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Andrew S. Kulikovsky: The Importance of Archeology in the Study of the Scriptures (1994)

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Megiddo's excavations have revealed what appears to be very giant stables. These stables appear succesful of holding as much as 450 struggle horses. Plainly Megiddo was one of Solomon's wagon cities (1 Kings 10:26)

The Importance of Archeology for the Study of the Scriptures

Andrew S. Kulikovsky, B.App.Sc (Hons)
February. 10, 1994 Writer of Creation, Autumn, and Restoration: The Biblical E-book of Theological Creation



1. Introduction

The function of this research is to point out how archeological science is related to the research of Previous and New Testament.

Archeology is defined as “the science of treating the material remains of the human past. ”(Kenyon, 1940). Archeology originally started with the quest for treasures as a result of the riches of many historic (especially Egyptian pharaohs) have been buried with them. Nevertheless, it has steadily advanced into science (Thompson, 1987). Science was born when a gaggle of amateurs shaped the London Antique Society in London in 1707 (Kenyon, 1940). The first mines of & # 39; Bible lands & # 39; (ie Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Babylon, and so on.) Was made at the finish of that century.

Thompson (1982) suggests two explanation why it is very important incorporate and adapt the findings of archeology when learning the Bible:

1. It will probably allow you to understand and interpret biblical text.
2. It could provide evidence of the validation of occasions, civilizations, and places described in the Bible.

Archeology is intently associated to historical past. History illuminates it. In addition to the Bible being the written Word of God, it’s also a historic guide, and archeology provides mild to its historical content (Thompson, 1987). Nevertheless, archeology does not show the Bible. The Bible incorporates many issues that go beyond historical past and may only be accepted by faith.

One writer suggests that with archeology, all life is the topic of analysis. Life isn’t a spastic but steady level of equilibrium the place the previous and present meet ”(Ceram, 1954). Because of this archeology can show the context of life in that space and interval. It will possibly point out the progress of civilization, the setting, culture, religion and far more. This is all worthwhile info and may present an entire new perspective when learning the Bible.

The following sections present in specific the value of archeology for Bible research. There are additionally specific examples of how archeological discoveries have illuminated each the Previous and the New Testaments.

2. The Value of Archeology in Bible Study

Archeology is a vital supply of info for Bible research and can’t be ignored. Archeological proof supports Bible research in four fundamental ways (Thompson, 1982): 2.1 Transmission of Background Info

All humans stay in an setting. The Bible doesn’t accurately describe the details, the environments of its characters. Nevertheless, archeology can present us with such info. Simply by analyzing the material evidence of an archaeological website, it’s attainable to obtain much meaningful details about the people who lived there. Things which are often mined embrace buildings resembling metropolis walls, gates, swimming swimming pools and spas, wells, houses, tombs, altars, temples and palaces. Small gadgets comparable to statues, amulets, cash, tiles, scrolls, letters, pottery, weapons, kitchenware, cutlery, and non secular gadgets may also be found. All of these objects may also help us perceive these individuals. Desired evidence can provide clues to society's tradition, government, legal guidelines, morals, ethics, faith, everyday life, language, commerce relations, and even conflicts with neighboring societies. This info may be extraordinarily priceless when learning the Bible. It creates the circumstances for the events described in order that the scholar can absolutely perceive what the Bible character stated and did. Students will be capable of higher perceive what the event meant to individuals at that time and how it affected them. Archeology may also add to the actuality of the event. For example, Christ went to the Bethesda swimming pool, where he had been ready for 38 years to heal. Christ advised him to rise up, decide up the rug, and stroll. The man did so and walked (John 5: 1-9). The location of the Bethesda swimming pool has been identified and the pool excavated. By seeing this place, Bible students can build a better, more full image of the occasion. The following sections give some examples:

2.1.1 Gibeah: The Residence of Saul

Gibeah was a Benjamin city founded early in the settlement of Canaan in Israel (Joshua 15:57). Other Israelis burned and destroyed it before Saul's time, as a result of the Gibeaeans had raped and murdered a Levite concubine (Judges 19-21). The ruins of Gibeah are situated four miles north of Jerusalem. Excavations at the first and oldest levels revealed the ashes and charred remains of an early Israeli metropolis, corroborating the judges' report. On the second degree of the excavation, a two-story house like a fortress was revealed. This was in all probability the residence of King Saul (1 Samuel 10:26, 1 Samuel 14:16) (Owen, 1964).

