Monday, May 26, 2008

Quote of the Day: Archaeology and the Bible

In an article about the difference between Indiana Jones and real archaeologists:
In my own work in Israel, I've traced the early archaeologists' attempts to discover relics that would provide proof of the historical reliability of the Scriptures -- not too different from Indy's search for the biblical Ark of the Covenant. But in the last generation, archaeological teams at sites throughout the Middle East -- working to analyze everything from ancient plant remains to distributions of animal bones to ancient metallurgy and environmental data gathered from satellite imagery -- have begun to understand the social and cultural background to the rise of the biblical tradition. In the process, they've revealed that many of the taken-for-granteds of biblical history, such as the exodus from Egypt, the conquest of the Promised Land by Joshua and even the vast kingdom of David and Solomon, were mostly literary tall tales and exaggerations of the historical reality.

The article was written by Neil Asher Silberman, author of The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts.