Books by Dave Armstrong: “The Word Set in Stone”

Books by Dave Armstrong: “The Word Set in Stone” January 24, 2023

[click on the cover to see a much larger image]

[published by Catholic Answers Press on March 15, 2023; 271 pages]

[See purchase information at the bottom of the page]

[Note: the artifact on the cover is the “Isaiah bulla”: discovered in 2018, and very likely connected with the prophet Isaiah (8th-7th c. BC)]

A Personal Word from the Author: My Excitement Over My Upcoming Book [Facebook, 2-28-23]

15 Archaeological Proofs of Old Testament Accuracy (short summary points from the book) [National Catholic Register, 3-23-23]

15 Archaeological Proofs of New Testament Accuracy (short summary points from the book) [National Catholic Register, 3-30-23]

“Dig Deep and Defend the Bible” [promotional article, Catholic Answers Magazine, 10 July 2023]

Reply to a criticism of the book: God’s Providence, Miracles & Natural Events [4-20-23]

See also my follow-up free “book”: The Word Set in Stone: “Volume Two”More Evidence of Archaeology, Science, and History Backing Up the Bible (100 sections) [5-25-23]

* * * * * See Catholic Answers’ Promotional Video for the Book * * * * *

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS   

Dedication (p. 5) [read below]

Acknowledgments (p. 9) [read below]
Introduction (p. 11) [read online]

1. Search for the Garden of Eden (p. 19) [read at Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature]
2. Noah’s Flood: How It Could Have Happened (p. 29)
3. Walking the Journey of Abraham (p. 48) [read online]
4. Sodom Obliterated (p. 54) [read online]
5. Joseph in Egypt (p. 60)
6. The Curious Case of Camels (p. 72)
7. Out of Egypt with Moses (p. 81)
8. The Ten Plagues and Their Aftermath (p. 96) [excerpt: 6 Biblical Plagues Explained by Science]
9. The Red Sea, and Miracles in the Desert (p. 109) [excerpts: Parting the Red SeaMoses & Water from Rocks]
10. Joshua and the Conquest of Canaan (p. 125)
11. King David Versus King Arthur (p. 139) [excerpt: first 4 1/2 pages online]
12. Digging Up Proofs of the Prophets (p. 152) [excerpt: Daniel & the Lion’s Den & History]
13. Astronomers Track the Star of Bethlehem (p. 174) [excerpt: “The Star Went Before Them”: Retrograde Motion and the Phenomenological Language of the Bible] 
14. St. Luke Knows His Stuff (p. 194) [excerpt: Herod Agrippa I “Eaten By Worms”: Myth or Plausible?] [excerpt: archaeology & Nazareth] [Luke’s minute historical accuracy]
15. St. John Wraps It Up (p. 215) [read online]

Postscript (p. 221) [read below]
Appendix A: Yes, There Were Camels (p. 223)
Appendix B: The Wrath of Joshua (p. 225)
About the Author (p. 237) [read below]
Endnotes [392 of ’em!] (p. 239)

DEDICATION

To my three grandchildren: Cecilia Joy, Estelle Marie,
and Joseph Charles. May you always love and serve our
wonderful Lord, who blessed Judy and me with you,
and we pray that you will always attain your desires and
dreams. Tons of love to you from “Papa” and “G’ma.”

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I’d like to express my admiration and appreciation for all the good folks at Catholic Answers—in particular, Jimmy Akin and Tim Staples. God bless all of you at “CA,” and thanks for your dedication and service.

I would like especially to thank the editors of Catholic Answers. I’ve repeatedly worked with Todd Aglialoro since 2003, when he accepted (after a seven-year wait for me!) and edited my first published book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism. I owe him a great debt of gratitude as an author and apologist. Drew Belsky, the content editor at Catholic Answers, with whom I worked directly on this volume, immeasurably improved it with his suggestions and insight. Editors are the unsung heroes who lie behind good books. I could never do all the hard work that they do (a labor of love), which makes me admire it all the more.

Lastly, I sincerely thank the atheists—particularly Jonathan M.S. Pearce—with whom I engaged in dialogue on archaeological matters for well over a year. This book would not exist were it not for them. My hope and prayer is that some of them will be persuaded (with the necessary aid of God’s grace) by the evidence herein that they invariably demand to see.

POSTSCRIPT

Most of the things I have dealt with in this chapter and throughout the entire book will never be heard about in a Sunday sermon or a Sunday school class or a Wednesday-night Bible study. They should be, because they demonstrate that the Bible and science and reason are not at odds at all, and that is a sorely needed emphasis. But they’re not, so people must deliberately seek them out and learn about them in books like this and related apologetics and archaeological articles.

New archaeological discoveries in relation to the Bible continue to be made all the time. It’s an exciting period for biblical archaeology. Ten years from now (mark my words!), an entire book could likely be filled with just the new Bible-related discoveries in Israel from now until then. The Bible’s historical trustworthiness has been verified in the pages of this book. The new finds that will keep arriving will verify it all the more.

How can I say that before the fact? Because archaeology has remarkably substantiated the biblical text, again and again, over the past 150 years, and especially the last thirty years. Therefore, we have little or no reason to believe that future discoveries won’t continue to do the same thing. The pattern has long since been set.

Perhaps Bible believers like me can be forgiven if we indulge in a little bit of gratuitous “I told you so!” or “That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest!” rhetoric now and then, after hearing of the latest corroboration of the Bible from secular archaeology.

Having reached the end of this volume, I’d like to add a personal touch and a wish. My own Christian faith, though it was fairly strong already, has been strengthened all the more in researching and writing this book. It’s my hope that readers who already identify as Christians (or practicing Jews, for that matter, who can also resonate with most of this book, since it concentrates on the Hebrew Bible) will have the same experience.

Perhaps also skeptics and unbelievers will, after reading this volume, consider more seriously the proposal and the possibility that this Bible we’re familiar with, to varying degrees, is something quite special. I submit that they must admit, in honesty (having read this book and its hundreds of demonstrations), that the Bible is historically accurate—a necessary aspect of divine inspiration, though I have not attempted to prove the latter in this book and don’t expect an atheist to easily accept that much deeper and more complex belief.

This project began in discussions with atheists, and so it’s appropriate to end it with an appeal to reason, open-mindedness, and a challenge to all skeptics. Let them be intellectually courageous enough to open themselves to archaeological and other scientific evidence, and solid historical research, when it comes to the Bible—and to not to make the Bible a special exception to the normal rules of demonstration, as if it can’t possibly be verified by such evidences, just as any other document can.

Thanks for reading, and for joining me on this journey!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dave Armstrong is the author of fifty-one books: ten published by major Catholic publishers, with several bestsellers. He has defended Christianity as an apologist since 1981 and Catholicism in particular since 1990 (full-time since 2001). His blog, Biblical Evidence for Catholicism, went online in 1997 and contains more than 4,000 articles. Dave has been a regular columnist for National Catholic Register since 2016, and has additionally been published in Catholic Answers MagazineThe Catholic World ReportCatholic Herald, and several other well-known Catholic periodicals.

BACK COVER

[click on the cover to see a much larger image]

BLURBS / ENDORSEMENTS

“Dave Armstrong has put together a masterful work that makes the claims of Sacred Scripture & Sacred Tradition shine bright when examined through the lens of archaeology. Dave’s book is not only a powerful tour de force, but it is composed for the scholar and lay reader alike. It is nearly impossible to find such a fantastic piece of work written from a Catholic perspective like The Word Set in Stone. This is a perfect book for any season.” (William Albrëcht: international speaker and debater who has participated in over 65 live and moderated debates. He frequently appears on EWTN and Virgin Most Powerful Radio, and is the author of multiple Catholic apologetics books such as The Definitive Guide to Solving Biblical Questions about Mary. He runs the YouTube channel, Patristic Pillars)

“Archaeology, like other disciplines, can be interpreted differently and used to promote agendas. Often skeptics use certain misinterpretations of findings to debunk or refute the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. But in this punchy book, Armstrong presents evidence in a clear and astute manner that the archaeological evidence does indeed confirm the words and historicity of Scripture. He pushes back on the skeptics and hits on some of the most heated topics, demonstrating that archaeology is actually a bedrock of confirmation. History and archaeology do not contradict the written Word, though many wish they did. Armstrong presents convincing arguments to assure novice and scholar alike that Scripture is accurate, from every discipline by which it is analyzed.” (Steve Ray: apologist, Holy Land tour guide, lecturer, webmaster, author of five books, and host of the multi-part video series highlighting biblical and other Christian sites, Footprints of God)

“Popular works that vindicate the Bible through archaeology and science line bookshelves in evangelical bookstores, but rarely does one find anything comparable in Catholic bookstores; that is, until now. Dave Armstrong has filled this need through a well-written, spirited defense of Holy Scripture, using cutting-edge research and other discoveries. I highly recommend The Word Set in Stone to anyone who wonders whether the Bible is grounded in history.” (Gary Michuta: Apologist, webmaster, lecturer, podcast host, and author of many books, including Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger, Hostile Witnesses, and Making Sense of Mary. See his website)

