So far, the crowing achievement of my semester was turning the last page of K.A. Kitchen’s 500-page tome, On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Kitchen, a “first-class Egyptologist” (in the words of Dr. Petter)–neither a Old Testament critic nor a popular-level “Christian writer,” but a bonafide archaeologist–looks at each section of the Old Testament and asks whether it is a reliable text. He wants to know whether it matches the time-period that it is about, in which is claims to be written, and whether what it tells us about the Ancient Near East world (its people, events, society, etc.) can be trusted.
Many of us (ahem, Dr. Petter, us, your students!) don’t have the time to learn archaeologist-speak and slog through 500 pages of technical data and charts, but now that the book sits beside me, closed, conquered, and slightly dog-eared, I see why it was assigned. Many of us–not as seminarians, but as Christians!–have wondered Continue reading “Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable?”