A former Christian responds:
This is true, but you may not want to be so quick to drag Biblical archeaology into the picture. There is, for example, no verifiable evidence of:
- The Flood
- The Tower of Babel
- Abraham (nor any of the patriarchs)
- Moses and the Exodus
- Joshua and the Conquest of Canaan
- Herod's Slaughter of the Innocents
Worse than that, the Bible is specifically contradicted in several places by archeaology. Why do you suppose that there is so much difficulty in locating the exact year of Jesus' birth? Quite simply because the two gospels that record the birth narratives (Matthew and Luke) put them in two irreconcilably different time periods. Matthew wrote that Herod was still alive when Jesus was born. Luke says that Jesus was born when Cyrenius was governor of Syria, during the first Roman census. Cyrenius did not become governor of Syria until four years after Herod's demise, and the census took place six years later.
Further, everyone was enrolled in the city in which they
worked, not in the city of their birth, as Luke stated. The latter would
have created a logistical nightmare, and was quite unnecessary. It was
only inserted because Luke had to get Jesus from Nazareth, where his family
lived, to Bethlehem, where the Messiah was supposed to be born. It is highly
unlikely that Jesus was born in Bethlehem at all.