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MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2007Printer-Friendly
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Archaeology Finds What Bible Believers Knew All Along
AUDIO BROADCAST: Archaeology Finds What Bible Believers Knew To Be True
Let the Bible Speak Radio
Dr. Alan Cairns

I have often said that we don't believe the Bible because archaeology "proves" it accurate. That would be to erect an authority superior to God's Word. That Word is never wrong. Man's translation of it may be wrong. Man's interpretation of it may be wrong. But the Word itself can never be wrong. God makes no mistakes. On the other hand archaeological "findings" may well be wrong. Many a time archaeologists have dated what they have dug up only to find on further examination that their previous opinions have been way off the mark.

This was illustrated recently by some new research by a Jewish archaeologist of some remains from Jerusalem's ancient past. Dr. Eilat Mazar was working on an emergency project to shore up remains of a tower long believed to date from the Hasmonean period, 142-37 B.C., that was in danger of collapsing. However, she did a lot more than shore up an ancient tower. In a recent presentation to the 13th Annual Conference of the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies on "New Studies on Jerusalem," she concluded with an announcement that took her audience by surprise. She had discovered remnants of the fifth century B.C. wall built by Nehemiah.

Dr. Mazar reported, "Under the tower, we found the bones of two large dogs - and under those bones a rich assemblage of pottery and finds from the Persian period. No later finds from that period were found under the tower." Had the tower been built during the Hasmonean dynasty, the Persian-era artifacts would represent an unexplained chronological gap of several hundred years. The tower, said Mazar, had to have been built much earlier than previously thought and the pottery data placed it at the time the Bible says Nehemiah was building it.

So now once again archaeology appears to have caught up with Scripture. Jerusalem has been destroyed and rebuilt countless times over the centuries. Until now, there has been no archaeological evidence of the wall that Nehemiah built. We have had the assurance of the Old Testament that he did build again the walls of Jerusalem in a record 52 days, despite formidable opposition from Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem and some well placed Jews who for personal advantage were in league with these enemies of their people. No Bible believer ever doubted the accuracy of Nehemiah's account because no modern archaeologist had managed to find evidence of the existence of the walls that he built. Now, however, even an unbeliever has to admit that Bible history was accurate all along.

The ironic thing is that it was with the help of a king of Persia-or what we would call Iran-that Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and reestablished the identity of Israel as a nation in its own land. Now Iran wants to wipe Israel out. It cannot succeed. The same Bible that records Nehemiah's building exploits also guarantees that the Jews would return to their own land, though still in national unbelief toward their Messiah. Despite all the opposition of men and all the suffering they may inflict on the Jewish people, Israel will hold on to her land and her holy city. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may fulminate against Israel but in the end he will be no more successful in thwarting God's purpose for the Jews than Sanballat and Tobiah. God's Word is true.

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