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Quotes About the Bible and History


Henry Clarence Thiessen

History, Archaeology and the Bible

History provides many proofs of the correctness of the biblical representations of life in Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Medo-Persia, and so forth. A number of the rulers of these countries are mentioned by name in Scripture, and none of them is represented in a manner contradictory to what is known of him in history. Shalmaneser IV is said to have besieged the city of Samaria, but the king of Assyria, whom we know to have been Sargon II, is said to have carried the people away into Assyria (2 Kings 17:36). History shows that he reigned from 722-705 B.C. He is mentioned by name only once in the Bible (Isa. 20:1). Neither Belshazzar (Dan. 5:1-30) nor Darius the Mede (Dan. 5:31-6:28) is any longer regarded as a fictitious character.
Archaeology likewise supplies many confirmations of the biblical accounts.

The Babylonian "Epic of Creation," while hardly a confirmation of the Genesis account, shows, nevertheless, that the idea of a special creation was widespread in early times. The same can be said about the Babylonian legends of the fall. More important is a tablet that has been found in Babylon containing an account of the flood which ahs marked similarities to the Biblical account. The so-called battle of the kings (Gen. 14) can no longer be regarded with suspicion, since the inscriptions in the Valley of the Euphrates show that four kings mentioned in the Bible as joining in this expedition are historical persons. 

The Nuzi Tablets throw light on the action of Sarah and Rachel in giving their handmaids to their husbands. The Egyptian hieroglyphics indicate that writing was known more than a thousand years before Abraham. Archaeology also confirms that Israel lived in Egypt, that the people were in bondage in that land, and that they finally left the country. The Hittites, whose very existence was questioned, have been shown to be a powerful people in Asia Minor and Palestine at the very time indicated in the Bible. The Tel-Amarna tables give evidence of the trustworthiness of the book of Judges. As the science of archaeology progresses, no doubt more information will come to light confirming the accuracy of the biblical record."

Henry Clarence Thiessen, "Lectures in Systematic Theology" (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1981) pp. 56-57