the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, "Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever." For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD.
1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
Ephesians 5:20 NIV
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:17 NIV
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Revelations 11:17 NIV
saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.
To whom does the atheiest give thanks?
For the pumpkin pie?
Surely not, for the pilgrim had no sugar in supply.
For the evolutionary eye?
Surely not, for it moves with blinded* eye.
To whom does the believer give thanks?
For the Turkey?
Surely not, for the turkey was supplied.
For the creators watchful eye?
Surely, for from Him are all needs supplied.
*Blinded eye here refers to a naturalistic evolutionary view that suggest evolution has occured through random natural selection.
Feelings never felt before
Moving to beats without rhymes
Experiences never experienced before
Living men among the end of times
Death’s hand beating on our door
Fear gripping men’s minds
Alas, is there a savior?
Indeed, Love has come and He has given us a rhyme
Archaeology cannot prove that the Scriptures are divinely inspired. It does, however, confirm and support the reliability of the Scriptures as an historical document. Archaeology explores physical evidence or data that places the text of Scripture in proper historical and cultural context, which is crucial for Western readers to properly interpret an Eastern text. There is and always be various interpretations of evidences and this has caused various interpretations of the Scriptures themselves.
I believe the Scriptures have historical value and transmit accurate historical information. I agree that it cannot be a blueprint for history but being true in its statements does not mean it contains everything that is true in the world or universe.
The Bible always speaks the truth when interpreted correctly. When interpreted incorrectly that interpretation cannot represent truth. I believe the Bible to be true in whatever it teaches but not everything it says is to be taken literally. Neither does each verse teach a particular principle. Some verses contain prescriptive or descriptive information and has various literary meaning. The content of our canon contains what God wanted to be included and thus we use Biblical Archaeology to provide a Sitz im Leben, in order to provide a living context for an ancient document.
There is also a metaphysical or supernatural element contained in the Scriptures and therefore it must be considered as well. As believers we should not understand the Holy Scriptures as written merely by humans but as breathed into them by God (as in the case of the Adam). The words of the Bible came from God but were written by men. The apostle Peter affirmed this when he said that “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21 NKJV).
These men were literally “moved” (Grk. phero) to write or go into the destination that the Holy Spirit desired. It is as if the Holy Spirit picked them up in one place and carried them or bore them to another. They did not write by their own will, but were moved by the Spirit. These writings are living, not inanimate, and have the ability to encourage and convict the hearts of people.
William Dever, Editor: Shanks, Hershel. "Face to face: Biblical minimalists meet their challengers." Biblical Archaeology Review 4 no. 23 (1997) (pg. 7)
In Biblical Archaeology two views exist concerning the relationship between this science and the Bible. These views are considered mutually irreconcilable.
The Biblical Minimalist limit the historicity of the Bible accounts. They see little correspondence between the Bible and archaeological data. On this view, the data takes priority in interpretation of their worldview and interpretation of the Scripture. Archaeology also provides little and often contradictory evidence concerning the question of Biblical historicity.
The Biblical Maximalist do not limit the historicity of the Bible accounts. They observe or find correspondence between the Bible and the archaeological record. The Biblical data has influence in interpretation of the text of Scripture while archaeology, itself, provides the likelihood of certain Bible events. It also aids in discovering that the Scriptures themselves are reliable historical documents. (1)
It is not the goal of either view to prove or disprove Scripture. Religious truths are not independent of facts, therefore Biblical archaeology can confirm and validate the reliability of the Scriptures as historical documents. For example, the city of Ur, the hometown of Abraham, is mentioned four times in the Bible. It is presently located about 186 miles southeast of Baghdad.
Archaeologists have been excavating Ur off and on since the 1800's. Sir Leonard Woolley directed several excavations at this site from 1922 to 1934. They have found evidence (Royal Tombs at Ur, Ziggurats) that it was occupied from the 4th Millennium BC. These excavations indicate that Abraham's ancestral home was a powerful city-state before its demise.
The Book of Mormon contains numerous locations and places that have never been located or identified as actual places. If the Bible authors were in error in their historical statements then their theology is also suspect, as is Mormon doctrine. Yet, Archaeology has shown that many of the historical statements of Scripture are reliable. The physical data or evidence helps moderns situate Scripture in a proper historical context in order to better understand the people, language and cultures of the Bible.
In conclusion, Randall Prince adequately states, "If archaeology does not seem to support biblical history in every case, the limitation is not from the Bible but from archaeology...the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."(2) This should be a guiding principle for believers interested in the relationship between their Bible and the archaeological data.
1) Price, Randall. The Stones Cry Out: What Archaeology Reveals about the Truth of the Bible. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House, 1997. 321
2) ibid. 332