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Author's Journal Transcripts for Bill Humble
Bible Archeology - Proofs From the Earth

 


Professor Bill Humble has traveled to the Holy Land numerous times over the past 30 years. He has visited many of the ancient sites that provide evidence of the accuracy of the Bible. He shares his insights with us in the KNLS series,  Bible Archeology—Proofs from the Earth.

 

 


 

Lion and dog relief. Discovered at Beth Shan. Made c. 1700 BC. It may be Hittite art, and if so, confirms the Bible record that Hittites were in the land in the days of Abraham and his sons. For Old Testament references, read Gen. 15:20; 23:1-20; 25:9 and 26:34.  Bill Humble photo - all rights reserved.  (Click photo to view a larger image)

Lion Relief

I’d like to tell you about a stone lion that I have seen in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and how that lion might be related to the Bible. I’ve visited the Israel Museum in Jerusalem many times, and I have often stopped to look at a relief carved in stone that was discovered at Beth Shan, about 20 miles south of the Sea of Galilee. The stone relief is about three feet wide and it pictures two animals, a lion and a dog, a very brave dog. For the dog is attacking the lion and has its teeth sunk in the lion’s back. The museum display says that this stone relief was made about 1700 years before Christ. But even though the lion and dog are interesting, there is something else that interests me even more. This relief may be Hittite art. The Hittites are mentioned about 40 times in the historical books of the Old Testament. They were in the promised land when Abraham came into the land, and when Sarah died, Abraham purchased a burial cave from Ephron the Hittite. But the Hittites had disappeared from history—except in the Bible—and many people doubted whether the Hittites ever existed. Then archaeologists discovered the Hittite city of Hattusas in Turkey, and now we know that the Hittites were a powerful people around 1500 BC. But back to the stone relief of the lion and dog. Remember that it was discovered at Beth Shan near the Sea of Galilee and goes back to about 1700 BC. And it may be Hittite art. It looks very much like Hittite relief's that I have seen in the museums in Istanbul and Ankara. And lions are often pictured in Hittite art. The Israel Museum has labeled the relief Hittite art. So if the lion and dog really are Hittite art, they show that there were Hittites in the land in the days of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, just like the Bible says. And once again, a discovery of archeology shows that the Bible is an accurate record of the ancient past. And if we can trust the Bible when it tells us about history, then we can trust it when it tells us about God, and Jesus, and the meaning of our lives.


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The ruins of this Hittite temple were discovered in the early 20th century in Central Turkey, about 100 miles east of Ankara. For a few of the 40 Old Testament references to the Hittites, read Genesis 15:20; 23:1-20; Joshua 1:4; Judges 1:26; 2 Samuel 11:1-27.. Bill Humble photo - all rights reserved.  (Click photo to view a larger image)

A Visit to Hattusas

If you want a good example of how archeology goes hand-in-hand with the Bible, let me tell you about the Hittites and how I once visited their capital city in Turkey. As we read through the first few books of the Old Testament, we can find about forty references to the Hittites, and I’ve been interested in the Hittites for a long time. I knew that even though they appear in the Bible, they had been lost to history and forgotten. I knew that critics of the Bible doubted whether there ever was such a race of people and brushed them aside as "myth" or "legend." And I knew that in the twentieth century, archaeologists had uncovered the Hittite capital at Hattusas in Turkey and that we now have a vast amount of information about these Hittites. I had long wanted to visit Hattusas, and when I finally had a chance to go there, it was an experience I will always cherish. The ruins were far larger and more extensive than I had imagined. I stood atop the wall that encircled Hattusas and marveled at its massive size, then I walked through a long tunnel that went through the wall. I saw beautiful gates into the city, the king’s gate with a Hittite soldier still standing guard, and the sphinx gate. I saw the high citadel where the Hittite kings had their palace-fortress. I wandered through the great temple where the Hittites once worshipped their gods. And when I went to the archaeological museum in Ankara, I saw room after room filled with beautiful Hittite art. But on that cold rainy day that I visited Hattusas, I thought about my Bible and its record of the Hittites. Time was when only the Bible knew of the Hittites, and the Bible’s critics doubted whether there ever was such a people. And there I was in Turkey, exploring the ruins of their once great city. It was a moving spiritual experience, and I thought, "No, the Hittites were not a ‘historical blunder’ in the Bible. Here, all around me, is the evidence that the Old Testament was true in its record of the Hittites. Those who doubted were wrong. The Bible can be trusted."


