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Maximal Minimalism


Goonerman
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This is my first sortie here in years. At the minute I am researching a debate about history stretching back to the 1970s which peaked in the 1990s, but with key archaeological discoveries being made, will hopefully bring the matter to an end.

 

Although liberals thought they had ripped the Torah, apart, with their strange JEDP Documentary Hypothesis, they and conservative scholars agreed on the following things:

 

That the Israelites had indeed come from the East into Canaan, having run away from Egypt where they had been slaves. (Note I didn't say they all agreed on what is said in the Book of Exodus.)

 

That the Israelites then set up a 12 tribe confederacy loosely based on the shrine at Shiloh and fought amongst various Canaanite and Philstine enemies.

 

That Saul did create a United Kingdom, consolidated by David and Solomon who turned Israel into a mini Hebrew Empire, controlling Syria as afar as Damascus and including parts othe future Jordan, imposing authority over Moab and Edom. This then divided into two separate kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom of Israel which had eventually Samaria as its capital and the Southern Davidic Kingdom of Judah with Jerusalem as its capital. Then Assyria destroyed Israel and Samaria in 721 BC and Babylon destroyed Judah and Jerusalem in 587 BC.

 

Then Cyrus of Persia adopted a different policy and when he took Babylon in 539 BC, he let the Jews back to Judah two years later.

 

But that consensus broke down. Due to a misinterpretation of the Book of Joshua, where many readers mistakenly think it says the Israelites burned down all the cities and killed all the Canaanites, they noticed that the archaeology showed no such thing. So the new theory was, in the light of a clear east to west rise in settlements then a population increase in the cities, that the Israelites must have been Canaanites who forgot their roots and concocted tales of a non-existent invasion to explain why they were not like the rest of the Canaanites. It is noted that their pottery was different and they did not eat pigs. No pig bones, unlike in Canaan and especially Philistia. Therefore eventually, they rejected even peaceful infiltration opted for a theory of how the Canaanites turned into nomads when civil war in the middle of the second millennium destroyed many cities, before after a couple of centuries, they began to develop a new cycle of living in cities and settled agriculture. Saul, David and Solomon were still accepted as authentic, though credited with merely ruling a United Kingdom of Israel and NOT holding sovereignty over Syria and parts of Jordan. Everything else was the same.

 

The Bible tells of King Solomon's renovations of the cities Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor. This was confirmed by archaeology, which pointed to near identical designs for all three cities especially in the gates dating from the 10th century BC. Solomon reigned from 970 to 930 BC. (David from 1010 BC- 970 BC.)

 

But then the consensus began to crumble. Well, as far as there WAS a consensus, with conservatives denying the JEDP theory over the Torah and liberals supporting it. (JEDP is that Moses did not write the Torah, it was started in the 10th century during David's time, with an eccentric view that religion developed from polytheism to monolatry to monotheism, with the northerners calling God Elohim, and the southerners calling Him YHWH, with King Hezekiah of Judah and his prophets merging the two religions together as one Yahwism. Then the prophets and priests together wrote the D source, consisting of the Book of Deuteronomy in Moses' name and fraudulently planting it in the Temple in 621 BC prompting King Josiah's sweepng reforms eliminating paganism, and D also consisted of a Deuteronomistic History, of the Yahweh Only movement's rewriting of Israelite history against paganism and an Israelite Yahweh and His Asherah (Queen of Heaven) fertility cult that most Israelites believed in. Conservatives believed the Law was given to Moses, that the Ten Commandments, the Book of the Covenant of Exodus 21-24 and the Blessings and Curses of Deuteronomy for obedience and disobedience are authentic features of suzerain-vassal treaties unique to the Second Millennium BC, so the Book of Deuteronomy was FOUND in the Temple in 621 BC and not planted. P then according to liberals was the Priestly post-Exilic Code when Judaism took shape under Ezra the Priest and Scribe, influenced by the prophet Ezekiel, including the sacrificial system for sin and the Tabernacle, but conservatives pointed out that the Tabernacle was Second Millennium BC Egyptian in design, so the P theory was wrong.)

 

The breakdown in consensus is based on controversy over the gates of Megiddo. Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein noted that the so-called Solomon's stables of the 10th century BC were really sotehouses from the 9th century BC and built by King Ahab. He argued that therefore Megiddo was refitted in the 8th century BC therefore by the Omride kings, specifically Omri and Ahab. This meant that in his view Gezer and Hazor were the same. Also, Samaria has the same kind of design as the other three cities, right down to the masons' marks.

