Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tabloid archaeology

Gordon Franz writes,

One day a friend sent me an invitation to a church meeting and asked me if I knew anything about the subject. On the flyer was a picture of a human skeleton with crooked teeth and a rock embedded in his forehead. The title above the skull read: “They’ve Found Goliath’s Skull!”
Has Goliath's skull really been discovered? To find out, you'll have to read rest of the story here.

This is a good example of what Franz calls "Tabloid Archaeology," and unfortunately, many Christians buy into this stuff hook, line, and sinker. If it sounds good and seems to give credibility to the Bible, then no matter its source (email, blog, tabloid, video) or level of scholarship, we assume it must be true and with great excitement pass it on to our friends.

To avoid future embarassment, we can all be grateful for a new website Franz has developed called Life and Land Seminars. It has a lot of material on Bible backgrounds, but some articles deal specifically with sensational theories and discoveries. The site is formatted like a blog, so navigation can be tricky. But if you use the search bar in the top right corner, you should be able to search and find any pertinent articles quickly. Think of it like a "Snopes" for biblical archaeology. Here's a few other debunking articles Franz has written:

Does “The Lost Shipwreck of Paul” Hold Water? – A critique of the theory of Robert Cornuke.

Mount Sinai is Not at Jebel Al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia (and parts 2 and 3) – A careful refutation of the theory of Ron Wyatt that has captivated many gullible Bible believers.

Did the BASE Institute Discover Noah’s Ark in Iran? – The historical and geographical problems with a recent theory promoted in Christian circles.

The So-Called Jesus Family Tomb “Rediscovered” in Jerusalem – A lengthy analysis of the Talpiyot tomb that recent movie producers have claimed belonged to Jesus of Nazareth.

HT: Todd Bolen

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