William G. Dever offers a welcome perspective on ancient Israel and Judah that prioritizes the archaeological remains to render history as it was—not as the biblical writers argue it should have been. Drawing from the most recent archaeological data as interpreted from a nontheological point of view and supplementing that data with biblical material only when it converges with the archaeological record, Dever analyzes all the evidence at hand to provide a new history of ancient Israel and Judah that is accessible to all interested readers.
FeaturesA new approach to the history of ancient Israel Extensive bibliography More than eighty maps and illustrations
Dever first looks at the nature and recent development of both archaeology and Biblical studies, and then lays the groundwork for a new a productive relationship between these two disciplines. His “case studies” are three eras in Israelite history: the period of settlement in Canaan, the period of the United Monarchy, and the period of religious development, chiefly during the Divided Monarchy. In each case Dever explores by means of recent discoveries what archaeology, couples with textual study, can contribute to the illumination of the life and times of ancient Israel.
Given the flood of new information that has come from recent archaeological discoveries, Dever has chosen to draw evidence largely from excavations and surveys done in Israel in the last ten years--many still unpublished--concerning archaeology and the Old Testament.
Dever’s work not only brings the reader up to date on recent archaeological discoveries as they pertain to the Hebrew Bible, but indeed goes further in offering an original interpretation of the relationship between the study of the Bible and the uncovering of the material culture of the ancient Near East. Extensive notes, plus the use of much new and/or unpublished data, will make the volume useful to graduate students and professors in the fields of Biblical studies and Syro-Palestinian archaeology, and the seminarians, pastors, rabbis, and others. This book provides stimulating, provocative, and often controversial reading as well as a compendium of valuable insights and marginalia that symbolizes the state of the art of Biblical archaeology today.