Confirmation of the bible
Hey Peter I was gonna write a whole post in the blog but i’ll just post 2 unarguable validations here. Archeology confirms many events and persons in the Bible, one example is in the Tel Dan inscription “House of David”.
Hazael of Damascus vs Jehoram of Israel & Ahaziah of Judah
Previously skeptics claimed the line of David, many kings, & wars in the bible never happen and were pure “mythology”. The Tel Dan inscription, or “House of David” inscription, was found in 1993 at the site of Tel Dan in Israel at an excavation by Israeli archaeologist Avraham Biran. It refers to Judah as the House of David and it also mentions Joram King of Israel and Ahaziah King of Judah. Scholars agree that this refers to the war of Hazael of Damascus vs Jehoram & Ahaziah 2 Kings 8:28–29
The Bible (as it has done many times) corrected historians and skeptics. This is undeniable proof of the King David’s legacy; but the best validating resources are found in the Bible itself.
King Cyrus of Persia recognized by Name 150 years before birth
One that still awes me today is the revelation God gives to Isaiah about King Cyrus of Persia. 150 years before Cyrus the Great is even born God says that he will “subdue nations” and that he will order the rebuilding of the Temple Isaiah 44:28 which Persia decreed in the “Cyrus Cylinder” below.
Isaiah 45:1, 4-5
Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
that gates may not be closed:
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
I name you, though you do not know me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me,
who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,
and he shall fulfill all my purpose’;
saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’
and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’”
Tarrence’s answer above is a great example of how archeology tends to validate more than invalidate the basic historical reliability of the Bible. Also, check K. A. Kitchen’s book On the Reliability of the Old Testament for about the most thorough exploration of the issue (as it relates to the Old Testament) designed for popular audiences. Concerning the New Testament, F. F. Bruce’s classic The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? is also very accessibly written and well worth the short time it takes to read through it. As Tarrence mentions, anything by Lee Strobel will be helpful and well researched. Josh McDowell is another contemporary American author who approaches this subject similarly to Strobel. Finally, I cannot recommend enough that you familiarize yourself with the work of N. T. Wright. He has written extensively on the subject of Jesus’ resurrection and its historical veracity. A very accessible essay of his can be found at http://ntwrightpage.com/2016/07/12/jesus-resurrection-and-christian-origins/.
Above all, it is important to realize that even if it can be demonstrated that something in the Bible is not 100% historically accurate, that does not discredit the Bible, either in its basic historical reliability or in its theological value. First, there is no such thing as history written without slant. All history (and that includes modern historiography) is written with some kind of slant. But that slant does not mean that what is written is of no value. Actually, one might argue that it is precisely the slant that gives the historiography meaning (otherwise unrelated events are tied together into a coherent narrative). In any case, it means that you have to read everything with an awareness that the author has a purpose in writing it.
Moreover, a robust Christian theology of the Bible must take into consideration the idea that God has chosen to partner with humanity in his self-revelation and mission of salvation. In other words, we don’t diminish the fact that the Bible is written by humans, in human language, and using human tropes and conventions when we say that it is also God’s special revelation. God uses the humanity of his human partners to accomplish his divine purposes. That’s what redemption is really all about – God taking what seems to be counter to his purpose and turning it around for good as if he always meant it to work out that way – and it’s why God is so awesome.