All posts filed under: Bible

A study of names confirms Jeremiah

A study of names has confirmed the historicity of the Book of Jeremiah. The Book of Jeremiah was written 2,600 years ago between 628 BC to 586 BC (the year, Babylon sacked Jerusalem). Through a series of prophecies, Jeremiah repeatedly warned Judah that God was sending Babylon to judge the nation and haul the Jews into captivity. He also prophesied that the Jews would be restored to the promised land in 70 years and Babylon destroyed (Jeremiah 25:11-12). Skeptics typically dispute the book, because basically they don’t believe in prophecy and therefore conclude Jeremiah must have been written well after the incidents recorded in the Biblical book. However, according to an article in Biblical Archaeological Review, Hebrew University’s Mitka Golub says a study of names cited in the Book of Jeremiah proves it was written at the time the incidents took place. Like today, Golub says that names are a reflection of their time. There were popular styles of Hebrew names that were in vogue at certain times and not as much in other periods. …

Does math prove that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah?

Tom Meyer is a professor at California’s Shasta Bible school, and he believes that math proves that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. And after reading an article about his theory in The Express, Meyer may have point. Meyer refers to a prediction given to the prophet Daniel by the archangel Gabriel about the coming of the Messiah: “While in exile, the prophet Daniel was informed by the angel Gabriel that 70 times seven or 490 years are marked out by God for the Jewish people. After the 490-year period, the God of Israel would establish his Kingdom on the earth.” — Tom Meyer, The Express The passage that Meyer is referring to is found in the ninth chapter of Daniel: 24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. 25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore …

Discoveries at the Tel of Dan confirm the Biblical record

The Tel of Dan is considered one of the great Bible archaeological finds in recent years. Located in Northern Israel, near the borders of Lebanon and Syria, the site has been conclusively proven to be the city of Dan, that represented the main city for the Tribe of Dan, one of the 12 sons of Israel. Before the city was taken over by the Tribe of Dan, it went by the name of Laish (Judges 18:7). When the Tribe of Dan claimed the area, the city was attacked, the inhabitants driven out, and the city was rebuilt and it became synonymous with the tribe. However, through most of its existence, the Tribe of Dan struggled with idolatry and when Israel and Judah were divided into two kingdoms, Jeroboam, the first King of Israel, set up golden idols at both Bethel and Dan (2 Kings 10:29). This was done in an effort to break the ties of the Jews living in Israel to Jerusalem and the Jewish temple. But the excavations at the city of Dan, …

The second Philip

The discovery of an ancient church in sub-Saharan Africa dated to around the 4th century reveals the spiritual impact of the Bible’s second Philip. The large building, 40 feet (ca. 12 m) by 60 feet (ca. 18 m), along with several religious artifact, discovered in Beta Samati, Ethiopia revealed the extent of Christianity in the ancient Aksum Empire that dominated much of Eastern Africa, rivaling in size and influence to the Roman Empire. The Aksum empire existed from around 80 BC to 825 AD and as evidenced by the large church, Christianity was well established in the region by the fourth century as it became Ethiopia’s official religion in 333 AD, shortly after Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire in 313 AD. Among the religious artifacts discovered at the site was a stone cross with the words ‘venerable’ written on it leading some archaeologists to speculate it may have been worn by a priest. But the exponential growth of Christianity in the Aksum Empire heralds back to a passage in the Book of Acts …

Have archaeologists discovered the horns once attached to the Jewish altar at Shiloh?

The discovery last year made the list of the top ten Bible archaeology discoveries of 2019 for several organizations. Three items thought to be the horns off the altar were found by archaeologists with the Texas-based Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) working at a site in Samaria believed to be the location of Shiloh, where the Tabernacle of Moses once stood (Joshua 18:1). During the construction of the altar, the Israeli were specifically told to make horns and attach them to corners of the altar (Exodus 27:2). It is believed the three stone horns discovered by ABR were carved for this purpose. The largest horn was 9.25 inches (ca. 23 cm) x 15 inches (ca. 38 cm). The altar stood at the front of the Tabernacle of Moses. Animals were sacrificed in front of the altar and the blood poured out before the altar and then smeared on the horns (Exodus 29:11-12). The animals were then burnt on top of the altar. The horns played a significant role both theologically and prophetically in Israel’s religious …

Are Ancient Aliens in the Bible?

You may have noticed, there is a growing interest something called “Ancient Aliens.”  This a step up from UFOs and a little guy named ET. When i was a boy, my older brother developed a fascination in flying saucers and visitors from outer space. I was the little brother, and I started reading his books, and I caught the fascination. It was all exciting until one Sunday, when our family went to church. The preacher brought up the topic of UFOs. This was thrilling to my brother and me, for a few seconds. We thought the adult world was going to endorse our hobby. Our hopes disappeared instantly, when he told us all how bad this belief was. We were not, under any circumstances, allowed to believe in that. I remember our mother looking at us with a look of severe correction. Later, at home, all the books were taken away, and we were warned to never speak of UFOs, flying saucers, and visitors from outer space again. My mother died a few years ago, …

Godly angels intervened politically in the Book of Acts

When we look at the Book of Acts and the formation of the early church, we are struck by two things. The first involved a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit as God moved in signs, miracles and gifts. But what often gets downplayed is the significant role that angels played in the early church. Angels broke Peter out of jail twice, and an angel led Philip to evangelize the Ethiopian Eunuch and directed Cornelius to contact Peter resulting in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on a group of gentiles meeting at Cornelius’ home. But we also see angels actively involved in protecting the early believers from severe persecution by government officials. Perhaps the most significant of these was recorded in Acts 12 where we are told that an Angel of the Lord struck down Herod Agrippa who was considered the King of Judea: 21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, …

Should We Ban Harry Potter?

There is a news story from Tennessee, in the U.S., about a Roman Catholic priest who removed all Harry Potter books from the school library. The priest, Rev. Dan Reehil, made a statement that Harry Potter books contain actual “actual spells and curses” that might summon demons. The parents, who complained and asked for the priest to be fired are quoted; “Reehil is a toxic narcissist who hates Pope Francis and views himself as ‘a soldier of God.’ … Our school, however, consists of children, not soldiers” The parent’s statement contained 50 bullet points. RELATED: Parents complained of priest who banned Harry Potter books: CTV So, the battle lines are obvious, in that confrontation, and I’m glad I don’t have to be a referee. The answer, from the priest’s employers, the Diocese, was that the priest’s views and some other opinions “have homes in the church.” The Diocese backed the priest by saying that his ideas were acceptable in the Roman Catholic Church. The parents talked about their children’s education, and the Diocese talked about …

Evidence of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem reopens an ancient mystery

Archaeologists working on the site of the Temple Mount in Old Jerusalem discovered evidence of the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 587/586 BC when both the city and the Temple were basically destroyed. The siege recorded in several books of Bible tells how King Nebuchadnezzar also took tens of thousands of Jews into captivity. According to the team, made up of archaeologists from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC) and Israel’s Haifa University, they discovered several evidences of the attack including a layer of ash indicating a massive burning and more importantly Scythian arrowheads that were used by Babylonian soldiers. Since the Babylonian arrowheads were mixed in with the ash it is strong evidence the burning was associated with Babylon’s attack on Jerusalem. They also found evidence of houses being left in shambles which again would be expected after the city was taken. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, UNC professor Shimon Gibson stated: “They (Scythian arrowheads) were fairly commonplace in this period and are known to be used by the Babylonian …

Apostle Peter’s house in Bethaisda discovered?

Archaeologists working with Nyack College’s Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christianity and Israel’s Kinnert College recently announced they had discovered what was thought to be the Apostle Peter’s home in Bethsaida. What the archaeologists actually discovered was the remains of an ancient Byzantium church that they believe was originally built over top of the birth home of Peter and Andrew, disciples of Christ. Though Peter eventually moved to nearby Capernaum, the Gospel of John reports that he his brother were originally from Bethsaida: 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. (John 1:44 NASV) The archaeological team led by Mordechai Aviam is referring to the Church of the Apostle referenced by a man named Willibald in 725 AD. He was the Bishop of Eichstaett located in Bavaria. During a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he wrote of visiting the Church of the Apostle in Bethsaida while sailing from Capernaum to Kuris on the Sea of Galilee. He noted specifically the church was built over the original home of Peter and …

Bulla mentioning ancient Bethlehem found

In 2012, archaeologists working with the Israel Antiquities Authority made a remarkable discovery in old Jerusalem. They found a bulla that mentioned the name of Bethlehem (House of Bread). This is the first mention of the famous town found outside the Biblical record. Bullas worked much like our signatures do today and were used to verify documents. Governmental and wealthy people used bullas to seal documents to verify that it was coming from them. They typically wore signet rings that pressed their confirming insignia into wax or clay, sealing the document. The Bulla in this instance was estimated to be 2,700 years old placing it from the first Temple period (1000 BC to 586 BC) referring to the first temple built by King Solomon. The Second Temple period refers to the temple rebuilt by Ezra and Nehemiah (upgraded by King Herod) and destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. In this instance, the bulla was used to verify the shipment of taxes collected in Bethlehem being sent to Jerusalem. Referred to as a fiscal bulla, …

Michelangelo's Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel Photo: Bill Read/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is God a Good Idea?

Is God a good idea? Is God just an idea? Did we invent something, or someone, from our psychology because we wanted some comfort in this world? This is a common idea. One of the founders of Christian Liberal thinking is Ludwig Feuerbach, who believed that we invented God by looking at ourselves. We created our creator in our own image; we looked into ourselves and put pieces of ourselves into our ‘superman in the sky.’ RELATED: Ludwig Feuerbach: Wikipedia Ludwig Feuerbach inspired many, including the founders of Communism, and probably the Nazis. He also inspired the Protestant Liberals. The result of that thinking, in Christian churches, was Liberal Theology, and the end result of Liberalism is empty churches. People who learn the teachings of doubt and dis-belief are not inspired to believe more; they are mostly inspired to leave. Look around your city and notice all the old and empty church buildings. We have some very beautiful buildings where I live, and they are mostly empty on Sunday; beautiful tombs. I remember a historical …

King David moving the Ark of the Covenant from Gibeon to the Tabernacle of David in Jerusalem. Painter unknown

Discovery of Ziklag confirms Biblical record

According to Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), archaeologists have uncovered the small, yet significant town of Ziklag that was located near ancient Judah’s southern border with the Philistines. Archaeologists working at the site are 90% certain that they have found the remains of the ancient town. They discovered evidence that both Israelis and Philistines inhabited the site which confirms the Biblical record. These included the distinctive idols, lamps and pottery similar to finds in other known Philistine cities. They also discovered nearly 100 complete pots with a design associated with Israel during King David’s reign. The were used to hold oil or wine and in at least one instance beer. Though mentioned several times in the Bible, Ziklag was a small rural town and archaeologists said it measured about 1,000 square meters (10,764 sq ft) in size. Some believe the name Ziklag could be loosely translated as liquid metal and may be a reference to smelting. When Israel entered the Promised Land under Joshua, the city was given to the tribe of Simeon (Joshua 19:1-5). However, …

Maybe it’s more than a coincidence? Israeli paratroopers discover ancient watchtower

It was more than a bit ironic when soldiers with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) discovered an ancient watchtower associated with the days of King Hezekiah during the 8th century BCE. The IDF paratroopers had set up a base on a hilltop in Southern Israel when they accidentally discovered the tower. After making the discovery, the soldiers actually participated in the dig. The remains of the tower were about 6 feet (1.83 m) in height and archaeologists estimate that it was originally 15 feet (4.57 m) high with a diameter of 10.5 feet (3.2 m). This was a significant structure as the foundation stones weighed about 8 tons. According to the archaeologists this tower, built on top of a hill, would have provided ancient Israeli military commanders an excellent view on activities taking place in the Philistine nation, particularly one of its major cities Ashkelon. Israel built a series of towers and fortresses along the border that were within view of each other, so it would allow a tower to send up a warning using …

Wall discovered at Lachish confirms 2 Chronicles 11:5-11

The remains of Lachish an ancient Jewish city is  a two-day walk from Jerusalem. Recent discovering at the city have caused major problems for secularist because it is not going along with their preconceived ideas. Secularists basically don’t believe the Bible is true treating it as little more than a collection of myths. It is taken awhile but most secularists finally acknowledged that King David and King Solomon did exist, which is a big step forward because for years they didn’t even believe that. But after repeated archaeological discoveries proved them wrong, they have finally allowed the facts to speak for themselves. So they changed their tune slightly and decided the two existed, but were little more than small village warlords and not the leaders of a formidable kingdom portrayed in the Bible. But a recent discovery at Lachish is putting that notion of a tribal war lord to route. According the Biblical record, Lachish was a major fortified city in Israel during the reign of King Rehoboam. Rehoboam was Solomon’s son (grandson of King …

Natan-Melech’s rise from obscurity: Archaeologist discover his bulla

It was a remarkable find, mostly because of its obscurity. Archaeologists working in Old Jerusalem found a small, burnt, clay bulla with the name “Natan-Melech, servant of the king” estimated to be 2,600 years old. Signet rings or seals were used to impress the owner’s official stamp in clay or wax to seal a document. It not only spoke of the person’s status, but verified the item’s authencity. Archaeologists discovered it beneath a parking lot in an ancient administrative center of Jerusalem. The building that they were working on was two stories high and had suffered extensive damage due to fire probably during Babylon’s attack on Jerusalem in 586 BC. What is particularly amazing about this bulla is that it refers to a man mentioned only once in the Old Testament.It was like finding a needle in the haystack. Incredibly archaeology is verifying the existence of the most obscure people in the Bible. Though they are not absolutely certain that this is the same man, archaeologists working on the site are convinced it is. Even …

Balaam confronted by Angel of God by Gustav Jager (1808-1871): Wikipedia

Archaeology confirms the existence of Balaam

ESPAÑOL: La arqueología confirma la existencia de Balaam Despite the best efforts by secularists to discredit the Bible, archaeology continues to confirm that it is in fact an accurate record of historical events that took place in ancient Israel. Perhaps the most curious involves an archaeological dig that took place in 1967, when Dutch archaeologists discovered an ancient text on a wall in the Jordanian town Deir Alla confirming the existence of a seer called Balaam. For those unfamiliar with the story, Balaam, a pagan seer, was hired by King Balak of Moab to curse Israel as the nation sat on the other side of the Jordan river preparing to make its first unsuccessful attempt to enter the Promised Land under Moses (Numbers 22 – 24). However, when Balaam went to curse Israel, he instead blessed them saying he could only deliver the message he was given. Though unwilling to curse Israel, Balaam eventually gave the Moabite king the necessary information to defeat Israel. He told Balak to send women to entice the Israeli men …

Byrde's whale off the coast of Thailand Credit: morningdew/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Jonah, Rainer and the whale

Rainer Schimpf, 51, is a diver and tour operator from South Africa who for nearly 15 years has filmed the ‘sardine run’ that takes place off the Agulhas Bank located off the Southern tip of Africa. Billions of sardines gather at this point and begin a northern run along the eastern coast of African continent. Of course, the sardines attract hundreds of predators including sharks, dolphins, birds and whales. This year as Schimpf was photographing a shark in the feeding frenzy, a Byrde’s whale accidentally swallowed him. Named after Norwegian whaler Johan Byrde, the whale can grow to nearly 50′ in size and weighs up to 28 tons, but tend to be more elongated than other whales. Because they eat fish as well as plankton, these whales gather at the annual “sardine run.” A photographer on a nearby boat caught the whale swallowing of Schimpf (see video below). Schimpf told Barcroft TV, that he knew the whale had swallowed him when everything went completely dark and he felt pressure around his hips. Schimpf said: “Nothing …

Credit: James Wheeler/Flickr www.souvenirpixels.com/photo-blog/double-rainbow

Does a rainbow explain it?

A few years back, scientists made an unusual discovery high in the Canadian high Arctic. They found the fossilized remains of a foot-wide, tropical Asian turtle. In fact, they have also found the fossilized remains of crocodiles, ferns and other types of tropical animals and plants. There is no way these could survive in the Arctic’s current climate. And in the much more inhospitable southern antarctic, they have found the fossilized remains of a giant forest and even the remains of dinosaurs underneath the land perpetually covered with snow. It is obvious at one point the planet was much warmer than it is today and somehow it was all taking place without the help of SUVs and man-made global warming. But surprisingly the Bible may provide an explanation as it describes a different world at creation than what we see today. Shortly after God judged the world with a flood, God made a promise to Noah that He would never destroy the earth again in this way: 13 I set My bow in the cloud, and …

