I've delve on this one about 4 decades ago...it was an eye opener at the time and is still as good (or better) as it was...it is a foundation stone to anyone interested on the subject... (obs...there is nothing religious about it...it's pure factual/rationall history)
Enjoyed this book a lot. I'm not a part of any religion but after reading this you do approach the bible and quran in a different way. I bought it really after looking for a book that would chronicle the entire history of the old testament period and ended up with much more. Really interesting for religious and non religious alike. Good book.
Scholarly yet very readable - a brilliant work setting out what is known of biblical history and archaeology to provide everyone with a rich background to the Bible. A masterpiece and right up to date too.
This is an English translation of "Und die Bibel hat doch recht" which is a study of what archaeology can tell us of the history represented by the Bible, by a leading german scientific journalist.
The author, Dr Werner Keller, was neither an archaeologist not a theologian, but he was an exceptionally well-informed layman whose work as a journalist had given him a knack for describing complex things in a simple and accessible way. In preparing this book he did a massive amount of work relating the state of archaological knowledge of Egypt and Palestine, in ancient times, as it stood at the middle of the 20th century, to the bible story.
Keller begins by describing the rediscovery in the 20th century of the remains of the ancient city of Ur in Mesopotania, and discussing whether this city is likely to be the birthplace of Abraham. He then refers to a thick layer of clay found underneath the city during the excavations and apparently resulting from a very substantial flood in about 4000 BC, and compares this with various other items of evidence hinting at the historical reality behind the biblical story of the great flood.
Next he looks at the evidence to suggest that a disastrous geological event in about 1900 BC caused a large area of the plain which originally lay to the South of the Dead sea - and containing the "Cities of the Plain" e.g. Sodom and Gomorah - to tumble into the sea. He's pretty convincing that this may reflect the historical reality behind the story of the destruction of those cities, though he didn't find any pillar of salt.
Keller continues to examine the archaeological evidence for all the major events of the biblical era up to and including the destruction of the Second Temple at Jerusalem by the Roman Army under Titus in AD71.
His analysis is much more conventional and less iconclastic than that of some earlier and later writers on the subject. While it will not attract much sympathy from what is sometimes known as the "Copenhagen School" who regard the Old Testament as a collection of legends and any attempt to us the bible as historical evidence as "not only dubious but wholly ludicrous" this book largely accepts received wisdom on issues like chronology among leading scholars at the time the book was written. It is not controversial in the way that, for example, A Test of Time: The Bible - From Myth to History v. 1 (A Channel Four book) by David Rohl is.
The book was translated into English by Dr William Neil, a leading British biblical scholar, and the translation is accessible and easy to read. It was first published in 1956 and went through fifteen impressions between that year and 1974.
I do not have the necessary knowledge base to assess the merits of this book as a work of scholarship, but it is readable, plausible, interesting and accessible.
When Keller first brought this book I bought it that was when it was a hard back, over the years it has borrowed and never come back, so I have bought it again, it is a great study book for Biblical history and it is excellent