All posts filed under: Archaeology

Extraordinary find confirms the Bible’s smallest details

What I like about Biblical archaeology is how it consistently confirms some of the smallest, seemingly irrelevant details, mentioned in Scripture. In 1 Kings 10, we have a bit of an idea of King Solomon’s wealth gained through tribute paid by subdued nations and as well taxation of those doing business in his realm (1 Kings 10:14-15). One of the displays of Solomon’s wealth is found in a description of the king’s great throne, which is described as being “covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold” (1 Kings 10:18-20). It also had a huge rounded back, and appeared to have a full-sized lion on either side of the throne. There were also six massive steps going down to the palace floor, with a lion on both ends of each step (12 in total). But in the midst of this grandiose description, the first thing the writer noted is that Solomon’s throne was decorated with ivory, and it is mentioned before the gold and lions. This is not surprising because ivory was considered more valuable …

How we pray for our political leaders is important

In some ways, an archaeological discovery in Israel may provide a timely message for believers in our dangerously-polarized, political culture. In 2010, archaeologists found a stone table (26.7 cm by 20.8 cm) near the Gihon Springs in the Kidron Valley with an inscription carved into it. The springs were originally the main source of water for the ancient city of Jerusalem. The limestone tablet was dated to the time of King David. However, it was not until 2022, that Professor Gershon Galil, from the Department of Jewish History and Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa, completed his translation of the wording. According to Israel365 News, it ended up being a curse, calling for the death of the Governor of Jerusalem: Transliteration and translation of the text: ARWR, ARWR, MT TMT; ARWR, ARWR, MT TMT; SR H’R, MT TMT; ARWR, MT TMT; ARWR, MT TMT; ARWR, MT TMT. ארור, ארור, מת תמת; ארור, ארור, מת תמת; שר הער, מת תמת; ארור, מת תמת; ארור, מת תמת; ארור, מת תמת Cursed, Cursed, you will surely die. …

Does an ancient mosaic point to Peter’s home in Bethsaida?

Archaeologists, Prof. Steven Notley from New York’s Nyack College and Prof. Mordechai Aviam of Israel’s Kinneret College believe they have found an ancient Byzantine church located in Bethsaida said to built over the home of the Apostle Peter. The Bible tells us that Peter, Andrew, and Philip were from Bethsaida (John 1:44). It was also the town that Jesus condemned because of its refusal to repent after all the miracles that had been performed there (Matthew 11:20-25). The site, referred to as El-Araj, is located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The archaeologists, who had previously found the remains of an ancient Byzantine church, announced that they recently discovered a round Mosaic medallion that was part of a larger mosaic floor in the church’s sacristy. This is the room where those leading the church service gathered to prepare. The medallion contained two lines of Greek script, which refers to the donor, “Constantine, the servant of Christ,” and a petition to Peter who is called, “chief and commander of the heavenly apostles.” This …

Do Egyptian transliterations confirm the Exodus account?

In the speech that led to his martyrdom, Stephen stated that Moses was educated in all the wisdom of Egypt (Acts 7:22). This is to be expected, since the Bible records that he was raised in the Pharaoh’s court, where he would not only learn the ways of Egypt, but as well its language. But we also know that his Hebrew mother basically served as his nanny during his early years (Exodus 2:7–9). So, Moses would also be familiar with the Hebrew culture and religion, and perhaps even the Hebrew language. It is also generally believed that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, as we find several references of Moses writing down events as they took place. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.” (Exodus 7:14 NIV) 4 Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said. …

Ten stories from this week

Here are a ten news stories, that caught my attention, this past week. Prophetic word about draft, fulfilled in the very last pick in 2021 NFL draft Grant Stuard was an all-conference linebacker while playing for the University of Houston. His dad was in prison several times and his drug-addict mother worked strip clubs to feed her habit, leaving Grant to raise his four siblings. There had been hints he would be drafted in the 2021 NFL draft, and a friend even gave a prophetic word, that this would happen. But Grant was losing hope by the time the seventh and final round of the draft started. But Grant was picked by the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the very last pick of the draft. READ: NFL’s Last Draft Pick Sees His Blessing Movie director encourages Chris Pratt to ‘keep standing for Jesus’ Andrew Erwin, who has directed films such as American Underdog and Moms’ Night Out, took to Instagram to support Hollywood actor, Chris Pratt, after he was criticized for sharing that his faith …

