1. What is the most important discovery in the history of Biblical Archaeology?
Probably the Dead Sea Scrolls have had the greatest Biblical impact. They have provided Old Testament manuscripts approximately 1,000 years older than our previous oldest manuscript. The Dead Sea Scrolls have demonstrated that the Old Testament was accurately transmitted during this interval. In addition, they provide a wealth of information on the times leading up to, and during, the life of Christ…
2. Is there evidence for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?
The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah have been discovered southeast of the Dead Sea. The modern names are Bab edh-Dhra, thought to be Sodom, and Numeira, thought to be Gomorrah. Both places were destroyed at the same time by an enormous conflagration. The destruction debris was about three feet thick. What brought about this awful calamity? Startling discoveries in the cemetery at Bab edh-Dhra revealed the cause. Archaeologists found that buildings used to bury the dead were burned by a fire that started on the roof…
3. Where is Noah's Ark?
Over the last two decades the search for Noah's Ark has received international attention. Dozens of expeditions to the Ararat region of eastern Turkey, mostly by American Christian groups, have led to numerous claims - but no proof.
According to the Bible, Noah's Ark was a large barge constructed of wood and sealed with bitumen. Its overall dimensions were at least 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high with three interior decks. A â€œwindowâ€ appeared to be constructed around the top (Genesis 6:14-16). Incidentally, the overall size of the Ark makes it the largest seagoing vessel known before the 20th century, and its proportions are amazingly similar to the large ocean liners of today…
4. Did the walls of Jericho really fall as the Bible describes?
Jericho was once thought to be a â€œBible problemâ€ because of the seeming disagreement between archaeology and the Bible. When the archaeology is correctly interpreted, however, the opposite is the case. The archaeological evidence supports the historical accuracy of the Biblical account in every detail. Every aspect of the story that could possibly be verified by the findings of archaeology is, in fact, verified…
5. Is there evidence for the Tower of Babel?
Read the story of the Tower of Babel. It is this southern Mesopotamian backdrop that provides the basis for studying the account in light of what is known of the culture and history of Mesopotamia. One of the immediate results of that perspective is firm conviction that the tower that figures predominantly in the narrative is to be identified as a ziggurat. This is easily concluded from the importance that the ziggurat had in the civilizations of southern Mesopotamia from the earliest development of urbanized life to the high political reaches of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It is common for the ziggurat to be of central importance in city planning…
6. Is there any truth to the claim that Jesus' family tomb has been discovered?
The underlying premise of the book and documentary is that the family tomb of Jesus was discovered in Jerusalem and contained ten ossuaries (bone boxes) with bones of various members of Jesus' family, including Jesus himself and his son Judah. The other members of the family were Jesus' brother Jose; his mother Mary; Jesusâ€™ wife Mariamene, who was actually Mary Magdalene; and another relative named Matthew…
7. Where is the Ark of the Covenant?
The Ark of the Covenant was undoubtedly the most holy piece of furniture ever made, if it can be referred to as such. It consisted of a rectangular chest made of shittim wood and covered over with gold. The word Ark, Aron in Hebrew, means merely a chest and has been translated as 'coffin' in Gen. 50.26. God had commanded Moses to make the Ark of the Covenant (Ex. 25.10-22) and inside it Moses placed the two tables of the law…
8. Where is Mount Sinai?
Surprisingly, the location of Mt. Sinai, one of the most significant places in the Bible, is not known with any degree of certainty. Over the years some two dozen sites have been proposed, none of which meets the Biblical requirements. The site favored by most scholars is Gebel Musa (Mountain of Moses), or one of several nearby mountains, in the high-mountain region of southern Sinai…
9. Have any structures mentioned in the Bible been discovered?
Yes, quite a number of Biblical structures have been excavated. Some of the most interesting are the following:
- The palace at Jericho where Eglon, king of Moab, was assassinated by Ehud (Judges 3:15-30).
- The east gate of Shechem where Gaal and Zebul watched the forces of Abimelech approach the city (Judges 9:34-38).
- The Temple of Baal/El-Berith in Shechem, where funds were obtained to finance Abimelech's kingship, and where the citizens of Shechem took refuge when Abimelech attacked the city (Judges 9:4, 46-49).
- The pool of Gibeon where the forces of David and Ishbosheth fought during the struggle for the kingship of Israel (2 Samuel 2:12-32).
- The Pool of Heshbon, likened to the eyes of the Shulammite woman (Song of Songs 7:4).
- The royal palace at Samaria where the kings of Israel lived (1 Kings 20:43; 21:1, 2; 22:39; 2 Kings 1:2; 15:25).
- The Pool of Samaria where King Ahab's chariot was washed after his death (1 Kings 22:29-38).
- The water tunnel beneath Jerusalem dug by King Hezekiah to provide water during the Assyrian siege (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30).
- The royal palace in Babylon where King Belshazzar held the feast and Daniel interpreted the handwriting on the wall (Daniel 5).
- The royal palace in Susa where Esther was queen of the Persian king Xerxes (Esther 1:2; 2:3, 5, 9, 16).
- The royal gate at Susa where Mordecai, Esther's cousin, sat (Esther 2:19, 21; 3:2, 3; 4:2; 5:9, 13; 6:10, 12).
- The Square in front of the royal gate at Susa where Mordecai met with Halthach, Xerxes' eunuch (Esther 4:6).
- The foundation of the synagogue at Capernaum where Jesus cured a man with an unclean spirit (Mark 1:21-28) and delivered the sermon on the bread of life (John 6:25-59).
- The house of Peter at Capernaum where Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law and others (Matthew 8:14-16).
- Jacob's well where Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman (John 4).
- The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a crippled man (John 5:1-14).
- The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a blind man (John 9:1-4).
- The tribunal at Corinth where Paul was tried (Acts 18:12-17).
- The theater at Ephesus where the riot of silversmiths occurred (Acts 19:29).
- Herod's palace at Caesarea where Paul was kept under guard (Acts 23:33-35).
Author: Bryant G. Wood, Ph.D.