A Tour of Biblical Evidence in the British Museum -- By: Peter Masters

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 13:2 (Spring 2000)
Article: A Tour of Biblical Evidence in the British Museum
Author: Peter Masters


A Tour of Biblical Evidence in the British Museum

Peter Masters

The following article not only provides a guide to those visiting the British Museum, but also a compilation of significant discoveries that demonstrate the historical accuracy of the Bible record.

How Assyrian Monuments Confirm the Bible

The first leg of this tour surveys discoveries found (mostly) in the excavations of Assyrian capital cities. From around 880 BC the Assyrian empire began to take shape, engulfing and annexing many other kingdoms. Several Assyrian kings invaded or threatened the Bible lands—Israel and Judah—and secured submission and tribute from them. Two hundred and fifty years of such interaction naturally led to various battles and names being mentioned in both the Bible and the annals and monuments of the Assyrians.

Shalmaneser Names Ahab and Ben Hadad

The first item we view is an Assyrian monument mentioning the names of two kings who feature prominently in the Old Testament, and confirming the reality of Biblical dating.

The British Museum

Two similar monuments stand together, one of which commemorates Ashurnasirpal II (884–859 BC). He was the Assyrian king who began the policy of expansion and empire building. He introduced new siege techniques to Assyrian warfare—the use of earth ramparts and battering engines, supported by sling shooters and archers.

Monolith of Shalmaneser III. It is also called the “Kurkh Stela,” since it was discovered at Kurkh on the Tigris River in southeastern Turkey in 1861.

To the right of him is a sandy-colored monument known as the Monolith of Shalmaneser III (also called the Kurkh Stele). This shows Shalmaneser III(who ruled Assyria from 859 824 BC) saluting his gods—symbolized in the small pictures above his hand. Writing appears all over the king’s picture and also on the back of the monument. This text describes Shalmaneser’s first six military campaigns.

He records how (in 853 BC) he ventured west threatening many kingdoms, but Irhulini, the king of Hamath, organized a mighty defense force supplied by 14 kings including Ahab, king of Israel, and Ben-Hadad of Damascus. These two spent most of their time at war with

This human-headed winged lion (one of a pair) stood at the doorway of Ashurnasirpal II’s throne room at the Palace of Nimrud.

each other, ...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()