Ancient Near East
Images & Art
Maps & Geography
Mythology & Beliefs
People in History
Timelines & Charts
This painting is of the Qumran Jar which contained the Scroll of Isaiah, one of the hundreds of scrolls discovered in caves around the area of Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. The most important fact is that there were copies of the Books of the Bible dating back a hundred years before Jesus was born. This means that hundreds of prophecies about Jesus were amazingly accurate. In fact the Old Testament Book that testifies most to the life and death of the Messiah is the Book of Isaiah, which an entire scroll was discovered.
The discovery began in 1948 and became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. What is most significant about these scrolls is that they contain many of the Jewish documents known to Christians as the Old Testament. Before this discovery the oldest copies of Biblical documents of the Old Testament were from the Masoretic time, around the 9th century A.D., because the Jewish scribes took careful measures in copying documents, numbering them, and destroying the originals. The Dead Sea Scrolls date back to at least the 2nd century B.C. making them important in the study of Biblical Archaeology. This is especially important to Christians because it puts hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, at least 2 centuries before the events took place.
Isaiah 53:5-7 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."
Matthew 21:42 - "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? "
John 10:35 "the Scripture cannot be broken"
John 10:34 "Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law.."
2 Tim 3:16-17 "All
Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly
equipped for every good work."
Dead Sea Scrolls Discovery Dates
Cave 1 - 1947
Cave 2 - 1952
Cave 3 - 1952
Cave 4 - 1952
Cave 5 - 1952
Cave 6 - 1952
Cave 7 - 1956
Cave 8 - 1956
Cave 9 - 1956
Cave 10 - 1956
Cave 11 - 1956
Dead Sea Scrolls Museum
The Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is a section of the Israel Museum in West Jerusalem. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 and more caves were discovered until 1956, totaling 11 caves located around the Wadi Qumran area.Manuscript Copies of the Old Testament Found
Psalms (39 Manuscripts
Deuteronomy (33 Manuscripts Found)
1 Enoch (25 Manuscripts Found)
Genesis (24 Manuscripts Found)
Isaiah (22 Manuscripts Found)
Jubilees (21 Manuscripts Found)
Exodus (18 Manuscripts Found)
Leviticus (17 Manuscripts Found)
Numbers (11 Manuscripts Found)
Minor Prophets (10 Manuscripts Found)
Daniel (8 Manuscripts Found)
Jeremiah (6 Manuscripts Found)
Ezekiel (6 Manuscripts Found)
Job (6 Manuscripts Found)
1 & 2 Samuel (4 Manuscripts Found)
John 5:39 - Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Jewish Rabbinical Writings Chart
Divisions – Halakah and Haggadah
Dates – 100 B.C. – 300 A.D.
Writers – Tannaim
Content – The Halakah was the legal commentary on the Torah and the Haggadah were the homiletics (preaching and sermons) about the entire Old Testament text.
Notes – The Halakah was the legal portion of the Gemara, derived from the Old Testament. The Haggadah was interested with non-legal issues (history, folklore, parables, scientific knowledge like medicine and astronomy) that was not necessarily apparent in the Mishnah.
Dates – 100 A.D. – 300 A.D.
Writers – Tannaim ("repeaters" or teachers of the Oral Law before the completion of the Mishnah. They date back as far as Ezra and to Hillel, Akiba and Meir to Judah Hansi.
Content – The teaching that is not found in the Mishnah. (Tosefta means "supplement").
Divisions – Gemara (literally the "completion" of the Talmud)
Dates – 200 A.D.
Writers – Amoraim (sages who worked hard in Judaism once Mishnah was complete.
Content – Commentary on the Mishnah.
Divisions – Mishnah and the Gemara
Dates – 200 A.D. - 500 A.D.
Writers – Tannaim and Amoraim
Content – Mishnah - Legal commentary on the Mishnah. Gemara – Commentary on the Mishnah.
Notes – The Mishnah was divided into six sections.
See The Tractates of the Mishnah
The Jewish High Priests from 200 B.C to the
Reign of Herod the Great
1. Simon II the Just, 220-190 B.C.
2. Onias III, 190-174 B.C.
3. Jason/Jeshua,175-172 B.C.
4. Menelaus, 172-162 B.C.
5. Alcimus, 162-156 B.C.
6. Jonathan, 153-142 B.C.
7. Simon, 142-135 B.C.
8. John Hyrcanus I, 134-104 B.C.
9. Aristobulus I, 104-103 B.C.
10. Alexander Jannaeus, 103-76 B.C.
11. Hyrcanus II, 76-67 B.C.
12. Aristobulus II, 67-63 B.C.
13. Hyrcanus II, 63-40 B.C.
14. Antigonus, 40-37 B.C.
The Jewish High Priests from Herod the
Great to the Destruction of Jerusalem
15. Ananel, 37-36 B.C. (Appointed by Herod the Great)
16. Aristobulus III, 35 B.C.
17. Jesus, son of Phiabi, ? -22 B.C.
18. Simon, son of Boethus, 22-5 B.C.
19. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 5-4 B.C.
