The Word Set in Stone: “Volume Two”

The Word Set in Stone: “Volume Two” May 25, 2023

More Evidence of Archaeology, Science, and History Backing Up the Bible

This is my  sequel or “Volume 2” to my book, The Word Set in Stone: How Archaeology, Science, and History Back Up the Bible (Catholic Answers Press: March 15, 2023, 271 pages). These articles / would-be chapters  continue the goal laid out in the Introduction of The Word Set in Stone:

I deal with specific objective matters in relation to the text of the Bible that can be addressed by archaeology or other forms of science, starting with premises (for the most part) that Christians and non-Christians accept in common. What I’m doing is “defeating the defeaters” offered up by biblical skeptics, anti-theist atheists (who specialize in and constantly focus on criticizing the Bible, Christians, Christianity), and archaeological minimalists.

If skeptics argue, for example, that a particular city wasn’t in existence when the Bible says it was, then, in response, I seek archaeological data to prove or at least offer strong evidential support for the biblical view. This approach defends the Bible’s accuracy. Skeptical arguments against biblical accuracy are often incorrect and fallacious.

This book deals with objective, historical issues that we can analyze through the means of scientific (mostly archaeological) analysis. It’s what Christians are often asked to do: give solid evidence for what we believe. [slightly modified excerpt]

We have a huge task in defending Holy Scripture in light of a rapidly growing, militant and condescending anti-theist brand of atheism and an aggressive anti-traditional secularism in general. They’re demanding (not always sincerely!) “evidence” and those who would or do believe want to see reason and science harmonized with faith, and I believe apologists can provide both things, and solidly so, in terms of arguments that can withstand scrutiny.

I’ve devoted years of my life and career to providing plausible answers to these sorts of questions. The answers theists and Christians can provide are, I believe (perhaps surprisingly), solid and strong, very exciting, faith- and confidence-building, and informative. I’ve never enjoyed apologetics more than I have in researching, engaging in dialogues, and writing about these issues. And I am learning (tons of things!), too, as I pass on what I have learned to others.

I’m not the “expert” here; I’m simply a lay Christian apologist discovering wonderful things about the Bible, archaeology, and history, and I’m thrilled and privileged to be able to share them with you: 160 sections of immersion in “Bible paradise” for those who love Holy Scripture, as I do, or those (believers or nonbelievers) who read out of curiosity and openness to being persuaded by the scientific and historical evidence presented. Enjoy! And please consider making a donation to my work if you have received benefit, “apologetics aid,” or blessing from this labor of love. “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Creation of the Universe

1) Eternal Universe vs. an Eternal God [4-16-20]

2) Philosophy & “Who Created God?” [7-12-21]

3) “God of the Gaps” [6-24-18]

4) Something Rather Than Nothing [9-3-18]

5) Creation “Ex Nihilo” [8-28-20]

6) Why a Universe at All? [11-5-21]

7) God, Empiricism, & Atheist Demands for “Evidence” [10-9-15]

8) Atheist Demands for “Empirical” Proofs of God [10-27-15]

9) Empiricism: Only Valid & Objective Knowledge? [7-18-17]

10) Science, Logic, & Math Start with Unfalsifiable Axioms [1-6-18]

11) Cause of the Big Bang: Atheist Geologist Challenged [4-21-17]

12) Argument from Design [8-25-20]

13) God the Designer? [8-27-20]

14) Albert Einstein’s “Cosmic Religion”: In His Own Words [2-17-03; greatly expanded on 8-26-10]

15) Theistic Argument from Longing or Beauty, & Einstein [3-27-08; rev. 3-14-19]

16) “Quantum Entanglement” & the “Upholding” Power of God [10-20-20]

17) Atheism: the Faith of “Atomism” [8-19-15]

18) Clarifications of “Atomism” for Offended Atheists [8-20-15]

II. Creation of the Earth, Life, and  Adam & Eve

19) Genesis Contradictory (?) Creation Accounts & Hebrew Time [5-11-17]

20) Genesis 1 vs. 2 (Creation) [5-17-20]

21) Biblical Flat Earth & Cosmology [9-11-06]

22) Flat Earth: Biblical Teaching? [9-17-06]

23) Bible Teaches a Flat Earth? [3-31-22]

24) Old Earth, Flood Geology, & Uniformitarianism [5-25-04; rev. 5-10-17]

25) Catholicism and Evolution / Charles Darwin’s Religious Beliefs [8-19-09]

26) Catholics & Origins: Irreducible Complexity or Theistic Evolution?

