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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684869136, Paperback)The Bible Unearthed is a balanced, thoughtful, bold reconsideration of the historical period that produced the Hebrew Bible. The headline news in this book is easy to pick out: there is no evidence for the existence of Abraham, or any of the Patriarchs; ditto for Moses and the Exodus; and the same goes for the whole period of Judges and the united monarchy of David and Solomon. In fact, the authors argue that it is impossible to say much of anything about ancient Israel until the seventh century B.C., around the time of the reign of King Josiah. In that period, "the narrative of the Bible was uniquely suited to further the religious reform and territorial ambitions of Judah." Yet the authors deny that their arguments should be construed as compromising the Bible's power. Only in the 18th century--"when the Hebrew Bible began to be dissected and studied in isolation from its powerful function in community life"--did readers begin to view the Bible as a source of empirically verifiable history. For most of its life, the Bible has been what Finkelstein and Silberman reveal it once more to be: an eloquent expression of "the deeply rooted sense of shared origins, experiences, and destiny that every human community needs in order to survive," written in such a way as to encompass "the men, women, and children, the rich, the poor, and the destitute of an entire community." --Michael Joseph Gross
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:27 -0400)
"In The Bible Unearthed two leading scholars, an archaeologist and a historian, combine a tour of the field of biblical archaeology with a explanation of how and why the Bible's historical saga differs so dramatically from the archaeological finds. They explain what the Bible says about ancient Israel and show how it diverges sharply from archaeological reality. They then offer a new version of the history of ancient Israel, bringing archaeological evidence to bear on the question of when, where, and why the Bible was first written." "As to why the answers are so new, Finkelstein and Silberman draw on evidence from decades of archaeological work and dozens of digs in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria, to explain that the key early books of the Bible were first codified in the seventh century B.C.E., hundreds of years after the core events of the lives of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan were said to have taken place."."Yet the ultimate message of The Bible Unearthed is not just a correction of the record. Instead, it is a unique and fascinating explanation of the origins of the Bible. The Bible's newly identified authors, threatened with political crisis and the intimidation of nearby empires, crafted a brilliant document, a set of stories and teachings that would eventually appeal to the faithful beyond the boundaries of any particular kingdom."--BOOK JACKET.
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