Friday, June 19, 2009

The Tower Of Babel

by Bonnie Calhoun

Good afternoon. Let us continue with our study of the archeological evidence in support of the Bible.

It is fascinating to note that numerous biblical personalities (including Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius), who were totally repudiated by higher critics in past decades, have now been reliably verified by recent historical and archeological discoveries.

In the past, critics of the Bible's accuracy rejected the story of the defeat of the confederation of five kings from the east by the small army of Abraham as found in Genesis 14. However, continuing research by Dr. Nelson Glueck, a leading Palestinian archeologist, and president of the Hebrew Union College brought forth this report:

"Centuries earlier, another civilization of high achievement had flourished between the 21st and 19th centuries B. C., till it was savagely liquidated by the Kings of the East. They gutted every city and village at the end of that period from Ashtaroth Karnaim, in southern Syria through all of Trans-Jordan and the Negev to Kadesh-Barnea in Sinai (Genesis 14:1-7)" (Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert, [New York:Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1959], p. 11).

King Nebuchadnezzar's Inscription About the Tower of Babel
From the time of Adam and Eve, "The whole earth had one language and one speech" (Genesis 11:1), before the dispersion of the population following God's supernatural act causing the confusion of their language at the Tower of Babel. God purposely confounded the language of all the people on the earth (Genesis 11:9) so they could not understand the speech of their neighbors to force them to disperse throughout the earth.

The people had gathered in sinful pride against God in their attempt to build a tower that would reach to the heavens. Moses recorded God's subsequent judgment and destruction of the Tower of Babel and the city of Babylon. The remains of the Tower are vitrified (melted to form a kind of rough glass) which indicates that God used a huge amount of heat to destroy this tower.

Scientists who study the origin of languages, known as philologist, have concluded that it is probable that the thousands of dialects and languages throughout the planet can be traced back to an original language in man's ancient history. (Joseph Free, Archeology and Bible History, Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications, 1969])
The French government sent a professor to report on the cuneiform inscriptions discovered in the ruins of Babylon. One of the translations where King Nebuchadnezzar referred to the tower in the Chaldean language as Barzippa, which means Tongue-tower, clearly identified the original tower of Borsippa with the Tower of Babel described by Moses in Genesis.

Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt the base of the ancient Tower, built over sixteen centuries earlier by Nimrod, the first King of Babylon. He also called it the Temple of the Spheres. During the millennium since God destroyed it, the tower was reduced from its original height and magnificence until only the huge base (four hundred and sixty feet by six hundred and ninety feet) standing some two hundred and seventy-five feet high remained within the outskirts of the city of Babylon.

Today, the ruins have been reduced to about one hundred and fifty feet above the plain with a circumference of 2,300 feet. In this inscription found on the base of the ruins of the Tower of Babel, King Nebuchadnezzar speaks in his own words from thousands of yeas ago confirming one of the most interesting events of the ancient past.

It is interesting to note that today, because of Sadaam Hussian multi-billion dollar investment, the city of Babylon is partially restored to its original elegance.

Monday, June 08, 2009

by Bonnie Calhoun

Good Monday to you all! Tonight I would like a few more places in the Biblical Lands. Several of these are an extremely interesting study, because recently I was told that the Bible couldn't be real because it doesn't talk about the Pyramids of Egypt. To that I say,"Hrump!" Let's start with another rumor that needs to be dispelled!

The ancient cities of the Near East were usually walled, and at night the gates were closed for protection against invaders. In case any of the citizens were unable to return before nightfall, one small opening was left in the gate, an opening known as "the needles' eye." It was so low and so narrow that a camel laden with riches could never fit through. Only when the owner unloaded the camel and left the load outside the gate could the camel, with its head bent low, squeeze through.

Now this has added significance because of the Matthew 19:24 reference to "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." The myriad of stories that you can read discount the needle gate, saying that Jerusalem never had a "needle gate" therefore the reference is erroneous.

It is true that Jerusalem never had a needle gate, but other cities did! Thus the reference stands! Jesus teaching in Matthew 19 seized on the analogy of the camel making its way through "the needle's eye" and compared it to a rich man trying to leave the earth with riches to get into heaven. A rich man can enter the kingdom of heaven─but only if he first casts off his worldly goods and. Like the camel squeezing through the needles' eye, bows his head in humilty.

The civilization of the Egyptians was already an ancient one by the time Joseph arrived there some 3,650 years ago. The first pyramid was built about five thousand years ago. It is known as the Step Pyramid because it rises in a series of steps or terraces to a height of 250 feet, much like the ziggurats of Babylon.

The Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza, built only a few hundred years after the Step Pyramid, was the tallest structure ever erected until the nineteenth century. It rises to a height of 481 feet, and its base is 756 blocks of stone, many blocks weighing as much as five thousand pounds. This pyramid was built with no other mechanical equipment that the lever and the roller, because at that time the Egyptians has not yet learned the use of the wheel.

More than thirty major pyramids were built during the thousand years before Joseph. Each one guarded the body of a pharaoh entombed in a chamber deep inside the pile of stone blocks. However, no pyramids are mentioned in the Bible. Despite the fact that these structures would have certainly been the talk of the ancient world, the authors of the Bible didn't consider them worthy of note. They did not play a part in the unfolding of the biblical narrative.

There are many other incidents of "facts of life" that are not included in the Bible. Their exclusion does not make the bible erroneous....It just makes these, so called "facts" irrelevant to biblical history!