Participants: John Bradshaw (Host), Michael Hasel
Series Code: IIW
Program Code: IIW001376A
00:06 >: It has stood the test of time.
00:11 God's book, the Bible.
00:15 Still relevant in today's complex world.
00:21 It Is Written, sharing hope around the globe.
00:36 JB: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw,
00:39 thanks for joining me today. There are many good reasons
00:42 why you can believe the Bible; why you can be convinced
00:46 that the Bible really is the Word of God.
00:48 And today, we're dealing with one of the great reasons
00:51 that you can be confident in the Word of God.
00:54 And that reason is archeology. I'm being joined today by an
00:58 archeologist and a professor in archeology, Dr. Michael Hasel.
01:02 Dr. Hasel, welcome to It Is Written.
01:04 MH: Thank you. It's good to be here, John.
01:05 JB: Thanks for joining me. Let's talk about archeology
01:08 today, and we're going to get to the place where we discover why
01:10 archeology is faith building, or can be faith building,
01:14 for the believer in Jesus and in the Bible.
01:16 But let's begin by having me ask you what archeology is.
01:20 I think many of us, we have this idea of Harrison Ford running
01:23 around with a hat on and a shovel over his shoulder.
01:27 What is archeology, what does it do, what's it for?
01:31 What's the philosophy of archeology?
01:32 MH: It's a good question. I do have a hat and I do carry a
01:35 shovel when I'm in the fields, but--
01:37 those are important things-- but it's a lot more than that.
01:39 Archeology is a discipline that studies basically the peoples of
01:43 the ancient world and tries to understand how they lived,
01:47 how they interacted with one another.
01:48 It's a part of anthropology, the study of people.
01:51 It's part of history, the study of the history of civilizations.
01:56 And in doing that, we can understand not only how they
01:59 lived but also understand where we came from and how life is not
02:04 that much different today. JB: Is it fair to describe you
02:07 as a biblical archeologist? MH: Yes, that is.
02:09 MH: Yeah. JB: How would you describe
02:11 biblical archeology in comparison to archeology
02:13 as a whole? MH: That's a very good question.
02:14 I was trained as an anthropologist and as a
02:16 syro-Palestinian archeologist; that is, I specialize in the
02:20 Ancient Near East and particularly in the area of
02:23 Israel, Syria, Jordan, that part of the Middle East.
02:28 Archeology is global. It studies civilizations of the
02:31 past all over the world. You can study the past in China,
02:35 in early Chinese history; South America.
02:38 Don't ask me questions about the Incans or the Mayans,
02:40 I don't know a whole lot about-- we specialize very much
02:42 geographically. So, when we talk about biblical
02:45 archeology, we're focusing on the Ancient Near East and those
02:49 periods that interact with the Bible, and help understand the
02:53 history that the Bible is speaking about, specifically.
02:56 JB: So, how has archeology helped us to
03:00 understand the Bible? Give me some examples.
03:03 MH: The Bible is written over a huge span of history, giving
03:07 important historical details about history and about various
03:11 peoples throughout history. But, one way that archeology
03:14 does help is that the Bible doesn't necessarily focus
03:18 so much on what people ate and what kind of houses
03:21 they lived in and what their civilizations were like.
03:24 It's interested in political history, religious history.
03:27 It talks about God's intervention in history,
03:30 through the lives of His people. What archeology does, it helps
03:34 flesh that out, so to speak, and gives us a better understanding
03:37 of how people in ancient Israel lived their everyday lives.
03:40 And helps us understand also what happened when they went off
03:44 into exile in Babylon, for example.
03:47 Archeology can help contextualize things.
03:49 I'll give you one example. I brought a coin here today.
03:53 This is a coin, a silver coin. It has a face on it.
03:58 This dates to the time of the Hellenistic Period.
