Posted on 26 Comments

15 Historical Proofs of the Bible

The five eras for historical proof of the Bible:

This article covers the following time frames:

  • Third Era: archaeological evidence from Abraham to Solomon
  • Fourth Era: is from Solomon (Israelite and Judah split) to the end of the Old Testament.
  • Fifth era is Christ and the apostolic era.
[This article continues after a message from the authors]
These Articles are Written by the Publishers of The Amazing Bible Timeline with World History

Click to find out more about this comprehensive Bible study tool now! >

Introduction to Historical Proofs of the Bible

The Bible is essentially a religious history. Even those who wrote the Bible made it clear it was not a secular history, even though secular events are referred to. It is a book about God and his relationship with man. That cannot be proven or dis-proven logically. It is a spiritual matter.

However, people and events mentioned in the Bible can be found in the historical writings of other nearby countries. Also, historical records of the Israelite nations other than the Bible prove the history of the Bible is correct.

George Washington quote
The earliest records of the Israelites were written on papyrus, rather than clay tablets that were used by other cultures at that time. Many of those papyri have been destroyed. And yet proof of Biblical events exist.

1. The Smithsonian Department of Anthropology is reported to have said this about the Bible (referring to history, not spiritual teachings.)

“Much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the old testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories. These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient documents in archeological work. For the most part, historical events described took place and the peoples cited really existed. This is not to say that names of all peoples and places mentioned can be identified today, or that every event as reported in the historical books happened exactly as stated.” (http://www.csnradio.com/tema/links/SmithsonianLetter.pdf.)

Here's part of a letter from the National Geographic

I referred your inquiries to our staff archeologist, Dr. George Stuart. He said that archaeologists do indeed find the Bible a valuable reference tool, and use it many times for geographical relationships, old names and relative chronologies. On the enclosed list, you will find many articles concerning discoveries verifying events discussed in the Bible. ~ National Geographic Society, Washington D.C.

Historical Events from Abraham to Solomon.

2. In 1990 Frank Yurco, an Egyptologist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago used hieroglyphic clues from a monolith known as the Merneptah Stele to identify figures in a Luxor wall relief as ancient Israelites. The stele itself, dated to 1207 B.C. celebrates a military victory by the Pharaoh Merneptah. “Israel is laid waste” it reads. This lets us know the Israelites were a separate people more than 3,000 years ago. (for more on the steleh)

3. Some historians insist the Canaanites were a dying culture when the Israelites gradually moved in and took over their lands. This actually supports the Bible which has God saying to the Israelites

 "And I will send hornets [despair] before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.  I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee until thou be increased, and inherit the land." Exodus 23:28-30 King James Authorized

Detractors of the Bible claim that there is little proof of the use of slaves in Egypt or of the Exodus, of the conquering of the Canaanites by the Israelites or (prior to 1993) of King David’s reign. But the absence of proof is not proof of absence. It only takes one find to change that picture.

4.  For example, until 1993 there was no proof of the existence of King David or even of Israel as a nation prior to Solomon. Then in 1993 archeologists found proof of King David's existence outside the Bible. At an ancient mound called Tel Dan, in the north of Israel, words carved into a chunk of basalt were translated as "House of David" and "King of Israel". This proved that David was more than just a legend.

5.  In 2005 Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar found King David's palace relying on the Bible as one of her many tools. She says:

“What is amazing about the Bible is that very often we see that it is very accurate and sometimes amazingly accurate.” (from Using the Bible As Her Guide)

 

Fourth Era: Historical Events From Solomon to the End of the Old Testament

 

6. R.D. Wilson who wrote “A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament” pointed out that the names of 29 Kings from ten nations (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and more) are mentioned not only in the Bible but are also found on monuments of their own time. Every single name is transliterated in the Old Testament exactly as it appears on the archaeological artifact – syllable for syllable, consonant for consonant. The chronological order of the kings is correct.

7. John M. Lundquist writes

“A significant example of the contribution ancient inscriptions have made to our understanding of the Old Testament is the Moabite Stone, also known as the Mesha Inscription.

Biblical Account

Mesha, king of the Moabites, those distant cousins of the Israelites who lived on the east side of the Dead Sea, is introduced in the Bible in the third chapter of 2 Kings [2 Kgs. 3] as a vassal to the King of Israel, about 849 B.C. With the death of Ahab, Mesha rebelled against this relationship. This prompted Ahab's son, Jehoram, to engage the alliance of Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, and the King of Edom in a military campaign against Mesha. With the help of prophetic advice from Elisha, the alliance was able to gain a victory over the Moabites. Mesha retreated behind the walls of his citadel, Kir-hareseth, and it was there, upon one of these walls, that he sacrificed his first-born son as a burnt offering in order to invoke the wrath of his god, Chemosh, against Jehoram's army. The Bible tells us that the Israelites were so horrified by this act that they returned home. (See 2 Kgs. 3:27.)

This ends the biblical account of Mesha, and if it weren't for the discovery of the Moabite Stone in 1868 by a German missionary, the story would have ended there.

Moabite Record Confirming Biblical Account

The Moabite Stone is an inscription in the Moabite language, a Semitic language closely related to biblical Hebrew. The inscription, of about thirty-five lines, was chiseled into a piece of black basalt measuring about three feet tall by one-and-one-half feet wide. That inscription, dated approximately 830 B.C., was set up by King Mesha in a temple at Dhiban to commemorate his "victory" over the Israelites. The Moabite Stone, in fact, gives King Mesha's side of the story. As such it provides a rare glimpse from a genuinely ancient but non-biblical source of an incident in biblical history.

The overriding theme of the inscription is very familiar: that the deity, in this case Chemosh, guided Mesha in his trials and finally gave him victory. The inscription states that Chemosh had allowed King Omri of Israel to oppress Moab for many years because of the Moabites' sins. (See Near Eastern Religious Texts Relating to the Old Testament, ed. Walter Beyerlin, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978, pp. 237-40.) During this time, Omri and his followers had taken much land in Moab and fortified it. (The Bible itself does not mention these campaigns by northern kings-with the exception of the account already quoted from 2 Kgs. 3.) At that point, Chemosh turns his favor toward Mesha and instructs him to defeat the Israelites. Mesha follows instructions, defeats the Israelites, and then uses Israelite prisoners to make repairs on the temple of Chemosh at Dhiban.

From a historian's point of view, Mesha's account of his successful rebellion against Israelite domination can probably be given credibility. As we have already seen, the Israelite-Judahite-Edomite coalition against him in 849 B.C. was successfully rebuffed by the human sacrifice which Mesha offered to Chemosh on the wall of his citadel. (See 2 Kgs. 3.) What's more, if the date of 830 B.C. for the setting up of this monument is accurate, then Mesha's statement about the fate of the house of Omri would also be accurate, since we know that Omri's royal line was wiped out by Jehu in about 842 B.C. (See 2 Kgs. 9.) Thus, Mesha no doubt saw himself and his god, Chemosh, vindicated by events.

The fact that Israel's neighbors viewed their gods in the same light as Israel viewed the Lord, and the fact that certain biblical customs should also be found among some of these neighbors, should in no way disturb anyone. Perhaps the Moabites and others borrowed these customs from the Israelites, or, more probably, since the Moabites are descendants from Abraham's nephew Lot through the latter's daughter (see Gen. 19:37), there would be much in the way of religion and culture that they would share in common. One of the sobering facts that we learn from a study of the Bible during the period of the united and divided monarchies is that sometimes the worship of idols such as Chemosh appears to have been more popular among the Israelites than the worship of the Lord himself. (See 1 Kgs. 11:7; 1 Kgs. 19:18; 2 Kgs. 17; 2 Kgs. 21; 1 Ne. 1:19-20.) The Moabite Stone gives us a picture of such an idol as one of his native adherents would have viewed him.

Facts 8-11: Ancient Inscriptions confirming Assyrian Kings' Siege of Jerusalem and Nebuchadnezzar's Conquest

There are a number of other ancient inscriptions that have provided valuable insights into biblical history from a non-biblical perspective. Among these are the Gezar Calendar, the Samaria Ostraca, the Siloam Inscription, the Lachish Letters, and numerous Phoenician and Aramaic inscriptions. (These can be examined in translation, with reference to the originals, in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, ed. James B. Pritchard, 2nd ed., Princeton: Princeton University, 1955, pp. 320-24; 3rd ed., 1969, pp. 653-62.) Among the most important of these are the royal inscriptions of the Assyrian and Babylonian kings. We have inscriptions of the Assyrian kings Sargon II and Sennacherib describing their sieges of Samaria in 721 and Jerusalem in 701, respectively, as well as inscriptions relating the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar's conquests of Jerusalem in the latter years of Judah's existence before the exile. (See Pritchard, 2nd ed., pp. 284-88; 3rd ed., pp. 563-64.)

What value have such inscriptions added to our understanding of the Bible? In addition to providing new perspective, they "pinpoint events and ... supply a wider view of the biblical past, discovering phenomena in ancient Israel not preserved in its literature." (See Gaalyahu Cornfeld, Archaeology of the Bible)"

From: Lundquist, John (August, 1983) The Value of New Textual Sources to the King James Bible.

The following information is taken from a site dedicated to discoveries made by archaeologists working in and around present day Jerusalem.

12. Ostraca (inscribed potsherds) Over 100 ostraca inscribed in biblical Hebrew (in paleo-Hebrew script) were found in the citadel of Arad. This is the largest and richest collection of inscriptions from the biblical period ever discovered in Israel. The letters are from all periods of the citadel's existence, but most date to the last decades of the kingdom of Judah. Dates and several names of places in the Negev are mentioned, including Be'er Sheva.

13. Among the personal names are those of the priestly families Pashur and Meremoth, both mentioned in the Bible. (Jeremiah 20:1; Ezra 8:33) Some of the letters were addressed to the commander of the citadel of Arad, Eliashiv ben Ashiyahu, and deal with the distribution of bread (flour), wine and oil to the soldiers serving in the fortresses of the Negev. Seals bearing the inscription "Eliashiv ben Ashiyahu" were also found.

Some of the commander's letters (probably "file" copies) were addressed to his superior and deal with the deteriorating security situation in the Negev. In one of them, he gives warning of an emergency and requests reinforcements to be sent to another citadel in the region to repulse an Edomite invasion. Also, in one of the letters, the "house of YHWH" is mentioned. For more information click here.

Fifth Era: Christ

What evidence do we have the he existed?

14. The Roman historian Tacitus writing between 115-117 A.D. had this to say:

"They got their name from Christ, who was executed by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius. That checked the pernicious superstition for a short time, but it broke out afresh-not only in Judea, where the plague first arose, but in Rome itself, where all the horrible and shameful things in the world collect and find a home." From his Annals, xv. 44.

Here is a pagan historian, hostile to Christianity, who had access to records about what happened to Jesus Christ.

15. Mention of Jesus can also be found in Jewish Rabbinical writings from what is known as the Tannaitic period, between 70-200 A.D. In Sanhedrin 43a it says:

"Jesus was hanged on Passover Eve. Forty days previously the herald had cried, 'He is being led out for stoning, because he has practiced sorcery and led Israel astray and enticed them into apostasy. Whoever has anything to say in his defence, let him come and declare it.' As nothing was brought forward in his defence, he was hanged on Passover Eve."

That there is any mention of Jesus at all is unususal. As far as the Roman world was concerned, Jesus was a nobody who live in an insignificant province, sentenced to death by a minor procurator.

To conclude, there is plenty of historical proof that the Bible is historically accurate, much more than can be contained in this article.

Related Articles

Are the books of the Bible in the order they were written? Did John really write John 1 and 2 after Revelation?
How did we get the English Bible?
What are the Apochrypha? Why are the Catholic and Protestant Bibles different?
Who wrote the Bible? When? How Many Years Did it Take?
King James Bible Facts and Statistics

These Articles are Written by the Publishers of The Amazing Bible Timeline with World History. Quickly See Over 6000 Years of Bible and World History Togetherbible timeline
  • Unique circular format - over 1,000 references at your fingertips on this wonderful study companion
  • Discover interesting facts - Biblical events with scripture references plotted alongside world history showcase fun chronological relationships
  • Attractive, easy to use design - People will stop to look at and talk about this beautifully laid out Jesus history timeline poster ideal for your home, office, church ...
  • Click here to find out more about this unique and fun Bible study tool!

Gift yourself, your family and Bible studying friends this amazing study companion for an exciting journey of discovery.

26 thoughts on “15 Historical Proofs of the Bible

  1. Thanks for the information. May we get more proof so that Bible can now be preached with scientific proofs.

  2. Some of the links bring up blank pages. I’m finding this is happening with MUCH of the links to proof of Biblical finds. Is this our govt trying to cover it up? If not, why only those links? Please let me know if it might just be a glitch? I would love to see some of the original studies. Thank you!

    1. I will update the links. Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. […] More information is found on our post about Historical Proof of the Bible […]

  4. Thank you Amazing Bible.
    There is proof that what the Bible says is truth, and that what Jesus did is properly documented.
    I love the stories of scientists and archaeologists who have become believers by the preponderance of evidence found in extensive research of Gods Holy Book.

    1. We agree John. Thank you for your comment

    2. How much is the Bible and how can you order it

  5. There is a Wiki page entitled ‘Josephus on Jesus’ which makes interesting reading.

  6. Thank you so much. Now I finally know exactly what to say when someone questions my faith!

  7. As nothing was brought forward in his defence, he was hanged on Passover Eve.”
    does it mean crucified ? .
    my english is not good yet

  8. This account does indeed say Hanged and your English is good since you’ve already noticed the difference. Obviously even in this day and age misinformation is a problem. As this article states the bible is more historically accurate than historians and unbelievers throughout history are willing to admit. For that reason id simply gloss over the word and replace it with crucified in my mind as that is the biblical account and word of god.

    In summary it does not mean crucified.

    Hanging being a different type of death but not the one suffered by Christ.

  9. Jesus lived in the first century.
    Christianity was created in the 1st century.
    The Talmud speaks of a Jesus who was hanged, not crucified.
    The Talmud was written in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries, so whoever that Jesus was, wasn’t the Jesus of Nazirith.
    Did you look at the rest of that Talmud? It states that “Yeshu had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Netzer, Buni and Todah”. Where are those 5 disciples in your bible?

    The old Testament stuff was good though 🙂

    1. these 2 men may not be the same seperated by 100 years. i am a quad with use of 1 stylist to type so forgive my brievity. can’t research easlie. i read once being suspended in crucifixion causes the body to hang in such a way as to restrict breathing. sound similar?

  10. pure fiction

    1. Yeah – archeology is “pure fiction” – said no serious person…..ever. SMH

  11. I see hung as crucified. Like hanging a picture on a wall. Hung on the cross. Not hung like Judas hung himself. The disciples of Jesus had other names given. Simon Called Peter and Bartholomew Nathaniel or Mathais who replaced Judas. We are asked to search the scriptures and pray. Seek and find. Ask and it will be given. God will provide what we need when He is ready to reveal it to us. I found this info as well below. Best in everyone’s studies and personal relationship with God.

    “According to the Sanhedrin passage, Nakai is said to mean “innocent”; Netzer means “an abhorred offshoot”; Buni is a distortion of Beni, “my son”; and Todah means “thanksgiving.”

    “A biblical verse is then cited in order to prove that these men were all worthy of execution—along with Yeshua. There is no NT record of Yeshua’s disciples being executed by the Sanhedrin, except for Stephen (Acts 7). Church history contains various legends how the original Twelve Apostles were imprisoned or executed.”

  12. […] **UPDATED ADDITIONS – As we read more we felt this article also gave great detail to the validity of scripture. It seems as time passes there is more proof of what we already believe. Be encouraged – https://amazingbibletimeline.com/blog/q9_historical_proof_bible/ […]

  13. […] 15 Historical Proofs of the Bible I invite you to read this article. CLICK CONTINUE READING. […]

  14. Good evidence is not required for someone who merely utilizes faith as a path to truth. In fact, faith, which is believing something to be truth, in spite of the lack of evidence, is celebrated in the New Testament. If someone chooses to believe that the story, “The Amazing Spider-Man” is true, because this creation myth of a superhuman takes place in a factually provable New York City with provable Skyscrapers from which the superhero could have suspended himself, that is allowed to be believed, of course, and that belief can also be ridiculed, as it is ridiculous. Some people have claimed to have seen the web slinger over the years (eye witness testimonials are typically dreams, hallucinations, incorrect conclusions of what is actually perceived, etc.) , and believers will site these eye witness claims as further proof of Spider-Man’s existence. Even if there is a guy wearing a Spider-Man outfit in Times Square today, and there is (He is often next to Batman, and you can have your picture taken with them.) this is not evidence that he has any superhuman power, as he never demonstrates it. Now let’s pretend that New York City never existed. Shouldn’t people, who believe that an amazing, superhuman Spider-Man exists, question their faith, as the city in which the story is based, never existed?
    Even if the Egyptians did have slaves make their pyramids, this does not demonstrate that a guy named Moses lived, parted the Red Sea, led a mass exodus, etc. However, if it could be proven that Egyptians never had slaves build the pyramids, then the foundation of the Exodus story is complete fabrication, and that should cause believers in that tale to question the rest of the story too.
    After Israel defeated the Arabs, and from Egypt, annexed the Peninsula where the former Hebrew “slaves” allegedly wandered for 40 years, Israeli scientist got their chance to find proof of these wanderings. To their chagrin, the archaeological evidence proved that the Hebrews never wandered the Peninsula, and much evidence from Egyptologists confirms that slaves were not used to build pyramids. Of course, people of “faith” are stubborn and will say that the scientists are merely human and wrong in their findings, as these scientific proofs conflict with a story in their holy book. At the same time, these certain people of faith never are skeptical about the greater possibility of human error of the human authors of their beloved stories, written long before scientific method, which is the best methodology that we currently have of determining truth. Faith is currently the worst method that we possess for determining truth, as any ridiculous concept or position can be believed, simply on faith.

