I have noticed a curious tactic by Christians to make up denialists or skeptics, sometimes denialists or skeptics who never existed, whenever any discovery related to the Bible is made which is interpreted by them as supporting the inerrancy of the Bible. This is an attempt by them to indulge in both the “we were right before” and the “they were wrong before” fallacies at the same time, curiously forgetting the lack of evidence for the kings of Genesis 14, the lack of evidence for the existence of Girgashites and the Perizzites and the Hivites ((: ), three down, three to go), the archaeological impossibilities of Exodus-Joshua (see bibleorigins.net), and the shrinking evidence for the glory of Solomon. Let’s take a look at some cases in which the made-up skeptics/denialists happened to have a curious lack of existence.
Christian Backstory: “Skeptics denied the existence of the Hittites due to lack of historical evidence until Sayce in 1882 (or the 1906 translations) changed everything”.
Fact: Since the beginning of Egyptology, there has been a debate whether to identify the Hatti (Khita) of the Egyptian inscriptions with the Hittites of the Bible. Contra the Christian legend, Sayce’s discovery of the ruins of Boğazkale changed quite literally nothing, and the 1906 identification of the inhabitants of Boğazkale with the Hittites (Hatti) of the Egyptian inscriptions by the decipherment of the Treaty of 1258 BC changed barely anything. If it did change anything, it showed that the Hittites of the inscriptions were unlikely to be the Hittites of Genesis. It is admitted there were instances of Neo-Hittite denialism in the 19th century by the unlearned who did not know of Assyriology. However, further study shows that the denialists of the Biblical Hittites did exist, but only after the discovery of the Hatti of Egyptology, when M. G. Kyle wrote about an unnamed denialist of the Biblical Hittites in The Fundamentals.
Conclusion: The conclusion is only partially true (the implied conclusion, that Abraham and Joshua’s Hittites are proven to exist in the supposed time of Joshua and Abraham, is completely untrue) and the backstory is totally false, although some details in it have resemblance to reality.
Christian Backstory: Skeptics claimed Pontius Pilate never existed until a 1961 excavation at Caesarea Palestina showed he did.
Fact: No skeptic is stupid enough to forget or deny Josephus or Pilate’s coins.
Come on, folks, remind me of more!