Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Biblical Evidence: Part 1- Archaeology

This is the beginning of a series of posts where I will present some of the facts supporting the Bible outside of the Bible itself. The series will have 4 parts. In this first part I will discuss archaeological evidence for the Bible. Part 2 will cover History and Prophecy. Part three will show how science "amens" the Bible. Part 4 will be about the manuscript evidence of the old and new testaments.

1. The ten plagues in Exodus are attested to in an Egyptian artifact - a papyrus dating from 1200 BCE. The papyrus is referred to as the the Ipuwer Papyrus and it's interesting because it is perfectly parallel the Biblical exodus story. The papyrus was found

2. There is mention of People and places recorded in Genesis on clay tablets in what is known as the Ebla archives found in Syria in the 1970's. sources

3. The Hittites used to be thought to a myth but their capital and records were found in Bogazkoy, Turkey beginning in 1906.

4.The Assyrian King Sargon was once thought to be a legend because the only reference found to him was in Isaiah 20 but his capital was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. Amazingly his conquest of Ashdod (711 BCE) is recorded on the walls of his palace just like it was recorded in Isaiah 20. Source 1 Source 2

5. The Bible has real people in it This site has a list of people in the Bible that we have physical evidence of what they may have looked like. Here is a quote:

Many of the people mentioned in the Bible are confirmed in sources outside the Bible. In the case of royalty, many times a likeness of the individual has been recovered. Over 50 persons named in the Old Testament are known outside the Bible, and we have likenesses of 12 of them. Some 27 people named in the New Testament are known from other records, with six likenesses surviving (four of them Roman emperors).

Based on current knowledge of Biblical and Egyptian chronology, the best candidate for the pharaoh of the Exodus is Tuthmosis III, who ruled 1504-1450 B.C. We have many records from his reign, as well as this statuary (see photo) of the pharaoh himself.

6. It used to be said that King David was a myth until 1993 an artifact was found bearing an inscription containing the words "House of David" found at the base of Mt Hermon. It dates from about 825 BCE and we are talking about 13 lines written in Aramaic. At the time it was written king Ahab ruled the Northern kingdom of Israel and Jehosaphat ruled Judah. The Bible reports that that Jehosaphat was a direct descendant of David.

The inscription was created by King Hazael of Aram-Damascus in about 825 BC, and it relates to his father, Hadad II, being victorious in battle against Jehosaphat (c. 860 BC). The most important aspect of the text, however, is that it specifically relates to Hadad defeating the "foot soldiers, charioteers and horsemen of the King of the House of David".


7. The Moabite Stone has 36 lines inscribed upon it recounting the "rebellion of King Mesha of Moab against King Jehoram of Israel and King Jehosaphat of Judah. This battle is recounted in the Old Testament 2-Kings 3:5-27."


8. There is a pottery Shard dating from about 800 BCE that bears an inscription in early Hebrew refers to "the Temple of the 'Bayit Yahweh'" meaning the Temple of the 'Bayit Yahweh'"House of the Lord"


9. A unique artifact dating from the time of the prominent Kings of Judah, who was one of the Prophet Isaiah's contemporaries, is also described and pictured in my research.

a small ivory pomegranate - vase shaped with a long neck and petals. Around its shoulder, in an early Hebrew script, is inscribed "Sacred donation for the priests of the House of the Lord ".


10. The Joash Tablet - Here is a quote

Recently, the press and media have been discussing another inscribed tablet that was discovered in the summer of 2000 at Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The find was made by Islamic Trust renovators of the El-Aqsa mosque which occupies part of the Haram el Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) site, and the tablet is know held by an Israeli collector.

Partially broken, the Arkosic Dead Sea sandstone tablet measures 31 x 24 x 7 cms, and carries 15 lines of text written in ancient Hebrew with elements of Aramaic and old Phoenician. It describes repairs to Solomon's Temple as ordered by Solomon's descendant, King Joash of Judah in the 9th century BC.

Joash (Jehoash) reigned about 839-799 BC and, in accord with this, carbon-14 dating by Israel's Geological Institute, under Shimon Ilani, has authenticated the inscription as being around 2,800 years old. The Institute's director, Amos Bean, reported that they had discovered flecks of gold burnt into the stone, indicating that it was probably in the Temple when the building was destroyed by invading Babylonians in about 586 BC.

In line with the Bible text of 2-Kings 12:1-6 and 11-17, the tablet describes how the King instructed the priests to "take holy money … to buy quarry stones and timber and copper and labour to carry out the duty with faith."


I think 10 archaeological finds that show evidence of the people and places found in the Bible more than make my point: there is real, physical evidence for many of the things the Bible says. We can confirm that many cities, places, and people described in the Bible actually existed and those that we can't we just haven't found the extra biblical evidence. But in none of this has the Bible proven false. What other book of scripture can say the same thing? None.

In addition, there are many other examples that I could cite but instead I leave it the reader to do careful study and "dig up" more facts if they are interested. The Internet makers it ridiculously easy these days, but libraries are full of information also. Here is another link to get you started: Top Ten New Testament Archaeological Finds of the Past 150 Years.

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