Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?

William G. Dever

Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?
Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?

Book Details

Book Information

This book addresses one of the most timely and urgent topics in archaeology and biblical studies — the origins of early Israel. For centuries the Western tradition has traced its beginnings back to ancient Israel, but recently some historians and archaeologists have questioned the reality of Israel as it is described in biblical literature. In "Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?" William Dever explores the continuing controversies regarding the true nature of ancient Israel and presents the archaeological evidence for assessing the accuracy of the well-known Bible stories.

Confronting the range of current scholarly interpretations seriously and dispassionately, Dever rejects both the revisionists who characterize biblical literature as "pious propaganda" and the conservatives who are afraid to even question its factuality. Attempting to break through this impasse, Dever draws on thirty years of archaeological fieldwork in the Near East, amassing a wide range of hard evidence for his own compelling view of the development of Israelite history.

In his search for the actual circumstances of Israel's emergence in Canaan, Dever reevaluates the Exodus-Conquest traditions in the books of Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, and 1 & 2 Samuel in the light of well-documented archaeological evidence from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. Among this important evidence are some 300 small agricultural villages recently discovered in the heartland of what would later become the biblical nation of Israel. According to Dever, the authentic ancestors of the "Israelite peoples" were most likely Canaanites — together with some pastoral nomads and small groups of Semitic slaves escaping from Egypt — who, through the long cultural and socioeconomic struggles recounted in the book of Judges, managed to forge a new agrarian, communitarian, and monotheistic society.

Written in an engaging, accessible style and featuring fifty photographs that help bring the archaeological record to life, this book provides an authoritative statement on the origins of ancient Israel and promises to reinvigorate discussion about the historicity of the biblical tradition.

Pages: 280
Publisher: Eerdmans
Published: 2006
ISBN-10: 0802844162
ISBN-13: 9780802844163

Reviews

To review this book, please Login or Register.

4.5 out of 5 based on 1 user ratings
Denver Seminary Journal December 5, 2009 4.5 5
Important archaeological arguments against the historicity of the biblical exodus and in favor of a largely indigenous people in Canaan who bacame Israel. Israel can be ethnically identified in the twelfth highlands of Palestine. [Full Review]

Amazon Reviews

Goodreads Reviews

Google Book Preview

Sponsors

Top Commentaries by Book Top Commentaries by Series Forthcoming & Unreleased Commentaries
Pentateuch History Poetry Prophets Minor Prophets
Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1/2 Samuel 1/2 Kings 1/2 Chronicles Ezra/Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi
Backgrounds
OT Primary Source Material OT Canon OT Textual Criticism OT Hermeneutics OT Introductions OT Theology OT Theological Dictionaries OT Archaeology Hebrew Lexicons Hebrew Grammars (Introductory) Hebrew Grammars (Intermediate) Hebrew Grammars (Advanced) OT Backgrounds OT Dictionaries / Encyclopedias OT History and Religion Ancient Near Eastern Histories Israelite Religion OT Extra-Biblical Literature Studies Documentary Hypothesis Deuternomic History Other OT Studies and Issues
Gospels/Acts Pauline Epistles General Epistles
Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1/2 Thessalonians Pastoral Epistles Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter/Jude Johannine Epistles Revelation
Backgrounds
NT Primary Source Material NT Canon NT Criticism NT Textual Criticism NT Hermeneutics NT Introductions NT Theology NT Theological Dictionaries NT Archaeology Greek Lexical Analysis Greek Lexicons Greek Grammar (Introductory) Greek Grammars (Intermediate) Greek Grammars (Advanced) NT Backgrounds NT Dictionaries / Encyclopedias NT History and Religion NT Near Eastern Histories NT Church History / Apostolic Period NT Extra-Biblical Literature Studies Jesus and the Gospels Synoptic Gospels and Surrounding Issues The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting Pauline Studies Johannine Studies Petrine Studies Lukan Studies Other NT Studies and Issues
Systematics Subjects
Systematic Theology Bible/Bibliology Doctrine of God/Theology Humanity/Anthropology Sin/Harmartiology Jesus Christ/Christology Holy Spirit/Pneumatology Salvation/Soteriology Angels and Demons/Angelology The Church/Ecclesiology End Times/Eschatology Israel/Israelology Rewards/Misthology Other Systematics Biblical Theology Biblical Hermeneutics Biblical Canon Scriptures and Revelation Narrative Themes Prolegomena Trinitarianism Sacraments Providence/Soveriegnty Heaven and Hell Worship Theology Ethics Origins Apologetics Worldviews/Philosophies Biblical Archaeology Environmental Issues Ancient Near Eastern Theology Modern Near Eastern Theology Judaism Messianic Judaism Church History (incl. Post Apostolic) Historical Theology Second Temple Judaism Other Theological Subjects
Christian Life Ministry
Workplace Home Anxiety / Depression etc. Technology Prayer / Intercession Bible Study Cultural Issues Other Life Issues Mission / Evangelism Church Growth Preaching Church Leadership Discipleship Pastoral Care Biblical Counseling Worship Praxis Other Ministry
Controller: 00:00:00.0156250 ; Template: 00:00:00.0468750