Tag: Bible history

The Tell Dan Stele

The Tel Dan Stele is a piece of stone found in northern Israel 1 with an inscription referring to the ‘House of David’. It is a significant find, providing evidence that the nation of Israel existed as early as the 10th century, and that it was ruled over by king David, referred to in the Bible as the second king […] 

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Discovery of the tunnel built by King Hezekiah to provide water to Jerusalem in time of siege (2 Kings 22:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:30), was confirmed by an accompanying inscription which dates to the reign of Hezekiah.1 Minimalist scholars2 John Rogerson and Philip Davies claimed that the inscription does not date to the reign of Hezekiah, but to the Hasmonean […] 

The Merneptah Stele: Earliest evidence for Israel in Canaan?

Israel In Canaan The Merneptah Stele is a pillar erected by Pharaoh Merneptah, recording his conquests in 13th century BCE Canaan.1 Among them, Merneptah records the Israelites, proving they were established in Canaan by then.2 Challenges A minority of Biblical scholars have challenged the reading of the Merneptah Stele,3 suggesting that it does not refer to the Israelites; representatives of […] 

Does the archaeological ‘Low Chronology’ disprove the Biblical narrative?

The Challenge The ‘Low Chronology’ is a proposed redating of the Iron Age,1 dating the reigns of David and Solomon to a time during which there is no archaeological evidence supporting them.2 The Objections Proposed at least as early as the 1980s,3 the redating received almost no support,4 and was resisted strongly by the archaeological consensus.5 Objections were raised by […] 

Did Luke use Josephus when writing Acts?

The Claim It has been claimed that Luke used the writings of Josephus (specifically ‘Antiquities of the Jews’).1 2 Since Josephus wrote in 93 CE, this would date Acts no earlier than this time.3 The following passages are claimed as examples of Luke’s dependence on Josephus. * Luke 3:1: Josephus and Luke record the census of Quirinius, but Luke’s differs […] 

Were camels domesticated in the time of Abraham?

The Challenge WF Albright, one of the most famous 20th century archaeologists, argued that the camel was not domesticated until around the 1st millennium, well after the time of Abraham.1 This was considered persuasive by many Biblical scholars, who were convinced that references in Genesis to camels in Egypt during the time of Abraham2 are anachronistic. 3 4 5 The […] 

What is archaeological ‘minimalism’?

Definition The ‘minimalist’ view is that archaeology provides little or no support for the Biblical history.1 2 The best known adherents are Philip Davies,3 Lester Grabbe,4 Niels Lemche,5 Thomas Thompson,6 and Keith Whitelam.7 However, Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman are the only two prominent archaeologists associated with minimalist views. Kenneth Kitchen Kitchen8 has raised numerous objections to minimalist claims, rejecting […] 

Was the Genesis flood narrative copied from Mesopotamian myths?

The Challenge By the end of the 19th century archaeology had discovered many Mesopotamian texts containing creation and flood narratives remarkably similar to those in the Bible. Critical scholars came to believe that the Biblical narratives had simply been copied from earlier Mesopotamian myths.12The Biblical flood narrative in particular is still considered by some scholars to have been borrowed from […] 

Is the Bible’s chronology of the kings of Israel accurate?

The Challenge In the late 19th century, critical scholar Julius Wellhausen claimed the Biblical chronology of the kings of Israel was a literary invention for religious purposes, which had been edited and revised several times from a variety of different sources, rather than a genuine historical record.1 For the next 70 years, critical scholars continued to treat the chronology as […]