ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE BIBLE

Here are just a archaeological discoveries that support the conclusion that God does indeed exist and that the Bible is trustworthy:
  • Clay tablets dating from around 2,300 BC found in Ebla, an archaeological site in northern Syria, contain names for people and places that match those found in the Old Testament accounts. For example, critics once claimed the name “Canaan,” was used incorrectly in the Old Testament, until the Ebla tablets confirmed its accuracy. And the tablets refer to all five “cities of the plain” mentioned in Genesis 14 (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim and Bela), previously assumed to have been mere legends.

  • The Merneptah Stela, discovered in Egypt, mentions Israel. (Merneptah was the Egyptian pharaoh in 1212-1202 BC.) The context of the stela indicates that the Israelites were an important people in the late thirteenth century BC.

  • The Hittites were once thought to be a biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered in Turkey. A crucial find in Nuzi revealed a cache of Hittite legal documents from 1,400 BC, confirming many details of Genesis and Deuteronomy.

  • John Garstang discovered the walls of Jericho in the 1930’s. The evidence shows that the walls fell suddenly and outwardly, indicating that the Israelites could have climbed over the ruins into the city as related in Joshua 6:20.

  • In 1986, scholars identified an ancient seal belonging to Baruch, son of Neriah, a scribe who recorded the prophecies of Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 36:4).

  • A ninth-century BC find at Tel Dan, a chunk of basalt, has words carved into it that refer to the “House of David” and the “King of Israel.”

  • It was once claimed that there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. But Sargon’s palace was discovered in Iraq and his capture of Ashdod, mentioned in Isaiah 20, was recorded on the palace walls. Fragments of a stela memorializing that victory were found at Ashdod itself.

When it comes to the New Testament, there is also plenty of archaeological evidence:

  • Luke is careful to get right the exact titles of officials. For example, Lysanias the Tetrarch in Abilene, mentioned in Luke 3:1, has been verified by an inscription dated ad 14-29; and Erastus, the commissioner of public works of Corinth, mentioned in Romans 16:23, has been verified by a pavement inscription. Because titles varied from city to city, these details are important and easily checked.

  • The stone pavement at Pilate’s palace, mentioned in John 19:13, was discovered recently; and the pool at Bethesda, mentioned in John 5:2, was discovered in 1888.

  • Archaeologists recently uncovered an ossuary (a repository for bones) with the inscription “Joseph Son of Caiaphas,” the first archaeological evidence that the high priest Caiaphas was a real person.”

Alex McFarland is founder of “Truth For A New Generation” truthforanewgeneration.com, an apologetics ministry dedicated to proclaiming and defending the Christian faith.

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