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... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. ARCHAEOLOGY; ARCHAEOLOGY AND CRITICISM.
ar-ke-ol'-o-ji, krit'-i-siz'-m: Archaeology, the science ...
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... Theory (8) Signs of Unity (9) The Supposed Props of the Development Hypothesis 4.
The Evidence of Date (1) The Narrative of Genesis (2) Archaeology and Genesis ...
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Inscription (18 Occurrences)
... in English Versions of the Bible in Acts 17:23 of the altar at Athens with the
inscription "To an Unknown God." On inscriptions in archaeology, see ARCHAEOLOGY...
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... literary sources that were drawn upon in the composition of the Pentateuch, and
even of the Pentateuch itself (compare especially Naville, Archaeology of the ...
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Tablets (31 Occurrences)
... literary sources that were drawn upon in the composition of the Pentateuch, and
even of the Pentateuch itself (compare especially Naville, Archaeology of the ...
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... literary sources that were drawn upon in the composition of the Pentateuch, and
even of the Pentateuch itself (compare especially Naville, Archaeology of the ...
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Tell (3056 Occurrences)
... literary sources that were drawn upon in the composition of the Pentateuch, and
even of the Pentateuch itself (compare especially Naville, Archaeology of the ...
/t/tell.htm - 33k

Uncleanness (56 Occurrences)
... similar laws and customs among various nations); Frazer, article "Taboo" in
Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition; Benzinger, Hebrew Archaeology; Nowack, Hebrew ...
/u/uncleanness.htm - 38k

Arch (24 Occurrences)

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... (For facsimile see American Journal of Archaeology, 1908.) In reply to a complaint
of the disciples about the opposition of Satan and their request: "Therefore ...
/a/agrapha.htm - 21k

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) The study of ancient relics of man; The science or study of antiquities, esp. prehistoric antiquities, such as the remains of buildings or monuments of an early epoch, inscriptions, implements, and other relics, written manuscripts, etc.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ar-ke-ol'-o-ji, krit'-i-siz'-m: Archaeology, the science of antiquities, is in this article limited to the Biblical field, a field which has been variously delimited (De Wette, 1814, Gesenius), but which properly includes not only all ancient facts bearing upon the Bible which had been lost and have been recovered, but all literary remains of antiquity bearing upon the Bible and, also, as of the first importance, the Bible itself (Hogarth, Authority and Archaeology, vi).

Scope of Article:

Criticism, the art of scrutiny, is here limited mainly, though not exclusively, to the literary criticism of the Bible, now, following Eichhorn, commonly called the Higher Criticism. Thus "Archaeology and Criticism," the title of this article, is meant to designate the bearing of the archaeology of Bible lands upon the criticism, especially the Higher Criticism, of the Bible. The subject as thus defined calls for the discussion of, I. What archaeology can do in the case-the powers, rights and authority, that is to say, the Function of archaeology in criticism; and II. What archaeology has done in the case, the resulting effects of such archaeological evidence, that is to say, the History of the bearing of archaeology upon the criticism of the Bible.

I. Function.

The function of archaeology in criticism has only recently been given much attention and the opinions thereon have varied greatly.

(a) Ignored by Encyclopaedists:

Biblical encyclopaedists generally, until the most recent, have not given this subject a place at all (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, Encyclopedia Biblica, Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, Kitto, Encyclopedia of Biblical Literature, Hamburger, See Hauck-Herzog, Realencyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche, Eadie, Biblical Encyclopedia). McClintock and Strong's Encyclopedia Biblical and Ecclesiastical Literature has an article on "Biblical Archeology" consisting entirely of bibliography, also an article of a general character under "Sac. Ant." The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge Encyclopedia has an article, The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907, has an article under the title "Biblical Antiquities," and the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1902, has an article of five pages on "Biblical Archeology" But on the function of archaeology in criticism there is almost nothing anywhere.

(b) Variously Estimated by Critics:

Critics have varied much in their estimate of the value of archaeology in criticism, according to their individual predilections and their critical theories, but until very recently archaeology has not generally been given a commanding, or even a prominent, place in criticism. Wellhausen seems to declare for the dominance of archaeology in criticism in the beginning of his History of Israel, though he very much ignores it in the pages that follow (History of Israel, 12). Driver (Authority and Archaeology, 143-50), thinks "testimony of archaeology sometimes determines the question decisively," but is "often strangely misunderstood," and the defeats of criticism at the hands of archaeology are often "purely imaginary" (LOT, 1897, 4). Orr thinks "archaeology bids fair before long to control both criticism and history" (POT, 305-435). Eerdmans, successor to Kuenen at Leyden, definitely and absolutely breaks with the Wellhausen school of criticism, chiefly on the ground that archaeology has discredited their viewpoint and the historical atmosphere with which they have surrounded the Old Testament. Wiener, the most prominent of recent Jewish critics, also believes that a proper apprehension of the nature of ancient institutions, customs, documents and codes, i.e. archaeology, and especially the archaeology of the Bible itself, is clearly decisive in its influence on the issue raised by the Wellhausen school (BS, 1908-10).

(c) Urged by Archaeologists:

Archaeologists generally for a long time have been putting forward the superior claims of their science in the critical controversy (Brugsch, Egypt under the Pharaohs; Naville, Recueil de Travaux, IV, N.S.; Petrie, Hyksos and Israelite Cities, chapters i-iv; Researches in Sinai, 188-223; Spiegelberg, Aufenthalt Israels in Aegypten; Steindorf, Explorations in Bible Lands (Hilprecht), 623-90; Sayce, Higher Criticism and the Monuments; Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition, xi; Jeremias, Das alte Testament im Lichte des alten Orients).

The function of archaeology in criticism, as fully brought to light by recent discussion, is as follows:

1. Historical Setting.

Archaeology furnishes the true historical setting of Scripture. In the criticism of a painting, it is of the utmost importance to hang the picture aright before criticism begins. It is not greatly different in the criticism of literature, and especially Biblical literature. The patriarchs and prophets and psalmists are the "old masters" of spirituality and of religious literature; their productions were brought forth under certain social, political, moral and religious conditions, and within certain surroundings of influences, enemies, opportunities, temptations and spiritual privileges. It is only archaeology that can hang their pictures aright, and it is only when thus hung that true criticism is ready to begin. The critic is only then a critic when he has seen how archaeology has hung the picture (BST, 1906, 366).

2. Guidance to Methods.

Archaeology gives guidance to the methods of criticism. This it does; (a) Presuppositions:

With regard to presuppositions. Presuppositions are inevitable from our mental constitutions, and necessary to the consideration of any subject, since all subjects cannot be considered at once. But our presuppositions are naturally, to a large extent, those induced by our own experience and environment, until we are otherwise instructed. As it is only archaeology that is able to instruct us concerning the exact circumstances of certain portions of the Bible it is evident that, in those portions, without the instruction which archaeology can give, we cannot be assured of correct presuppositions in the critic.

(b) Canons:

Archaeology gives guidance concerning the canons of criticism. It is of the utmost importance that a literature should be judged only by the canons followed by its own literati. The innumerable literary remains of Egypt and Babylonia reveal methods and standards very different from each other, and still more different from those of modern western literature, but exhibiting to a marked degree the literary peculiarities of the Old Testament. In Babylonian literature, much attention is paid to epochal chronology. In Egyptian literature, comparatively little attention is given to chronology, and what chronology there is, is seldom epochal, but either synchronistic or merely historianic. In the Old Testament there is a mixture of all these kinds of chronology. Again, in Babylonian literature, there is carefulness and some degree of accuracy; in Egyptian literature, carelessness, slovenliness and inaccuracy are provokingly frequent. The Scriptures of the Old Testament are, in this respect, in striking contrast to these other literatures, ye t nowhere in ancient oriental literature is there the mathematical rigidity of statement demanded in occidental literature today; on the other hand there is frequently a brevity and abruptness of literary method which, to western minds, appears to be fragmentariness of documents. The attempt to elucidate oriental literature in the Bible and out of it by applying thereto the tests and standards of western literature is not less disastrous than would be the attempt to judge western literature by these oriental peculiarities.

(c) Literary Form:

Archaeology gives guidance concerning literary form. Much of the definiteness and unity of modern literature is due to the arts of printing and book-binding. All archaeological literature of Bible lands, lacking, as it does, the influence of these arts, is, in form, indefinite, or fragmentary, or both. These peculiarities in form and the causes of the same, archaeology makes very plain by abundant illustration. It makes clear, also, that fragmentariness and indefiniteness in oriental literature, in so far as it arises from the literary form and not from partial destruction of documents, in no wise militates against integrity.

(d) Interpretation:

Archaeology gives guidance concerning interpretation. Archaeology admonishes us of the truism, too often overlooked, that a language or literature means only what it is understood to mean by those from whom it comes, so that the etymological, syntactical and speculative methods of interpretation employed in criticism, in order to be reliable, must have the support of the historical method. In the absence of this support, more especially if contemporary history as revealed by archaeology be antagonistic, interpretation, though supported by all the other methods of criticism, is very precarious. The interpretation of a rubric by the etymological and analytical methods may be partly or completely overthrown by a single picture or a brief description of the priest at the altar. For instance, it is very disquieting to compare the remarks of commentators on Bible references to the worship at high places with the facts revealed by the recent discovery of high places and the worship there conducted (Macalister, PEFS, 1903, 23-31; Robinson, BW, January, 1901; January, 1908, 219-25, 317-18; Vincent, Canaan, 144). Archaeology must guide in the interpretation of ancient literature, whether that which has just been dug up, as the recent finds of manuscripts and monuments, or that which has never been lost, as in the Bible itself.

3. Facts to Test Theories.

Archaeology supplies facts wherewith to test theories.

Facts and Correct Criticism Agree:

There can be no real antagonism between the facts of archaeology and a correct literary criticism of trustworthy documents. But who or what is to determine when the criticism is correct? If there is conflict between the facts of archaeology and the conclusions of criticism, which must give way? To ask the question is to answer it. Theory must always give way to facts. "Where the testimony of archaeology is direct, it is of the highest possible value, and, as a rule, determines a question decisively; even where it is indirect, if it is sufficiently circumstantial and precise, it may make a settlement highly probable" (Driver, Authority and Archaeology, 143). This prerogative of archaeological facts in the testing of critical theories must, then, of necessity be given wide and positive recognition.

(a) Theories Need Attestation:

No theory is to be finally accepted and made applicable to faith and life until tested and attested by facts; if it be a theory in the field of Nature, by the facts of Nature; if in the field of experience, by facts of experience; if in the field of history, byfacts of history. The Master brings even revelation to this test when He says, "If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself" (John 7:17). Anything in the Bible may be discredited by theory; as everything in heaven and earth may be-indeed, has been-discredited by theory. One might as safely abandon the beaten track for the most alluring but unconfirmed appearance of an eastern desert, as turn one's life aside to a theory unattested by fact. However perfect the appearance, it may, after all, be only the mirage, and the disappointed pilgrim may never get back to the safe road. Let theory first be confirmed by fact; then it may be received into the life.

(b) Success not Attestation:

Even a theory which meets all the known conditions of the case in hand is not by that fact proved to be true, and therefore to be received into the life. The most alluring danger to which criticism is subject is the contrary assumption that a theory which meets all the known conditions of the case in hand is thereby proved to be true. This is not the case. Such a theory must, in addition, be corroborated by facts independently brought to light, or by mysteries unlocked; and even if mysteries be unlocked, the theory is not necessarily an entirely correct theory-the key that turns the lock must be something like the key that belongs to it, but may after all, be a false key. There must, in any case, whether of mysteries unlocked or of facts otherwise brought to light, be independent, genuine evidence in addition to the adaptability of theory to all the known conditions of the case in hand. And furthermore, a theory must not only be able to meet the test of some additional facts, but the test of all the conditions imposed by any additional facts brought to light, and be able, also, to incorporate these new facts as naturally as those upon which theory was originally constructed.

