Friday, October 16, 2009

Mt. Sinai Yahweh Inscription - Debunked

If you don't read Todd Bolen's fine blog (Bible Places), then you're really missing out on some great, informed commentary on biblical archaeology.

Anyways, his blog post for today points out Gordon Franz's blog entry entitled “Yahweh Inscription Discovered at Mount Sinai.” This is a careful analysis of claims by Robert Cornuke (who is kind of rogue archaeologist) concerning an inscribed stone allegedly found near Mt. Sinai. (Drawing from Franz's blog.)

Apparently, Cornuke is making the rounds at prominent Christian events, such as Promise Keepers, making these claims. The segment about the inscription begins at around 5:17. (Frankly, he makes several other questionable claims in this clip as well, but I won't go into that here.)

I am bringing this up because I think it's another great example of "crackpot" apologetics. Christians always need to be sure that we are using sound arguments, not just arguments that sound good. I like how Todd puts it:
[T]here will always be a market for the sorts of things that Cornuke and others like him are selling. Why? Some people (rightly) believe the Bible is a trustworthy historical source. Some people (rightly) believe that scholarship and media are biased against their views. Some people (wrongly) conclude that anything that scholarship and the media dismiss is trustworthy. This leaves a wide open door for charlatans, hucksters, as well as well-meaning but ignorant individuals.
If Cornuke's claims are legitimate, then he has nothing to fear by having professional archaeologists examine his evidence.


Kevin N/GeoChristian said...

Cornuke has plenty experience doing pseudo-apologetics. I wrote about his expedition to find Noah's ark in Iran a few years ago:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kevin. I'm grateful for that resource.