Archaeology and Other Apologetics
The Bible and its history are constantly questioned because it is God’s Word and condemns man as a sinner in need of a Savior. Satan rules the world system and is the Father of Lies. No one would question the historical accuracy about Julius Caesar’s assassination on March 15 (The Ides of March), 44 B.C., but EVERYTHING in the Bible is suspect. Illus. King David’s very existence is questioned. Jesus Christ Himself is not respected and believed in by many in our day, hence the conversion of time tables from B.C./A.D. to B.C.E./C.E. The television History and Discovery Channels likewise view Sodom and Gomorrah as fables. They realize that if they are not fables, then we could be in trouble! Because of this built in scepticism of fallen man, the following apologetic tools come in handy in order to defend our faith:
1)Longevity Chart (from Adam to Joseph) Archbishop James Usshur wrote a famous work called History of the World, whereby he documents the time line from Adam to Joseph. This is 100% Biblically accurate and accounts for about 6,000 years in this duration. Creation Science Evangelism (CSE) has duplicated this document which can be purchased from http://www.drdino.com It is called the Longevity Chart Adam To Joseph.
2)Anthropology (Study of Man).
4)Science That is REAL Science and not speculation.
5)Linguistics (Study of Languages).
6)Population Settlement and Demographics.
***KEY…. All go back 6,000 years to the cradle of God’s creation of man–the Fertile Crescent. “Millions and billions is the mantra of evolutionists who arbitrarily add and subtract zeros (usually add). Watch out for the buzzwords and phrases– people who do not literally believe the Bible refer to “Theistic Evolution” or “Progressive Creation” which are the same thing.***
This blog article represents ChristianAnswers.net as they answer many questions you may have about the Bible and/or archaeology. They also publish the well known Bible and Spade magazine. In order to find the answers to the questions that you may see below, go to their website. Pastor Steve
ChristianAnswers team member Associates for Biblical Research publishes an excellent magazine Bible and Spade in FULL-COLOR. Subscribe to keep up-to-date on Bible archaeology discoveries and research.
“In every instance where the findings of archaeology pertain to the Biblical record, the archaeological evidence confirms, sometimes in detailed fashion, the historical accuracy of Scripture. In those instances where the archaeological findings seem to be at variance with the Bible, the discrepancy lies with the archaeological evidence, i.e., improper interpretation, lack of evidence, etc.—not with the Bible.”
—Dr. Bryant C. Wood, archaeologist, Associates for Biblical Research
What is the most important archaeological work currently going on in terms of evidence for the truth of God’s Word?
At Tell el-Dab’a, ancient Ramesses, the eastern delta of Egypt, evidence is being recovered that relates to the Sojourn and Exodus—Events in Israelite history largely written off as legend by today’s critical scholars.
—Dr. Bryant C. Wood, archaeologist, Associates for Biblical Research
DO YOU KNOW?…
What Bible archaeology discovery has had the all-time greatest impact? Answer
Reliability of the Bible—In what ways have archaeological discoveries verified it? Answer
Translations available: Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
How does archaeology conclusively demonstrate the Bible to be reliable and unique among all the holy books of world religions? Answer
Confirmation of Biblical events—Is there any from written sources outside the Bible? Answer
A number of extra-Biblical confirmations show that the Bible may be more accurate than many believe.
Translations available: French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Burial Sites—Have the graves of any people in the Bible been found? Answer
A look at archeological discoveries of the tombs of many biblical figures.
Translations available: French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish
Have any likenesses been found of persons named in the Bible? Answer
Biblical accuracy is demonstrated by the amazing discoveries of images of people named in the Bible.
Translations available: Indonesian, Portuguese
Man-made structures mentioned in the bible—Have archaeologists found any? Answer
You’ll be amazed at the number of possibilities that have been unearthed in recent years that seem to verify the existence of numerous Biblical structures.
Translations available: Bulgarian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Did the high priest really enter the Holy of Holies with a ROPE tied around his ankle? Answer
Discover the evidence about this popular, but erroneous story.
Translations available: French, Indonesian
How does one become a biblical archaeologist? Answer
We’ve all heard of biblical archaeologists, but what courses are necessary to become one? What schools are available that offer this type of education?
Lost Day? Long Day?
Joshua’s “long day”—Have NASA computers really proven it? Answer
“So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” (Joshua 10:13b)
Translations available: Bulgarian, French, Indonesian, Portuguese
How can the “long days” of Joshua and Hezekiah be explained? Answer
Read about Eden and the pre-Flood world in God’s Story
Has the Garden of Eden ever been found? Answer
Many Christians naively assume that the Garden of Eden was located near the modern Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Translations available: Dutch, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish
Evidences for Creation Go
Origin of humans Go
Dinosaurs and the Bible Go
Scientific questions about the Bible Go
Noah’s Ark—Has anyone really discovered it? Answer
Over the last two decades the search for Noah’s Ark has received international attention. Dozens of expeditions to the Ararat region of eastern Turkey have occurred, but have any of them produced solid evidence for the existence of Noah’s Ark?
Translations available: Bulgarian, Indonesian, Portuguese
Did Noah need oxygen above the mountains? Answer
If mountain climbers need oxygen tanks to climb Mount Everest, how were Noah, his family, and the animals able to breathe on the Ark when they were above the mountains?
Evidences for the worldwide flood of Noah’s day Go
What is “Gopher Wood”? Answer
Gopher wood is only mentioned once in the Bible in connection with the construction of the Ark (Genesis 6:14). What is it?
Tower of Babel—Is there any reference to the confusion of languages in early Mesopotamian literature? Answer
Translations available: Portuguese
Tower of Babel—Is there archaeological evidence for it? Answer
Also discusses the reasons, methods, and culture surrounding the building of the Tower of Babel, plus research into the building of other ziggurats.
Old Testament Israel
Slings and stones in the Bible. Scripture indicates these were important and deadly military weapons. Has modern archaeology shed light on this part of the ancient arsenal? Answer
What have archaeologists discovered about the biblical city of HAZOR? Answer
site of conquests, triumphs, sin, defeat and major earthquake
Dead Sea Scrolls—What is their importance? Answer
Learn what lead to the magnificent story-book discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, read a description of the Scrolls, and understand the doctrine of the Scrolls.
