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Post by Dark Knight »

Messianic Prophecy - What Are The Odds of Fulfillment Without God?
Messianic Prophecy is so powerful because of the statistical odds that one man would fulfill every single one of them. If we just analyze seven of the more specific prophecies in the Old Testament, that were later fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ, we are stunned by the statistical impossibility of such an historical reality. As an illustration, we have inserted some conservative "odds" alongside seven established prophecies. Please feel free to propose you own prophecies and your own odds - the dramatic point will still be made!

Messianic Prophecy Odds Without God

1.

Jesus would be a descendant of David.

104 (1 in 10,000)

2.

Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.

105 (1 in 100,000)

3.

Jesus would be a miracle worker.

105 (1 in 100,000)

4.

Jesus would present Himself as King riding on a donkey.

106 (1 in 1,000,000)

5.

Jesus would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver.

106 (1 in 1,000,000)

6.

Jesus would be crucified.

106 (1 in 1,000,000)

7.

Jesus would first present Himself as King 173,880 days

from the decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem.

106 (1 in 1,000,000)



Total Probability (without God)

1038 (1 in a 100 billion, billion, billion, billion)

Messianic Prophecy - The Challenge
Messianic prophecy is phenomenal evidence that sets the Bible apart from the other "holy books."

from http://www.allabouttruth.org/messianic-prophecy-2.htm

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Post by Dark Knight »

How can we be sure about the Bible accounts?

In the days of the first Christians, there were many writings about the life of Jesus. But some had special quality--they had been written by Jesus' followers or their close friends. These gospels and letters were carefully copied by hand. Over the years, archaeologists have found thousands of manuscripts of bits of the New Testament and even some complete copies. By comparing these, we can get very close to what the New Testament writers originally wrote. Some of these copies are dated less than 100 years after the original gospel or letter was written.

For an idea of how good this evidence is, compare the New Testament with other writings that are about as old as the New Testament. For example, Julius Caesar wrote a book called The Gallic War about 50 years before Christ was born. We obviously do not have the original copy. Yet, we do have nine or ten copies, and the earliest of these was made about 900 years after the original. This is a typical gap for ancient writings.

When, however, we examine the historical evidence relating to the Bible, one learns that there are thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament books. Therefore, we have good reason to believe that we know almost exactly what Luke, Paul and the others wrote.

from http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/english/study.htm

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Post by Dark Knight »

''Can I Get A Witness? . . .''

In Defense of the Faith
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty." (2nd Peter 1:16)


The New Testament of the Bible consists of twenty-seven short Greek writings, essentially letters that were exchanged throughout the Church, the first five of which are historical in character.

The first four historical books are commonly called the 'Gospels' (literally, 'good news') that record the eyewitness accounts of the public ministry of Jesus Christ.

The Gospels aren't exactly biographies of Jesus, since they reveal little of the Lord's life on earth, apart from His Divine origin and His three years of public ministry.

The first three Gospels are called the 'Synoptic' Gospels because they share common features not found in the fourth Gospel, that of the Apostle John.

The Synoptic Gospels tend to focus on the humanity of Jesus, whereas John's Gospel examines Jesus from the spiritual perspective.

Critics often point to the variations between the Gospels as evidence the Scriptures are flawed, since some give seemingly different accounts of the same event.

It is important to keep in mind that each presents a distinctive point of view, and each was originally composed for a different audience. Personally, I regard the differences between the Synoptic accounts as strong evidence supporting their accuracy.

The Gospels are eyewitness accounts. Much of my law enforcement career was spent conducting investigations and interviewing eyewitnesses. It has been my personal experience that no two eyewitnesses ever describe the same event the same way.

Sometimes the differences are subtle, sometimes glaring, but it was identical accounts that raised a red flag.

Mark's account of the Olivet Discourse differs from that of Luke's or Matthew's but only in minor points of perspective, the way two eyewitnesses to a car wreck remember different details based on their point of view and what stood out to them at the time.

The writings of the New Testament were completed by about AD 100, with the majority of them having been in existence within forty years of the Lord's Crucifixion and Resurrection.

This also argues strongly for their accuracy. The Synoptic Gospels were written and distributed within the lifetime of men who were alive and could remember the things that Jesus said and did.

Many of us were alive and old enough to remember the assassination of President Kennedy. Many of us witnessed the Kennedy assassination, and the subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald three days later, on live television, as it happened.

While there are literally as many conspiracy theories as there are conspiracists to dream them up, the basic historical facts remain indisputable.

Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas by a gunshot wound to the head. Oswald was murdered in the basement of the Dallas Police parking garage when Jack Ruby poked a thirty-eight into his ribs and pulled the trigger.

I could not write a credible book arguing that Kennedy was really shot in Seattle and Oswald really died in a shootout with police by the Space Needle. There are too many living witnesses to take me seriously -- it would never get any traction. (Even my wife wouldn't buy a copy, let alone start telling the story to her friends).

Consider this: The Synoptic Gospels recount a time when Jesus was speaking to a crowd so large that, to get a sick man into His presence, the roof was ripped off the building so a paralyzed man, confined to a cot, could be lowered to Him.

Ripping part of a roof out of a building would attract the attention of its occupants. Seeing a guy lowered down in front of the featured Speaker would grab the attention of every person in the room. And when the paralyzed guy got up and started running around, there was not likely a disinterested person in the house.

Jerusalem of Jesus' day was a small town where everybody pretty much knew everybody else. When the Gospels began making their rounds, this fantastic story was accepted because there were eyewitnesses to attest to its truth.

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in full view of many witnesses. John records the resurrection of Lazarus was reported to Caiaphas the High Priest and the Council of Pharisees.

If, even thirty years later, somebody tried to fabricate this story, there would be living eyewitnesses to argue against its truthfulness.

And if there were no eyewitnesses to support the account, the Gospels would have been discredited as just one more Messianic legend. Nobody would have believed them and Christianity would never have found a foothold -- especially among the Jews.

The 'Thirty-Nine Articles' document that determined the Canon of Scripture, that is, separating the Inspired Word of God from other historical and religious works of the time, declares in Article VI,

"In the name of the holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church."

If there had ever been an expressed doubt, it was carefully examined for contemporary eyewitness testimony. Within three hundred years of the Resurrection, the Canon of Scripture was assembled.

All legitimate doubts were satisfied.

In opening his report to his patron, Theophilus, the Apostle Luke attests:

"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the Word." (Luke 1:1-2)

Both Peter and Luke made clear from the outset that they were personal eyewitnesses to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Peter reminds his followers that he was a "witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed." (1st Peter 5:1)

Luke also drives home the point of eyewitness testimony, writing, "And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him." (Acts 5:32)

Moreover, Luke stresses that the Apostles were far from the only witnesses:

"And He was seen many days of them which came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses unto the people." (Acts 13:31)

The fifth historical book of the New Testament is really a continuation of the Gospel of Luke, but divided into the Acts of the Apostles. In it, it recounts the beatings, stonings, ostracism, torture and ultimate deaths of many of His eyewitnesses.

The only Apostle to die a natural death was John the Beloved, who lived into his eighties. The rest were given a choice between denying the testimony of what they witnessed, or accepting a horribly brutal and painful death.

This is, to my mind, incredibly powerful evidence. Following Jesus meant abandoning their lifelong religion, their families, their friends, their homes, all they held dear, to become vagabond preachers, subject to the whims of the authorities and declared public enemies of Judaism.

Given the choice, not one recanted. All went joyfully to their deaths, as did countless Christian martyrs of Nero's persecution. They KNEW by personal eyewitness what we know only by faith.

They SAW Jesus heal the sick, raise the dead, turn water into wine, feed five thousand with five loaves and seven fishes, walk on water, die, be buried, and rise again three days later. They WATCHED as He ascended into heaven. They SAW the angels and HEARD their words:

"Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

With what they knew, first-hand, how COULD any of them trade what they knew for certain was an eternity with Jesus for a few more years of this life?

Imagine if you had walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, witnessed His miracles first hand. What would there be about dying that would frighten YOU?

That is what makes the Acts of the Apostles such powerful evidence. Who would choose to live a life of misery and joyfully embrace an agonizing death when a simple declaration could make it all go away -- unless they were absolutely certain?

{more at the link below}
From http://www.omegaletter.com/articles.asp?ArticleID=5750

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Post by Dark Knight »

Well lets look at the number 173,880, which is talked about in the following acticle.....

The Unexpected King (from http://www.khouse.org/articles/1996/46/ fully arcticle there however must of it is here)

Irrefutably Documented
To fully appreciate the remarkable significance of the following, it is essential to realize that the Book of Daniel, as part of the Old Testament, was translated into Greek prior to 270 b.c., several centuries before Christ was born. This is a well established fact of secular history.

Gabriel
The Angel Gabriel interrupted Daniel's prayer and gave him a four-verse prophecy that is unquestionably the most remarkable passage in the entire Bible: Daniel 9:24-27.
These four verses include the following segments:
· 9:24The Scope of the entire prophecy;
· 9:25The 69 Weeks;
· 9:26An Interval between the 69th and 70th Week;
· 9:27The 70th Week.

The Scope
9:24: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy Place."
The idiom of a "week" of years was common in Israel as a "sabbath for the land," in which the land was to lie fallow every seventh year.2
It was their failure to obey these laws that led to God sending them into captivity under the Babylonians.3
When did the Messiah present Himself as a King? On one specific day, Jesus arranges it!
Note that the focus of this passage is upon "thy people and upon thy holy city," that is, upon Israel and Jerusalem. (It is not directed to the church.)
The scope of this prophecy includes a broad list of things which clearly have yet to be completed.

The First 69 Weeks
A very specific prediction occurs in verse 25:
9:25: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."
This includes a mathematical prophecy. The Jewish (and Babylonian) calendars used a 360-day year; 69 weeks of 360-day years totals 173,880 days.
In effect, Gabriel told Daniel that the interval between the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until the presentation of the Messiah as King would be 173,880 days.
The "Messiah the Prince" in the King James translation is actually the Meshiach Nagid, "The Messiah the King." (Nagid is first used of King Saul.)

Bull's Eye!
The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 b.c. (The emphasis in the verse on "the street" and "the wall" was to avoid confusion with other earlier mandates confined to rebuilding the Temple.)
But when did the Messiah present Himself as a King? During the ministry of Jesus Christ there were several occasions in which the people attempted to promote Him as king, but He carefully avoided it. "Mine hour is not yet come."

The Triumphal Entry
Then one day He meticulously arranges it. On this particular day he rode into the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey, deliberately fulfilling a prophecy by Zechariah that the Messiah would present Himself as king in just that way:
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

Zechariah 9:9
Whenever we might easily miss the significance of what was going on, the Pharisees come to our rescue. They felt that the overzealous crowd was blaspheming, proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah the King. However, Jesus endorsed it!
"I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

Luke 19:40
This is the only occasion that Jesus presented Himself as King. It occurred on April 6, 32 a.d.

The Precision of Prophecy
When we examine the period between March 14, 445 b.c. and April 6, 32 a.d., and correct for leap years, we discover that it is 173,880 days exactly, to the very day!
How could Daniel have known this in advance? How could anyone have contrived to have this detailed prediction documented over three centuries in advance?

But there's more.

The Interval

There appears to be a gap between the 69th week (verse 25) and the 70th week (verse 27):

9:26: "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." The sixty-two "weeks" follow the initial seven, so verse 26 deals with events after 69th week, but before the 70th. These events include the Messiah being killed and the city and sanctuary being destroyed.

There is a remaining seven-year period to be fulfilled. Revelation 6-19 is essentially a detailing of that climactic period.

As Jesus approached the city on the donkey, He also predicted the destruction of Jerusalem:

For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Luke 19:43-44

The Messiah was, of course, executed at the Crucifixion. "But not for Himself."

The city and the sanctuary were destroyed 38 years later when the Roman legions under Titus Vespasian leveled the city of Jerusalem in 70 a.d., precisely as Daniel and Jesus had predicted. In fact, as one carefully examines Jesus' specific words, it appears that He held them accountable to know this astonishing prophecy in Daniel 9! "Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."

The 70th Week

There is a remaining seven-year period to be fulfilled. This period is the most documented period in the entire Bible. The Book of Revelation, Chapters 6 through 19, is essentially a detailing of that climactic period.

The interval between the 69th and 70th week continues, but it is increasingly apparent that it may soon be over.

The more one is familiar with the numerous climactic themes of "end-time" prophecy, the more it seems that Daniel's 70th Week is on our horizon.

{Notes at http://www.khouse.org/articles/1996/46/}

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Post by silversquirrel »

It's not often I find forum threads putting Christianity in a positive light outside of sites devoted to religious discussion. Especially ones that haven't degraded into blatant flame-wars. Cool thread Dark Knight. :thumright:

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Post by Dark Knight »

Thanks silversquirrel,

As you may have already guessed, I'm a Christian, if you did not, well you know now.....

As a Christian it is my duty to spread the word......

