Has Archaeology Helped Prove the Bible?

Time after time, the archaeologists’ spade has uncovered physical evidence that supports the historical background of the Bible. More than forty biblical characters, and dozens of sites mentioned in Scripture, have had their existence confirmed by a document or physical artifact. Such discoveries have made the Bible the most confirmed ancient document by archaeology. Does that means those discoveries show that the Bible is the Word of God? Not necessarily. However, they demonstrate that it is historically reliable, and give weight to the idea that the Bible can be trusted.

Here are some interesting archaeological findings:

  1. The Eshbaal Inscription. Found in Khirbet Qeiyafa, situated in the valley of Elah in southern Israel, the inscription dates from the days of Saul and David, and mentions a man named Eshbaal, the same name as one of King Saul’s sons. New data found at the site, including the inscription, support the date for the monarchies of Saul and David held by most conservative scholars.
  2. The Pilate Stone. Discovered in 1961, the Pilate stone referring to “Pontius Pilatus . . . prefect of Judea,” is an inscription dating to the time of Pontius Pilate’s governorship of Rome’s Judean province. It was found in the ruins of Caesarea, a city on the Mediterranean Sea built by Herod the Great, where the province’s administrative headquarters were located. Because it dates to Pilate’s lifetime, it provided the earliest authentication of Pilate’s existence as a historical figure.
  3. Evidence of campaigns of Nebuchadnezzar and Sennacherib. Excavations in Lachish have revealed mass destruction that dates from the Babylonian campaign of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25). Similar destruction resulted from the invasion by Sennacherib, king of Assyria, in 701 A.D. (2 Kings 18, Isa. 36-37). Assyrian and Babylonian arrowheads and other weapons have been found. The layer containing the Assyrian destruction contained several of the so-called LMLK vessels. LMLK in Hebrew means “for the king.” Previous expeditions discovered more than 400 LMLK jars in Lachish, many from the time of king Hezekiah.
  4. The Dead Sea Manuscripts. First discovered in 1946, the Dead Sea scrolls date as far back as three centuries before Christ. The manuscripts included portions of every Old Testament book but Esther, and were one thousand years older than any then-known manuscript. Careful comparison revealed that the biblical message had remained unchanged.