20. Joseph, son of Elam, 5 B.C.
21. Joezer, son of Boethus, 4 B.C.
22. Eleazar, son of Boethus, 4-1 B.C. - (Appointed by Herod Archelaus)
23. Jesus, son of Sie, 1 - 6 A.D.
24. Annas, 6-15 A.D. (Appointed by Quirinius)
25. Ishmael, son of Phiabi I, 15-16 A.D. (Appointed by Valerius Gratus)
26. Eleazar, son of Annas, 16-17 A.D.
27. Simon, son of Kamithos, 17-18 A.D.
28. Joseph Caiaphas, 18-37 AD.
29. Jonathan, son of Annas, 37 A.D. (Appointed by Vitellius)
30. Theophilus, son of Annas, 37-41 A.D.
31. Simon Kantheras, son of Boethus, 41-43 A.D. (Appointed by Herod Agrippa I)
32. Matthias, son of Annas, 43-44 A.D.
33. Elionaius, son of Kantheras, 44-45 A.D.
34. Joseph, son of Kami, 45-47 A.D. (Appointed by Herod of Chalcis)
35. Ananias, son of Nebedaius, 47-55 A.D.
36. Ishmael, son of Phiabi III, 55-61 A.D. (Appointed by Herod Agrippa II)
37. Joseph Qabi, son of Simon, 61-62 A.D.
38. Ananus, son of Ananus, 62 A.D.
39. Jesus, son of Damnaius, 62-65 A.D.
40. Joshua, son of Gamal iel, 63-65 A.D.
41. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 65-67 A.D.
42. Phinnias, son of Samuel, 67-70 A.D. (Appointed by The People)
Some dates cannot be known for certain.
Archaeology Discoveries and the Ancient Biblical World
The Black Obelisk. In the 1840's a British man named Austen Henry Layard had a desire to travel to the Middle East and dig around some of the strange looking mounds near the City of Mosul. He had heard many tales about things being found in these mounds. He was looking for any trace of evidence that would lead him to the lost city of Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. Little did he know that one of his discoveries would turn Europe upside down with excitement. He discovered a black limestone monument which is known today as The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. This discovery brought a new authenticity and historicity to some of the stories in the Bible. It also gained him the support of the British Museum, and all the finances he needed to continue his excavations, and become known as "The Father of Assyriology."
The Pilate Inscription. It wasn't long ago when many scholars were questioning the actual existence of a Roman Governor with the name of Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered Jesus' crucifixion. In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the worn face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea."
The Megiddo Seal Bearing King Jeroboam's Name. It is very interesting that the Jasper Seal, found at Tel Megiddo bearing the name of King Jeroboam who ruled in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, would contain the symbol for their rival, the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But in examining all of the circumstances involved and seeing what the Bible says it is no wonder that the prosperous and victorious Northern Kingdom of Israel would boast with a symbol of their enemy.
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great. An inscription on the tomb of the great Persian monarch read: "O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body." - Cyrus". Is it true that Isaiah the Hebrew prophet mention Cyrus by name almost 200 years before he was born?
Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism. This amazing discovery excavated in Nineveh in the 1830 records the Assyrian king Sennacherib's 8th campaign, which includes his siege of Jerusalem during the reign of "Hezekiah the Judahite" in 701 BC. There are 500 lines of writing in the Akkadian language on this magnificent clay prism. Is the story true that it was purchased by an American from an antiquities dealer in Baghdad?
Coming Soon The Ishtar Gate of Babylon. During the last days of the southern kingdom of Judah the Jews were taken captive to a distant land called Babylon at the latter part of the 6th century BC. They passed through a beautiful entrance gate made of mud brick masonry and glazed skin which stood 47 feet tall, commonly referred to as the Ishtar Gate since its discovery at the turn of the 20th century near modern Baghdad, Iraq. The tall gate was dedicated to the gods by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylonia who reigned from 605—562 BC). Is it true that Hitler had it transported to Berlin? Where is the Ishtar Gate now?
[Next] The Remains of Solomon's Temple
The Bible mentions many things about people, places and events that happened in history. The Bible also gives an accurate chronology of those people, places and events. What is amazing is that modern archaeology has confirmed that the Bible has never made one error, or given any clear contradictions in all of its text in matters of historical fact. The paintings and illustrations below of archaeological discoveries and ruins illustrate this emphatically.
Paintings By Bjanikka Ben and Maliyah Weston
(More to come)
Bible History A
growing database of images and sketches of the ancient world.
Bible Maps A growing database of maps for study and teaching.
Reconstructions Sketches of ancient cities & monuments from archaeology.
The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible by Holden and Geisler. 352 Pages, 2012
The Story of the Bible
© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)