A Book to trust #10 Archaeology confirming or denying claims of the Bible #1 Old Testament

The adversaries of God love to tell others that the stories in the Bible are just fantasies and that the history of mankind proofs those people did not exist and those events descried in the Bible did not take place.

Lots of such critics do forget that often they do accept certain people would have existed, though in reality their are less writings and less proof about those people than the ones discussed in the Bible. Often people doubt the existence of certain groups or people spoken about in the Bible and only when by the years such existence becomes proven by archaeological facts, than they start reviewing their idea.

The adversaries of God also like to say we do not know what really happened and if those people who wrote those things are trustworthy. In the previous postings we gave some glimpse why we should be able to trust what those men wrote, often endangering their life for telling about God and His sent one.

It is fair to have or to ask questions about the correctness of what is written in the Book of books, the Bible. In any historical pursuit, questions of evidence, bias and trustworthiness will be raised. Strange enough often there is no such objection taken to other so called historical figures.

Looking at the Bible it is a work of art and a work of historicity, that does not mind a critic eye. It is not afraid of being looked at with a sceptic eye. Though one must be honest when examining that great library of 66 books. It is not correct to go to say it is historically nonsense when you did not study such facts or are not a historian, who has  developed more than one system for judging such documents. Non-historians in a way should trust the judgements of experts in antiquity or archaeology and history.

Some may think

Honesty provides the foundation for trust. A man who has a reputation for honesty may win your trust, but if he lies to you even once, he may lose it. {Bible Accuracy – Reasons To Trust The Bible}

We also may not forget at the time those books were written there was not a press , but people had enough time to talk about matters and to tell about what happened around them. Lies were very fast uncovered and looked at as such, plus having the one telling the lies being forever unreliable. A serious man could not afford to lose his credibility.

The quality, capability, or power to elicit belief those ancient writers and prophets received, was because they were considered worth being believed or to be trusted, because people had seen that what they told was a reality or when they spoke about future matters, they became a reality.

We can say

The Bible writers were honest men who wrote with openness of heart. Their candor gives their writing the clear ring of truth. {Bible Accuracy – Reasons To Trust The Bible}

It is not because, very often it was only centuries later that archaeologists and historians could find proof that what was written in the scriptures was something that really happened, or was about a people that really existed, that we do have to wait to find all the proofs for what is written in the set-apart Scriptures. It is also not we should only listen to Christian historians and ignore secular historians.

As time goes by we can see that little by little, one city after another, one civilization after another, one culture after another, whose memories were enshrined only in the Bible, were restored to their proper places in ancient history by the studies of archaeologists, making it that

… “Nowhere has archaeological discovery refuted the Bible as history.”

Such discoveries should give people some confidence and give the bible credit. But we can wonder how much a person is really to believe about God and His Works, when he always want to see  proof for what is written in the Bible. That is the essence of faith or belief, that is based on the things which are not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 (TS98)
1 And belief is the substance of what is expected, the proof of what is not seen.

The apostle Paul, a servant of יהוה, {Jehovah God} and an apostle of יהושע {Jeshua} the Messiah, knew very well that there were enough things which could not be seen by all. We as human beings also had to trust other people who had seen or witnessed situations, but have also to acknowledge the truth which is after reverence. (Titus 1:1) He too experienced how he could not believe things and went after those followers of that popular and rebellious leader Jeshua who his followers considered him to be the son of god. He had seen this man and had heard enough stories about that eloquent speaker. Though he also was aware that about previous events and for many who were born later, there would be time they would not have been able to see. But he became convinced that without faith it is impossible to please God and that the believe in those unseen things or events is a necessary path in life to come to a higher or better status. Like it happened to him he also came to know that the faith or the belief in the unseen has to come from within. and that is what many others also came to see.

“You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, its based on a deep seated need to believe.” {Carl Sagan}

George Gascoigne, woodcut, 1576.
George Gascoigne English poet and a major literary innovator but also historical critic. – Plato’s cautions against the risky consequences of poetic inspiration in general in his Republic are thus often taken as the earliest important example of literary criticism.

A lot of people are very suspicious because they want historical evidence or want something more than the Biblical texts to believe in certain events. You could say the last few years there have been some good messages in the press, because of the many discoveries made.

According to U.S. News & World Report,

“A wave of archaeological discoveries is altering old ideas about the roots of Christianity and Judaism – and affirming that the Bible is more historically accurate than many scholars thought.”

This coming from a non-religious source, is a significant endorsement for the integrity of scripture. Archaeology should not be the mainstay for some one to come to faith in Christ or to faith in God. It is good that more and more proof is been found and that the opponents are disfigured, being confronted with modern archaeology which provide objective and tangible evidence in support of many of the Bible’s people, places, and events.

In the previous years Bible Students did not always have it easy because they could not present historical evidence for certain events described in the Bible. It took a long time before the unbelieving world could see the exposure, recording, and recovery of buried material remains of people, cities and planes described in the Bible.

O. T. Allis.jpg
Oswald Thompson Allis (1880–1973) co- founder of Westminster Theological Seminary.

The American Presbyterian theologian and Bible scholar Oswald Thompson Allis writes about the lack of evidence for such events described in the Bible,

In view of the great interest which now centers in archaeology, an interest which in steadily growing, it will be well to call to mind the situation about a sesquicentennial ago, when archaeological research in the modern sense began. Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt in 1798 has been referred to as marking its beginning;… But excavation did not begin until about a half century later: with Botta (1842) and Layard (1845) in Mesopotamia,… The situation prior to this time has been well described by Ira M. Price. In The Monuments and the Old Testament (1899), …he called attention to the fact that the ‘Old Testament one hundred years ago stood alone in an otherwise unknown age. It was the only known representative of the ten centuries preceding the rise of Greece and Rome. …If contradicted or challenged, [the Scriptures] could make no reply.’  {Allis, Oswald T., “The Old Testament: Its Claims and Its Critics”, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972, pp. 172-173}

Describing how modern archaeology has changed this picture, the English Old Testament scholar Roland Kenneth Harrison records,

Archaeological activity has now furnished a vast amount of material which enables a reasonably precise picture of life in the lands of the Bible to be drawn as far back as the Neolithic period, and perhaps even beyond. Comparative studies have resulted in a substantial correlation of Palestinian culture with its counterparts in Egypt, Asia Minor, the Aegean, and Mesopotamia. In consequence the background against which the events narrated in the Old Testament took place has been widened immeasurably since the days of Wellhausen, so that it is now possible to reconstruct entire periods of Old Testament history in a manner unknown to earlier generations of scholars.’ {Harrison, R.K., “Introduction to the Old Testament”, Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 1969, pp. 60-61 }

Three running men carrying papers with the labels "Humbug News", "Fake News", and "Cheap Sensation".
Reporters with various forms of “fake news” from an 1894 illustration by Frederick Burr Opper

Times have changed so much everybody seems to be talking a lot about “Fake news“, but historians discovering and/or exposing more those things written about in the Holy Scriptures. In the times so many are trying to cover up things the Bible is coming to be revealed and more exposed, denuded of the false things the adversaries of God said.

File:-קומרן.jpg
Vases found at Qumram, part of the discovery of the “Dead Sea Scrolls” = a collection of 972 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1946 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran and later a 12th cave in 2016-2017, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in the West Bank. – and giving proof of the unaltered texts in the previous known bible manuscripts and many Bible Translations

In the present time not so much money may be provided to do research, but several historical and archaeological enthusiast continue uninterrupted in breaking open Pandora’s box, revealing often that was already described for centuries in the Bible, but not many believing it. Those present discoveries can be seen as one of the Bible’s best supporting witnesses. The most dramatic archaeological discoveries are those that completely upset ideas or theories previously thought to be true. Among the most impressive discoveries are the Dead Sea Scrolls which have proven that the Old Testament writings are indeed ancient and have maintained nearly perfect accuracy in transmission.

HPIM3078 1.JPG
Ruins of the outer wall and the “Damascus Gate”

In the ancient city Ebla (modern Tall Mardīkh, also spelled Tell Mardikh, ancient city 33 miles (53 km) southwest of Aleppo in northwestern Syria), tablets were found which also have proven that writing existed far prior to Moses’ era, contrary to earlier criticisms.

