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The Bible... A History Book With A Difference
Most other 'holy books' seem to be endless streams of mind numbing philosophy with little or no framework or context. In complete contrast, Christianity is based on something that was said or done at a specific time and in a specific place. This means it is historically provable or disprovable.
The Bible - The Three Choices
When it comes to a book that repeatedly claims to be the "word of God", there are only three possibilities - either the authors were deranged, themselves deluded, or the book was in fact Divinely inspired. So what, if anything, distinguishes the Bible from the many 'holy' books that exist today?
The only possible reason for the absolute unity of the Bible is simply because there was only one author - not forty.
The Bible's Candor About The Faults and Failings of Its Main Characters
does not prove the Bible to be true, but reinforces the case that it is an honest book
Infallible and accurate prophecies about the future is beyond the capabilities of both men and false gods. Only a Supreme Being can consistently and precisely predict the future in detail.
The Bible's Scientific Accuracy
The scientific accuracy of the Bible definitively shows that there was a greater source of intelligence at work in the writings of men who could not possibly have had known the first things about the solar system, the universe, the ocean floor, or germs. Also note some of the scientific errors and absurdities in the Qur'an.
The Bible's Archaeological Accuracy
It is true that archaeological accuracy does not prove the truth claims of the Scriptures. However, if the Bible is wrong in areas we can test, we would rightly hesitate to trust it in areas we cannot test. Comparing the Bible's archaeological accuracy with the archaeological inaccuracy of the Book of Mormon. Includes the Archaeological Accuracy of The Book of Mormon
The Bible... A History Book With A Difference
The only reason there are so many religions in the world is because the vast majority of men know or at least sense that God exists. However, most religions are man's effort to find or reach this God. Christianity is crucially different; inasmuch as it is the account of God reaching down to man which, if you think about it, makes a lot more sense. After all, the search for a Supreme Being is not exactly like searching for mushrooms. How would you know where to look and how to look. And, how could you possibly know, beyond all doubt, that what you have encountered is indeed Deity and not some other being that, wishing to be seen as benevolent, is wearing a mask?
Don't tell me! You feel right. Your spirit tells you all is well.
But we have already gone into how deceptive feelings can be, haven't we?
The Bible teaches that when God revealed Himself to man, He did so by establishing a unique relationship with one small nation, then giving certain hand picked men (whom He knew would faithfully obey Him ) the authority to speak on His behalf. They were not chosen by men, could not inherit the post and were not specially trained for it. These men recorded not only ongoing historical events but made a large number of prophecies. See Daniel's Amazing Prophecies The only ones that haven't yet been fulfilled are those that were made about a time that we have not yet reached.
The result was the 66 books of the Bible... an ancient book written in everyday language, by everyday people who wrote what they saw, what they heard, and what they were told. It is not a book of mysteries, a spiritual handbook, a series of divine utterances, systematic discourses, a list of moral laws, or a dry list of religious do's and don'ts.
Christianity is based on something that was said or done at a specific time and in a specific place. Which means much of it is historically provable. And it is a history book with a difference. Not only does it record God's dealings with men from the first day of man's existence but, stretching across the centuries, it reaches into the future and tells about the end of this world as we know it, when God will bring His kingdom to earth. For more about Jesus' Kingdom Message see Chapter 13 - The Message of The Bible
The Bible - Deceptive, Deranged, Or Divine?
The Bible is a book that is unique in many ways. To begin with, as Glenn Miller says, it...
claims hundreds and hundreds of times to be the "Word of God." It doesn't soft- pedal this bizarre claim at all. It never claims to be 'a consensus of humanity's most noble and sublime thoughts.' It never claims to be the 'insights' of a religiously privileged character or race".
As Glenn Miller also says,
It agrees, of course, with most other literature on basic tenets of good living (Ten Commandments and Golden Rule kind of stuff), but takes an unique position on the central problem -- our moral failures and their consequences. Other religious classics assert that the basic method of overcoming our moral failures and their consequences in our relationships (with ourselves, other people, the universe, and this 'Person') is by living better lives, doing good deeds, "walking the religious way", keeping some set of rules, doing your best, thinking positively etc. The main message of the Judeo-Christian Scripture is diametrically opposed to this solution (but not opposed to doing those good things, of course.)
It does not 'coddle' us--it calls us to accept responsibility for our personal failures. But it does not overwhelm us with them either. It communicates care and concern for our plight (without being overly melodramatic or compromising its ethical standards), and documents both its provisions for this plight and the steps necessary to 'repair' the situation...
How Can We Know The Bible is Divinely Inspired?
When we pick up a copy of the Bible it does not levitate or otherwise give us any supernatural indication that it is the word of God. So what distinguishes the Bible from the many 'holy' books that exist today?
What is truly interesting is that most people seem to be prejudiced against the Bible, but well disposed towards other 'scriptures'. In fact, if you quote the Bible, it is quite likely that you will hear something like "everyone knows the Bible is full of errors and contradictions". However if you were to appeal to, say something Buddha said you would probably be viewed as a wise, or even enlightened, person.
This is a rather illogical situation, because there is far more evidence in favor of the Bible being true, than there is for any of the other 'holy books' like the Qur’an, the Bhagavad-Gita, the writings of Confucius, or the Book of Mormon.
All too many people believe that the Bible has no significant historical, textual, or archaeological support. That its miraculous claims cannot be reconciled with the laws of nature as we understand them. That all the evil and suffering in our world contradicts the Biblical portrayal of an caring and all-powerful God - none of which is true
But first it is important to point out that, when it comes to logic, there is a considerable difference between what is called 'deductive' and 'inductive' logic or reasoning.
