Talk:Biblical archaeology

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Göbekli Tepe, lead[edit]

Göbekli Tepe has nothing to do with biblical archaeology. I've gone back to the orginal lead as I think 'biblical world' is open to too many interpretations. Dougweller (talk) 15:55, 19 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Merger... again?[edit]

Apparently (see above) the Christian archaeology article was already merged into this one once. But it (again?) exists as a separate article, and is fairly substantial. If Christian archaeology is a genuine, New Testament-focused sub-discipline of Biblical archaeology (and my oh-so-scientific survey of one archaeologist suggests that it's not), that article needs to be heavily rewritten to make it clearly subordinate to this one. If not, it needs to be redirected here and any useful content merged into this article. -- Perey (talk) 13:49, 3 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Definitely approve of a merge and redirect from Christian archaeology. I'll have a crack at a merge if no-one more qualified jumps up soon PatHadley (talk) 17:09, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I've been at Syro-Palestinian Archaeology (also called Biblical Archaeology in the very recent old days/when you need funding from donor kebabs) for almost six years now and I've never actually heard the term "Christian archaeology" before. The two major problems with that article are that it ignores the Old Testament aspects of biblical archaeology and it is little more than a list. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 30 Shevat 5774 17:47, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Good to know! If you're confidant that there's not much to be saved from Christian Archaeology perhaps a bold delete and redirect is in order? PatHadley (talk) 18:40, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not by any means an expert-I've only a B.A. in archaeology at the moment, for one thing-and my never having heard of Christian archaeology shouldn't be grounds for deleting an article, especially when the info from that article could be used for other articles (unless it's been cut-and-pasted from existing articles). Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 30 Shevat 5774 18:57, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Better look at [1] although the existence of such a field doesn't mean they should be separate articles. Dougweller (talk) 19:28, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
First thing would be to make sure it's about archaeology and not the study of texts, and that any sections that have main articles are actually summaries of the main article per WP:SUMMARY. Then we can make a better judgement. Dougweller (talk) 19:31, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Just realised as it stands it says "Christian Archeology (more commonly termed "Biblical Archaeology"" which makes it a fork from this one of the sort we try to avoid as if it's called Biblical archaeology, well, that's this article. Dougweller (talk) 19:33, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Not suggesting they should be, I'm just thinking the text should be salvaged, if possible. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 1 Adar I 5774 01:33, 1 February 2014 (UTC) And thanks for the link as well. We never really distinguised between biblical archaeology and 'Christian archaeology' in undergrad. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 1 Adar I 5774 01:34, 1 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Biblical and "Syro-Palestinian" Archaeology[edit]

Let me just clear up the overwhelming tilt the overcitation of Dever seems to be creating in this article. First, neither Dever nor any other archaeologist in Israel suggests that most of the Bible (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible) is ahistorical in its entirety. This is perfectly shown by a broadcast on April 24, 2000 between Dever, Gerald Steinberg (politican studies professor) and Ze'ev Herzog, an expert archaeologist and professor of archaeology at The Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University. Herzog says the following:

"We should distinguish within the biblical literature and documentation between two periods. First, the period of the monarchies of Judah and Israel from the ninth century to the sixth century is well-documented, both in archaeological and in documents from neighbouring countries, mainly Assyrian and this chapter in history as well is grounded in both sources and there is no debate about its historicity. The discussion is about the earlier phases which we would call a protohistory of the Israelites, the episodes in Egypt, the wandering in Sinai, the very story of the patriarchs, the military conquest. And all these events, which are described in detail in the biblical stories, appear to be contradicting. Not the absence of evidence, but very detailed investigations of archaeology over the last 70 years, which presents factual evidence different from the biblical one, basically showing that the population which later was developed into the states of Judah and Israel, originally orientated from within the country, did not come from Egypt, or from any other place." [2]

But if he's really willing to stretch the rubber band to the last 70 years (twice as much as what Dever gives who considers the end of biblical archaeology's conservative tyranny to have ended in the last generation - Biblical Archaeological Review, Vol. 32 Mar/Apr), has he not read David Noel Freedman and Edward F. Campbell's, The Biblical Archaeologist Reader? In Volume 2 (1964), I paraphrase the following remarkably accurate, historical confirmations of the earliest traditions about the Patriarchs in Genesis:

1. The names Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph are typical names of the period and places. (The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol.2, p.16)

2. Sarah gives Hagar, a concubine, to Abraham due to her own infertility. This was exactly what the custom was there at the time. Although Eliezer was a slave of Abraham's, he was his heir, just like in those times. (Ibid., p.22). The custom was that if the wife would have a child, the servant-woman who had children should not be exiled, which is why Abraham was so upset with Sarah. (p.23)

3. The Hurrians (biblical sons of Hamor/Horites) were the nobles of Western Asian cities (i.e. Shechem), thus how Shechem was able to convince the entire town to circumcise themselves so he would have a bride.

4. The blessing of Isaac upon Jacob was legally binding even in a literate society like Mari! Also, a similar case exists in the documents of Mari to Esau's selling of his birthright for a bowl of soup - a brother had sold his inheritance for three sheep, no doubt induced by similarly dire circumstances that were exploited by the other brother. (Ibid. pp.23-24, 27).

5. The situation with Laban and Jacob's toil under him as well as every detail of the story completely matches the situation of the time. (pp.25ff.)

Many more examples exist that completely contradict the general impression Dever et al try to create with their assessment. If the traditions got so many cultural details that wouldn't have existed in their own time right, how is it that they practiced "creative writing" with much of the proto-history of Israel? On the one hand Herzog admits the historical picture (for which he says we have plenty of archaeology and history) is not under question for 900-500 BC, on the other hand there was a mythology-spree for the history of 900 BC and earlier even though much of the customs are confirmed!

But what of other events such as the Exodus and the Conquest? In the case of the Exodus, the ancients were not in a habit of recording their losses and often turned them into victories (so the chroniclers of Shalmaneser III regarding the Battle of Qarqar which he most certainly lost - Ibid. p.158). Secondly, one cannot expect archaeological evidence in the case of a nomadic, non-sedentary people as the Hebrews were for a mere 40 years during the Exodus. This is perfectly exemplified with the origin of the Ammonites. Hence, George M. Landes writes in, 'The Material Civilization of the Ammonites' (p.70): "The biblical tradition that the Ammonites, along with their brothers the Moabites, originated in southern Transjordan (near Zoar, cf. Gen. 19:30) can probably never be demonstrated historically, since in all probability they began as nomadic clans who would leave behind little or no evidence of their existence." It is of course no different with the Exodus.

What about the Conquest? First, the reason why the situation is said to contradict the Bible is because the Conquest is dated to the late 13th century BC, instead of the early 14th! The evidence fits the Bible much better if we assume a 15th/14th century BC. As for the general impression given by the lack of specifically Israelite pottery and objects in Canaan is because the Israelites had no such original culture - they would have been thoroughly saturated of the Semitic and Canaanite influence of the Goshen already. The same is the case with early Christian artwork which is indistinguishable from Greco-Roman artwork because that's the culture the Christians inherited culturally!

