The bible is the most important book in our life. We should read it and encourage others to study it. We are living in the final moments of our age and need to be aware that long before our present day God told us what to expect.
Luke 21:28 ►
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
King David rejoices as the Ark is returned to the Temple. David was among the 53 Biblical figures proven to have existed in the new study. (Wikimedia Commons)
A recently published academic study which proves the historical existence of at least 53 Biblical figures may represent a recent trend in the academic and archaeological world giving unprecedented credibility to the truth of the Bible.
Lawrence Mykytiuk, a Purdue University Libraries professor, recently confirmed in a study that 53 figures “mentioned in the Bible have been identified in the archaeological record”. Using archaeological sources and references from outside of the Bible, Mykytiuk established that the existence of at least 53 people described in the Bible is confirmed by the historical record (see below for the full list).
Mykytiuk’s study is a watershed moment in the debate surrounding whether or not the Bible is historically accurate and therefore relevant to academia and historic studies outside the realm of religion and theology.
“While some would put their hand on the Bible and really mean it when they take an oath, a few revisionist academics would throw it out and say, ‘That’s creative writing.’ I was looking for concrete, objective evidence outside of the Bible that would help build the case,” Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science, explained in a press release.
Mykytiuk’s work confirms that the Bible is indeed supported by concrete proof.
“This evidence shows that it is not essential to have religious faith in order to understand and accept much of what the Bible presents,” he said. “It demonstrates that even on the basis of writings outside of the Bible alone, Scripture does have a considerable degree of historical credibility.”
Verifying Biblical characters is a passion for Mykytiuk, who began investigating the subject in 1992 as a graduate student in Hebrew and Semitic studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the course of his studies, he saw an image of a clay impression from a signet ring belonging to a servant of King Hezekiah, mentioned in the Book of Kings and one of the first figures on Mykytiuk’s list. The professor was disturbed at scholars who questioned the veracity of the Bible.
“[They] were saying the Hebrew Bible was a work of fiction with a few historical references thrown in,” he said in a Times of Israel interview. “I said, ‘Wait a minute. I just saw a seal impression of a servant of Hezekiah.’”
Incontrovertible proof of Hezekiah’s reign in the 8th century BCE was provided when a seal bearing his name was discovered in Jerusalem in December 2015. Dr. Eilat Mazar, the Israeli archaeologist who discovered the seal of Hezekiah in the Ophel excavations and held it in her hands, supported Mykytiuk’s conclusions.
“It is clear that there are many artifacts that prove beyond any doubt that so many aspects of the Bible are historically accurate. There shouldn’t even be a discussion about what we have already found,” Dr. Mazar told Breaking Israel News. “Anyone who dismisses the entire Bible, or its veracity as a source, is ignoring concrete proof that already exists.”
Dr. Mazar is not a religious Jew, but her work as an archaeologist has led her to conclude that the Bible is far more than a collection of fanciful parables. Her oft-quoted motto is, “I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other, and I try to consider everything.”
“There is a significant amount of archaeological proof that corroborates the Biblical narrative. From a statistical perspective, it gives a high level of credibility to the Bible,” Dr. Mazar said. “This is undeniable. In archaeology, you have to first bring the proof, the facts. If the facts are sufficient, you can come to a conclusion.”
The first challenge for Mykytiuk was of utmost importance: King David. Mykytiuk cross-referenced the Biblical references with a wall inscription found at the Tel Dan excavations in northern Israel.
“‘King of Israel’ was in one line,” Mykytiuk told Times of Israel. “The next line read ‘Melech Beit David.’ It was in Aramaic, by the enemies, the Arameans, who conquered Tel Dan and indicated a victory monument, a stele, a big sign in stone. The Israelites reconquered it, and smashed [the stele] to pieces that they used to make a wall.”
Mykytiuk limits his conclusions to what is verifiable. Even when a character is proven to exist historically, it is not a blanket seal of approval for all that is written about that character in the Bible.
