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The Bible Unearthed : Archaeology's New Vision Ancient Israel and Origin of its Sacred Texts - Israel Finkelstein

The Bible Unearthed

Archaeology's New Vision Ancient Israel and Origin of its Sacred Texts


Published: 31st December 2002
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Published: 6th March 2002
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For the first time, the true history of ancient Israel as revealed through recent archaeological discoveries-and a controversial new take on when, why and how the Bible was written. In the past three decades, archaeologists have made great strides in recovering the lost world of the Old Testament. Dozens of digs in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon have changed experts' understanding of ancient Israel and its neighbours- as well as their vision of the Bible's greatest tales. Yet until now, the public has remained almost entirely unaware of these discoveries which help separate legend from historical truth. Here, at last, two of archaeology's leading scholars shed new light on how the Bible came into existence. They assert, for example, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never existed, that David and Solomon were not great kings but obscure chieftains and that the Exodus never happened. They offer instead a new historical truth: the Bible was created by the people of the small, southern nation of Judah in a heroic last-ditch attempt to keep their faith alive after the demise of the larger, wealthier nation of Israel to the north. It is in this truth, not in the myths of the past, that the real value of the Bible is evident.


Important contribution to understanding real history


Known history is not real unless it can pass the archeological test. In this work Finkelstein clearly demonstrates how early biblical books are mythical rather than historical



Extremely illuminating.


Many people down through the ages have attempted to match The Bible to the archaeological record. So much of the time, the history presented in The Bible has been treated as inviolable. In this book, this is not so. Finklestein and Silberman are unashamed in revising assumptions widely held about The Bible if the historical evidence says otherwise. And it often does. The authors show how the earliest versions were almost certainly written as propaganda for the Israelite people. Many favourite stories were put together specifically for that audience to inspire them and to fan nationalism. What is so surprising is how incredibly successful they were. After all, we still have these stories.

Sydney, AU


The Bible Unearthed

4.5 2


Jonathan Kirsch Los Angeles Times A brutally honest assessment of what archaeology can and cannot tell us about the historical accuracy of the Bible...presented with both authority and panache. John Shelby Spong author of Here I Stand: My Struggle for a Christianity of Integrity, Love, and Equality A bold and provocative book, well researched, well written, and powerfully argued. It challenges many of the assumptions developed by the literal religious minds of the ages, opening traditional possibilities to new conclusions. Baruch Halpern author of The First Historians: The Hebrew Bible and History The boldest and most exhilarating synthesis of the Bible and archaeology in fifty years.

Prologue: In the Days of King Josiahp. 1
Introduction: Archaeology and the Biblep. 4
The Bible as History?
Searching for the Patriarchsp. 27
Did the Exodus Happen?p. 48
The Conquest of Canaanp. 72
Who Were the Israelites?p. 97
Memories of a Golden Age?p. 123
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel
One State, One Nation, One People? (c. 930-720 BCE)p. 149
Israel's Forgotten First Kingdom (884-842 BCE)p. 169
In the Shadow of Empire (842-720 BCE)p. 196
Judah and the Making of Biblical History
The Transformation of Judah (c. 930-705 BCE)p. 229
Between War and Survival (705-639 BCE)p. 251
A Great Reformation (639-586 BCE)p. 275
Exile and Return (586-c. 440 BCE)p. 296
Epilogue: The Future of Biblical Israelp. 315
Theories of the Historicity of the Patriarchal Agep. 319
Searching for Sinaip. 326
Alternative Theories of the Israelite Conquestp. 329
Why the Traditional Archaeology of the Davidic and Solomonic Period Is Wrongp. 340
Identifying the Era of Manasseh in the Archaeological Recordp. 345
How Vast Was the Kingdom of Josiah?p. 347
The Boundaries of the Province of Yehudp. 354
Bibliographyp. 356
Indexp. 373
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780684869131
ISBN-10: 0684869136
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 31st December 2002
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.3 x 14.0  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.35
Edition Number: 1