Biblical Archaeology
The Latest Findings
Timeline of Findings
House of David
(1994)
Seal of Baruch
Caiaphas’ Ossuary
(1996)
(1990)
Nebuchadnezzar’s brick
(1913)
Pilate Inscription
(1962)
Peter’s house
(1980/06)
James’ Ossuary
(2002)
Crucified man
(1968)
2
2010
2000
1990
1980
1970
1960
1950
1940
1930
1920
1910
1900
House in Egypt
(1993)
Seal of Ahaz
(1998)
1913 - Nebuchadnezzar Brick
The text reads:
(1) nabu-kudurri.......................Nebuchadnezzar
(2) lugal ba-bi-lu ki..................king of Babylon
(3) za-nin e-sag-il......................provisioner of Esagil
(4) u e-zi-da...............................and Ezida,
(5) ap lu asharedu.....................prime son of
(6) sha nabu-aplu-usur..............Nabopolassar
(7) lugal ba-bi-lu ki...................king of Babylon
(8) a na-?....................................I am,
(9) e-ba-ra e sa-ma...................Ebarra temple of Shamash
(10) lar-sa ki................................in Larsa
(11) ?............................................as it was before,
(12) sa-ma gi................................I restored for Shamash
(13) ? lu........................................my Lord.
3
1962 - Pilate Inscription
 Discovered at
Caesarea in
secondary use in a
later wall, this
inscription bears
witness to a major
New Testament
figure and settles
the debate over
Pilot’s title of
Prefect rather than
the inferior
Procurator.
4
Pilate Inscription
Line One: TIBERIEUM,,
Line Two: (PON) TIUS
Line Three: (PRAEF) ECTUS IUDA (EAE)
Meaning - Pilate had "dedicated a Tiberium, a public structure built in honor
of the Roman emperor Tiberius."
This is the only known
occurrence of the name
Pontius Pilate in any ancient
inscription.
5
Plus coins…..
 Judean bronze coin issued by
Pilate in 30 CE. The Greek
inscription reads (clockwise
from the bottom left: Tiberiou
[Ka]isaros ["of Tiberius
Caesar"].
 At the center is a lituus, a
curved crook used by Roman
augurs. Though this pagan
religious symbol was used
frequently on Roman coins
minted outside Palestine,
Pilate was the only Roman
prefect to have put it on money
issued for commerce among
Jews.
6
1968 - Crucified Man
 An ossuary bearing the
name "Yehochanan"
contained the full
skeleton of a man
crucified in the first
century and buried with
a bent crucifixion nail
through his heel bone. It
is the only physical
evidence of crucifixion
ever discovered.
7
1980 - Peter’s House
 Capernaum
8
Peter’s House
9
Peter’s House
10
Peter’s House
11
Where Jesus stayed
 Jesus probably lived in
Peter's house in
Capernaum.
 Mt 4:13. Went and
lived in Capernaum
 Mk 1:29-35. He stayed
there that evening.
 Mk 2:1. “Home"
probably same place.
12
1990 - Ossuary of Caiaphas
13
Ossuary of Caiaphas
14
Ossuary of Caiphas
15
1990 - Ossuary of Caiaphas
 From the Caiaphas
family tomb in
Jerusalem, this
ossuary bears the
inscription "Yehosef
bar Qafa: (Joseph,
son of Caiaphas),
and it is dated to the
Second Temple
Period. Caiaphas is
the name of the High
Priest who presided
over the trial of
Jesus.
16
Ossuary of Caiaphas
 Ossuary contained the bones of a man of
about 60 years old, a woman, two children
and two infants.
17
Ossuary of Caiaphas
18
Caiphas Tomb – Other Artifacts
19
1993 - Ancient Israelite House in
Egypt?
 Discovered at old capital – Thebes (1200-
1000 BC)
 “The layout of this building bears no similarity
to any of the Egyptian house types in the New
Kingdom.” Instead “the arrangement of the
rooms bears….a high degree of similarity to
the so called Iron-Age Four Room house of
Palestine”.
20
Ancient Israelite House
21
House found in Egypt
Typical Four-Room Israelite House
1994 - House of David Inscription
Tel Dan Inscription




