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The Future of Biblical Archaeology
Reassessing Methodologies and Assumptions
PAPERBACK; Published: 10/4/2004
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2173-7
Price: $ 37.50
408 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.14 x 9.21
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DESCRIPTION
Biblical archaeology has long been a discipline in crisis. "Biblical minimalists," who believe that the Bible contains little of actual historical fact, today are challenging those who accept the historicity of Scripture. In this volume Jewish and Christian archaeologists, historians, and biblical scholars confront the minimalist critique and offer positive alternatives.

Bringing a needed scientific approach to biblical archaeology, the contributors construct a new paradigm that reads the Bible critically but sympathetically. Their work covers the full range of subjects relevant to understanding the context of the Bible, including proper approaches to scriptural interpretation, recent archaeological evidence, and new studies of Near Eastern texts and inscriptions.

Contributors:
Richard Averbeck
Thomas W. Davis
Daniel Fleming
William Hallo
Richard S. Hess
James K. Hoffmeier
Harry Hoffner
David Merling
Alan Millard
Cynthia L. Miller
John M. Monson
Steven Ortiz
Benjamin E. Scolnic
Andrew Vaughn
David Weisberg
Edwin Yamauchi
Lawson Younger
Randall Younker
Ziony Zevit
REVIEWS
William G. Dever
"The evangelical and conservative (not all Christian) scholars contributing to this volume are optimistic about the future of 'biblical archaeology,' confirming my view for many years that this inquiry will flourish largely in circles in America, where the Bible is still taken seriously as 'historical' in some sense. However, the secular parent discipline of Syro-Palestinian (or, increasingly, 'Levantine') archaeology must also survive, without which the conversation between text and artifact becomes an ineffectual and tiresome monologue. This book's contributors, who represent a variety of disciplines, enter the fray about 'the Bible as history' with a valiant attempt to reclaim the middle ground. One does not have to agree with all of their rather positivist views to find their statements a refreshing exception to the biblical 'revisionists' and other radical skeptics who are contemptuous of all serious belief. A must-read book for anyone interested in archaeology, biblical studies, and the dialogue between them."
Peter Machinist
"This is a volume to be greeted warmly. It ranges widely over the issues posed by the intersection of biblical studies, archaeology, and ancient Near Eastern history, illuminating them with sharply focused case analyses and thoughtful reflections on methodology and the course of past scholarly discussion. The book is not shy about its overall attitude, pressing for a cautious, even at points conservative, approach that values what the Hebrew Bible has to say historically. Yet it is also acutely mindful of the many difficulties involved in historical assessment and reconstruction. In sum, The Future of Biblical Archaeology is a serious, substantial collection of essays that should find a prominent place in the ongoing debates over the Bible and its historical contexts."
Kenneth A. Kitchen
"During the last three decades, controversy over the historicity and factuality of the biblical writings has reached a crescendo in the clash of sharply divided opinions, with a hostile minimalism on one side and more constructive, fact-based scholarship on the other. At the heart of the debate is the nature and role of 'biblical archaeology.' . . . There is now available a hitherto unparalleled wealth of external information from the entire Near East that bears on the biblical text and that enables us to establish a properly founded factual basis for assessing the reliability of that text. The nineteen scholars writing in this invaluable volume illuminate this situation; their readable essays provide a galaxy of detailed insights into a whole range of topics. . . Biblical archaeology indeed has a legitimate and very promising future. Here is a stimulating foretaste!"
Victor H. Matthews
"The periodic self-examination that every discipline requires has been particularly intense for what has been called 'biblical archaeology' and is now referred to by a variety of labels tied to regions and archaeological periods. This collection of articles draws together the various facets of the process — from field archaeology and the evaluation of artifacts to historical reconstruction to linguistic and textual analysis — and reestablishes the link between the Bible and archaeology. The authors are all experts in their fields, and many are experienced archaeologists. They provide a coherent and convincing argument against the divorce of biblical studies and ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology."

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