In the same BAR article, Dever writes, "Monotheism may have been the ideal of Biblical writers, but many, if not most, Israelites throughout the Monarchy were polytheists."

This is no secret even in the Bible that the Israelites frequently abandoned the Israelite religion for Canaanite religions. Even Solomon succumbed to this in the beginning of his reign (1 Kings 3:2-3). One can still hear the Old Testament lament of how only Israel abandoned their religion. But it's quite a different story to suggest the original religion was polytheistic. Had this been the case there would have never been a monotheistic cultic center in Jerusalem or Bible! The few obscure references one can strain in the Old Testament as signs of polytheism cannot account for a polytheistic origin that was replaced, especially as late as the "waning monarchy" of Ze'ev Herzog. When Akhenaten attempted to merely bring to prominence one deity exclusively (but not even attempt to eliminate the rest of the gods), after his death his changes were forcefully reversed to the point that he was given a Damnatio Memoriae by the follow Pharaoh. A pharaoh, who was considered a divine incarnation of a god was completely shunned from Egyptian history and the public mindset for merely attempting something like this - who could have gotten away with this in Israel and the endless polytheistic Israelites? The constant external pressures that Judah faced from c.900 BC - 500 BC completely rule out a strong centralized system that could have changed the entire already established and centralized cultic system at Judah that certainly wouldn't have allowed something like this and keep it so for generations. Proof of this is the consistent stubbornness of the Israelite population itself! Thus Dever's statement that the Biblical writers had a monotheistic ideal completely falls apart on itself - these writers were ISRAelites themselves who would have preferred the same thing as the Israelites if the Judaic cult's origin was polytheistic (they would have certainly known this as in the case of Akhenaten it was known that the Egyptians had many powerful deities, not just one strong one). If the Judaic cult had major problems bringing and keeping the majority of people under monotheism, how can some monotheistic movement or force be powerful enough to come, being extremely unpopular, replace the cult with monotheism, and keep it that way in the face of the Israelites? Royal support? But none of the kings are recorded as being anti-pagan and removing the high places, except three: David, Hezekiah, and Josiah! It is completely impossible!

Perhaps some of this information should be at least obliquely reflected in the article and not make it seem like archaeology is basically the Bible's worst nightmare! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Renassault (talkcontribs) 12:38, 12 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Please read WP:TALK and WP:NOTFORUM. Your opinions on the subject matter are not appropriate here. You should find a different outlet. Zerotalk 15:21, 12 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

"branch of the archaeological sciences"[edit]

If a Google search is any guide, the term "Biblical Archaeology" is rarely used except by self styled "Biblical Archaeologists" and "Bible Historians" and suchlike. I did find "biblical archaeology, which seeks evidence and explanation for events described in the Bible" Society for American Archaeology.

As evidenced by the Expert commentaries section, the definition and "scientific" nature of biblical archaeology is controversial. This is not reflected in the intro and "Archaeology" sections, which are based entirely on the opinions of Biblical Archaeologists and their proponents. Keith McClary (talk) 20:17, 18 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Periods in biblical archaeology section[edit]

I feel like Cline's Table 2 in Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (2009; 33-34) would be a better and more up-to-date source than Mercer's Dictionary of the Bible (1990) for the relative dating time periods used in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology. That said, I was a student of Cline's and have worked with him a lot, so I don't want to sound like I'm biased. That said, I do think this would be a good edit to make as the current one is out-of-date (it's almost as old as I am!) and it doesn't really make sense in the MB section. It was based on Mazar's Table 2 in Archaeology of the Land of the Bible - 10,000–586 B.C.E. (1992; 30), but has been updated to reflect the views of 2009 (at least his view as confusion over this dating system is an ever-present mess). Does anyone have any objections? Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 11 Shevat 5775 06:06, 31 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Strong support for this. Dougweller (talk) 10:25, 31 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Done, although I had to use Mercer for the later bits and my computer botched the initial edit.

Out-of-date dig list[edit]

From what I can see, the list of digs hasn't been updated in almost seven years. If BAR's Find a Dig is any indication, this list needs quite a bit of work. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 27 Shevat 5775 15:13, 16 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

A lot of stuff needs to be added. More, and more evidence keeps getting dug up. The anti-semitic attitudes, and bible naysayers have held everything back far too long. You cannot ignore what is right in front of your eyes.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.192.14.161 (talk) 18:08, 13 May 2015 (UTC)[reply] 

The subject is too large and contentious.[edit]

I think we should break it up into six linked pages. First we separate the secular Israel Finkelstein type interpretations from the purely biblical interpretations. Then we separate the history into three phases as (pre-Iron Age), (Age I, IIA, IIB, IIC), (Exile to Roman/Christian).

So you're talking about the high and low chronology debate in Israel (which is now pretty much resolved because of how close the dates have gotten) or the three main schools of archaeological interpretation (Minimalist, Centrist, and Maximalist)? I'm a wee bit confused here as you seem to be talking about several different things as if they're one issue. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 20 Adar 5775 01:54, 11 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
As I said, the three primary schools of interpretation are Minimalist (also called Copenhagen school, and believe the Bible has little or no value as a history) supported mainly by Niels Peter Lemche, but none of them are archaeologists (I'm a biblical centrist and like my fellow centrists, don't much care for the minimalists), Centrist (Bible has some truth borne out by archaeology), supported by many people such as Eric H. Cline, Fink, and a whole host of others, and lastly the Maximalists (the Bible is 100% true and this is proved by archaeology), that's the biggest school, and there you have Dever, all the Mazars, Tom Levy, etc. As for Pre-Iron Age would be Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Bronze Age. Unless we're talking about history in terms of written records, in which case, hmmm... maybe the Merneptah stele. A good book to start with would be Cline's a A Very Short Introduction to Biblical Archaeology so we can attack this problem best. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 20 Adar 5775 03:12, 11 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Contradictions[edit]

The list of "unknown or disproved" items contradicts what is written in the article about these items (see Jehoash inscription and James ossuary for example). It seems that the situation is not as clear as this article wants us to believe. Do you also think that the article should be changed to reflect the uncertain status of these objects? Alæxis¿question? 20:55, 10 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Umm... should this article specify that the term is no longer favoured among scholars??[edit]

I think in her open lecture series Christine Hayes addressed this, stating that "Biblical archaeology" was a term used by people who tended toward credulity in the early part of the twentieth century, but recently there has been a shift to "archaeology of the ancient Near East" or "archaeology of the Levant". I'll check later (it's probably about ten hours in to the lectures...). But even a quick Googling supports the same conclusion: in .ac.uk domains we find that Oxford University names its course on the subject "Archaeology of the Bible Lands", and its recommended reading includes a book called The rise and fall of Biblical Archaeology, King's College London considers "the history of the study of so-called ‘Biblical archaeology’", and other results appear to favour "Near Eastern Archaeology" and so on; in .edu domains the only result on the first page that has "Biblical Archaeology" in a course name is from Wheaton College. Hijiri 88 (やや) 01:54, 8 April 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The lecture was Lecture 6, roughly from 04:00 to 08:00, especially the first thirty seconds of that block, but especially the last thirty seconds. Hijiri 88 (やや) 06:49, 9 April 2016 (UTC)[reply]

