I estimated the Old
Testament includes the
names of about 2,889 people. (# 50; 61) I listed 62 confirmed or
confirmed by archaeology and predicted more will be found.
Recently I noticed two more.
25km south-west of Aman (Jordan), in an area called Iraq el Amir meaning Cave of the Prince, is evidence for Tobiah. Tobiah was the Ammonite official who, in the 5th century BC, opposed the return of the Jews to Israel. (Nehemiah 2:10)
In the early 1990s a team from Jordan's Department of Antiquities and the French Institute of Archaeology surveyed the remains of some 2nd century BC buildings. Nearby are cliffs with eleven caves on two levels. At the entrance of one cave is an inscription of the name Tobiah in Aramaic. The name appears again in the adjacent cave.
The inscription is dated to the Persian period 541-331 BC and therefore could refer to the Ammonite official of the Bible. (Archaeological Diggings Volume 1, June/July 1994, p. 29)
Another discovery may be "Sarsechim", an official of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. (Jeremiah 39:3)
The British Museum has a
collection of 130,000
Assyrian cuneiform tablets. On the Internet, Nigel Reynolds reports
one tablet appears to be: "a receipt for payment made by a figure in
Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna … made … a discovery that supports the view that the historical books of the Old Testament are based on fact.
…Prof Jursa suddenly came across a name … Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there … as "the chief eunuch" of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.
Prof Jursa, an Assyriologist, checked the Old Testament and there in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he found, spelled differently, the same name – Nebo-Sarsekim.
Nebo-Sarsekim, according to Jeremiah, was Nebuchadnezzar II's "chief officer" and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC...
The small tablet, the size of "a packet of 10 cigarettes" according to Irving Finkel, a British Museum expert, is a bill of receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin's payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon.
to the 10th year of the
reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, 595BC, 12 years before the siege of
(13 July, 2007
In the King James
translation Jeremiah 39:3
Many Bibles have "nebo" attached to the wrong name. It should not read "Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim…" but rather "Samgar, Nebo-sarsechim…" Some translators have made the correction including the NIV and RSV.
Hebrew writing did not use vowels. Therefore Nebo is the same as Nebu and Nabu. It was the name of a Babylonian god and prefixed the name of various humans such as Nebu-chadnezzar and Nebu-zaradan. (2 Kings 25:8-11)
This still leaves the biblical "sarsechim" different to "sharrussu-ukin" on the cuneiform tablet
PROOF OF THE BIBLE?
Notice from the comments that Bible-believers believe the Bible true irrespective of evidence. Evidence is even disparaged as irrelevant!
The comment about the Bible being "self authenticating" seems nonsensical. People who make this claim should write something "self authenticating" down to show us what "self authentication" means and how it beats scientific evidence.
rightly point out that
one confirmed point does not prove the whole Bible, just as one
point in a Babylonian inscription does not prove Babylonian religion.
To research the accuracy of the Bible, or any other document that makes claims about the world, we need to check its claims by consulting relevant scientific literature and news reports.
If the Old Testament names about 2,889 people and one by one we see them confirmed by archaeology, then a valid hypothesis is that the trend will continue and more will be confirmed. We thus have a prediction that future science will refute or support. From 64 confirmed or tentatively confirmed OT persons some of us may even predict that all 2,889 existed.
Inductive reasoning is when an observed trend is generalized. If an observer sees some white pigeons and concludes that all pigeons, including the ones he can't see, are white he is reasoning inductively. If an employer trusts an employee because the latter has always been reliable he is reasoning inductively. If you open your mouth to speak, you do so because on past occasions when you opened your mouth to speak you succeeded and therefore anticipate success again. Once more, it's inductive reasoning.
Similarly, if many points in the Bible become confirmed and this happens again and again, then we can generalize. We can reason inductively and predict that more of the Bible – perhaps even all of it – is true.
Besides archaeology and history I've demonstrated, in Investigator, confirmations of Bible statements in about 15 scientific disciplines including astronomy, archaeology, psychology, medicine, genetics, zoology, biology, geology and oceanography.
In one instance – whether cobras and other snakes can hear, which science had denied – the Encyclopedia Britannica was revised. (Investigator 94) Nowadays it's common knowledge that snakes hear. New Scientist for example reported: "horned desert…vipers have internal ears that can hear frequencies between 200 and 1000 hertz." The viper detects vibrations through the lower jaw, which stimulate the internal ears. (17 March, 2007, p. 13)
Some Bible statements that are now confirmed are of world-shaking importance – for example the threat of asteroids to civilization. (#62)
I investigate the Bible bit by bit, anything testable, by consulting science. Every name or phrase confirmed strengthens the inductive conclusion that: "The Bible, as originally written, is 100% accurate, inspired by God."
Christians often start with this claim as an assumption and disparage evidence for and against which is irrational – whereas I go to science to get the facts.
Is it possible to
prove the Bible by relying on scientific evidence and logic? On this
website the attempt is made: