Ze’ev Herzog and the historicity of the Bible

Ze'ev Herzog Tel Aviv UniversityTo what extent can we reasonably treat the stories of the Bible as actual historical events? On a recent visit to Tel Aviv, I had a fascinating interview with Dr. Ze’ev Herzog, a distinguished Israeli archaeologist and a leading figure in the debate regarding the “historicity” of the Hebrew Bible, or what Christians call the Old Testament. This is a topic that has intrigued me for years and is an important thread in my current project. I couldn’t have asked for better scholarly guidance on a complicated topic.

Though he formally retired three years ago, Dr. Herzog is still active in the field. Since 2005 he has been the Director of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, whose faculty includes some of the most sophisticated and intellectually courageous archaeologists in the world. He is an adviser to the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority and was a peer and colleague to some of the giants of the recent generation of prominent Israeli archaeologists, including Yigael Yadin with whom he excavated Tel Hazor and Tel Megiddo (Armageddon), and Yohanan Aharoni with whom he excavated Tel Arad and Tel Be’er Sheva. He also directed the archaeological work at Beer Sheba, Tel Michal and Tel Gerisa and ancient Jaffa. (From his brief explanation of some of the finds there, I was ready to chuck the book project and volunteer to help dig!)

A provocative debate in Israel

What had initially attracted my interest in meeting Dr. Herzog was an article he wrote back in 1999 in Ha’aretz, a leading centrist Israeli daily, that precipitated a firestorm of debate among Israeli intellectuals and the general public. The article was entitled Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho, and it opened with these words:

This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, Jehovah, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai. Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people – and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story – now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people’s emergence are radically different from what that story tells.

The article went on to elaborate the history of archaeological and historical research, and cataloged the solid evidence for conclusions that may seem radical but are in fact reasonable, even conservative, interpretations of the record by today’s objective academics. The public dialog the article precipitated was predictably intense, with many religious scholars attacking Herzog on his facts. But I was interested in hearing Herzog’s personal experience of the firestorm he created and the personal interactions that came out of it.

Ze'ev Herzog
Ze’ev Herzog in his office, Tel Aviv University

Herzog impressed me as a imminently reasonable man who was able to relate other people’s views calmly and respectfully. I had the impression listening to him, even as the time went on and we had the opportunity to talk about the work of other scholars in the field, that even if one of his scholarly opponents had been in the room with us, he or she would not have objected to Herzog’s summary of his or her position.

I was expecting to hear stories of vitriolic responses he had received from religious Jews, but this didn’t seem to have been his experience. Orthodox Jews, he said, did not seem to react much or even pay much attention, while many nationalist/religious-leaning Jews were intensely engaged in the topic but sought out discussion and debate in what seemed to be a perfectly civil manner: a typical reaction he related from these Jews was “maybe you just haven’t found the evidence yet.” He related a few reactions with devout Muslims that might be summarized as “I don’t care if the Bible is historically accurate or not, my beliefs come from the Quran so these have to be true.” And he shared one comment from a thoroughly-secular relative, who expressed disappointment only that Herzog could point to examples where archaeology supported the Biblical story.

The only group from which Herzog related getting indignant personal responses were from American Christians, from whom he received some angry letters warning him of the divine retribution headed his way. As an American traveler who is perhaps is vulnerable to media stereotypes of how irrationally religious those people in the faraway Middle East are, it was gentle and funny comeuppance.

The “burden” of having a Bible to refer to

On a broader topic, Dr. Herzog gave me an insightful overview of the shifting academic consensus about the historicity of the Bible that has occurred over the past one hundred fifty years. It is easy to find examples where religious academics seemed to have had their thumb on the scale when it came to interpreting archaeological finds, and more recent atheistic scholars may have been guilty of the same temptation. But leaving those examples aside, it is really interesting to me what a raw intellectual challenge it is to try to make sense of the ancient history of Israel. When the Biblical narrative is so powerfully ingrained in our sense of what “must” have happened there, how, as an archaeologist, can you ignore it as you dust off an artifact you’ve never seen before? Why should you ignore the Bible when it is the most comprehensive narrative you have of the region? And how do you strike a balance between focusing on the people who left a written narrative- even when you suspect it is false- and their neighbors and rivals who did not?

Dr. Herzog acknowledged these challenges while also pointing out that other fields of research have their own distinct challenges. He summed up by saying “while researchers in biology and mathematics have their own difficulties, at least they are not burdened by having a Bible.”

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  1. Most tribes throughout history have developed origin myths to give their people a sense of unity in the face of adversity. Th1e creators of the myths, which historically has been the priest class, consider unity, not to mention the perpetuation of their livelihood, to be more important than truth. The Jews, including their spinoffs, Christians and Moslems, are no exception.

  2. As the intelligence quotient increases, the ideas for belief diminish. There is no reason needed for one to believe in something especially a religion that dates back to mythical times. When I need help, I usually as a relative or very close friend. I don’t need any religion or religious person to augment the problem even more.

    • Ditto. Religion is not the solution to the problem. It is the problem. And no religion is “better” than any other. They’re all bad.

      The more you subscribe to the dogma of any religion, Judaism included, the nuttier you become and the more trouble you cause for mankind. The words of William Godwin, contemporary of Thomas Jefferson, come to mind: “The moment government descends to wear the badge of a sect, religious war is commenced and the world is disgraced with inexpiable broils and deluged with blood.”

      It seems that it is the U.S. and Great Britain’s turn to cause trouble for the world. This begs the question: Which religion is running the show in those countries, what are their aims of its leaders, and why should their ancient and anachronistic view of the world be imposed on everyone else ?

      If it is not possible for any anyone to stop the military machine of these countries, can academics and intellectuals at least start being honest with themselves, that is set aside their cultural and religious biases, long enough to apply some pressure on the leaders of these countries before they cause a third world war?

      • we pray that God almighty unveil your spiritual eyes so that you may experience too what we are enjoying in Him. A joy that cannot explain nor express in words but only understood in your inner soul. God bless you

        • Mam’ please dont push the world in to further strife by glorifying God, a God who have been invented by men and he is the single most reason of disruption of peace and harmony in this world.
          Our fear of unknown, insecurities and the yearning to believe in a creator who can protect us from every danger propelled us to appoint a Creator / God. Incourse of time different ethinic groups invented their own Gods and lo, the Gods instead of protecting their people filled them with amazing spiritual inspiration that made them seek the blood of other !!

          How long would we find pleasure in glorifying stupidity ? How long should we uphold stupidity as faith ? How long should we praise the blabberings of some archaic manipulative people as the word of God ? ? ?

          Please, Please give peace a chance and allow God to take retirement.

          • I doubt this faith some times. I wish I can stop believing this myth. I have so many things I prayed” for and that I still don’t get. My curiosity got me to this site.
            Searching for more answers. I had an encounter In my life mid 2016 (June) to early 2017 (February). This encounter shocked my life so much that it made me believe there’s a particular power in the BIBLE” this is my personal experience. I strongly believe there’s a power in the WORDS and GOD that the Bible talks about that other powers in this world can not over come. I am a fun lover, I live my life and enjoyed being me. I don’t believe in any metaphysical power, I don’t even believe they exist. My parent are christian, I go to church but no conviction i attend as regular ceremony until I had that encounter. When this trial PHASE in my life came the only thing I could cling on was the Bible and the only name I remember was JESUS CHRIST and the GOD of Israel. I said to myself any type of death is death but let me have one thing that I will die with, if it save me fine and if it doesn’t I will know I trusted it but it failed me. That I am typing this to you now shows that the Bible did not fail me. The people worshipping other God’s were asking me which power I’m I using that makes me untouchable. It was then I realize that this GOD was really protecting me. You can reach me via nancybabbby @ gmail.com

            Be blessed.

          • Right on, very true, there is no god, no devil, no heaven, no hell, there is only here and now, so make it count

          • If you are an atheist, then who do you think has made the world you live in? Your argument shows that you are contradicting your very existence! Please learn to believe from the world around you! Do not doubt but believe and be at peace!

          • Right you Are! I can only add that it’s absurd to think that any “god” would be so petty as to be tied up in knots over who did and who didn’t believe in him.

          • An ant was born.and while still young, devoted his life to exploring the world around his mound. As soon as he was sufficiently strong he embarked on his journey, and took nearly an entire ant lifetime exploring surrounding areas. When he was old, he returned to the mound and reported, “There are no humans. There is no such thing as a forest. There are no oceans. Such things are myths.”

            Is not planet earth very much like the ant mound, and are we not much like the ant explorer?

