Friday, August 3, 2012


It won 5 Academy awards and remains one of the highest profit earning movies ever made. Its popularity and success led to 3 additional movies, a television series and at least 15 video games. It is included in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark put archaeology on the local map of people's imaginations as it unfolded on screen the exciting story of an adventurous archaeologist.


A hundred years ago there were learned critics who claimed that the Bible was full of historical blunders. Today the situation has changed dramatically. 

The discoveries of archaeology in Bible lands have validated the confidence that many have in the historical accuracy of Holy Scriptures. Much of the culture as well as evidence of the various time frames and actual places where many of the Bible characters traveled and lived are being unearthed.

The ‘Middle East’ was the birth-place of the Bible, and the cradle of the human race. Ancient nations – Egypt, Assyria, Phoenicia, Babylon and Persia were clustered there. The Bible narratives are knitted at a thousand points to the history of these nations.

The Middle East has therefore become a gigantic museum, over stuffed with the relics of ancient eras. This region is also an enormous library. Beneath the sands, and on the stony faces of its weather beaten monuments are preserved chronicles of the nations of the past.

This library, the oldest and biggest in the world, with its clay tablets and cylinders, its rolls of papyrus, its scraps of broken pottery and its slabs of stone, is also a huge treasury, prepared by the hands of men long dead, filled with evidence of the historical accuracy of the sacred Scriptures, and preserved by God and needed for our time.


Cuneiform script is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. The cuneiform writing system was in use for more than 35 centuries, through several stages of development, from the 34th century BC down to the 1st century AD. It was completely replaced by alphabetic writing (in the general sense) during the Roman era and there are no Cuneiform systems in current use. Cuneiform documents were written on clay tablets, by means of a blunt reed for a stylus.

As archaeologists have discovered these clay tablets and inscriptions, more and more of the history recorded in the Bible is being certified as correct.

Here are a few examples of names, places and events in Bible history which have been verified by the cuneiform tablets of archaeology.

1. NOAH AND THE FLOOD - Deluge Tablet – The Epic of Gilgamesh records a Babylonian account of a flood

2. VARIOUS LAWS GOVERNING SOCIETIES INCLUDING THE 10 COMMANDMENTS  - Law tablets – ancient Near East legal tablets: Code of Hammurabi, Laws of Eshnunna, the Code of Ur-Nammu, king of Ur (ca. 2050 BC), the Laws of Eshnunna (ca. 1930 BC) and the codex of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (ca. 1870 BC). Later codes than Hammurabi's include the Code of the Nesilim. Hittite laws, the Assyrian laws, and Mosaic Law / Ten Commandments. (see Cuneiform law)

3. EXISTENCE OF ISRAEL'S BIBLICAL ENEMIES - Ugaritic religious texts – (14th – 12th century BC?) verifies the account of Philo, preserved by Eusebius, regarding the Canaanite religion.

4. EXISTENCE OF THE PROPHET WHO TALKED WITH THE DONKEY - Balaam inscription (c. 840–760 BC) 9th or 8th century BC inscription about a prophet named Balaam (cf. the Book of Numbers).

5. EXISTENCE OF KING HEZEKIAH - Siloam inscription – Records the construction of Hezekiah's tunnel in the 8th century BC 

6. EXISTENCE OF ONE OF THE PLACES WHERE JESUS HEALED - Pool of Bethesda – in the nineteenth century, archaeologists discovered the remains of a pool exactly matching the description in John’s Gospel.

7. PLAGUES OF EGYPT - Ipuwer Papyrus (c. 13th century BC) – ancient papyrus manuscript describing Egypt as afflicted by natural disasters and in a state of chaos. Statements such as "the River is blood" have been interpreted by some as an Egyptian account of the Plagues of Egypt described in the Book of Exodus in the Bible.

8. ISRAEL THE PEOPLE OF GOD - Merneptah Stele (c. 1209/1208 BC).- one of the earliest known references to Israel or to the Israelites. The Merneptah Stele, dated to about 1206 B.C.E. and now housed at the Cairo Museum, offers the earliest historical evidence of a people called Israel.

9. EXISTENCE OF THE HEBREW PEOPLE - Gezer calendar (10th century BC) – calendar from the Biblical city of Gezer. It is one of the oldest known examples of Hebrew writing.

