About this website:
Revealing the world of biblical history.
Mission: The purpose of the Bible Archaeology Report is to highlight archaeological findings that demonstrate the historical reliability of the Bible.
I hope to make biblical archaeology more accessible to the average person, and in particular, the younger generations. Most of the articles tend to be shorter “listicles” (short list articles) designed to be read in five to ten minutes.
Presuppositions about Archaeology: Archaeology itself neither “proves” or “disproves” the Bible. However, over the past 150 years hundreds of discoveries in the Holy Lands have demonstrated again and again that the Bible is a historically reliable document.
This does not discount the fact that there are many dissenting voices in the archaeological community who would deny the veracity of Scripture. Indeed many Bible minimalists (those who believe that the Bible is of minimal value historically) have written extensively on the perceived contradictions and inaccuracies. I believe that their objections have been satisfactorily answered by biblical archaeologists who hold a high view of Scripture.
Limitations of Archaeology: Archaeological evidence is almost always fragmentary and incomplete. Many biblical sites were destroyed by war, natural disasters, erosion, looting, and urbanization. Furthermore, only a fraction of the known sites that survive have been excavated. In his book, The Trowel and the Truth (pg. 165), archaeologist Dr. Scott Stripling estimates that “only about 5 percent of the physical remains in the Levant have been excavated” According to the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology (pg. 22), “Less than 1 percent of ancient Egypt has been discovered and excavated, despite the preeminent attention paid to this site since the beginning of archaeology as a discipline. Of those sites that are eventually excavated, usually only a fraction (somewhere around 5 percent) of the site is actually dug, a process sometimes taking decades. Then, only a percentage of what is excavated is ever published.” Thus, it ought not surprise us that many biblical details are uncorroborated by archaeology. Moreover, because of the fragmentary nature of what is unearthed in excavations, archaeologists need to interpret the data. This explains why there is often debate surrounding finds relating to the biblical text: the old adage, “Ask two archaeologists and you’ll get three opinions” is true.
That said, I believe enough work has been done in the past century and a half to conclude that the Bible, when properly understood, is a historically accurate document, when archaeology is rightly interpreted.
Consider the following quotes from prominent archaeologists:
|“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical description has often led to amazing discoveries.” – Dr. Nelson Glueck (quoted in Rivers in the Desert, by Dr. Nelson Glueck)|
|“There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.” – Dr. William F. Albright (Quoted in Archaeology and the Religions of Israel, by Dr. William F. Albright)|
|“We cannot expect to have an archaeological find to prove every event recorded in the Bible. However, the discoveries that have been made confirm the veracity of Scripture. Each new find adds to our database of evidence supporting the truth of the biblical record. Based on this sampling of data, we can be confident that all of Scripture, including the miracles and spiritual message, can be trusted.” ~Dr. Bryant C. Wood (Personal Correspondence)|
|“Again and again, archaeological evidence illustrates the historical accuracy of what he Bible says about ancient people, places and events. From Joseph in Egypt to King David in Israel to Daniel in Babylon – archaeology and the Bible tell the same story.” ~Dr. Gary Byers (Personal Correspondence)|
|“After 150 years of archaeology in Israel, hundreds of synchronisms [connections] between the material culture and the biblical text have been established. At this point, it takes more faith to believe that the Bible is not true than to believe that it is true” ~Dr. Scott Stripling (Personal Correspondence)|
My name is Bryan Windle, and I am a pastor, youth leader and Bible teacher in Northern Ontario, Canada. My wife, Jennifer, and I have four children and currently live in Richards Landing on St. Joseph Island. I have the privilege of serving as the Pastor at Island Bible Chapel (IslandBibleChapel.com). As a Bible Teacher, I love to highlight the historical context of each passage and reveal how archaeology helps us understand the text.
