Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Of Eunuchs and Archaeology

Tiny Tablet Provides Proof for Old Testament.

Now, that's an awfully ambitious headline, but it's not really that far from the truth. Incidental details are one of the ways we can be sure of the general historicity of a text which is otherwise uncorroborated (for example, the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts: the author is very careful and scrupulous with minor details of geography, dates, and history that can be confirmed in other sources, which lends support to the picture of him as a careful historian concerned with accurately reporting facts, which in turn allows us some confidence in trusting the accuracy of those details which can't be confirmed from other sources). As a former OT prof of mine put it, "if the Bible 'incidentally' captures correctly the names of third-tier officials in the Neo-Babylonian bureaucracy, can we really be content with [certain scholars] telling us it's just ideological fiction?"

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