22
Was no evidence of David’s existence
for a long time
In 1993 a stone inscrption was found
at Dan
Appears to commemorate the victory
of an Aramean king over the
kingdoms of Israel and Judah
In 1994 they found two more pieces
which linked to the first piece and
gave the names of the kings – Israel
– “Jehoram” and Judah – “Ahaziah”.
The new lines read –”I killed Jehoram
son of Ahab king of Israel and I killed
Ahaiahu son of Jehoram king of the
House of David” (2Kings 8v28-29 –
Recorded here this find is Hazael’s
account – actually the two kings were
killed just after the battle by Jehu –
2Kings 9:21-24,27)
House of David
23
House of David
 The inscription found at Tel-Dan,
however debatable the specifics,
is the oldest extra- Biblical
reference to Israel in semitic
script. It succeeds in bridging the
Biblical narrative testimony with
archaeological evidence that
"proves" that the kingdoms of
Israel and Judah not only existed
but were important kingdoms of
the time.
 (http://www.otal.umd.edu/~knoblo
ch/dan.htm)
24
1996 - Seal of Baruch
 Found in 1975 – but significance only came to light in 1996.
 “(Belonging) to Berekhyahu, the son of Neriyahu, the scribe.” The
suffix -yahu was a common epithet attached to names in Judah,
meaning, “blessed of Jehovah.”
 As a scribe of the Prophet Jeremiah, Baruch, the son of Neriah, is
mentioned no less than thrity-two times in the Bible. He played a
crucial role in the life and activities of the Prophet, and is considered
one of the main sources of the Book. (Jer. 36:4)
26
Fingerprint of Baruch
 What is unique about this is
the clear impression of a
fingerprint on the upper left
of the bulla. The article
suggested this was the
“fingerprint of Jeremiah’s
scribe.” 3
 Discoveries such as this
remind us that the people of
the Bible were not
imaginary figures from fairy
tales, but real people who
served our God in the past.
27
1998 - Ahaz’s Seal
 2 Chr 27:9
 “Belonging to Ahaz
(son of) Yehotam,
King of Judah”
 First to be
attributed to a
biblical king
 Note fingerprint
 Bottom shows
imprint of strings
that tied the scroll
together and the
texture of the
papyrus beneath
28
2002 – James’ Ossuary
 The letters
etched into
this ancient
limestone
object read,
'James, son of
Joseph,
brother of
Jesus.'
 Mk 6;3
29
2002 – James’ Ossuary
 Earliest mention of Jesus outside the Bible


Scans by electron microscope sho no trace of modern tools
Grammer and script appear to fit normal useage of the period
 Are these John, James and Jospeh of the Bible?


Common names
Some stats – 40,000 men in Jerusalem at the time, suggested 20
people could fit this description – but mention of brother is highly
unusual on ossuaries – only if famous are mentioned
 Could be the “nail in the coffin” for the Catholic debate that James was
actually the cousin of Jesus
30
2002 – James’ Ossuary
 Aramaic inscription "Ya'akov bar Yosef akhui
di Yeshua."
31
Fact or Fake?


32
FAKE - A committee
appointed by the Israel
Antiquities Authority
(IAA) has declared the
inscription on an ancient
bone box that refers to
"James, son of Joseph,
brother of Jesus" to be a
modern forgery.
FACT - Two other groups
of specialists—from the
Geological Survey of
Israel and the Royal
Ontario Museum, in
Toronto—also studied
the bone box and
concluded the inscription
was ancient. And some
of the world’s leading
paleographers—
specialists in ancient
scripts—have dated the
inscription’s style of
writing to the first century
A.D.