Archeology keeps giving us reasons to believe that the history of Israel we find in the Old Testament is an actual account of real events rather than some epic storytelling of the period. Eric Metaxas, who shares the "Breakpoint Commentaries" duties since the death of Chuck Colson, explains.

The findings at Sorek [of an 11th century BC coin of a man with long hair fighting a large animal, suggesting that Samson-like men actually exited before the account in the Bible] are only the latest in a series of archaeological discoveries that are changing the way modern historians look at biblical narratives. It’s becoming more difficult for them to maintain that the narratives are pious fictions invented long after the era being depicted.

The most famous of these discoveries is the 1994 discovery of a stele in Tel Dan bearing an inscription that contained the words “House of David.” It was the first extra-biblical evidence of the Davidic dynasty. Prior to the discovery, many scholars doubted that David ever existed, much less founded a dynasty. The discovery was so out-of-line with expectations that more than a few insisted it must be a forgery.

Today, it is clear to even the most skeptical scholar that—surprise!—there really was a David who founded a ruling dynasty. That dynasty included his son, Solomon, and evidence of Solomon’s building projects described in Second Samuel have been found by archaeologists as well.

The Bible tells us about God because the events that it represents as historical are, indeed, historical. If they were fictional, they would tell us nothing about the nature of God any more than the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree tells us anything about Washington himself. Fictional stories do, indeed, help us explain concepts, but those concepts must pre-exist the story. First we must know what God is like, and we know what He is like by reading about what He did; not some fantasy of what He might have done given a particular situation. Once we know what God is like, fiction and parable are then useful.

So our understanding of God relies on the accuracy of the Bible. And archeology just keeps showing that to be true.

Filed under: ChristianityReligionScience

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