Why Does Archaeology Matter?

IMG_0321I ran across this article yesterday from a self-described “archaeologist in training,” and I thought he did a good job explaining why archaeology matters.

For too long, Christ-followers have distanced themselves from academic disciplines like archaeology, believing that science and faith are at odds.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength.  Notice – love God with our minds.  That means we don’t check our brains at the door when we choose to follow Jesus.  And anyone who argues that we follow by blind faith doesn’t fully understand the teaching of Scripture.  I don’t see blind faith requested anywhere, but faith based on God’s past actions and His unchanging character.  That’s not blind faith – that’s faith with a foundation.

Archaeology matters.  As the writer of this article states, it “creates a framework for more informed, thoughtful study of the Bible.”  That’s a good thing!   Archaeology “exposes ancient ruins and provides clues to the way people lived so we can better understand the cultures and people mentioned in the text.”  It helps us realize that the people mentioned in Scripture were real people, living real lives, in real places, just like us.  When we get that, what we read truly begins to come alive, and we can empathize with and learn from the biblical books in fresh ways.

If you’re interested on how the disciplines of archaeology and Biblical studies interact and why it’s an important field of study for followers of Jesus to engage in, check the article out.  And if you’re REALLY interested in getting your hands dirty (pun intended), join me next year as I return to the dig at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan (believed to be the site of the biblical city of Sodom).  In January/February, I’m taking a team from the church I serve, Southview Community Church, and I’d love to have you join us as we go, dig, and learn together.  You can get more details and register for the dig here.

Have you ever been on an archaeological dig?  How have you seen faith and science intersect in positive and illuminating ways?