I didn’t know when I first wrote my last three blogs that other authorities differed so much with my original sources. That meant I was a blind leader of the blind. I don’t regret writing about these subjects. I regret not first writing with the balance of what “the opposing views,” people said. And I regret sounding well researched when at first, really, I wasn’t.
There was a time, before I went to Israel, that I was quite skeptical and disinterested in all archaeology. I had been turned off by archaeologists saying the world is “billions of years old.” Add to this how complicated it can all get to ascertain anything with certainty. I think this discourages many people because it’s too daunting to even try. But going to Israel with Dr. Jim Fleming helped because I believe I heard enough balanced facts at each site to draw my own conclusions on them reasonably well. I’m not an authority, but I’m resolved to do better and asking God to help me.
I’ve since revised my last three blogs with the appropriate input from “the opposing views” people. Better late than never. But occasionally in the future, balancing my research may be a work in progress.
“The opposing views” people I wrote about were the Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR). You might wonder why I didn’t start reading BAR publications first. I did find the Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) is well researched from my first impressions, and BAS publishes BAR. But they can make such inconclusive arguments after such a lot of complex logic.
BAS disproves the real Mount Sinai was in Saudi Arabia, but when I first read BAS on this subject they didn’t convince me at all. BAS proposed Mount Sinai was at Saint Catherine’s Monastery, which has been the traditional site since the early church. But on this subject, I first stumbled across this video about the Saudi Arabian site. Then, feeling guilty for not reading what BAS also said about it, I read BAR and carefully considered all they argued. Afterward, I rewrote my last 3 blogs to reflect my new conclusions.
Initially, as I read BAS’s publication (which is quite long and involved), I was just convinced it’s not that simple to draw sound conclusions. And I still wanted to believe in the Saudi Arabia location. Yet as I continued to read and write, I came to recognize how misled I was. Not so much by the findings though, as much as by the original founder.
Now I realize that the late Ron Wyatt (the founder of WAR), was, to put it bluntly, a con artist just as BAS claims he was. But first, to back up a step or two. Ron Wyatt is basically the founder of a lot of sensationalizing claims, including these discoveries I first stumbled upon. The above-referenced video was put together by those either convinced by Wyatt or joining his conclusions for Wyatt’s same logic. This includes the chariot wheels in the Red Sea and Saudi Arabia’s “Mount Sinai.” At first, I knew BAS and others were more educated and probably better qualified to make their conclusions. But early in my research it was clear that they were also anti-Wyatt. And to be anti-anything should render anyone as skeptical at least at first.
Wyatt’s conclusions were much more interesting and gained much more popularity and interest than BAS did. But Wyatt’s lack of qualifications, pride, and emotion-driven quest to make rash conclusions are all serious warning signs. BAS left me feeling like a detective with 100 complicated clues which altogether couldn’t definitely solve a mystery. I was almost glad I did stumble upon Ron Wyatt’s followers first. It would draw interest in my blogs easier. But now I won’t ever again write about Wyatt’s discoveries without also saying what BAS says about it.
Dr. Fleming cautioned in my documentary segment that schools of thought are usually too proud to learn from others with “opposing views.” This isn’t to say I think the BAR archaeologists have lots to learn from Wyatt’s followers. Perhaps they could learn some? But it really just put me on guard for how much BAS would construe and even complicate the truth to prove BAS is right. And the followers of Wyatt reminded me of the “uneducated masses” that the Pharisees didn’t guide with teachable spirits in the New Testament. Wyatt may have discovered some legitimate sites, but I’m not as convinced as I was at first, now.
In Matthew 15:14 Jesus said the Pharisees are blind guides that “lead the blind” until both “fall into a pit.” The quest for truth must not be misled by pride or by what’s exciting and interesting. That’s why the scriptures themselves aren’t very popular. But when it comes to the Bible, our eternal well being is at stake.
The above picture is Ron Wyatt and what he claims is Noah’s Ark (another interesting find that I tend to believe in, but won’t write about now).