TechShedding new light on the Bible. Scientists lay their cards on the table

Shedding new light on the Bible. Scientists lay their cards on the table

Ruins in Gezer
Ruins in Gezer
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons
ed. NGA

8:56 PM EST, November 18, 2023

Scientists are currently debating the events depicted in the Bible, along with many other historical sources. The carbon dating technique is being used in an attempt to verify which events truly took place and which ones are fictitious.

One intriguing site of interest to archaeologists is an early Bronze Age human residence. Artifacts discovered amid the ruins of the city of Gezer are helping to illuminate the Bible and challenge historical records.

Research on this Canaanite settlement, located in the heart of Israel, is highlighted in a paper in the journal "PLOS One". The research team, led by Lyndelle Webster of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, used carbon dating to try and establish the timeline of the events described in the Bible, among other sources.

Fact-checking the Bible

The carbon dating technique used by archaeologists to date specific objects has greatly advanced scientific research. This method, developed by Willard Libby in 1949, measures the ratio between carbon isotopes C-14, C-12, and C-13.

Even though radiocarbon dating is not a flawless research method, it still holds substantial accuracy. The margin of error in radiocarbon dating is estimated to be about 25 years. Thus, while radiocarbon dating may not be useful for very precise age estimation, it is reasonably accurate for dating prehistoric events.

The ancient city of Gezer, known from Egyptian, Biblical, and Assyrian accounts, is associated with power struggles, conquests, and tales featuring characters such as Milkilu, Amenhotep III, Merenptah, and Solomon - says the article in "PLOS One".

The research team led by Lyndelle Webster has established that the city of Gezer's destruction was not linked to the events detailed in the Old Testament. While the Bible implicates King Hazael from Damascus in the city's downfall, research finds that the actual instigator of the devastation was the Pharaoh Merenptah.

Nonetheless, radiocarbon dating has confirmed that the gate of Gezer, constructed in the first half of the 10th century BC, is the work of King Solomon. This concurs with the Old Testament depiction of Solomon rebuilding the city following enemy invasions.

A bird's eye view of the excavations in Gezer.
A bird's eye view of the excavations in Gezer.© PLOS One

According to the study's authors, exploration of the city of Gezer is still in the early stages and detailed chronologies of specific events from thousands of years ago haven't been fully determined. Currently, it remains impossible to exactly determine who was responsible for various constructions in the city of Gezer. The researchers plan, however, to continue their work and aim to get as close as possible to discovering the truth and cross-reference it with historical records.

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