In 2015, an ancient idol head of the goddess Asherah was discovered. The idol dated back to the 8th century BC, the same time period in which the Israelites were struggling to worship God alone and were known to have made sacrifices to Asherah. That same year, a coin depicting Samson was discovered. Also, the iron gate to the city of Gath (the home town of Goliath who fought with David) was discovered. Previously it was believed that Gath was located in that area, but it was confirmed when the gate was unearthed. In 2009 a seal belonging to the Israelite king Hezekiah was discovered and it was identified in 2015 as being authentic. Also, in 2015 a scroll was analyzed that turned out to be a carbonized manuscript of Leviticus. This scroll dates back 1,500 years and is now the oldest known Biblical document apart from the Dead Sea Scrolls. In January 2016, the archeological discoveries continued as a Canaanite fortress dating back to the time of Joshua’s conquest was discovered.
None of these discoveries say much about the essential doctrines or beliefs about the Christian faith, but they do highlight the reliability of Scripture. Many ancient religious texts make claims that have been proven false. Many make claims that have not been proven at all. Many claims in the Bible regarding historical or geographical or even cultural references have yet to be proven, but every year more discoveries are made that continue to prove these kinds of claims in Scripture to be accurate. In fact, no archeological discovery has ever disproved any geographic, cultural, or historical claim in the Bible.
The Bible is a trustworthy document, and while many of the claims in Scripture must be taken on faith (such as that God created the world, Christ turned water into wine, Christ rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit first indwelled believers at Pentecost, etc.), the fact that the other claims have never been proven false (and that many have been proven true) makes trusting in the faith based claims that much more plausible. The evidence for the reliability of the Bible is unparalleled among other religious texts. There is enough solid information there to warrant belief in the supernatural claims of the book.
I am not saying that these discoveries should prove the truthfulness of Christianity to every non-Christian out there. I am not saying that these discoveries should replace our faith. I am not saying that archeology should trump revelation. I am simply claiming that archeology strengthens are faith. It gives plausibility to our trust and proves that we are not just a bunch of fanatics. Archeology shows that science and Scripture can work together. It shows that the Bible can be used to give insight into world history. Archeology highlights how to love God with our minds and how to practice a faith that seeks understanding.
There is a lot of cool stuff out there. Get online and do some searching yourself to see what kinds of things you can find regarding the Bible and archeology.
Dr. Scott Shiffer has a Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and has been teaching religion classes since 2006. He leads Transformation Media Ministries, an organization to help believers think biblically about culture in America. Scott has given numerous presentations including one at Oxford. He has spoken at church retreats, youth retreats, conferences, and has taught discipleship classes for over 10 years. Scott is married and has three children. He has a heart for helping believers draw closer to God and for aiding them as they are faced with new challenges in America every day.