Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pagan Archaeology Confirms Over 50 Bible Characters



In the legal profession, probably the most conclusive type of evidence is self-confession of guilt. When an accused person confesses their guilt under no duress and under no ulterior motive, the case is usually what is referred to as “open and shut.” Usually, when this happens before a magistrate or a judge, the court case is quickly closed. The reason for that is simple. The best and highest level of evidence is objective evidence. Objective evidence is information based on facts that can be proved through analysis, measurement, observation, and other such means of research. In the case of a legal trial, this typically takes the form of a testimony from a “disinterested person.” A disinterested person is “objective” because someone who is genuinely disinterested is not tainted by conflict of interest. But, what is even more powerful than a disinterested witness, is a witness that is interested in their own well-being who submits testimony against their own interests – confession of guilt. In other words, there is no higher degree of evidence than a testimony that confesses guilt against one’s own benefit.

The vast majority of critics of the Bible’s veracity stereotypically claim that the Bible’s stories and accounts are nothing but fictional stories that at very least can’t be relied upon. Such critics usually claim that the stories were made up in order to propagate a religion. But, what if sources that are entirely opposed to the Bible’s religion factually confirm the characters and other facts of the Bible’s stories? What if pagan sources of archaeology confirm the veracity of the Bible? After all, pagan cultures are aligned against the spiritual teachings of the Bible. If pagan cultures contemporary to Biblical times confirm the truth of the Bible’s stories, how compelling would such evidence and testimony be? If such testimonies exist, what do they suggest?

This blog has posted several times about the significantly growing body of evidence from archaeology that confirms the facts of the stories in the Bible. In this post we highlight even more such evidence. In the March-April 2014 issue of “Biblical Archaeology Review,” Purdue University scholar Lawrence Mykytiuk lists at least 50 prominent figures from Biblical history that have been confirmed from non-Biblical, even pagan archaeology. Now, the list of figures confirmed far exceeds 50. But, what is interesting about these 50 is that they represent mostly pagan characters confirmed in pagan archaeological sources. Many of these pagan characters are also central to rather prominent Bible accounts and stories. Mykytiuk writes that “at least 50 people mentioned in the Bible have been identified in the archaeological record. Their names appear in inscriptions written during the period described by the Bible and in most instances during or quite close to the lifetime of the person identified.”

You can read this article and follow the related links to archaeological sources by clicking on this link: 50 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically. The list of characters confirmed by pagan cultures includes 5 Egyptian Pharaohs, 1 King of Moab, 5 Kings of Aram-Damascus, 9 Kings/Rulers of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, 6 Kings of the Southern Kingdom of Israel, 8 High Priests and Royal Officials of the Southern Kingdom of Israel, 5 Kings of Assyria (and 1 assassin of a King of Assyria), 3 Kings and 2 royal officials of Babylonia, and 5 Kings of Persia. And, that is just to name a few of the many characters confirmed by pagan archaeological sources. By way of example, of the Kings of Babylonia and Persia, that list includes Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius. These are significant as they are key figures in the miraculous stories of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found in the book of Daniel.

After reading the article and surmising the gravity of the evidence presented, do the related Bible stories truly bear the evidentiary marks of fiction? In order to make a conclusion towards fiction, isn’t proof of fiction needed? Should not benefit of the doubt be afforded in the face of such evidence? If these stories are fiction, then by that same measure what stories can ever be other than fiction? What does it suggest when pagan sources of archaeology confirm the details of Bible stories? It suggests that the Bible is true and the most reliable book of historical antiquity known to man.

Psalm 85:11 says, “Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.” While the primary meaning of this verse relates to spiritual faithfulness and truth, I can’t help but wonder if there is a potential second meaning referring to the objective truth that we can glean from facts unearthed from the ground – via archaeology. True facts don’t err. But, people do. And, that begs a question. Is archaeology in error or are the Bible’s critics? Christian, be encouraged to know that archaeology gets it right. And, if you believe the Bible, so do you.

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