Is the Bible a true account of history? Is it an altered and highly stylized take on real events? Is it a blend of myth and cultural memory? Is it complete fantasy? These are the most common approaches to dealing with the Bible as a record of history and using it to examine what actually happened thousands of years in the past. Many Christians claim that the Bible is a complete and perfect record of history. Everything in the Bible happened exactly as the Bible portrays it. Most skeptics, on the other hand, tend to argue that the Bible is mostly, if not completely, fictional. These are the people who, at one point, claimed that Jesus Christ never existed and that He was a complete fabrication by Christians. This theory, however, has since been ground into the dust so utterly that scholars are in near unanimous agreement on the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person. 

Reaching the point where Biblical events are accepted as fact generally requires overwhelming evidence. Many people will disbelieve something purely because it was found in the Bible. Unfortunately for those skeptics, archaeology has unearthed a mountain of evidence that proves that the Bible is not a collection of ancient fairy tales but an honest record of historical events. Here are six incredible finds that proved the Bible was true.

Asteroid in the Alps.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the ultimate examples of God’s wrath in the Old Testament. The two cities are razed to the ground, and they were considered to be so sinful that their names become shorthand throughout the Bible for places or actions that are irredeemable. For years, skeptics claimed that Sodom and Gomorrah never existed. If they had, such apocalyptic destruction would have been noticed. In fact, it was noticed by an Assyrian who inscribed the entire event on a clay tablet. The tablet baffled translators until scientists filled in the missing piece.

The clay tablet described the flight of a massive meteorite that raced over the Earth’s surface before exploding near the Alps. The land beneath the meteor’s path was superheated to temperatures some scientists believe are comparable to the surface of the sun. To make matters worse, the explosion of the asteroid would have sent flaming chunks of rock crashing down onto cities near the Dead Sea and forced a wave of hypersalinated water out of the Dead Sea and into the once-fertile soil. The clay pottery archaeologists found that it had been heat-blasted to the point that it became glass, which was all that would have been left of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Steps of Siloam.

If someone has not found it and dropped a neon sign on top of it, biblical skeptics are likely to claim that it does not exist. This is the case with numerous biblical sites and locations, including the Pool of Siloam. The Pool of Siloam was the site of one of Jesus’ miracles in the Gospel of John. According to John 9, Jesus “spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva and put it on the [blind] man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ Jesus told him. ‘Wash in the Pool of Siloam.’ So the man went and washed, and he came home seeing.”

Since the Pool of Siloam had not been definitively identified, skeptics decided it did not exist. In June 2004, however, construction work just south of the City of David stumbled across a set of ancient stone steps. Further excavation revealed that those steps were actually part of a monumental pool that was later identified as the missing Pool of Siloam.

Seal of Isaiah.

Isaiah is one of the most commonly quoted prophets in Christian churches. He is also one of the most examined and debated prophets in the Old Testament. Scholars have repeatedly picked apart Isaiah’s prophetic writings and, surprise, surprise, begun questioning whether a person named Isaiah ever wrote them. Instead, it was theorized that the book of Isaiah was written after the events that were “foretold” by a variety of people who simply used Isaiah’s name.

Once again, archaeology threw something of a monkey wrench into that theory when excavations in Israel uncovered a seal that bore the name “Isaiah” only 10 feet away from another seal that belonged to King Hezekiah. In the Bible, Isaiah was listed as being Hezekiah’s advisor, so it makes sense that their seals would be found together. To give even further credence to the theory that the seal belonged to none other than the biblical Isaiah, the name “Isaiah” was followed by the Hebrew letters “nvy.” “Nvy” are the first three letters of the ancient Hebrew word spelled nun-bet-yod-alef. This word, pronounced “navi,” means “prophet.”

Tel Dan inscription.

For some reason, biblical skeptics loved to claim that the most famous characters in the Bible were complete fiction. They tried to make that argument for years with Jesus Christ, but overwhelming evidence in favor of His existence forced them to back down. They tried something similar with both Moses and King David. The latter theory came crashing down in 1993 when a stele was unearthed at Tel Dan in Israel.

The stone had been carved by an Aramean king who was boasting about defeating his two southern neighbors in battle. Those other kings were the “king of Israel” and the “king of the House of David.” The two kings mentioned have since been identified as Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah by Hazael of Damascus. Some skeptics still try to claim that “David” is in reference to a place, not a person, but most scholars have accepted that the stele is speaking of none other than the biblical King David.

Ossuary of Yehohanan.

The narrative of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection forms the backbone of the Christian faith. Without Christ’s death, there would have been no resurrection. Without His resurrection, there would be no Christianity. As such, there is a great deal riding on proving or disproving that the gospel accounts of His death are accurate. 

For years, skeptics thought they had found the smoking gun when it came to disproving the entire episode. The Bible is adamant that Christ was buried after His crucifixion. Romans, however, usually left the bodies of crucifixion victims to rot on the cross as a warning to others. The two, skeptics argued, were inherently contradictory. Then, an ossuary containing the bones of a young man named Yehohanan was unearthed in Israel. Like so many other Jews, he was given a proper burial and his bones were placed in an ossuary after the flesh had rotted away. Unlike most Jews, his ossuary had an extra artifact in it, an iron nail driven through his heel bone. Yehohanan had been crucified, but he was still allowed a proper burial. As such, there is a precedent that the same could have happened to Jesus of Nazareth. 

Cylinder of Cyrus.

In addition to questioning whether or not certain people truly existed, skeptics are very fond of claiming that the ancient Israelites entirely made up some of the most important events in the Bible. Among those questioned episodes was the entirety of the Exodus narrative and the Babylonian captivity. Why people would create fictional stories about their defeat and enslavement is uncertain, but that did not stop skeptics from claiming that both captivities of the Israelites were fictitious. The cylinder of Cyrus the Great of Persia, however, suggests that it was very real. The nine-inch clay cylinder detailed not only Cyrus’ victory over Babylon but also his unexpected decision to allow Babylonia captives to return to their ancestral homelands and rebuild their temples. Among those captives would have been the ancient Israelites who had been held in Babylon after they were defeated in war. 

Some of the grandest claims skeptics made about the Bible have been ground into dust. Christ was real, and the gospels give a faithful account of His death. David and the kingdom of Israel were forced to be reckoned with in ancient times. From Genesis to Revelation, the most important events in the Bible hold up to historical scrutiny. One can only imagine what else will be uncovered as archaeological excavations continue.

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