There are two other threads here at SV that I have going:

Creation
http://speculativevision.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=520

End Times: The Bible Prophecy
http://speculativevision.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=516

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Post by Dark Knight »

oh and "blatant flame-wars", are NOT allowed at SV, which does help........ :wink:

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Post by silversquirrel »

Yeah, I've noticed this site seems to be a bit better about enforcing the rules than a lot of the places I've seen (which, needless to say I didn't stick around on).

I've looked at the other threads but I haven't read through them all the way yet. Looks like you've got some interesting debates going though.

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Post by Dark Knight »

Bible Doubters’ Theory Down the Drain
:[ October 3rd, 2005

By Stephen Cauchi
September 11, 2003
theage.com

2 Kings 20:20
“And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah”?


Israeli and British scientists have accurately dated one of Jerusalem’s most ancient tunnels, the Siloam, confirming that it is the same structure mentioned in the Old Testament.

The tunnel, whose age has been the subject of fierce debate, was considered one of the greatest works of ancient water engineering.

According to the journal Nature, in which the research was published, it is the first use of radiocarbon dating for an unquestionably biblical structure.

This makes it one of the best-dated such structures, and refutes theories that it was not the tunnel mentioned in the Old Testament books of Kings and Chronicles.

The scientists confirmed that the tunnel, built to safeguard water supply into the city against invading armies, was built 2700 years ago, not five centuries later, as some scholars thought.

The 530-metre S-shaped tunnel, which drains into Siloam pool, is still intact today.

The Bible’s historical credibility is often tested by comparison with archeological finds, said the scientists.

One of the team, Amos Frumkin, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that biblical structures were difficult to date because they were poorly preserved, hard to identify, hard to reach, and had no materials suitable for dating. “Because of these problems, no well-identified biblical structure has been radiometrically dated until now,” he wrote in Nature.

“We conclude that the biblical text presents an accurate historical record of the Siloam Tunnel’s construction.”

According to the Bible, the tunnel was built by a Judahite king, Hezekiah, about 700BC. It was constructed to move water from the Gihon spring into a pool within the walls of ancient Jerusalem, protecting the city’s water supply in case of siege from the Assyrians.

However, an inscription in the tunnel does not mention King Hezekiah, casting doubt on its age. Architecture of that period and place often praised monarchs for their architectural achievements.

In addition, the tunnel was cleared of debris during the early 20th century, robbing potentially dateable artefacts.

Instead, the team collected “extraordinarily well-preserved” plaster fragments that cemented the tunnel’s floor, wall and ceiling, as well as stalactites. These were suitable for radiocarbon dating.

“Our dating agrees well with the date commonly assigned to King Hezekiah, whom the biblical text describes as having constructed the Siloam tunnel,” wrote the scientists.

from http://s8int.com/WordPress/

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Just reading The Gunslinger again today. I was looking for a quote from the book online to save myself the trouble of getting the actual book two floors up when I came upon this. I thought it would fit well in a topic such as this:
"Gunslinger, our many-times-great grandfathers conquered the-disease-which-rots, which they called cancer, almost conquered aging, walked on the moon - "

"I don't believe that," the gunslinger said flatly.

To this, the man in black merely smiled and answered, "You needn't. Yet it was so. They made or discovered a hundred other marvelous baubles. But this wealth of information produced little or no insight. There were no great odes written to the wonders of artificial insemination - having babies from frozen mansperm - or to the cars that ran on power of the sun. Few if any seemed to have grasped the truest principle of reality: new knowledge leads to yet more awesome mysteries. Greater physiological knowledge of the brain makes the existence of the soul less possible yet more probable by the nature of the search. Do you see? Of course you don't. You've reached the limits of your ability to comprehend. But never mind - that's beside the point."

"What is the point then?"

"The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size. The child, who is most at home with wonder, says: Daddy, what is above the sky? And the father says: The darkness of space. The child: What is beyond space? The father: The galaxy. The child: Beyond the galaxy? The father: Another galaxy. The child: Beyond the other galaxies? The father: No one knows.

"You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box and cover it with wet weeds to die?

"Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity.

"If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through the shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?

"Perhaps you saw what place our universe plays in the scheme of things - as no more than an atom in a blade of grass. Could it be that everything we can perceive, from the microscopic virus to the distant Horsehead Nebula, is contained in one blade of grass that may have existed for only a single season in an alien time-flow? What if that blade should be cut off by a scythe? When it begins to die, would the rot seep into our universe and our own lives, turning everything yellow and brown and desiccated? Perhaps it's already begun to happen. We say the world has moved on; maybe we really mean that it has begun to dry up.

"Think how small such a concept of things make us, gunslinger! If a God watches over it all, does He actually mete out justice for such a race of gnats? Does His eye see the sparrow fall when the sparrow is less than a speck of hydrogen floating disconnected in the depth of space? And if He does see... what must the nature of such a God be? Where does He live? How is it possible to live beyond infinity?

"Imagine the sand of the Mohaine Desert, which you crossed to find me, and imagine a trillion universes - not worlds by universes - encapsulated in each grain of that desert; and within each universe an infinity of others. We tower over these universes from our pitiful grass vantage point; with one swing of your boot you may knock a billion billion worlds flying off into darkness, a chain never to be completed.

"Size, gunslinger... size.

"Yet suppose further. Suppose that all worlds, all universes, met at a single nexus, a single pylon, a Tower. And within it, a stairway, perhaps rising to the Godhead itself. Would you dare climb to the top, gunslinger? Could it be that somewhere above all of endless reality, there exists a room?...

"You dare not."

And in the gunslinger's mind, those words echoed: You dare not.

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Post by Dark Knight »

I saw something like that on a movie once....can't remember which movie........

That's all I really have to say on that........

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Post by Dark Knight »

Biblical Archaeology: {from http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/bibl ... eology.htm }

Ancient Civilization

To date, numerous sites and artifacts have been uncovered that reveal a great deal about the ancient Mesopotamian culture. One of the most dramatic finds is the Sumerian King List, which dates to approximately 2100 BC. This collection of clay tablets and prisms is most exciting because it divides the Sumerian kings into two categories; those who reigned before the "great flood" and those who reigned after it. The lists are also dramatic because they include the ages of the kings before and after the "great flood," which show the same phenomenal life span changes mentioned in the Bible. Actually, records of a global flood are found throughout most ancient cultures. For instance, the Epic of Gilgamesh from the ancient Babylonians contains an extensive flood story. Discovered on clay tablets in locations such as Ninevah and Megiddo, the Epic even includes a hero who built a great ship, filled it with animals, and used birds to see if the water had receded (see Genesis 7-8 ).

Biblical Archaeology: Ancient Law & Culture

One significant find is the Law Code of Hammurabi, which is a seven foot tall, black diorite carving containing about 300 laws of Babylon's King Hammurabi (Hammurapi). Dated to about 1750 BC, the Law Code contains many civil laws that are similar to those found in the first five books of the Bible. Another find at the ancient city of Nuzi near the Tigris River uncovered approximately 20,000 clay tablets. Dated between 1500 and 1400 BC, these cuneiform texts explain the culture and customs of the time, many of which are similar to those found in the early books of the Bible.

Biblical Archaeology: Ancient Israel

The Merneptah Stele (also known as the Israel Stele) is an upright stone slab measuring over seven feet tall that contains carved hieroglyphic text dating to approximately 1230 BC. The Egyptian stele describes the military victories of Pharaoh Merneptah and includes the earliest mention of "Israel" outside the Bible. Although the specific battles covered by the stele are not included in the Bible, the stele establishes extra-biblical evidence that the Israelites were already living as a people in ancient Canaan by 1230 BC. In addition to the Stele, a large wall picture was discovered in the great Karnak Temple of Luxor (ancient Thebes), which shows battle scenes between the Egyptians and Israelites. These scenes have also been attributed to Pharaoh Merneptah and date to approximately 1209 BC. The Karnak Temple also contains records of Pharaoh Shishak's military victories about 280 years later. Specifically, the Shishak Relief depicts Egypt's victory over King Rehoboam in about 925 BC, when Solomon's Temple in Judah was plundered. This is the exact event mentioned in 1 Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 12.

Outside Egypt, we also discover a wealth of evidence for the early Israelites. The Moabite Stone (Mesha Stele) is a three-foot stone slab discovered near Dibon ,East of the Dead Sea, that describes the reign of Mesha, King of Moab, around 850 BC. According to Genesis 19, the Moabites were neighbors of the Israelites. The stele covers victories by King Omri and Ahab of Israel against Moab, and Mesha's later victories on behalf of Moab against King Ahab's descendants (2 Kings 3). The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser is a seven-foot, four-sided pillar of basalt that describes the victories of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria. Dated to about 841 BC, the Obelisk was discovered in the ancient palace of Nimrud and shows Israel's King Jehu kneeling before the Assyrian king in humble tribute (see 2 Kings 9-10).

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