Isaiah the Prophet, Man or Biblical Myth: The Archaeological Evidence
Archaeology bombshell: Expert explains a biblical discovery that could prove Bible RIGHT
ARCHAEOLOGICAL discoveries from the Middle East can prove the historical accuracy of the Bible. According to an expert who believes the ancient Seal of Isaiah to be one such artefact.
The Seal of Isaiah was discovered in Israel, the clay seal is an 8th century BC and was believed by some archaeologists to name the biblical prophet Isaiah. Isaiah is a controversial figure as there is debate over whether he alone authored the 66 chapters in the Old Testament’s Book of Isaiah. A widely accepted view is that the books were written over two periods between 740 BC and 686 BC.
Some biblical experts suggested that the books of the prophet be interspersed with chapters written up to two centuries years after his death. v Whatever the case may be, Professor Tom Meyer of Shasta Bible College and Graduate School in California, US, claims that there is at the very least archaeological evidence to indicate the prophet did exist.
Professor Meyer told: “Archaeological evidence has come to light proving the existence of the author of the most controversial chapter in the Old Testament, Isaiah 53.
“Isaiah 53 is quoted in the first six books of the New Testament and by 1 Peter as a prophecy that was literally fulfilled by Jesus the Jewish Messiah.
“In 2018 excavations in the Ophel – the raised area between the City of the David and the Temple Mount – produced a fragmented clay bulla or round seal dating to the eighth or seventh century BC inscribed with the name of the owner, Isaiah the Prophet.”
In 2018, archaeologist Eilat Mazar published an article in Biblical Archaeology Review, presenting the clay seal to the world.
If an inscription on the seal does indeed mention the Hebrew prophet, then it is the first extrabiblical source confirming his existence.
Professor Meyer, who is an expert in Middle Eastern languages, said: “In the ancient near east, seals were often engraved with the name of the owner and could function as a legal signature.
“Seals were used by most classes of society and were often pressed onto wet clay documents instead of soft wax because clay hardens and maintains its shape when heated while wax just melts.
“Just south of the most controversial 35 acres of real estate in the world – The Temple Mount – archaeologists found the seal of Isaiah the Prophet a short distance away from where they found a seal in 2015 bearing the name of Hezekiah, the King of Judah, a contemporary of Isaiah the Prophet.”
Isaiah is believed to have been a counsellor to the Judean King Hezekiah, the 13th King of Judah.
Hezekiah is one of the more prominent figures named in the Bible, with mentions in the Second Book of Kings and the Second Book of Chronicles.
Professor Meyer said: “On the top of Isaiah’s seal is what appears to be a doe or some other four-legged animal; underneath there are two incomplete Hebrew words.
“Though two of the eight Hebrew letters in the first word are missing, it most certainly spells out ‘belonging to Isaiah’ and on the line below, even though one of the four letters are missing, it undoubtedly spells out ‘Prophet’.
“No other sequence of letters makes any grammatical or historical sense; this is the personal seal of the famous Isaiah the Prophet.”
There is, however, some debate over the validity of this interpretation. Christopher Rollston, a Semitic languages expert at George Washington University, argued in 2018 the interpretations are troubling because the seal is incomplete.
The seal contains the words “Yesha‘yah” or Isaiah in Hebrew. Yesha‘yah is then followed by the word “nvy”.
If nvy was followed by the Hebrew letter aleph, the writing would read out “Prophet”. Professor Rollston said: “The critically important letter that would be needed to confirm that the second word is the title ‘prophet’ is an aleph. “But no aleph is legible on this bulla, and so that reading cannot be confirmed at all.”
He added: “Of course, the assumption that this is a [seal] of Isaiah the prophet is scintillating, but it is certainly not something that we should assume is at all certain. It’s not.” Professor Meyer, however, is certain the seal does validate the Bible’s narrative.
He said: “Through the wealth of data unearthed by archaeologists in Jerusalem, we are once again able to measure the Bible’s historical accuracy.” Professor Meyer is known as the Bible Memory Man because he has memorised more than 20 books from the Bible.