By Israel Finkelstein
3 many years of debate, dialogue, and debate in the interrelated disciplines of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, old Israelite background, and Hebrew Bible over the query of the relevance of the biblical account for reconstructing early Israels historical past have created the necessity for a balanced articulation of the problems and their potential resolutions. This booklet brings jointly for the 1st time and lower than one disguise, a presently rising centrist paradigm as articulated via prime figures within the fields of early Israelite archaeology and historical past. even though Finkelstein and Mazar recommend designated perspectives of early Israels background, they however proportion the location that the fabric cultural information, the biblical traditions, and the traditional close to jap written assets are all considerably proper to the ancient quest for Iron Age Israel. the result of their study are featured in available, parallel syntheses of the ancient reconstruction of early Israel that facilitate comparability and distinction in their respective interpretations. The old essays offered listed here are according to invited lectures added in October of 2005 on the 6th Biennial Colloquium of the overseas Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in Detroit, Michigan.
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Extra info for The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel (Sbl - Archaeology and Biblical Studies)
This situation is only natural in light of the Bible’s complex process of transmission described above. But the role of archaeology is well beyond confirming or denying certain biblical events or other references. Archaeology is in fact the main tool for reconstructing many aspects of Israelite society, economy, daily life, and religion, as well as those of Israel’s neighbors. It offers a unique perspective on the Israelites as part of the wider context of the Levant and the entire ancient Near East.
In spite of these dangers, the working hypothesis of the view that I represent is that information in the Deuteronomistic History and other biblical texts may have historical value, in spite of the distortions, exaggerations, theological disposition, and literary creativity of the biblical authors and editors. The Role of Archaeology and the Definition of “Biblical Archaeology” The correlation of archaeological finds and texts is only one aspect of the archaeologist’s work—perhaps one of the most difficult—yet it is a challenge that must be faced.
They can, for example, offer alternative solutions to the debate over the historicity of David and Solomon. In sum, archaeology is a much more complex discipline than most people think. Its methods of analytical research and deduction provide the only way to reconstruct an outline of historical periods and lost cultures where there are no written records, while for periods where we have written sources, archaeology gains significant importance as a complementary tool for historical reconstruction, even counter-balancing texts that may be biased or loaded with propaganda and ideology.
The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel (Sbl - Archaeology and Biblical Studies) by Israel Finkelstein