Uncovering Israel’s Past


Picture 1It seems that many educated liberals who wish Israel didn’t exist are turning to archaeologists to succor their agendas.

These archaeologists are called biblical “minimalists,” and loosely affiliate themselves with the “Copenhagen School” of archaeology.  They believe that the scientific evidence in the dirt is irrefutable—there was no Moses, there was no Exodus, there was no period of the “Judges,” there was not a Conquest of Caanan by Joshua or anyone else, and there was no glorious “United Monarchy” of King David and Solomon to guide Jewish hopes for the future of Jerusalem.  There was no Ark of the Covenant with its Ten Commandments.

For example, in his 2001 wild bestseller, co-written with Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, Professor Israel Finkelstein argued that “an archaeological analysis of the patriarchalconquestjudges, and United Monarchy narratives [shows] that while there is no compelling archaeological evidence for any of them, there is clear archaeological evidence that places the stories themselves in a late 7th-century BCE context.”  David and Solomon were really “tribal chieftains ruling from a small hill town, with a modest palace and royal shrine.”  He has declared that those who disagree with his conclusions are like those “who think the earth is flat.  And at that point, I cannot argue with them.”

A more stringent Copenhagen-school advocate is Prof. Thomas L. Thompson, once from Detroit and now a Danish subject.  Claims Thompson, “The linguistic and literary reality of the biblical tradition is folkloristic in essence.”

In The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past, Thompson argued that the Bible was entirely, or almost entirely, a product of the period between the 5th and 2nd centuries BC.  Thompson notably has argued that the Hebrew Tabernacle is a purely literary fiction, that the Merneptah Stele is not reliable evidence for a people named “Israel” in early 13th century Canaan, that the Tel Dan Stele does not refer to a Hebrew “House of David,” that the description of Solomon’s wealth is legendary, and that the use of the first person perspective in the Mesha Stele indicates a post-mortem or legendary account.

Prof. Philip Davies of the University Of Sheffield, England, has also placed the entire history of the Bible narratives squarely in the neo-Babylonian Exile, which took place after 586 BCE.  Unsurprisingly, Davies also hates Israel.  In a 2003 piece ostensibly slamming the historical evidence for the entire Judges period of Israel, he wrote:

Finally, I want to say….[that] the term [anti-semitism] means hatred of Jews, and I cannot see anything in any of Keith Whitelam’s [another minimalist] writings that indicates that sentiment. I appreciate that his comments are hostile to the State of Israel, and I believe he is entitled to those views.

But Davies correctly described the current stakes behind these somewhat arcane debates about ancient history:

Debate about ancient Israel is also debate about modern Israel, and in the eyes of many people, the legitimacy of the latter depends on the credibility of the biblical portrait.

Archaeologist and former Christian Prof. William G. Dever commented, “Originally I wrote to frustrate the Biblical minimalists; then I became one of them, more or less.” Now he’s an atheist.  His 2001 magnum opus, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did they Know It? purported to maintain a middle ground between the minimalists and what he terms “maximalists” like Prof. Kenneth Kitchen, who generally believe in the historical reliability of the Old Testament narratives and whom Dever derides as “fundamentalists.”

It is high time to confront Finkelstein, Thompson, Davies and even Dever with some recent finds from archaeology that strongly support the truth of the Biblical narrative and of Israel’s traditionally understood antiquity.

Once in Royal David’s City

The first is the remarkable excavation at Khirbet Qeiyafa, which Professors Yossi Garfinkel and Saar Ganor of Hebrew University have been leading for the past several years. For well-argued technical reasons, their publications have shown that the site is a 10th century fortified city near Jerusalem, and that it is indeed the Judean city of Shaarayim, where, it is alleged, the young David smote Goliath as described in the Bible, and where David later kept a palace.

“The ruins are the best example to date of the uncovered fortress city of King David,” Garfinkel and Ganor told the media.  ”This is indisputable proof of the existence of a central authority in Judah during the time of King David.”

Garfinkel and Ganor identified one structure as David’s palace and the other as a huge “royal storeroom,” which implied a wide geographical political control.  The excavators remarked on the mega-storeroom find:

It was in this building the kingdom stored taxes it received….Hundreds of large store jars were found at the site whose handles were stamped with an official seal as was customary in the Kingdom of Judah for centuries.