The Bible’s camel controversy

When people question the Bible, one thing that has been thrown out is the several references to camels in the Book of Genesis. It was actually the focus of an article by New York Times reporter, John Wilford entitled, Camels Had No Business in Genesis. Written in 2014, Wilford focussed on a study conducted by researchers at the University of Tel Aviv, who concluded that camels were not domesticated in Israel until the reign of King Solomon (971 BC-931 BC). So obviously any mentions of domesticated camels in the Promised Land prior to this date were just wrong and this includes those owned by the Patriarch Abraham who lived around 2100 BC. It may even suggest that the person who wrote Genesis lived during King Solomon’s time and just presumed that camels were in use during the time of Abraham. In other words, it was not Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible. But one thing that strikes me about the accuracy of the Bible is its focus on the smallest details. …

Is the Ark of the Covenant buried under the Temple Mount?

One of the major Old Testament mysteries surrounds the disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant that took place after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. Several passages list all the items that Nebuchadnezzar hauled out of the Jewish Temple, and none include any mention of the Ark of the Covenant, arguably the most important piece of furniture in the Temple (2 Kings 25:13-16). Many believe this omission reveals that before Jerusalem fell, the priests had managed to hide the Ark of the Covenant. But where did they hide it? Some believe the Ark might be hidden somewhere under the Temple Mount, which contains dozens of caves and labyrinths. Its location has since been lost because Nebuchadnezzar ordered the Jewish priests (including the High Priest) to be taken into captivity, where they were eventually executed (2 Kings 25:18-21). If they had hidden the ark, its location was gone with them. But Harry Moskoff, a researcher and author, states that he may have found the secret location of the Ark …

Does the Brooklyn Papyrus help confirm the Exodus story?

There is growing evidence that Israel’s exodus out of Egypt did not take place under Pharaoh Ramesses who ruled Egypt between 1279 -1213 BC as many traditionally believed, but actually took place a couple of hundred years earlier. It coincided with the time when the Egyptians were finally able to drive the Hyksos out of Egypt around 1550 BC. The Hyksos, a Semitic tribe, had invaded the northern half of the Nile Delta around 1800 BC, driving the Egyptian government south. And there is convincing evidence that Joseph and his family had settled in Egypt during the Hyksos rule after Joseph rose to power (Genesis 41:41). Of course, being Semitic, Joseph had a similar language and culture to the Hyksos which partially explains why he so quickly rose to second in command in Egypt after God anointed him. But that changed when Egyptian Pharaoh Ahmose I was able to drive the Hyksos out of Northern Egypt in 1550. The Bible describes him as the new king who ominously did not know Joseph (Exodus 1:8). Pharaoh …

Does the controversial Nazareth Inscription support the rumors circulating at the time about Christ’s resurrection?

In his report on Christ’s resurrection, Matthew writes that an angel rolled away the massive stone that was blocking the entrance of Jesus’ tomb and then sat on it. The terrified guards fled in terror. This same angel whose appearance looked like lightning told the women who had come to visit the tomb that Jesus had risen from the dead and was now on His way to Galilee (Matthew 28:1-10). Matthew then adds this strange addendum, reporting on what happened when the guards told the chief priests and elders about their encounter with the angel. Matthew writes that the chief priest bribed the guards into saying that the disciples had stolen Christ’s body after the guards had fallen asleep. But then Matthew adds this odd statement. 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. (Matthew 28:14-15 NIV) The Jewish leaders assured the …

Are Near-Death Experiences proof of the afterlife?

CBN recently reported on the experience that Tina Hines had after having a heart attack in 2018. When her husband, Brian, called 911, Tina was not breathing and her heart was not beating. A friend performed CPR until the ambulance arrived and rushed her to a nearby hospital. At the hospital, doctors were finally able to restart Tina’s heart, but since she was without a heartbeat for about 28 minutes, they were not hopeful of recovery, and if she did, they prepared the family for significant brain damage. But despite this prognosis, as the family prayed for Tina’s recovery, some experienced a deep peace that she would be fine. The doctors put Tina into an induced coma to help her body recover. But no one was sure what would happen when they brought her out. But to everyone’s surprise, Tina’s eyes opened and, though she initially couldn’t speak, Tina was aware of everyone in the room. Brian gave his wife a pen and paper to write on, and initially, she scribbled meaningless marks, but eventually, …

The Bible’s description of how Esarhaddon became Assyria’s king, confirmed by archaeology

Though secularists like to discount the Bible by portraying it as a collection of myths, even its smallest, seemingly insignificant details are proving to be historically accurate. In a few passages, the Bible refers to Esarhaddon, an Assyrian King who ruled between 681-669 BC. The son of Sennacherib, he is considered one of the greatest kings of the Assyrian empire. In 2 Kings, we are told that Esarhaddon came to the throne after his older brothers assassinated their father: 37 One day, while he [Sennacherib] was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king. (2 Kings 19:37 NIV) The lead-up to this started when Hezekiah became king of Judah and refused to continue paying tribute to the Assyrian empire. As a result, King Sennacherib invaded Judah to bring them back into line. What followed is confirmed several times in the archaeological record. The invasion involved the sacking of several smaller …

Egyptian researchers digitally unwrap the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I, the pharaoh of the Exodus?

Over Christmas, Egyptian researchers digitally unwrapped the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I, who ruled Egypt between 1526 and 1506 BC. He was the second ruler of what is referred to as the 18th Egyptian dynasty, started by his father Ahmose. Amenhotep is the only royal mummy from the 19th and 20th century discoveries not to be unwrapped. Egyptian researchers had refrained from physically doing this because the mummy was intricately decorated with floral arrangements and a mask embedded with precious stones. So they chose a digital approach, using an X-Ray machine that provided 360-degree scans as they digitally removed each layer. Through the unwrapping process, the Cairo-based researchers discovered that Amenhotep I had been unwrapped and reburied at least once before, probably by later Egyptian priests who often repaired the damage done to previous royal mummies by grave robbers. They discovered that Amenhotep I was around 35 years of age when he died and there were no outward indicators of what he died from such as disease or physical wounds. He was also the last …

Ring portraying Jesus as the Good Shepherd discovered in a 1,700-year-old shipwreck

Israel Antiquity Authority has announced some interesting discoveries from two shipwrecks discovered off its coast in the Mediterranean Sea. One of the shipwrecks is 1,700 years old and the second is 600 years old. Both were discovered near the ancient Roman port of Caesarea and were probably destroyed in a storm as the crew was trying to get their ships into port. The Daily Mail reports that archaeologists discovered a stunning gold ring with a green gemstone on the older wreck. On the gemstone was an intricately carved image of Jesus holding a lamb on His back. He is portrayed wearing a Roman tunic. This image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is found throughout the Gospels. Perhaps, the most famous is the parable involving the story of the Good Shepherd who would leave his flock of 99 to find the one lost sheep: 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after …

Does the discovery of a second synagogue in Migdal refocus our attention on the unusual nature of the first one?

Archaeologists working with Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have found a second synagogue dating to the time of Jesus in the town of Migdal also called Magdala. It was a prominent town in Jesus’ day. And most believe that the last name of Mary Magdalene, one of Christ’s most famous female followers, indicated that she came from this community, located on the Northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a short walk from Capernaum. This was an area where Jesus ministered extensively. 2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out. (Luke 8:2 NASV) It is the second synagogue dated to Jesus’ day found in the town. Synagogues played an important role in Jewish society. It was here they gathered to read the Torah, as Jesus did at the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21). It would have also served as the location for communal gatherings. The recently discovered synagogue is square-shaped, with a large central room where the Jews gathered on …

Physical evidence of Roman execution by crucifixion discovered in Britain

According to the Daily Mail, archaeologists in Britain have discovered what they describe as the “world’s best example of crucifixion.” Though the Bible and other historical documents talk about the Romans using crucifixion as a brutal form of execution, there have been few physical examples of it found because the metal nails used to crucify a person were not only extremely valuable, they were often considered magical and usually removed from the body after death. Crucifixion was a popular method of execution used by the Romans, because it often extended the torture for days. The body, discovered in 2017 in a grave at the village of Fenstanton, is dated to 130-337 AD, during the Roman occupation of Britain. The archaeologists examining the remains found a nail hammered into the man’s heel bone, thought to be 25 to 35 years of age at the time of his execution. There were also indications that the man had probably been tortured and shackled prior to his crucifixion, suggesting that he might have been a slave. Though historical paintings …

Was Jesus born in a cave?

