The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Isreal and the Origin of Sacred Texts

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 6, 2002 - Religion - 400 pages
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In this groundbreaking work that sets apart fact and legend, authors Finkelstein and Silberman use significant archeological discoveries to provide historical information about biblical Israel and its neighbors.

In this iconoclastic and provocative work, leading scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman draw on recent archaeological research to present a dramatically revised portrait of ancient Israel and its neighbors. They argue that crucial evidence (or a telling lack of evidence) at digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon suggests that many of the most famous stories in the Bible—the wanderings of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua’s conquest of Canaan, and David and Solomon’s vast empire—reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts.

Challenging the fundamentalist readings of the scriptures and marshaling the latest archaeological evidence to support its new vision of ancient Israel, The Bible Unearthed offers a fascinating and controversial perspective on when and why the Bible was written and why it possesses such great spiritual and emotional power today.

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In my opinion, Finkelstein and Silberman are either dishonest when it comes to assessing much of their archaeological findings or they are deliberately trying to get people to doubt that the stories in the Bible are actually true. They, for example, mention that Adam Zertal found the altar of Joshua which dates back to Joshua's time, but they chose not to mention the archaeological evidence found at the site. All they say is that it is disputed, even when it is clear that the archaeological evidence found at the site dates back to Joshua's time. Also, their dating system is confusing. Contrary to what they have written in their book, Bible believers do not accept that Ramesses II was the pharaoh of the Exodus. It is clear, when using the biblical chronology, that Thutmoses III was the pharoah of the Exodus and that the Exodus occurred in ca. 1446 BC. Thus, their dating method and explanations are confusing and really proves nothing, in my opinion. 

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It is a pleasure to have this very readable book available.....When the authors examine the Stones and the Foundations on the ground, these two form a thread of truth that enlarges our understanding of the Old Testament........As they bring parts of the Old Testament text to the fore, they remind us of the difficulty in interpreting the old Hebrew ---without vowels---, and the care with which we must look at the modern text. A similar unearthing is occurring in Persia where, under Cyrus the Great, interactions occurred between Zoroastrians and Hebrews. ...___... See ++ A HISTORY of ZOROASTRIANISM, Vol 2 ++ ISBN: 9004065067. ..._______... Also in ++ THE BOOK OF JOB ++, ISBN: 0060969598 the author Stephen Mitchell explicitly and beautifully shows the reader how difficult a translation of written text can be. 


In the Days of King Josiah
Archaeology and the Bible
The Bible as History?
Searching for the Patriarchs
Did the Exodus Happen?
The Conquest of Canaan
Who Were the Israelites?
Memories of a Golden Age?
Between War and Survival
A Great Reformation
Exile and Return
The Future of Biblical Israel
Theories of the Historicity of the Patriarchal Age
Searching for Sinai
Alternative Theories of the Israelite Conquest
Why the Traditional Archaeology of the Davidic and Solomonic Period Is Wrong

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel
One State One Nation One People?
Israels Forgotten First Kingdom
In the Shadow of Empire
Judah and the Making of Biblical History
The Transformation of Judah
Identifying the Era of Manasseh in the Archaeological Record
How Vast Was the Kingdom of Josiah?
The Boundaries of the Province of Yehud

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About the author (2002)

Israel Finkelstein is a professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University. He is a leading figure in the archaeology of the Levant and the laureate of the 2005 Dan David Prize in the Past Dimension -- Archaeology. Finkelstein served for many years as the Director of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University and is the co-Director of the Megiddo Expedition. He is the co-author, with Neil Silberman, of The Bible Unearthed (Free Press, 2001) and the author of many field reports and scholarly articles.

Neil Asher Silberman is director of historical interpretation for the Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage Presentation in Belgium. He is a contributing editor to Archaeology magazine and the author of The Hidden Scrolls: Christianity, Judaism, and the War for the Dead Sea Scrolls; The Message and the Kingdom; and Digging for God and Country, among other books.

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