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Shroud of Turin[edit]

The Shroud of Turin does NOT belong under "disproved" artifacts, as there is NO CONSENSUS amongst scholars regarding the authenticity of the Shroud, and therefore a Wikipedia page claiming the Shroud of Turin is fake, and dismissing the ongoing battle in academia on its validity, is the equivalent of Wikipedia saying the academia of philosophy has concluded that God exists and completely hand-waving the numerous publications in philosophy arguing against God and only mentioning the ones for it. There have been many publications that have significantly razed off the validity of the Radio carbon dating performed on the Shroud, including this one -- http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/otarch3.html, this one -- http://www.shroud.it/ROGERS-3.PDF, and not to mention the fact that there are have literally been conducted EIGHT different major dating tests on the Shroud, not one being the C14 dating, and all the other datings conform to a 1st century AD dating compiled here -- http://www.magiscenter.com/pdf/Science_and_the_Shroud_of_Turin.pdf -- it always amazes me that discussion on the Shroud always focuses on the one dating that is against it, even though there have been many flaws shown in the C14 dating test (as cited earlier) such as contamination. There is no agreement whatsoever amongst scholars on the validity of the Shroud, and simply going through the research publications on the Shroud at shroud.com will show exactly that, overwhelming debate and probably more support for it then against it. Either way, we should remove the Shroud from "disproved" Biblical artifacts.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Korvex (talkcontribs) 00:44, 2 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The title of the section of the article is "Objects with unknown or disproved biblical origins". Based on what you said above, I think that "unknown" still applies. Debresser (talk) 17:03, 4 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Missed this. I agree. Only if it were accepted by the mainstream as real would we know the origin. Korvex agrees there is no agreement, so its origin must be unknown. To say its origin is known is to say we know it is genuine. Doug Weller talk 18:56, 4 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
If that's the case of it being "unknown", then we should put more emphasis on that in the current Wiki page as it could come across as disproved. Adding the phrase "The authenticity of the Shroud is still highly debated and therefore does not have any established origins" to the beginning of the description would be very helpful.Korvex (talk) 19:44, 5 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Korvex, you insist on making non-consensus edits. That is not a good idea on a community website. Debresser (talk) 17:45, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Debresser, I noted the edit I wanted to make before I made it by some time. No one noted any problems. Why did you undo it? It merely notes that the origins of the Shroud are unknown -- exactly what we just agreed upon.Korvex (talk) 20:46, 12 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
You mention it as something that comes as a surprise and in contradiction to the previous text, while in effect it already follows even from the simple fact that it is in the section it is in. Debresser (talk) 23:23, 12 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Good point, Deb. You may be right.Korvex (talk) 16:08, 19 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Carbon Dating and Jericho's fall[edit]

