Archaeological evidence supports the fact that the Bible is full of real places, people, and events throughout time. The Bible is the Word of God and not a collection of myths, fairy tales, or oral stories handed down to teach good moral lessons.
Through the years, the historicity and authorship of the Bible have been challenged at multiple levels. At the turn of the last century, popular belief claimed that the Bible was just a collection of good thoughts from God, but not the actual Word of God. Opponents pointed to the lack of archaeological evidence as proof that the Bible could neither be the Word of God nor a trusted historical document.
One of the major arguments against its historical accuracy was a lack of such evidence for a group of people called the Hittites. Liberal scholars accused the Bible of being unreliable because it contained accounts of a Hittite civilization of which there was no record. Over the last 150 years, archaeologists have uncovered Hittite ruins, artifacts, and ten thousand clay tablets from the royal archives. Now there is no doubt of the Hittite’s flourishing civilization.1
Another evidence for the historicity of the Bible is the Merneptah Stele. This inscription by an ancient Egyptian king, dating back to 1207 BC, was discovered in 1896 and is the earliest connection between archaeology and the Bible. It verifies that a people called “Israel” really did exist and lived in the land of Canaan following the Exodus.
In 1993, an Israeli archaeologist discovered the first mention of King David outside of the Bible. The Tel Dan inscription, a writing on a ninth-century stone tablet, commemorates an Aramean king’s defeat of his southern enemies, the “king of Israel” and the “king of the House of David.” It is clear from this inscription that King David was a real person, and even though this event took place centuries after David’s lifetime, his fame was still known by foreign enemies.3
In the early 1900s, Sir William Ramsay, a famous archaeologist and historian, was highly skeptical of the historical reliability of the New Testament. After reading the book of Acts, he set out to prove that it was an unreliable historical document and full of errors. He spent fourteen years in Israel looking for evidence to disprove Luke’s account. After examining the evidence, he emerged from his study to announce that “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy . . . this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians.”
Dr. Nelson Glueck, an American rabbi and archaeologist, discovered over 1,500 ancient sites in Israel. He said,
It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries. They form tesserae in the vast mosaic of the Bible’s almost incredibly correct historical memory.5
My faith is not based on a story told by someone who claimed to have had an experience with God, then wrote a book and said I should follow it. The Bible is a historically reliable, accurate document.
Chip Ingram, Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2017).