Christian archaeology – why is it important?
Archaeology comes from two Greek words – “archae” means ancient and “logos” means “knowledge”; thus, “the knowledge or study of antiquities”. Archaeologist is much more than the character of Indiana Jones, chasing around the world looking for old artifacts to place them in the Museum. Archaeology is the science that studies ancient cultures by recovering and documenting materials from the past. Christian archaeology is the science of studying ancient cultures that influenced Christianity and Judaism, and on Jewish and Christian culture. Christian archaeologists trying to discover new things about the past – they are trying to confirm what we already know and to expand our understanding of the manners and customs of the peoples of the Bible.
Biblical texts and other written records are the most important information about the history of ancient biblical peoples that we have. But these records were left unanswered many questions. It is here on the scene of Christian archaeologists. They can fill in the partial picture presented by the biblical narrative. Excavations of ancient garbage dumps and abandoned cities have provided bits and pieces that give us the key to the past. The goal of Christian archaeology to check the most important truths of the old and New Testaments through the physical artifactory peoples.
Christian archaeology was an academic discipline until the nineteenth century. The Foundation of Christian archaeology was founded by such people as Johann Jahn, Edward Robinson, and sir Flinders Petrie. William Albright became the dominant figure in the twentieth century. Exactly Albright drew Christian archaeology to contemporary debates about the origin and authenticity of the biblical narrative. Albright and his students have provided most of the physical evidence described in the Bible historical events. However, today it seems that there are as many archeologists trying to disprove the Bible, and how many of those who proves its accuracy.
We don’t have to go far to find new attacks of the secular world to Christianity. As an example we can take the majority of programs on the discovery channel like documentary drama “da Vinci Code”. Other comments pertained to the historicity of the person of Christ. In one of the James Cameron stated that they found the tomb and burial box of Jesus. From this “discovery” was made the conclusion that Jesus was not resurrected from the dead. But the program was not mentioned that the box was found many years ago, and has already been proven that it never belonged to Christ. This knowledge was achieved thanks to the hard work of Christian archaeologists.
It is archaeological evidence provide the best possible physical information on the life and times of the ancients. With the application of appropriate scientific methods in the excavations of ancient settlements there is information which gives us a deeper understanding of ancient peoples and their culture, as well as evidence supporting biblical texts. Systematic recording of these data that are shared by experts around the world, can give us the most information about those who lived in biblical times. Christian archaeology is only one of the tools that scientists can use to present a more complete defense of the biblical narrative and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Often, when we share our faith, unbelievers may ask us, how do we know the Bible is true. One of the answers that we can give is that, thanks to the work of Christian archaeologists, many of the facts of the Bible have been confirmed.