        • If the Bible’s not true even in part, how can we believe in any God. Religion is not the cause of wars per se’, imperialist ideals are what cause wars. Wars need to be financed, who finances wars today? All Wars are Bankers Wars!

        • If there is a God,why does he hide from his creation?There should be something that he does to express his presence.The allien interview on You tube might be a hoax but reasonable and eye opening.We might have been an outcome of a greater occurance that survived and evolved.

          • You ask yourself why God does not show up himself to you. God has done mighty things in my life. And l am so thankful to him. I pray that you experience the same experiences of mine.

      • Some of us reject all religions regardless of the value, we like man made law, unfortunately each time we end up with a disaster, communism, fashism, nazism, …. one needs an absolute set of axioms, so far no one came with anything better the ten commandment. However what we don’t need is the superstition part, etc.

    • So what’s your take on man’s purpose? Can we have a hope for anything other than this life? If not, what do you look forward to everyday when you wake up and get out of bed?
      God still loves you whether or not you acknowledge Him or not!

        • The image or idea of God is mainly made in our own image/ idea of what we wish, no other way is possible. Does it not horrify you ahat has been done to our brothers and sisiters world wide in hisory and now in the name of God. God is a social invention, which is useful socially, that is all.
          The Catholics an Protestants who professed to believe in ‘The One God’ and campaigned for ‘Him’ with fevour, tortured, persecuted and murdered each other in the past, in the name of ‘God’. They saud they believed it. Many had to pretend they believed it, others tried to. Just as we have despots such ad Ho Chi Min, Stalin, Mao se Tung, The Spanish Inquisition and many more, we have similar now, who only doing it for their and their henchman’s benefit in their lifetime – not for anything else.
          Let us hope and work for the rise of love, care, kindness, intelligence, hard work and honesty in the future not the unecessary greed, viloence and duplicity continuing. Really and truly i think and hope maybe makind should be wiped put and perhaps our nemesis is inbuilt into our apparent sucess. This planet was a better place before we prolifersted with all our rather bad character.

        • Well, I understand you’re not saying there is no God, but a God having a wife.

          If the religions are saying that that God has revealed, why does He “irresponsibly” remain silent, if the religions were lying & all false/evil?

          If He stays quiet then at least one of the religions is correct and justified, and actually better for mankind than no religion: I.e. the purpose of life being to vainly struggle to satisfy one animal passion after the other, including hiddenly killing an enemy or telling lies difficult to detect & dying without any reckoning etc.

          • God is found.but we have the limited sense.god created everything.you just experience that.first you keep your concept yourself.we must respect everybody.don’t follow the mad things

      • Paul on
        yes u r right.God loves everybody but not He likes us all. I think if we give Him the chance to reside in our hearts the love of God in our live will be more intense and powerful gradually …
        and the realiazation that without God in our lives is meaningless.

          • It is meaningless unless we make meaning. Surely we can make the best life we can. However, if you’re living where there’s no food and you’re starving, and dying; then life will seem meaningless. I’m atheist because I do not see a god who has a handle on the world. I see an absent god who does not care.

      • We are here due to evolution, there is no specific purpose for it apart from natures desire that we procreate and carry on.
        You get the one life and death is your lot mate, end of. If you wish to live a delusional life, good luck to you.

        • If our faith in God is.wrong we have still lived a better life. If we are right we have eternal life to look forward to but with the inheritance God has promises. If we are right where does that leave you in eternity. Hell?

          • There is no proof of life after death.
            The bible is a collection of ancient books written by men.
            Don’t worry about the next. Live a happy life now by being a good Christ ian.

      • All I have too say..is if i believed that there is nothing more than this life..and there is no hereafter …i would kill myself and all my loved ones now..for what whould be the point.But my joy is steadfast in my faith and it is my reason for being.I have freinds that are atheists and i still love them the same..i just cant anderstand why it is soo important for them too have too convince anyone else …if you dont believe…why so afraid of being alone?

        • Atheists never forced their beliefs on people. But this cannot be said of Jews, Christians or Muslims. Read the history of these godly religions and then tell us how peaceful and loving their message is.

          • Sin is a humsn problem, not a specifically-religious issue. And the sinners, which we all are, are never so clearly themselves as when they rewrite real history to suit fantastic prejudices – such as the fairytale that religious people are fanatics while unbelievers (like themselves) are sweet reasonableness. The whopper “atheists never forced their beliefs on people” suggests profound naivete and an absence of self-examination. Really? So Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, the Kims of NK and other grim dictators of secularist philosophies – according to you – “never forced their beliefs on people?” That you can utter that blatant fantasy is worrying, if not frankly terrifying, as an indicator of the level of education today.