The excavators elaborated on other important findings at the site:

The wall enclosing the palace is about 100 feet long and an impressive entrance is fixed it through which one descended to the southern gate of the city, opposite the Valley of Elah. Around the palace’s perimeter were rooms in which various installations were found — evidence of a metal industry, special pottery vessels and fragments of alabaster vessels that were imported from Egypt.

In response to the Khirbet Qeiyafa findings, Finkelstein and Alexander Fantalkin published the article “Khirbet Qeiyafa: An Unsensational Archaeological and Historical Interpretation.”  “We cannot close this article,” they sniffed, “without a comment on the sensational way in which the finds of Khirbet Qeiyafa have been communicated to both the scholarly community and the public.”

What Finkelstein and his colleagues in Tel Aviv could not explain were the proverbial “dogs that didn’t bark”—for as Garfinkel explained:

Over the years, thousands of animal bones were found, including sheep, goats and cattle, but no pigs. Now we uncovered three cultic rooms, with various cultic paraphernalia, but not even one human or animal figurine was found. This suggests that the population of Khirbet Qeiyafa observed two biblical bans—on pork and on graven images—and thus practiced a different cult than that of the Canaanites or the Philistines.

The Ophel Inscription

Only last year, Dr. Eilat Mazar’s team, excavating between the Temple Mount and the City of David, discovered a large building that dates clearly to the 10th century.  A fragment from one of the large storage jars discovered there was inscribed with writing.

As scholar Douglas Petrovich, after announcing the find to Fox News, commented in his careful breakdown of the epigraphy of this potsherd:

[T]he Ophel inscription is almost certainly written in Hebrew, with all of the legible letters finding their ultimate origins in the Middle Egyptian language, as opposed to Philistine, Phoenician, or Canaanite. The letters of the inscription match those of contemporary inscriptions, many of which form words that clearly are part of the Hebrew language. Moreover, every letter of the Ophel inscription confirmed the acrophonic nature of Hebrew, meaning that the letters of the alphabet were formed by using a word whose initial sound was represented by that letter.

Garfinkel himself is uncertain on the language in the Ophel shard, but he stated that his epigrapher called the language of the Qeiyafa Ostracon “Hebrew.”  Garfinkel also suggested that the Gezer Calendar, the Tel Zayit Abecedary, and the Izbet Zartah Abecedary also represent an earlier phase of the Hebrew language.  The letters in all these finds are more or less the same.

It should be noted that Dr. Eliat Mazar, an archaeologist and not an epigrapher, herself does not think the letters are proto-Hebrew—but she can’t make head or tails of it at all.

But if the writing is not early Hebrew, it is early Canaanite.  And if it is Canaanite, why does it have Middle Egyptian [ME] parallels?  As Petrovich argued in a Yahoo group posting two weeks ago, “Most–if not all–of the ‘letters’ in this inscription find their roots in ME, not Canaanite.”  Of course, owing to the time of Exodus, the Hebrew written language originated from Middle Egyptian.

“It’s just the climate among scholars that they want to attribute as little as possible to the ancient Israelites,” Petrovich explained.  Talk about academic bias.

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  • The Dead Critic

    I used to have a subscription to a “Biblical Archaeology” type magazine about 6 years ago. I had to give it up as their liberal interpretations of the evidence was so ridiculous as to be almost an all out cover-up too withhold the truth.

    It states as I recall in the Bible that as the end times approach, there will many attempts by so called “experts” to diminish the accuracy of the Bible. They will pull out every stop imaginable to convince everyone something never existed or never happened. It’s already happening, and will only get more bold as the end times finally appear.

    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

      Don’t you realize the end times never happened and never will?

      • The Dead Critic

        LOL, how can the “Ends times never happened”….when it hasn’t happened yet. Seriously…LMAO….

      • gray_man

        Don’t you realize how stupid that comment was?

        • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

          Nope.

    • De Doc

      So sayeth every generation of Christians since their religion was founded. It’s always, “The end is nigh!”, and of course there is always some vague, scriptural reference to make it seem so. And here we are some 2000 years of the time of Christianity’s founder still waiting for the sound of the trumpets to herald the coming of the Tribulation.

      • The Dead Critic

        Let me give you an example….the “Jesus Seminar” (LOL) several years ago put out their personal interpretation of how Jesus actually died and what happened to his body. This coming from supposedly the leading scholars in the field.

