The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the
nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you,
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
January 31, 2016
1) Evidences of Faith: The Walls of Jericho (Jim Robson)
2) Exalting Christ (Bill Hall)
3) You're Satisfied? (Jere E. Frost)
4) News & Notes
Evidences of Faith:
The Walls of Jericho
On the cover of the December 18, 1995 issue of Time magazine
is an artist's rendition of Moses about to break the tablets of
stone on which God had written the Ten Commandments. In bold letters
is the question: "Is the Bible Fact or Fiction?" Under this
eye-catching headline, we are informed that "Archaeologists in the
Holy Land are shedding new light on what did -- and didn't -- occur
in the greatest stories ever told." The article which
underlies this cover has some interesting information, but also some
inconsistencies and misleading statements. I am not in the business
of criticizing journalists or their work, so I do not intend to pick
out all of the various problems in the piece, nor indeed would there
be space to do so in this paper. However, the assertions made
regarding the fall of Jericho are particularly interesting, and also
perhaps most damaging to anyone seeking the truth. We would do well,
therefore, to examine these a little more closely.
On pages 68-69 of the magazine in question is a large black section
entitled, "Tales from The Bible That Are in Doubt." Around this
title are arrayed some more artistic renditions of biblical events,
each one with a question: "Was Abraham a Myth?," "Did the Exodus
Happen?," "Was There a Moses?," and "Did Joshua Conquer the City of
Jericho?" In the cases of Abraham, Moses, and the Exodus, the point
is that no direct archaeological evidence has yet been found to
prove any of these. In typical fashion, "most scholars" agree that
these things never happened, simply because there has not been found
any direct proof of their existence outside of the Bible! This is
nothing new; for generations, scholars have consistently refused to
believe anything the Bible says until such time as some
extra-biblical evidence forces them to admit that it happened. And
even then they insist that the details of the biblical account are
full of errors, whether or not they have any evidence to back up
their assertions. But the claims Time makes regarding
Jericho are somewhat bolder. In this instance, the claim is that the
archaeological evidence actually contradicts the scriptural record:
"Historians generally agree that Joshua's conquest would have taken
place in the thirteenth century B.C. But British researcher Kathleen
Kenyon, who excavated at Jericho for six years, found no evidence of
destruction at that time" (page 68, center column).
This is interesting on at least two levels. First, if there is no
archaeological evidence of Joshua's campaign, and indeed historians
don't even believe it ever occurred, how can they all agree on when
it would have happened? Secondly, it is interesting that this
article, which repeatedly claims to be talking about new
discoveries, cites Kathleen Kenyon's research. Dame Kenyon excavated
in Jericho from 1952 to 1958, and she died in 1978.
Kathleen Kenyon concluded that Jericho's walls fell around 1550
B.C., some 150 years before the Bible has Joshua coming to the city.
According to an article by Dr. Bryant Wood in the March/April 1990
issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, her conclusion was apparently
based solely on the lack of pottery from Cyprus in her sites. It
seems that certain Cyprian pottery was common in the 1400s B.C., and
since she didn't find any, she decided that the city must have been
uninhabited during that time. But John Garstang, who excavated at
Jericho from 1930 to 1936, had discovered some of this very pottery!
Moreover, some of the local pottery which Dame Kenyon did find is
unique to the period 1400-1450 B.C., when she said the city was
unoccupied. So, the ceramic evidence actually confirms that the city
was occupied until approximately 1400 B.C.
In addition to the ceramic evidence, there is much more
archaeological evidence to show that the walls of Jericho fell
somewhere around 1400 B.C. For a discussion of this evidence, see
Dr. Wood's article noted above. As to the Bible, I Kings 6:1 states
that King Solomon began building the temple in Jerusalem in the four
hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out
of the land of Egypt. Construction of the temple began in 966 B.C.,
so this places the exodus from Egypt at 1446 B.C. When we consider
the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, this puts Joshua at
Jericho pretty close to 1400 B.C. Furthermore, in spite of the fact
that the authors cite Dame Kenyon's conclusions, the time line on
pages 66-67 of the Time article shows the destruction of
Jericho at 1400 B.C.! If you ask me, things are looking pretty good
for the biblical account so far as the date is concerned, "most
But Dr. Wood points out that the archaeological evidence indicates
more than just the date of the destruction. For example, unusually
large stores of grain were found in the ruins. The portions of the
city which were excavated were fairly poor, and grain was quite
valuable in those days, so there are several conclusions which may
be drawn from the fact that the stores of grain were intact: 1.