27) Why I Believe in “Non-Miraculous” Intelligent Design

28) “Non-Interventionist” Intelligent Design [6-21-19]

29) The Borders of Science & Theology

30) Mutations & Evolutionary Change [1-16-23]

31) Bible Espouses Mythical Animals? [9-10-19]

32) Dragons in the Bible? [3-4-22]

33) Physics Has Disproven Souls? [8-16-18]

34) Spirit-God “Magic”; 68% Dark Energy Isn’t? [2-2-21]

35) Defending the Literal, Historical Adam of the Genesis Account [9-25-11]

36) Adam & Eve of Genesis: Historical & the Primal Human Pair [11-28-13]

37) Adam & Eve & Original Sin: Disproven by Science? [9-7-15]

38) “Where Did Cain Get His Wife?” [3-7-13]

39) How Cain Found a Wife [6-22-18]

III. Noah’s Flood / Abraham & Other Patriarchs 

40) 969-Year-Old Methuselah (?) & Genesis Numbers [7-12-21]

41) Biblical Size of Noah’s Ark: Literal or Symbolic? [3-16-22]

42) Noah & 2 or 7 Pairs of Animals [9-7-20]

43) Do Carnivores on the Ark Disprove Christianity? [9-10-15]

44) Flood: 25 Criticisms & Non Sequiturs [3-8-22]

45) Straw Man Global Flood [8-30-22]

46) Noah’s Ark: Josephus, Earlier Historians, & Church Fathers (Early Witnesses of the Ark Resting on Jabel [Mt.] Judi) [3-16-22]

47) Genesis 10 “Table of Nations”: Authentic History [8-25-21]

48) Table of Nations, Interpretation, & History [11-27-21]

49) The Tower of Babel, Archaeology, & Linguistics [4-13-23]

50) Sodom & Gomorrah & Archaeology: North of the Dead Sea? [10-9-14]

51) Archaeology & a Proto-Hebrew Language in 1800 BC [1-31-23]

52) Abraham, Warring Kings of Genesis 14, & History [7-31-21]

53) Philistines, Beersheba, Bible Accuracy [3-18-22]

54) Egyptian Proof of Hebrew Slaves During Jacob’s Time [2-17-23]

55) Evidence for Hebrews / Semites in Egypt: 2000-1200 B.C. [5-3-23]

56) Biblical Hebrew Names with an Egyptian Etymology [5-9-23]

57) Pharaoh Didn’t Know Joseph?! [5-26-21]

58) 13th c. BC Canaanite Iron Chariots [7-16-21]

IV. Moses & the Exodus 

59) Did Moses Exist? No Absolute Proof, But Strong Evidence [6-14-21]

60) Moses Wrote the Torah: 50 External Evidences [12-14-22]

61) Archaeology, Ancient Hebrew, & a Written Pentateuch (+ a Plausible Scenario for Moses Gaining Knowledge of Hittite Legal Treaties in His Egyptian Official Duties) [7-31-21]

62) Does the Pentateuch Claim to be Inspired Revelation? + Do the Several Third-Person References to Moses in the Pentateuch Prove That He Didn’t Write It? [12-14-22]

63) A Pharaoh’s Death (Ex 2:23) & Exodus Chronology [7-27-22]

64) When Was the Exodus: 15th or 13th Century B.C.? [4-15-23]

65) Did the Hebrews Cross the Red Sea or the “Reed Sea”?: And Which Specific Body of Water Did They Cross, According to the Combined Deductions and Determinations of the Bible and Archaeology? [5-9-23]

66) Manna: Possibly a Natural Phenomenon? [5-5-23]

67) In Search of the Real Mt. Sinai (Fascinating Topographical and Biblical Factors Closely Examined) [8-16-21]

68) Acacia, Ark of the Covenant, & Biblical Accuracy [8-24-21]

69) The Tabernacle: Egyptian & Near Eastern Precursors [9-8-21]

70) No Philistines in Moses’ Time? [6-3-21]

71) Moses, Kadesh, Negev, Bronze Age, & Archaeology [6-10-21]

160) Moses & Water From Rocks: A Closer Look [1-7-24]

V. Joshua’s “Conquest”, Israel’s Enemies, & the Judges

72) Jericho: Did the Walls Collapse Due to Resonance? [5-1-23]

