Religion: Antiquarian on Jericho

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So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.—Joshua, 6:20.

The fall of Jericho took place in 1400 B.C. In 1927 A.D. a stocky, bustling, bemonocled Englishman set a party of diggers to work on the site. He was Sir Charles Marston, 66, Justice of Peace, officer in the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, fellow of the Society of Antiquarians, maker of Sunbeam automobiles and bicycles. A member of the House of Laity of the Church of England Assembly, Sir Charles is a hearty believer in the Holy Bible. Since 1925 he has spent a fortune on archaeological expeditions in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Syria, to bolster up Biblical lore which in the past 150 years has been assailed by "Higher Criticism"—comparison of ancient texts and detective work on internal evidence. Last month Sir Charles published an account of his work: New Bible Evidence.* The potsherds, cuneiform tablets, scarabs, bricks, cartouches, scraps of foodstuffs and cloth brought to light by his diggers convinced him that:

The Higher Critics are wrong in alleging that the Bible is based on oral tradition current in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries B.C. Sir Charles's discoveries show that alphabetical writings in archaic Hebrew, some paralleling Biblical passages, were set down in 1400 B.C., in the time of Moses.

The double walls of Jericho fell as related, probably as the result of an earthquake which may also have caused the damming of the River Jordan described in Psalm 114: The sea saw it and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs. Not a scrap of metal was found in Jericho, thus bolstering the statement in Joshua: And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. The foodstuffs dug up in the ruins of Jericho had remained uneaten because, as Holy Writ reports, the captors spurned such remnants of an "accursed" city.

Though its date is still in doubt, the occurrence of the Flood is indicated by an eight-foot stratum of sediment (implying an immense depth of water) found in Ur of the Chaldees. Beneath this were relics of an even older civilization.

Says Sir Charles: "Why, we haven't scratched the surface of Biblical knowledge yet. We don't know one-tenth of the truth, historically speaking. And the sporting thing to do is for all of us to wait, to reserve judgment, until that knowledge comes into our possession. That goes for Fundamentalists and Modernists alike. The die-hard Fundamentalist is quite wrong, I think, in insisting upon a word-for-word and letter-for-letter correctness of the King James version. And the Modernist—the extremist at the other end—he's just as wrong in leaping to snap judgments and wild conclusions on mere textual criticism."

*Revell, $2.