As in the earlier The Bible Unearthed, Finkelstein and Silberman find little evidence in archaeology for David and Solomon's grand kingdoms. They assert that the Bible's "glamorous scripted portraits" come from "a core of authentic memories" that were collected and embellished in the 7th century B.C. during the reign of Josiah, when an ambitious king needed the cachet of an earlier era to legitimize his religious reforms.
This bold reconstruction of biblical history, based upon years of archaeological research, will impress readers. However, they should know that the archaeological chronology presented in David and Solomon differs from that used by most archaeologists by about 75 years.
While interesting, provocative, and archaeologically intriguing, Finkelstein and Silberman's strongest arguments are based on holes in the archaeological recordholes that have a way of getting filled. Indeed, the archaeological mainstream does not seem to be turning in their direction.
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More Christianity Today coverage of archaeology includes:
Three Big Digs | Discoveries bolster understanding of early church, biblical account of David's kingdom. (Nov. 28, 2005)
70 Truckloads of Treasures | Temple Mount dig uncovers new finds. (July 21, 2005)