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King’s Gate at Hattusas, the Hittite capital, discovered in the early 20th century in central Turkey, about 100 miles east of Ankara. For a few of the forty Old Testament references to the Hittites, see Genesis 15:20; 23:1-20; Joshua 1:4; Judges 1:26, and 2 Samuel 11:1-27.  Bill Humble photo - all rights reserved.  (Click photo to view a larger image)

Hittites

Have you ever heard of the Hittites? Probably not. But the Hittites are a good example of how archeology has confirmed the accuracy of the Bible. Let me tell you about the Hittites. The Old Testament is a book of history, and it tells us about ancient races and about events that happened three or four thousand years ago. The Hittites are just one of the many ancient races we read about in the Old Testament. But they must have been an important race, for they are mentioned about 40 times in the Bible, from the days of Abraham to the time of David. But the Hittites disappeared without a trace. They are never mentioned by the Greek and Roman historians. They were a people lost and forgotten. So not too long ago, we had no record of the Hittites except in the Bible. Nowhere else. And it was easy for critics of the Bible to say, " You can’t lose a whole race of people. Just another myth or legend in the Bible." Then archaeologists rediscovered the Hittites. Early in the 20th century, Hugo Winckler was excavating in central Turkey, about 100 miles east of Ankara, and he found Hattusas, the long-forgotten capital of the Hittite empire. Winckler uncovered city walls and gates, a citadel, temples, sculptures, gold artifacts and thousands of clay tablets. Now that the Hittite language has been deciphered, we can write their history. We know that they fought a great battle against Pharaoh Rameses II and the Egyptians in 1285 BC and we even have a peace treaty they signed after that battle. And now, the archaeological museums in Istanbul and Ankara are filled with many pieces of beautiful Hittite art. Lost and forgotten, then found by archaeologists—that’s the story of the Hittites. Critics of the Bible once scoffed at the Hittites. "Just a myth or legend," they said. But not today—thanks to archeology. The Hittites have been rediscovered. They were there in the days of Abraham and the time of David—just like the Old Testament says. The Bible was right, and those who questioned it were wrong.


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Temple tower at Ur of the Chaldeans, 200 feet long and 70 feet tall, was dedicated to the moon god. For information about God’ s call to Abraham and his leaving Ur, read Genesis 11:27—12:9 and Galatians 3:6-25.  Bill Humble photo - all rights reserved.  (Click photo to view a larger image)

Did you know that the patriarch Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldeans, now in modern Iraq, and that Ur has been excavated by archaeologists. I’d like to tell you about it. The story of Abraham is found in the first book of our Bible, Genesis, and the rest of the Bible is about the unfolding of God’s promises to Abraham, the promises of a people, a land, and a Messiah. Abraham is very important to three great religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Jews and Arabs are both descended from Abraham, and we now have DNA evidence showing that Middle Eastern Arabs and Jews do, indeed, have a common ancestor. And for Christians, Abraham is the spiritual father of all who have faith in Jesus. According to Genesis, God called Abraham to leave his home in Ur and go to a land that God would show him. Ur was located on the Euphrates River in southern Iraq, about 100 miles west of modern Basra. Ur was excavated in the 1920’s by Sir Leonard Wooley and the treasures he found can now be seen in the British Museum in London. Wooley found that Ur was first inhabited about 4000 BC, so it was already an old city when Abraham and Sarah lived there. The most important building Wooley found at Ur was a temple tower. These towers, called ziggurats, were common in Mesopotamia and were built before the pyramids in Egypt. The temple tower at Ur was made of brick and was 200 feet long and 70 feet tall. The archaeologists have restored the tower, and thankfully, it has not been damaged in the wars. The temple tower at Ur was dedicated to their chief deity, the moon god. But when God called Abraham, he left Ur and the moon god and was led to the promised land, which we know as the "Holy Land." And nearly 2000 years later a descendant of Abraham would be born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger and called Jesus. Abraham was a man of great faith in God. So as Paul wrote in the New Testament, if we are in Christ, we are Abraham’s seed and the heirs of God’s promise to Abraham.


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