The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #51: Archaeology

General Introduction
– The perils of Vacation Bible School
– Introducing our guest
– Listener feedback
– Grubbsy’s new job

The Topic at Hand
– Indiana Jones, of course
– What tools archaeologists actually use
– Other people’s junk
– Archaeology as destructive science
– Slow but steady

The Pre-Archaeological Imagination
– Hebrew slaves and the pyramids
– Anglo-Saxon David and Goliath
– What does archaeology contribute to our sense of history?
– The everyday life of the ancients

The Effect of Archaeological Exploration on Biblical Commentary
The Enuma Elish and Genesis as polemical text
– The prophets and the cave paintings
– The Bible as sacred texts among texts
– Gilmour goes Calvinist
– Greek philosophers plagiarize the Bible

Christian Biblical Studies and Mainstream Archaeology
– Their rocky relationship
– The argument over the Exodus
– The failures of the Israelites
– The liberal Protestant response
– Polyvocal history
– Reactionary conspiracy theories
– How archaeology helps us read Lewis and Tolkien

Luke’s Particular Dig Site
– Khirbet Qeiyafa
– David and Goliath
– Did David even exist?
– When did Israel become a kingdom?
– The big city on the border
– Naming as interpretation

Hoaxes and False Proofs
– Noah’s Ark
– Filmmakers and archaeologists
– Ancient recycling
– The Naked Archaeologist and the nails
– Joseph Smith’s bad archaeology
– Phony archaeologists as flattering to the profession
– News coverage of the sciences

Our Advice
– Treat archaeology as a tool, not a final answer
– Don’t ignore archaeology
– Recognize that archaeological interpretations frequently change


Brueggemann, Walter. Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.

Calvin, John. Commentary on the Psalms. Trans. David C. Searle. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2009.

Dalley, Stephanie. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

Dodge, Arthur J. Homer or Moses?: Early Christian Interpretations of the History of Culture. Philadelphia: Coronet, 1988.

Kagan, Donald. The Peloponnesian War. New York: Viking, 2003.

Philo. The Works of Philo. Trans. C.D. Yonge. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2005.


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