Archaeology 101

While I am now home from my archaeological excavation in Israel, I still have a little archaeology on my mind. I have to admit that it is part of who I am and what God has called me to do in my life and ministry. It is also part of my work here at Helping Up Mission – it actually gives me some street cred (credentials!) with the guys.   They have all seen the Indiana Jones movies and are interested in the results of archaeological research, especially as it relates to the Bible. 

Like many of us, they are interested to know if archaeology can prove the Bible. Yet while I am able share with them some of the latest evidence, my message to them is that archaeology really doesn’t prove the Bible. Instead, archaeological evidence demonstrates the historical reliability of the Scriptures. What archaeologists find in the ground so often relates to what we read in the Bible. So, archaeology shows us that we can trust the Bible for the past (history). 

Because many of us do trust the Bible for the past, we are also willing to trust the Bible for the future (eternity). In my first year of college, I bought in to the fact that the Bible was accurate about history, so it made sense to me to trust it for eternal life, as well. I hope you have come to the place in your faith walk to be able to accept the Bible for both, too. Yet, there is more. If we can trust the Bible for the past (history) and for the future (eternity), we should also be able to trust it for the present – one day at a time. 

To be honest, it is one thing to trust the Bible intellectually for history. It is another thing to be willing to trust the Bible for eternity. Yet many of us who do trust it for both, are honestly struggling with trusting it for the present – just for today. We believe the historical truths of Scripture and we believe we are going to go to Heaven when we die, but we just can’t see how this particular thing going on in my life right now is going to work out satisfactorily. Yet, the foundation which archaeology offers us – trusting the Bible for the past (history) – which should be able to lead us to trusting the Bible for the future (eternity) can also empower us to trust it for the present – learning how to life one day at a time.

From my vantage point, archaeology can start someone on a wonderful lifelong, yeah, even eternal journey. Archaeology helps us trust the Bible for the past and that should help us trust it for the future. And if we can trust it for the past (history) and the future (eternity), we should be able to trust it for the present – learning how to live one day at a time. It’s been working pretty well for me over the past 20 years, I invite you to check it out for yourself.   

Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director