Archeology is a science and a very useful tool to help us gather knowledge and make informed decisions. Like all sciences, the conclusions that we draw from depend very much upon the limited information that is available to us.
We make a mistake if we look to archeology to either prove or disprove our faith in God.
Probably from the very earliest of times, people made the assumption that the Bible was giving us a factual historical account of our past. The problem with this is that most of the major events even in the Bible are being told and retold from different points of view, depending on the book that is being referred to, and with different details and differing outcomes.
There is a general cultural,historical/political, and mythical background to all the stories, that would have been widely known to the people of the region in the times that they were written from. Much of the same thing is found in the sermons and theological discussions of today, where rabbis and priests and pastors and theologians make reference to such things as black holes and time warps and the quantum mechanics of the day to make their spiritual point. They know that they are not qualified physicists, and so does their audience, but the understandings of the day are like parables that reveal the unseen world of the spirit in terms of the world that is available to our senses.
Christianity and most particularly Catholicism is a sacramental faith, in which the world as we experience it is imbued with spirit and is the vehicle through which we can react with all things spiritual.
We are not pantheists though. We make a mistake if we confuse the historic event with the spiritual event that the Bible points us to. This world of events and things is not God. It is a reflection of God, a creation in the image and likeness of He who created it, but not the essence of who God is, for God is transcendent to the event and the things of this world.
We are a culture that insists that truth be measured exclusively by the tool of science. ‘Science proves and disproves truth. Whatever science confirms is deemed to be true, and whatever is unconfirmable is irrelevant.’
That is simply not the way that the cultures of the Bible thought, and in the end it is not good science either. Good science recognizes its limitations and recognizes that its experience of truth is only as valid as the facts that are being revealed. Facts are constantly being discovered, and old theories become transformed into totally different understandings as the new facts present themselves, and the old ones must be reinterpreted in new ways in order to remain consistent with the ever-emerging picture.
The Bible is the Wisdom of the Ages. It does not displace the fact of science, nor is it in competition with them. Instead, the Bible is there in order that each generation does not have to reinvent the relationship between God and between themselves from scratch. We have been given an understanding of God and ourselves within the Bible that is of immeasurable worth that informs us of how to live a good and worthwhile life that is not dependant on our own personal experiences, in real time as we are experiencing them. Young people need to know the best way to live their lives before they make their choices, and that is what a good understanding of the Bible allows us all to do.
Trial and error of experience is another way of course. Assuredly though, the mistakes that our society which has cut itself off from the Wisdom of the Ages in deference to the trial and error methods of science have already been made-they have already been depicted in the Bible even— and the Bible warns us against making them again and again and again.