Skeptical bias |

TBC Staff

In the last years of his life, Steve Allen, composer, entertainer, and philospher (in humanist circles), wrote On the Bible, Religion, and Morality. In the pages of this book he showed a too ready acceptance of skeptical claims against the scriptures.

For instance (one among many), he claims that the reference to “Ur of the Chaldees” (Genesis 11:31) “is one of the Bible’s hundreds of mistakes,” since, supposedly, “Ur” was not associated with the Chaldeans until a thousand years after the time of Abraham. The reference is thus characterized as an “anachronism.” 

In response, University of London Professor of Assyriology Donald Wiseman has stated: “...Ur certainly lay in the territory called Kaldu (Chaldaea) from the early first millennium B.C. Since this area was normally named after the tribes living there, and no earlier general name for the area is known, it would be unscientific to call the reference to Ur ‘of the Chaldees’ in the second millennium an anachronism.” 

      Wiseman, “He of the Chaldees,” Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of 

      the Bible, 1975, 5:846