Archaeological and written evidence for the authenticity of the Bible

It’s common for atheists to downplay or even deny the significance of the historical record which corroborates many of the details of Scripture. For instance, John Z., U.S., wrote in asking about a YouTube video he had seen:

I accidentally subscribed to a person on youtube and I found comments that he had posted to several uploaded videos of his. On one of them, he mentioned that the supposed archaeological finds of the Bible have all been debunked.

Now, I’m not going to question these archaeological finds based on one (surely disgruntled) atheist, but I’m wondering if there’s ever been ambiguity or some legitimate reason for atheists to reject these findings, other than just throwing out my usual answer that atheists reject the evidence because the existence of God is unacceptable to them.

Also, speaking for people just beginning to explore the faith: If one person reads your website, and hears about archaeological finds supporting the Bible, and then they read an atheist site, which does the opposite, how can they really choose which to believe? I mean, even if a person admits the existence of God, that doesn’t automatically assume the Christian God. A person could be honestly open-minded concerning that question.

Thanks,
John

Lita Cosner responds:

Dear John,

Wow, every single archaeological find has been debunked? For one thing, it’s sloppily worded—he almost surely means that the archaeological finds that are used to support the Bible don’t actually do so. But even leaving that aside, the universality of the claim is its own refutation. By that I mean that there are a host of archaeological finds—from ancient cities (corroborating the existence of people groups and places that the Bible bears witness to), to actual manuscripts of Scripture themselves (the Dead Sea Scrolls would be only one example of this), to objects from daily life, tombs, objects used for religious worship, etc. When we see an ancient Palestinian city that has a trash heap, but there are no pig bones in it, we know almost for certain that this was a Jewish city—meaning that the Bible is correct that the Jews lived in Israel (for a very elementary evidence). When we see depictions of Asherah as the bride of Yahweh, we see evidence of the widespread syncretism in Israel that eventually led to the exile as God’s judgment. When we translate a fragment from the Dead Sea Scrolls and find out that it’s nearly identical to the Masoretic text of Isaiah copied nearly 1,000 years later, that’s evidence that Scripture was reliably copied through the centuries….

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