In our 8th chapter talking about the credibility of the Bible, we also talked about what David had done to Uriah the Hittite. For a long time people thought the Hitite civilization was a non-existent people, part of a story or myth. This ancient Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing an empire centred on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia around 1600 BC. got its capital city only discovered in 1906 by the German archaeologist  and historian Hugo Winckler. Only after his excavations at Boğazköy, in Turkey, disclosed the capital of the Hittite empire, Hattusa, and when he had yielded thousands of cuneiform tablets from which much of Hittite history was reconstructed, people came to accept that it was a real group of people and a Biblical character that really had existed.

Trilingual inscription of Xerxes, Van, 1973.JPG
Trilingual cuneiform inscription of Xerxes at Van Fortress in Turkey, written in Old Persian, Akkadian and Elamite

Not only had the Bible been validated concerning the Hitites, but the cuneiform tablets gave an early history conforming to that described by the Bible. {Shelly, Rubel ‘Prepare to Answer’ Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1990 p.104} Hititology eventually became a major in several universities.

Also for the Biblical characters in the book of Daniel there was doubt. Two concurrent kings of Babylon, neither of whom had been found anywhere else in history, got only recognised when in 1854, the British official of the Foreign Office, and also an important early archaeologist John George Taylor unearthed writings of the king, Nabonidus, also spelled Nabu-Naʾid (“Reverer of Nabu”), king of Babylonia from 556 until 539 bc, and his son, Belshazzar, the crown prince. {Millard, Alan ‘Daniel and Belshazzar in History, Biblical Archaeological Review, May/June 1985 p.75} Upon this discovery, Daniel’s labeling of Belshazzar as king was still thought to be in error. But this too was clarified by a 1979 discovery of a statue in northern Syria which, in two languages, described Belshazzar’s position.

The Assyrian text described him as governor, which was his official title, while the Aramaic described him as king, the role which he had been given over them. {Millard, Alan ‘Daniel and Belshazzar in History, Biblical Archaeological Review, May/June 1985 p.77}

If not truly authored by Daniel, or someone of his time, who else would have included the so-called obvious mistake of two concurrent kings? Who else would have known accurate details of the ancient city – both of which had long remained lost until the twentieth century?

Tablets of writing from Mari on the Middle Euphrates (c.1700-1600 BC) and Nuzi on the Tigris in northeastern Iraq, discovered in 1925, give corroborating accounts as to the life and customs recorded in the Bible.

Henry T. Frank elaborates,

Woodcut by Gustave Doré depicting the burial of Sarah in the Cave of the Patriarchs, also called the Cave of Machpelah

We have already seen that Abraham‘s haggling with Ephron concerning the purchase of the Cave of Machpelah was in accordance with common ancient practice. Apparently Abraham wished to purchase only the cave itself in which to bury his wife Sarah. Yet governed by Hitite practice he had to buy not only the cave but the land and the arbors associated with it. This assumption of feudal obligation described in Genesis 23:1-20 is exactly in accord with the recovered Hitite documents from Boghazkoy in which such details are stressed.{Frank, Henry T. ‘Bible, Archaeology and Faith’ Nashville: Abingdon Press 1971 p.74}

We can give so many more examples which at first had been thought as myth, but which, in the last few decennials, where found events that really took place.

The North American biblical scholar, theologian, educator and author Gleason Leonard Archer lists more events for which the Nuzi Tablets, found during an excavation of Nuzi, an ancient Mesopotamian city southwest of Kirkuk in modern Al Ta’amim Governorate of Iraq, located near the Tigris river, which can serve as proof and context of the activity of early biblical patriarchs like Abraham and Isaac.

inscription
Karnak temple-carvings, Luxor, Egypt- Lightning storm

Upon the walls of the great temple of Karnak in Upper Egypt an Egyptian attack upon Palestine (Lightning storm) is recounted, corresponding to that of 1 Kings 14:25 and 26. It lists the specific cities attacked and even references the Field of Abram.

“the first time that a source outside the Bible confirms that patriarch’s connection with a locality in Palestine.” {Wright, G. Ernest ‘The Study of the Bible Today and Tomorrow’ University of Chicago Press 1947 p.148}

+

Preceding

A Book to trust #1 Background book for debate

A Book to trust #2 Book of Truth

A Book to trust #3 Creation and Creator

A Book to trust #4 Cause of Being and Truth

A Book to trust #5 Words directed to create order

A Book to trust #6 True God and true words

A Book to trust #7 Heavenly Father not withholding knowledge

A Book to trust #8 Father of the universe wanting His creatures to know Him

A Book to trust #9 Consistency

Next

A Book to trust #11 Archaeology confirming or denying claims of the Bible #2 New Testament

++

Additional reading

  1. Organizing the Bible and the Talmud
  2. Bible containing scientific information
  3. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)
  4. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)
  5. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  6. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  7. Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)
  8. Reconciling Science and Religion
  9. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  10. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWH
  11. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  12. The Bible and names in it
  13. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 3/4
  14. Fragment of Nehemiah in Dead Sea Scrolls
  15. Simcha Jacobovici finding references to Jesus in Dead Sea Scrolls
  16. The Great revolt and Many stories concealed
  17. Ancient Jewish scroll now legible
  18. 1,500 to 1,700 years old Chiselled tablet with commandments sold at auction
  19. Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Judaism and Christianity
  20. History and Archaeology sciences looked at #2 Co-operative of excavators, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians and culture morphologists
  21. Operation Scroll offering 12th cave findings
  22. Dead Sea scrolls at Drents Museum in Assen
  23. Jewish writings and translations for our era
  24. The way of looking at the Scriptures and the people in this world
  25. World’s tiniest bible to be presented at Israel Museum for 50th anniversary
  26. Dead Sea Scrolls on display in Denver
  27. Miracles of revelation and of providence 2 Providence
  28. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #7 Jewish versions
  29. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #8 Selective Bibles and selective people
  30. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #9 Restored names and Sacred Name Bibles
  31. Literalist and non-literalist views
  32. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  33. Beware that you do not fall or be carried away by false teachings

+++

Related

  1. Does archaeology confirm or deny the claims of the Bible?
  2. Convince Me There’s A God: Evidence From The Intertestamental Period
  3. Do we have the right Bible?
  4. How Do You Know The Bible is Actually True? (Part 1)
  5. Understanding the Bible: What’s it all about?
  6. HaDerech: It’s About Time
  7. Archaeology Continues to Confirm Bible Stories
  8. Bible Corrupted? Dead Sea Scrolls Prove Otherwise
  9. How to falsify a religion using scientific or historical evidence
  10. Infinite Monkey Theorem
  11. Mendel Medal Recipient Seeks to Reconcile Science and Religion
  12. Science is not a religion.
  13. Science Vs Religion
  14. Hershel Shanks and the Dead Sea Scrolls
  15. Review of Joseph, Jeus, Q, and the Dead Sea Scrolls
  16. New Dead Sea Scroll Decoded
  17. One of the Last Dead Sea Scrolls Deciphered
  18. HaDerech: Who Penned the Dead Sea Scrolls?
  19. HaDerech: Evidence of The Way in Acts
  20. Why the Dead Sea Scrolls Matter for Christians
  21. 7Q5 is a fragment of Mark? Not so fast!
  22. Norwegian Diplomats and the Samuel-b frgs from Qumran that Disappeared
  23. Back to Scrolling Models of Dead Sea Scrolls
  24. Philip Davies on Dead Sea Scrolls and Historicity of Hebrew Bible
  25. ‘Once In A Lifetime’ Display Of Dead Sea Scrolls To Be Replaced Soon
  26. Sidnie White Crawford, “The History of Qumran and its Library: A New Synthesis”
  27. The Amazing Dead Sea Scrolls
  28. New technology helping to decode puzzling Dead Sea Scrolls fragments
  29. Israel discovers hidden script on Dead Sea Scroll fragments using NASA technology — Behold Israel
  30. Hidden Text Found on ‘Blank’ Dead Sea Scrolls
  31. Ancient Manuscripts, Artifacts On Display In Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit
  32. The Dead Sea Scrolls and The Bible
  33. Aumranquransaint Athanasios -about-eu-aggequmranquransaint-athanasios-about-eu-aggelismos-of-theotokos/lismos-of-theotokos
  34. [Dead Sea Scroll Variant] Deuteronomy 32:8-9 “Sons of God”
  35. (Verses from Leningrad Codex) SUBTRACT (Verses from Dead Sea Scrolls) EQUALS “Verses of the Old Testament that come AFTER the revelation of the Qur’an”

23 thoughts on “A Book to trust #10 Archaeology confirming or denying claims of the Bible #1 Old Testament

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.