I used to live near a Civil War battlefield in southeastern Missouri. Residents of the county were proud of their history. They pointed to the county courthouse and the patched holes caused by cannon balls from Confederate artillery.
Did you know the ancient Romans had artillery? No, they didn’t have cannons that fired projectiles which exploded. But they did use sophisticated catapults to sling round stones to batter down the city walls of their enemies. Many were about the size of a soccer ball. Recently, archaeologists unearthed these rocks, called ballista, in Jerusalem.*
Why is this important? Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 24:1-2, ‘Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”’ (NIV) Jesus went on to explain the terrible suffering the destruction would bring.
Did it happen? Well, the historian Josephus recorded that Rome besieged Jerusalem in 70 A.D. They focused the assault on the northwest side of the city. Do you know where they found all the ballista stones? The northwest side of the old city walls.
Once again archaeology has confirmed biblical events. But it is more interesting, than that. Archaeology confirms the account of a non-biblical historian. And both confirm the events predict by Jesus occurred.
*Ian Randall, “Archaeology: Weaponry used in the destruction of Jerusalem’s Second Temple unearthed,” Daily Express, August 14, 2022, https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1655013/archaeology-weaponry-used-destruction-jerusalem-second-temple-unearthed
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