It seems clearly crazy to me that this page only mentions the Carbon dating tests that confirm Kenyon's dating of the destruction of Jericho but doesn't mention any of the carbon dating tests contradicting it. The carbon dating tests are all over the place when it comes to Jericho. There's one that puts it in the 17th century BC, on that puts it in the 13th century BC, and one that puts it even in the time of the conquest in accordance with the Bible! There are two that conform to Kenyon's dating. Why are the pro-Kenyon ones only noted? I propose an edit where all carbon datings are mentioned.Korvex (talk) 01:51, 2 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Avoiding Creationist sources. Doug Weller talk 07:12, 2 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
We can cite the sources who did the radiocarbon testing. We can't cite sources like Wood who just make claims about it. Zerotalk 08:41, 2 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I never said I'd be citing pure claims, Zero, nor do the citations come from Wood anyways. I'll give you some links in a minute, Zero , but first I must address Doug. Doug still seems unable to let go of his Ad hominem on Wood where he considers if someone is a creationist, therefore all their work in all fields is creationism. Which is demonstrably false and ridiculous. What does creationism have to do with Wood determining whether a pot dates to the end of the MB age or the early LB age? It's quite literally impossible for creationism to impact this. Doug, why is it that all of Wood's credentiated critics never care about him being a creationist, but when someone uncredentialed in the field as yourself comes into discussion on this, it is suddenly all about creationism? Can you cite one relevant paper to ever be published into the field of academia where someone is dismissed on the basis of creationism?
Let's take a look at what we have. We have a dude named Bryant G. Wood with an actual PhD from the University of Toronto in Syro-Palestinian Archaeoloy. Why does Doug think he is smarter than the University of Toronto when it comes to deciding who is is credible in the field of archaeology? Doug has been on Wood's back since 2008, 9 years now, before he was even an admin on Wikipedia (which I respect Doug for). So I see that letting go of his views on Wood will waste a lot of great memories.
Doug has already commented on the Talk Page of Bryant G. Wood's Wiki page, so I'm sure he has read it and where it says "Wood is a specialist in Canaanite pottery of the Late Bronze Age. He is author of The Sociology of Pottery in Ancient Palestine: The Ceramic Industry and the Diffusion of Ceramic Style in the Bronze and Iron Ages (1990), as well as numerous articles on archaeological subjects" -- and Doug has not tried to remove this information from Wood's Wikipedia page for the last 9 years because he knows it is true. So, are all of Wood's publications in credible peer-reviewed journals on the archaeology of pottery dismissed because... He has a fringe view on an irrelevant subject to pottery, let alone archaeology in general?
If Dr. Wood was so unreliable, then why did the National Science Foundation give Wood a grant in 2011 in order to do neutron activation analysis of pottery from Khirbet el-Maqatir? Perhaps Doug can explain it to Wood himself by sending him an explanation to his e-mail bryantwood@dejazzd.com. I'd love to read the excerpts of the e-mails after Doug gives Wood a piece of his mind and explain to Wood why Wood is so dumb and that all his archaeological work is a creationist waste of time that can't even be cited on a Wikipedia page. I'm sure that Doug will embarrass Wood by showing him that he has two PhD's in archaeological fields, one with a summa cum laude, from Yale University and Harvard University, and that Doug is a Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History in Oxford University with over 150 publications in the most respectable archaeological journals in the world, and will silence that sleezy Wood once and for all. Assuredly, Wood will have no clue what's coming for him when he opens up his e-mail tomorrow.
As for the C14 dates I've been talking about that vary from the 1550 dates, some Italian scholars obtained some samples of charcoal I think, and yielded two dates -- they yielded dates of 1347 +/-85 and 1597 +/-91 B.C -- if I'm not mistaken, the book in question where these were published is called Quaderni di Gerico, pages 206-207, 330, 332. A 1347 +/-85 years is the one that varies.Korvex (talk) 01:01, 3 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
And you are keen to insult me but you haven't read the actual source, right? Just Wood's 2008 short comments at ABR which you assume represent the authors of the report. @Zero0000:, hope you don't mind me quoting you:
"So we get a copy of Quaderni di Gerico Vol. 2 (2000), editors Nicolò Marchetti and Lorenzo Nigro and look at the pages Wood mentions. On pages 206–207, Marchetti writes "the first one (Rome-1776) fits the chronology of the traditional end of Middle Bronze II, towards 1650 BC, while the second one (Rome-1775) is for some reason too low". So Marchetti thinks one of the samples supports the traditional dating and the other is an outlier. To confirm this we turn to the other pages 330,332 mentioned by Bryant, where we find the technicians' report on the dating. Lombardo and Pilotto write there "On the contrary, samples Rome-1175 and Rome-1176 (1432-1262 and 1688-1506 cal. yrs BC, respectively aged), also collected from the same level in Area A, are not coeval; furthermore while the second is coherent with the archaeological context from which both the samples come from (Middle Bronze Age II, 1800-1650 yr BC circa; Marchetti, Nigro 1998), the first shows a younger age. Subsequently we may suppose at first glance, that a contamination by a younger organic material has taken place, but to explain correctly this data we think necessary to increase the measurements on new samples from the same level." So they also think the young one is suspicious. Incidentally, there have by now been at least 5 additional seasons of excavation by the Italian team at the site. Nigro's opinion (check his papers at academia.edu) remains that a reduction in the size of the city occurred around 1650 BCE and complete destruction around 1550 BCE. It is not true that the accepted dates keep getting younger. It may be ok to quote a qualified person stating a different opinion, but it isn't ok to quote someone claiming support from a source that doesn't provide support, and even less ok to silently quote an intermediate source making such a false claim. Zerotalk 5:38 am, 11 January 2015, Sunday (2 years, 24 days ago) (UTC+0)" There's an example of why not to trust Wood without checking, and I'd argue that his being a Creationist is relevant to the way he's handled the source. Doug Weller talk 05:48, 3 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The rules forbid us from citing a source via an intermediate source without naming the intermediate source. Within the rules we could write "According to Bryant Wood, Marchetti and Nigro determined XXX. However Marchetti and Nigro determined YYY." That would just make Wood look unreliable. The correct text to add would be "Marchetti and Nigro determined YYY", skipping over the intermediate source. This is exactly the sort of example I had in mind. Incidentally, the best website for the Italian-Palestinian excavations at Jericho is here. Zerotalk 06:59, 3 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Zero, I was not reporting on what Wood said, as I was actually informed of the Italian scholars dating from a different site. But I thank you for your response as I had not known that this was likely contaminated or something -- and for that I commend you and you have shown me to be in error. Now, Jericho certainly wasn't destroyed 1550 BC, it was destroyed 1400 BC as I have seen from literally all the evidence. I plan to eventually make an edit on this, however I do not yet have what everyone will agree is a "reliable source", and I therefore am currently compiling sources on the dating of Jericho in a forthcoming edit attempt I will make. In my recent research, I have been finding overwhelming sources, many of them reliable, in order to go forth with an edit. If you'd like to understand my views on Jericho, you can go to my Talk Page. By the way, Zero, I do not recall insulting you at all. I re-read my comments to you, and have found no sign of insulting you, although I was very (and rightfully) harsh towards Doug.
As for Doug, Wood's creationism is still utterly meaningless. I still cannot calibrate why Doug feels his judgement on the reliability of Bryant Wood is superior to the judgement of the University of Toronto when they awarded him a PhD in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology, and also superior to the National Science Foundation when they gave Wood grants in order to conduct scientific testing at Khirbet el-Maqatir. I wonder, does Doug also find his mighty judgement even greater than both the editors of the Journal for the Study of Old Testament as well as the American Schools of Oriental Research combined when they published his book 'The sociology of pottery in ancient Palestine: the ceramic industry and the diffusion of ceramic style in the Bronze and Iron Ages' in the same year that he wrote his work on the dating of Jericho's destruction, which also just so happened to be published to the famous biblical-archaeological magazine BAR? Considering Doug's judgement is literally superior than all of these academic institutions and organizations combined... Why isn't Doug a world-class archaeologist by now with several PhD's in the field? Very easy: Doug has a severe feist against creationists, either due to atheistic fundamentalism or because creationists have done awful things to him in the past -- although none of which are excuses to maintain such an attitude towards Bryant G. Wood, a very nice man.Korvex (talk) 23:34, 3 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Anyone citing Quaderni di Gerico with those page numbers, without naming its authors or clarifying what it really says, is just copying Bryant Wood directly or indirectly. It is actually a good litmus test for sources we should steer clear of. Regarding creationism, I used to live across the road from a professor who taught geology at a university during the week and preached young-earth creationism in a church on the weekend. I asked him how he managed to get his degree with beliefs that contradicted his textbooks, and he said that he just prefixed his exam answers with phrases like "I was taught that.." or "The common view is that...". in other words, he knew how to play the game. I would definitely not cite any books or articles he wrote. Zerotalk 07:13, 4 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
It's puzzling how someone can know for sure, based on all the evidence that something happened on a certain date and yet have problems finding even one reliable source when clearly if he's right there should be many. I'm not an archaeologist probably because when I was at Yale and considered doing Egyptology I realised that foreign languages were my main academic weakness and you really need them for Egyptology, or at least did then. But that's irrelevant, we don't have to be experts in a subject to know how to apply our policies and guidelines to that subject, and personal insults and imaginary scenarios don't affect that. Korvex, I don't think you mean Steven Collins whose expertise is graphics design, but Steven Collins (archaeologist) who is a professor at an unaccredited biblical literalist university and whose books are published through an inerrantist university press. Oh, and as you seem to know Wood personally, you've got a COI when it comes to using him as a source. Doug Weller talk 08:27, 4 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I know Wood personally? The man is like 50 years older than me, LOL. No, I don't know Wood personally at all -- and in fact I never mentioned Wood in this section at all. I was reading about Jericho's C14 on some website and it mentioned all the C14 dates that have come out of Jericho, but I didn't think they were "suspected". I have clearly admitted I was wrong earlier. You'll realize it was you two who brought Wood in -- and I definitely don't have a COI with Wood. When did I even try to cite wood on the Jericho dates as of yet in this section? Not once of course, but I find his study valuable. So far, the only time I've tried to cite Wood is on Khirbet el-Maqatir, where the source was obviously reliable, being cited many times in many scholarly books on other articles. As for the mad criticisms on Steven Collins, this is purely problematic and reveals a need for research on Christian archaeologists before you slander them. Steven Collins has presented countless papers to the American Schools of Oriental Research and Department of Antiquities of Jordan, only some of his papers are published by his university indeed. He says that his discoveries at Tall el-Hammam as Sodom and Gomorrah were called by the chief of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan as perhaps the most important archaeological discovery to be made, if it can be shown to be Sodom. Collins' book 'Discovering the City of Sodom' published in 2016 has been greatly praised and recommended by none other than Aren Maier, Robert Mullins, William Fulco, and numerous other top scholars. Collins is also a visiting professor of archaeology at Veritas Evangelical Seminary, which is in fact very accredited. The reason Trinity Southwest University is unaccredited is because their institution apparently says that being affiliated with the government is a violation of church and state. I can go on and on naming credentials and achievements of Collins, and other then the fact that the top scholars in the field are endorsing his identification of Sodom and he has been invited to the last three biggest international archaeological conferences in the world, such as the The International Congresses on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in 2016. In fact, I personally am aware that he will be presenting papers again in 2017 to the American Schools of Oriental Research, and he is conducting joint excavations at Tall el-Hammam with the Italian scholars currently excavating Jericho. This dude is far above the average scholar, and the only criticism that can even be made is... He teaches at a Christian literalist institution. Er... So what? Considering that quite literally about half of the leading scholars in archaeology are literally Biblical scholars (James Hoffmeir, Kenneth Kitchen, N.T. Wright, Richard Baukham, Craig Keener, etc), this is hardly surprising.
The funniest thing about Steven Collins is, aside his excavations at Tall el-Hammam which is literally reshaping modern archaeological academia and his numerous credentials, the ONLY PERSON to publish a serious challenge to his identification of Sodom is... Bryant Wood (mic drop).Korvex (talk) 19:39, 5 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I accept that you don't know Wood personally, but not that you never mentioned him in this section, as you clearly wrote "Bryant G. Wood, a very nice man." I assumed that you might know him because of that remark. I'm not sure what you mean by saying Veritas is "very accredited". Sure, it's accredited, but the accrediting body the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools "requires all accredited schools to have a statement of faith that affirms "the inerrancy and historicity of the Bible" and "the divine work of non-evolutionary creation including persons in God's image". I don't know why TSU is unaccredited, I only the reason they give. Not quite the same thing. Just as being a biblical literalist is not the same thing as "quite literally about half of the leading scholars in archaeology are literally Biblical scholars (James Hoffmeir, Kenneth Kitchen, N.T. Wright, Richard Baukham, Craig Keener, etc). Are you just confused or what? I don't think that Hoffmeier is actually a biblical literalist - see [http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/50/50-2/JETS_50-2_225-247_Hoffmeier.pdf this[ for instance, he's a Maximalist. N. T. Wright isn't an archaeologist, nor is Richard Bauckham or Craig S. Keener. If I hadn't checked people might have believed what you wrote. And take Bauckham - do you have any evidence that he takes the entire text of the Bible literally, or just the Gospels? Huge difference. As for top scholars endorsing Collins, Eugene H. Merrill (academic) criticises him, and he believes in the water canopy hypothesis , so Wood's criticism isn't that surprising. I don't know if Collins is right or wrong, but his identification isn't yet accepted, and I see no evidence that he is "far above the average scholar" whatever that means. And your personal attacks are boring. Criticism isn't slander. Doug Weller talk 14:20, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Hold up, Doug. I did NOT say the names I mentioned (Hoffmeir, Bauckman, Keener, etc) advocated for complete biblical literalism, I said they were biblical scholars, which is a correct statement. All of them are bible scholars, and also happen to be some of leading scholars in the fields. I also know Eugene H. Merrill has criticized him -- but is he a leading scholar in the field? I personally don't know, so this is a question from me to you. But there's no question that Collins identification of Tall el-Hammam as Sodom has gained nominations from some of the most respected scholars. You say Collins' identification is "not yet accepted" -- I don't know if it's a 90% majority yet, but I have seen very, very few serious responses to Collins' work, but I only see him being endorsed unendingly by top scholars alike. I happen to know that next year, he will be presenting a paper on Tall el-Hammam to the ASOR and he is also conducting joint-excavations at Tall el-Hammam with the Italian team currently excavating Jericho (these two places are very close to one another). I've seen a lot of material on Tall el-Hammam and the criticisms are not very good.
Something I must note of to you is that Tall el-Hammam was literally destroyed by a massive firey airburst event. Have you looked into it much yet? Trinitite has literally been found at the site in the destruction layer -- the only other place where we have trinitite other than the fire-destruction layer of Sodom is from after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This kind of information utterly crushed my brain when I heard it -- could Collins have found an absolute confirmation of the fire and brimstone promised to be sent down by God on Sodom? That's not for me to conclude, but scholars are taking this identification very, very seriously. More and more is being published on Tall el-Hammam as the years go by, and as I just mentioned, Collins has been invited to the last three major world archaeological conferences to present his findings. So I think it is TOTALLY unfair to represent him as a "professor in an unaccredited university who publishes in an unaccredited journal" -- and again, he is a visiting professor at Veritas aside from his professorship at Trinity Southwest. He has many scholarly achievements. I also don't see a problem with a Christian accreditation site being the source of accrediting for Veritas. This would only be a problem if Veritas was not doing any scholarly work and was just submitting papers to creation.com on the global flood and a 6,000 yo earth, but Veritas IS engaged in scholarly and academic work, as are its professors (.... like Collins), and so relevance of its literalism is completely non-relevant unless positive bias, non-scholarly work can be identified from this institution. But I don't see that. And whatever you think of Wood, I think we should at least agree he's a nice dude.Korvex (talk) 16:53, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Judging from the viewpoint of an encyclopedia, scientific facts have broad mainstream scientific acceptance. See WP:CHOPSY. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:15, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Well now I'm even more confused. You wrote that "quite literally about half of the leading scholars in archaeology are literally Biblical scholars". I don't understand that. It is obviously untrue that even anywhere near half of the leading scholars in archaeology are even interested in biblical archaeology. I obviously don't know what point you were making, but it is certainly the case that the names you mention weren't all archaeologists. Minor thing, I'm pretty sure Trinite was only found in the Trinity crater in Arizona & not in Japan - because Trinity was a ground level explosion, the others were bombs dropped from planes. This glass is supposedly similar, like the Libyan desert glass. Collins suggests a comet strike in his book. I presume you've read this and this. And his numerous credentials don't prove he's a great archaeologist. His PhD (not in archaeology) seems to have come from an unaccredited school specialising in distance learning. You'll like this link. Wood may well be nice, why not? But I haven't read any personal info about him. Doug Weller talk 18:00, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I said that half of the leading scholars were literally Biblical scholars, not "literalist". I guess I should have been more clear in my statement. Nowhere near close to half? I'm not so sure about that. But aside from that, I have read both links that you say that I "should have" read regarding Sodom. I am convinced by neither in the slightest. One of your links goes to some dudes blog, but the very funny thing is, when I first read that link, I scrolled down to the comments section of it and saw that Collins himself had replied to the blog, LOL. Anyways, your links are both wrong on all counts. Regarding Sodom being in the "wrong place" from the Biblical Archaeology Review site -- this is blatantly false, Collins has demonstrated beyond any doubt that Sodom is to be placed North of the Dead Sea, not South. Period. The blog says that the destruction of Sodom goes to 1600 - 1500 BC, but as far as I'm concerned, if anything the number is either about 1700 BC, or no direct number known at all. All Collins assures is that the destruction happened in the MB2, which will probably be moved to start at 1900 BC because of thousands of radio carbon dates (so I hear). The destruction of Sodom by some fiery airburst event is also undeniable. I'm not so sure about Collins viewing it at a comet, but I'm definitely sure he thinks it was divine. But aside from all that, it looks like we lost track of our discussion. I don't think there are any further problems here regarding the editing of the current Wiki page. If there are, I'd start a new section (which I probably will some time in the future, I found buttloads of artifacts in biblical archaeology very recently that seem to be located nowhere on this current Wiki page). Good day.Korvex (talk) 03:02, 12 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I think there must be something in the water at Tall el-Hammam. Zerotalk 04:34, 12 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I have not seen that link before. But what is its relevance? Thanks for posting the link though.Korvex (talk) 20:45, 12 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

