Friday, July 22, 2011

Anti-biblical prejudice amongst biblical archaeologists

God forbid anyone should use the Bible to tell them where to dig.


PhysicistDave said...

Hi, Vic!

Does it occur to you that by stirring up controversy about a book that his own company is co-publishing, Hershel is just increasing the “buzz” for the book?

Given his record of unprincipled hucksterism, I cannot think of a whole lot of good things to say about Hershel Shanks, but I gotta hand it the man: He’s always been good at moving the merchandise!

If you had followed the field of Biblical archaeology during the last century, you would have seen a bizarre series of archaeologists’ jumping to conclusions, without any serious archaeological analysis, trying to prop up the Bible. It’s understandable that Ronny Reich is reacting against that: his point seems to be that Eilat Mazar “would certainly find that building” whether she really found the building or not.

Given the bizarrely unprofessional behavior in the past of so many in the Biblical archaeology field, Reich’s concern is more than understandable. Incidentally, an increasing number of scholars are making the point that “Biblical archaeology” is an oxymoron: it should be “Canaanite archaeology,” “Palestinian archaeology,” or “Near Eastern archaeology.” “Biblical archaeology” betrays the false belief in the Bible as a guiding star that concerns Reich.

Fortunately, the profession seems to be moving towards seeing the Bible as simply a collection of distasteful myths and distorted history that should not be taken overly seriously by honest archaeologists.

Dave Miller in Sacramento

Papalinton said...


Yes, yes and yes.
A measured and reasoned comment on the current state of play in ANE archeology.