        They believe that Jesus was torn from the cross and consumed by a pack of wild animals (dogs), and his bones scattered about the area, thus the reason(s) for his never been found….or something to that extent. Even an atheist has to LHAO to that one.

      • naro

        You must admit that humans have developed the power to destroy the earth. All it takes now is the press of a button. The time is coming faster that I expected.

        • gray_man

          Nonsense. All the nuclear bombs in the world going off at the same time could not destroy the earth.

          • naro

            They will not destroy the earth, but they will make advanced life there impossible.

          • gray_man

            I understand what you are trying to say, however nuclear weapons only affect a relatively small area. All the nuclear weapons going off at once simply will not damage that much of the earth and life will come back at ground zero relatively quickly, and places away from ground zero will be relatively unharmed. Yes there will be some fallout, but most of the earth will not be affected.
            Even just a few blocks from ground zero during the Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions people survived. Yes they were relatively small bombs I understand, but the effects of a nuclear war have been highly exaggerated.
            Natural disasters cause much more damage. A super volcano, for example, would cause many problems than nukes ever could.

      • gray_man

        And when you think of the amount of time that has passed on this earth, “the end is nigh” is a credible statement.

  • Demetrius Minneapolis

    “The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past” Not to be confused with “Obama is the Messiah” – writers recreating history today.

    Whatever happen to researchers excluding their personal feelings from their work? I remember during my undergrad days of being instructed not to go into my research with a foregone conclusion, and if I did, be prepared to alter it.

    I can see a relation to the climate change researchers to these bigots and the arrogance of these pseudo-academics makes me sick.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    The Tel Dan Stele is described by the Wikipedia source, as “widely regarded as accurate.” Also, in the Jewish quarter of the Old City, there is a place known as “The Cardo,” along Jewish Quarter Road, where there is an excavated sidewalk, that our guide said was “between 2500 and 3000 years old,” where ancient Israelites walked. This would place it to nearly 10th century BCE. Not far from the Cardo, there are deeper excavations, where they’ve recovered artifacts from further back. And there’s evidence for King David in the Valley of Hinnom, where the city of David was. You mean Finkelstein doesn’t know about this?

    • Aizino Smith

      With a name like Finkelstein, there is no doubt that their parent grandparent or a little further back were Jewish. But let’s face it, while Finkelstein might call themselves a cultural Jew or pretend to by somewhat religiously observant, Progressivism is their religion.

      If they were truly Jewish in in practice and in their heart, they would be more honest.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        Agreed, except I think that if Israel Finkelstein was “truly Jewish in in practice and in their heart”, he would be much less honest. Finkelstein should still get a grip and condemn OT/HB morality.

      • naro

        Who knows how much Arab Saudi money some Israel bashing archeologists get. Some would sell their mothers for Arab money.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    1. There is no “Copenhagen school of archaeology”. There is a “Tel Aviv school of archaeology”. No prominent “minimalist” is an archaeologist.

    2. Davies (Sheffield) and Thompson (Copenhagen) are correctly identified as “minimalists”.

    3. No, Qeiyafa isn’t Shaarayim.

    4.

    He has declared that those who disagree with his conclusions are like those “who think the earth is flat. And at that point, I cannot argue
    with them.”

    -Wrong. He has declared those that disagree with the radiocarbon results (not merely “his conclusions”) are like those “who think the earth is flat.

    5.

    Of course, owing to the time of Exodus, the Hebrew written language originated from Middle Egyptian.

    -No, you idiot. [Facepalm]. The script, not the language has Middle Egyptian parallels because the alphabet originated in Egypt. Learn to read.

    6.

    It’s just the climate among scholars that they want to attribute as little as possible to the ancient Israelites

    -Nonsense.

    7.

    What Finkelstein and his colleagues in Tel Aviv could not explain were the proverbial “dogs that didn’t bark”

    -Didn’t read the article, didya? p. 49 of the article you just linked to.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-Britain/100003802091841 Geoffrey Britain

      1) A bit of brief research on Google established that while not entirely accurate, the “Copenhagen school of archaeology” is a valid descriptive of biblical minimalism.
      3) Well. If YOU say so, it MUST be true.
      4) faulty radio-carbon results are not unheard of. Has an independent third party confirmed them?
      6) What is ‘nonsense’ is the assertion that there is no bias in academic circles and, specifically towards Israel among academics.

      I’ll leave to those more knowledgeable, the disputing or confirming of your other points. But if a layman can credibly dispute 3 out of 7 of your assertions, your credibility is, at best suspect.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        1. There is a Copenhagen school, but it’s of biblical studies, not of archaeology.
        4. Yes, but not this consistently: http://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/download/3232/pdf
        5. I never said there’s no bias among scholars.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-Britain/100003802091841 Geoffrey Britain

          “I never said there’s no bias among scholars.”

          Really?

          “It’s just the climate among scholars that they want to attribute as little as possible to the ancient Israelites”

          “Nonsense.” Enopoletus Harding

          I see, it depends upon what the meaning of is, is…

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            4) -You have to demonstrate that.
            5) Saying there’s no bias in this particular direction in this particular manner is not the same thing as saying there’s no bias in any direction in any manner.

    • Christopher S. Carson

      Author here. Sir, you don’t get to simply assert that “Qeiyafa isn’t Shaarayim” without argument, and without even attempting to counter the arguments of Prof. Garfinkel here and elsewhere: http://qeiyafa.huji.ac.il/Reports/ASOR_2010.pdf .

      7. I said Finkelstein could not explain the “dogs that didn’t bark.” As a lawyer I found his effort on page 49 to do so strained and unconvincing. Had I been permitted more than 1500 words for the entire article, sir, I might have had the space to explain why. You certainly haven’t explained why not.

      6. I can’t explain the Minimalists’ strained claims and efforts to debunk each new find that validates the United Monarchy. Part of it is Israel-hatred. I don’t believe Finkelstein hates his own country, but the reasons for his biases are different. But I agree with Petrovich’s quotation, and we are certainly entitled to wonder why this bias exists.

      5. I normally don’t respond to ad hominem attacks like “you idiot” and “learn to read,” because it dignifies the ignoramus who dishes them out, but I will say that I used the term “Hebrew WRITTEN language.” I did not say that the Hebrew language itself originated from ME. I was obviously using a colloquial term for the script. And no, everyone knows that the “alphabet” was Phoenician in origin, not Middle Egyptian.

      6. The Minimalists, with the exception of Finkelstein, who actually is an archaeologist, by the way, as well as Dever, tend to be Biblical scholars who don’t get their hands dirty. But they employ the finds of archaeologists to buttress their bias-laden conclusions about the historical non-existence of ancient Israel. For example, they question the authenticity of the Tel Dan Stele and the importance of the Merneptah Stele, which mentions “Israel” and is dated to 1202 BCE or so. So I employ the term “Copenhagen School” loosely to describe the whole lot.

      4. Finkelstein was referring to SIGNIFICANCE of his radiocarbon results as debunking the notion of a Davidic 10th Century Jerusalem. It is one thing to accept RC results as valid. It is quite another to say that because they are valid, they debunk what Dr. Eliat Mazar has been demonstrating all over the City. They probably are valid; but they are irrelevant to Finkelstein’s agenda of debunking what Mazar and Garfinkel and, indeed, Prof. Amnon Ben-Tor have been digging up.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        Thank you for responding, author. Since I tend not to respond in very long comments, I shall respond in many.
        “And no, everyone knows that the “alphabet” was Phoenician in origin, not Middle Egyptian.”-http://rambambashi.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/common-errors-5-the-alphabet/
        The alphabet did, in fact, originate in Egypt.
        Mazar’s finds in the City of David have very little to do with radiocarbon dating. See Finkelstein’s arguments against her dating of the Large Stone Structure as summarized by me in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJMTSQHBlvM
        I shall find the relevant clip from Finkelstein later.
        “But they employ the finds of archaeologists to buttress their bias-laden conclusions about the historical non-existence of ancient Israel.”
        I don’t think any scholar denies there was an ancient kingdom associated with the name “Israel” by at least the 9th century BC.
        According to Kenneth Kitchen, the Merenptah stele dates to 1209/1208 BC.

        • Christopher S. Carson

          I said 1202 BCE “or so” because I don’t have a photographic memory of its dating by Kitchen. I recalled it accurately within 6 years. Big whoop.

          It is not at all clear that the phonetically based “alphabet” had many precursors in Hieroglyphics or in the more demotic scripts that devolved upon lesser beings in ME society. Phoenician was the first “true” alphabet in that it consisted primarily of phonetics.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            It is not at all clear that the phonetically based “alphabet” had many precursors in Hieroglyphics or in the more demotic scripts that devolved
            upon lesser beings in ME society. Phoenician was the first “true” alphabet in that it consisted primarily of phonetics.

            -I’m having some trouble interpreting these sentences.

            Before the Phoenician alphabet (as defined by Chris Rollston), there was the proto-Canaanite script, as used at Qeiyafa, Gath, Izbet Sartah, and (apparently) the recently-discovered Ophel inscription. Before that, there was the “proto-Sinaitic” script used at Serabit. Aren’t these scripts largely phonetic?

            Also, a second Qeiyafa inscription will be announced either this year or next year. Watch for it.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            Also, your link to the (rather important) biblicalarchaeology.org article appears to be broken.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        As for Garfinkel’s Qeiyafa=Shaarayim equation, it is very, very unlikely because (though a farm has been found SW of the site), the main portion of Qeiyafa (the circular fort with the gates) was unoccupied in the 7th century BC (when the Joshua 15 list was composed, as argued by Nadav Na’aman). Also, there is no major road that leads to Qeiyafa, certainly not one the Philistines could have escaped by. For other candidates for Shaarayim, see my video on Qeiyafa at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmDuPMCzHGc#4m28s

    • Christopher S. Carson

      author again: From your triumphant page 49 of the Finkelstein article: “Pig bones are also rare at Iron I sites in other, non-Israelite inland sites in the lowlands, such as Megiddo and Aphek (Sasson in press; Kolska Horwitz 2009: 549 respectively; for additional data see already Hesse 1990: 211). Hence, although this characteristic may hint at highlands affliation of the population, a lowlands late-Canaanite identity of the people who lived in late Iron I Khirbet Qeiyafa (similar to that of Beth-Shemesh) cannot be ruled out.” I find this unconvincing, because I do not believe that 10-Century Megiddo, for example, was anything other than Solomonic. I do not believe that anyone ever refuted Albright’s original excavation conclusions half a century ago. To accept Finkelstein’s argument about the lack of pig bones being no big Hebrew identifier, you have to believe that Iron Age I Megiddo was not Israelite. I don’t accept that premise.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        Finkelstein is referring to Iron I Megiddo here (Megiddo VIA), not Iron IIa Megiddo (Megiddo V). Everyone agrees Megiddo V is Israelite. Megiddo VIA was a Canaanite city-state.

        • Christopher S. Carson

          If Finkelstein is indeed referring to Megiddo VIA, which yes, was indeed Canaanite, then his comparison is inapposite. His whole point about Shaarayim not existing during the United Monarchy because Megiddo also didn’t have pig bones is not parallel in time. IF, as Yadin and the Chicago expeditions in the 1920s held, that Megiddo V is indeed 10 Century BCE and Solomonic, the absence of pig bones THEN would be mutually reinforcing, not meaningless.

  • Rivkah F.

    Thanks for this article. Biblical minimalists are one thing but some of them will grant the Bible some truth if there are archeological remains which support a Biblical verse or location. Bible denial is another matter. I could never figure out why certain “scholars” claim that the Hebrew Bible was written during the Babylonian-Persian period or even as late as the Hellenistic period. in someone’s attic or basement, as it were. Its tone is pro-Davidic dynasty, pro-Messiah, pro-Temple and since some Jews had returned to Jerusalem with the permission of Cyrus of Persia, it would make no sense at that time to express such views as they would be subversive. Bible deniers’ hatred of modern Israel and of a Jewish state definitely influences their scholarship.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-Britain/100003802091841 Geoffrey Britain

      Sorry but “‘why’ certain “scholars” claim that the Hebrew Bible was written during the Babylonian-Persian period or even as late as the Hellenistic period” is obvious. The agenda is to discredit Israel’s historical and religious claim to the land, while simultaneously discrediting the existence of God. The left does not subscribe to objective standards of scholarship, so intellectual dishonesty is the norm.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        Do you realize that some (perhaps most) of those arguing for the composition of most of the Hebrew Bible between the 8th and 1st centuries BC argue so not because they have an anti-Israel agenda, but because the facts point in that direction? While Lemche and Whitelam definitely have clear anti-Israel agendas, Israel Finkelstein, the most fact-based and prominent active major revisionist, doesn’t have any kind of anti-Israel agenda. God is the biggest middle finger to Occam’s Razor ever devised.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-Britain/100003802091841 Geoffrey Britain

          Claiming that one out of the three scholars you cite is not anti-Israel does not rebut my point. Finkelstein may indeed be neutral but partial and necessarily incomplete archaeological evidence does not a compelling case make. That is because any fair-minded anthropologist will confirm that ‘sacred writings’ are guarded with the utmost of care by true believers. And ancient Israel was filled with ‘true believers’.

