What Archaeologists Think of Biblical Archaeologists

Niels Peter Lemche is not exactly anybody’s idea of a Bible believer.  He is a leading light of the radical minimalist “Copenhagen School” which denies the historicity of the vast majority of Old Testament Israel.  He is reported in the latest Biblical Archaeology Review (May/June 2012), 20, as saying:

“To ordinary archaeologists, Biblical archaeologists are lowlife.”

Let’s hear it again for secularism and open-mindedness!

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3 comments

  1. I’ve been tracking Lemche and his minimalist sect for a while in BAR, etc, and what is interesting is the obvious puzzlement that the mere moderates have toward the minimalists. There is just too much evidence that correlates with specifics in the Bible for the minimalists to have a leg to stand on. (This existence of data does not prove the maximalist position, which I think necessitates some admixture of actual faith/presupposition – I’m in that camp. It does undercut the warrant for the skepticism of the minimalists and exposes their presuppositions). The minimalist group is something akin to a biologist who does not believe in the bacterial theory of infectious disease studying the effects of the Black Plague and attributing its deadly ferocity to “swamp gasses, foul air and excessive bathing”.

  2. Wow…another important reminder of the importance of addressing the presuppositions behind the method and orientation of those doing scholarship.

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