Does Archaeology disprove the bible

This may be a common objection but it is usually just a statement to escape the implications of the biblical data and not a true or sincere inquiry. However according to my knowledge the science of archaeology has not disproven the scriptures but rather it has only enhanced and enlightened others to its credibility even among its skeptics.

What is important at the onset of this whole matter is that the biblical writers established the truthfulness of their subject matter as understanding that a fabrication or lie to such a sacred script would be unthinkable in respect to its consequences, Rev. 22:18; Deut. 4:2. Not only that but it would be countercultural to lie, as truthfulness is a central or core ethic of belief, and thus it would be inconsistent as renouncing the dissenters of truth as false teachers and prophets, 2 Peter 2:1-3; Matthew 7:15-20.

In addition to this the language of the bible was never fashioned to represent semitic folklore as a fairytale, even though there contains within its pages extraordinary events, as often times these sort of superstitious ideas were known and understood by these co-authors who challenged their contemporary age as seeing their false claims as fictional which would likewise mean that they were also cognizant of the same possibility as theoretically applying this skepticism to their own peculiar cultural religious worldview, 1 Kings 18, 1 Corinthians 10:19-20, Acts 17:16-34. You may say I get it, they were sincere but still sincerely wrong and my challenge to you is based on what evidence?

Anyway the bible surveys a vast period of time written by numerous authors with different or diverse backgrounds yet maintains a continuity indicative of carefully handling its original and subsequent inscriptions. This can be confirmed through the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls which like a time machine takes the bible back about 1,300 years prior to the otherwise oldest Masoretic texts of about 900 AD. The preserved Qumran manuscripts shows that all the canonical books of the OT are legitimate, with the exception of Esther which has not yet been found, and correctly handles the text as only containing minor scribal errors or variations which are non consequential towards its legitimacy and thus confirms the meticulous nature of copyists in their methodology to preserve the text as to accurately duplicate, as much as is humanely possible, as maintaining a direct correlation to the original or autograph in minimizing error and corruption of which the Jewish Historian Josephus refers to. Also the oldest known artifact that confirms a portion of he biblical text  is a silver amulet dating to around the 7th century BC as containing the Aaronic benediction found in Numbers 6:24-26. Anyway this  is so unlike the overstated mythological claims about the Quran and the Book of Mormon as being a perfect dictation like a carbon copy from God.

Another thing to consider especially in relationship to the New Testament is that most of these texts were available to their contemporaneous audience, unlike some ancient literature which is far removed in time from its original setting as opening the door for further evolutionary development and embellishment long after the fact. Thus the New Testament letters could have been easily disproven or dismissed as a fabrication much like how some of the heretical or pseudopigraphical literature was such as with the Gnostic gospels/teachings. If you are interested I  have actually written more about the reliability of the bible  at

Is The Bible Reliable

Another controversial matter to consider concerning the bibles content is that its primary intent was not to be a scientific journal or a textbook with the concern of just revealing historical facts or information to its readers even though its captures or contains historical references but rather it is concerned with communicating relevancy to its audience as a covenant people. Therefore archaeology and history are not at the forefront of its message, nonetheless these events though secondary to the intent of the text, still contain factual and accurate information such as the ancient Hittites which were once thought to be a fictitious people group until they were later discovered in Turkey.

Furthermore the language of the bible does not always present itself with a straight forward verbiage as it uses the different genre to more importantly communicate a central truth rather than a modern message of enlightenment knowledge and yet even if the language is antiquated, it does not contradict, even if it is based on the perspective knowledge of its time and to communicate otherwise would have been confusing or foreign to its audience much like a rocket scientist trying to explain physics to the general public, what’s the point. This might also be compared to how future generations may look back on this time in history as trying to relate to our ideas and concepts which are limited to the understanding of our contemporary age.

Finally this whole language schema is not to be confused with the post modern thinking of relativism as basing truth on subjectivity in meaning different things for different people. What I am suggesting is not false or misleading information but rather presenting a more relevant message apart from displaying all the facts in disclosing or describing how everything works. Thus the inspiration of the scriptures is self-limited to just making a statement or giving a simplistic explanation as merely background information rather than a “dummy” manual on the mechanics of “How To”.

To further corroborate the authenticity of the text the bible unlike other ancient religious literature is demythologized in comparison to these texts as containing less sensationalization. Even though some of these cultures contain similar stories that have been obviously fabricated, with their creation myths and flood narratives, it may also be tempting to indiscriminately group them all together with the bible. Yet it could be that the solution to this situation is that there is a kernel of truth to these obviously fabricated stories that took a real occurrence and through the process of time adapted these mysterious events through the eyes of their cultural filter or setting through the process of storytelling and oral tradition. You may also think that this should  be the criticism for the bible as well and yet when the bible describes these things it does so in more naturalistic way more so than the Babylonian and Sumerian accounts as it is more consistent with the older Ebla tablets.

Also one of downfalls  to archaeology, which can work for or against my case, is that it is not always conclusive as its finding are up for grabs with its presumptuous interpretation among fallible archaeologists to reconstruct the past and thus it is not an exact science as they are unable to completely reproduce or simulate their findings which are sometimes fragmentary at best which unlike a controlled lab environment has a limited view as trying to dissect ancient culture like specimens given its limitations which can not always be proven nor retested to tell the whole story as if the stones could speak to the ears of our modern cultural perspective.

Anyway before getting into the biblical data I must first address the fraudulent  artifacts which have been unearthed in the antiquity shops as mistakenly associating this fakery with authentic findings as trying to offset the biblical claims by which some of these items have been legitimately identified as actually coming out of the ground versus the back alley of Old Jerusalem. Some treat these hoaxes as a conspiracy for Christians to deceptively invent these artifacts to authenticate their belief systems and yet we gladly reject them as rightfully recognizing the counterfeit  as the work of others for fame and money who as parasites prey on other people’s sentiments.  Though we are excited to hear of new findings we are likewise quick to denounce them if the facts do not line up to reality.

So to begin our survey of archaeological evidences I will be using extra biblical material from Israel and the surrounding geography of the bible including Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, etc. as confirming the scriptural data.

Old Testament:

  • The extraordinary story of the Tower of Babel depicts humanity with a unified language and is confirmed by Sumerian literature of which even modern linguists find beneficial when categorizing languages. This event is captured on a  stele  as describing Genesis 11 in depicting Ur-Nammu, King of Ur, as building a ziggurat and then according to clay tablets offended the gods by which it was destroyed in scattering the people and making their language strange or as the bible refers to as being confused. In retrospect, a skeptic could easily see a natural explanation for this disaster such as an earthquake leveling the structure but to describe what appears to be a sudden change in the language is more difficult to account for or explain.
  • An excavation at Gezer was clarified by using the bible to help decipher what happened when a thick layer of ash containing pieces of Hebrew, Egyptian and Philistine artifacts were found which at first confused researchers until the biblical text revealed that Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured it; setting it ablaze, killing and removing the Canaanite inhabitants and then giving it as a wedding present to his daughter who became Solomon’s wife.
  • There is also the records that were found in the  famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon giving reference to the biblical characters of Jehoiachin and his five sons who were given a monthly ration and place to live in which they were treated well, 2 Kings 25:27-30.
  • The Taylor Prism or Sennacherib’s Cylinder from Nineveh contains the account of the Jerusalem siege against King Hezekiah in referring to shutting him up in a cage like a bird as well as mentioning the capturing of other towns and villages in Judah, 2 Kings 18.
  • The Cyrus Cylinder from Persia tells of letting captured or exiled people return to their homelands to worship their gods, Ezra 1.
  • The black obelisk of Shalmaneser that was discovered in Nineveh records Jehu son of Omri making tribute, 2 Kings 10. 
  • The Moabite Stone mentions the Moabite king, Mesha and the god of the Moabites as chemosh who rebelled  against Israel’s rule and even mentions the name of Israel’s God as Yahveh found in 2 Kings chapters 1 and 3. 
  • The black basalt stele of Tell Dan had Aramaic references to the kingdom of Judah and the House of David. The inscription goes on to celebrate the defeat of the kings of Judah and Israel as confirming the two separate kingdoms. In other inscriptions found at the foot of Mount Hermon it also mentions Jehoram the son of Ahab ruling over Israel and Ahaziah as the ruler over the House of David which is remarkable considering that the House of David was once thought to be non-existent,  2 Chronicles 22:6. 
  • Ebla tablets discovered in Syria as mentioned the five cities of the plains which are Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar listing them in the same exact order as found in the Bible and yet at one time these places had thought to of  been legendary, Genesis 14:8. 
  • Critics had believed that Moses could not have written the Torah as the skill of script had not been developed at His time of 1400BC however the Ebla tablets predate Moses by a thousand years as having similar laws, customs, and events as found in the same region where Moses lived and also  mentioned the term Canaan. In addition to this the detailed laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy were again thought to be fictional as being too complicated for that time until it was  discovered that the ancient Hittite and Egyptian literature was consistent with the Jewish Pentateuch and the ceremonies of that culture and time period. 
  • Another credible resource are the Mari tablets which refers to the name Habiru or Hebrews. 
  • The Nuzi Tablets confirmed the ancient practice of laws and marriage contracts in giving the maid  to the husband to bear children such as in the case of the Patriarchs. 
  • The discovery of Hezekiah’s tunnel which was made prior to the Assyrian invasion as bringing water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam in, 2 Kings 20:20; Nehemiah 2:14. 

