and Biblical Skepticism
Posts - History - 061103)
discoveries in archaeology have altered the perceptions generally held
on bible historicity prior to recent times. Links to some views (and books)
on these matters follow:
"The Bible Unearthed"
Bible Unearthed : Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and
the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, by Israel Finkelstein, Neil
to book description and reviews. This book received Amazon.com's
Best of 2001 designation.
for Disbelief, by Aviva Lori, Haaretz.com
with the author of "The Bible Unearthed", Israel Finkelstein
regarding "The Bible Unearthed" by Neil Asher Silberman
is a contributor to "The Bible Unearthed", Director of historical
interpretation for the Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage
Presentation in Belgium, contributing editor to Archaeology magazine,
and author of numerous books on Biblical history.
testament: archaeology refutes the Bible's claim to history.
(Criticism). Author: Daniel Lazare, Harper's Magazine, Issue: March,
analysis of a book which provides details on why the fundamentalist
/ literalist interpretation of the pentateuch, the christian bible,
and the quran, fall far short when it comes to the historical claims
made regarding those documents.
Minimalists -- References
describing differences between biblical minimalists and maximalists.
minimalists are of the view that the bible stories are largely mythical.
Even though some of the places and people cannot be proven to have
been totally mythical, the biblical stories regarding them are entirely
mythical in nature, not historical. The reason they were written
is that later generations wanted to develop an identity, and used
the motif of that day and age to create a "history" that point-in-fact,
never was in reality.
maximalists have dropped a great deal of the traditional ideas regarding
the supposed historicity of many parts of the bible. Generally,
they accept the minimalist position regarding quite a bit of the
bible up until the "United Monarchy" at the time of David and Solomon,
when differences begin to emerge between the two views.
to Israel's Past: Background and Beginnings of Israelite History
and Identity, by Niels Lemche
to book description and reviews. One reviewer commented that the
book provides "a clean, refreshing and unbiased look at the Biblical
world and its relation to genuine history. Establishing that there
is no possible credible relationship between the Biblical world
and genuine ancient world the author approaches the logical and
only remaining question of what then is the Bible and provides a
well discussed thesis on the Biblical texts."
Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical
Abraham, by Thomas L. Thompson
to book description and reviews. The book is written by a man who
is described as "one of the most vocal contemporary critics of biblical
archaeology. His simple but powerful thesis is that archaeology
cannot be used in the service of the Bible." The author demonstrates
that archaeological research cannot substantiate the biblical stories
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He also refutes the patriarchal narratives
Search of Ancient Israel, by Philip R. Davies
to book description and reviews. One reviewer commented that "no
one has yet answered his primary objection to mainstream historians
of 'ancient Israel': for the vast majority of the biblical literature,
there is absolutely no evidence of the sort required to claim it
as historically reliable -- yet they continue to treat it as if