"Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'" -Isa 46:8-10
Bible Maps A growing database of maps for study and teaching.
The Black Obelisk. In the 1840's a British man named Austen Henry Layard had a desire to travel to the Middle East and dig around some of the strange looking mounds near the City of Mosul. He had heard many tales about things being found in these mounds. He was looking for any trace of evidence that would lead him to the lost city of Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. Little did he know that one of his discoveries would turn Europe upside down with excitement. He discovered a black limestone monument which is known today as The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. This discovery brought a new authenticity and historicity to some of the stories in the Bible. It also gained him the support of the British Museum, and all the finances he needed to continue his excavations, and become known as "The Father of Assyriology."
The Pilate Inscription. It wasn't long ago when many scholars were questioning the actual existence of a Roman Governor with the name of Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered Jesus' crucifixion. In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the worn face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea."
The Megiddo Seal Bearing King Jeroboam's Name. It is very interesting that the Jasper Seal, found at Tel Megiddo bearing the name of King Jeroboam who ruled in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, would contain the symbol for their rival, the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But in examining all of the circumstances involved and seeing what the Bible says it is no wonder that the prosperous and victorious Northern Kingdom of Israel would boast with a symbol of their enemy.
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great. An inscription on the tomb of the great Persian monarch read: "O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body." - Cyrus". Is it true that Isaiah the Hebrew prophet mention Cyrus by name almost 200 years before he was born?
Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism. This amazing discovery excavated in Nineveh in the 1830 records the Assyrian king Sennacherib's 8th campaign, which includes his siege of Jerusalem during the reign of "Hezekiah the Judahite" in 701 BC. There are 500 lines of writing in the Akkadian language on this magnificent clay prism. Is the story true that it was purchased by an American from an antiquities dealer in Baghdad?
Coming SoonThe Ishtar Gate of Babylon. During the last days of the southern kingdom of Judah the Jews were taken captive to a distant land called Babylon at the latter part of the 6th century BC. They passed through a beautiful entrance gate made of mud brick masonry and glazed skin which stood 47 feet tall, commonly referred to as the Ishtar Gate since its discovery at the turn of the 20th century near modern Baghdad, Iraq. The tall gate was dedicated to the gods by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylonia who reigned from 605—562 BC). Is it true that Hitler had it transported to Berlin? Where is the Ishtar Gate now?
[Next] The Remains of Solomon's Temple
The Bible mentions many things about people, places and events that happened in history. The Bible also gives an accurate chronology of those people, places and events. What is amazing is that modern archaeology has confirmed that the Bible has never made one error, or given any clear contradictions in all of its text in matters of historical fact. The paintings and illustrations below of archaeological discoveries and ruins illustrate this emphatically.
A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field." Isa. 40:6
Archaeology provides one of the many sober reminders that we are not eternal. As we see history's graveyard, it's like viewing the tombstone of an empire. "Here lies the once proud Assyrian Empire who ruled many and feared none"
As you watch the video provided by a thoughtful soldier in Iraq taking a moment to tour the ruins of Nineveh, the once mighty capital of the Mesopotamian Fertile Crescent, try to imagine life there and the surrounding countryside. How many people saw the powerful Nineveh gates as a part of their daily scenery? The gates were just always there, part of the skyline, taken for granted, testifying to the King's authority and glory.
What was it like for the rulers? They enjoyed that eternal feeling that we all have while we are young and strong. Living in grandeur and exercising power over a kingdom of peoples they enjoyed all that life could provide.
King Sennacherib would have moved through these gates on his way to confront the humble nation of Judah and King Hezekiah who Sennacherib said he had trapped in Jerusalem like a "caged bird". Little did he know that he alone would be confronted by God Himself!
If he could have experienced a terrifying dream of a Humvee with soldiers carrying M-16's driving upon the ruins of his empire, contemplating the lessons of their fallen empire, he might have gained that perspective that his life was finite, his empire would one day fall, and his only hope was in humbly seeking a relationship with the God of heaven. The same lesson that each of us today has to learn. As happened to every empire uncovered by the spade, will also happen to each of us. All that is left in the end is our relationship with God and what we have wrought for His kingdom. The only thing we can take beyond the grave are the others we have served by feeding them the Word of God.
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Ecc. 2:18
"Little by little, one city after another, one civilization after another, one culture after another, whose memories were enshrined only in the Bible, were restored to their proper places in ancient history by the studies of archaeologists... Contemporary records of biblical events emphasized by contrast and comparison... Nowhere has archaeological discovery refuted the Bible as history."
-John Elder "Prophets, idols and Diggers" (New York: Bobbs Merrill, 1960) p. 16
"A substantial proof for the accuracy of the Old Testament text has come from archaeology. Numerous discoveries have confirmed the historical accuracy of the biblical documents, even down to the obsolete names of foreign kings... Rather than a manifestation of complete ignorance of the facts of its day, the biblical record thus reflects a great knowledge by the writer of his day, as well as precision in textual transmission."
-Norman L. Geisler, William Nix "A General Introduction to the Bible" 5th Edition (Chicago: Moody Press 1983) p. 253