“Christian apologist David Armstrong’s new book is a wonderful gift to the believing community. He refutes the disbelieving skeptic’s assertions by providing the reader with positive arguments for the biblical data. I found Armstrong’s offering deeply satisfying intellectually as well as deepening my Christian faith. It’s a fantastic resource. Highly recommended as a book not just to read and put on the shelf, but to access and reference for the rest of one’s life.” (Dr. Paul Patton, former Reformed Baptist pastor, Professor Emeritus of Communication and Media at Spring Arbor University, and writer of over thirty produced stage and radio plays. Learn more about his credentials and activities and read the longer version of this blurb).
***
“Many non-Christians have sought to discredit the events described in the Bible by appealing to archaeology and pointing out the evidence–or lack of evidence–of various places, people, and happenings, and Christians have been on the defensive against such attacks over the past century. But when treated fairly, the archaeological and historical evidence that has been discovered actually offers a compelling argument for the Bible! Armstrong draws out the most important evidence. The book is one of those necessary volumes that we Christians need to readily defend the truth of the Bible on the natural level. Otherwise Catholics are left flat-footed when the village atheist spouts off about how the Bible is so much made up, discredited hogwash. It takes someone like Armstrong carefully going through the studies and literature to piece together a counter-argument so that we faithful people can offer rejoinders and say “not so fast!” The book bolstered the reasons supporting my own faith.” (Devin Rose, apologist, webmaster, and author of seven books, including The Protestant’s Dilemma and Navigating the Tiber)
***
“In The Word Set in Stone, Dave Armstrong has provided us with a fascinating and thought-provoking journey through the biblical record and how it compares with the findings of archaeology.  Once I picked up this book, it was hard to put it down!” (Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Ph.D.; doctorate in historical theology from Catholic University of America, author of Exploring the Catholic Church and Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions about the Passion of the Christ, which was a New York Times best-seller and has sold over 500,000 copies)
***
“The book is scholarly but not abstruse.  He documents every contention carefully. He repeatedly demolishes the contentions of biblical  “minimalists” who attempt to discredit Scripture by claiming that one or another aspect of the Scriptural narrative is not possible. Christian readers who are not Roman Catholics should not simply chalk this up as a “Catholic book” and not read it.  As a Lutheran theologian, I can say that nothing in the book rests on ecclesiastical authority.  It contains a great many things people ought to know and upholds the principle of the Bible’s truthfulness. Much of it is absolutely brilliant. It is all firmly based in Scripture and credible archaeological research.  This book should be on the bookshelf of everyone who is interested in biblical apologetics but has shied away from books on the subject. I would suggest that this book is worthy company to the books of Lutheran John Warwick Montgomery and Anglican C.S. Lewis, and it has my endorsement.” (Rev. Dr. Ken Howes,  STM, JD, Professor of Theology and Lutheran Pastor [LCMS]; former student of the great apologist John Warwick Montgomery)
***
“Dave Armstrong has provided an invaluable service to Christians who feel intimidated by biblical skeptics. After years of dialogue with atheists and painstaking research, he shows that science and archaeology actually support the historicity of the Sacred Scriptures. His approach is neither that of a young-earth biblical fundamentalist nor that of a modernist critic. Instead, his aim is to show that the biblical stories—when properly understood—are authentic historical accounts and not mere myths. Those who wonder whether there is any historical foundation for the Garden of Eden, the Great Flood, the destruction of Sodom, the crossing of the Red Sea, the reign of King David, and the Star of Bethlehem will find this book fascinating and illuminating.” (Robert L. Fastiggi, Ph.D. Bishop Kevin M. Britt Chair of Dogmatic Theology and Christology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan)
***
“There are dishonest skeptics and honest ones. I’d been both in my past life. I had once attacked Christianity using intellectual-sounding arguments, when my true motive was that I didn’t like the message. But Christ’s love expressed by believers showing me respect won me over (at least part way). Then there was the time when I wanted to believe, but intellectual doubts got in the way. Forty years ago, a book called Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell helped me immensely overcome these difficulties. It didn’t necessarily “prove” Christianity, but gave it an air of credibility, so I could embrace the faith without feeling that I was throwing my brain away. Dave Armstrong’s new book, The Word Set in Stone, addresses both aspects of my former self. He listens and tries to be fair to his critics, even admitting that they may, at times, have a point. This loving approach is very winsome, in my opinion. Regarding myself: the honest skeptic, Dave’s book is in the tradition of McDowell. It is extremely well-researched, presenting in rapid-fire succession, quotes from world-renowned experts in the field of archaeology and other disciplines. This is heady stuff, but The Word Set in Stone is popularly-written so laymen like me can easily understand. Besides all this, I am also impressed by how up-to-date Dave’s information is (as recent as 2022!).” (Dan Grajek, author of Moon People: A Smug Dearborn College Kid Gets Schooled by the Road and the Cult)
***
“In the end, it was a very enjoyable read, and the book continuously amazed and delighted me. For those who enjoy both studying scripture and delving into historical and scientific questions, Dave Armstrong’s The Word Set in Stone is something you will not want to miss.” (Dr. Pedro Gabriel, oncologist and author of The Orthodoxy of Amoris Laetitia [2022]; see full review)
***

REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS

Soundbites from Glowing Reviews [8-24-23]

Lutheran Professor Ken Howes (A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, 4-17-23)

Interview with John DeRosa of the Classical Theism website [7-14-23]

Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC (“the autistic priest”): “Good Apologetic Summary of Biblical Archeology” [read also on my Facebook page] [8-21-23] 

Archaeological, scientific, and historical evidence for the Bible (Dr. Pedro Gabriel, Where Peter Is, 11-6-23)

PURCHASE OPTIONS

[Order from Amazon (Paperback: $21.95 / Kindle: $9.99) ]

[Order the paperback from the publisher: $18.95 / E-Book (ePub + mobi): $12.99]

[Order from Barnes & Noble: paperback: $21.95]

***

Summary: Book page for Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong’s volume: The Word Set in Stone: How Archaeology, Science, and History Back up the Bible (Catholic Answers Press).

***

Updated on 31 December 2023

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