Book Review: The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible

2013 Joseph M. Holden and Norman Geisler
Harvest House Publishers
ISBN 978-0-7369-4485-4
http://www.christianbook.com/popular-handbook-archaeology-and-the-bible/norman-geisler/9780736944854/pd/944854

  • Did you know that 25,000 archaeology artifacts give support for the Bible?
  • Did you know that archaeology has unearthed historical details of the lives of over 60 major characters of the Bible?
  • Did you know that archaeology is the Bible’s greatest friend, is a scientific discipline, and provides great support for the reliability of the Old and New Testaments? (We just can’t say this for any of the other world religions’ holy books.)

I’ve always wondered why we don’t see any evidence of the Exodus and the events in Egypt. I took it for granted when other books said there is no evidence, and any existing evidence was covered up by the sands of history. Until I picked up this book at an apologetics convention at our church.

Here I learned for the first time that researchers had unearthed the dwelling of the Israelites in Goshen where they stayed as slaves of the Egyptians. The archaeologists found that their dwellings were of the same structures as those they’ve unearthed in Canaan. This gives support to the story of them moving from Egypt to Canaan, as the Bible teaches. It makes sense, doesn’t it, for people to rebuild their homes in a new land in a way that they were accustomed to? And there’s more. 

Researchers also discovered something else interesting about the dwellings in Goshen. The contents of the homes were not placed neatly, but showed evidence of a hasty departure. This supports the story of the command of God through Moses to eat the Passover with walking stick in hand, being ready to leave at once. Once more, an event of thousands of years ago is granted credence through modern archaeology. We can actually say to the skeptics that archaeology has made these finds and more that support biblical claims.

This is a fascinating book if you want to see how archaeology works in the real world, and how it uncovers extra historical details of biblical events. You’ll discover the historical sources that attest to many, many of the names in the historical book of Acts, and throughout the Old Testament.

Ancient Sodom is covered in detail, including the burnt bones of the occupants and of the massive destruction of their structures. A “high-heat” blast hit the occupants. The heat was so great that sand and pottery were turned to glass. There is more evidence for the geographical location of the city of Sodom than for any other ancient city. God raining fire on Sodom is not a myth, but a fact. The Bible tells us the story behind the findings of archaeology.

I highly recommend this book for those who want to answer questions about the reliability of the Bible and its stories. Archaeology gives secondary, external evidence for the events in the Bible, and comes at a time when many are turning away from the faith simply because they don’t think there is any evidence for their faith. Contrary to popular opinion, there really are facts that support the faith, and The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible presents those facts in a readable way for the average reader with text, charts and photos.

About Steve Husting

Steve Husting lives in Southern California with his wife and son. He enjoys encouraging others through writing, and likes reading, digital photography, the outdoors, calligraphy, making iPhone apps, and chocolate. He has written several books, iPhone apps, and hundreds of Christian devotionals. Steve is also having a great time illustrating God's Word with calligraphy.
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