All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

How can I learn about God?

The Witness of Archeology to the Bible

    Archeology provides the fourth avenue of exploration of the reliability of the Bible. Archeology not only verifies certain biblical references, but it also provides a background for the message of the Bible.

    A. The Old Testament Record

    William F. Albright, one of the world's greatest Near East archeologists, states, "There can be no doubt that archeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament tradition."

With more than 25,000 sites already discovered that show connections to the Old Testament period, the amount of archeological support is overwhelming. To demonstrate how archeology has confirmed the bible, the controversy surrounding Abraham can be cited. Critics of the nineteenth century felt that Abraham could not have existed as he is described in the Bible. For example, they felt he would be unable to read and would lack knowledge of law and history.

Sir Leonard Woolley's excavations at Ur of the Chaldees show that it was a highly developed city. They discovered clay tablets that served as books and receipts for business transactions. Therefore, "it became clear that Abraham was a product of a highly developed culture." Sir Frederic Kenyon concurs:

    "It is therefore legitimate to say that, in respect of that part of the Old Testament against which the disintegrating criticism of the last half of the nineteenth century was chiefly directed, the evidence of archeology has been to re-establish its authority".

Another example of the contribution of archeology is the discovery of the Ebla tablets in 1974. For years, the Genesis 14 account of the victory of Abraham over Chedorlaomer and the Mesopotamian kings has been held to be fictitious and the cities of Sodem, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar as mere legend. However, the Ebla tablets refer to all five of these cities and in one document even lists them in the same sequence as Genesis 14.

Lastly, in August 1993, it was reported that an Israeli archeologist had discovered the first known reference outside the Bible to King David. The inscriptions were found on a broken monument in northern Israel. Hershel Shanks, editor of biblical Archaeology Review, said, "The stele (monument) brings to life the biblical text in a very dramatic way. It also gives us more confidence in the historical reality of the biblical text."

B. The New Testament Record

The New Testament has also been substantiated by the archeologist's spade. The book of Acts most readily lends itself to archeological investigation because it contains so many references to customs, places and events of that time. Therefore, Luke, the author of Acts, has been subjected to intense scrutiny. For example, in his gospel, it was believed that Luke was wrong about the events surrounding Jesus' birth. Critics maintain that there was no census at that time; people did not have to return to their ancestral home; and Guirinius was not governor of Syria.

    Archeological discoveries have upheld Luke's account on all three fronts. First, the evidence shows that the Romans held a census every 14 years and that the practice was initiated under Augustus. Second, an inscription on Antioch names Quirinium as governor of Syria in 7 B.C. and 6 A.D. Finally, a papyrus found in Egypt reads this way:

   "Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residents for any cause away from their homes should at once prepare to return to their governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment."

Sir William Ramsay, who has completed the most extensive study, thus far, of the data recorded in Acts, concedes , "Luke is a historian of the first rank.  ...In short, this author should be placed along the very greatest of historians."

   Other references in the New Testament to certain cities and regions, customs and political situations have also been confirmed through archeology. In fact, Morris says, "...no statement in the New Testament has to this date been refuted by an unquestioned find of science or history. This in itself is a unique testimony to the amazing accuracy and authenticity of the New Testament records."
Copyright 2010.  ComingToChrist - All rights reserved.
aaaaaaaaaaaaiii