For Christians around the world, the Bible is considered to be a sacred text. Even for people who aren’t religious, the Bible contains stories that have become touchstones for many. But how much of what’s written inside of its pages is the truth?
While some things are impossible to know for certain, many of the mysteries of this sacred text have already been solved. Some of the most important people and places in the Bible really existed, and scientists finally have proof of them. Prepare for everything you thought you knew to change forever…
1. The real face of Jesus: Recently, forensic anthropologists recreated the face of a man they believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. While Christians have no doubt in his existence, even skeptics might be swayed by this depiction of the man believed by some to be the son of God.
2. Mary Magdalene’s identity: For years the Church of Saint-Maximin claimed to possess the bones of this friend to Jesus. Recently, a forensic artist was able to verify that those remains do belong to a woman originally from the same region where Magdalene was believed to have lived.
3. King Solomon’s wall: In the 10th Century BCE according to the Bible, King Solomon decreed that a wall would be built in the city to protect it from interlopers. Archaeologists recently uncovered remnants of a wall built in that era that seems as if it could easily be the wall in question.
4. The Tower of Babel: According to the Book of Genesis, this biblical tower was constructed by Noah’s relatives. Eventually, the tower became a symbol for their pride, and in the bible, the one language people spoke was replaced with countless different languages, making it impossible for people to understand each other.
The ziggurat, or tower, Etemenanki, is located in the same part of the former ancient city of Babylon, modern day Iraq. Many believe that Etemenanki, the tallest of the towers, is the tower from the Old Testament.
5. Proof of the Great Flood: If you believe the old Testament, then you know about the Great Flood that led Noah to build his ark and fill it with two animals of every kind. Scientists recently proved that 7,000 years ago a flood did devastate the regions surrounding the Black Sea killing upwards of 100,000 people.
6. Noah’s Ark: Countless people have made claims that they discovered the original remnants of Noah’s Ark. However, if it existed, chances are that the wood would have been immediately used as timber after the flood passed. Still, that doesn’t stop people from marking the ark on Google Maps.
7. The brother of Jesus: For years, rumors have circulated that Jesus had a brother, the Apostle James. This speculation reached a fever pitch when in the 1970s a casket with the words “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” written upon it was found from around the era Jesus was thought to live.
8. Queen Jezebel: In the 9th Century BCE, Queen Jezebel was said to rule Israel and force people to worship her preferred deity, Baal. In the 1980s, a seal with her name and insignia was found on an archaeological dig, proving that the queen did exist.
9. The Great Plagues: In the Bible, Moses summons 10 great plagues to befall the people of Egypt should they not release their slaves, the Jewish people. For centuries, people believed that these plagues were just a story.
These plagues included a bloody river, now believed to be caused by red algae, and an onslaught of frogs, lice, and locusts, now believed to be attracted to the scene because of the algae.
10. The explanations for the plagues don’t stop there! Lice carry malaria, and that would have killed cows but not before causing boils to erupt on them. Speaking of eruptions, the plague of fire raining from the sky likely came from a nearby volcano!
11. The parting of the Red Sea: In the Bible, Moses leads his people out of Egypt by beseeching God to part the Red Sea for them. They walk right through the sea while the Egyptians are drowned. Scientists speculate that a breeze of up to 60mph could have parted a sea like the Sea of Reeds, which is believed to be the Red Sea.
12. King David: According to the Bible, King David was one of three kings who ruled over a united Israel. For years people speculated about his existence until a statue called the Tel Dan Stele was uncovered that directly references the “house of David.” Pretty cool!
13. Nazareth: For years, people speculated that the town where Jesus was from, Nazareth, did not exist as a place where people lived during his time. However in 2001, archeologists uncovered bowls, baskets, and tools from the 1st century that seem to indicate that people did live there!
14. Pontius Pilate: In the Bible, Pilate is the Roman who authorizes the murder of Jesus. His existence was finally established as fact in 1971 with the discovery of the “Pilate Stone” and what was written upon it…
This tablet discovered during an archaeological dig read: “Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judaea, has made this Tiberieum and dedicated it to the Augustan gods,” proving that Pilate the man did exist.
15. King Herod’s tomb: In the New Testament, King Herod wiped out as many infants as he could in a bid to destroy the infant Jesus. In history, Flavius Joseph recorded details about Herod’s actual funeral, and details from that account matched with this tomb, found in 2007, which is believed to contain Herod’s remains.
16. The prophet Isaiah: The existence of this Bible writer was unable to be proven until an an archaeological dig made an amazing discovery. They found a seal with the words “Yesha‘yahu,” and “Nvy” which translate to mean “Isaiah, prophet.”
17. Caiaphas: In the New Testament, Caiaphas was known for being the high priest who had Jesus arrested for blasphemy. In 1990, a truck in Jerusalem backed into an old building site which revealed the remains of a man named Caiaphas from about the same period in the time as the New Testament.
While several mysteries in the Bible might be impossible to prove, the evidence surrounding these other items is pretty compelling. Who knows what else will be discovered with time?
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