The Wrong Choice |

TBC Staff

Professor Nelson Glueck, who I suppose would be recognized as one of the top five of the ‘greats’ in biblical archaeology, gave a marvellous lecture to 120 American students who were interacting with the Arabs. He said, ‘I have excavated for 30 years with a Bible in one hand and a trowel in the other, and in matters of historical perspective, I have never yet found the Bible to be in error’.

Professor G. Ernest Wright, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies at Harvard University, gave a lecture at that same dig. He made the point that (because of the researches associated with the Hittites and the findings of Professor George Mendenhall concerning what are called the Suzerainty Covenant Treaties between the Hittite kings and their vassals) it had become clear that the records of Moses, when dealing with covenants, must be dated back to the middle of the second millennium BC. That’s about 1500 BC. Also, that those writings should be recognized as a unity. In other words, they go back to one man. That one man could only be Moses.

I went to Professor Wright later and said, ‘Sir, this is very different from what you’ve been putting out in your own writings.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Clifford, for 30 years I’ve been teaching students coming to Harvard to train for the Christian ministry; I’ve been telling them they could forget Moses in the Pentateuch, but at least in these significant areas of the covenant documents that are there in the Pentateuch, I’ve had to admit that I was wrong.’

They were two scholastic giants. One says, ‘I’ve excavated for 30 years and I’ve never found the Bible to be in error’—basically that’s what he was saying. The other says, ‘For 30 years I’ve been wrong.’ It’s rather sad, isn’t it, that a good man such as Professor Wright had been so swept along with the ridiculous documentary hypothesis* that he had taken a wrong stand for so long. Let me stress that Professor Wright was a man of the highest integrity.

* The documentary hypothesis (J,E,D,P,H hypothesis) is still, sadly, taught in many Christian institutions. It claims that the five books of Moses were written not by him, but by at least five different sources (code-named J,E,D,P,H) which gradually came together over many centuries. The hypothesis has been amended from time to time, but is still taught in many institutions despite clear evidence opposing it.

— Dr. Clifford Wilson (1923-2012, Australian creationist, archaeologist, author,