Biblical Archaeology Review 14:4, July/August 1988

The Marzeah Amos Denounces—Using Archaeology to Interpret a Biblical Text

By Philip J. King

Archaeologists often accuse Biblical scholars of ignoring archaeological materials that could significantly illuminate the Biblical texts that scholars are studying. As one archaeologist recently put it: “Most [Biblical] commentators do not even make use of archaeology where it can contribute best, namely in illustrating the material culture of a given period, either in general or in terms of a specific reference in the [Biblical] text.”1

For the most part, archaeology remains the great untapped resource in Biblical studies, despite the fact that the Bible and archaeology are so closely related.

As BAR readers know, there is a great deal of dispute concerning the term “Biblical archaeology.”a I still find Albright’sb definition satisfactory: Biblical archaeology, he said, “is the systematic analysis or synthesis of any phase of biblical scholarship which can be clarified by archaeological discovery.”2

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