“The Truth Revealed through Archeology”
2 Timothy 3:15-17
You may wonder what this text of scripture has to do with our message topic today?
For a Christian it is utmost impontance that we accept and believe that every bit, every word, every verse, every chapter of every book has been inspired by the Holy Spirit to be written and recorded.
We must believe that God’s word is divine, inspired, infallible and without error.
If we doubt or disavowed. Any part of scripture, then we open up a spiritual Pandoras box hat any of it can be doubted and disavowed.
We will never understand all of the writings of our Bible, but we must always believe that it is the sword of God.
Does that mean that we truly do walk by faith and not by sight? Yes, it does.
The world does not do so when it comes to the bible and God’s word.
They want to see proof, evidence that the word is inspired, that it is true.
We can try to tell them and explain he best that we can, but most can’t or won’t believe cases we can’t show them the evidence.
One thing can do, one thing does and it is Biblical archeology.
The term archeology comes from the Greek root – Archeo meaning “Ancient or primitive.
Archeology began in the 15th & 16th centuries and it has gone from those early days to todays archaeological world of precision with carbon dating and the like.
As a history buff and history lover, archeology is very intriguing to me.
It uncovers entities that have been hidden from human eyes for centuries and millenniums.
Biblical Archeology is my favorite. It uncovers truths of the scriptures and gives factual evidence of what God’s word has recorded.
One of the most sought after antiquities is the Hebrews Ark of the Covenant or the Ark of the Testimony.
Not long after the Hebrews were into the 40 yr. of wandering God commanded. He they make a ceremonial home for Jehovah to abide and dwell in.
It wasn’t a temple or a tabernacle it was a box. And God called it the Ark of the Covenant.
It was made of a dense and aromatic wood called Achia wood.
It was approx. 45” 27”. The Lid was called the mercy seat. This is where the High Priest on the Day of the Atonement sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice upon.
The entire ark was covered inside and out with 1/32” thick coating of pure gold.
On the ends were cherubims with outstretched wings leaning forward and the tips touching one another.
These were crafted and hammered out of gold. These were about 4” in diameter and 18” high.
There were 4 cast rings on each corner of the bottom.
Achia wood crafted pole was made to slip through the rings so the priests could carry the Ark.
It is estimated that the entire Ark was about 615#.
So when the priests picked it up and carried it the weight was evenly distributed with each man bearing approx.. 154 each.
Inside the Ark, God abode along with an urn or manna, Arrons staff and the stone tablets of the commandments.
The Ark found its permanent home when Solomon built God’s Temple in Jerusalem.
The Last know location was in the Temple just prior to the Babylonian invasion of 597 or 596 BC.
The Ark disappeared from history at that point.
Was it destroyed, taken captive or hidden?
There are several theories:
Some believe Temple Priests took it to Ethiopia.
Some believe the Temple Priest hid it in the Catacombs beneath Jerusalem. Amateur archaeologist Ron Wyatt claimed in the 70’s tat he had seen it under a Golgotha’s hill and the blood of Christ from the crossed spilled upon it.
The Ark of the Covenant has been elusive to archeologists, novices, and Treasure Hunters.
Remember Harrison Ford and “Raider of the Lost Ark” Movie?
People have searched throughout the world and even here in America, but I believe it’s all for naught.
Because I believe that it is no longer in this world.
Why, because of Revelation 11:19a John wrote: “And the temple of God was opened in (heaven) and there was seen in his Temple the Ark of his testament….”
Biblical Archeology may strike out on this one.
Now, what about something that was discovered and no one can really say if it is a real antiquity of Biblical proportions.
I am referring to what is called the Shroud of Turin.
Named for Turin, Italy, where it became religious icon.
In 1390 it was really set exposed to the public.
It is alleged to be the burial shroud that Jesus was wrapped in when he was buried after the Crucifixion.
It is currently held at the Cathedral of St. Joh the Baptist in Turin.
The shroud is 14’ 5” x 3’ 7”.
It has been and continues to be a very debatable item as to its authenticity.
Perhaps no other relic has undergone as much scientific analysis as the shroud.
It has the faint image of a man’s front and back.
It is consistent with the biblical account of Christ’s broken body.
Some carbon analysis dates it to the 14th century, which would make it fake.