2.1.2 Solomon Development Tasks

During his time period in office, Solomon carried out many development tasks. Excavations in the cities of Megiddo, Hazor and Gezer reveal that someone in Solomon or his era invested closely in development and fortification (Cornfeld & Freedman, 1976).

Megiddo's excavations have revealed what seems to be a very giant stables. . These stables seem capable of holding up to 450 conflict horses. It appears that evidently Megiddo was one of Solomon's caravan cities (1 Kings 10:26) (Owen, 1964).

The excavations of the metropolis of Gezer affirm the biblical account that it was destroyed by Pharaoh and granted to Solomon as half of a contribution to his daughter (1 Kings 9:16) (Thompson, 1987). Then Solomon was going to rebuild it and fortify it (1 Kings 9:17). The temple and Solomon's Palace have been part of this enlargement (1 Kings 9:15). Solomon contained the city of Länsimägi and related the different two hills by way of the northern wall that passed over the valleys above the greater ground. This enclosure contained the temple and palace websites (Kenyon, 1940).

Solomon was also chargeable for the development of several underground hydraulic works. Megiddo, Hazor and Gezer found vertical shafts and horizontal tunnels. These axes led to sources outdoors the metropolis partitions or to underground sources (Cornfeld & Freedman, 1976). 2.2 Completion of a Bible Document The Bible isn’t an entire document.

Not all the things that has ever occurred to God's individuals is recorded, solely essential and vital occasions. Archeology supplies more info from the Bible archive. In Matthew 24: 2, Jesus informed his disciples that no stone in the temple ought to be left over another, everybody can be thrown down. This prophecy was fulfilled in 70 AD, when the Romans destroyed the temple buildings. Excavations in 1968 revealed a big number of temple stones. These stones had been added from each other to collect the gold leaves that had melted from the roof of the temple as it burned. 2.2.1 Conquest of David by Jerusalem David reigned in Hebron as king of Judah for seven years and 6 years. months (2 Samuel 5: 5) earlier than he reigned in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was managed by the Jebusites and was thought-about an unsaturated fortress (2 Sam. 5: 6-7). Plainly there was one weak spot in Jerusalem. The Jebusites used the Gihon outlet in the Kihron Valley as a supply of water. In 1867, Charles Warren's water axis discovered a tunnel (or water axis) main from the Gihon Spring to the southeast, which was used to channel water from this spring to the metropolis so that water could possibly be drawn with out leaving the city (Kenyon, 1940). This collection of tunnels and shafts seems to be the water axis that David referred to in 2 Samuel 5: eight (Owen, 1964). So as to enter and conquer the city, somebody had to measure the axis walls. A parallel passage from 1 Chronicles 11: 6 says that Joab succeeded.

2.2.2 Census and Time of Jesus' Delivery

In accordance with the New Testament, Jesus was born at the time of Caesar Augustus. This census was the first when Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2: 1-2). The discovery of the historic Papyrus census has shown that an official census was carried out each 14 years. Josephus data the census in AD 6, the papyrus varieties the census in AD 34, AD 48, AD 62, AD 76, and AD 90. If the census mentioned in Exodus 2: 1-2 was a traditional census of 14 years, Jesus would have been born in a yr that’s in step with the census dates above. Jesus was born during the life of Herod the Great (Matthew 2: 3). Herod died in four BC, so Jesus should have been born before this time. Based on the 14-year-old model, Jesus was in all probability born around 6-7 BC (McRay, 1991).

