Archaeology in the Old Testament


     Archaeology verifies the existence of some people, cities, culture & things in the Old Testament. While it’s easy to think of archaeology as an ‘old science’, it’s relatively new, circa the 1700’s. Today’s systematic approach wasn’t used until the 1900’s. Much of what archaeology has discovered has been in the last 50-100 years.
While archaeologists have not found everything mentioned in the Bible, they have found a lot. They regularly use it as a guide in their diggings. The Bible is now regarded as a fundamental archaeological reference tool. But remember that not having any archaeological evidence of something doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. It may mean that we just haven’t found it yet. Nelson Glueck, the late, great 20th century archaeologist, has stated that no archaeological discovery has ever disagreed with the Bible.
God has said to test everything to know what is really from Him (1st Thessalonians 5:21). I know of no other book that has issued a challenge like this about itself. Why the challenge? So the Bible can set itself apart from other books claiming to be from God. William Albright, the late Old Testament archaeologist, thought the Old Testament was a book of literature that wasn’t based on historical fact. During his field studies from the 1920’s until his death in 1971, he found conclusive evidence that caused him to completely reverse his previous position and declare that the Bible was totally consistent with archaeological discoveries.

     An example of this was the Hittite nation, which late 19th century scholars thought was a myth. After WW I, when the Middle East really opened up for archaeological excavations, they found the Hittite nation right where the Bible said it was.

     Another example was King David, whom many achaeologists thought was a myth…until 1993. A stone monument was discovered near the Israel-Syria border that mentions King David and the House of David along with words implying a victory by the King of Damascus, Ben-Hadad, just like the Bible says in 1st Kings 15:20.
There are so many other archaeological discoveries being found that verify the Bible’s trustworthiness. Archaeological evidence has been found in cities like Jericho, Nineveh, Ur, Mari, Babylon, Elba, Megiddo, Megiddo, Susa, the caves of Qumran, etc., etc.


archaeologists have discovered towers (ziggurats) in the region where the Tower of Babel is believed to have been. These high towers had shrines at the top and were made of bricks, just as the Bible says in Genesis 11:3. One clay fragment found in Babylon tells of one tower that so “offended the gods” that it was destroyed one night and the people were scattered as a result of their speech being made “strange” (Genesis 11:5-9).
-in Isaiah 20:1, the Bible mentions Sargon, King of Assyria, capturing the city of Ashdod. Scholars doubted his existence until his palace was found. In it was a document that mentioned his attack on Ashdod.
-Adam and Eve Seal, the Sumerian seal depicts a naked man and a woman bowed in humiliation being driven out followed by a serpent, just like it says in Genesis.
-Weld-Blindell Prism, this collection of tablets has an extensive Sumerian kings lists that reigned before and after the “great flood”. The kings listed before the great flood have extremely long lives, whereas the kings listed after it have significantly shorter life spans. This feature is consistent with the biblical account in Genesis.
-Temptation Seal, this seal depicts a seated man and a woman looking at a tree with a serpent whispering in the woman’s ear as both are reaching for the fruit of the tree (just like it says in Genesis).

     For a very partial list of archaeological discoveries, read the booklet, “Can Archaeology Prove the Old Testament?” by Ralph O. Muncaster. Also read “New Evidence That Demands A Verdict” by Josh MacDowell. There is far more archaeological evidence for the Bible than for any other ancient document/book ever written. In fact, most other holy books have little or no archaeological support at all.

Website References:

Book references:
“Charts of Apologetics and Christian Evidences” by H. Wayne House & Joseph M. Holden
“The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible” by Joseph M. Holden & Norman Geisler

For His Kingdom,
Dave Maynard