years there have been many criticisms leveled against the Bible concerning
its historical reliability. These criticisms are usually based on a lack
of evidence from outside sources to confirm the Biblical record. Since the
Bible is a religious book, many scholars take the position that it is
biased and cannot be trusted unless we have corroborating evidence from
extra-Biblical sources. In other words, the Bible is guilty until proven
innocent, and a lack of outside evidence places the Biblical account in
This standard is far different from that applied to other ancient
documents, even though many, if not most, have a religious element. They
are considered to be accurate, unless there is evidence to show that they
are not. Although it is not possible to verify every incident in the
Bible, the discoveries of archaeology since the mid 1800s have
demonstrated the reliability and plausibility of the Bible narrative. Here
are some examples.
- The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has
shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable.
Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that
personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The
name "Canaan" was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used
at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the
Bible. The word "tehom" ("the deep") in Genesis 1:2 was
said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation
story. "Tehom" was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years
before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs
have also been found in clay tablets
from Nuzi and Mari.
- The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their
capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey. Many thought
the Biblical references to Solomon's wealth were greatly exaggerated.
Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was
concentrated with the king and Solomon's prosperity was entirely
feasible. It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as
recorded in Isaiah 20:1,
because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was
discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his
capture of Ashdod,
was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela
memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.
- Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar,
king of Babylon, named in Daniel 5. The
last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history.
Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar
was Nabonidus' son who served as coregent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar
could offer to make Daniel "third highest ruler in the kingdom" (Dan. 5:16) for
reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position.
Here we see the "eye-witness" nature of the Biblical record, as is so
often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology.
How does archaeology conclusively demonstrate the Bible
to be reliable and unique among all the holy books of world religions? Answer...
For many more archaeological evidences in support of the
Bible, see Archaeology and
this information has been helpful, please prayerfully consider a donation to help
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and your family! Donations are tax-deductible. ]Author: Bryant
Wood of Associates for Biblical
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