            I think is you who needs educating on the history of the planet.

          • I dont think there r any true atheists. The fact is that most people have such bizarre notions of God that many intellectuals can’t accept.

          • To those who think that the world would be better without religions, consider this. If the only rule for man is “the survival of the fittest”, can you imagine the competition over who is “the fittest”? Ever heard of the term “dog eat dog”? That is not a religious concept. Today in a fit of rage I can throw my laptop to the floor and crush it to pieces. In doing so, there is no crime since the laptop is just a machine. In a world with no religion and no God, it would not be a crime for me to smash my neighbor to pieces. He is just a machine.

            If you go to a restaruant and eat bad food, and it makes you deathly ill. Do not walk away from the experience saying to yourself “I will never eat food again, because all food is bad”. Would do you think the result will be?

  3. Life itself is a miracle,the birth of a child,the rising and setting of the sun,everything around us,if you choose not to believe is certainly up to you,I believe in our Lord but will not force that on anyone,we all have that option to choose.

  4. It seems to me that religion is a proscribed method of conduct within a culture, and as developed countries become more secular there is no sense of civility, or discipline, or respect for the other? Marx/Alensky said you have to change the culture to change the society.

    THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN SOMETHING have a sense of who they are. I’ve always seen religion as a behavioral guideline, and those who wrote Torah or the books of other religions embellished on actual fact, then developed on the behaviors that then developed, causing a system of discipline and rules for behavior.

    • CC
      When a manufacturer makes a car, he/she releases it with an owners manual to help the users mantain and enjoy their car for the lifespan it was designed for. This is petty standard on literally all man made consumer products. The reason is because manufacturers know the limits of their products.
      Ken’s observation that religion ‘I call it reverence for God’ appears to bring order is correct, as it governs the boundaries of human behavior and interaction. Though shall not kill, covert, Steal,…love your neighbor as thyself…this is because this is the owners manual.
      Our challenge is we have many variants of the owners manual, yet it is the one that brings civilization and order which is correct.
      For me, it is when I love my Neighbour whatever religion or belief, not kill, steal nor covert, love my God, forgive, am patient, kind and humble, love God…I run well on these, but also, when I’m in distress and call upon the name of Jesus, I find relief time and time again, the same way I may not know how an email is transmitted but know when I send this, it will be read around the world, This same Faith, has made me run well, so I conclude my source is the correct owners manual.

    • God like Christ is not a “Being” hence not religionist(i.e. having no specific religion), but a “Supreme Consciousness” that embrace all life including Humanity. You can only ‘worship’ God in Truth and Spirit St John 4:24 refers (interpretation is absolutely yours). The Master Jesus came and taught us what to look forward to every day in our lives and i.e. the Law of Love to God and Man, which transcend religion.
      Despite all the supposed ‘goodness’ of religion, man on earth still has no peace either personally or collectively. What then is the problem and probable solution?

  5. Why would your God (one of over 5,000 worshiped as the only one) creator of the infinate universe write a book ( Christian Bible) that deceptively made himself appear to have no more concept of the magnitude of what he had created than that of a person living on a tiny spec for less than a second of all time of that universe and only make the afterlife available to even less than a fraction of all mankind (Christins) that existed after the writing?

    • Robert, all your questions will be answered by reading The Westminster Confession of Faith, available online. Specifically, God is calling a people for Himself, who were decided before the world was made. It is not a plan contingent on human decisions but on the extension of grace according to His Sovereign Will. Many Christians today have an edited, sentimental and man-pleasing false image of God as schmaltzy, senile and helpless,

      Tbe Bible has the full, rounded picture but most people refuse to read it or understand it, whuch is hardly the best endorsement of their opinions.

  6. Science can hardly explain religion sufficiently. Science is good and has helped mankind awesomely. However, religion or faith is a matter of experience and not experiment. I believe in the Bible,absolutely.