“When you verify that a person existed, you’re not usually verifying that they did what the Bible says they did, because you don’t usually get that much information in the inscription or in the Bible,” Mykytiuk said. “If you get the person’s name, his or her father’s name, and the person’s office or title, that doesn’t verify that they did certain things. But it can sometimes show they were in a position to do the things Scripture says they did. That’s often as far as you can go.”
One such case was a new addition to the list: Tattenai, a Persian administrator under Darius the Great, mentioned in the Book of Ezra.
At once Tattenai, governor of the province of Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their colleagues descended upon them and said this to them, “Who issued orders to you to rebuild this house and complete its furnishing?” Ezra 5:3
Tattenai is also mentioned in a tablet attributed to Darius from 502 BCE.
Mykytiuk uses a three-step process to verify the Biblical characters. He requires that there be at least three different references identifying the individual in the Bible, such as the person’s name, the father’s name, and the person’s title. These Biblical identifiers must must match the same three identifying marks of the individual in inscriptions discovered by archaeologists.
Three identifying matches are considered a lock, two are considered a reasonable hypothesis, or even a likely hypothesis for a match, but one match is not enough for a character to make it onto Mykytiuk’s list. He is careful to refer to artifacts with a clear provenance. Artifacts acquired through the antiquities black market are not referenced.
His previous study, published in 2014, established 50 characters, beginning with King David, all of whom he says he has verified through this method. The Bible names almost 3,000 people, but the majority of these people are described only by name and little additional information is given about them, making historical verification impossible. In his study, Mykytiuk estimated that the number of individuals for whom the Bible gives enough information to identify them specifically is no more than a few hundred.
6. Mesha: king early to mid-ninth century BCE, 2 Kings 3:4–27
7. Hadadezer: king early ninth century BCE to 844/842, 1 Kings 11:23, etc.
8. Benhadad: son of Hadadezer king 844/842 BCE, 2 Kings 6:24, etc.
9. Hazael: king 844/842–c. 800 BCE, 1 Kings 19:15, etc.
10. Benhadad: son of Hazael king early eighth century BCE, 2 Kings 13:3, etc.
11. Rezin: king mid-eighth century to 732 BCE, 2 Kings 15:37, etc.
Northern Kingdom of Israel
12. Omri: king 884–873 BCE, 1 Kings 16:16, etc.
13. Ahab: king 873–852 BCE, 1 Kings 16:28, etc.
14. Jehu: king 842/841–815/814 BCE, 1 Kings 19:16, etc.
15. Joash: (= Jehoash) king 805–790 BCE, 2 Kings 13:9, etc.
16. Jeroboam II: king 790–750/749 BCE, 2 Kings 13:13, etc.
17. Menahem: king 749–738 BCE, 2 Kings 15:14, etc.
18. Pekah: king 750(?)–732/731 BCE, 2 Kings 15:25, etc.
19. Hoshea: king 732/731–722 BCE, 2 Kings 15:30, etc.
20. Sanballat “I”: governor of Samaria under Persian rule c. mid-fifth century BCE, Nehemiah 2:10, etc.
Southern Kingdom of Judah
21. David: king c. 1010–970 BCE, 1 Samuel 16:13, etc.
22. Uzziah: (= Azariah) king 788/787–736/735 BCE, 2 Kings 14:21, etc.
23. Ahaz: (= Jehoahaz) king 742/741–726 BCE, 2 Kings 15:38, etc.
24. Hezekiah: king 726–697/696 BCE, 2 Kings 16:20, etc.
25. Manasseh: king 697/696–642/641 BCE, 2 Kings 20:21, etc.
26. Hilkiah: high priest during Josiah’s reign within 640/639–609 BCE, 2 Kings 22:4, etc.
27. Shaphan: scribe during Josiah’s reign within 640/639–609 BCE, 2 Kings 22:3, etc.
28. Azariah: high priest during Josiah’s reign within 640/639–609 BCE, 1 Chronicles 5:39, etc.
29. Gemariah: official during Jehoiakim’s reign within 609–598 BCE, Jeremiah 36:10, etc.
30. Jehoiachin: (= Jeconiah = Coniah) king 598–597 BCE, 2 Kings 24:6, etc.
31. Shelemiah: father of Jehucal the royal official late seventh century BCE, Jeremiah 37:3, etc.
32. Jehucal: (= Jucal) official during Zedekiah’s reign within 597–586 BCE, Jeremiah 37:3, etc.
33. Pashhur: father of Gedaliah the royal official late seventh century BCE, Jeremiah 38:1
34. Gedaliah: official during Zedekiah’s reign within 597–586 BCE, Jeremiah 38:1
35. Tiglathpileser III: (= Pul) king 744–727 BCE,2 Kings 15:19, etc.
36. Shalmaneser V: king 726–722 BCE, 2 Kings 17:3, etc.
37. Sargon II: king 721–705 BCE, Isaiah 20:1
38. Sennacherib: king 704–681 BCE, 2 Kings 18:13, etc.
39. Adrammelech: (= Ardamullissu = Aradmullissu) son and assassin of Sennacherib early seventh century BCE, 2 Kings 19:37, etc.
40. Esarhaddon: king 680–669 BCE, 2 Kings 19:37, etc.
41. Merodachbaladan II: king 721–710 BCE and 703 BCE, 2 Kings 20:12, etc.
42. Nebuchadnezzar II: king 604–562 BCE, 2 Kings 24:1, etc.
43. Nebosarsekim: official of Nebuchadnezzar II early sixth century BCE, Jeremiah 39:3
44. Nergalsharezer: officer of Nebuchadnezzar II early sixth century BCE, Jeremiah 39:3
45. Nebuzaradan: a chief officer of Nebuchadnezzar II early sixth century BCE, 2 Kings 25:8, etc. & Jeremiah 39:9, etc.
46. Evilmerodach: (= Awel Marduk = Amel Marduk) king 561–560 BCE, 2 Kings 25:27, etc.
47. Belshazzar: son and coregent of Nabonidus c. 543?–540BCE, Daniel 5:1, etc.
48. Cyrus II: (= Cyrus the Great) king 559–530 BCE, 2 Chronicles 36:22, etc.
49. Darius I: (= Darius the Great) king 520–486 BCE, Ezra 4:5, etc.
50. Tattenai: provincial governor of TransEuphrates late sixth to early fifth century BCE, Ezra 5:3, etc.
51. Xerxes I: (= Ahasuerus) king 486–465BCE, Esther 1:1, etc.
52. Artaxerxes I: Longimanus king 465425/424 BCE, Ezra 4:7, etc
53. Darius II: Nothus king 425/424405/404 BCE, Nehemiah 12:22
There was a a pastor who instructed his worship leader to remove songs that mentioned the Holy Spirit, and another who removed songs about the blood of Christ. How sad—in their zeal to avoid charismatic excesses and offensive truths, these pastors actually quenched and grieved the Spirit.
The greatest need in the church today is to repent and confess our sins, obey the Word of God by being baptized in the ONE and ONLY name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and to be filled with the HolySpirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is like dynamite that ignites a hunger for God so intense that every aspect of life is changed—we become bold, not passive; stable, not fanatical; and committed, not wavering.
We need sound doctrine and the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s possible to be “Bible taught,” but not “Spirit led”—straight as a gun barrel theologically, but just as empty. Theological teachings are essential to Christian living, but how often are theology students encouraged to fast and pray as well as study?
We can sometimes be more concerned about a Master’s Degree than a degree from the Master. The Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures and empowered Jesus and the apostles. We are desperately remiss if we fail to recognize His vital role in the pulpit as well as the pew. For all of you that have not ever discovered the fact of the real division of the New Testament remember this well. The gospels tell us the good news but the book of Acts relates how to put that good news into our life. Read the book of Acts and obey Acts 2:39, and remember the Epistles are letters written to born again Christian churches or individuals.
If you are in a doubt about who Jesus Christ click on the menu bible study and study the Apostolic Trinity or click on this link.
By Pastor George Duke
John 1:16 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name
I-Who are the true Sons of God
A-Adam and Eve were sons of God
B-The Angels were the sons of God
C-Jesus Christ was the Son of God
D-What defined them as a son of God?
