Comments

This article documents 53 strong identifications of people mentioned in the Hebrew Bible/Tanakh/Old Testament in inscriptions of their times that are known to be authentic. It was published as the web supplement to provide documentation of the research that undergirds the content of two articles in Biblical Archaeology Review, but it does not contain the two articles themselves. Rather, it is the "exclusive web supplement" that provides the documentation that did not accompany the two articles in the printed magazine.

It is also found online in the Bible History Daily web pages of the Biblical Archaeology Society, specifically at https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/people-in-the-bible/50-people-in-the-bible-confirmed-archaeologically/ with a few slight differences in wording.

The two articles by Mykytiuk for which it provides documentation are: “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible” in the March/April 2014 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), and a follow-up article, “Archaeology Confirms 3 More Bible People,” published in the May/June 2017 issue of BAR.

This article is the fruit of continual analysis of more and more ancient Near Eastern inscriptions according to the protocols and criteria established in Mykytiuk's published dissertation (2004), as amended in an 84-page article that corrects and updates that book (2009) and as further developed in a book chapter (2012) that summarizes the best of the early results and updates them (see the abstract for bibliography).

Abstract

This is a list, with end-note documentation, of 53 people in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament who are strongly identified in published inscriptions of known authenticity, in most instances from during or quite close to their lifetimes. It includes people from ancient Egypt, Moab, Aram-Damascus, the northern kingdom of Israel, the southern kingdom of Judah, Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia.

The intent is to include only well-grounded, strong identifications that can be trusted.

Mykytiuk's publications firmly reject the haphazard, "flying by the seat of the pants" approach of numerous online lists which are created without explicit criteria or by suspect use of ad hoc criteria, all of which easily produce results that are desired but often questionable at best, or in some instances based on forgeries, rather than winnowed by rigorous critique.

The list is the result of applying the protocols and identification criteria established in Mykytiuk’s published dissertation, Identifying Biblical Persons in Northwest Semitic Inscriptions of 1200‒539 B.C.E. (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004), as amended by his article, “Corrections and Updates to [that title],” Maarav 16.1 (2009): 49–132. The identification protocols, criteria, and some early results are summarized and further updated in his book chapter, "Sixteen Strong Identifications of Biblical Persons (Plus Nine Other Identifications) in Authentic Northwest Semitic Inscriptions from before 539 B.C.E.," in Meir Lubetski and Edith Lubetski, eds., New Inscriptions and Seals Relating to the Biblical World (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012), 35-58.z

Keywords

ancient Israel, biblical archaeology, biblical historicity, historical reliability, people in the Bible

Date of this Version

4-12-2017