 

This has huge implications for ancient Israelite history. The Bible says that the Tribe of Judah was populous and the first to establish itself in Canaan, and Judah headed the United Kingdom under David and Solomon. But surveys by Finkelstein and others suggested that there was no literacy in Judah until the 8th century BC, and hardly anyone lived there until a population explosion expanded Jerusalem from being a little village into a proper international city in that period. He then proposed this. That Sual ruled a small highland kingdom a century after the Bible said he did. David was a bandit who betrayed Saul (his theory is that David is known to have temporarily surrendered his services to the Philistines according to the Bible while on the run from a paranoid and jealous Saul, therefore, since he thinks the Egyptians were behind the Philistines attacking Israel to regain their imperial holdings in Canaan, they set up David as a bandit warlord to do in Saul). The first true Israelite Kingdom was the Northern One founded by the Omrides, Omri and Ahab. Judah was merely a chieftainship under Israelite domination- which he thinks lies behind the Bible stories of Ahab and Jehoshaphat's peace deal and the intermarriage of the two Hebrew royal families.

 

We do know now that David really existed. At Tell Dan in the north, a stela was found which had been made on King Hazael of Syria's orders, boasting that he had killed a King of Israel and a King of the House of David. The Mesha Stela (the Moabite stone, also from the 9th century)boasts about the Moabites defeating Israel, specifically defeating a son of King Ahab and also the House of David. Another monument, of Pharaoh Sheshonq I (the Biblical Shishak) mentioned Sheshonq boasting of his defeats of Jews in the Mountains of David.

 

Finkelstein thinks that when the Assyrians destroyed Israel in 721 BC only then did Judah emerge as a full-blown state with King Hezekiah. Jealous of Israel, the Jewish prophets who wrote the Deuteronomistic History slandered Omri and Ahab and gave the credit of their achievements fictionally over to David and Solomon.

 

But even more extreme are the Minimalists. Scholars like TL Thompson, Keith Whitelam and Niels Peter Lemche and Philip Davies have come along and say that Israel never existed AT ALL in ancient times. They think the Bible is an ancient and modern evil Jewish conspiracy to write the Palestinians out of history. There never was an Israel until 1948- ever. Judaism came first, a religion invented by the Greeks, then they in the 2nd century BC wrote the Bible from scratch! (So the Dead Sea Scrolls from 150 BC to AD 68, especially the 2nd century BC, are the first Bible manuscripts ever written!) That means that get this one, the Hebrew Bible was less than 200 years old when Jesus preached the Gospel! They have even accused archaeologists and liberal scholars like William Dever (a man who does NOT believe in the Exodus, Conquest, Hebrew Empire, and thinks the Yahweh Only Movement only came along in the 7th century BC and that Deuteronomy is a 7th century BC fraud) of being a Bible thumping forger! Dever in turn has rightly torn them to shreds intellectually in his book. Minimalists think that Jerusalem was a cow town of wooden huts in the 10th century BC, only about 20 people lived in Judah (not even Finkelstein would go that far, nor Dever, though their population estimates (only a few thousand people in Judah) are FAR lower than the Bible and they ignore the Egyptian and Assyrian records indicating population levels in Israel far more like what the Bible says, and indeed Dever's system is based on a rigid 100 people per square mile rule, ignoring the frequent overcrowding of people in settlements down the ages). Finkelstein himself thinks Jerusalem was a tiny village in the 10th century BC, the Canaanite city destroyed at least 300 years earlier.

 

However, recent years have seen massive developments archaeologically. It has been a disaster for the Minimalists and even Liberals are on the defensive. Here's why. Even the liberal majority, like Dever, accept an 11th century King Saul and an 11th/10th century King David and a 10th century King Solomon. Most archaeologists believe that Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor WERE developed by Solomon in the 10th century BC. Including Dever. But it's what's going on in Jerusalem and a place called Khirbet Qeiyafa (Biblical Shaaraim in the Valley of Elah, where David killed Goliath)that is most significant.

