Archeology and the Bible

It's been a while since I've read Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ, although I keep it for a reference source. Here is an amazing quote by Dr. Norman L. Geisler on archeaology... I'm planning to write more on this topic in the future, so here's a little piece to wet your appetite:

There have been thousands-not hundreds-of archeological finds in the Middle East that support the picture presented in the biblical record. There was a discovery not long ago confirming King David. The patriarchs-the narratives about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-were once considered legendary, but as more has become known these stories are increasingly corroborated. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was thought to be mythological until evidence was uncovered that all five of the cities mentioned in Genesis were, in fact, situated just as the Old Testament said. As far as their destruction goes, archaeologist Clifford Wilson said there is ‘permanent evidence of the great conflagration that took place in the long distant past.’ Furthermore, various aspects of the Jewish captivity have been confirmed. Also, every reference in the Old Testament to an Assyrian king has been proven correct; an excavation during the 1960s confirmed that the Israelites could, indeed, have entered Jerusalem by way of a tunnel during David’s reign; there is evidence the world did have a single language at one time, as the Bible says; the site of Solomon’s temple is now being excavated…. Samuel says that after Saul’s death his armor was put in the temple of Ashtoroth…while Chronicles reports that his head was put in the temple of a Philistine corn god named Dagon. Now, archaeologists thought that must have been an error and therefore the Bible was unreliable. They didn’t think enemies would have had temples in the same place at the same time…. [Archaeologists] confirmed through excavations that there two temples at that, one each for Dagon and Ashtoroth…. As it turned out, the Philistines had apparently adopted Ashtoroth as one of their own goddesses. The Bible was right after all…. The Bible makes about three dozen references to the Hittites, but critics used to charge that there was no evidence that such people ever existed. Now archaeologists digging in modern Turkey have discovered the records of the Hittites. As the great archaeologist William F. Albright declared, ‘There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament tradition. The noted Roman historian Colin J. Hemer, in The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History, shows how archaeology has confirmed not dozens, but hundreds and hundreds of details from the biblical account of the early church. Even small details have been corroborated, like which way the wind blows, how deep the water is a certain distance from shore, what kind of disease a particular island had, the names of local officials, and so forth. Now, Acts was authored by the historian Luke. Hemer gives more than a dozen reasons for why Acts had to have been written before A.D. 62, or about thirty years after Jesus’ crucifixion…. So here you have an impeccable historian, who has been proven right in hundreds of details and never proven wrong, writing the whole history of Jesus and the early church. And it’s written within one generation while eyewitnesses were still alive and could have disputed it if it were exaggerated or false. You don’t have anything like that from any other religious book from the ancient world…. Prominent historian *Sir William Ramsay started out as a skeptic, but after studying Acts he concluded that ‘in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.’ The great Oxford University classical historian A.N. Sherwin-White said, ‘For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming,’ and that ‘any attempt to reject its basic historicity must now appear absurd.”

*Ramsay became a Christian as a result of his research and he went on to defend the Bible's accuracy in respect to archeology, claiming that Luke was accurate in the most minute details!


  1. I studied art and ancient history and ancient art in school. It was my passion (still is!). I adored the science of archaeology even as a very small kid. Oh, how wonderful to learn about the ancient Greeks, the ancient Egyptians, the Basques, the Celts and others! It was so cool. But NOT ONCE in school did they EVER connect archaeology with the Bible, NEVER.

    Imagine my utter, utter shock and delight when, as a new Christian, I "discovered" that ancient Persepolis was Queen Esther's winter palace.. that the Paul the Apostle walked the Ostian Way... that the Hittite nation DID TRULY exist... wow. As a new Christian, I nearly flipped over backwards in excitement. These places were REAL, with real people and real life and real facts! It was all true!

    Like astronomy, archaeology is such a brilliantly shining testament to the wonders, miracles, and existence of God. It's no wonder those wicked jerks try to conceal it from us.

    P.S. I love The Case For Christ book! :)


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