Since grain was stored after harvest, the people ate from the stored
grain until the next harvest. Therefore, Jericho must have been
destroyed fairly soon after harvest, which would be in the spring.
According to scripture, the Israelites crossed over the Jordan
during the harvest (Joshua 3:15), then observed the Passover (5:10),
and then took Jericho according to the Lord's command. 2. The city
was not taken by means of a long siege, which would have been
typical in that time. If it had, the food would have been depleted.
Joshua only needed to surround Jericho for seven days (6:3-5, 8-20).
3. Because grain was so valuable to the point of being used as
currency, most conquerors would take any grain stored in a
vanquished city. The large intact stores of grain in Jericho are
therefore an anomaly. But this again is consistent with scripture,
which states that the Israelites took only silver, gold, bronze, and
iron for the treasury of the Lord (6:24). They took no other
In addition to the grain, the archaeologists also determined that
the walls of the city collapsed. They were not broken by some kind
of battering ram, they fell down. Here, of course, is a part of the
scriptural account with which many are familiar:
"And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and
the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat"
Finally, after destroying the city with the sword, the Israelites
burned the city and all that was in it with fire (6:24). This again
is consistent with the archaeologists' findings which indicate that
after the walls fell down, the city was burned.
So then, we see that in point after point, the archaeology of the
city of Jericho agrees perfectly with scripture. And this is not
surprising. In fact, the same issue of Time which we have
been discussing has an article on page 70 entitled, "The New
Testament's Unsolved Mysteries," which states:
"Time and again, archaeological finds have validated scriptural
This being the case, why do scholars still insist on doubting the
historical accuracy of the scriptural accounts? That may be the real
unsolved mystery of the Bible! However, regardless of its
detractors, scripture continues to prove itself to be reliable and
true. And those of us who put our trust in God's word continue to
find ourselves on solid ground.
-- via Watchman Magazine, March 1, 1998
How do we exalt Christ? We exalt Christ when we preach His
word, when we follow His teaching, when we do only that which He
authorizes, when we wear only His name, when we make Him the center
of our affection and adoration, when we recognize Him as our only
Head, Lord, and King. To do otherwise is to fail to exalt Him.
-- Via bulletin articles of the Collegevue church of Christ, January
Jere E. Frost
The rich man was satisfied, but God called him a fool and took his
life and condemned his soul. (Luke 12:20)
The whole church at Laodicea was satisfied, but Jesus said they did
not know that they were actually wretched, and miserable and poor
and blind and naked (Revelation 3:16-22).
That's about how wrong a "satisfied" person can be.
Satisfied? Are you, now? The Pharisee that went into the temple to
pray was satisfied with himself, and even glad he was not as the
Publican (Luke 18:10-14). But Jesus said that the satisfied Pharisee
was not justified like the sin-conscious Publican was!
The wise man warned: "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).
-- Via The Beacon, January 19, 2016
"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you
were taught, abounding in thanksgiving" (Colossian 2:6,7).
News & Notes
The Hoboken church of Christ at 5101 Main
Street, Hoboken, GA, will be having their gospel meeting
February 7-10. Weeknights will begin at 7:30. Ian
Rice (the preacher for the Lakeland Hills church of
Christ in Lakeland Hills, Florida) is the guest speaker.
Let those of us who are God's children keep the following people in
Rex Hadley Jr. (Anita Young's brother) was hospitalized
recently, due to bronchitis and congestive heart failure. His heart
function had dropped to 18%, but that could improve. He is now back
The test results for Carol Drain showed no cancer for the
lower region, including the kidneys and liver. She will be
having another test this Monday on the upper to determine what has
caused a slight number increase in her blood that has led to some
Shirley Jernigan (Gege Gornto's mother), who is in her 90s,
began hospice care in the home of her daughter about three weeks
Frankie Hadley (Rex senior's wife) recently had a mini
Shirley Davis (hip trouble), Deborah Medlock (pain
around shoulder area), Andra Johnson (difficulties while
being pregnant), Misty Thornton (heart trouble), and Michelle
Rittenhouse (heart trouble).
WordPress version for this week's bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith
comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John
8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10;
5) Be baptized in water for the
remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4;
Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not,
salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM
& 5 PM (worship)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
(Gospel Observer website)