1-All of them were directly created by God
2-Adam and Eve were created by God enjoyed Paradise and had close relationship with God
3-Sin caused them to be cast out and bring forth after their own kind
II-Angels were created by God
A-The difference between Man and Angels
1-Man was just a little lower than the Angels
B-Both could fall
C-Angels that fell were also judged and cast down
III-Jesus Christ was created by God
A-God is Spirit Jesus was theTempleGodcreated to manifest himself in
B-God was in Christ
2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
C-Man had been created in the likeness of Jesus Christ
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
D-The Man Christ Jesus will sit on the Throne of God
IV-Man is not a son of God
A-All mankind come from Adam and Eve
B-Man is brought forth after their own kind
C-Born in sin shaped in Iniquity Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
D-Can man overcome his natural birth?
V-Jesus Said he must be born again to become a son of God
A-Jesus and Nicodemus
John 3: 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
B-Peter was given the keys for the new birth
Matt 16:19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
C-Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Mrs. Dee had a terrible night. She was still feeling very sleepy. The storm last night kept her awake. She slowly got out of bed. To her surprise Misty, her dog, was still asleep, which was very unusual. She was the one that woke her up every morning.
“Come Misty. We need to check on the chickens after that storm.”
Hoping that the chicken pen had not blown down and the chickens were safe, she dressed quickly. She put on her boots, preparing herself for a disaster. To her surprise everything looked intact, no damage.
She was so relieved. She collected all the eggs and placed them into her egg basket. The storm had not affected the hens’ laying. Mrs. Dee was quite happy with collecting her six eggs.
“Come on Misty. We need to wake up Mr. Dee and get the coffee on. I need to feed you too.”
As Mrs. Dee headed back to the house she heard a dog barking. Misty seemed restless, and upset. I wonder who’s dog that is? I don’t know of anyone who has a dog back that way.
“Come on Misty. We need to go in.” But Misty was becoming very fussy, and headed for the creek that ran through their property.
“What’s the matter Misty?”
Misty was a very obedient dog , so Mrs. Dee couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t follow her into the house. The other dog was still barking in the distance, and Misty was getting more upset. She refused to come into the house, even to eat.
Leaving Misty outside, Mrs. Dee went into the house to put the coffee on, thinking she will want to come in after awhile. After about fifteen minutes, she looked outside to check on her and to see if she wanted to come in. But Misty was still acting strangely. She kept running back and forth towards the creek.
“My goodness that dog that I heard early this morning is still barking. I wonder if that is what is upsetting Misty. Maybe something is wrong,” Mrs. Dee thought.
It wasn’t too far to the creek. Even though they were on four acres of land, it was mostly all woods. Mrs. Dee decided to take a look and see if she could see the dog that was now making such a fuss.
Misty led the way. The closer to the creek they got, the faster Misty ran, leading the way. As Mrs. Dee got to the creek, she looked to where Misty had stopped. Across the creek, she saw the cutest little dog caught in the briars. It was soaked from the storm. “Poor little thing,” she thought.
As pitiful as the poor little dog looked, it was so happy to see her. Looking as if to say, “Please help me.” Mrs. Dee was an animal lover. Her heart was touched to see the poor little dog so trapped. “I have to rescue that dog. But how?”
The water in the creek had risen from the storm, and it was flowing like the rapids, with a lot of debris. Mrs. Dee couldn’t swim. “I have got to get across that creek,” thought Mrs. Dee, “but that current could knock me down. I’ve got to find a way or that poor little puppy is going to be stuck there for hours.”
Looking over to the other side while the little dog was getting frantic, Misty was wagging her tail as if to say, “You can do it”.
Mrs. Dee weighed up the situation and made a plan of how she could rescue the dog. If only I could find a strong stick to steady me in the water, I would feel more secure. Looking around, she could find nothing long enough. Plus she didn’t know how deep the water was.
Looking up, she saw a tree that was hanging over the water with some good strong limbs. She said to herself, “If I could pull one of the limbs to where I could hold on to one of them, I could get to the other side safely.”
