[b-hebrew] Jericho

George F. Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Sat May 22 17:24:18 EDT 2004

It has been my experience that, while everyone has his presuppositions
which he attempts to confirm.  Scholars generally do not attempt to deny
the evidence, but rather to account for anomalies.  I have frequently
seen fundamentalist types twist and squirm and obfuscate in order to
maintain their position.  The evidence is that there was some limited
occupation during the period in question though there does no walled city
as described in the account of the conquest of Jericho.  The
fundamentalist position, however, does not simply founder upon the date
of Jericho.  There are other problems.  Unless one is willing to split
the conquest narrative into separate periods, one must correlate other
data as well.  There is, e.g. the problem of Ai which is described as
being immediated conquered after Jericho.  The occupation of this site
shows nothing during this period.  There is nothing between the Early
Bronze age and the Iron Age.  Fundamentalists attempt to get around this
and other such problems under the excuse that the site may not be
correctly identified.  I find this unconvincing.  The very name of the
city supposedly conquered by Israel under Joshua signifies a ruin and
therefore seems to function as an aetiological story.  The attempt to
establish these accounts as historical in the modern sense of the term
seems to be the fundamentalist problem.  It cannot be done piecemeal.  
There is simply too much evidence which combined renders the picture as
presented in the conquest narratives as being at the very least

This is rather far from the purpose of the list so I shall say no more
regarding the matter onlist.


On Sat, 22 May 2004 15:26:05 EDT Ephraim49 at aol.com writes:
> In a message dated 5/22/2004 9:47:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
> krena_li
> _mara at hotmail.com writes:
> Scholars,
> Vadim, congratulations.
> Ephaim, feel free to produce your "biblical evidence" from 
> "archaeologist" 
> "Ms. Kenyon".
> smiles,
> Julie :)
> Hello.  
> In my opinion, many are trying to FORCE the archaeological evidence 
> to 
> point to the (erroneous) year of 1400 BC.  But the correct 
> interpretation
> of scripture (given next time) reveals it to be 1558 BC.  Does 
> anyone 
> believe that they already know the answers?
> The following was taken from site 
> http://www.watchmanmag.com/0103/010311.htm
> In the cases of Abraham, Moses, and the Exodus, the point is that no 
> direct 
> archaeological evidence has yet been found to prove any of these. In 
> typical 
> fashion, "most scholars" agree that these things never happened, 
> simply because 
> there has not been found any direct proof of their existence outside 
> of the 
> Bible! This is nothing new; for generations, scholars have 
> consistently refused 
> to believe anything the Bible says until such time as some 
> extra-biblical 
> evidence forces them to admit that it happened. And even then they 
> insist that the 
> details of the biblical account are full of errors, whether or not 
> they have 
> any evidence to back up their assertions. But the claims Time makes 
> regarding 
> Jericho are somewhat bolder. In this instance, the claim is that the 
> archaeological evidence actually contradicts the scriptural record:
> "Historians generally agree that Joshua's conquest would have taken 
> place in 
> the thirteenth century B.C. But British researcher Kathleen Kenyon, 
> who 
> excavated at Jericho for six years, found no evidence of destruction 
> at that time." 
> (page 68, center column) 
> This is interesting on at least two levels. First, if there is no 
> archaeological evidence of Joshua's campaign, and indeed historians 
> don't even believe it 
> ever occurred, how can they all agree on when it would have 
> happened? 
> Secondly, it is interesting that this article, which repeatedly 
> claims to be talking 
> about new discoveries, cites Kathleen Kenyon's research. Dame Kenyon 
> excavated 
> in Jericho from 1952 to 1958, and she died in 1978.
> Kathleen Kenyon concluded that Jericho's walls fell around 1550 
> B.C., some 
> 150 years before the Bible has Joshua coming to the city. According 
> to an 
> article by Dr. Bryant Wood in the March/April 1990 issue of Biblical 
> Archaeology 
> Review, her conclusion was apparently based solely on the lack of 
> pottery from 
> Cyprus in her sites. It seems that certain Cyprian pottery was 
> common in the 
> 1400's B.C., and since she didn't find any, she decided that the 
> city must have 
> been uninhabited during that time. But John Garstang, who excavated 
> at Jericho 
> from 1930 to 1936, had discovered some of this very pottery! 
> Moreover, some of 
> the local pottery which Dame Kenyon did find is unique to the period 
> 1400-1450 B.C., when she said the city was unoccupied. So, the 
> ceramic evidence 
> actually confirms that the city was occupied until approximately 
> 1400 B.C.
> In addition to the ceramic evidence, there is much more 
> archaeological 
> evidence to show that the walls of Jericho fell somewhere around 
> 1400 B.C. For a 
> discussion of this evidence, see Dr. Wood's article noted above. As 
> to the Bible, 
> I Kings 6:1 states that King Solomon began building the temple in 
> Jerusalem 
> in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel 
> had come 
> out of the land of Egypt. Construction of the temple began in 966 
> B.C., so this 
> places the exodus from Egypt at 1446 B.C. When we consider the forty 
> years of 
> wandering in the wilderness, this puts Joshua at Jericho pretty 
> close to 1400 
> B.C. Furthermore, in spite of the fact that the authors cite Dame 
> Kenyon's 
> conclusions, the time line on pages 66-67 of the Time article shows 
> the 
> destruction of Jericho at 1400 B.C.! If you ask me, things are 
> looking pretty good for 
> the biblical account so far as the date is concerned, "most 
> historians" 
> notwithstanding.
> ****
> What are your thoughts?
> Herman
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