Inhabiting The Promised Land by Margreet L. Steiner
|Title||Inhabiting the Promised Land|
|Author||Margreet L. Steiner|
|Language||English, Spanish, and French|
For many people it is clear: the actions and beliefs of Ancient Israel are described in the Bible. The stories about its peoples and kings, struggles and wars, deities and shrines, are supposed to have been told and retold throughout the ages and recorded in ancient archives. At a certain moment in time these stories have been assembled in the Bible which becomes history. However, from the 19th century at least, scholars have doubted the historical reliability of many biblical stories, and archaeological research has hardly been able to confirm their historicity. The aim of this book is to describe the often-complicated relationship between archaeology and the Bible. It is not a book on `biblical archaeology’, and archaeology is not used to illustrate the biblical stories, let alone to prove that the Bible is right. On the contrary, it focuses on the information that archaeology can provide of the lives and beliefs of the ancient peoples that inhabited the land in which the Bible was written, and on the question of how this information relates to the biblical stories. It aims at providing some examples of how this interplay of archaeology and biblical stories works, and how to interpret the discrepancy that may exist between the results of archaeological research and the biblical narrative. It thus offers an introduction into the field from the standpoint of an archaeologist. The book is intended for the general public, and will also be of interest to biblical scholars, historians and teachers, as well as archaeologists in other fields. It differs from the average non-scholarly book on this subject in that it is more personal, more eclectic, more archaeological. Reviews of the Dutch edition praise the passionate style and the way it focuses on the scientific process of researching problems, instead of on finding answers and presenting the solution.