73) Joshua’s Conquest: Rapid, Always Violent, & Total? [5-1-23]

74) Hazor Battles “Contradictions”? (Including Possible Archaeological Evidence for the Battle of Deborah in Judges 4) [3-23-22]

75) “The Sun Stood Still” (Joshua) [4-16-20]

76) Arameans, Amorites, and Archaeological Accuracy [6-8-21]

77) Edomites: Archaeology Confirms the Bible (As Always) [6-10-21]

78) 12th c. BC Moabite & Ammonite Kings [7-19-21]

79) “Higher” Hapless Haranguing of Hypothetical Hittites (19th C.) [10-21-11; abridged 7-7-20]

80) Archaeology & Judges-Era Lead & Tin Trade [1-26-23]

81) Samson’s Death-Scene: Archaeological Confirmation [3-27-23]

82) Anachronistic “Israelites”? [5-25-21]

83) Jericho & Archaeology: Replies To Atheists [12-30-23]

VI. Kings Saul, David, & Solomon & Subsequent Kings of Judah & Israel

84) How Did David Kill Goliath? [5-19-20]

85) Goliath’s Height: Six Feet 9 Inches, 7 Feet 8, or 9 Feet 9? [7-4-21]

86) Ziklag (David’s Refuge from Saul) & Archaeology [3-29-23]

87) King Solomon’s “Mines” & Archaeological Evidence [3-24-23]

88) Archaeology & Solomon’s Temple-Period Ivory [1-28-23]

89) Solomon’s “Impossible” (?) Wealth & Archaeology [4-25-23]

90) Solomon’s Temple and its Archaeological Analogies (Also, Parallels to Solomon’s Palace) [4-25-23]

91) The Queen of Sheba, Solomon, & Archaeology [4-27-23]

92) Archaeology & King Rehoboam’s Wall in Lachish [1-31-23]

93) King Ahab, Queen Jezebel, & Archaeology [4-7-23]

94) King Hezekiah: Exciting New Archaeological Findings [12-13-22]

95) Archaeology & Ten (More) Kings of Judah & Israel [4-20-23]

96) Archaeology & First-Temple Period Bethlehem [4-6-23]

97) Archaeology Confirms Dates of Five Biblical Battles: Battles at Beth She’an (c. 926 BC), Beth Shemesh (c. 790 BC), Bethsaida & Kinneret (732 BC), and Lachish (701 BC) [2-6-23]

98) Assyrian King Sennacherib, the Bible, & Archaeology [4-17-23]

161) Solomon’s Rebuilding Of Gezer & Archaeology [4-24-24]

162) Hazael’s Sack of Gath (2 Kgs 12:17) & Archaeology (+ Scientific Corroboration of the Biblical Data Regarding Kiln-Baked Bricks) [4-24-24]

VII. The Prophets, Job, the Fall of Jerusalem (586 BC), and the Return to Israel

99) Prophet Elijah and Archaeology [4-13-22]

100) Prophet Elisha and Archaeology [4-4-22]

101) Was Jonah in the Belly of a Whale? Yes, But . . . [3-27-23]

102) Book of Job, Archaeology, History, & Geography [4-1-23]

103) Fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.), Archaeology, & Biblical Accuracy [4-10-23]

104) Ezra: Archaeological & Historical Corroboration [3-31-23]

105) Nehemiah: Archaeological & Historical Corroboration [3-31-23]

106) Nebuchadnezzar As A Cow: Curable Or Not? [12-31-23]

VIII. Old Testament Messianic Prophecies

107) Psalm 110: Examples of Jewish Commentators Who Regard it as Messianic / Reply to Rabbi Tovia Singer’s Charges of Christian “Tampering” with the Text [9-14-01]

108) “Fabricated” OT Messianic Prophecies? [7-1-10]

109) Isaiah 53 & “Dishonest”(?) Christians [7-2-10]

110) Isaiah 53: Ancient & Medieval Jewish Messianic Interpretation [1982; revised 9-14-01]

111) Isaiah 53: Is the “Servant” the Messiah (Jesus) or Collective Israel? [9-14-01, with incorporation of much research from 1982]

112) Discussion of Micah 5:2 (The Prophecy of Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem) [12-19-22]

113) Messianic Prophecies (Zech 13:6, Ps 22) [7-3-10]

