The Old Testament and the Archaeologist

The Old Testament and the Archaeologist

The Old Testament and the Archaeologist

The Old Testament and the Archaeologist

Synopsis

The recovery of the history of the ancient Near East through archaeology is one of the major achievements of the modern age. Although the impact of this new knowledge on biblical matters is briefly surveyed, the main concern of this book is with the methods that archaeologists use in going about their work. Lance discusses the principles of excavation and how materials recovered are brought to bear on biblical studies. The book explains in detail the principles of stratigraphy and typology, suggests practical ways for the beginner to find needed information in the confusing array of primary and secondary publications, and takes a brief look at the future of biblical archaeology as a discipline.

Excerpt

This book continues a series of volumes which introduce and demonstrate the various methods of modem biblical criticism. With the exception of The Old Testament and the Historian by J. Maxwell Miller, the others have concerned methods of exegesis or interpretation, important for understanding the development and meaning of biblical texts. Like Miller’s book, The Old Testament and the Archaeologist focuses upon methods for recovering and reconstructing the history of ancient Israel. On the one hand the historical and archaeological tasks depend upon exegetical methods; on the other hand they contribute to an understanding of the texts themselves. Archaeology in particular can make concrete and vivid the circumstances in which the biblical books developed.

In the last century archaeology has been widely used—and not infrequently misused—in the study of the Bible. Most of the earliest archaeologists of the ancient Near East, and especially of Palestine, were biblical scholars. the use of archaeology in biblical studies and its development as a sound discipline are among the more important contributions of American scholars, especially under the leadership of William Foxwell Albright and his students. Within the last decade or two archaeology of the lands of the Bible has reached a new stage of maturity and independence, with improved techniques for excavation, recording, and analysis. It is a highly technical discipline which involves the participation of an increasing array of specialists.

Professor Lance, himself an experienced field archaeologist, presents here an introduction to this complex but essential discipline in relation to the study of the Old Testament. Archaeology may be taken broadly to include the disciplined recovery and investigation of any material remains from human activity in the past. It includes the recovery and study of written (epigraphic) and “silent” (nonepigraphic) evidence. Although this book does not ignore the former, it concentrates on the latter. It describes the problems that confront the field archaeologist and shows how, through the basic principles of stratigraphy and ty-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.