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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI


Vol. 7: Hidden Things of God's Revelation



Part IV



     As a matter of fact . . . it may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries. They form tesserae in the vast mosaic of the Bible's almost incredibly correct historical memory.             Nelson Glueck,*


Table of Contents

Chapter 1.  Of Abraham and His Princess
Chapter 2.  Out of the Promised Land and Into It Again: From Joseph to Moses
Chapter 3.  From Abraham to Abel: Fact or Fiction?
Appendix   Further Examples


Publishing Hixtory:
1963:  Doorway Paper No. 39, published privately by Arthur C. Custance
1977:  Part IV (revised) in Hidden Things of God's Revelation, vol.7 in The Doorway Papers Series, Zondervan Publishing Company.
1997:  Arthur Custance Online Library (HTML)
2001:  2nd Online Edition (design revisions)

*Gleuck, Nelson, Rivers in the Desert, Farrar, Strauss & Cudahy, New York, 1959, p.31

     pg.1 of 4     




     THE ARRANGEMENT of this Paper will no doubt strike the reader as a little odd. We start with Abraham, follow the threads of evidence from archaeology until the children of Israel capture Jericho, and then return to pre-Abrahamic days, to a consideration of events in reverse order leading back to the time of Adam and Eve. It may well be doubted whether there is such a thing as archaeological evidence going back this far, but in the context of this Paper what evidence there is may, I think, quite properly be referred to as archaeological. Now, what exactly is the purpose of presenting the evidence in this strange way?
     The object of this Paper is rather more specific than merely to provide in small compass a review of the discoveries of the past seventy-five years or so which have demonstrated so clearly that the Higher Critics were completely wrong in the postulates upon which they erected their devastating theories. Nor is its purpose merely to entertain or inform by setting forth the remarkable way in which the minutest details of the biblical record have stood up whenever they could be checked against our new knowledge of antiquity. While both these objectives are good and while both have frequently been fulfilled ably by others
(1) in recent years, there remains one question which has not yet been dealt with explicitly in such works. The question cannot yet be answered with completeness, but once it has been stated clearly it becomes apparent that we do have some light, and a

1. For example, Joseph Free, Archaeology and Bible History, Scripture Press Publications Wheaton, Illinois, 1962; Merrill F. Unger, Archaeology and the Old Testament, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1954. Also, George A. Barton, Archaeology and the Bible, American Sunday School Union, Philadelphia, numerous editions since 1916, which is valuable because it contains a large number of translations of ancient texts and tablets, but favours some Higher Critical views.

     pg 2 of 4      

careful search will undoubtedly increase this light. In the meantime, what we do know should be set forth as fully as possible because it is a well-known fact that a little light leads the way to further gains as people observe what it is that should be searched for. What, then, is the question?
     It can be introduced in the following way. When considering the events recorded in the Old Testament, it has generally been assumed that by some kind of evolutionary principle, the ability of historians to set forth the facts as they really are without the introduction of fantasy and myth (and deliberate falsehood) has increased with the passing of time so that one may have more confidence in those portions of the Old Testament which are late in point of time than one can have in the earlier portions. Operating within the framework of this kind of philosophy, the Higher Critics and others attached less and less credence to the Bible as they reviewed its earlier and earlier statements, until they reached the logical conclusion that Adam and Eve were pure myth.
     But what happened when archaeologists began to dig? They actually began to find that more light was thrown by the spade upon the earlier portions of Scripture than upon the later portions. In fact, not long ago we knew more about the customs and habits of people in and about the time of Abraham than we knew about England in the Dark Ages. The progress of civilization led to the development of ways of recording events which were increasingly more convenient and handier, but less permanent. And the absolute monarchies of earliest times which were slowly replaced by more democratic governments made possible the erection of public works far more lasting than those of subsequent generations. The earlier tombs and temples and pyramids of Egypt tell us far more than the later ones, and the same may be said -- generally speaking -- of other parts of the Middle East. The consequence of this has been that most remarkable confirmations of seemingly incidental elements in the life histories of such people as Abraham and Joseph and Moses have in the providence of God been preserved from antiquity while the lives of later notables in the biblical record have received far less illumination.
     Now, if we find that the very first patriarchs emerge with increasing clarity as real live persons whose biographies are now patently simple unadulterated fact, how far back beyond their days are we justified in saying that at this point in history we are beginning to enter the period of non-history? If Abraham was as real as he

     pg.3 of 4     

now appears to be, what about Noah? And if the same must be said of Noah, what about Lamech? Are these pre-diluvian patriarchs creations of someone's imagination -- or real people? Beyond Lamech we discern Enoch, after whom the first city was named. Beyond him we stand in the presence of Cain -- one generation removed from the very beginnings of humanity. Where, in this chain of people and their doings, do we lose contact with sane, sober history? A very large number of quite conservative scholars begin at this point to evade the issue. They admit freely that the reality of Abraham is unquestionable and that the events of his life are now certified beyond reasonable doubt. But when they turn their thoughts back several generations to Adam, he appears to them much less of an individual like ourselves -- as though a hiatus in the record existed, creating an immense gap between the two. But Scripture is unaware of this gap, and not one of those who claim that modern anthropology demands a gap of some sort has ever been willing to specify exactly where it is. (2)
     Although the evidence for those periods antedating Abraham is less substantiated than it is for those periods which follow his appearance, it is nonetheless not without importance. For what it is worth -- and its worth will depend upon the bias of the reader to some extent -- this evidence forms an essential part of this Paper.
     For myself, I am fully persuaded that except for the uniqueness of his original constitution -- a constitution which must have made him vastly superior in many respects to all his descendants -- Adam was no less a person than Abraham. The events recorded of Adam's life and those of his descendants are to be taken as not less completely historical than those of the later patriarchs, for most assuredly the words and phrases and whole tenor of the record differs in no way from that of later portions of Genesis.

2.  This fact is readily acknowledged by Bernard Ramm, for example, in The Christian View of Science and Scripture, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1954, p.327.

     pg.4 of 4       

Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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