Presentation on theme: "“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” 1 Corinthians 2:5."— Presentation transcript:
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” 1 Corinthians 2:5
Archaeology and the Bible If the Bible was inspired by an all knowing God, it must be accurate in its references to geography, historical figures and the customs and cultures of ancient people. Archaeology has confirmed many details of geography and history mentioned in the Bible. –Noted archaeologist Nelson Glueck writes, “It may be clearly stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.” --Rivers in the Desert.
Hittite Civilization “The Hittites played a prominent role in O.T. history.” –They interacted with biblical figures as early as Abraham and as late as Solomon.” (Genesis 15:20; 1 Kings 10:29). –Uriah the husband of Bathsheba was a Hittite. “Prior to the late 19th century, nothing was known of the Hittites outside the Bible, and many critics alleged that they were an invention of the biblical authors.” Excavations conducted by Hugo Winckler in 1906 uncovered five Hittite temples, a fortified citadel and several massive sculptures along with many writings detailing political and religious events. “The Hittites were a powerful force in the Middle East from 1750 B.C. until 1200 B.C” “The discovery of the Hittites has proven to be one of the great archaeological finds of all time. It has helped to confirm the biblical narrative and had a great impact on Middle East archaeological study.” – Pat Zukeran, Understanding Archaeology
Stone Ruins of the Hittite Empire
Artifacts of Hittite Civilization
Aerial View of Excavations at Jericho Jericho may be the world's oldest city; it dates back to Neolithic times, probably to thousands of years BC.
Jericho excavation – Dr. Bryant Wood
Excavations showed evidence of some event involving terrible destruction. The meter stick in the upper center of this photograph shows the thick level of debris from an incident which seems to have destroyed the whole city.
The stone revetment wall is in the lower right of the photograph. You can judge the height of the wall by comparing it with the figure of the man standing beside it. The revetment wall surrounded the city at the base of the sloping earthen rampart and provided a first line of defense for the city. A mud brick parapet wall is clearly visible above it. Behind the parapet, across the center of the photo, are the remains of houses - these were poorly built, only one brick thick.
Artist’s Depiction of How the Walls of Jericho Fell based on Archeological Evidence (Biblical Archeology Review) Compare Joshua 6:20
Grain Jars at Jericho (Joshua 6:24) Photo by Ferrell Jenkins
Hezekiah’s Tunnel 2 Kings 20:20 The tunnel was rediscovered in 1909
The Siloam Inscription Translation: [...] the tunneling; and this was how the tunneling was completed: as [the stonecutters wielded] their picks, each crew toward the other, and while there were still three cubits to g[o], the voices of the men calling each other [could be hear]d, since there was an increase (in sound) on the right [and lef]t. The day the breach was made, the stonecutters hacked toward each other, pick against pick, and the water flowed from the source to the pool [twel]ve hundred cubits, even though the height of the rock above the heads of the stonecutte[rs] was a hundred cubits!
Leon Mauldin in Hezekiah’s Tunnel
The Cyrus Cylinder The Cyrus Cylinder records the program of religious tolerance of King Cyrus, including the release of the Jewish exiles and the restoration of the temple. Partial Translation of the Cyrus Cylinder "I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Cambyses… The citizens of Babylon...their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end to their misfortunes... the holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the gods whose abode is in the midst of them, I returned to the places and housed them in lasting abodes. I gathered together all their inhabitants and restored to them their dwellings..." In Isaiah 44:28, the Bible prophesies that Cyrus would accomplish this. The Biblical record of the actual events is found in Ezra 1.
The Moabite Stone (Mesha Stele) Circa 850 BC The Bible states that Mesha the king of Moab was paying tribute to Israel and suddenly stopped: “Mesha, king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel…” (2 Kings 3:5). Mesha made his own record of this rebellion and set it in stone. The “Mesha Stele” was found in 1868 at Dibon in ancient Moab (20 miles east of the Dead Sea).
The Taylor Prism 689 BC King Sennacherib of Assyria wrote: “Fear of my greatness terrified Hezekiah. He sent to me tribute: 30 talents of gold, 800 talents of silver, precious stones, ivory, and all sorts of gifts, including women from his palace.” This coincides closely with the Biblical account in 2 Kings 18:13-15.
The Babylonian Chronicle Professor Donald Wiseman read the small Babylonian Chronicle for B.C. in the British Museum in He describes the document in these words: –“The events described include the Battle of Carchemish and the accession of Nebuchadnezzar II in 605 BC. The fifth paragraph related the capture of Jerusalem on March 16th, 597 BC, the appointment of Zedekiah as king and the removal of Jehoiachin and other prisoners to exile in Babylonia.” The Biblical account of these events is recorded in 2 Kings 24: Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Ration tablet from Babylon mentioning Jehoiachin Photo by Ferrell Jenkins This information harmonizes with what we are told in the Bible (2 Kings 25:27-30). This text describes an event under the reign of Evil-merodach. Verse 30 says of Jehoiachin, “He was given daily provisions by the king for the rest of his life until the day he died.” (2 Kings 25:30 NET)
Tomb of Cyrus Discovered in 1951 at the ruins of Pasargadae (south-central Iran). Over 2500 years old, the tomb is in decent condition, made of white limestone and stands a total of 36 feet high. Inscribed as follows: "O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body." - Cyrus
Uzziah Inscription The Bible mentions Uzziah or Azariah as the king of Judah in 2 Kings 15. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription is a stone tablet (35 cm high x 34 cm wide x 6 cm deep) with letters inscribed in ancient Hebrew text with an Aramaic style of writing. The text marks the burial site of Uzziah of Judah, who died in 747 BC. The inscription on the ossuary tombstone reads: –"The bones of Uzziah, King of Judah, rest here... Do not open!" The Uzziah Tablet Inscription was discovered in Jerusalem in 1931 by Professor. E. I. Sukenik of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is now in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
An ossuary is a stone bone box, used for secondary burials. Initially the body is laid to rest in a burial niche. After decomposition, the bones were collected and placed in an ossuary, making the burial niche available for a subsequent burial. Tombs belonged to families, so subsequent burials were normal.
In 1990, a tomb was uncovered near Jerusalem. Two of a dozen ossuaries in the tomb contained a form of the name Qafa', or Caiaphas. Several of the ossuaries were decorated with traditional carved rosettes, zig-zag patterns, and other designs. The most intricately carved ossuary was decorated with two circles each containing five rosettes, and twice carved into an undecorated side appears the name, "Yehosef bar Qafa'" (Joseph son of Caiaphas). The ossuary contained the remains of six people: two infants, a child aged two to five, a boy aged 13 to 18, an adult female and a man about 60 years old. The latter are believed to be the bones of Caiaphas.
View into the interior of a typical first century A.D. tomb. This tomb is located on the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives. Note the three niches in the far wall and two of the three in the wall of the left side. Three additional niches are in the wall on top of which this photograph was taken for a total of nine burial niches in this tomb. Bodies were placed in these niches, which were then sealed. After a year or so, the bones of the deceased were removed and placed in special boxes called ossuaries. Over 1,500 ossuaries have been found in tombs - mainly from the Jerusalem area. Typical Family Tomb The family that decays together stays together!
Scribal Seals Impressions made by scribes on clay seals are known as bullae. Hundreds of these have been found in Palestine dating to Bible times. Several contain the names of O.T. characters.
Jezebel’s Royal Seal Originally discovered in Israel in 1964 is definitively traceable to Jezebel, wife of Ahab.
Sargon II “Sargon II was king of Assyria from 721 to 705 B.C., but records which survived into the 19th century made no mention of him. In the only reference to Sargon in the Bible the prophet Isaiah says, ‘In the year that the commander came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it’ (Isa. 20:1).” James Orr commented in 1906, "Ancient writers knew nothing of him [Sargon]. He was a mystery: some did not hesitate to deny that he ever existed" (The Problem of the Old Testament, 399). Sargon's palace was found by Paul Emile Botta at Khorsabad in Ferrell Jenkins “Biblical Insights from Archaeology”
Sargon Inscription The inscription celebrates the construction of the city and of the palace "Sargon, king of the universe, built this city: Dûr-Sharrûkin ["The fortress of Sargon"] is its name; inside it he had this unrivalled Palace built".
Palace of Artaxerxes At Persepolis, Iran (see Ezra 4 & 7)
The Elephantine Papyrus Mention Sanballat and Johanan (Nehemiah) Indicate that Nehemiah’s governorship ended by 408 B.C.
The Gallio Inscription at Delphi (Acts 18:12-17)