 

In Jerusalem, archaeologist Eilat Mazar has started in recent years in her work on the City of David in Jerusalem, begun to expose the 11th/10th century BC Jerusalem, which is proving to have been not a cow-town or a village but a compact but magnificent little city, both the Jebusite Canaanite city David captured, and the city David and then Solomon developed that Jebusite city into. She thinks she has found King David's palace. Here's the thing. The palace is even in the very location the Bible says it is in. David struck a trade deal with King Hiram of Tyre to build a Phoenician (Ancient Canaanite Lebanese) palace for him. Photos show how sophisticated David's Jerusalem was, and scholars are amazed to see that David's little palace (less magnificent than the palace and the Hall of the forest of Lebanon which King Hiram helped King Solomon build later,along with the Temple of course) is even greater than King Ahab's amazing ivory palace from Samaria. Also, Eilat Mazar has uncovered a section of city wall which was built on the orders of King Solomon.

 

But it's what Yosef Garfinkel is finding in Khirbet Qeiyafa that is really putting the cat amongst the pigeons. It is only one layer, from the 11th to the 10th century BC, has an ancient road leading directly from Jerusalem. It was then destroyed. Some say 980 BC, but I think more likely 925 BC. I'll explain why shortly. Here is a sophisticated Judaean city which indicates that it had royal installations in it, and since it is connected by road to Jerusalem, indicates that David's writ went far beyond Jerusalem. (And since Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor are holding good as having an extensive refit in the 10th century BC, we know Solomon certainly governed the north of Israel from Jerusalem, sorry minimalists, this confirms a United Kingdom- oh and they have found Saul's rustic fortified palace in Gibeon in Benjamin territory too.) What's sending people in the know gasping in shock is that Qeiyafa is yielding a YAHWEH ONLY SHRINE WITH NO IMAGES. No Asherah, nothing, unlike the Kintullet Arjud site with its YHWH and Asherah shrine which is thought either to disprove the Yahweh Only movement's authenticity or as conservatives like me would argue, maximalists like me, if you like, that Arjud is a syncretistic and ecumenical site.) Furthermore, Garfinkel has found a model of what looks like Solomon's Temple or a Yahwist stone shrine which housed the ageing Tabernacle (like the shrine at Shiloh which the Philistines destroyed. Furthermore, and this is important, an ostracon, a lump of pottery, has been found with a Hebrew poem on it about a corrupt judge ruling Israel being replaced by a King. This is huge, as the Bible says that the last of the great Judges who ruled tribal Israel, Samuel, a good man, appointed his sons to succeed him who proved to be corrupt, forcing him to stay in charge, leading to the people of Israel demanding a King, leading to Saul's anointing. This piece of pottery is from the 11th century BC.

 

Even Finkelstein is genuinely excited by these finds, judging by the big smiles he had when photographed visiting the site and Garfinkel. He had claimed that there was no literacy in Judah for David's Court history to have been written as a genuine document, that it was not written until the 7th century as a House of David propaganda piece to take the credit away from the Omrides. But even Dever thinks this is nonsense, as the Gezer Calendar dates from around the 11th and 10th century and is a poem written on pottery about the agricultural year written by a schoolboy. Jerusalem is a difficult place to dig in, being built over and the Muslims have their Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock built over the most important part of Jerusalem of all, where the Temple once stood and King David and Solomon's Acropolis. That is the flimsy basis for Finkelstein's disproved cow-town village theory. Furthermore, he even admits, sort of, in the Bible Unearthed, in a weaselly and deceptive way, that distinctively Israelite pottery from the 10th century BC has been found in the Millo, the stone terracing King Solomon developed to help expand the city.

 

The conventionally accepted facts are that Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor were Solomon's work and Pharaoh Sheshonq I (Shishak) destroyed them and other cities in 925 BC. Finkelstein notes that Sheshonq I boasts of these cities being hit, but not Jerusalem, and makes much of this as proving that Jerusalem was nothing in those days, but the Bible tells us that King Rehoboam of Judah, Solomon's son, bribed Shishak to go away with treasures from the Temple of the LORD and his father and grandfather's gold shields and treasures. Professor Kenneth Kitchen, an Egyptologist and expert from Liverpool University, patiently covered the dating of the layers of various cities in ancient Israel, and worked out that for Finkelstein to be right, he would have to claim that the more violent middle Second Millennium when the Canaanite cities were destroyed (see the Amarna letters for the civil war) would have longer lasting layers, and a more peaceful period relatively speaking between that time and the ruthless campaign of the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III in 732 BC (disrupted by Joshua's destruction of Hazor in 1220 BC, Pharaoh Merenptah's campaign of 1210 BC and Sheshonq I's campaign of 926-25 BC) had lots of destruction layers meaning each city only lasted 20 years if they were lucky, which is absurd! Also, Kitchen notes that for Finkelstein to be right, Sheshonq I would have to be boasting of destroying cities that did not exist in 925 BC! This destroys Finkelstein's theory also, as he is trying to say that the 9th century BC Omride refits of Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor were responses to Sheshonq destroying them. In reality they were King Solomon's refits and in the case of Gezer, arachaeology shows a 10th century destruction AND rebuilding of Gezer, which fits in with Pharaoh Siamun destroying Canaanite Gezer and giving the flattened city as a wedding present to his daughter, King Solomon's Egyptian Queen. Finkelstein even has to make up a fictional third Philistine invasion of Canaan from the fallen Mycenaean Dark Age Greece, Post- Minoan Crete and Cyprus. In reality there were only two. (Not counting the Greek Kaphtorite colony of Gerar in Abraham's time.) To finish, there is consensus except amongst the minimalists that Israel was already in Canaan by 1210 BC for sure, as the earliest known reference to them exists on the Merenptah Stele, where Pharaoh Merenptah boasts about his invasion of Canaan and smashing Israel as well as attacking Canaanite cities. Had both Conservative and Liberal scholars alike read the Book of Joshua properly, there never was a Conquest proper by Joshua with cities destroyed and Canaanites wiped out and Israelites taking possession. Throughout Joshua's time, Israel stayed camped in Gilgal and hit the Canaanites with disabling raids. Only Jericho, Ai and especially mighty Hazor were burnt, and certainly Hazor was completely destroyed in the 13th century BC with a particularly furious attack on the statues of the gods there as confirmed by archaeology. Scepticism about activities in the last days of Moses before the crossing with hardly any finds relating to the cities on the East of the Jordan as told in Numbers and Deuteronomy is being put to rest with more discoveries coming at last, and also archaeologists who cannot find these cities in the 13th century BC and deny any Edom or Moab kingdoms as depicted in the Bible, ignore the clear references to Ramesses II and other mighty pharaohs attacking both Edom and Moab, and evidence of TENTED kingdoms rather than sedentary ones, from Egyptian and Assyrian records (or even right up to Lawrence of Arabia in the 20th century AD, no less, for example). Minimalism has now been maximised out. Ancient Israelite history is continuing to be shown to be reliable as depicted in the Bible.

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Bloody Nora!!!!

And I thought I had problems, :D :grin:

 

 

Quote Goonerman

 

This is my first sortie here in years. At the minute I am researching a debate about history stretching back to the 1970s which peaked in the 1990s, but with key archaeological discoveries being made, will hopefully bring the matter to an end.

Unquote.

 

I sincerely hope so!!!.

 

PS. is that Israel, David or Norman Finkelstein?.

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Personally I think Hermann Hupfeld (March 31, 1796 – April 24, 1866), German Orientalist and ... 1851–1864); has the theory that is most convincing!.

 

 

The Documentary Hypothesis of the Pentateuch also known as the JEDP Theory

 

Some of the critics of the Bible have come up with some sophisticated arguments in their attempts to disprove its authenticity and reliability. One of these attempts is known as the Documentary Hypothesis, or the JEPD theory. In short, this theory states that the first five books of the Bible, called the Pentateuch, consisting of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, were not written completely by Moses, who died in 1451 B.C. according to Bishop Ussher's Chronology, but by different post-Mosaic authors. It is alleged that these authors are detectable through the variations of usage of different words within those books. These supposed authors are known as the Jehovist, the Elohist, the Priestly, and the Deuteronomist. These supposed authors are known as the Jehovist, the Elohist, the Priestly, and the Deuteronomist.

 

If you are not aware, YHWH (not to be confused with JEDP) are the four letters used to represent the name of God in the Old Testament. From YHWH we get the word Jehovah, or Yahweh, the name of God, mentioned in Exodus 3:14. The word in Hebrew "elohim" is simply the word 'god.' So, YHWH is the name of God. Please note, however, that "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" is not really the exactly pronunciation of God's name. We do not know how it is exactly pronounced.

 

According to Oswald T. Allis, there were four main areas considered by these critics when supporting the Documentary Hypothesis:1

 

The Variations in the Divine Names in Genesis;

The Secondary Variations in Diction and Style;

The Parallel or Duplicate Accounts (Doublets);

The Continuity of the Various Sources.

