Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why Trust The Bible? Archaeological Evidence Of The Bible

Archaeology is the study of ancient things. Archaeology is essential to understanding the past. When studying the Bible from a geographical and historical perspective one would expect to find much archaeological evidence to validate its words. Unlike the majority of other religious writings, which have no real geographic or archaeological evidence, the Old and New Testament have been verified by archaeology. The geographic locations mentioned in the Bible, many which are still occupied today, can be visited by anyone at anytime. We could visit the Red Sea which God divided, sail the Sea of Galilee, walk the streets of Jerusalem, or travel to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Understand the Bible plainly reveals reality in its words not mythology. In the next few article I would like to reveal some of the most astounding archaeological discoveries, which validated the Bible.
The Walls of Jericho
Jericho was excavated by four different teams. Charles Warren (1868), Ernest Sellin (1907-1911) John Garstang (1929-1936) and Miss Kathleen Kenyon (1952-1958).
Jericho Heavily Fortified
The Bible reveals that Jericho was a large city heavily fortified with large walls. Deut. 9:1 says, “Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven.” Kenyon, Sellin, and Garstang’s individual excavations of Jericho revealed this fortification. Garstang quoted, “There were two thirty-foot high walls that run nearly parallel, circling the summit of the mount. According to Sellin at the base of the mount was a 12 ft. natural retaining wall. On top of this natural retaining wall was a mud brick wall 20- 25ft tall 6ft thick. Six acres up the mount to the crest of the mount stood another wall which would have towered 46ft above the ground level outside the retaining wall. This would have been very intimidating to the Israelites as they marched around the city.

The Fallen Walls
Joshua 6:20 says “So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” This chapter of Joshua gives the account of what happened to the city. The Bible tells us that the Israelites were to march around the city for six days and on the seventh day encompass the city wall seven times. Then the priests should blow their horns and the people should shout and the walls will fall down. Is their Biblical evidence of this ever happening?
According to Kenyon large piles of bricks were found at the bottom of the retaining wall. Kenyon quoted, “fallen red brick piling nearly to the top of the revetment. These probably came from the walls on the summit of the bank… the brickwork above the revetment.” (Kenyon 1981:110) This would have given the Israelites a entry point, where the brick would have formed a ramp like structure to the top of the 12 ft retaining wall. This was also verified by other archaeologists. The Bible is clear in Joshua 6:20 “…so that the people went up into the city…” They had to travel up. Archaeology once again affirms the detailed scripture found in the Bible.
Destruction By Fire
Joshua 6:21, 24 says, “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city,…And they burnt the city with fire.” The Bible tells us that the city was to be burned. Does the evidence reveal a great torching of the city? Archaeologist found layers of ash and burnt debris 3ft thick all around the city. Kenyon verified this in her findings quoting, “The destruction of the city was complete, walls and floors were blackened or reddened by fire, every room was filled with fallen bricks, timbers and household utensils; in most rooms the fallen debris was heavily burnt, but the collapse of the walls of the eastern rooms seems to have taken place before they were affected by the fire. (Kenyon 1981:370). Both Garstang and Kenyon found remnants of jars full of grain and bin of food, even brick oven with bread ready to be cooked inside. This indicated a sudden destruction of the city, which would normally take months or years of battle to over throw. Grain was a great commodity of the times. This grain would have been used for food and bartering. This would have been looted by the besiegers because of its value, but we find in the Bible that God commanded them to only take the silver, gold, vessels of brass and iron. This reflects exactly the evidence unearth in the Jericho excavation site..
The Biblical evidence found in Jericho is very convincing. God always take us to the edge in our search for the truth, but it is ultimately up to you to trust in him by faith. I hope this article has help in your journey for the truth. My next article will reveal the Archaeological evidence found at the Red Sea.
Sources: Anchors of Faith by Tom Fittis and

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