          It strains credulity to suggest that the majority of the old Testament was introduced, then within a generation or two suddenly claimed to be much older than it actually was and that believers just went, “Oh, OK”…

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            That is because any fair-minded anthropologist will confirm that ‘sacred writings’ are guarded with the utmost of care by true believers.

            -But did the supposed original true believers continue to stay in power? There wasn’t much literacy and quite a bit of political turmoil in Iron I Israel.

            My hypothesis:

            The Exile had a huge effect on the preservation of Jewish monolatry. I strongly doubt Jewish monolatry could have survived without it. Obviously, plenty weren’t convinced when the Deuteronomistic History was first published. However, during the Exile, people had to make a decision between Zionist monolatry and local Mesopotamian religion(s). Many likely decided to become adherents of the latter. The remainder continued to view themselves as a coherent and unified ethnic group. A good portion of these took the first opportunity to return to Judah they could find.

            Does this hypothesis answer your concerns?

    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

      That’s why Israel Finkelstein argues Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah were written during the Hasmonean period, when such views were not subversive. I’ve not seen Finkelstein show any sign of hating modern Israel.

  • Stuxwall

    A good book that refutes much of liberal academic thought about this is “Excavating the Bible: New Archeological Evidence for the Historical Reliability of Scripture.” It is written by Yitzhak Meitlis, and Israeli-born archeologist. It’s worth a look.

  • johnnywood

    I quit reading”Biblical Archaeology Review” because of Dever and his fellow travelers. Even though he claimed to be a Christian I found his statements to be ridiculous. He has always been an atheist as far as I can tell.

  • ostriphobe

    Thanks for this article. The impression I get from the Bible-as-history deniers (for lack of a better term) is that they would prefer if Shaarayim quietly disappeared. There will probably come a grudging acceptance that David might have been more than a small-time local chieftain. But now every Judge from Ehud to Eli will need a hill dug up for them. (Sigh) I think I’ll just believe the Bible.

  • De Doc

    Perhaps this article should be subtitled, “Faith Needs to Trump Evidence”.

    Biblical archeology is naturally fraught with all sorts of presuppositions, since much of it was established with the aim of showing the Bible as a reliable historical document. A century-and-a-half on after intensive digs were started, we can’t claim that the Bible is 100% accurate in its historical claims. Further the absent evidence of some of the more fantastical tales (The Exodus) puts their historicity in question. Those who cling to ossified and unyieldingly literal interpretations of Old Testament accounts are basing their beliefs on emotional and theological appeals, rather than sound science.

    That said, it is not fair to make claim that because an ancient Israel did not exist as told in the Bible, it follows that the modern state of Israel is thus illegitimate.

  • The Dead Critic

    Let me give you an example….the “Jesus Seminar” (LOL) several years ago put out their personal interpretation of how Jesus actually died and what happened to his body. This coming from supposedly the leading scholars in the field.

    They believe that Jesus was torn from the cross and consumed by a pack of wild animals (dogs), and his bones scattered about the area, thus the reason(s) for his never been found….or something to that extent. Even an atheist has to LHAO to that one.

  • naro

    Its painful for the neo nazis masquerading as archeologists that they cannot deny the historical fact of the exile of the Israelites to Babylon. This ties up the entire history of the Jews to the destruction of the first temple and its builder King Solomon, and David. Who knows how much Arab Saudi money these miscreant get to denigrate Israel and the Jewish religion. They are utter intellectual frauds. They come from the same cloth as the Nazi historians and the Soviet historians who tried to write the Jews literally out of history.

  • naro

    Its painful for the neo nazis masquerading as archeologists that they
    cannot deny the historical fact of the exile of the Israelites to
    Babylon. This ties up the entire history of the Jews to the destruction
    of the first temple and Kings Solomon and David. Who knows how much
    Arab Saudi money these miscreant get to denigrate Israel and the Jewish
    religion. They are utter intellectual frauds. They come from the same
    clothe as the Nazi historians and the Soviet historians who tried to
    write the Jews literally out of history.