Numerous archaeological finds intersect with the biblical portrayal of the history of Israel and Judah. Archaeologists and historians, however, assess these finds in different ways. Some argue that archaeology has demonstrated conclusively that the Old Testament picture of ancient Israel and Judah is incorrect and that the past "as it really was" is significantly different than the Bible describes. This is a bold and daring claim; how should we assess it?
In this class, we will survey a range of archaeological finds from several periods of Old Testament history and seek to interpret them in ways that do not undermine the truthfulness of God's word. And yet this class does not suggest that the relationship between archaeology and the Bible is somehow simple. Though we will take a fundamentally maximalist stance towards the historical value of the Old Testament, we will seek to be rigorous in our approach, avoiding simplistic and pat answers and admitting where the data causes conundrums. And yet, in the end, we'll see the wonderful contribution archaeology makes to biblical interpretation, and why archaeology does not lead us to abandon our belief in the infallibility and inerrancy of God's word.