Dave’s Old Pad

Question from Dominic:
What are we to make of the possible discovery of King David’s palace by Dr. Eilat Mazar? Do you believe this gives more credit to the Bible?

Answer by SmartLX:
Not very much, based on the discoveries and research so far.

The discovery of what’s now blandly called the Large Stone Structure was almost six years ago, and they’re still trying to date it authoritatively. Mazar was out specifically looking for Biblical artifacts, sponsored by an institution that supports political Zionism (and would therefore love proof that the Israelites were established in that area). Most of the external support since has come from Mazar’s second cousin at a Jerusalem university. None of this is sufficient grounds for dismissing the possibility that the discovery is really Biblical, but none of it helps the positive case either.

It strikes me that Mazar has apparently assumed that David was king at the time in order to conclude that the structure belonged to him, and at the same time the structure is now the bulk of the physical evidence supporting the existence of King David himself. (Other than the structure, and not counting the Bible, there’s one ambiguous carving on a piece of rock and that’s about it.) To uphold one as evidence for the other may be circular reasoning.

Of course people who try this usually haven’t based their own beliefs on the archaeological evidence, having begun to believe well before learning of it, so their personal journeys to belief are another matter.