Translations available: Indonesian, Spanish
What can 792 teeth tell archaeologists about ancient Israelites? Answer
Learn the amazing tale of ancient people buried in a tomb eight miles north of Jerusalem.
Translations available: Bulgarian, French
Ark of the Covenant, lost or found? Answer
Long pondered by the community of Biblical scholarship, the rest of the world began considering this question with the release of the hit motion picture Raider’s of the Lost Ark. Where could it be now?
Translations available: Bahasa Indonesia, French
Ark of the Covenant—Where has it been? Answer
The Lost Ark is still lost—but now we know where it has been! Find out what some scholars believe has been the path of the Ark of the Covenant.
Sodom and Gomorrah—Is there any evidence to suggest that the Biblical story of the destruction by fire and brimstone (sulfur) actually took place? Answer
Translations available: French, Indonesian
The Sons of Jacob—Is there archaeological evidence for these tribal leaders? Answer
Various archaeological findings may support evidence for the existence of Jacob’s sons: Dan, Gad, Asher, and Judah.
Israelites in Egypt—What evidence is there? And has Joseph’s original tomb been found? Answer
A look at the archaeological findings around the land of Rameses, including the Israelites residence and possible find of the home and burial site of Joseph.
Joseph—Is there evidence that he really existed just as the Bible said? Answer
Interesting new discoveries give insight to the Biblical account of Joseph, the Hebrew ruler of Egypt.
Egyptian king, Shishak—What evidence has been discovered? Answer
Shishak is the first Egyptian king to be mentioned by name in the bible and the first foreign king in the Bible for whom we have extra-Biblical evidence. See how archaeology continues to strengthen our faith in the accuracies of the Scriptures.
Balaam, the Prophet—Is there evidence to prove his existence? Answer
A 1967 discovery supports the existence of Balaam, Son of Beor and prophet who was sent to curse the Israelites.
Moabite Stone—What does it reveal about the revolt of Mesha? Answer
What does the record from Mesha (known as the Mesha Inscription or Moabite Stone) reveal about the events surrounding the revolt of Mesha as recorded in 2 Kings 3?
Jericho—Is the Bible accurate concerning the destruction of its walls? Answer [UPDATED]
Much evidence has been uncovered confirming the biblical record.
Translations available: Bulgarian, Spanish
Has the biblical city and story of Jericho been verified? Answer
ANSWER FOR KIDS: Did the walls of Jericho really fall? Answer
Translations available: Dutch
Samson and the Philistines—Did it really happen? Answer
In the story of Samson it says he pulled down an entire temple. Have archaelogists uncovered any information about the validity of this?
Translations available: Indonesian, Spanish
New Testament times
CAPERNAUM—This ancient town played a very significant role in Jesus Christ’s ministry. Have archaeologists confirmed its existence? What amazing things did Jesus do here? What can we learn from this town’s terrible mistake? Find the answers and enjoy the discoveries!
Translations available: Indonesian
When did the Luke 2 census occur? Answer
How can the Bible be correct when claiming that a census decreed by Rome’s Caesar Augustus occurred at the time of Jesus’ birth?
Translations available: Portuguese
Christ’s Birth—Was Jesus born in a stable? Answer
Translations available: Spanish
Christ’s Boat on the Sea of Galilee—Did Jesus really sit on this boat discovered in the Sea of Galilee? Answer
An astonishing archaeological find reveals a boat similar to those described during the times of Jesus. Could this be one of the boats where Jesus sat?
Translations available: Bulgarian
The Cross—On what kind of a cross was Jesus crucified? Answer
There were three different kinds of Roman crosses used during the days of Jesus. What type was used to crucify Jesus?
Translations available: Bulgarian
The Cross—Why do all four Gospels contain different versions of the inscription? Answer
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: they all chronicle the life and death of Jesus Christ. But how can the supposed differences in the inscriptions about the head of Jesus at His crucifixion be explained?
INRI—What do these letters appearing on the crucifix mean? Answer
Have archaeologists discovered evidence of James, the brother of Jesus? (the James ossuary) Answer
Translations available: French
Paul’s Cyprus Travels—What has archaeology revealed? Answer
What are some of the cities that Paul and Barnabas travelled to (Acts 13:4-12)? What did they see along the way during the routes that they used?
Western Wall Tunnel—What’s the truth about this controversial tunnel beneath the Moslem Temple Mount in Jerusalem? Answer
Much interest was focused upon Jerusalem during the violent riots in September of 1996. What can we believe from the news media?
This blog entry is simply a cross section of Old Testament archaeology. Archaeology commences with the ancient Sumerian/Mesopotamian culture, and continues with Egypt and later with the nation of Israel. The inscriptions that enhance our understanding of these civilizations, are written on cylinders, obelisks, ostracon, prisms, potsherds, steles and tablets.Pastor Steve
– Expose Early Culture
You are here: Archaeology >> Biblical Archaeology
Biblical Archaeology: Ancient Civilization
Biblical archaeology really begins with the Sumerian civilization of about 2500 BC. To date, numerous sites and artifacts have been uncovered that reveal a great deal about the ancient Mesopotamian culture. One of the most dramatic finds is the Sumerian King List, which dates to approximately 2100 BC. This collection of clay tablets and prisms is most exciting because it divides the Sumerian kings into two categories; those who reigned before the “great flood” and those who reigned after it. The lists are also dramatic because they include the ages of the kings before and after the “great flood,” which show the same phenomenal life span changes mentioned in the Bible. Actually, records of a global flood are found throughout most ancient cultures. For instance, the Epic of Gilgamesh from the ancient Babylonians contains an extensive flood story. Discovered on clay tablets in locations such as Ninevah and Megiddo, the Epic even includes a hero who built a great ship, filled it with animals, and used birds to see if the water had receded (see Genesis 7-8).
Biblical Archaeology: Ancient Law & Culture
Biblical archaeology continues with the great military civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia and their ultimate impact on law and culture throughout the region. One significant find is the Law Code of Hammurabi, which is a seven foot tall, black diorite carving containing about 300 laws of Babylon’s King Hammurabi (Hammurapi). Dated to about 1750 BC, the Law Code contains many civil laws that are similar to those found in the first five books of the Bible. Another find at the ancient city of Nuzi near the Tigris River uncovered approximately 20,000 clay tablets. Dated between 1500 and 1400 BC, these cuneiform texts explain the culture and customs of the time, many of which are similar to those found in the early books of the Bible.
Biblical Archaeology: Ancient Israel
Biblical archaeology then turns to the evidence for the early Israelites. The Merneptah Stele (also known as the Israel Stele) is an upright stone slab measuring over seven feet tall that contains carved hieroglyphic text dating to approximately 1230 BC. The Egyptian stele describes the military victories of Pharaoh Merneptah and includes the earliest mention of “Israel” outside the Bible. Although the specific battles covered by the stele are not included in the Bible, the stele establishes extra-biblical evidence that the Israelites were already living as a people in ancient Canaan by 1230 BC. In addition to the Stele, a large wall picture was discovered in the great Karnak Temple of Luxor (ancient Thebes), which shows battle scenes between the Egyptians and Israelites. These scenes have also been attributed to Pharaoh Merneptah and date to approximately 1209 BC. The Karnak Temple also contains records of Pharaoh Shishak’s military victories about 280 years later. Specifically, the Shishak Relief depicts Egypt’s victory over King Rehoboam in about 925 BC, when Solomon’s Temple in Judah was plundered. This is the exact event mentioned in 1 Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 12.
Outside Egypt, we also discover a wealth of evidence for the early Israelites. The Moabite Stone (Mesha Stele) is a three-foot stone slab discovered near Dibon ,East of the Dead Sea, that describes the reign of Mesha, King of Moab, around 850 BC. According to Genesis 19, the Moabites were neighbors of the Israelites. The stele covers victories by King Omri and Ahab of Israel against Moab, and Mesha’s later victories on behalf of Moab against King Ahab’s descendants (2 Kings 3). The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser is a seven-foot, four-sided pillar of basalt that describes the victories of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria. Dated to about 841 BC, the Obelisk was discovered in the ancient palace of Nimrud and shows Israel’s King Jehu kneeling before the Assyrian king in humble tribute (see 2 Kings 9-10).
Biblical Archaeology: The House of David and Solomon’s Temple
Biblical archaeology covering ancient Israeli kings and culture received a huge lift in 1994 when archaeologists discovered a stone inscription at the ancient city of Dan, which refers to the “House of David.” The House of David Inscription (Tel Dan Inscription) is important because it’s the first ancient reference to King David outside the Bible. Specifically, the stone is a victory pillar of a King in Damascus dated about 250 years after David’s reign, which mentions a “king of Israel” (probably Joram, son of Ahab) and a king of the “House of David” (probably Ahaziah of Judah). Another important find is the House of Yahweh Ostracon, which is a pottery shard dated to about 800 BC that contains a written receipt for a donation of silver shekels to Solomon’s Temple. Written approximately 130 years after the completion of the Temple, this appears to be the earliest mention of Solomon’s Temple outside the Bible.
•Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser
•Epic of Gilgamesh
•Hammurabi Code of Law
•House of Yahweh Ostracon
•Sumerian King List
•The House of David Inscription
Because of a lack of archaeological discoveries, the very existence of King David has been questioned by skeptics in the recent past. David’s son Solomon was a great builder of the temple and a plethora of other buildings. Herod The Great’s buildings are likewise legendary. David however, was largely nomadic, had no temple, no place to house the Ark of the Covenant, and he reigned for his first seven years from Hebron because the Jebusites still inhabited Jerusalem! Not long ago though, the depiction “House Of David” was located in northern Israel where the tribe of Dan lived. In addition, the new information below about David’s living quarters in Jerusalem is exciting and cutting edge recently discovered archaeology, adding further extra Biblical proof of the existence of the greatest king in Israel’s history. Pastor Steve:
King David-Era Palace Found in Israel, Archaeologists Say Like Dislike
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LiveScience.com by Megan Gannon, News Editor July 20, 2013
King David-Era Palace Found in Israel, Archaeologists Say . View gallery
This aerial picture shows David’s palace and the Byzantine farmhouse that was build on top of it. Archaeologists say they’ve uncovered two royal buildings from Israel’s biblical past, including a palace suspected to have belonged to King David.
The findings at Khirbet Qeiyafa — an fortified hilltop city about 19 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem — indicate that David, who defeated Goliath in the Bible, ruled a kingdom with a great political organization, the excavators say.
“This is unequivocal evidence of a kingdom’s existence, which knew to establish administrative centers at strategic points,” read a statement from archaeologists Yossi Garfinkel of the Hebrew University and Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
The IAA announced the finds as a seven-year long excavation at the site is wrapping up. The government agency and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority have halted the planned construction of a nearby neighborhood, hoping to make the site a national park. [In Photos: Archaeology Around the World]
Garfinkel has previously said Khirbet Qeiyafa could be the site of Shaaraim, a biblical city associated with King David in the Bible. Shaaraim means “two gates” and two gates have been found in the fortress ruins. Others researchers, meanwhile, have claimed this site might be Neta’im, another town mentioned in the book 1 Chronicles in the Old Testatment.
Prior radiocarbon analysis on burnt olive pits at the site indicated that it existed between 1020 B.C. and 980 B.C., before being violently destroyed, likely in a battle against the Philistines. Much of the palace was further wrecked 1,400 years later when a Byzantine farmhouse was built on the site.
The archaeologists found a 100-foot-long (30-meter-long) wall that would have enclosed the palace, and inside the complex they discovered fragments of ceramic and alabaster vessels, some of them imported from Egypt. The researchers say the building was strategically located to overlook the city and the Valley of Elah.
“From here one has an excellent vantage looking out into the distance, from as far as the Mediterranean Sea in the west, to the Hebron Mountains and Jerusalem in the east,” the archaeologists said. “This is an ideal location from which to send messages by means of fire signals.”
