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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Amazing Historical Accuracy of the Bible

Don Stewart :: Is the Old Testament Historically Accurate?

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Is the Old Testament Historically Accurate?

The Amazing Historical Accuracy of the Bible – Question 6

Although the Old Testament was written from two thousand four hundred to three thousand four hundred years ago, the history that it records matches with known facts. The evidence is that the Old Testament is an historically accurate document in its main details. We can make the following observations:

The Old Testament Is Accurate in Its Main Details

As far as we can tell, the Old Testament is accurate in the main details that it records. This can be seen in the following way:

1. The Nations Mentioned Actually Existed

There are many different nations mentioned in the Old Testament. As far as we can tell, all of these nations actually existed—there are no mythical peoples mentioned in Scripture. The Egyptians, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians and Greeks are all well-known in the ancient world. Smaller nations, such as the Hittites, Hivites and Edomites are also known to have existed. Therefore, we are dealing with real people who existed at real times in history.

2. The Cities of the Old Testament Existed

A large number of cities are mentioned in the Old Testament. The locations of many of these ancient cities are now known, and they fit with where the Bible says they were located.

For example, the city of Ur, from which Abraham left to go to the Promised Land, has been discovered and excavated. Interestingly, it shows a highly developed civilization. Among other things discovered was a mathematical tablet that was an early form of Pythagoras’ theorem.

The Mari tablets are 20,000 ancient tablets from the city of Mari on the Euphrates River. From them, we find the ancient biblical city of Nahor mentioned. Nahor is one of the places Abraham’s servant stopped off on his way to find a bride for Abraham’s son, Isaac. The Bible says:

Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. (Genesis 24:10 NKJV)

Other cities that are mentioned in the Old Testament are in the exact location in which the Bible says they were. Again, there is every reason to believe that these cities mentioned in Scripture actually existed.

3. The Individual People Were Real Historical Characters

Confirmation of the existence of Old Testament characters have come from archaeological as well as documentary evidence. From ancient sources we have historical confirmation of a number of the kings of Israel and Judah. This includes such kings as Jehu, Ahab, Hezekiah and David. In fact, we have confirmation outside of the Bible of about fifty different people mentioned in the Old Testament. We also have a likeness of a dozen different people mentioned in the Old Testament. Their faces have been found carved on walls as well as on coins.

Therefore, we find that all the evidence leads us to believe in the trustworthiness of the biblical record as it refers to Old Testament people, places and events.

Summary – Question 6
Is the Old Testament Historically Accurate?

As we look at the evidence, we find that the Old Testament, in its main outline, matches up with known historical events and people. It gives us every reason to trust what it says. Since it has proved itself to be accurate, time and time again, it should be given the benefit of the doubt in areas where there are no confirmations from secular history.

Does Archaeology Have Its Limitations? ← Prior Section
Is the Old Testament Accurate in Its Incidental Details? Next Section →
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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.