Biblical Archaeology Review 26:2, March/April 2000
The Search for History in the Bible


Is the Bible historically reliable? For many believers it’s a shocking question; for many scholars it’s a naïve query. There was a time, within memory, when the dominant academic view was not far removed from popular perceptions. Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark may have been beyond the reach of historical inquiry, but everything else in the Bible was thought by scholars to accord well with what was known about the ancient Near East, in general if not in detail. That view no longer holds, and debate now rages over whether the tenth-century kings David and Solomon—never mind Abraham and Moses—were real or merely glorious mythic figures. In the pages that follow, Philip Davies argues that the two sides are not that far apart. Yes, they are, counters William Dever, charging that the two sides look at the Bible very differently. These presentations are followed by a report on Tel Rehov, a key site in northern Israel that has much to tell us about the tenth century B.C.E.—a linchpin in the debate.

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.