Many people ask me why is it important to confirm the historical details of the Bible? The Bible can be broken into two separate areas, the historical, and the divine. Critics complain that if the authors of the Bible could not get the historical facts, the kings, cities, battles, and other details correct, how can they be trusted to get the divine portions correct? If you intend to witness to others about your faith, questions regarding the accuracy of the Bible are certain to come up. Having the proper, and honest answer to questions is essential. I consider this research and knowledge to be just one more element of your spiritual armor Paul speaks of in his letter to the Ephesians. The Bible commands us to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." We are also told to "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." In order to know how to respond to critics and doubters of the Bible's accuracy, we must study and search for the answers. Only then can we fulfill our commitment to know how to answer everyone. We, of course, cannot know all the answers, but by careful study we can learn more, and continue our spiritual growth.

"If I have told you people about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about Heavenly Things?" John 3:12

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What Would It Take To Build Noah's Ark?


File:Francis Frith (English - The Largest of the Cedars, Mount Lebanon - Google Art Project.jpg
Cedars of Lebanon
The common thought is Noah alone, or with the help of his sons built the Ark. A ship of this size being built by one man, or even by four or five men seems quite impossible. To begin this discussion we should first determine just how large the Ark actually was? In Genesis 6:15 we are told the Ark is to be built 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits. A cubit was the distance between a man's elbow and his finger-tip. As this will vary from one person to another, it is impossible to determine exactly how long a cubit was for Noah. The generally accepted length of a cubit is considered to be 18 inches.

When we apply the accepted length of a cubit to the Biblical measurements we can determine the Ark was approximately 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and almost 45 feet tall. Estimates show the Ark would have had a displacement of 21,016 tons. To put it in perspective, no ship of this size would be built again until the 1800's.

The materials for the Ark were wood. Once again using estimates, Noah would have needed approximately 800 trees which were over 32 feet in height and three feet in diameter. The wood needed to build the Ark would have weighed approximately 4,000 tons. Harvesting and preparing this amount of wood would have been a formidable task, not to mention the construction required after the raw materials were prepared. I believe it is very clear Noah did not build the Ark by himself and would have required more help than his sons alone could have provided.

Does this mean the Ark could not be, or was not built? Absolutely not. While it seems clear the physical task was too large for one man, the Bible does not tell us Noah worked alone and there is no reason to assume he did.

It was mentioned earlier Noah was a man of the soil and after the Ark came to rest started a Vineyard. It would seem logical Noah had a similar operation prior to the flood. If so, it is certainly possible Noah was a man of some wealth. Archeological evidence indicates wine production was very rare, and thus anyone with the means to produce wine would have had a commodity which was in great demand. Knowing the Earth was about to be destroyed, Noah would have had no reason not to sell his possessions or spend his savings in order to hire workers. A job which would be difficult for a single man becomes much more manageable when you have 100, 200, or even 500 men working on that same project.

There are several questions surrounding the size of the ark in relation to the materials reported to have been used in its construction. Can a ship 450 feet in length be made of wood? Does wood have the strength to support this type of vessel, especially when at sea? Has there ever been a wooden ship 450 feet in length? It seems the logical place to start is to compare the reported size of the ark with other wooden vessels built throughout history.

Comparison of wooden ships;
 
Grace Dieu - 218 feet long (1420-1439)

HMS Sovereign of the Seas - 249 feet long (1637-1676)

Caligula's Giant Ship - 341 feet long (37A.D.)

Rochambeau 377 feet long (1865-1874)

Noah's Ark 450 feet long

As this comparison shows Noah's Ark would have been the largest wooden ship ever constructed. There have been numerous wooden ships constructed over 300 feet in length, one even as early as 37 A.D, but even given this, some critics believe wood does not have the strength to be used in the building of a ship the size of Noah's Ark. This seems to contradict history as we can see vessels have been constructed and sailed which have approached the 400 foot mark.

The Bible tells us the Ark's overall dimensions and that is was to be built with three decks, but we are given no details of what engineering practices were used in its construction. When it is stated a wooden structure of this size could not be built, the statement is one contrary to historical evidence when compared to a final example of a wooden vessel, the Greek Ship Tessarakonteres. This ship was reportedly 420 feet long and was built in 200 B.C. The ship was so large it is said to have been powered by 4,000 oarsmen and could carry over 2,800 soldiers along with catapults. The overall dimensions of this grand ship were said to be 420 feet in length, 58 feet wide and 80 feet in height. These numbers are very close to those given for Noah's Ark. This ship alone shows a wooden ship with the dimensions of the Ark could have been built, and the materials would have been strong enough to support such construction.

One more interesting note concerning large wooden ships in ancient times. In the records of Pharaoh Snefru, who ruled in approximately 2600 B.C. he records how he imported more than 40 ship loads of Cedar wood from Lebanon. He then goes on to boast how he used the wood to built a ship 1,700 feet long.That is nearly four times the length of Noah's Ark. No other record or evidence of this enormous ship is known to exists, but it is a most remarkable discovery and leaves us to wonder if the claim is true, and if so, was this massive ship ever put to sea?

The evidence suggests building a wooden ship to the dimensions given in the Bible is certainly possible. Fortunately for our discussion we have a final piece of proof. In 2012 Johan Huibers, a Dutchman who is also a millionaire, finished the construction of a full size replica of the Ark. The ship, which is stable on the water, measures 427 feet long, 95 feet wide and 75 feet in height. The task took Huibers twenty years to complete. Huibers insists the new ark has nothing to do with the end times and is intended solely as an educational tool. Inside the ark Huibers has included a small restaurant, a movie theater, historical displays and hands on displays for children. Concerning the project Huibers had the following comment;

"You might know the story of Noah, okay, but if you see this you begin to get an idea of how it would actually have worked in practice."

Was Noah's Ark Seaworthy?

There has been a great deal of debate over the construction design of the Ark. Some critics say the ship would have torn itself apart on the high seas due to the torque generated by the currents, wind and waves. Others point out the ratio of length to width to height of the Ark is very comparable to modern days ships. Extensive research was conducted in this area by members of the Korean Research Institute of Ships and Engineering. In their research they examined three key safety parameters. 1) Structural Safety 2) Overturning Stability and 3) Seakeeping Quality.

File:DynamicStabilityShip.PNGStructural Safety : Because the exact hull design and shape of the Ark are unknown, the researchers used twelve different hull designs which they believe most closely match what would have been used on the Ark. The Ark had no need of propulsion, but it is believed there would have been a wooden sail and rudder device which would have helped keep it turned properly in the wind and currents to prevent excessive stress on the structure.

The designs were also partially designed based on the accounts of explorers who claim to have seen the Ark on Mount Ararat and reported or drawn the shapes of what they encountered. The researchers allowed for a variety of load variations as well as construction methods. The Bible tells us the Ark had three decks. In the testing, researchers used models in which all three levels carried equal amounts of cargo while others used the standard 2:2:1 load ratio. In this ratio the lower two decks would have carried a heavier cargo load than the upper most deck, thus allowing for greatly stability.

 Throughout this segment of the testing the maximum stress was less than the allowable stress levels set by the American Board of Shipping. When the testing was completed the technical journal reported the Ark, "had high structural safety".

 Overturning Stability: This portion of the testing concerned a second critical aspect of the Ark. Even if the structural design was safe, it would do little good if the ship was prone to capsizing in high seas. The test not only concerns the ships ability to withstand a wave, but also the vessel's ability to recover or restore itself before being impacted by the next wave. This segment of the stability is known as the Restoring arm. Once again the researchers conducted their tests on twelve different hull designs.

 The calculations used to evaluate this portion are complex and consist of numerous complex formulas which I will not bore you with here. In regards to overturning stability, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has standards for overturning stability which all ship designs must adhere to. The research conducted concluded the Ark was thirteen times more stable than required by the ABS standards.

 Seakeeping Quality : This phase of the test looked at the Ark's ability to remain safe and afloat in high sea conditions. In other words, how high could the waves have gotten before the Ark's design would have been in danger of failing. Again, a series of complex formulas were used to calculate the stability of the Ark using the previous findings in addition to more testing. In the final calculations it was determined the Ark had a reasonable beam-draft ratio to provide for the safety of the hull, crew and cargo in high seas. The research indicated the Ark could have safely survived seas with waves as high as 30 meters. This means the Ark could have survived waves nearly 100 feet in height.

 In conclusion the overall dimensions and design of the Ark provided a very stable and safe vessel. The evidence shows it is possible to construct a vessel the size of the Ark from wood and have it be a stable and safe craft even on very violent and turbulent seas.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Missing Books of the Bible

Are there Lost Book of the Bible?
Are there additional books which could and should have been included in the Bible? Books, apparently deemed reliable by the Bible's authors that were either omitted from the Bible, or lost to history before the Bible was assembled. This is not a reference to the Gnostic writings which have from time to time have garnered attention in the media and popular fiction. Books with titles such as The Gospel of Thomas, the Acts of Pilate, or The Letter of Peter to Phillip. These are all known to have been written several centuries after the events they claim to record and most were clearly attempting to capitalize on the growing popularity and spread of Christianity. In addition, most scholars agree these books have little if any historical or theological value. There is however another group of books which did, in a way, find their way into the Bible. These 15 lost books are barely noticed by readers, but at one time may have been the source, a reference, for at least a portion of the Biblical story.

The books in question, of which I have listed 13 from the Old Testament, are actually mentioned in the Bible. These books are mentioned as confirmation of facts in the Bible narrative and it is highly possible some of these books were used as reference materials by the Bible writers. Unfortunately these books are lost to us now, but if they still existed, or if lost copies should ever be discovered, it is possible they could act as a secondary source of confirmation for many of the historical facts listed in the Bible. There are also possibly at least 2 missing books from the New Testament which had they survived, would almost certainly have been accepted and included in the canonical books of the Bible.
Listed here are 13 book titles mentioned in the old testament. Depending on the version of the Bible you are using the titles may vary slightly. Should you research this subject you may also find some lists include additional books not listed here. This is because some of these books are listed multiple times under different but very similar titles. Books such as "Samuel the Seer" is believed by most to be a reference to the books of 1 and 2 Samuel.  The Books of the Kings goes by several titles while other titles are mentioned only in passing and do not reference a specific book. The 13 titles listed here all seem to be an actual book or record the author is referencing. It is as if they are telling their audience, "If you don't believe me, then just check this source and you will find the same thing recorded there." It seems obvious the titles mentioned were somewhat well known to the people of the time and must have been available to the general public, at least to a point. It also seems obvious the Biblical authors believed these books to be reliable and accurate.

In the list below I have included a passage from the Old Testament which mentions the missing book. In several cases the missing book is mentioned in several books of the Old Testament. To simplify things, and due to space limitations, I have listed only one reference for each. Most of the references come from 2 Chronicles, 1 and 2 Kings as well as 1 and 2 Samuel.
(1) 'Books of the Annals of the Kings of Israel' - 39 As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and adorned with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? (1 kings 22:39)
(2) 'Books of the Annals of the Kings of Judah' - As for the other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, the things he achieved and his military exploits, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? - (1 Kings 22:45) 
(3) 'Annals of Solomon' - 41 As for the other events of Solomon’s reign—all he did and the wisdom he displayed—are they not written in the book of the annals of Solomon? (1 Kings 11:41)
( 4 & 5) 'Nathan the Prophet' - 'Gad the Seer' - 29 As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, they are written in the records of Samuel the seer, the records of Nathan the prophet and the records of Gad the seer, 30 together with the details of his reign and power, and the circumstances that surrounded him and Israel and the kingdoms of all the other lands. (1 Chronicles 29:29) (Note: The book of Samuel the Seer is believed to be the Books of Samuel contained in the Old Testament.)
(6) 'Annotations on the book of the Kings' - 27 The account of his sons, the many prophecies about him, and the record of the restoration of the temple of God are written in the annotations on the book of the kings. (2 Chronicles 24:27)
(7) 'Jasher' - So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. (Joshua 10:13)

(8) 'Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite' - 29 As for the other events of Solomon’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam son of Nebat?(2 Chronicles 9:29)

(9 & 10) 'Visions of Iddo the Seer' -  'Book of Shemaiah the Prophet' - 15 As for the events of Rehoboam’s reign, from beginning to end, are they not written in the records of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer that deal with genealogies? There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. (2 Chronicles 12:15)
(11 & 12) 'Annals of Jehu' - 'Story of the Book of the Kings of Israel' -  34 The other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the annals of Jehu son of Hanani, which are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel. (2 Chronicles 20:34)
(13) 'Book of the Wars of the Lord' - 14 That is why the Book of the Wars of the Lord says: (Numbers 21:14)

In the New Testament there are potentially two writings which, if they had survived, would have certainly been included in the Bible. Both of these belong to the Apostle Paul whose writings make up nearly half of the New Testament. In total Paul is credited with writing 13 of the 27 New Testament Books. Within these letters are references to  possibly two additional letters which apparently did not survive.
The first of these is mentioned in Colossians and would have been the Letter of Paul to Laodicea. Some believe this reference is not to a lost letter but is actually a reference to the Letter to the Ephesians. This theory is not universally accepted and while possible there are many who believe this is indeed a reference to an unknown letter of Paul.
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
(Colossians 4:16)
Laodicea was one of the seven churches of Asia and Paul would have travelled through or very near to Laodicea on his third missionary journey. This journey lasted from approximately 53 to 57 A.D. Paul is believed to have written Colossians in or near 60 A.D. so the time-line for a missing letter fits almost perfect.
The second potential missing letter is referenced in 1 Corinthians. In this letter Paul mentions an earlier letter to the Corinthians and reminds them of things he had warned against. There are no credible theories which account for this letter being any of the other letters of Paul. This would, in theory, be 3 Corinthians. Actually it would be 1 Corinthians since the suspected missing letter would have been the first letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.
(1 Corinthians 5:9-10)

Paul established the church in Corinth during his second missionary journey and is believed to have written 1 Corinthians in approximately 55 A.D.  Paul's second mission trip took place between 50 and 52 A.D. So the missing letter must have been written sometime between 52 and 55 A.D. with best estimates placing its writings in 53 A.D. As all known writings of the Apostle Paul are included as canonical books it is an almost certainty these would have been included in the Bible had any copies been available.
In addition to the possible two missing letters of Paul there are hints in the New Testament of other writings which recorded the events of Jesus' life and His teachings. In the opening of the Gospel of Luke he tells us 'Many' have undertaken to draw up an account. This seems an obvious reference of other writings. Luke wrote his gospel in approximately 60 A.D. so the referenced writings would have been written prior to this date, and even closer to the life-time of Jesus than the four Gospel accounts included in the Bible.

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
(Luke 1:1-4)

Are there additional gospel accounts which did not survive the turbulent first century? A time when Christianity was just emerging, when Rome eventually destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and Jewish rebels made a last stand in the desert fortress of Masada. Given the violence and political tensions prevalent in those years it should not be surprising certain articles and artifacts were lost. Books once well known to Old Testament writers, letters by the Apostle Paul and even potential additional Gospel accounts lost to history, perhaps forever. Should this concern us? Should we be worried we have only a portion of what the Bible could have been, perhaps should have been?
Believers insist the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Written by human hands but guided by the Holy Spirit. Would God allow books to be left out of the Bible, left out of our education and instructions? While these books would be of great interest to both historians and theologians, they are not needed to complete God's teachings and instructions for us. As John tells us, there would not be enough room in the world to record all the things Jesus taught and did. Enough has been recorded to lead us, teach us, and inspire us to believe. We can have confidence the Bible is historically accurate and contains all the teachings we need to live a life of faith.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
(John 21:25)








Sunday, June 15, 2014

Science Discovers Source of Water for Noah's Flood

A recent discover may shed new light on a portion of the Biblical text some have always doubted. The story of Noah's flood is recorded in the book of Genesis and tells how the entire surface of the earth was covered with water. Critics have always been eager to point out there is not enough water on the planet to cover all the land surfaces of Earth. Therefore the Bible is in error and the story of Noah's flood nothing more than a myth. If recent scientific discoveries prove true, this argument no longer holds water.

In the past scientist have discovered subterranean water reserves. In 2007 a vast underground ocean was discovered under China. It is believed this ocean holds approximately the same amount of water as does the Arctic Ocean. This is a significant amount of water, but even if it were all somehow released to the surface it would not be enough to cover all landmasses. Now scientist have made a new discovery which literally dwarfs the subterranean water below Asia. The new reserve is said to be at a depth of 400 miles and is a massive ocean of water contained within highly pressurized rock. This rock, located near the earth's mantle, is called ringwoodite and the amount of water it is said to contain is almost unbelievable.
Noah's Ark
Scientist currently estimate this newly discovered subterranean ocean may hold three times more water than do all the surface oceans of the Earth. That is a staggering number. Three times more water than is on the surface is located in this deep reserve. This brought a question to mind. If this water from the deep areas of the Earth could somehow be released to the surface would it be enough water to cover all land masses? The answer is yes, it would easily cover the entire earth with water.

The next question is this. How did Moses, writing almost four thousand years ago, know about these subterranean water reserves when modern scientist are just now discovering them? In Genesis it clearly tells us that along with the 40 days and 40 nights of rain, the flood waters came from the springs of the great deep.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Genesis 7:11-12

This discovery clearly shows there is ample water on or in the earth to completely submerge all land to a considerable depth. This is contrary to the statements of critics but it does not answer all the questions associated with the water supply. Two important questions remain. If this hidden subterranean ocean did make up part of Noah's flood, just how was it released to the surface? Secondly, and just as important, how did the water return to its hiding place nearly 400 miles below the surface? These are certain to be key points to critics opposition to the story of a world-wide flood now that they can no longer claim an insufficient water supply. While questions and mysteries remain it is important to realize this. One more major obstacle to fully believing the Biblical narrative has been removed. Critics will remain, but for the believer this new discovery is one more reason to have confidence in the Bible and the Source of its information. Information which eluded modern science until now, but was known to and recorded by people nearly 4,000 years ago.







Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rare Crusader Period Seal May Reveal Location of Lost Thora

Mar Saba Monastery
There were many realms of influence within the area of Jerusalem and the Holy Lands during the crusader period. One of these was the Mar Saba Monastery. This monastery, dedicated to Saint Sabas, was home to several hundred monks at the time of the crusades and it’s leaders were apparently on good terms and had some influence with the ruling forces in Jerusalem. It also apparently had some financial resources available as the monastery owned a number of properties in the region.

A record from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher tells of a farm owned by the Mar Saba Monastery in the Jerusalem area. The farm was reportedly sold to the monastery in either 1163 or 1164 and was known as Thora. The actual location of Thora was not recorded in the archives and it seems its whereabouts might remain a mystery forever until a recent discovery was made. Almost 900 years after the farm was purchased, the location of Thora may have been revealed in the discovery of a tiny rare artifact known as a Bulla.
Excavations taking place in 2012 near southwest Jerusalem’s Bayit VeGan quarter revealed a farmstead. Evidence indicates the farm was first established in the Byzantine period sometime in the 5th or 6th century A.D. It then seems to have been abandoned or fell into disrepair until it was re-established in the 11th or 12th century. This places the farm in use during the crusader period and in the proper location to be the missing Thora. To confirm its identity however, more physical proof would be required.

During excavations at the farm archaeologists discovered a tiny bulla or seal from the crusader period. On the seal is the image of Saint Sabas wearing a toga and holding a cross. Some speculate the image also depicts the saint holding a copy of the gospel, but this cannot be confirmed. On the reverse side of the seal is a Greek inscription. When translated the inscription confirms the identity of the person on the seal as well as the seal’s origin. The inscription reads, “This is the seal of the Laura of the Holy Sabas.”  (Laura is an Orthodox Christian Monastery which is usually associated with a group of caves where monks would live.) This obviously referred to the Mar Saba Monastery.

Crusader Era Seal
The seal would have been used to secure an envelope or other document. If the document were to be opened it would result in visible damage to the seal, thus making it obvious the document or letter had been opened. The purpose was to discourage the unauthorized opening and viewing of the document by someone other than its intended recipient. This is considered an extremely rare and unusual discovery. Interestingly, since the seal was located on a farm it raises the possibility of the farm being the mysterious Thora. While it is possible there is no connection between the seal and Thora, some experts believe it is a strong indication the farm being excavated is indeed the farm owned by Mar Saba Monastery mentioned in the archives. It is believed the seal was used on a letter or document sent from the Mar Saba monastery to someone in authority at Thora. The document was important or sensitive enough to require a seal for its security.
The seal/bulla was recovered in 2012 but was not made public until May 27th of this year. Delays of this type are not unusual as artifacts must be cleaned and evaluated prior to the release of information or speculation concerning their origin or importance. The excavations were overseen by Benyamin Storchan and Benyamin Dolinka, both of whom are with the Israel Antiquity Authority (IAA). As of this writing there was no word on where or when the artifact will be put on display.








King David's Citadel Discovered?

Recent reports have been coming out of Jerusalem concerning the discovery of King David’s Citadel. The Citadel is recorded in the book of 2 Samuel 5:6-9 as the entry point for the forces under David’s command when he attacked the city of Jerusalem. Eli Shukron, an archaeologist formerly with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), believes the archaeological excavations in question are the location mentioned in the Bible.  As it seems with any claims associated with King David, Shukron’s theories have been met with considerable skepticism.

The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, “You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off.” They thought, “David cannot get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.

On that day David had said, “Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies.” That is why they say, “The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace.”

David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward.

2 Samuel 5:6-9

King David's Citadel
The excavations have uncovered a set of parallel walls as well as a tower next to a pool and a second massive tower which was positioned to protect the Gihon Spring. Some of these walls were constructed using 5 ton stones stacked as much as 21 feet across. These excavations, overseen by Shukron and his partner Ronny Reich, are not new. In fact the excavations at this site began almost 15 years ago and were concluded 2 years ago. So the site is well known and the dates for the walls and towers do not seem to be in question. Most scholars agree the fortifications were built in the late 18th century B.C.

While the date of construction for the walls and towers is almost universally accepted, there is some debate caused by the lack of pottery shards from the 10th century B.C. Pottery is widely used to help date an archaeological site and is generally very accurate. In this case Shukron and Reich found very little 10th century pottery in their excavations, which is a point of concern for some. Reich believes the lack of pottery shards from the 10th century B.C. raises some doubts as to if the fortifications were in use at that time. While it would be nice to have this type of confirmation, when simple logic is applied it seems completely unnecessary. If the construction date of 1804 is accepted as factual, and the structures still exist today, then it stands to reason they were there in the 10th. As Shukron points out the 10th century pottery shards would probably have been removed by the occupants since he believes the fortifications were in continuous use from the time of their construction until well after King David entered the city. A large number of pottery shards were discovered from approximately 100 years after the time of King David. This seems to match Shukron’s theory very well. Confidence in this time-line is not shared by all archaeologists and is the primary area of controversy regarding Shukron’s theories. This however, is not the only are of contention.
Other archaeologists believe the citadel was in use in the 10th century B.C. but are not totally convinced it is the same fortifications mentioned in the Bible. While Shukron claims the site matches the Bible’s description perfectly and is the only possible match in the City of David, others are hesitant. The fortifications did guard the city’s water supply and there was a tunnel discovered through which excess water would have flowed out of the city. It is believed it was this tunnel which David’s men used to gain access to the heavily fortified city. On the surface the area and time-line seem to match the Biblical narrative, and while archaeologist such as Reich are willing to agree this is a significant discovery, they are not ready to associate it with the Biblical narrative.
There seems to always be controversy when archaeologists attempt to use the Bible as a reference or research tool in their work. In this case however, there are other political issues which some say is improperly influencing the claims regarding the fortifications. The foundation which funded the excavations also purchases the homes of Arabs around excavation sites and then helps Jewish people move into these homes.  Some see this as a political agenda by the group which is made up of mostly Jews from the United States and Great Britain. This political association with the excavation tarnishes the claims for some as questions of motives and undue influence are raised. Regardless of these claims, the excavations have resulted in a sizable discovery of some importance, even if its relationship to the Bible remains uncertain for some.