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Other Articles on 
and the Bible

Archaeology Verifies the Bible as God's Word

Ch. 1 - A Christian Skeptic Discovers God in Ancient Israel

Ch. 2 - Sir William Ramsay
Defends the New Testament

Ch. 3 - Was the Jesus of the Bible Fact or Fiction?

Ch. 4 - Bible Minimalists
Back Again!

Ch. 5 - King David
Was for Real!

Ch. 6 - Archaeological Evidence Verifies Biblical Cities

Archaeological Evidence
Verifies Biblical Cities

The Devil's War Against Biblical Archaeology




The Devil’s War Against
Biblical Archaeology


We are living in “End Times.” In 2 Timothy 3:1-9 the Apostle Paul warned of the perilous conditions during these last days. As our newsletter banner The Bible for Our Times suggests, Christians would especially need the Bible to sustain their faith during these perilous and deceptive End Times.

The Devil knows how vital the Bible is to Christians. Evolution and other secular theories are his tools to discredit the Bible as a book of myths and fables—not the inspired Word of God. However, the historical accuracy of the Bible has been vindicated by Biblical archaeology.

To Satan’s dismay, archaeology has confirmed the reality of Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, etc. Now he is subtly targeting Jesus as the Christ by questioning King David. For over a century secular and agnostic scholars have denied the existence of King David by relegating Old Testament accounts about him to the status of mythology. Why? From one perspective, King David is the second most important person in Scripture. Jesus is called “the Son [descendent] of David” fourteen times in the four Gospel accounts.

Only the son or descendent of David could be the Christ or Messiah. Revelation 5:5. If Satan could prove King David never existed, then the New Testament claim of Jesus being the Messiah or Christ would be false. We would still be lost in our sins and the New Testament would be discredited as valid Scripture.

The seriousness of the devil’s ploy is reflected in the Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1994, p. 55: “I am not the only scholar,” remarks Philip Davies, “who suspects that the figure of David is about historical as King Arthur.” Such deniers cast doubt on the reliability of the Biblical record and undermine the faith of Christians.

Palestinians Join the Fray

Historically, it is to the Palestinians advantage to make David a legend. Therefore, they call the “City of David” the “Village of Silwan,” which is predominately Arab. But…in 1882 a Yemenite Jewish community settled on a vacant stretch of land in the City of David. They were attacked in the 1929 Arab riot and forced to flee during the 1936-1939 Arab persecutions. The Arabs, now called Palestinians, confiscated these Jewish homes and changed the name City of David to the Village of Silwan.

Since the 1990s several Israeli organizations have been buying Arab homes from the Palestinian squatters at exorbitant prices. Thus far, over 50 Jewish families have moved into Silwan under heavy security. Now 60% of the homes in Silwan are Jewish owned, including the area bought by Baron de Rothschild in the early 1900s. In time more Jews will be living in Silwan than Palestinians.

Meanwhile, 160 feet beneath the Palestinian homes in Silwan, a group of tourists are “bellowing out the theme song from the Indiana Jones’ movies” as they wade through Hezekiah’s Tunnel in knee-deep water. What’s happening?

Consider these quotations from The Associated Press, 2/10/08.

“Underneath the homes and ragged streets of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan lie the remnants of a glorious Jewish past: coins, seals, a road that led to the Biblical Temple and a water tunnel hewn by a Judean king 2,700 years ago.

“The Old Testament books of Kings and Chronicles recount the tunnel’s origins: Hezekiah, king of Judea, dug it to channel water inside the city walls ahead of a siege by Assyrian armies.

“Measuring 1,750 feet long—about a third of a mile—the tunnel was dug around 700 B.C. by two [Jewish] teams that started from each end and met in the middle, an engineering feat brought to life by their chisel marks, still visible on the walls, and recounted in an inscription they mounted on the wall.

“But archaeology is hard-wired into the politics of modern-day Arab-Israeli strife, and new digs to unearth more of this past are cutting to the heart of the charged argument over who owns the Holy City today.

“Israel says it’s reconnecting with its ancient heritage. Palestinians contend that archaeology is a political weapon to undermine their own links to Jerusalem.

“The City of David shows us the history and archaeology of Jerusalem since the day it was founded. Jerusalem’s [Jewish] foundations are here,” said archaeologist Eli Shukrun, standing near the entrance to another tunnel—a long, dank-smelling Roman-era sewer through which Jews fled Jerusalem as it was torched by Rome’s legions in 70 A.D.

“The dig regularly yields important and colorful finds such as 2,500-year-old pins used to hold robes [of priests] closed, and seals stamped with the names of Yehochal ben Shlemiyahu and Gemaryahu ben Shafan, two figures mentioned in the biblical book of Jeremiah.”

The AP article also quoted an archaeologist expressing a negative view. It is not a coincidence that agnostics and secular archaeologists holding the King David mythology tend to be pro-Palestinian in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

King David Was for Real

In 1993 archaeologists discovered the names of David and Israel in an inscription carved in stone only 100 years after David’s death. The Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1994, p. 26, reports:

“It’s not often that an archaeological find makes the front page of the New York Times (to say nothing of Time magazine). But that is what happened last summer at Tel Dan, a beautiful mound in northern Galilee.

“There Avraham Biran and his team of archaeologists found a remarkable inscription from the ninth century BCE that referred both to the ‘house of David’ and to the ‘king of Israel.’ This is the first time that the name David had been found in any ancient inscription outside the Bible.”

