by Paul Weaver
Incredible advances have been made in the field of Biblical archaeology in the last 70 years. These discoveries are of exceptional value to the student of the Word and are immensely faith affirming. But, before we discuss the advances in the field and the benefits of Biblical archaeology, we need to define some terms.
Defining Our Terms
Archaeology is a discipline that seeks to reveal the history and culture of ancient civilizations through the discovery, documenting, analyzing, and interpreting of remains from these ancient civilizations.
Biblical archaeology is a subcategory of archaeology. It is a narrower discipline that seeks to discover, document, analyze, and interpret ancient texts, sites, and artifacts that relate to people, places, and events recorded in the Bible.
So, while an archaeologist would study the remains of all ancient civilizations, a Biblical archaeologist studies only sites that relate to the Bible. Whereas an archaeologist might study the ancient civilizations at Tel Dan from the first civilization’s inception, a Biblical archaeologist is primarily interested in the culture and history of the civilizations that intersect with the Biblical text.
Great Advances in Biblical Archaeology
Since 1948 amazing advances have been made in the field of Biblical archaeology. Anyone familiar with the history of the region immediately understands why. In 1948 Israel became the first democratic country in the Middle East, ushering in stability previously unknown during the modern era. A land previously unsafe for excavations became a place where excavations were not only allowed but highly encouraged.
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Paul Weaver (PhD, Baptist Bible Seminary) is associate professor of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary and host of the Faith Affirming Findings podcast, a program devoted to sharing discoveries from Biblical archaeology that will affirm your faith and the historicity of Scripture.