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People of faith have always been interested in the search and alleged discovery of “holy” relics dating back to Bible times.  This fascination dates back nearly two thousand years to the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine.  During his reign his mother, Helena, made a pilgrimage to the holy land and, among other things, claimed to have recovered wood from Christ’s cross.  Not to be out done, other Christians joined in through the Centuries claiming even greater discoveries:  The Holy Grail, Noah’s Ark, and the Ark of the Covenant, to mention a few.  Even Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of Germany, joined into the fray, by claiming to have in his possession the spear that pierced Jesus’ side.


In contrast to such extravagant and highly dubious claims, modern day archaeology has become an official field of scientific study that has discovered many fascinating remains that provide a fuller understanding of ancient history than is possible from the few written sources available to us.  But before we talk about some of the most important archaeological discoveries related to the Bible, it is important to note what archaeology can and cannot do.


The greatest value of archaeology is its ability to illuminate the cultural and historical setting of people, places, and things from the Bible.  Archaeology is unsurpassed in its ability to help us understand what it was like to live in the past.  There is, however, a tendency to often overstate the value of archaeology.  While archaeological discoveries can prove that Solomon was a powerful king, or that there was a census around the time of Jesus’ birth, it cannot prove that God gave Solomon wisdom, or that Jesus was Divine.


Archaeology can strengthen the historical dimension of the Biblical world, but it cannot prove the theological claims of Scripture.  The latter is, and always has been, a matter of faith.  In fact, archaeology has rarely, if ever, converted an individual.  Yes, it has strengthened and confirmed people who are already of the Christian persuasion, but it has rarely, if ever produced a new Christian.  In fact, if you allow archeology or your vision to dictate whether or not you believe, then your faith is at risk.  For not everything Biblical has been found.


Consider, that the skeptics who questioned whether or not there was a real Noah’s Ark, or a real Pilot in History, even though Pilot’s existence is no longer in question, have gone on to new questions about the Bible, instead of then asserting that the Bible is true and can then be relied upon for its more important concerns; such as ones’ eternal destiny.  And for those few who then move to the position that the Bible can be relied upon in Its historical accounts, they are not looking for Its other information about Godly Love or how one should live their life.


See my Bible Study:  “MOUNT SINAI, THE TRUE BIBLICAL LOCATION OF,” because I do not discuss it here.









To my knowledge and investigations, this is the first Biblical character whose existence was confirmed independently of the Bible.  In 1843, Paul-Emile Botta, a French consular officer and collector of antiques, was excavating at Khorsabad (what is now Iraq).  What he found was a number of cuneiform tablets as well as inscriptions on stone.  When he brought these back to Europe a scholar by the name of Longperrier was able to identify the name of “Sar-gin” from one of the inscriptions.  He identified this name with the “Sargon,” king of Assyria, who is mentioned in Isaiah 20:1, previously predicted by skeptics as never existing of course.






In 1846 un-named travelers brought back some clay bricks from Mesopotamia.  An Irish clergyman named Edward Hincks was able to decipher them and found the name of “King Nebuchadnezzar II” and (his father) “Nebuchadnezzar I” on them, confirming their existence (which was disputed at that time), mentioned in the Book of Daniel.  God for sure has a sense of humor, for whenever a ruckus gets louder and louder about the Bibles history becoming prominent in society, Wala!






In 1846, a British archaeologist named Austen Henry Layard uncovered what became known as, “The Black Obelisk,” from which scholars were able to identify the names of “Shalmaneser,” king of Assyria, mentioned in Second Kings 17:3, and “Jehu,” a king of Israel, speaking about his aggressive chariot driving (see 2Ki. 9:20).  In fact, by 1853, Layard, with the help of his epigraphers (specialists who can read ancient inscriptions) were able to claim identification of 55 Biblically mentioned rulers, cities, and countries.


Notice that the 1800’s were ripe with questioning the Bibles places and rulers.  Why?  More and more people were gaining access to It.






In 1854 some clay cylinders were found at the ancient city of Ur.  On one of them was inscribed a prayer on behalf of “King Nabonidus” and his son “Belshazzar.”  It explains how “King Nabonidus” preferred to live in Tayma in the northern part of Arabia, rather than the capital city of Babylon.  This left his son “Belshazzar” in charge, in effect, a co-regent, i.e., second in the kingdom, and was considered to be the King of Babylon.  That would also explain why “Belshazzar” offered the prophet Daniel the third highest position in the kingdom instead of the second (see Dan. 5:16).






In a little village eastward from the Dead Sea, “The Moabite Stone,” a stone inscribed by “King Mesha,” was found.  It tells of Moab’s oppression by the nation of Israel, as depicted in the Bible; in Second Kings, Chapter Three.  This stone is now in the “Louvre Museum” in Paris.  It is regarded as very precious since its writing differs very little from early Hebrew.  It was engraved in about B.C. 830-805.


The Stone contains 34 lines of script all written in Moabite.  It mentions the previously rejected god “Chemosh” 12 times as real, because, although mentioned in the Bible six times, the Bible is considered to be a religious book, and as such, comes up with faulty religious jargon.  Calculations of the days and years given on the stone brings it as far into history as king Jehoram, of Judah.  The stone even mentions the Israelite God, “Yahweh.”


In 1868, Frederick Augustus Klein, an Anglican missionary, at the site of ancient Dibon (now Dhiban), Jordan, led by a local Bedouin, found the “Mesha Stele,” know commonly known as “The Moabite Stone.”  It confirms the wars between the Israelites and the once unknown to secularly history, the Moabites.  There are parallels to Second Kings 3:4-8, with slight differences (favoring Moab of course).  The “House of Omri” and “House of David” are mentioned prominently.  The men of “Gad at Ataroth” are mentioned, along with “Nebo” and “Jehaz.”  The city of “Horonaim” is also mentioned (see Isa. 15:5; Jer. 48:3 & 5 & 34).






The discovery of the “Law Code of Hammurabi” in 1901-1902 in Susa, and the excavation in Nuzi, have shown that some of the practices of the patriarchs, such as the experience of Sarah giving her slave girl to Abraham (see Gen. 16:1-3), and the selling of the birthright for food (see Gen. 25:33), and married daughters receiving a handmaid (see Gen. 29:24 & 29), were common practices in the ancient world; unknown and unbelieved until this find.  Still no conversions that are known of though.






From 1906 to 1908, the German archaeologist Hugo Winckler excavated the site of the Hittite capital Hattusa, which is now Bogazkale, in Turkey.  The excavations were done in conjunction with Theodore Makridi, the second director of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.  The joint Turkish-German team found the remains of the royal archives, where they discovered 10,000 clay tablets written with cuneiform, documenting many of the Hittites diplomatic activities.  The haul included three tablets on which the text of the treaty was inscribed in the Akkadian language, a “lingua franca” of the time.


This Egyptian–Hittite peace treaty, also known as the “Eternal Treaty,” or the “Silver Treaty,” is the only ancient Near Eastern treaty for which the versions of both sides have survived.  It is also the earliest known surviving peace treaty.  It is sometimes called the “Treaty of Kadesh,” after the well-documented Battle of Kadesh that had been fought some sixteen years earlier, although Kadesh is not mentioned in the text.  The treaty was concluded between Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II and king of the Hittite empire, Ḫattusili III, in about B.C. 1259.


The importance of this documented treaty exposes the Biblical FACT that the Hittite nation did exist.  See Joshua 1:3-4.  However, in Joshua’s time these were only little cities of kings.  Whereas, by First Kings 10:29 the Hittites were a fully formed nation.






The Amarna letters, sometimes referred to as the “Amarna Correspondence,” or “Amarna Tablets,” and are cited with the abbreviation “EA,” for “El Amarna,” and are an archive, written on clay tablets, primarily consisting of diplomatic correspondence between the Egyptian administration and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru.  Or in other words, the neighboring kingdom leaders during the time of the Israelite Exodus and conquest of the land of Canaan.


The letters were found in Upper Egypt at el-Amarna, the modern name for the ancient Egyptian capital of Akhetaten, which was founded by pharaoh Akhenaten (B.C. 1350 to 1330) during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt.  The Amarna letters are unusual in Egyptological research, because they are written not in the language of ancient Egypt, but in cuneiform, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia.  Most are in a variety of Akkadian, sometimes characterised as a mixed language, Canaanite-Akkadian.  One especially long letter, abbreviated as “EA 24,” was written in a late dialect of Hurrian, and is the longest contiguous text known to survive in that language.


The known tablets total 382, of which 358 have been published by the Norwegian Assyriologist Jørgen Alexander Knudtzon, in his work, “Die El-Amarna-Tafeln,” which came out in two volumes (1907 and 1915) and remains the standard edition to this day.  The texts of the remaining 24 complete or fragmentary tablets excavated since Knudtzon have also been made available.


The Amarna letters are of great significance for Biblical studies as well as Semitic linguistics, because they shed light on the culture and language of the Canaanite peoples in that time period.  Though most are written in Akkadian, the Akkadian of the letters is heavily colored by the mother tongue of their writers, who probably spoke an early form of Proto-Canaanite, the language(s) which would later evolve into the daughter languages of Hebrew and Phoenician. These “Canaanisms” provide valuable insights into the proto-stage of those languages several centuries prior to their first actual manifestation.  And of special interest is the fact that these Canaanite peoples were complaining to Pharoah about these invading “Habiru’s,” i.e., the Israelites.






In 1922, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, who lived in the Fourteenth Century B.C.  Carter’s discovery helps us better understand the text (see Heb. 11:27) regarding Moses and the treasures of Egypt.  The discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb also has answered the Bible critics who said that the mentioning of “iron” in the accounts of the Books of Joshua and Judges is strong proof of a later date for these Books, because it was thought that “iron” had not been used before the Twelfth Century B.C.  Poor critics of the Bible; they loose again.  Still no conversions that we know of.






The city of Lachish was discovered by Albright in 1929, and in it was found the “Lachish Relief.”  Also, on the walls of Sennacherib’s palace was depicted his battle with king Hezekiah.  Lachish is now known as Tel Lachish, and is now an Israeli National Park, situated between Mount Hebron and the Mediterranean coast.  “Sennacherib’s” pictorial account of his battle with Israel is described on his walls (see Second Kings, Chapter 19, for the Biblical account).  Perhaps no event recorded in the Hebrew Bible is better supported by archaeology and external evidence than Sennacherib’s siege of Lachish in B.C. 701. 






This tablet was discovered by K. Bittel in 1931 and published by E. Cavaiguac in French.  It was produced by the Hittite king Mursili II from his capital city of Hattusa, in what is now Turkey.  It covers the historic period of about 1350 to 1322 B.C., where Mursili II mentions the wars waged by his father Suppiluliuma I and the victories won.  The importance of this is that before this discovery the Hittite nation was not believed to exist, since the Bible can never be relied upon for historical data.  Even though It has been only a mere 100% accurate year-to-date and future year-to-date-discoveries.






Discovered in the mid-19th Century in the ancient ruins of Nineveh, Sennacherib's Annals are a series of inscriptions and texts documenting the military campaigns and accomplishments of Sennacherib, the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, who reigned from B.C. 705 to B.C. 681.  As such, Sennacherib’s Annals, which were recorded onto what have come to be known as Sennacherib’s Prisms, provide valuable historical insights into the politics, military strategies and conquests of the Assyrian Empire during this period.  Since the historicity of the Bible could not be verified until this annal was found.


Discovered in the excavations at Lachish, a city of Nineveh, in the palace of “Sennacherib,” was found the writings of “Sennacherib,” where he describes his battles against Jerusalem and Hezekiah, saying that he trapped Hezekiah.  Quote, “I shut him in his city as a bird in a cage,” which also basically he admits that he did not concur it as the Bible depicts in Isaiah, Chapter 36.  There is no description of destroying Jerusalem, and no account of captives being taken into slavery as depicted and predicted by Isaiah (37:33-35).


Sennacherib boasts, “Forty-six of his [Hezekiah’s] strong walled towns and innumerable smaller villages in their neighborhood I besieged and conquered.”  In “Sennacherib’s” palace at Nineveh, he celebrates his defeat of the Judean city of Lachish by covering the walls of a central room of the palace with relief depictions of his siege and battle against the city.






Let’s look at some of these discoveries, that I believe our Lord has allowed us to find at this point in history, to silence the skeptics and strengthen His people.


The “Dead Sea Scrolls” were discovered by a sheepherder looking for a lost sheep, when he happened to drop a rock into a cave and heard it breaking a clay jar in 1947.  Then, from 1947 to 1956, these jars were excavated and pieced together, and are clearly the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th Century, in that they confirm and match exactly the Biblical narrative.  In fact, the Book of Isaiah is said to be word for word (the “Dead Sea Scrolls”being older than the so called made up Bible Manuscripts of the time).


There were eleven caves in all, where these scrolls were found in and around the Wadi Qumran area, which is on the Northwest shore of the Dead Sea, in the West Bank.  The texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they are practically the only known surviving Biblical documents estimated to be written around B.C. 408 to B.C. 318.  The scrolls include portions of every Book from the Old Testament, with the exception of the Book of Esther, that are thousands of years earlier than previous copies of the Hebrew Bible.  Poor Skeptics loose again.


Between 825 A.D. to 872 A.D., religious documents were found which outlined the beliefs of a religious sect of Judaism known as the “Essenes” (believed to be the creators of the “Dead Sea Scrolls”).  Biblical commentaries and even late Jewish apocryphal writings are included in the find.






Also known as the “Kemoshyat Inscription,” this is a Moabite inscription dating to the 9th Century B.C.  It was discovered in 1958 in Jordan, near Waki el-Kerak, which is the ancient city of Kir Hareseth.  It is a basalt inscription fragment measuring 12.5 centimeters (4.9 inches) high by 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) wide.  The inscription has been dated to the late ninth century B.C.  The inscription is cataloged as “KAI 306.”


It was reportedly found by a bedouin by the name of Falah Qaddur (or Fallah el-Baddour).  It was acquired by the Jordan Archaeological Museum in 1958.  The importance of this inscription proves of the Moabites existance.






Each of the Gospels tells of Jesus being brought before the governor “Pontius Pilate.”  While “Pilate” was known from other extra-Biblical sources, there was no archaeological support of his governorship.  That all changed in 1961, when a group of archaeologists discovered a stone bearing his name in the Roman theater in “Caesarea Maritima.”  Though the stone is in poor condition and not complete, it clearly records “Pilate’s” name and position.  The inscription reads:  “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.”


The importance of this find is significant, in that it not only establishes “Pontius Pilate” as a real historical figure who confronted our Lord, but what is even more interesting, is that it wasn’t until later in history, after the death of our Lord, that “Prefects” were re-termed as “Governors,” as the Biblical record has it.  Thus, we have “Pilate” announced as being a “governor” Matthew 27:2, before he meets Jesus, which can no longer be disputed.






Concerning the “crucified” man from “Giv’at Ha-Mivtar,” though the Romans crucified tens of thousands of people, it was not until 1968 that archaeologists discovered the skeletal remains of a victim of crucifixion.  Interestingly, the man was Jewish, and his name was John.  He was probably in his mid-twenties when he was crucified around the middle of the First Century, not too distant from the time of Jesus’ crucifixion.  Thus, once again archeology establishes the Biblical record of events taking place in a time period previously not known to have these events associated with them.






The “Ebla Tablets” were found in the Syrian city of Ebla (Tell Mardikh) in 1974-75.  These were a whole library of clay tablets, about fifteen thousand of them, dated from about twenty-three hundred years (2,300) before Christ.  Two languages appeared in the writing on the tablets:  Sumerian, and a previously unknown language that used the Sumerian cuneiform script (Sumerian logograms or “Sumerograms”) as a phonetic representation of the locally spoken “Ebla” language.  The latter script was initially identified as proto-Canaanite by professor Giovanni Pettinato, who first deciphered the tablets, because it predated the Semitic languages of Canaan, like Ugaritic and Hebrew.  Pettinato later retracted the designation and decided to call it simply “Eblaite,” the name by which it is known today.


The importance of this find is that it proves that language was in written form before the time of Abraham, or for sure Moses.  Previously thought not so, of course.






Excavations in Jerusalem in 1979-80 by Gabriel Barkay, turned up two amulets (worn around the neck like a necklace), dating from the late seventh century B.C.  Believed to be just before the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians.


They were found in the fourth of several burial caves he discovered on an escarpment known as “Ketef Hinnom,” which overlooks the Hinnom Valley (Gehenna), just opposite Mount Zion.  This burial site is thought to be the burial of a priest who could have known were the “Ark of the Covenant” was hidden prior to Jerusalem’s destruction.


Each amulet contained a rolled-up sheet of silver which, when unrolled, revealed the Priestly Benediction inscribed on them (Num. 6:24-26).  Amulets were worn in order to protect the wearer from evil.  These amulets are significant because this makes them the oldest known copy of the Scriptures to date.  Even older than the “Dead Sea Scrolls.”






In the midst of an unusually severe drought in 1986, preceded by a small drought in 1985, the receding “Sea of Galilee” exposed the remains of a 2,000-year-old boat buried in the mud.  The people who saw it contacted the “Museum of Jerusalem,” and when word got out, archeologists from all over the world rushed to the site.  In less than 24 hours archeologists from the United States of America were walking the shores of Galilee.


