The original text of the new Testament can be verified by comparison with three other original sources: Greek manuscripts, various ancient versions, and quotations from the New Testament in the writings of early Christians. Amazingly, there are some 5,000 partial or complete Greek manuscripts of the original New Testament in existence today. In addition, there are another 10,000 manuscripts of the New Testament in other ancient languages dating back nearly as far as the 2nd and 3rd century A.D. (some within one lifetime of the original writers).
The quotations in the writings of the Greek and Latin "church fathers" are so extensive that the entire New Testament (with the exception of less than a dozen verses) could be compiled from these quotes! Critics claim that the New Testament was written long after the time of Christ. This has been repeatedly proven incorrect by archaeological discoveries. The accuracy of the Bible far exceeds any book written by man throughout all of history.
We can be absolutely confident that we have an accurate record of God's Word ant that God commends those who make the effort to seek the truth and investigate the Bible's claims (Acts 17:11).
Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology, p. 65-69
[The Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, [to determine] whether those things were so. - Acts 17:11 KJV
Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah foretold that Emmanuel (this Hebrew name means "God is with us") would be conceived by and born to a virgin. In Isaiah 7:14 the prophet used the Hebrew word almah for virgin.
For centuries critics denied the fact that almah means virgin, but argued that is simply meant "a young woman." Even though the apostle Matthew wrote that Jesus' birth fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy (Matthew 1:22-23), critics claimed the prophet Isaiah didn't really have the birth of Christ in mind. Archaeology is not providing additional support.
One of the most competent Jewish scholars of this generation, Dr. Cyrus H. Gordon, has unearthed clay tablets at Ugarit in Syria which clearly use the work almah in the parallel Semitic language to mean "virgin" and not "young woman." Almah was being used to specifically mean "virgin" long before Isaiah. The clay tablet which documents this was written even before the time of Moses (more than 3,000 years ago).
Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology, p. 53
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel. -Isaiah 7:14 KJV
For many years biblical critics have doubted the existence of writing before the time of Moses. This is one of the reasons given for not believing that Moses wrote the first few books of the Bible. These critics teach that the original books of the Bible were written much later and just attributed to Moses.
Archaeologists, however, have unearthed an ancient library in the city of Ur. This library contains thousands of stone "books." Ur of Chaldees was Abraham's home before he moved to Canaan, and some of these stone books were written even before Abraham's day. These books consist of both scholarly subjects and books that an ordinary tradesman would read. This was at least 4,000 years ago and a full 1,000 years before Moses was born.
If the common man on the street of 4,000 years ago could read and write, why should we doubt that a highly educated man like Moses could have compiled the accounts from Adam to Abraham into the first book of the Bible? Jesus Christ accepted and confirmed that Moses wrote the first books of the Bible. To believe otherwise is to doubt what we find in archaeology, the authority of the Bible, and Jesus Himself.
The Bible has the Answers, p. 66
[Jesus said,] "If you believe Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me." -John 5:16
Archaeological discoveries show that ancient man was both highly intelligent and skilled. In France fifty years ago, the Lascaux Cave paintings that are thousands of years old were discovered. Researchers have found scaffolding and stone lamps used to light the work area. They have also discovered the original pallets used by the artists with dried paint intact.
This has allowed researchers to study the pigments used by the ancient artists. Using scanning electron microscopes and other high-tech equipment, researchers learned that the artists collected local minerals to make their paints. Within 15 kilometers from the cave, mineral deposits were found which were able to provide the full range of colors. These ancient artists had the technology necessary for obtaining the minerals, grinding them into fine powders, and mixing then to create pigments that hold their color and beauty to this day. Evolutionary thinking has led many to assume that just because man lived in caves, he was primitive. The actual evidence indicates otherwise.
Letting God Create Your Day, Vol. 3, p. 147
"...and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work...." -Exodus 36:1
Archeologists and Bible critics claimed that the biblical account of King David's capture of Jerusalem by entering through water tunnels was in error, since these tunnels could not have existed this early in Jerusalem's history. The critics also implied that the existing water tunnels must have been built by unsophisticated people, because they are inefficient and poorly designed. These critics have been proven wrong on both accounts.
A more detailed study of the tunnels beneath Jerusalem has revealed that a cleverly designed dual water system served the ancient city. Nearly 3,000 years ago, engineers modified a natural network of channels and tunnels under Jerusalem to create this unique water supply system. New tunnels were dug to link existing natural tunnels so that it took the least amount of work to complete this ambitious engineering project. Two natural openings to the system were also found outside the walls of Jerusalem. It was through one of these natural openings that David conquered Jerusalem. As always, the Bible has proven to be a 100% accurate account of both history and science. Therefore, we can trust it to be a 100% accurate source of spiritual truth as well.
Letting God Create Your Day, Vol. 3, p. 30
On that day, David said, "Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft...." -2 Samuel 5: 8
In the late 1800's Sir William Ramsay, a scholar who was skeptical of the authenticity of the Book of Acts, went on an archaeological expedition in Asia Minor with the purpose of showing that Luke was not accurate in his historical account. After years of research and literally digging up the evidence, Ramsay had to admit that Acts was completely and totally accurate.
Luke mentions 32 countries, 54 cities, 9 Mediterranean islands, and 95 people groups (62 of which are not named anywhere else in the New Testament). Every single reference which could be verified was found to be totally accurate. This is truly remarkable, in view of the fact that the political and territorial situation of Luke's day was in a state of almost constant flux. Even modern historians with computer-aided research make some errors. How does one account for Luke's precision? He could only have been guided by God.
A Study Course in Christian Evidences, p. 115
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him." - 2 Samuel 22: 31
Some biblical critics feel the Ark was too large of a project for early man to have attempted. A survey of the ancient world shows this is not true. The Great Pyramid, for example, is thought to be the work of Egypt's 4th Dynasty, which was long before Abraham. This pyramid contains over two million blocks of stone, each weighing about 2 1/ 2 tons. Its vast sides, which are 756 feet long, are set to the points of a compass to an accuracy of a small fraction of one degree!
Another example is the Colossi of Memnon built during the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. This wonder was made from blocks of sandstone that weigh 400 tons each and were brought 600 miles to their present position.
The Ark's dimensions, given in the Bible, are well within the realm of reason. Given the 120 years that Noah had to complete the construction of the Ark, there is no reason to doubt this accomplishment.
The Creation, p. 150
"So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it...." Noah did everything just as God commanded him. - Genesis 6: 14, 15, 22
The sun, moon, and stars were created for signs, seasons, days, and years. From the beginning, God wanted man to be a chronologer (someone who measures time) in order for us to live orderly lives. Studies of ancient civilizations show early man understood this purpose and tried to fulfill it. We know, for example, that eclipses of the sun and moon have been used for at least 4,000 years to measure time. This has enabled modern historians to check dates in ancient history with perfect accuracy. Ancient civilizations also knew how to measure a year by the stars. The position of the stars changes slightly every night. At the earth's current rate of rotation around the sun (which we know is slowing down at a known rate), the stars now return to their exact position after 365 days 6 hours 9 minutes and 9.6 seconds.
Even our geometry and mathematics are tied to the solar year. Almost all ancient civilizations used a 360-day year, which accounts for the change over the years. This 360-day year is the basis of our 360-degree circle and 360-degree compass.
The Egyptians measured the passing of a year by the position of the rising of the bright star Sirius over the Nile at dawn. This is called the "Sidereal (star) Year," and atomic clocks are still adjusted in reference to it.
Much of the world's population still lives by farming, and many have no calendar except the one God has provided in the stars. God truly provides for all of our needs, just as He promises in His Word.
Myths and Miracles, p. 18-21
And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years..." - Genesis 1: 14
Dr. Nelson Glueck, President of the Hebrew Union College and one of the greatest modern Palestinian archeologists, said that, "Absolutely no archeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference." He also writes, "Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in a clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible." One of the most controversial narratives from the bible is the "long day" in Joshua 10. To modern man it seems impossible and unbelievable that a day could have actually been extended.
It is noteworthy that the Bible is not the only ancient record of this extended day. Ancient traditions of a long day (or a long night in the case of Native Americans and South Sea Islanders) are quite common. There is much documentation on this fact. The only reason to disbelieve the account of the long day is the preference for naturalism over God's Word.
The Bible has the Answer, p. 71-72
...so the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it.... -Joshua 10:13, 14
Those who reject the idea that God was the Creator of man (Genesis 1:26; 2:7) claim that man was really the creator of God (or gods). Atheists argue that man was polytheistic (believed in many gods) at first and that he personified these multiple gods from various forces of nature that he feared and didn't understand. They believe that the Jews were the first people to develop the idea of monotheism (belief in one God). Archaeological investigations do not support this.
Historical surveys show that even the earliest records of human civilization believed in one God, and that polytheism crept in to replace this original belief. Noted Egyptologist Sir William M. F. Petrie affirmed that monotheism has been found to be the original belief of all cultures that can be traced back to their roots. The evidence clearly supports biblical teaching.
God created man to worship Him alone. As man disobeyed God and began worshiping other "gods," he has harmed himself in innumerable ways.
Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology, p. 5,6
If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and served other gods and bow down to them, the LORD's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you. -Joshua 23:16
Although there are many references to crucifixion in literature of the early centuries of the Christian era, the first physical evidence was found in June of 1968.
"On Ammunition Hill in northeastern Jerusalem, an ossuary (stone box) was found containing the bones of a young man named Johanan, who had plainly been crucified. This find has been dated between 6 and 66 A.D. A crease in the radial bones revealed that he had been nailed in the forearms (cherias, rendered 'hands' [John 20:27] can also mean arms). The ossuary also contained the heel bones still transfixed by a four and one-half inch iron nail. The leg bones had also been shattered, as in the case of the thieves who were crucified on either side of the Lord (John 19:31-32).
Every finding of archaeology confirms the documentation of the Bible. The cruel method of execution by crucifixion was indeed common in the ancient Roman Empire.
Understanding that the all-powerful mastermind Creator of the entire universe suffered this incredibly cruel form of death, specifically as payment for our sins, is tremendously humbling and beyond our ability to comprehend.
Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology, p. 43
Here they crucified him [Jesus], and with him two others-one on each side and Jesus in the middle. -John 19:18
The story of the conquest of Jericho as the children of Israel entered the Promised Land seems to have been vindicated by archaeology. According to the Bible, the Israelites marched around the city of Jericho seven times before offering a great shout. At that very moment the walls of this well fortified city simply fell down. The Bible also states that the Israelites burned the whole city.
Excavation of the ancient city reveals that at one occupation level, probably corresponding to Joshua's time, the walls of Jericho were found to have literally fallen "down flat" (Joshua 6:20). It was also found that the city had been burned at that time, rather than looted. Once again we find agreement between archaeology and the biblical account of history.
Science and the Bible, p. 97
When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed.... Then they burned the whole city and everything in it.... - Joshua 6:20, 24