PUBLISHED: 15:33, Thu, Sep 10, 2020 | UPDATED: 15:42, Thu, Sep 10, 2020
The Bible is first and foremost a religious text read by billions of Christians worldwide. But some also believe the Bible is a historical document chronicling the birth and rise of Israel in the Old Testament, as well as the life and death of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. And although the Bible's historicity is a hotly debated topic, some experts have put forward archaeological evidence they believe can back the Biblical narrative.
One such piece of archaeological evidence is the Babylonian Cyrus Cylinder, an artefact named after the Persian King Cyrus the Great.
According to Tom Meyer, a Bible expert at Shasta Bible College and Graduate School in California, US, the "remarkable" object has clear links to passages in scripture found in the Bookof Ezra.
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He told Express.co.uk: "After being buried in the sands of time for almost 2,500 years, a remarkable object was discovered by English archaeologists in 1879 in Babylon.
"Just nine inches long, the Cyrus Cylinder records a decree that King Cyrus of Persia gave which parallels Cyrus’ edict mentioned in the Bible."
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Archaeology news: The Cyrus Cylinder contains inscriptions about the Persian King Cyrus the Great (Image: GETTY)
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The clay cylinder has been dated to the sixth century BC and was discovered in the ruins of Babylon in modern-day Iraq.
Cyrus the Great, also called Cyrus the Elder or Cyrus II, was the founder of the first Persian Empire the Achaemenid Empire.
Cyrus ruled over the Achaemenid Empire from 559 BC to 530 BC, until his death at the age of 70.
Etched into the object in Akkadian cuneiform is an account of the Persian king and his successful conquest of the Babylonian capital in 539 BC.
More importantly, the inscription states Cyrus allowed groups of people to return to their homelands to rebuild their "holy cities".
Professor Meyer believes this detail parallels Cyrus' proclemation in the Bible that allowed Jews held in Babylonian captivity to return to Israel to rebuild Jerusalem's Holy Temple.
The Cyrus Cylinder records a decree that King Cyrus of Persia gave
Professor Tom Meyer, Shasta Bible College and Graduate School
He said: "According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, Cyrus the Great who ruled in the sixth century BC was aware that he was marked out by the prophet Isaiah 200 years before his birth to rule in Israel’s favor.
"Isaiah the prophet in the eighth century BC called Cyrus by name through the revelation of God to demonstrate the precision of