Sunday, December 20, 2009

Archaeological Evidence for the Bible Part 1 (Old Testament)

Surprisingly, there is a lot of historical evidence for the places named in the Bible, especially in the book of Genesis. Here are some of the recent finds:

* Ebla tablets were discovered in the early 1970s which verified the existence of the "cities on the plain"---Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela—also called Zoar.

* Ebla also made mention of the city of Canaan, which many liberal scholars had said earlier was not in use at that and was used incorrectly in the Bible.

* A papyrus was found in Egypt in the nineteenth century which describes in detail many of the plagues and the Exodus itself. This papyrus, which currently resides in a Dutch museum, is known as the Ipuwer Papyrus, which was written by an Egyptian who was an eye-witness to these events.

* The Hittites were once thought to be a biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered in Turkey

* In 1993, archaeologists uncovered a 9th century B.C. inscription at Tel Dan. The words carved into a chunk of basalt refer to the "House of David" and the "King of Israel." And the Bible's version of Israelite history after the reign of David's son, Solomon, is believed to be based on historical fact because it is corroborated by independent account of Egyptian and Assyrian inscriptions.

* 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. Tablet was found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus' son.

* The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah have been discovered southeast of the Dead Sea. Evidence at the site seems consistent with the biblical account: "Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens." The destruction debris was about 3 feet thick and buildings were burned from fires that started on the rooftops. Geologist Frederick Clapp theorizes that that pressure from an earthquake could have spewed out sulfur-laden bitumen (similar to asphalt) known to be in the area through the fault line upon which the cities rest. The dense smoke reported by Abraham is consistent with a fire from such material, which could have ignited by a spark or ground fire.


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