Deductive Vs. Inductive Logic
Deductive reasoning, also called a priori (prior to examining the facts), starts with the cause and reasons to the effect. For example, if someone has an a priori commitment to naturalism (the idea that nothing exists beyond the natural world) they will not believe miracles or prophecy are possible, since neither can be a result of natural, or physical laws. Thus, they will endeavor to explain away anything that smacks of the supernatural as a 'coincidence' or 'misinterpretation' etc.
Inductive reasoning, called a posteriori (after seeing the evidence), works the opposite way. It starts with the effects and attempts to find the cause. In contrast to deductive reasoning, a person will look at a miracle or fulfilled prophecy and attempt to find who or what could have accomplished such a thing.
Although it is entirely possible to reach the wrong conclusion via inductive arguments, there are some things that it would be very difficult to find more than one answer to. An outstanding example are the facts surrounding the authorship of the Bible.
Authorship of The Bible
The Bible has one message from Genesis to Revelation- not particularly noteworthy as most books have one theme, or story line. However, the Bible's uniformity is extremely remarkable if you consider the following facts....
a) Unlike the Qur'an, which was the collection of the words of the one man who was the acknowledged leader and sole prophet of Islam, the Bible was compiled by forty independent writers who not only wrote over a 1,500 year time span, but were from twenty vastly different backgrounds, levels of education, and occupations including a couple of kings, a general, at least two fishermen, a musician, a priest, a tax collector, a physician etc.
b) The Bible has a cast of almost three thousand characters and covers a very large number of subjects... Isaiah wrote to warn Israel of God's coming judgment on their sin, The 'weeping prophet' Jeremiah wrote to warn that the Chaldeans would take Judah captive. Daniel, who had earned a place of honor and respect among the Gentiles, wrote of the prophetic visions he had while in exile in Babylon. Nehemiah wrote of how the returning captives rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. Matthew wrote to prove to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah, and Paul wrote addressing problems and encouraging believers in various churches.
c) It was written under many different circumstances. Joshua wrote at the time the Israelites invaded Canaan, David wrote during a time of war, Jeremiah wrote at the terrible time of Israel's downfall, Peter wrote while Israel was under Roman domination. But that is not all...
d) They wrote in three different languages on three different continents... Asia, Africa and Europe. Moses wrote in the desert of Sinai, Ezra in the ruined city of Jerusalem, Daniel from exile in Babylon, and Paul from a prison in Rome.
e) Finally they wrote in every literary forms you can think of, including history (Kings and Chronicles), wisdom literature (Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), apocalyptic literature (Revelation and parts of Daniel), poetry (The Psalms), parables, letters etc.
Yet, although they could not have possibly colluded or conspired with each other, the 40 authors of the Bible were united around one theme, i.e. God's redemption of man and how it was to be accomplished. Even more amazingly, they produced a book in which many controversial subjects are addressed... yet they never ever contradicted each other.
See Could You Write The Bible on THIS Page (Scroll Down)
Another rarely considered factor is...
The Bible's Candor About The Faults and Failings of Its Main Characters.
The fact that the Bible does not attempt to hide or gloss over the misdeeds of its central characters nor attempt to portray them in a favorable light does not prove the Bible to be true, but it certainly reinforces the case that it is an honest book that tells of people who, in spite of their great faith, were just as human as any of us.
Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible that not only tell the story of Noah getting drunk shortly after he got off the ark (Genesis 9:21) but his own sins... His apparent outburst of anger in the wilderness (Numbers 20:10-12), the fact that he murdered a man in Egypt and was very reluctant to approach the Pharaoh as the Lord commanded.
The Old Testament written by Jews makes no bones about the nation's frequent lapses into apostasy.... the numerous times they turned away from God to worship idols. In fact, the beloved king David was documented as an adulterer who had his lover's husband murdered (2 Samuel 11). It also does not gloss over the fact that when God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria with a warning to the people there, he fled in the opposite direction which, if you think about it.... is perfectly understandable.
(What God told Jonah to do could be compared with Him telling a mid 20th century Jew to go preach to the Gestapo. Jonah knew that God's response was (and is) always favorable when people repent. The Ninevites were infamous for their cruelty and, judging from Jonah's own words (Jonah 4:2), he did not want them forgiven, since many of his countrymen had already experienced the carnage they wrought).
In the New Testament, not only did the disciples rather childishly argue about which one of them was the greatest (Luke 22:24), fall asleep on the crucial night before Jesus' trial even though He had asked them to watch and pray (Mark 14:32-41), but also ran away when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:50). Additionally, when confronted, Peter denied that he knew Jesus (Matthew 26:72).
Later on, Peter stopped eating with the Gentiles for fear of the Jews (Galatians 2:11-12), Paul and Barnabas argued about whether Mark should accompany them on one of their missionary journeys (Acts 15:37-39), and Paul's confessed that he was "foremost" of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
The Bible is also unique in that it makes literally hundreds of predictions of future events, some of which were general, while others were so specific that they gave places and dates.
Whether discussing the rise and fall of empires that had not even come to power when the prophecy was written or making prophecies about specific individuals who would not be born for many years to come (most important of whom was the Messiah), the Bible is the only 'religious' book that speaks of future events with the same certainty that it speaks of past and present events. To the best of knowledge, not a single one of these has failed to come true.
NOTE: Based on certain Biblical passages that on the surface appear to be saying that God's foreknowledge is limited, in recent years a few scholars have claimed there is no divine script for the future and have proposed a radically different view called Open Theism. Their reasons can be roughly grouped into four categories one of which is that they believe that not all Biblical prophecies were fulfilled as predicted. Is this true? See God’s Foreknowledge
So how does this show that God is behind these prophecies? Only a Supreme Being can consistently and precisely make infallible and accurate prophecies about the future something that is well beyond the capabilities of both men and false gods. In the book of Isaiah, the Lord says He is the first and the last and challenges the idol gods to predict the future,
"Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. 'Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. (Isaiah 44:6-7 NASB)
"Declare the things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods". And since this is impossible for them, He then goes on to say "Behold, you are of no account, And your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination." (Isaiah 41:3-4. Emphasis Added)
Which is why several passages in Scripture unambiguously state that the test of a true prophet was that all his words come to pass. If they did not the people could be sure that the Lord had not sent him. (See for example, Deuteronomy 18:21-22 and Jeremiah 28:9). What seems to escape many in the church is that exactly the same principle applies today.
See Prophets Or Deluded Charlatans
So let's take a look at just some of the prophecies made in the Old Testament apart from those made about the Messiah. (Not only did Jesus Himself make a number of prophecies, but virtually all facets of His life was foretold hundreds of years in advance, including His birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. See Chapter 6 - Why Jesus is without Equal
The Succession of Great World Kingdoms.
Daniel chapter 2: Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
Daniel's interpretation of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar's very disturbing dream about a statue displays extraordinary prophetic foreknowledge of the succession of empires from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar himself (about 600 B.C.) to the Roman Empire which began to come into power around 241 B.C. The Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Greeks and finally the Romans have all come and gone exactly as Daniel prophesied. History has shown that
Babylon was overthrown by the Medes and the Persians, which parallels the statue's two arms.
The Greeks under Alexander the Great, represented by the bronze torso and thighs, conquered the Medo/Persian Empire.
Finally, the Roman Empire represented by the two iron legs of the statue, overthrew the Grecian kingdom. (Note: many years later that the Emperor Diocletian [284-305] split the empire in half, creating what would become the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire, i.e. the two legs of the statue.
For Details of this extraordinary story see The Rise And Fall Of The Empires: I
Also See The Symbolism Of The Ten Toes
However it did not end with the Romans. The entire statue is reduced to dust by a rock that becomes a mountain and fills the earth - representative of God's kingdom that started out very small but expands until one day it will fill the earth, destroying all man made kingdoms in the process.
Many critical scholars argue that Daniel wrote around 170 B.C. and was looking back in time, not forward. However, there is plenty of evidence to show that Daniel lived and prophesied in the sixth century B.C. making his detailed description of future world events supernatural predictions. For example, we know that the prophet Ezekiel who lived in the 6th century B.C. mentioned Daniel three times in his book Ezekiel 14:14,20, and 28:3. Obviously, Daniel lived just prior to Ezekiel or was a contemporary of his. He was a prophet not a historian.
Daniel's second vision (recorded in Daniel 8) was equally remarkable and one of the most significant prophecies for understanding end-time events. In the vision Daniel 'saw' himself in 'the citadel of Susa n the province of Elam'.
Note: Susa was also mentioned several times in the Book of Esther as being where King Ahasuerus had his palace.
The archaeological site consisting of four mounds was excavated (1897–1908). One mound held the citadel, the obelisk of the Akkadian king Manishtusu, the stele of his successor Naram-Sin, and the code of Hammurabi of Babylon. A second mound to the east was the location of the palace of Darius I. A third contained the royal Elamite city, while the fourth mound contained poorer houses. 
Although the prophet showed a remarkable ability to interpret and understand visions and dreams (1:17; 5:11-12), this one left him not only clueless but ill -the vision obviously intended to future generations. In his words,
Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up again and carried on the king's business; but I was astounded at the vision, and there was none to explain it. (Daniel 8:27 NASB)
It is crucially important to note the date of this prophecy. Daniel 8:1 says it came "in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar the king". According to an ancient Babylonian text called the Nabonidus Chronicle, beginning in year seven (549/8 B.C.) Nabonidus was away from Babylon for ten years, which means Belshazzar must have been regent.  The third year of Belshazzar's reign was therefore in 546/5 B.C., when no one would have dreamt that the mighty Babylonian empire would fall in the next half a dozen or so years (The Persian king, Cyrus the Great, conquered Babylon In 539 BC). Nor could anyone have imagined that the Greeks, followed by the Romans would, in turn, become dominant world powers.
For Details See The Rise And Fall Of The Empires II.
Daniel 11 spans the centuries from Cyrus The Great to the reign of the antichrist and the end of the age.
The Golden Gate
The Golden Gate is one of several gates built into Jerusalem's old city walls. Located on the eastern side of the city, it looks across the Kidron valley at the Mount of Olives. It was built somewhere between the 5th and 7th century A.D. atop the ruins of a much older gate that dates back to about the 6th century B.C. The prophet Ezekiel, who prophesied from about 592 to 570 B.C was told by the Lord that
This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. (Ezekiel 44:2 NASB)
The gate remains sealed to this day. But why? The answer is truly wondrous.
See The Closing of The Golden Gate
and their fulfillment include...
The Return of Israel to the Land
The Flourishing of The Desert In Palestine
The Destruction of Tyre
The Doom of Edom (Petra) See Other Prophecies
The Bible's Scientific Accuracy
Scientific Facts In The Bible
When studying the science of the ancient world, one is more likely to be impressed with its ignorance rather than its accuracy. However, the Scriptures are replete with statements that demonstrate scientific knowledge that predates - often by many hundred of years - corresponding discoveries made by the modern scientific world.
Given that Bible writers were not scientists who could not possibly have had known the first things about the solar system, the universe, the ocean floor, or germs. And given that the scientific information at their disposal was both sparse and generally misleading, the accuracy of the Bible can only be attributed to Divine inspiration. See Two Part Article HERE
In contrast the Qu’ran makes some very odd claims. For example "During sleep Satan ties knots at the back of the head" (Volume 4, Book 54, Number 491) and Satan peed in the ear of a man (Volume 4, Book 54, Number 492) Problems, Contradictions and Odd Statements in the Qu’ran
And here is just a sample of scientific contradictions in the Quran:
· The Quran presents as a scientific fact that the sun sets in a "muddy spring" (Sura 18:86). However, it has been proven scientifically that this is not true.
· A famous passage in the Quran says that human beings are formed from a clot of blood (Sura 23:14). This, of course, is an inaccurate description of an embryo.
· A Samaritan could not have molded the golden calf in Moses' time (Sura 20:85-87, 95-97) because Samaritans did not live in Moses' time. See Contrasting Christianity and Islam
The Bible's Archaeological Accuracy
The Bible is unique in that its religious claims are rooted in history. However, it was almost impossible to confirm or disprove the Bible's historical record before about the 19th century. You either believed it, or you didn't. Fortunately, in recent years the vast strides made in archaeology has given us substantial evidence of the reliability of the Bible's historical accounts.
Note: It serves to remember that considering we are talking about events that happened thousands of years ago, it would be unrealistic to expect solid confirmation for every single detail. Also bear in mind that not every element of secular history has been confirmed either.
As said earlier, archaeological accuracy does not prove the truth claims of the Scriptures. However, if the Bible is inaccurate in areas we can test, then we would rightly hesitate to trust it in the areas we cannot test. On the other hand, if the Bible has proven itself to be trustworthy in verifiable areas, there is a basis for taking its spiritual claims seriously.
Many events in the Bible which previously passed as 'pious tales' were proved by archaeological excavations to be historical. "In Palestine, places and towns, frequently mentioned in the Bible are being brought into the light of day and look exactly as the Bible describes them and are located exactly where the Bible says they were". This is one example provided by Dutch historian Jona Lendering...
Some stress that David and Solomon's united kingdom could never have been the centralized organization we read about in 2 Samuel and 1 Kings, because the necessary archaeological evidence to prove the existence of a state organization is missing. There are no administrative documents, and something resembling a state architecture does not appear in the archaeological record until the ninth century, when almost identical stables and six-chambered gates were built on several places...
This is not unique.
The kingdom of the Medes, which is mentioned in several sources as the forerunner of the Achaemenid Empire, is missing too. This is not to deny that the Medes existed - sites like Tepe Nush-e Jan can safely be attributed to them - but the evidence that they lived in a well-organized state with a central administration, as described by Herodotus of Halicarnassus, is absent: no archives, nothing that may be labeled "state architecture". 
Additionally, scholars encounter more and more inscriptions and monuments with the names of people mentioned in the Old and New Testament. For example...
"the Bible refers to the Hittites more than 40 times. For years historians said the Bible was in error because they could find no traces of the Hittite civilization until 1906 when
"an immense, sprawling fortified city found in modern-day Turkey was confirmed to have been the Hittite capital, Hattusha. A royal library of around 10,000 tablets helped prove to archaeologists that these people were indeed the people of the land of Hatti, the kingdom of Kheta in the Egyptian texts, and the Hittites of the Bible. This massive empire controlled what became modern-day Turkey, and its power and influence expanded as far south as Syria and around parts of northern Canaan, just as described in the Bible". 
When discovered much of the city was still standing. Above a carefully organized street plan stood well-preserved royal residences, fortifications, and temples. Huge entryways flanked by stone lions stood in a massive stone curtain wall... Today the Hittite clay tablets are the earliest surviving evidence of Indo-European written language. 
Daniel and Belshazzar
One striking example is Daniel's record that Belshazzar was reigning when Babylon fell to the Medo-Persians in 539 B.C.
Anyone who has read the book of Daniel Ch. 5 would be familiar with the story of Belshazzar who threw a feast for his nobles allowing them to use vessels taken from the temple in Jerusalem for their wine. During the festivities, he and his friends saw a disembodied hand writing something on the wall. Daniel who was brought in to interpret the writing told Belshazzar that it meant that the king had been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Belshazzar was killed that very night when the Medes and the Persians attacked and conquered Babylon.
Because outside of the Bible Belshazzar was nowhere listed as a king of Babylon (as I understand it, even the Greek historian, Herodotus said nothing about him), critics considered this account to be an enormous fabrication.
However, the Nabonidus Chronicle, a single clay tablet now kept at the British Museum in London, summarizes the principal events of the reign of Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It begins with his accession to the throne in 556 B.C. and ends after the Persian conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. What is relevant to the subject is the fact that the chronicle tells us that after he conquered Edom, Nabonidus spent the next ten years in the oasis of Temâ in the Arabian desert (Teiman in Hebrew in the Dead Sea Scrolls fragment 4Q242), apparently leaving Babylonia to be administered by his son, Bel-shar-usur (Belshazzar in the Book of Daniel). 
In other words, Belshazzar was only the acting monarch reigning in place of his absent father, which explains why Daniel was given the "authority as the third ruler in the kingdom" (Daniel 5:29. Also See 5:7). Belshazzar himself was only the second ruler.
Another very pertinent fact mentioned in the Nabonidus Chronicle is his "forsaking the gods of Babylon for the moon god, Sin" 
Nabonidus built a ziggurat on the foundations of a much older one about two hundred miles south of Babylon. Four ancient inscribed clay cylinders, found one at each corner of the ziggurat identifies the site as Ur built during the reign of Ur-Nammu, and describes how Nabonidus reconstructed the ziggurat devoting it to the god Sin.
The Bible tells us God brought Abraham out of the land of Ur, to Canaan. See The Babylonian Kings and Their Ziggurats/Temples and the very probable connection to Islam on THIS page.
Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar
"Daniel knew that Nebuchadnezzar was responsible for the splendor of Babylon (Daniel 4:30) something unknown to modern historians until it was confirmed by the German professor Koldewey, who excavated Babylon approximately 100 years ago. 
Isaiah 20:1 reads "In the year that the commander came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it (Isaiah 20:1 NASB). This was challenged by critics because...
they knew of no king named Sargon in lists of Assyrian kings. Now Sargon's palace has been recovered at Khorsabad, including a wall inscription and a library record endorsing the battle against the Philistine city of Ashdod (mentioned in Isaiah 20:1). 
In addition, discoveries made at Sargon's palace helped to verify and supplement the Biblical account of the fall of Samaria. One example is a quote from Sargon which states, "The town I rebuilt better than it was before and settled therein people from countries which I myself had conquered." This ties in with II Kings 17:24, which lists the nations Sargon brought people from to settle in Samaria.
The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sephar-vaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. (2 Kings 17:24 NASB)
In fact, Sargon was not the only name that the Hebrew Bible got right...
The Names of The Kings
"Of the 29 kings having an archaeological corroboration, every single name is transliterated in the Hebrew Masoretic text exactly as it appears on the archaeological artifact-- syllable for syllable, consonant for consonant, 29 kings, every single name. Additionally, we find that the chronological order of these kings is precise. In other words, every name in the Hebrew Masoretic text, some of which go back to the book of Genesis and before the time of Hammurabi, appears in its correct order, with the correct spelling, in the correct time, as attested by the archaeological artifacts and period literature.
All the information is from Scott Jones' 1997 article, The Veracity of the Old Testament: A Scientific Validation. It was originally compiled from "A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament," by R.D. Wilson who was fluent in numerous ancient languages and dialects including the Biblical and cognate languages, i.e., Hebrew, Aramaic, the Sumerian/Babylonian dialects, Phoenician, Assyrian and Ethiopic dialects among others.
See The Veracity of the Old Testament: A Scientific Validation
Most skeptics claimed that the Biblical King David never existed. That is, until 1993, when a team of archaeologists uncovered an ancient stele (An upright stone or slab with an inscribed or sculptured surface) during excavations at Tel Dan in northern Israel. On display in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the stele dates back to the 9th century B.C., which is about a century after David's reign. The inscription describes a victory by an unnamed king over the "House of David" and the "King of Israel." According to the Biblical Archaeology Society, because ancient Aramaic has no vowels, some have
argued that the Hebrew term bytdwd referred to a specific place (akin to bytlhm for Bethlehem) rather than the ancestral dynasty of David. Such skepticism aside, however, most Biblical scholars and archaeologists readily accepted that the Tel Dan stela had supplied the first concrete proof of a historical King David from the Bible, making it one of the top Biblical archaeology discoveries reported in BAR. 
A 1995 article in Time magazine describes the discovery of ancient Bible texts...
...a series of crucial discoveries suggests that some of the Bible's more ancient tales are also based firmly on real people and events. In 1990, Harvard researchers working in the ancient city of Ashkelon, north of the Gaza Strip, unearthed a small silver-plated bronze calf figurine reminiscent of the huge golden calf mentioned in the Book of Exodus. In 1986, archaeologists found the earliest known text of the Bible, dated to about 600 B.C. It suggests that at least part of the Old Testament was written soon after some of the events it describes.
Also in 1986, scholars identified an ancient seal that had belonged to Baruch, son of Neriah, a scribe who recorded the prophecies of Jeremiah in 587 B.C. (Because Jews and Muslims don't consider the birth of Christ to be a defining moment in history, many scholars prefer the term B.C.E. to B.C. It stands for either "Before the Christian Era" or "Before the Common Era.") Says Hershel Shanks, founding editor of the influential magazine Biblical Archaeology Review: "Seldom does archaeology come face to face with people actually mentioned in the Bible." 
The Mesha Stele
The 1.15 meters high Mesha Stele (also known as the "Moabite Stone") was found in 1868, in Dhiban (modern Jordan) on the left bank of the Dead Sea.
The stele is not only one of the very important accounts of the history of the world, but also serves to corroborate a number of details related in the Bible. Its 35 odd lines of writing pays tribute to the Moabite king Mesha, but documents his various over the kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab, son of Omri. (Omri is briefly and unfavorably mentioned in the 16th chapter of I Kings 16, and in Micah 6:16).
Most importantly the stele not only has the earliest extra-biblical reference to Yahweh, the primary Hebrew name of the God of the Bible , but it also contains the earliest known extra-biblical written occurrence of "Israel". 
Baruch the son of Neriah is mentioned several times in the book of Jeremiah. On one occasion, when Jeremiah bought a field in Anathoth he gave both the sealed and unsealed copies to Baruch for safe keeping (Jeremiah 32)
Later on, in the fourth year of king Jehoiakim son of Josiah, the Lord instructed Jeremiah to write on a scroll all that He had told the prophet regarding Israel and Judah with the hope that the house of Judah would pay attention to the calamity God intended to bring on them and turn from their evil ways so that God could forgive them (Jeremiah 36:1-3). The next verse tells us that
Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on a scroll at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord which He had spoken to him. (Jeremiah 36:4 NASB)
In this period, writing was done on papyrus scrolls that were commonly tied with string. These documents were then sealed with a lump of clay, called a bulla. The small clay disc was impressed with the scribe's seal and affixed to the knot in the string used to tie up the document. Two bullae, one of which is in a private London collection, was discovered with three lines of ancient Hebrew text. The formal cursive style of the Hebrew script dates to the late 7th century B.C., the time of Jeremiah. Both bear the inscription...
Baruch is almost certainly the shortened form of the name Berekhyahu just as Neriah is the shortened version of Neriyahu. On the official seal both names incorporate the suffix yahu - a shortened form of Yahweh that often appears attached to the names of the Jews of this period. While the longer version of the two names was used on the official seal, the abbreviated versions were used in the Bible.
In fact, although space disallows any details, a number of clay seals have been found that confirm the existence of several Biblical figures. If you wish you can Google "See The Authenticity of the Bullae of Berekhyahu Son of Neriyahu the Scribe". Unfortunately most results require you to sign up to the organization concerned. Ex. University of Chicago
The Cyrus Cylinder
Cyrus the Great, who founded the vast Persian Empire by uniting the Medes and the Persian controlled, at one point, one of the greatest Empires that ever existed.
Cyrus is mentioned by name some 23 times in Scripture and alluded to several more times. The first chapter of the Old Testament book of Ezra and 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 tell us the Lord moved the king to issue a decree allowing the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple. Cyrus was also said to have sent back all the vessels of the temple that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had carried away from Jerusalem and put in the house of his gods (Ezra 1:6-11, 5:13-15)
In 1879, a clay cylinder (currently housed in the British Museum in London) dated to between 539 and 530 B.C and inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform, was unearthed from the foundations of the Esagila (a temple of Babylon devoted to Marduk) which records Cyrus' conquest of Babylon in 539 BC. Although it doesn't specifically mention the Jews, part of the cylinder confirms that Cyrus allowed the return of exiles, restored temples and returned statues of deities to their places. After their deportation by Nebuchadnezzar II, the Jews return to Palestine would have been part of this policy.
I returned the images of the gods, who had resided there [i.e., in Babylon], to their places and I let them dwell in eternal abodes. I gathered all their inhabitants and returned to them their dwellings. In addition, at the command of Marduk, the great lord, I settled in their habitations, in pleasing abodes, the gods of Sumer and Akkad, whom Nabonidus, to the anger of the lord of the gods, had brought into Babylon. 
See The Esagila and Nebuchadnezzar II on THIS page - Babel To Babylon
The Assyrian king Sennacherib's Invasion of Judah.
The Azekah Inscription
The Azekah Inscription is a fragment of a clay tablet with 18 lines of inscription, now housed in the British Museum. It dates back to the reign of Sennacherib (705 to 681 BC) and was discovered in the mid-nineteenth century in the Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh, that was the largest city in the world for close to half a century. Although the date seems uncertain, the inscription describes a campaign by the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Hezekiah, King of Judah.
This is corroborated by ...
Sennacherib's (or Taylor) Prism
This six-sided hexagonal clay cylinder, that dates back to about 689 BC, stands about 15 inches tall and was discovered in 1919 by British colonel R. Taylor (hence the alternate name) in the Assyrian capital Nineveh in northern Iraq. It was purchased from a Baghdad antiquities dealer for the Oriental Institute in Chicago. The prism has a total of about 500 lines of writing on all six sides, which document and preserve Sennacherib's achievements, i.e. his first eight war campaigns and the spread of the Assyrian empire, including the siege of Jerusalem during the reign of king Hezekiah.
Column 3 says, in part, that because Hezekiah did not submit to his authority, Sennacherib demolished forty-six of his cities and took 200,150 people along with horses, cattle etc as spoil. He further adds that he shut Hezekiah himself n Jerusalem like a caged bird and gave some of the captured towns to the kings of Ashod, Ekron, and Gaza. 
2 Chronicles 32:1 clearly agrees with these facts, saying"... Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, and thought to break into them for himself".
Very importantly although Sennacherib begins his description of the invasion boastfully proclaiming his defeat of forty-six strong walled cities and the spoils he carried away, he never once says he captured Jerusalem. Although he besieged the city, all Sennacherib could brag about concerning Jerusalem itself, was that Hezekiah paid tribute money. The most noteworthy city that the Assryian king captured was Lachish, one of the heavily fortified town that protected the approaches to Jerusalem. This must have been seen as a significant military victory, since the scene was portrayed in some detail in a relief on Sennacherib's palace walls in his capital, Nineveh. 
If, as Apologetics Press says,
The Assyrian monarch considered his victory at Lachish of such import that he dedicated an entire wall (nearly seventy linear feet) of his palace in Nineveh to carved reliefs depicting the event.. one would think that if the city of Lachish deserved so much attention from the Assyrian dictator, then the capital city of Judah would deserve even more... Sennacherib could not boast of his victory over the city of Jerusalem - because there was no victory! 
The Assyrians did not capture Jerusalem for two reasons...1) the siege failed because Jerusalem had an ample supply of fresh water, but eventually the food would have run out. However, 2) The Lord Himself defended the city.
1) Hezekiah's Tunnel
The Bible states that when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invaded Judah, king Hezekiah "stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David..." (2 Chronicles 32:30 NASB)
Jerusalem was particularly vulnerable because the Gihon spring, its only permanent water supply that had sustained the city's existence for thousands of years, was located outside the city walls. All that a marauding army had to do was to control the Gihon spring until the inhabitants surrendered from thirst. Recognizing the need to preserve the city's only source of fresh water, the citizens of Jerusalem undertook an incredibly ambitious project... A tunnel, more than a third of a mile long, was dug through solid rock under the city, which channeled the waters of the Gihon Spring into a pool within Jerusalem's walls. What is truly amazing is that the tunnel was simultaneously dug from both ends, the workers meeting in the middle.
Scholars initially doubted the truth of the story, since no traces of such a tunnel had ever been found. However, details of Hezekiah's defense strategy as outlined in the Bible have been confirmed by the 19th century discovery of his tunnel that winds in an S-shape from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam, an important New Testament site (in the New Testament, a blind man was told by Jesus to go wash his eyes in this pool (John 9:1–12).
The builders of the tunnel left their own description of the work engraved in the rock wall near the tunnel outlet into the Pool of Siloam. The inscription (called the Siloam Inscription) was found in 1880 and is now in Archaeological Museum, Istanbul, Turkey. See Further Details About The Tunnel HERE
2) The Lord Himself Defended The City
2 Kings 19:34 says the Lord defended the city for His own sake and for His servant David's sake
"By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,"' declares the Lord. 'For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'" Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead. (2 Kings 19:33-35 NASB)
Considering how these ancient rulers boasted of their exploits, it is extremely unlikely that an event such as the Assyrian army being decimated by an unseen enemy, would have found its way into recorded history.
