“50 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically”


From ancient Mesopotamia
(Click to enlarge. Click again to enlarge further.)


Fifty identifiable individuals.


This may seem a pathetically small number to some, and (I suppose) a revealingly small one to skeptics, but it’s actually fairly impressive.


For a specific named individual still to be detectible in the archaeological record after two or three thousand years or more is a rarity, even in the intensively studied ancient Near East, and no small achievement:





Assyrian Christians, the latest captives of the “Islamic State”
“Nourishing the Aging Brain”
How long must we wait?
“World’s deadliest volcanoes identified”
  • gilbert gripe

    How many from the Book of Mormon?

    • DanielPeterson

      Apples and oranges, Captain Predictable.

      • gilbert gripe
        • kiwi57

          … And some people just aren’t capable of grasping anything else.

          • gilbert gripe

            Occam’s razor my friend.

          • kiwi57

            Doesn’t say what you think it does.

            It certainly doesn’t say anything like, “If your intellect can’t grasp it, it can’t be true.”


          • gilbert gripe

            The child that said, “the emperor has no clothes” was only stating the obvious. I suppose his intellect couldn’t grasp the carefully constructed fantasy that was all around him.

          • kiwi57

            Does all your (heh heh) “thinking” consist in reciting these kinds of cliches?

            Or are you ready to progress to bumper-sticker slogans yet?

          • gilbert gripe

            My thinking is very sloppy. My thoughts won’t stay compartmentalized. “Hey there’s proof of King David, is there proof of King Noah?” Or ” They found L’anse aux Meadows, have they found Zarahemla?” See how I compare and contrast without thought to what the conclusions are supposed to be?

            I’m told these are apples and oranges, but I can’t grasp why they should be so different. It’s not obvious to me.

          • kiwi57

            Your thinking is certainly astonishingly superficial. It fails entirely to take account of the fact that the kinds of inscriptions that are cited for the 50 biblical characters are simply not available for the Book of Mormon period in the Americas. But hey — when you’ve got a mere assumption that conforms to your prejudices, why bother engaging your brain?

            After all, adolescent gloating is obviously *much* more fun than actual thought.

            And requires far less effort, too.

          • gilbert gripe

            I know you meant to insult me by calling my thinking adolescent, but I have discovered that adolescents are very open minded. It is old people that are trapped in biases and established beliefs. I’m in my 50′s and it’s a good thing that I scraped together the self confidence to finally try on a new idea, an idea that went against six generations of tradition. There was nothing easy about it.

            Hurray for my adolescent children who taught this old dog a new trick. It wasn’t pleasant finding out that I wasn’t more valiant than the rest of mankind as I had always been told.

            Turns out I was just ridiculous. Seems so obvious now.

          • DanielPeterson

            Indeed it does, Gripe.

          • peredehuit

            Good grief! Basing one’s beliefs on something as flimsy as “well it hasn’t been discovered”.

          • gilbert gripe

            I can’t buy it. The so called anti Mormons make more sense. Their side is easier to defend and document. You folks didn’t get the easy job.

          • DanielPeterson

            I disagree with you pretty completely, Mr. Gripe.

          • peredehuit

            I recommend that you change your on line persona from gilbert gripe to russell’s chicken. You have significant induction issues. I can only hope that you recognize this before the “benevolent farmer” sends you away.

          • kiwi57

            Griping Gilbert: “I know you meant to insult me by calling my thinking adolescent,”

            No. I meant you to understand that I knew what you were doing when you threw out that gratuitous, irrelevant and off-topic swipe at the Book of Mormon.

            Griping Gilbert: “I’m in my 50′s and it’s a good thing that I scraped together the self confidence to finally try on a new idea, an idea that went against six generations of tradition. There was nothing easy about it.”

            Gilbert, if you want to tell me that surrendering to majority opinion and merely going with the flow represents the pinnacle of your personal courage and independent thinking, I will believe you.

          • gilbert gripe

            Scientific consensus is surrendering to the evidence, not majority opinion.

            The majority opinion in my culture was the same as yours.

          • DanielPeterson

            Scientific consensus is the human agreement of scientists, whether on a geocentric universe or on stress as the cause of ulcers or on the billiard-ball-like character of electrons or on the absurdity of any thought of continental drift.

            “Surrendering to the evidence”? For all of science’s many great virtues, that’s a very naïve view of both its nature and its history.

          • kiwi57

            That’s right. The majority opinion in my culture is the same as in yours.

            I have sound reasons to resist it, and the backbone to do so.
            You, evidently, do not.

            As for “surrendering to the evidence:” your silence on the Mount Sinai thread is telling.

          • peredehuit

            Then why can’t you leave it alone?

          • gilbert gripe

            People are free to have their believes and opinions. But isn’t that a two way street? Why can’t you tolerate people who disagree? Is it because it is more than beliefs and opinions, it is a testimony? I think people with testimonies have their schemata organized to accommodate that testimony. The evidences and pieces of information are arranged around and for the support of that testimony. The testimony comes first. First comes the conclusion – then the evidence is believed or discarded in light of the conclusion.

            You could believe in blue elephant gods for all I care.

            But I do have a beef with the ethics of the institution. The institution exploits members with testimonies. I never want to have a testimony again.

            I posit that to “leave it alone” would be unethical.

          • peredehuit

            My question was about how is it that you can be so secure in your decision to leave the Church and yet you continue to participate in trying to tear it down. In your latest response you say you don’t care about what we believe, but yet you attack our beliefs.

          • DanielPeterson

            Is somebody out there trying to deny you the right to have opinions and beliefs?

            Please let us know, Mr. Gripe. I’m sure that many here will come to your defense. I certainly will.

          • kiwi57

            Griping Gilbert: “But I do have a beef with the ethics of the institution. The institution exploits members with testimonies. I never want to have a testimony again.”

            Haters have always been able to rationalise and justify their hatred. Note that, in typical bigot fashion, your rationalisation is an unsupported, evidence-free accusation against the target of your bigotry.

            Griping Gilbert: “I posit that to ‘leave it alone’ would be unethical.”

            Given that most polite people think it “unethical” to rudely interject an off-topic irrelevancy into someone else’s conversation, ethical considerations clearly aren’t that important to you.

            To “leave it alone” would be the adult thing to do. That’s what you really have trouble with, don’t you?

            After all, maturity is not really a function of age, as all of your posts clearly demonstrate.

          • DanielPeterson
          • gilbert gripe

            Silly me, there are different rules of evidence where the Book of Mormon is concerned. It’s a special case.

          • DanielPeterson

            You’re right, Gripe. That view IS silly. But perhaps you’re not silly in real life?

          • kiwi57

            BTW, on the subject of “stating the obvious:” the OP has nothing to do with the Book of Mormon. It is obvious to me that you are so obsessed with scoring cheap polemical points against the Book of Mormon that you just couldn’t let this opportunity pass by.

          • DanielPeterson

            Misuse of William of Ockham’s “razor” is often, and in your case clearly is, a thought-destroying slogan — no more.

        • DanielPeterson

          Okay. Captain Oblivious.

          Please contribute something serious and of substance.

    • http://plonialmonimormon.blogspot.com/ Stephen Smoot
  • RaymondSwenson

    Most of the names are from Egyptian, Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions, including the people from the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. A few more Israelite names were found on bullae, used as signature seals. So it looks like the main way to ensure your name is preserved to be read two thousand years later is to be conquered by Egypt, Assyria or Babylon so they can brag about it.
    I notice that while the names of some kings and officials of Israel and Judah have shown up, there is no finding of the name of a prophet, such as Moses, Joshua and Samuel (all of whom were political leaders, too), or Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel or Malachi. Does that mean they didn’t exist? Or that the hundreds of thousands of other people in Israel from the time of Moses to the time of Jesus didn’t exist?
    Even if the name of David or Hezekiah is attested, these mentions tell us nothing about their lives and beliefs. If you don’t accept the Bible as a reasonably reliable chonicle of history, you know next to nothing about these israelites. You could have similar appearances of most of the names in the Old Testamant, and still know nothing outside the Bible about their belief in Jehovah. These names are simply one collection of evidence that the Bible recounts a history about real people.
    What physical record is there of Book of Mormon names?
    (1) The place name Nahom is mentioned as the place in the Arabian peninsula where Ishmael was buried, and the journey turned eastward toward Bountiful and the sea. It was about two decades ago that archeologists discovered two stone altars in that region inscribed with the South Arabian text NHM.
    (2) A bullae found around Jerusalem bears the name of “Malkiyahu son of the king”, which is as close to “Mulek, son of King” Zedekiah as several of the examples mentioned in the article. This is a name not in the Bible, but in the Book of Mormon, and in ancient Jerusalem, and could refer to the same Mulek mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
    (3) An ancient record from Israel attests that “Alma” is the name of a “son”, and thus a male name that does not appear in the Bible, but does in the Book of Mormon. It is obviously not the name of either “Alma” in the Book of Mormon, but affirms that it is a legitimate male name for the time and place where the Book of Mormon originated.
    (4) A string of non-bibilical Egyptian names appears in the Book of Mormon, published at a time before much ancient Egyptian had been translated, including the records that attest to the fact that real Egyptians held the names used in the Book of Mormon.
    Joseph Smith could have just used some of the many biblical names for ALL of the characters in the Book of Mormon, since he was able to do it for many of them (Joseph, Jacob, Ishmael, etc.). He got no special mileage from the non-biblical names. If he were just making up nonsense words at random, why did they match names in the region of Judah 600 BC, rather than names from, say Japan? If the correspondences are merely random, why aren’t there as many Japanese corrolaries (e.g. Kawakami) as Egyptian ones (e.g. Pacumeni)?
    So the actual Israelite physical records of names attesting to names used in the Bible are only a few more than the physical records of names that correlate with the Book of Mormon. In neither case does the authenticity of the scripture depend on how lucky archologists are in digging up contemporary records of people (or places) mentioned in the books.