What Does Archaeology Say About the Bible?
Question: I have been told that there is a great deal of archaeological evidence proving that the Bible is not reliable. I don’t remember the details, and perhaps none were given, but the impression I’ve gotten from several professors at the university is that the archaeological evidence against the Bible is pretty solid.
Response: There have been many claims that the Bible is not true, but none of them has been able to stand up under careful scrutiny. The Bible claims to be the Word of God, which He inspired prophets and apostles to put in writing for the benefit of all mankind. As such, it must be infallible and without any error. Therefore, it would not take “a great deal” of archaeological or any other kind of evidence to disprove the Bible. One piece of evidence would be enough.
Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy:3:16), and Peter declared that “holy men of God spoke [or wrote] as they were moved [inspired] by the Holy Ghost [Spirit of God]” (2 Peter:1:21). Even one error in the substance of the Bible (not a copyist’s or printer’s error) would prove it was not what it claims to be, the holy Word of God. You have given me no specific examples, so I can only reply in general.
The Bible is without doubt the most remarkable as well as the most controversial book in the world. Its claim to be inspired of God has caused those who don’t believe in God and those who follow rival religions to attack its credibility. In fact, it has been attacked by determined skeptics and professional critics for centuries as no other book in history. In every instance, however, when the facts have been established through archaeological findings, the Bible has been proven correct and its critics wrong. This has been the case 100 percent of the time—as it would have to be if the Bible is indeed God’s Word.
As just one example, the early chapters of the Bible have a great deal to say about the Hittites. According to the biblical account, they were a numerous and powerful people in the days of Abraham and continuing at least into the time of King David. We are told that one of David’s army captains was a Hittite named Uriah. David arranged for Uriah’s murder in order to cover the sin of having made his wife pregnant. Yet decades of digging had failed to uncover any archaeological evidence for the Hittites. Consequently, the skeptics claimed that the Bible was a book of myths because it presented fictitious de-tails concerning a people who had never existed.
Then the discoveries began to pour in. Today we have abundant archaeological evidence that what the Bible said concerning the Hittites is absolutely true. One entire museum in Ankara, Turkey, is devoted to Hittite relics.
A more recent development comes through the finding in 1993 at Tel Dan of the “now-famous Aramaic [stone] inscription fragment referring to the House of David. Some scholars . . . [had] denied that David was a historical figure or that a united kingdom preceded Judah and Israel.” Once again the Bible was vindicated. In 1994, two more fragments of the same stone inscription were discovered, again mentioning the House of David. Many other similar examples could be given.
Today no one doubts the existence of King David and the history of his reign as recorded in the Bible. In September 1995, all of Israel began a 15-month-long celebration of the three-thousandth anniversary of the founding of Jerusalem by David.
As a result of its continual verification by archaeological findings, the Bible is used by many of today’s archaeologists as a guide in locating ancient cities. In fact, Israeli public schools teach students the history of their land and ancestors from the Old Testament, knowing that it is unfailingly accurate.
The truth is that rather than archaeological evidence pointing against the Bible, the archaeological evidence is all in its favor. Anyone who says the contrary is either ignorant of the current evidence or is heavily biased and unwilling to face it.
— An excerpt from In Defense of the Faith (pp. 73-75) by Dave Hunt