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New Book Reveals Biblical Truths Are Literally 'Etched in Stone'

Image: New Book Reveals Biblical Truths Are Literally 'Etched in Stone'

By    |   Sunday, 25 Feb 2018 09:30 PM

Books evaluating the evidence of whether the Bible is true tend to fall into one of two categories. Those written by Christian believers tend to be heartfelt and inspired, but sometimes are lacking in authoritative sources. Those written from a secular perspective, meanwhile, tend to be chock full of academic references, but often appear more interested in deconstructing belief systems than in objectively considering them. As the Bible itself might say, they are like "vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes."

That's where the new book by Lisette Bassett-Brody is so remarkable. Despite her solid Christian credentials – she earned a Master's Degree in biblical studies from Capital Bible Seminary – she's written a book laying out in a simple, straightforward manner the archeological support for the Bible's factual assertions.

"Etched in Stone: Archeological Discoveries that Prove the Bible" is like a beautiful antique that remains as functional as it is attractive. King David, King Herod, Pontius Pilate, Megiddo of Armageddon fame – the archeological evidence is pretty much all here – and with pictures, no less.

Brody tells Newsmax she cites secular academic sources whenever possible "because they're forced, in a sense, to agree that the Scriptures are true after all." Her book reinforces the argument that the Bible is in fact the most thoroughly scrutinized, analyzed and validated historical account known to human antiquity.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says, "Etched in Stone" provides "every Bible-believing Christian with a valuable witnessing tool that should be required reading for every churchgoer today."

The book's simple, common sense layout contributes to its efficacy. Each chapter begins with a brief quotation from Scripture that posits a set of facts. It then presents, with high-resolution images, the archeological evidence supporting the biblical account – an artifact, an archeological dig, a clay tablet and so forth.

It places each find in an academic context, citing an archeological authority, author or professor of antiquity who comments on the authenticity and significance of the biblical find presented. In that sense, her book is like sauntering through a museum of antiquity, gazing at the exhibits while listening to a biblical scholar at one shoulder and an archeologist at the other.

In fact, the book's genesis stems from a visit to The Israel Museum that Brody made in Jerusalem in October 2000. As she strolled through its corridors, she found exhibit after exhibit that reinforced the veracity of biblical accounts. Her eyes opened wide, her curiosity was ignited and she sought to learn more.

"I went straight to their bookstore," she tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. "I figured they would have a book on the various artifacts on display there, and they didn't.

"So I said, 'Oh, that's ok, when I get to the states I'll get on the Internet and find something there' – and I didn't find anything."

So she decided to write "Etched in Stone," which presents the archeological evidence for key biblical accounts.

Her book reflects her view that the best way to help someone to deepen their faith is to listen, encourage and provide objective information as needed. That helpful-but-impartial tenor has contributed to a book that avoids dogma and theology in favor of just laying the facts out there so readers can form their own interpretation. Along the way, they cannot help but be struck by the overwhelming evidence supporting the reality of the biblical narratives.

Open the pages of her book, for example, and you can see for yourself the limestone ossuary of the high priest Caiaphas that bears his name. The relic was accidentally discovered by construction workers in 1990 in an underground tomb south of the Temple Mount. Suddenly you realize the stern priests who sat in judgment over Jesus before he was handed over to the Roman authorities for crucifixion were real people who were caught in the continuum of marching eons like everybody else – and that's the point.

When Brody shared her archeological evidence with a friend, she was shocked. "You mean these are real places, real people and real things in the Bible?" she asked.

Brody's reply: "I said, 'Yes, this is an actual location on the planet where a real person did real things, and that's what archeology shows.' To her, that was a revelation in itself. Put archeology aside for a moment. Just the fact that a lot of these countries are real was shocking to her. So I think this brings it all together, and gives Christians and non-Christians alike a lightbulb moment with eye-opening revelations."

Especially for those who have not yet had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land, the plethora of tangible examples Brody presents – more than 60 archeological discoveries, many of them thousands of years old – is downright paradigm-shifting.

Keep in mind, the discoveries were often made by experts as vested in disproving biblical narratives as they were in validating them. As Dr. Lon Solomon, senior pastor of McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C., writes in the book's foreword, "The more they dig out of the ground, the more the Bible proves to be true."

Most people, for example, don't know a 2,000-year-old Galilean fishing boat has been discovered that dates from the time of Jesus. Could this be the vessel the Messiah used to cross that unpredictable Sea of Galilee to proclaim his earthly ministry?

Few realize workers excavating the Herodian amphitheater in Caesarea Maritima came across a stone slab bearing the name of Pontius Pilate. Or that the ruins of St. Peter's house in Capernaum have been located, and identified to the satisfaction of most secular experts.

One of Brody's favorite examples in the book: The ancient sling stones uncovered about 10 miles north of Jerusalem in 1996. Remember that far-fetched story about the shepherd boy David using some rounded pebbles to slay Goliath? Well, Brody tells the rest of the story.

"You hear he goes to the river bed and gets the stones, flings them at the giant and he comes tumbling down," she says. "What you don't read is that slinging a stone at that time is a very common military weapon, and the stones were not little pebbles but rather closer to the size of a tennis ball.

"So if a rock the size of a tennis ball traveling at 60 miles an hour actually hits you in the head, you're going to die. These were expert slingers. They could sling a stone 400 yards at 60 miles an hour.

"David, of course, was a shepherd, so he had to fight off his share of lions and bears that they had there at the time. So when you get into the historical aspect of the weapon and the commonality of it and so on, you realize that this story really isn't that far-fetched."

As Brody so ably demonstrates, the truth claims of the Bible are literally rock-solid. So whether you're an open-minded truth-seeker or just looking to reinforce your own faith with archeological evidence, "Etched in Stone" offers a fascinating and valuable resource.

At the very least, Brody hopes it will propel readers along on their own spiritual odyssey.

"I would like people to come away with the idea that the Bible is factual and historical, and that it can be completely trusted because it can be shown reliable," she says. "I would like my book to be a starting point, a guide for their own discovery – because that's how people make things their own.

"It can't be given by someone else, or forced onto you by someone else," she says. "It really has to be your own search, and your own path to discovery."

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Books evaluating the evidence of whether the Bible is true tend to fall into one of two categories. Those written by Christian believers tend to be heartfelt and inspired, but sometimes are lacking in authoritative sources. Those written from a secular perspective,...
bible, archaelogical sites, etched in stone archeological discoveries that prove the bible, lisette bassett-brody
Sunday, 25 Feb 2018 09:30 PM
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