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The Bible - Part 1

14 April 2012, 18:19

"As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it." Is that how you see the Bible?

Should everything you read in the Bible be taken at face value? Should those claiming to know and understand the writings and language of Bible be separated from the Bible so that the Bible could be judge on its own merits?

What is it about the Bible that makes it such a target for attack by some and such an inspiring book to others? A lot has to be said on such features of the Bible like its "internal harmony, candor and fulfilled prophecies" etc.Lets look a few examples in things such as in archaeology shall we.

Archaeology according to wikipedia is "the study of human activity, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...". The Bible takes pride in its ability to predict an event and for it happen exactly so. Its called fulfilled prophecy! Take the Bible's predicting the demise of ancient Babylon, Nineveh, and Tyre for example as recorded in the books of Jeremiah,Ezekiel and Zephaniah.

A house destroyed by fire...

In 1970,archaeologists digging in Jerusalem,came across a charred ruin and according to team leader Nahman Avigad,it was clear that the buildings that once stood there were destroyed by fire, and its walls and ceiling collapsed under the weight of it all. All across the floors were coins strewn about dating back to 69 AD. In one room archaeologists found an arm with its fingers spread as if the victim was grasping to hold onto a step that was also part of the room.

Roman historians refer to this event as the fourth year of the Jewish revolt against Rome where by Roman soldiers went in looting the houses after the city had been conquered and Jerusalem being sacked by the Romans. Biblical Archaeology Review commenting on this says "a young woman who was in the kitchen of the Burnt House sank to the floor and was reaching for a step near the doorway when she died. The fire had spread so fast . . . that she could not escape and was buried by falling debris on the bones found in this house determined that the bones belonged to a woman in her 20’s.

 

So just one example of many more that shows how archaeological finds corroborating Biblical statements.Here are some more:

Sargon II and Nebuchadnezzar...

Then there is the example of  Assyrian King Sargon II.Outside of the Biblical accounts of Sargon II mentioned at Isaiah 20:1,the guy does not exist. That is off course until a discovery was made in 1843 in Khorsabad, Iraq. A palace was discovered on a tributary of the Tigris River belonging to Sargon II.One of the few things Sargon II boasted about was his capturing of Israelite city of Samaria. The Bible writes that Samaria fell to Sargon's Assyria and historians believe it to have happened in 740 BC.One of Sargon II analytical reviews confirms this and his capturing of the Israeli city of Ashdod as well(Isaiah 20:1).

Over 300 cuneiform tablets were dug up near Ishtar Gate, one of the eight gates of the inner city of ancient Babylon confirming the Bible's account of  the period of the reign of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:11-15).One of these is the mentioning of Yaukin, king of the land of Yahud.Who was this Yaukin and why is that important?Yaukin is also known as King Jehoiachin of the land of Judah. This King Jehoiachin was taken captive by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 617 BC and five of his sons are mention by name of these cuneiform tablets(1 Chronicles 3:17,18).

Ancient Babylon...

In 2005 whilst digging in Jerusalem,archaeologists came upon an extensive stone structure which they believe were destroyed when the Babylonians torched Jerusalem around 607 BC, at the time of prophet Jeremiah. What was most interesting was a 1 cm wide clay seal impression that was found that says:"Belonging to Yehuchal son of Shelemiyahu son of Shovi".Yehuchal is also known as Jehucal or Jucal,which was a Jewish official opposed to the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37:3; 38:1-6). Jehucal,according to archaeologist, was a second royal minister at the time and the Bible identifies this Jehucal, the son of Shelemiah  or Shelemiyahu, as a prince of Judah. Prior to the discovery of the seal, he was unknown outside of the Bible. So how about that hey!

Ancient Biblical Jews "dumb and dumber"?

Most sceptics today argues that Bible history was transmitted by unreliable oral tradition and that people back then were largely illiterate at best. However,in 2005,archaeologists working at Tel Zayit in the Mediterranean,found an archaic alphabet, said to be perhaps the oldest Hebrew alphabet ever discovered,engraved on a piece of limestone. It was dated to have belonged to the 10th century BC,having "formal scribal training,sophisticated level of culture and a rapidly developing Israelite bureaucracy in Jerusalem" attached to it. So much for the critics when clearly the Israelites as far back as the tenth century BC appears to be very well literate and able to record their own history quite eloquently.

The Cyrus Cylinder...

Have you ever heard of the Cyrus Cylinder? What exactly is that? Its a cuneiform inscription on an ancient clay cylinder  discovered at the site of ancient Sippar on the Euphrates, about 20 miles from modern day Baghdad,Iraq. It tells of the conquest of Babylon at the hands of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire(558-330BC).Two hundred years before Cyrus was born,the Bible prophet Isaiah,foretold of a Medo-Persian ruler that would aid in the release of the Jews in order for them to rebuilt Jerusalem(Isaiah 13:1,17-19;44:26-45:3)The Cyrus Cylinder,significantly details Cyrus’ policy of him returning to their homeland captives held by the previous power. What makes this so remarkable is that no other ancient ruler of conquered nations ever did so except Cyrus. So both Biblical and Archaeological history testify that Cyrus did release the Jews to rebuilt Jerusalem.

Biblical archaeology is a fairly new science by comparison to most others,and yet it is fascinating to see how it attest to the Bible’s authenticity and accuracy, sometimes even down to the smallest detail.

References:

1.A Brief History of Persian Empire www.parstimes.com/library/brief_history_of_persian_empire.

2.www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishtar_Gate.

3.www.thinkisrael.com

4.www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology.

5.www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/archaeology.

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