Biblical Archaeology Review 7:5, September/October 1981

What Archaeology Can Contribute to an Understanding of the Bible

By William G. Dever

Although Professor Dever objects to the use of the term “Biblical archaeology” (see “Should the Term ‘Biblical Archaeology’ Be Abandoned?” BAR 07:03), few are as articulate as he in describing what archaeology, and particularly Syro-Palestinian archaeology, can contribute to our understanding of the Bible and the Biblical periods.

Professor Dever has made available to BAR the following excerpt from a paper which will be published sometime in 1982 in a volume being edited by D.A. Knight and G.M. Tucker entitled The Hebrew Bible and Its Modern Interpreters (Scholars Press and Fortress Press). This excerpt from Professor Dever’s paper describes in some detail the potential contribution of archaeology to a better appreciation of the Biblical text and Biblical world. BAR is pleased to publish it.—Ed.

Near Eastern archaeology in general, and Syro-Palestinian archaeology in particular, can make an extremely important contribution to Biblical studies. What follows are examples only. They could be multiplied many times over.

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