The Book and the Spade:
As a part of my research for the Eilat Mazar interview which was featured on the two preceding programs, I interviewed three top American evangelical archaeologists: James Hoffmeier
, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Lawrence Geraty
, LaSierra University and past president of the American Schools of Oriental Research; and Steven Ortiz
, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and excavator of Gezer.
One of the questions that I asked each of them was whether they still believed the statements made by archaeologists of an earlier generation, Nelson Glueck and William Albright (and probably also G. Ernest Wright) that no archaeological discovery has contradicted the Bible. Their answers were consistently yes, but with some elaboration, enough to make an interesting program that also addresses the issue, Does Archaeology Prove the Bible?
Give it a listen here.
Download it in MP3 here.
As was as expected, a new archaeological announcement has been made about the Western Wall in Jerusalem: Apparently, King Herod didn’t complete the construction:
Recent archeological excavations in Jerusalem show that, contrary to popular understanding, King Herod was not solely responsible for constructing the Western Wall.
Israel’s Antiques Authority announced Wednesday that the discovery of a mikveh (ritual bath) alongside Jerusalem’s ancient drainage channel challenges the conventional archaeological perception that Herod built the wall in its entirety, saying it is now evident that construction was completed at least 20 years after Herod’s death (believed to be in 4 BCE).
The excavations, directed by IAA archaeologist Eli Shukron with assistance from Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, revealed three clay oil lamps of a type that was common in the first century CE as well as seventeen identifiable bronze coins. According to Dr. Donald Ariel, curator of the IAA numismatic collection, the latest four coins were struck by the Roman procurator of Judea, Valerius Gratus, sometime around 17 or 18 CE – about 20 years after Herod’s death.
“This bit of archaeological information illustrates the fact that the construction of the Temple Mount walls and Robinson’s Arch was an enormous project that lasted decades and was not completed during Herod’s lifetime,” said the IAA, adding that the find confirms descriptions by the Jewish historian Josephus, which state that it was only during the reign of King Agrippa II (Herod’s great-grandson) that the work was finished.”
A full report by the Israel’s Antiques Authority is here.
Todd Bolen asks if the IAA is desperate for headlines?
And another pic of the bedrock: