Thank you for this thoughtful and volumous reply. In actuality, the findings I mentioned - S&D, Zoar, Jericho, Ebla and (Ai, your mention) are all modern and post-date the quotes listed, so I don't see how the comments are out of date. Your Israeli sources are long recognized secular Jews and no friend of Biblical apologists. Their findings and summary dismissals of the Biblical accounts are based on absence of evidence rather than contrary evidence, pretty shaky and nothing to do with findings in the trenches when you look closely. You mentioned hard evidence? they have none.Continued--
See all of my words above here. A thing to consider is that we know the Bible describes people and some places accurately, but it also describes happenings that we KNOW for a fact are not true.
“"The reader may rest assured that nothing has been found [by archaeologists] to disturb a reasonable faith, and nothing has been discovered which can disprove a single theological doctrine. The Bible can stand for itself." - Dr. William F. Albright –“
Ah, good ol’ Dr. Albright. He was a kinda’ good archaeologist and a kinda’ good scientist. He had a serious problem though. He did not use the scientific method properly and he thereby contaminated most of his work.
In archaeology, or any other science, you DO NOT make the conclusion first and then try to find evidence to back you up. You DO NOT say,“OK we ‘know’ there was a flood so let’s see if we can find evidence to back it up.” Much of his work is under review. Look him up in Google.
I have seen the Dead Sea Scrolls and have followed the story for years.--end--
They sweep away the Exodus account merely because they have trouble finding of what? a 40 year camping trip with a tent temple thousands of years ago? They discredit Scripture based on the mention of domesticated camels being used too early in the age - why?, if the Bible mentions them as domesticated is this not an authoritative account? No they say, because they can't find collaboration outside the Bible, so based on more non-evidence they claim its falsified! How arrogant! If that's not anti-Biblical bias I dont know what is. Dromedaries are also mentioned in the herds that Job lost,(3000) and that predates the Exodus. An inscription recently unearthed stating "The House of David" has thrown many of these skeptics off balance in recent days.
Gaps in the Egyptian side of history are very suspicious, many feel the fam. of the responsible leaders removed the account because they were embarrassed by it. As for Jericho, the recent findings of bread in the ovens doesn't fair well for the abandoned city story,(with the walls caved in).
There is encouraging and ongoing work going on at Ai. My statements concerning the S&D destruction are based on a film documentary I viewed with shock back in 2003 or so. Short run series.
This is not the place to debate this huge topic, but here again I show there is another side of this story in just a few words.