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Quotes About the Bible and History


William Foxwell Albright

The Paradox of Palestine

"The extraordinary influence of Palestine on world history has always been a paradox to historians with pragmatic bias. That such a poor little country could produce both Judaism and Christianity, and through them could exercise such otherwise unparalleled effects on the course of man's activity during the last two thousand years, seems absurd to may people who visit it for the first time.
To be sure, Greece, from which emerged the intellectual life and the artistic beauty which have conditioned all subsequent Western history, was also little and physically poor - but Greece had become wealthy through her far-spreading commerce before the flowering of the Hellenic spirit, and she remained wealthy throughout her golden age. Palestine, on the contrary, was always a poor country; its periods of even relative prosperity were few and brief.

Though no historian can ever fully resolve so profound a paradox, he can at least marshal facts which make it easier to recognize the unusual suitability of the Holy Land for its historical role.

...To one who believes in the historical mission of Palestine, its archaeology possesses a value which raises it far above the level of the artifacts with which it must continually deal, into a region where history and theology share a common faith in the eternal realities of existence." 

William Foxwell Albright, "The Archaeology of Palestine" Third Reprint. (Great Britain, Penguin Books, 1954). pp 250,256