For centuries, scientists scoffed at biblical accounts of cities and peoples for which there was no historical record or physical evidence. However, over the past 200 years, archaeologists have uncovered proof of the existence of many. Cities previously thought to be fabricated by biblical writers include:
Each has been since verified to be real places and most have been substantially excavated. Examples of biblical people verified by historians and archaeologists are even more numerous.
Famous archaeologist William F. Albright wrote,”The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible by important historical schools of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and has brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history” ( The Archaeology of Palestine, 1960, pp. 127-128).
The Shroud of Turin has suffered a similar fate, especially over the past 25 years. Scientists have frequently scoffed at the infamous relic, referring to it as “a Medieval forgery” because of a highly questionable 1988 carbon dating test. However, consistent with what believers have been saying for centuries, researches now claim to have scientific evidence that the Turin Shroud dates to somewhere between 280 BC and 220 AD.
Professor Giulio Fanti and his research team at the University of Padua in Italy reports the results of some chemical and mechanical tests they performed which they claim “confirms that the Shroud dates back to the 1st century.” The “Vatican Insider” has chimed in as well. Below is an excerpt from their article.
“The research includes three new tests, two chemical ones and one mechanical one. The first two were carried out with an FT-IR system, one using infra-red light and the other using Raman spectroscopy. The third was a multi-parametric mechanical test based on five different mechanical parameters linked to the voltage of the wire. The machine used to examine the Shroud’s fibres and test traction, allowed researchers to examine tiny fibres alongside about twenty samples of cloth dated between 3000 BC and 2000 AD.
“Final results show that the Shroud fibres examined produced the following dates, all of which are 95% certain and centuries away from the medieval dating obtained with Carbon-14 testing in 1988: the dates given to the Shroud after FT-IR testing, is 300 BC ±400, 200 BC ±500 after Raman testing and 400 AD ±400 after multi-parametric mechanical testing. The average of all three dates is 33 BC ±250 years.
“The tests were carried out using tiny fibres of material extracted from the Shroud by micro-analyst Giovanni Riggi di Numana who passed away in 2008 but had participated in the1988 research project and gave the material to Fanti through the cultural institute Fondazione 3M.”
Bottom line, concerns about the original carbon dating tests appear to be valid, and the famous burial shroud of Christ may soon join a long list of cities and peoples long believed to be fairy tales…..yet turned out to be real!