Please note that although the Bible says an angel of the Lord struck down the Assryian soldiers it does not tell us exactly what happened. While I am sure that these words immediately conjure up images of an angel ecimating the camp with a large and very sharp sword the answer might be a lot more understandable. Josephus, the well-known Jewish historian of the first century explained that Sennacherib's army was drastically reduced by the plague.
Now when Sennacherib was returning from his Egyptian war to Jerusalem, he found his army under Rabshakeh his general in danger [by a plague], for God had sent a pestilential distemper upon his army; and on the very first night of the siege, a hundred fourscore and five thousand, with their captains and generals, were destroyed. So the king was in a great dread and in a terrible agony at this calamity; and being in great fear for his whole army, he fled with the rest of his forces to his own kingdom, and to his city Nineveh; 
How Much Tribute?
The Old Testament books of 2 Kings 18-19 and Isaiah 36-37 do not quite agree with all the details of the prism. 2 Kings 18:14-16 says the king of Assyria required three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold from the Judean king and that Hezekiah gave him all the silver in the house of the Lord, and in his own treasuries along with the gold from the doors of the temple etc.
Because the Bible records the tribute as only 300 talents of silver, while Sennacherib mentioned 800 talents of silver it is assumed that the Biblical accounts are fabricated. Considering how the siege in Jerusalem turned out, it would not be surprising if Sennacherib inflated how much tribute he was paid. On the other hand, it is entirely possible that the number 300 in the Bible was incorrectly copied. See Scribal Error
What About The Exodus?
Most contemporary Biblical scholars deny God's miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egypt as documented in the Old Testament (Exodus 2–12) and alluded to in the New Testament (Acts 7:36; Romans 9:17).
One of the major reasons for the widespread skepticism concerning the Exodus is that there is no mention of Israelites in Egypt or of an Exodus from Egypt in Egyptian records. However the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". This Article Is Well Worth Reading HERE
For Much, Much More See Does Archaeology Support the Bible?
Also See Archaeology, the Bible, and the Leap of Faith
Archaeological Accuracy of The Book of Mormon
Comparing the archaeological accuracy of the Bible with the accuracy of the only other religious book (that I know of) which claims actual history as a backdrop...
According to Mormonism, when Joseph Smith the founder of Mormonism was 21 years old, an angel named Moroni directed him to some Gold Plates buried on Hill Cumorah. Although Joseph was unfamiliar with the ancient language called 'reformed Egyptian' (that no one has ever heard of then or since) he was able to translate them. The result was what is today, collectively known as the Book of Mormon that supposedly contains the history and God's dealings with the people who lived in the Americas.
In other words, the Book of Mormon claims to record actual historical events. However, unless God happened to miss a couple of history classes, it is not possible that the Book of Mormon was divinely inspired. While it is impossible to list here the sheer number of factual errors in every book, a few examples follow, starting with DNA - the most irrefutable evidence of all.
Keith Gibson, director of The Apologetics Resource Center points out that
"DNA research has conclusively proven the Book of Mormon to be false. Remember that according to the Book of Mormon, the primary ancestry of the American Indian is Jewish. Mitochondrial DNA research has demonstrated that the American Indians are related to the inhabitants of Asia who probably crossed over into this continent across the Bering Strait into Alaska. DNA research, conducted on over 150 tribes to date, has found absolutely no link between the American Indians and Israelites. The results of the study show that 99.4% of the DNA is from Asian sources and .6% is from European and African sources. None of the DNA correlates to Jewish or Semitic origins. Additionally, methods have been developed to extract DNA from skeletons which enable scientists to test the ancient inhabitants of America. Once again, the results are the same. The inhabitants of the American continents came from Asia." [Read Evaluating the Book of Mormon. By Rev. Keith Gibson.
The Battle on the Hill Cumorah
At the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni tells about a great battle that supposedly took place on the Hill Cumorah in the Finger Lakes region in New York State . Over two hundred thousand people, armed to their teeth with breast plates, helmets, swords, etc. were killed on that hill. Yet, even before the LDS Church purchased the Hill Cumorah, nothing has was found of the weapons which made of metal would not have disappeared in a mere 1400 years.
According to Brigham Young, Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith were instructed to carry the gold plates to the hill Cumorah.
When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver [Cowdery] says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. 
(It is likely that the idea for discovering the golden plates came from Jewish Cabalistic lore and carried into Masonic legend where Enoch is said to have found buried treasure of gold and brass plates. Characters on the plates were said to be in Egyptian hieroglyphics, all of which sounds remarkably similar to Smith's supposed discovery of the golden and brass plates in the hill Cumorah near his home.) MORE l
And yes, Joseph Smith's Hill Cumorah is the same one that is mentioned in the Book of Mormon
"The great and last battle, in which several hundred thousand Nephites perished was on the hill Cumorah, the same hill from which the plates were taken by Joseph Smith, the boy about whom I spoke to you the other evening." 
Chapter 7 (vs. 8-9) of the Book of Ether speaks of "swords of steel" that one "Shule" armed his people with. Since the book of Ether is the story of the descendants of Jared and his companions who were led by God to the Americas shortly after the confusion of tongues and the destruction of the Tower of Babel, the context puts steel swords back around the time of Abraham.
No trace of anything of steel has ever been found from this date on the American or any other continent. The methods used for producing steel were not discovered until hundreds of years later and were unknown in the Americas until the country was discovered by the Europeans. Besides which, no traces of the permanent geological scars left by iron mining have ever been found in the Americas from before the time of Columbus.
The earliest known production of steel is a piece of ironware excavated from an archaeological site in Anatolia (Kaman-Kalehoyuk) which is about 4,000 years old.  Before this, iron formed the material basis of human civilization in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
II Nephi says
"And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine. [II Nephi 5:15, 16]
This passage is rather hard to swallow because this small band of Nephi's family (possibly 20 - 30 people) are supposed to have built a temple "like unto Solomon's". According to 1 Kings 5:13-18 Solomon employed 30,000 laborers, 70,000 carriers, 80,000 stone cutters and 3,300 foremen, a total of 183,300 workers, to build the temple, which took them approximately seven years. Besides which, the author cannot seem to make up his mind... "Were the precious ores in great abundance or were they not to be found upon the land?"
Fictitious Rivers: 1 Nephi 2:8 speaks of a river that empties into the Red Sea. No such river has ever been found which is a mistake that someone from the very small land of Israel would not have made.
Pigs and Other "Useful" Domesticated Animals
Ether 9: 1719 says...
"Having all manner of fruit, and of grain, and of silks, and of fine linen, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things; And also all manner of cattle, of oxen, and cows, and of sheep, and of swine, and of goats, and also many other kinds of animals which were useful for the food of man. And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man...."
There are numerous problems with this short paragraph. A) There are simply no archaeological traces of a pre-Columbian civilization, especially one with domestic animals. B) The Jews considered the pig to be an unclean animal, and since they were forbidden from eating pork in any form, would not have considered swine to be "useful for the food of man". C) Horses, asses, and elephants did not exist on the American continent at the time. Anthropologists unanimously agree that these animals came to America after the time of Columbus. D) Silk came to America with the Europeans.
I Nephi 13:26 says "they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious", which is really odd considering that Nephi was written some 600 years before Christ was born.
Similarly, Alma 46:15 states that believers were called "Christians" back in 73 B.C. The word "Christian" means a follower of Christ, which makes it impossible that the word could have been used some seventy years before Jesus was even born. In any case the Bible is very clear. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:23-26) in the first century AD.
The book of Mormon contains literally thousands of verses that are copied directly from the King James version of the Bible. As Rev. Keith Gibson points out...(Emphasis Added)
The most dramatic examples are found in 2 Nephi 12-24. This entire section is copied from Isaiah 2-14. The author of this section, Jacob, informs us that he is including the words of Isaiah. What is most amazing is that the translation is nearly word for word from the KJV Bible including the italicized words and the chapter and verse breaks. This is vital because the italicized words were added by the King James translators for clarity but are not in the original language. Chapter and verse divisions were also added much later than the original writing.
Is the Bible the Word of God? Those who take the question seriously, gather the available evidence, and examine the difficulties, will discover that the accumulated evidence falls very heavily on the side of the reliability and credibility of the Bible... There is more than enough compelling reason to embrace the Bible for what it claims to be... God's Word.
Continue To Part 5: Differences and Discrepancies in the Old Testament
Skeptics are often unfamiliar with the languages used in the Scriptures, particularly how certain Hebrew and Greek words and phrases were used. Few are familiar with the cultural influences of the time, do not seem to recognize the variety of literary genres used, and that the historical portions of the Bible were never meant to be precise chronological records. But, perhaps most of all, skeptics seem to have an abysmal lack of knowledge about Christianity itself. HERE
Endnotes (Chapter 4)
 Glenn Miller. Next Seat. http://christianthinktank.com/nextseat.html
 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Rvised and updated by Adam Zeidan. https://www.britannica.com/place/Susa
 Livius.org. ABC 7 (Nabonidus Chronicle)
 Jona Lendering. Maximalists and Minimalists. https://www.livius.org/articles/theory/maximalists-and-minimalists/
 Armstrong Institute of Biblical Archaeology. Proof: Archaeology Proves the Bible.
 Bipin Dimri. Hattusa: The Great Hittite City At The Edge Of The World. https://www.historicmysteries.com/hattusa/
 http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/me/c/cuneiform_fall_of_a_dynasty.aspx. Unfortunately, The Explore section of the British Museum website has been removed and this page no longer exists] However the same information is also available at https://www.livius.org/sources/content/mesopotamian-chronicles-content/abc-7-nabonidus-chronicle/ -A website on ancient history written and maintained since 1996 by the Dutch historian Jona Lendering.
 Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period, Volume 2: Michael E. Stone (Editor) Pg. 36.
 Major Evidences Regarding the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar.
 Clifford Wilson. Does Archaeology Support the Bible? January 24, 2008. Answers in Genesis.
 Biblical Archaeology Society Staff. The Tel Dan Inscription: The First Historical Evidence of King David from the Bible. https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/artifacts-and-the-bible/the-tel-dan-inscription-the-first-historical-evidence-of-the-king-david-bible-story/
 Michael D. Lemonick, "Are the Bible's Stories True? Archaeology's Evidence,” Time magazine, December 18, 1995
 The Mesha Stele a.k.a. The Moabite Stone. http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/westsem/mesha.html
 Cyrus Cylinder Translation. https://www.livius.org/sources/content/cyrus-cylinder/cyrus-cylinder-translation/
 Sennacherib Prism. Column 3. https://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/meso/sennprism3.html
 Kyle Butt, M.Div. Archaeology and the Old Testament. Apologetics Press.
 Josephus Antiquities of the Jews - Book X. CHAPTER 1. Christian Classics Ethereal Library
 Sermon by Brigham Young, June 17, 1877, Journal of Discourses 19:38-39. As quoted by the Utah Lighthouse Ministry. Book of Mormon Plates: Artifact, Vision or Hoax? http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no105.htm
 Talk given by Apostle Orson Pratt, Feb. 11, 1872 Journal of Discourses Vol. 14, pg. 331
 David Pyles, Examples of Scientific Accuracy in the Bible. http://www.pb.org/pbdocs/bibleac.html (URL is obsolete)