God Said Man Said

The Kings of the Bible Debunk Skeptics

This feature reviews some of the evidence showing the exactness and accuracy of the Bible in its chronology of ancient kings. In this field, it can be said historically, the Bible stands alone in its carefulness to accurately record manís history throughout so many generations.

This subject will be just another proof that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

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The Kings of the Bible Debunk Skeptics

Article#: 1099

Do you need answers to life’s hard questions?  Do you know who you really are?  Can man find absolute truth?  Welcome to GodSaidManSaid.  We’re so glad you’ve come.

GodSaidManSaid, as many of you know, is a proof text that defends the inerrancy of the Word of God found in the majority-text New Testament and the faithful Masoretic text of the Old Testament, both found in the Authorized King James version of the Holy Bible.  This ministry has no denominational affiliation.  Denomination by definition means “division.”

Jesus Christ created no particular Christian denomination.  He delivered unto man a living organism called the body of Christ.  All who belong to this living organism belong as a result of the second birth.  They are born again—born into the family.  Jesus said in John 3:3:

...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

If one is not born-again, he is not a member of this eternal body.  In fact, he is not a Christian.

Jesus Christ delivered unto man the Word of God, both Old and New Testaments, and made a way of salvation and enlightenment through His shed blood on Golgotha’s hill.

Jesus speaks unto the Father in John 17:17.  It reads:

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

To be sanctified unto God means to be holy and set aside for His purpose.  The Christian is made holy through Christ and separated from the world through God’s Word—His truth, His inerrant truth.  We are carefully and sternly commanded numerous times in the Scriptures not to add or subtract from the inerrant Word.

We need to know the Word of God is absolute truth and absolutely reliable.  At the time of this airing, there are 411 subjects on this site that prove the accuracy of God’s Word, and every Thursday eve, God-willing, it grows by one.

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GOD SAID, Proverbs 22:20-21:

20  Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

21  That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

GOD SAID, II Timothy 3:16:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

MAN SAID:  According to Biblical minimalist Thomas Thompson, “The Bible’s language is not an historical language.  It is a language of high literature, of story, of sermon and of song.  It is a tool of philosophy and moral instruction.”

Now THE RECORD.  Is there really somewhere to turn on this earth for answers and ultimate truth?  Did the Creator of this world leave us with a record of why He did it and what He expects of us?  Today’s subject will be just another proof that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  This feature will review some of the evidence showing the exactness and accuracy of the Bible in its chronology of ancient kings.  In this field, it can be said historically, the Bible stands alone in its carefulness to accurately record man’s history throughout so many generations.  It will also display, as Dr. Otis Fuller, quoting the stalwart scholar Dr. Robert D. Wilson, put it, that “the assured results of modern scholarship” are nothing more than the quicksand footsteps of inexcusable ignorance. 

To begin, we will start with the testimony of Dr. Wilson (quoted above) from his biography, Valiant For Truth, and also from his book, Is Higher Criticism Scholarly? 

Take the following case.  There are twenty-nine ancient kings whose names are mentioned not only in the Bible but also on monuments of their own time; many of them under their own supervision.  There are one hundred and ninety-five consonants in these twenty-nine proper names.  Yet we find that in the documents of the Hebrew Old Testament there are only two or three out of the entire hundred and ninety-five about which there can be any question of their being written in exactly the same way as they were inscribed on their own monuments.  Some of these go back for two thousand years, some for four thousand; and are so written that every letter is clear and correct.  This is surely a wonder.

Compare this accuracy with that of other writings.  I have been blamed for not referring to the classical writings in my book on Daniel.  Here is the reason—take a list made by the greatest scholar of his age, the librarian at Alexandria in 200 B.C.  He compiled a catalogue of the kings of Egypt, thirty-eight in all; of the entire number only three or four of them are recognizable.  He also made a list of the kings of Assyria; in only one case can we tell who is meant; and that one is not spelt correctly.  Or take Ptolemy, who drew up a register of eighteen of the kings of Babylon.  Not one of them is properly spelt; you could not make them out at all if you did not know from other sources to what he is referring.  If any one talks against the Bible, ask him about the kings mentioned in it.  There are twenty-nine kings of Egypt, Israel, Moab, Damascus, Tyre, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia, referred to, and ten different countries among these twenty-nine; all of which are included in the Bible accounts and those of the monuments.  Every one of these is given his right name in the Bible, his right country, and placed in the correct chronological order.  Think what this means!…That the Hebrew writers should have transliterated these names with such accurateness and conformity to philological principles is a wonderful proof of their thorough care and scholarship and of their access to the original sources. 

