3 Minute Bible Study: Archaeological Evidence of Biblical Figures

3 Minute Bible Study: Archaeological Evidence of Biblical Figures


Welcome to 3 minute Bible study; archaeological evidence for biblical figures. Like most ancient people generally, most
people in biblical history have never been archaeologically found in ancient engravings. Occasionally however, some of them are, and with rulers more likely than peasants to have their names engraved in the rocks We’ll begin with the Kings, and look at a few examples. King David, a key figure in the OT, lived & reigned 1,000 years before Christ, and was the father of a long line of
Kings in his own blood line, one of whom was defeated by the King
of Aram in the 9th century BC. An inscription from that king was found in
Tel Dan in 1993. In it, he records his victory over a king
of Israel, and over a King from the “house of David,” thus establishing external archaeological reference for King David We’ll look next at Omri, the wicked father in law of Jezebel, who during the divided Kingdom ruled Israel in the north, in the 9th century
BC. The Bible records his reign, the reign of his
son Ahab, and the reign of a Moabite king named Mesha who was forced to pay tribute Israel. A record from that same Moabite king was
found in 1868 in Jordan. The Mesha Stele refers to all three of these people: Mesha himself, King of Moab; Omri, King of Israel; and Omir’s son, king of Israel after him. Another king of the northern tribes that is
recorded in tribute payment is Jehu, though this time the king of israel’s not
receiving tribute, he’s paying it, to the king of Assyria. The black obelisk
of Shalmaneser discovered in Nimrod in 1846 depicts payment being received from
lesser vassal kings, including tribute submitted from Jehu to Assyria. A century later, the northern kingdom of Israel will be destroyed by the Assyrians. And in the south, in the reign of Hezekiah, they will almost conquer all of Judah as
well. They took the fortified cities of Judah and threatened the capital Jerusalem itself, but did not take it. This is recorded in the Bible, and also in this Assyrian prism, where the
invaders commemorate their taking of 46 strongholds and of penning Hezekiah in Jerusalem “like a bird in a cage,” but with no mention of taking the city,
which did not happen (cf. Isa. 37). The last OT king we will look at is Jehoiachin, who was taken captive to Babylon, and was later released from prison and provided with rations from the Babylonian king. The Babylonian Chronicle records his
being taken away captive and the Babylonian Ration List records
rations provided to Jehoiachin, King of Judah. Inscriptions of NT figures include Pontius Pilate the Roman governor at the crucifixion of Christ, and the ossuary or bone box of Caiaphas, the high priest who counseled the Jewish senate to have Jesus killed. From Acts 13 we have Sergius Paulus, the
administrator in Paphos who became a believer. And from the Delphi inscription we know when Gallio was procounsel in Corinth, who Paul stood before in Acts 18. Another interesting engraving is Erastus of Corinth, quite likely the same Erastus who is both a believer and the city treasurer (or manager) of
Corinth, mentioned in Rom.16:23 as sending greetings to fellow saints in Rome. For external evidences on Jesus
watch for separate 3 minute study on the historicity of Jesus. More info at 3minutebiblestudy.com

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