Confirmed Earthquakes in the Bible

Earthquakes happen 12,000 times a year, and twice in the Bible. Let’s take a look.

Image result for epic earthquake

Amos 1:1: The words of Amos, who was one of the sheep breeders from Tekoa—what he saw regarding Israel in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

The first earthquake is recorded in the Book of Amos, and also is a major help to dating the document. Amos tells us in Amos 1:1 that the events he writes of happened “two years before the earthquake” — Amos plainly tells his readers that he is writing two years before “the earthquake”, and it is therefore safe to assume that Amos understans his audience knows that his readers know what earthquake he is talking about as it was a very recent event for them . And indeed, this earthquake has been located and identified. Amos also tells us that he is writing in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam, king of Israel, which means that if an earthquake really happened here, it should take place about 780-740 BC (the time of the reign of these kings). And indeed, in 2000, a paper was published by three geologists titled Amos’s Earthquake: An Extraordinary Middle East Seismic Event of 750 B.C. In this papers, the geologists analyze the stratigraphy of the Dead Sea and walls of ancient constructions, and discovered that in Judah, about 750 BC (+/- 30 years), an overwhelming 8.2 magnitude earthquake took place, which by any means of measurement, is utterly enormous. This fact corroborates the account of Amos, which is self-dated by the reigns of Uzziah and Jeroboam to about 750 BC as well.

The second earthquake of the Bible is more well-known, and is explicitly mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew as having took place shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus ca. 30-33 AD.

Matthew 28:2: Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, we are told an earthquake miraculously took place, devastating the surrounding region as a consequence of the death of Jesus, the true Messiah. In 2012, the journal International Geology Review published a study, where a geologist found and confirmed that somewhere between 26-36 AD in Jerusalem, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake ruptured the region, in the perfect time allotted to the historical record of Matthew’s Gospel. A fantastic achievement indeed, verifying the historicity of the biblical earthquake.

Matthew 27:54: When the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “This man really was God’s Son!”

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11 thoughts on “Confirmed Earthquakes in the Bible

  1. Just in case anyone doesn’t want to read the article …

    …. was in effect ‘borrowed’ by the author of the Gospel of Matthew, and a local earthquake between 26 and 36 AD that was sufficiently energetic to deform the sediments at Ein Gedi but not energetic enough to produce a still extant and extra-biblical historical record. If the last possibility is true, this would mean that the report of an earthquake in the Gospel of Matthew is a type of allegory.

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    • “Same sort of nonsense as the claims about bone boxes, and the house in Nazareth.”

      Sorry buddy boy, the James ossuary remains authentic and there is still yet to be a single critical scholar on Earth who doesn’t think Nazareth was around in the time of Jesus. There’s a house in Nazareth in Jesus’ time, a farm, an entire town. Good try.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nazareth:
        Bagatti found nothing that would suggest any village or town or city and the Catholic church dug there for a long time.
        The scant evidence recovered from the site is limited to coins and the funerary lamps. Can you name the scholars this material has been submitted to for review and analysis outside of the IAA?
        You need to do some genuine homework. … buddy boy
        Sadly those that have ventured here or engaged you elsewhere know you are an indoctrinated fundamentalist.
        Next up you will be making claims the biblical Exodus was a true historical event.

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      • “…review and analysis outside of the IAA”

        Why would I NOT cite the IAA (Israel Antiquities Authority), LOL? It looks as if I am being requested to cite a source, as long as the sources available on this don’t count. Quite hilarious.

        There remains to be a single critical scholar who has contested the existence of Nazareth during the lifetime of Jesus. The very excavators of Nazareth have not even noticed such ridiculous people arguing this (the obscure Robert Price and Rene Salm, most scholars whom have never heard of either one).

        A good discussion on some of the findings from the time of Jesus in his childhood at Nazareth are described in this article;
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/21/nazareth-dwelling-discovery-jesus

        “Next up you will be making claims the biblical Exodus was a true historical event.”

        Ark, we’ve already been there and had that discussion. Why don’t you just read a book on this or something instead of continuing to waste my time. ‘Did I Not Bring Israel Out of Egypt’ (2016) is a good place to start.

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      • So you admit that the Exodus as described is simply a work of fiction, yes?

        You must remember that you are a fundamentalist – are you YEC by the way?
        – and to date every argument you have made is simply a waste of time as you have demonstrated time and time again.

        Have you ever read the Nazareth Farm Report?

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      • I don’t know whether or not I am a ‘fundamentalist’ (maybe, who knows) but I’m not a YEC.

        And again, as I reiterate, the exodus happened. The evidence favours this. How do you address the present evidence.

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      • I actually read the Mosaic piece a while back but it was interesting to read it again. And as with the previous time I read it, the final comment by Daniel F is
        regarding total lack of archaeological support is the clincher.

        As for the second link, which I had not read previously; Interesting, regarding the loan words. Excellent hypothesis
        However. I am neither an historian or linguist, but to my mind, if the Egyptians ruled the area at this time, which they did apparently, then why is it not plausible that such words would not enter use among the Canaanite/Israelite tribes under Egyptian rule?
        As you did not provide a link to an article that might offer to refute this claim it remains simply that. A claim.
        Furthermore, until there is an archaeological ( consensus that backs Berman’s theory then the status quo remains: the story of the Exodus as told in the bible is not regarded as historical.

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      • “I actually read the Mosaic piece a while back but it was interesting to read it again.”

        I completely agree! Quite an interesting read even if you’ve read it before. My only quibble is on Berman’s discussion on the Kadesh inscription, a claim in which I totally reject. I read Berman’s fuller analysis in the chapter he wrote for ‘Did I Not Bring Israel Out of Egypt?’

        Your quibble seems to be that no specific archaeological evidence is mentioned. However, other types of evidences *are* mentioned. For example, the biblical description seems to be very accurate regarding the geography of the Sinai, the customs of Egypt, the fact that there were many foreign populations in Egypt at the time (why not also Hebrews?), etc.

        Now, on to Benjamin J Noonan’s paper on Egyptian loanwords in the exodus. You seem to have much more respect for this as an academic defense of the exodus then Joshua Berman’s defense (you rated Berman an ‘F’). Indeed, at best you offer a counter hypothesis to explain why the exodus account is so egyptianized, especially in comparison to the rest of the Old Testament. This is your counter explanation;

        “However. I am neither an historian or linguist, but to my mind, if the Egyptians ruled the area at this time, which they did apparently, then why is it not plausible that such words would not enter use among the Canaanite/Israelite tribes under Egyptian rule?”

        If this is the case, several questions need to be raised;

        1. Why is it that only the exodus and wilderness traditions in the Bible have a very high level of Egyptian loanwords only, whereas the rest of the Bible has a much lower number of Egyptian loanwords?
        2. Is it really possible for the ancient Egyptian language (Middle Egyptian) to influence the exodus and wilderness traditions so much if they only had control over the Hebrew population? And if this is the case, why is it that the Hebrew of the exodus and wilderness traditions have much more Egyptian influence than Imperial Aramaic, a dialect of Aramaic that was specifically written only *inside* Egypt?
        3. As Noonan shows, other periods of history establish his conclusions. When the English were under French rule and in French territory, the number of French loanwords into English exploded. Then, there are later books of the Bible like Nehemiah and Ezra. Nehemiah and Ezra were written in Persian lands under Persian rule, and thus possess an extraordinary amount of Persian loanwords (in fact, the level of Persian loanwords in Nehemiah and Ezra is similar to the level of Egyptian loanwords in Exodus and the wilderness traditions).

        Again, I must once again point back to that book ‘Did I Not Bring Israel Out of Egypt?’ In that volume, Berman’s official paper on Kadesh was published, as well as Noonan’s study, and a number of other studies (including a notable one by Hoffmeier which also gives much support for the exodus). In my opinion, the best contributions in the entire volume were by Hoffmeier, Noonan and Rendsburg.

        Finally, you claim that unless archaeological justification can appear for the exodus, it cannot be regarded as ‘historical’. I disagree, as I find that there are other forms of evidence besides archaeological, including linguistic as we have just seen. Secondly, it would be hard for the ancient Israelite’s to leave behind archaeological remains, since nomadic migrations usually *don’t* leave behind archaeological remains at all, especially ones that survive after 3,000 years despite heavy erosion and the shifting desert sands.

        Finally, you claim it is the ‘status quo’ (majority in academia) position that the exodus is not historical. Again, the majority actually do not agree with you on this issue.

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