For those of you who missed it, the November 2012 meeting was one of our best. We actually had a planned presentation (of sorts) and we had 8 people, which is a lot for us. The presentation was done by a trained Archeologist, Charles, who has actually worked in the field (Israel and Northern Alberta, among other places) and was able to share his knowledge about Archeology on a number of issues, especially as it relates to the reliability of the Bible.
He also brought scraps of ancient pottery that we all got to pass around and observe, and gave us insights into how we could know the difference between the Moabite pottery, Jewish pottery, Roman pottery and others. It felt humbling for most of us to know that we were holding in our hands shards of pottery that had been used by fellow humans upwards of 4,000 years into the past. Talk about legacy!
We were given some insights into the methods of ancient warfare and the design of ancient cities to handle that warfare. I won’t get into details, but suffice it to say that the rules of engagement we have in modern warfare are a welcome improvement from the practices of the past! A very welcome improvement indeed.
We were also given some insights into the difficulty of doing archeology properly from simple physical difficulties (50C weather in the desert!) to political difficulties (government grants from nations with an archeological axe to grind) to the simple fact that there is so little evidence that has been left over from thousands of years ago that interpreting the evidence is often quite largely influenced by the mindset of the interpreter. Archeology gives us an invaluable glimpse into the past, but one should be cautious about drawing far-reaching conclusions based on some scraps of historical evidence, or drawing far-reaching conclusions based on a lack of any evidence. We saw how those who would disprove the Bible have abused Archeology, as well as how those hoping to prove the Bible through Archeology have similarly abused it. Very eye-opening and a humble reminder to not overstate your case when defending the Faith.
We were all grateful to Charles for his time and sharing his expertise. For anybody else that was there, if I missed any key points, please add them to the comments below. Or, if anybody would like to ask questions about the presentation, again, we’ll try to address them in the comments.