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Showing posts with the label Archaeology

Archaeology and the Fall of Jericho

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So many events of ancient history are only known through word-of-mouth stories, some artefacts, and even written accounts. The Bible has never been refuted by archaeology, and archaeologists used to respect the Bible even if they were unbelievers. Today, some try to wave off biblical events using bad reasoning. The Battle of Jericho was a significant event marking the conquest of Canaan. The Israelites were led by Joshua, successor of Moses. Jericho was an imposing city with a double wall, and God miraculously intervened. The Taking of Jericho , James Tissot, ca. 1900 There is no doubt that Jericho existed. In fact, there were walls around the city before Joshua got there. After it was burned, other people decided that it sure would be a shame to let that prime real estate go to waste, so they moved in. Jericho went without walls for many years after its conquest because nobody wanted to run crosswise of Joshua's curse on whomever rebuilt the walls. There are many archaeological fa

Validating the Early Israelite Kingdom

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It may seem unusual to find material about ancient Bible history on sites that primarily focus on creation science, but we also uphold the accuracy, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture. Some among the faithless claim that Saul, David, and Solomon were minor actors in unimportant tribes. It may seem like reasonable speculations at first glance, but such ideas cannot be supported. While criticism is ramping up in some areas, archaeological evidence is being discovered that supports the Bible and refutes the critics. Meeting between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon , Piero della Francesca, 1466 There will always be scoffers who try to undermine the historicity of the Bible. There are numerous instances where it was said to be wrong because "archaeology never found..." (which is a fallacious argument from silence), and then Scripture has been vindicated by later discoveries. We're talking about thousands of years, so many things have turned to dust and been blown away by

Hezekiah and the Tunnel to Siloam

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Stormie Waters stopped by my place the other morning, and I asked her about a sluice gate because it was just mentioned in my reading material. She said she uses a small version in her prospecting and said big operations have larger devices. I learned that sluice gates control water flow. King Hezekiah  was a godly king when kings of Judah (like his father Ahaz) were wicked, idolatrous sleazebags. His achievements are discussed in the Old Testament. One of these was the tunnel connecting the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam inside Jerusalem — which involved a sluice gate. Inside Hezekiah's Tunnel, Flickr / Ian Scott ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) This tunnel was an impressive feat of engineering, sluice and all. Some folks doubted that Hezekiah even existed because they reject the historicity of the Bible. Others did not believe that he was involved in this project. Extrabiblical verification was small and doubtful, based on a fragment that probably said "Hezekiah" and "pool.&q

Chemists and Perfumers of Ancient Egypt and Israel

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As noted by many, historical disciplines such as origins science, geography, archaeology, and other things are forensic in nature . To reconstruct the past (with or without Gil Grissom and people like that), procedures similar to law enforcement detective work are utilized. The Bible is a historical document that has never been refuted in any way, and there are numerous clues in the texts to help researchers go all Lt. Columbo. Genesis includes details about Joseph, for instance. Connect those with other historical facts, archaeology, and science, pictures of the past emerge. Sphinx and pyramid, RGBStock /  Michal Zacharzewski Someone was able to know that a certain mummy was of an Egyptian nobleman because of the smell. The better processes and perfumes for embalming were utilized by families that could afford them, so chemistry as well as history and culture provide clues to the bigger picture. Indeed, some of the containers were labeled as to ingredients and purposes, others were s

Babylon, the Tower, and very Ancient History

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Try a different kind of relativity. Kingston, New York has a corner in town where four buildings exist that were built around the time of the Revolutionary War. Quite a bit older than apartment complexes in the area. St. Augustine was established in 1565. Pretty old, but that would make someone from Europe yawn because they have some very old areas. Rome, Italy is thought to have been founded in 753 BC. Do we have a winner? Not yet. Take a look at Jerusalem, that  is old! But then...Babylon. Tower of Babel  by Lucas van Valckenborch, 1594 Babylon is the oldest city. Period. The Bible is the primary historical document, and Genesis tells us that after the global Flood, people weren't interested in obeying God and dispersing around the world. Nimrod was a bad dude  (even worse than Corn Pop ). He was a tyrant, organizer, city founder, and built the Tower of Babel. Nimrod was the Devil's quockerwodger . We have the Bible as history, and there are other historical and archaeologica

Ancient Egyptian Stone Supports Bible History

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Imagine being a farmer working your field in Egypt and finding a large limestone slab bearing ancient writing. That thing was interrupting his task, but it is beneficial to scholars of history that he notified the Tourism and Antiquities Police. The slab — a stele  — is of interest to biblical historians. As creationists and many other Christians have long maintained, history recorded in the Bible has never been disproved (despite foolish arguments from ignorance and silence such as, "Archaeology has not found..."). Biblical history been affirmed numerous times, though it sometimes takes many years. Sphinx of Apries, Wikimedia Commons / Louvre Museum ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ) Yes, I know it is not a stele in the picture, but I did not think I had a legal right to use one. Follow the link to the article and you'll see a good image. The hieroglyphics on the stele are still being translated, but it involves Pharaoh Apries. These pharaohs were known by many names. This one was also c

The Magnetic Field and Biblical Archaeology

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Before we get to the main subject, there is some interesting news about the magnetic field of Earth. This shield surrounds our blue marble and protects us from harmful solar radiation, plasma, and such. It was recently discovered that when plasma strikes the magnetosphere, it vibrates and ripples like a drum membrane . The impact is spread out and dissipated to a large extent. The way buildings are designed to move in high winds or in earthquakes (resilience movement) comes to mind. To this child, is is an aspect of the magnetic field which is yet another example of the Master Engineer's design capabilities. Analysis by biblical creationists should be interesting. Earth's magnetic field, NASA / Walt Feimer (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents) Radiocarbon dating is useful for determining an approximate age of certain things, but its reliability is lessened when the object under scrutiny is very old. The magnetic field can help. It has signatures  where the age an

David, Goliath, and Archaeological Evidences

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Many people are familiar with the story of David and Goliath in one form or another, often without many biblical details. Those details help support the fact that it is not just a Sunday School story with the moral of trusting God, but also a historical narrative. For example, history and archaeology show that a sling was a formidable and accurate weapon favored by shepherds and poor people. He did not need to get as close to Goliath as paintings depict! 1 Samuel 17:40 mentions that David took five smooth brook stones , their ammunition of choice. We have not only the eyewitness account in the Bible, but fascinating corroborating evidences from archaeology. David Slings the Stone , James Tissot, c. 1896-1902 The further one gets from the time of an occurrence, the more difficult it becomes to prove. We cannot use modern scientific and analytical methods to completely verify something that happened 2,200 years ago, but the corroborating evidences are quite helpful. There are seven, most

The Merneptah Stele and Ancient Israel

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Look at that, they have a stele — whatever that is. I had to look up that word. A stele  is an ancient monument that was put up for to commemorate various important occasions. They were sometimes made of wood. A stone stele was a big slab engraved with writing, so it was obviously too much trouble to make for casual reasons. The Merneptah Stele was established by Egyptians to celebrate several military victories, and it also mentions military victories over Judah. So who what was Merneptah the pharaoh? Merneptah Stele, Wikimedia Commons / Onceinawhile ( CC BY-SA 4.0 ), enhanced It is interesting and useful when artefacts corroborate biblical history, but our faith is not established by evidence. Nor is it destroyed by the apparent lack of evidence. On a related subject, see " Lack of Evidence, Lack of Faith ." Ancient Egypt did not follow modern practices of laying out history. Some of it was...truly bizarre, a fact acknowledged by secularists as well as Bible believers. Som

The Book of Daniel was not a Forgery

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What comes to mind when the prophet Daniel is mentioned? Perhaps some of the accounts many of us learned as children, such as his account of his friends in the fiery furnace, eating veggies, or his own experience in the den of lions. How about Belshazzar's blasphemous feast on his last night as a ruler, which prompted the expression, "The writing on the wall?" Then there are those prophecies... The Bible has come under attack for centuries for various reasons, especially its historical reliability. Materialists act from their presuppositions that there is no God and are no miracles. There can be no prophesy, nosiree! The book of Daniel is rejected by them and liberal "Christian scholars" for similar reasons. Belshazzar's Feast , Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1635 Why is it that people profess to be Christians, but try to tear down the foundations of their faith and destroy the faith of others? A simple way to reject the contents of Daniel's book is to

