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The Bible And Archaeology


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I wasn't sure which subforum to post this in but here goes.


A relative of mine who is a fundy pastor posted this article on FB:




It's about beer and wine in the bible, and vaguely refers to "archaeological findings".  It made me think, how can xian scholars cherry pick which archaeological findings they think are credible while ignoring the fact that archaeologists have never found any evidence to support the stories in the bible such as the flood, the exile etc.


Maybe some of you who have studied these things can tell me more about this.  I admit I only skimmed the article.  The guy is talking as if the bible is a credible historical document.  




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I encountered this sort of apologetics while a Christian. He is basically trying to say "yeah, they drank in biblical times but the alcohol wasn't the same as modern alcohol so you should still refrain from drinking". I would often hear arguments that when Jesus turned water into wine, he actually turned it into what we would classify as grape juice. The author is really making a point that no one but a fundy or evangelical would really care about.

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Oh goodness. Alcoholic beverages have a LONG history.. going back to AT LEAST the neolithic, maybe even the paleolithic. Festivals of drunkenness are found in a few ancient cultures… including Egyptian Hieroglyphs of people puking they get so hammered… this predates the Hebrews.  biggrin.png


Elephants and monkeys will eat fermented fruit JUST to get drunk. Seriously.







"Discovery of late Stone Age jugs suggest that intentionally fermented beverages existed at least as early as the Neolithic period (cir. 10,000 BC).[2]"


"The medicinal use of alcohol was mentioned in Sumerian and Egyptian texts dating from about 2100 BC. The Hebrew Bible recommends giving alcoholic drinks to those who are dying or depressed, so that they can forget their misery (Proverbs 31:6-7)."



Beer was the major beverage among the Babylonians, and as early as 2700 BC they worshiped a wine goddess and other wine deities. Babylonians regularly used both beer and wine as offerings to their gods. Around 1750 BC, the famous Code of Hammurabi devoted attention to alcohol. However, there were no penalties for drunkenness; in fact, it was not even mentioned. The concern was fair commerce in alcohol. Nevertheless, although it was not a crime, it would appear that the Babylonians were critical of drunkenness.[11]"


"Contemporary writers observed that the Greeks were among the most temperate of ancient peoples. This appears to result from their rules stressing moderate drinking, their praise of temperance, and their avoidance of excess in general."



Around this time, beer began to attain a bad reputation by wine drinkers. Although in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, libations of beer were given to the gods, in the Levant and Greece, beer was seen as inferior offerings to wine. Many Greek philosophers wrote disparagingly of beer drinkers, calling beer unmanly and a drink invented to help those who could not afford wine (Homan 2004). It is interesting to note that even today wine is associated with finer tastes while beer is seen as a common man’s drink.



It is true that beer had a higher carbohydrate content than todays beers, and was used as a food source - but remember that they didn't have refrigeration, and beer/mead/wine would have been safer to drink than water a lot of the time - however, it isn't beer or wine without an alcoholic content, is it? How would they store JUICE (or mash) in a Mediterranean climate for more than a day or two? It certainly wouldn't be in huge amphorae… hahahahaha, no. There also wouldn't be any references to alcohol (Hammurabi's Code has quite a few as does the Bible and many Greek writings as well as a few Egyptian letters) if it was just like juice.


If you look up all references to wine and beer in the Bible you will clearly see that they had the same relationship to alcohol that we do.. it's a two-edged sword (lol) It is vilified and alternatively praised… wine is a metaphor for the good things in life yet drunkenness is criticized.. and what about Lot? In the past century there has been tons of arguments about the sacrament and how you can or can not replace the communion wine with juice in many churches. Even in A.A. there was this discussion for the religious (especially Cathoholics).


Silly apologists.

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