Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Old Testament Dispute Continues
Decaur Daily ^ | Richard N Ostling

Posted on 08/05/2006 12:35:23 PM PDT by blam

Old Testament dispute continues

Was King David Judaism's King Arthur?

By Richard N. Ostling
AP Religion Writer

AP Photo/Biblical Archaeology Review by Thomas E. Levy American archaeologist/educator Nelson Glueck's suggestions that a gate lay buried at the entrance to the Iron Age fortress of Khirbat en-Nahas were recently realized when archaeologists discovered a four-chamber gate (only two have been excavated). Radiocarbon dating fixed the date of its construction to the 10th century.

Some scholars are busily debunking the Bible's account of the great King David, asking: Was he really all that great? Was he largely legendary, Judaism's version of Britain's legendary King Arthur or totally fictional?

These matters are crucial not only for Jews but for Christians, since Jesus' biblical identity as the messiah stems from David's family line.

Skepticism about the Hebrew Bible's history was promoted to popular audiences in "The Bible Unearthed" (2001) by Tel Aviv University archaeologist Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. Their most recent book focuses on "David and Solomon" (Free Press).

Though some scholars claimed David never existed, in 1993 archaeologists discovered a stone inscription from 835 B.C. that mentions "the house of David." The authors say that established the existence of a dynastic founder named David and that shortly after his 10th-century era a line of kings "traced their legitimacy back to David."

However, Finkelstein considers the Bible seriously distorted propaganda. He treats David as a minor bandit chieftain and Jerusalem as a hamlet, not an imperial capital. Supposedly, biblical authors concocted the grander David centuries afterward. The book also implies that his successor, Solomon, didn't build the Temple.

Finkelstein notes that archaeologists haven't found monumental buildings from David's era in Jerusalem. He dismisses links of David and Solomon with buildings unearthed at biblical Megiddo and Hazor. Ordinary readers might not grasp that this depends upon a disputed "low chronology" which would shift dates a century, just after these kings.

In the July-August issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Michael Coogan of Stonehill College, editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible, contends that Finkelstein and Silberman "move from the hypothetical to the improbable to the absurd."

Finkelstein's revised chronology is "not accepted by the majority of archaeologists and biblical scholars," Coogan asserts, citing four scholarly anthologies from the past three years.

Coogan also thinks "David and Solomon" downplays the significance of the Amarna tablets, which include correspondence to Egypt's pharaoh from a 14th-century Jerusalem king. Even if archaeological remains at Jerusalem are lacking, he writes, the tablets indicate that long before David, Jerusalem was the region's chief city-state, with a court and sophisticated scribes.

Discovery of ancient remains in Jerusalem is problematic due to the repeated reconstruction throughout the centuries and the modern inaccessibility of many sites.

Nonetheless, perhaps David's palace has been found. So claims Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar. Finkelstein denies this, claiming Mazar inaccurately dated pottery from the site. "Here, for the time being, matters rest," summarizes Hillel Halkin in the July-August Commentary magazine.

Jerusalem feuds aside, skepticism about David seems to be countered by recent discoveries in the biblical land of Edom (present-day southwest Jordan), also described in Biblical Archaeology Review by field experts Thomas Levy and Mohammad Najjar. Levy is a University of California, San Diego, archaeologist and Najjar directs excavations for Jordan's Department of Antiquities.

According to the Hebrew Bible, Edom had kings before Israel (Genesis 36:31), barred Moses' wandering Israelites (Numbers 20:14-21) and later warred with King David (2 Samuel 8:13-14, 1 Kings 11:15-16).

Until now, many scholars have said that's all bogus because there was no archaeological evidence for a state in Edom until long after David's day. Finkelstein and Silberman typified such skepticism in "Bible Unearthed," which said Edom achieved kingship and statehood only in the seventh century B.C.

But Levy and Najjar say lack of evidence is never conclusive, and in this case previous archaeologists dug in the wrong place. They've now excavated a major fortress that — to their surprise — is dated by radiocarbon tests in David's era. An adjacent copper mill goes back another one to two centuries, closer to Moses' time.

Biblical references have gained "new plausibility," they conclude.

On the Net: Biblical Archaeology Review: www.bib-arch.org; Commentary: www.commentarymagazine.com


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: biblicalarchaeology; catastrophism; ccc; chosen; continues; covenant; david; dispute; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; holymoses; judaica; judea; kingdavid; old; testament; velikovsky

1 posted on 08/05/2006 12:35:25 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


3 posted on 08/05/2006 12:36:25 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: blam
Biblical references have gained "new plausibility," they conclude.

Gods Word needs no human "plausibility".

A person believes it - or not.

I believe, and will not argue the point..those that don't can go to..well, we know where they go.

