I hope I’m not like this when I’m 70…

William G. Dever is one of the archaeologists fundamentalists sometimes cite as supporting their view of the Old Testament, so I thought I’d take a look at his work. I came across this essay, where the main point is that no Dever does not in fact accept Biblical inerrancy, but the first and last paragraphs were also amusing (this was written in 2003, Dever was born in 1933):

This is the first time that I have ever used the Internet because most of what I’ve been shown looks like “electronic gossip” to me. I write now for two reasons: first, because colleagues urge me not to miss any opportunity for dialogue with biblical revisionists like Davies, and secondly, because this website is not a standard electronic discussion group — it uses peer review and does not allow uncritical or unprofessional postings that I am told characterize most discussion groups on the Internet. Let me take up several issues in response to Davies’ recent statement on this website.


I began by being skeptical about any useful dialogue with Davies, on the Internet or elsewhere. I end on the same note and do not think that I will venture again onto the Internet. Let Davies answer me in peer-reviewed journals where I will continue to publish. And let him confront the archaeological evidence, if he dares. Name-calling is not sufficient. [Emphasis added.]

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  • Zak

    I find it odd that Dever is used by fundamentalists. His book, “Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Biblical Research” is full of things like “Absolutely no trace of Moses, or indeed of any Israelite presence in Egypt, has ever turned up. Of the Exodus and the wandering in the wilderness, events so crucial in the Biblical recitation of the ‘mighty acts of God’– we have no evidence whatsoever … Recent Israeli excavations at Kadesh-Barnea, the Sinai oasis where the Israelites are said to have encamped for forty years, have revealed an extensive settlement, but not so much as a potsherd earlier than the tenth century BC” (pg 25).

    • Chris Hallquist

      No kidding. I spent a bit of time last night skimming one of his books, and quickly realized that nope, nothing to help the fundamentalists here.

  • http://carnedes.blogspot.com Carneades-Skeptic Griggsy

    Chris, that’s what his ” Who are Were the Early Israelites and Where Do They Come from” states. Other sources affirm that. How can advanced apologists find any words of God in the Buy-bull? They assume the good stem from Him, ignoring that mere mean-minded misanthropists imagined everything from their tastes and wants instead of from reality.