Friday, 11 April 2014

Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible

Sargon II (right) is one of the Old Testament characters confirmed by archaeology. Image courtesy of Jastrow, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Sceptics tend to claim that the Bible is not based on real history. However, ancient inscriptions tell a very different story.

Just a few years ago, sceptics doubted the existence of King David, for instance. They cannot honestly do so any longer after the discovery of a 9th century B.C. inscription with the text House of David . It was found in Tel Dan in northern Galilee.

In addition to kings, archaeological remains also mention high priests, a scribe and even minor officials such as Nebo-sarsekim (Jeremiah 39:3).

The March/April issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) has an article entitled Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible. Written by Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor at Purdue University, the article discusses – and lists – only those characters whose existence has been confirmed by authentic inscriptions.

The article is somewhat misleading, as it only deals with Old Testament people. If it had included New Testament characters as well, the list would have been a lot longer.

Nevertheless, it emphasises that the Bible is based on real history. It describes the lives of real people, who lived at particular places at a particular time in history.

In other words, it is exactly that what we would expect. After all, God’s Word is truth. But it is more than that – it indicates the way to salvation.


Mykytiuk, Lawrence. 2014. Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible. Biblical Archaeology Review 40 (2): 42–50, 68.