CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES

Psalm 14:1 "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God"

All articles are written in the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Archaeology and the Bible

 

Christians are those who walk by faith and not by sight ( II Corinthians 5:7 ). However, God never expected Christians to believe based on blind faith. He has assured His children of their trust in Him through forms of evidence ( Hebrews 11:1 ). Some of the evidences we have already discussed in previous lessons and we still have much information to cover. We know that God has given us everything through Christ Jesus that pertain to life and godliness ( II Peter 1:3 ), and that through His word the man of God may be complete ( II Timothy 3:16 -17 ). As we search the evidences in these lessons they will help us to be assured of whom we seek diligently, knowing from Whom we have learned them from ( Hebrews 11:6; II Timothy 3:14 ).

 

Our Lesson.

The discovery of ancient records, written on stone, clay, parchment, paper, and wax carries us back to the very time when the Bible was written. It is as if Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Ramesses, and others mentioned in the Bible should speak from the stillness of the tomb and confirm the accuracy and credibility of the word of God.

 

Early Babylonian Seals.

Ancient Babylonian inscriptions abound with references to the removal of man from paradise. Two of the oldest and most specific references are two ancient seals.

The “Temptation” seal, found among ancient Babylonian tablets, now in the British Museum , seems definitely to refer to the Garden of Eden story. In the center is a tree; on the right, a man, on the left, a women, plucking fruit, behind the woman a serpent, standing erect, as if whispering to her.

The “Adam and Eve” seal, found in 1932, by Dr. E.A. Speiser, of the University Museum of Pennsylvania, near the bottom of the Tepe Gawra Mound, 12 miles north of Nineveh . He dated the seal at about 3500 B.C., and called it, “strongly suggestive of the Adam and Eve story”. A naked man and a naked woman, walking as if downcast and broken hearted, followed by a serpent. (Halley's Bible Handbook, New Revised Edition, Pg.68)

 

The Code of Hammurabi.

During the months of December 1901, and January 1902, the great French archaeologist, M. de Morgan was making excavations is Susa , in Persia (the Sushan Esther). He discovered a mass of black diorite eight feet high, six feet in circumference at the base and five feet at the top. Upon this monument are nearly 4,000 lines from about 2250 B.C.

Hammurabi, king of Babylon was a contemporary of Abraham. He is commonly identified by archaeologists as “Amraphel” of Genesis 14 , one of the kings Abraham pursued to rescue Lot .

In the writings on the monument were laws written in a very systematic way and show that courts and a high state of civilization existed in Babylon long before he was king. Skeptics only held that Moses could not have written the first books of the Old Testament because, they said, writing did not exist in the days of Moses. There is some similarity between the laws of Moses and the laws of Hammurabi, but the greatest difference is in the fact that the laws of Moses deal with man's relationship to God as well as his fellow man.

 

The Tel-Amarna Tablets.

At the village of Tel-Amarna on the Nile River about 175 miles south of Cairo , Egypt , a peasant woman found in 1887 three hundred tablets of baked clay. These tablets are now in the Louve at Paris , France . Each tablet is covered with writing in the Babylonian language. They are a series of letters written about 1400 B.C. by the governors of Palestine , Phoenicia , Syria , Philistia , and by the kings of Babylon and Assyria . Just as men file away important letters today for safe keeping, these letters written in clay and baked into permanency, speak as a voice from a remote past, three thousand and five hundred years ago.

The tablets show that Palestine was a province of Egypt and had been for a long time a province of Babylon . They were written when Hebrew people were captives in Egypt and show that Palestine was in a greatly disturbed condition at the time. These letters refer to the Canaanites and their enemies, the Hebrews. They refer to the city of Jerusalem (the name Jerusalem was not known to be used at this early date until the finding of these tablets).

 

The Moabite Stone.

The Moabite Stone is a large slab of black basalt and is now in the Louve at Paris . Found in ancient Moab just east of the Dead Sea , this stone was cut in the region of Mesha, king of Moab , at about 850 B.C. and is a tribute to Chemosh, the Moabite god.

