Recently, I saw a link in my email with very important information for all Christians to know. It concerns a series of articles written by Lawrence Mykytiuks in the magazine of the Biblical Archaeology Society documenting how many biblically-mentioned persons have now been confirmed by secular sources to be real persons who lived at the times the Bible recorded for them. Mr. Mykytiuks wrote an original article listing 50 biblical persons who were confirmed as real people by secular sources, and he has added more names to that list as historical accounts and evidence from archaeological sources confirms a steady stream of additional biblical figures who really did live.
Mr. Mykytiuks has written five articles in his series about biblical figures mentioned in the Bible being proven to be real, one of which is devoted solely to secular evidence that Jesus Christ not only truly lived when the Bible says he did, but also confirm that many of the important facts about his life and ministry really happened (his miracles, his crucifixion, etc.) The first link offers links to all of Mr. Mykytiuks’ articles, and the second link contains the specific article confirming that Jesus Christ lived and that many of the Gospel accounts about his life were attested to as real by secular writers.
I can recall when some biblical “minimalists” used to doubt whether very many of the biblical figures even existed. Some doubted the reality that King David really did rule over Israelites in the time that the Bible said he did. In more recent years, archaeological evidence was found that confirms David and his dynasty was real. One reason why it took so long to confirm David’s reality is that his life was so far into the distant past (circa 1000 BC). Christians (and Jews) are so familiar with the events of David’s life as presented in the Bible that we tend to forget that David’s life was already in the category we call “ancient history” at the time Julius Caesar was born! Also, the Promised Land in which the events of the Bible occurred is located where three continents merge and that region has been fought over numerous times in its history. Many cities have been built, destroyed and rebuilt many times. This repetitive destruction of the cities and artifacts in the Promised Land has doubtlessly destroyed many artifacts which would have been very valuable from a biblical perspective if they had survived into our time.
There are still many archaeological sites (called “tels”) in the Promised Land which have mounds where cities once stood that have not yet been excavated. Who knows what critically-important artifacts will be found whenever the remaining tels are excavated? When/if all the tels are excavated and all their buried artifacts and inscriptions are brought to light, I’m sure the cited list of 83 biblical-confirmed persons will expand significantly. There may be some artifacts that are so important that God has hidden them so they can be recovered unharmed and undamaged in the Messianic Age/Millennium. I have wondered the same thing about one of the most important biblically-mentioned artifacts. That artifact is the Ark that carried Noah through the great Deluge and from the Pre-Flood civilization into the beginnings of the post-Flood age. Some explorations and documentaries have come seemingly close to the Ark, but many assume the Ark is buried underneath a glacier on Mt. Ararat. However, all expeditions to date may have been looking for the Ark in the wrong place. Genesis 8:1-5 does not say the Ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat. Verse 4 says the Ark came to rest “upon the mountains of Ararat (emphasis added).” Verse 5 says that at the time the Ark came to rest it was located somewhere in the Ararat mountain range, and verse 5 also records that there were already a number of high mountain tops visible from the Ark. There is no way of knowing from the biblical account which of the high mountain tops in the Ararat mountain range is the one upon which the Ark came to rest. Indeed, the entire region of the southern Caucasus is very mountainous. We have no idea how widely the term “mountains of Ararat” was defined when Moses wrote the book of Genesis. The term in Moses’ lifetime may have included a wider number of mountain ranges than are included as the “Ararat” Mountain Range on today’s map. It would be terrific if God allowed the Ark to be found in our lifetimes as a witness to the Flood’s reality, but God may be preserving it intact hidden somewhere to be found in the Messianic Age/Millennium.
The second link documenting secular sources’ comments about Jesus and his life are especially important. Without his life being real, there is no valid Christian religion. That is why it is so important that secular evidence has been found in the writings of several historians confirming important details about Jesus’ life. That the primary facts of Jesus’ life are confirmable should give us increased faith that the entire Gospel accounts are accurate and Divinely-inspired. The second link lists the biblical accounts of Jesus’ life that are confirmed by secular writers. What is so important to note is that all of these secular writers were non-Christian and some were very anti-Christian in their perspectives. The third book in my series on the ten tribes of Israel, Parthia–The Forgotten Ancient Superpower, includes a lengthy chapter on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. That chapter documents many things which are barely touched on in the Bible, for example, the visit of the Wise Men/Magi to the Christ Child. The Bible says nothing about there being only three Wise men in their traveling party and it does not mention they came from the Senate of the Parthian Empire, Rome’s equal in the ancient world for centuries. The Wise Men/Magi headed a large caravan of armed escorts, tradesmen, treasure-bearers, animal-handlers, foragers, etc. Matthew 2:1-3 records that when the Parthian column reached Jerusalem, it scared all of Jerusalem as well as King Herod himself. Three lonely riders from the east would not have been noticed in Jerusalem, a major trading city used to the arrival of caravans with thousands of people. However, the arrival of many thousands of Parthians including heavily-armed soldiers as escorts would surely terrify the residents of Jerusalem as the Parthians had defeated Rome in a war and ruled the Holy Land a number of years prior to the arrival of the Wise Men in Jerusalem. Everyone in Jerusalem likely thought a Parthian invasion was about to begin.
My chapter on Parthia also cites the same evidence in the second link which confirms Jesus not only lived, but that many of the facts and deeds of his life are confirmable in secular literature. I cite the accounts of Josephus as well as three Roman historians: Tacitus, Celsus and Quadratus, in showing that secular accounts about Jesus confirmed he lived, did miracles, was crucified, etc. The facts about Jesus’ life and the Roman-Parthian connections are in both my aforementioned book and the E-book entitled, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found! Both books may be obtained at the homepage of my website, stevenmcollins.com.
There is one biblical prophecy that may apply to the increasing number of biblical figures whose reality can now be proven. Daniel 12:4 foretells that in “the time of the end…knowledge shall be increased.” This is generally applied (quite correctly) to the spectacular increase in technology that has occurred in recent decades, but it may also rightly apply to the fact that more biblical knowledge is also being brought to light (such as the confirmable reality that many biblical personages really did live). The Hebrew word translated “increased” in Daniel 12:4 is “rabah,” the same word translated “increased” in Genesis 7:17 to describe how the waters on the face of the earth “increased” to Flood the entire earth. In other words, this prophecy means an exponential increase in knowledge in the latter days will occur. Based on this prophecy, expect secular technology advances and evidence about more biblical figures being proven to be factual to continue.
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