Current Events Articles: October 2010

Bible and Spade Sneak Preview Fall 2010 posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The authority of the Bible is the central focus for the Associates for Biblical Research and we stand unreservedly for the inerrancy of the Scripture.  We are witnessing all around us the compromise of those in higher education and in church leadership who name Jesus as Savior and Lord, but who feel at ease questioning the veracity of the word of God.  Somehow the approval of men has become more important for some as they seek to stay in good standing among those in the world of biblical scholarship. 

The motivation of some in pastoral and spiritual leadership to compromise may have more to do with a desire to focus on the felt-needs of those struggling through the effects of our post-modern culture (and the Fall) and seeing those concerns as more important than the “academic” debate over the authority of the Bible.  The very nature of the debilitating effects of post-modern philosophy makes taking a stand for absolute truth “uncomfortable” in the face of the powerful but delusional concept of relating to human needs over being correct in doctrine.  Stressing that anything is absolutely true and right is simply unpopular in this age of the equanimity of every viewpoint and opinion. This would explain while on the one hand they outwardly claim to believe the Bible to be the word of God but then equivocate when certain difficult questions confront them.  These difficult questions are often the ones that the staff of ABR take head on in order to assist pastors in their ministry.  We seek to give solid answers to important biblical questions and to encourage pastors to stand firmly for the authority of Scripture.


More than ever there needs to be a true revival among our Christian educators and spiritual leaders so that the transformed life that they teach and preach about can have a substantive foundation in the clear teaching of the Bible’s absolute authority.  And we need to heed the warnings of Scripture to seek only God’s approval in our ministry, and equally, to avoid submitting to the “wisdom” of the “scholars” of this age.  Truth is at stake…and the eternal well-being of souls.  We simply must return to the word of God and proclaim its absolute truthfulness and authority so that its transforming power will be unadulterated by the vacillating whims of men.  God’s presence, His true voice is in His word, and we must never water it down in order to make it acceptable to men.



Two important Scriptures come to mind:


·          “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:21-22


·         “On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4


Amen.  The Fall 2010 issue of Bible and Spade is packed full of material that supports the reliability of the Biblical text. Here is a sneak preview of this upcoming issue:


1. In his article, Two Ancient Sumerian Tablets Saying NO-O-O-O to Paganism, Dr. Paul Ferguson analyzes two tablets from Sumer, which demonstrate that the idea of monotheism goes back far earlier than Moses. 

2. Written by Richard D. Lanser, The Influence of the Ancient Near East on the Book of Genesis, critiques evangelical attempts to use Ancient Near Eastern literature as a primary tool in interpreting the creation account in Genesis.

3. An Army of Straw Men: Responding to Ronald Hendel is written by Henry B. Smith, Jr. This abridged version of the longer online article strongly critiques a recent article in Biblical Archaeological Review.

4. It is often claimed that the camels mentioned in the book of Genesis are erroneous anachronisms added by hypothetical redactors centuries later. ABR Associate Titus M. Kennedy addresses this problem in The Domestication of the Camel in the Ancient Near East.

5. The Great Isaiah Scroll and the Original Bible: An Interview with Dr. Peter Flint by John D. Barry

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Dead Seas Scrolls to Be Digitized Online posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The authority's general director, Shuka Dorfman, called the project a milestone that will enhance the field of biblical studies and people's understanding of Judaism and early Christianity. Made up of 30,000 fragments from 900 manuscripts, the Dead Sea Scrolls are considered by many historians to be one of the most important archaeological finds ever made. The ancient manuscripts, made of leather, papyrus and copper, were first discovered in 1947 by a nomadic shepherd in a cave near the Dead Sea. In the years that followed, more scroll fragments were located.


Mamre Near Hebron To Be Reopened posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Israel National News is reporting that the site of Mamre near Hebron has been visited recently and may be opened soon. The site is mentioned three times in Genesis, in chapters 13, 14, and 18. This is where Abraham settled after separating from his nephew Lot, where he built an altar to God, and where God sent him three angels to inform him that his son Isaac would be born the following year. It was also here that Abraham established the first Hebrew army, for the purpose of rescuing Lot, who had been kidnapped by the Four Kings during their war against the Five Kings as described in Genesis.

After Five Years, James Ossuary Trial Goes to Judge for Verdict posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The high-profile trial of two Israeli antiquities experts accused of faking a burial box containing the remains of Jesus' brother and other priceless artifacts was finally sent to the judge for a verdict after five long years. The defense ended its summing up with just two men left in the dock, bringing to an end five years of court proceedings that spanned 116 sessions, 133 witnesses, 200 exhibits and nearly 12,000 pages of witness testimony. The prosecution summation alone ran to 653 pages. The indictment leveled 44 charges of forgery, fraud and deception against Golan and 13 lesser counts against a co-defendant, antiquities dealer Robert Deutsch. The trial of Golan, Deutsch and three other defendants opened at the Jerusalem District Court in September 2005.

Statue of Amenhotep III Found In Egypt posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

The upper portion of a granite likeness of King Tut's grandfather has been unearthed in Luxor, Egyptian officials said. Investigators found the statue of Amenhotep III while excavating on the site of a large temple on Luxor's west bank, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities announced. "The statue is one of the best new finds in the area because of its expert craftsmanship," the statement said, citing Zahi Hawass, the council's secretary general.

Courtesy: AP

A Report on the 2010 Hazor Excavations posted by Gordon Franz MA

The twenty-first season of the ‘Selz Foundation Hazor Excavations in Memory of Yigael Yadin’ took place between June 20  and July 30, 2010. ABR's own Gordon Franz participated in this work for 6 weeks.The following report was written by the co-directors: Dr. Amnon Ben-Tor and Dr. Sharon Zuckerman.

Samaritan Synagogue Uncovered near Bet She'an posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

A Byzantine era Samaritan synagogue has been discovered near Bet She’an in Israel. Inside the synagogue, a Greek inscription in a colorful floor mosaic has been found which reads, “This is the Temple.”

Courtesy: Israel Antiquities Authority

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