by Gordon Franz
“Apostolic” Archaeology, a phrase that I have coined, is a sub-discipline of pseudo-archaeology. The practitioners of this discipline are usually adventurers, sometimes treasure hunters, and generally with neither field training in archaeological methodology nor academic credentials in Near East archaeology, but perhaps a superficial knowledge of the Bible. They claim to have discovered objects or places of great Biblical importance and declare it to be whatever they want it to be. They usually try to justify their pronouncements with a Bible verse. Their declarations are made as if they were speaking ex cathedra (i.e., with authority).
These self-declared experts have found from experience that the gullible masses will blindly accept the legitimacy of their claims and buy the goods that they are hawking in spite of scholarly academic testimony to the contrary (contra 1 Thess. 2:9-12). So buyers beware!
When someone dares to challenge or disagree with the conclusions drawn by those who practice apostolic archaeology, inquisitors and henchmen are dispatched to intimidate, malign, or even silence their critics, rather than to provide a reasoned rebuttal to those who disagree with them.
Such adventurers often find their practice to be richly rewarding. But on the day of His choosing, they will have to answer to the Lord for their deeds.
Christians, on the other hand, should inform themselves by being like those in the synagogue of Berea and search the Scriptures (as well as the archaeological data) daily to see whether these things are true (Acts 17:11). There are resources available to refute the claims of those engaged in Apostolic Archaeology. So seek, and ye shall find!
One such resource is a section on my website called “Cracked Pot Archaeology” with articles about popular, contemporary archaeological theories and ideas that, like cracked pots, hold no water! These articles are a review, scholarly analysis and critiques of theories and ideas that have been presented on the Internet or popular books, movies, DVD’s and videos (www.lifeandland.org).