|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2004|
|The authors list several instances where archaeology has confirmed the accuracy of both the Old and New Testaments.|
In considering the Old Testament, archaeology has vindicated the biblical record time and again. The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, written by a score of experts in various fields, repeatedly shows that biblical history is vindicated. To illustrate, the editor’s preface remarks,
John Arthur Thompson was director of the Australian Institute of Archaeology in Melbourne and has done archaeological fieldwork with the American Schools of Oriental Research. In The Bible and Archaeology he writes,
Geisler and Brooks point out,
For example, many aspects of Bible books have been confirmed over the views of critics, in particular the books of Moses, Daniel, Ezra, Kings, and Luke in the book of Acts. Daniel, for example, because of its clear supernatural predictions, is dated by critics to the time of the Maccabeans, around 165 B.C., though Daniel himself indicates or implies a sixth century B.C. date at the beginning of every chapter but one. Critics had also doubted the Exile and the return of the Jews referred to in the book of Esther, as well as its official government decrees. And the chronological records of the books of Kings were held to be hopelessly confused, according to the critics. To the contrary, archaeologist Dr. Clifford Wilson and others have provided many examples of how archaeology has confirmed the accuracy of these books. In his Rocks, Relics and Biblical Reliability, Dr. Wilson supplies examples, some of which we quote below:
The reliability of the New Testament is also confirmed; based on archaeological data, “theevidence for its historical reliability [is] overwhelming.” In the case of the book of Acts,
A. N. Sherwin-White remarks, “For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming.... Any attempt to reject its basic historicity must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.”
Consider some examples of Luke’s accuracy in historical reporting:
As Merrill C. Tenney, professor of New Testament, points out about Luke’s writings, the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, “The two volumes he wrote comprise at least one-fourth of the total canon of the New Testament and provide the only piece of continuous historical writing that covers the period from the birth of Jesus of Nazareth to the establishment of a church in the capitol of the Roman Empire.” In other words, the fact that Luke has been established as such a careful writer means that fully one-fourth of the entire New Testament, on the basis of his accuracy alone, bears the same marks of authenticity.
But it is this very same careful historical writer, the physician Luke, who reports that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead “by many convincing proofs”—and that he had carefully investigated the evidence for this from the beginning (cf., Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-3). If Luke was so painstakingly accurate in his historical reporting, on what logical basis may we assume he was credulous or inaccurate in his reporting of matters that were far more important, not only to him but to others as well?
Noted biblical scholar and apologist Dr. John Warwick Montgomery summarizes the evidence when he writes, “Modern archaeological research has confirmed again and again the reliability of New Testament geography, chronology, and general history.” And Dr. Wilson concludes, “Those who know the facts now recognize that the New Testament must be accepted as a remarkably accurate source book....”
In general, if not always in the particulars, the entire Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, has been strikingly confirmed. Kitchen remarks that after “a fair and full investigation of the total available resources, the verdict is frequently a high measure of agreement between the Bible and the world that is its ancient and original context.” Dr. Schoville observes, “Thus far, no historical statement in the Bible has been proven false on the basis of evidence retrieved through archaeological research.” Thompson concludes his book by stating, “It is very evident that the biblical records have their roots firmly in general world history.” Archaeologist Joseph Free, chairman of the department of archaeology at Wheaton College and later professor of archaeology and history at Bemidji State College in Minnesota, concluded his Archaeology and Bible History with the following words: “I thumbed through the book of Genesis and mentally noted that each of the 50 chapters was either illuminated or confirmed by some archaeological discovery—the same would be true for most of the remaining chapters of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments.”
Again, given the large amount of data already uncovered in the last 150 years, this is no insignificant conclusion. There are literally thousands of opportunities for archaeological research to indisputably prove the Bible false—and yet it has never done so.