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Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman
Interested writing a book, I have published 3 books. My first press-printed book was Blind Chance or Intelligent Design? (Amazon.com). I can help you or do it for you if you want to write a fiction, non-fiction or autobio. You can write it, & I can edit it, proofread it, or I can write it for you.
 

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Posted in Society / Religion / Christianity

Archeology and the Bible

Aug. 19, 2010 6:35 pm

Digs have uncovered the ancient Hittites Empire.

King David’s Reign has been found recorded on ancient Egyptian inscriptions.

The Regal House of Nebuchadnezzar has been unearthed.

A stone tablet bearing Pontius Pilate’s name has been discovered.

The bones and remains of the high priest Caiaphas, discovered in 2006.

The remains of the Apostle Paul have been exhumed in Rome and carbon-dated to the date that Paul was beheaded at Rome.

There has been so much skepticism about the Bible and the fact that the stories actually happened that I published a chapter in my book, “Blind Chance or Intelligent Design?, Empirical Methodologies and the Bible” that I wrote an entire chapter on this subject. My intent was to remove all doubt that the Bible is an accurate, historical account of the nation of Israel and of those nations who were associated with Israel. The Bible is in fact a historical document and fully accurate, as written.

There has been skepticism concerning Belshazzar, the king of Babylon. Belshazzar is mentioned by name in Daniel 5. According to historians and archeological digs, Nabonidus is Belshazzar‘s son. Tablets that were excavated clearly revealed that Belshazzar was Nabonidus' son who served as coregent in Babylon. This explains why Belshazzar had the authority to make Daniel the “third highest ruler in the kingdom” and the highest available position (Dan. 5:16). Daniel therefore, was in a position to read the handwriting on the wall. These tablets serve to act as an “eye-witness” to these facts.

There was also the discovery of the Ebla archive which was found in northern Syria in the 1970s. The Elba clearly reveals the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs, thus establishing it as a fact. Furthermore, there are documents that have been unearthed that have written references, found on clay tablets and dating from around 2300 B.C., that give personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts of Genesis. Even the name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla. Canaan was once thought to be a fictitious name.

Even non-believers have heard of Sodom and Gomorrah. Today, we know that these cities actually existed and were discovered to reside just southeast of the Dead Sea. Today they are know by the modern-day names of he modern names are Bab edh-Dhra (Sodom), and Numeira (Gomorrah).1 The depth of destruction goes down three feet at these sites and there are clear signs that it was destroyed by fire.

Archeology is like looking at a history book underground. You start with the most recent “chapters” then dig yourself deeper. The further you go down in the earth, the earlier the history, so that the deeper you go, the further back in history you go to. What Archeologists, Anthropologists, and Historians continue to uncover in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and in Europe, are artifacts that are specifically mentioned in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

About every two years, we find another significant find. Besides the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1947), the famous Moabite Stone (1868) and the Black Obelisk (1845), there are actually hundreds of artifacts that match precisely what is in the Bible.

Dr. Zeliko Gregor mentions a Galilean fishing boat, and dozens of other artifacts that are associated with Jesus. 2

The most documented Biblical event, world-wide, is the flood described in Genesis 6-9. Flood legends exist in nearly every known culture, people-group or even isolated island nations. Ancient civilizations such as China, Babylonia, Wales, Russia, India, South and North America Indians, Hawaii, Scandinavia, Sumatra, Peru, and Polynesia…etc., all have their own versions of a giant flood.

More confirmation of a global flood is from the discovery of a number of Babylonian documents. These Sumerian writings describe, it seems, the same flood that Noah and his family went through. The Sumerian King List, for example, lists each king who reigned, and for what periods of time. Then….a cease of kings. Only a mention of a great flood that came. It was clear from the Sumerian King List that the Sumerian kings ruled for much shorter periods of time after the flood. This very same thing is found the Bible.

The 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic is a great example. It speaks of an ark, animals taken on an ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice being offered after the ark landed. The Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Bible Archaeology actually began with the early cities of Abraham and the Patriarchs in the early 1800s. The initial Archeology occurred closest to Abraham's ancestral home of Ur, which at one time, was a powerful city-state of southern Mesopotamia. This great city-state is mentioned four times in the Old Testament. It is presently located in modern Iraq. Ur has been excavated on and off since the 1800s and has already revealed a wealth of information about the pagan culture of Abraham's time and as described in the book of Genesis.

Turkey also is replete with ancient history and was a perennial world-power, which revealed itself as the expansive capital city of the Hittite Empire. The ancient capital of the Babylonian Empire, covers nearly 3,000 acres about 55 miles south of current-day Baghdad in Iraq. The ruins include the famous ziggurat structures (ex., the Tower of Babel), the Palace of King Nebuchadnezzar, which was also recorded in the Scriptures. 3

In the Daily Mail Reporter (29th June, 2009) [Associated Newspapers, Ltd., London, p. 1], an article mentions that the Pope has confirmed that the Apostle Paul’s remains were discovered by Archeologists, “…under the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome. Paul was said to have lain in this sarcophagus for almost 2,000 years. The Daily Mail Reporter quotes the Pope saying that “…scientists had conducted carbon dating tests on bone fragments found inside the sarcophagus and confirmed that they date from the first or second century.” [p. 1] Church Historians say that Paul was beheaded in Rome and buried under the streets late in the first century. Ironically, Vatican Archeologists uncovered the earliest known image of the Apostle Paul on a fresco inside a catacomb beneath Rome.

David’s was one of the single most writers of the Old Testament. In 1994, written references to “The House of David” were found in both the Hebrew and Aramaic languages. The Aramaic writings could very well indicate that they might have been used during the time of Christ and during the early period of the church. This is especially true since Aramaic was spoken widely then, even by Jews of that time and in Jerusalem. This is quite reasonable since Aramaic would have been the language they spoke and read at that time. Dr. Avraham Biran’s team of archeologists, working in the Upper Galilee region commented that, “This is the earliest archaeological mention of King David“.4 The inscriptions also mention part of the Royal lineage of Israel (other Jewish Kings mentioned in the Old Testament).

In excavations near Jerusalem, Archeologists uncovered what they believe to be a part of a much larger network of quarries used by Herod in the city. The Associated Press reported in the magazine, Israel Travel, on July 7 (2009), Israeli archaeologists uncovered an ancient quarry where they believe King Herod extracted stones for the construction of the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday. The archaeologists believe the 1,000-square-foot quarry was part of a much larger network of quarries used by Herod in the city. Herod was the Roman-appointed king of the Holy Land from 37 B.C. to 4 B.C. and was known for his many major building projects, including the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. This same Herod is mentioned in Matthew.3

The oldest known manuscripts to the date of this publishing, are from the seventh century B.C. These were found in 1979 while excavating a burial site just southwest of Jerusalem. Archeologists unearthed three pieces of silver which turned out to be miniature scrolls. Even though it took three years to unroll them and read them, they contained Numbers 6:24-26 directly from the Bible.4

It is by far, the oldest reference to God that has ever been found by any Archeological team. This did was done by a team lead by Dr. Avraham Biran. Dr Biran is considered Israel’s foremost expert archeologist. What they discovered in 1993 was an inscribed stone, which was part of a larger monument.5

With over 45,000 digs at 25,000 different locations, each providing supporting evidence of the Bible’s historical recorded, ie. Belshazzar is mentioned by name, King’s Darius and Cyrus, and discovering remains of the Hittite’s and Babylonian’s civilizations, it should be clear that the connection between the Bible and Archeology is evident. Archeology supports what the Bible records, and more archeological treasures seem to arrive every year now.

1. Wood, Bryant G., “The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah,” Bible and Spade, Summer 1999, pp. 67-80.

2. Gregor, Zeljko (Ph.D., Andrews University) is a specialist in Biblical Archeology. He recently wrote several articles for Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (1997). His mailing address: 4766-1 Timberland; Berrien Springs, MI 49103. full article at:

http://dialogue.adventist.org/articles/09_3_gregor_e.htm

3. http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/biblearchaeology.htm

4. http://www.biblicalarcheology.net/index.php?s=gezer

5. Schmitt, David R. Blessed For Life. Fenton, MO . Copyright, 2009. CTA, Inc. 2009. (p. 6). ISBN 978-1-933234-81-6

An excerpt from Chapter Four of:

Blind Chance or Intelligent Design?, Empirical Methodologies and the Bible.

For More on apologetics visit What Christians Want to Know

 
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