Later another scholar found the name “house of David” in the inscriptions of the famous Moabite Stone, dated about 100 years after David’s reign. It has been observed that it is hard to understand how David’s name could appear in [ancient] historical records if he were nothing but a legend.

Seals from the time of the
Biblical Kings David and Solomon.

In honor of Jerusalem Day 2007, archaeologists revealed a number of seals from the time of the Biblical Kings David and Solomon. The seals, along with other recently uncovered artifacts, were displayed for the first time marking forty years since the liberation and unification of Jerusalem by the modern State of Israel.

These artifacts reveal that the City of David, ancient Jerusalem, was a commercial and trading center during David’s and Solomon’s reigns—even postal system. Agnostic scholars claim if there was a City of David in that time frame it was a “Sleepy Hollow.” How wrong they are!

King David’s Palace

For decades and despite much effort by scholars and archaeologists, the location of King David’s palace has remained a mystery. But recent discoveries by the eminent archaeologist, Dr. Eilat Mazar, the granddaughter of the renowned archaeologist, the late Prof. Benjamin Mazar, has unveiled convincing evidence that pinpoints its exact location.

The eminent archaeologist,
Dr. Eilat Mazar

In 2004 the writer had a meeting with Dr. Eilat Mazar concerning the extensive destruction of Jewish antiquities by the Palestinians on the Temple Mount. At that time she said she “knew the location of King David’s palace.” Why was she so certain? Her most noted saying was “I excavate with the Bible in one hand.” Then in 2005 she found King David’s palace exactly where she Biblically expected. Thrilling—Bible history was again vindicated!

King Hiram of the Phoenicians offered to build King David a palace fit for an emperor (2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Chronicles 14:1). Just as Biblically described, Mazar found the trademark of Phoenician builders—cedars of Lebanon and their distinct style of stone masonry.

Mazar said, “One of the reasons researchers were at a loss in finding this important place was they assumed that King David built his home in the safest, best protected part of the city, inside the [former] Jebusite city walls.” However, this was not the case.

“One of the main clues in finding King David’s palace,” says Mazar, “was surprisingly from the Bible itself.” [2 Samuel 5:17 states that] “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down [from his palace] to the citadel.”

The Philistines suffered defeat by King David’s forces. How? The Bible is careful to indicate that the palace was located above the citadel or walled city of ancient Jerusalem. Mazar observed, “The Bible would not have said ‘went down’ unless David indeed did go from his palace, down the slopes of the Ophel mountain, to the citadel. Consequently, his palace must have been located north of the city, not in the center of it.”

The Philistine invasion took place after the completion of David’s new palace, but before the northern fortifications were sufficiently finished. Therefore, King David, who was already living in his new residence, which was not yet strong enough to withstand a major assault from the north, regrouped south of his palace in the old Jebusite fortress city, the ancient Jerusalem, that he had previously captured.

This Biblical account of King David’s war with the Philistines proved to Dr. Mazar that David’s palace was north of the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. As Mazar viewed the grandiose complexity of this early Israelite building, that marked it an unprecedented monumental edifice, Mazar exclaimed, “This can only be King Davids royal palace.”

She observed, “This area was not only available but also desirable. It was protected on the south by the citadel and the old city, and on the east and west by the deep slopes of the Kidron and Tyropoeon valleys.” Later, 1 Samuel 5:9 tells of the construction of formidable fortifications which were completed to the north by David’s heir, King Solomon.

Dr. Mazar Makes Another Remarkable Find

Iran’s President Ahmadinejad may want to see Israel wiped off the map, but an archaeological discovery announced by Dr. Eilat Mazar marks an event recorded in the Bible when his country, at that time called Persia, literally helped put the Jewish people back on the map I n their own land. She discovered remnants of the 5th century BC wall built by Nehemiah as recorded in the book of Nehemiah.

The Persians conquered the Babylonian Empire that destroyed Jerusalem in 606 BC taking most of the Jews captive into what is now modern Iraq. Nehemiah received permission from the Persian King Artaxerxes to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Until 2007 archaeological evidence for Nehemiah’s project has been lacking.

In 2007 Mazar was working on an emergency project to shore up remains of a tower long believed to date from the “Hasmonean period, 142-137 BCE,” that was in danger of collapsing. But she found the tower had actually been built much earlier than the Hasmonean period. “The pottery dating placed it at the time the Bible says Nehemiah was building it. The Bible accounts mention the Tower of the Hundred, the Tower of Hananeel, the Tower of the Ovens, and an unnamed tower ‘projecting from the upper house of the king from the guard.” Nehemiah 3:25 (NAS) places this unnamed tower in the same Biblical vicinity of Mazar’s dig. Amazing! Mazar’s Biblical detective work is precise.

Anson Rainey, professor of ancient Near Eastern cultures, cautions against believing that the accounts of David and other biblical characters are but legends. As someone who studies ancient inscriptions in the original, I have a responsibility to warn the lay audience that the new fad, the deconstructionist school, is merely a circle of dilettantes. Their view that nothing in Biblical tradition is earlier than the Persian period [540-330 B.C.], especially their denial of the existence of a United Monarchy, is a figment of their vain imagination. The name House of David in the Tel Dan and Mesha [Moabite Stone] inscriptions sounds the death knell to their specious conceit. Biblical scholarship and instruction should completely ignore the deconstructionist school. They have nothing to teach us.Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 1994, p. 47.

In other words, don’t be deceived by the devil’s attempt to discredit Jesus by portraying him as the son or descendent of a legend.