As a half a Jew, a person with a gentile mother and Jewish father, I have always been interested in the bible and the "holy land" of Israel. At Sunday school, the teachers told us stories of the bible as if they were true fact. Israel, they said was promised by God to the Jewish people.
Growing up as a child before there even was a present day Israel, beside my bed I always had a small cardboard bank in the shape of a church for my "pennies for Israel." It turns out there may never have been a historical Israel or Jewish people as described in the bible.
We are presently in "a golden" period of Archeological research about Israel. Now scientists in Israel are investigating historical claims to the land, the bible, when it was written, how accurate it is and just WHO was Jesus? I have been engaged recently reading other related research and the newest book out on the subject of Jewish historical entitlement to the "land of Israel" is out: This is a link to the book launch for the book "The Invention of the land of Israel!" http://www.youtube.com/...
The archeologists’ digs near the Jordanian border find evidence of domesticated camels sort of 930-900 BC. But they don’t find that evidence in any settlements older than 930 BC. There is a pretty clear dividing line between the pre-domestic camel and post- domestic camel settlements.Well, this raises a lot of questions in my mind. I wonder what the implications are for folks, true Christian believers and fundamentalists? It is quite startling to me an unbeliever. Please go below the squiggle for more:
Although it was likely based on previous oral tales, the Bible probably wasn’t written down in something like its present form until the Babylonian exile, 586-539 B.C. When those scribes reworked the folk tales of the Canaanites, they projected sixth-century BC realities back into the past. Thus, they had characters riding camels before they were domesticated. Riding a camel was taken for granted in 580 BC.
You might think this point is a minor one. But it demonstrates how the scribes worked. They projected recent things into the distant past.
The archeological evidence shows that not only weren’t people riding camels in the Levant when the Bible says they were, David and Solomon didn’t have a huge palace in Jerusalem in the 1000s and 900s BC. The Assyrians, the gossips of the ancient world, wrote down everything on their clay tablets. They knew events in the whole Middle East. They did not know anything about a glorious kingdom of David and Solomon at Jerusalem. Indeed, in the 1000s when David is alleged to have lived, Jerusalem seems to have been largely uninhabited, according to the digs that have been done. Jerusalem was not in any case founded by Jews, but by Canaanites in honor of the god Shalem, thousands of years ago. There is no reason to think anyone but Canaanites lived in the area of Jerusalem in the 1000s or 900s BC. Likely some Canaanites became devoted to Y*H*W*H in a monotheistic way during the Babylonian exile when they began inventing Judaism and becoming “Jews” and projecting it back into the distant past.
In short, those far right wing Israelis who use the bible stories as a basis for kicking Palestinians out of their homes in East Jerusalem are making many mistakes, including historical ones, as well as human rights mistakes.(my bold)
I am now also reading “The Bible Unearthed” by Finkelstein and Silberman (The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts)which discusses related research.
In this iconoclastic and provocative work, leading scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman draw on recent archaeological research to present a dramatically revised portrait of ancient Israel and its neighbors. They argue that crucial evidence (or a telling lack of evidence) at digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon suggests that many of the most famous stories in the Bible—the wanderings of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua’s conquest of Canaan, and David and Solomon’s vast empire—reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts.Considering all the great and substantial religions of the world and the provable time they have been in existence, it always strikes me as inappropriate the sway that Judeo/Christian/Abrahamic religions have on the planet.
Again, this is a link to the book launch for the book "The Invention of the land of Israel!" http://www.youtube.com/... and here again is the link to the book seller of The Bible Unearthed: The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts