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God new evidence

GOD: new evidence

Contents

'Just Stories? Evidence & the Bible'

What's in the series?

(1) Why it matters

A lot of people think that the Bible is just stories, but many of the things that it records have left traces that we can still see today - evidence for real events, real people, and real places. In these videos we are looking at some of this evidence.

Why does this matter? The Bible claims that God really is there, and that he speaks and acts in the world. God has spoken and acted through things that really happened, and the Bible claims to record how God has spoken and acted. The evidence that the Bible is true should encourage us to take its claim seriously as a message from God. So it is worth looking at this evidence.  And if it is convincing, it is worth taking the Bible’s message seriously.

 

(2) The First Mention of Israel

In 1896 the British archaeologist Flinders Petrie discovered a stele, (or monumental stone), in Thebes, Egypt. Dating to around 1200 BC, this was an account of pharaoh Merneptah’s military campaigns, and it includes a direct reference to the people of Israel. This is the first mention of Israel in the archaeological record, outside the Bible.

 

(3) The Kingdom of Geshur

Excavations at Et Tel, north of the sea of Galilee, have found the remains of the ancient city of Geshur. In the Bible, king David married the daughter of the king of Geshur (1 Chronicles 3:2)

 

(4) The Gates of Geshur

Geshur was a city-kingdom that formed an alliance with Israel in the time of king David. Archaeologists have recently discovered a stele (monumental stone) and the gateway of the city of Geshur from the 10th century BC - from the time of king David.

 

(5) King David

Scholars have often dismissed King David, in the Bible, as a mythical figure like King Arthur in British history. But archaeologists at Tel Dan, in Israel, found an inscription from around 800 BC, which refers to ‘the house of David.’ It also refers to the king of Israel. This is evidence that King David was a real historical person, not a figure of myth or legend.

 

(6) The Queen's Seal

A seal that came to light in the 1960s bears the letters Z, B, L. Part of the seal is missing, so it is difficult to reconstruct the full name, but the most likely contender is the Queen Jezebel. If this is right, it means that we have evidence that Jezebel was a real person from a real time in history (around 860 BC).

 

(7) The British Museum

The British Museum in London has one of the largest collections in the world, with eight million objects. About seventy thousand of these are on display to the public. Many of the objects on display come from the world of the Bible – from ancient Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. These objects help us to understand the Bible better, and - in some cases - they dramatically confirm what it says.

 

(8) Kings of Assyria and Israel

The Kurkh Stele was found in Turkey, in 1861. It dates from the time of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria, and it mentions king Ahab of Israel, who is also recorded in the Bible. Ahab was a real historical person, confirmed here by the archaeological record.

 

(9) King Jehu's Tribute

The black obelisk from the time of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria refers to the Israelite king Jehu, and shows the Israelites paying tribute to Shalmaneser. This inscription is a confirmation from the archaeological record that Jehu was a real historical person.

 

(10) King Sargon of Assyria

The Bible talks about an Assyrian king called Sargon who lived around 720 BC, and who attacked Israel. But the only Sargon known to archaeology had lived more than a thousand years earlier. So did the Bible get it wrong? In 1843, Paul-Émile Botta discovered the palace of the previously unknown king Sargon II, at Khorsabad, in present-day Iraq.

 

(11) Hezekiah and Isaiah

A clay impression of a seal (a bulla) carrying the name of king Hezekiah has been found near Jerusalem. Close by, archaeologists found another clay impression, carrying the name of Isaiah, and some Hebrew letters that come from the word 'prophet.' In 2018 the Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar announced that we now have a direct reference to the Biblical prophet Isaiah from the time of king Hezekiah.

 

(12) Shebna's Tomb

On display in the British Museum is the lintel from a tomb from the time of king Hezekiah. This tomb appears to belong to the official Shebna (Shebnyahu). In Isaiah ch. 22 in the Bible, God specifically condemns Shebna for building an elaborate tomb.

 

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Interesting sites

Bethinking

Centre for Christianity in Society

Christian Evidence Society

Christians in Science

Professor Robin Collins

William Lane Craig - Reasonable Faith

The Demolition Squad

Professor Gary Habermas

Professor John Lennox

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Mike Licona - Risen Jesus

Saints and Sceptics

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Test of Faith

Peter S Williams

‘The question of whether there exists a supernatural creator, a God, is one of the most important questions we have to answer. I think it is a scientific question.’
- Richard Dawkins