More on Biblical Archaeology

In a very interesting article, “Is Glueck’s Aim to Prove that the Bible Is True?” (Biblical Archaeologist 22.4 [1959], pp 101-108), George E. Wright continues on the topic of contrasting Biblical Archaeology proper with “proving the Bible.” After the publication of Nelson Glueck’s Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negeb, a non-technical introduction to his post-War survey of the Negev, J. J. Finkelstein took issue with some of Glueck’s statements, namely this quite striking pronouncement on p. 31 of that book: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” There is also Glueck’s reference to “the almost incredibly accurate historical memory of the Bible, and particularly so when it is fortified by archaeological fact” (p. 68). And while Finkelstein is also reported in the article to have taken issue with some statements of Wright, these two are of more interest, particularly for discovering a seemingly purposeful misreading of intention through selective quotation or memory on Finkelstein’s part.

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