The standard of evidence

As the bible is completely wrong about Egypt archaeologists had to learn what it was like from the physical evidence. Other civilizations have been reconstructed from the physical evidence without other knowledge of the civilization. The standard for the Old Testament is the same, that the civilization of bibleland can be reconstructed solely from the physical evidence.

Percentagewise bibleland is the most dug place in the world. There is no excuse for not finding the same physical evidence as is found for other civilizations.

Egypt has more digs and more archaeologists. But in bibleland, which in this case includes modern Israel as well and parts of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, professional and amateur archaeologists and thieves have swarmed the land for a century and a half. During this time the local population has increased five to ten times greater than a century and a half ago. All of those new people dig the ground to build homes and cultivate news lands for food.

Particularly in Israel highways and high rises and parking garages have been built. And still nothing has been found which would confirm the bible stories as real history.

Israel's museums are also evidence as they display what has been found in Israel and the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They contain large amounts of Roman period artifacts and a much lesser number of Greek period architects. Pre-Greek artifacts are but a handful. And in many cases they are as likely Egyptian as they are of local origin.

Because of all of this digging and searching, intentional and accidental, not finding evidence to support the Old Testament stories indicates the Old Testament being total fiction.

In addition to the above the standard of evidence precludes logical fallacies such as "who else could it be" as that is begging the question.

The standard rejects bible context around a find unless the artifact has intrinsic evidence of a bible context. It is so common it appears to be a journalistic requirement that when reporting on a new archaeological find in bibleland the find itself is described in a bible context. Whatever words describe the find itself, several times as many words weave a bible story around the find.

A find is just a find until it is published in the professional literature. This is the academic standard. After it is published only after other archaeologists have evaluated the find can an opinion be given. Note in this context, the Biblical Archaeological Review is not a professional publication. It is a news stand magazine.

The standard requires the use of the scientific method in general as well as the criteria peculiar to the science of archaeology. Perhaps the most important of those in provenance. Almost all of the sensational finds from bibleland, past and present, have no provenience. That makes them essentially worthless.

It is also worth noting that the sensational finds from bibleland were made when the people who found them can best be described as adventurers before the science of archaeology came into being. It is telling that nothing significant has been found since the requirements of science have been applied. Frankly the adventurers finds in the 19th c. need be reevaluated.

None of the above are loaded against the bible. They are exactly the criteria for evaluating archaeological finds any place else. There is no scientific argument for relaxed standards when it comes to bibleland. In fact, just the opposite. The 19th century adventurers who came to the Near East described every find in terms of the bible and they were uniformly making it up. Unfortunately those old finds are still presented in the bible context.

What is important to know is that in the beginning of the 20th century the above rules began to be applied to finds in bibleland. And with that the sensational finds dried up in the professional world. Only the so-called biblical archaeologists continue to make sensational finds. It is not credible to suggest the professionals are less competent or less lucky than the biblical archaeologists.

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