Does archaeology confirm the Bible?

There is great evidence to back up the claim that the Bible is true; it passes an external evidence test. Renowned archaeologist Nelson Glueck said, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.” This statement was made by a Reformed Jewish scholar, not a Christian, and yet he concedes that archaeology supports both Old and New Testament Scripture. In the earlier blogs on worldviews, that was part of test number one—are there any facts to support the claim? When it comes to the person of Jesus Christ, the same holds true. There is indeed evidence outside of the Bible for His existence as well as His divinity. But before we explore that aspect of our worldview map, let’s highlight some other noteworthy archaeological discoveries that display the Bible’s dependability.

 Previous blogs spent considerable time on the Flood evidence that exists, and made mention of the Tower of Babel accounts. Another familiar event is Joshua and the battle of Jericho. The destruction of the city and its walls is listed in Joshua 6:20. “When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.” As archaeologist John Garstang dug at Jericho during excavations between 1930-1936, he found to his amazement that the walls had fallen outward so attackers could climb over them and enter the city. Normally, attackers batter walls inward after laying siege to a city.

Alexander the Great and King Solomon are the top two most noted historical figures in antiquity. In other words, if you search for documentation of the most well known individuals of ancient times, Alexander would be in first place and Solomon would be in second. People from all over the known world were aware of these two great leaders and celebrated their accomplishments in folk literature. Accordingly, 1 Kings 4:34 records that “men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.”

After 30 years of study, William Ramsey concluded that the books by Luke (his gospel of the same name and the book of Acts) are very accurate accounts of history. He said, “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along the very greatest of historians.” This makes perfect sense because Luke explains how he did his research before writing his gospel in Luke 1:3-4. “Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”  Since Luke had “done his homework,” verifying all things about Christ’s life, he wrote this account for a man named Theophilus so he would have complete confidence in believing it as the truth.

 The preceding were just a sample of the findings throughout the past two centuries. Archaeologist Joseph Free said, “In summary, archaeological discoveries show at point after point that the biblical record is confirmed and commended as trustworthy. This confirmation is not confined to a few general instances.” But now let’s turn our attention to Jesus of Nazareth.

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October 19, 2012

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