4 posted on 08/05/2006 12:44:21 PM PDT by PattonFan (Not me, I don't believe in paying for the same real estate twice." George C. Scott , "Patton")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PattonFan
I just love all these revisionist "scholars" that think they can rewrite history thousands of years later.
5 posted on 08/05/2006 12:53:50 PM PDT by Clint N. Suhks (If you don't love Jesus, you can go to hell.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: PattonFan
A person believes it - or not.

While this is true, G-d has always been willing to give signs - including Jesus' miracles.

G-d does not want to make it impossible to disbelieve, but He appears to be willing to "help us in our unbelief."

Shalom.

6 posted on 08/05/2006 1:00:59 PM PDT by ArGee (The Ring must not be allowed to fall into Hillary's hands!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: blam

Sadly this "scholarship" seems motivated by an effort to dismantle or dishonor Jewish people and traditions.


7 posted on 08/05/2006 1:03:09 PM PDT by Minus_The_Bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArGee
G-d does not want to make it impossible to disbelieve, but He appears to be willing to "help us in our unbelief."

Interesting statement ArGee. I see the truth in it, but I don't know why.

Maybe, belief in God with all it implies, is much harder in this age of science.

Regarding the Tree of Knowledge My Husband said "Man is DOOMED to Learn". The more man knows, the less he will believe.

8 posted on 08/05/2006 1:12:04 PM PDT by PattonFan (Not me, I don't believe in paying for the same real estate twice." George C. Scott , "Patton")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Clint N. Suhks
I just love all these revisionist "scholars" that think they can rewrite history thousands of years later

I think it boils down to Ego. The Scholars" of today no longer have original ideas..they are politically motivated to prove thousands of years of faith wrong.

Will they be asking for ice water in hell?

9 posted on 08/05/2006 1:15:19 PM PDT by PattonFan (Not me, I don't believe in paying for the same real estate twice." George C. Scott , "Patton")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: PattonFan
Regarding the Tree of Knowledge My Husband said "Man is DOOMED to Learn". The more man knows, the less he will believe.

And, yet, G-d seems willing to deal with us on an intellectual level. In Isaiah G-d says, "Come, let us reason together." When the Apostle Thomas made his famous challenge Jesus met him and allowed him to touch the wounds before declaring that faith without seeing is a blessed faith. When Paul wrote of the Resurrection he went to some trouble to list those who had seen the Resurrected Messiah so those to whom he was writing could check out the story if they wanted to. And Luke records Paul's preaching with phrases like, "Thus, with many proofs, he showed them..."

Science reveals truth. All truth is G-d's truth. The issue isn't what is revealed, but man's desire to interpret that truth in a way that glorifies himself at the expense of G-d.

Shalom.

10 posted on 08/05/2006 1:50:09 PM PDT by ArGee (The Ring must not be allowed to fall into Hillary's hands!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: ArGee
In Proverbs we are told "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding" (3:13)

There are many more scriptures in which God Compels us to THINK, and many more that deals with an ego that believes his thoughts are a matter for glorifying the "self".

11 posted on 08/05/2006 2:24:36 PM PDT by PattonFan (Not me, I don't believe in paying for the same real estate twice." George C. Scott , "Patton")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

12 posted on 08/05/2006 6:03:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, July 27, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Wow...I just got that issue today...first time that's happened, that I bought a journal on the same day you listed an article from it...


13 posted on 08/05/2006 6:05:46 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Dead link, but interesting:
Did Joshua Destroy Canaanite Hatzor?
Bridges for Peace
The discovery of several cuneiform tablets at the 800-dunam (200-acre) site over the years points to the likelihood that Hatzor will produce the first ancient archive, other than the Dead Sea Scrolls, ever to be found in the country. Such an archive would shed light on the Canaanite city which, the Bible tells us, Joshua "burnt with fire" (Joshua 11:11) after its king led a federation of cities that battled against the Israelite incursion. More than that, it would shed light on a historically crucial period we know little about.

Ben-Tor has yet to find the archive, but he appears to be getting closer. Until this year, he hoped there might be two archives - one in each of the two palaces identified on the acropolis atop the tel. The late Prof. Yigael Yadin had been the first to identify a palace during his landmark dig at Hatzor in the 1950s, dating it to the 18th century BC or Middle Bronze (MB) period. That [fit] perfectly with the date of the royal archive in Mari, Syria, in which cuneiform messages relating to MB Hatzor were found - the first hint of a possible archive at Hatzor.

However, when Ben-Tor began his excavations in 1990 he came upon a palace near Yadin's which he dated, by means of its ceramics, to a few hundred years later - that is, to the last half of the second millennium or Late Bronze (LB) period. The generally accepted dating of the biblical destruction of Hatzor by Joshua roughly coincides with the date of this LB palace's destruction, the 14th or 13th centuries BCE. This summer, as he probed the area of the palaces, Ben-Tor began to have an uneasy feeling that Yadin, his former teacher, had made a wrong dating and that there was in fact only one palace - his own LB structure.
Heh heh...
14 posted on 08/05/2006 6:13:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, July 27, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PattonFan
The way ancient history can be mangled by well-meaning historians was demonstrated by Otto F. Reiss in the July 1967 issue of Art and Archaeology Newsletter. In a note entitled "A Forward Look Backward," he imagines what would happen if future archaeologists interpret our stories of World War II the same way our liberal scholars interpret the Bible. Obviously World War II must have been caused by competition between two primitive technologies, since on one side we have an Eisen Hower or "Hewer of Iron," while on the other side was a Messer Schmidt, or "Forger of Daggers." France was involved, but the original name of its hero was forgotten, for he is simply called "de Gaulle," and we all know that Gaul was the ancient name of France. There would be some confusion over "Hitler" and "Himmler," which apparently are two different spellings of the same person's name. The future archaeologist's conclusion? "It adds up to the struggle between true man and death, or between good and evil. A great allegory, to be sure. But historical fact? Certainly not!"
15 posted on 08/05/2006 6:34:46 PM PDT by Berosus ("There is no beauty like Jerusalem, no wealth like Rome, no depravity like Arabia."--the Talmud)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: blam

Somewhere in the mix of the Empires of Babylon, Media-Persia, Phoenecia, the Greeks, the Seleucids, the Assyrians and all of the rest....

Some small Clans, Tribes, Families, whatever somehow made a difference because of their peculiar ways... and thus somehow impacted the course of world history for millenia.

An impact that should in no way be unrecognized or unacknowledged by thinking persons.


16 posted on 08/05/2006 6:55:43 PM PDT by Radix (Somehow, my Flux Capacitor got crossed up with my Interocitor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PattonFan
"Regarding the Tree of Knowledge My Husband said "Man is DOOMED to Learn". The more man knows, the less he will believe."

We are not doomed because we learn things.

Au contraire, we are all partaking of that fruit, of that tree, and in the end, knowledge shall increase, even as we do not live longer than a day.

That is what it is all about.

Learning, and knowledge.

The knowledge of Good and Evil.

Genesis is the key to all knowledge.

The Commandments to Man in that book, transcend all else.

If you look carefully, with an open mind, you will probably see that is what it is about.

That is in part why Jesus was executed. He so pissed of the religious authorities of his day.

When the leaders queried him concerning the letter of the law concerning the rules of Divorce, he cut them to the quick with his clear rebuke concerning the true meaning of the Law.

Genesis, and the commandments to Adam (and all of us)concerning marriage, divorce, and in reality so much more...(as I said) cut them to the quick.

He undermined their place in God's hierarchy, and they targeted him for that offense.

It is all there in that silly little book that our children are not allowed to learn about because a$$holes are running our public education system.

17 posted on 08/05/2006 7:08:50 PM PDT by Radix (Somehow, my Flux Capacitor got crossed up with my Interocitor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Radix
Yet another flaming topic that I cannot possibly win on.I was raised on the New Testiment/King James version indeed. This is my faith and I believe the words I read daily. Sure, I'm a backslider like most but my faith and conscience keeps me focused. The hard part is, keeping my mouth shut while ignorant liberal co-workers slam Christ, Bush, Republicans on a daily basis. When I'm at work, I don't thing about Bush or politics, religion and such. It shows how insane and obsessed the left is about President Bush.
18 posted on 08/05/2006 7:11:00 PM PDT by Phibes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Phibes
I was at a party last month for the 4th. My son attended. He is a bit more forceful than I am when face to face. I let folks slide a lot when they profess their ignorance concerning the real world...so out loud. "I support the troops, but not the war."

They are so completely clueless concerning just how ignorant they sound when they make such comments.

Most of the Troops that I know do double takes when they hear such nonsense.

I blame the Schools and the MSM for such garbage. It is clearly an indictment of their complete and utter failure to do what they ostensibly set out to do.

Educate and inform.

It is a shame, that is not happening in our culture.

Posterity is in for a whole heap of trouble.

19 posted on 08/05/2006 7:18:40 PM PDT by Radix (Somehow, my Flux Capacitor got crossed up with my Interocitor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: blam

i have no dog in the fight over the religious issues many focus on, but time and time again I have found the Old Testament to be an excellent historical source. I don't doubt there is some embellishment on certain topics, which is an entirely smaller scale of distortion than some want to make out.


20 posted on 08/05/2006 7:42:34 PM PDT by WoofDog123
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArGee
. . .He appears to be willing to "help us in our unbelief."

Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

21 posted on 08/05/2006 7:59:43 PM PDT by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: ArGee; Conservative Texan Mom; Alamo-Girl; js1138; coles; Mr. Silverback; RunningWolf
There are many examples of figures in the Old Testament whom 'scholars' believed were mythical not real persons in history. Belshazzar is one of some infamy. Here's an excerpt from a book I'm working on; this is a minor aside in the chapter titled 'Brane Crasher':

It is interesting to note that in the past people stamped this passage and all of the Book of Daniel as mere myth-telling because Historians didn’t believe there was such a king as Belshazzar who ever reigned in Babylon. But in 1854, a member of the British Consul was exploring ancient ruins in southern Iraq and dug into a great tower built there. He found a time capsule: clay cylinders inscribed with cuneiform writing; the cylinders were inscribed at the time of Nabonidus, king of Babylon from 555-539 B.C., and commemorated repairs the king made to the tower; they included a prayer for long life of Nabonidus and his oldest son, Belshazzar.

Nabonides is considered the last great king of Babylon. His relationship with the previous Kings of Babylon is unclear, perhaps he was once a great general, but he came to the throne by overthrowing a young king named Labashi-Marduk. It is likely Nabonides substantiated his claim to the throne by marrying Nitocris, a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, since he was not a blood relative to Nebuchadnezzar.

Being a religious eccentric, in 549 BC Nabonides left Babylon to live at Teyma (Tema) located in what is now Saudi Arabia northeast of Hijaz, where the ancient trade route between Medina and Dumah crosses the Nefud desert. Tayma is approximately 400 kilometers north of Medina. While on religious sojourn Nabonides left his son behind to rule in Babylon, but Belshazzar never fully came to the throne.

Skeptics believed that the writer of Daniel made an historical error in calling Belshazzar king, but when Belshazzar told Daniel that if he could interpret the writing on the wall he (Daniel) would be granted authority in the kingdom as the third ruler, the scriptures show a detail which lends credence to the account. Belshazzar was not the first ruler of the kingdom, but he was in a secondary position, appointed to reign in Babylon while his father was away. By Babylonian tradition, all in the city with the secondary ruler would call him king.

Belshazzar offered to Daniel third position, so the writer of the Book faithfully related the fact as a minor detail, and then much later archaeological evidence substantiated the trivia.

These findings in archaeology show that the writer of the Book of Daniel was telling of a real man. These were no fables.

22 posted on 08/05/2006 8:14:51 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: MHGinTN

Thank you so much for that fascinating excerpt!


23 posted on 08/05/2006 10:06:24 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Alouette; SJackson; sionnsar; NYer; Salem

Bible ping.

People trying to 'debunk' King David.


24 posted on 08/05/2006 11:53:24 PM PDT by Alexander Rubin (Octavius - You make my heart glad building thus, as if Rome is to be eternal.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Some scholars are busily debunking the Bible's account of the great King David...

Hmmmmmm. Let's see- who should I believe as to the truth of the Word of God? God or man, God or man, God or man, God or man, God or man.

What a joke and what puny, irrevelant fools are those who actually embark on a serious attempt to "disprove" Scripture.

Psalm 2:4:

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. What a frightening thing it is to be laughed at by God!

It never, ever, ceases to amaze me that, instead of seeking God and joyfully accepting His gift of eternal life and a personal relationship with Him, fallen mankind spends his short years here on earth at war with Him, obsessed with "proving" that He doesn't exist, and, in the end, losing the war with God and spending all eternity in desolation and alone.

I just don't get it.

25 posted on 08/06/2006 3:39:07 AM PDT by GiovannaNicoletta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MHGinTN

Thanks. I can't get enough.


26 posted on 08/06/2006 5:45:18 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: PattonFan

"Man is DOOMED to Learn"

What a tagline!


27 posted on 08/06/2006 9:13:25 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (On issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Berosus
The future archaeologist's conclusion? "It adds up to the struggle between true man and death, or between good and evil. A great allegory, to be sure. But historical fact? Certainly not!"

Thanks for the new source material.

Excellent!

28 posted on 08/07/2006 7:50:04 AM PDT by PattonFan (Not me, I don't believe in paying for the same real estate twice." George C. Scott , "Patton")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Professional Engineer; Radix
"Man is DOOMED to Learn"

What a tagline!

LOL! Could be I guess.

I believe what my husband meant by the statement (putting it in context of our conversation) was that Man will some day, thru his own technology..become "Too big for his own britches".

If knowledge is not used properly..we have atheism , liberalism, socialism..all those "isms".

29 posted on 08/07/2006 7:55:29 AM PDT by PattonFan (Not me, I don't believe in paying for the same real estate twice." George C. Scott , "Patton")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: 75thOVI; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; CGVet58; chilepepper; ...
An old one I should have pinged when I had the chance.
Catastrophism

30 posted on 12/07/2006 10:25:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, November 16, 2006 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]


· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just updating the info, not sending a general distribution.
 
Catastrophism
 
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
 
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · LiveScience · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


31 posted on 05/11/2010 6:39:03 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson