What the Bible Says About Burnt Offerings

What the Bible Says About Burnt Offerings by Myra Kahn Adams for Town Hall

Author’s Note: Readers can find all previous volumes of this series here. The first 56 volumes are compiled into the book “Bible Study For Those Who Don’t Read The Bible.”  Part Two, featuring volumes 57-113, will be published later this year.

Thanks for joining our Bible study about “burnt offerings.” This study was sparked after I met a woman who had recently returned from an archaeological dig in Shiloh, Israel. The Shiloh excavation was sponsored by the Association for Biblical Research. Their website banner reads: “A Christian Apologetics Ministry Dedicated to Demonstrating the Historical Reliability of the Bible through Archaeological and Biblical Research.” And I love their motto: “Dig. Discover. Defend.”

Decades ago, I heard a mega-church pastor say, “Archaeology has never disproved the Bible,” and it resonated with me. Then, researching this study, I found two confirming articles. First from Smithsonian Magazine: “An Archaeological Dig Reignites the Debate Over the Old Testament’s Historical Accuracy” — and a quote grabbed my attention:

“This trend of archaeology corroborating Biblical accounts continued so consistently that in 1959 Rabbi Dr. Nelson Glueck declared ‘no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.’ Since then, the evidence has kept coming.”

The second article is from Newsweek (of all places), by celebrated writer Eric Metaxas titled, “Is Archaeology Proving the Bible?” Metaxas wrote: “Archaeology has been pointing to the accuracy of the Hebrew scriptures for 170 years.”

Now, circle back to the Shiloh dig. The woman I met had witnessed the unearthing of a charred animal bone — evidence of a burnt offering. I have never thought much about “burnt offerings,” but have repeatedly seen the phrase since there are 310 biblical occurrences according to the “Knowing Jesus” website.

Moreover, Shiloh is a prime place to find burnt offerings since, in the Hebrew Bible, Joshua chapter 18 begins:

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