 

One of, if not the earliest, appearances of this type of approach to Scripture was by H.B. Witter in the early 1700s, who asserted that there were two parallel accounts in the creation story that were distinguishable by the word usage in the text.

 

This method of analysis really took root in 1753 when a French physician named Austruc analyzed the book of Genesis and asserted that it had two main sources: a Jehovist and an Elohist. However, he did not deny Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch at this time.

 

What this analysis entails is the assumption that where the word Jehovah appears in large quantities in a section of writing, it is the result of an author who used the word "Jehovah" or the tetragramatton YHWH predominantly. Additionally, it is stated that where the term "Elohim" appears more frequently, it is the result of an Elohist, or someone who used that word more frequently than another person.

 

Another person to use this method was Eichhorn, whose analysis of 1787 was similar to Austruc's. However, neither of these men denied Mosaic authorship and neither carried the analysis past the book of Exodus.

 

A few years later, a gentleman named De Wette (1805), assigned Deuteronomy to the time of Josiah (post-Mosaic period). This prompted other writers to tackle the issue. In 1823, Eichhorn had given up on his claim of Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch.

 

The letters associated with this issue are J and E.

Hupfeld

 

In 1853, Hupfeld proposed that there are two Elohistic source documents in Genesis: chapters 1-19 by one author and chapters 20 - 50 by another. He also put great importance upon the redactor, or the one who assembled the various documents, who used editor rights during the compilation of the book of Genesis. Therefore, his arrangement of the documents was thus: First Elohist, Second Elohist, Jehovist, Deuteronomist: J, E, and D.

Graf-Wellhausen

 

Later, Karl H. Graf in the 1860's and Julius Wellhausen in the 1870's said that "according to the historical and prophetical books of the Old Testament, the priestly legislation of the middle books of the Pentateuch was unknown in pre-exilic time, and that this legislation must therefore be a late development."2 The letter P became associated with this view.

 

Basically they arranged the Pentateuch authorship in the following manner:

 

"The earliest part of the Pentateuch came from two originally independent documents, the Jehovist (850 B.C.) and Elohist (750 B.C.).

From these the Jehovist compiled a narrative work (650 B.C.).

Deuteronomy came in Josiah's time and its author incorporated this into the Jehovist's work.

The priestly legislation in the Elohist document was largely the work of Ezra and is referred to as the Priestly Document. A later editor(s) revised and edited the conglomeration of documents by about 200 B.C. to form the extant Pentateuch we have today."3

 

There have been slight modifications of this list, but it is basically the same form used by those holding to the Documentary Hypothesis.

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Raising the level slightly. :wink:

There are only ten times in history where the "F" word has been considered acceptable for use:

 

What the **** do you mean we're sinking? - Capt. E.J Smith of RMS Titanic, 1912

 

What the **** was that? - Mayor of Hiroshima, 1945

 

Where did all these ******* Indians come from? - Custer, 1877

 

Any ******* idiot could understand that. - Einstein, 1938

 

It does so ******** look like her! - Picasso, 1926

 

How the **** did you work that out? - Pythagoras, 126 BC

 

You want WHAT on the ******* ceiling? - Michelangelo, 1566

 

Scattered ******* showers, my arse! - Noah, 4314 BC

 

Aw c'mon. Who the **** is going to find out? - Bill Clinton, 1999

 

