Stumbling Upon the Past: Archaeology and Biblical History

The last one hundred years have seen a remarkable growth in archeological evidence for the history described in the Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls found in Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea are one such important find. These biblical and early Jewish documents date from ca. 250 BC-AD 70 and were found in Judean caves between 1947 and 1956. There are literally thousands of fragments.

These important texts have transformed our understanding of the way the Bible was transmitted and its accuracy. The scrolls have illuminated the general cultural and religious background of Palestine, out of which Judaism and Christianity arose.

These documents include the oldest surviving manuscripts of works we have, which were later included in the Hebrew Bible, along with the religious beliefs in the time of Christ and the early church.

Another recent find is the Hezekiah Seal. This remarkable item was recently found in a dump site outside the outer wall of the Temple Mount. The seal is from the eighth century BC. It was likely used for a papyrus document signed by Hezekiah himself, the king of Judah. The Judean king plays a significant role in the prophecies of Isaiah concerning the Messiah and the coming judgments upon Judah for her past disobedience.

Hezekiah’s Seal is a unique find. Eilat Mazar, who oversaw the excavation, commented that due to the importance of such seals in this time, “it's very reasonable to assume we are talking about an impression made by the King himself, using his own ring.”

Such contributions to our growing pile of archaeological evidence confirm much of what the biblical writers believed and saw as eyewitnesses to the truth.

Photo of Timothy W. Massaro

Timothy W. Massaro

Timothy Massaro has written for Core Christianity, Modern Reformation, and other publications. He oversees the Christian Education ministry at Resurrection PCA in San Diego and serves as a hospice chaplain. He has an affinity for all things J.R.R. Tolkien (except the movies) and has interests in the intersections of philosophy and theology. His biggest prayer is that the gospel in all its beauty might re-kindle a wonder and joy of God’s goodness in our hearts and that our lives might adorn the gospel. Connect with Timothy on Twitter @word_water_wine.​

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