If you're not a biblical scholar like me and do not have the time or money to spend years researching into the ancient text of the Bible and the archaeological findings that attempted to corroborate its stories, then there is an excellent documentary called The Bible Unearthed. It's based on the 2001 book from Israel Finkelstein, Professor of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and Neil Silberman, contributing editor or Archaeology Magazine.
Their work made some interesting findings. There is no archaeological evidence supporting some of the most famous tales of the Old Testament, including the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt, the exodus and wandering in Sinai for 40 years, and the military conquest of Canaan. We can confidently say that these tales were written fabrications, perhaps intended to be myth by their writers, perhaps not.
What's great about Finkelstein and Silberman's work is that they're not sensationalist atheists who are motivated by disproving the bible. They're Jewish archaeologists and many of the archaeological expeditions they went on and that they've written on were financed by the state of Israel. And who else would have the biggest motivation to validate the stories of the Bible than the state of Israel? It would allow Israel to "prove" to the world that God did indeed give them the land they currently dwell on. And some theists have pointed out to me that I'm not qualified to criticize the biblical narrative archaeologically because I'm not a scholar in the field. Here's the catch with such an assertion: if I'm not qualified to criticize or disbelieve the Bible because I'm not a scholar, then neither am I qualified to believe the Bible because I'm not a scholar. And so the theist is setting up an extremely high bar one would have to meet in order to believe anything about the bible, and such standard shoots itself in the foot, because the vast majority of believing Christians don't meet that standard.
If you've got three hours to kill, watch their documentary below.
Welcome to Atheism and the City. This blog is about exploring atheism through contemporary urban living. I live in New York City, the secular metropolis, and I have an avid interest in all things religion, science, philosophy, politics, and economics. I am an atheist, a humanist, a philosopher and a thinker, and the purpose of Atheism and the City is to write about my thoughts and experiences on the subjects and topics that I have a passion for. Feel free to respond to any post whether or not you agree.