The current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review has an article that readers of this blog should find interesting. The article lists at least 50 famous and not-so-famous biblical persons whose existence has been confirmed by archaeological discoveries. The list is growing as more excavations are funded and implemented.
This article should boost the faith of all Christians (and Jews) as the discovery that growing numbers of biblical personalities really lived boosts the secular credibility of the Bible’s narratives. While the article does not discuss the number of biblically-mentioned cities that have been confirmed by archaeological discoveries, that list is also growing as more “tells” are being excavated and matched with biblically-mentioned cities. As more biblical personalities and cities are being confirmed by archaeological discoveries, the historical credibility of the Bible’s narratives is growing steadily. Obviously, if no biblical persons and cities could be independently verified, the credibility of the Bible’s accounts would be called into question and one would have to take the Bible’s accounts “on faith” alone. However, that is not the case. We know that many biblical persons and cities really did exist.
Many of the Bible’s kings of Israel and Judah have been confirmed as real rulers by the historical tablets unearthed in Mesopotamia-especially in the archives of the Assyrian Empire. The Bible also mentions the rulers and emperors of various gentile kingdoms and empires whose existence is known to be real. One of the most prominent biblical persons to be confirmed archaeologically as a real person is King David of the United Kingdom of Israel before the Israelite tribes divided into two warring kingdoms. He is referred to as the founder of the dynasty of kings referenced by the term “House of David,” confirming David’s reality and his founding of a dynasty. Keep in mind that King David’s reign was so far back in antiquity that David’s reign was “ancient history” by the time Julius Caesar was born! Many biblical narratives are about persons who lived so many millennia ago that it is incredible that accounts of them can be found at all. As an aside, I’ll add that the reality of other ancient biblical persons is confirmed in the oral history of various nations. For example, Abraham and Ishmael’s reality has been solidly confirmed by the long-standing oral histories of the Arab nations, who maintain (quite accurately in my view) that they are the descendants of Abraham via Ishmael.
The Bible’s narratives indicate that the Assyrians had an evident vendetta against the Israelite kingdoms, and that they were determined to continually invade the Israelite kingdoms until they had destroyed them. The prominence of the Israelite kings in the annals of ancient Assyria supports that viewpoint. My books offer a reason for this Assyrian vendetta against the Israelite kingdoms. In I Chronicles 19, the Bible records the events of a great war that occurred during the reign of King David. That war was started by the Ammonites who were actually acting as agents provocateur for the Mesopotamian kings–over which ruled the Assyrian King. The Assyrians and their royal Mesopotamian vassals were expecting an easy victory over the Israelite army. They were so overconfident that they came personally to watch the battle (I Chronicles 19:9), only to have to hurriedly retreat when the Israelite army prevailed. David’s domain had already reached the Euphrates River before this war began (I Chronicles 18:3), so it was only a short distance for David’s reinforced and fully-mobilized Israelite army and his vassals to march into the heart of the Assyrian Empire and occupy it. Secular records confirm that a Semitic army coming from the west overran and occupied the Assyrian Empire during the reigns of Kings David and Solomon of Israel. The later Israelite civil war that depleted the military power of the Israelites allowed the Assyrians to rebuild their power and finally conquer Israel after many wars and invasions. My books, The Origins and Empire of Ancient Israel and Israel’s Lost Empires, as well as my E-book, The “Lost” Ten tribes of Israel…Found!, offer many secular historical sources which confirm the above assertions. The real extent and power of the United Kingdom of Israel has been forgotten and has been deleted from ancient history texts, but, combining many ancient secular records with biblical narratives, the exciting truth can easily be reconstructed. It is one of the most remarkable wars in ancient history, but you will read about it only, to my knowledge, in my books.
For a complete list of the biblical personalities whose real existence has been confirmed by archaeological evidence, please read this link. I think you will find it quite interesting. As more archaeological digs in the ancient Holy Land are implemented, expect this list of confirmed biblical personalities to grow.