Looking at Bible References. When I first came to know the Lord after practicing Buddhism for 14 years, I was looking for apologetic materials on how to witness to Buddhists. At the time, I found an article by “an expert” on Nichiren Shoshu, the Buddhism I had practiced who said that Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists worshipped a black box called the Gohonzon, when in fact the black box was actually the cabinet, the butsudon, in which the object of worship, the Gohonzon was enshrined. In article after article I read, the same mistake was passed on. Any serious Buddhist seeking answers would basically say the apologists didn’t have a clue what they were talking about and would turn elsewhere for their info. An opportunity lost.
Is this still an issue? Yes. On the journey of Exploring God’s Library, our reading yesterday led us to Joshua Chapter 6 and the famous battle of Jericho. After reading the passage, I was overjoyed to discover a video on the archaeological research of Dr. Bryant Wood. This morning I thought, I wonder what The Biblical World says about Jericho and the famous Biblical event. Here’s my note to Elizabeth who’s about to search for any updated version
“Is there an upgrade of Pfeiffer’s The Biblical World last published by Baker in 1972? Why? Simply because on page 308 Archaeologist Kenyon’s interpretation of the fall of Jericho which refuted the findings of her colleague Garstang, conjectured that the destruction of Jericho had occurred 150 years before the birth of Joshua. However, the excellent archaeological research of Dr. Bryant Wood, formerly a nuclear engineer who left his profession and became a specialist in Middle Age Bronze Age pottery disproved her analysis by an intensive global search and exhaustive unearthing of evidence which conclusively affirms the historicity and accuracy of the Biblical text in Joshua 6.”
So we must also check the accuracy of the facts we are fed by the experts. I’m not calling into question Pfeiffer’s excellent work, I just realized that they only provided the most up-to-date research they had until 1977.
If you or any of your colleagues knows of an updated or superior archaeological work on the Biblical World, please let us know.
Markers. Our method of facilitating this exploration of the Word is by the application of what we call “Markers” which point out aspects of a passage. The idea parallels an exercise I would give to my students when visiting a religious site where I would assign each of them some observation lesson such as “look how hands are used.” This heightens their awareness and assists them in discovering new insights which might otherwise be overlooked. Likewise, we will highlight various passages within a particular reading which may tie into a prophecy or other marker. For example, while reading Genesis 12, we would call attention to the third verse by providing a Marker #P4-Prophecy which points out-that through Abraham’s seed, God will bless all nations.
Here’s what our daily log looks like. When you join Exploring God’s Library Facebook page, we’ll send you a pdf of this page which you can then print out and photo copy for your daily study. We decided that since it is a reading program which moves quite rapidly, that it would be best to put it on one page to conserve paper and for one to make a short note, reflection, application and jot down questions which surface. Then on Tuesday at 6PM, Pacific Standard time on our FB Live time, we can address these questions. You can also post questions on either the Facebook page or on the WordPress site. However, please keep your questions, comments, notes pertinent to the particular passage we are addressing unless it happens to be another passage in Scripture which emphasizes that passage.