Tiny tablet provides proof for the accuracy of the Old Testament

Personally I don’t have any doubts that the Bible provides an accurate historical record of the people and events it describes. Even so, it is nice when someone comes up with yet another piece of hard evidence for this. The evidence doesn’t get any “harder” than than the 2,500 clay tablet discovered recently in the collection of the British Museum. This tablet is a receipt from one of the temples of Babylon to Nabu-sharrussu-ukin “chief eunuch” of Nebuchadnezzar. According to a recent article in The Daily Telegraph It is almost certain that this is the same person as is mentioned in Jeremiah 32:3:

Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon. [NIV]

The find is being hailed as the most important find in Biblical Archaology for 100 years, Prof. Irving Finkel of the British Museum is quoted as saying:

This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find, … If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power.

A writer who set out to write about the fall of Jerusalem might be expected to know the name of the Babylonian king that captured the city, but such secondary details demonstrate that the book is, as it claims, a contemporary eyewitness account.

Gospel Perspectives Vol 1 – Your chance to choose an article

The British Library have just supplied me with a copy of Gospel Perspectives, Vols 1: Studies of History and Tradition in the Four Gospels. R.T. France & David Wenham, eds. JSOT Press, 1980. Please vote for your favourite article by 21st December – remember to say why you think it is the best. The article by Rainer Riesner is not included below because it is in German.

F.F. Bruce, “The Trial of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel,” pp.7-20.

Bruce Chilton, “Targumic Transmission and Dominical Tradition,” pp.21-46.

Peter H. Davids, “The Gospels and Jewish Tradition: Twenty Years After Gerhardsson,” pp.75-100.

R.T. France, “Mark and the Teaching of Jesus,” pp.101-137.

Sydney H.T. Page, “The Authenticity of the Ransom Logion (Mark 10:45b),” pp.137-162.

Phillip Barton Payne, “The Authenticity of the Parable of the Sower and its Interpretation,” pp.163-208.

Robert H. Stein, “The ‘Criteria’ For Authenticity,” pp.225-263.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Gospel Perspectives Vols 2, 3 & 5 Poll Results are in

I wanted to thank those who contributed to the poll to select the single article from each volume of Gospel Perspectives Vols. 2, 3 & 5 which I have been given permission from the Publisher to reproduce. It made an extremely difficult job a whole lot easier! Here as promised are the titles of the articles that I have decided to use:

Vol. 2

D.A. Carson, “Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel: After Dodd, What?” pp.83-146.

This was the majority opinion and was also the one that I was keen to use. Don Carson has now granted permission for me to go ahead.

Vol. 3

Bruce Chilton, “Varieties and Tendencies of Midrash: Rabbinic Interpretation of Isaiah 24.23” pp.9-32.

This was the most difficult for me to assess as I know little about this area and so I went with Michael Bird’s recommendation because his post indicated that he had read the articles. Permission from the author is still pending.

Vol. 5

Richard Bauckham, “The Study of Gospel Traditions Outside the Canonical Gospels: Problems and Prospects,” 369-404.

This was the majority vote. Richard Bauckham granted permission this morning.

I am expecting volumes 1 and 4 from the British Library shortly and will post a new poll for each as they arrive.