Is the Bible historically accurate? (part 5)

My son Hunter Hatcher has started trying his hand at comedy. I have heard him do it twice now. I wanted to pass on a joke that he told the other night.

Hunter Hatcher

I know we  pray over our food before we eat it. We will be sitting there asking the Lord “Will you please nourish this food to my body.” You know good and well that you are about to eat about four pounds of fried chicken or maybe a chilly cheese coney. What you really need to ask the Lord is: “Would you please change the molecular structure of this food for the nourishment of my body.” That would be a miracle.

______________________________________

The Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy. (Part 4 of 5 film series on archaeology)

I mentioned earlier about the doubts John Brummett, Max Brantley and Gene Lyons have about the Bible’s accuracy historically.

I have read quotes from many scholars in the 1800’s doubting the existence of the Hittites. I wonder what these guys would have said if we lived back then?

Most doubting scholars back then said that the Hittites were just a “mythical people that are only mentioned in the Bible.” Some skeptics pointed to the fact that the Bible pictures the Hittites as a very big nation that was worthy of being coalition partners with Egypt (II Kings 7:6), and these bible critics would assert that surely we would have found records of this great nation of Hittites.

The ironic thing is that when the Hittite nation was discovered, a vast amount of Hittite documents were found. Among those documents was the treaty between Ramesses II and the Hittite King.

Discovery of the Hittites

The Hittites played a prominent role in Old Testament history. They interacted with biblical figures as early as Abraham and as late as Solomon. They are mentioned in Genesis 15:20 as people who inhabited the land of Canaan. 1 Kings 10:29 records that they purchased chariots and horses from King Solomon. The most prominent Hittite is Uriah the husband of Bathsheba. The Hittites were a powerful force in the Middle East from 1750 B.C. until 1200 B.C. Prior to the late 19th century, nothing was known of the Hittites outside the Bible, and many critics alleged that they were an invention of the biblical authors.

In 1876 a dramatic discovery changed this perception. A British scholar named A. H. Sayce found inscriptions carved on rocks in Turkey. He suspected that they might be evidence of the Hittite nation. Ten years later, more clay tablets were found in Turkey at a place called Boghaz-koy. German cuneiform expert Hugo Winckler investigated the tablets and began his own expedition at the site in 1906.

Winckler’s excavations uncovered five temples, a fortified citadel and several massive sculptures. In one storeroom he found over ten thousand clay tablets. One of the documents proved to be a record of a treaty between Ramesses II and the Hittite king. Other tablets showed that Boghaz-koy was the capital of the Hittite kingdom. Its original name was Hattusha and the city covered an area of 300 acres. The Hittite nation had been discovered!

Less than a decade after Winckler’s find, Czech scholar Bedrich Hronzny proved the Hittite language is an early relative of the Indo-European languages of Greek, Latin, French, German, and English. The Hittite language now has a central place in the study of the history of the Indo-European languages.

The discovery also confirmed other biblical facts. Five temples were found containing many tablets with details of the rites and ceremonies that priests performed. These ceremonies described rites for purification from sin and purification of a new temple. The instructions proved to be very elaborate and lengthy. Critics once criticized the laws and instructions found in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy as too complicated for the time it was written (1400 B.C.). The Boghaz-koy texts along with others from Egyptian sites and a site along the Euphrates called Emar have proven that the ceremonies described in the Jewish Pentateuch are consistent with the ceremonies of the cultures of this time period.

The Hittite Empire made treaties with civilizations they conquered. Two dozen of these have been translated and provide a better understanding of treaties in the Old Testament. The discovery of the Hittite Empire at Boghaz-koy has significantly advanced our understanding of the patriarchal period. Dr. Fred Wright summarizes the importance of this find in regard to biblical historicity:

Now the Bible picture of this people fits in perfectly with what we know of the Hittite nation from the monuments. As an empire they never conquered the land of Canaan itself, although the Hittite local tribes did settle there at an early date. Nothing discovered by the excavators has in any way discredited the Biblical account. Scripture accuracy has once more been proved by the archaeologist.{4}

The discovery of the Hittites has proven to be one of the great archaeological finds of all time. It has helped to confirm the biblical narrative and had a great impact on Middle East archaeological study. Because of it, we have come to a greater understanding of the history of our language, as well as the religious, social, and political practices of the ancient Middle East.

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Comments

  • Jim  On February 4, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Hi, Mr. Hatcher.

    Like you, I am convinced that archaeology confirms numerous details of scripture. I’m most interested in your statement that regarding quotes from scholars doubting the existence of the Hittites. I would be most grateful if you could share just a few of theses references. Due to the early to mid 19th century date of such quotes, they are notoriously difficult to find causing skeptics to question the veracity of this claim.

    Thank you.

    • Everette Hatcher III  On February 5, 2014 at 7:39 am

      There are non—biblical witnesses to the truth of Scripture. Archaeology, for instance, confirms the basic outlines of biblical history. Look up the word “Hittite” in the 1860 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica and you’ll find only a few lines, which say that they were a legendary people mentioned only in the Bible. But when scholars learned to read Egyptian hieroglyphics, they found a whole new world of documents that repeatedly mentioned the Hittites. Archaeology has proven that the Hittites existed—just as the Bible said they did. It has confirmed the basic contours of the Bible story.
      http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/god/holy-scriptures/article/go/0/how-to-know-the-bible-is-true/
      http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.4955427/k.3D58/Archaeology_and_the_Old_Testament.htm#text4
      http://graceofourlord.com/2014/01/26/faith-based-on-reason-hittite-accuracy/

      I will try to revisit this but I can tell you that the Bible pictures the Hittites as a major force in that part of the world and that fact was definitely challenged by historical critics until the late 1800’s. Here is a passage in the Bible that was criticized many times by secularists:
      2 Kings 7:5-7
      Amplified Bible (AMP)
      5 So they arose in the twilight and went to the Syrian camp. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no man was there.
      6 For the Lord had made the Syrian army hear a noise of chariots and horses, the noise of a great army. They had said to one another, The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to come upon us.
      7 So the Syrians arose and fled in the twilight and left their tents, horses, donkeys, even the camp as it was, and fled for their lives.

  • Jim  On February 6, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Thanks. I’ll research those links.

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