It tells how Chemosh became angry with his people and allowed Omri, king of Israel , to conquer them and force them to pay tribute. It tells of the Moabites winning back their independence after the death of Ahab. The inscriptions from this stone read like a chapter from the book of Kings in the Bible.

King Omri is named in I Kings 16:21-28 and the reign of Ahab are discussed in Chapters 16-22 of I Kings . On the Moabite Stone there are references made to Jehovah, and many details of the Bible are mentioned and the relations between Moab and Israel are correctly pictured.

 

Egyptian Discoveries.

Ramesses 11, (the Pharaoh of the Egyptian Bondage) his mummy has been found and many have seen pictures of the great statue of him, which lies in ancient Egypt . The city of Pithom has been discovered, the actual storehouse built by Hebrew slaves has been found, the lower portions made of brick containing straw and the upper portions made of brick without straw. Pithom is mentioned in Exodus 1:1 , where we read: “Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.”

Later we read that the Israelites were commanded to furnish their own straw for the bricks they made, note: Exodus 5:18 “Therefore go now and work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the quota of bricks."

Thus the ruins show the Bible account to be correct.

Meneptah 11 was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, the time when the Israelites left Egypt . His mummy has likewise been found. A hymn of victory to him mentions Israel and the inscription tells of the death of his young son. This might have been part of the last plague, when the oldest child in each Egyptian home was killed ( Exodus 12:29 -30 ).

Other records show the location of Goshen , which was the land given to Jacob and his family when they went down into Egypt ( Genesis 47:4 ). The more the archaeologists dig in ancient Egypt , the stronger the evidence of the Old Testament stands.

 

Record of the Hittites.

The skeptics once claimed that no such nation as the Hittites ever existed since they were mentioned only in the Bible. They felt that the Hittites were only an imaginary race of people. Records of Egypt and Assyria have now been found which show that the Hittites for nearly seven centuries occupied Northern Syria and Southern Asia Minor and were one of the greatest nations on the earth at that time. Many ruins of Hittite buildings have been found. Thus the claim of the skeptics has been silenced about the Hittites and again our faith remains in the truthfulness of the Bible.

 

Paul and other New Testament Characters.

When Paul came to the Island of Cyprus on his first missionary journey, he encountered the proconsul Sergious Paulus ( Acts 13 ). Skeptics argue that the title proconsul is incorrect and the Bible is wrong. However, recent archaeological discoveries have rendered a coin with the inscription, “Paulus the Proconsul” engraved on the coin.

Paul's experience at Ephesus , given in Acts 19 , is confirmed by recent discoveries. A marble inscription found there tells of the magical arts of the Ephesians, of the goddess Diana, of the business of the silversmiths making shrines for her, and a list of magistrates contains the name of Demetrius.

An inscription found at Corinth mentions Titus as a most noble character, and another found in 1908 contains the name Gallio as proconsul of Achaia mentioned in Acts 18:12 .

A recent discovery at Antioch consists of an inscription mentioning Quirinius as governor of Syria ( Luke 2:2 ).

 

Other Discoveries.

Our study is but an introduction into what could be a long, yet very interesting study. We have neither the time or the space to mention many discoveries which agree with the Bible. However, the following sentences will mention a few which might be considered important.

The ruins of Abraham's birthplace, Ur of Chaldees, have been found. Recent excavations have shown that some sudden force as an earthquake threw down the walls of Jericho (read Joshua 6 for the Bible account). The ancient city of Nineveh has been unearthed. We have Sargon's account of his capture of Samaria and Sennacharib's history of his invasion of Palestine mentioning king Hezekiah (see II Kings 18-19 ).

In later lessons, we will explore more of these fascinating discoveries and the information they yield. Some excellent sources of information for your own studies are:

 

Conclusion.

Archaeology has never found anything that contradicted the Bible. It has found many things that agree with the Bible. These findings help to strengthen our faith in the Bible as a true record of history and as the inspired word of God.

 

(Credit is to be given to the books “Why We Believe the Bible” by George Dehoff, and “Bible Verses Modernism” by Roberson and Tice)

 

Next: Fulfilled Prophecies That Prove The Bible To Be Inspired!