Why I Believe the Bible #18B (Old Testament Archaeology)
Last week, we looked at numerous examples of Old Testament stories previously discounted by scholars which were later proved true through archaeology. William F. Albright, of John Hopkins University, once said:
“There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.”
In this post, we will look at numerous addition Old Testament stories, people and facts supported by archaeology. They include:
- The existence of the Philistines
- The city of Jericho was discovered in the 1930’s. That discovery showed that the walls fell outward and there were large quantities of grain undisturbed (consistent with God’s command that the Israelites not plunder).
- The City of Ur was found in present day Iraq. Excavations have continued since the 1800’s.
- The site of Sarah’s grave (the wife of Abraham) was located. It is now the home of a Muslim Mosque.
- As regards the Tower of Babel, archaeologists have uncovered information supporting the idea that at one point the entire world shared one language. Furthermore, baked bricks like those described in Genesis have been found in Mesopotamia.
- Illustrations have been found showing Hebrews making bricks for the cities of Pitham and Ramses. This supports the Exodus account.
- The ruins of the city of Beth Shamesh were found and provided evidence of the destruction described in 2 Chronicles 12.
- The Pool of Gibeon mentioned in 2 Samuel 2:3 and Jeremiah 41:12 has been located.
- In 1986, archaeologists found the seal of Baruch, son of Neriah who recorded the prophecies of Jeremiah.
- King Saul established his capital at Gibeah. Both the city and Saul’s fortress-palace have been located.
- Various building projects of Nebuchadnezzar have been uncovered.
- A stone tablet from the 7th year of Nebuchadnezzar was found which recounts the fall of Jerusalem and the capture of Jehoiachin.
- Beersheba was excavated from 1969 to 1976. The excavation confirmed the description provided in the Bible.
- The worship of Dagon, God of the Philistines (as mentioned in the Bible) has been confirmed by excavations.
- King Ahab was mentioned in the archaeological records of the Assyrians.
- Sennacherib’s Prison was found in Ninevah which talks about the invasion of Judah and how they has trapped Hezekiah in Jerusalem “like a bird cage.”
- The decree of Cyrus to allow the Israelites to return home has been confirmed by archaeological finds.
- The existence of Sargon, King of Assyria (whom the Bible mentions only once) has been confirmed.
- Every reference to an Assyrian King in the Bible has been confirmed.
And, the list could go on and on. The fact of the matter is that archaeology leaves little doubt about the historical reliability of the Bible. Next week, we will look at archaeological finds related to the New Testament.