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The greatest spin in history * on the book Rashith Israel by Israel Finkelstein and Asher Silverman

The claim that the biblical stories have no archaeological evidence is not new. In his book "Rashit Israel" Prof. Israel Finkelstein, head of the Institute of Archeology at Tel Aviv University, tries to explain how the biblical text was born.

Aviva Lori; Country

Prof. Israel Finkelstein: The story serves the writers of the Bible Photo: Adi Mazen next year in four chapters. Were the stories about the conquest of the land by Joshua, the settlement of the tribes and the kingdom of David and Solomon born in the mind of a creative copywriter, who had a glorious national past to justify political claims?

The conquest of Jericho according to Dora. Finkelstein: "Jericho was not fortified and had no walls and it is doubtful if there was a settlement there at that time"

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Prof. Yisrael Finkelstein does not see any contradiction between the Pesach Seder Shulchan arranged according to law in which the Exodus is told, and the fact that, in his opinion, the Exodus did not take place at all. Already seven years ago, many rose up against him, when he contested the up to that time accepted assertion that the Megiddo palaces were built during Solomon's time, thereby denying the only archaeological evidence for the existence of the United Kingdom during the time of David and Solomon. The fact that he heads the Institute of Archeology at Tel Aviv University did not spare him and his colleagues harsh attacks. "What haven't they said about us, that we are nihilists, uprooters of Western culture, undermining Israel's right to exist. One used the phrase 'Bible deniers'."

Now he is probably expecting a new wave of attacks of this type, with the appearance of the Hebrew edition of "Rashit Israel", the book he wrote with his American colleague, the historian and archaeologist Neil Asher Silverman. Two years ago the book was published in the United States and last year in France. In both countries, he starred for a long time on the bestseller list of non-fiction books, and aroused great interest in the public. Next month, a special discussion of the book will be held at the University of Los Angeles, in which experts from many countries will participate, and on that occasion they will begin filming a documentary for the Arta culture channel, which will be screened in the summer.

What is there in "Roshit Yisrael" that arouses so much interest? Finkelstein says that this is the first time that a "comprehensive book has been written in which archeology is the queen of the battle and not a negligible decoration for biblical scholars." And if it's a battle, then
Finkelstein is ready for war. Apart from the period of the patriarchs and the Exodus, on which most scholars agree that the connection between the biblical text and historical reality is rather loose, Finkelstein treats all biblical stories with great suspicion. "Was or wasn't there?" He asks at the end of each chapter and then explains why things never happened, based on his research and archaeological findings, among other things at Megiddo, a site considered a jewel in the crown of Israeli archaeology.

Three and a half years ago, Finkelstein's colleague, Prof. Ze'ev Herzog, published an article in the Haaretz supplement in which he claimed, among other things, that the deeds of the ancestors are folk legends, that we did not go down to Egypt and did not ascend from there, we did not conquer the land and there is no trace of the empires of David to Solomon. The article provoked an extensive public controversy at the time.

Finkelstein and Silverman's book, published by Tel Aviv University Press, goes one step further, and tries to explain how the biblical text we know was born, if the events it describes did not take place in reality. "The book does not explore history chronologically, from early to late, but goes from late to early and at the end of each chapter there is a punchline that tests the authors' intent," says Finkelstein.
The authors are the ones who wrote that story of a biblical event, and the authors' intention is the theological and ideological infrastructure of the seventh century BC, the period in which, according to him, most of the Bible was written. Finkelstein dismantles this infrastructure only to reassemble it according to the logic that guided the writers of the Bible and comes to the conclusion that the stories about the conquest of the land, the settlement, the origin of the Israelis, the United Kingdom, the attempt to strengthen the Kingdom of Judah compared to the Northern Kingdom (Israel), are nothing more than a religious manifesto -political.

A Jerusalem joke

The Bible speaks of the great and glorious united kingdom of David and Solomon in the tenth century BC, which separated into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah, because of the demand of Rehoboam son of Solomon for excessive tax payments from the tribes of the northern mountains and the Galilee, who withdrew in anger from the united kingdom. This led to two centuries of division, wars and brotherly hatred. The Bible refers to Israel as a secondary and unimportant kingdom, a kingdom of complete sinners, and Judah as the great and important righteous kingdom whose capital is Jerusalem, with the magnificent temple built by King Solomon during the heyday of the United Kingdom. Finkelstein doubts the existence of the Great United Kingdom.

"There is no archaeological evidence for this," he says. "This thing has no equal in history. I don't think there is another place in the world where there was a city whose material infrastructure was so poor and which managed to create such a drift in its favor as Jerusalem, which even in its great days was a joke, compared to the cities of Assyria, Babylon or Egypt. A typical mountain village. No magnificent finds, no Nebuchadnezzar gates, no Assyrian reliefs, no Egyptian coffins and temples, nothing. And the Temple did not compete with the temples of Egypt and their splendor."

So why was it written?

"For ideological reasons, because the authors of the Bible, the people of Judah, at the end of the seventh century BC, in the days of King Josiah, had a long reckoning with the northern kingdom, with its splendor and wealth. They loathed the northerners and remembered their dominance in the establishment of the Israeli experience, in the competition for places of worship. Contrary to popular belief, the Israelis did not come to pray in Jerusalem. They had a temple in Samaria (Sebastia Hayom) and Bethel. In the book, we tried to show that as long as Israel was on the ground, Judah was small and frightened, militarily and internationally. Judah and Jerusalem were on the margins. A small tribe. There was nothing there. A poor temple and that's it."

And the kingdom of Israel?

"Israel according to archeology is a large and prosperous country, and until its destruction in the eighth century it was the great story. A kingdom in an excellent geographical location, by the sea, close to Phenicia, Assyria, and Syria. There was a diverse demographic composition there: foreign residents and workers, Canaanites, Phoenicians; An Aramaic population lived in the finger of the Galilee, there were mixed marriages. And only 150 years after Israel was destroyed, Judah rose to greatness and self-recognition and a monotheistic approach took shape: one country, one capital, one temple, one king."

Why did this tension arise between the archeology and the text, and what happened in the days of Josiah?

"We think that these ideas of Judah, that all Israelis should worship one god and one king, in one temple, arose in the seventh century BC. If anyone before 720 had voiced such ideas, he would have been bombed in the head by the northern kings until there was nothing left of him. So everything started to take shape after the kingdom of Israel was destroyed, and it also had a territorial aspect: from 734 to 625 BC the Assyrian Empire ruled here. The American empire today is a child compared to it, in terms of its power and predatory power. In 720, for example, if anyone in Judea were to talk about territories, that would be the end of them. King Hezekiah tried and we saw what happened to him. Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came with a mighty army and finished him off.

"But a few years later, when Josiah came to power, the unbelievable happened. Assyria, the kingdom of evil, crashed before his eyes. As we saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989, this is what happened to Assyria. It disintegrated and collapsed and withdrew from the Land of Israel in a panicked retreat, and the Kingdom of Israel no longer existed, and Yashyahu wakes up one morning, and looks to the right and left and does not see any Assyrians or Israelis around. Then his people rose up and decided to realize their monotheistic ideas."

After all, why invent the United Kingdom?

"Because they wanted to take over the territories of the Kingdom of Israel and annex them, because they are actually ours, and we will tell you how in a moment. Many years ago our king, David, sat in Jerusalem and ruled over them, and we are the only ones who have a historical right to them', and this is how the myth was built. 'The kings of Israel were scoundrels,' said the people of Judah, 'but the people who stayed there, the people, we have no problem with them, they are fine.' And they said about Israel what an ultra-orthodox person says about you and me: 'Israel, even though it has sinned, Israel is.'"

There was nothing to conquer

According to Finkelstein's theory, the legends about earlier periods were also invented for the same purpose. "The people of Judah then began to market the story of the conquest of the land by Joshua, which was also written at that time, in order to give moral justification to their territorial ambitions, to conquer the territories of Israel. And there is also in this story the 'whitewashing' of foreign workers, exactly the problem that Josiah faced when he conquered Israel. So they tell the story of the Gibeonites, who were frightened by the power of Joshua and his army and came and begged for their lives, and told Joshua that they were not Canaanites but foreign residents who had come from afar. Joshua made a peace treaty with them, but when he learned that they had deceived him, he did not drive them out of the land but turned them into hewers of wood and water-drawers, that is, he whitewashed them.

"This is the reality that Josiah and his people were facing in Jerusalem, and this is how the biblical text comes and says, 'Don't worry, this has already happened in the past, even then there were foreigners in the land and Joshua whitewashed them during the occupation. Our occupation is not really an occupation, it is only a return of the crown to its former glory.''

They had a good public relations office.

"I don't believe there was an office in Jerusalem for inventing stories. There were folk tales that were passed down from generation to generation, local traditions, legends, and they were the basis for creating the biblical story. Maybe there really wasn't a conquest, but there were such folk legends, which over the years passed from word of mouth, and the writers in Josiah's time collected these materials and put them together into a coherent story with a message that was important to them to convey, and they didn't care if there was or wasn't a Joshua. Jericho and the Lowlands and the Galilee were annexed to the kingdom. 'It was once ours,' they say, 'like in the days of Joshua, and we are simply putting history back on track, correcting the course of history and on this occasion renewing the glorious kingdom of David, who was the first to rule these territories.'

So the story about the occupation of the land sucks?

"This is a story that certainly, as it is presented in the Bible, did not exist and was not created. Archeology shows that neither its species nor its parts. A large part of the sites that appear in the story of the conquest were not inhabited at all at that time, so there was nothing to conquer, because there were only stones and barren hills. Jericho was not fortified and had no walls and it is doubtful if there was a settlement there at that time. There were scholars who said that the war against the Canaanites in the land was against one Bedouin who was sitting at the door of his tent.

"If we calculate backwards from a point where we have a historical grasp, such as in external Assyrian documents regarding the reign of Ahab, and go backwards from there - then it turns out that the story of the biblical conquest was supposed to take place at the end of the 13th century BC. At that time the Egyptians ruled the land and there is no mention of it in the Bible. In the museum in Cairo there is a stone where the word Israel is mentioned for the first time in the scriptures. The son of Ramses II made a military campaign to Israel and conquered Ashkelon and Gezer and wrote the famous verse 'And Israel was destroyed and he had no seed'. It was in the year - 1207 after the conquest of the land according to the biblical understanding".

If there was no occupation, then where did the Israelis come from?

"Egypt was a great and mighty empire that ruled here with iron power. In the 14th century BC, there are stories about local kings turning to Pharaoh and asking for help, one against the other, and telling him: 'Send 50 soldiers here' - that is, that was the amount that was enough to bring order to the land. So how did some infantrymen who came from the desert conquer the land? There was certainly no organized military occupation. According to archeology, the Israelis came from the local stock: they were actually Canaanites, who became Israelis through a socio-economic process."

Every leper and leper

Finkelstein did not always hold these positions. "I remember when I wrote my doctorate on the Israeli settlement in the mountain, I was convinced of the correctness of the German archaeologists' theory that prevailed at the time, that this population came from the outside in a quiet intrusion and settled here," he says. "And I remember very well that during the surveys I did in Yosh, in Shiloh and in the areas between Ramallah and Nablus, the realization dawned on me that it was not about a population that infiltrated here, but about cycles of a local population that moves through the country in circular processes. that there is no reservoir of nomads in the desert from where they run west, but that this is a long process, of hundreds of years, that already took place in the past, at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age and the Middle Bronze Age.

"For me, this was a great innovation, which brought me to the thought that the processes of settlement in the country were circular, that in periods of tribal crisis there were shepherds-nomads and in periods of plenty they settled permanently. From this I understood that these were processes that went through the local population, and not of a population that marched and entered the Land of Israel by means of war or peace."

The question is why did they write it like that in the Bible, what does this idea serve?

"The answer is that in order to understand the conquest case, one must look at the Kingdom of Judah in the seventh century BC and understand that the story serves the writers of the Bible, who through it solved for themselves the territorial problems of conquering the Kingdom of Israel."

So Yehoshua Ben-Nun did not exist?

"I'm not saying that. Maybe there were memories about some warlord or general. On the other hand, this text tells about something that happened in the 12th century and was written in the seventh century, that is, 500 years later, when they did not have a press archive at their disposal and at that time not a single letter had been written anywhere, so it is unlikely that there are many ancient memories in this story."

And was there a united kingdom?

"The number of people talking about the United Kingdom is huge. The number of people who really understand is very small. Every vulture and leper speaks, but most vultures and lepers do not understand anything. There is a stream of research that says that David and Solomon were not historical figures. They are a legend. I do not think so. There is an inscription from Tel Dan from the ninth century BC that mentions the southern kingdom called 'House of David'. So it is probable that they were, but the question is whether they ruled a large empire, and of this there is no faint hint in the ease. All the evidence is against it."

Quite a few archaeologists and historians continue to dispute this assertion."Until recently, there were really many objections against this perception. Today, at least some of my opponents agree with me. There is a big difference in the text between the stories of David and the stories of Solomon. The whole image of Solomon is that of an Assyrian king: magnificent, rich, wise, chasing women and great trade journeys, all an ideology like a magazine character. David is not, precisely because he is described in a complex way and the unpleasant stories that turn him into a human figure are also told. And in Jerusalem, in the tenth century, according to archeology there is no hint of grandeur and grandeur, and until the end of the eighth century BC, until the Assyrian period and after the destruction of Israel, when refugees from the north began to flow into Jerusalem - it was a small, remote, shabby and unfortified village.

So the United Kingdom is a lie?

"I don't believe in lies in history. Processing yes, adaptation for religious and political purposes yes, lies no. I mean, if in the seventh century BC there was a strong tradition in Jerusalem that the temple on the hill was built by the founders of the dynasty, I see no reason to dispute this. That doesn't mean it was a grand and grand building. In this matter I am in a difficult research conflict: there is still a debate about the archaeological remains. Two magnificent palaces were discovered in Megiddo. Yigal Yedin said they are from the tenth century, from the time of Solomon, and can confirm the issue of the glorious kingdom, while I think they are from the ninth century BC, seventy years later, from the time of the Northern Kingdom."

If there was no united kingdom, there would be no division either.

"The villages in the north, in the tenth century, were all Canaanite villages. David and Solomon ruled Jerusalem and it is likely that the southern mountain and perhaps something from the northern mountain as well. They did not rule the northern valleys nor the Galilee, therefore there was no division of the kingdom. Originally there were two entities: northern and southern, but the biblical story of the division came to serve the conquest of Josiah in the seventh century BC. "Now we will rebuild the kingdom," the authors of the Bible told their readers, "and it will be united forever."

Suppose we are Canaanites

If in the matter of David and Solomon Finkelstein is willing to assume their existence, albeit as kings of a small and marginal entity, here in the matter of the Exodus he is decisive. "There is no evidence that we were in Egypt, not the smallest of the smallest and the smallest of the smallest. There are no clues in Egypt that built the pyramids, neither archaeological nor historical, even though the reality described in the Bible, about the drought in the Land of Israel, is a true reality. We know from archeology that in the middle of the second millennium BC there was a migration of Canaanites to Egypt, who established colonies at the mouth of the Nile and then the Egyptians expelled them from there. Maybe it's the ancient memory, I don't know that. What I can say is that the story as it is laid before us serves a later reality. He spoke to the exiles in Babylon and to the returnees from the exile. The story told them: No widow Israel, it is possible to return, it is possible to cross these deserts, it is possible to re-conquer the land. It gave them hope."

The stories of the ancestors, according to Finkelstein, and according to him today most researchers think so, are a folkloristic story about ancient ancestors that the writers of the Bible in the seventh century BC raised from the mists of history to strengthen their hold on the cultural heritage. Scientific searches for them have come to naught. “Did these people even live? I do not know. maybe yes, maybe no. They were ancestors and the goal was to create a myth saying that Judah is the center of the world, of the Israeli being, against the background of the reality of the later monarchy."

So if there were no fathers, maybe we don't have the right of fathers?

"I am a big believer in a complete separation between tradition and research. I myself have a warm place in my heart for the Bible and the beauty of its stories. When we sat on Seder night, my two daughters, one 11 years old and one 7 years old, did not hear a word about the fact that there was no exodus from Egypt. When they are girls, 25 we will tell them a different story. Faith, tradition and research, these are three parallel lines that can be maintained at the same time. I don't see it as a stark contrast."

And the cave of the fold?

"The building is Herodian. It was built during the time of Herod, hundreds of years after the time of the biblical patriarchs. Under the building there are probably ancient tombs. The question is what the Bible intended to express in the story of buying the cave. His genre is influenced by the Assyrian and Babylonian periods, from the eighth and seventh centuries BC. This chapter in the Bible was probably written during the return of Zion and may have earlier foundations, of the end of the royal period, then the purpose is to glorify the Kingdom of Judah and say that the ancestors of the nation are buried here, not where the Israelites were, but in Judah. If it was written during the return of Zion it is even more interesting, because when the Persians divided the land and redefined its borders, Hebron remained outside Judah. And in this context, the graves of the ancestors are the promised land. They sat in Judah and looked at Hebron from afar and their eyes were directed towards their territorial ambitions.

"One day, during the retreat from Hebron, I went to the Cave of the Patriarchs with Rabbi Menachem Froman of Teku, as part of a television program, and I explained there that the building is the Herodian, and Emanuel Rosen, the moderator, asked Froman what he had to say about it, so Froman said: 'It is very interesting. , he's a man of science, I guess he knows what he's talking about'. Rosen was stunned, he thought that Froman would beat me, but he said: 'What do you want, that I play here against a time clock? It is enough for me that he says that people prayed here in the Herodian period. If he said that it has been standing here since the Middle Ages, or 700 years ago, that would have been enough for me too. I identified with him so much there that I almost fell on his neck, because matters of culture and identity are not measured by a stopwatch and do not work to the rhythm of politics."

There is no fear that your theory will serve the fools of the Zionist argument?

"The debate about our right to the land is ridiculous. As if there is somewhere in Geneva an international committee that considers the histories of nations. Two peoples come, one says: 'I have been here since the tenth century BC'. The second comes and says: 'No, he's lying, he's only been here since the ninth century BC.' So what, will they deport him? Will they tell him to pack? Anyway, our cultural heritage goes back to those times, so this whole story is bullshit. There was Jerusalem and there was a temple in it and it symbolized the Mauveim of the Jews who lived here and later, during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, of the Jews. it is not enough? How many nations go back as far as the ninth or tenth century BC? And suppose there was no exodus from Egypt at all and a great and glorious united kingdom did not exist, and we are all Canaanites. So in terms of rights, we are settled."

Seven stormy years

Prof. Finkelstein, 54 years old, did not dream of becoming an archaeologist as a child and did not collect potsherds to glue them together. After his military service, he enrolled at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem to study international relations and political science and also, by default, at Tel Aviv University, in the Department of Archeology and Geography. "It unfolded like many things in life," he says. "Not from the first second did I fall in love with archaeology. Little by little it took hold of me until I decided to do a master's degree."

Finkelstein also did his doctorate in Tel Aviv and later studied at the University of Chicago, Harvard and the Sorbonne. Professionally, he is today at the forefront of the group of diggers in Megiddo, who rule out the possibility that the palaces uncovered there are from the time of the United Kingdom. "The construction of the identification of the strata of the United Kingdom is written on ice. All circular arguments, which at the end of the day are based on one source: a verse in the book of 96 Kings that says Solomon built Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer and Jerusalem. This is the manual construction, and it is wrong. You can't judge Yadin for that, because at that time everyone thought like him. I did not agree to this and in 'XNUMX I published it in a professional newspaper in England, and the last seven years have been stormy years. Up until now, it has been a never-ending struggle."

He does not want to be thought that he is destructive to anger, just to win a good title. "I'm not some gentile Shinkinai nihilist," he emphasizes. He was born in Petah Tikva and grew up in a farming family. His mother's family arrived here in 1860 and his father's family eight decades ago. "So what, I'll go from here? where? To scratch it? I don't want to go there", he says. "Perhaps in Boston or Paris it is more pleasant and quiet, but if you live here, then at least you should be part of the ongoing historical experience and understand its power. If you only live here for the Thursday night beach parties, then you better not live here, because it's a dangerous place. Anyone who thinks that Tel Aviv is some kind of Goa has missed the point big time." *

All because of one verse

In the archeology of the Land of Israel, there are two schools of thought. The dominant one is also the conservative one and most of the archaeologists belong to it, mainly the Jerusalemites and the Americans. They are all students of William Foxwell Albright, the great American archaeologist who founded the archeology of the Land of Israel at the beginning of the 20th century. Prof. Yigal Yedin was his outstanding student. The members of this group refer to the biblical description as a basis for ancient Israeli history, and integrate and adapt the archaeological findings to write in the Bible.

