Friday, December 10, 2010

More archaeologist lunacy.

Raphael Greenberg on using the bible as an authority for archaeological research: "It's bad for archaeology. What we're supposed to contribute is a point of view that isn't available from texts or preconceived notions of history...." (National Geographic, King David, p.90; Dec.2010)

This is all well and good. But then archaeologists have no right to whine and snivel when theologians and biblical exegetes pursue their method without making recourse to archaeology as a noteworthy authority. In other words, stop griping and groaning when a theologian discusses the covenantal implications of the conquest or the sinaitic treaty without paying heed to your endless demands for evidence in and amongst your beloved rock layers and potsherds. Truth is, theologians don't care. Nor should they. For the method of investigating the biblical testimonies of Israel's God has no time for naturalism. It cannot even be constrained by naturalism. The Word simply remains unfettered and unbounded by the so-called "neutral" observations of scientific man.

Archaeologists can have at it with their own field of study. But as soon as they wish to have their cake and eat it, someone's gotta speak up.


Richy said...


this post is fabulous. I'm totally going to use it in the future. It's a perfect example of those who are necessarily selective in what they make recourse to in order to do their discipline.

Emerson Fast said...

Thanks for the comment Richy,

Seems to be a crime common to every science: making YOUR discipline out to be the one which calls all the shots, has the final say on all matters, and alone has the right to make theological statements. It is absolute silliness. Oprah can do better theology than the archaeologists I've been reading lately (ask me for names in private). I'm talking about the actual hotshots, the ones that are at the top of their field and most widely revered. Absolute theological dilletantes.