10. EXISTENCE OF AMMON - ANCIENT ENEMY OF ISRAEL - Amman Citadel Inscription – 9th century BC inscription in the Ammonite language, one of the few surviving written records of Ammon.

11. BOOK OF JEREMIAH - Seal of Jehucal – (9th century BCE ?) Jehucal or Jucal is mentioned in chapters 37 and 38 of the Book of Jeremiah where King Zedekiah sends Jehucal son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah saying `Please pray for us to the Lord our God` (Chapter 38 verse 3).

12. EXISTENCE OF KING AHAB -  Kurkh Monolith (c. 859–824 BC) - British Museum – names King Ahab of Israel, erected by Shalmaneser III to commemorate the Battle of Karkar, which Ahab participated in along with many other regional leaders.

13. EXISTENCE OF KING NEBUDCHADNEZZAR -  Babylonian Chronicles (c. 747–247 BC) – dealing with Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem, etc. (see Siege of Jerusalem (587 BC), Zedekiah and Book of Kings, Book of Jeremiah, Lamentations.)

14. EXISTENCE OF KING AHAZ -  King Ahaz's Seal (732 to 716 BC) – Ahaz was a king of Judah but "did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done" (2 Kings 16:2; 2 Chronicles 28:1). He worshiped idols and followed pagan practices. "He even made his son pass through fire, according to the abominable practices of the nations" (2 Kings 16:3). Ahaz was the son and successor of Jotham.

15. CAPTIVES OF JUDAH - Lachish relief – portion of the Sennacherib relief, which depicts captives from Judah being led into captivity after the fall of Lachish in 701 BC

16. SIEGE OF JERUSALEM - Taylor Prism – a clay prism inscribed with the annals of the Assyrian king Sennacherib notable for describing his siege of Jerusalem in 701 BC during the reign of king Hezekiah. This event is recorded in several books contained in Bible including Isaiah chapters 33 and 36; 2 Kings 18:17; 2 Chronicles 32:9.

17. OLD TESTAMENT IN THE BIBLE -  Ketef Hinnom priestly blessing – Probably the oldest surviving texts currently known from the Hebrew Bible – Priestly blessing dated to 600 BC. Text from the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament. Described as "one of most significant discoveries ever made" for biblical studies

18. KING CYRUS & BIBLE PROPHECY - Cylinder of Cyrus (c. 559 BC-530 BC) - British Museum – regarding King Cyrus's treatment of religion, which is significant to the books of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah.

19. KING BELSHAZZAR AND THE JUDGMENT OF GOD - Cylinder of Nabonidus (555–539 BC) - British Museum – proves Belshazzar's existence. See Daniel 5; 7:1; 8:1. Daniel 5 describes Belshazzar's Feast where a hand was seen writing on the wall of the chamber a mysterious sentence mene mene tekel upharsin.

20. NEHEMIAH - RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM AND BIBLE PROPHECY -  Elephantine papyri, ancient Jewish papyri dating to the 5th century BC, name three persons mentioned in Nehemiah: Darius II, Sanballat the Horonite and Johanan the high priest.

21. ISRAEL'S REBELLION AGAINST AND APOSTASY FROM GOD - Proof of Israels apostasy from God -The Bible records the history of Israels frequent apostasy from God to worship the idol gods of nations around them. 

22. THE NEW TESTAMENT - Portions of the New Testament made on papyrus and some of the earliest proof of the original text. More than 120 are known and housed at various institutions around the world.

These examples confirm that the authenticity of the Bible is being established in these last days of earth's history as God continues to make intelligent appeals to the minds and hearts of human beings. Sufficient evidence is given for the honest in heart who sincerely wish to know the truth regarding the great issues of life; origin, purpose, destiny and eternity. 

Where we came from, where we are and where we are going. 

It begins with Jesus Christ.

His love, sacrifice and desire for you are revealed in the Bible.

This study will be continued in the next part of this Bible Study series 
"Facts You Need To Know" 1D.


The Holy Bible and-

(2) University of Chicago Oriental Institute -

(7) British Archaeology at the Ashmolean Museum - also see
Museum of Art and Archaeology University of Oxford -

(8) University of Oslo Library (Norway) -
(9) Yale University (Babylonian Collection) -
(10) National Library of Russia - Greek Manuscripts -

© 2012 Tyrone Keels