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The Old Testament in Archaeology and History

The Old Testament in Archaeology and History

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Jennie Ebeling, J. Edward Wright, Mark Elliott,
and Paul V. M. Flesher

Editors

Subjects: LCSH: Bible—Antiquities. | Bible—Criticism, interpretation, etc.


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Book Details
 Price
 4.00
 Pages
 678 p
 File Size 
 10,355 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 9781481307413 (ePub)
 9781481307420 (ebook-Mobi/Kindle) 
 9781481307437 (web PDF)
 9781481307406 (pbk. : alk. paper)
 Copyright©   
 2017 by Baylor University Press 

PREFACE
Several years ago the editors began discussing how beginning students in college
Bible courses and a public interested in biblical studies and the ancient
Israelites actually studied the Bible. In particular, we wondered, how much
did new archaeological discoveries and historical research impact their understanding
of ancient Israel and its history? Were such students dependent on
biblical scholarship that strictly privileged the biblical narrative? Did the public
only encounter apologetic testimonies supported and presented by church and synagogue?

What we found was disappointing. Introductory textbooks, even at the
college level, focus mostly on the biblical books and refer to archaeological
knowledge only in passing—usually
when there is a good picture. Old Testament
textbooks depend on the biblical narrative rather than on archaeology
for their organization. The situation for the general public is worse. From “biblical
mysteries” TV programs more interested in viewership than accuracy to
books propounding a variety of theologies and tendentious interpretations,
we could not see how an interested and intelligent reader would get a solid
understanding of the contributions made by the fields of archaeology, biblical
studies, and ancient history to the understanding of ancient Israel. Finally,
where serious works are available, they were not written to be accessible to
beginning students.

A century ago it was true that if you wanted to understand the ancient
Israelites, you had to read the Bible, the Old Testament. Today, if you want to
understand the Old Testament, you need to study the history and archaeology
of the ancient people of Israel.

The editors decided it was necessary to present ancient Israel’s origins and
history in a such way that students could understand the Israelites from all of
the evidence, not just from a single collection of ancient writings. The study of
ancient Israel should be multifaceted and not simply a study of the Bible. This
book aims to address the needs of students and the public at large by showing
how archaeological finds, including ancient texts and inscriptions from other
countries and empires, help modern readers comprehend the political, social,
and sometimes military dynamics that shaped the ancient Israelites and led
their scribes to write the books now in the Bible.

The present book brings together biblical experts and active archaeologists
to contribute their understanding of the present state of research and put
together a picture of the origins and history of the people Israel, within the
history of the ancient Near East. Despite the in-depth
expertise of our authors,
all of them composed their chapters for an audience without a deep knowledge
of ancient Israel—for
people seeking a better understanding rather than those
who were already knowledgeable. Fourteen experts in different periods of
ancient Israel’s history contributed chapters, as did the editors. This achievement
is a result of teamwork, for despite the seemingly natural conjunction
of the Bible and the archaeology of ancient Israel, the two fields do not have a
history of working together. True, archaeologists working in Israel were once
accused of digging with a trowel in one hand and a Bible in the other. But few
archaeologists were trained as biblical scholars. As William Dever identifies
the distinction in chapter 5, the combination inherent in “biblical archaeology”
before the 1970s was between archaeology and theology, not archaeology
and biblical studies. Indeed, as Mark Elliott shows in chapter 2, biblical archaeologists
like William F. Albright saw themselves as opponents of “higher
criticism” and its related research into the biblical text. From the opposite perspective,
few biblical scholars had the training and background to understand
the details of archaeological investigation and were able to incorporate it into
their research at the primary level. Textual scholars of course made use of the
inscriptions archaeologists unearthed, but the excavations that discovered
them? Not so much.

In this light, the teamwork and cooperation that this textbook represents
was hard won. The editors thank the authors for working with us to help
achieve the vision that guided this book. They put up with many editorial
“suggestions” and requests for revision in particular areas. We appreciate the
patience and diligence that all showed to us.

Baylor University Press and its director, Carey Newman, have shown a
great deal of support and patience for this project. The BUP production team
has shepherded this work through the publication project to its completion.
The editors are pleased and thankful for the care and creativity that this book
has received from BUP. Another institution deserving our thanks for its support
of this work is BiblePlaces.com and especially Todd Bolen. BiblePlaces.
com supplied most of the photographs in this book gratis. Thanks also go out
to Norma Franklin, Jim West, and Pat Landy, who read drafts of many chapters
and provided useful comments, and to Conor McCracken-Flesher, for doing the index.

