This stele (shown in the image at right) is now in the British museum. Part of the text reads as follows:-
"I [Shalmaneser III] approached Karkar. I destroyed, tore down, and bound Karkara, his [the king of Hamath's] royal residence. He brought along to help him 1200 chariots 1200 cavalrymen, 20,000 foot soldiers belonging to [Benhadad I] of Damascus, ..., 2000 chariots, 10,000 foot soldiers belonging to Ahab the Israelite."
The boasting notwithstanding, Assyrian Emperor Shalmaneser's failure to capture Syria shows that the campaign was unsuccessful. The Bible has a lot to say about Ahab, king of Israel (1 Kings 16:18). The Bible also tells us that there was a time of peace between Ahab and Benhadad (1 Kings 22:1). The Kirkuk Stele (also spelt Qarqar stele) substantiates the Biblical account of Ahab being one of the powerful kings of Israel.
A 6.5 foot high pillar in the British museum shows Assyrian Emperor Shalmaneser III (who ruled 859-824 BC) receiving tribute from the Israelite king Jehu. Naming Jehu, Shalmaneser records: "I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, tin, a staff from the hand of a king...". This record is 12 years later than the previous one.
The Bible tells us that Jehu overthrew Ahab's son Joram (2 Kings 9:24). Apparently, unlike his predecessors, Jehu thought that it was better to be friends with the powerful Assyrians than be hostile to them. This pillar substantiates the Biblical accounts of the kings of Israel. It is most interesting to note that according to Biblical chronological details, Jehu's first year of reign was 12 years after Ahab's last. The image shows a close-up of the pillar-panel in which Jehu kneels before Shalmaneser III.
Thus Tiglath Pileser's records provide strong confirmation of the historicity of the Bible.
Skeptics glibly assumed that "Sargon" was a Biblical myth until in 1843 the French archaeologist Paul Emil Botta uncovered the ruins of Sargon's palace in Khorsabad revealing him as one of the most powerful monarchs of all time. The Bible tells us that
Let's hear from the Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions:-
As you can see, the Assyrian inscriptions provide stunning corroboration for the Bible.
In the Taylor Prism (now in the British Museum - see image), Assyrian Emperor Sennacherib boasts about his invasion of Judah. The following are the details he mentions:-
If the Assyrian records hadn't been found, secular historians would insist that Biblical characters such as Hezekiah are myths, (just as they do for older Biblical characters that have not found mention in any extant extra-Biblical record). But this inscription shows that not only was Hezekiah historical, but several Biblical details mentioned about him are correct. The Bible tells us why Sennacherib is silent about the most important question: did he capture Jerusalem? (see Isaiah 37:36).
The Bible tells us that after Sennacherib's unsuccessful attempt to capture Jerusalem, he went back to Nineveh in Assyria where he was assassinated by two of his sons, and succeeded by Esarhaddon (2 Kings 19:37). Esarhaddon's records have been found in Nineveh:-
"In the month of Nisanu...I made my happy entrance into the royal palace, the awesome place wherein abides the fate of kings. A grim determination fell upon my brothers. They forsook the gods and turned themselves to deeds of violence, scheming evil....To seize power they slew Sennacherib their father..."
The later Babylonian emperor Nabonidus also chronicled the same assassination in his stele (shown in the image) which is now at the British museum.
The Bible records how Manasseh, Hezekiah's son, was oppressed by Esarhaddon (2 Chronicles 33:9-11). In an inscribed baked clay prism that is now at the Pennsylvania Museum, Esarhaddon writes:-
"I called up the kings of the Hatti land and of the regions on the other [western] side of the river [Euphrates]; Balu, king of Tyre, Manasseh, king of Judah...all these I sent out and made them transport under terrible difficulties to Nineveh...building materials for my palace..."
As you can see, Assyria lives up to my claim of it being the icing on the Biblical archeology cake. These and other archaeological finds are evidence that the Bible is authentic - true in its history and geography. Therefore, it is logical to believe what it says about theology, because unlike other books, its theology is intertwined with its history and geography.