The excavators also found a pillared building measuring about 50 feet by 20 feet (15 m by 6 m) that was likely used as an administrative storeroom.
“It was in this building the kingdom stored taxes it received in the form of agricultural produce collected from the residents of the different villages in the Judean Shephelah,” or Judean foothills, the archaeologists said. “Hundreds of large store jars were found at the site whose handles were stamped with an official seal as was customary in the Kingdom of Judah for centuries.”
It has been over a hundred years since the concept of evolutionary uniformitarianism began to be taught as scientific fact. With only a few isolated exceptions up until the past decade, every scientific discussion, every academic lecture, and every technical article that dealt with the past was centered around the framework of evolutionary uniformitarianism.
In the last ten or fifteen years, however, many scientists and laymen alike are waking up to the fact that much solid scientific evidence exists that contradicts evolutionary notions. One of the most shattering pieces of evidence comes from the Paluxy River basin in central Texas, near the town of Glen Rose, where fossilized tracks of man and dinosaur appear together.
History of the Find
The Paluxy River is a paradox in itself. At normal water levels it sparkles calmly through the area and empties into the nearby Brazos River. Often, for several months of the year it is completely dry. At other times it changes into a raging torrent. The river averages a drop of 17 feet per mile and is the second swiftest river in Texas.
The local residents are very much aware of the power of the Paluxy at flood stage. They say that during the worst floods the noise of the rushing water is drowned out by the frightening sound of boulders and rock shelves the size of automobiles grinding and breaking as they are swept downstream.
Man and dinosaur trails together. Dinosaur trail from lower right to upper center. Man trail from lower left to upper right. In right center, the man track is partially superimposed on dinosaur track.
One of the worst floods of record ransacked the generally flat countryside in 1908 when the river rose 27 feet, and it was after this flood that prints began to be spotted. The erosion of a clay layer over a limestone shelf in one area revealed both human and dinosaur tracks, and the removal of an entire shelf in another area exposed others. After this it wasn’t long before numerous similar tracks were discovered throughout the area.
Glen Rose is basically an agricultural community and few of the residents were aware of the meaning of the discovery. News of the prints eventually reached several universities and museums, and scientists were dispatched to study them. In 1938, a trail of brontosaurus tracks was removed from the river bottom under the supervision of the paleontologist, Roland T. Bird, and shipped to the American Museum of National History in New York, to be used in a display.1,2
Mr. Bird commented to one of the local discoverers that he must be mistaken about the man tracks, because man had not yet evolved at the time of the Dinosaurs. He claimed they must have been made by some sort of ape.
But even that possibility would not solve the problem for the evolutionists, for apes and dinosaurs living together would be almost as devastating to the geologic time table as man and dinosaur together.
The Geologic Time Frame
Almost everyone who has taken a course in geology has been required to memorize the geologic time chart. Specifics vary between individual charts, but all show a gradual evolution of life from the late pre-Cambrian period up to the present. The fossil record is sparse highly speculative before the Cambrian which is thought to have witnessed the beginning of abundant marine invertebrate life about 500-600 million years ago. The Cretaceous period is known as the age of dinosaurs and is thought to have spanned about 70 million years, ending at the very latest about 65 million years ago. But man did not appear, according to evolutionists, until around four million years ago, at the earliest.
Dinosaur trail in excavation area. This shelf was sandbagged, and several feet of overburden removed to reveal several trails of both man and dinosaur.
Thus, evolutionists face a dilemma. There is, at the very least, a 60-million-year gap between the age of the dinosaur and the advent of man, a gap during which there should be neither man nor dinosaur. But in Glen Rose, the fossils indicate that man and dinosaur lived not only at the same time but even at the same place! To make matters worse, the particular layer in which the footprints are found is known as the Glen Rose formation, designated lower Cretaceous, and supposedly was laid down early in the Cretaceous period, estimated about 120 million years ago.
Several uniformitarian scientists have been to Glen Rose to view the tracks. One made the following remarkable suggestion: “These man-like tracks couldn’t be true man tracks, because man and dinosaur didn’t live at the same time. Therefore, they must have been made by some undiscovered bipedal dinosaur with feet like human feet!” Another recognized that man must have made the tracks but explained the situation by an equally remarkable deduction: “This find doesn’t disprove evolution; rather, it indicates that man appeared before dinosaurs became extinct and forces a revision of the geologic time scale.”
But what a revision! Since evolutionists estimate about 600 millions years for the evolution of all life, this revision would wipe out at least 20 percent of earth history! And if the time scale has been so wrong in the most recent age, how can we trust it in the dim past?
Two samples of carbonized plant remains found in these strata provide the only real physical data for establishing a firm date according to uniformitarian assumptions. They were dated by the Carbon 14 dating method (which has been shown by creationist scientists to give ages higher than true ages). The calculated ages were 38,000 to 39,000 years before present even though they were found in strata thought to be 100,000,000 years old.3
The creationist does not face such a problem. This evidence harmonizes with a great deal of data indicating that the earth and all its strata are quite young and that all of the earth’s inhabitants were created essentially at the same time. These footprints, (which everyone would agree were man tracks if situated in strata designated as recent), imply the existence of man in the Cretaceous by all modes of logical thought, by the scientific method, and by open-minded analysis of raw data.4
Seldom does one find a perfect footprint in the Glen Rose formation, a print that clearly shows all the features of a human foot. This is as it should be, of course, for a man walking in mud or wet sand without consciously trying to leave good tracks will slip, change stride, alter directions, stop or do other things that will mar his trail. Evolutionists have sometimes said that these markings are merely erosional features, or that they are not sufficiently detailed to be designated as man tracks. Such explanations, however, miss the mark.
Perhaps the most complete man track located in Paluxy in recent years. Notice distinct toe markings, pressure ridges between toes, “mud up-push” on side of big toe and above it, and arch. Print is 13 inches long.
