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The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel (Sbl - Archaeology and Biblical Studies)

By Israel Finkelstein (Author) & Amihai Mazar (Author)
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Item description for The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel (Sbl - Archaeology and Biblical Studies) by Israel Finkelstein & Amihai Mazar...

Three decades of dialogue, discussion, and debate within the interrelated disciplines of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, ancient Israelite history, and Hebrew Bible over the question of the relevance of the biblical account for reconstructing early Israels history have created the need for a balanced articulation of the issues and their prospective resolutions. This book brings together for the first time and under one cover, a currently emerging centrist paradigm as articulated by two leading figures in the fields of early Israelite archaeology and history. Although Finkelstein and Mazar advocate distinct views of early Israels history, they nevertheless share the position that the material cultural data, the biblical traditions, and the ancient Near Eastern written sources are all significantly relevant to the historical quest for Iron Age Israel. The results of their research are featured in accessible, parallel syntheses of the historical reconstruction of early Israel that facilitate comparison and contrast of their respective interpretations. The historical essays presented here are based on invited lectures delivered in October of 2005 at the Sixth Biennial Colloquium of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in Detroit, Michigan.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Pages   220
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.5" Width: 6.5" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Library Binding
Release Date   Dec 15, 2007
Publisher   Brill
ISBN  9004157387  
ISBN13  9789004157385  

Availability  0 units.

More About Israel Finkelstein & Amihai Mazar

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Israel Finkelstein is a professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University. He is a leading figure in the archaeology of the Levant and the laureate of the 2005 Dan David Prize in the Past Dimension -- Archaeology. Finkelstein served for many years as the Director of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University and is the co-Director of the Megiddo Expedition. He is the co-author, with Neil Silberman, of "The Bible Unearthed" (Free Press, 2001) and the author of many field reports and scholarly articles.

Israel Finkelstein currently resides in Tel Aviv.

Israel Finkelstein has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ancient Near East Monographs
  2. Archaeology and Biblical Studies

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel (Sbl - Archaeology and Biblical Studies)?

Excellent book for those interested in the history of Israel.  Jun 24, 2008
This book is a great resource for those who are interested in the history of ancient Israel. It is written in a manner that is very informative, but not so academic that the material is meaningless to people to aren't scholars. The book is divided into sections, with each part consisting of a chapter by Finkelstein and a chapter by Mazar. The intent of the authors is to examine and evaluate the archaeological data that pertains to the history of Israel, which includes a look at what archaeology says about the period of the patriarchs, the story of the exodus, the conquest, and the monarchy. The book demonstrates in an engaging way that, while the authors disagree on the interpretation of some of the archaeological data they are both in agreement that the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) contains historical data within its pages, and is not, as some scholars would assert, a completely fictional work. The book also serves as a handy summary reference for the archaoleogical data pertaining to these topics.
History of Israel  Mar 15, 2008
I have grown up reading the biblical stories recounted in the Hebrew bible as essentially historical recollections. I have always had some reservations about their accuracy as historical fact and their exaggerations of the scale of the Exodus. This book dispels any notion that the Bible records history accurately or factually. This book strongly suggests that the Exodus, as described in the Bible, is a work of fiction and that the 40 year wandering in the desert is more a theological wandering than a historical event. It does appear, from having read this book twice, that much of Israel's history is fabricated for political purposes and exaggerated toward the Southern Kingdom's benefit. Even the revered Solomon's very existence is questionable. At best he may be a fairly minor king whose exploits and building projects are either non-existent or greatly enhanced by later scribal embellishment.
Excellent Introduction to controversies in Ancient Israelite archaeology  Dec 9, 2007
This is an excellent introduction to the latest research in Biblical Archaeology, presenting a middle ground between the Minimalist and Maximalist debate which has sought to polarise the issue over the last 15 years. Both Finkelstein and Mazar are leading exponents in the field of Post-processual Archaeology, but neither are afraid of examining where the Biblical record is confirmed or challenged by the findings of modern archaeology. For a balanced view, with good editorial summaries, this book looks at the various periods and brings the reader up-to-date with the findings of the latest ecavations.

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