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The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts [Paperback]

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Item Description...
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 th

Item Specifications...

Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.38" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.98"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 11, 2002
Publisher   Free Press
ISBN  0684869136  
EAN  9780684869131  

Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Feb 18, 2018 05:11.
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About this Author/Artist
Israel Finkelstein is director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University.

Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Joseph's Camels Don't Fit  May 29, 2008
Ancient Israel was not an empire of great cities but was a tiny kingdom. The spell-binding saga of the Exodus was not a historic epic but was a moving product of human imagination. Many of the stories happened in a different era than portrayed in the Bible; many were exaggerated and misrepresented; some didn't happen at all.

Here's just one example of how we know this:

The stories of the patriarchs are loaded with camels but archeology clearly tells us camels were not domesticated and widely used until centuries later. The camel caravan in the Joseph story carried gum, balm, & myrhh, products of 7th & 8th century BCE trade during the Assyrian empire, but not before. Likewise, numerous cities, significant in the 7th & 8th centuries BCE, were mentioned in Genesis, but were either non-existent or were merely insignificant villages at the time.

This is just a tiny part of the voluminous evidence that tells a story much more mundane than does the Bible. The stories of the patriarchs reflect concerns of a seventh century Israel - projected onto the lives of legendary figures from a mythical past. The first archeologists studied the holy land with a "Bible in one hand and a shovel in the other." William Albright provided us with the first book representing more modern archeological methods in 1945. F&S have provided us with the first comprehensive update to that book - well worth the time of anyone interested in this subject.

A must for the layman or student  Apr 6, 2008
The thesis set forth in this book is not new for those who have been following modern research on the Tanach (Hebrew Bible), and the bibliography is not the kind one would expect in a serious scholarly treatise.
However, the book was not written with the intention of being an original contribution to the scholarly discourse - ecen so, in some ways it is - but to provide the educated reader with the latest theorization about the origins of the Tanch, in particular its historiographical literature, and this it does with great success.
The writing is lucid and readable, the ideas clearly presented. The bibliography at the end of the book is basic, but it includes some of the most important biblical research literature.
I recommend this book to all my Bible students (in its Hebrew translation), and in one of my courses, several chapters are required reading.
Dr. Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
Beit Berl, Israel
Excellent perspective  Mar 31, 2008
This is one of the books by Finklestein and Silberman. Based on verified archaeological finds, they reconstruct the history of the early Bible and show it did not happen in the time period or in the way claimed by the Bible. The conservative Christian will not like this book, because it contradicts much of hat many consider to be the history of the Bible. I found the book to be scholarly and very well documented. If Abrah, Isaac and Jacob did not exist, or did not exist in the appropriate Biblical history, if David and Solomon are historically questionable and the Biblical claims are fairy tales, where does this leave Christianity, initially based on the early Jewish texts?
The Bible Unearthed  Feb 25, 2008
Book was promptly delivered in excellent condition, just as I have learned to expect from this site.
Every book is biased to some extent  Feb 1, 2008
Many reviewers claim that this book is biased...well duh. Obviously Finkelstein and Silberman have an opinion/theory and they are presenting that in this book. You only have to read the back cover to figure that out. I enjoyed this book. It adds another perspective in which to view an extremely important document and historical period. Most of the theories are very reasonable, that does not mean they are correct or incorrect. The authors freely admit that the history of the bible does at times fit the physical evidence and at other times it does not. They do occasionally make the mistake of saying,"It MUST have happened this way" or,"That could NEVER have happened", or similar statements. But these statements are easily ignored. Nothing in this book is extremely radical and most of their claims are very reasonable, again this does not mean they are true or untrue, just reasonable. I would not recommend this book to religious fundamentalists OR devout atheists either, as material like this just pisses them off and causes them to write annoying reviews sighting other questionable sources such as readers digest and such. (Sorry had to slip that in) I would recommend this book to those like myself who are interested in the study of humanity. I also feel that this book ought to be read concurrently with the bible as it can improve ones understanding of both books. And finally, one should also study the history of the other cultures in the area at that time, as again this provides a greater understanding and puts things into a larger context. I also recommend these, all are books that I have read recently or am in the process of reading.The Dead Sea Scrolls - Revised Edition: A New Translation, Torah/Pocket Edition, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, The Essential Koran: Heart of Islam, The, The Koran, Dune, 40th Anniversary Edition (Dune Chronicles, Book 1)

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