I am often impressed by how the New Testament is constantly being confirmed by archaeology. Old beliefs that certain people or places never existed are constantly stripped away by the hard work of archaeologists who uncover evidence that the people and places described in the Bible existed and that the Bible is accurate in its descriptions. The fact that it is accurate in those things that we can confirm (even before we were able to confirm them) gives testimony to the belief that we can trust the Bible in those things that cannot or have not yet been confirmed.
Recently, I came across an article entitled Archaeology and the Bible: How archaeological findings have enhanced the credibility of the Bible by John McRay which gives a listing of some of the finds that have supported the Bible. In the article, Mr. McRay points to several of the better known finds such as the Tomb of Caiaphas and the Pool of Siloam. However, Mr. McRay points to another archaeological confirmation of which I was unaware and which helps further confirm the accuracy of the the Book of Acts: the discovery of the tribunal of Cornith, Greece. According to the article:
One of the most important discoveries relating to the New Testament is the tribunal (Greek bema), or speaker's platform, from which official proclamations were read, and where citizens appeared before appropriate officials. It still stands in the heart of the forum in Corinth, Greece. The large stone platform was identified by portions of an inscription found nearby and dated to the period between A.D. 25 and 50, just prior to Paul's arrival in the city.
Paul spent 18 months in Corinth on his second missionary journey. At the end of that time, the Jews took advantage of the inauguration of Gallio as proconsul of Achaia in May or June of 51 A.D. (see Acts 18:12) to bring Paul before him on the charge of violating their law. Gallio found no violation of Roman law by Paul, no "wrongdoing or vicious crime (see Acts 18:14), and refusing to be a judge of Jewish law, drove Paul's accusers from this "tribunal" (see Acts 18:16-17), where he was seated. Gallio was the brother of Seneca, a Greek stoic philosopher who later became an adviser to the emperor Nero. Seneca perhaps informed the emperor of the fact that Paul had already been acquitted before Gallio in Corinth and thus influenced the favorable outcome of Paul's first arrest in Rome as implied in the last verses of Acts. Luke's accuracy in referring to this tribunal once again enhances the accuracy of the Bible.
Gallio was visiting Corinth from his official residence in Delphi across the Corinthian Gulf. Four fragments of an inscription carved in stone which had been mounted on the wall of a public building in Delphi have been excavated, which contain information about the accession of Gallio and help to determine the date of his tenure in office.
The fragments are from a copy of a letter sent from Claudius to the city of Delphi, either to the people of Delphi or to the successor of Gallio, who had the letter carved into stone and attached to the wall of the building. It contains the name of "Gallio Proconsul of Asia", in addition to that of the Roman emperor Claudius, with dates for his reign.
The letter is dated to A.D. 52. Since proconsuls normally held office for one year, and these provincial governors were required to leave Rome for their posts no later than the middle of April, Gallio probably began his term of office in May of A.D. 51. And since Paul had arrived in Corinth 18 months earlier than his appearance before Gallio (see Acts 18:11-12), he would have entered Corinth in the winter of 49/50-perhaps in January of A.D. 50.
This would coincide well with Luke's statement in Acts 18:2, that when Paul arrived in Corinth on his second journey, he found Aquila and Priscilla, Jews who had "recently" come from Rome, "because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome." This expulsion is also referred to in other ancient sources and can be dated to A.D. 49. Suetonius, chief secretary to the emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-38), wrote a biographical account of the Roman emperors entitled The Twelve Caesars, in which he said, "Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Christ, he expelled them from the City" (see Claudius 25.4). Thus, the accuracy of Luke's account in Acts is confirmed and illustrated.
The article contains a brief discussion of a few other fascinating finds and I encourage anyone interested in the archaeological evidence supporting the Bible to read it.