Sodom, Pontius Pilate, and Archaeology

A modern verification of an ancient event and tangible evidence of an ancient person. And once again, biblical history is verified.


Our team of thinkers and writers at the Colson Center are archaeology nerds. Seriously, we get giddy whenever another archaeological discovery sheds light on biblical narratives or confirms their historical accuracy. And even more fun, it seems to happen all the time these days.

Keep in mind that biblical faith is grounded in historical events, events to which the Bible testifies. This is one of the factors that sets the Bible apart from other religious texts. Recently, two announcements made illustrate the truthfulness of Scripture, one in a spectacular way and the other more quietly.

The spectacular illustration was the subject of a recent presentation at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, held here in Colorado. At the meeting, Archaeologist Phillip J. Silvia of Trinity Southwest University reported on what his team found in Jordan just north of the Dead Sea.

“Samples from the site show that an extremely hot, explosive event,” in all likelihood an exploding meteor, “leveled an area of almost 200 square miles including the Middle Ghor – a circular plain to the north of the Dead Sea.” The blast not only destroyed “100 percent of the Middle Bronze Age cities and towns” in the area, it rendered the area unsuitable for agriculture for about six centuries.

Now unless you dig things blowing up, you might be wondering “What’s the big deal?” After all, in 1908 a similar blast in Siberia leveled more than 500 square miles.

Well, what makes this “extremely hot” event extremely cool is the date and location. Silvia and his team are convinced that “the explosive event” occurred around 3,700 years ago, which is about the same time that Abraham and his nephew Lot were sojourning in the area. And in that area is the Bronze-Age site of Tall el-Hammam, which Silvia’s colleague at Trinity Southwest, Steven Collins, believes could be the site of the biblical city of Sodom.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera