Archeological evidence confirms the Bible

1. Written records from over 4,000 years ago.  Dr. Paolo Matthiae, Director of the Italian Archeological Mission in Syria, "hit an archeological jackpot" in 1975.  He discovered "the greatest third-millennium [B.C.] archive ever unearthed." It included "more than 15,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments" and unveiled a Semitic empire that dominated the Middle East more than four thousand years ago. Its hub was Ebla, where educated scribes filled ancient libraries with written records of history, people, places and commerce.
"These early tablets display an ease of expression, an elegance that indicates complete mastery of the cuneiform system by the scribes," said Dr. Giovanni Pettinato, former epigraphist of the Italian Mission, who worked closely with Dr. Matthiae. "One can only conclude that writing had been in use at Ebla for a long time before 2500 B.C."

The Ebla tablets verified the worship of pagan gods such as Baal, Dagan and Asherah "known previously only from the Bible."[5] They mention the name "Abraham" and "Ur of Chaldees" (the Biblical Abraham's birthplace) as well as other familiar cities and places:

    "The names of cities thought to have been founded much later, such as Beirut and Byblos, leap from the tablets. Damascus and Gaza are mentioned, as well as two of the Biblical cities of the plain, Sodom and Gomorrah. ... Most intriguing of all are the personal names found on the Ebla tablets. They include Ab-ra-mu (Abraham), E-sa-um (Esau)...."

Destroyed and rebuilt several times, Ebla began its final decline around 1800 B.C. Since new generations settled on top of the old ruins, it left behind a many-layered "TEL" (Looks like a flat-topped hill. Capitalized for emphasis) which archeologists will continue to explore for years to come.

Centuries later, Moses was trained "in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22). Raised at Pharaoh's court, he would have learned to write on fragile papyrus as well as clay tablets. The 1988 discovery of the TEL el Amarna letters shows us that written messages were an important part of Moses' culture:

    "...there were about 400 cuneiform tablets discovered at this site which were part of the royal archives of Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) who reigned about 1400 BC. Among them were letters written in Babylonian cuneiform script to these Pharaohs of Egypt by various kings dwelling in the land of Canaan and Syria... written during the time of Moses [and Joshua]. They provide the first evidence of the Hebrew tribes entering into the land of Canaan in ancient times."

That last sentence points to the completion of the Biblical Exodus -- the Israelite journey, led by Moses, out of bondage in Egypt toward the land God had promised them. Perhaps the "scholars" behind the PBS "documentary" simply chose to ignore the evidence. After all, politically correct deceptions are far more acceptable than facts to a world that no longer tolerates Truth. But that's all the more reason to be ready with answers to those who question our faith. The following archeological finds should help prepare us for the challenges ahead.

2. The Hittite Empire: The Hittites are mentioned dozens of times in the Old Testament. Yet, a century ago,

    "critics of Biblical historicity argued that the Bible's descriptions of the Hittite Empire were later insertions, since they were certain the Hittite Empire didn't exist.... But in 1906 archaeologists unearthed the Hittite capital and in the years following excavated what is now known to have been a massive and very prominent Hittite civilization."[7]

3. The royal line of King David:  Archeologists have found "the first known reference outside the Bible to the House of David, a ruling dynasty presumably founded by King David in the 10th century B.C." The stone fragment with these revealing inscriptions was found in the ruins of TEL Dan (in northern Israel). One "initial interpretation" is that a victorious king (probably Baasha) was documenting his battle against the king of the "House of David," probably Asa. According to the New York Times, this discovery "is strong independent evidence for the existence and influence of the House of David."[8] 

4. Cursive writing "an international means of communication":  By the 10th century B.C. writing -- including Aramaic -- had become increasingly common. In spite of social divisions, many were learning to write:

    "Though the clerk, the cultured person and the craftsman all used basically the same cursive script, there were decided stylistic differences. These may be classified as sub-styles of cursive and can be termed: (a) extreme cursive—that of the cultured person; (b) formal cursive—that of the professional scribe; and (c) vulgar cursive—that of persons of limited schooling....

    "During the ninth and the first half of the eighth centuries, there is no evident distinction between Phoenician and Aramaic script; apparently, the Phoenician-Aramaic lapidary script was used for writing in ink as well.... The beginnings of Aramaic cursive and its rapid development are undoubtedly connected with the rise of the Aramaic language and script as an international means of communication."[9]

5. King Sargon: The prophet Isaiah tells us that "Sargon, the king of Assyria, sent" his commander to fight "against Ashdod," a coastal city in ancient Israel. (Isaiah 20:1). Though Sargon is no household name, this verse fueled a controversy back in the early days of archeology. Some researchers had uncovered a stone obelisk with an engraved list of Assyrian kings. But it didn't include Sargon! So the University of Chicago announced that they saw a "glaring contradiction in the Bible." They were wrong! When Sargon's royal palace was excavated, researchers found his name engraved on numerous bricks in the palace walls -- along with boastful references to his conquest of Ashdod.

6. The Philistine city, Ekron (now called TEL Miqne):  This confirmation of Biblical accuracy was published by the Archaeological Institute of America:

    "An inscription carved into a limestone slab found at TEL Miqne, 23 miles southwest of Jerusalem, confirms the identification of the site as Ekron, one of the five Philistine capital cities mentioned in the Bible. The inscription is unique because it contains the name of a biblical city and five of its rulers, two of whom are mentioned as kings in texts other than the Bible.... It also strengthens the identification of Ekron with a... city-state recorded in Assyrian texts of the seventh century B.C....

    "In 712 B.C. this city was conquered by the Assyrian king Sargon II. For a short time, beginning in 705 B.C., it came under the control of Hezekiah, king of Judah.... In 603 B.C. the city was sacked by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar."[11]

When faced with the overwhelming Assyrian forces, Hezekiah prayed to God for His sovereign intervention. Before the great victory, he encouraged the people:

    "Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.' And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah”  2 Chronicles 32:7-8.

7. The Pool of Bethesda: "...liberal scholars, intent on maintaining their criticism of the Bible, claimed that the Gospel of John could not have been written" by the actual disciple. They argued that verses such as John 6:1 had to be wrong, since it refers to "five porches" at the Jerusalem's pool of Bethesda. But more recent excavations verified John's account:

    "...approximately eight years ago archaeologists discovered underneath what they had previously thought was the earliest level at the site of Bethesda an older mikveh (pool) which had a fifth portico transecting it! One would hope that at some point the critics would concede the historical reliability of the biblical narrative."

That's unlikely! Millar Burrows, the renowned Professor of Archaeology at Yale University, explained why:

    "The excessive skepticism of many liberal theologians stems not from a careful evaluation of the available data, but from an enormous predisposition against the supernatural."

The accuracy of the Biblical record has been proven again and again. As Dr. Joseph Free wrote, "Archaeology has confirmed countless passages which had been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contrary to known facts."12]

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