July 17, 2007

Another Archeological Confirmation of the Bible

Via IRIS Blog:

One of the greatest questions of the day is whether the Bible is true. This has been a year of major archeological discoveries on the Bible's side, including David's palace and Joshua's altar.

Today brings news of a dramatic new translation of an old find:

British newspapers report that ancient Babylonian expert Dr. Michael Jursa of Vienna discovered a small clay tablet that provides proof of the Bible's veracity. Though the tablet was unearthed near Baghdad in 1920, only last week was it deciphered for the first time, by Dr. Jursa.
Upon reading the tablet, which records a donation of gold by "the chief eunuch of King Nebuchadnezzar, " a man named Nabu-sharrussu- ukin, Jursa suddenly realized that the name sounded familiar. He quickly consulted Jeremiah 39, where he found the man's name listed as one of Nebuchadnezzar' s top ministers who took part in the destruction of the First Holy Temple 2,500 years ago. The Biblical account, however, has his name spelled slightly differently: (Samgar) Nevo Sarsekim.

Irving Finkel, assistant keeper in the British Museum's Middle East Department, was very excited: "This is a fantastic discovery," he told The Telegraph, "a world- class find. If Nevo-Sarsekim existed, [then] which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power."

Speaking with The Times, Finkel said, "A mundane commercial transaction takes its place as a primary witness to one of the turning points in Old Testament history. This is a tablet that deserves to be famous."

Dr. Jursa, associate professor at the University of Vienna, said, "It's very exciting and very surprising. Finding something like this tablet, where we see a person mentioned in the Bible making an everyday payment to the temple in Babylon and quoting the exact date, is quite extraordinary. "
Here is an interesting site that aggregates support for the Jewish position on the Bible.