Recently I was interviewed on First Person with Wayne Shepherd, a radio show that is heard on 400 stations across the USA. Check it out to hear how I got involved in biblical archaeology and the impact it has had on my life: https://soundcloud.com/firstpersoninterview/bryan-windle
|I have the honour of serving as a Staff Researcher and writer for the Associates for Biblical Research (biblearchaeology.org), a group of scholars and archaeologists who are dedicated to demonstrating the historical reliability of the Bible through archaeological and biblical research. I write a weekly Breaking News column that you can read here: https://biblearchaeology.org/current-events-list|
|I’m a member of the Near East Archaeological Society, a group that focuses on research in the lands of the Bible, the modern Middle East, with a distinctively evangelical perspective. Each year they publish the NEAS Bulletin, a peer-reviewed archaeological journal. You can learn more about the NEAS at neaswebsite.org.|
|I’m currently a student at Trinity Southwest University, working on a Master of Arts in Archaeology and Biblical History. You can learn more about TSU’s College of Archaeology and Biblical History here: https://trinitysouthwest.com/colleges/college-of-archaeology-biblical-history/|
|In 2018 a friend and I co-founded the Ready Answers Apologetics Conference (ReadyAnswers.ca). Our goal is to equip saints and educate skeptics by providing answers that demonstrate the reliability of Scripture and a defense of Christianity.|
Although an agnostic, I find your posts well worth reading. I have always held the belief that the Bible was a written collection of oral history. It is often ignored for being such, a mistake in my humble opinion.
As you point out, so much of it seems to lead us in the right direction with regard to archaeological discovery.
Thanks for collecting and posting your findings, they are always worth following up. Although it does mean I spend more time in the library and on the Internet than is probably good for me. 🙂
Hello Bryan, I just discovered your BLOG. I very much appreciate your mission and the couple of articles I have read thus far. Thank you. Carry on sir.
Good on you, Bryan. I appreciate your work on this site (biblearchaeologyreport). I’m not picky, but it usually takes away some credibility for me when I find a writer misusing a word. In this instance it didn’t. But it might for others (and your site is too good for that to happen). Would you mind checking your use of the word aught. I think it means ‘the little’ or ‘nothing’, as in ‘for aught I know’ not as an imperative as I think you intend it. I ought to tell you I’m a civil engineer, not even vaguely related to proper use of words. But I don’t think I’m wrong.
Thanks so much for your kind words and for catching that. You are correct, I Should have used ought instead of aught.
In regard to Christmas archaeology information, do you have evidences of the time or “course” that Zacharias served in his priestly duty? I have heard from someone who teaches early church history that there is.
Would that give an indication about a “time frame” for Christ’s birth?
Jack Finegan deals with this issue in his book, Handbook of Biblical Chronology. He works through the intricate details and summarizes: “If we take the course of Abijah as beginning service on or about Heshvan 17 (rather than at the other possibility of lyyar 8), then the sequence of the priestly periods of service (Table 127) leads to Tebeth (Dec/Jan) or Shebat (Jan/Feb) for the nativity of Jesus. In the year 3/2 B.C. (Seleucid year 309), to translate the dates into terms of our own calendar and using the figures in the Babylonian calendar, the month Tebetu (Tebeth) began on Jan 8, 2 B.C., and Tebeth 17—24 was equivalent to Jan 24—31, 2 B.C., and the month Shabatu (Shebat) began on Feb 7, 2 B.C. Stating the figures more generally, Beckwith suggests that the Tebeth and Shebat dates point to a time for the nativity of Jesus between mid-January and fairly early February in 2 B.C. At any rate it is wintertime…”
Fantastic work, Bryan! Always enjoy your insightful and balanced articles and videos. Excited to see where God takes you in your studies and pursuit of biblical archaeology.
Hi Bryan, thanks. Your blog has been so helpful. I have been giving the young adults sermons on Joshua and your articles on Jericho have explained the wall problem very well. They have also asked for me to do a sermon on lack on archeological evidence and your description of archeology will be very helpful in giving them a good answer.
A friend and I are currently co-facilitating a class on Apologetics. My next session focuses on the reliability of the NT – and what a wealth of material you have accumulated on this site – TQ for your labour of love! I pray it encourages you to know that your hard work is leading more to trust the Bible as the inerrant eternal Word of God, and in Jesus the Word made flesh! – LBH from Wesley Methodist Church, Malacca, Malaysia