I was reading about the Hittites, when I ran across something interesting, to which I’ll return in a moment.
The Hittites are a people mentioned numerous times in Genesis and other books of the Old Testament. In 1906 the ruins of the Hittite empire were discovered by German cuneiform expert Hugo Winckler. He uncovered temples, a fortified citadel, and numerous sculptures. He also found a library:
“In ruined storage chambers, very likely royal archives, that appeared to have been destroyed by a great fire, he found thousands of hardened clay tablets. Most were in an unknown language, which was later shown to be Hittite. A few, in Akkadian, included a cuneiform version of a peace treaty concluded between the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II and the Hittite king Hattusilis, which Winckler translated.” (See Encyclopedia Britannica).
Prior to this discovery, as Christians are fond of pointing out, numerous higher critics viewed the Canaanite Hittites as mythical at best, and the Bible as untrustworthy on this point. The spade silenced these critics. As an early example, we have an article written by the Egyptologist Melvin Kyle in 1920.
Then grave doubts in the past have been raised concerning the Hittites. Occasionally it has been boldly said that “no such people ever existed” (compare Newman, Hebrew Monarchy, 184-85; Budge, Hist of Egypt, IV , 136). But in addition to the treaty of Rameses II with the “Kheta,” long generally believed to have been the Hittites (RP, 2nd series, IV, 25-32), and the references to the “Hatti” in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, also thought to be the same people, we now have Winckler’s great discovery of the Hittite capital at Boghaz-Koi, and the Hittite copy of the treaty with Rameses II in the cuneiform script. The Hittites are seen to be a great nation, a third with Egypt and Babylonia (OLZ, December 15, 1906).
However, in recent years apparently there was some some blowback in the blogosphere, against the idea that skeptical scholars ever denied the existence of the biblical Hittites. An essay on the website called “Christian origins” states, Thus, there is a legend here. It is the legend about “the liberal critics,” A blogger with the title “DagoodS” stated rather provocatively in 2009 that Christian apologists are liars. Why? Well, apparently because, among other complaints, “I heard the statement how skeptics once claimed Hittites didn’t exist, but it turns out they did. Not true—no skeptic said this.” (The inflammatory blogpost is here.)
A Roman Catholic apologist named Dave Armstrong decided to call the bluff on that particular point, with several examples. For an interesting read: http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2011/01/hittites-atheist-dagoods-lies-about.html