Israeli archaeologists were ecstatic.  This was the first boat ever discovered in the Sea of Galilee.  Its unique construction and remains of pottery still on board, excited all.  Carbon 14 dating, although not accurate after 3000 years, but excellent before that time range, suggested that the boat was in use during Jesus’ time.  In fact, it was dated to be about B.C. 30 to B.C. 10, thus giving it the name, The Jesus Boat.  The boat appears to have originally accommodated up to fifteen people, being 26 feet long, similar to the description of the boats Jesus and His disciples used in the Gospels, around 30 A.D.


Due to the chemical concentration of the murky waters of the Sea of Galilee, and its mud concentration, preservation of this type of wood was kept in near perfect composition.  The “Jesus Boat” is now housed in the “Jerusalem Museum,” where viewers have to look through murky waters such as are duplicated as to that in which it was preserved in all of these Centuries.






“Caiaphas” was high priest and instigated the plot to seek the death of Jesus.  His existence is recorded also by Josephus, the Jewish historian writing in behalf of the Romans.  “Besides which he also deprived Joseph, who was also called Caiphas[sic], of the high priesthood, and appointed Jonathan, the son of Ananus, the former high priest, to succeed him.”  “Josephus Complete Works” (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1969), book 18, chapter 4, page 381.


While excavating in Jerusalem for a water park in 1992, workers were standing upon a false floor, which collapsed, opening up into an ancient tomb.  When archaeologists examined the site, they discovered it housed a number of Jewish ossuaries, which are ancient stone bone boxes, where the bones of the deceased were placed after decomposition.


One box was of particular beauty and adornment above the rest.  It had on its exterior the name of “Joseph, son of Caiaphas,” written upon it.  The ossuary contained the remains of six people:  two infants, a child aged two to five, a boy aged 13 to 18, an adult female, and a man about 60 years old.  The boy named Joseph is believed to be the son of the “Caiaphas,” before whom Jesus was brought for questioning (Mat. 26:3).  Due to the elaborate difference between this bone box and the others in its vicinity, the importance of this personage and his position in life clearly establish a personage in history that was once thought by secularist’s to be a mythical figure.  Poor secularist’s.


In 1990, a family tomb was discovered south of Jerusalem containing twelve ossuaries or bone boxes.  The coins and pottery from the tomb date it to around the middle of the first century A.D.  In 1992, the most ornate of the ossuaries, with multiple sets of bones in it, contains the name, “Joseph son of Caiaphas.”  Many scholars believe this to have been the tomb and bone box of “Caiaphas,” the High Priest so directly involved in the death of Jesus.  It is now known as, “The Ossuary of Caiaphas.”






In 1993, excavations at the northern city of “Tel Dan,” was uncovered a monumental inscription written by “King Hazael” of Damascus, who records his victory over the “king of Israel” and the king of the “house of David.”  Remember, king David was believed to be fictional.  Poor secularists.


The “Aramaic Stone Monument From Tel Dan” has inscribed upon it the names of “King David,” “Baruch,” who was Jeremiah’s scribe, as well as “Baruch’s” fingerprint, which is his seal, along with the seal of “King Hezekiah.”






Khirbet Qeiyafa, also known as “Elah Fortress, and in Hebrew as “Horbat Qayafa, and is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley, and dated to the first half of the 10th Century B.C.  The ruins of the fortress were uncovered in 2007, near the Israelite city of Beit Shemesh, 30 km (20 miles) from Jerusalem.


Remains of a Biblical city, dated to the times of David.  Its name means “two gates,” which were actually found in the excavations.  Recent excavations at “Khirbet Qeiyafa” (also known as the “Elah fortress”), situated on a north hill above the valley of Elah, have unearthed  a fortified city with two four-chamber gates.  It is dated to the end of the Iron Age I, and to the beginning of the Iron Age II period.  This dating, the unique findings, and the location, all support the identity of the site as the Biblical “Sha’araim,” as mentioned in First Samuel 17:52, and other places.






In July 2007, a scholar from the “University of Vienna,” was working on a project in the “British Museum,” when he found a tablet from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.  On the tablet, he found the name “Nebusarsekim,” the name of a Babylonian official mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3.  For this reference to be produced covering the time frame of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar is remarkable (6th Century B.C.).






We can trust the Biblical accounts.  And should archeologists study the writings of the Bible first to help in their search, they could avoid having to retract their pre-supposed concepts and find what they are looking for much quicker.


So many other discoveries I could mention, but this gives many a great start.  See also my Bible Study:  “CHRIST IN SECULAR HISTORY,” which means once Jesus is proven, then any person, place, or event that He mentions becomes validated.


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