Convince Me There’s A God – Archaeology 2
by Mark McGee
Solid evidence. Something an investigative journalist can sink his teeth into. That’s what I needed to see in 1971. Christians I had invited on my radio talk show to intimidate and make fun of were turning the tables on me. Me! A well-known, hard-core atheist talk show commentator, was actually listening to Christians talk about why they believed in the existence of God. Sound ridiculous? I thought so at the time, but they kept coming back with more and more evidence. For a free-thinking journalist interested in knowing whether something’s true or not, evidence is hard to ignore.
What I was hearing about how archaeology supported many of the claims in the Bible was impressive. One of the most impressive was the discovery of the Hittite nation.
People made fun of Jews and Christians for centuries because of this:
“On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the River Euphrates: the Kenites and the Kenizzites and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Rephaim, and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” Genesis 15:18-21
The Old Testament mentions the Hittite people almost 50 times, but who were they? There was no record of their existence anywhere in the histories of ancient cities and civilizations. Critics of the Bible believed the Hittites were nothing more than an invention of the writers of the Bible and there was no evidence to prove otherwise. That is, until 1876, when a British scholar made a discovery that led to the uncovering of the history of a great nation known as – the Hittites.
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Archibald Henry (A.H.) Sayce found inscriptions in Turkey that had been carved on rocks. He wrote about his find and the Hittite people in “The Hittites: The story of a Forgotten Empire” (New York, F.H. Revell Co. pref. 1888). Clay tablets were discovered at Boghaz-koy, Turkey about ten years later and German archaeologist and historian Hugo Winckler investigated the tablets and undertook his own expedition in 1906. Winckler and his team uncovered thousands of clay tablets that included a treaty between Egypt and the Hittite nation. Boghaz-koy was the location of the Hittite capital city and had been known originally as Hattusha. Winckler also found ancient temples, large sculptures and a fortified citadel. Tablets discovered in the temples confirmed many details about the kinds of treaties, ceremonies and regulations written about in the Old Testament.
One of the things archaeological expeditions discovered about the Hittite civilization was that it began around the early part of the 20th century BC in the western part of Asia, an area known as Anatolia, now known as part of Turkey. Hittite kings expanded it into an empire by the 18th century BC and reached the height of power during the 14th century BC. The empire included most of Asia Minor, the northern Levant (Eastern Mediterranean area between Anatolia and Egypt, including Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine) and upper part of Mesopotamia (Assyria)…
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