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Meditation 187
It Ain't Necessarily So -by Matthew Sturgis

by Dan Shanefield

A discussion on this article has been opened in Debate and Discourse. Please feel free to add your thoughts to the discussion via the contact page

I'd like to advise you of a book that collects the evidence that there are no archeological remains of the main cities and temples described in the Bible (or else only a few remains at very wrong places and with very wrong carbon-14 dating.) The book is "It Ain't Necessarily So," by Matthew Sturgis,[1] published by F. A. Thorpe, in Leicestershire, England, in 2001. The ISBN is 0-7089-4886-3. It points out that excellent records were kept by the Egyptians, Romans, Assyrians, etc., but none report anything about biblical people or events before King Josiah, hundreds of years after Moses, David, Solomon, etc., were supposed to have lived. The conclusion is that Josiah probably commissioned Hebrew scribes (who were truly writers of genius) to make up all the great stories.

Although millions of people are trying hard to ignore this important book, it was favorably reviewed by The Times (of London) Literary Supplement (Jan.11, 2002, page 27). The same ideas were summarized on page B7 of the March 9, 2002 N.Y. Times, in connection with another book, "Etz Hayim" by David L. Lieber, but this one is somewhat less specific.

I think the Sturgis book should be in all city public libraries and discussed in college courses, but it is notably absent from those.

Maybe the best way to get books like that is really online through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, not the publisher. (In my experience, small publishers are very slow and don't offer discounts.)

Possibly you can donate this book to your local public library (or college library), but if so, be sure to call it something like "interesting historical material," not "evidence against the Bible," and don't have your society be the donors, just an individual person --- that's my advice. It has to be a guerrilla action.

Also, regarding the Times Literary. Supplement and the N.Y. Times reviews, probably your local city public library can make a Xerox for you, or they can order one via the inter-library network, for about 5 dollars U.S.



  1. There are several books titled "It Ain't Necessarily So" on a variety of subjects - some even relevant to issues discussed on this web site. Make sure you select the one by Matthew Sturgis.
  2. Apparently only the hardcover is available in the US. In Canada, you can order a less expensive soft cover version from Amazon, Canada or Chapters.