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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic history reconstructed, 29 May 2008
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This review is from: The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel (Paperback)
This book "The Bible unearthed" is concentrating on the Biblical history starting from the great patriarch Abraham until the exile in Babylon. Based on archeological evidence this journey of Abraham can never have taken place and is describing more the political settings of the period of king Josiah of Judea from the 7th century BCE. The kingdoms or tribes described have not existed during Abraham's times, no Camels were domesticated to be part of a caravan taking Abrahams offspring into 430 years of Egyptian exile.
There were Canaanite settlements in the Nile delta but no mass Exodus, at least not at the time mentioned in the Bible, no wandering for 40 years of 600.000 chosen people in the desert of Sinai, all invented during Josiah's term from the YHWH-alone movement.
The core of the Jewish religion was founded in the Judean highlands from sheep and goat herders who were settling there since ancient times and not arriving refugees after 40 years of wandering after the Exodus.
The kings David and Solomon were only some tribal chiefs of these highland goat herders and not the magic powerful rulers of huge kingdoms as stated in Biblical texts. So the stories are more fairy tales inspired by the powerful northern neighbor kingdom under the Omri dynasty. And Solomon is not mentioned anywhere outside the Bible and his existence can not even be confirmed by any evidence- but there is another book from the same authors just about this period.
The best periods of the Judean chiefdoms are under polytheistic rules mentioned as wicked in the Bible, the worst periods full of lost wars and hardship under YHWH-alone rules mentioned as righteous and good in the Bible.
And of course the temple scroll miraculously found in 622 BCE happened under the `most righteous' king Josiah and this king is even explicitly mentioned as great messiah in the alleged 1000 BCE prophecies.

In short the whole stories are invented from a small kingdom of Judea to support the claim over the historical `ownership' over the 10 tribes of Israel e.g. the much bigger but crumbling northern kingdom of Israel.
"The Bible unearthed" is really a big blow to the entire validity of the Old Testament.
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