Tag Archive: Bible

Continuing with the theme of my last post, here I post part of my comments, slightly edited, about the evidence for the Bible’s truth. Now we turn to archeology: Does its discoveries support the Bible? There are so many examples that can be given that this post would become exceedingly long, especially if I were to expound them each in detail. So I have only concentrated on one particular archeological discovery in the Sinai Peninsula that stunningly supports the miraculous events of the Biblical Exodus. I quote heavily from The Signature of God by Grant Jeffrey, who describes these amazing discoveries:

Ancient Inscriptions

The Bible describes the exodus of God’s people Israel from Egypt with miracles, such as the Red Sea opening up and the Israelites being fed with quails from heaven in large number. All this is supposed to have taken place in the Sinai peninsular thousands of years ago. Though this event is from such long ago, evidence in the Sinai shows that it happened (as described in The Signature of God, Jeffrey, pp. 48-68).

Ancient inscriptions in the high mountains in the Sinai Peninsula were rediscovered and deciphered. Here I quote from Jeffrey’s book above:

“We know these inscriptions are truly ancient because they were first described by the historian Diodorus Siculus before the time of Christ (10 B.C.) in his Library of History. In describing the Sinai Peninsula, Diodorus wrote: ‘Moreover, an altar is there built of hard stone and very old in years, bearing an inscription in ancient letters of an unknown tongue. . . .’ (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, bk. 3, sect. 42, Loeb Classical Library, C. H. Oldfather, trans. [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993], p. 211). This passage by Diodorus and a parallel description by the Greek writer Strabo (A.D. 24) in his seventeen volume Geography confirm that these inscriptions were so ancient in their own day that the language was unknown to those living at the time of Christ” (p. 48).

“Carved Hebrew Characters”

Byzantine Christian writer Cosmos Indicopleustes in A.D. 518 “wrote that the engravings appeared ‘at all halting places, all the stones in that region which were broken off from the mountains, written with carved Hebrew characters.’ It is fascinating that his Jewish companions confirmed the Hebrew nature of the script” (p. 49).

“The native Arabs claimed these inscriptions were written in a language that was lost to them and of very great antiquity. Since the Arabs of the Sinai Peninsula had not suffered under foreign conquest during the five centuries between the time of Christ and A.D. 518 when Cosmos visited the site, it is safe to conclude that these inscriptions must have been written long before the time of Christ. Otherwise, the Arab natives would not have described them as written in a lost language and unknown character” (p. 49).

In 1862, after his explorations of the inscriptions on Sinai, Rev. Charles Forster “concluded that these writings were original records of an ancient Hebrew-Egyptian alphabet describing the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. Professor Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, in his Sinai and Palestine, explained that Rev. Forster and Dr. Stewart concluded that ‘a Sinaitic inscription has been found contemporaneous with a tablet of Egyptian hieroglyphics'” (p. 49).

An Original Account

“One of the strongest reasons for believing that some of these inscriptions may have been composed by Israelites in the time of the Exodus is that the language appears to be an original account of the Exodus events rather than an attempt to copy Exodus passages from the inspired pages of the Torah. Although these incredible rock inscriptions describe in great detail many of the supernatural events that occurred during the Exodus from Egypt, the writers did not use any of the words or characteristic language of Moses . . . If this conclusion is correct, then these inscriptions would be an important independent confirmation of the truth of the biblical account” (p. 50).

“Consider the words of this ancient inscription about the Israelites’ escape from Egypt. Six ancient inscriptions were found on different cliffs in the Wadi Sidri, located on one of the natural routes the Jews would have chosen when entering the interior of the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt” (p. 54).

Here is inscription 41, describing the Israelite flight from Egypt through the Red Sea: “Moses causeth the people to haste like a fleet-winged she-ostrich crying aloud; the cloud shining bright, a mighty army propelled into the Red sea is gathered into one; they go jumping and skipping. Journeying through the open channel, taking flight from the face of the enemy. The surge of the sea is divided” (p. 55).

This description of the Exodus talks about the same event in the Bible mentioned in Exodus 14:21-29, but the wording is different, like it is an independent witness.

 Another Ancient Witness

“The ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote an extraordinary ancient report about the tribes in Egypt and the miraculous drying up of the Red Sea: ‘It is an ancient report among the Ichtheophagi, who inhabit the shores of the Red Sea, that by a mighty reflux of the sea which happened in former days, the whole gulf became dry land, and appeared green all over; and that the water overflowed the opposite shore, and that all the ground continued bare to the very lowest depth of the gulf, until the water, by an extraordinary high tide, returned to its former channel.’ (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, lib. iii., c. 40)” (p. 58).