04:02 This is a coin of Ptolemy I, the successor of
04:07 Alexander the Great. Now, what is interesting is,
04:10 this coin was minted in Tyre, which is located up in Lebanon,
04:13 modern Lebanon today. The Israelites had to decide
04:17 what kind of temple tax they were going to take from people
04:21 that were coming to visit the temple during the festivals,
04:24 during Passover. We just celebrated
04:27 Easter recently, this was the Passover time.
04:30 What kind of temple tax. And they had such an aversion to
04:33 the Roman culture-- because the Romans were oppressing the
04:36 Israelites during Christ's time on earth-- that, in fact,
04:40 they didn't want to use Roman coins.
04:43 They didn't want to use Roman coinage or accept Roman coinage.
04:46 You remember Jesus went into the temple one time and overthrew
04:49 the tables of the moneychangers. Why were they exchanging money?
04:51 Because they only were accepting a certain kind of temple tax.
04:55 And if you didn't have the right tax, there were moneychangers
04:57 there to make sure you had the right tax.
04:59 So what did they choose? They chose a coin minted in
05:02 Tyre, with a face not of Caesar on it, because they couldn't
05:05 stand Caesar. They have a face of Melqart,
05:10 who is the Phoenician Baal. So they preferred a pagan deity
05:14 like Baal to be on the coins accepted at the temple over the
05:19 face of Caesar. That just gives you a glimpse
05:22 into the depth of animosity, the depth of discomfort they felt
05:28 with supporting the Roman regime at that time.
05:31 JB: And that's a genuine-- MH: This is a genuine coin
05:33 from that time period. JB: How hard are they to find,
05:36 or to come across, today? MH: Depends.
05:39 We worked at a site, at Khirbet Qeiyafa in Israel, and we found
05:42 over 600 coins in a period of about seven seasons of
05:46 excavation. Seven years of excavation.
05:48 But, that was with hiring an individual with a metal
05:51 detector, who went through our areas of excavation on a regular
05:54 basis and helped us. Otherwise, we would have maybe
05:57 missed quite a few of them. Because some of them are so
05:59 small, they are no larger than the fingernail on your pinky.
06:02 JB: What's that like, to be digging around and finding stuff
06:08 that this was used in the Bible times.
06:11 Somebody may have handed this to somebody in the temple
06:13 when Jesus was alive. That's got to make the history
06:15 become very alive. MH: Well, it's incredible.
06:18 I mean, take this coin for example.
06:19 This coin could have been in the pocket--
06:21 if Jesus had a pocket-- or the disciples' pockets,
06:25 as they went around and bought things in the market
06:28 and so forth. You know, we live in a
06:30 media-driven world today, and people want to touch
06:33 and feel and see. Many times faith is something
06:37 that, well, I can't see it, I can't touch it.
06:41 Archeology helps us, I think in one way,
06:43 to get back to the lands of the Bible, when you find a
06:47 piece of pottery, where you find a coin, where you find something
06:50 like this for the first time. It's an amazing experience,
06:53 because you wonder who held this last.
06:56 Who held this in their hands 3,000 years ago, before this was
06:59 buried in the sands. And sometimes you even find a
07:01 fingerprint. And our FBI databases don't go
07:04 back that far, but if they could,
07:07 whose fingerprint was that on that piece of pottery.
07:10 It's like reaching back and shaking someone's hand.
07:13 JB: Archeology has made some remarkable discoveries that have
07:15 brought to light civilizations and individuals from the Bible.
07:19 In just a moment we'll find out about some of those.
07:21 We'll be right back.
07:23 >: Every Word is a one-minute Bible-based daily devotional
07:27 presented by Pastor John Bradshaw and designed especially
07:30 for busy people like you. Look for Every Word
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07:36 every day on our website, ItIsWritten.com.
07:40 ♪ [rythmic melody] ♪
07:45 JB: In 1813, John James Audubon saw
07:48 a flock of passenger pigeons so large that it took three days
07:53 to pass. But in 1914, the last passenger
07:56 pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo where he'd lived alone in a
07:59 cage for four years. Now the passenger pigeon
08:02 is extinct. How is that possible?
