I was wondering if you could help me with an apparent conundrum. I hear over and over again that the Bible is remarkably accurate in its ancient history that it records. If this is so, why do so many archaeologists have a minimalist or disdainful view of the Scriptures?
This is a good question. I think that there are two reasons for this, one is a good reason and one is a bad reason. The “good” reason is that professional archaeologists are, by their nature extremely conservative in their interpretation of what they find. They will never make statements such as this particular piece of pottery proves 1 Kings is accurate history. Generally, they will only conclude the specific thing shown by the find, and will not extrapolate about other possibilities not implied by the actual physical discovery. So, part of the reason is that archaeologists are trained to give the minimal interpretation and just present the acts. I believe this is good professional behavior which most archaeologists follow reasonably well.
The other reason is does not apply to all archaeologists, but it does apply to a good majority of them. For reasons that they will have to answer to God, many archaeologists have an extreme bias to assume that nothing in the Bible is true at all, unless it is absolutely proved by archaeology. By this standard, virtually nothing can be proved. The reason this is very frustrating is that they do this only for biblical questions. The slightest hint that something said in another historical document other than the Bible is confirmed by a find and they go for it. But the Bible is treated in a vastly different way than any other document. Most archaeologists, when it comes to the Bible, conclude that NOTHING is true in it, unless it has been substantiated by archaeological evidence. Why would they take such a biased perspective? I really should let them speak for themselves, but I believe that it is because of a predisposition to reject authority in the Bible. The Bible makes some very strong authoritative statements, and for some, to accept any of this is to accept it all, and they refuse to go there, so they take every possible opportunity to say some sort of claim in the Bible is not true until physical evidence strongly forces them to change their position. Again, as I see it, their approach to the Bible is unique in this sense. To some extent, this attitude makes sense.
Why? Maybe Satan is working behind the scenes on people’s hearts, but really it is not my place to judge such a thing because these are individuals, so, using the Golden Rule, I believe that I should be very cautious about judging the motives of those I do not know personally.