Archive | Archaeology

Introducing 3 Brand-New Resources: Pre-Order Your Copies Today

1. Bible Boot Camp: How to Study the Bible

Boot CampWe’re ecstatic to be offering the next installment (volume 2) in our brand new Bible Boot Camp series: How to Study the Bible

So many people believe the Bible is accurate, yet so few actually study it regularly.  Many times this is because the reader has never been given solid tools to study the Bible. In this 4-session small-group DVD study (each session is 45 minutes) we give time-tested principles to help you better understand God’s great Word.

Session #1The Interpretive Process : lays the ground work to approach any verse.

Session #2Bridging the Historical Gap : so many are sidetracked in their Bible reading because they’ve never learned how to bridge more than 2000 years of history between us and the text.

Session #3Bridging the Literary Gap : many give up on the Bible because they’re trying to interpret every book the same, we show how appreciating the different genres of Scripture is so important for personal Bible study

Session #4Bridging the Contextual Gap : context is so important when studying the Bible, this Boot Camp wraps up with strong training in keeping the context clear as we interpret the Bible

Each session is 45 minutes long with discussion questions at the end. Perfect for your small group, Sunday school, friends, and family.

Pre-Order begins today…this all-new study will ship mid-December.


$29.99 for the 4-Disc DVD (order DVD)

$7.99 for each workbook (order workbook)

Click Here to Pre-Order Today

2. Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology Book

Archaeology BookDo you know the 10 most significant biblical discoveries in archaeology? You will after reading this book. In just 90 highly-illustrated full-color pages you will gain an appreciation for the background and shocking discovery of these 10 priceless items. Some of the discoveries were made a couple hundred years ago, others were made more recently. This book makes a great gift for those who love the Bible and also those who doubt the historical accuracy of the Bible.

We’re proud to introduce the first book from Credo House Publishers! This book is rich in content, readable in style, and accessible in length. Written by our own Executive Director, Tim Kimberley.

Pre-order your copy today by clicking here.

3. Critical Thinking Elective

Critical ThinkingRobert Bowman has done an excellent job this semester teaching our Critical Thinking apologetics elective. This Critical Thinking class has been the most popular elective we have ever taught. Did you miss the class? Were you in the class and now want to get it into the hands of friends, family, church members, or co-workers? You can pre-order the class starting today!

The class will begin shipping on December 6th.

Pre-order your CD’s today by clicking here.

Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #1 Dead Sea Scrolls

This post wraps up our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.

Old Testament Scribes

How accurate is the Old Testament we hold in our hands? It’s popular today to attack the accuracy of the Bible on the grounds of its lack of effective transmission. Popular authors claim the Bible we have today has simply been copied too many times, with too many textual errors, to be believed as the very words of God handed down to us over the millennia.

Free Video – Session 1 from the Church History Boot Camp

Every single copy of the Old Testament was hand copied up until the printing press came along in the 15th century AD. Imagine that, some of the books of the Old Testament were copied over and over for more than 3,000 years (traditional view of dating). Can a document copied so many times by hand truly be accurate today?

Tradition tells us the Hebrew people were meticulous copyists of Scripture. Scribes were so aware of their task they would go to great lengths to make sure their hand-written copy of Scripture was free from error. Hebrew scribes were bound to the following rules:

  1. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts.
  2. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.
  3. The ink must be black, and of a special recipe.
  4. They must verbalize each word aloud while they were writing.
  5. They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies every time before writing God’s name.
  6. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
  7. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document.
  8. The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc.).

Silver Amulet Scroll and Nash Papyrus

With all the careful scribal work a shockingly few number of Old Testament ancient manuscripts exist until today. The silver amulet scroll is by far the oldest. The scroll was mentioned as #4 in this top ten series. The amulet scroll dates way back to 600 BC. This is fantastic but it is only a couple verses of the entire Bible. So we can get a feel for the accuracy of those couple verses but not be able to get a good representative sample for the entirety of Scripture.

The Nash Papyrus dates to around 200 BC. It’s also a wonderful discovery but similar to the amulet scroll it only contains a hand-full of verses. Gratefully those verses are the Ten Commandments, but nonetheless our only 2 manuscripts of the Old Testament from the BC era are a very small representation of the entire Old Testament canon.

Codex Aleppo

Codex Aleppo is the oldest entire Old Testament possessed by humanity. The manuscript dates to around 900AD. The priceless manuscript is indeed magnificent. When analyzing the more than 2.7 million writing details that make up the Old Testament, the manuscript appears to be very precise in its creation. Although we have such a beautiful manuscript, the elephant in the room is that this manuscript dates from 900AD. Many New Testament manuscripts are older than our oldest Old Testament manuscript. Most of the Old Testament was written over 1500 years before Codex Aleppo.

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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #2 House of David Inscription

This post is a continuation of our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.

The Great Kings of Israel

Without question the two greatest kings of Israel were David and Solomon. The Bible is full of rich stories recounting these two remarkable lives.

David burst onto the scene as a small boy who could play a musical instrument beautifully enough to calm the nerves of his king. The larger than life prophet Samuel secretly anoints David as the new king to replace the unfaithful King Saul. As a young man David shows fierce courage. He steps up, while all the men of the nation cower, and cuts the head off the giant Goliath. David then goes on to eventually become the greatest King of Israel. He is a poet, a warrior, a musician, a leader, a lover and so much more. David had substantial flaws but through it all God deemed him a man after His own heart. His influence is still felt today with the modern nation of Israel using the “Star of David” as their national emblem.

Solomon, additionally, is cloaked in his own greatness. Rarely can a son follow in the footsteps of a famous father. Solomon reaches iconic status through God offering him a unique opportunity, one wish. What is Solomon’s wish? Solomon famously asks not for riches but for wisdom. God, surprised by Solomon’s wish, makes him the wisest man who has ever lived. As an added bonus God goes ahead and makes him rich as well. Solomon’s wealth, influence and wisdom are without rival. These men are famous and contribute a considerable portion of Scripture (traditionally Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon).

The Great Silence

We have two great kings; we also have a great silence. Outside of the Bible there has been absolutely no evidence David or Solomon ever existed. David and Solomon are portrayed in the Bible as international players. Solomon is married to an Egyptian princess, the Queen of Sheba comes to visit and learn from Solomon, David conquers kingdoms, yet nothing has been discovered from any country with any hint to their existence.

You can imagine the doubts this has developed in the scholarly world. Many scholars postulate the nation of Israel was nothing more than the equivalent of a backwoods hick town at the supposed time of David and Solomon. The Bible, it is thought, grossly exaggerates the influence of these kings (who may or may not have lived) in order to create some sort of false national pride to a much later generation. Are these fabricated stories? The archaeological record appears to support this view due to the shocking lack of any mention of their names.

For years millions of people trusted the biblical account of David and Solomon without any archaeological support, then came 1994.
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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #3 Jericho

This post is a continuation of our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.

The Biblical Account

1400 BC was an unusual time in history. Moses, about 40 years earlier, led a sea of people through the Red Sea. He was intent to lead them from Egypt straight to the Promised Land. The people, however, arrived a bit later than they were planning. The people leaving Egypt did not obey God as they should have (think golden calf) so forty years were spent traveling through a vast desert wasteland. During these 40 years God miraculously provided manna, meat, water and the Ten Commandments for the people to survive.

By 1400 BC the disobedient generation who fled Egypt had all died. The next generation was ready, with God paving the way, to conquer a land which had been promised to them more than 500 years beforehand. Moses takes them within sight of the Promised Land. He is told to climb Mount Nebo where he will die.

Joshua takes over command of the people. His first act is leading them all through a river; a challenging task for even a 21st century military commander. His strategy: just let the people in the front carrying the ark of God start walking into the water and it will naturally part allowing all the people to walk through on dry ground. The strategy works. His next challenge is conquering the heavily fortified ancient city of Jericho. His strategy is given to him by God in Joshua 6:3-5:

You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus you shall do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.

The men of Jericho laugh as they watch what can best be described as unconventional warfare tactics. The strategy, however, actually works! The plan is executed down to the smallest detail. After the final shout the walls of Jericho fall down. The city is burned. Jericho is conquered in one week. Truth appears to be stranger than fiction. The conquest of Canaan has just been inaugurated through a river stopping and a fortified city being defeated through the combination of marching, music and shouting. At least this is the history described in the Bible.

Can an intellectual person really embrace the biblical account of Jericho? The biblical account makes for a fanciful bedtime story, but can the Bible really be accurately communicating an historical event?

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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #4 Ketef Hinnom Silver Amulet Scroll

This post is a continuation of our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.

An Ordinary Dig

Our #4 archaeological find takes us to the ever important city of Jerusalem. A discovery made in 1979 is still hard to comprehend. The discovery came completely unexpected. Archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, with a meager budget, and only 12 and 13 year old helpers from a local club set out on a completely ordinary dig. What was Barkay looking for? In his own words he states:

In the 1970’s I was interested in extra-mural activity, that is, activity outside the walls of the city. There would be quarrying of stones outside the city, growing fresh vegetables, military gatherings, burials, roads and military watch towers. These would have occupied a place not too far from the city, but not too close.

I put myself in the shoes of the ancients and thought to myself, where would those functions have taken place? I decided that the hill [Ketef Hinnom] where St Andrews was located was the best probability. I took a survey and collected pottery and was convinced that there were finds to be made there.

I love that Gabriel Barkay set out to try to find ancient remains of roads, vegetables, etc… He goes to the backyard of St. Andrews in Jerusalem and starts digging with his army of 12 and 13 year olds.

They started excavating right next to the church and discovered the remnant of an ancient Christian church and some burial graves. The graves were in bad condition, all had collapsed roofs. The graves, additionally, had all been looted with the exception of one little bead. Well, beads are nice. Maybe that’s all the group will discover.

Wait! A little nook was found underneath one of the burial benches. The nook would have been a place for people to leave little trinkets significant to their loved one. After a quick search nothing was found, just dirt. Dang, this nook had also been looted. Barkay needed to have the accumulated dirt in the nook cleaned out in order to take a good photograph for the official excavation reports. Out of all the 12 and 13 year olds who should be chosen for the task? A boy named Nathan.

Why was Nathan chosen to clean out the little nook? Barkay explains in his own words:

Among the thirteen-year-old diggers, there was one annoying kid named Nathan, who was always tugging at my shirt. I thought this was an ideal place to put him – he would be out of my sight. I told Nathan the repository had to be as clean as his mother’s kitchen, even if he had to lick it. It had to be clean for the photography.

To Barkay’s surprise Nathan cleans the nook out meticulously. Nathan then gets bored. He has a hammer in his hand (usually a bad combination). Nathan starts banging the hammer on the stone bottom of the nook. The truth becomes stranger than fiction, the stone bottom of the nook breaks. It wasn’t just a little harmless nook. Nathan had found the entryway to a room holding precious ancient secrets. Leave it to a 13 year old trouble maker to make one of the greatest archeological discoveries.
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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #5 The Crucified Man

This post is a continuation of our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.


Crucifixion was a painful execution method used primarily from the 6th century BC until the 4th century AD. During these 1,000 years crucifixion was used mainly by three empires: the Seleucid Empire (312-63BC), Carthaginian Empire (800-146BC), and Roman Empire (753BC-1453AD). It is believed these empires developed crucifixion from the earlier Assyrian Empire.

The Assyrians were masters of psychological warfare. They would impale their victims, or just their heads, on wooden poles for the public to see. This barbarity would bring terror to those around them. People would tremble at the thought of the Assyrian Army. Crucifixion was developed / perfected for similar psychological power. Crucifixion was often performed to terrorize onlookers into submission. Victims were left on display after death as warnings. Crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful (hence the term excruciating, literally “out of crucifying”), gruesome (hence dissuading against the crimes punishable by it), humiliating, and public, using whatever means were most expedient for that goal.

The word crucifixion comes from the Latin crucifixio (“fixed to a cross”, from the prefix cruci-, “cross”, + verb figere, “fix or bind fast”.) At its simplest definition the act of crucifixion entails someone being “fixed to a cross.”

What made crucifixion so painful? First, a person being crucified was often put through physical and psychological distress before being fixed to a cross. The biblical account of Jesus’ crucifixion includes him being beaten by a group of soldiers and then the horrendous act of flogging. Flogging involved stripping the prisoner and tying his hands to an upright post. A soldier stepped forward with the flagrum in his hand. This was a whip with a short wooden handle and leather thongs with small pieces of metal attached to the end of each thong. The whip repeatedly struck the condemned person’s head, shoulders and body.
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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #6 Pontius Pilate Inscription

This post is a continuation of our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.

Pilate’s Role

Who is Jesus? You and I are sitting down in the Credo House, enjoying a delicious Luther Latte. We’re talking about the important questions of life and I lean forward asking you that simple question, “Who is Jesus?” What do you think about him? Is He everything the Bible communicates? Did He actually live, die for the sins of humanity, and rise from the dead? Do you consider Him your Lord? Is He the ultimate King of the Jews? Is He the King of Kings? These are important questions for all of mankind to consider.

One man, according to the Bible, was uniquely called upon to wrestle with the identity of Jesus. His name: Pontius Pilate. Pilate was the Prefect (governor) of the Roman province of Judea from 26-36 AD. The Jewish high priests at the time were unable to legally sentence a man to death. Most of the leading Jews wanted Jesus killed. In order for Jesus to be killed the death sentence had to be carried out under Roman law. The Jewish leaders needed Pontius Pilate to condemn Jesus to death. Early one morning a mob drives Jesus to Pilate. Pilate becomes responsible for deciding the fate of Jesus.

John 18 describes the scene:

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:33-38)

Wow, what an amazing dialogue. Jesus forces Pilate to wrestle with his identity. Where does the conversation go from here? Pilate tells the crowd he believes Jesus to be innocent. The crowd finds a loop-hole in the system asking for a criminal, Barabbas, to be released from prison and for Jesus to be found guilty. Pilate appeases the crowd by sending Jesus away to be flogged. After experiencing the horror of flogging, the Bible tells us Jesus is sent back to Pilate. Pilate and Jesus have another conversation described in John 19:
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Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #7 Hezekiah’s Tunnel

This post is a continuation of our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.

A Tough Time to be Alive

Our #7 biblically significant discovery in archaeology takes us back again to the time of the #10 discovery. If you haven’t read about the Assyrian Lachish Reliefs please click here to become more familiar with the events of 8th century BC Judah.

The year is 701BC. Sennacherib, the King of Assyria, has destroyed nearly every prominent town in the southern kingdom of Judah. Israel lies in ruins. Sennacherib thrusts the power of the Assyrian army toward the all-important city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem houses the God of the Jews. The defeat of Jerusalem would be a large strategic and symbolic victory.

The Assyrians employ the military strategy of the siege. The army surrounds the fortified walls of a city, cut off all water and food to the city, and then they wait. The term, “siege” derives from sedere, Latin for “to sit”. Attacking armies would wait weeks, months or even years. Assyria had recently besieged nearby Samaria, destroying it after waiting 3 years. As the people in the city grew sick and weak the healthy army would then advance to destroy the city. There are usually only three outcomes of a siege: survive by finding a way to get food and water, surrender or die.

Jerusalem faces certain ruin. Hezekiah, one of the few godly kings, encourages his people to trust in God. God will deliver them from Sennacherib. 2 Kings 18:7 tells us, “He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.” In 2 Kings 18 we learn the Assyrian commander tells the people of Jerusalem, “Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the kind of Assyria?” The Assyrians first try to convince the people of Jerusalem to overthrow Hezekiah.

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