  7. The problem with the “owner’s manual” theory is that there are a lot of “bad” or “stupid” morals to take from the Old as well as the New Testament. If a girl is raped, her father should sell her to the rapist for 50 pieces of silver and she will become the rapist’s wife (one of them at least) for the rest of his days with no hope of divorce. If you beat your slave and he dies right away, you’ll be punished, but if he lingers a day or two, just the act of losing the slave will be your punishment as he was a source of your income. In the New Testament Paul sends an escaped slave back to his owner, which was actually against Jewish law at the time. There is the whole Quirinius/Herod killing of the infants timeline kerfuffle. There is the impossibility of keeping a 4000 year genealogy (from Jesus back to Adam) which, somehow, Luke conveniently ends up with. How many of you can trace your genealogy back 300 years in a modern era, let alone 4000? These type of things are embellishments of the ancients to try to make the story work. No, the Bible is a load of bollocks, now we just need to define what is right and just without the religious claptrap.

  8. The matter of proving the existence of primordial call God is always there. In cosmology scientist have often found the lack of evidence for a personal God of biblical stature. In biology it’s even apparent that spieces evolved through time and various other means like natural selection and gene variations. So the concept of a God especially in a amphoromophic terms is found to be not promising .But personally I still believe in God of the bible especially Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour whom I experienced. His spirit and power is so tengable that I just couldn’t deny the experience of some numinous hidden even though sometimes certain fact seem contradictory.


      The 3 Abrahamic Cults of Death — JUDAISM – CHRISTENDOM – ISLAM, which have drenched the earth with the blood of their victims!

      • True Buddy, however lots of people call themselves religious, but are actually not,if you do harm to Mankind or animals or earth then your not really a religious.
        There are not many really religious people left on earth. You shouldnt take the bible literally its the meaning behind it that counts or its intentions.

        • May peace be with you,All prophets including Jesus son of Mary may peace be upon both of them have been sent by the almighty to preach the oneness of our creator (Almighty Allah which is the creator of all of us and the entire universe )there is no other God it’s simple believe in the onenes of Allah you will see the truth and you won’t be confused in life.

  9. Congratulations. As Í have a good idea of what is the purpose for writing the Bible, the findings are good for taking us out of our simple believes and go to a better understanding of ourselves as a humans and to find our real purpose of being here on earth.

  10. Religious people aren’t all obscurantist nutcases and it’s unfair to categorise them as such. You don’t see many Atheist charities around the World after all. The tension between the World as it is and as we would like it to be is unknown in Homer who regards war, and pointless slaughter, as the natural order of things in a way that modern people don’t. I think the Bible has played a part in that.

    • As I read these replies I am dumbfounded by the fact that so many have never actually read the Bible. Read Deuteronomy “completely” and then tell me how loving and forgiving and peaceful your God is. It is the history of your God as described by the bible. The bible does not square with your revisionist interpretation. Sorry…

  11. God is a Cosmic Force that exist throughout the Universe and is not a Being like you and me. This is the driving and living Force that moves the Universe and everything in it, it all existed as One. When we prayed to God we are actually praying to this Cosmic Force that’s within us and surrounding us. And with enough Faith, our Soul can manifest what we prayed for because it is part of the Omnipotent Cosmic Force. And if we are benevolent towards our world, we shall be rewarded, as you reap what you sowed otherwise we too shall be punished for what we destroyed and then wash our face with our tears. Our Soul are part of this Force, a mere molecule inside this Force akin to a drop of water in the vast ocean. That’s why our life and our world is but just an illusion because there is neither a beginning nor an ending; it just existed within this Cosmic Force. Sorry, our tiny brain and mind is not created to go beyond this point of Cosmic Hypothesis.

    • Evidence of God in this world is plain. Look around you. You can only find sense in the existence of an intelligent being. The world begin and ends with him. You had better looks out to Him. Just read the bible if you want to know Him. It is the best of experience. And you will find many answers otherwise you can’t find in fake studies. He is supernatural and operate in spiritual realm. By the He had a son, who died for your sin that you might be saved from the wrath of judgement.

    • Can you please give a source for your assertions. Your hypothesis is without evidence of any kind. You just made it up. The bible is the only place your god actually exists and none of it’s contents support your hypothesis.

  12. so fascinating to see people blame religion for their troubles. I guess it is easier to point the finger at something else instead of taking the responsibility for your own decisions.

    Archaeology does not know more than God or the Bible. It has no authority to declare what did or did no take place. it is a prisoner of the remains it uncovers or fails to uncover.

    • The supernatural is not superior to science. The super-natural is amazing things which God the father in Haven pre-designed which he himself knows well and science is what lord the God three in one, father son and Holy Sprite designed for human knowledge gain and experimental only and it is just an tip of an ice bag. Therefore Since is not an superior, but supernatural occurance shows the amazing design of Lords work.

  13. I believe in science not in chance. But I above all else believe in Him who created science. The world has its intellectuals, scientist, philosophers and mathematicians who have a few like minded followers and that is what they base their truth on. The existence of man is always devided into 2 groups. The good and evil, the have and have nots, rich and poor ( if you have little bit it is all you need you are rich if you lack you basic needs you are poor). There are only 2 types of of people that have been given the opportunity to live on this earth. You dont get a believer on the one side and unbelievers on the other. Religious
    against Atheist. A religious person believes in a deity and an atheist believes in no deity. How do you believe in a nothing. Sounds crazy to me. So whatever you may think you have to agree that every soul has a belief. You will either be in the group that BELIEVES or the the group that decided NOT TO BELIEVE.

  14. Anyone can say anything to his interest against the bible but the questions still remains why do the words of the bible come true even in our own days if the bible is not real and from God?

    Those who says things against Gods holy word have been long prophecied before they come to the sene, these so call learnerd people of the world

    Get to know with all your knowledge man does not go instincts but a spirit and lives on even after your bodily death sort of. So you that seek your stomarch rather than what is truth will face the same God you pay deaf ears to here now.

  15. I read the comments down below and I could acknowledge some people’s perspective about religion and about God. But the truth is does God really care about religion? Or are those who are not religious not see God in one way or other? How good and how pleasant it’ll be before God and man to see the unification of all mankind, lets accept the fact that sin has caused a lot of destruction and condemned the souls of men. and for God so love the world he sent us he’s only son(JESUS Christ) to free us from our captivity of insane, he died so we could live and restore us to our creator, to me I don’t think God really care about religion and God has never been irresponsible of what he has made he has never been silent cause if he is, we won’t feel the air that we breath. So in the power of democracy let us all unite in love, kindness and generosity, thank you.


  16. People around the world have always tried to understand their origin and without scientific knowledge and tangilbe evidences they had nothing to do except developing myths. Form asia to africa, all societies have their own myths which explain their relative origin. Good enough for some, they were able to note down those myths. And that is the case of bible. Could it be possible for many societies we would be having many books with the form of bible but many myths remained theoritical as no one could write them down. They are many examples such as the myth of the origin of rwandese which is almost alike to that of israelites.

    • It may occur to you, but the bible is a lot of things. There are royal documents that were designed to bolster the credentials of a king, there is poetry, there is prose, there is highly symbolic writing. Given that archeology at best can say we haven’t found this yet, the rest are just arguments from silence.The Old testament reflected a certain understanding of God, the New testament modified that understanding. The whole collection is progressive. You can’t say that any of it is correct but equally you can’t say that it didn’t do it’s intended job. it modified people’s understandings of God and how we were related to God. now the documents that form the old testament and the Gospels and some other writings in the new testament were oral and only written down later. What do you expect to find. Every now and then an object does turn up that confounds us and allows us to say, maybe.

  17. I think we are forgetting something. After the reading of religious documents comes the experimental living. Faith apparently means faithfulness as much as belief. The New Testament says that Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and not yet seen. And anyone who ever married did so as an act of faith, who can say 30 years later that they knew the person that married at the time they married. It is faith, the evidence is the subsequent life.

  18. With all our intelligence, what do we really know? Without Faith life is very bleak. Having gone through a war I understood, what faith can do. God Blesses the believers .

  19. Science and archaeology Don’t lie, The majority of all religions, are made up stories, of interpretations of events by people, who did not have the knowledge we have today. Very little is historical facts. People are afraid of the truth, Blind faith is foolish.

  20. a big shout out to everyone in the house,well when it comes to me religion can be defind as the way or direction to meet a governor someone more superior then anyone else weather directly or indirectly or by sacrifice which is GOD, you a christian or muslim what ever religion have it now that your on a direction to met God,i see no reason of killing our selfs in the name of religion just do what u feel like and believe what ever you feel like believing and don’t look anyone steps be wise nigghas consider me as a christian or muslim,ethist anyone am all there. one luv

  21. First and foremost, please be advised that the Scripture or the Holy Bible does not support a so-called true religion. What the Scripture talks about is the relationship between the Creator and the creation. I wonder if cynics and critics of the Bible have actually read the Bible. I wonder if scientists have thought about life after death. I wonder if researchers have considered why, on the one hand, the Bible perplexes and confounds academicians, but on the other hand, the Bible reveals, comforts, reminds, convicts, teaches, and transforms people from all walks of life, from any culture and upbringing, from generations to generations.

    • I am no academic but this I know from personal experience to know God is to have a personal relationship with him. He is love and this world is seeking this pure love. People do not want to be bad they seek false highs to replace the good in their life when all they need is to allow themselves to seek their creator who will continually love them for who they are and where they are with believing in him.

  22. Fascinating, finally found someone who thinks as I do about the Bible and it’s references, a scholar, the wealth of knowledge this man has amazing. Thank you.

    • Yes, because, of course, the point of having a scholar is for him to tell you what you want to hear, isn’t it? 😉

  23. Good. That scholar’s view and assessment of the Bible do not undermine or change it’s veritabilty. Those who have had real encounter with the God of the Bible know that the omniscient God is bigger than any scientific or archeological assessment of Biblical and divine truth. We all need to open our hearts to God and ask him to forgive our sins and invite the Saviour, Jesus Christ the Son of God to come into our hearts and make him the Saviour and Lord of life/soul.
    Without us God remains God. He does not need us or our science or our discoveries to be God. He is God all by Himself. But one day each of us will have to give account of our life to Him. Are you ready? It can be anyone’s turn even as I write. It’s a reality none will escape. The Bible says,It is appointed to humans once to die and after that the judgment.

  24. More amazing is the fact that we could believe in Santa Clause even as children and refuse to believe in God as adults. Santa Clause is human deception, God is humans’ Creator.

  25. I believe in the supernatura though I do not really know Who God is, whether He is one or many. But my experience tells me that there is a God who cares for me every minute.
    In my early years I studied the Bible under scholars and was ready to die for my religion. But today when I read it I consider the Bible a myth to great extent, written by smart human beings with God playing no direct role.
    In the Bible God is very much underestimated, and even belittled sometimes and treated like a human being with human weaknesses like being partial or favouring a section of his creatures, getting angry, being vengeful, jealous etc etc.
    I have lived a happy life following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and other kindhearted great men, following my conscience and being convinced that God loves me.

  26. Jesus Christ is more than a great man, He is the Saviour sent by God the Father to reconcile folks to God through his death and resurrection. He is the Only way to God. He is the truth and the life (John 14:6). We don’t just follow in his footsteps, we confess our sins to the Father and receive forgiveness through Jesus. We then ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into our life and be our personal Saviour and Lord. That is what salvation or being born again is all about. Then we begin to live the Christian life by studying the Word of God( Bible) asking him daily to help us and equip us with his grace and power (the Holy Spirit ) to obey his Word and live by its standard in every area of our life. This is what the Christian or Spiritual life is all about. Through the study of God’s Word and prayers we come into intimate relationship with God. As we do this daily,we become transformed on a daily basis(Romans 12:1-2). This is something that laboratory experiments are powerless to measure, because it is beyond the realm of natural science and technology. Only the person with the experience of this truth can understand. This is why real Christians are considered fanatics, deceived and deceivers. Spiritual experience of God through Jesus Christ is too real and more real to them than material facts. Yet the invitation to know this truth is open to all( Isaiah 55:1-3; John 3:16; John 7:37-38; John 10:10; Romans 6:23). We can see that it is a matter of choice. Doubters are free to doubt and reject the truth of God.Believers are free to believe and receive the truth. At the end God is free to reward every one of us ( earth men of all generations) according to our work and choice.

    • History is stories of the past so as the bible.quoting verses wont help you with anything what you need to know is that God exist by looking at things around us.e.g. who planned day and night what i mean is that the earth revolves around the sun. Seeds of everything makes human life possible. The question is how big is the seed, very small. I am not quoting any verse but its the reality.we will live and die and our children die but life will continue.then the question is what is life? The bible helps us to understand the relationship of past people with God. Everything has its creator. Man can not make a person but God use man to bring another person. From Yashua. I wont say amen cause i dont know the true meaning of it.

    • What you mean is that the Bible is not only a record of history but also a series of theological reflections on history. That does not exclude the fact that it is focused on the history and origins of the Jews and on a future Israel which includes those added to the Jews by faith, on which Isaianic prophecy the New Testament is clearly building. Your bald, blanket statement is a common attempt to deny all Jewish history, which plays into the hands of the anti-semites and undermines Israel’s justification to exist.

      To.be thus minimalistic is to court mendacity and to become not a critic but a propagandist.

  27. Religion is man’s efforts to find and please God. Biblical spirituality(Christianity) is man submitting himself into a relationship with God based on obedience to Biblical teachings. They are two different and parallel phenomena.

    • Amen to that. Trying to discuss the True God employing the mind alone is doomed to fail. It is like scanning the airwaves with a radio and then asserting that television doesn’t exist. It remains a matter of wonder that so many are willing to comment on a matter on which it is evident they have no personal experience nor the most elementary background in the Bible.

  28. Thank you for taking the time to share that very interesting information. Have looked up Paul Davies and read some of his material and you are correct in what you say. I will be sharing this with others now: its very useful to have such a dependable source of information written by a qualified physicist.

    • No revelation about Jesus Christ or the Bible can change my believe in him. Everybody is entitled to his or her opinion and what we choose to believe. If you disagree with what is already there, then I also strongly disagree with whatever are the current findings. I pray that God of heaven will open your eyes see and see well.

  29. Well 1st if god is real and communicated with his Israeli people as portrayed biblically, then why would he ever need a Bible or any literature for that matter. If he lives within us after we accept Jesus into our being, then isn’t that all we should need? I hear people all the time saying ” god told me” . If he is in so many people then why are those same people soooooooooo lost most of the time. The blind leading the blind if you ask me. I’m an Ex Christian because I’ve truly been awake need by truth. True history can not be a lie, but it can be tampered with.

    • When you walk outside at night and look up at the sky what do you see? Just little white dots? If that is all you see then you are looking at evidence but not seeing it. To believe those dots just popped into exisrence on their own is a leap of faith. Did man create them too? Can scientists create more of them using the scientific method?

  30. The Bible is truly misunderstood mythology. It was never meant to be taken literally, as many of the early church founders spoke about this very topic.

    Take St. Anathius who said: “Should we understand sacred writ according to the letter, we should fall into the most enormous blasphemies.” Pike, page 266

    Origin: “The Scriptures were of little use to those who understood them literally, as they are written.” Higgins Anacalypsis II, Page 270

    Or the “Apostle Paul”: 2 Corinthians 3:6 (KJV)
    6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (Not of the letter, meaning a literal interpretation. You have to interpret it spiritually.)

    Do we check our brains at the door of the church? You have to do your own research on ancient myth to even begin to understand what is truly being said. The problem with only reading the Bible is that you are more likely to interpret it as fact, but when you research ancient mythologies you begin to see the greater picture. It’s profound allegory to assist you in moving from a lower state of consciousness to a higher one. Even the “Apsotle Paul” tells us in Galatians 4-24 that the story of Sarah giving birth to a child at 90 is an allegory. It actually says “which things are an allegory.”

    An allegory is a fictitious story with fictitioius characters used to convey a deeper truth, usually a spiritual truth. If the Bible says it can we not believe it?

    If you read the Acts of John, which was part of the Nag Hamadi find in 1945 in Egypt, Jesus tells John the Baptist that he was never crucified, that the people down there wailing at the cross are simply the lower emotional nature or root, and are to be despised because they are outside of the mystery. I’m not kidding, you really need to read these scriptures with spiritual eyes and stop listening to the church that really just wants you to keep tithing, which by the way has nothing to do with money.

    Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung and the like have some excellent books that can assist you with breaking away from limiting beliefs to understand that all you really need is, and has always been, inside you.

  31. The late Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi wrote a groundbreaking book in 1982, that corroborated thousands of place names from the Hebrew bible with locations in western Arabia using almost the exact names and geographical matches.

    Not surprising, since it never made any sense for a biblical ‘Kingdom’ to exist in Palestine …. a mere days ride from two major empires to the east and west.

    All the Hebrew cultural articles, like the Ram’s horn used in ceremonies…. only habitates in steep mountains, like those of western Arabia.

    The Hebrew language itself is almost exactly the Arabic language.

    Basically, the Israelites were, and still are, the inhabitants of Arabia (who today call themselves ‘Arabs’. The majority of the Israelites converted to Islam after the prophet Muhammad arrived.

    In fact, the Muslim Quran book, specifically states that Prophets are exclusive to the Israelites (Bani Israel).

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