08:05 Well, the short story is that they tasted good and were easy
08:07 to catch, and so today they're as gone as the dodo and the
08:10 South Island Larving Owl. Now, you don't want your faith
08:13 in God to end up like the passenger pigeon.
08:16 In Revelation 3:11, Jesus says, "Behold I am coming quickly.
08:20 Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown."
08:23 Guard your faith in Jesus. Don't become spiritually
08:26 careless or casual. Be sure that every day you
08:28 invite Christ into your heart. Don't let your faith in Jesus
08:33 become extinct.
08:35 I'm John Bradshaw for It Is Written.
08:37 Let's live today by every word.
08:40 JB: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw.
08:43 Thanks for joining me today. I'm being joined by
08:45 Dr. Michael Hasel, an archeologist and
08:47 a professor of archeology at Southern Adventist University.
08:51 Archeology has often been demonstrated to validate
08:56 the Bible. Dr. Hasel, how has archeology
09:01 demonstrated the Bible as a valid and trustworthy book.
09:04 What are some of the big moments in biblical archeology?
09:08 MH: Archeology is a tremendous tool because it can go into the
09:13 history of the Bible lands and look at the civilizations that
09:18 existed at that time-- look at the people,
09:20 the places, the events. Archeology is very good at
09:23 giving broader sweeps of ideas of how people lived.
09:27 Sometimes it's not as good as dealing with very specific
09:31 events, but we have some great examples of that as well.
09:34 I'm going to talk first about civilizations.
09:36 In the 1800s there was great skepticism about the Hittites.
09:41 The Hittites were a group of individuals, a group of people
09:44 mentioned in the Bible over 20 times.
09:47 They're mentioned in different contexts.
09:49 They're mentioned earlier in the Patriarchal Period, in the book
09:51 of Genesis, and then they're mentioned much later in time
09:54 as well. Uriah, the Hittite, during the
09:56 time of David, for example, which was many, many
09:59 years later. Who were these Hittites?
10:02 Well, they weren't mentioned in any classical sources.
10:05 They weren't mentioned anywhere outside of the Bible, and there
10:07 were a lot of scholars saying, You know, this group of people
10:10 didn't exist. This was an anachronism, a
10:12 mistake that the Bible writers have made.
10:15 It wasn't until 1906 that excavations began in central
10:18 Turkey at a site called Hattusha Bogazkoy,
10:23 was the original name of the city-- or I should say
10:26 the modern name of the city-- that archeologists
10:29 not only uncovered the capitol of the Hittites,
10:32 but they uncovered an archive of thousands and thousands of
10:35 tablets that demonstrated extensive language and an
10:40 extensive history and tradition for the Hittite culture.
10:43 Of course, they didn't even have to do that in 1906.
10:45 Much earlier, as Egyptian hieroglyphics were being
10:49 deciphered in the early 1800s, 1822 by Champollion, the French
10:53 archeologist and linguist. We had also an occurrence,
10:58 an opportunity, to look at Egyptian texts
11:01 on temple walls and across the Egyptian empire, one of the
11:05 longest empires that ever existed, and look at their
11:08 interactions with peoples of the ancient world, because they
11:11 conducted campaigns and were very active with other people.
11:15 What we find there-- and I'm just finishing a book right now
11:18 focusing on the Egyptian understanding of historical
11:22 geography and Asia-- that we find the Hittites
11:25 mentioned more frequently than any other group
11:27 of people because they were the major other empire in the north
11:31 that were vying for control of the area of Canaan, between
11:34 Egypt and the area of Turkey, modern Turkey today.
11:38 JB: So here you had people saying there is doubt about this
11:41 aspect of the Bible, and therefore doubt
11:43 about the Bible. MH: Right.
11:45 JB: And archeology, many years later, comes along and says aha,
11:49 here's the evidence you need. MH: That's right.
11:51 JB: What other aha moments have there been in archeology,
11:54 as it relates to the Bible? MH: There was a very early
11:56 excavation in Babylon, in the early 1900s, and that
12:00 was an amazing excavation conducted by the Germans.