 Both Egyptian and Hebrew

Another amazing aspect of these inscriptions is that they are written in a Hebrew-Egyptian language — just like the Israelites would have known when they came out of Egypt. No other peoples would write this way. “While the letters of the Sinai inscriptions are primarily Hebrew, the language pattern is clearly Egyptian. Forster found that five out of every six words used in these inscriptions are related to the Hamyarite (ancient Arabic) language, the vernacular language of Egypt and Yemen. . . . After several centuries of captivity as slaves in Egypt, the Israelites would naturally speak and write a language that, while containing the initial evidence of Hebrew, would be heavily influenced by the Egyptian language” (p. 51).

“One of the fascinating features of these inscriptions is that the writer would draw a picture of a quail side by side with the inscription describing God’s miraculous provision of the quails to feed the Israelites” (p. 51).

Graves in the Mountains

“One of the most remarkable of the discoveries found in the Sinai in recent centuries was that of the graves of those Jews who had died from a supernatural plague. The Book of Numbers records: ‘And the Lord smote the people with a very great plague. And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted” (p. 62).

“In 1761, the German explorer Barthold Niebuhr discovered an extensive ruined cemetery with carved inscriptions on the tombs and within a sepulcher on top of an inaccessible mountain . . . Niebuhr noted that these inscriptions could not have been made by native Egyptians because there are no carved stone inscriptions found in Egypt; rather the Egyptians painted their inscriptions on plaster surfaces” (p. 63).

“Neibuhr noted that the native Bedouin Arabs from the deserts of Sinai call these tombs ‘the Jews’ graves.’ He said that these hieroglyphics on the tombstones were quite different than the inscriptions he had found in Egyptian tombs” (p. 64). The many graves sit at the top of a mountain, unlike the graves of Egyptians who bury their dead in valleys. But the ancient Israelites customarily bury their dead on top of mountains, so these graves are clearly of Israelites who died while on the Exodus out of Egypt.

Archeology Supports the Bible

This one example of archeology shows that the Biblical Exodus, far from being a myth, is supported by history and archeology. It shows that the events and even miracles in the Bible are attested to by hard evidence. Many more discoveries from archeology give support to the Biblical account. Thus, we can trust God’s Word through the record of history.


Why Didn’t It Happen? . . . May 21

Where were you on the waning hours of May 21st?

I heard of one man who spent $140,000 of his life savings on the evangelism of this date. Many more, I’m sure, sold houses and quit jobs in the anticipation of the rapture of God’s people. What did people like this feel as the hours drifted away and as Sunday was borne?

I can imagine you watching the hands of the wall clock, hoping, sitting with your family, waiting. The daylight fades and the toll of midnight tells you something you never thought of: that this date, this prediction, that you, were wrong.

Maybe you felt betrayed and maybe now you feel you can never trust any pastor, the Bible, even God Himself. But I want to tell you, no, don’t do that. You may have lost everything – your life savings, your job – but there’s one thing in the world that can’t be lost, and that’s God.

There are many false teachings in the world. There are many people, past and present, who have used what is good and right to promote what is bad and wrong. Harold Camping is one of those people. He had used the Word of God to promote something that the Book has never sponsored. The Bible says that “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven . . . . Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:36, 42). God never intended for us to know the future so exactly.

So don’t let yesterday deteriorate your faith in the Bible. Let this day be a learning phase, that through our errors, albeit hard, can bring us to a better place in our souls. Understand that times like these warn of the terrible consequences of failing to read our Bibles. When we do not know its contents for ourselves, we can more easily be deceived by some who misuse it. Please take it upon yourself to test every wind of doctrine that seems out of place with the basic nature of who God is. As is said in I John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Don’t give up on God’s Word. Though men may mangle with its contents and fit its words into concepts of their own making, the message of the Bible never changes. Its historicity, reality, and trustworthiness never changes. The people who use it do. That is why God gave believers the Holy Spirit. We have in our souls the power of God to interpret His Word, and we should use it to faithfully study His Word and prevent ourselves from falling for the false claims of a false prophet.

Don’t let your grave disappointment make you lose your faith in God. The Bible is not filled with secret revelations on the future or with hidden doctrines that only a few can learn. It contains a simple message and a very simple hope: that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth as a man, died to take the place of His people, died to become sin for them so they might live, and rose again on the third day so that His people may too rise from the grave when His time comes.

And that time is not something He chose to reveal. Beware of people such as Harold Camping who try to put a date on something for which He tells us “not even the angels of heaven” know the time.

Today is May 22. Let this be a new day, a new beginning, and leave yesterday behind. You know the truth now, that you must explore the Bible to see “whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (II Corinthians 13:5). We mustn’t let ourselves lose everything we own for the saying of one false prophet, for in this world what someone says of God is not necessarily what God says of Himself. And to find what He says of Himself, we must search the Words of God, not the words of men. Don’t give up hope on God.

Christ, the Church, Adam, and Eve

by inhonoredglory

The Bible is a book filled with parallels. The vineyards in the New Testament represent the kingdom in the Old. The flocks of Jesus’ parables remind us of the Church chosen by God.

But one parallel should strike us lovingly, and that is the comparison of the first Adam and the second Adam. It seems basic enough – two unique individuals in history, one a man who fell away, and the other the God-man Who died for sinners. But there is more than meets the eye here; the immense love and grace of God can yet be seen in this example.

In the beginning, God created the universe. He created the beautiful garden of Eden, and placed in this paradise the first man, Adam. God then formed Eve, who was wife and helper of Adam. But as we know, in Genesis 3, Eve took of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and sin first entered the world. It is interesting to note that the Church can parallel Eve in this regard; we were the ones who sinned against God; we took of the fruit in our lives with our unregenerate hearts.

But of more importance than this is Adam’s taking the blame for the sin of future generations. We find many passages pointing to Adam, not Eve, as the progenitor of innate sin: “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,”1 “by one man’s offense death reigned by one,”2 and “in Adam all die.”3 But wasn’t it Eve who first gave in to the serpent? Therein lies the beautiful grace of God. Even as Eve sinned but Adam takes the blame, so have Christians sinned, but the Saviour took our place.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,

while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.4

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.5

We deserved destruction, but God in his amazing love, took our debt and paid it in full with His death on the cross. To what can we compare the love of God?

In Genesis 4, we read of Eve bearing the first children, Cain and Abel. These births inaugurate the generations that would populate the globe. It is interesting to note that the Bible – and most of history for that matter – identify children by their father’s name: for example, “James the son of Zebedee.”6 From this we can conclude that even though a woman bears a child, he is known through his father. We can parallel this to our relationship with humankind and Christ. Though we are born to mortals and sinful man, through Christ we have become the children of God.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,

that we should be called the sons of God:7

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.8

Christians should joy in the assurance that God considers us His children. As an earthly father cares for his children, so does our heavenly Father care for us. Who can vanquish the love of a father?

Another attribute of the descendants of Adam is their innate depravity. The Psalmist declares that we are “brought forth in iniquity” and “in sin” are conceived.9 All men are “by nature the children of wrath”10 From Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden all men have fallen under the shroud of sin and death: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”11

All of Adam’s sons are born unto death. But what joy it is to find that all of God’s children are born unto life!

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is

eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.12

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.13

The children of the first Adam die in spiritual sin, but the children of the second Adam live in spiritual hope. What a glorious contrast to the merciful love of God!

Christians should rejoice in knowing that God has paid our price, that He makes us His children, that He has destined us to life. Let us be comforted in the knowledge of God’s unfailing love, in His unconditional care, and His gift of hope and life. Let us be thankful for the first man’s bearing of us unto earthly life, and the second Man’s cleansing, choosing, and rendering us unto eternal life. Let us always be driven to discover His promises and attributes. Let us joy in Christ Who took our place. Let us praise our God Who is our Father. Let us rest in the peace that comes with eternal hope and delight. Let us never forget the love of God Who saved us.

The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.14

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.15

In this was manifested the love of God toward us,

because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world,

that we might live through him.16

1 Romans 5:19

Punch Bowl Falls

2 Romans 8:17

3 I Corinthians 15:22

4 Romans 5:8

5 I Corinthians 15:21-22

6 Matthew 4:21

7 John 3:1a

8 Galatians 3:26

9 Psalm 51:5

10 Ephesians 2:3

11 Romans 8:12

12 Romans 6:23

13 I Corinthians 15:22

14 I Corinthians 15:47

15 Romans 8:39

16 I John 4:9