Biblical Evidence - Archaeology

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Archaeological discoveries have confirmed the accuracy of both the cultural and historical references made in the Bible.

“It is important to note that Near Eastern archaeology has demonstrated the historical and geographical reliability of the Bible in many important areas.” E.M. Blaiklock

1) The discovery of the dead sea scrolls - "Probably the Dead Sea Scrolls have had the greatest Biblical impact. They have provided Old Testament manuscripts approximately 1,000 years older than our previous oldest manuscript. The Dead Sea Scrolls have demonstrated that the Old Testament was accurately transmitted during this interval. In addition, they provide a wealth of information on the times leading up to, and during, the life of Christ”. —Dr. Bryant Wood, archaeologist.

2) The Nuzi Tablets. The some 20,000 cuneiform clay tablets discovered at the ruins of Nuzi, east of the Tigris River and datable to c. 1500 BC, reveal institutions, practices, and customs remarkably congruent to those found in Genesis.

3) The Code of Hammurabi. This seven-foot black diorite stele, discovered at Susa and presently located in the Louvre museum, contains 282 engraved laws of Babylonian King Hammurabi (fl. 1750 BC).

4) The Existence of Hittites

5) Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. In addition to Jericho, places such as Haran, Hazor, Dan, Megiddo, Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, Gezer, Gibeah, Beth Shemesh, Beth Shean, Beersheba, Lachish, and many other urban sites have been excavated, quite apart from such larger and obvious locations as Jerusalem or Babylon. Such geographical markers are extremely significant in demonstrating that fact, not fantasy, is intended in the Old Testament historical narratives

6) The Merneptah Stele. A seven-foot slab engraved with hieroglyphics, also called the Israel Stele, boasts of the Egyptian pharaoh’s conquest of Libyans and peoples in Palestine, including the Israelites

7) The Moabite Stone

8) Shishak’s Invasion of Judah - (First Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 12) This victory is commemorated in hieroglyphic wall carvings on the Temple of Amon at Thebes.

9) Obelisk of Shalmaneser III - In 2 Kings 9–10, Jehu is mentioned as King of Israel (841–814 BC). That the growing power of Assyria was already encroaching on the northern kings prior to their ultimate conquest in 722 BC is demonstrated by a six-and-a-half-foot black obelisk discovered in the ruins of the palace at Nimrud in 1846.

10) Burial Plaque of King Uzziah - Down in Judah, King Uzziah ruled from 792 to 740 BC, a contemporary of Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah. In 2 Chronicles 26 his sin is recorded, which resulted in his being struck with leprosy later in life. When Uzziah died, he was interred in a “field of burial that belonged to the kings.” His stone burial plaque has been discovered on the Mount of Olives, and it reads: “Here, the bones of Uzziah, King of Judah, were brought. Do not open.”

11) Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription - Hezekiah preserved Jerusalem’s water supply by cutting a tunnel through 1,750 feet of solid rock from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam inside the city walls (2 Kings 20; 2 Chron. 32). The tunnel is probably the only biblical site that has not changed its appearance in 2,700 years.

12) The Sennacherib Prism - The cuneiform on a hexagonal, 15-inch baked clay prism found at the Assyrian capital of Nineveh describes Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah in 701 BC

13) The Cylinder of Cyrus the Great - Second Chronicles 36:23 and Ezra 1 report that Cyrus the Great of Persia, after conquering Babylon, permitted Jews in the Babylonian Captivity to return to their homeland. Isaiah had even prophesied this (Isa. 44:28). This tolerant policy of the founder of the Persian Empire is borne out by the discovery of a nine-inch clay cylinder found at Babylon from the time of its conquest, 539 BC, which reports Cyrus’s victory and his subsequent policy of permitting Babylonian captives to return to their homes and even rebuild their temples.

14) One of the strongest arguments for the accuracy of the Bible is its 100% accuracy in predicting the future. These future predictions are called “prophecies.” The Old Testament was written between approximately 1450 BC and 430 BC. During that time, many predictions of the future were recorded in the Bible by God’s prophets. Of the events that were to have taken place by now, every one happened just the way they predicted it would. No other “sacred writing” has such perfectly accurate predictions of the future.