12:04 They took a huge amount of material with them, of course,
12:07 to Berlin, and in the Pergamon Museum today you can see the
12:09 Ishtar Gate that has been reconstructed there,
12:12 piece by piece. They discovered not only this
12:15 amazing capitol city but there was always a big question about
12:19 who the builder of Babylon was. Babylon's history goes back much
12:23 further than the period of the book of Daniel and Ezekiel
12:26 and Jeremiah. So, who was the builder?
12:30 Daniel, in Daniel chapter 4 verse 30 talks about
12:32 Nebuchadnezzar who is walking on the walls of his city and
12:36 saying, "Is this not great Babylon that I've built for my
12:38 honor and power and majesty?" And so scholars are wondering,
12:42 "How could he make that remark?" Because actually,
12:45 Babylon had been in existence for a long time before
12:48 Nebuchadnezzar was. It would be like
12:49 the mayor of New York saying, "Is this not New York
12:52 that I've built for my power and majesty."
12:54 Well, what they discovered in the excavations were bricks,
12:59 like this one, thousands of these bricks.
13:02 This is only partial brick, this is a broken piece of a brick.
13:05 But in this corner here, we have an inscription.
13:08 And that inscription begins with the name Nebuchadnezzar.
13:12 Nebuchadnezzar had thousands of his bricks stamped with a stamp
13:17 that said King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the builder
13:20 of the temple of Esagila, the builder of the temple
13:23 of Ezita. Firstborn son of Nabopolassar,
13:26 king of Babylon. Thousands of bricks stamped
13:28 with that, so there's no question
13:30 anymore that Nebuchadnezzar was indeed the rebuilder of the city
13:33 of Babylon after the Assyrians destroyed it around 622 B.C.
13:38 JB: The Bible is very specific about individuals;
13:40 lots of people that are named. MH: Yes.
13:43 JB: Paul's writing, send greetings to this person
13:45 and that person. How many biblical characters
13:48 do we know of have existed archeologically?
13:53 MH: It's a very good question. There are many names in the
13:55 Bible, of course, and for some of them we wouldn't necessarily
13:59 expect to find evidence for them.
14:01 But archeology does, and it's amazing the little things
14:05 that we find. Sometimes of course, kings.
14:08 We've talked about the coins and Alexander the Great and various
14:14 emperors on the coins that are mentioned-- Augustus
14:17 and Tiberius and others who are mentioned
14:19 in the New Testament. We of course could expect kings
14:21 to be mentioned in annals also that are mentioned in the Bible.
14:24 Kings of Assyria, like Tiglath-Pileser III, and
14:27 Sennacherib and others. I would say currently we have
14:31 between 70 and 80 individuals that are mentioned in the Bible,
14:35 that have been confirmed through archeology to have existed
14:39 in history. JB: Let me ask you this.
14:40 Some of those are the obvious candidates, Augustus, Tiberius.
14:43 Are there any among that 80 or so that are kind of surprising?
14:47 MH: Yes. Absolutely. Sometimes there are seal
14:50 impressions found of private stamp seals.
14:53 Jerusalem has been a source of finding these ancient seal
14:56 impressions. And we actually have seal
14:59 impressions of some of the court officials of Jerusalem.
15:03 We actually have, we believe, a stamp seal of Baruch,
15:07 the son of Neriah the scribe who, according to the book
15:10 of Jeremiah, was Jeremiah's personal scribe,
15:13 who wrote much of the book of Jeremiah.
15:15 Who also was the witness when Jeremiah went out to buy the
15:18 land during his time in prison? Why would we have him?
15:22 Well, it was something that people had records of, and they
15:25 kept records of these kinds of things.
15:27 One of the interesting recent discoveries--
15:29 I think it was around 2007-- a scholar from Vienna
15:34 was doing research at the British Museum in England, and
15:37 was going through some tablets that had not been published
15:41 or even read before. And by the way, we have
15:43 thousands of cuneiform tablets in the basements of museums
15:46 that haven't even been read, let alone published.
15:48 He was going through these and all of a sudden on this ancient
15:51 Babylonian tablet he sees a name there: Nebo-Sarsekim.
15:55 At least, that's the name that he read.
16:00 And it is mentioned in obscure, in passing in the book of
16:03 Jeremiah, I think it's Jeremiah 31,
16:05 where Nebo-Sarsekim is mentioned with a number of
16:08 different Babylonian officials who Nebuchadnezzar leaves behind
16:12 to help out with overseeing Jerusalem in his absence.
16:16 So you have these kinds of surprise discoveries.
16:20 And what I often tell students is, we're only beginning to
16:23 scratch the surface. I mean, archeology is a young
16:25 discipline. We've only been working
16:28 for a short period of time. I mean, 200 years
16:30 is not that long. And the amount of time that goes
16:33 into an excavation, we're only scratching the surface.
16:35 There's so much more to be found.
16:37 JB: You've personally dug in the Middle East how many times?
16:42 MH: I've dug 10 different sites and I've worked probably 20
16:45 seasons in the field, over 20 seasons in the field, and I've
16:48 directed projects and I've worked as a volunteer,
16:51 from Cypress to Jordan to Israel.
16:53 Mostly in Israel, though. JB: So you've seen a little bit.
16:56 MH: Yes. JB: How easy is it for somebody,
16:59 do you think, to see that much evidence and then dismiss the
17:05 Bible as not valid? MH: You can look at a glass half
17:08 empty and you can look at a glass half full.
17:10 There are skeptics who would say, okay, so we have 70 people
17:14 in the Bible. What about the rest of the
17:15 hundreds that are mentioned there?
17:17 JB: Is there stuff we've missed, or that we haven't yet found
17:22 that is significant? MH: Oh, absolutely.
17:23 Absolutely. JB: All right, there are
17:25 questions then. Archeology hasn't proven
17:27 everything. What have we not so far
17:29 found through archeology, in the Bible,
17:33 that maybe we should have or could have or still hope to?
17:36 We'll find out in just a moment.
17:39 ♪ [musical interlude] ♪
17:43 JB: Your Father God, your creator and originator,
17:46 is also the God of the future. In His ability to tell us what
17:49 is still ahead, God reminds us of His sovereignty and power
17:53 over all things. To help us to trust Him,
17:56 God has provided amazing evidence of His reliability,
17:59 and the reliability of His Word. Today I'd like to send you a
18:03 booklet that demonstrates how God foretold world events with
18:06 absolute accuracy thousands of years in advance.
18:10 This booklet is called "Can God Be Trusted,
18:12 and it's absolutely free. Just call 1 (800) 253-3000, and
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18:45 JB: This is It Is Written. Thanks for joining me today.
18:48 Our special guest is Dr. Michael Hasel,
18:50 an archeologist and a professor of archeology.
18:54 Dr. Hasel, a moment ago we alluded to the idea that
18:56 some things, significant things in the Bible,
18:59 archeology has not validated, at least not yet.
19:03 So, what are some of those things that clearly some people
19:08 are troubled by? MH: In 1992, a book was
19:11 published, "In Search of Ancient Israel,"
19:13 by a British Old Testament scholar, Philip Davies.
19:17 It was a very controversial book, because basically he said
19:20 everything in the Old Testament was an invented fiction that
19:24 wasn't written until the time of Alexander the Great,
19:26 in the third, second centuries. And he said Hebrew was an
19:30 invented language. And one of the things that he
19:31 argued-- and this is what makes archeology so important--
19:34 he argued we have no evidence for David or Solomon.
19:38 These are the great kings of Israel.
19:40 So he was arguing on the basis of silence.
19:43 We haven't found these men in ancient history,
19:46 therefore they didn't exist. The next year, archeologists
19:49 were working in the northern site of Tel Dan, the very
19:53 northern city of Israel, right on the border to Lebanon.
