Ai Ai Ai!

It was in the news recently that Associates for Biblical Research claims to have made a find that indicates that the city of Ai could have been inhabited in a period when it could have been destroyed by the Israelites.

Associates for Biblical Research, if you aren’t familiar with it, is an organization which is committed in advance to the Bible being correct. And so it is interesting to note what they used to say about Ai. In a documentary I sometimes show to classes, Bryant Wood, an ABR spokesperson, tries to suggest that the city now known as Ai is not the Ai referred to in the Bible. Now they are suggesting that it could be – even though the period to which they have to date the conquest creates other discrepancies with bibical and archaeological data.

It is interesting to note that Answers in Genesis simply says that the evidence matches the Biblical account perfectly – no discussion of the difficulties or discrepancies.

I think this is what bothers me most about the claims of young-earth creationists and other Biblical inerrantists. It isn’t simply that their views are often demonstrably wrong. It is that, even on those matters where there is room for disagreement and discussion, they pretend things are clear cut and simple when they are confusing and complex. And so through their attitude as well as their claims, they work against teaching people crucial skills about how to navigate challenging historical and scientific discussions.

On this topic see also Claude Mariottini’s review of Ralph Hawkins’ book, How Israel Became a People.

In related news, further precision has been attained in figuring out when camels were introduced into the Holy Land, and it seems to exacerbate the discrepancy between the Bible and history.

 

 

  • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman
    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

      High-five. James seems to have much higher standards for the Old Testament than for the New.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Not at all. If bryant Wood can be a crank even though he has been on archaeological digs, what does that make Rene Salm who hasn’t? My view in both instances is shaped by the work of mainstream archaeologists, and it is only the dogmatists who will say that the Bible must always get everything right, or can never get anything right.

        • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

          My view in both instances is shaped by the work of mainstream archaeologists,

          -This does not contradict my previous point.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            Then I can only assume that your “point” was something other than what the words you wrote convey.

            • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

              No. For example, if mainstream archaeology tends to have “much higher standards for the Old Testament than the New”, it would only make sense you would, too.

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                Do you have any reason to believe that to be the case?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    In a documentary I sometimes show to classes, Bryant Wood, an ABR spokesperson, tries to suggest that the city now known as Ai is not the Ai referred to in the Bible. Now they are suggesting that it could be – even though the period to which they have to date the conquest creates other discrepancies with bibical and archaeological data.

    -I don’t think you have it correct, James. Wood has been arguing Ai is Kh. Maqatir, not et-Tell, for over twenty years. It is Answers in Genesis that is being self-contradictory here, not ABR.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      You are right. The article is still not about Et Tell. Thanks for pointing that out.


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