Oct 19, 2015

Top 12 Reasons Sodom is Tall el-Hammam PLUS one

I'm sitting on Tall Habassa with Tall el-Hammam visible over
my right shoulder. The site is gigantic at over 62 acres
(Jerusalem is only 12 acres in the MB period).
I came across a good summary of the arguments put forth for Tall el-Hammam being Sodom at a site called Geeky Christian. I have no idea who they are but they have done a nice job summarizing many of the arguments. The Blog is titled "Top 12 Reasons Sodom is Tall el-Hammam" As they point out many of the popular news articles fail to present any evidence for why Tall el-Hammam should be Sodom, leaving the reader to believe that there is none and that Dr. Collins and others are merely making a silly claim.

  1. There’s evidence the men at the site practiced the kidnapping and raping of young boys.  [There is no concrete evidence of this but there is a possible Minoan connection which could connect the site with this practice.]
  2. A meteor air burst explosion completely decimated the city that’s buried there. [This is one of the theories of what happened.]
  3. This air burst could have created a vortex similar to what’s described in the Bible. [Again a theory which could explain the type of destruction]
  4. It could also explain the strange “pillar of salt” verse. [For a detailed explanation see David E. Graves, “Sodom And Salt in Their Ancient Near Eastern Cultural Context.” Near Eastern Archaeological Society Bulletin 61 (2016): 1–27 Forthcoming ]
  5. Sodom must have been the largest city in the area and Dr. Collins’ site is by far the largest. [see photo above]
  6. Genesis implies that Sodom had a wall for protection and this site has an impressive one. [most ancient sites were walled so this is not a strong argument]
  7. The city is located in what looks like the “disc” [kikkar] of the Jordan. [in the right place]
  8. Sodom and Gomorrah needs to be found in good agricultural land. [the Jordan valley certainly meets this criteria]
  9. Sodom and Gomorrah need to be east of Bethel; Ai and Tall el-Hammam is. 
  10. Sodom and Gomorrah cannot be on the south end of the Dead Sea. 
  11. Other surrounding cities can be located. [Tall Kefrein, Tall Nimrin, Tall Bleibel and Tall Mustah]
  12. People seemed to be very spooked by what happened. [not sure how this matters.]
 However, one important argument is not mentioned.

#13. The destruction took place at the time of Abraham and Lot. Most evangelical Christian scholars place the Patriarchs in the Middle Bronze Age II (1950-1650 BC). The catastrophic destruction of Tall el-Hammam is dated to 1750-1650 BC. 1. Steven Collins, “Tall El-Hammam Is Still Sodom: Critical Data-Sets Cast Serious Doubt on E. H. Merrill’s Chronological Analysis,” BRB 13, no. 1 (2013): 9; 1. John Moore, “Dr. John Moore and Dr. Steven Collins Reflect on TeHEP’s First Nine Years,” Update: Tall El-Hammam Excavation Project, The Official Newsletter of TeHEP, April 11, 2014, 1.

 For more evidence see Graves, David E. Key Facts for the Location of Sodom Student Edition: Navigating the Maze of Arguments. Moncton, N.B.: Electronic Christian Media, 2014.

1 comment:

Paul Hull said...

They missed the link between reason #4 and #12. If indeed a tidal wave of salt water blew over the landscape, there would have been no arable land for crops and fodder. And, amazingly enough, to this day, even 6-8mm of rain causes a film of salt to come to the surface of the ground inside the walls of the lower city.