I’m posting this more as an interesting news update on Biblical archaeology, but I do want to note how Fox News framed the story. They called it “Bible Bad Guys” because of the Bible’s depiction of Philistines as villains. Do you ever wonder if people like the Philistines get a bad rap because the winners define them throughout history? And when I speak of winners, I’m referring not to war but to culture and how The Bible is a worldwide best seller. With that kind of reach, it wouldn’t matter if the Philistines were gentle as kittens, whatever The Bible says they–that’s who they are: heathen villains.
Archaeology at least sheds light on the fact that nothing is ever black and white. I doubt the Philistines were gentle but were they brutes? The Biblical archaeologist Aren Maeir interviewed by yet another attractive Fox News anchor tries his best to suggest that Philistine society was more complicated than the picture given to us by Christianity and Judaism. Our pretty news anchor keeps bringing up Goliath as if the character has any meaning in relation to the ongoing dig. Now it would be fascinating if actual evidence of someone named Goliath were found, but we can expect that his exploits would be greatly exaggerated. While a shepherd killing his enemy with a slingshot is pretty sensational to begin with, a shepherd killing a giant enemy (ten feet is a suggested height by some) makes one hell of a story to tell around the campfire.
SIDENOTE: Goliath is thought to be part of a race of giants similar to the Nephilim, but called the Anakim. Goliath would make a damn good Christian movie. He could still be a bad guy but follow his life up until he meets David and dies. What could be more interesting than a race of giants?!