Previous Post
The 1967 Six Day War
Next Post
Lee Strobel

Confirmation of 83 People Mentioned in the Bible

mailtwitterredditlinkedintumblrFacebookmailtwitterredditlinkedintumblrFacebook

Introduction

The Bible has been under attack virtually from the time the first documents were written and in recent years the attack has become much more intense and sustained by way of books, magazines, radio, movies documentaries and now the internet. All telling viewers and readers that the first eleven chapters of the Bible are fiction and that evolution (read science) has adequately explained how everything came into existence1. Its contents have been perverted by many including the cults and it is the only religious book to be so attacked in our Western society. However, the Bible is unique in all literature and can stand firm, for it is intellectually credible and historically defensible and in this blog, we look at the people mentioned in the Bible and provide powerful evidence for their reality.

53 People in the Old Testament Confirmed by Archaeology

Associate Professor Lawrence Mykytiuk has published two articles which cites archaeological evidence that confirms the authenticity of 53 people mentioned in the Old Testament. These are in Biblical Archaeological Review, March/April 2014 “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible” and May/June, 2017, “Archaeology Confirms 3 More Bible People.” I have taken the information from these articles abbreviated it and put it in a table for ease of digestion.

If the reader requires more than what is given below, then he/she will need to go to the original sources or it can be accessed online at:

Person

Biblical Citation

Archaeological Confirmation

Egypt
Shishak, pharaoh 1 Kings 11:40; 14:25 Inscription on temple wall
So, (Osorkon 1V), pharaoh 2 Kings 17:4 Engravings on walls and stela
Tirharkah (Taharqa), pharaoh 2 Kings 19:9 Many Egyptian inscriptions
Necho 11 (Neco 11), pharaoh 2 Chronicles 35:20 Assyrian inscriptions
Hophra (Apries, Wahibre), pharaoh Jeremiah 44:30 Egyptian and Babylonian inscriptions
Moab
Mesha, Moabite king 2 Kings 3:4-27 Mesha Inscription
Aram-Damascus (Syria)
Hadadezer , king 1 Kings 22:3 Assyrian inscriptions
Ben-hadad son of Hadadezer, king 2 Kings 6:24 Melqart stele
Hazael, king 2 Kings 13:3 Zakkur stele
Ben-hadad son of Hazael, king 2 Kings 13:3 etc Zakkur stele
Rezin (Rahianu), king 2 Kings 15:37 Tiglath-pileser Ⅲ stele
Northern Kingdom of Israel
Omri, king 1 Kings 16:16 Assyrian and Misha inscriptions
Ahab, king 1 Kings 16:28 Kurkh Monolith inscription
Jehu, king 1 Kings 19:16 Many Assyrian inscriptions
Joash, king 2 Kings 13:9 A Stella of Adad-Nirari Ⅲ
Jeroboam Ⅱ, king 2 Kings 13:13 In the seal of his servant Shema
Menahem, king 2 Kings 15:14 Calah annals of Tiglath-pileser Ⅲ
Pekah, king 2 Kings 15:25 Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser Ⅲ
Hoshea, king 2 Kings 15:30 Tiglath-pileser’s Summary Inscription 4
Sanballat, governor of Samaria Nehemiah 2:10 Elephantine letter
Southern Kingdom of Judah
David, king 1 Samuel 16:13 etc House of David and Mesha inscriptions
Uzziah (Azariah), king 2 Kings 14:21 etc Seals of two of his servants
Ahaz (Jehoahaz), king 2 Kings 15:38 etc Tiglath-pileser’s Summary Inscription 4
Hezekiah, king 2 Kings 16:20 etc Rassam Cylinder of Sennacherib
Manasseh, king 2 Kings 20:21 etc Inscription of Syrian kings
Hilkiah, high priest 2 Kings 22:4 etc clay Judahite bullae
Shaphan, scribe 2 Kings 22:3 City of David bulla
Azariah, high priest 1 Chronicles 5:39 City of David bulla
Gemariah Jehoiakim’s official Jerimiah 36:10 City of David bulla
Jehoiachin, king 2 Kings 24:5 Four Babylonian tablets
Shelemiah, Zedekiah’s official Jerimiah 37:3; 38:1; 32 Clay bulla
Jehucal, king Jerimiah 37:3, 38:1 Clay bulla
Pashhur, father of Gedaliah, official Jerimiah 38:1 Clay bulla
Gedaliah, official Jerimiah 38:1 Clay bulla
Assyria
Tiglath-pileser Ⅲ, king 2 Kings 15:19 etc Aramaic monumental inscription
Shalmaneser Ⅴ, king 2 Kings 17:2 etc Neo-Babylonian Chronicle
Sargon Ⅱ, king Isaiah 20:1 Assyrian Text
Sennacherib, king 2 Kings 18:13 etc Many inscriptions including his own
Adrammelech, king 2 Kings 19:37 etc Assyrian letter
Esarhaddon, king 2 Kings 19:37 etc Many cuneiform inscriptions
Babylonia
Merodach-baladan, king 2 Kings 20:12 etc Inscriptions Neo- Babylonian Chronicles
Nebuchadnezzar Ⅱ, king 2 Kings 24:1 etc The Neo-Babylonian Chronicle Series
Nebo-sarsekim, official to king Jerimiah 39:3 Babylonian clay tablet BM 114789
Nergal-sharezer, officer to king, Jerimiah 39:3 Babylonian cuneiform inscription
Nebuzaradan, officer to king 2 Kings 25:8 etc Nebuchadnezzar Ⅱ’s Prism
Evil-merodach, king 2 Kings 25:27 Various inscriptions
Belshazzar, co-regent Daniel 5:1 etc Babylonian document; Verse Account
Persia
Cyrus Ⅱ (Cyrus the Great), king 2 Chronicles 36:22 etc Various inscriptions including his own
Darius Ⅰ (Darius the Great), king Ezra 4:5 etc Various inscriptions including his own
Tattenai, provincial governor Ezra 5:3 etc Darius Tablet
Xerxes Ⅰ, king Esther 1:1 Various inscriptions including his own
Artaxerxes Ⅰ Longimanus, king Ezra 4:6 etc Various inscriptions including his own
Darius Ⅱ Nothus, king Nehemiah 12:22 Various inscriptions including his own

