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Evidence for the Bible


Speaker: James Pritchard

Evidence for the Bible



  • Documentation
  • Unity of Message
    • 66 books, 40 authors, 1,500 years, 3 continents, one story—unified theology
  • Historical Accuracy
    • Customs/Culture
      • The Nuzi Tablets
    • Places
      • Cities—not a fairy tail, but real places
        • Nazareth
        • Bethlehem
      • Can go to Israel and see these places
    • People
      • The Hittites
      • The Merneptah Stele
      • Tel Dan Stele
    • Events
      • Shishak’s Invasion of Judah
      • The Moabite Stone
      • Obelisk of Shalmanseser
      • The Sennacherib Prism
    • Scientific Accuracy
      • The Earth is Suspended in Space—Job 26:7
        • Science learned in 1650
      • The Earth is Round, not flat—Isaiah 40:22
        • Columbus--1492
      • The Stars cannot be counted—Jeremiah 33:22
        • 150 BC—Hipparchus counted 1,022 stars
        • 100 AD—Ptolemy counted 1,056 stars
        • 1609—Galileo invented the telescope and we have now found out that there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on all of the beaches on the planet.
      • Blood is the source of life.—Leviticus 17:11-14
        • 1628 William Harvey discovered that blood flowed through the body.
        • Until the 1800s, medical doctors thought that blood carried disease, and therefore had to be removed in order to heal.
        • George Washington had a common cold, and his doctor bled him to death to treat it.
      • Wash under running water—Leviticus 15:13
        • 1845 death rate of women in Europe in hospitals as much as 30%—examine dead bodies, without washing hands, examine expectant mothers—after they started washing their hands, it dropped to 2%
      • Quarantine—14th century Venice—Leviticus 13:46
      • Circumcise on the 8th day—Genesis 17:12
        • 1935—Professor H. Dam found vitamen K, which along with prothrombin causes blood coagulation—vitamen K is in a boy’s blood in adequate amounts day 3-7 of his life, on day 8 the amount of prothrombin is elevated above 100% of normal—and is the only day in the male’s life in which this will be the case under normal conditions. Day 8 is the perfect day to perform surgery.
      • Prophetic Accuracy
        • Mathematician Peter Stoner,Science Speaks(1958).
        • Over 300 about Jesus alone.
        • Odds of fulfilling 8 prophecies is 1 in 1017, or one in one hundred quadrillion.
        • Combines 11 prophecies—“the probability of these 11 prophecies coming true, if written in human wisdom is 1 in 5.76x1059.

The Nuzi Tablets. The some 20,000 cuneiform clay tablets discovered at the ruins of Nuzi, east of the Tigris River and datable to c. 1500 BC, reveal institutions, practices, and customs remarkably congruent to those found in Genesis. These tablets include treaties, marriage arrangements, rules regarding inheritance, adoption, and the like.


Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. In addition to Jericho, places such as Haran, Hazor, Dan, Megiddo, Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, Gezer, Gibeah, Beth Shemesh, Beth Shean, Beersheba, Lachish, and many other urban sites have been excavated, quite apart from such larger and obvious locations as Jerusalem or Babylon. Such geographical markers are extremely significant in demonstrating that fact, not fantasy, is intended in the Old Testament historical narratives; otherwise, the specificity regarding these urban sites would have been replaced by “Once upon a time” narratives with only hazy geographical parameters, if any.


Nazareth—For 900 years no document outside of the Bible had the name of the town of Nazareth.  In 1961, a mosaic dated to the third century mentions Nazareth as a place that Jewish priests were sent after the destruction of the temple in AD 70.  Subsequent archeological digs have revealed an agricultural hamlet, including a house from the first century.


Bethlehem— In May 2012 the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a bulla(a small clay seal) that mentions Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.  It was from the 8th or 7th centuries BC and refers to a shipment from Bethlehem to Jerusalem.  This is the first time that Bethlehem was mentioned beside the Bible in ancient times. 


The Existence of Hittites. Genesis 23 reports that Abraham buried Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah, which he purchased from Ephron the Hittite. A century ago the Hittites were unknown outside of the Old Testament, and critics claimed that they were a figment of biblical imagination. In 1906, however, archaeologists digging east of Ankara, Turkey, discovered the ruins of Hattusas, the ancient Hittite capital at what is today called Boghazkoy, as well as its vast collection of Hittite historical records, which showed an empire flourishing in the mid-second millennium BC. This critical challenge, among many others, was immediately proved worthless — a pattern that would often be repeated in the decades to come.


The Merneptah Stele. A seven-foot slab engraved with hieroglyphics, also called the Israel Stele, boasts of the Egyptian pharaoh’s conquest of Libyans and peoples in Palestine, including the Israelites: “Israel — his seed is not.” This is the earliest reference to Israel in nonbiblical sources and demonstrates that, as of c. 1230 BC, the Hebrews were already living in the Promised Land.


Tel Dan Stele--The "House of David" is inscribed on this victory stele excavated at Tel Dan, in the Galilee region of Israel. It is dated from the 9th Century BC. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The Tel Dan Stele is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology, it mentions the House of David in an Inscription. With this important discovery it is clear that King David is a real figure in ancient history, as Jesus confirmed.


Shishak’s Invasion of Judah. First Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 12 tell of Pharaoh Shishak’s conquest of Judah in the fifth year of the reign of King Rehoboam, the brainless son of Solomon, and how Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem was robbed of its treasures on that occasion. This victory is also commemorated in hieroglyphic wall carvings on the Temple of Amon at Thebes.

The Moabite Stone. Second Kings 3 reports that Mesha, the king of Moab, rebelled against the king of Israel following the death of Ahab. A three-foot stone slab, also called the Mesha Stele, confirms the revolt by claiming triumph over Ahab’s family, c. 850 BC, and that Israel had “perished forever.”


Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. In 2 Kings 9–10, Jehu is mentioned as King of Israel (841–814 BC). That the growing power of Assyria was already encroaching on the northern kings prior to their ultimate conquest in 722 BC is demonstrated by a six-and-a-half-foot black obelisk discovered in the ruins of the palace at Nimrud in 1846. On it, Jehu is shown kneeling before Shalmaneser III and offering tribute to the Assyrian king, the only relief we have to date of a Hebrew monarch.


The Sennacherib Prism. After having conquered the 10 northern tribes of Israel, the Assyrians moved southward to do the same to Judah (2 Kings 18–19). The prophet Isaiah, however, told Hezekiah that God would protect Judah and Jerusalem against Sennacherib (2 Chron. 32; Isa. 36–37). Assyrian records virtually confirm this. The cuneiform on a hexagonal, 15-inch baked clay prism found at the Assyrian capital of Nineveh describes Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah in 701 BC in which it claims that the Assyrian king shut Hezekiah inside Jerusalem “like a caged bird.” Like the biblical record, however, it does not state that he conquered Jerusalem, which the prism certainly would have done had this been the case. The Assyrians, in fact, bypassed Jerusalem on their way to Egypt, and the city would not fall until the time of Nebuchadnezzar and the Neo-Babylonians in 586 BC. Sennacherib himself returned to Nineveh where his own sons murdered him.


Job 26:7 He stretches the northern skies over empty space; he hangs the earth on nothing. (Job 26:7 CSB17)


 Isaiah 40:22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth (Isa. 40:22 CSB17)


Jeremiah 33:22 Even as the stars of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so too I will make innumerable the descendants of my servant David and the Levites who minister to me. (Jer. 33:22 CSB17)


Leviticus 17:11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have appointed it to you to make atonement on the altar for your lives, since it is the lifeblood that makes atonement. 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites: None of you and no alien who resides among you may eat blood. 13 "Any Israelite or alien residing among them, who hunts down a wild animal or bird that may be eaten must drain its blood and cover it with dirt. 14 Since the life of every creature is its blood, I have told the Israelites: You are not to eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; whoever eats it must be cut off. (Lev. 17:11 CSB17)


Leviticus 15:13 "When the man with the discharge has been cured of it, he is to count seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in fresh water; he will be clean. (Lev. 15:13 CSB17)


 Leviticus 13:46 He will remain unclean as long as he has the disease; he is unclean. He must live alone in a place outside the camp. (Lev. 13:46 CSB17)


Genesis 17:12 Throughout your generations, every male among you is to be circumcised at eight days old-- every male born in your household or purchased from any foreigner and not your offspring. (Gen. 17:12 CSB17)