Some of the events described in the Bible may seem hard to believe. One of those is in Genesis 19, where the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is recorded. This is what it says: “Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” (v. 24).
Here is what I have learned over the years when it comes to historical events described in scripture: A bet on the accuracy of the Bible is a good bet.
A recent scholarly article in Nature sent to me by a church member goes through the archeological evidence of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction in great detail. The short version is Genesis 19.24 nails it. There was something like an airburst event, similar to what happened in 1908 at Tunguska. It was so powerful that it sheared through a 12 foot thick mud-brick city wall, melted pottery and chopped the multi-story city palace in half. Not only that, but the explosion seeded the entire area with salt, making it useless for agriculture for hundreds of years afterward. The archeologists report that even as they were working over the last few years, “newly exposed…surface from each day’s archeological excavation produced an obvious white salt crust overnight as humidity leached salt to the surface.”
Isn’t that fascinating? Isn’t it helpful to know yet another example where on-the-ground evidence supports what the Bible says?
The Rev. Peter Frank, rector