Many might be surprised by the notion that Jesus was born in a cave, but essentially that is the claim being made by the Church of the Nativity, located in Bethlehem, that is built over the site of where it believes Mary gave birth to Jesus. The Lord’s actual birthplace was in a cave located below the church’s main altar, that can be accessed by two staircases on either side. In fact, the grotto where it claims Jesus was born is part of a larger network of caves that can be accessed from neighbouring buildings, but is now blocked by gates. But not everyone agrees that Christ was born in a cave. One common argument against it, is that Luke, who provided the most extensive narrative of the events surrounding Christ’s birth (Luke 2:1-21), does not mention a cave. Why didn’t he do this? It’s argued that Luke would have mentioned the cave if it was unusual. What was unusual to Luke, is that because there was no room in the inn, Joseph and Mary …

Biblical warfare: How Assyria conquered Lachish and how the Jews tried to defend it using a chain

Archaeologists from Israel and America have released a report confirming how the Assyria’s King Sennacherib was able to conquer the small Judean city of Lachish. The interesting battle, recorded in Isaiah, says during his invasion of Judah, the Assyrian King was able to conquer Lachish (Isaiah 36:1-2) and then surrounded the city of Jerusalem where Sennacherib’s representatives taunted the city and Judah’s King Hezekiah with its imminent destruction if Hezekiah didn’t surrender (Isaiah 36:4-24). After King Hezekiah called on God, the prophet Isaiah delivered a prophetic word that King Sennacherib would hear of trouble brewing causing him to withdraw and return to his homeland, which is exactly what happened (Isaiah 37:5-7). The archaeologists released a report on the remains of a massive ramp that the Assyrian army built up to the city’s walls, confirming details of the Lachish’s destruction found engraved on walls in Nineveh, which was then the Assyrian capital. The large wall carving, where Sennacherib brags about his defeat of Lachish, shows a huge ramp had been built up the city’s wall, located …

Anthropology confirms the Bible’s description of a race of GIANTS

As we read the Bible, we find several mentions of giant men. Of course, the most famous of these was Goliath. Throughout history, there have been stories of giant people. The Guinness Book of Records states that the tallest man on record was an Illinois man, Robert Pershing Wadlow, who grew to a size of 8’11”. In this instance, Wadlow’s giant size was due to problems with his pituitary gland that resulted in an inordinate release of growth hormones. Reports suggest that Wadlow was still growing when he died at 22 years of age in 1940 due to an infection. But as we look at the Biblical record, we see that the Bible was not talking about one offs, a person here or there who reached extraordinary size due to glandular problems, it talked about a race(s) of giants known as the Nephilim. The first reference to the Nephilim is found in the Book of Genesis, in the lead up to the worldwide flood: 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when …

Archaeologists discover rare depiction of Balm of Gilead

Archaeologists working with Israel Antiquity Authority announced they have found an amethyst seal that has an engraving of the Balm of Gilead on it, a plant mentioned several times in the Bible. It was found on the road that ran between the Shiloah pool and the Jewish Temple. The discovery of the small amethyst, that was probably used as a signet ring, is extremely important. Though there have discovered several references to the plant and depictions of other vegetation such as olives and vines, this is the first time they have discovered a depiction of the plant that was source of the Balm of Gilead. In addition to an engraving of a Balm of Gilead branch with several fruit hanging from it, that Prof. Shua Amorai-Stark said was “unlike any of the fruits we have encountered to date,” there is also an image of a bird, believed to be a dove. Archaeologists believe this was a signet ring that would impress an image on clay or wax verifying that a document came from the owner. …

Have archaeologists found the location of Mt Horeb, where Moses delivered the Ten Commandments?

There has been some interesting archaeological developments recently challenging long held Christian views on Israel’s exodus from Egypt under Moses. If you want to find archaeological evidence of Israel’s departure from Egypt, you need to look about 300 years earlier to the reign of Pharaoh Ahmose I (1550-1525 BC) rather than Pharaoh Ramesses II (1279 BC to 1213/12 BC) who has traditionally been considered the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The Ipuwer Papyrus dated to 1550 BC, provides a breakdown of several of the plagues mentioned in Book of Exodus. And now archaeologists are suggesting there is evidence of the location of Mt Horeb, also referred to as Mt Sinai, where Moses delivered the Ten Commandments, but it requires a major rethink of where it took place. Most Christians believe that Mt Horeb is located somewhere in today’s Sinai Peninsula. Though there has been no archaeological evidence supporting this, that isn’t necessarily unexpected because the Israelis were living in tents and would have left a very small footprint for archaeologists to discover. But according to researchers …

Has the final resting place of Noah’s ark been discovered?

One of the more notorious Biblical mysteries revolves around the possible location of Noah’s Ark. We know from the Biblical record that the ark’s final resting place was in the Mountains of Ararat, located in modern Turkey. 4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:4 NIV) The exact mountain on which it stopped is uncertain and in dispute. However, a British newspaper, The Sun, is reporting that a group of Biblical archaeologist had some interesting results after doing a 3D scan of a boat-like formation on Mount Tendüek, approximately 2,000 meters above sea level, located in Eastern Turkey near the town of Agri. According to the researchers connected with Noah’s Ark Scans, the shape fits the dimensions of the Ark which was said to be 300 cubits long or approximately 150 meters (about a third longer than a typical American football field which is 110 meters from goal post to goal post). According to reports, the unique formation was first discovered on May 19, …

Dealing with a Bible discrepancy: How long was Israel in Egyptian captivity, 200 years or 430 years?

In this article I want to deal with what appears to be a discrepancy in the Bible between how long Israel was in Egyptian captivity before they started their journey to the Promised Land under Moses. In the Book of Exodus, we are told that Israel was captive in Egypt for 430 years: 40 Now the time that the sons of Israel had lived in Egypt was 430 years. (Exodus 12:40 NASV) However, in Galatians, the Apostle Paul writes that the 430 years starts from the time that God first gave his promise to the Patriarch Abraham to the end of their Egyptian captivity: 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as one would in referring to many, but rather as in referring to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came 430 years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it …

Evidence discovered of Sodom and Gomorrah judgment?

Archaeologists working on the Tall el-Hammam site in the South Jordan Valley, state they may have found the location of either Sodom or Gomorrah, the Biblical cities recorded as being destroyed by fire as part of God’s judgment. The site is located just north-east of the Dead Sea. According to the Daily Mail, researchers from UC Santa Barbara released a statement on Sept 20, 2021, reporting they had discovered a 1.5 meter layer (five foot) that suggested the city had been destroyed by extreme heat. This includes finding shards of pottery where the outer layer had been turned into glass and as well ‘bubbled’ mud brick and examples of building material being melted. They also found human bones that had been totally obliterated by what they believe was some type of blast. And the orange tinge found on human skull bones suggested it must have included temperatures in excess of 200 degrees. They also found cracked quartz particles. Quartz is considered the hardest minerals known to man and only cracks under extreme heat and pressure. …

Thutmose IV, another possibility for the pharaoh of the Exodus?

There has been a bit of discussion recently on whom the pharaoh of the Exodus actually was. One thing we know for sure is that despite the blockbuster movies that portray Ramses (1279-1213 BC) as the pharaoh, it was not him. And in a recent presentation at the International Symposium on Archaeology and the Bible in Albuquerque, New Mexico in Sept 2021, Dr Steve Collins, a professor of archaeology at Trinity Southwest University, made his case that Thutmose IV (1401-1391 BC) was the actual pharaoh of the Exodus. Many are now convinced that Israel’s Exodus out of Egypt took place about 200 to 300 years before Ramses, sometime after Egypt drove the Hyksos, a Semitic group, out of Northern Egypt. Around 1800 BC, the Hyksos took over the Nile Delta, driving the Egyptian government into southern Egypt. The Hyksos were Semitic people and because of that they had a similar language and customs to the Israelis, this explains why Joseph so easily rose to power and why they welcomed Joseph’s family to settle in some …

An ancient description of the Garden of Eden from the ruins of Ebla?

When we study the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis, we have record of several significant events. It starts with the creation account, the garden of Eden, man’s fall into sin, a record of men and women living for nearly 1,000 years and the flood. But according to the Bible, the defining moment in human history took place at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11, when God broke humans apart by imposing different languages. This resulted in the formation of different cultures and nations. But it is important that we understand this point. Though the Tower of Babel led to cultures developing their own unique history, everything prior to Babel was still common history to all groups. And this is why we have stories of a massive flood in cultures around the world, from places as far away as Hawaii to China. We also have accounts of people living long lives in Babylonian literature, and as well in the ancient histories of the Romans, Greeks, Indians and even the Chinese. Some of …

What the Taliban guidelines on polygamy, tell us about Abraham’s day

I recently read an interesting article on BBC about an edict issued by the Afghanistan Taliban regarding polygamy earlier this year. In her article, Taliban Cracks Down on ‘Costly’ Polygamy, Author Khudai Noor Nasar states that in its two-page edict, the Taliban urges its commanders and officers not to take multiple wives. Curiously, this partial ban on polygamy has an interesting connection to a story in the Book of Genesis involving Abraham and his wife Sarah. Islam allows a man to have up to four wives and essentially an unlimited number of concubines. This has resulted in a shortage of women in countries such as Afghanistan for marriage and thousands of single men who have no hope of marrying and raising a family. Most of the Taliban’s recruits come from this large pool of single men. When the BBC contacted the Taliban asking how many of its leaders have more than one wife, they were simply retorted: “Which one hasn’t.?” But polygamy has resulted in an increased corruption among Taliban officers, who require extra money …