I watched a show on Discovery called "Lost Kings of the Bible". They claimed that Goliath couldn’t have worn the armour that the Bible says he was wearing at that time. The show claims that they didn’t wear heavy metal armour on their bodies at that time.   I believe the Bible, however I was wondering about your response to this.

The skepticism of the spokesperson on the Discovery Chanel was well placed.  It is true that in the time of King David and Goliath, chain mail or "heavy armor" such as that used during the Middle Ages had not yet been invented.  However, it is possible that this person is being overly skeptical.  In 1 Samuel 17 there is no mention of "heavy armor."  We know from bas relief carvings in the Near East that soldiers at that time definitely wore helmets and armor.  The Hebrew text does not contain the phrase "heavy armor."  It is not justified to add this word when it is not in the text simply for the purpose of trying to prove that the Bible is in error.  I believe that the description in 1 Samuel is consistent with the types of armor known to exist in around 1000 BC.  Notice that 1 Samuel 17:5 describes armor made of bronze.  If this person was correct that the use of armor was an anachronism, then presumably the text would have mentioned iron rather than bronze armor which had become standard by the fifth century BC.  Only bronze armor was in use in 1000 BC.
John Oakes


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