There are many people who don’t realize that the biblical record is supported by many evidences outside the bible itself, such as Archaeological, Roman and Jewish secular historians.
Many of the people places and events are documented and corroborated outside the bible. For the believer, faith is reasonably derived from not only one’s internal witness to the presence of God, by also the physical evidence in the world around us.
The bible has been attacked and ridiculed over the centuries as myths and fables, why? The main reason is because there was little evidence for the events, people and places. A lack of evidence by itself is not evidence of something not occurring. We only need to look at evolutionary scientists who argue the lack of fossil evidence is not evidence against evolution. Why then is it OK to use that argument against the bible?
Today though, many of the people places and events have been corroborated through the unearthing of artifacts and manuscripts. The bible has proven itself reliable and archaeology has been one of its main witnesses. It is hard to argue with stone.
Not long ago the apostle Paul was thought to be fictitious. Today, he is not only accept as a historical figure by atheist historians, but they is even call him a scholar.
The Apostle Paul and Gamaliel
- Writer of 14 books of the New Testament
- Himself a biblical scholar who studied under Gamaliel [Acts 22:3], who was the one who spoke out against killing the apostles [Acts 5:34]
James Brother of Jesus [Galatians 1:19, Mark 6:3, Jude 1:1]
Paul’s letter to the Galatians that is one of the books that attests to James being the brother of Jesus is one of seven epistles that are considered by virtually all biblical scholars, including the skeptics to be authoritative and accurate.
James Ossuary (Bone Box) Inscription on the 1st century box; Ya’akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua (English translation: “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”) Existence of the box was 2002. There was much controversy and allegations of fraud. 2008 three experts testing the ossuary said it is a strong possibility that it is authentic.
Titus Flavius Josephus was a Roman-Jewish historian in the first century who wrote about Jesus, his brother James and John the Baptist. In Antiquities of the Jews, book 20 chapter 9-1:
“Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned:”
The statement “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James”, is regarded by scholars to be authentic. Feldman states that the authenticity of the Josephus passage on James has been “almost universally acknowledged”.(Louis Feldman (ISBN 90-04-08554-8 pages 55–57)
Pontius Pilate [1 Timothy 6:13, Luke 3:1, Matthew 27:2, John 19:1-38]
- Sentenced Jesus to death.
Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian and Senator, in the first century writes not only about Jesus Christ but also Pontius Pilate who condemned him. He puts the birth of Christianity in Judea and names Pontius Pilate as Procurator. This is confirmed by the inscription on the “Pilate Stone” in the picture to the right
“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome,..”(Annals 15.44, AD115)
“Their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius’ reign by the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate” (Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome. Rev. ed. Trans. Grant, Michael. New York: Penguin, 1971. Print. P. 365.) ( Annals (written ca.AD 116), book 15, chapter 44)
John the Baptist [Matthew 14:1-10]
“John, that was called the Baptist…was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism…Herod, who feared the great influence John had over the people…sent [John] a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death.”¹
Jesus of Nazareth
King David & Ish-bosheth
- Tel Dan Stela to the right, refers to the “House of David” and dates to the 9th century BC.
- 3000 year old clay jar discovered in 2012 that dates to the rule of King David. It is inscribed with the name of Ish-Bosheth which was the name of one of Sauls son’s who was killed by King David’s men in 2 Samuel 4:12. [Livescience.com]
2014-“Dr Hardin said: “we are very positive that these bullae are associated with the Iron Age IIA, which we date to the 10th century BC, and which lends general support to the historical veracity of David and Solomon as recorded in the Hebrew Biblical texts.” (New Finds Suggest Biblical Kings David and Solomon Actually Existed)
Baruch son of Neriah: Seal of the Prophet Jeremiah’s scribe
- (Jeremiah 36:4)
- a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon (Jer 39:3)
- Dead See Scrolls book of Isaiah predated the earliest known copy by over one thousand years (150-125 BC).
- Chapter 53 about Jesus predates Christianity which silenced skeptics who said the text had been tampered with later by believers.
- Chapter 53 has only 17 letter difference (alternative spellings, spelling mistakes) between the two copies that are separated by over one thousand years.
Archaeology has been digging up corroboration of the biblical record for over a century. Never has any finds contradicted the bible, they have only confirmed and or pointed to the bibles accuracy. It is amazing that you can still hear people say the bible is fables and myths when so much evidence has been compiled to the contrary.
No other book, no other religion has the evidentiary defense that the bible has. No other religious book verifiably demonstrates the people, places and events the bible does. The only argument leveled against the historicity of the bible is the argument of the gaps. This is the argument that states, the bible says this happened or that person lived but there is no evidence of it. The problem the biblical opponents are having is that one by one, day by day, the gaps are closing.
There are far too many artifacts to list them all here so below are some links you may find interesting, if you want to do a little digging of your own.
- 50 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically
- Did the Israelite’s Conquering Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27)
- King Hezekiah: Royal Seal (2 Kings 20:14, Isaiah 39:3, 2 Chronicals 32:30)
- Erastus of Corinth (Acts 19:22, Romans 16:23, 2 Timothy 4:2)
- Artemis of the Ephesians (Acts 19:28, 34, 35)
- Jezebel Seal Found: wife of the Israelite King Ahab (1 Kings 21:15)
- Cyrus, king of Persia (559-530 BC) (Ezra 1:1, Daniel 10:1)
- Reasonable Belief: Archaeology
- Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 5:2.