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new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament



new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament



new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament



new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament



new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament


History proves the Bible

new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament

new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament

After Darwin's publication of his theory of evolution, the Bible's historical record came under new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testamentwidespread attack. Archaeologist Leonard Woolley explained: "There arose towards the close of the nineteenth century an extreme school of critics which was ready to deny the historical foundation of practically everything related in the earlier books of the Old Testament." In fact, some critics even claimed that writing did not come into common usage until the time of Solomon or afterward; and, therefore, the early Bible narratives could not be relied upon since they were not put into writing until centuries after the events occurred.

One of the exponents of this theory said in 1892: "The time, of which the pre-Mosaic narratives treat, is a sufficient proof of their legendary character. It was a time prior to all knowledge of writing.

In recent times, however, a great deal of archaeological evidence has accumulated to show that writing was common long before the time of Moses. "We must again emphasize," archaeologist William Foxwell Albright explained, "that alphabetic Hebrew writing was employed in Canaan and neighboring districts from the Patriarchal Age on, and that the rapidity with which forms of letters changed is clear evidence of common use." And another leading historian and excavator observed: "That the question should ever have been raised whether Moses could have known how to write, appears to us now absurd."

Time and again the Bible's historical record has been substantiated by the uncovering of new information. The Assyrian king Sargon, for example, was for a long time known only from the Bible account at Isaiah 20:1. In fact, during the early part of the last century this Bible reference to him was discounted by critics as of no historical value. Then archaeological excavations produced the ruins of Sargon's magnificent palace at Khorsabad, including many inscriptions regarding his rule. As a result, Sargon is now one of the best known of the Assyrian kings. Israeli historian Moshe Pearlman wrote: "Suddenly, sceptics who had doubted the authenticity even of the historical parts of the Old Testament began to revise their views."

One of Sargon's inscriptions tells of an episode that previously had been known only from the Bible. It reads: "I besieged and conquered Samaria, led away as booty 27,290 inhabitants of it." The Bible account of this at 2 Kings 17:6 reads: "In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and then led Israel into exile." regarding the striking similarity of
new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testamentthese two accounts, Pearlman observed: "Here, then were two reports in the annals of the conqueror and the vanquished, one almost a mirror off the other."

Should we expect, then, that Biblical and secular records would agree in every detail? No, as Pearlman notes: "This kind of identical 'war reporting' from both sides was unusual in the Middle East of ancient times (and on occasion in modern times too). It occurred only when the countries in conflict were Israel and one of its neighbours, and only when I srael was defeated. When Israel won, no record of failure appeared in the chronicles of the enemy." (Italics added.) It is not surprising, therefore, that Assyrian accounts of the military campaign into Israel by Sargon's son Sennacherib, have major omission. And what is that?

Wall reliefs from King Sennacherib's palace have been discovered that depict scenes of his expedition into Israel. Written descriptions of it were also found. One, a clay prism, reads : "As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities... Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage... I reduced his country, but I still increased the tribute and the katru-presents (due) to me (as his) overlord." So, Sennacherib's version coincides with the Bible where Assyrian victories are concerned. But, as expected, he omits mentioning his failure to conquer Jerusalem and the fact that he was forced to return home because 185,000 of his soldiers had been killed in one night. -2 Kings 18:13-19:36; Isaiah 36:1-37:37

new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament Consider Sennacherib's assassination and what a recent discovery reveals. The Bible says that two of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, put Sennacherib to death. (2 Kings 19:36, 37) Yet both the account attributed to Babylonian King Nabonidus and that of the Babylonian priest Berossus of the third century B.C.E. mention only one son as involved in the slaying. Which was correct? Commenting on the more recent discovery of a fragmentary prism of Esar-haddon, Sennacherib's son who succeeded him as king, historian Philip Biberfeld wrote: "Only the Biblical account proved to be correct. It was confirmed in all the minor details by the inscription of Esar-haddon and proved to be more accurate regarding this event of Babylonian Assyrian history than the Babylonian sources themselves. This is a fact of utmost importance for the evaluation of even contemporary sources not in accord with Biblical tradition."

At one time all known ancient sources also differed with the Bible regarding Belshazzar. The Bible presents Belshazzar as the king of Babylon when it fell. (Daniel 5:1-31) However, secular writings did not even mention Belshazzar, saying that Nabonidus was king at the time. So critics claimed that Belshazzar never existed. More recently, however, ancient writings were found that identified Belshazzar as a son of Nabonidus and co ruler with his father in Babylon. For this reason, evidently, the Bible says Belshazzar offered to make Daniel "the third ruler in the kingdom", since Belshazzar himself was the second. (Daniel 5:16, 29) Thus the Yale University professor, R.P. Dougherty, when comparing the Bible book of Daniel with other ancient writings, said: "The Scriptural account may be interpreted as excelling because it employs the name Belshazzar, because it attributes royal power to Belshazzar, and because it recognizes that a dual rulership existed in the kingdom.

Modern discoveries even substantiate minor details of ancient Bible accounts. For instance, contradicting the Bible Werner Keller wrote in 1964 that camels were not domesticated at an early date, and, therefore, the scene where "we meet Rebecca for the first time in her native city of Nahor must make do with a change of stage props. The 'camels' belonging to her future father-in-law, Abraham, which she watered at the well were----donkeys." (Genesis 24;10)

However, in 1978 Israeli military leader and archaeologist Moshe Dayan pointed to evidence that camels "served as a means of transport" in those early times, and hence that the Bible account is accurate. "An eighteenth-century B.C. relief found at Byblos in Phoenicia depicts a kneeling camel," Dayan explained. "And camel riders appear on cylinder seals recently discovered in Mesopotamia belonging to the patriarchal period."

Evidence that the Bible is historically accurate has mounted irresistibly.While it is true that secular records of Egypt's Red Sea debacle and other such defeats have not been found, this is not surprising since it was not the practice or rulers to record their defeats. Yet, discovered on the temple walls of Shishak's successful invasion of Judah during the reign of Solomon's
new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testamentsonRehoboam. The Bible tells about this at 1 Kings 14:25,26. In addition, Moabite King Mesha's version of his revolt against Israel has been discovered, being recorded on what is called the Moabite Stone. This account can also be read in the Bible at 2 Kings 3:4-27.

Visitors to many museums can see wall reliefs and statues that verify Bible accounts. King of Judah and Israel such as Hezekiah, Manasseh, Omri, Ahab, Pekah, Menahem and Hoshea appear on cuneiform records of Assyrian rulers. King Jehu or one of his emissaries is depicted on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser as paying tribute. The decor of the Persian palace of Shushan, as the Biblical characters Mordecai and Esther knew it, has been re-created for observation today. Statues of the early Roman Caesars, Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius, who appear in Bible accounts, can also be viewed by museum visitors. (Luke 2:1; 3:1; Acts 11:29; 18:2) A silver denarius coin, in fact, has been found that bears the image of Tiberius Caesar----a coin Jesus asked for when discussing the matter of taxes.----Matthew 22:19-21.

A modern-day visitor to Israel familiar with the Bible cannot help but be impressed with the fact that the Bible describes the land and its features with great accuracy. Dr Ze'sv Shremer, leaderof a geological expedition in the Sinai Peninsula, once said: "We have our own maps and geodetic survey plans, of course, but where the Bible and the maps are at odds, we opt for the Book." To give an example of how one can personally experience the history presented in the Bible: In Jerusalem today a person can walk through a 1,749-foot-long tunnel that was cut through solid rock over 2,700 years ago. It was cut to protect the city's water supply by carrying water from the hidden spring of Gihon outside the city walls to the pool of Siloam within the city. The Bible explains how Hezekiah had this water tunnel constructed to provide water for the city in anticipation of Sennacherib's coming siege. ---2 kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30.

Jesus was also the greatest prophet. First, note what he said would happen to Jerusalem: "Your enemies will build around you a fortification with pointed stakes and will encircle you and distress you from every side, and they will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon stone in you, because you did not discern the time of you being inspected." (Luke 19:43, 44) Jesus also said: "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by
new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testamentencamped armies, then know that the desolating of her as drawn near. Then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains."----Luke 21:20,21.

True to the prophecy, Roman armies under Cestius Gallus came against Jerusalem in 66 C.E. Strangely, however, he did not press the siege to its completion, but, as the first-century historian Flavius Josephus reported: "He retired from the city, without any reason in the world." With the siege unexpectedly lifted, opportunity was afforded to heed Jesus' instruction to flee Jerusalem. The historian Eusebius reported that it was the Christians who fled.

Less than four years later, in 70 C.E., Roman armies under general Titus returned and encircled Jerusalem. They cut down trees for miles around and built a city-encircling wall, "a fortification with pointed stakes." As a result, Josephus observed: "All hope of escaping was now cut off from the Jews." Josephus noted that after a siege of about five months, aside from three towers and a portion of a wall, what was left "was so thoroughly laid even to the ground . . . that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited."

About 1,100,000 died during the siege, and 97,000 were taken captive. To this day a testimony to the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy can be seen in Rome. There the Arch of Titus stands, erected by the Romans in 81 C.E. to commemorate the successful capture of Jerusalem. That arch remains a silent reminder to the fact that failure to heed the warnings of Bible prophecy can lead to disaster.

These are but a few examples that illustrate why it is unwise to underestimate the Bibles accuracy. There are many, many more. So doubts about the Bible's reliability are usually based, not on what it says or upon sound evidence, but instead upon misinformation or ignorance. The former director of the British Museum, Frederic Kenyon, wrote: "Archaeology has not yet said its last word; but the results already achieved confirm what faith would suggest, that the Bible can do nothing but gain from an increase of knowledge." And the well known archaeologist Nelson Glueck said: "It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.

new testament archaelogy, archaeology old testament

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