Both Jennie Ebeling and Paul Flesher would like to thank the W. F.
Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem for support provided
during the final year of work on this project. The Albright appointed
Jennie as the prestigious Annual Professor for 2015–2016, and it made Paul
the Seymour Gitin Distinguished Professor during spring 2016. The libraries
of the École Biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem and the Israel
Antiquities Authority in the Rockefeller Museum were also extremely helpful.
Paul would also like to thank Dean Paula Lutz and the University of Wyoming
for awarding him sabbatical leave for 2015–2016
(during which he worked to bring this project to conclusion) 
as well as the staff of the Interlibrary Loan
Department of the University of Wyoming’s Coe Library for their work in
obtaining volumes not available on campus. Jennie would like to thank the
Department of Archaeology and Art History at the University of Evansville as
well as Alexandra Cutler.
Mark Elliott wants to thank all the other editors—Jennie
Ebeling, Paul
Flesher, and Ed Wright—for
their valuable assistance in creating and developing
the website Bible and Interpretation (www.bibleinterp.com). Ed Wright
thanks the faculty, staff, students, and supporters of The Arizona Center for
Judaic Studies for their interest in and support of this project over many years.
Finally, the editors would like to thank their spouses and children for their
support and love during the long process of putting this book together. This
volume is dedicated to our students—past,
present, and future. Every day the
students in our classes reveal their fascination for the ancient world as they
seek insight into the choices people made when confronted with momentous
(and not so momentous) events. Our past students inspired us to create this
volume, and we hope it will guide the learning of our future students.


Table of Contents
Preface xi
Archaeological Ages xv
Historical Timeline xvii
Ancient Jerusalem xxi
List of Maps xxiii
List of Figures xxv
List of Abbreviations xxxiii
Introduction 1
I
Archaeology, the Bible, and Epigraphy
Discovery, Techniques, and Development
1 Introduction to the Geography and Archaeology
of the Ancient Near East 15
Gary P. Arbino
2 Introduction to the Old Testament and Its Character
as Historical Evidence 45
Mark Elliott, with Paul V. M. Flesher
3 The West’s Rediscovery of the Holy Land 83
Victor H. Matthews
4 “Bible Lands Archaeology” and “Biblical Archaeology”
in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries 111
Rachel Hallote
5 A Critique of Biblical Archaeology
History and Interpretation 141
William G. Dever
II
Israel before Settling in the Land
6 In the Beginning, Archaeologically Speaking
Archaeology to the Bronze Ages in Canaan 161
K. L. Noll
7 Archaeology and the Canaanites 185
Jill Baker
8 The Book of Genesis and Israel’s Ancestral Traditions 213
Mark Elliott and J. Edward Wright
9 Israel in and out of Egypt 241
J. Edward Wright, Mark Elliott, and Paul V. M. Flesher
III
Israel Settles in the Land of Canaan
10 Looking for the Israelites 275
The Archaeology of Iron Age I
J. P. Dessel
11 Looking for the Israelites 299
The Evidence of the Biblical Text
Paul V. M. Flesher
12 The Philistines during the Period of the Judges 317
Ann E. Killebrew
IV
The Kingdoms of the People Israel
13 The United Monarchy 337
David between Saul and Solomon
Baruch Halpern
14 Israel 363
The Prosperous Northern Kingdom
Randall W. Younker
15 The Southern Kingdom of Judah 391
Surrounded by Enemies
Aren M. Maeir
16 Daily Life in Iron Age Israel and Judah 413
Jennie Ebeling
17 Israel and Judah under Assyria’s Thumb 433
J. Edward Wright and Mark Elliott
18 The Religions of the People Israel and Their Neighbors 477
Richard S. Hess
V
Judah as a Province
From the Babylonians to the Persians
19 Destruction and Exile 505
Israel and the Babylonian Empire
Bob Becking
20 Persia and Yehud 529
Charles David Isbell

Glossary 557
Bibliography 567
Gazetteer 607
Index of Biblical and Ancient References 613
General Index 624
Contributors 649


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ARCHAEOLOGICAL AGES
Paleolithic Era 1,500,000–22,000 BP
Lower 1,500,000–250,000
Middle 250,000–50,000
Upper 50,000–12,000
Epipaleolithic Period 12,000 BP–8500 BCE
Neolithic Period 8500–4500 BCE
Pre-Pottery
Neolithic 8500–5500
Pottery Neolithic 5500–4500
Chalcolithic Period 4500–3600 BCE
Early Bronze Age 3600–2400 BCE
EB I 3600–3000
EB II 3000–2750
EB III 2750–2400
Intermediate Bronze Age 2400–2000 BCE
Middle Bronze Age 2000–1550 BCE
MB I 2000–1900
MB II 1900–1650
MB III 1650–1550
Late Bronze Age 1550–1200 BCE
LB I 1550–1400
LB II 1400–1200
Iron Age 1200–586 BCE
Iron I 1200–1000
Iron II 1000–586
Iron IIA 1000–928
Iron IIB 928–722
Iron IIC 722–586
Neo-Babylonian
Period 586–539 BCE
Persian Period 539–332 BCE
Hellenistic Period 332–63 BCE
Roman Period 63 BCE–330 CE
Byzantine Period 330–630 CE
Islamic Period 630–1918 CE
Early Arab Period 630–1099
Crusader Period 1099–1250
Mamluk Period 1250–1517
Ottoman Period 1517–1918
Modern Period 1918–present

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