1. “What we really need, after all, is not to defend the Bible but to understand it.” – Millar Burrows
Basis for Trust
A plethora of external sources and facts outside the Bible corroborate what is found in the Bible.
The Bible's message is a sharp contrast to the pagan fertility religions and philosophies of the ancient
world as revealed through history.
Events demonstrate that the Biblical prophets accurately predicted events hundreds of years before
Archaeological evidence demonstrates the historical and cultural accuracy of the Bible.
The probability of just 8 prophecies being fulfilled in one person supported by work from Peter Stoner validated by
the American Scientific Affiliation is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000!
Jesus alone fulfilled 60 Old Testament prophecies made 400 years before his birth!
Tests for the validity of a book of Scripture Recommended Reading
1. Was it written by a prophet of God? Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart;
(Deut. 18:18, Heb. 1:1, 2 Peter 1:20-21) • How to read the Bible for all it’s worth
• How to read the Bible Book by Book
2. Was he confirmed by an act of God?
William Klein, Bloomberg;
• Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
3. Does it tell the truth about God? D.A. Carson;
(Gal. 1:8, Deut. 18:22) • Exegetical fallacies
4. Does it have the power of God?
(Heb. 4:12) • When critics ask: Popular Handbook of Bible Difficulties
• When skeptics ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences
5. Was it accepted by the people of God? Jr., Gleason L. Archer;
(1 Thes. 2:13, Deut. 31:24-26, Col. 4:16, 1 Thes. 5:27) • New International Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties
To doubt God is the first step to muffle God’s voice… To criticize God is the first step to gag God’s voice. ]
2. Selected Important Old Testament Archaeological Finds
FIND DISCOVERED IMPORTANCE
Dead Sea Scrolls 1947-56, Qumran, Israel Provided our oldest copies of almost all books of the OT and confirmed reliability of our transmission process.
Taylor Prism 1830, Nineveh, Iraq Corroborates the campaigns of Sennacherib found in 2Kg 18:13-19:37; 2Ch 32:1-12; Is 36:1-37:38
House of David 1993-94, Tel Dan, Israel Earliest mention outside the Bible of King David, whom some scholars have held to be a fictional character
Cylinder of Nabonidus 1854, Ur, Iraq Corroborates Belshazzar as last king of Babylon as recorded in Dan 5:1-30; 7:1; 8:1
Sargon Inscriptions 1843, Khorsabad, Iraq Confirms the existence of Sargon, King of Assyria, Isaiah 20:1, as well as his conquering of Samaria (2 Kings 17:23-24)
Tiglath-Pileser III 1845-49, Nimrud, Iraq Corroborates 2 Kings 15:29
Cyrus Cylinder 1879, Babylon, Iraq Contains a decree from Cyrus that corroborates Ezra 1:1-3; 6:3; 2 Chronicles 36:23; Isaiah 44:28
Black Obelisk of 1846, Nimrud, Iraq Depicts Jehu, son of Omri, oldest known picture of an ancient Israelite
Moabite Stone 1868, Palestine Corroborates 2 Kings 3
Ketef Hinnom Amulets 1779, Jerusalem Contains Hebrew text of Numbers 6:24-26 and Deuteronomy 9:7. This is the oldest instance to date of Hebrew text of the Old
Testament, 7 -6 century B.C.
Seal of Baruch Early-mid 1970’s, Jerusalem Contains the phrase “belonging to Beruch son of Neriah,” Jeremiah’s scribe, 6 century B.C.
Epic of Gilgamesh 1853, Nineveh, Iraq First extra-biblical find that appears to reference the great flood of Genesis 7-8
Weld-Blundell Prism 1922, Babylon, Iraq Contains a list of Sumerian Kings that ruled before and after the great flood; the kings that pre-dated the flood are attributed
enormous life spans reminiscent of, though greater than, the life spans of pre0flood inhabitants of the Bible
Siloam Inscription 1880, Jerusalem One of the few extant ancient Hebrew writings from the 8 century B.C. or earlier
Gedaliah Seal 1935, Lachish, Israel Corroborates 2 Kings 25:22
Selected Important New Testament Archaeological Finds
The Pilate Stone 1961, Caesarea Maritima Confirmed the existence and office of Pilate
The Delphi, or Gallio, 1905 Fixed the date of Gallio’s proconsulship at A.D. 51-52, providing a way of dating Acts 18:12-17, and as a result, much of the rest of
Inscription Paul’s ministry
Caiaphas Ossuary 1990, near Jerusalem Confirmed the existence of Caiaphas
Sergius Paulus 1877, Paphos, Cyprus Confirms the existence of Sergius Paulus, proconsul of Cyprus encountered by Paul and Barnabus in Acts 13:7
Pool of Siloam 2004, Jerusalem Sites of Jesus’ miracle recorded in John 9:1-11
Skeleton of Yohanan 1968, Jerusalem Only known remains of crucifixion victim; corroborates the Bible’s description of crucifixion
Rylands Papyrus P52 1920 Oldest universally known manuscript of the NT, a small fragment of John’s Gospel dated by papyrologist to A.D. 125
Bodmer Papyrus II 1952, Pabau, Egypt Contains most of John’s Gospel and dates from A.D. 150-200
Magdalene Papyrus 1901, Luxor, Egypt Contains fragments of Matthew and has been dated as being earlier than A.D. 70, though there is debate concerning the date
Chester Beatty Papyri Acquired 1931-35, Cairo, Three papyri dating from A.D. 200 that contain most of the New Testament
Codex Vaticanus In the Vatican Library’s Dated A.D. 325-50 and contains a nearly complete Bible
earliest inventory (1481)
Codex Sinaiticus 1859, Mt Sinai, Egypt Codex containing nearly complete New Testament and over half of the Old Testament (the books at the beginning of the Bible
appear to have been lost to damage), dated at A.D. 350
7Q5 1955, Qumran, Israel Possible fragment of Mark that can be dated no later than A.D. 68 which would make it the oldest existing New Testament fragment
Galilee Boat 1986, near Tiberias, Israel The boat, 30’x8’, held approximately 15 passengers and would like the boats Jesus’ disciples used in crossing the Sea of Galilee.
Carbon 14 dating places the boat between 120 B.C. and A.D. 40
* Multiple sources consolidated within: The Apologetics Study Bible. Holman Bible Publishers, 2007.