15) The prophecies about Jesus were written down at least 400 years before they happened, there is no doubt that the Bible’s writers were inspired supernaturally—by God.

16) Special proof exists for the New Testament, since Christians were strongly persecuted by both the Jews and the Roman government. If the New Testament writings were false, these two groups would have produced a great deal of evidence to stop the growth of this “sect.” None exists. Further, the New Testament writings (before they were assembled into the “book” we call the New Testament) circulated during the lifetimes of thousands of people who had actually seen Jesus’ miracles and other historic events. No one ever refuted the New Testament writings as “fairy tales.”

17) There is irrefutable evidence of chariots being found under the red sea. - http://www.wnd.com/2012/06/chariots-in-red-sea-irrefutable-evidence/

18) The Walls of Jericho; A stratum of burnt matter relating to the City-IV destruction has been dated to 1617–1530 BC at the end of the Middle Bronze Age. It contains remains of the Walls of Jericho.

The attempt to destroy the Bible

Throughout history, many people have attempted to destroy the Bible but they were never successful in doing so. The Bible’s survival was guaranteed due to the one hundred thousand letters in existence from early Christians who loved God’s word. If the Romans were to have succeeded in destroying any New Testament manuscripts, it would not have been a problem as the possibility for the text to be reconstructed from the letters would be possible.

All scholars agree that during the first few decades following Jesus’ resurrection, the New Testament was translated into many different languages and was widely copied. Any false modification of the text would have been identified straight away and corrected.

The Bible is still the most published, most successful and widely read book in all of history. It has been translated into thousands of different languages and the words of the Bible continue to change lives today.

Evidence outside of the Bible for Jesus

A copy of the second Medicean manuscript of Annals, Book 15, chapter 44, the page with the reference to Christians

Written Roman historian evidence for Jesus from Tacitus. This source is considered authentic, genuine and of historical value by scholars. It confirms the crucifixion of Jesus under the hands of Pontius Pilate and the persecution of early Christians, which is consistent with the Biblical account - 

"Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus"

In the case of the Talmud, between A.D. 70-200. The most significant reference (outside of the Bible) of Jesus from this period states:
'On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald ... cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy."

This source tell us that 'Yeshu' (Hebrew for Jesus) was in fact hanged and because this person was against Jesus they could only refer to His miracles as 'sorcery'. This is very strong evidence, it proves that Jesus was a person they felt they had to deal with and that it was sufficiently common knowledge that he worked signs and wonders that they felt they had to address this by claiming that Jesus did his miracles by the power of Satan (sorcery). Also, in Babylonian Sanhedrin107b Jesus is accused of practicing 'magic'. In tHul2:22-23  it is reported that healings were done in the name of Jesus. So we have indirect confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus and of his working of public miracles-only charging that the miracles were worked by Satan, not God.

What these accounts prove is that many in his day were convinced that he worked miracles and that his enemies were aware of sufficient positive evidence of this that they felt they needed to explain it.

All of the miracles Jesus did were true and real because Jesus is the truth and everything He said was true, pure and right. His miracles confirm that He truly was divine - the Son of God who came down from Heaven, the first person to ever have been born of a virgin and walk this earth in a human body.

Supernatural things happening our lives is therefore supposed to be a natural part of our existence - prayers being answered, dreams from God, visions, prophecies etc. We are not merely flesh and blood but we all have a spirit. We have a spirit which will leave our bodies when we die and go to either Heaven to be in the loving presence of Almighty God or Hell (separation from God) depending on whether we have accepted Jesus' offer of eternal salvation through repentance from dead works and faith toward Him. It is His will for none to perish but for all to come to repentance and live. 

Just because something seems impossible or unliklely doesn't mean that it cannot happen. We can only humble ourselves and realise that we as humans do not know everything and don't have to explain everything. We have been created and intricately designed by a God who has made Himself known to us by coming to this earth in the form of a man, performing miracles which even continue to happen to this day, all across the world. Lives being transformed, the sick being healed, the dead being raised, the addicts being set free and delivered in Jesus' name.

Why does anything which is supernatural in nature, get rejected straight away by the skeptic? What if the supernatural is natural? What if miracles are part of this life we have? What if we humbled ourselves as children and realised that there is more to life than we may think? Prayer is powerful and this is proven with no doubt. God hears prayers. God has been close to mankind for centuries since the creation of the world because He started it all. He was with the first man Adam and has made Himself known to man throughout the generations and man has cultivated relationship with God since the beginning of time. The Bible recalls the accurate history of our earth including when people started having to 'call on the name of the LORD'.

God is trustworthy and is faithful to keep all of His promises. He is a covenant keeping God.

There is much evidence outside of the Bible for Jesus but the Bible itself is the most trustworthy and accurate account of the life of Jesus and the words He spoke, the miracles He perfomed. The love He showed, the life He demonstrated, His power, His character, His personality, His authority, His divine nature, His humility, His obedience and His sacrifice and His victory over death. There is no one like Jesus, He will forever be lifted high, above every other name. 

Sources:

https://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources

http://evidenceforchristianity.org/is-there-any-proof-outside-the-bible-that-jesus-performed-miracles/

More reasons the Bible is true

Manuscript Evidence - there are way more copies of the biblical manuscripts, with remarkable consistency between them, than there are for any of the classics like Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. 

 

"There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament."  F.F. Bruce

 

Eyewitness accounts - The Bible was written by people who witnessed the events it describes; many were persecuted or martyred but never changed their story. Would you die for something you knew for sure was untrue? The disciples would have known for sure because they were the ones who wrote it. 

 

  • 'For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.' - 2 Peter 1:16 

 

  • 'Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word' - Luke 1:2 

 

  • 'That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands--this is the Word of life.' - 1 John 1:1

 

  • 'We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.' - 1 John 1:3

 

  • "God has raised this Jesus to life, to which we are all witnesses." - Acts 2:32

 

  • "You killed the Author of life, but God raised Him from the dead, and we are witnesses of the fact." - Acts 3:15

 

  • "For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." - Acts 4:20

 

  • 'With great power, the apostles continued to give their testimony about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And abundant grace was upon them all. '- Acts 4:33 

 

  • "We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." - Acts 5:32

 

  • 'and for many days He appeared to those who had accompanied Him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now His witnesses to our people.' - Acts 13:31 

 

  • We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead' - Acts 10:39-41

 

Changed lives - all across the world, lives have been changed because of the words of the Bible. 

 

“As unnamed masses of Christians down through the ages have shown us, the Bible is the most reliable place to turn for finding the key to a life of love and good works.” T.M. Moore

 

Global influence - the Bible has had a greater influence on the laws, art, ethics, music and literature of world civilisation than any other book in history. Teachings from the Bible are taught at schools - e.g treat others the way you would want to be treated.

 

Leader acceptance -  A majority of the greatest leaders and thinkers in history have affirmed the truth and impact of the Bible. Queen Victoria believed that England’s success as a country was due to the Bible.

 

"I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong.” Abraham Lincoln

 

Literary Consistency - the Bible consists of 66 books, written over a period of 1,500 years by over 40 authors from all walks of life, yet the theme is consistent throughout, telling of God's salvation plan for mankind. It is difficult to pass a secret around a circle of only twelve people and still get the same message at the end!

 

“There is indeed a wide variety of human authors and themes (in the Bible). Yet behind these…there lies a single divine author with a single unifying theme.” John R.W. Stott

 

Prophetic Consistency - there are over 300 specific prophecies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. 

 

“The very dimension of the sheer fulfilment of prophecy of the Old Testament Scriptures should be enough to convince anyone that we are dealing with a supernatural piece of literature….God has himself planted within the scriptures an internal consistency that bears witness that this is his Word.” R.C. Sproul

Did Noah's Ark actually exist?

Dinosaurs in the Bible

The worldview accepted by most people and taught in schools is that dinosaurs once 'ruled the earth' and somehow were wiped out by a meteor and never therefore lived alongside man. Somehow the dinosaurs which got the chance to evolve into the birds we see today, managed to miss being hit by the meteor.

However, despite this worldview, dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible and therefore the Bible writers must have known about them. In fact they must have seen the dinosaurs with their own eyes as God said, "Look at Behemoth", He used the word "look" as Job was able to look at this dinosaur with his own eyes. Dinosaurs and man were both made on the 6th day, this is why God said, "Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you". The description includes that this animal 'Behemoth' (which means huge or monstrous creature) 'moves his tail like a cedar'. Only a dinosaur fits this description, as only a dinosaur would have a tail as big as a cedar tree.

15 Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you;
He eats grass like an ox.
16 See now, his strength is in his hips,
And his power is in his stomach muscles.
17 He moves his tail like a cedar;
The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.
18 His bones are like beams of bronze,
His ribs like bars of iron.
19 He is the first of the ways of God;
Only He who made him can bring near His sword.
20 Surely the mountains yield food for him,
And all the beasts of the field play there.
21 He lies under the lotus trees,
In a covert of reeds and marsh.
22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade;
The willows by the brook surround him.
23 Indeed the river may rage,
Yet he is not disturbed;
He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,
24 Though he takes it in his eyes,
Or one pierces his nose with a snare.

(Job 40:15-24). 

Dinosaurs prove God's existence because they are absolutely magnificent creatures which could never have came about by natural means, how can random processes create such beauty and glory? Some 130 feet long! These atonishing beasts could only have been the design of Almighty God! When you put all of the evidence together, dinosaurs are no problem for a Christian worldview.

Calvin Smith (via Creation.com) states, "God made them, along with the rest of His creation, around 6,000 years ago. We find their fossilized bones alongside those of other animals because of the great Flood around 4,500 years ago. They lived after the Flood but gradually died out (like so many other species have)."

The truth is that dinsaurs became extinct for the same reasons that many other species have become extinct - they gradaully died out because the conditions no longer suited them e.g loss of habitat or even hunting down by humans. All the mentions of 'dragons' throughout history would have related to 'dinosaurs' because man did indeed encounter them in the past. 

Leviathan fossil found!

The fossil of the mysterious creature called the 'Leviathan' which is described in detail in the bible has been found! This creature had always been a mystery; many thought of it to be some sort of ancient whale or crocodile, many even thought it to be just a myth.

However, this 'sea monster' was discovered in 2008 in southern Peru,

'Leviathan was much like the modern sperm whale in terms of size and appearance.

But that is where the similarity ends. While the sperm whale is a relatively passive animal, sucking in squid from the depths of the ocean, Leviathan was an aggressive predator.

According to Dr Christian de Muizon, director of the Natural History Museum in Paris, Leviathan could have hunted out and fed on large sea creatures such as dolphins, seals and even other whales.

"It was a kind of a sea monster," he said.

"And it's interesting to note that at the same time in the same waters was another monster, which was a giant shark about 15m long. It's possible that they might have fought each other".

The researchers speculate that Leviathan was able to feed on very large prey up to 8m long. It would catch the prey in its huge jaws and tear it apart quickly and effectively with its giant teeth'

The way it is described certainly confirms what is written in the bible.

"Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about" - Job 41:14

"...it is king over all that are proud." - Job 41:34

- This suggests that it was the top predator, which confirms what has been said in the discovery.

‘With their large size and robust jaws, Leviathan adults were surely free from predation'.

The ancient beasts 'were the killer whales of their time, although on a much grander scale,' Friscia said. 'They were close to the biggest things around.'

This truly is an amazing discovery!

(Ignore the '12 million year old'' date that this has been given) - Find out why carbon 14 dating is very inaccurate! - The Evolution Myth