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 It does, however, confirm and support the reliability of the Scriptures as an historical document.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)
Biblical Archaeology is limited and deals mainly with material culture. Not so much as philosophy, poetry or theology. It calculates populations, events, types of cultures, vessels and instruments used in daily living, enemies, weapons, food, or etc. It helps to orient the Scripture with those living during the times in which it was written.
The purpose of Biblical Archaeology is to confirm the word of the Bible and correct the words of the Bible. It is used to verify and clarify ancient idioms and linguistics. In addition, it helps to clarify the world of the Bible while complimenting the witness of the Bible.
In the current state of Archaeology two views exist concerning the relationship between this science and the Bible. First, the Biblical Minimalist sees little correspondence between the Bible and archaeological data. In fact, this data takes priority in interpretation of their worldview and interpretation of the Scripture. In this view archaeology provides little but often contradictory evidence concerning the question of Biblical historicity.
Second, the Biblical Maximalist observes or finds correspondence between the Bible and the archaeological record. The Biblical data has priority in interpretation of the text of Scripture while archaeology provides evidence that the Scriptures themselves are reliable historical documents.
Joseph Callaway noted, “The real business of archaeology is to establish factual benchmarks in the world of the Bible to guide interpreters.” Archaeology helps us put the Biblical data into historical and literary context. William Dever noted, “Scholars have been looking for a Sitz im Leben, a living context, for the Biblical text. I have argued that the best you can do is to find a literary context. But archaeology could provide an independent witness.”1
Archaeological evidence is fragmentary in nature and rarely whole. More is lost in the process of discovery than what will probably ever be discovered. Dr. J. Randall Price noted that “only 2% of tells in Israel have been excavated…only 10% of cuneiform data has been translated.” These statistics indicate the labor involved in undertaking an excavation endeavor but also tells us that there is lots more to be seen. That is partly why the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
2 Peter 1:16 and 1 Timothy 1:3-4 confirm that faith is founded on facts. Archaeology aids our journey to these facts. Scripture is our most reliable source for the facts of historical events.
1. William Dever, Editor: Shanks, Hershel. "Face to face: Biblical minimalists meet their challengers." Biblical Archaeology Review 4 no. 23 (1997
2. Dr. J. Randall Price, Video Lecture One