The second group is a minority, formed mainly at Tel Aviv University, and its members feel that where there is an archaeological find that challenges the biblical text, it should be given priority in the writing of history. Even in the small Tel Aviv group there are different opinions. Compared to the centrality of archeology according to Finkelstein, his colleague, Prof. David Osishkin (grandson of the Zionist leader Menachem Osishkin), claims that archeology is limited, while the biblical story is problematic on the one hand and stands on its own merits on the other, so it is difficult to combine the two.

"Yadin came to Megiddo and said that the three gates that were discovered there belong to Solomon's time, because in the book of XNUMX Kings it is written that Solomon built Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer and Jerusalem," Osishkin says. "All Ulbritians accept this assumption to this day, and only a small minority say that the starting point is the cover and not the verse. When you check the cover, you come to the conclusion that it is from a later period, but then the question arises what to do with the verse. But it no longer pertains to archaeology."

So what do we do with the verse?

"I am of the opinion that archaeologists should deal with archaeology, and Christians should deal with the Bible. These are two completely separate areas. Finkelstein and I usually agree on archaeological issues. The big difference between us is in reference to the Bible. I am not sure that archeology has a strong implication for understanding the Bible. Archeology is very limited. I'm not saying that the biblical story is true, but I'm saying that it shouldn't stop me from continuing to read the Bible as I have been reading until today. I call myself a 'technician'. I say that archeology is a technique, and Finkelstein, an excellent archaeologist, tries to correct the Bible using his archaeological background."


6 תגובות

  1. There is no doubt that archeology is limited in finding historical truth, those who believe do not need archeology as proof, luckily the amulet in the Joshua altar dating back to 1300 BC crushes Finkelstein's arrogance

  2. The Bible is not without errors just as archeology is often wrong. If Finkelstein had been an expert in Tanakh on the level of expertise in archeology, he might have been less decisive. There are many examples in your text that indicate loyalty to the source and the time, but they are hidden in the small details and this requires a depth and understanding that Finkelstein does not have. A small example of this - the story of David and Bathsheba. We all know that on Shabbat Sheva she bathed on the roof, but we don't notice that later on in the same verse it is written "and she cleanses herself from her nidah". And why is it important? Because the laws of moving the days of menstruation and the other 7 days of purification fall exactly on the most common day of ovulation for women, and indeed David sleeps with you once and whoop... she gets pregnant. According to Finkelstein's view, this law was invented at least 300 years later and was probably woven in so that the story about David And Batsheva would be reliable as part of the spin... except that the day of ovulation came up in medical research only in the 40s at the end of the World War...
    There are many such points in the Tanach and they contradict Pinky's nihilism, but as mentioned one also needs to specialize in the Tanach in order to determine rivets of the magnitude of these of the Tel Aviv school... It is not possible to rely only on the Tanach as a historical source but also not on... archeology... perhaps in a synthesis we will understand better But certainly not by mutual disqualification...

  3. If there is indeed an overlap between archeological findings and the Bible from periods for which we have no documentation, the Bible can be an important tool for understanding the processes that the society that lived here went through. Surely there is a way to combine biblical research with archaeology. In any case, the above article was brought from a more dubious source than the story of the serpent and Eve - Haaretz newspaper

  4. The Bible does hold up because its believers the facts are not interesting at all.
    If the rabbit does not rummage, it is the rabbit's problem and not the Bible's.
    If the Euphrates and the Tigris do not come from a common source, this is a problem of the Euphrates and the Tigris and not of the Bible.
    If at the time of the flood there was water on the earth that reached above the summit of Ararat and this water no longer exists on the earth today, this is a problem of the water and not of the Bible.

    In short - these are people who will not be confused by the facts and will continue to believe in nonsense.

  5. All the schools that resemble the minimalists are "seasonal phenomena" because their theories do not last for several years, since this is the historical myopia of the minimalist researchers, 500 years ago most of the world believed that the earth was flat and even then the "minimalists" failed then they were right but scientific progress disproved the The concept and today every child knows that the earth is a sphere.
    The Bible is real and eternal, and therefore the Bible does not need any proof from archaeologists who unearthed a piece of clay with an inscription from the days of David or Solomon so that minimalists of all kinds would be disillusioned with their theories.

  6. Finkelstein is the head of the extreme minimalist school of biblical studies. It is important to remember that there are several other schools of thought.

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