July 2016

        THE WITNESS FROM ARAD
 

Word for the Month & for Fri., July 1

Scripture: Isa. 40:8

See Message: The Mystery of the Hidden Scrolls

Shalom to you my Friend and Co-Minister in the Great Commission,


There are many who have charged that the Bible was written much later than the events of Scripture. They argue that in the days of the First Temple, the Jewish people were by and large not illiterate. The writing of the Bible, they argue, had to be supported by some degree of cultural literacy. 


Computers and Potsherds
Just recently, a series of new discoveries throw such arguments in doubt and support the early writing of the Bible.  A team of investigators at the University of Tel Av studied several ancient pottery shards excavated from a seventh century B.C. fortress in Arad, a city in the Israeli desert. On the pottery shards is Hebrew text.  They used spectral analysis to reveal letters that had faded away. Using computer algorithms linked to handwriting analysis and employed by intelligence agencies, the first time such algorithms were used on ancient Hebrew inscriptions, they were able to determine that the writing represented the work of at least six different people.


The Results
The actual text concerned military issues, troop movements and expenses for provisions. The tone of the inscriptions indicated that the writers were not professional scribes. Further, the fortress was situated in a remote desert location.  All of these things point to the fact that literacy at the time of the First Temple, was widespread among the Jewish people. This would all point to what believers have always maintained, that the Scriptures were overwhelmingly written in close proximity to the events they chronicle.


The Stones Cry Out
This follows a long pattern in which critics argue against the authenticity of Scripture only to find their arguments disproved by the evidence of archaeology. Since the nineteenth century, archaeological finds have been continually holding the words of Scripture. For years critics have argued against the existence of King David and against his dynasty. That was until archaeology uncovered from the writings of foreign nations references to ‘the House of David.’ In only recent years, archaeologists have discovered what appears to be the very palace of King David. The New Testament records the actions of Caiaphas, the high priest at the time of Messiah. Only in relatively recent times did an ossuary, a burial box turn up engraved with the name  ‘Joseph Caiaphas,’ the high priest. The Book of Jeremiah speaks of Baruch, son of Nereiah, Jeremiah’s scribe. Other than this mention in Scripture, there was no evidence that Baruch existed. Unlike ancient kings, he was otherwise an unknown person. Critics would argue that he never existed. That was until recently when a seal was discovered in Jerusalem, an ancient seal bearing the name “Baruch son of Nereiah.” And just in the last few months, the royal seal of King Hezekiah was revealed in Jerusalem.


Conclusion… The Word of God
The next time a report comes out in which a critic or so called ‘expert’ is attacking the Bible, it doesn’t mean anything.  They’ve been doing it for years until proven otherwise. And they will keep doing so until the Lord comes.  That’s part of the course. But as for you, it’s always good to hear; but we don’t need archaeology to tell us what our hearts already knows – the Bible is true, and “though the grass withers and the flowers fade,” the Word of our God abides forever! 
Get deeper into the Word this month. Apply it even more to your life and walk in its path.   And may God greatly bless you as you do!

Your brother and co-laborer,

In His Love and Service,



Jonathan