Why I Believe the Bible #19 (New Testament Archaeology)
Over the last couple of weeks, we have discussed numerous archaeological finds related to people, places and things described in the Old Testament and concluded that archaeology proves the historicity of the Old Testament? So, what about the New Testament? Is there similar archaeological evidence to support the New Testament accounts? The simple answer is yes! There have been an astounding number of finds supporting the New Testament.
Many have sought to use archaeology to disprove the New Testaments account. Indeed, Sir Walter Ramsey (one of the greatest archaeologists of all times) set out to disprove the account of Luke. After 30 years of study, he concluded without equivocation:
“Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of truth trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”
The historicity of Luke’s account is spotless including specific names of 32 countries, 44 cities and nine islands.
Numerous actual people and places mentioned in the New Testament have been discovered. These include:
- John’s description of ancient Samaria has been confirmed including worship on Mt. Gerazim (John 4:20) and the location of Jacob’s well (John 4:6).
- The Pontius Pilate inscription was found in 1961.
- The Tomb of Caiphas was found in 1990.
- The existence of Sergius Paulus (Act 13:6-12) was confirmed by excavations in the Paphos island of Cyprus. There was found an inscription of the names Sergius Paulus and Sergia Paula children of a “commissioner.”
- Caesera Phillipi has been under excavation since 1990.
- The ten cities of the Decapolis have been discovered.
- The Areopagus at Athens has been excavated.
- Ephesus, including the temple of Artemis, has been discovered.
- The seven churches of Revelation have been confirmed.
- An inscription in pavement near a stage of a 14,000 sear theater in Corinth was found which indicates “Erastus” laid pavement “at his own expense.” This is likely the Erastus mentioned in Romans 16:23.
- Solomon’s Colonnade as mentioned in John 10:22-23 has been unearthed.
- The Pool of Siloam mentioned in John 9:7 has been located.
- The city of Bethsaida had been under excavation since 1987.
- The city of Cana has likewise been found.
- The pool of Bethesda as mentioned in John 5:2 was discovered in 1888.
As with the Old Testament, archaeology provides ample proof for this historicity of the New Testament.
Keith N. Schovillem explains:
“It is important to realize that archaeological excavations have produced ample evidence to prove unequivocally that the Bible is not a pious forgery. Thus far, no historical statement in the Bible has proven false on the basis of the evidence retrieved through archaeological research.”