Back in the Spring of this year the BBC presented the controversial programme, ‘The Bible’s Buried Secrets’ featuring the equally controversial Dr. Francesca Stavrakopoulou of Exeter University.
Archaelogist, Eilat Mazar, provides a balance and another side of the story:
“The Biblical narrative, I submit, better explains the archaeology we have uncovered than any other hypothesis that has been put forward. Indeed, the archaeological remains square perfectly with the Biblical description that tells us David went down from there to the citadel. So you decide whether or not we have found King David’s Palace,” asks Eilat Mazar.
“I don’t believe these [modern] archaeologists who ignore the Bible,” she said. “To ignore the written sources, especially the Bible—I don’t believe any serious scholar anywhere would do this. It doesn’t make any sense.”
““That Mazar is a serious scholar is without question. “She’s a good archaeologist,” said Lawrence Geraty, a former ASOR president. “She understands stratigraphy, she knows biblical history; I don’t think she can be dismissed out of hand. Critics want to disparage her work because they have an agenda that doesn’t allow the Bible to contain accurate history.””
“Mazar calls the Bible a historical document. But she also says that it needs to be tested and examined. While evangelicals can appreciate her vigorous defense of the Bible as an independent narrative in the field of biblical archaeology, she does not view it as holy writ.
“I’m not religious,” she said. “The only interest we share is interest in historical sources, either the Old Testament or the New Testament. Everything [in the Bible] is important to me in order to be examined or studied.”
She wrote in a 2006 BAR article, “One of the many things I learned from my grandfather was how to relate to the biblical text: Pore over it again and again, for it contains within it descriptions of genuine historical reality.”