The fate of the 12 Apostles is an interesting topic, and many arguments supporting the reliability of Scripture are built upon the martyrdom of the Apostles as described in extra-Biblical sources and apocryphal writings. Many of these sources are wildly imaginative and unreliable, but we can learn from them nonetheless.
Sometimes you don’t have to go very far to check things out. Several months ago, the Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) ran a lead article about the recent discovery of the Tomb of the Apostle Philip in Hierapolis, Turkey, which was updated in this January 2012 Bible History Daily post. The original article mentioned that an interesting artifact depicting the recently uncovered site was on display in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. This artifact is a sixth-century bronze bread stamp that was found at Hierapolis. Details about the artifact are summarized in this Discovery News post. This was too good to pass up, so several friends and I made a day trip to Richmond and came back with the following photograph (shot through the glass with my pocket camera).
The 4-inch bread stamp labels the figure in Greek as Hagios Philippos (St. Philip), and another Greek inscription around the edge quotes from Isaiah 6:3: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts; heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.”
You can chase down the fascinating details of this news story—which is still unfolding as the archaeologists continue to work and report their findings—by clicking on the hyperlinks above, and gain insight into what happened to the Apostle Philip (and Bartholomew) after he accepted his great commission. But that’s not the point of this post.
The point is that Biblical archaeology is a vibrant, richly productive, and ever-changing field—full of ongoing discoveries that shed light on the Bible. A little effort can go a long way to discovering new, rich insights to the veracity of Scripture. And sometimes great discoveries are just a click or two on a hyperlink away.
Would you like to see more of these discoveries? How many of them are there? Lots!
Sometimes you can Google your way to great information, but sometimes there is more beneath the surface than any search engine can succinctly summarize in response to your search query. This blog is all about sharing resources, so here are two that provide an ocean of archaeological discoveries for your consideration. And they both happen to be actively sharing late-breaking information on the cutting edge of Biblical archaeology.
The first source packs great, professional teaching into a searchable, fascinating, contemporary catalog of discoveries. It’s called (oddly enough) Ferrell’s Travel Blog and the name belies the wealth of top-drawer research that Professor Ferrell Jenkins has tied up in this site. Spend some time here, and you will discover an indispensable addition to your Disciple’s toolbox. Rather than just casually browsing through the posts, try jumping off on the side links, and use the Search box to investigate any topic you like.
The second site is also a blog (which I found from Ferrell’s Travel Blog). It’s called the BiblePlaces.com Blog, and in addition to its energetic reporting of contemporary topics, their treatment and responses to ongoing controversies in the field of Biblical archaeology are impressive. They are high integrity, and out in front of late-breaking events. Another impressive addition to your toolbox.
Follow both of these blogs and you will be richly blessed. Enjoy!