So much scientific research today is done under the assumption that God does not exist. That science is incompatible with God and with the Bible. And even those scientists who perhaps do harbor some belief in God throw those beliefs to the wind once they enter the office at work.
Is science incompatible with God? Is the Bible really just a handful of made-up stories set against a backdrop of real-life places? Over the past couple of years, I have been able to participate some in a certain study of science—that of archaeology. And I can tell you right now that this corner of science alone—this unearthing of historical fact—absolutely proves the biblical record. It shows that the Bible can be counted on to a greater degree than any other history book to show the true events of history. Of course, this is not the only field of science that continually proves God’s existence—but it is one that continues to demonstrate the perfect record of the Holy Bible and its authority as a reliable and inspired document.
Let’s examine several important examples of how archaeology proves the Bible.
Over the last couple of years, I had the chance to work on archaeological excavations in Jerusalem and to tour many precious archaeological sites. The things my coworkers and I were able to see were real, tangible glimpses of biblical history—things that figures of biblical history built and used. So those who would just throw out the Bible as being in total error must also throw out thousands of years of carefully documented historic monuments, articles, trinkets and other such finds as having never existed.
One unmistakable feature of Jerusalem’s City of David is a 1,750-foot underground tunnel carved straight through bedrock. The tunnel, to this day, carries a gushing river down from the top, eastern side of the city to the bottom, western side. The tunnel is an engineering marvel: Although it cuts through bedrock for 1,750 feet, it only drops one foot in height from one end to the other. What’s more, this tunnel was dug from both ends—workmen pickaxing away from completely different ends of the city, meeting dead in the middle of the tunnel! Walked through the tunnel, I could make out the directions the diggers must have swung their pickaxes on the rough stone—meeting together in the middle. Within this tunnel was found an inscription on the wall: old, fading Hebrew words reading: “[…when] (the tunnel) was driven through. And this was the way in which it was cut through: While […] (were) still […] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left]. And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1,200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.”
This engineering marvel was precisely recorded in the Bible, thousands of years before it was rediscovered: “This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David” (2 Chronicles 32:30).
2 Kings 20:20: “And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?” Perfect harmony between the biblical record and the impressive unearthed history! What’s more, examination of the ancient Hebrew script showed it to be written in the very style dating to Hezekiah’s time period.
Another discovery: Two bullae, or impressions from the seals of high officials, were found on the east side of the City of David, bearing the Hebrew names “Gedaliyahu ben [son of] Pashur” and “Yehucal ben Shelemiyahu ben Shovi.” These Hebrew words are exactly recorded in the Anglicized King James Version showing that these bullae belonged to the seals of two princes specifically mentioned in the Bible—both of them together, in the same verse! “Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying” (Jeremiah 38:1). Again, a perfect fit between history and the Bible! If one is willing to throw out the historical accuracy of the Bible, one must also be willing to throw out these tangible evidences of history! These two bullae are both on display in Armstrong Auditorium in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Another impressive archaeological artifact is the Mesha Stele. This huge, black engraved stone, 4 feet tall, recorded the victories of the Moabite King Mesha. In the stone is mentioned the Israelite King Omri, the tribe of Gad and the vessels of Yahweh. There is also likely a mention of the “house of David”—although there is some debate about this, due to damage on the stone.
This King Mesha is well described in the Bible in 2 Kings 3: “And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool. But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel” (verses 4-5).
Another example is the utterly destroyed remains of the city of Jericho. Many are familiar with the biblical account of the Israelites parading around the city of Jericho seven times before the walls came tumbling down. Evidence from the remains of the ancient city of Jericho shows, uniquely, the walls of this city having fallen down and outward—just as the Bible says! What’s more—the city shows signs of utter destruction and burning with fire—all just as the Bible said happened (Joshua 6:20-24). And there is ample evidence dating the remains themselves to the time Israel would have been entering the Promised Land. It all fits so perfectly with the Bible!
Sennacherib’s campaign against Jerusalem is another well-known Bible story—how Hezekiah prayed for deliverance, and the Assyrian army was destroyed by the hand of God. What is perhaps not so well known is Sennacherib’s earlier campaign against Lachish, another city of the kingdom of Judah. This city was destroyed just before Sennacherib planned to attack Jerusalem. Giant carved Assyrian wall images have been discovered, documenting graphically the capture of Lachish, alongside Assyrian annals recording the same.
I was able to go to Lachish and see the immense siege ramp built by the Assyrians to conquer this city. “Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended … And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rab–hakeh from Lachish [recently conquered] to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem …” (2 Kings 18:13-14, 17). Clear synergism of history and the Bible—Sennacherib took Lachish and from there staged his advance against Jerusalem!
How about a New Testament example of archaeology? Pontius Pilate was the Judean prefect who delivered Christ to be scourged and crucified. Virtually no archaeological evidence has been discovered of Pilate’s existence—until just over 50 years ago. A unique white stone, somewhat damaged, was discovered in Caesarea, bearing the Latin words:
[DIS AUGUSTI]S TIBERIEUM
[… . PO]NTIUS PILATUS
[. .FECIT D]E[DICAVIT]
Which translated read:
To the honorable gods (this) Tiberium
Prefect of Judea,
had dedicated …
While the full passage is impossible to read, the clear reference to Pontius Pilate is unmistakable.
There are so many more examples of historic artifacts helping to directly prove the record of the Bible. The Tel Dan Stele references the name “house of David.” The Cyrus Cylinder shows an example of Persian King Cyrus’s treatment of those of other religions—similar to his treatment of the Jews in the book of Ezra. Numerous other pieces of pottery are inscribed with Hebrew words.
Sometimes, even what we don’t find supports the biblical record. For instance, cities that show evidence of Israelite occupation display an interesting lack of bones from unclean animals—unlike in the pagan cities around them.
In this modern day, the Bible receives more criticism than any history book known to man. Yet no other book is like it—having been written so long ago, by so many different authors, and in so many different places, and to this day being proved accurate time and time again. Truly, the Bible is a magnificent historical record, matching perfectly with what has been discovered by science. As much as people may try to discredit the Bible by science, nothing has proven the Bible false. They are either proven sorely wrong, or have merely disproved preconceived misbeliefs about what the Bible really says. The veracity of the Bible is confirmed—every single time.