Who Were the Early Israelites, and where Did They Come From?

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003 - History - 268 pages
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This book addresses one of the most timely and urgent topics in archaeology and biblical studies -- the origins of early Israel. For centuries the Western tradition has traced its beginnings back to ancient Israel, but recently some historians and archaeologists have questioned the reality of Israel as it is described in biblical literature. In "Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?" William Dever explores the continuing controversies regarding the true nature of ancient Israel and presents the archaeological evidence for assessing the accuracy of the well-known Bible stories.

Confronting the range of current scholarly interpretations seriously and dispassionately, Dever rejects both the revisionists who characterize biblical literature as pious propaganda and the conservatives who are afraid to even question its factuality. Attempting to break through this impasse, Dever draws on thirty years of archaeological fieldwork in the Near East, amassing a wide range of hard evidence for his own compelling view of the development of Israelite history.

In his search for the actual circumstances of Israel's emergence in Canaan, Dever reevaluates the Exodus-Conquest traditions in the books of Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, and 1 & 2 Samuel in the light of well-documented archaeological evidence from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. Among this important evidence are some 300 small agricultural villages recently discovered in the heartland of what would later become the biblical nation of Israel. According to Dever, the authentic ancestors of the Israelite peoples were most likely Canaanites -- together with some pastoral nomads and small groups of Semiticslaves escaping from Egypt -- who, through the long cultural and socioeconomic struggles recounted in the book of Judges, managed to forge a new agrarian, communitarian, and monotheistic society.

Written in an engaging, accessible style and featuring fifty photographs that help bring the archaeological record to life, this book provides an authoritative statement on the origins of ancient Israel and promises to reinvigorate discussion about the historicity of the biblical tradition.

  

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Review: Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?

User Review  - Sidney Davis - Goodreads

This takes a rather academic scholarly historical-critical approach to the of the Biblical narrative upon which the current historiography of the State of Israel is based. One will have to come face ... Read full review

Review: Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?

User Review  - Marjorie - Goodreads

Well-written, thoughtful, and respectful study of the origins of the Tanach and the Jewish people. It will NOT be appreciated by fundamentalists and very Orthodox Jews. I found Dever's arguments persuasive. Read full review

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Contents

The Current Crisis in Understanding the Origins of Early Israel
1
The Exodus History or Myth?
7
The Conquest of Transjordan
23
The Conquest of the Land West of the Jordan Theories and Facts
37
Facts on the Ground The Excavated Evidence for the Archaeological Rediscovery of the Real Israel
75
More Facts on the Ground Recent Archaeological Surveys
91
A Summary of the Material Culture of the Iron I Assemblage
101
Previous Attempts at a Synthesis of Textual and Artifactual Data on Early Israel
129
Yet Another Attempt at Synthesis Early Israel as a Frontier Agrarian Reform Movement
167
Who Were the Early Israelites? Ethnicity and the Archaeological Record
191
Salvaging the Biblical Tradition History or Myth?
223
Some Basic Sources Usually in Chronological Order
242
Index of Authors
258
Index of Subjects
261
Index of Scripture References
267
Copyright

Toward Another Synthesis on the Origins and Nature of Early Israel
153

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Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?
A two-page summary of the book with the above title by archaeologist William G. Dever
www.fsmitha.com/ review/ r-dever2.html

Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?
Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? By William G. Dever. (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2003. Pp. xii, 268. $25.00.) ...
www.questia.com/ PM.qst?a=o& se=gglsc& d=5010848141

Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come from ...
Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come from? ... Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? ...
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JSTOR: Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?
Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? By WILLIAM G. DEVER. Grand Rapids, Mich.: WILLIAM B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING Co., 2003. ...
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Denver Seminary > Articles > Who Were the Early Israelites and ...
Dever, William G. Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. 2003 xi + 268 pp. Hardback. ISBN 0-8028-0975-8. ...
www.denverseminary.edu/ article/ who-were-the-early-israelites-and-where-did-they-come-from

Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From ...
Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? from Currents in Theology and Mission in Reference provided free by Find Articles.
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ingentaconnect Dever, wg: Who Were the Early Israelites and Where ...
Dever, wg: Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? 2003. Source: Palestine Exploration Quarterly, Volume 136, Number 1, April 2004 , pp. ...
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Secular Passover Haggadah
Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 12-13. ...
www.ofgodandlogic.com/ morality/ new_passover/ index.htm

Archaeologist William Dever - San Diego Jewish Journal
In his brilliant new book, Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?, archaeologist William Dever synthesizes decades of archaeological ...
www.sdjewishjournal.com/ stories/ cover_jan04.html

no longer in use: We are all students
Books like, "Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?"(by William G. Dever) have used these advances in knowledge to present a synthesis ...
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About the author (2003)

William G. Dever is professor of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

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