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Uncovering the Truth...

WitchIn 1963, to mark the centenary of the death of Jacob Grimm, a man named Georg Ossegg published The Truth about Hansel and Gretel. It traced his dedicated investigation into the famous story, and how he had established that the two sweet young children were in fact murderers who had killed a woman for her recipe for lebkuchen, a German gingerbread treat, and burned her in her own oven to cover up the crime. The book sold - pun intended - like hot cakes.

The evidence was laid out neatly - archaeological discoveries, carbon dating, and even a faded recipe for lebkuchen that had been miraculously preserved in a biscuit tin. Except for the unfortunate fact that Georg was a fiction, made up by Hans Traxler for a prank, it was all very believable.

Meanwhile this week, the leader of a dig in Israel announced that they have found evidence to suggest that their site is Ziklag, the town that David was based in during his sojourn amongst the Philistines. They’ve got pottery, and the evidence of a fire from the Amalekite raid. They could well be right.

We can’t swallow everything that is found; archaeologists are human and make mistakes. And sometimes, overstate their conclusions in the quest for more funding. Over time, however, as evidence mounts from different quarters, we can have confidence in what is found. It doesn’t prove the Bible’s account, of course, but it does sometimes help us to interpret what the Bible says.

Our faith is not founded on what is, er, found under the dirt. Instead, we believe because we hear truth in God’s word. That’s where we dig for buried treasure.

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