19:56 And as a volunteer was working in a wall, a piece of stone from
20:02 that wall fell out of the wall, and on the opposite side of that
20:05 stone, which had been reused as a building block of a wall, was
20:09 an inscription written by an Aramean king,
20:11 with his capitol of Damascus, not even an Israelite king,
20:14 who had invaded Israel, mentioned in the Bible,
20:17 and had left a stele commemorating his victory over
20:21 the king of Israel-- it's broken,
20:25 part of the king's name is mentioned-- the king of Israel
20:28 and then the House of David. This is during the divided
20:32 monarchy, when you have the Northern Kingdom and the
20:34 Southern Kingdom. The House of David is the way
20:36 the Bible exactly talks and describes the kingdom of Judah,
20:41 because David was seen as its founder.
20:43 And so here you have 140 years after David's reign,
20:48 David being remembered as the founder of a dynasty,
20:51 as of the House of David. Now, when this was published--
20:54 and it was a major, major event.
20:56 It was made the cover of the New York Times, it was news all over
21:00 the world-- what did Philip Davies do?
21:03 He said, well, there are no vowels in Hebrew.
21:06 You only have consonants, and so we don't know if the vowel A or
21:11 the vowel I-- we don't have those vowels
21:13 in Hebrew-- was there. Maybe there were other vowels.
21:15 Maybe it was O. Maybe it was the House of Dowd.
21:18 Or some other pronunciation. Nobody really accepted that
21:23 interpretation among the scholarly community, and he went
21:26 so far, later in an article, to say, Well, maybe that artifact
21:30 was a forgery placed there by the archeologists.
21:34 So some people will go so far to defend a previous conclusion,
21:38 based on the absence of evidence, to the point of almost
21:41 absurdity. And yet at the same time,
21:45 I always remind my students, the absence of evidence
21:48 is never evidence for absence. There are hundreds of
21:51 archeologists working in the field every year, and you never
21:54 know what's going to be found. JB: What are some other things
21:57 we've missed? What do we not have evidence
22:00 for? MH: There is no evidence in
22:03 Egypt for a massive exodus; for 10 plagues;
22:07 for the things that are such a central core element
22:11 of Scripture. JB: Okay, what type of
22:13 archeological evidence might there be for that?
22:16 MH: Well, one would maybe expect to find some records of Moses or
22:21 Joseph, if Joseph was visier of Egypt, maybe there would be some
22:24 record of that. Of Moses, if he was destined
22:27 to be king of Egypt. Those kinds of arguments have
22:30 been made before. I deal a lot with Egyptology.
22:33 I just finished a commentary on the book of Exodus, and I would
22:36 say this: this would be something that I think is very
22:39 important to keep in mind. In ancient Egypt, the Egyptian
22:44 military records never record any defeat.
22:49 They are always victorious. The Egyptians are always
22:51 victorious. JB: If you look at
22:53 the Arc de Triomphe, you won't find any mention
22:55 of Waterloo. MH: That's correct.
22:57 So, the Egyptians never lose a battle, and this is part of
23:01 their ideology, because their gods are guiding them
23:04 into battle. So, this was probably one of the
23:07 greatest defeats Egypt ever experienced.
23:10 There economy was devastated through the plagues, the
23:13 Egyptian pharaoh was destroyed in the crossing of the sea,
23:16 most likely. There were a lot of things that
23:18 happened there, that would have been very devastating to
23:20 Egyptian ideology, let alone political history.
23:25 So part of me, as a historian knowing what I know about
23:29 Egyptian ways of documenting things, is not that surprised
23:32 that we don't find any evidence of that event.
23:35 But what I want to come back to is the Bible, the Bible is not
23:39 that kind of a book. The Bible doesn't just give us a
23:42 glorified past of Israel. The Bible tells us about
23:46 Israel's defeats as well as its victories, both on a personal
23:49 level-- whether it's David's sin with Bathsheba-- or on a global
23:54 level in terms of a catastrophe of a lost war.
23:57 And as a historian, that gives me some level of confidence in
24:02 the Bible as a more authentic and objective source of truth
24:07 in history. JB: What do archeologists
24:09 actually find? You're not finding whole towns
24:13 and a lot of intact artifacts, most of the time, are you?
24:16 You dig in the sand in Israel-- what do you come across?
24:19 MH: We excavate a very small portion of a city, that when
24:22 we go and excavate. Very small portion.
24:24 Let's given an example. The Harvard excavations
24:26 at Ashkelon. They excavated there for over
24:29 25 years. They have excavated less than
24:31 5 percent of the site, in 25 years of excavation.
24:35 It's one of the best-funded excavations with hundreds of
24:39 archeologists and volunteers working in the field.
24:42 We don't even know how many sites there are.
24:45 Many of them haven't even been located yet,
24:47 let alone excavated. So there's this whole series
24:50 of limitations. Once a site is excavated, where
24:52 we're basing our conclusions on a very small segment of the
24:56 site-- that all needs to be published, and publication rates
24:59 are very, very dismal for archeologists.
25:02 It usually takes 10, 15 years for site reports to get
25:04 published. And finally, when you come
25:08 through all of that process-- of excavation,
25:12 analysis of data, publication-- only a small fraction of what is
25:18 actually excavated has a direct impact on
25:21 understanding the Bible. In other words, of mentioning a
25:25 name of an individual, or that kind of a thing, things are not
25:28 preserved in the ground. Papyrus, in Egypt, yes.
25:33 The Dead Sea Scrolls, because it was in a very dry climate, yes.
25:36 But in Jerusalem, in the more fertile areas,
25:40 things deteriorate. We find a few stone artifacts
25:43 that have writing on them; we find some cuneiform tablets.
25:47 But in Israel, writing and written materials are very rare.
25:51 JB: Archeology, in your own personal relationship with God,
25:54 it has strengthened your faith in God.
25:58 It has made little difference, a lot of difference.
26:00 How personally has it impacted you?
26:03 MH: It's been profound. My first trip to the Middle East
26:06 was with my father when I was a teenager.
26:08 I remember being in Jerusalem, sitting on the Mount of Olives
26:13 and looking over the old city. And what I had grown up with and
26:16 read in the Bible suddenly had a context to it.
26:20 And suddenly the Kidron Valley, and the sheep gate that Jesus
26:25 walked through on His way to the temple, when He stopped at the
26:29 Pool of Bethesda, and all of these things began to
26:31 make sense. And, for a young person,
26:36 it was very life changing. Maybe that's one reason I became
26:41 an archeologist, I don't know. But I think, for me, yes it's
26:44 made a huge difference. You never read the Bible the
26:47 same again, when you visit the lands of the Bible.
26:49 And when you're excavating this material,
26:52 the Bible becomes real. It becomes something that is
26:55 made up of real people, and it testifies of a God
26:59 that interacts in history among those people.
27:02 I can see that as a life-affirming aspect of my
27:05 faith as well, as I see Him working in my life today.
27:08 JB: Dr. Michael Hasel, thank you.
27:10 MH: It's good to be here, John. JB: Let's pray together;
27:11 we have much to pray about. MH: Sure.
27:13 Yes. JB: Our Father in heaven, we are
27:14 grateful that You've given us the Bible, and in addition to
27:17 the Bible, You have given us solid evidence, good reasons why
27:21 we can believe Your Word is true.
27:23 Ultimately, we claim Jesus as our Savior by faith.
27:28 Allow us to be people of faith, who in the presence of or in the
27:32 absence of concrete evidence, we can say we believe in the God of
27:37 heaven, for we have the witness in our hearts that He loves us
27:41 and we love Him. Guide and bless us.
27:43 Let us be people of Your Word, I pray.
27:46 In Jesus' name, amen.
27:49 ♪ [It Is Written Theme] ♪ Thanks for joining me today.
27:51 I look forward to seeing you again next time.
27:53 Until then, remember It Is Written:
27:56 "Man shall not live by bread alone,
27:58 but by every word that proceeds
28:01 from the mouth of God."
28:03 ♪ [Music swells] ♪