Several tell-tale signs should be present if a marking is to be identified either as a man track or as a track of any sort of animal. Walking in mud not only produces an indentation where the foot sank down, but invariably also produces a “mud up-push,” a place where the surrounding mud has been pushed up higher than it was before. Generally, this occurs around the outside of the foot, behind the heel, and adjacent to the big toe and ball of the foot — places where most of the weight of the body was borne by the mud itself. “Erosional processes” would obviously not leave a “mud up-push” or pressure ridges around an elongated marking — features which are common in the Glen Rose tracks.
Another feature is not so easy to discern, but again is consistent with simple logic. The weight of the man or animal making the track not only deforms the mud, but causes vertical displacement below the foot. As the mud is forced down into the subsurface, it becomes compacted, the amount of compaction decreasing with depth. If the mud has any layers of discoloration or special composition, these laminations will deform beneath the print. Unless the print were originally made on a steep slope, such that the striations become visible on the surface, the only way to see these deformed laminations is by removing the print and slicing it open in a laboratory. Even in the case of a smooth, homogenous material, the pressure will tend to cause a slight line of metamorphism or change in crystallization below the track.
What has been designated as a sabre-toothed tiger print was removed from river and sectioned. Pressure striations are clearly seen following contour of print. Photo: Burdick.
These lines of stratification will bend downward to assume a contour essentially parallel to the contour of the foot. In the case of fossil footprints in limestone, we are dealing with rock material that once was a layer of sediments. There is no conceivable way to produce such striations artificially, but they may be present if the tracks are genuine. The absence of deformed laminations does not disprove genuineness, as may be demonstrated by a section through a plaster-of-paris mold in which a footprint had been made while the plaster was soft.
In times past, several prints were removed from the river and some of these have been sectioned in this manner. At the present time, it is illegal to remove any track from its original position and so this method of analysis is limited. Of those that have been sawed open, however (and despite some claims to the contrary), some indeed have shown the tell-tale laminations, including a “sabre-toothed tiger” track and at least one human track.
To identify a tract in situ as a bona fide man track is not an easy task. Several criteria have been established to distinguish such a track from a freak rock formation and a man track from that of an animal. First of all, the track must be consistent with the general contour of the human foot. The ball of the foot is generally most easily preserved along with the arch and heel. Individual toe depressions are rare, but generally toe markings, made as the foot left the newly formed print, are preserved.
Man tracks in obvious stride. Site of excavation by Films for Christ and later by ICR under direction of Mike Turnage. Photo: Turnage.
Quite commonly, as might be expected, the ball of the foot leaves the deepest impression, due to the fact that the entire weight of the body concentrates in this spot while walking, just before the opposite foot strikes the ground. At this point the heel is off the ground and mud is squeezed up between the toes, as they are pressed into the mud. Generally, these toe ridges were too fragile to be preserved, although in many cases they can be seen.
Even if a perfect human footprint were found, it would not be very convincing unless it were found as one of a series, a right-left-right-left trail of prints, all conformable to one another in size and shape. The prints should be separated by a relatively consistent length, representing the stride of the individual, and laterally by a few inches representing the natural straddle between the two feet. This trail should trend in one direction and each individual track should also be oriented in that same direction. The size of the tracks should be reasonable when compared to the length of the stride.
It is estimated that over a hundred such trails have been studied in the Paluxy River area. When an evolutionist claims that such tracks are simply erosional features (i.e., that erosion has consistently carved out man-like tracks in proper sequence) he must exercise the same blind faith and disregard for data that he uses when claiming that random mutations can produce complex ordered systems.
Prints of different sizes are often found together. Twelve feet to the lower left is trail of man with 21 l/2 inch feet. Between the trails is a dinosaur trail.
The great majority of these tracks are in the normal range of adult foot size today, from about shoe size 7 to 13. However, a number of prints of small children are found with the larger ones. Sometimes the prints appear to be made by a moccasin or wrapping covering the print. Unconfirmed reports persist of a nearby trail so detailed that the lacing on the moccasin was clearly visible. Most, however, are unshod.5
One aspect that has caused no little amount of speculation has been the presence of giant tracks, prints made by individuals with huge feet and huge strides. It may be that humans before the Flood were much larger on the average than today. This is consistent with the fossil record, which frequently exhibits animals larger than their modern-day counterparts. Scripture may provide an insight when it claims so matter of factly that “There were giants in the earth in those days” (Genesis 6:4). Quite a few of the tracks are in the 16-inch range, but several trails are of a man with a seven-foot stride and a foot of 21 1/2 inches in length.6 Whether or not there is any connection, has not yet been determined, but several years ago the skeleton of a woman seven feet tall was excavated from the Paluxy River Basin and exhibited in the Somervell County Museum in Glen Rose.
The Problem of Carved Tracts
Accusations have arisen from still another front. Skeptics have claimed that the prints are carvings, not real prints at all. Unfortunately, this charge has some basis; in fact, several enterprising Texans from Glen Rose did make their living during the Great Depression by digging out the best tracks and selling them. The going price ranged from $10 to $25, and the dinosaur tracks were much more in demand than the man tracks. Soon, however, the best tracks were gone and a few men began to carve new tracks (especially dinosaur tracks) out of any limestone block available. As near as researchers can determine, however, only a very few “man tracks” were carved, probably less than six, certainly less than ten. These were all giant tracks, ranging from 16 to 20 inches in length and showed all features of the foot. These counterfeit tracks do not, of course, disprove the genuine tracks. In fact, it could only have been the existence of genuine tracks that made the manufacture of counterfeits profitable.
One of the many carved footprints found on a rock ledge with numerous genuine animal prints near Alex, Oklahoma. Note: unnatural contour, no “mud up-push,” no arch. Prints were not in sequence.
These carved tracks are all produced after carving the block of limestone out of the river first. No one would ever sit down and carve out a series of imperfect tracks in the river bottom and leave these simply to rile the evolutionists! And many of the tracks have been recently uncovered (by Taylor, Dougherty and others) by excavation of the banks of the river and even in construction sites nearby. There can be no doubt whatsoever that the human tracks in situ are true tracks and not carvings. One who would make such a charge is obviously grasping at straws. A number of individuals have gone to Glen Rose to see whether there are any human tracks there, and have been unable to find them, reporting then to outsiders that the whole story is fallacious. The problem was simply that they did not know where to look. Many, of course, were skeptical and tended to jump to negative conclusions too quickly. The fact is, however, that there really are many tracks there which, to all appearances, were made by real human beings who lived at the same time as the dinosaurs.
Formation of the Tracts
Three geologic units bear on the existence of the tracks: (1) The Paluxy Formation, (2) The Glen Rose Formation, (3) The Twin Mountains Formation, which comprise the Trinity Group. The Twin Mountains Formation immediately underlies the track-containing Glen Rose Formation and is the oldest Cretaceous layer in Central Texas.
The Glen Rose Formation is described as “Limestone, alternating with units composed of variable amounts of clay, marl, and sand. Limestone, distinctly bedded, in part with variable amounts of clay, silt, and sand, soft to hard, in various shades of brownish yellow and grey. Gradational to Paluxy Formation above and Twin Mountain Formation below, bench-forming beds included in the Glen Rose Formation. Thickness 40-200 feet, thins northward.”7
Physically, the Glen Rose Formation consists of shelves of limestone, generally 60 to 10 inches thick separated by layers of bluish day, coarse conglomerate or limey marl, generally 12 to 18 inches thick, although dimensions at any one point vary widely. Tracts are found in several of the layers of limestone as they are exposed by river erosion. In fact, man tracks have even been found in layers below units containing dinosaur tracks! This interbedding seems to be cyclic in nature and has seemingly been repeated seven times within the Glen Rose Formation.
The evolutionary interpretation of the formation would include consistent transgression and regression of the sea, each stage laying down strata in the general sequence of subtidal, restricted, intertidal, supratidal, and marsh deposits. The fact that all of the deposits are from regressive phases is usually explained as simply due to the fact that the transgression phase was poorly developed. Fossils from land, margin, and sea areas are found throughout the formation and brand it as a lagoon or bay depositional system.8
But there are some major problems with this interpretation, not the least of which is that corresponding members of the cycles in the formation are uniform in composition and fossil content, even though a great length of time, on the order of several million years, is represented. To expect this lagoon to remain completely unchanged throughout seven major changes in sea level is unreasonable. Problems are compounded by the fact that most of the fossils clearly represent plants and animals buried alive, by massive inundations of water laden with the organisms.
The conclusive evidence of rapid formation, however, is the fact that tracks exist in the limestone. Forget for a moment that man, bear, sabre-toothed tiger, mammoth, and dinosaur tracks appear together, for just the fact that the tracks are preserved at all is incompatible with the uniformitarian model.
Consider how a track is made and then preserved. First, a layer of mud must be deposited. This mud must contain a stabilizer of some sort; in this case, lime, in order for it to begin to turn to stone. Once a print is made, it will not last for any length of time at all, particularly in a water environment, and so the mud must quickly harden to protect the print from erosion. But even a print in hardening rock will eventually disappear unless other preservative steps are taken. No doubt, soon after the print was made, a layer of clay, sand, and gravel washed in, filling the print with a different material, preserving its integrity and not allowing further erosion to take place. In places where the mud had not sufficiently hardened, the gravel matrix itself would have destroyed it. Once the print was preserved, nothing could alter it while the mud continued hardening into firm limestone.
These steps are somewhat speculative, but some similar process is necessary. At any rate, the process must be rapid. A print in mud will disappear within a few days. Any exposed print in hard rock will disappear in a few years. The hardening mud must be protected by an overlying layer, but the deposition of that layer must not destroy the print. There is no room here for millions or even hundreds of years. The process has to happen fast. But the process is undoubtedly rare, as evidenced by the fact that fossil footprints are relatively rare on a worldwide scale.
The evidence presented by the basal Cretaceous rocks in Central Texas is incompatible with uniformitarian geology. The addition of the fossil footprints is icing on the cake. However, catastrophists have not yet come up with a complete solution to the problem either. Although the basic framework is compatible with the evidence, the details are lacking.
The creation record in Genesis indicates that man and dinosaur did indeed live together. Man was created on the sixth day of creation week and dinosaurs probably on the fifth. A proper translation of Genesis 1:21 would read “and God created great dragons” or probably “sea monsters.” Dinosaurs evidently survived the Flood, either on board Noah’s Ark or somehow surviving outside. Job, who lived soon after the Flood, was familiar with these creatures and detailed descriptions of two types of dinosaurs (translated “behemoth” and “leviathan”) are given in Job 40:15-21, and 41:1-34.
The main problem of geologic interpretation for Biblical catastrophists stems from the fact that underlying the Paluxy River basin is nearly 8,500 feet of sedimentary rock. According to the catastrophic model, this must all have been laid down by the Flood of Noah’s day. The problem is how could man and dinosaur witness such massive deposition at the beginning stages of the Flood and survive long enough to leave their prints so high up in the geologic column? Just to the east, the strata dip away and plunge into the Gulf Coast Basin, where similar sequences of strata are 50,000 feet thick in places. It seems unreasonable that man could have postponed annihilation for so long.
Some creationists have postulated that the print-bearing formations are post-Flood, most likely made during the closing years of the Ice Age as huge volumes of melt water once again deposited sediments. Certainly man was in North America by the time of the Ice Age, for his fossils are found in glacial deposits. And probably dinosaurs were here also, for pictographs of them have been found etched into the wall of a canyon in Arizona, made by some early tribe inhabiting the region.
But this cannot be. The strata in central Texas are definitely of marine origin. The composition of the rocks testifies to a mixing of fresh and salt water. The fossils are also mixed land and marine organisms; even a thick layer of fossil clams, all buried alive, has been found in strata less than 100 feet above the track-bearing layers. To the east the beds are conformable and thick, and are undoubtedly ocean flood deposits.
To the southwest of Glen Rose lies a possible answer. Almost in the very center of Texas a pre-Cambrian granite has been forced to the surface. A nearly circular feature, with a diameter of about 60 miles, the Llano Uplift, forms a stratigraphic high.9 This highly resistant basement rock was evidently being uplifted at the beginning stages of the Flood because it received only minimal amounts of the earliest sediments and projected above the waters of the Flood until the very late stages. The strata on all sides not only dip away from this feature, due to a combination of its uplift with sinking of the adjacent basins, but pinch out or become thinner as they near it, indicating that the uplift did not receive these sediments. The rock on either side is totally different indicating that the uplift and its northerly extension formed a temporary barrier that separated two bodies of Flood waters during the beginning stages of the Deluge.
The conclusion seems justified that the Llano Uplift was one of the last areas to be inundated by the Flood. Man and some of the more mobile animals would surely have sought the highest ground for safety, which, in this region, would have been this great rock mass. Perhaps here the men built rafts in a futile effort to save themselves, although this is speculation, to be sure.
The rim of the Gulf Coast Basin swings northward with a circular arc from the Llano Uplift. Glen Rose is only about 25 miles from the high point of that rim, and only about 100 miles from the uplift itself. It is not at all inconceivable that a few hardy souls, both man and beast, could have survived for many days in the uplift area as the Flood waters relentlessly advanced. To surmise how they got to the Glen Rose area would not be best, but perhaps if tidal or tectonic activities caused a temporary lowering of the local water level, it is possible that by following the ridge or on rafts they made the journey, looking for safety.
The preceding synthesis should definitely not be considered yet as established fact. It is a workable solution that is harmonious with all geologic facts that have come to the author’s attention. But a great deal more work needs to be done. The Institute for Creation Research has been actively interested in this fascinating and important area, as well as other sites of anomalous fossils, and has sponsored several field studies there. The author has spent three periods there under ICR sponsorship, and Houston biologist Mike Turnage has also led ICR teams there on two occasions. New tracks were identified each time, both man and dinosaur.
In August of 1975, Drs. Clifford Burdick and Harold Slusher revisited the area, studying a number of Dr. Dougherty’s sites for ICR, as did Dr. Ed Blick and the author in October, 1975. Conditions were excellent and numerous new prints were discovered, including what seems to be the most precise print ever photographed in situ. Plans are being made to sponsor excavation work during July and August of 1976 in the most promising area, with the aid of Dr. C. N. Dougherty, local footprint investigator, and volunteer workers.10
So much evidence has come from Glen Rose indicating a vast discrepancy in the geologic time table that those who disagree with the conclusions must fit into one of two categories: (1) They have not sufficiently investigated the evidence, or (2) They have not studied it with an open mind. Once again, in the case of the Paluxy River Basin, where man tracks and dinosaur tracks are found in the same strata, strata clearly laid down by catastrophic methods, true science has been shown to harmonize much better with the predictions of the creation-catastrophe model, than those of the evolutionary-uniformitarian model.
1 Roland T. Bird, “Thunder in His Footsteps,” Natural History (May, 1939).
2 Clifford L. Burdick, “When Reptiles Ruled the Earth,” Signs of the Times (May, 1955). [Dr. Burdick, a creationist geologist, has been doing research on these tracks since 1945 when they first came to the attention of a number of creationist scientists in the old Society for the Study of Creation, the Deluge and Related Sciences. Photographs taken by him were published in l961 in The Genesis Flood by Dr. Henry Morris, who had been a member of that Society at the time and was teaching at Rice Institute in 1945 when Dr. Burdick, E. L. Beddoe, Ben F. Allen, and others began corresponding with him about them. These photographs in The Genesis Flood rekindled interest in the tracks, and led to the further research which has confirmed their authenticity.]
3 According to reports from dating laboratories employed by Stanley Taylor [producer of a motion picture documenting the tracks, “Footprints in Stone”] to determine radiocarbon dates on these samples.
4 A. Wilder Smith, Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny, (Wheaton, Ill.: Harold Shaw Co., 1968), pp. 135-141, 293-299. [Dr. Smith, intrigued by the photographs in The Genesis Flood, later made a special trip to Glen Rose all the way from Germany, with Dr. Burdick in order to get further documentation and photographs for his own book.]
5 Stanley E. Taylor, “The Mystery Tracts in Dinosaur Valley,” Bible-Science Newsletter (April 15, 1971). See also movie “Footprints in Stone,” (Producer Stanley E. Taylor, Films for Christ, Elmwood, Ill.). [Taylor’s excavations in connection with the production of this film uncovered many new tracks, both human and dinosaur. In recent years (1972-76) this film has been shown very widely, including showings in about 300 public high schools, and has been attracting much interest. Though some scientists viewing it have reacted angrily and incredulously, none have been able to refute its strong evidence.]
6 C. N. Dougherty, Valley of the Giants, 4th ed. (Published by the author: Glen Rose, 1967). [Dr. Dougherty is a local chiropractor in Glen Rose who has found many additional tracks in the area after Taylor had completed his own work there.]
7 The Geologic Atlas of Texas, Dallas Sheet (University of Texas at Austin, 1972).
8 J. Stewart Nagle, “Glen Rose Cycles and Facies, Paluxy River Valley, Somervell County, Texas,” Bureau of Economic Geology, Geologic Circular 68-1 (University of Texas at Austin, 1968).
9 “Geologic Highway Map of Texas,” AAPG.
10 Students or others willing to help in this work, and who can provide their own expenses, should contact the author in care of the Institute for Creation Research headquarters office, 2716 Madison Ave., San Diego, CA 92116.
* Dr. John Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, J. D. 1976. The Paluxy River Tracks. Acts & Facts. 5 (5).
Paluxy River: The Tale of the Trails
Rethinking Carbon-14 Dating: What Does It Really Tell Us about the Age of the Earth?
Engineered Protein ‘Evolution’ Proves Biological Complexity
God’s Amazing Invertebrates: The Missing Links Are Still Missing
Epigenetics Proves Humans and Chimps Are Different
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“Have mercy upon me, O God.” Psalm 51:1
When Dr. Carey was suffering from a dangerous illness, the enquiry was made, “If this sickness should prove fatal, what passage would you select as the text for your funeral sermon?” He replied, “Oh, I feel that such a poor sinful creature is unworthy to have anything said about him; but if a funeral sermon must be preached, let it be from the words, ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.'” In the same spirit of humility he directed in his will that the following inscription and nothing more should be cut on his gravestone:—
BORN AUGUST 17th, 1761: DIED—
“A wretched, poor, and helpless worm
On Thy kind arms I fall.”
Only on the footing of free grace can the most experienced and most honoured of the saints approach their God. The best of men are conscious above all others that they are men at the best. Empty boats float high, but heavily laden vessels are low in the water; mere professors can boast, but true children of God cry for mercy upon their unprofitableness. We have need that the Lord should have mercy upon our good works, our prayers, our preachings, our alms-givings, and our holiest things. The blood was not only sprinkled upon the doorposts of Israel’s dwelling houses, but upon the sanctuary, the mercy-seat, and the altar, because as sin intrudes into our holiest things, the blood of Jesus is needed to purify them from defilement. If mercy be needed to be exercised towards our duties, what shall be said of our sins? How sweet the remembrance that inexhaustible mercy is waiting to be gracious to us, to restore our backslidings, and make our broken bones rejoice!
“All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.” Numbers 6:4
Nazarites had taken, among other vows, one which debarred them from the use of wine. In order that they might not violate the obligation, they were forbidden to drink the vinegar of wine or strong liquors, and to make the rule still more clear, they were not to touch the unfermented juice of grapes, nor even to eat the fruit either fresh or dried. In order, altogether, to secure the integrity of the vow, they were not even allowed anything that had to do with the vine; they were, in fact, to avoid the appearance of evil. Surely this is a lesson to the Lord’s separated ones, teaching them to come away from sin in every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes, but even its spirit and similitude. Strict walking is much despised in these days, but rest assured, dear reader, it is both the safest and the happiest. He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah. A little crevice in the sea-bank in Holland lets in the sea, and the gap speedily swells till a province is drowned. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to presumptuous sins. Moreover, as the Nazarite who drank grape juice could not be quite sure whether it might not have endured a degree of fermentation, and consequently could not be clear in heart that his vow was intact, so the yielding, temporizing Christian cannot wear a conscience void of offence, but must feel that the inward monitor is in doubt of him. Things doubtful we need not doubt about; they are wrong to us. Things tempting we must not dally with, but flee from them with speed. Better be sneered at as a Puritan than be despised as a hypocrite. Careful walking may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of its own which are more than a sufficient recompense.
—Morning and Evening
164 articles that were compiled over about two years, were moved to this site in August, 2013. The best way to navigate the articles, in order to find a specific teaching/theme/topic, is by scrolling through the categories located at the top of the home page. Additionally, at the bottom of each page one can find archives by month and year, the five most recent posts, the last three comments, and another listing of the categories. Please note the “older posts” icon at the bottom of long pages, which indicates the category keeps on going and there are more postings. New articles will be added from this date (August, 2013). Christians who are truly “born again (John 3:3),” and believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures, will concur with most of the doctrine in this blog. One possible exception could be within the theme of current events which covers my political opinions. In this category I believe we would usually agree in principle, but not in every detail. Like you, sometimes I learn more and change my opinion in politics and current events. The scriptures, however, are a constant and never change. We change our understanding of God’s truth ONLY when God gives us further revelation. In His Service, Pastor Steve
In two short weeks from this writing, two groups plan to march on Washington, D.C. One million Muslims will descend on our nation’s capitol in order to protest their perceived discriminations since the events exactly twelve years ago on the date of the march. Do you remember? Do you recall the total acceptance and even jubilation of the entire Muslim world without any dissent whatsoever? [And there still is none]. Yes indeed, they are busy planning on building a mosque on this newly conquered turf, whereby their “heroes” flew jet airliners into massive buildings and killed thousands of innocent civilians. Another group of two million bikers are planning on arriving in Washington ON THE SAME DAY in order to honor, respect and remember the slain from these massive terror attacks. The Muslims’ desire sounds stark raving mad to do such a thing. The bikers’ goal sounds like an all American desire, in order to counter this insanity. Muslim theology is best summed up succinctly in Genesis 16:12, and the verse holds true to this day. Their founders’ beliefs to take over the world through eliminating anyone who is not a Muslim, has not changed a bit in their 1400 year history. Mohammad killed on the Arabian peninsula as their opening act, and they continue with the west currently in their crosshairs. Incidentally, how would you like to be a uniformed law enforcement officer in Washington, D.C. on this date?
As Christians, we need to pray for a peaceful outcome to this potentially volatile powder keg. We also need to pray that Muslims realize that we Americans love our freedoms, and will not allow sharia law to take over. If you are not aware of the real agenda of Islam, please refer to the category in this blog site on radical Islam, which covers their entire history. In Christ, Pastor Steve
Twin killings have happened during this past week and in both cases the perpetrators said they did it for the thrill of it, and were both senseless random acts of violence. Christopher Lane, from Australia, was a college student and baseball player. He was shot in the back for no reason in Oklahoma. This past Wednesday, World War II veteran Delbert “Shorty” Belton, 88 years of age, was in the parking lot of his favorite hangout– The Eagles Lodge, in Spokane, Washington, waiting for a buddy to go bowling with. Shorty survived Okinawa, and received a purple heart for being shot in the leg. Shorty was robbed and beat up in the parking lot, however, and left dead.
The murderers in both crimes have been apprehended and most were found to be African Americans. Conspicuously absent from these awful deeds, was any comment from our civil rights leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Jackson made an anemic response after public pressure, but only a mere generic comment or two. A far cry from the recent Zimmerman case indeed! Over the years, I have spoken to people of many ethnic groups, and a lack of respect for Sharpton and Jackson is a common denominator with most. These two “Reverends” seem to be racists in reverse. They are not legitimate successors to Martin Luther King in my opinion. The fact is, neither can hold a candle to him. MLK, although rightfully wanting to elevate black Americans, was truly desirous for a brotherhood of man and one could feel the way he was “glue” to all people. Furthermore, Dr. Martin Luther King could preach strong messages as he was lifted up by the Holy Spirit. I respect King greatly. Jackson and Sharpton, however, are incessant whiners, they polarize Americans rather than unite them, and they target specific national incidents that promote ONLY their own agenda. Now we plainly see how they totally ignore cases where the shoe is on the other foot.