The aura surrounding the birth and propagation of most religions has been one of mythological nature. Careful assemble of historical facts that emerged during archaelogical digs and cross-examined with literary sources provide any presupposition with the necessary validation. Archaeological findings are the tool by which history and historicity both get a leverage into truth. The Bible and the life of Jesus that evoked the rise of such massive following making it the largest religious community in the world , has gained immensely from biblical archaeology. The conclusions that are drawn from the findings include,material and architectural evidence that ratify the references in the Bible and the sequence of events in the life of Jesus.
Biblical archaelogy is a field of dynamic studies wherein some finding may return from the dust to challenge the previous and thus the ongoing process makes it a dynamic field of study. From findings spread over the entire eastern Mediterranean, Israel , Jordan, Syria, Lebanon,Iran , Iraq, Turkey and Egypt makes it a vast region of study and collection of evidence. Many findings have unlocked critical information unlocking the events of the past.The festering doubt about the accuracy of biblical happenings have led to an immense surge to purge all contradictions that abound not only in scholastic writings but also otherwise.
Biblical Archaeology Sources
Scientific evidence gathering involves corroboration of evidence from excavations that have put together facts from literature, architecture, multi-lingual and multi-religious sources, art, pottery, clothing, weaponry, coins, weights and measures, inscriptions and any other material traces.
The Scope Of Biblical Excavations
The area of study can be dauntingly vast. It may be clinically divided into the ‘Old Testament Region’ of study called in the ancient times as the ‘fertile crescent ‘ that is mainly the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates and the other area is the ‘New Testament Region’ that is when the story moves westwards from Palestine and Jerusalem to Rome.
Validity And Biblical Archaeology Landmarks
The first ever rather conclusive and awe inspiring discovery that put biblical archaeology in the forefront was the finding of the Rosetta Stone by Napoleon . It drew huge amount of curiosity not only about the script but also about the secrets it was capable of unlocking .The Dead Sea Scrolls found in eleven of the caves close to the Dead Sea indicated the existence of the Jewish manuscripts in profusion and went on to push the historical validation by almost a thousand years to the times when the Old Testament was written. It throws light on the manner in which Christianity developed in Israel and the making of Rabbinic Judaism after the revolt of the Jews against the Romans.
Further the discovery of the ‘House of David ‘discovered at the foot of Mount Hermon in North Israel has brought immense interest back to the people we meet in the Bible. 20,00 Cuneiform clay tablets called as the Nuzi Tablets conform many of the social and political structures mentioned in the book of Genesis.The biblical cities attested archeologically include,Dan , Haran , Hazor, Meggido, Shechem, Beth shean, Bethn shemsh, Lachish and Samaria.
The work of biblical historians such as RD Wilson who has studied and corroborated evidence from histories of different cultures, proves the existence of twenty five kings mentioned in the Bible. Sceptics like the famous archaeologist Sir Willaim Ramsy went from one dig to another trying to refute every biblical theory, only to arrive at newer sources to confirm their existence.He focused his attention to Luke’s account in the Bible . He cross- checked every geographical and historical detail in his digs all across Asia Minor. So overwhelmed was he by the truth of the findings that he not only converted to Christianity but called Luke the master historian of his times.
The debate over the minimalist who question every fragment of biblical history and the believers has driven scientific archaelology to greater heights of accurate findings and recordings. As was recently quoted in a session at a symposium of history that the Bible and the believers do not have to fear the spade because its not gospel truth to believe every word utterd by the nihilists, whose arguments are getting left by the wayside of newer findings to prove the truth of the Bible
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