Geez, I didn't think they'd get this ******* mad. - Saddam Hussein, 2003

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The JEDP Documentary Hypothesis is dealt with in my essay, particularly with regard to what I said about Second Millennium BC Suzerain-Vassal Treaties which places the Torah firmly in the 14th-12th century BC and nowhere else, and also with regard to the various ypes of literature, lists and formulae in the Torah, the true data for working out the dating stratigraphy of such writings is provided through the parallel records of the Pharaohs, Kings of Assyria and legislation of the Old Babylonian Kings (not least Hammurabi in the 17th century BC). There is enough evidence to show that Deuteronomy is NOT a 621 BC forgery in Josiah's time. It also has to be remembered that the JEDP Documentary Hypotehsis also depends on an understanding of the History of Israel and how it relates to the composition of the so-called Deuteronomistic History, from Joshua to 2 Kings. This I also dealt with in the first posting. There's a LOT more detail I could get into with relation to why the JEDP Documentary Hypothesis is wrong, but it doesn't really fit into the reality of other ancient writings from the period the Torah purports to be from, and actually is from, and the time period the Torah is alleged to be from according to the theory. The claims relating to various names for God, Elohim and YHWH falls apart when you see God referred to as YHWH Elohim Sabaoth (LORD God Almighty). Also, don't you think an editor putting it all together in Josiah's time wouldn't have noticed that before YHWH said to Moses that He had been known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as Elohim, but now He would be known as YHWH, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ALSO called Him YHWH? The reason is that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were given the promise by God, but Moses was given the fulfilment of that promise, YHWH specifically relating to the function of God as the Suzerain and Patron of the Covenant over the Promised Land, which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob only got a hint of. It doesn't mean that the name YHWH was unkown before Moses, as the JEDPists claim. This is absurd, given that the were pagan Canaanite religions outside of Canaan where some of their gods were called YHWH as well, and some of the Midianite (or Shasu, as the Egyptians called them) tribes worshipped idols of a god called El-YHWH in the Second Millennium BC. The YHWH who is the God of the Bible is not the only YHWH of that time, indeed there were actually two deities called YHWH worshipped by Israel, most Israelites preferring to worship a YHWH who was a fertility god who had the goddess Asherah as his queen, and was either interchangeable with Baal or in some versions the father in law of Baal. Indeed you could argue that there were three rival versions of YHWH on the go, counting King Jeroboam I's bull calf cult based in Bethel and Dan which he founded in around 930 BC after successfully engineering the Northern Kingdom of Israel's break-off from Judah as a rival religion to that of the Temple in Jerusalem. (Jeroboam I's temple in Dan has been fully excavated including a figurine of the bull-calf.)

 

Also, according to the JEDP theory the E source was northern, the J source was southern. Funny how even pro JEDP scholars accept that the stories about the prophets of the proto-YHWH Only movement Elijah and Elisha were northern, and the Sons of the Prophets who were their disciples and the originators of those stories were northerners too....

 

Finally, as I have said, the claims of a Post-Exilic P source are not true, because similar legislation exists in Egypt and Old Babylon relating to ritual, and as I have said, the Tabernacle, allegedly a P fanstasy, has been confirmed to be an authentic feature of ancient Second Millennium BC religion as archaeologists have found Egyptian tabernacles (like one in Tutankhamun's tomb) and the Midianites also had a tabernacle for El-YHWH which was destroyed around 1150 BC. And I have seen with my own eyes the ruins of the stone shrine which contained the tatty old Tabernacle which is in the same town where Samuel is buried. This was part of a circuit of stone shrines which the Tabernacle went on tour in during the transitional years between the destruction of Shiloh by the Philistines and the building of Solomon's Temple. The YHWH only shrine found in Keifiyah is another of those shrines.

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The Finkelstein in question is Israel Finkelstein. As for it being hearsay, I would hardly call archaeology and scholarship hearsay. If anyone wishes to take that approach, the person to challenge is Professor Kitchen in Liverpool. He accepts emails from the public and when he has the time, he does reply.

 

Two years ago he sent me an email saying:

 

Thank-you for your queries. I CANNOT do you a comprehensive reply "on net"; I'm alreasdy drowned

in mail (postal & e-) and cannot cope with it all; and urgent work cannot be just left to rot. The whole

"(il)liberal" position (outwardly attractive in 1878/1890s, with 98% of today's data still underground..)

is totally ay variance with the mass of ANE data now known. You'll have to work through my "Reliability"

book attentively, which will help. On JPED, Whybray (a "liberal"!) debunked it on internal grounds long

since; And I did so (on external data) in my "Ancient Orient & OT" of 1964 (IVF/IVP & reprints). The

(H)apiru may incxlude the Hebrews, but are not coeval with them; the sons of Abram (c. 19/18 ct BC) did

not originate from the Amarna Apiru (14th ct BC). The BM label is by a non-friendly staff member, & not

reliable. The 1447 date for the exodus does not work if one treats the OT as an ancient set of writings in

its own context, & people (esp. in USA) must stop pretending that their modern misreadings have any validity.

Again, see "Reliability" in detail. The "Darwinian"-type view of a smooth "evolution" from primitive Hebs,

via ex-Canaanite "converts" and prophets of doom, with no blessings till Exile, & priestly stuff & Law only

after the Exile - all this is total bunkum, on comparative data now available. The "Mosaic" covenants at

Sinai & in Moab (Ex-Lev & Dt) can only have originated in 13th ct BC, on multiple grounds I cannot list here;

cf. in part, "Reliabilityu"; a colleague & I are completing a large work that includes this in a wider context.

Thee is no simple Darwinian sequence in human cultures. One has initial Formative period, then crystallising Climax,

then long Undulation of Ups & Downs, until absorption or extinction. SO, from antiquity, over & over again,

till now. Again, see "Reliability" in brief. More, I cannot do you here or now... apologies! Happy reading!

Yrs Ken Kitchen.

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Quote: Very interesting, but in Old Babylon times what exactly was a 'P fanstasy'

 

I'll explain again quickly. P is the supposed source for the priestly stuff in the Torah, especially the Book of Leviticus to do with the sacrifices and the rituals Moses gave to his brother Aaron the High Priest and Aaron's sons. Scholars positing a P source believe this was written in the Persian period, as they think Mosaic Yahwism/Judaism was too advanced for this to have been true in Moses' time. But Old Babylon, Egypt and Middle Eastern culture in the 2000-1000 BC was too similar to the so-called P material for the theory about a 'P' to be ture, but a fantasy, as the priestly ritual material in the Torah is authentically from 2000- 1000 BC and not 400 BC as the P theorists claim. The Tabernacle and all and many of the laws fit in cuturally with ancient Egypt in Ramesses II's time and the laws with Old Babylon especially as made by King Hammurabi. That's why it is better to regard the Torah as really coming from Moses' time, and not a fake made from later contradictory sources.

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I just want to make it clear that you don't have to believe in God or a 'supernatural' to accept the fact that people like David, Solomon, Omri, Ahab, Hezekiah and Manasseh were real people. The Assyrian kings mention many of the Hebrew monarchs in their records and monuments, much of which can be seen in the British Museum, and confirmation of the Assyrian king Sennacherib's invasion of Judah, successful siege of Lachish and the blockade of Jerusalem and King Hezekiah is to be found there. Also, many seals belonging to several Hebrew kings have been found, as well as those of key princes and officials in Jerusalem mentioned in the Bible, even the seal of the prophet Jeremiah's secretary has been found (Baruch). When it comes to kings, politics, war and building projects, the Bible is pretty sober history. You can take or leave the rest if you wish.

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To finish off, I wish to put up some material for anyone who wishes to pursue this matter any further.

 

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/jerusalem/did-i-find-king-davids-palace/

 

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/the-discovery-of-king-solomon%E2%80%99s-wall%E2%80%94a-personal-account/

 

A startling article I have not seen before and need to study myself, as it might be a first confirmation of Israel as Yahweh worshipping slaves in Egypt:

 

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/03/08/The-Name-Yahweh-in-Egyptian-Hieroglyphic-Texts.aspx#Article

 

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2006/08/23/Relearning-Old-Lessons-Archaeologists-Fail-to-Use-Sound-Reasoning.aspx

 

A minimalist strikes back:

 

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/uncategorized/a-minimalist-disputes-his-demise/

 

Garfinkel's Reply:

 

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/uncategorized/a-minimalist-disputes-his-demise-a-response-to-philip-davies/

 

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/artifacts-and-the-bible/breaking-news%E2%80%94evidence-of-cultic-activity-in-judah-discovered-at-khirbet-qeiyafa/

 

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/inscriptions/the-qeiyafa-ostracon-relates-the-birth-of-the-kingdom-of-israel/

 

Recommended reading:

 

For Kenneth Kitchen:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reliability-Old-Testament-K-A-Kitchen/dp/0802803962/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350660873&sr=8-1

 

For Israel Finkelstein:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bible-Unearthed-Archaeologys-Vision-Ancient/dp/0684869136/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350660942&sr=1-1

 

For William Dever:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Did-Biblical-Writers-Know/dp/080282126X/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350661029&sr=1-5

 

Finally, a YouTube link for Professor James Hoffmeier providing evidence for one aspect of the background to the Exodus story, solving a few riddles relating to the northern Sinai peninsula and why Israel in the story avoided the most straightforward route into Canaan. It also presents fascinating evidence again damaging the absurd JEDP Documentary Hypothesis, and showing key evidence that shows the Book of Exodus to be authentically from the 13th century BC and NOT some cobbled together blend of non-existent J, E and P documents from the 7th century BC and later:

 

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