That the names should have transmitted to us through so many copyings and so many centuries in so complete a state of preservation is a phenomenon un-equaled in the history of literature.  [End of quote]

The Biblical minimalists in academia challenge the veracity of every Biblical record—from Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden to Noah’s Flood, the virgin birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  When God says “Yes,” the world’s scholars say “No.”  In spite of all the opposition, new information continues to arise that decimates the skeptics’ positions.  One of the world’s most renowned archaeologists, Dr. Eilat Mazar, recently said the following in an October 2008 interview in The Jerusalem Post: “I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other.”  She also says, “The Bible is the most important historical source.”  According to this archaeologist, the Bible contains a “genuine historical account of the past.”

Unbelieving critical scholars sometimes find it easier to discount the accuracy of the Scriptures because they are not willing to accept the message it gives.  Imagine: If a secular document contained the same kind of historical and scientific accuracy that the Bible contains, that secular record would be lifted up in the archaeological communities as a standard-bearer of truth.  Yet because it’s God’s Word, that’s exactly what doesn’t happen.  If any discrepancy between Scripture and commonly accepted historical opinion arises, the unbelieving scholars just assume that the Bible is mistaken.  Seminary students are then instructed that experts have determined that the Bible is historically inaccurate.  The student’s faith is weakened and then the student graduates and goes on to pastor weak congregations.  To demonstrate the folly of the unbelieving scholars, let us consider the history of dating Assyrian chronology.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, scholars who studied Assyrian history were arriving at dates contrary to Biblical dates given for the same events.  However, another scholar named Edwin R. Thiele (1895–1986) decided to try a different approach; he began with the assumption that the Scriptures were true and figured out a method the Biblical authors may have used that modern scholars were unaware of.  Some of the possible considerations that Thiele took into account that may have resulted in the conflicting dates were as follows:

1.  There is evidence from Jewish writings that the New Year might be reckoned from the spring month of Nisan, and other evidence that it might be measured from the fall month of Tishri.  An unbiased approach would consider both these options.

2.  There is evidence from the field of Egyptology that sovereigns, during their lifetime, occasionally invested their son with the royal office, thus forming a coregency.  The years of the son’s reign might be counted from the year he became coregent instead of from the first year of sole reign (Click onto “Moses” on this site for more information.).  Some coregencies in the Scriptures are plainly stated, as in I Kings 1:34, II Kings 15:5, and I Chronicles 23:1.  An inductive approach should consider the possibility of coregencies, as well as the possibility that the years of a king could be measured either from the beginning of a coregency or from the beginning of a sole reign.  (This fact could also help account for the supposed contradiction pointed out by unbelieving scholars in the different ages given for the beginning of Jehoichin’s reign found in II Kings 24:8 and II Chronicles 36:9.)

3.  There is evidence that there were two ways of reckoning the first year of a king’s reign—whether that year was reckoned as year one of his reign, or as his “accession” or “zero” year.  The two possibilities are called the non-accession and accession methods, respectively.  Since there is evidence for both usages in the ancient Near East, a proper methodology that starts from observations should not rule out either possibility for the kings of Judah and Israel.

With Bible and other ancient texts in hand, Thiele began to construct new dates that took the preceding ideas into account.  After much difficult labor, Thiele finished his revised chronology.  His exhaustive work, when finished, began to show a pattern in the method of the Biblical authors.  Not only did many of his dates come to be accepted by conservative and non-conservative scholars alike, but his work also predicted dates that would later be confirmed by archaeological discoveries. 

