Q&A: Importance of Bible Archeology

Importance of Bible Archeology

Question

The Bible is God's word. However, you stated on previous occasions that a student of Scripture should understand many things about the Bible, including archeology. Why?

Answer

To more fully understand Scripture one must understand the original audience in the context of their day. This includes the many facets of both their land, culture, etc. I do not think I could say it better than Louis Berkhof:

The study of Biblical Archaeology is an important aid to the correct understanding of the Bible, since it gives a description of Bible lands and of the social, civil and religious customs of the people among whom Gods revelation was given, especially of Israel, which was preeminently the people of God. This study differs from Biblical History in that it does not aim at a genetic description of the ever changing facts of history, but portrays the more constant conditions of life. If history be represented as the constantly flowing stream with its continual fluctuations, Archaeology may be likened to the river-bed that is but slightly changed in the course of centuries. But these changes, however small, make a purely systematic study of the subject-matter of Archaeology insufficient and necessitate a historico-systematic treatment.

Reference

Berkhof, L., B. D. (2009). Biblical Archaeology (3d ed., rev.) (17)

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).