Q. I’ve been told that the Bible is a religious book and we should not expect it to be supported by archaeology. Is this so?
- The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s supports the Bible’s writings about the Patriarchs. Claytablets from around 2300BC reveal that personal and place names in the Old Testament are genuine. The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, whereas critics said it was not used at that time. The word tehom (“the deep”) in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word indicating the late writing of the Creation story. However, “tehom” was in use at Ebla some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs in OT stories have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.
- Critics rejected the Hittites as a Biblical legend that is, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey.
- They criticised the Bible’s account of Solomon’s wealth as greatly exaggerated. Records from the past, however, assert that wealth in ancient times was concentrated with the king and Solomon’s prosperity was entirely feasible.
- They claimed there was no Assyrian King Sargon – Isa 20:1 – because this name was not recorded anywhere else. Then Sargon’s palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. In fact, his capture of Ashdod mentioned in Isa 20 was recorded on the palace walls. In addition, fragments of a tablet celebrating this victory were found at Ashdod itself.
- Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon – Dan 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus’ son who served as co-regent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel “third highest ruler in the kingdom” – Dan 5:16 – for reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position.
Thus, ‘the stones cry out’ as archaeology witnesses to the accuracy and reliability of God’s Word. Trust it, read it and let its Author lead you in His ways.