ABR On Line -- By: Bryant G. Wood
BSP 8:4 (Autumn 1995) p. 117
ABR On Line
ABR is now part of an internet site called Christian Answers Net dealing with Creation-Evolution, Bible Archaeology, Theology, and Cults. When one of these four areas is selected, a list of questions appears. When a particular question is selected, the answer is then given. The material in the Bible Archaeology section was prepared by the ABR staff. For our readers who have access to the internet, visit us at http://www.ChristianAnswers.Net and click on “Bible Archaeology.” For those of our readers who do not have access to the internet, we thought you would like to see some samples of the questions in the Bible Archaeology section.
In what ways have the discoveries of archaeology verified the reliability of the Bible?
Over the years there have been many criticisms leveled against the Bible concerning its historical reliability. These criticisms are usually based on a lack of evidence from outside sources to confirm the Biblical record. Since the Bible is a religious book, many scholars take the position that it is biased and cannot be trusted unless we have corroborating evidence from extra-Biblical sources. In other words, the Bible is guilty until proven innocent, and a lack of outside evidence places the Biblical account in doubt. This standard is far different from that applied to other ancient documents, even though many, if not most, have a religious element. They are considered to be accurate, unless there is evidence to show that they are not. Although it is not possible to verify every incident in the Bible, the discoveries of archaeology since the mid 1800s have demonstrated the reliability and plausibility of the Bible narrative. Here are some examples.
The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 BC demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was very late and used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word “tehom” (the deep) in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. Tehom was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.
The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey. Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon’s wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was con...
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