Absence of Evidence Is NOT Evidence of Absence!

Absence of Evidence is NOT Evidence of Absence!

Often times people think that because we do not have overwhelming archaeological evidence for every single detail of the Biblical account, that is proof that the Biblical account is untrue. Surely if the Bible was true we could know, by science or historical record that it is true. The good news is we can!

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To begin, we must have accurate expectations of the historical and scientific record. Biblical archaeology is a science. It is the study of ancient artifacts from the Biblical locations to understand the Bible in light of the cultural reality of the day. Yet, just like any other science, it is limited by the remaining evidence available and the resources available to locate, unearth, study, catalog, analyze and publish those findings.
Archaeology studies the sites and artifacts of the past, both before and after history began to be written down. As a result, much of what existed in antiquity is either no longer there to be found, or the resources have not yet become available to find it.

Thank about your home. If it was destroyed by fire and then left for 1000 or more years what do you think people would find of your life. How much of your life would they be able to uncover and reconstruct.

That is what we’re dealing with in Archaeology. About 90% of what originally existed in antiquity was destroyed between that time and now, by fires, wars, rebuilding and new settlements. This leaves only about 10% to be preserved for archaeologists to find. Of that 10% only about 1% has been uncovered by archaeologist due to the difficulties of permitting, lack of equipment and resources. Therefore the artifacts we do have are even more valuable because they are just a taste of what is out there. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It just means that we haven’t found those particular details, YET!

The Hittites, unknown to non-Biblical historians!

The people group known in the Bible as the Hittites, fall into this category. Prior to the 20th century many skeptics argue that the Hittites were not real people. The Bible speaks often of the Hittites, yet because there was no non-Biblical historical records of the Hittites they were almost unanimously considered a creation of the Biblical writers.

The Hittites are rather prominently featured in Scripture. There are roughly mentioned 47 references to them in the Old Testament. They are of great significance to historical accuracy as many of the key figures in the Old Testament were involved with the Hittites. Abraham bought a burial cave from “Ephron the Hittite” (Gen. 23). One of Esau’s wives was the daughter of a Hittite (Gen. 36). David murdered his soldier “Uriah the Hittite” (2 Sam. 11). Solomon’s wives were from among the Hittites (1 Kgs. 11). God claimed Israel’s “mother” was a “Hittite” (Ezek. 16). Yet outside of the Bible, there were no known archaeological records speaking of them and no ancient Hittite civilization had been uncovered.

Yet in 1906 evidence discovered about the Hittites shows they were existed in the period specified in the Bible and had a major impact on the world around them during their existence. Winkler and Makridi uncovered 2500 fragments of cuneiform tablets, in modern day Turkey, identify[ing] the city they were excavating as the Hittite capital Hattusha. Five temples were found, along with a fortified citadel. Tons of monumental sculptures and an additional 10,000 clay tablets were also found. Research into these discoveries showed that the Hittites were a great power during their existence.

What does this mean for the Bible? It shows that the Bible had access to historical data before secular historians had any knowledge of the existence of this people group! This is not the only instance of the Bible proving itself reliable before secular historians had any records to corroborate the Biblical! This is just one example!

We have an awesome God who, in His infinite wisdom, provided us with ways to continually learn and grow in our understanding, knowledge and relationship with Him! There is plenty to know and learn about our awesome God, but it’s up to you to seek out the answers to your questions. The answers are there, will you seek them and seek the creator of those answers? Will you seek to know Him and His infinite ways? He is already loving you and calling you!