June 1, GHCA meeting and webinar, 7 pm
New Archeological Evidence Before the Exodus: in 5 parts.
Part 2: Joseph and Jacob in Egypt
By: Dr. Douglas Petrovich, PhD Syro-Palestinian Archaeology
We at the GHCA are aware that the archaeologists of the 1900s misinterpreted several important evidences which led to a consensus view that the Bible is progressively more mythological at virtually every period earlier than the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah. This situation has become an impediment to faith in general and to creation studies in particular. It also set the stage for the acceptance of evolutionary type of thinking in nearly all endeavors. That situation becomes ever more entrenched because it is difficult to recognize the existence of evidences that one does not believe can exist. That can easily lead to misinterpretations.
Recently, a few trained archaeologists with a commitment to the accuracy of the Bible have recognized that the evidence related to sites in the Holy Land from the biblical period fits biblical history and chronology well. One of the most productive in the time periods prior to the Exodus is archeologist Dr. Petrovich. Below are the topics for the five presentations beginning May 4th. Below that is Dr. Petrovich’s Introduction to the State of Biblical Archaeology.
Parts 1 -5 topics: 5/4 Tower of Babel (ca. 2650 BC) 6/1 Joseph and Jacob in Egypt (ca. 1875–1859 BC) 7/6 Ephraim and Manasseh in Egypt (ca. 1858–1800 BC) 8/3 Hebrew as the first alphabet (ca. 1875–1446 BC) 9/7 Israelites in Egypt before the exodus (ca. 1560–1446 BC)
Introduction to the State of Biblical Archaeology
In the 1930s, an American archaeologist named William Albright permanently changed what the perceived relationship is between biblical history and archaeological evidence. Whereas before him people held strongly to how the archaeological evidence should defer to the constraints of biblical chronology and a careful study of the biblical text in the original languages, his methodology was to elevate the archaeological finds to a position over how the Bible is to be understood and interpreted on its own terms, with a willingness to remove these constraints.
Albright used evidence from the destructions of minimally important sites in the Holy Land at the end of the Late Bronze Age (about 1200 BC) and their subsequent reoccupation sometime later by Israelites of the Iron Age (after 1200 BC) to deny that the Israelite conquest of Canaan took place at the end of the 15th century BC, as biblical chronology requires (1 Kgs 6:1; Josh 5:6). Instead, he demanded that the conquest occurred in the 13th century BC, which established a position usually called the late exodus/conquest view.
Cecil B. DeMille popularized this new view in his film The Ten Commandments, as he referred to the exodus pharaoh as Ramesses, a line of Egyptian kings that began in 1290 BC. This new view subtly undermined the belief in the minds of many Christians that the Bible’s history should take precedence over the interpretation of artifacts and evidence extracted from archaeological excavations. In the 1950s, Kathleen Kenyon went even further, ignoring the evidence excavated at Jericho that lends to a destruction of the city at the end of the 15th century BC, a timeframe that biblical chronology demands, and interpreting other evidence at the site to justify a redating of its destruction to a time over 150 years earlier.
From then until now, the consensus view among archaeologists and critical biblical scholars is that the Bible is out of step with the evidence dug up from the ground. For example, the majority have become convinced that there is little evidence of the biblical narratives of King David, and even less regarding earlier periods in biblical history. Skeptics who have followed in the steps of Kenyon strongly have preferred the conclusion that the Bible is progressively more mythological at virtually any period earlier than the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
Since then, a few trained archaeologists with a commitment to the accuracy of the Bible have recognized that the evidence related to sites in the Holy Land from the biblical period fits biblical history and chronology well. For example, Bryant Wood concluded in the early 1990s that much of what was found at Jericho matches the Bible, despite Kenyon’s misdating of the city’s destruction, and his presentation of the evidence has proven to be highly persuasive.
It was onto this scene that Dr. Petrovich made his entrance and soon started discovering a substantial body of evidence that affirms biblical history and chronology, such as the events surrounding the Tower of Babel and the Hebrew sojourn in Egypt before the exodus. The potential impact is huge, although too few people are currently aware of the new evidence. The ongoing progress of this work should prove to be of great interest to the Christian community in general.
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