Thiele began with two dates in Assyrian history where firsthand accounts still existed.  These two firsthand accounts were from ancient Assyrian documents recorded during the reign of King Shalmaneser III.  The first document is an ancient stela known as the Kurkh Monolith and stands over 7 feet tall.  The stela depicts King Shalmaneser III of Assyria and describes his first six military campaigns.  The campaign of year six mentions Ahab king of Israel as being part of a multi-nation coalition that confronted the Assyrians at Qarqar on the OrontesRiver in western Syria.  The stela records his victory over the multi-nation coalition and says that he destroyed “2,000 chariots and 10,000 troops of Ahab the Israelite.” 

The second text is a black obelisk discovered in Iraq in 1846.  The obelisk stands approximately 6½ feet tall.  Each of its four sides depicts reliefs of various subdued kings bringing their tribute before the mighty king of Assyria.  One of the reliefs depicts King Jehu of Israel and says, “The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears.”

The relief displays the only known depiction of any Israelite named in the Bible.  The Kurkh stela mentioning Ahab resides in the BaghdadMuseum, while the black obelisk referring to Jehu is in the British museum.  The first inscription concerning Ahab was recorded during Shalmaneser’s 6th year, whereas the relief of Jehu was recorded during Shalmaneser’s 18th year.  The following is taken from an Associates for Biblical Research article entitled, “Evidence for Inerrancy from an Unexpected Source: OT Chronology:”

The advantage of these two references in Shalmaneser’s annals was that the 12 years between the mention of Ahab and the mention of Jehu gave just enough time for the two kings who ruled between Ahab and Jehu, assuming non-accession reckoning for Israelite kings.  This means that Shalmaneser’s sixth year was Ahab’s last year and his 18th year was Jehu’s first year.  When Edwin Thiele constructed his chronology, the date for the battle of Qarqar accepted by most Assyriologists was 854 BC.  This was one year too early for agreement with the Biblical texts, but further investigations showed that the Assyrian data had not been interpreted correctly, so that 853 BC is now the generally accepted date.  [End of quote]

In 1994, another ancient Assyrian stela was acquired on the antiquities market in western Iran.  This stela depicted Tiglath-Pileser III (also known as Pul in the Bible) and records that during his ninth year, Menahem of Samaria (mentioned in II Kings 15:14-22) paid him tribute.  Again from the ABR article:

The publication of the stela in 1994 demonstrated that the 738 date accepted by most Assyriologists for Menahem’s tribute was in conflict with this new information.  Thiele’s date for the tribute (743 or 742 BC), as derived from the Biblical texts, was shown to be entirely consistent with the Iran Stela.  [End of quote]

As has been stated numerous times on this website, man’s truth of yesterday is debunked by his truth of today, and man’s truth of today will be debunked by his truth of tomorrow.  That’s because man’s truth isn’t truth at all.  As one popular creation scientist once asked: Who is it that you will put your faith in?  Will you put your faith in men who don’t know, who weren’t there, and whose theories are changing all the time, or will you place your faith in the God who knows all, who has always been there, and whose Word changes not?  Those who build their foundations on the solid rock of Christ will continue to be found wise, while those who place their confidence in the shifting sands of man’s opinion will be found wanting.  It can also be pointed out that even without the date confirmation determined by Thiele, these ancient Assyrian documents further certify the Biblical record and show that the Israelite kings named in the Bible were real-life people who interacted with the people of the nations surrounding them.  They were not just made-up characters designed to tell us a story, as much of the “learned” world would have us believe.  God’s Word is true and righteous altogether.  Put your trust in it.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 22:20-21:

20  Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

21  That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

GOD SAID, II Timothy 3:16:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

MAN SAID:  According to Biblical minimalist Thomas Thompson, “The Bible’s language is not an historical language.  It is a language of high literature, of story, of sermon and of song.  It is a tool of philosophy and moral instruction.”

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

“Evidence for Inerrancy from an Unexpected Source: OT Chronology,” Associates for Biblical Research

Fuller, Dr. O., Which Bible, Grand Rapids International Publications, pp45-46,54-55

 

Thompson, T., The Bible in History

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