In a previous post, I talked about fact-checking the Bible. Whenever the stories mention a fact, something potentially verifiable, I try to look it up to see if it’s true.

But there’s a problem with that. In referring to the lack of surviving Egyptian evidence for the country’s foreign policy in the early 21st dynasty, Nicolas Grimal writes in A History of Ancient Egypt that “the main non-Egyptian source available is the Bible” (p.318). This gives me a feedback loop. If sources aren’t cited and I try to verify a factoid from the Bible, I may well be getting confirmation from the Bible.

So when I wrote in Genesis 50 about double-checking that the Ancient Egyptian embalming process really did take 40 days, am I merely confirming information that was derived from the Bible in the first place?

This makes my job very hard. I may be granting myself the belief that the Bible is far more accurate than it actually is. All this is just to say that I really, really, wish that books and websites would cite the provenance of the information they post.