Eric Metaxas highlights three discoveries in biblical archaeology in 2016; ancient toilet tops the list

Vice President Joe Biden snaps a photo of President Barack Obama shaking hands with Eric Metaxas during the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., in 2012. | Wikimedia Commons/The White House (photo by Pete Souza)

Known Christian author and media personality Eric Metaxas lists what he thinks are the three best biblical archaeological discoveries in 2016, saying that these finds assert that Christian faith is supported by historical facts.

In an article originally published on Breakpoint, the New York Times bestselling author lists what he and his peers at Breakpoint think are the three best finds in biblical archaeology in 2016, saying that these serve as proof that "Our faith is firmly rooted in history, not some 'once upon a time.'"

In coming up with the list, Metaxas drew inspiration from Christianity Today's list of top 10 biblical artifacts that were unearthed last year.

Number three in Metaxas' list are the remnants of a synagogue and a first-century Roman coin bearing the image of Tiberius found by researchers undertaking an excavation of Mary Magdalene's hometown, Magdala.

Metaxas cites New York Times in reporting that according to the person leading the excavation, the finds serve as "circumstantial evidence" that Jesus visited the area and that Magdala was a prosperous town. Metaxas explained that the artifacts are relevant because they provide a glimpse of the life of Mary Magdalene, whom he said many people incorrectly regard as a prostitute, when, in fact, she "provided for Jesus and His disciples 'out of their resources.'"

Placing second is the Pool of Siloam, which is from the Second Temple Period during which Jesus Christ walked the earth. He mentions John 9, which tells the story of Jesus meeting a blind man. "He spat on the ground, made mud, placed it on the man's eyes, and told him to go 'wash in the pool of Siloam,'" Metaxas writes.

He then stresses that the discovery of the said pool is an affirmation of the accuracy of the Gospel, down to the details of times and places, and that it could have only been penned by somebody who had witnessed the events that it describes.

Metaxas ranked the toilet of Tel Lachish first in the list of best biblical archeological finds in 2016. The toilet was found in a room that appears to have been a shrine that was desecrated, most likely when King Hezekiah was implementing religious reforms.

He explained that putting a toilet in a sacred place was the ultimate act of disrespect, adding that Jehu, another reformer, did the same thing to the temple of Ba'al in 2 Kings.

Christianity Today's list of top 10 biblical archaeological finds also include stone tile floor designs of Temple Mount, the Jewish temple built by King Herod; remains from a cemetery at Askelon; a cave that appears to have served as a stone jar factory near Cana, where Jesus and his disciples attended a wedding; and the inside of the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, among others.