by Charles Colson
Walking past a newsstand this week, your eye may be
caught by a dramatic painting of Adam and Eve on the
cover of U.S. News and World Report. Alongside the
two figures, the title of the cover story asks, "Is
the Bible True?"
Flip open the magazine and you'll find that the answer
is a confident "yes!" U.S. News has summarized
exciting new archeological evidence that confirms the
historicity of the Bible.
For example, a few years ago, a group of archeologists
found an Assyrian stone tablet in Northern Israel
dating from the ninth century B.C. The Aramaic
inscription listed Assyria's foes. Included in the
list were the words "king of Israel" and "house
The significance of these findings is that they
toppled years of archeological skepticism. Many
archeologists have long questioned the historical
accuracy of the Bible, maintaining that there was
no such person as King David. They pointed to the
lack of any reference outside the Bible to David
in the archeological remains from Assyria, Egypt,
or Babylon. They argued that David's name, a
Semitic word meaning "beloved," was evidence
that biblical writers created a legendary king
to create a glorious past for Israel. But now
archeology has given proof that King David was an
historical figure after all--exactly as the Bible
This latest discovery isn't the first time the
evidence has confounded the skeptics. For instance,
Kenneth Kitchen, an Egyptologist at the University
of London, told U.S. News that documents recently
discovered in Syria confirm the amount of money
Joseph's brothers received when they sold him into
slavery. According to the book of Genesis, it was
twenty silver shekels. In later centuries, the
price typically paid for slaves in Israel was
ninety to one hundred shekels. If the biblical
account was made up later, as skeptics have
argued, then the authors would have picked a
sum much closer to the going rate at the time.
Archeological discoveries also help document the
veracity of Testament texts. For example, scholars
have long doubted gospel accounts of Jesus' burial. They
maintained that the Romans simply tossed crucified
bodies into a common grave or left them to be
scavenged by wild animals. But archeologists
recently discovered the remains of a crucified man,
a contemporary of Jesus, buried in a family grave.
These remains suggest that the Romans did allow
for the kind of burial described in the gospels.
Why are secular scholars constantly being refuted?
The answer is that they approach scripture from a
naturalistic perspective that discounts any document
that speaks of the SUPERnatural. Since the Bible
records miracles as though they really happened, the
Bible is simply discounted out of hand. Scripture
is reduced to stories that merely illustrate
theological points, while containing little that
is historically accurate.
But, as the U.S. News article illustrates, this
distinction is crumbling under the weight of
The latest archeological news is an exciting reminder
that Christians have nothing to fear from scientific
inquiry. In fact, we welcome it.
The next time you hear Christianity characterized as
an ancient legend, be prepared to describe the
exciting evidence unearthed by archaeology. To answer
the question on the cover of U.S. News--yes,
the Bible is really true.
Copyright (c) 1999 Prison Fellowship Ministries
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