Some of the damage from the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of Chile on February 27, 2010. Credit: Claudio Saavedra/Flickr/Creative Commons

Geologists confirm Amos 1:1

Though secularist love to castigate the Bible as being little more that a book filled with myths and fairy tales, according to the Israeli news site Haaretz, geologists working in Israel have found paleo-geological signals that confirms earthquake recorded in Amos and Zechariah. There has also been significant archaeological evidence confirming the earthquake mentioned by these Old Testament prophets that hit northern Israel around 760 BC. This included collapsed buildings indicated by the dozens of artifacts found beneath ceilings that had smashed onto the floor. They have also found standing walls that were leaning. As well, the massive stones in the walls that surrounded the city of Gezer were actually cracked and while the large carved stones on the lower part of the wall had shifted outward off the foundation by several inches, the upper part of the wall had fallen inside the city. Based on their study, scientists estimate the earthquake that hit Israel at that time was around 8 in magnitude, making it a major earthquake. Josephus (37 to 100 AD), an early …

Fira the largest town on the Island of Santorini in the Mediterranean Se. The Island, formerly called Thera, was site of the largest volcanic explosion in history. Credit: Edal Anton Lefterov/Wickipedia/Creative Commons

The Minoan eruption: The Ninth plague of Egypt?

It is considered one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Known as the Minoan eruption, it took place on the Island of Thera (known today as Santorini), in the Aegean sea off the coast of Greece. They estimate the ash plume was 19 to 22 miles high (30 to 35 km) and on the island of Santorini, the ash is over 200′ thick and the layered ash indicates there were multiple explosions in a short-range of time. And since no human remains were found on the island, the volcanoes early and smaller explosions were enough of a warning for people to flee. It is believed the volcano erupted sometime between 1642 BC and 1500 BC. suggesting it could have erupted during the reigns of two Egyptian pharaohs Ahmose and his son Amenhotep. Traditionally many believe that Ramses (1279 -1213 BC) was the Pharaoh of the Exodus but archaeological and Biblical evidence says Israel’s exit from Egypt took place earlier than Ramses. Many now believe Joseph arrived in Egypt around 1800 BC coinciding with …

An image from the Morgan Bible (1240AD) of King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant where he set up the Tabernacle of David. Credit: Wikipedia

Have archaeologists found the site where the Ark of the Covenant once sat at Kiriath-Jearim?

The Times of Israel is reporting archaeologists from Tel Aviv University and College de Franc may have found the site where Israel’s Ark of the Covenant once sat at Kiriath-Jearim. Located on a hill near the Israeli-Arab town of Abu Ghosh in central Israel, Kiriath-Jearim was the site where the Ark of the Covenant sat before King David transported it to Jerusalem and set up in what is was referred to as the Tabernacle of David (1 Chronicles 13:5-8, Amos 9:11, Acts 15:16). The Ark of the Covenant initially sat inside the Tabernacle of Moses set up at Shiloh. However, it was lost when the priests carried the ark into battle against the Philistines, who then captured the Ark. After a series of mishaps, the Philistines returned the Ark to Israel allowing it to be carried on a cart pulled by oxen. Unguided, the oxen brought the Ark to Beth Shemesh. However, when 70 residents of the town were killed after opening the chest to look inside, the residents of the town sent a message …

Lahore, Pakistan Credit: Dr Ranjha/Flickr/Creative Commons

Oops, Did the Muslim Prime Minister of Pakistan just question the Koran?

I know it wasn’t his intention, but Imran Kahn, the Muslim Prime Minister of Pakistan, inadvertently took a swipe at the Koran, while bashing the Christian faith. Officially known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the country has a population of 212 million where 94.6% of the people are Muslim and only 1.5% are Christian. Yet despite the small percentage of Christians, in his speech honoring the birthday of Mohammad on November 30, 2018, Kahn decided to take a swipe at Jesus stating that He is not mentioned in human history: “There were prophets of Allah other [than Muhammad] but there is no mention of them in human history. There is negligible mention of them. Moses is mention of Jesus in history… But the entire life of Muhammad, who was Allah’s last prophet, is part of history.” Khan made this statement as part of his push to have any defamation of Muhammad and the Koran declared illegal by the international community. Now here is where it gets tricky. Because the Koran cites Jesus several times. …

Pontius Pilate presenting Christ to the crowd by Antonio Ciseri (1821-1891)/Wikipedia

2,000-year-old ring discovered belonging to Pontius Pilate?

A copper alloy ring discovered 50 years ago during a dig at Herod’s burial tomb and palace between 1968-69 may have belonged to Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect who ruled Judea between 26 and 36 AD (CE). The ring was part of hundreds of artifacts discovered at the dig. After being in storage for several decades, the Israeli Antiquities Authority had the ring cleaned and analyzed. Using a special camera, they discovered the words “of Pilate ” (Pilatus) engraved on the center of the ring around the image of a large wine vessel called a Krater. Because of its discovery in the Herod excavation, there is speculation the ring belonged to Pontius Pilate, the man who ordered Christ’s crucifixion. The down side is the ring is not of great quality which caused some to question whether it would be a ring Pontius Pilate would have worn. However, the best evidence that it belonged to Pontius Pilate is due to the name. While Pontius is common enough, the name Pilate was “extremely rare.” In fact, there …

The Dead Sea Credit: Daniel Goodwin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Evidence found supporting the Biblical description of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction?

In an article published in Science News, archaeologists working at Tall el-Hammam located in Jordan, a site that many believe is the remains of the ancient city of Sodom, have found evidence corroborating its massive destruction recorded in the Bible that spoke of brimstone and fire falling from the sky: 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. (Genesis 19:24-25 NASV) Archaeologists have found evidence of the area being hit with a massive explosion that turned glaze on potsherds into glass. They also found stone fragments stuck in the glaze that supports the idea that something poured down upon cities from the sky. According to lead archaeologist Philip J. Silvia, the heat was “perhaps as hot as the surface of the sun.” They also discovered that the bricks used in the buildings were totally obliterated leaving only the stone foundations. The Bible records that …

A main street in Jerusalem Credit: lab604/Flickr/Creative Commons

Archaeologists find earliest full Hebrew spelling of Jerusalem

Archaeologists have discovered the earliest full inscription of the name Jerusalem dating from the first century BC. Typically most inscriptions use the abbreviated form of Jerusalem “Yerushalem or Shalem” instead of its full name “Yerushalayim.” The shortened versions of Jerusalem are clearly the most popular spellings. Even the Bible prefers abbreviated forms over the full name. Jerusalem is mentioned 660 times in the Old Testament, but only five are the full spelling including 2 Chronicles 25:1, 2 Chronicles 32:9, 2 Chronicles 25:1, Esther 2:6, 1 Chronicles 3:5 and Jeremiah 26:18: 18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, ‘Thus the Lord of hosts has said, “Zion will be plowed as a field, And Jerusalem will become ruins, And the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.”’ The inscription discovered during a road construction project was found carved on the foundation support for a column of a Roman building in a village on the outskirts of ancient Jerusalem. …

Israel captive in Egypt by Edward Poynter (1836-1919) Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Did archaeologists discover ‘more’ evidence of the Exodus along the Jordan River?

Ancient ruins discovered along the Jordan River is the latest evidence that the Biblical account of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt under Moses is true. For decades, Liberal theologians and others have tried to throw doubt on the account that resulted in the birthing of Israel as Moses and Joshua resettled the Hebrews in the Promised Land of Canaan. A group of archaeologists led by David Ben-Shlomo and Ralph K. Hawkins have found evidence of an ancient camp site along the Jordan River near Khirbet el-Mastarah that may be the remains of one of Israel’s early sites before entering the Promised Land. In an interview with the British newspaper, The Express, Ben-Shlomo said: “If they are, this might fit the Biblical story of the Israelites coming from the east of the Jordan River, then crossing the Jordan and entering into the hill country of Israel later.” The ruins were found near Khirbet el-Mastarah generally believed to be the ancient city of Ataroth-addar mentioned in Joshua 16:5. The Archaeologists further stated they found fragments of pottery …

Photo of Aldi Adilang's boat at moment of rescue near the Island of Guam. Released by the Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka/AP

Some things are more significant than we realize: Indonesian teenager rescued after spending 49 days lost at sea

An interesting story coming out of Indonesia, may have more significance than we realize. With a population of over 260 million people, Indonesia is made up of several islands located north of Australia. The sea and fishing are a major part of life. Muslims make up 87% of its population and about 10% are Christians.  Because of their dominance, in parts of Indonesia, Muslims extremists are actively persecuting Christians. And recently the world was caught up in a story about an Indonesian teenager, Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, who miraculously survived 49 days at sea stuck in a fishing trap. The raft like boat has a hut on it and is moored in the ocean for fishing. It also has a large light that is turned on at night to attract fish. Adilang had worked in such a fishing trap since he was 16. The owner of takes food, water and gas for the generator out to his 50 fishing traps once a week. However because of high winds, Adilang’s raft broke its mooring and started …

Vineyard in Soragna, Italy Credit: Andreas Metz/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have archaeologists discovered the place where Jesus turned water into wine?

The Apostle John records that Jesus’ first miracle took place at a wedding in Cana. When the bridegroom of wedding that Christ and the disciples were attending ran out of wine, Jesus changed six pots of water into wine. According to an article in the Daily Mail, archaeologists are convinced that they have found the location where this miracle took place and it’s five miles north of the spot traditionally considered the most likely site of the Cana miracle. The new location is called Khirbet Qana and includes a series of tunnels inside a hill and with its addition, there are now four possible Cana sites. So what makes Khirbet Qana special? According to archaeologists, evidence found in the tunnels at Khirbet Qana suggest early pilgrims believed this was the original site of the Cana miracle. Inside the tunnels there are Christian markings that include crosses and the name Lord Jesus carved into the wall indicating early Christians venerated this site. They also found an old stone vessel typically used to store wine and it …

The Siege of Jerusalem by David Roberts (1764-1864) Source: Wikipedia

Bulla confirms existence of Jerusalem’s false prophet Ben Pashur

In 2008, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar announced a remarkable discovery. While working near a guard tower from the remains of King David’s ancient palace, her team discovered a bulla with the name Ben Pashur inscribed on it. People of importance had seals which they imprinted either on wet clay or wax that would seal an official document verifying its authorship and authenticity. In this case, the seal with Pashur’s name on it had been imprinted in clay. But Mazar was amazed it had survived. The bulla should have dissolved in damp ground surrounding it, but it didn’t. This was because it had been hardened in a fire that undoubtedly destroyed the document that it was sealing, but preserved the bulla. But there was more to this story. In 2006, at this very same location, Mazur’s team had discovered another bulla with the name Yehuchal ben Shelemayahu on it. Similar to Pashur’s bulla it had been fired and preserved as well. Both bullas are in pristine condition and there is no doubt who they belong too …

The modern Upper Room in Jerusalem Credit: Catholic Church England and Wales/© Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Where was the Upper Room?

The Upper Room is probably most famous as the spot where the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples recorded in Acts 2. From there, they spread out into the streets of Jerusalem and lit the place on fire. But it served as more than that. Some believe that the disciples may have actually used the Upper Room as living quarters while they were in Jerusalem: 13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. (Acts 1:13 NASV) The Greek word “katameno” means to abide, live and remain which is how the Apostle Paul used the word when he told the Corinthians that he is thinking of living in Corinth for the winter (1 Corinthians 16:6). When the Holy Spirit fell, it is said that the sound of rushing wind filled the “whole house” (Acts 2:1-2). The Greek …

Gibraltar Crossing near the city of Tarshis Credit: Cubanito, Wikipedia

Did an ancient Babylonian priest refer to Jonah?

Though known primarily for his confrontation with a whale, Jonah was a well-known prophet in Israel and is referenced several times (Judges 16:23-24; 1 Samuel 5:1-7; 1 Chronicles 10:8-12; 2 Kings 14:25). But of course it’s his story of calling the city of Nineveh to repentance that he is most known for. When Jonah refused to obey God’s call and took passage on a ship heading towards Tarshish near the Strait of Gibraltar on the coast of Spain, God stirred up a storm to get Jonah’s attention. After the sailors threw Jonah overboard, he was swallowed by a Grey whale (my vote but far from certain) and after a three days was coughed up on a beach undoubtedly along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. From there Jonah headed far inland to Nineveh that was then part of the nation of Assyria and delivered a message of repentance. Led by the king, the city responded and repented. Some have suggested, the king may have been impacted by Jonah’s whale story, because one of the …