92 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something old, something new
This book presents new discoveries and ways of looking at previous discoveries in the area of archaeological research and the origins of the Bible. This is one of the latest contributions of major scholars to the continuing quest for clarity and understanding of the development and meaning of the biblical texts. 'We believe that a reassessment of finds from earlier...
Published on 21 Dec 2005 by Kurt Messick
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars May now need to be heavily revised
Enjoyed reading this book, but realise that already it is in need of heavy revision. It now appears that the scholarly consensus has shifted with regard to the dating of the chambered gates at Hazor, Meggido and Gezer back to Solomon. Finklestein et al supposed them to be Omeride. Also evidence of earlier destruction of Canaanite Hazor is now being attributed to the...
Published on 3 Aug 2009 by Dabar
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upturns most of whats in the Bible,
This well-regarded book may not be completely accepted by all Israelis but it seems to be the main-stream view. There was no Exodus and not much else in the Bible can be trusted.
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Old Testament is NOT accurate history.,
I once heard a christian apologist confidently proclaim that there was nothing in biblical archaology that disproved the Old Testament account of Israelite history. 'The Bible Unearthed' certainly casts a shadow over such bold pronouncements.
This book makes a brilliant case for not taking the Old Testament as historical. For example, there are plenty of Egyptian texts (eg the Tel-el Amarna letters), and writing in tombs that provides a good insight into the land of Canaan. Nothing in them mentions an exodus or conquest! And wheras the Old Testament describes the Canaan cities as strong, with high walls, archaology reveals they were weak and lacking defensive structures. Clearly the biblical account is lacking...
Read this book. It's fascinating, intriguing and eye opening.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Archaeological content.,
Positive factual (?) content. Some contraversal issues. For someone with limited knowledge of this subject it bends the learning curve and generates greater interest.
7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A rather warped view,
It should be understood, which the book certainly doesn't make clear, that the authors are very much on the edge of their discipline in terms of their opinions and thesis.
Another point that is ignored is that their whole argument rests on the traditional dating of the Middle East (through Egyptology), which has been thoroughly upset, and arguably destroyed, by Rohl et al. If Rohl's view of the dating is accepted, many synchronisms between secular history and the Bible drop into place, and Solomon, far from being a tin-pot ruler of the equivalent of a wattle and daub village, which the authors make him out to be, was actually a very rich and powerful king.
That being so, the assertions (for that is all they really are) contained in 'The Bible Unearthed' are valueless. I bought it to see the arguments brought forward and was frankly disappointed that they proved so tenuous. I am aware that this was not intended as a scientific treatise, but the authors really do themselves no favours in this publication.
15 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The underdetermination of reality and how archaelogists err...,
This review is from: The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Isreal and the Origin of Sacred Texts (Kindle Edition)
This book is a perfect illustration of the "underdetermination of reality" theory by scientist and philosopher Henri Kaplan: identical and agreed upon facts (eg. we found a jar at such place) can be explained by several competing and contradictory models in which they all fit perfectly.
I think that the book does not pass the bar of a satisfactory scientific approach for the following reasons: the authors clearly take a view without stating it, the book is primarily based on the authors' personal opinions (in order to fill the gaps) and is not exempt of circular reasoning either.
More importantly though, it should be noted that archeology and Thora (the Jewish Bible) are non sequatur: the Thora 's goal is to influence behaviors based on religious truths while archeology aims at building a historical narrative based on tangible facts. So, while the title is a clever one in terms of marketing, "The Bible unearthed" is nothing more than a play on words.
2 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why Finklestein is wrong,
Israel Finkelstein and co-author have done a great disservice to Biblical archaeology. The people most interested in the truth ever at any time were the Israelite prophets, who wrote the Bible under Divine direction. To check if anything else is true, it must be checked against the Bible for accuracy. If there is any discrepancy, the Bible prevails. This is why all direct archeological references about Biblical events always corroborate the Bible, such as the Moabite stone, Senacherib's tablets and other documents. The fact that no direct archeological evidence for other events of the Bible does not mean there never was any. Even if there was not, it does not put into question the words of the Bible, as not every event ever had documents attesting to it. Furthermore, the Bible is the most authentic ancient document ever. Besides the written word of the Bible, the Jewish traditions about the events recorded has always been absolutely reliable. In fact, no Jew ever questioned these events until several hundred years ago, so strong the traditions were. As the Bible itself constantly records, facts such as the Exodus from Egypt and the reign of David were established as unquestionable facts to all Israelites, even the worst. Josephus similarly records that in his time, the influence of Moses was so strongly felt that every Jew would act as if Moses was present. So Finkelstein and friend are just taking advantage of the fact they live so long after the events when some have no more connection with Jewish tradition to encourage atheism, heresy and denial of the Jewish people's historic connection with the Land of Israel. They are a disgrace to the Jewish people. I call on anyone who cares for the truth to boycott their books.
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The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Isreal and the Origin of Sacred Texts by Neil Asher Silberman