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The Late, Not so Great, Dam of Davidic Denial
In Defense of the Faith
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Wendy Wippel

“Scholars” agree that King David never actually existed-- that he's nothing but a myth.  Which would also place Solomon, Josiah, Hezekiah, and Joash in the mythological column, conveniently nullifying any ancestral claim to the nation called Eretz Israel. These “scholars” claim that no evidence of David exists. They’re in denial. And getting deeper in every day.

The dam of David Denial was erected largely during the ‘Higher Criticism’ movement in Germany in the late 1800s. Higher criticism apparently meaning critical evaluation of the evidence that supports the Biblical text versus “lower criticism”, that being a critical evaluation of the text itself.

I think higher criticism may have more to do with the Colorado concept of high than the higher critics might admit. Because what the Higher Criticism movement decided was pretty much this: There’s no evidence --at all-- of anything written in-- the Scriptures. They deny it all. And since all means all (and that’s all all means) that includes the existence of David.)

For example, renowned archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon said that, “In the whole of the area supposedly covered by the kingdom of these mighty monarchs, extant remains of it are very poor.…meagre in the extreme... The Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Hittite peoples in the ancient Near East left evidence of their empires including tablets or papyri, art and inscriptions on buildings and monuments. Yet the empire of David and Solomon is not mentioned in any Ancient Near Eastern source. Monumental reliefs and statues, palaces, ivories, jewellery and all the normal signs of the sophistication required to run an empire are lacking”.

The textbook Structuralist Interpretation of Biblical Myth declares that; “there is no archaeological evidence for the existence of these heroes or for the occurrence of any of the events with which they were associated. If it were not for the sacredness of these stories, their historicity would certainly be rejected. The editors suggested that the Biblical accounts of David’s lire are actually Persian history that become Israeli allegorical and mythological history."

In fact, Phillip Davies, in Biblical archaeology review, said that “I am not the only scholar who suspects that the figure of King David is about as historical as King Arthur. And thus was the consensus among much of Bible ‘scholars’ for almost 200 years."

But then the dam of David denial sprang a leak, a first leak, in the form of an inscription in the ruins of Tel Dan. Dr. Avraham Biran, a Hebrew Union College archaeologist in Jerusalem, uncovered a stone monument made from local basalt, about 3 feet high. The monument came with an inscription, in early Aramaic, that left most probably by Hazael of Aram-Damascus, an important regional figure in the late 9th century BCE. Hazael (or more accurately, the unnamed king) boasts of his victories over the king of Israel and his ally the king of the "House of David".

But wait, there’s more! The inscription dates to just after 1000 BC.

Fast Forward to 2005:

Archaeologists digging at the site of the ancient city of Gat find pottery, one of which is inscribed with the name of David’s famous Philistine enemy (from Gath), Goliath. And these shards (the oldest Philistine inscriptions ever found), date back to 950 B.C., right around the time when the teenager David would have faced off with his  seemingly inconquerable foe.

Then, 2008:

Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar notices that the biblical text says David went down from his palace into the city of Jerusalem, and, following that lead, finds not only what seems certainly to be that palace but "substantial storerooms attached”, indicating that David was a king, not a minor chieftain as the “Higher Criticism" folks would like to think.

But wait, there still more! The storeroom contained remnants of the stores of the grains and other foodstuffs that it once held. And some olive seeds that were carbon-dated not coincidentally, dated to King David’s time.

But many remain unconvinced. After all, the notion of a valid ancestral claim to the land would offend the enemies of Israel. Which at this point seems to consist of pretty much every government in the world besides Israel.

Fast Forward to 2014:

Archaeologists excavating near the Gihon Spring in Jerusalem find a potter shard, again dating back to about 1000 BC. A shard, by definition, is just part of a broken piece of pottery, and this piece had part of an inscription on it.

The inscription read “…ryahu ben Benaya”—which would seem to be part of the name, “Yecheziel ben Zaharyahu ben Benaya”, a prophet that appears in II Chronicles 20:14.

These shards, when tested, were an estimated 2700 years old. Which would put this guy smack dab in era of Hezekiah and Zedkiah.  Ever heard of Yecheziel ben Zaharyahu ben Benaya? Me neither.

Kings you might fabricate,, or exaggerate their importance. But when you find evidence of Yecheziel ben Zaharyahu ben Benaya?

That's slam dunk proof of Biblical inerrancy.

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Time's Up?



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