The Christian faith is built on the Word of God--its stories about people, teaching about God, wisdom for living, the life and love of Jesus Christ, and God's purposes for mankind. And yet, your college-aged young person will come home and tell you Scripture is just allegory, because her professor has said 'it has been miscopied, misquoted and mishandled down through the centuries,' etc., anything to discount it. In addition, she will let you know that her Biology prof says the Bible is at odds with science-is that true?
Is there any way to counter such statements? Indeed.
In the last Morning Briefing, we considered fulfilled prophecy as one of the proofs for the truth of Scripture; and now---archaeology. The last thing I am is a scientist, but there are great readable articles of archaeological proofs that shore up the veracity of Scripture.
Biblical Archaeology brings to life the people, places, events and customs described in the Bible. Through scientific process, trained professionals seek out and carefully uncover sites which might help to further explain portions of Scripture or events and customs described in Scripture. Biblical Archaeologyrefers to a special focus of archaeology within a certain location at a certain point in time. The fact that it's Biblical Archaeology means that excavations are typically limited to areas mentioned in the Bible; places such as modern-day Israel, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, etc. The time period includes, but is not limited to, 1400 BCE (late Bronze Age) through the first century BCE. The aim of Biblical Archaeology is to find physical evidence that would shed light on people, places, events, and customs described in the Bible.1
The fact is, Scripture is supported by archaeological evidence - thousands and thousands of discoveries within the region known as "The Bible Lands" have confirmed the truthfulness of the Bible.2 And with less than one percent of the dirt being turned over in Israel!3 Archaeology is both art and science : as an art it searches for the material remains of ancient civilizations and tries to reconstruct, as far as possible, the environment and the organizations of one or many historical epochs; 4 as a relatively recent modern science, it is a science that is barely 200 years old but that has completely changed our ideas about the past. 5
Dr. Nelson Glueck, American rabbi, archaeologist, president of Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, who is credited with discovery of 1,500 ancient sites, said: "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted [overturned] a biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries." Time Magazine.
For instance, David, shepherd boy, second king of Israel, 'the man after God's own heart'. Did he really exist? In the summer of 1993, an archaeologist made what has been labeled as a phenomenal and stunning discovery. Dr. Avraham Biran and his team were excavating a site labeled Tel Dan, located in northern Galilee at the foot of Mt. Hermon. Evidence indicates that this is the site of the Old Testament land of Dan.
The team had discovered an impressive royal plaza. As they were clearing the debris, they discovered in the ruins the remains of a black basalt stele, or stone slab, containing Aramaic inscriptions. The stele contained thirteen lines of writing but none of the sentences were complete. Some of the lines contained only three letters while the widest contained fourteen. The letters that remained were clearly engraved and easy to read. Two of the lines included the phrases "The King of Israel" and "House of David." This is the first reference to King David found outside of the Bible.6
For centuries, there were no proofs of the person Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, from AD 26-36. He served under Emperor Tiberius, and is best known for presiding over the trial of Jesus and ordering his crucifixion.7 But was he just a person dreamed up by the gospel writers to make a better, more dramatic story? Apparently not. Tablets were discovered in 1961 with the inscription, "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea, as presented the Tiberium to the Caesareans."8
What's the point of looking at biblical archaeology? What's the point of looking at ancient prophecies, now fulfilled? Both are evidences of the precision, believability, and verifiability of the beautiful Word of God to us, which in turn is evidence of a supernatural Almighty God and Creator of the universe.
Further reflection: Look at Isaiah 40.8 - http://biblehub.com/isaiah/40-8.htm
What does the verse claim? Do you believe it?? What have you learned about biblical prophecy and archaeology?
just found this song - I love it: Matthew West, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrSh2xtZHdQ
[I highly recommend the Biblical Archaeological Review, www.biblicalarchaeology.org, as a credible current source of information in this very important field of science.]
1 - Ashley Echard, www.CBN.com
2 - Donald Wiseman, archaeologist and Professor or Assyriology, University of London
3 - Charlie Campbell, Evidence for the Bible
4 - Vilar, Vicente. Archeologia della Palestina. Enciclopedia della Biblia I, 672.,(in Italian)
5 - Kurt Benesch: Past to discover cited by J.M. Vernet in his "Curso Básico de Arqueología Bíblica", Teologado Salesiano Internacional de Ratisbonne, Jerusalén, 2001 (in Italian).
6 - John Wilford, "Archaeologists say Evidence of House of David Found." Dallas Morning News, 6 August 1993, 1A
7 - Pontius Pilate, Wikipedia
8 - Charlie Campbell