New Testament:

  • Archaeology of the New Testament provides a continuity of historical accuracy as found in the Old Testament text in verifying such things as titles, names, events, landmarks with a precise  time frame which  were once thought to be erroneous and fictitious.
  • Some have gone as far as to doubt that Jesus was even a legitimate individual and yet evidence from 39 extra biblical sources attesting to over a 100 facts are consistent with the life and teachings of Jesus including such questionable accounts concerning the crucifixion and being a wonder-worker as well as being worshipped as God.  I have already written somewhat about these subjects in  my other posts. 

          Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and Islam

            Jesus and Miracles

            The Divinity of Jesus

            The divinity of the Messiah

  • Thallus the Samaritan historian, who was unsympathetic towards Christianity, relates the strange occurrence of both darkness and earthquake happening at the time of Jesus crucifixion which for these events to take place simultaneously as mere coincidence would take astronomical odds, Mark 15:33. 
  • The discovery of the Pontius Pilate Stone found in Caesarea Maritama bears  an inscription in Latin as being the prefect of Judaea. This coincides with Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus who mentions Pontius Pilate putting Christ to death, Matthew 27.  
  • The Mara-Serapion letter also mentions the  execution of Jesus.  
  • Another discovery was that of the ossuary box of Caiaphas who was the High Priest residing over the trial of Jesus, Matthew 26:57-68. 
  • The Sergius Paulus inscription contains the account of Paul’s first convert in Cyprus, Acts 13:7.
  • The discovery of the Pool’s of Siloam and Bethesda thought to have been made up were located as even  confirming Bethesda’s five porticoes as described in the bible, John 5:1-15; 9:7. 
  • An inscription has confirmed that Lysanius was the tetrarch of Abilene when John the Baptist started his ministry, Luke 3:1. 
  • Jesus has been mentioned in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus the Roman historian, Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, and Greek satirist Lucian which were all first and early second century accounts. 
  • Other biblical persons are also mentioned by Josephus such as  James the brother of Jesus, Herod the Great, and John the Baptist 
  • These multiple sources also confirm the New Testament information and the doctrines of the early church as an accurate depiction of that time period as they existed as a communal culture of high ethical standards with the message of eternal life as rejecting idolatry and worshipping together on a fixed day as well as undergoing persecution.
  • Doctor Luke, as one of the biblical authors, takes a very careful and methodical approach as  interviewing the eye witnesses of Jesus ministry as well as first hand experience which he gained as a travelling companion with Paul on his missionary journeys in recording the history of the early church which contains such accurate details that it makes the Gospel of Luke and Acts  historically reliable accounts. Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2. Moreover he gives precise information related to historical figures and their titles such as Gallio proconsul of Achaea who was confirmed by the Delphi letter from Emperor Claudius, Acts 18:12-17. Luke designates Erastus as the treasurer of Corinth, Romans 16:23  which has also been confirmed by an inscription on a pavement that was laid in 50 AD, Luke mentions Publius of Malta as the chief man of the island which was verified by inscriptions, Acts 28:7. In summary Luke  goes on to accurately name numerous  countries,  cities, and islands. 
  • It has been confirmed by inscriptions that in  Lystra they worshiped the gods of Zeus and Hermes, Acts 14:12. 
  • Paul in Athens comments about the unknown god which is also described in the 2nd and 3rd century writings of Pausanias and Diogenes Laertes, Acts 17:23.  
  • The mention of Ephesus and its relationship to sorcery with its occultic practices and magical texts  were well known throughout the Greco-Roman world, Acts 19:19 as well as accurately identifying its goddess  Artemis or Diana through finding a number of idols, Acts 19:24,25 along with unearthing  the temple of Artemis of which Luke mentions in, Acts 19:27 as well as a large theater, Acts 19:31 which contained gold and silver images with inscriptions to Artemis.  
  • Luke also accurately records the famine during the reign of Emperor Claudius and is referenced by the Roman historian Suetonius, Acts 11:27,28  
  • He shows that he has accurate nautical knowledge based on his missionary journeys with Paul such as in Acts 27. 
  • Seutonius a court official and annalist under Hadrian recorded the expulsion of Jews from Rome which Luke also refers to in Acts 18:1-2 

I think it goes without saying, as being understood from the evidence, that the material covered in the bible is accurately represented and it would take special pleading to say that a conspiracy of corruption has occurred as weaving deception into the fabric of the text as mingling truth with error to give it the allure or appearance of legitimacy to deliberately mislead souls. In summary this does not answer all the questions and perhaps at best is only a stepping stone to faith rather than a leap per se.

There seems to be a legitimacy to the bible as communicating a credible faith by an intelligent ethical people who at times were honest enough to tell it as it was even to the point of embarrassing themselves. Furthermore even though these people lacked modernity they still had a sophistication as a highly informed people as knowing the difference between superstitions and falsehoods as they challenged the god myths of other nations and people’s even though at times they too got caught up in these false religions.

Regardless the biblical writers presented a worldview with an accurate account of history and so I have no good reason to doubt their God concept which I believe was not only reasonable then but is credible today. Even if metaphysics can’t be studied or isolated as a system as being beyond the scope of archaeology or science it likewise can’t be disproved either and perhaps as the skeptics have had to recant their former position on the historical reliability of the bible perhaps their skepticism could once again be wrong as an ongoing trend in relation to the mystical aspects  of the bible.

All humans including modern ones have certain limitations as lacking omniscience so until adequately refuted there will always remain not only a possibility but a likelihood and probability by which the corroborating and accumulative evidence points to irrespective of being able to present an exhaustive case of evidence which is not even needed in a courtroom of law to silence a reasonable doubt let alone before the judgment seat of heaven. What is given is sufficient as connecting the bible  to a modern society and the majority vote is still in as most reject a non theist or atheist religion of naturalism.

After all it stands to reason that if God does exist that all things become possible regardless whether it is common place or not. Granted it is beyond the intent of archaeology to prove or disprove the metaphysical aspect of God or the Bible yet it still amazes me how that an atheistic philosophy tries to manipulate and pervade the media accordingly to debunk the scriptures in order to dethrone the biblical God.

Another thing that I had not intended to use in this post but has become glaringly obvious, is the legitimacy of Jewish presence with the existence of the nation of Israel as having a long history with the ancient land and to overlook this implication would be like rejecting the evidence of the Holocaust as a real event.

Anyway in closing the analysis of the data I presented is comprehensively sufficient  even though it doesn’t fully disclose all matters of discussion and though you may object as saying  that it is not enough information to make a connection with Theism, at what point for the skeptic is it ever enough as they always demand more proof. Moreover if you aren’t motivated to at least be willing and ready to accept or trust in the simple message of the gospel then why should the elaborate plan of the cosmos be laid out like a blueprint when essentially it would make no difference at all in the end result.

So the grand design and purpose of the  bible’s witness is to lead people to the bigger question of life as rightly relating to God and others rather than the artifacts buried under the rubble of our past. Furthermore we are responsible for the light that we have which is adequate as bridging the gap with faith thus ignorance here isn’t about  lack of information but rather it becomes a matter of choice, not an excuse or privilege to defend themselves in rejecting God the Creator.

You may play the game to wait and see but at that time it will be too late as the scripture says that a man is appointed to die once then to face the judgment, Hebrews 9:27, as there is no second chance as a default state of ignorance but only accountability for the decisions and choices we have made in this life.

Thus the greatest corollary to this whole matter is not to satisfy your desire to receive the missing pieces of the puzzle towards a historical enlightenment but rather  it is to ultimately lead you towards a relationship with the God of the Bible as transcending the practical knowledge beyond its historical content and context.

Lastly are you approaching the bible with an openness and readiness to embrace as to prove it true or are you motivated to prove it wrong rather than right so that you can be relieved from its consequences? Actually for once I would like to see an honest skeptic who is skeptical enough about their own skepticism and maybe then they will finally see the light as understanding that the real issue isn’t the literature of the bible as it is the God of the bible as intercepting humanity with “His Story”.



How to know God

Atheist and Agnostic Resources

English Articles on Atheism and Agnosticism




AMG’s Encyclopedia of Bible Facts, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics, copyright 2006 by Doug Powell, ”Reprinted and used by permission.”

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