The small auditorium was filled nearly to capacity with people, if not already exceeding it, by the time two young women entered. A casual glance might lead someone to believe they were sisters; each woman sported dark hair and each had green eyes. With a second look the observer might recognize differences in the clothing and complexion that suggested one of them was from somewhere in the Middle East.
A large screen displayed who the presenters were and why they were there for all to see.
Conference on Biblical Archaeology
Hosted today by:
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
They had come in late, and a middle-aged man around forty had already launched into his presentation.
“Zari, over here!” one of the women whispered to the other, while gesturing to a couple of empty seats. Within seconds the two women were seated and listening attentively to the speaker, whose lecture was already in progress.
“A growing body of archaeological evidence has gradually been uncovered over the last century which not only suggests some of the people and places mentioned in the Bible may have existed, but confirms that without a doubt they did.
“For example, in 1947 a Bedouin boy named Juma was herding goats along thewere discovered. One of these featured the name Caiaphas. The ornate ossuary is inscribed ‘Joseph, son of Caiaphas’ and held the bones of a sixty-year-old male. It is believed by many to have belonged to Joseph, son of Caiaphas, known as the High Priest Caiaphas mentioned in the New Testament.
“In 1993 the Tel Dan inscription, or ‘House of David’ inscription, was discovered at the Tel Dan site in Northern Israel. This inscription, the first evidence outside of the Bible for the existence of King David, was ordered by an Aramean king in the mid-ninth century B.C., who claims to have defeated the ‘king of Israel’ and the ‘king of the House of David.’ Evidence from such a hostile source is considered by many as some of the most reliable, despite centuries of claims by skeptics that King David was only a myth.
“In 2009, in an area adjacent to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Hezekiah Seal Impression was discovered. It was the first seal impression of any Israelite or Judean king mentioned in the Bible ever to be exposed in situ in a scientific archaeological excavation. The seal read, ‘Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah.’
“Despite the centuries of claims by doubters and skeptics to the contrary, the body of archaeological evidence continues to grow, confirming that events recorded in the Bible actually did happen, and that people and places mentioned there really did exist….”