(1) Theory in Life:

The problem is not to determine one or several of the ways in which an event might have taken place, but the one way in which it did take place. A theory which meets all the conditions of the case in hand may be one of the several ways in which the event might have taken place, but only by independent, genuine, corroborative evidence is any theory to be attested as the way in which the event actually did take place. That this statement of the case is correct in the experiences of life, we have abundant evidence in the proceedings of courts of law. The most careful procedure does not wholly prevent false convictions. The prosecutor presents a theory of the commission of a crime which meets all the conditions of the case as made out by the evidence, convinces twelve jurymen, and secures a conviction. Yet sometimes afterward it is found out that another person committed the crime in an entirely different way. That the dictum under discussion is inapplicable to literature is equally well established. Sir Peter LePage Renouf argued with great acuteness and force that it is possible to assign significations to an unknown script, give meanings to the words thus formed, construct a grammar and translate inscriptions as historical statements and make good sense, though not a single sign, or word, or construction, or thought be correct (Life-work, I, 6, 7). He says of such a method: "It is not difficult to make out the Ten Commandments, the Psalms of David, the Homeric Poems, or the Irish Melodies, on any ancient or modern monument whatever, and in any language you please."

(2) Theory in Literature:

Actual examples in fulfillment of Renouf's warning thesis are not wanting. The grotesque, yet confident, efforts at the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphs before the discovery of the Rosetta Stone are not forgotten. Dr. Budge says (The Mummy, 124): "In more modern times the first writer at any length on hieroglyphics was Athanasius Kircher, the author of some ponderous works in which he pretended to have found the key to the hieroglyphic inscriptions, and to translate them. Though a man of great learning, it must be plainly said that, judged by scholars of today, he would be considered an impostor." Joseph de Guignes (1770) maintained that China was settled by Egyptians, and the Chinese characters only degenerate Egyptian hieroglyphs. Similar failures in the attempt to decipher the Hittite hieroglyphs and translate the Hittite inscriptions must form painful recollections to distinguished scholars yet living, whose efforts, extending in some cases not only to lists of signs but to syllabaries, vocabularies, grammars and translations, are now, in part, and in some cases, in toto, rejected by the whole learned world. However successful present or future efforts of these scholars may prove to be, they have, in part at least, themselves repudiated their former work. The most plausible theory of a literature, though it seem to embrace every detail, may, after all, be found to be, as in one or two of the instances referred to above, wholly false when tested by the principles of philology and the facts of contemporary history.

(3) Theory in History:

The dangers of unconfirmed theory in life and literature are even greater in history, which, in its present-day form, is but life written down, human experiences given over to all the accidents and conventionalities of literature. The warnings here from Egyptian and classical history and literature are not to be disregarded. Menes and other early kings of Egypt were declared by critics to be mere mythological characters; likewise Minos of Crete; and the stories of Troy and her heroes were said to belong to "cloudland." But the spades of Petrie at Abydos (Royal Tombs), of Evans at Knossos (Quarterly Review, October, 1904, 374-95), and of Schliemann at Troy (Ilios: City and Country of the Trojans), have shown the "cloudland" as solid earth, and the ghostly heroes to be substantial men of flesh and blood. If we are to learn anything from experience, certainly no theory of either sacred or profane history is to be accepted as final until tested and attested by facts.

(c) Source of the Needed Facts:

Only archaeology is bringing forth any new facts on the questions raised by criticism. Criticism produces only theories; it combines facts, but produces none. Exegetes and commentators rarely, if ever, now bring to light new facts any more than present-day philosophers give the world new thoughts. A flood of light is, indeed, pouring across the page of the exegete and the commentator in these latter days which makes their work inestimably more helpful for interpretation, but the source of that light is neither criticism nor exegesis, but archaeology. Archaeology it is which sets alongside the Bible history the facts of contemporary life and thus illustrates Biblical literature and literary methods by contemporary literature and the methods of contemporary literati, and which makes the purity, sanctity and divinity of the things of revelation stand out in their own glorious light by setting round about them the shadows of contemporary ritual and morality and superstition.

(d) Scope of Function:

Hence, no critical theory of the Bible is to be finally accepted and made a part of our faith until tested and attested by archaeological facts. Even Wellhausen, however far he departs from this principle in the course of his criticism, seems to lay it down as fundamental in the beginning of his History of Israel, when he says: "From the place where the conflagration was first kindled the fire men keep away; I mean the domain of religious antiquities and dominant religious ideas-that whole region as Vatke in his Biblical Theology has marked it out. But only here, where the conflict was kindled, can it be brought to a definite conclusion" (History of Israel, 12). G. A. Smith quotes also with approval these words from Napoleon (Campagnes d'Egypte et de Syrie dictees par Napoleon lui-meme, II): "When camping upon the ruins of the ancient cities, someone read the Bible aloud every evening in the tent of the General-in-Chief. The verisimilitude and the truthfulness of the descriptions were striking. Th ey are still suited to the land after all the ages and the vicissitudes." But Dr. Smith adds, "This is not more than true, yet it does not carry us very far.. All that geography can do is to show whether or not the situations are possible at the time to which they are assigned; even this is a task often beyond our resources" (HGHL, 108). Thus critics, while here and there acknowledging the proper function of archaeology in criticism, have not heretofore allowed it much scope in the exercise of that function.

II. History.

Limitations of Discussion:

The history of archaeology in criticism to be set forth here has mainly to do with the testing of critical theories by archaeological facts. The contributions of archaeology to the furnishing of the historical setting of the Biblical narratives make up a large part of this and every dictionary of the Bible. The history of the guidance of critical methods by archaeological information is in the making. There can hardly as yet be said to be any to record.

A Wide Field:

The field opened up for the testing of critical theories by the results of archaeological research is so varied and so extended that only an outline can be given here. Extravagant claims concerning the outcome of this testing have been made both by some critics and by some of their opponents; as when Dr. Driver says, after except the points upon which the evidence of archaeology is neutral, "On all other points the facts of archaeology, so far as they are at present known, harmonize entirely with the position generally adopted by the critics" (Authority and Archaeology, 145); or as when the astronomer, C. Piazzi Smyth, thought that the great pyramid proved the "wisdom of the Egyptians" to have included some of the abstruse problems of higher mathematics; and Dr. Seiss, in his Miracle in Stone, was confident that the same colossal monument of Egypt definitely portrayed some of the extreme positions of the premillennial theology.

Some of the instances of the testing of critical theories concerning the Scriptures by the facts of archaeology, for which unquestionable historical proofs can be offered, are here presented.

1. Theories Not Affecting Historicity or Integrity.

Many critical theories, notably those not affecting the historicity or the integrity of the Scriptures, i.e. accordant with the face value of Scripture, have been corroborated and others discredited.

(a) Theories corroborated:

(1) Geography and Topography:

The theory of the geographical and topographical trustworthiness of Scripture, i.e. that the peoples, places and events of Scripture are to be found just where the Bible places them. Attempts to belittle the importance of this geographical and topographical corroboration of the trustworthiness of the Scriptures have been made (Driver, Authority and Archaeology, 148; also LOT, xi; Smith, HGHL, 108), but such attempts are not satisfying. The theory of the correctness of the Biblical statements has been of well-nigh universal acceptance; archaeologists have fitted out expensive expeditions in accordance with it, exegesis has allowed it to enter into its conclusions, discussion has proceeded upon the assumption of its correctness, the whole body of identifications which make up Biblical geography and topography attest it, and the whole list of sacred geographies, uniform in every essential particular, are in evidence in support of this theory, even the works of those writers who have spoken disparagingly of it.

(2) Story of the Nations:

The theory of the ethnographical correctness of Scripture. That the relation between peoples as indicated in Scripture is correct, has been a working theory for all general purposes and only departed from for special ends. Kautzsch says (Die bleibende Bedeutung des Alttestaments, 17): "The so-called Table of Nations remains, according to all the results of monumental exploration, an ethnographic original document of the first rank, which nothing can replace." The progress of archaeological research has confirmed this general working theory and every year adds new confirmation with regard to particular items which, for some special end, have been represented as against theory. That the general theory of the correctness of the tribal relationships in Scripture has been, and is being, sustained, is indisputable (Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition; Gunkel, Israel und Babylonien, chapter vi; Sayce, Patriarchal Palestine, chapter ii; Winckler, OLZ, December 15, 1906; Budge, History of Egypt, I; Orr, POT, 400-401, 529-30). See TABLE OF NATIONS.

(3) Accuracy of Scripture:

The theory of the accuracy of Scripture in both the originals and the copies. Every theory of inspiration postulates this in greater or less degree, and the most prevalent analytical theory put forth by criticism, with its lists of words indicating, as it is asserted, authorship, demands, for its very life, a degree of accuracy and invariableness in the use of words in both the writing of originals and the transmission of them by copyists greater than that demanded by any the most exacting theory of inspiration. Wherever it has been possible to test the statements of Scripture in its multitudinous historical notices and references, archaeology has found it correct to a remarkable degree, and that in its present form and even in minute peculiarities of statement (Brugsch, Broderick edition, Egypt under the Pharaohs, chapters v-vi; Sayce, Patriarchal Palestine; Naville, Recueil de Travaux, IV, N.S.; Petrie, Tahpanhes; Tompkins, The Age of Abraham; Clay, Light on the Old Testament from Babel).

(4) Bible Imagery:

The theory of the correctness of the imagery of the Bible. This is another of the fundamental and universal working theories of criticism which is, however, sometimes forgotten. Whatever theory of the authorship and the origin of the various books of the Bible, there is always, with only a few special exceptions, the underlying assumption on the part of the critics of the correctness of the imagery reflecting the topography, the flora and the fauna, the seasons and the customs. Indeed, upon the trustworthiness of the imagery, as upon the exactness in the use of words, criticism depends. And this underlying assumption of criticism of every hue has been confirmed indisputably in its general features, and is being corroborated year by year in its minutest details, and even in those very special instances where it has been disputed. To this end testify the whole company of oriental residents, intelligent travelers and scientific investigators (Thomson; Van Lennap; Robinson; Stanley; Palmer, Desert of the Exodus; Trumbull, Kadesh Barnea; Clermont-Ganneau, Archaeological Researches; Van Dyke, Out of Doors in the Holy Land).

Besides these theories of a general character, some concerning particulars may be noticed:

(5) Garden of Eden:

The theory of the location of the Garden of Eden somewhere in the Euphrates Valley. This theory has been all but universally held and, while it is not yet definitely of substantiated, is receiving cumulative corroboration along ethnological lines. Wherever it is possible to trace back the lines of emigration of the early nations mentioned in the Bible, it is always found that the ultimate direction is toward a certain comparatively small area in western Asia.

(6) The Flood:

The geological theory concerning the flood of Noah as the last great change in land levels is being most exactly confirmed, not only by investigations into glacial history, but by examination of the records of the cataclysm left upon the mountains and valleys of central and western Asia (Wright, The Ice Age in North America; and Scientific Confirmations of Old Testament History, chapters vii-xi). See DELUGE OF NOAH.

(7) Sodom and Gomorrah:

The geological theory of the destruction of the Cities of the Plain has been exactly confirmed by the examination of the strata; a bituminous region, a great stratum of rock-salt capped by sulphur-bearing marls and conglomerates cemented by bitumen, an explosion of pent-up gases, which collect in such geological formations, blowing the burning brimstone high in the air, and the waters of the Jordan coming down to dissolve the salt of the ruptured rock-salt stratum-all this provides for exactly what the Bible describes and for the conditions found there today; the pillar of smoke rising up to heaven, the rain of fire and brimstone falling back from the blowing-off crater, the catching of Lot's wife in the edge of the cataclysm and her encrustation with salt (Wright, Scientific Confirmations of Old Testament History, 144; Blankenkorn, ZDPV, XIX, 1).

(8) Hyksos and Patriarchs:

It has long been thought that there might be some relationship between the mysterious Hyksos kings of Egypt and the Patriarchs to account for the favorable reception, even royal distinction, given the latter. This theory of relationship has been very fully established by the discoveries of Petrie at Tell el-Yehudiyeh (Petrie, Hyksos and Israelite Cities, 1-16). He has not shown to what race the Hyksos belonged, but he has shown their tribal character, that they were, as their name indicates, "Bedouin princes," leaders of the nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes of Upper and Lower Ruthen, i.e. Syria and Palestine, and northern and western Arabia, as were the Patriarchs, so that the latter were shown by the former the consideration of one "Bedouin prince" for another.

(b) Theories Discredited:

(1) Uncivilized Canaan:

The interesting picture which was wont to be drawn of Abraham leaving all his friends and civilization behind him to become a pioneer in a barbarous land has become dim and dimmer and at last faded out completely in the ever-increasing light of contemporary history revealed by Babylonian and Palestinian discoveries (Vincent, Canaan, chapters i-ii).

(2) Concerning Melchizedek:

Concerning Melchizedek, "without father and without mother" (Hebrews 7:3), Tell el-Amarna Letters, while not wholly affording the needed information, have put to flight a host of imaginings of old commentators, and pointed toward Melchizedek's place in a line of kings at Jerusalem of unique title disclaiming any hereditary rights in the crown. "It was not my father and it was not my mother who established me in this position, but it was the mighty arm of the king himself who made me master of the lands and possessions of my father." This title, over the correct translation of which there has been much controversy, occurs not once only, but seems to have been required at every formal mention of the sovereignty of the king (Budge, History of Egypt, IV, 231-35).

(3) Oriental Chronology:

The theory of the chronology of the early portions of the Old Testament, which made it to be so exactly on the principle of the system of chronology in vogue in our western world today, which, indeed, assumed that there could be no other system of chronology, and which was universally held as a working hypothesis by all classes of critics and commentators until very recently, has been greatly modified, if not utterly discredited, by both archaeological and ethnological research. Whatever may have been the system and method of chronology in use in early Biblical history, it certainly was not the same as our epochal chronology based upon exact astronomical time. The early chronologies of the Orient were usually historianic, oftentimes synchronistic, but very seldom epochal. The first, and usually the only, intent of present-day chronology is to chronicle the flight of time; the ancient systems of the East often introduced a moral element; events, rather than time, were chronicled, and the time in which nothing took place and the man who accomplished nothing were apt to be passed over in silence. Sometimes chronicles were arranged symmetrically, and again the visional conception of time found in all prophecy seems sometimes to have prevailed in the writing of history. Certain it is that ancient oriental thought regarded man's relation to life as of far greater importance than his relation to time-a more deeply moral conception of chronology than our own (Green, BS, April, 1890, 285-303).

2. Theories Affecting the Integrity or Historicity of Scripture.

Many critical theories attacking the integrity or historicity of Scripture, i.e. reconstructive theories, have been utterly discredited by archaeological evidence, and, in some cases, abandoned by those who held them (compare Driver, Genesis, addenda, 7th edition, xx).

(a) Ignorance of Patriarchal Age:

The ignorance of the patriarchal age was once a frontier fortress which threatened away all literary pretensions beyond that limit.

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a'-shi-a mi'-ner, ar'-ke-ol'-o-ji ov: At the present stage of our information it is difficult to write with acceptance on the archaeology of Asia Minor. Views unquestioned only a few years ago are already passing out of date, while the modern archaeologist, enthusiastically excavating old sites, laboriously deciphering worn inscriptions, and patiently collating documentary evidence, has by no means completed his task. But it is now clear that an archaeological field, worthy to be compared with those in the valleys of the Euphrates and the Nile, invites development in Asia Minor.

1. Earliest Influences from Mesopotamia:

In the Contemporary Review for August, 1907, Professor Sayce reminded his readers that the Greek geographers called Cappadox the son of Ninyas, thereby tracing the origin of Cappadocian culture to Nineveh, and similarly they derived the Merm had Dynasty of Lydia from Ninos the son of Belos, or from Babylonia through Assyria. Actual history is probably at the back of these legends, and the Table of Nations supports this (Genesis 10:22), when it calls Lud, or Lydia, a son of Shem and brother of Asshur. This is not to assert, however, that any great number of Semitic people ever made Asia Minor their home. But Professor Winckler and others have shown us that the language, script, ideas and institutions characteristic of the Babylonian civilization were widespread among the nations of western Asia, and from very early times Asia Minor came within their sphere of influence. Strabo records the tradition that Zile, as well as Tyana, was founded upon "the mound of Semiramis," thus connecting these ancient sites with the Mesopotamian culture.

Dr. David Robinson in his Ancient Sinope (145), argues that "the early foundations of Sinope are probably Assyrian," though established history cannot describe in detail what lay back of the Milesian settlement of this the northern point and the best harbor of the peninsula. Neither could Strabo go back of the Milesian colonists for the foundation of Samsoun, the ancient Amisus, an important commercial city east of Sinope, but the accompanying illustration (Fig. 1) seems clearly to show the influence of Assyria. The original is a terra cotta figure of gray clay found recently in Old Samsoun. Mesopotamian religious and cultural influences thus appear to have tinged Asia Minor, at least at certain points, as far as the coast of the Black Sea, and indeed the great peninsula has been what its shape suggests, a friendly hand stretching out from the continent of Asia toward the continent of Europe.

2. Third Millennium B.C.:

Professor Sayce's article referred to above was based upon the evidence furnished by cuneiform tablets from Kara Eyuk, the "Black Mound," an ancient site just within the ox-bows of the Halys River near Caesarea Mazaca. These tablets, as deciphered by himself and Professor Pinches, were of the period of Abraham, or of Hammurabi, about 2250 B.C., and were written in a dialect of Assyrian. The settlers were soldier colonists from the Assyrian section of the Babylonian empire, engaged in mining and in trade. Silver, copper and perhaps iron were the metals sought. "Time was reckoned as in Assyria by means of officials called limmi, who gave their name to the year." The colonists had a temple with its priests, where financial transactions were carried on under the sanctity of religion. There were roads, mail carriers whose pouches were filled with cuneiform bricks, and commercial travelers who made a speciality of fine clothing. This makes quite natural the finding of a goodly Babylonian mantle by Achan at the pillage of Ai (Joshua 7:21). Slavery is a recognized institution; a boy is sent to a barber for circumcision; a house, wife and children are pledged as security for a debt. An oath is taken "on the top of a staff," an interesting fact that sheds its light on the verses describing the oath and blessing of dying Jacob (Genesis 47:31 Hebrews 11:21). Early Asia Minor is thus lighted up at various points by the culture of Mesopotamia, and transmits some of the scattered rays to the Greek world.

3. Second Millennium B.C.:

The earliest native inhabitants to be distinguished in Asia Minor are the Hittites (see HITTITES). Ever since 1872, when Dr. Wright suggested that the strange hieroglyphics on four black basalt stones which he had discovered at Hamath were perhaps the work of Hittite art, there has been an ever-growing volume of material for scholars to work upon. There are sculptures of the same general style, representing figures of men, women, gods, lions and other animals, eagles with double heads, sphinxes, musical instruments, winged discs and other symbols, all of which can be understood only in part. These are accompanied by hieroglyphic writing, undeciphered as yet, and the inscriptions read "boustrophedon," that is from right to left and back again, as the oxen go in plowing an oriental field. There have also been discovered great castles with connecting walls and ramparts, gates, tunnels, moats, palaces, temples and other sanctuaries and buildings. More than this, occasional fragments of cuneiform tablets picked up on the surface of the ground led to the belief that written documents of value might be found buried in the soil. Malatia, Marash, Sinjirli, Sakje Geuzi, Gurun, Boghaz-keuy, Eyuk, Karabel, not to mention perhaps a hundred other sites, have offered important Hittite remains. Carchemish and Kedesh on the Orontes were capital cities in northern Syria. The Hittites of the Holy Land, whether in the days of Abraham or in those of David and Solomon, were an offshoot from the main stem of the nation. Asia Minor was the true home of the Hittites.

Boghaz-keuy has become within the last decade the best known Hittite site in Asia Minor, and may be described as typical. It lies in northern Cappadocia, fifty muleteer hours South of Sinope. Yasilikaya, the "written" or "sculptured" rocks, is a suburb, and Eyuk with its sphinx-guarded temple is but 15 miles to the North. It was the good fortune of Professor Hugo Winckler of the University of Berlin to secure the funds, obtain permission from the Turkish government, and, in the summer of 1906 to unearth over 3,000 more or less fragmentary tablets written in the cuneiform character and the Hittite language. This is the first considerable store of the yet undeciphered Hittite literature for scholars to work upon. These tablets are of clay, written on both sides, and baked hard and red. Often the writing is in ruled columns. The cuneiform character, like the Latin alphabet in modern times, was used far from its original home, and that for thousands of years. The language of a few Boghaz-keuy tablets is Babylonian, notably a copy of the treaty between Rameses II of Egypt and Khita-sar, king of the Hittites in central Asia Minor. The scribes adopted not only the Babylonian characters but certain ideographs, and it is these ideographs which have furnished the key to provisional vocabularies of several hundred words which have been published by Professors Pinches and Sayce. When Professor Winckler and his German collaborators publish the tablets they have deposited in the Constantinople museum, we may listen to the voice of some Hittite Homer speaking from amid the dusty bricks written in the period of Moses. Beside Boghaz-keuy the beetling towers of lofty Troy sink to the proportions of a fortified hamlet.

Hittite sculptures show a very marked type of men, with squat figures, slant eyes, prominent noses and Mongoloid features. We suppose they were of Turanian or Mongolian blood; certainly not Semitic and probably not Aryan. As they occupied various important inland centers in Asia Minor before, during and after the whole of the second millennium B.C., it is probable that they occupied much or most of the intervening territory (see Records of the Past for December, 1908). A great capital like Boghaz-keuy, with its heavy fortifications, would require extensive provinces to support it, and would extend its sway so as to leave no enemy within striking distance. The "Amazons" are now generally regarded as the armed Hittite priestesses of a goddess whose cult spread throughout Asia Minor. The "Amazon Mountains," still known locally by the old name, run parallel with the coast of the Black Sea near the Iris River, and tradition current there now holds that the women are stronger than the men, work harder, live longer and are better at a quarrel! A comparative study of the decorated pottery, so abundant on the old sites of the country, makes it more than possible that the artificial mounds, which are so common a feature of the Anatolian landscape, and the many rockhewn tombs, of which the most famous are probably those at Amasia, were the work of Hittite hands.

The Hittite sculptures are strikingly suggestive of religious rather than political or military themes. The people were pagans with many gods and goddesses, of whom one, or one couple, received recognition as at the head of the pantheon. Such titles as Sutekh of Carchemish, Sutekh of Kadesh, Sutekh of the land of the Hittites, show that the chief god was localized in various places, perhaps with varying attributes. A companion goddess was named Antarata. She was the great Mother Goddess of Asia Minor, who came to outrank her male counterpart. She is represented in the sculptures with a youthful male figure, as a consort, probably illustrating the legend of Tammuz for whom the erring Hebrew women wept (Ezekiel 8:14). He was called Attys in later days. He stands for life after death, spring after winter, one generation after another. The chief god worshipped at Boghaz-keuy was Teshub. Another was named Khiba, and the same name appears in the Tell el-Amarna correspondence from Jerusalem. This affords a remarkable illustration of the prophet's address to Jerusalem, "Your mother was a Hittite" (Ezekiel 16:45).

The worship of the Hittites of the era of the Exodus is still seen pictured on the rocks at Yasilikaya. This spot was the sanctuary of the metropolis. There are two hypaethral rock galleries, the larger of which has a double procession of about 80 figures carved on the natural rock walls, which have been smoothed for the purpose, and meeting at the inmost recess of the gallery. The figures nearest the entrance are about half life-size. As the processions advance the height of the figures increases, until the two persons at the head, the chief priest and priestess or the king and queen, are quite above life-size. These persons advance curious symbols toward each other, each is followed by a retinue of his or her own sex, and each is supported-the priest-king upon the heads of two subjects or captives, and the priestess-queen upon a leopard. The latter figure is followed by her consort son.

The ruins at Eyuk are compact, and consist of a small temple, its sphinx-guarded door, and a double procession of approaching worshippers to the number of about 40. The main room of the sanctuary is only 7 yds. by 8 in measurement. This may be compared with the Holy Place in the tabernacle of the Israelites, which was approximately contemporary. Neither could contain a worshipping congregation, but only the ministering priests. The solemn sphinxes at the door suggest the cherubim that adorned the Israelite temple, and winged eagles with double heads decorate the inner walls of the doorway. Amid the sculptured processions moving on the basalt rocks toward the sanctuary is an altar before which stands a bull on a pedestal, and behind which is a priest who wears a large earring. Close behind the priest a flock of three sheep and a goat approach the sacrificial altar. Compare the description in Exodus 32. The Israelites said to Aaron, "Up, make us gods"; he required their golden earrings, made a calf, "and built an altar before it"; they offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings; they sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Israelite worship was in certain forms similar to the worship of the Hittites, but its spiritual content was wholly different. For musical instruments the Eyuk procession exhibits a lituus, a (silver?) trumpet and a shapely guitar. The animal kingdom is represented by another bull with a chest or ark on its back, a well-executed lion and two hares held in the two talons of an eagle. A spring close by furnished all the water required by the worshippers and for ritual purposes.

Professor Garstang in The Land of the Hittites shows that the power which had been waning after about 1200 B.C. enjoyed a period of recrudescence in the 10th and 9th centuries. He ascribes to this period the monuments of Sakje Geuzi, which the professor himself excavated, together with other Hittite remains in Asia Minor. The Vannic power known as Urartu, akin to the Hittites but separate, arose in the Northeast; the Phrygians began to dominate in the West; the Assyrians pressed upon the Southeast. The overthrow of the Hittites was completed by the bursting in of the desolating Cimmerian hordes, and after 717, when Carchemish was taken by the Assyrians, the Hittites fade from the archaeological records of their home land. SeeASIA MINOR, II, 1.

4. First Millennium B.C.:

Before the Hittites disappeared from the interior of Asia Minor, sundry Aryan peoples, more or less closely related to the Greeks, were established at various points around the coast. Schliemann, of Trojan fame, was the pioneer archaeologist in this field, and his boundless enthusiasm, optimism and resourcefulness recovered the treasures of Priam's city, and made real again the story of days when the world was young. Among the most valuable collections in the wonderful Constantinople Museum is that from Troy, which contains bronze axes and lance heads, implements in copper, talents of silver, diadems, earrings and bracelets of gold, bone bodkins and needles, spindle whorls done in baked clay, numbers of idols or votive offerings, and other objects found in the Troad, at the modern Hissarlik. Phrygian, Thracian and subsequently Galatian immigrants from the Northwest had been filtering across the Hellespont, and wedging themselves in among the earlier inhabitants. There were some points in common between the Cretan or Aegean civilization and that of Asia Minor, but Professor Hogarth in his Ionia and the East urges that these resemblances were few. It was otherwise with the Greeks proper. Herodotus gave the names of twelve Aeolian, twelve Ionian and six Dorian cities on the west coast, founded by colonists who came across the Aegean Sea, and who leavened, led and intermarried with the native population they found settled there. One of these Asiatic Greek colonies, Miletus, was sufficiently populous and vigorous to send out from 60 to 80 colonies of its own, the successive swarms of adventurers moving North and East, up the coast of the Aegean, through the Bosphorus and along the south shore of the Black Sea. In due season Xenophon and the Ten Thousand, and then Alexander with his Macedonians, scattered yet more widely the seeds of Hellenic culture upon a soil already prepared for its reception. The inscriptions, sculptures, temples, tombs, palaces, castles, theaters, jewelry, figurines in bronze or terra cotta, coins of silver or copper and other objects remaining from this period exhibit a style of art, culture and religion which may best be named Anatolian, but which are akin to those of Greece proper. The excavations at Ephesus, Pergamus, Sardis and other important sites show the same grafting of Greek scions upon the local stock.

One marked feature survived as a legacy from Hittite days in the worship of a great Mother Goddess. Whether known as Ma, or Cybele, or Anaitis, or Diana, or designated by some other title, it was the female not the male that headed the pantheon of gods. With the Greek culture came also the city-state organization of government. The ruder and earlier native communities were organized on the village plan. Usually each village had its shrine, in charge of priests or perhaps more often priestesses; the land belonged to the god, or goddess; it paid tithes to the shrine; sacrifices and gifts were offered at the sacred center; this was often on a high hill, under a sacred tree, and beside a holy fountain; there was little of education, law or government except as guiding oracles were proclaimed from the temple.

In the early part of this millennium the Phrygians became a power of commanding importance in the western part of the peninsula, and Professor Hogarth says of the region of the Midas Tomb, "There is no region of ancient monument's which would be better worth examination" by excavators. Then came Lydia, whose capital, Sardis, is now in process of excavation by Professor Butler and his American associates. Sardis was taken and Croesus dethroned by the Persians about 546 B.C., and for two centuries, until Alexander, Persian authority overshadowed Asia Minor, but permanent influences were scanty.

5. The Romans in Asia Minor:

By about the year 200 B.C. the Romans began to become entangled in the politics of the four principal kingdoms that then occupied Asia Minor, namely Bithynia, Pergamus, Pontus and Cappadocia. By slow degrees their influence and their arms advanced under such leaders civil and military as Sulla, Lucullus, Pompey, Cicero and Julius Caesar, while Attalus of Pergamus and Prusias of Bithynia bequeathed their uneasy domains to the steady power arising from the West. In 133 B.C. the Romans proceeded to organize the province of Asia, taking the name from a Lydian district included in the province. Step by step the Roman frontiers were pushed farther to the East. Mithridates VI, king of Pontus, was called "the most formidable enemy the republic ever had to contend with," but he went down before the conquering arms of Rome. SeePONTUS. Caesar chastised the unfortunate Pharnaces at Zile in central Asia Minor, and coolly announced his success in the memorable message of three words, "veni, vidi, vici." Ultimately all of this fair peninsula passed under the iron sway, and the Roman rule lasted more than 500 years, until in 395 A.D. Theodosius divided the empire between his sons, giving the East to Arcadius and the West to Honorius, and the Roman Empire was cleft in twain. True to their customs elsewhere the Romans built roads well paved with stone between the chief cities of their eastern provinces. The archaeologist or common traveler often comes upon sections of these roads, sometimes in the thickest forests, as sound and as rough as when Roman chariots rumbled over them. Milestones were erected to mark the distances, usually inscribed in both Latin and Greek, and the decipherment of these milestone records contributes to the recovery of the lost history. Bridges over the important streams have been rebuilt and repaired by successive generations of men, but in certain cases the Roman character of the original stands clearly forth. The Romans were a building people, and government houses, aqueducts, baths, theaters, temples and other structures confront the archaeologist or await the labor of the spade. Epigraphical studies such as those of Professor Sterrett indicate what a wealth of inscriptions is yet to be recovered, in Latin as well as in Greek.

It was during the Roman period that Christianity made its advent in the peninsula. Christian disciples as well as Roman legions and governors used the roads, bridges and public buildings. Old church buildings and other religious foundations have their stories to tell. It is very interesting to read on Greek tombstones of the 1st or 2nd century A.D. such inscriptions as, "Here lies the servant of God, Daniel," "Here lies the handmaid of God, Maria." Our great authority for this period is Sir William M. Ramsay, whose Historical Geography of Asia Minor and other works must be read by anyone who would familiarize himself with this rich field.

6. The Byzantine Period:

By almost imperceptible degrees the Roman era was merged into the Byzantine. We are passing so rapidly now from the sphere of archaeology to that of history proper that we must be brief. For a thousand years after the fall of Rome the Eastern Empire lived on, a Greek body pervaded with lingering Roman influences and with Constantinople as the pulsating heart. The character of the times was nothing if not religious, yet the prevailing Christianity was a syncretistic compound including much from the nature worship of earlier Anatolia. The first great councils of the Christian church convened upon the soil of Asia Minor, the fourth being held at Ephesus in 431, and at this council the phrase "Mother of God" was adopted. We have seen that for fifty generations or more the people of Asia Minor had worshipped a great mother goddess, often with her consort son. It was at Ephesus, the center of the worship of Diana, that ecclesiastics, many of whom had but a slight training in Christianity, adopted this article into their statement of religious faith.

7. The Seljukian Turks:

Again the government of the country, the dominant race, the religion, language and culture, all are changed-this time with the invasions of the Seljukian Turks. This tribe was the precursor of the Ottoman Turks and later became absorbed among them. These Seljukians entered Asia Minor, coming up out of the recesses of central Asia, about the time that the Normans were settling along the coasts of western Europe. Their place in history is measurably clear, but they deserve mention in archaeology by reason of their remarkable architecture. Theirs was a branch of the Saracenic or Moorish architecture, and many examples remain in Asia Minor Mosques, schools, government buildings, khans, fortifications, fountains and other structures remain in great numbers and in a state of more or less satisfactory preservation, and they are buildings remarkably massive, yet ornate in delicacy and variety of tracery. The Ottoman Turks, cousins of the Seljukians, came up out of the central Asian hive later, and took Constantinople by a memorable siege in 1453. With this event the archaeology of Asia Minor may be said to close, and history to cover the field instead.

George E. White






Early Christian Literature and Art
... In Walter Lowrie's Christian Art and Archaeology (Lond. and New York, 1901, p.363)
is a woodcut of a fragment of gold glass, with Daniel slaying the Dragon. ...
/.../the three additions to daniel a study/early christian literature and art 3.htm

... the head of Zeus. This is one of the chief lessons that have been taught
us by Oriental archaeology. Culture and civilisation are ...
/.../sayce/early israel and the surrounding nations/introduction.htm

Pagan Cemeteries.
... For the student of Roman archaeology these facts have not merely a speculative interest;
a knowledge of them is necessary for the chronological classification ...
/.../lanciani/pagan and christian rome/chapter vi pagan cemeteries.htm

The Christian Church in These Islands before the Coming of ...
/.../title page.htm

Editor's Preface
... His name is well known in England and America as that of one of the chief masters
of Egyptian science as well as of ancient Oriental history and archaeology. ...
/.../history of egypt chaldaea syria babylonia and assyria v 1/editors preface.htm

Principal Authorities Referred To
... Plummer, Bede. Venerabilis Baedae Opera Historica, ed. C. Plummer, 1896. RIA
Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Archaeology, Linguistic and Literature. ...
/.../principal authorities referred to.htm

... Less attention has been given to questions of geography and archaeology than
to those which have a more vital biographical significance. ...
// life of jesus of nazareth/preface.htm

The Christian View of the Old Testament
... Animism, 165 f., 169 f. Appeal to the soul, 30 ff. Archaeological material, 123
f. Archaeology, 110 ff. Ashurbanipal, 140. Assumption versus knowledge, 217 ff. ...
/.../eiselen/the christian view of the old testament/index 2.htm

The Last Supper
... On the other hand, a strong argument, though one that has not commended itself to
other specialists in Jewish archaeology, has been put forth by Dr. Edersheim ...
/.../rhees/the life of jesus of nazareth/vii the last supper.htm

Chapter xlvi
... especially do we concede the high cultural level of Canaanite civilization of
patriarchal days, as it is established by the researches of archaeology). ...
/...// of genesis volume 1/chapter xlvi.htm



Archaeology and Criticism

Archaeology of Asia Minor

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Inscription (18 Occurrences)


Tablets (31 Occurrences)


Tell (3056 Occurrences)

Uncleanness (56 Occurrences)

Arch (24 Occurrences)


Cyprus (12 Occurrences)


Olive (61 Occurrences)


Writing (194 Occurrences)

Tahpanhes (7 Occurrences)

Tree (245 Occurrences)

Earring (7 Occurrences)

Pontus (3 Occurrences)

Palace (194 Occurrences)

Brook (75 Occurrences)

Criticism (1 Occurrence)


Chilmad (1 Occurrence)

Archangel (2 Occurrences)

Lend (21 Occurrences)

Shaphan (26 Occurrences)

Cyrene (7 Occurrences)

Minor (2 Occurrences)

Shishak (6 Occurrences)

Asia (22 Occurrences)

Sanctuary (250 Occurrences)

Loan (9 Occurrences)


Fortified (79 Occurrences)

Court (172 Occurrences)

Fort (8 Occurrences)

Fortress (75 Occurrences)

Fortification (5 Occurrences)

Year (4027 Occurrences)

Canaan (102 Occurrences)

Genealogy (29 Occurrences)

Hophra (1 Occurrence)

Jubilee (25 Occurrences)


Canaanites (63 Occurrences)

Joseph (248 Occurrences)

Chedorlaomer (5 Occurrences)

Egypt (596 Occurrences)

Crete (7 Occurrences)

Eden (19 Occurrences)

Cain (18 Occurrences)

Altar (343 Occurrences)

Dress (38 Occurrences)

Chariot (102 Occurrences)

Palestine (1 Occurrence)

Ahab (85 Occurrences)

Cities (427 Occurrences)


Alphabet (2 Occurrences)

Abraham (2539 Occurrences)

Book (211 Occurrences)

Lot (145 Occurrences)

Temple (614 Occurrences)

Pharaoh (245 Occurrences)

Images (158 Occurrences)

Tabernacle (333 Occurrences)

Old (3966 Occurrences)

Text (5 Occurrences)

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