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Joel Kramer Interview Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2020 8:22 pm

Joel Kramer Interview Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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December 9, 2020 8:22 pm

Joel Kramer, who has produced a number of videos on Mormonism as well as on biblical archaeology, is our guest this week in a rerun series. You need to check out his new book, Where God Came Down, available on

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.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint on Mormonism sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.

And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. What this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM. Also with us today is a good friend of ours Joel Kramer Joel used pastor in Brigham city, Utah several years ago, but for the past many years. He has been living over in Israel studying as an archaeologist and we have had the pleasure of having Joel with us as we have led tours over into Israel today Joel. I want talk to you about Jericho because one of the places where we like to go is Jericho. One thing about Jericho is with a lot of things having to do with double archaeology. It has its own set of controversies. Please tell our listeners some of the evidence that you have found that demonstrates the biblical account to be accurate from Jericho. You can see the plain of Moab. Every time I go there I can imagine all these thousands of Israelites coming across that plane towards Jericho and how that must've really put fear into the heart of the people that live there.

Tell us about the significance of Jericho and why you did a film dealing with the historical evidences for Jericho.

Yet when I got to Israel and I was looking for what to cover.

I asked my professor and other archaeologist that I knew what is the number one in your minds.

What is the number one challenge to the Old Testament, and a hands down. Everybody would say Jericho and I would say that that is accurate in Old Testament studies. The biggest challenge is Jericho so my philosophy was a little steak on the biggest challenge first Canadian rep director because it's not so much that there isn't a place that they identify the ancient Jericho. It's the dating yes correct of the conquest. Yes, and that's where the real controversy lies, yet not I'll say that I took that on as the number one challenge and before I even go into the evidence.

I will say it's a wonderful thing that Jericho is the number one challenge to the Old Testament because if that's the number one challenge in him.

It's all downhill from here and things are great because it should be the number one example used in the Old Testament for how the evidence matches with the biblical account rather than in that everybody is challenging it will let's talk about some of the major players you can't talk about Jericho without discussing Kathleen Kenyon yes tell us about her finds it.

Kathleen Kenyon, she's not the only one excavated at Jericho but she's the most famous and when she finished excavating their 1958. Then it wasn't excavated until very recently since then. So basically she was the last one to dig there and what she said about it, stood from the time she finished digging until today. What I did was I asked my professor came from and to cover her viewpoint credibly. Who can I interview that will come from her viewpoint. He said hands down again. He Peter Parr. He is the only one that still alive that was on her staff so I flew them over from England and spent three weeks with him.

He's an atheist, and he was there to present her side of it. I can tell you at the end of the day and you can see this in the film that I made about it Jericho on earth.

He folded. I didn't expect him to do that.

But when he saw the evidence, he came to the realization as an atheist while it does seem that something. What the Bible describes happened here. How did that come about. What did you bring up to him that with get him to at least acknowledge what you were saying is true about, but he had never considered the Bible and I know that's on the mat. That sounds odd. This is very odd, but I'm Kenyon tossed the Bible out the window literally so when he was studying under her and digging at Jericho and having been raised in atheist he'd never heard the story that the walls of Jericho came tumbling down really never heard that biblical story and he dug there as a as a supervisor from 1952 to 1958. What he needed was he needed that education he needed know what the Bible actually says about this ancient mound for a moment, let's just put aside all the names of the archaeologists and who dug there and this that and the other think let's focus instead on what everybody agrees about what everybody agrees about is that Jericho the mound of the tell this ancient ruin of Jericho is Jericho. Everybody agrees with that. That's pretty amazing in itself.

When we have all these cities mentioned in the book of Mormon that nobody knows where they are.

Everybody knows where Jericho is no question about it. No controversy. Okay so we have this mound of dirt and I not far from there just to the south of where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and represented in the Dead Sea Scrolls is the book of Joshua. So here's this fragments from the book of Joshua Sitton over here in Qumran. These caves that tells archaeologists what they will find in the mound of dirt Jericho thousands of years before they ever dedicate so how do you know what a reliable text is what you have a text that says what you can find before you dig so then they went and dug several different expeditions when it dug Jericho.

But what's the number one thing that the Bible says about Jericho.

What's it famous for its famous for its walls falling down okay.

What did archaeologist find and and agree upon. They agree upon, including Kathleen Kenyon that the city walls of Jericho collapsed. That's the evidence. They all agree on their interpretation of why they collapsed or wind.

Specifically, they collapsed is where the disagreement is but are you kidding me we have a mound of dirt for the Bible tells us that there can find a collapsed city wall in here if they dig and then they dig and they find a collapse of the wall it's game over.

Right there. Anybody can understand the significance of that we can argue all day, whether it happened 50 years. This way hundred years. That way, but we have to deal with the reality that of all the biblical land, the city that has a collapsed city wall around it is Jericho, then on top of that you have a chronology of events that happened in the later system that you have in a tell you can tell just from looking at the layer system. It's called a bulk where you've dug and you have a chronology of events, and so the chronology of events, straight from Kenyon's. He was very critical of the Bible, straight from her reports. The chronology of events is that the wall collapsed.

The city was burned. Then it was a abandoned and then it was rebuilt in in the archaeological. Called the Iron Age, which is the kingdom. Of Israel.

What is the Bible say the chronology of Jericho is in its history. The wall collapsed that event happen. First they went up into the city, the Israelites and they burned the whole city. We have a burn destruction over Joshua put a curse on the city that it would be about abandoned for a long period of time which we have that archaeological layer. It's called an abandonment layer and then on top of that we have the city rebuilt in the time of Ahab. The Bible says, which is in this kingdom of Israel time so the chronology of events found in the towel match perfectly with the chronology of events described in the Bible so the only controversy it's missing the forest for the trees is going into the detail of trying to determine by looking at pieces of pottery and whether there bent a little bit this way or bent a little bit. That way if it happened hundred and 50 years 100 years of 50 years. This way, to try to determine exactly the date and you have archaeologists that are famous archaeologists John Gahr staying saying this. This dates to the time of Israel. And when when walls collapsed in the Bible, and then you have other archaeologists like Kenyon that disagree with that but you have Gahr staying is a famous archaeologist who worked with a guy named Albright who wrote the pottery chronology that we still used to this day.

You can't say that John Gahr staying doesn't know is pottery.

He's the one who wrote the book on it and the only way Kenyon knows when pottery dates do is thanks to John Gahr staying now with in secular archaeology itself. John Gahr staying being a secular archaeologists. There is archaeologist that have published that this indeed does date to the time that matches with the chronology of the Bible. You've dealt a lot with pottery. But for many of us. We do see pieces of pottery.

They all look the same. How can you use pottery to tell us the dating pottery is used in dating. Inscriptions also are used in dating because the concept behind both of them is that things change over time.

So if you can come up with an understanding of when they changed over time.

Pottery styles they like their handles this way in one. And they like them another way and another.

Then you can start to date, but what's communicated in archaeology what you learn when you're a student is you learn that pottery chronology is a very strong dating system and that is very reliable and that it really nails things down within about a 50 year period. No, that is absolutely incorrect.

And Jericho is a good example. You can take the things that been written by reputable archaeologists over the years about Jericho and their disagreement on when that pottery to say they're talking about the same pottery there disagreeing over a period of about 300 years.

So if it's so concise and it nails it down to a 50 year. Why is there this disagreement among secular scholars over the same pottery that's found Jericho. It's not that concise. How do we know when things happen and who did them and everything like that. We find the archaeological evidence and then returned to the ancient text that then interprets what's been found and explains what happens. How do we know what happened to the wall of Jericho. We have the Bible, how do we know when that happened the most reliable source to date. It is the Bible because the Bible has its own internal chronology and you apply that to what you find in the mountain that is your most accurate dating pottery is important pottery chronology is important, but it's not that the Bible is wrong because although the wall of Jericho fell over because this part rim is bent over here at a different angle then than it must've happened hundred and 50 years yet know the Bible told us told archaeologists what they would find the chronology of events they would find inside the tell thousands of years before they delegate, they dug it. That's what they found that the evidence so sitting around talking about pottery and 50 years here in hundred years there put it into perspective of Mormonism with the book of Mormon. Can you imagine if if the book of Mormon talked about the wall of Zarahemla and that it fell down and they have Sarah Hamlin this and everybody agrees secular scholars agree this is Eric, and here's the what the book of Mormon is talking about in this fallen wall be powerful.

Do you think that they would be excited about that LOL they don't have a piece of pottery for what the book of Mormon claims. We have Jericho that everybody agrees on. We have a fallen wall. We have a chronology of events that's in the archaeological record matching with the biblical record.

Where is the problem. The problem is just in some people are critical of the Bible and so they give their interpretation which boils down to their opinion and speculation of why they think that the biblical account isn't true but is not based on evidence. Here's a general rule in archaeology.

Everybody knows this, that in interpretation of evidence that is based on an ancient text is considered, in general, more reliable than one that is not so that's why John Gahr staying's interpretation that it lines up with the biblical account that archaeology excavated. Jericho is stronger than Kathleen Canyons because Kathleen Kenyon's interpretation of the evidence of Jericho is purely her opinion.

It's not based on any ancient text she took the only ancient text that talks about Jericho at this. And throws it out the window very quickly tell us about Dr. Brentwood Bryant. What is good friend of mine. He is one of my mentors and he is a fantastic archaeologist in he says that Gahr staying John Gahr staying is right and Kathleen Kenyon is wrong now. His specialty is pottery and he got his PhD from the University of Toronto, specifically in the Canaanite pottery that comes from the period of Joshua and the Israelite conquest and that's one thing that I went through with Peter Parr. I went through the pottery evidence and what Bryant would says about it and how he reads it in and and everything in the end of the day. He said okay that makes sense. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this research ministry.

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