2.2.3 Jesus in Gergesha

Matthew eight: 28-32 Jesus expelled the demons from two males and despatched them. some near the pigs. After that, the pigs ran to a steep shore on the lake and died. The location of this occasion has not been resolved before. Nevertheless, current discoveries and new interpretations have highlighted the drawback. The more than likely location is Gergesa (the Gerasen or Gadarenes space (Luke eight:26 or Matthew 8:28)). It’s because Gergesa is "on the other side of Lake Capernaum" (Matthew 8:28). There’s additionally a "steep beach" (Matthew eight:32). The truth is, it is the solely place on the east aspect that turns the sea right into a steep seashore. There are additionally some graves nearby (McRay, 1991).

2.3 Contributing to Bible Interpretation

Archeology will help translate and interpret Bible words and passages which are troublesome to hide and perceive. Typically it is potential to find a word in a relative language that provides an alternate which means that is better suited to the Bible state of affairs. An introduction to McRay (1991) provides an instance. In 2 Corinthians 2:17 there’s the Greek word kapeleuo, which trendy variations translate as commerce. This is the solely place in the New Testament where the phrase is used. In other Greek literature, it is translated into a service provider, supplier or retailer. A number of years ago, an archaeologist discovered a wonderfully preserved Hellenistic house on the West Bank of Palestine. The flooring had broken pottery that had been written on it. The one-piece dialog field contained details of a two-man deal. One man owed 32 drachmas to a different, referred to as a kapelos. Nevertheless, the items or providers provided were not detailed; subsequently the which means of the phrase was prolonged to incorporate the lender of money.

Archeology can even highlight essential geographical info in the Bible. This info can simply be omitted because its which means is just not understood. It may possibly additionally pressure the scholar to take a look at the scene in a totally totally different approach after gaining a better understanding of individuals, the setting, and events.

2.three.1 Jesus Feeds 5000 in Bethsaida

some disagreements about the place the place Jesus fed 5000. Current archaeological evidence suggests that this has occurred to the east of Lake Bethsaida-Julias. It’s because, after feeding, they crossed the sea and landed at Gennesaret (Mark 6:53). Archaeological findings indicate that there were in all probability two Bethsaida in Galilee – Bethsaida-Julias (Luke 9:10) and Bethsaida (John 12:21). Bethsaida-Julias was initially named solely Bethsaida, but was elevated to the standing of a city and renamed Herod of the Philippines. It lay on the northern shore of the Sea of ​​Galilee. There’s proof that the trendy es-Saku lagoon has once been capable of stretch into the Bethsaida-Julia region by practically making it by the sea. The Es-Sak lagoon appears to be half of the estuary, and there’s also evidence that, throughout Christ's time, the Jordan River entered the sea east of its current entry level. Bethsaida in Galilee was in all probability situated in el-Araj. At the time of Christ, it might have been west of Jordan and subsequently politically separate from Bethsaida-Julia. After Jesus had nourished the individuals, He urges His disciples to move forward in the boat to Bethsaida (Mark 6:45). This Bethsaida can’t be Bathsaida-Julius as a result of they have been already there (Luke 9: 10-17). Subsequently, Christ should have referred to Bethsaida in Galilee (McRay, 1991). [2] 19629020 2.3.2 Bethesda Swimming Pool

The New Testomony data Jesus doing a miracle (therapeutic the unworthy) at Bethesda Swimming Pool (John 5: 1-9). Translators have found that the Greek text of John 5: 2 is unclear. The new American Commonplace E-book (NASB) and the new Worldwide Model (NIV) translate it as "sheep gate by the pool". The New English Bible (NEB) interprets it as: “in the sheep-pool… there is a place. “The translators are also unsure if Bethesda, Bethzatha or Bethsaida was referred to as. The query is whether or not the miracle happened in the pool or in a nearby building.

