Yesterday we concluded that the manuscript evidence for the Bible, specifically the New Testament, proves the accuracy of the text we have today – what was originally written has been accurately passed down to us. But are the things depicted in the Bible accurate historically and archaeologically?
The answer is yes. Archaeology has turned up tablets with names of the biblical patriarchs and the locations they lived, confirming biblical accounts of them. Records of kings like Sargon of Assyria and Belshazzar of Babylon have been found, confirming events of reigns that had previously been doubted. The same is true of empires like that of the Hittites.
Besides tablets of records and locations of palaces, the tombs of people spoken of in the Bible have also been found and confirmed. This includes that of the high priest Caiaphas, whose full name was found on his ossuary, and an inscription on the Mount of Olives referring to King Uzziah, “Here were brought the bones of Uzziah, King of Judah – do not open” – this makes sense because Uzziah was a leper and thus was buried at a long distance from the rest of the kings.
When it comes to other archaeological sites, places like Jacob’s Well and the pool at Bethesda have been excavated.
History also confirms the events of the New Testament. We have the writings of not only the early church fathers, who were the students of the disciples of Christ, but numerous secular sources. Many of these sources were actually hostile towards Christianity. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions that Jesus of Nazareth was someone teaching and performing miracles. The Roman historian Tacitus mentions the death of Jesus in his writings. We also have letters written between Pliny the Younger and the emperor Trajan regarding the persecution of followers of Christ, written around A.D. 112.
This brief summary of some of the archaeological and historical sources confirming biblical events shows that the Bible is accurate in portraying history. Not only can we trust that the Bible we read today has been passed down in tact for these thousands of years, but the events portrayed in its pages actually happened.