Biblical Archaelogy - Findings in Israel Proving Biblical Truth - Israel Ministry of Tourism
Israel Ministry of Tourism - November 2016 Newsletter
Proving Biblical Truths
Archaeologists in Israel are hard at work every day, looking for the next clue into a generation of Jews and Christians that church goers read about every week, but so often we can't find physical ways to connect with them. The cities are there, the buildings they likely worshipped in and lived in, and murals dedicated to the memory of a generation of Israelites that fill the stories of the Bible. But how do we prove to the world that the God of Abraham and Isaac is real, and that his people were caretakers of the most hotly debated and holiest place on earth - Israel.
There are many archaeological digs across Israel with the sole purpose of putting physical evidence to the lives of people who lived in Israel 2,000 years ago and beyond. They are finding evidence everyday of these very subjects, and want to give you the opportunity to join them.
If you have never been to Israel, enjoy the articles below about the digs happening year-round that you and your church can be a part of on your first visit. Research the information in the links provided about the digs you can join. Experience Israel in a way that helps to prove what we all know - the Bible is true, and God is on the throne.
The area just south of the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem is known as the City of David because it is believed that on this site the ancient fortress of king David once stood (2 Samuel 5:9). The site has fascinated archeologists for the past 150 years. The first excavation was undertaken by the Englishman, Charles Warren, in 1867 under the authority of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Warren began to excavate the hill south of the Temple Mount, entering through the Gihon Spring at the base of the hill. He explored a man-made tunnel or shaft which appears to have provided access to the water from the spring for the residents of ancient Jerusalem. Today the shaft bears Warren’s name. Further work in the tunnel in more recent excavations has uncovered a large stone fortification surrounding the Gihon spring. Sufficient evidence has been found to place the date of the fortification and Warren’s shaft in the Jebusite era of Jerusalem no later than the 18th century BC. This means that Warren’s shaft was most likely the means by which David entered Jerusalem to capture the city from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6).
The more recent excavations of the City of David undertaken by Eli Shukron and Ronny Reich have also uncovered a series of stone steps believed to have been part of the Pool of Siloam at the time of the Second Temple. If so, these would have been the very steps and pool to which Jesus sent the blind man to be healed (John 9:1–7). The steps were uncovered in 2004 during a drainage excavation project. The steps are only part of the complete structure, which lies under property belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church and therefore has not been fully excavated. A fascinating and truly enjoyable and unforgettable experience for Christian travelers to Jerusalem is to hike down Warren’s shaft through the Siloam tunnel to the Pool of Siloam. The Siloam tunnel is also known as Hezekiah’s tunnel for it believed to have been commissioned by King Hezekiah in the eighth century BC, diverting the water from the Gihon spring on the east side of the City of David to the west side to protect it from the impending siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:1–4). Visitors actually walk through the running water of the Gihon spring, which has been flowing for millennia, and end up at the steps of the ancient Pool of Siloam.
Two other major excavations in the City of David are also interesting. In 2005, Eilat Mazar began an excavation of an area under the present visitor’s center. There she discovered a foundation of a large structure, which she identified as a 10th century BC palace. The controversial claims are still disputed, but the structure could very well be the remains of David’s fortress. In addition to that ongoing dig, there is also an ongoing excavation of a street and subterranean drainage system leading from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount from the Second Temple period. This dig has revealed some important finds, including one of the more interesting – a small golden bell, which may have been an adornment to the hem of the garment of a high priest (Exodus 28:33–34).
The City of David continues to reveal the treasures and insights of ancient Jerusalem as well as to underscore the claims of the ancient text. On your next trip to Israel with your church, be sure to schedule time at the City of David to explore the wonders of ancient Jerusalem. For more information, log on to www.cityofdavid.org.il. Also see www.jerusalem-watch.com for opportunities to sponsor excavations at the City of David.
As The World Re-Writes History, Evidence Proves Otherwise
As U.N. Ignores Jewish Ties to Holy Site, Israel Produces Ancient Evidence
JERUSALEM — The timing was surely good for Israel, whether or not it was coincidental.
As Unesco, the United Nations cultural organization, approved a resolution on Wednesday that ignored a Jewish connection to an ancient, hotly contested holy site in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority produced a rare papyrus fragment from the seventh century B.C., written in ancient Hebrew, that mentions Jerusalem by name.
Archaeologists interpreted the two lines of text on the papyrus as a concise shipping document reading, “From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.”
The antiquities authority, an independent government body, said it was the earliest known source aside from the Bible to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew, and added in a statement that the other place mentioned, Na’arat, appeared in the biblical book of Joshua (16:7). The authority noted that Jerusalem was the capital of the Kingdom of Judah at the time, known as the First Temple period.
JERUSALEM -- For the first time in centuries, scientists have exposed the original surface of what is traditionally considered the tomb of Jesus Christ. Located in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem, the tomb has been covered by marble cladding since at least 1555 A.D., and most likely centuries earlier.
"The marble covering of the tomb has been pulled back, and we were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it,” said Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, a partner in the restoration project. “It will be a long scientific analysis, but we will finally be able to see the original rock surface on which, according to tradition, the body of Christ was laid."