Again, though, you’d have to be one of the natives (or a tourist) to tell the difference.