At the University of Wyoming, Paul V.M. Flesher, a well-meaning professor, seeks students for his course with this:

"Why is it important to study the ancient Israelites, a people whose history was recorded in books more than 2,000 years ago? The answer is as simple as it is powerful: They created monotheism, the worship of one god." --Paul V.M. Flesher, University of Wyoming website

Though I'm sure he has the utmost respect for believers, this is not the way to approach the study of the Bible. In no uncertain terms, the Israelites DID NOT "create" the religion that they practiced . The Bible is clear that the concept of monotheism was revealed by Yahweh, the Creator, to a pagan polytheist named Abram after the truth had been largely lost in the days of Peleg under the reign of Nimrod.

He appears to feel that the Hebrew language is not precise enough to give the translators a good picture of true life among the ancient Israelites , writing:

". . . Modern Americans know more than 20,000 words; the Old Testament has only 8,000 words. It speaks of combing hair, but lacks the word for comb. It talks about sewing, but gives no word for needle."

Having studied Hebrew, though falling short of understanding the language, I thank God that there are "only 8,000" words. I perhaps learned 80 of those words. But the point is, study of the Bible is ageless, in any language. It is true that some of the hard stuff needs further study to fully understand, but people are people, so we need not consider ourselves above the ancient peoples in any way.

Near the end of his article, he defends archaeology and "historical analysis" as practically equal in importance:

". . . Today, the truth is, if you want to understand the Old Testament, you must study the ancient Israelites. Archaeology and historical analysis today provide a fuller picture of ancient Israel than does the Old Testament.

Does that mean we should ignore the Old Testament? By no means. Both archaeology and Scripture constitute primary sources for the study of ancient Israel. They must be used together for the most complete historical picture."

In the physical sciences, there is a blurred line between "observational" and "historical", that is forensic, science. The scientific method can only work on what can be tested and shown to be repeatable. Theology is an observational science by which believers can observe Yahweh at work in the present day. However, we must learn from a study of His Bible in a forensic manner.

Archaeology is a limited science, for it depends upon human understanding, which is tainted by prejudice. Theology can only be studied correctly by those that don't look upon God as an invention. As an administrator here at Bible Wiki, I encourage visitors and contributors alike to seek to personally connect with the author, the One who created us to think like He thinks, if only in a very limited sense. This work is under copyright of the author and should not be used without his permission.