IX. Jesus’ Birth & Childhood 

114) Herod’s Death & Alleged “Contradictions” [7-25-17]

115) Jesus Never Existed, Huh? [8-14-18]

116) December 25th Birth of Jesus?: Interesting Considerations [12-11-17]

117) Christmas & Dec. 25th: Not Derived from Saturnalia (Nor from Sol Invictus . . .) [12-8-21]

118) 28 Defenses of Jesus’ Nativity (Featuring Confirmatory Historical Tidbits About the Magi and Herod the Great) [1-9-21]

119) Straw-Man, Mythical “Nativity” [3-2-22]

120) Jesus’ December Birth & Grazing Sheep in Bethlehem (Is a December 25th Birthdate of Jesus Impossible or Unlikely Because Sheep Can’t Take the Cold?) [12-26-20]

121) Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents: Myth & Fiction? [2-10-21]

122) The Census, Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem, & History [2-3-11]

123) Bethlehem Joseph / Census Issues [2-28-22]

124) Archaeology & 1st Century Nazareth [2-25-22]

125) Jesus the “Nazarene” [12-19-20]

X. Jesus’ Life & Ministry 

126) “’Bethany Beyond the Jordan’: History, Archaeology and the Location of Jesus’ Baptism on the East Side of the Jordan” [8-11-14]

127) Cana: Archaeological Comparison of “Rival” Sites [3-29-23]

128) Archaeology & St. Peter’s House in Capernaum [9-23-14]

129) Jesus’ Alleged Mustard Seed Error [10-8-18]

130) Discipleship & Jewish Burial Customs [8-8-19]

131) Gadarenes, Gerasenes, Swine, & Atheist Skeptics  [7-25-17]

132) Demons, Gadara, & Biblical Numbers [12-18-20]

133) Gadarenes & Gerasenes #3 [2-17-22]

134) NT Texts & the Next Town Over [2-18-22]

XI. Jesus’ Passion, Death, & Resurrection

135) Judas’ “Thirty Coins of Silver”: Archaeology & History [6-18-23]

136) No “Leafy Branches” on Palm Sunday? [4-19-21]

137) Archaeology: Jesus’ Crucifixion, Tomb, & the Via Dolorosa[9-18-14]

138) Date of Jesus’ Death . . . Including the Analogy of Historical Skepticism Against Many Renowned Persons from the Hebrew Bible [4-17-21]

139) Homer & the Gospels (Is the Story of Priam in the Iliad the Model for a Fictional Joseph of Arimathea?) [10-15-21]

140) Obsession w NT Imitation (?) of Homer [10-18-21]

141) Crucifixion Eclipse? [3-30-22]

142) “Blood & Water” & Medical Science [4-25-21]

143) Jesus’ Burial Spices Contradiction? [4-20-19]

144) No Tomb for Jesus? (Skeptical Fairy Tales and Fables vs. the Physical Corroborating Evidence of Archaeology in Jerusalem) [11-10-21]

145) Who Buried Jesus? [4-26-21]

146) Guards at the Tomb & Historiography [4-27-21]

147) Matthew & the Tomb Guards (Including the Analogy of Xenophon and Plato as Biographers of Socrates) [1-28-22]

XII. General Biblical Considerations

148) Why We Should Fully Expect Many “Bible Difficulties” [7-17-17]

149) “Difficulty” in Understanding the Bible: Hebrew Cultural Factors [2-5-21]

150) Atheist “Bible Science” Absurdities [9-25-18]

151) Atheist “Bible Science” Inanities, Pt. 2 [10-2-18]

152) Bible & Disease & Medicine (3-31-22)

153) Demonic Possession or Epilepsy? (Bible & Science) [2015]

154) Disease, Jesus, Paul, Miracles, & Demons [1-13-20]

155) Are the Gospels & Acts “Propaganda”? (Unpacking a Statement from Historian A. N. Sherwin-White) [2-16-22]

156) NT Writers: Unethical Mythmakers? [5-4-21]

157) Manuscript Evidence: New Testament vs. Plato, Etc. [10-10-15]

158) Ten New Testament Archaeological Confirmations [5-11-23]

159) Atheist Double Standards Regarding the Miraculous in Historical Accounts [Facebook, 1-1-24]

Additional Sections Added Later

#160: in section IV

#161-162: in section VI

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Summary: A sequel for my book, The Word Set in Stone is not in the cards, but (good news!), folks can read for free the material that would have made up the second volume.

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