Is Archaeology Increasingly Proving the Bible to Be a Reliable Source of History?
While looking through headlines the other day, the opening of one in particular caught my eye: “Archaeological Discoveries Prove Jesus Existed.”
Clicking through to the article, I found an interview with author Robert Hutchinson, who describes recent archaeological discoveries which he declares lend credibility to biblical accounts. According to the article:
“One of the main arguments furthered by secular scholars is that there is no proof that Jesus or anyone else mentioned in the New Testament actually existed. However, Hutchinson wrote that discoveries of ossuaries (burial boxes) in 1990 and in 2002 make that argument moot.
In 1990, construction workers uncovered the ossuary of the high priest Caiaphas. After analyzation, Hutchinson said that almost all archaeologists accept the Caiaphas ossuary as authentic.
It is also believed by some scholars that an ossuary discovered in 2002 is the burial box of James the Just, who many Christians believe is either the half-brother or cousin of Jesus.
“A lot of what the people say in the claim that Jesus doesn’t exist is that there is no archaeological proof for any of these people,” Hutchinson added. “They said the same thing about Pontius Pilate, that there is no archaeological proof of him but in 1961 they uncovered an inscription in Caesarea, which proved that Pilate existed.”
Reading such assertions made me curious to find out how many other recent archaeological discoveries lend credibility to the historical veracity of the Bible. As it turns out, a review of recent archaeology articles suggest there have been several:
- In December of 2014, Science Daily reported the finding of six seals believed to lend credibility to the existence of the kingdoms of David and Solomon. Such data piggybacks on other finds such as the Tel Dan inscription, which is “the first historical evidence of King David from the Bible.”
- In September of 2015, Popular Archaeology reported on the discovery of the biblical city of Sodom. According to archaeologists, excavations show that the city came “to a sudden, inexplicable end,” and that the city palace was the scene of “a fiery conflagration,” facts interesting considering the biblical account portrays the city as suddenly destroyed by fire.
- In December of 2015, Popular Archaeology reported the discovery of an imprint from the seal of Hezekiah, an ancient Judean king described in a number of Old Testament writings. The seal is believed to be from later in Hezekiah’s reign and depicts a winged sun, which seems to coincide with the biblical account of his illness and recovery in Isaiah 38.
Given the religious nature of the Bible, many are reluctant to teach or refer to it in the classroom or in everyday society. But judging from the authenticated findings listed above, should the Bible be considered a source of history?
Image Credit: Randall Niles