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Old 10-24-2001, 07:34 PM   #1
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Angry W. F. Albright's disciple and defender is denies archaeology supports bible

In a Symposium in honor of the noted Christian archeaologist William Foxwell Albright (mostly known for his insistence that the facts of archaeology square with the bible), a speech was given by one of Albright's most staunch defenders, David Noel Freedman, who only a few months earlier, had hailed the Ebla cuniform texts as proof of the patriarchs' historicity. Below is a quotation from that speech, and please remember that these comments come from one of the most devoted followers and defenders of Albright:

[/i]"The combination of the Bible and archaeology is somewhat artificial; the two have not really matched up very well. The Biblical scholar deals with one kind of material and the archaeologist with another. On rare but important occasions, there is significant contact, and both disciplines gain from the exchange of data and ideas. Often, however, there is no point of contract and nothing signigicant happens. On the whole, I believe that results of the interchanges between archaeology and the Bible have been somewhat disappointing, though perhaps that was to be expected. Palestinian archaeology has had modest success in turning up monumental remains and inscriptional materials, but nothing like the quantity discovered in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Unwritten materials are extensive in Palestine, to be sure, but not always easy to interpret, and the Bilical connections remain elusive while confirmations are few and far between."

"Albright's great plan and expectation to set the Bible firmly on the foundation of archaeology buttressed by verifiable data seems to have foundered or at least floundered. After all the digging, done and being done and yet to be done, how much has been accomplished? The fierce debates and arguments about the relevance of archaeology to the Bible and vice versa indicated that many issues remain unresolved. Can anyone say anything with confidence about the patriarchs or the patriarchal age? The fact that skeptical voices now dominate the scene indicates that the Albrightian sysnthesis has become unglued and we are further from a solution than we ever were. Arcahaeology has not proved decisive or even greatly helpful in answering the questions most often asked and has failed to prove the historicity of Biblical persons and events, especially in the early periods."
(D. N. Freedman, as quoted by editor Hershel Shanks, in Biblical Archaeology Review, #1 (1985), page 6.)

This is a particularly powerful quotation against Christian apologists, because they are always making reference to Albright's archaeological findings which Albright insisted harmonized with the bible. The man who made that speech was one of Albright's most eloquent defenders and dedicated followers, and simply couldn't have talked in such negative tone if the "archaeology proves the bible correct" speech of the apologists were true to fact.

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