All posts filed under: Archaeology

97 | How God conned the Egyptian Pharaoh using his own beliefs

In this podcast, I discuss two incidents in the Exodus account, when God delivered Israel out of Egypt, that has always puzzled me.

Video: A Jewish man’s analysis of the Shroud of Turin

I have never been exactly sure what to think about the Shroud of Turin, which some believe was the burial cloth used to cover Christ’s body in the tomb. The shroud has an image of a man somehow etched in the cloth, that not only includes blood stains but seems to reveal the wounds of a man who had been crucified. Some believe this image was somehow burned into the cloth at Christ’s resurrection. Note: burn is the wrong word to use to describe how it happened. Though I have tended to reject it as legitimate, this video by Barrie Schwortz, who was part of a team of experts called in to examine the cloth several years back, has caused me to at least reconsider my position. Schwortz is convinced of its legitimacy. But here is the catcher, he is not only Jewish, but he was also a skeptic when asked to help examine the shroud.

It’s confirmed: The Moabite Stone does mention King David

The Mesha or Moabite Stone was discovered in 1868 and is currently on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The monument, which is 3.8 feet (1.15 meters) high, provides a description of the battle, from a Moabite perspective, that King Mesha had with Israel, an event recorded in 2 Kings 3. Discovered 17 miles east of the Dead Sea, the stone was heavily damaged after discovery but not before researchers created a paper mache copy. Since its discovery, the stone has been extensively studied, because of its connection to the Biblical story. Many claimed it actually referred to King David, Jehovah and the altar of David. However, due to the damage, this has been disputed, because in several instances letters were missing, and researchers were left filling in the blanks with educated guesses. There are some archaeologists who don’t believe that King David and King Solomon actually existed, and this stone provided concrete evidence they did. In 2015, researchers from the University of California’s West Semitic Research Project took Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) scans …

Will the opening of the Pool of Siloam to visitors pave the way for the return of the Jewish Messiah?

The Israel Antiquities Authority has just announced that the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem will soon be open to the public, Fox News reports. The pool was initially built 2,700 years ago, when King Hezekiah diverted the springs outside Jerusalem into the city during an invasion by the Assyrians to prevent the invading army from having access to the water (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Kings 18; 2 Chronicles 32). It was renovated several times over the following centuries and was approximately 1.25 acres in size. It is 225 feet (ca. 69 m) wide and three sides had steps going down to the water that came from the diverted Gihon springs. The pool functioned as a mitzvah for the Jews, as part of their cleansing ritual, before entering the Temple. For Christians, it is best known for its connection to Jesus’ healing of a blind man recorded in John 9:1-9. In the account, Jesus had encountered a man blind from birth and his disciples asked if he was blind because of his parent’s sin or the …

Small hand-sized stone declared one of the great Biblical archaeological finds

Gershon Galil, a professor at Israel’s Haifa University’s Institute for Biblical Studies and Ancient History has declared a stone the size of a person’s hand as one of the greatest archaeological finds in recent years, CBN reports. The inscription on the stone from the 8th century BC, not only named one of Judah’s greatest kings, Hezekiah, but it also listed some of his accomplishments, which confirm the Biblical reports of his achievements. It took ten years for Galil and Eli Shukron from the Bible and Ancient History institute to decipher the stone’s inscription discovered in Old Jerusalem in 2007. They found that it not only listed the construction of the Siloam pool connected to the redirecting of the Gihon springs into Jerusalem but also spoke of Hezekiah’s religious reforms and as well of his successful attack on the Philistines. The Bible reports that when Hezekiah realized that King Sennacherib of Assyria was invading Israel, he ordered his men to block the Gihon springs that were flowing outside the city walls. They then dug a massive …

Hezekiah’s Pool of Siloam plaque?

Hezekiah was the 13th King of Judah and by all accounts one of Judah’s better kings. He is better known as the king who changed God’s mind after, the prophet Isaiah delivered a message that Hezekiah, who was probably 39 years old at the time, would die from the boil that was plaguing him. After receiving the news Hezekiah turned to prayer and this literally changed God’s mind, who told Isaiah to return and pronounce healing to the sick King (2 Kings 20:1-5). There have been several archaeological discoveries confirming Hezekiah’s reign. The most recent took place in 2007, when archaeologists discovered a fragment of a larger limestone plaque that was possibly installed on a building that contained Hezekiah’s name and a possible reference to one of his achievements. The 5.3 inches (ca. 13 cm) by 3.7 inches (ca. 9 cm) piece found by Archaeologist Eli Shukron and University of Haifa professor Gershon Galil in the old city of Jerusalem contained two lines. They believed it was part of a larger plaque because there was a …

A simple Temple Pi mistake?

In their attempt to mock and discredit the Bible, atheists and skeptics have pointed to 1 Kings 7:23, which described the Bronze Laver as being ten cubits from ‘rim to rim,’ with a circumference of 30 cubits. The Bronze Laver, also called the Molten Sea, located in the temple’s outer court, sat on top of 12 oxen. It was where the priests washed their hands and feet before entering the temple (Leviticus 30:20). Using the mathematical pi equation, which divides the circumference of a circle by its diameter, skeptics state that there is an error in the verse because if the sea of Bronze was 10 cubits across then the circumference should be 31.5 cubits. But Creation Moments points to a verse, 1 Kings 7:26, that the skeptics seemed to have missed: “What the skeptics fail to notice is that verse 26 informs us that there was a rim, with a width of a handsbreadth. A cubit is about 18 inches, while a handsbreadth is 4 inches. So the circumference is 540 inches. The rim-to-rim …

Is Saudi Arabia’s massive city of the future threatening ancient Biblical sites?

CBN is reporting that Saudi Arabia’s proposed city of the future, Neom, may endanger some ancient Biblical sites. Over the past couple of decades there have been several attempts to build the city of the future, including Alphabet’s recent failed attempt at a similar project in Toronto, Canada. But concerns are being expressed about a new futuristic city being proposed for Saudi Arabia that will cost billions of dollars. The construction of Neom, the vision of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, started in January 2021. Also nicknamed, The Line, because of its unique look, it is expected to cost well over $500 billon, if and when it is completed. The city gains its nickname because it will be about 110 miles (ca. 177 km) long and only 600 feet (ca. 183 m) wide. It will be surrounded on the outside, by a 1,500 feet (ca. 457 m) tall building-like walls with an open area in the middle. There will be three distinct layers within the city that will be as tall as New …

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 …