    1. You’ve obviously spent much time in comic books. How much time have you spent in the Bible?

    2. Try reading up on advances in the realm of theoretical physics. There you will see that all knowledge relies, in essence, on faith.

  15. I purchased your Bible Timeline several years ago and still find it “amazing”.

    I would love to have a one year overview of the whole timeline for children….textbook/storybook to be used to introduce Elementary age children to our history including all nations and people groups and where they fit together.

    Any suggestions?

  16. Why is there no mention of one of the few Pharoahs to be mentioned by name? Tirhakah/Taharqa whose remains are at the largest pyramid in Sudan (Meroe/Ancient Nubia). Taharqa’s army battled the Assyrians and sent them packing thus saving the Hebrews from annihilation…Most people don’t talk about the Nubian Kings of the 25th dynasty (720- 630BC) due to our modern racism/bigotry even among the faith community but Taharqas legacy is part of Biblical and Ancient Egyptian history…his story is mentioned in Isaiah and Kings in the OT

  17. Thanks for the page. It makes interesting reading.

    There are two points I will make, though:

    1. The link to the Smithsonian letter you provide, while it does mention the words “Much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the old testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity…”, that very same letter also has the sentence:
    “In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document”.

    In light of this, any excitement gained from the first sentence quoted should be tempered by the second sentence quoted.

    2. The mention of Jesus in Sanhedrin 43a is clearly not referring to the Jesus of the gospels, for a number of reasons.
    The judgement on Jesus was pronounced very quickly – no opportunity was given 40 days ahead to look for defenders.
    Nowehere in the gospels does it mention about Jesus leading Israel astray with apostasy.
    In John, Jesus was hung on Passover Eve, but in the rest of the gospels, Jesus has the Passover meal.

    Otherwise, even though I am an atheist, I do find the Bible as a whole to be an interesting snapshot of the beliefs and history of the times.

    Stay safe and healthy,

    Damien

    1. It never ceases to amaze me why people call themselves atheists when they know very well something is missing in their lives. Until one chooses to believe in Jesus Christ, he or she just keeps on searching and searching for life’s purpose. Those of us who find it in God just keep on wanting to share the gift of life He gives. Years ago, I was talking with an unbeliever about spiritual truths that he vehemently rejected. Another unbeliever was eavesdropping on our conversation. “May I,” she interrupted, “say something about what I am hearing. I have have been listening to both of you for a long time, and there is a question I must asked. “Bobby, if you are right and she is wrong, what does she have to lose? When she dies, life will just end, and that will be it. You must agree she is very happy and contented with the life she is living so there has to be something good about her faith. Suppose, however, she is the one who is right and you are wrong; what awaits her when there is no more life. Furthermore, what’s going to happen to you when you die? Although I am not a Christian, if she is right about what she is saying, I believe I would rather be in her shoes than in mine or yours. At least she has hope for the future. You nor I have any hope, not now or after death. If she’s right, we have nothing but God’s judgement in our future.” The young student responded to her question by bowing his head.
      I have often heard that it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. If people would only take Him at his word, “If you seek me, you will find me when you have searched for me with all of your heart.” Your heart, dear friend, is the seat of your affections. Trust Him. His grace is sufficient.

    2. I won’t be quite as nice as the other person in their response to you. What I don’t understand is… why do unbelievers seek out groups or pages/websites, articles.. etc.. that clearly are for Christians. If you’re an atheist or satanist.. or whatever… go to an atheist page! If I don’t enjoy cooking.. I don’t go to a cooking page, if I don’t enjoy gardening.. I don’t seek out gardening pages! Go to your page…. Do not come to our pages looking to spew your hate or spread your disbelief or negativity where it belongs.. and I know I’m not acting Christian like… but this is not the first comment I’m reading by an atheist.. so I’m a little outdone… I’ll pray for you, and while I’m at it.. I’ll pray for me too! But God does tell us not to cast our pearls upon swine! And to stomp the dust from our feet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *