Article 31- The Historical Background

Not just great stories—Bible history is part of what we refer to as secular history



As is my teaching style, it helps when one can put an event or series of events into perspective or within other historical events of secular history. Remember that the bible does not need to prove itself according to history. History needs to be placed against what the bible states. There is no revision of secular versus scriptural history but there are many who wish to revise scripture to make God what s/he wants instead of us as individuals being what God wanted upon our creation.

  1. King Pekah of Israel [700’s B.C.] along with his ally King Rezin of Aram, threatened Judah and its main city of Jerusalem. Ahaz, the king of Judah, called upon King Pul [Tiglath-Pileser III] of Assyria to intervene. He did intervene therefore defeating Israel (the Northern Kingdom) then executed King Rezin of Aram (Damascus).
    1. Assyria was a Semitic nation, but not Israeli, from the 24th century BC to 608 BC.
    1. Assyrians were offspring of Shem’s (Noah’s ark) eldest son *Elam: Genesis 10:22, Ezra 4:9. *Elam itself was once an empire called the Elamites now part of Iran. The person Elam was a son of Shem making him a grandson of Noah.
  2. At this time, Damascus was not the capital of Syria. It was a large city-state in its own rights.
  3. Assyrians attacked the Kingdom of Israel (ten northern tribes) first dispersing the East of Jordan tribes of Gad, Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh in 732 B.C. [2 Kings 16:9].
  4. 720 BC: Assyria invades the remaining tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel including a few cities within the borders of the Kingdom of Judah. All captives are exiled to unsettled lands to the north, east, and west specifically mentioned, it includes the cities of the Medes.

JIV NOTE: This plays significantly into the Babylonian captivity of the southern Kingdom of Judah 120 years later, the 70 year Babylonian captivity, and to connect the dots……the invasion of Babylon by the MEDES and Persians and eventually Queen Esther of the Book of Esther.

  • Daniel of Babylonian fame was a contemporary of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel. These men were exiled from the southern Kingdom of Judah or were born during Babylonian captivity. Interestingly, they all were in the service of the government of Babylon; Daniel also served within the Mede-Persian government of Babylon.
  • Daniel lived during the time of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, father and grandson, who were kings of Babylon, and the Mede-Persian ruler Cyrus (Darius?).
  • He lived in Babylon during the entire 70 year captivity and several years beyond.
  • Daniel never left Babylon after being exiled from Judah. He continued to serve in the service of the Persian conquerors of Babylon.
  • Sequence of nations:
    • The nation Israel of Saul, David and Solomon co-existed with Assyria
    • Israel divided into two separate kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel to the north with ten tribes and the Kingdom of Judah to the south with 2 tribes plus many stragglers from the northern kingdom who were faithful to Judaism and Jerusalem.
    • Ten tribes to the north are dispersed in the 700 B.C. over a period of 20 plus years; first by Tiglath-Pileser III [sometimes called King Pul], then Shalmaneser V, finally by Sargon II; all were kings of Assyria. Time period around 740 B.C.E. to around 720 [?] BC.
    • Kingdom of Judah continued to exist for another 120 years; until about 606 BC.
    • Babylon rebels against and overthrows Assyria; 637 BC to around 612 BC. The overthrow of the Kingdom of Judah followed.
    • Nebuchadnezzar (606 BC) of Babylon invades the Kingdom of Judah and begins a series of dispersions bringing Judean Jews [including Daniel] to Babylon. [Daniel 1:1-4]
      • 605 BC.; 597 B.C.; 586 BC. [the three reasonably close dates of Judean dispersion and exile to Babylon]
  • Daniel becomes an advisor and dream interpreter for Nebuchadnezzar  [Daniel 2:1-49]
  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego face the fiery furnace [Daniel 3:1-30]
  • Nebuchadnezzar goes insane and eats grass with the wild animals of his kingdom [Daniel 4:1-37] His wings are plucked and he is made to stand up like all other men (Daniel 7:4)
  • Daniel interprets the finger of God writing on the wall to *Belshazzar

[Daniel 5:1-31]

  1. *Belshazzar is the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar; overthrown by Medo-Persians (Cyrus of overall all Persia; Darius the Mede was temporarily king of the conquered Babylon). Belshazzar was not the sole king of Babylon during this overthrow. His father made him co-regent of Babylon itself.
    1. King Cyrus, the first Persian king over the Mede-Persian conquered empire of Babylon, signs a decree releasing all Israeli captives within this conquered empire; [538 B.C. – Ezra 1:2-4; 6:2-5] Darius the Mede ruled first but for less than two years. Daniel tells us that this Darius was already 62 years old at the time of the overthrow. He was not King of Persia but a satrap king of Babylon proper.
  2. Daniel and the Lions’ den historical event occurred under the Mede-Persian ruler Darius [Daniel 6:1-28], not Nebuchadnezzar.
  3. The prophetic future according to the dreams of Daniel
    1. The 4 beasts [Daniel 7:1-28]
    1. Daniels dream of the goat and the ram [Daniel 8:1-28]
    1. Daniels 70 week or years dream [Daniel 9:1-27]
    1. Daniel views the end of times (Recall a previous study article: Are We There Yet?) [Daniel 10:1 – 12:13]

Archeological Digs

On September 28, 2015 while continuing my 2-year archeological dig at the Murphy Jameshistorical Land of Kysor (park), I unearthed what is believe to be a third battle field. It is assumed this to be the traditional site where two rival tribes, using their 9 or 10 best warriors would engage in the clubbing of projectiles thrown at them thrown at them by a machine.

One at a time these very young and brave warriors would step in front of this machine. Each tribe member could defend with only a round long stick and quick reflexes. The machine was backed up by 9 or 10 members of the other tribe. Each tribe had a unique name. The goal, I believe, was to take out three of the opposing tribe at a time.

This ancient ritual included a dug out. Tribal members and reserve forces could hide while watching one of their tribal members step onto the field to wage battle with that machine. Some would be asked to “self-sacrifice.” Each youthful sacrifice would be met with cheers as another tribal member who had distracted the other tribe by hitting the projectile would advance further behind the lines of the opposing tribe.

This excavation continues. A box in the ground found next to the high ground mound shows where this tossing machine was tethered. If a tribal member was successful at defending him or herself with this rounded stick, s/he would then race behind enemy lines. Opposing tribal members would then throw the same projectile at the one who successfully hit it; all without further assistance from the tethered machine.

Over the past two years two other battle fields have been discovered and are now excavated. Those interested in this ancient ritual are welcome to visit and use these ancient fields of battle.

I have amassed significant information during my archeological digs as ancient tribal members stop by to share their experiences with the machine and opposing tribes. Some had sons or daughters who did self-sacrifice for their tribe. We must remember them and train future warriors.

The Living Word of GOD -Connecting the dots of the history of mankind

The Living Word of GOD -Connecting the dots of the history of mankind

Archaeological digs are very similar to deep study of the Bible. The more of this ancient history book we dig into, the more we realize it makes a lot of sense. One can’t dig just one hole in a research. The dots need to be connected by discovery digging. Eventually the dots connect themselves.

You Are Here – Mother of All Earthquakes

The Bible often mentions earthquakes. If they are so, they are also a matter of secular records making these Bible records the same history as found in secular records. This series is designed to explore secular history, archeological digs [discoveries] and scriptural records of Biblical Earthquakes. This series will end with an article or two on End-Time earthquakes. This is article number six in the series.


Zech 14:3,4 (The Mother of all Earthquakes)Then the LORD will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.

These two verses in Zechariah are fascinating and say more than first glance might reveal. The casual or even semi-serious Bible student needs to pay attention to the information this verse provides concerning the future. It doesn’t matter what is one’s Millennial or Rapture position. We will all know who is right per this theological debate when it is over. By then those who are in the rapture won’t care or know the difference since there is *no sorrow in Heaven. C.H Spurgeon and many others write on this subject ( *Please refer to “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”–Revelation 7:17 as a beginning discussion point. (The serious student should add Revelation21:1 and 4 to this must read list).

Let’s breeze by the obvious in this verse; i.e. God will be in full armor. Now look at the verse line that says, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.” To even the serious Bible student it is easy to accept this location as just that… a location. But, consider today’s politics in the Middle East. The Palestinians, as they call themselves, want to partition Israel to the WEST of the Jordan River. The Mount of Olives is to the EAST of the “old city” of Jerusalem. This is territory that falls within the land claimed by the Arabs. In other words, Christ would, under today’s political lines, be returning to land dominated by Arabs and Islamists.

This means one of two things. Either Israel will NOT relinquish this land prior to the Return of Jesus Christ or The Arabs are in for one huge surprise. It doesn’t matter which it is. The event is prophesied and will happen as the Bible tells us it will.

What follows in Zechariah 14… ? “The Mount of Olive will split in two.” It will split east to west meaning half of the mountain will move north and half of it will move south creating a very significant valley. Will this be supernatural? Might the geology of this land and fault lines already be in place per secular geologists? Seismologists? Might the split be supernatural but it will be along already existing earthquake faults? Perhaps, however, like in the *plagues of Egypt He used natural events to make His point.
Let’s first look at a known fact per secular science. The seismologists map of this area shows a fault line known as the Jordan Valley riff, there is a natural plate movement that cuts right through the center of the Mount of Olives. Part of the plate is shifting to the north and part of the plate is shifting to the south. Just as Zechariah 14 claims will be a dramatic shift the rips apart the Mount of Olives. Just too as the plagues on Egypt prior to the exodus of the captive Israelis (the 10 Plagues) were mostly Return of Jesus Christ accelerated by God; water turning *“red as blood”, frogs, lice, locus, flies, diseased livestock… all natural events to Egypt. The difference is God exasperated and accelerated these events. He made them intolerable and many times their normal expectations in this land.

*The naturally occurring floods of the Nile, prior to the building of the Aswan Dam which was completed in 1870, would move tons of soil down-stream toward the mouth of the Nile River at the Mediterranean Sea. This would muddy the waters but not kill off the fish and make it undrinkable to livestock. The plague of the Nile was increased to the power of and made it totally undrinkable by anyone and killed off the fish. Why? It was turned not to just murky waters, but bloody.

The already existing fault line in the Middle East, as pointed out by secular science, fits very well with the Zechariah prophecy of over **2500 years ago. This old scripture was written well before seismologists had much of a science. It is ready to be an event accelerated by the Return of Christ when He plants his feet on the Mount of Olives.

**Zechariah is specific about dating his writing; Zechariah 1:1 (520-518 BC).

This is still an earthquake yet to come. However, according to secular sciences and reports, it will be a natural event and is well overdue. According to the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, in 31 B.C.E., 30,000 people lost their lives in an earthquake in this area. (

This earthquake to which Josephus Flavius refers is associated per per time lines associate with either the death or resurrection of Jesus Christ as also reported in the Bible’ three days apart. Simply put… The Holy Word of God is not a textbook full of religious stories and the basis of and handbook for a religion called Christianity. It is the same history as secular history but reporting on a specific niche in the history of a world God created. How else would it be that a prophet could predict an earthquake upon the return of Jesus Christ and be so pin-point accurate with location and fault lines? These are the fault lines with conditions that the same secular scientists of today tell us is well overdue for an earth shattering event.

Other sources saying the same thing but from different points of view:

If this is all a coincident, I would need to be deliberately blind to what all of the authorities say per this pending earthquake. Perhaps if one is a non-Christian, s/he should take notice. The Bible tells us it will happen, where it will happen and the event that will cause it to happen. If this pending earthquake is soon to come, perhaps one should also believe that Christ too is soon to come. After the fact, it will be too late. You have been notified.jStark3

Paul and Silas

The Bible often mentions earthquakes. If they are so, they are also a matter of secular records making these Bible records the same history as found in secular records. This series is designed to explore secular history, archeological digs [discoveries] and scriptural records of Biblical Earthquakes. This series will end with an article or two  on End-Time earthquakes. This is article number five in the series.

The Earthquake of Paul and Silas – Acts 16; Philippians; A Prison Letter

When we read the Book of Philippians, written from prison by the Apostle Paul, of an event recorded even in secular history. Many Bible teachers and scholars refer to the Book of Philippians as one of the “Prison Letters. [The other “prison letters” include Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon] Acts 16:16-39 records the same Bible history. We find Paul and Silas in chains due to the fact that they had cast out an evil spirit in a young girl, slave, who was able to predict (foretell) the future. In the Greek it means a μαντεύομαι, manteuomai: a prophet, soothsayer, one who utters spells.

SPECIAL NOTE: It is only fair to inform the reader of this article that the time period of this imprisonment is debatable. Many Bible scholars and well-meaning researchers have affixed multiple dates and places to this particular event. Some suggest it was around 52 A.D. and some go as far as to suggest it to be around 61 B.C. My personal approach in historical research is to look up major earthquakes in this region and connect the dots with Acts 16:26…[NIV] “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.” Secular historians and modern seismologist report such an earthquake around 58 to 61 A.D. in western Turkey near Ephesus.

We should keep in mind that Luke (supposed author of the Book of Acts) writes in Acts 16:16: “Once when we were going to the place of worship…” Note this is not at all specific to where this place of worship is and when it is. It is like telling a friend or group of people who are discussing particular life events that one of the participants simply starts in with the same introduction to the event s/he is going to explain; i.e. “Once when we (I) did such-and-such…”. It isn’t sequential, but it did happen sometime within his or her lifetime; perhaps as a teen, when just married, as an employee of whomever, while on a hunting trip or vacation, etc.
(Acts 16:20, 21) Paul and Silas’s accusers claimed “These men are Jews and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us as Romans.” The fact that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens was unknown to their accusers and the magistrates who gave them a quick and speedy kangaroo trial (read the event in the Acts 16:37, 38 and see the terror that came over their accusers once this fact was revealed to them).

The documented record from the Bible and in Roman and Biblical history states that these men were put in prison with leg stocks; something usually reserved for only the most dangerous law breakers. In case the reader does not recall this recorded history, Paul and Silas were accused of anything but the truth. They had cast out an evil spirit that dwelt within this slave girl. This evil spirit recognized, as is stated in Acts 16:17, “these men are servants of the *Most High God.” She followed Paul and Silas around town with the spirit shouting out this fact.

*The Greek for “Most High” is hupsistos. It means the “Supreme God.” This fallen angel (evil spirit) and agent of Satan had to acknowledge the fact of God being supreme even above its boss, ol’ Satan/Lucifer.

We should also understand that during this time in history the Romans who occupied almost the entire Mediterranean area allowed Judaism and its offshoot of Christianity as Romans thought it to be, to be practiced (and protected). Romans viewed it as just another cult or religion within the massive Roman Empire.

The Romans had many gods including one to “the unknown god” (see Acts 17). Some of the Roman authorities saw the God of Judaism as possibly the unknown god for which the Romans even had a statue. This means from the onset, Paul and Silas were accused of something the Romans did NOT object to AT THIS TIME. The Emperor Nero soon changed all of this.
Historical Note: The Romans and The Romans , during the time of the Maccabees, had made an alliance and agreement to cooperate in most of life’s matters. This secular history can be read in 1 Maccabees 8:19-21, 29. The conclusion… since the Romans initially saw Christianity as an offshoot of Judaism, what Paul and Silas were doing was within the law.

Back to the real reason for Paul and Silas’s kangaroo trial: Acts 16: 17-19… Once the evil spirit was cast out, she (the slave girl) was no longer influenced by the evil spirit therefore incapable of foretelling the future; i.e. the money-making business of her owners and the real reason for bringing charges against Paul and Silas. Consequently these owners of the slave girl were put out of business. This fact was never mentioned in the kangaroo trial of Paul and Silas.

A Reader’s Note: The reader should take a few minutes to examine the scripture surrounding this point in history. It is directly relevant to recorded secular history and the earthquake mentioned in Acts 16:26.

EarthquakeThe short of it (the earthquake; v26)… shook the foundations of the prison opening the doors of not only the inner prison room in which Paul and Silas were chained, but all of the surrounding prison cells. In Roman times, this would mean death to the jailor if the prisoners escaped.

The aha-moment in secular and Biblical history…

In all likelihood, Philippi was not the epicenter of this earthquake and it is probable that Paul and Silas were not in prison in Philippi. After all, Paul was writing a letter to them. It may only be a coincident of timing but secular records and historians write that a very significant earthquake sometime around 59 to 61 A.D., the time in history when Paul and Silas were in prison, destroyed Laodicea, Colossus, and Hierapolis. These three cities were totaled as they lay within a natural fault between them and the Aegean Sea; the Northern and Western Anatolia Faults; the Lycus River Valley ( A look at a map would also tell us that Ephesus was well within the tremors of this devastating earthquake recorded in both secular and Biblical history. After all, they are not separate histories. There is only one history and these coincide.

Scientist and seismologists tell us that tremors can travel thousands of miles and up to speeds of 500 plus miles per hour. The destroyed cities of Laodicea, Colossus, and Hierapolis were only a 90 to 100 miles, or so, from the eastern shores of the Aegean Sea where Philippi is/was almost on the western shores of this same Sea. Ephesus was next door to these cities within Turkey.

Secular records from Pliny, Eusebius, as do the Annuls of Tacitus record the same event within a few years [plus or minus] the earthquake record in the Book of Acts.

Coincidence… perhaps? But the records of the Bible and secularists match quite well. But, don’t take my word for it. Study it yourself. Secular history and Biblical history are not two unconnected stories. They are one history (not a story) recorded as a slice of the same historical pie.

Also see links:

a) Author: Philippians 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of Philippians as the apostle Paul, likely along with the help of Timothy.
b) Date of Writing: The Book of Philippians was written in approximately A.D. 61.




The Bible often mentions earthquakes. If they are so, they are also a matter of secular records making these Bible records the same history as found in secular records. This series is designed to explore secular history, archeological digs [discoveries] and scriptural records of Biblical Earthquakes. This series will end with an article or two  on End-Time earthquakes. This is article number three in the series.

Earthquakes of the Bible and Secular History Coincide; secular views fail; the crucifixion

Before anyone reads the following article, I caution those who want to jump at conclusions steeped in one’s “belief” that now is the time; the end of the earth as we know it. Half-truths have done much damage to our Christian-based evangelical society. We (me included) accept without challenge statements that support our beliefs or desires without checking the facts. The World Wide Web has been one of the best tools for sending out half-truths.
Example: When in 2011 quarterback Tim Tebow and the Broncos beat the Steelers in overtime, a playoff they statistically never should have even been one of the competing teams, all sorts of “posts” were put out on the WWW that glorified the the view it was a “God supported” win. Perhaps the Broncos simply outplayed the Steelers. But what happens when a post goes viral stating that “amazingly four of the seven officials on the field were Matthew, Mark, Luke and John”; all key authors of Books of the Bible? What happens when it isn’t the truth yet it is forwarded to tens of thousands? Yes, it undercuts the reliability of Christian truth.

This is why we are using this series on the earthquakes of the Bible and secular history. When both sides identify the same earthquake, there is little room for middle ground.

In 1931 A.D., there were about seismograph stations 350 stations operating in the world. Today, there are more that 4,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by telex, computer and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years.

This is not to say that writers like Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, Michael D. Evans, and Peter LaLonde, to mention but a few, point with some validity to the End Times being very close via reported earthquakes. This author maintains that we are concerned about the wrong thing. We should be less concerned about the earthquakes, the supposed increasing numbers and the horrendous damage such as in Japan just last year than a concern about the PEOPLE who died without Christ. None the less, let’s try to help those who think the Bible is *full of stories and that secular history is distinctly different and not full of stories; i.e. one is a story and the latter is history. We trust by pointing out that the Bible and secular records of a simple thing called earthquakes and huge storms are the same history recorded in the annuls of both scripture and secular history.

*Story (synonyms): tale, narrative, yarn, legend, fairy-tale, anecdote, rumor, report, hearsay, scoop, lie, fib, untruth, falsehood. These words all play a part in how the hearer of the Word and the world at-large can translate the facts of the Bible if we constantly call them “stories.” They are NOT STORIES! Bible events and history are facts that are often proven through science and secular histories.

One more word of caution and clarification for what too many pulpits, radio and television speakers point out as fact and it just isn’t so. We are often left with the impression that in scripture such as Matt. 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11 that the natural destruction of end time earthquakes will be an INCREASE in numbers. Double check the facts… the word “increase” just isn’t there. Yes, the intensity may increase but we have no scriptural evidence that this will be a time when there is an increase in the number of earthquakes.

Matthew 24:7 (ESV) Nations will fight against other nations. Kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. There will be times when there is no food for people to eat. And there will be earthquakes in different places.

Mark 13:8 (ESV) Nations will fight against other nations. Kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms. There will be times when there is no food for people to eat. And there will be earthquakes in different places.

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, sicknesses, and other bad things in many places. In some places there will be no food for the people to eat. Terrible things will happen, and amazing things will come from heaven to warn people.

Yes, the intensity of earthquakes may increase, and we do know from secular records that there is an increase in recorded and reported earthquakes (see paragraph 3 above) throughout the world, but the Bible simply does not say there will be an INCREASE in earthquakes. For the record, we checked the following interpretations of scripture to verify that the Bible does not say anything about an increase in the number of earthquakes:

King James; Lexham English Bible; Modern King James Version; Revised Version; Young’s Literal Translation of 1898; 1899 Douay-Rheims Bible; English Standard Version; American Standard Version; The Apostolic Bible Polyglot Greek… (I think the point is made).

Why is this important? Remember the example of Tim Tebow and the supposed Gospel-names of four officials in the playoff game? We as Christians need to get the facts correct or the world will use our misuse of them against us. The secular world holds us to a different standard. When they slip-up, it is simply dismissed. When Christians get the facts wrong, it is headlines on major communication networks and publications; not to mention the hey-day on the World Wide Web.

Article – the crucifixion and its earthquakeEarthquake

There is much evidence surrounding the earthquakes that occurred during the crucifixion of Jesus, His resurrection, and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Quoting Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News:

To analyze earthquake activity in the region (Dead Sea), geologist Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geo-sciences studied three cores from the beach of the Ein Gedi Spa adjacent to the Dead Sea.

Varves, which are annual layers of deposition in the sediments, reveal that at least two major earthquakes affected the core: a widespread earthquake in *31 B.C. and a seismic event that happened sometime between the years *26 A.D. and 36 A.D. (see Science on

*These dates do not preclude that they could have occurred within hours or a few days of each other. The fact remains, there are secular geological records of two significant earthquakes surrounding the time of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
These dates also coincide well and are within the scripture records of two earthquakes that surround the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ: Matthew *27 & **28, Mark *15 & **16, Luke *23 & **24 (*the first chapter is the record of the crucifixion and the **second chapter in each book is the record of His resurrection). */**You can look these passages up in YOUR BIBLE.

Colin Humphreys, a British physicist, and Graeme Waddington , co-author and professor at Oxford University in the U.K., authored a paper that gives us some additional insight into the history surrounding these events.

• All four gospels and Tacitus in Annals (XV, 44) agree that the crucifixion occurred when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea from A.D. 26 to 36.

• All four gospels say the crucifixion occurred on a Friday.

• All four gospels agree that Jesus died a few hours before the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath (nightfall on a Friday).

• The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) indicate that Jesus died before nightfall on the 14th day of Nisan, right before the start of the Passover meal.
This suggests that the events of the death and resurrection of Christ and the earthquake records strongly coincide. They both settle in and around the same time period in secular and Biblical history. It should be pointed out that this means one is not a story and the other is history. They are both records of the same history, at the same time in history, and founded on research.

Is this another coincident or aha bible moment ( You decide, but consider this additional information. Titus and Flavius Josephus, 37 C.E. to 100 C.E. were either youthful eyewitnesses to these events or lived so close to the time of these events, they heard it from people who actually witnessed this demarcation in history and eternity.

Bonus aha moments… The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, penned sometime between 50 A.D. and 60 A.D., were written during the lifetime of secular historian Flavius Josephus and Emperor Titus (Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus). This mean they are contemporary with the penning of these Gospels.

Thallus, a Greek historian who wrote The Chronicle of the Olympiad and was anything but a supporter of Christianity. He writes in his 3-volume edition of the History of the Mediterranean World about the darkness at the time of the crucifixion. He identified it as a lunar eclipse. Problem? A lunar eclipse by scientific standards can only occur during the evening hours; the moon is opposite the sun in the solar system during daylight hours and the earth is directly between the sun and the moon.

Don’t confuse a lunar eclipse as a solar eclipse. A solar eclipse puts the moon between the earth and the sun. One might argue that Thallus was incorrect in his terminally. I guess that would take unfounded faith that Thallus didn’t understand science simply using the wrong name for the occurrence. (read the closing paraphaph)

Christ died during the afternoon hours. A solar eclipse takes an hour to happen and last but a few minutes. The darkness that fell over the earth at the time of the crucifixion lasted over three hours.

Another coincident? Possibly, but you decide. Study the Word of God and compare it to history, archeology, geology, and seismology for yourself. The proof is there, but (the word “faith” in this click on link is pistis in the Greek. it translates “TRUTH”. Therefore truth itself is assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity)jStark3


Mt. Sinai

The Bible often mentions earthquakes. If they are so, they are also a matter of secular records making these Bible records the same history as found in secular records. This series is designed to explore secular history, archeological digs [discoveries] and scriptural records of Biblical Earthquakes. This series will end with an article or two  on End-Time earthquakes. This is article number three in the series.

Was Mount Sinai a Volcano – but first…?
Secularists Views Fail the test of validity and often, reliability..Earthquake
To begin this article on earthquakes and volcanoes mentioned in the Bible and verified by secular geologist, volcano researchers, archeologists, and seismologists, the reader should note that much of the following information comes from articles and research written by people that do NOT buy into the Moses-Wilderness or any other story as reported in Bible history. In fact, one of the secular researchers studied for the writing of this article begins his paper by stating, “The legend of Moses.” Note the use of THE LEGEND: a myth, fable, fairy tale, etc. Some secular researchers of earth and human existence describe a volcano as “screaming or having a loud voice; perhaps loud like a trumpet”. Such statements are intended to cast questionable validity on Biblical records of similar sounds, voices, trumpets, and darkness on earth.One author and researcher goes so far as to state as a fact, “a volcanic eruption at night could easily be mistaken as a ‘pillar of light’ such as Biblical records indicate while in the 38 years of wilderness wandering the Israelites followed by night with a pillar of smoke by day.”With this article, I intend to briefly use some their own words against their conclusions; in the words of Gene Whittum in his fascinating articles on Ecclesiastes. :poke holes in their canopy under which they hide.”. We will also question their timelines and dating processes. 

To support questionable “dating” of artifacts we immediately remind our reader of another article in this website where in Texas human footprints have been discovered alongside and in some cases within the foot prints of dinosaurs. This is not an isolated discovery. (see Paluxy River, near Glen Rose Texas; Mary Leakey’s famous Laoetoli Track in Tanzania; 1995 study of quasi-human ichnofossils (supposed human tracks) found with tracks of dinosaurs in strata near Tuba City, Arizona.)Journalist Alexander Bushev reported in the 31 January 1995 edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda (one of the most popular newspapers of the former USSR) that he had journeyed to the plateau near the village of Khodga-Pil in Turkmenistan. Here he found fossilized prints of dinosaurs and humans together. We shold remember that secular science “CLAIMS” that dinosaurs vanished long before humans existed. Their justification for this co-existence discovery of human and dinosaur: “If we could prove that they do belong to a humanoid, then it would create a revolution in the science of man. Humanity would ‘grow older’ thirty-fold and its history would be at least 150 million years long?” [emphasis mine] (Professor Kurban Amanniyazov, head of the expedition that discovered these footprints).Keep in mind these same people had no problem putting a dinosaur label on the large footprints but question the foot print with a human-like heel, five toes, and similar in size to homo-sapiens [humans] of today. Note also that rather than bring the dinosaur into more contemporary history, they want to move human existence backward 150 million years, even though no discoveries have been made to support or justify such a conclusion.

The article in the English version of Moscow News in 1983 (No. 24, p. 10) goes on to explain away the “coincidence” of both footprints in the same fossilized clay, Professor Kurban Amanniyazov states: “However, at present we don’t have enough grounds to say this. We’ve imprints resembling human footprints, but to date have failed to determine, with any scientific veracity, [to] whom [species] they belong to, after all.” *In other words, the human prints may look like human footprints, be similar in size and shape to modern day human footprints, and were recognized as human footprints upon their discovery alongside and sometimes within dinosaur prints there is no scientific evidence to prove the “human prints” come from humans. Yes, you read this correctly!!!

*Aha moments: Mr. Amanniyazov is basically saying… if it looks like a duck, quakes like a duck, swims and flies like a duck, and has webbed feet and duck feathers, one must find scientific proof to validate it is a duck. And secularist and atheists say Christian faith is crazy?

To continue this somewhat satirical or sardonic look at secular science and conclusions, we must include a Barnes and Noble ad with a web review of a book written by Barbara J. Silvertsen; The Parting of the Red Sea. Barbara Sivertsen [attempts to demonstrate; emphasis mine] demonstrates that the Exodus record found in scripture was in fact two separate exoduses both triggered by volcanic eruptions—and provides scientific explanations for the ten plagues including the parting of the Red Sea. She concludes that over time Israelite oral tradition combined these events into the one Exodus narrative known today.

The Publishers Weekly tries to show the Silvertsen research and conclusion as somehow challenging Biblical records of the exodus and the ten plagues. In their review of her work they state: ‘Siversten locates an eruption in 1450 B.C. [a] submarine explosion of the island of Bali of south-east Indonesia just north of Australia, which would have caused the tsunami that inundated the Egyptians [army] in the “Sea of Reeds.”‘ If this is so, according to secularists, the tsunami would have had to wash over a myth, fable, fairy tale and over the heel of Africa before reaching the Sea of Reeds then eventually Egypt. However, they fail to point out any evidence that at the Sea of Reeds the tsunami somehow wiped out the Egyptian army but never reached the Egyptian mainland on the other side of “the Sea of Reeds”.

Even if she meant to say the Island of Yali in the Agean Sea, her Tsunami theory still can’t “hold water” (pun intended). The Tsunami flood would also have had to wipe out Egypt itself,a myth, fable, fairy tale and several other locations within the reach of this 1450 B.C. Tsunami.

Is this a bit odd or simply a sacrificial conclusion of truth? She also forgets to mention that the direction the supposed tsunami of 1450 B.C. moved was an east to west direction. This means the Israelites who were safely on the EASTERN side of the Sea of Reeds (Red Sea) would have been directly in the wake of this same Tsunami flood that destroyed the Egyptian army to the WEST of them. Somehow this tsunami traveled over land masses uninterrupted, skipped over the heads of 2 million fleeing Israelis, then drowned the Egyptian army on the other side. Even if the tsunaumi came from the other direction, the massive flood the wiped out the Egyptian army would not have suddenly halted at the Sea of Reeds leaving the Israelis on the other side unscathed. 

Huh? Where is there any record of such a flood wiping out Saudi Arabia, India and the heel of Africa? The fact is such evidence simply doesn’t exist.

It even gets better. To quote the Barnes and Noble review of her book, they state that Silvertsen (attempts to) shows with secular research just how the first exodus followed a 1628 B.C.E Minoan eruption that produced the first nine plagues. The second exodus [in 1450 B.C.] followed an eruption of a volcano off the Aegean island of Yali (or Indian Ocean Island of Bali) almost two centuries later, creating the tenth plague of darkness.

Something is wrong with their review of her research. The Bible clearly states that the 10th plague was the death of the eldest son (including livestock). From where did the “DARKNESS” plague come; albeit the 10th plague? Even testier is the fact that she is concluding the first nine plagues happened 200 years (1628 B.C.) BEFORE the tenth plague (1450 B.C.). It was 200 years later the exodus from Egypt occurred. 

Deuteronamy 34:5-7 “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD, and He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-pe’or but no man knows the place of his burial to this day. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died; …”

Moses died at the age of 120. How does that fit with her dates, events and numbers of over 200 years between the 9th and 10th plague on Egypt prior to the the exodus? Simple third grade math, it doesn’t!

One who can read between the lines should note that their very review of Silvertsen’s book is a confession of the exodus, the plagues, the drowning of the Egyptian army, and the Israelite exodus from forced labor in Egypt. I quote a passage from, Exodus 11:1 begins with God speaking to Moses about the next prophesy to announce the tenth plague, and verses 1 through 3 are in parentheses for a reason. Verse 2 begins with ‘Speak now in the ears of the People…’ and continues through verse 3 with instructions in preparation for leaving Egypt. For clearer understanding of the place and time of this address and the continuation in verse 4, students should note the last two verses of chapter 10.”

”And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die” Exodus 10:28 (KJV).

“And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more”; Exodus 10:29 (KJV). 

PS: This incident in the history of the exodus is the basis of Hebrew celebration of Passover.
Mt Sinai? We haven’t forgotten our title to this article but wanted to poke holes in the canopy that secularist hide under. It would be so simple to poke many more holes but the point is made. They can’t even agree with each other and every new discovery changes their explanations of their previous discovery.

“And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” (Exodus. 19:18) 

“The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.” (Psalms 68:8)jStark3

Amos’ Earthquake

The Bible often mentions earthquakes. If they are so, they are also a matter of secular records making these Bible records the same history as found in secular records. This series is designed to explore secular history, archeological digs [discoveries] and scriptural records of Biblical Earthquakes. This series will end with an article or two on End-Time earthquakes.

Earthquakes reveal much. Our classes on this at Northern Michigan Bible School, September 2011 through April 2012, studied this prophetic and profitable stroke of God’s hand upon his chosen people and end time events. The purpose of this first article is what is known by many as The Amos’ Earthquake; 750 B.C.Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam II the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake; ESV.It is rarely discussed from the pulpits in America and I have personally met not a single person who questioned the curious fact of the Bible mentioning this particular earthquake. Over 200 years later the Prophet Zechariah points to it in Zechariah 14: 4, 5.It is easy to understand other earthquakes mentioned in the bible such as: Matthew 27:51-54 (crucifixion), Matthew 28:2 (Christ’s resurrection), Numbers 16:32 (wilderness revolt against Moses), Job 9:6, Nahum 1:5 (end times), I Samuel 14:15 (Jonathan and his armor bearer attack the Philistines)… etc. But, the question of curiosity and the demand for inquiry come in to play when there seems to be more to the verse mentioning an earthquake.

This new series begins a study of such earthly disasters and God’s judgment paralleling modern day seismic activity and recording of their history with the Bible mentioning of the same thing at the same time in the same places. When end times come into play, we have an even greater curiosity; will we look at it as just that, a curiosity or will we realize God is telling us something about the end of this old earth and his tolerance of sin? See and read Matthew 24.

We will use the USGS (United States Geological Society records), secular history as recorded by the ancients, the Beck Index and the Bible throughout this series. It will be discovered by the reader that there is NO CONFLICT between these independent records of the earth shaking, burning, convulsing, up heaving, splitting mountains into two or three separate mountains with new valleys and the fact that the Bible is not full of stories, but historical facts that align with scientific facts.

In 750 B.C. and as recorded originally in Amos 1:1 there was a significant earthquake. Yes, we are beginning in the middle of much historical timeline fact/data, but this is where God took this writer over the past weekend while doing my personal Bible Studies. So this is where we will begin.Creation Faith Facts records: “Widely separated archaeological excavations in the countries of Israel and Jordan were conducted in 1955 by archaeologist Yigael Yadin. He found architecture bearing damage from a great earthquake…earthquake evidence is seen prominently at Hazor, Israel’s largest ancient city. Excavations in Hazor revealed tilted walls, inclined pillars, and collapsed houses. The city of Gezer was also severely shaken. The outer wall of the city shows hewn [hand-cut] stones weighing tons that have been cracked and displaced several inches off their foundation. Earthquake debris at six sites…is tightly confined [by strata] to the middle of the eighth century B.C. So, the evidence points to a single large regional earthquake that occurred about 750 B.C. at magnitude 8.2 on the Richter Scale”Isn’t it a curiosity in and of itself that even secularists call the great earthquake in the Middle East of 750 B.C. Amos’ Earthquake? Why? As far as I can tell Amos predicted it and it happened when God’s hand of judgment once again fell on the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. He made it a cornerstone of a major event in his writing of the Book of Amos and what made it an even more memorable was the 8.2 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in northern Israel/Lebanon. There must be secular records of this event.We must back up a bit in history to pull things together during the time of Amos and the earthquake he mentions in Amos 1:1. Much archeological work has been and continues to be done in the Middle East, Palestine, Egypt, Israel and Jordan (river basin and country). These ventures make discoveries and log the findings as secular findings of past events. Recall the history of Samson. He was a judge of the combined original Tribes of Israel in the Promised Land being ruled by judges. Samson was not a Samuel or a Moses; other judges of Israel. There was not yet a king over Israel at the time of the judges. Each Tribe “did what was seen as right in their own eye” Judges 17:6.

Sampson, as did future generations of Israel, often contended with the Philistines. They had five basic cities in the area south-west of Israel; Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, *Gath and Ekron; I Samuel 6:17. Mario Seiglie , Scott Ashley, Tom Robinson co-authored an article in God, Science and the Bible, about many archeological digs and discoveries. While doing a dig within the territory occupied by the Philistines, they discovered evidence of several earthquakes; one of them dating to the precise time of Amos’ Earthquake, 750 B.C., as recorded in Amos 1:1. Note: *Gath, a Philistine city, is recorded in scripture as the hometown of Goliath.

Previously in 1955 archeologist Yigael Yadin discovered and dated the same earthquake while doing a dig in Hazor, Israel’s largest ancient city.

Point in history: Amos is a contemporary of Hosea, Isaiah, *King Uzziah (aka: Azariah) of Judah and King Jeroboam II of Israel. The theme of the Book of Amos is the Judgment of God, then and yet to come..

*LEARNING NOTE: King Uzziah is listed in the Bible as within the genealogy line of Jesus.

Here is another fascinating learning note in bible/secular history. Uzziah was struck with leprosy for falling away from God (2 Kings 15:5); (2 Chronicles 26:19-21). Edwin R. Thiele (archeologist, renown author and Old Testament professor) dates Uzziah being struck with leprosy to 751/750 BC, at which time his son Jotham took over the government as co-regent. Uzziah died with his leprosy in 740/739 B.C. Why is this 750 B.C. date so important? It is the same date as Amos’ Earthquake; a judgment brought on Judah and Israel for their low-point in following God.

We read in 2 Chronicles 26:15-16. Uzziah’s pride led to his downfall; even after many years of “doing what was right in the eyes of God” [2 Kings 15:3]. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. As a lesson to God’s people, Amos warns about the wrath of God (the earthquake hit at the same time as Uzziah was stricken with leprosy. End Times Note: Zechariah cautions us that in the end times there will be a future earthquake that will rattle people as much or more than did Amos’ Earthquake.

Here is the key to Amos’ Earthquake and the immediate leprosy of King Uzziah as seen through the writings of secular historian Flavius Josephus…

Josephus, the First Century Jewish historian, described the events in Jerusalem during this earthquake [750 B.C.; emphasis mine]. King Uzziah was in the Temple trying to offer incense on the altar at Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a duty only allowed the High Priest (Lev. 16 and 17). The priests tried to stop him, but he was defiant. Josephus records what happens next: “But, while he [Uzziah] spoke, a great tremor shook the earth, and, as the temple was riven, a brilliant shaft of sunlight gleamed through it and fell upon the king’s face so that leprosy at once smote him” (Antiquities of the Jews 9:225; LCL 6:119; II Chronicles. 26:19-21, 23). The Bible does not place the two events together chronologically, but Josephus had access to records that are no longer available to us.

Here is aha-bible/secular history from this time period; i.e. 750 B.C.

• King Uriah struck with leprosy at the same time as the 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck the area
• King Sardui of the Kingdom of Urartu, a small but powerful enemy of the Assyrians caused great consternation in the heart of Assyrian rulers
• It marked the beginning of the end for the northern Kingdom of Israel
• The legendary Romulus ruled in Rome
• Hosea, Micah, Isaiah were contemporary prophets at this time
• The Greeks began colonizing Italy and Sicily.
• Harnesses and horse bits began to be used
• Sparta becomes a very disciplined society. The famous laws of Sparta were said to have been given by the legendary Lycurgus shortly after the time of Homer. Plutarch in his Life of Lycurgus credited the lawgiver with redistribution of the land into equal lots. [redistribution of wealth; sound a bit like America today… 2008 – ?]
• Egyptians build the first known dam called the Sadd el-Kafara; 37 ft tall, 348 ft wide of rubble masonry filled with 100,000 tons of gravel and stone.
• Homer writes the Iliad and the Odyssey
• Caste System firmly established in India
• 750 to 612 is “the time of the Assyrians we read of in the Bible”

Enough said as we begin our study of earthquake history and its implications to world events including the Bible times of this same world during the Amos’ Earthquake. We will limit our scope of study to the earthquakes mentioned in the Old and New Testaments with the sole purpose of demonstrating to the reader that the Bible is not a story and world history something else. They happened at the same time and are a part of the same history book; one of these books is the inspired Word of God.jStark3