I would be interested to see any paper trail that takes us back to 1300BC
as far as archaeological evidence that supports the Bible.


Paper? Paper was invented by the Chinese some time in the early
centuries AD. (just teasing… forgive me) Have you read me book,
Reasons for Belief? I make the point that in the days before Israel went
into Egypt, we will not find any archaeological remains directly
confirming Abraham, Lemuel, Joseph, etc. For the time up until Israel
left Egypt, it is expected that there will be no archaeological finds,
simply because the partriarchs lived in tents and they were clearly not a
significant group. I expect archaeology to support Genesis only in that
the general information with regard to the cultural mileau in Genesis is
consistent with Mesopotamia (up through Abraham) or Canaan/Egypt (up
through Joseph) at the appropriate time period. In my book I make a case
that this is indeed the case. It is only after Israel became a great
nation and established its own cities that one can hope to actually find
archaeological remains. The earliest hints are the mention of Israel in
the 1100’s BC in the Stela of Merneptah. There are also the Tel el Amarna
letters in the late 1400’s BC which mention the Hapiru attacking and
conquering cities in Canaan. You should really read my chapter on
archaeology and the Bible to get my view on this. There is also the
information with regard to the destruction of Jericho in the 1400’s BC as
well as Hazor, also in the 1400’s BC. Both of these support (but do not
prove) the biblical story. I do not have a smoking gun for biblical
information before about AD 850. From 850 onward the evidence becomes very
solid for the biblical history. From this time we have the Moabite Stone,
the Tel Dan inscription and so forth.

Remember, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. All the
information is in dramatic agreement with the biblical history, and some
of it dramatically supports it.

John Oakes, PhD

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