List of scholars[edit]

Some scholars from the list Siefert added at Biblical archaeology actually lived before the minimalism-maximalism debate. So, it is anachronistic to call them either minimalists or maximalists. Tgeorgescu (talk) 05:15, 7 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

About the author of that dubious list: his only credential seems to be being actual or former Christadelphian. That's not much to go by. Tgeorgescu (talk) 05:38, 7 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Clearly copyvio in any case, I've rev/del'd it. Doug Weller talk 13:10, 7 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

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Expert commentary - inevitably cherry picked, section should go[edit]

This isn't a good way to write an article. Who decides what goes here? Editors. It's a form of original research and ends up a bit of a quote farm. Doug Weller talk 19:49, 20 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Doug Weller - I think this section was started by editors who wanted to ensure that their anti-"literal Bible" POV was clearly stamped on the page. I don't think its really needed and these quotes would probably be better used sprinkled throughout the text in order to corroborate/strengthen those sections. However, I typically don't get into discussions on this page, as I just watch to keep the wolves at bay, so I've kept quiet. Ckruschke (talk) 19:10, 2 January 2018 (UTC)Ckruschke[reply]
However, anti-"literal Bible" POV is mainstream scholarship POV. But I agree that the article needs a lot of work. —PaleoNeonate – 15:47, 7 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Yes - I wasn't implying that it wasn't. There have been a number of Bible literalists over the past 10 yrs that have tried to insert information on this page and a number of "mainstream scholarship" folks who have been annoyed by this "incursion". Ckruschke (talk) 18:38, 17 January 2018 (UTC)Ckruschke[reply]

Expert commentaries section includes content from non-expert[edit]

The end of the section quotes "Evangelical Old Testament scholar Walter C. Kaiser Jr." who seems to be more of a theologian than archaeologist. I understand it was probably included to get the maximalist opinion, but that has really become a fringe view at this point. If the maximalist position is to be included, it should come from more of a subject mater expert, like Kenneth Kitchen.Yaakovaryeh (talk) 17:11, 5 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

No time to edit it, but yes, in this article the experts need to be archaeologists. Doug Weller talk 17:36, 5 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Is it best that WP readers don't learn here of ABR, largest biblical literalist group?[edit]

Based on Wikipedia's editorial perspective and standards, is it best that this article not inform WP readers about Associates for Biblical Research, https://biblearchaeology.org, the most well known biblical-literalist archaeology organization? Their founder:
- PhD in archaeology from Andrews U.
Various staff have:
- masters in anthropology and archaeology from Harvard
- masters from Baltimore Hebrew U., thesis - Domestic Architecture in Iron Age I Palestine
- M.A. biblical history U of Mich, PhD in Syro-Palestinian archaeology from U of Toronto
- etc. etc.
So is it better our readers don't learn here about this popular group, or should we put an External Link, something like:

Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 17:28, 5 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

How would an external link meet WP:EL? ¬¬¬¬ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Weller (talkcontribs) 17:31, 5 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Great question. Thanks for asking Doug. From WP:EL "Links to be considered... Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 17:59, 5 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I just went ahead and added this external link. Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 03:44, 24 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia has a low tolerance for WP:FRINGE organizations and WP:PROFRINGE.
Quotes like this:

The Bible, however, plainly teaches that man was created fully formed and with a sophisticated intellect right at the beginning of creation (Mk 10:6, Gn 1:27). When God decided to judge the world because of its great wickedness (Gn 6:7, 2 Pt 2:4–5), Noah and seven others from his family were spared in the Ark. All human beings alive today are descendants of Noah’s family. If this fact of history is rejected, once again false conclusions will be drawn.

— Henry B. Smith, Jr., Bible and Spade, Fall 2006, Vol. 19, No. 4, p. 97
... ain't gonna pass through peer-review in any academic journal worth its salt.
This is even better:

Most of the dinosaurs were simply unable to survive the adverse environmental conditions that existed after they left the Ark.

— loc. cit.
From the sublime to the ridiculous is only a step. For the true believer, the above quotes are sublime truths; for the rest of us they are ridiculous rants. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:27, 24 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Hello Tgeorgescu. Your quotes prove that according to WP policy, biblearchaeology.org is an unreliable source. But it's been posted to this article as an External Link according to WP policy as an unreliable source. You may have read just above the excerpt from WP:EL about links to unreliable sources, External "Links to be considered... Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." As presented above prior to adding the External Link, biblearchaeology.org is run by a PhD in archaeology from Andrews U with staffers who have a masters in anthropology and archaeology from Harvard, a masters from Baltimore Hebrew U. with a thesis - Domestic Architecture in Iron Age I Palestine, M.A. biblical history U of Mich, PhD in Syro-Palestinian archaeology from U of Toronto, etc. So I'm asking you (or another WP editor, but preferably you Tgeeorgescu) to Undo your own edit restoring the link. Thanks for your consideration! Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 02:13, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
You have twice quoted "information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources" but you haven't identified such information. I don't think that people who believe dinosaurs were on the Ark are knowledgeable sources; actually I think they are ignorant enemies of science. Would we add the Flat Earth Society as an EL to geodesy if we found some members with university degrees? Zerotalk 06:40, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Hey Zero. You ask a valid question. The argument isn't that this ABR group's leaders have generic "university degrees" but that a factor in this link decision is that they have the topic-relevant degrees including from leading institutions. To answer your question, having interviewed one of NASA's astronauts who walked on the moon, and having worked for years helping to bring people out of the flat-earth movement, I'm not aware of relevantly degreed flat-earthers (but perhaps there are). But regardless, I answer your question, "No, we wouldn't add an Ext Link to the Flat Earth Society from the geodesy article." But it would be well within WP policy to add one to the Flat Earth article. Of course Biblical Archaeology is a different kind of topic than flat earth. So as with the title of this section, you are asserting that is it best that WP readers don't learn here of the largest biblical literalist group. Two arguments for restoring or keeping out such a link are:
1) It's relevant to this topic so let readers of this article know about this group
2) Even though WP policy allows for such a link, don't let this article even in this minimalist way inform readers that there is a large and well-established group run by qualified researchers because WP readers are better served by this article not informing them about this.
I'll ask again if Tgeeorgescu, or you Zero, or another Wikipedian might restore the link. That'd be much better than me doing so. Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 13:57, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Let me tell you something: "biblical archaeologist" is a label meant to express mockery for those who indulge in pseudoarchaeology and pseudohistory. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:18, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Hey Tgeorgescuc. Thanks for telling me that. I don't know who's using that term but if by it you're reiterating that ABR is an unreliable source, that doesn't at all undermine my argument for this link based on WP:EL as excerpted above. And I still would like to know if you or Zero or another editor will consider restoring that link. Thanks! Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 14:36, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I don't entirely agree with Tgeorgescu on the insult bit. It can be used that way, but it can also just refer to digging up stuff from places and times relevant to the Bible. Getting back to ABR, it isn't out of the question that they are mentioned in the article but they are not suitable for an external link (which would look more like an advertisement than a genuine pointer to further information). What it needs is a secondary source that mentions ABR, probably in the context of discussing such fundamentalist groups, then we need a consensus that the mention is notable enough for inclusion. If those hurdles are crossed, which is far from certain, it could be mentioned in the body of the article. Zerotalk 14:52, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for those thoughts Zero. Aside from your worthwhile suggestion, what you've added to the External Link discussion is that it would look more like an advertisement. From some perspectives, undoubtedly, but is that the decisive policy standard? I believe the applicable policy standard from WP:EL is that External "Links to be considered... Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." By WP's standard, I'm asking again if one of you will restore the link. Thanks. Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 15:07, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

ELs are supposed to enhance the learning experience for readers. If they follow the ABR, what they will see is a "Christian Apologetics Ministry" with a lot of young-Earth rubbish. In other words, they will see a site that is opposed to the pro-reason bias that Wikipedia has and is proud of. It isn't our job to preach. We link to religious groups sometimes when those groups are the subject of an article, not to give religious alternatives to the topics we write about from a scientific viewpoint. Zerotalk 15:27, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Hey Zero. You've added another contribution to the discussion, "We link to religious groups sometimes when those groups are the subject of an article". Yes, but that's not the policy under discussion here. The policy discussed here specifically regards sources WP views as unreliable for topics that the unreliable source may nonetheless contain information about the subject of the article. Again from WP:EL the External "Links to be considered... Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." If the contribution you just offered was the policy under discussion, it would read "Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet [are the subject of the article]." The policy here doesn't read that way though and you may not agree with the existing WP policy but this isn't the place to change it. And because the policy is exactly on target and appears supportive of adding this external link, I'll ask if one of you guys might reconsider and restore the link? Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 17:32, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

By our book, ABR is not made of knowledgeable people.

The Bible is the voice of God, not the voice of scientists. If we want the voice of scientists, we ask the scientists. Most of them do advocate the Big Bang, abiogenesis, and evolution as the most visible means of how the world came to be. Whether or not this was God's doing is up to the reader to decide. If the scientists are mistaken, this has to be shown to them on their own grounds, which anti-evolution folks are not really doing, because they are not reading up on the same literature, they are not using the same standards and experiments, and they are not speaking in the same circles nor getting published in the same journals. If it does not walk like a duck, does not talk like a duck, and avoids ducks like the plague, there is little reason to assume its a duck. Or scientist, in this case. I'm not saying the anti-evolution folks are wrong, I'm just saying that they are not mainstream scientists. This is why they're not consulted for the voice of scientists. Now, they can be consulted for what they think if their views are notable.
— User:Ian.thomson

Quoted by Tgeorgescu. As far as Wikipedia is concerned, ABR's business is disinformation. Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:35, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Tgeorgescu. Your "book" i.e., WP's Fringe theories content guideline, has no reference to what we're discussing here, that is, can a particular unreliable source qualify as an external link in an article. It also has no definition of, and no mention of "knowledgeable" people, nor of archaeology for that matter. Your link has only one reference on the page to our topic, "External links", and that is to the WP:EL that we've been discussing and I have been quoting from. Perhaps some editors would like to apply policies not related to the External Links section to external links sections. But that's a matter to be taken up elsewhere. Here, we are discussing whether ABR, an admittedly WP-judged fringe-theory and unreliable source, fits the WP policy to be an External Link in this "Biblical archaeology" article. So for that, the first relevant question to ask is, can ABR by the WP:EL policy qualify as an External Link "to be considered... Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." The External Link that has been removed is to a website populated by "knowledgeable sources" on biblical archaeology, that is, it's run by a PhD in archaeology from Andrews U with staffers who have a masters in anthropology and archaeology from Harvard, a masters from Baltimore Hebrew U. with a thesis - Domestic Architecture in Iron Age I Palestine, M.A. biblical history U of Mich, PhD in Syro-Palestinian archaeology from U of Toronto, etc. I'm thankful that you and Zero are helping to work through this, but I'm wondering if it might be more constructive if we keep extraneous topics and policies out of the discussion and try to come to a consensus based on Wikipedia's External Links Policies. I don't quite know the etiquette in this situation, as to whether it's rude to ask a question in more than three iterations, so in case it is, I'll change it up. Realizing that at any given time there are very few people reading this Talk page and this section of the talk page, nonetheless I'll ask. Is there a Wikipedian here who will undo the deletion of this External Link? Or, for that matter, re-enter something along the lines of:

Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 22:00, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

BobEnyart, I have to agree with the other editors who object. The article is about the science of archaeology related to "the periods and descriptions in the Bible". I don't agree that A Christian Apologetics Ministry Dedicated to Demonstrating the Historical Reliability of the Bible through Archaeological and Biblical Research does "contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources" that should be brought to our readers' attention. If their tag had been "Dedicated to Examining"...or researching or exploring, etc...there would be a possibility that their site was about the science, but "demonstrating" clearly indicates a pre-selected outcome which their information will be selected to support. The link that you're proposing falls into Links to be considered. It looks like multiple editors have considered it and think it is inappropriate to add, as do I. Schazjmd (talk) 22:33, 25 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks Schazjmd. You list two objections. The primary objection, as I think we can see here, is your objection that ABR is an unreliable source. But this is a given throughout my attempt to apply policy to restore this removed link. You say if they were a group that had the mission you describe, of "examining" rather than "demonstrating", that might make them acceptable here, but by imagining that change, we would be pushing them (in our imagination) toward being a "reliable" source. That's why I'm saying that your main objection regards what has been admitted throughout, whereas the policy permits using unreliable sources as external links. Further, the fact that their mission makes them a de facto unreliable source for WP does not mean that they don't present throughout their (disapproved of) work extensive information "about the science of archaeology related to 'the periods and descriptions in the Bible'." Their staffers have authored many research works in mainstream publications and conferences, and of course they use that work also on their own site. So it seems manifestly false that ABR does not qualify as a WP unreliable source that contains extensive information about the science of archaeology "related to 'the periods and descriptions in the Bible'". That leaves us with your second objection. For then as you indicate, the few editors here who have weighed in don't support restoring the link. However, I don't take those few editors as sufficiently representive to give up on the recommendation that we add this single external link to a related unreliable source in this (if printed out) 15-page article. Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 00:42, 26 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

BobEnyart, I wasn't clear, I'm sorry about that. My objection is that this is an article about science; the external link is to a website that is not. They might use science in pursuit of their clearly stated aim to demonstrate that the Bible is historically reliable, but this article is not about the reliability of the Bible. I don't think it's a useful external link for our readers. Schazjmd (talk) 00:58, 26 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
An external link is not appropriate. But Associates for Biblical Research which was created as a redirect to Wood probably should be an article, even though I can see it would be a problem. Even a section on Creationist archaeology might be a good idea. I'm always in favor of publicly debunking fringe. Doug Weller talk 12:23, 26 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Wanting to bring into this discussion the use of Wikipedia as an outlet to publicly debunk fringe is understandable, but I urge us to keep passions out of what should be an as-objective-as-possible discussion to evaluate whether WP policy WP:EL merits here an unreliable source external link. Others may consider an ABR article. But I do think you get closer to our policy disagreement Doug when you suggest a possibly "good idea" of a section here on Creationist archaeology. I realize it's harder to use an external link as a debunking outlet, but that doesn't trump the WP EL policy. There is the option of working to modify WP policy, but as it stands, restoring the link is the action that overtly complies with WP:EL. Might one of you do that while Doug considers that new section? 2601:280:5B7F:8708:B14F:300F:A11C:8626 (talk) 15:18, 26 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

There is no consensus to include the external link. WP:EL states an EL of this type is to be considered. It doesn't say should be included. There is no failure to comply with WP:EL by not adding that link to this article. WP:EL (a guideline, not a policy) states No page should be linked from a Wikipedia article unless its inclusion is justifiable according to this guideline and common sense. The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link. Your justification has not convinced any other editor to agree with you (yet). You may want to invite editors from related Wikipedia projects to weigh in, in order to get wider input. Schazjmd (talk) 15:55, 26 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Hello Schazjmd, you're correct of course that there's no consensus but on the viewpoint separating us it seems we are making progress and in an important way getting closer together. Taking your latest comment as an indicator of where we're at, we' have moved from an ABR External Link being in violation of WP guidelines to such a link being within guidelines but not within consensus. These examples and summary of the objections shows how much progress that is:

- Just in your previous post from 15 hours earlier you said "your objection is that this is an article about science". The WP:EL doesn't exclude science articles, and if you think it should, you could propose that change there, but enforcing that personal bias regarding the guideline here doesn't seem appropriate.
- Doug had just said such a link "is not appropriate" but by the WP guideline as Schazjmd has admitted it clearly is; the question now is can there be consensus. Doug, you could help build that consensus by reconsidering.
- Tgeorgescu, even though the link was being argued for as an unreliable source, pulled Bible quotes from ABR apparently to prove it was an unreliable source, illustrating as throughout the above that the objections are mostly based on emotion about ABR rather than on the WP guidelines.
- Tgeorgescu writes of ABR's material, "ain't gonna pass through peer-review in any academic journal worth its salt" and "This is even better", better that is, for showing ABR to be an unreliable source, but not better, or even relevant, to applying the guideline.
- Tgeorgescu writes, "for the true believer, the above quotes are sublime truths; for the rest of us they are ridiculous rants" overtly showing that some objection to this particular external link is based on emotion, such that an appeal to the guidelines might have a very hard time getting a fair hearing.
- Zero then offered a clearly false assessment, for regardless of the ABR site representing WP "fringe" and being unreliable, he claimed the ABR staffers are not "knowledgeable" about the field. (That's like claiming the 18% of US MDs who believe that "God created humans exactly as they appear now", or the hundreds of thousands of other MDs who believe God guided our origin, are not knowledgeable about their fields.)
- Tgeorgescu volunteered something that then Zero disagreed with, "Let me tell you something: 'biblical archaeologist' is a label meant to express mockery". I hope this summary list can help you guys see that there's way more emotion and bias coming out from the "anti-link" side than the pro-link (my) side, and that I've been the one arguing for applying WP guidelines against unreasonably biased objections.
- Zero then objected to the link because it "would look more like an advertisement" but that assessment doesn't seem WP guideline-based in the least but is understandable as bias-based.
- Zero's next comment feared a link to a "Christian Apologetics Ministry" with "young-Earth rubbish" would look like WP was "preach[ing]". But a single on-topic external link to an unreliable source (described as "biblical literalist") can't possibly amount to preaching, but that objection does illustrate that through our entire disagreement it's the anti-link side that's demonstrating motivation beyond a desire to apply WP guidelines.
- Tgeorgescu then refers to "our book" (i.e., WP's fringe parlance) and by that he gives the impression (to me anyway) that he'd like to intimidate into not participating in WP those with a different "book", presumably like Muslims, Jews, Christians, by his inserting an extended quote about the voice of God, not science, and talking like a duck and plagues and all, and he then speaks for all of WP pronouncing ABR as an unreliable source, which doesn't disqualify it under the guidline discussed here but qualifies it as an external link here by WP:EL which Doug first linked to.
- Doug suggested a section in the article on "Creationist archaeology" because he's always in favor of "publicly debunking fringe", but surely if that is plausible, than the anti-link folks should be able to set aside emotion and reconsider a single on-topic external link from a relevant WP-judged unreliable source.

- Finally Schazjmd you've come a long way when you state that there is no consensus over the EL but that WP:EL states that a link "of this type" is to be considered, and you add, of course, that WP:EL doesn't say that it MUST be included. Yes, agreed. But what our discussion has demonstrated is that the anti-link side brings a lot of emotion and bias against even a fair consideration of the link as WP-appropriate and article-relevant. So I think it would be good if an anti-link editor could overcome the evident bias throughout the above and reconsider restoring the link, something like this:

Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 15:31, 27 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

An external link to that site is neither WP-appropriate nor article-relevant. Schazjmd (talk) 15:41, 27 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
And I still don't support it. ¬¬¬¬

Schazjmd, first, thanks for answering my Help Desk question for my QM indeterminism edit. As for this unreliable source link, you guys, Doug Weller, Zero, Tgeorgescu, and you Schazjmd, are so conditioned to protect WP from fringe that it appears you've reflexively made yourselves unable to objectively consider an external link WP:EL unreliable source and merely have a knee-jerk reaction against what would be a perfectly appropriate application of Wikipedia guidelines. Many readers undoubtedly and for a wide-range of reasons would not want this article to unreasonably hide from them the existence of such an organization as you all are doing. I have much to learn about WP etiquette, so I'm not sure if it's bad behavior for me to go and reverse that edit and restore the link. Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 13:26, 1 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

BobEnyart, in reverse order: yes, it would be bad behavior for you to add the external link against consensus. Your accusation that those of us who disagree with you have not objectively considered the question is inappropriate. You're welcome for the Help Desk question. Schazjmd (talk) 15:08, 1 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Okay then I'm done. The list of emotional arguments above and the move from such a link being outside of WP policy to it just lacking consensus I think demonstrate the subjectivity. And I do think WP readers of this article are the losers to this result. Thanks though everyone for your time. Bob Enyart, Denver KGOV radio host (talk) 23:07, 1 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Religious Archeology[edit]

Wondering if we should create or is there a page on other religions archeology besides Christian based. Hinduism, Islamic, etc. There probably not alot of info on the subject, but we should have a page on Religious Archeology. Doremon764 (talk) 22:04, 9 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]