Last year I wrote an article about how archaeological discoveries continue to support the Bible. In it, I quoted George Rawlinson and Albert Nicols Arnold’s book, “The Historical Evidences Of The Truth Of The Scripture Records” with the following:
“…even at this remote distance of time from the date of the Sacred Oracles, new evidences of their credibility and accuracy are continually coming to light. How much may yet remain, buried under barren mounds, or entombed in pyramids and catacombs, or hidden in the yet unexplored pages of some ancient literature…”
I didn’t know then how appropriate it would be to share that quote. In my article, I mentioned the 2015 discovery of the seal of King Hezekiah. As it turns out, near where King Hezekiah’s seal was found, another incredible archaeological find was revealed to the world at large: the seal of the Prophet Isaiah.
In February of this year, the Times of Israel reported that archaeologists most likely found the seal of the Prophet Isaiah. I say “most likely” because the seal is damaged and as such, missing a crucial letter, “aleph.” That letter would make the second word on the seal “prophet.” Because of that fact, there is no way to be 100% sure that is is the seal of the Prophet Isaiah. Plus, there is a debate on whether the title “prophet” would have been used at all.
That said, it still seems highly likely that it is the seal of the prophet Isaiah. Dr. Eliat Mazar pointed out the archaeological context in which the seal was found. As the article from the Times of Israel stated:
“It was found only 10 feet away from where in 2015 Mazar’s team discovered an important, intact bulla with the inscription ‘of King Hezekiah of Judah.’ The 12th king of the Kingdom of Judah, King Hezekiah ruled from circa 727 BCE-698 BCE…”
Taking both evidence for and against the seal belonging to Isaiah into account, the article quotes Dr. Robert Cargill of Biblical Archaeology Review:
“Cargill, a religious studies assistant professor at the University of Iowa, said he respected Mazar’s ‘careful, responsible treatment’ of the bulla in the BAR article. ‘She didn’t rush to conclusively say she had found the seal of Isaiah… In our article she gives the possible alternatives,’ said Cargill, who called himself ‘a natural skeptic.'” Cargill goes on saying,
“…’But if you’re asking me, I think she’s got it. You’re looking at the first archaeological reference of the prophet Isaiah outside of the Bible,’ said Cargill. ‘It’s amazing.'”
What Does This Mean?
Part of the reason why I love history and archaeology is that things are always being found that fill in gaps of what we didn’t know before. Or, we find things that turn what we thought we knew completely on its head. The latter is evidenced recently by the discovery of ancient footprints challenging the theory of human evolution and the discovery of a second Viking settlement which is said to rewrite the history of the Vikings in North America.
As I stated in my last article we simply don’t know what’s out there waiting to be discovered. To be fair, it’s entirely possible that an ancient tablet could be uncovered proving that the Bible was the most elaborate ruse played upon all humanity. However, considering the trajectory of findings thus far, it seems highly unlikely.
As it stands, the best inference from the evidence would suggest that the Bible is a reliable historical document that Christians can trust.
The video below summarizes the amazing archaeological find: