What is the role of biblical archaeology? This is actually a very important question given the steady decline of people who view the Bible as historically accurate. What is the relationship between archaeology and the Bible? This is perhaps another form of the same question, for how we answer the question exposes our view of Scripture. Does archaeology need to prove the Bible or does it simply reveal what the Bible has already said?
Having excavated myself at four different sites so far (the last time at Tel Gezer this past June), I believe that archaeology plays a very important role in revealing the Bible’s history. Archaeology is a tool in helping to uncover biblical history. I like what Dr. Bryant Wood has said, “In every instance where the findings of archaeology pertain to the Biblical record, the archaeological evidence confirms, sometimes in detailed fashion, the historical accuracy of Scripture. In those instances where the archaeological findings seem to be at variance with the Bible, the discrepancy lies with the archaeological evidence, (i.e., improper interpretation, lack of evidence, etc.) and not with the Bible.” (Dr. Bryant C. Wood serves as Director for Associates for Biblical Research. He is also an archaeologist)
When you stop to think about it, it is archaeology that serves as a tool for exposes new information about the Bible. Another archaeologist said it this way, “The only new facts about the Bible and the Biblical world are coming from the ground.” (Dr. Bill Dever, archaeologist)
But switching around the conversation, can the Bible be a tool for the archaeologist digging at biblical sites? Yes, indeed it can, if you trust that the Bible contains historical truth. I am one who believes the Bible does contain truth, even when it comes to historical narrative. This certainly was the view that Nelson Glueck, archaeologist, shared back in 1959 when he said, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference.”
Today, there are so-called biblical archaeologists who do not believe the Bible can or should be trusted when it comes to preserving the historical narrative. These are called minimalists. Regretfully, scholarship today is being bombarded by minimalist who believe that objectivity is lost in archaeology is approached with a Bible in one hand and a spade in the other.
This is why I am thankful for the following video. It is presented by our friends at Sourceflix. Thankfully, there are a number of archaeologists who still hold to a view that the Bible can be a tool in field of archaeology.
Dr. William Albright, past archaeologist, once said, “There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.” If this is the case, why shouldn’t the Bible serve as a tool for every archaeologist?
Be sure to check out their video resources on their web site – www.sourceflix.com.