McLaurin Memorial

Blog #276: Nine Biblical Events Backed by Physical Evidence

John Cline

The 21st century is such a privileged time in which to be a Christian because of archeology and historical research. Whereas Christians in past centuries had to believe with faith but without non-biblical evidence about the historicity of the bible, today, thanks to the historical research and archeological digs that started in earnest in the late 1800’s, and picked up steam in the 20th century, and continue to prove the bible, we can believe not just because we have had spiritual encounters with the Lord but because non-biblical sources tell us that the events of the bible really happened and that the people of the bible really did live. Below are nine biblical events which are backed by physical evidence. What you are about to read is reproduced verbatim, without comment, from a youtube video produced by a group called Sunday Roast. As you read, remember that non-Christian scientists do not believe things as we do, “by faith”, but need to see physical evidence in order to start believing.

1. Great Flood. The story of a great flood is common in human mythology even before the Old Testament. It was mentioned in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh and, in fact, a flood did devastate the Ancient Near East around 5600 B.C. The sea level rose over 100 feet submerging over 100,00 square miles of land. This was likely the real-life inspiration for the Bible story.

2. King David. King David was long considered a legendary figure but in 1993, evidence was discovered that suggests he really lived. The Tel Dan Stele was a fragment of an ancient stele with a Canaanite inscription. It mentions the House of David from around 1000 B.C.

3. Parting of the Sea. In the Old Testament, Moses parts the waters of the Red Sea. This seems pure fiction but scholars say it could have been a real event. The Red Sea was in fact a mistranslation of the Sea of Reeds. A weather event called a wind setdown creates a “land bridge”. Extremely strong winds expose the seafloor without hurting people.

4. Tower of Babel. In the Book of Genesis, the Tower of Babel was built by Noah’s descendants. They wanted the tower to reach the heavens, which angered God. Archeologists have discovered many “towers” in ancient Babylonia. The largest one was Etamenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to the god Marduk. It could have inspired the biblical story.

5. Nazareth. Nazareth is a real city in modern Israel. But until 2009, there was no evidence that it was inhabited in Jesus’ time. An archeological expedition found small houses and ancient tools. There is also evidence of terrace farming.

6. Prophet Isaiah. In the Book of Isaiah,, the prophet helps to protect Judah from an Assyrian invasion but the identity of the book’s author has remained a mystery. In 2018, a clay seal was discovered by archeologists in Jerusalem. It dates back to the 8th century B.C., when Isaiah lived. It contains the Hebrew name of Isaiah and a fragment of the word, “prophet”. The seal may be the oldest physical proof of a Biblical character’s historicity.

7. Solomon’s Wall. The Bible tells us that King Solomon built a wall around Jerusalem in the 10th century B.C. This is mentioned in the First Book of Kings. In 2010, archeologists dug up a section of an ancient wall in Jerusalem. Ceramics found near the wall confirmed that it dates to the 10th century. This indirectly proves King Solomon’s existence.

8. Caiaphas. In the New Testament, Joseph ben Caiaphas is a Jewish High Priest. He’s the one who hands Jesus over to the Romans. There were no other records that proved Caiphas’s evidence but in 1990, a limestone ossuary was accidentally discovered in Jerusalem. An Aramaic inscription on the side read “Joseph son of Caiphas.” The bones found inside belonged to an elderly man, very likely Caiphas.

9. Plagues of Egypt. In the Bible, Moses calls up 10 plagues to make the Egyptians free the Israelites. Some of the plagues can be explained by science. A dry period caused the Nile to become muddy and infested by algae. The algae made the water look like blood, explaining the first plague. The frogs, lice, and flies followed the algal bloom. The insects could have also spread malaria. This would have resulted in the death of cattle and human boils. The eruption of a volcano spewed ash and ejecta into the air. This may explain the fiery hail, locusts, and darkness.

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