Flavius Josephus (AD 37–103)2

Josephus was the son of a priest and was reared in traditional Judaism. He got caught up in the Jewish anti-Roman resistance movement and found himself in charge of the Jotapata fortress in Galilee. Though he refused to surrender until his life was guaranteed. It was his successful prophecy that Vespasian would become emperor that brought imperial favor. He received Roman citizenship and was commissioned to write a history of the Jewish people, which he did in two compilations of writings, each consisting of many books: History of the Jewish War (comprised 7 books, written in Greek, AD 77 or 78) and Antiquities of the Jews. (comprised 20 books, written in Greek, AD 93-94). As shown below, his writings have confirmed many of the people mentioned in the New Testament and the positions they held. The nomenclature used below is: Book title, book number, chapter and verse.

THE NEW TESTAMENT

Augustus Caesar Luke 2:1 Buildings, coins and monuments
Pontius Pilate, governor Mark 15:1 etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18.2.2
The Pilate inscription
Tiberius Caesar Luke 3:1, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews,18.6.4
Herod the Great, king Matthew 2:3 etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 17. 6:4, etc
Herod Agrippa Ⅰ, king Acts 12:20 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 19.8.2
Herod Agrippa Ⅱ, king Acts: 25:13, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.7.3
Herod Antipas, tetrarch Luke 3:1, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 17.11.4
Herodias, wife of Herod Antipas Matthew 14:3, etc  Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18.5.4
Daughter of Herodias (Salome) Matthew 14:6, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18.5.4
A coin
Herod Philip, tetrarch Luke 3:1 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 17.11.4
Tiberius Caesar Luke 3:1 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18.2.2, etc
Claudius Caesar Acts 11:28 Name on many coins
Lysanius, king of Abilene Luke 3:1 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.7.1
Annas, high priest John 18:24 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 18.2.1
Caiaphas, high priest John 18:24 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18. 2.2; 4.3
Gamaliel, a member of the Sanhedrin Acts 5:34 The Life of Flavius Josephus, paragraph 38.
Felix, procurator Acts 24:22, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.7.1
Drusilla, wife of Felix Acts 24:24 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.7.1
Festus, procurator Acts 24:27, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.8.9
Bernice Acts 25:13, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.7.3
Theudas Acts 5:36 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.5.1
Judas the Galilean Acts 5:37 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.5.2
The Egyptian Acts 21:38 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.8.5
Ananias, high priest Acts 23:2; 24:1 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.5.2
Archelaus, king Matthew 2:22 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 17.8.1
Quirinius, governor of Syria Luke 2:1 Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18.1.1 1
John the Baptist Luke 3:3, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18. 5.2
Gallio. Proconsul of Achaea Acts 18:12-17 Delphi inscription
Jesus of Nazareth Luke 1:31, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18.3.3
James the brother of Jesus Galatians 1:19, etc Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.9.1

Note.In reality, James was the half-brother of Jesus. James was conceived by his father Joseph, whereas Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

1 Evolution is a religion which people believe by faith; it is not supported by experimental science. I have written eight blogs on why evolution is impossible. To view these, follow this link: EVOLUTION

2 This information was taken from the Introduction to: Paul L Maier, Josephus The Essential Works, Kregel Publications, 1994.

Conclusion

The Bible is written in chronological order and it details true history. The places are real, the events were real and the people actually existed. This blog provides powerful evidence for the existence of 83 people from both the Old and New Testaments. There is no other writings in all antiquity like the Bible, it is true and its message of salvation can be relied upon.

3 There seems to have been a problem with Luke’s mention of the census conducted when Quirinius was governor of Syria, because there was a census by Quirinius in AD 6-7. However, Jonathan Sarfati provides a satisfactory explanation to this apparent contradiction; http://creation.com/quirinius-census-luke.

4 There has been some debate that Josephus’s reference had been added by early Christians, but the weight of evidence is against this objection. The strongest argument regarding Josephus’ words on John is that they are not connected to Christians interpretations but simply part of a long treatise on Herod.

FacebookFacebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Menu