Possible Location of Sodom from Genesis 19

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People may wonder why creationists discuss archaeology so often, since it does not seem to have any bearing on creation evidence. While archaeology does not have direct  application to the creation account, it provides useful evidence used for creation science. It also supports biblical history. Archaeology is a relatively young science, obviously having inherent difficulties because of the time involved. E.g., some places are thousands of years old, possibly buried in sand, people have built homes or cities on sites of interest. When something like the location of Sodom and Gomorrah of Genesis 18-19 is announced, people tend to take notice. Landscape with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah / Joachim Patinir , 1520 Sodom was not just a hick town, but rather a region that included a large city, its sister city Gomorrah, and several other cities. Because of the tremendous amount of time, ideas as to its location that have been proposed for its location are conflicting. Here we conside

Wrong Ideas on the Origin of Polytheism

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Those of us who have been raised believing that there is only one God may find it difficult to comprehend that there are cultures that worship many. Animism  has multiple spirits that people pray to, which is seldom known in the Western world. Polytheism  is the belief in many gods. Some folks claim that the global flood story in the  Gilgamesh  epic poem was copied by the Hebrews. It is to laugh. Those gods were like children who gained power, squabbling with each other, messing with humans, and so on. Looking at mythologies, we see that many groups were polytheistic. The Assembly of the Gods , Jacopo Zucchi 1576, WikiComm  It strikes this child as interesting that the word avatar  is used frequently, often associated with a picture to represent oneself online. In religions like Hinduism, an avatar is when one of their gods decides to show up on Earth for a spell. People with a worldview based in atheistic materialism denigrate Judaism and Christianity, obviously because of the belie

Archaeology and Fact-Checking the Bible

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A term that has become common in recent years is fact check , predominantly used in political matters. It seems that fact-checking organizations (as well as individuals) are bolstered by appeals to their authority and popularity — as well as those who want their biases confirmed. Who checks the checkers? The Snopes site was outstanding for looking up information and refuting silly urban legends, but it became disingenuous when supporting leftist politics . The FactCheck outfit claims that Snopes is reliable (this post has a mix of good and bad information, but supports leftist sources), but they are biased themselves . Negative biases are used when fact-checking the Bible using archaeology. Study room at Qumram, Israel - Flickr / Dennis Jarvis  ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) Although this may seem like the genetic fallacy , it is worth considering the presuppositions of people making assertions and challenges. Many times on social(ist) media, people will simply make claims. For example, in Matthew

Considering Evidence for the 7-Year Famine in Genesis

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Secular scientists have found possible evidence of a severe drought thousands of years ago. The dating is obviously contentious with the biblical timeline, and even those scientists are not in agreement with their dating methods. With additional information, it seems to support the famine in Egypt when Joseph was the administrator for the pharaoh. The dating methods used by secular scientists are saturated with evolutionary assumptions, all of which are unprovable. We need to get up on a sizeable hill to get the big picture. Nile River by satellite / MODIS, NASA GSFC (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents) The Bible provides accurate history, and naysayers have been refuted many times. With that in mind, part of the big picture is the narrative in the late chapters of Genesis. Joseph was a mite arrogant it seems, so his brothers sold him, and he eventually wound up in Egypt. Read it for yourself for the details, but remember that Joe was given the meaning of Pharaoh's

Archaeology and the Resurrection of Jesus

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On the holiday traditionally known as Easter, millions of professing Christians gather to celebrate how God the Son was bodily raised from the dead. Jesus is our Creator (John1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-17) and took the form of man to die on the cross (Philippians 2:8), then his Resurrection was on the third day. We have eyewitness testimony in the Gospels (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). We also have evidence from archaeology. While it is not direct  evidence, there are many aspects that support the biblical narratives. Something noteworthy about the Bible that sets it apart from myths, legends, fairy tales, and so on is the amount of very specific details that are not found in made-up stories. Church of the Holy Sepulcher image credit: Flickr /  Seetheholyland.net  ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) There are several compelling facts supported by archaeology, including the fact that he was worshiped as God long before such a legend would have time to develop. Cumulative details from history and archaeology indicate

Copycat: Genesis and the Ark of the Covenant

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Interesting how scoffers reject archaeology when it supports the Bible, but when tendentious evidence is twisted against  the Bible, then yee haw boy howdy, the Bible is wrong. There are claims that the Bible copies other religions, such as the ludicrous "Jesus Myth", and stories that Christianity was a reworking of pagan mystery religions . Charges of copying are made against the Creation and the Genesis Flood, and some even think the Ark of the Covenant is a copy of something Egyptian. It is not difficult to refute these. Library of Ashurbanipal /  The Flood Tablet  / The Gilgamesh Tablet / Wikimedia Commons /Fæ ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ) Creationists say that there was a global Flood, and after the dispersion at Babel , people took the account with them around the world. Naturally, there are corruptions over the years, but many (including the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere ) have core elements in agreement with the Genesis narrative. One of the most popular "copied

Biblical Archaeology: Balaam and Jericho

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As discussed several times before, studying cultures through archaeology can be challenging, frustrating, and rewarding. Obviously, more recent artefacts are less difficult to study than items that are thousands of years old. The Bible is a reliable book of history. That puts burrs under the saddles of scoffers, and they often argue from silence using what has not yet been found in archaeology, attempting to confirm their biases. Archaeology supports the Bible, as we shall see again in these two examples of well-known biblical events. Balaam and the Angel , Gustav Jaeger Bileam Engel, 1836 via Wikimedia Commons Clearly, the best finds are those that have corroborating evidence such as coins, official seals, documents, and more. Items that make reference to prior events or people from earlier times are also helpful. Remember reading about how Balaam the mystic had his donkey speak to him? (Note that it happened as an obvious miracle one time , giving lie to the claim of atheopaths th

Amazing Forensic Science DNA Sequencing

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Ancient people in the British Isles set up mounds as burial sites, and they are known as barrows , cairns , and other names. Sometimes they are at the centers of stone circles, and are not uncommon. They vary in size. Cam Long Down is impressive, and has a barrow. The Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles  mentions them, which is unsurprising because some have legends of hauntings. One barrow was the subject of of space aliens in a Doctor Who  story . Although stories are intriguing at times, reality can be much more interesting. Some extremely old bones were studied. It was mighty complicated, since they were jumbled in some parts of the burial chamber. When watching crime scene investigation shows where not much remains of a body, examiners can tell whether the deceased was male or female as well as the age. How can they tell the sex? Because males and females are built differently, and personal preferences doesn't change biological and biblical facts. You savvy tha

The Kingdom of Judah in Archaeology

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There was a time when even unbelievers had some respect for the Bible, and this included archaeology. As a science, archaeology is about 150 years old, with precursors such as collecting antiquities going back further. It is obviously a forensic science. Scoffers freely use arguments from silence to reject the Bible, claiming that since something was not verified by archaeologists, biblical history must be wrong. That is galactically absurd. Others use the genetic fallacy and assume the historical records of the Bible must be wrong. Lachish Front Gate, Wikimedia Commons / Wilson44691 ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ) Although the Bible has been proven right time and again, people still look for excuses to dispute its accuracy. One tinhorn disparaged the city of Jerusalem and armies of King David as small and insignificant. Because reasons and stuff. He shouldn't get ultracrepidarian, as those folks have been surprised when their presumptions have been upstaged by reality (see " Ancient Israel

Paleomagnetism and Biblical Archaeology

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People have attempted to discredit the historical records of the Bible for centuries. Many times, they have used the fallacious argument from silence that there is not archaeological evidence for certain people or events, so they never happened. The Bible has been repeatedly vindicated. Radiocarbon dating has also been used to deny Scripture. We have seen many times that radiometric dating has serious flaws (including calibration), but when the results fit the needs of the secular science industry, they are accepted. Paleomagnetism provides a calibration tool. Holes in dolerite made by cores being drilled. As the rock cooled and solidified iron became fixed in an orientation with the Earth's magnetic field. This can be read to find out where this part of Scotland lay relative to the poles at the time the rock solidified. Image and text: Paleomagnetism studies, cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Richard Webb - geograph.org.uk/p/1688057 (The blogging platform will not let me close up the extra spaces