Reaching with a stick and pulling onto one of the limbs, she succeeded in getting one close enough to grab onto. She took her first step into the creek, taking it very slowly. The water was making it very difficult. The current was very strong, but the limb she was holding onto was a great support.
The closer she got to the little dog the more excited it got, entangling itself more. Mrs. Dee finally made it to the entangled dog, who was wagging its tail like crazy. Steadying herself, she reached for the dog and untangled her. The sweet little dog jumped in her arms and kissed and kissed her rescuer.
Now for the return trip to the other side. Now Mrs. Dee has a dog in her arms and has to hang on to the limb, as well, to make it safely back. Getting her footing, she said a little prayer, and started back to the other side. At last she made it. She went to put the dog down, but the dog clung on, not wanting to let go. So she carried her to the house.
“You must be hungry and thirsty.” She left the dog outside, went in, got some food and fresh water, and brought it out for the dog.
After the dog had had its fill, Mrs. Dee thought the dog would leave and find its way home, if it lived not to far away. She stayed outside a while to see if the dog would stay around, or leave on its own accord. The dog stayed.
“OK, little girl,” she said to the puppy, “you look a mess.” She checked her over. She was covered in ticks and stickers. “My goodness,” she thought, “you must be feeling miserable.Bathfor you, sweet one. Then we are going to search for your owners.”
The bath was poured for the dog and a good smelling dog shampoo was applied. “We will have you smelling good in no time,” said Mrs. Dee. “Then we will get rid of those ticks and stickers. After, her bath, she wrapped her in a warm towel, dried her, and cleaned and brushed her. She looked like a different dog.
Mrs. Dee, had explained everything all that had happened in the last two hours to her husband. She explained, “This dog has been taken care of. Its nails are groomed. The dog is not starving. It’s a very loving dog, very social. Somebody is missing this dog. There may be children crying for their dog to return home. We must put up posters, then drive around some neighborhoods close by to see if we can locate the owners. We can leave the dog with Misty for company until we get back.”
Mr. and Mrs. Dee set about making posters and putting them up around the neighborhood, even knocking on a few doors to see if anyone had lost their dog, with no luck.
Nobody knew anything about the dog or anyone that had lost a dog. “I guess we can put an add in the paper and see if someone is looking for their dog,” said Mr. Dee.
Mr. Dee said, “Why don’t we drive around to the back of all the woods? I know. It’s a long way around, but we have tried everything close by. Mrs. Dee agreed. Even though they had no idea what was on the other side, they traveled about four miles around to the back of the woods on the highway.
“I don’t see any houses around this way,” said Mrs. Dee.”Lets go about two more miles, then we will turn back if we don’t see any homes.” Mr. and Mrs. Dee traveled on. They had gone another mile and passed an open cleared field. It looked like a field and way back, there were three houses with a trail going to each house. As they were looking, Mr. Dee said, “Those woods back up to our property. Even though it seems a long way out, there’s a good chance we may be in luck on finding the owners of the little dog.”
As they were talking, a car turned onto the property. “Let’s follow them,” said Mrs. Dee. “They may know something about the dog”. They followed them for quite a distance until they drove up in front of a house. Two ladies got out of the car, followed by three small children. The man in the car leaned out of the window. Mr. Dee leaned out of his and said, “Have you…” and before he could finish, the man said, “lost a dog?”
Mr. and Mrs. Dee got out of their car, as did the man. Everybody was so excited when they heard the news that their dog had been found.
The children’s eyes lit up as Mrs. Dee explained how she found the dog.
They said their dog had been missing for over twelve hours, and they had gone to bed crying. They were from Alabama and were visiting their grandmother along with their parents. Their father had let the dog out before they all went to bed, and the dog saw a deer in the woods.
She had never seen a deer before, so she chased after it, and never came back. She was out all night in the storm. Their father had taken a flashlight and went out looking for her, but had no luck. The children went to bed very upset, praying that their dog would return to them.
Everyone got back into their cars. The dog’s family followed Mr. and Mrs. Dee to their house. What a wonderful reunion! The children were so happy. Mrs. Dee told them, “Jesus heard your prayers and answered them. He brought Bessie safely home.” This was a very happy ending to an exciting day.