The Almost Incredibly Correct Historical Memory of the Bible


6/15/07 – NEW FORMAL DEBATE ON GENESIS. Also see the end of this article for a rebuttal of some accusations on the accompanying Formal Debate “Peanut Gallery” by a poster named Occam’s Aftershave.


Dr. Nelson Glueck, one of the world’s foremost archaeologists of the 20th century speaks on the historicity of the Bible in his book, Rivers in the Desert …

“As a matter of fact, however, it may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries. They form tesserae in the vast mosaic of the Bible’s almost incredibly correct historical memory.

The whereabouts of Solomon’s long-lost port city of Ezion-geber was for centuries an unfathomable mystery, because no one paid attention to the Biblical statement that it was located “beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom” (I Kings 9:26; 10:22). And that is exactly where we found it, in the form of the small, sanded-over mound of Tell el-Kheleifeh on the north shore of the Gulf of Aqabah, which is the eastern arm of the Red Sea. Memory of its location had been snuffed out like the flame of a gutted candle.

Assuming, however, as we did, that the Biblical statement was literally correct, it was not too difficult to rediscover it. Previous explorations had convinced us that the line of the present seashore had changed little since Biblical times, and that the land of Edom did indeed reach that far south, and also that the Nabataean=Byzantine site of Aila near Aqabah must be on or close to the site of ancient Elath. From that point on, there was little more to do than to stroll along the seashore and examine the only little tell there …

In a similar manner, our discovery of Solomon’s copper and iron mines in the Arabah rift north of Ezion-geber verified completely the sometimes questioned description of the Promised Land as being in part a land “whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper” (Deuteronomy 8:9). On the basis of that information, whose reliability we accepted as a matter of course, and acting on a “hunch” as to where to look, we were able to locate the ancient mines and furnaces and slag heaps and establish their dates by pottery finds.”

(Glueck, Nelson, Rivers in the Desert, New York: Grove Press, 1959, pp. 31-32.) Original link for image above

I have just begun a new Formal Debate on the historical nature of the Book of Genesis over at IIDB. My debates seem to get plenty of interest (lots of negative comments mainly) and there are already comments being made in the Peanut Gallery (almost 1800 page views as of this writing). Most of the comments are fair, but there is one individual who I will highlight here since I do not have the opportunity to refute him in the same thread.

Occam’s Aftershave.

I have never know anyone to be such a blatant liar … and I have been debating at atheist forums for over a year now. Here’s one of his latest false accusations …

He’s been caught in blatant lie after blatant lie, caught quote-mining, caught fabricating and adding his own ‘data’ to legitimate scientific papers via Photoshop, caught going back after the fact and editing his old posts to produce his own “retro-history”. And every time this dishonesty has been pointed out to him, his response has always been along the lines of “well, I’m doing God’s work and have done nothing wrong in His eyes.” It’s the Liar-For-Jesus “the ends justify the means” credo to the Nth degree.
Link here

which is all completely false. The Photoshop item he mentions was clearly labeled as my speculation, and in fact was later given support by a detailed study of over 300 “anomalous” radiometric dates of rocks. He has never once provided support for any “lies” or “quote mine” charges, and I have refuted many such charges previously HERE. Editing previous posts is common practice at especially when explanation is given why you are doing it. Also, I have never said anything even close to “well, I’m doing God’s work and have done nothing wrong in His eyes.” He cannot support this and never will. He has made up all kinds of lies about my church as well. This makes for some interesting reading. Click here. It’s amazing that a guy this educated can be as blatant as this, but the facts speak for themselves. He received a one week suspension from the Richard Dawkins forum and has received numerous additional warnings. The moderators at, as well as posters at Panda’s Thumb have expressed concern that behavior like his is hurting the “anti-religion” cause.

I have to say that I am glad that it is.

Keep up the good work, OA!