GOD'S YOUTH MINISTRIES
  Is there any confirmation of Biblical events from written sources outside the Bible?
 


Is there any confirmation of Biblical events from written sources outside the Bible?



The most documented Biblical event is the world-wide flood described in Genesis 6-9. A number of Babylonian documents have been discovered which describe the same flood.

 

Sumerian King List. Photo copyrighted.



Ancient tablet listing the Sumerian kings

 

The Sumerian King List (pictured here), for example, lists kings who reigned for long periods of time. Then a great flood came. Following the flood, Sumerian kings ruled for much shorter periods of time. This is the same pattern found in the Bible. Men had long life spans before the flood and shorter life spans after the flood. The 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.

The Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). There was a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and “scattered them abroad and made strange their speech.”

More examples of extra-Biblical confirmation of Biblical events

  • Campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak (1 Kings 14:25-26), recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.
  • Revolt of Moab against Israel (2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27), recorded on the Mesha Inscription.
  • Fall of Samaria (2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, as recorded on his palace walls.
  • Defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II (Isaiah 20:1), as recorded on his palace walls.
  • Campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah (2 Kings 18:13-16), as recorded on the Taylor Prism.
  • Siege of Lachish by Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14, 17), as recorded on the Lachish reliefs.
  • Assassination of Sennacherib by his own sons (2 Kings 19:37), as recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.
  • Fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah (2:13-15), recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.
  • Fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2 Kings 24:10-14), as recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.
  • Captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon (2 Kings 24:15-16), as recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.
  • Fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:30-31), as recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.
  • Freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great (Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4), as recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.
  • The existence of Jesus Christ as recorded by Josephus, Suetonius, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, the Talmud, and Lucian.
  • Forcing Jews to leave Rome during the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54) (Acts 18:2), as recorded by Suetonius.


 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUMERIAN KING LIST

Sumerian King List. Photo copyrighted.


There are more than 16 fragments and one nearly complete copy of the Sumerian King List found at different places at different times. The first fragment was discovered in the temple library at Nippur, Iraq, at the turn of the century and was published in 1906. The most complete copy, the Weld-Blundell prism, was purchased on the antiquities market shortly after World War I and is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. For a thorough discussion of the Sumerian King List and its Biblical implications, see “The Antediluvian Patriarchs and the Sumerian King List,” by Raul Lopez, in the CEN Technical Journal 12 (3) 1998, pp. 347-57.



 
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