"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Bit of Biblical Archaeology

I wouldn't suggest making too much of this at present, but it is an interesting tidbit: archaeologists recently discovered that there was indeed at least one person named Goliath living in Gath during the time that the Bible says David slew a Philistine giant of that name from that village.

According to the UPI story on the subject, the archaelogist responsible for the find, Prof. Aren Maeir, thinks it very unlikely that the Goliath referred to on the tiny ceramic shard mentioning the name is the Goliath mentioned in the Bible. However, as noted in the Yahoo! story on the matter, Maeir "said finding the scraps lends historical credence to the biblical story."

Many scholars have argued that the story of David and Goliath is a myth made up hundreds of years after the reign of the Jewish king. The scrap indicates that, at the very least, there was indeed at least one person named Goliath in the region during the time the encounter is supposed to have taken place.

7 comments:

Hunter Baker said...

I thought that was interesting, too. These kind of discoveries happen quite frequently, it seems, (channeling Bill Murray from Caddyshack) so we've got that going for us.

Matt Huisman said...

...which is nice.

James Elliott said...

Considering that the fables within the Old Testament are all kinds of entwined with the actual political and historical development of a people, I find it completely reasonable to surmise that I guy named David slew the Philistine's finest warrior, Goliath, in the first lastingly recorded victory of the little guy. Doesn't exactly lend credence to all the mumbo-jumbo. After all, I bet we could take fragments from any people's historical record and create a convincing supernatural narrative of it. The best stories are the ones that are wrapped around a core of facts or the familiar.

Matt Huisman said...

Of course, when the mumbo-jumbo stories contain prophecies that are later fulfilled, one starts to take notice.

Hunter Baker said...

Oh, it's some GOOOOOOOOOOOD mumbo-jumbo, baby.

James Elliott said...

Prophecies like, oh, the coming of the Messiah? It would seem that there's some disagreement among followers of the Old Testament on that score.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Prophecies like the Jewish People getting their land back after nearly two millennia, something that has no parallel in human history. (Deuteronomy 30:1-4, numerous repetitions by later prophets.)

Prophecies like no other nation succeeding in developing an active country there during the interim while the Jews were away. (Leviticus 26:32)

Have you ever been to Israel and witnessed the incredible pace of building all over the country? You cannot stand there as a sentient human being without sensing that you are in the presence of prophecy fulfilled.