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.
David and Solomon:
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)
The Mystery of Antiquities | Ossuary owner charged with forgery. (Feb. 16, 2005)
Rush to Judgment? | Israel Antiquities Authority's 'findings' bother many archaeologists. (April 29, 2004)
Biblical Archaeology's Dusty Little Secret | The James bone box controversy reveals the politics beneath the science. (Sept. 19, 2003)
Bones of Contention | Why I still think the James bone box is likely to be authentic. By Ben Witherington (Sept. 22, 2003)
Stunning New Evidence that Jesus Lived | Scholars link first-century bone box to James, brother of Jesus (Oct. 21, 2002)
Why We Dig the Holy Land | If biblical archaeology is not reinvigorated, Scripture-illuminating evidence will remain buried in the Middle East. (Sept. 26, 2003)
Listening to the Fifth Gospel | The sun-baked ruins of the Holy Land have a story to tell. By David Neff (Sept. 25, 2003)
What Do the Stones Cry Out? | Beware of claims that archaeology disprovesor provesthe Bible is true. By Christian M.M. Brady (Sept. 24, 2003)
Biblical Archaeology's Dusty Little Secret | The James bone box controversy reveals the politics beneath the science. By Gordon Govier (Sept. 21, 2003)
Ossuary Questions Remain | Israel Antiquities Authority says "brother of Jesus" inscription is a forgery, but supporters say its report may be flawed (June 20, 2003)
The Unluckiest Church | Archaeologist predicts the future is grim for the ancient church's site (Feb. 6, 2003)
Temple Mount Artifacts Removed | Archaeologists upset over unsupervised excavations (March 6, 2000)
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