Monday, February 6, 2012

Science and Narrative

Biblical Archaeology Review magazine

Great article in the current issue of Biblical Archeology Review by Fredric Brandfon about the evolution of the field of Archeology. I believe it  is instructive to any of us looking at the world through a Theological lens:

  1. He claims that in the first half of the 20th century archaeologists made specific efforts to corroborate the Biblical text.
  2. By the 2nd half of the 20th c. archeology had become a context for the Bible.
  3. Today, Archeology has it's own story to tell, with the Bible providing the background.

I appreciate how Brandfon makes the point that various groups can have the exact same information, and end up telling two radically distinctive stories. Debates that arise are not truly about science (or whatever), but about how to piece together "the Biblical and archaeological evidence to create a narrative."

It all boils down to starting with the end in mind. What is the point of your inquiry. As Brandfon points out, "writing history" is not easy. The historian, or scientist, or therapist, or friend is faced with pieces and fragments of information. A great lesson to keep in mind, and to teach our kids as they move into the Rhetoric stage.


1 comment:

Amy said...

I was just thinking about something similar to that as I was reading a bit of a book about dinosaurs. It was saying that with just the bones, scientists have to make up SO much information that we come to take as fact. So it makes sense that 2 people with the same limited info could come up with totally different conclusions. Very interesting topic! Thanks for provoking out thoughts at Trivium Tuesdays!