Archaeological findings point out that it was in all probability a swimming pool. The Qumran Copper Collection accommodates a description of a spot referred to as Beth Eshdathayin. The identify Beth Eshdathayin can imply "two-pool houses" (McRay, 1991). Excavations close to the historic sheep gate have revealed two giant swimming pools which were reduce into rock and plastered. Many fragments of columns, columns and drums have been found. They in all probability shaped the columns talked about in John 5: 2 (Owen, 1964).

2.four Authentication of Bible History Archaeological discoveries have executed a lot to corroborate the Bible's historic knowledge. They’ve proven that the Bible is an correct historical document. Proof exhibits that the characters and occasions described in the Bible are a reality. Archeology exhibits the authenticity and integrity of the historic part of the Bible. If the historical element were not healthy, it might weaken the religious element. The following sections give some examples:

2.4.1 Saul's dying

Saul died in Mt. Gilboa (1 Sam. 31: eight). The Philistines reduce his head, put his armor in Ashtoreth's temple, and hung his body together with his son on the wall of Beth Shan. Beth Shan's Ashtorets are excavated and dated to Saul's lifetime (Thompson, 1982).

2.4.2 David Lives with the Philistines

During Saul's reign, David turned his enemy and was pressured to flee. (1 Samuel 21:10). He went to Ah, king of Gath. Achish gave David the metropolis of Ziklag (1 Samuel 27: 6), and it remained in the arms of the kings of Judah ever since. This city is unique and situated west of Beersheba. Excavations uncovered Philistine pottery, displaying that it was as soon as a Philistine city (Thompson, 1987).

2.four.three The Battle Towards Abner in Gibeon

Gibeon excavations have uncovered a big swimming pool reduce in stone inside the city. . Archaeologists have said that the swimming pool was in use during David's time and was in all probability the Gibeon swimming pool (Thompson, 1982). Here the males of Joab and David fought towards Abner and the males of Ishbosheth (2 Samuel 2: 12-17).

2.4.4 Jesus in Capernaum

Jesus went to reside in Capernaum (Matthew four:13). The New Testament mentions Jesus' educating in the synagogue (Mark 1:21). Excavations at the historic website of Capernaum revealed the first-century synagogue Jesus taught. This synagogue was 60 ft extensive by 79 ft lengthy on basalt partitions and basalt cobblestone. This synagogue was apparently built by a Roman centurion who "loved" the individuals of Israel (Luke 7: 1-5) (McRay, 1991). Jesus foretold the fall of Capernaum (Luke 10:15), and as we speak basalt constructing stones led to the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee (Owen, 1964).

2.four.5 Siloam's Pool

Jesus shook the eyes of a mud-blind man and advised him to scrub at Siloam's Pool (John 9: 7), a place that was thought-about holy to the Jews. Excavations in the late 19th century revealed this swimming pool. It is situated in the Tyropoeon Valley, just reverse the village of Siloam in the Kidron Valley (Owen, 1964).

2.four.6 Pontius Pilate

Pontius Pilot was the governor of Judah in Rome (Luke 3: 1). He is talked about in all 4 gospels. The stone discovered in Maritima's theater additionally refers to Pilate. The article mentions a constructing referred to as Tiberium, which Pilate built or sponsored. Tiberium might have been a temple to the present Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3: 1) (McRay, 1991).

5. Conclusion

It’s clear that archeology is a invaluable device for Bible research. It allows us to completely respect the context, tradition, and climate of many Bible passages and occasions. This manner we get the Bible notes rather more absolutely. Like all parts of historical past, archaeological interpretation can change in the mild of new findings. Interpretation of archaeological findings have to be stored versatile (Thompson, 1982). Earlier discoveries must be regularly reassessed to make sure they coincide with new discoveries and the textual content of the Bible. As a result of of the instability of archeology, one have to be cautious when utilizing it to review the Bible. Archeology is a software and nothing else. It can’t be used as a foundation for doctrines and theologies.


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