Deliver us from evil
Archeological evidence regarding the Bible

Archeological Evidence

There is considerable archeological evidence demonstrating that the books of Scripture were in circulation thousands of years ago, with the same wording as today.

Recently archeologists found jewelry and pottery buried in nine caves across the Hinnom Valley near the southern walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. These treasures were dated some 2,600 years ago, and contained exact wording from Numbers 6:24-26: "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."

When you take into account the small size of the nation of Israel, the amount of archeological evidence is quite significant. In comparison to the giant political powers of Assyria, Egypt and Mesopotamia, Israel was tiny. If not for the demonstrations of God's power which were well known throughout the region, this minute country would probably have been completely ignored in the surviving literature of the great empires.

Fortunately, there are many historical records regarding events that involved the Israelites. What continually amazes many researchers is that every time a new discovery is made, it supports rather than discredits the biblical accounts. To this date, not one biblical event has been proven wrong, while many have been confirmed by historical evidence. New archeological discoveries are made every month which verify biblical accounts.

Battles and wars

Monoliths found in Iraq inscribed by King Shalmaneser III mention King Jehu, Omri, and "Ahab the Israelite." Another chronicles a tribute given to Tiglath-Pileser III by king Menahem. A building inscription, also by Tiglath-Pileser III dating 734BC refers to a tribute from king Ahaz. A stela found in Jordan dating to 830BC refers to a tribute which Omri had to pay to Mesha king of Moab.

An inscription in modern-day Iraq (then Assyria) from 722BC refers to the conquering of Samaria and the exile of Israelites to Assyria. It indicates that 27,900 inhabitants were captured by Sargon II. Sennacherib referred to Hezekiah's refusal to surrender and the subsequent siege of Jerusalem. He indicates that he laid siege to 46 cities and drove out over 200,000 people.

The Tower of Babel

One of the most astonishing archeological finds has been the base of the so-called "Tower of Babel" in Babylon (just south of Baghdad). According to the inscription on the base of the remains of a tower, "A former king built [this tower], they reckon 42 ages past, but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words." Note the reference to the confusion of their language. We know from Genesis 11:2-8 that God scattered the people by confusing their language.

Joseph

Other archeological records dating to about 1500BC refer to the seven years of good and seven years of famine in Egypt. One of them specifically refers to Joseph, who it claims was in charge of distributing grain to the people, just as the Bible records in Genesis 41:47-57.

The exodus

On the shores of the Red Sea, at Wadi Sidri on the west side of the Sinai is a huge inscription written in a curious combination of Egyptian hieroglyphics and Hebrew letters. This inscription which covers a wall of stone about 100 feet high, was already considered ancient by historian Diodorus Siculus in 10BC. It relates the story of the miraculous crossing by the Israelites over a divided sea, followed by the mighty army of pharaoh submerged in the sea as the waters returned. The story is identical to the biblical account from Exodus 14:21-28.

Other inscriptions at Wadi Sidri and Kibroth-hattaavah refer to the biblical accounts of the venomous snakes in the Sinai desert, the plaque brought upon the people when they ate raw quail meat, and Miriam's near-mutiny of Moses. The lost Pishon river mentioned in the account of the Garden of Eden but regarded by many to be a myth has just been identified using infrared satellite technology. In 1997 a fossilized snake was discovered with fully developed hind legs, confirming the biblical account in Genesis that snakes originally had legs.

New Testament evidence

As for the New Testament, many archeological records confirm those accounts as well. The bones of a crucified man were discovered--the first of their kind--showing not only that the practice existed but that both feet were pierced from the sides, just below the ankle bone, rather than from the top as was generally thought. Ossuaries dating to the first century AD are inscribed with the names of many people mentioned in the New Testament and often with the sign of the cross or the name of Jesus. An ossuary of Matthias, dating to 40AD (less than 10 years after Christ) contains the inscription "Jesus is Jehovah (God)."

References to many people once regarded as myths by archeologists--such as Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas the high priest, and others--have since been discovered in archeological inscriptions.

Archeological Chart

Download an Adobe Acrobat reference chart comparing some secular historical references discovered by archeology with biblical accounts.

For More Information

For those interested in exploring the archeological evidence of biblical stories, one of the finest resources available is the book "The Stones Cry Out" by Dr. Randall Price, published by Harvest House Publishers in 1997. A video of the same name is also available.