The following e-mail exchange may be of interest to some:
Your hunch is correct about why these authors appear to be “almost apologetic” regarding archaeology’s non-support of biblical events. They _fear_ a backlash from the public who does not want to hear their beliefs are founded on fables and not facts.
Finkelstein like Dever, knows from his archaeological experience that the Bible is _not_ supported by archaeological findings for the book of Genesis. Archaeology supports to some degree however the period of the Monarchy.
Politically speaking for Christians and for Jews their interest is in having archaeology appear to support the Bible and thus support their political actions to maintain and promote the growth of Christianity and Judaism.
This explains somewhat the historical and present antagonisms between Jew, Christian and Moslem. Reconciliation between these three groups is impossible in my estimation until _all_ give up the notion that the bible is God’s word. Guess what the chances are of that happenning? Very remote indeed!
Knowing that political states (the USA, Israel, Europe, Moslem world) all justify their actions based on the Bible, the archaeologists always are walking on eggshells, fearing a backlash from the bible-believing public.
Public schools, Kindergarten through College, will _not_ allow teachers to teach the young that archaeology and science do_not_ support the Bible but contradict it.
Why? Fear! Fear of the bible-believing public who want their children to continue in their faiths. So the truth is known by a few (archaeologists and scientists) but this truth is _deliberately suppressed_ and kept from children (and the general public) in the interests of “religious harmony” and of the State, which wants to foster and promote religion.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam have millions of adherents who have _no_ knowledge of much of the information presented here: That the findings of the Sciences: Anthropology, Archaeology, Geology, Paleontology and Astrophysics do _not_ support the Bible but flatly _contradict_ it!
Attempts to suppress and deny this scientific knowledge “in the service of Religion and the State” have been going on for over 200 years and still continues today at all levels of society by the activities of Religious leaders, Politicians, Parents, Schools, News Media and Governments in cahoots with each other.
I grew up a Bible-believer, naively _unaware_ that the Bible was contradicted by the above disciplines.
Only after devoting the past 30 years of my life to determining if the Bible was really true or not by studying the findings of these scientific disciplines did I come to realize it couldn’t be true.
Professor Dever (2001) on the dilemma facing mankind if the Bible has been scientifically proven not to be true (it is not God’s word):
“The “secular” approach to the Bible advocated here may seem radical, even heretical. But it is one taken today by virtually all archaeologists; by most biblical scholars, at least those who teach in universities, rather than in seminaries; and indeed by a surprising number of educated lay people. Why is that thought to be a problem? What apparently disturbs many is the fear that approaching the Bible with skepticism about it as “history” puts one on a slippery slope, one that inevitably leads to the rejection of the Bible altogether -as, in effect, a “pious fraud.” How can such a fraudulent literature be the basis for any system of belief, morality, or cultural value?”
(p. 282. “Faith and History.” William G. Dever. What did the Biblical Writers Know and When did They Know it? What Archaeology can tell us about the Reality of Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, Michigan. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 2001)
Do Mesopotamian myths understand that man _after_ death will spend eternity in a location called eden/edin with a God (noting here that Jew, Christian and Moslem understand the righteous dead will spend eternity in a paradise called Eden, with a God)?
Yes. The Sumerians sometimes euphemistically called the Underworld edin. They understood all men, good and evil, upon death would spend eternity in edin with its resident gods and goddesses (Nergal being the ruling god and his wife Erishkigal
being the ruling goddess ). The only “man” who was allowed a resurrection back to life to roam the earth’s surface and feel the heat of the sun on him was Dumuzi, the king of Uruk. Dumu-zid, “the righteous son” was slain in the edin at his sheepstall under the great apple tree near Uruk by demons at his wife Inanna’s instigation to be her surrogate in Hell, securing her release from the netherworld’s edin. Dumuzi, a shepherd and a king once upon a time, then, dwelt in two edins: (1) the edin at Uruk and (2) the underworld edin. In myths, once a year he ascends (is resurrected) from the Underworld’s edin to dwell for six months in the earthly edin at Uruk, being the “life-force” in the edin’s plants: grasses, herbs, fruit-trees and grain. So, Dumuzi who bore the epithet ushumal, “great serpent” or “dragon” offered man (Adapa) immortality with the “food of life” and “water of life” but another ushumgal, Ea/Enki conned man (Adapa) into falsely believing it was the food of death and forbidden to him in order to deny man immortality because he did not want to lose man as his slave and have to toil in the edin’s city-gardens for his own food and thus give up his eternal sabbath rest from earthly toil.
Leick on edin being a euphemism for the Underworld:
“In Mesopotamia the underworld was known by various euphemisms, such as Sumerian kur, ‘mountainous country’, or ‘abroad’, ki-gal, ‘the great place’, edin, ‘the steppe’, arali, kur.nu.gi -‘land of no return’, which have their equivalents in Akkadian.”
(p. 159. “Underworld.” Gwendolyn Leick. A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology. London & New York. Routledge. 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998)
It is my understanding that Judaism, Christianity and Islam’s notion that _after_ death_ man will spend an eternity in a paradise called Eden with a God is a recast of earlier Sumerian myths regarding man being made by the gods to toil in their gardens of edin/eden in Sumer, and _after_ death, man’s dwelling for all of eternity with the gods in the edin known as the Underworld.
Dumuzi’s resurrection to the earthly edin/eden at Uruk was recast under Christianity and Islam into a resurrection to dwell in an Edenic paradise free of toil after the faithfuls’ deaths. A _resurrected_ Shepherd-King Dumuzid [dumu=”son,” zid=”righteous”]
(a prototype of Adam and a “Righteous-Son-and-Good-Shepherd-King Jesus) both dwell in myths in two locations (1) the earthly edin/eden about the city of Uruk in Sumer [recast as an earthly edenic-city-garden at Jerusalem in the book of Revelation] and (2) a heavenly edin/eden (Sumerian an-edin) and both control the admittance of man to the presence of the supreme god (Anu/Yahweh); both of whom offered man (Adapa) once upon a time the bread and water of life which would confer on mankind immortality. That is to say King Jesus has assimiliated motifs originally ascribed to King Dumuzi. Both are portrayed as semi-divine kings of a city (Uruk/Jerusalem); both die and are resurrected; after resurrection they live in two locations an earthly eden (Sumerian ki-edin) and heavenly eden (Sumerian an-edin); they both stand at the righthand of the supreme god (Anu/Yahweh-Elohim) in heaven and both have the power to offer man immortality via the food and water of life.
This is not new information dear reader, its old information. Dr. Hugo Radau PhD noted this in 1913 in his scholarly tome on Babylonian Lenten Hymns as forerunners of Christianity’s Easter/Lenten Holy Days.
Its just that Christianity has successfully _suppressed_ this information for over 100 years, not allowing it to be taught in public schools so as to not disturb the faithful in the communities they serve.
Thank you, dear reader, for taking some time from your busy life to visit, however briefly, this website