“The Bible Was Right After All” Part I - Bible Kings -- By: Clifford A. Wilson
BSP 1:1 (Winter 1972) p. 8
“The Bible Was Right After All”
Part I - Bible Kings
Over the years the Bible has been attacked by critics more than any other work of literature. But the Bible has an uncanny way of vindicating itself. Its superiority to attack, its capacity to withstand criticism, its amazing facility to be proved right after all, are all staggering by any standard of scholarship. Seemingly confirmed results that “disprove” the Bible have a habit of backfiring as over and over again the Bible has been shown to be right after all. In this series of articles we shall be looking at examples of how archaeology has answered some of these criticisms.
“There Is No Such King”
Perhaps one of my favorite stories of archaeology and the Bible would be a suitable starting point - the record relating to the Assyrian King Sargon in Isaiah 20. “There is no such king” the critics declared. “The Bible has confused this man with Shalmaneser who initiated the seige of Samaria.” Actually, there was no Sargon in known Assyrian king lists.
Then, in the 1840’s, Sargon’s palace was uncovered at the village of Khorsabad, just a few miles from ancient Nineveh in Iraq. Not only was his palace uncovered, but found among the many battle descriptions was the record of the very campaign against Ashdod mentioned in Isaiah 20:1. The Bible was right after all! There was a King Sargon, he did campaign against the Philistine city of Ashdod, he did have a “Tartan” as Isaiah 20:1 declares. Tartan is an Assyrian army title that means “commander-in-chief”. While a number of these titles are correctly used
BSP 1:1 (Winter 1972) p. 9
in the Bible records (rabmag, rabshakeh, and tipsarru, to name a few), their meanings were unknown until the excavation of Assyrian palaces in the 19th Century. This reflects concise and accurate reporting that demonstrates the factual eyewitness account of Biblical writings. The Assyrians as a people disappeared from history after the Battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C., and yet Bible writers even knew official rank and protocol of the enemy Assyrian army.
Nebuchadnezzar The Great Builder
Other kings are mentioned in the Bible whose existence has been challenged. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was virtually unknown outside the Bible until modern excavations uncovered much new information. The late W.F. Albright summarized some of this knowledge in his interesting survey, The Bible After Twenty Years, issued soon after the end of World War II.
One point of inter...
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