What is “Biblical” Archeology?

In this whole deal of the supposed find of Noah’s ark, the question arises “what is biblical archeology” really?  What do biblical archeologist do that makes their work scientifically valid and not fraudulent as is the work of Noah’s Ark Ministries? 

Dr. Robert Cargill answers these questions and more in his interview on Jason Boyett’s blog “O me of little faith.”   It’s a pretty informative interview that helps one get right to the issues at hand. 

Here are some excerpts:

It is important to remember, however, that real archaeologists don’t go ‘looking for something.’  We dig.  We dig and we find what we find.  Wherever the evidence leads us, we go.  Whatever the evidence says, we report.  We don’t go looking to ‘prove the Bible.’  This is flawed methodology, because you begin seeing what you want to see or hope to see, and not what’s really there.

One person in the comments asks, “what do you mean you don’t go looking for something?  Then how do you find it?”  To which Dr. Cargill answers:

it is important to distinguish between early ‘archaeology’ and the modern science of archaeology.  early archaeology was little more than treasure hunting, and people did, in fact, go out and look for specific things.  they even called them quests.  others stumbled upon items, and they proceeded to dig the place apart until they found the ‘treasure.’ they then looted the ‘treasure’ to other countries, and this explains why there are egyptian obelisks in france, the greek parthenon marbles in england, and italian statues in the usa.

modern archaeology is much different.  many excavations do, in fact, begin because a tractor was plowing in a field or a bulldozer was clearing the way for a highway or hotel.  archaeologists then come in and establish a systematic excavation.  whatever they find, they publish.  however, these guys began a ministry (not an archaeological group, but a ministry) with the purpose of questing after noah’s ark. this is not good [not real] archaeology (even 100 years ago).

 So there you have it – real biblical archeology doesn’t involve “quests” to prove the Bible.

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