Other scientific analysis dates it to the 1st century AD, which puts it as a possible authentic item of church and world history.
My gut opinion is that it’s authentic, Why
When the Holy Spirit breathed the breath of life into Jesus. Corpse there could have been such power and heat and energy that event through his body that his image was in a sense imprinted onto the death shroud.
One will likely never know for sure.
The Ark is authentic, yet archeology can’t present what it can’ prove.
The shroud of Turin is a relic no matter if it is from the 14th or the 1st centuries.
In 1946 young Bedouin teenage shepherds discovered an amazing find.
They by chance discovered what is known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Not truly discovered by archeologists yet, these are an absolute Cache of Biblical antiquities.
They represent almost all of the Hebrew Bible in fragments with the book of Isaiah in full, yet missing the book of Esther.
The majority are written in Hebrew with a few Aramaic and Greek. Along with a few Latino. Most were written on parchment some on papyrus and one on copper. The storing of worn religious language (Hebrew) books and papers was a Jewish tradition called (Genizan) meaning storage.
Archeologist, Philip Silvian from Trinity Southwest University spent ovr a decade digging and excavating the Dead Sea areas. Particularly on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River.
On a certain plain, excavation found evidence 120 small vllages along with several sizable cities.
Something brought these communities to a sudden stop.
Silvian and others found signs of a collapse inducing heat and wind.
They discovered Pottery that had been exposed to such intense heat that it melted into glass.
Zircon crystals in glassy coats showed that the pottery turned into glass in under a second time frame.
The archeologist says that the heat was comparable to the surface of the sun.
The event was so catastrophic that the area was uninhabited for 600 years.
So, what was their conclusion of what occurred there 3700 years ago?
The destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the two other cities and the multiple villages was due to a meteoric air burst.
At the location a layer of ash covered the excavations. Archaeologist believes the Brimstone” was burning sulfur from a meteor breaking up.
In 1908 in Siberia a huge explosion flattened 770 miles of forest.
Scientists attributed this to a meteor outburst occurred 3-6 miles above the area.
The burst equaled that of a 15 megaton nuclear explosion or 100 times more powerful than the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Is there any wonder that Sondom and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain were utterly destroyed if the archeologists are correct?
Genesis 19:24 “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gorromah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.
An archeological team from Hebrew University on April 27, 2004 while excavating at the fortess Herodian ruins discovered the crypt of Herod the Great.
Matthew 2:13 & 7-8 speak of King Herod.
Matthew 2:16 Herod gave the order to kill all two year old children in Bethlem and the surrounding vicinity.
Matthew 2:16 Herod the Great died and the angel gave Joseph the news.
In 1961 archeologists while digging in Caesarea discovered a stone with an inscription mention Pontius Pilotus.
In 1969 again in Herodian a copper ring was found with the inscription “of Pilotes”.
Pontius Pilate was the perfect governor of the Roman Province of Judea/Samaria.
Matthew 27:2 “And when they bound him Jesus) they led him away and delivered him unto Pontius Pilate the Governor.”
Archaeologists unearthed a Persian Jar praising “Darius the Mede.”
This King is mentioned in Nehemiah and Daniel.
A tablet was dug up with reference to Sennacherib ,King of Assyria.
Sennacherib is the king that besieged Jerusalem and King Hezekiah in last week’s message.
A stone slab was found with part of the inscription holding the phrase “The House of Davd”
Another stone slab called the Tel Don Stella was unearthed it is a basalt stone from the 9th century BC, bearing Davd’s name and identifying him as King of Israel.
Other biblical recordings of events and individuals that have been verified and confirmed by archaeology are:
Egypt’s, invasion of Israel (1 Kings 14:25)
Assyrian Siege of Lachish (2 King 18-19)
Trade Relations between Israel and Sheba (1 Kings 10)
The Babylon conquest of Jerusalem
The reigns of Kings:
Omri, Ahab, Uzziah, Hezekiah, Ahaz, Jeroboam 2, Johoichin (all from 1 & 2 Kings
In closing: I have heard Archaeology called “The Bbles Best Friend.”
I understand that thought, however the Bible is our best friend. Archaeology proves the truth of the Word of God.
And the Bible proves the truth of Biblical Archaeology.
We walk by faith and not by sight, but for some they need a little help and this can do so.