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The Archaeology of Sodom, Part 5

Updated on December 31, 2018
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Dr. David Thiessen is an educator, writer, pastor, and speaker. He has authored several books on a variety of topics including Archaeology

V. Conclusion

In the beginning it was mentioned that this paper would look at the different aspects surrounding the three possible locations of the city of Sodom. It was also stated that a positive identification would be made. That has been done already during the examining of the evidence and the archaeological and scriptural criteria.

The theory that Sodom is located under Sodom does not hold up to scrutiny because the area lacks both archaeological evidence and does not meet all the scriptural criteria needed to be the actual location.

Giving Dr. Albright and others the benefit of the doubt, it is possible, due to the archaeological evidence uncovered, it can be concluded that that region was part of the Jordan Valley and it was destroyed by God. It can further be concluded that one or two of the lesser cities may have been located where the dead Sea lies.

That is about as far as that identification can go. Because it fails the key verse found in 2 Peter, this location is disqualified and cannot be considered Sodom’s location.

Tall el-Hamman is also disqualified. It fails to meet both the archaeological and scriptural criteria despite the claims and arguments of the lead archaeologist and his supporters on that current excavation.

Too much is read into the passages of scripture and the archaeological discoveries for it to be a viable candidate. You cannot create an example then have it buried for 4000 years. Also, you cannot call God a liar and say his words are not true. The fact that the hiatus lasted only 500 years and not for all time undermines any credible claim made about it being Sodom.

God said it would not be inhabited again and archaeology has shown that Tall el-Hamman was occupied throughout many differ eras after its destruction.

The only credible location left is the Bab edh-Drah region. It remains a desolate area where nothing lives, per God’s word. Plus, it has been exposed to all generations in all eras for all time.

Then, the archaeological evidence uncovered by many of the excavators over the past two centuries have shown that it was well watered, had agricultural use and maintained a population until it was destroyed.

The discovery of a trade route also adds to the support of scripture as this location would meet all sorts of travelers at different stages of wealth. The treatment they received at the hands of the inhabitants would support Ezekiel’s description (16:49) that they were treated harshly.

This one point could support Tall el-Hamman’s identification if the other criteria were met. They weren’t so this verse stands alone in favor of Tall el-Hamman but has lots of company in Bab edh-Drah’s identification.

The importance of this discussion and paper can be seen in the Bible verses that God will not be mocked. Neither in sin or in making archaeological identifications. God cannot be called a liar even if the archaeologists claim to be Christian.

Also, the Bible tells us that God cannot lie thus when he says it will not be inhabited then Sodom, etc., will not be inhabited. Only the Dead Sea and Bab edh-Drah locations prove that God does not lie.

Finally, even in archaeology, God cannot be glorified when he is said to be a liar. We will give the excavator and his supporters the benefit of the doubt and that their actions were unintentional but when Christians do archaeology there is only a few purposes.

One, is to glorify God. Two, is to get to the truth, and three, to keep the unbelieving archaeologists and scholars honest. Christians do not undermine God and his work, and we do not do faulty archaeology or biblical scholarship.

VI. Bibliography

Ark Discovery (2018), Sodom and Gomorrah: The Cities of the Plain Ash and brimstone are reminders of the fiery event Ark Discovery International, retrieved from http://www.arkdiscovery.com/sodom_&_gomorrah.htm

BAR (1980), Have Sodom and Gomorrah Been Found, BAR, 6(5), (electronic ed.)

Collins, Steven, (2013), Where is Sodom?The Case for Tall el Hammam, BAR Vol. 39 No. 2, retrieved from http://nebula.wsimg.com/5e3f98b5a2648cd4ee9724ccc490bf03?AccessKeyId=AD0C503627C3B88E5A7F&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

_______, (2007), Forty Salient Points on the Geography of the Cities of the Kikkar, Biblical Research Bulletin, The Academic Journal of Trinity Southwest University ISSN 1938-694X Volume VII Number 1, Retrieved from http://nebula.wsimg.com/062ff508dfc71e6ffcdb1ee72f356fc2?AccessKeyId=AD0C503627C3B88E5A7F&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

Easton, M.G., (1897), Eastons Bible Dictionary: A Dictionary of Bible Terms Illustrated Bible Dictionary Third Edition published by Thomas Nelson. AGES Software Albany, OR USA Version 1.0 © 1996\

Harland, J. Penrose, (2001), Sodom and Gomorrah The Location of the Cities of the Plain, Biblical Archaeologist 1-4, 5(electronic ed.).

Kitchen, Kenneth, (2004) The Bible in its World, Wipf & Stock

McClintock & Strong, (2000) McClintock & Strong Cyclopedia, AGES SOFTWARE®, INC. · www.ageslibrary.com · Rio, WI USA

Olson, Craig, (2014), Which Site Is Sodom? A Comparison of Bab edh-Dhra and Tall el-Hammam, Biblical research Bulletin, The Academic Journal of Trinity Southwest University ISSN 1938-694XVolume XIVNumber 1, Retrieved from http://nebula.wsimg.com/cb97fe109524bd6a2d7bd2459d88639a?AccessKeyId=AD0C503627C3B88E5A7F&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

Sanders, Michael, Sodom & Gomorrah, Bible Mysteries, DVD

van Hattem, (1981), Once Again: Sodom and Gomorrah, Biblical Archaeologist vol 44 (electronic ed.)

Wood, Bryant G., (1974) Have Sodom And Gomorrah Been Found, BSP 3:3 (Summer 1974) p. 69, (electronic ed.).

_______ (1974), Have Sodom And Gomorrah Been Found, Bible and Spade, 3(3), 87, (electronic ed.).

_______ (1983), Bible & Spade Sodom and Gomorrah, BSP 12:1-2 (Winter-Spring 1983) p. 29

_______ (2008), The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Bible and Spade (Summer 1999), Retrieved from http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/04/16/The-Discovery-of-the-Sin-Cities-of-Sodom-and-Gomorrah.aspx

© 2018 David Thiessen

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