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mako

Did David and Solomon really exist?

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In Jewish Sacred Literature that was later included in the Old Testament of the Christians, we are introduced to King David of the United Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and his successor and son, King Solomon. For millennia these individuals have been accepted as historical figures of great import, yet more and more their actual existence (at least as portrayed) is being questioned. We can name all of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, we have monuments that they had created, documents of their actions, treaties they signed, mention of them by other nations and their tombs (sometimes their corpses too). We know the names of the Kings of Persia (the King of Kings), as with the Egyptians we have the monuments, documents, etc. We can repeat this with every ancient state in that area, even small city states such as Ugarit and Tyre, but when it comes to the illustrious King David and his even more venerated son Solomon, not a single shred of evidence. Not one monument, not one egotistical carving declaring that either King defeated an enemy or dedicated something to YHWH, not one document (Israelite, Babylonian, Egyptian, Assyrian, Hittite or other nation) mentions either King. Even Hiram of Tyre, supposedly a good buddy of Solomon, never mentions ol’ Sol at all. When it comes to evidence of either King, as the saying goes, the silence is deafening! It’s almost as if they never existed!

Christians scurry around attempting to prove the existence of these individuals with such things as the Bytdwd inscription and the Dawat inscription of Egypt. There are several problems with the authenticity of the Bytdwd inscription, that I will not address here, that tend to be epigraphist and translation problems and then there is the problem that the last letter before a break is continued down the side of the break, indicative of a forgery. The last I heard on that was that it was being investigated. The problem with the Dawat inscription is that even creative translation can not make the inscription h(y)dbtdwt read as the heights of David as the Christians would want it to. Christians love to state that lack of evidence is not evidence of lack, a rather ridiculous saying at best. Actually lack of evidence is nearly always lack of existence, especially after an exhaustive search for evidence of existence.

The very existence of the United Kingdom now seems to be on very shaky ground also. All archaeological and contemporary historical evidence shows the state of Israel came into being around the early 9th century BCE followed by the formation of the state of Judah in the mid 8th century BCE. There is mention anywhere (except in the Bible) of Kingdom of Israel, be it an independent state or part of a United Kingdom, prior to the 9th century BCE. Many Christians will wildly wave their hands at this and start babbling about the Merneptah Stele. There are two scholarly debates going on about this stela. The first concerns whether or not Merneptah actually campaigned in Canaan; the existence of a stela by his predecessor Ramesses II, about the Battle of Qadesh, indicates firm control of the Levant. This calls into question why Merneptah would have to campaign there. The second debate surrounds “Israel”. As the stela mentions just one line about Israel it is difficult for scholars to draw any information at all about Israel. The stela does point out that Israel, at this stage, refers to a people since a determinative for "country" is absent regarding Israel (whereas the other areas had a determinative for "country" applied to them). There is the thought also that at the time of Merneptah, the “Israelites” would still be wandering in the desert, not yet entering the “Promised Land”.

To summarize, there is a singular lack of evidence, archaeological and historical for David, Solomon or the United Kingdom. A lack that is highlighted by the myriad of evidence available for kings and nations that were supposedly less famous and the myriad of evidence for the individuals of the “king lists” of Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, Persia, Tyre, etc and for the very nations and city states that they ruled. As with nations today, these various states of the ancient world maintained a diplomatic service that communicated with their counterparts of other nations. The dry climate of Egypt preserved the archives of the Egyptian diplomatic corps and the use of clay as a medium for inscription (baked afterwards into stone-like consistency) preserved the archives of the other ancient nations. In none of the archives excavated in all of the ancient sites, not one missive to or from David or Solomon, men that supposedly controlled an empire to rival that of their western, southern, and eastern neighbors, nor was there any addressed to (nor from) any ruler of Israel until the 9th century BCE. There is a faint possibility that the OT is glamorizing and enhancing the legend of a “Robber Baron” of a small hill country city state (possibly centered on Jerusalem), just as the Robin Hood legend of the Danelaw glamorized a robber of ancient England. Solomon seems to actually have been an Assyrian King. King Shalmaneser V (the name actually means Solomon) who sacked Samaria and sent the Israelites into captivity. Shalmaneser V is known as a great warrior and a very wise king. Evidentially the post-exilic priests of YHWH borrowed this Assyrian king as their model for the biblical Solomon. Until there is more than mere coincidental evidence of either David, Solomon or the United Kingdom, they must remain denizens of the Jewish post-exilic mythology. :yes:

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mako-i fear you have a problem that most people here don't care about. The atheists already know all tis, the xians don't buy it (or say, who cares it ithe o.t.) and I haven't found any Jews here. Musslims- maybe a halfbreed. My point? I don't know. David and Shlomo are probably eponymous anyway.

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Basically David and Soloman very likely existed...Alot of people are ignoring the inscription found that says "House Of David- King Of Israel"- not to mention coins that mention his name. Ive heard of the remains of Solomans temple too...Whats with doubting old testament characters- lots of evidence points to the existance of the many people mentioned in the scriptures- why always sit on step 1? Advance.

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David and Solomon probably existed--though not in the grandeur as characterized in the scriptures. As for Moses, Abraham et al ... there's not a shred of evidence that they existed.

The Bible, as History, Flunks New Archaeological Tests

By GUSTAV NIEBUHR

Archaeologists working at excavation sites like Megiddo in northern Israel, above, say that no evidence has been found to confirm biblical stories about a united monarchy ruling over a large area from Jerusalem or about the wanderings of the Jews in the desert during the Exodus.

The Bible's account of King David is so well known that even people who rarely crack the Good Book probably have an idea of his greatness.

David, Scripture says, was such a superb military leader that he not only captured Jerusalem but also went on to make it the seat of an empire, uniting the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Thus began a glorious era, later amplified by his son, King Solomon, whose influence extended from the borders of Egypt to the Euphrates River. Afterward, decline set in.

Yet what if the Bible's account doesn't fit the evidence in the ground? What if David's Jerusalem was really a rural backwater -- and the greatness of Israel and Judah lay far in the future?

Lately, such assertions are coming from some authorities on Israel's archaeology, who speak from the perspective of recent finds from excavations into the ancient past. "The way I understand the finds, there is no evidence whatsoever for a great, united monarchy which ruled from Jerusalem over large territories," said Israel Finkelstein, the director of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University.

King David's Jerusalem, he added, "was no more than a poor village at the time."

Statements like these have earned Finkelstein -- who is leading excavations at Megiddo, a vitally important site for biblical archaeology in northern Israel -- a reputation as a fascinating but controversial scholar. His reports from Megiddo that some structures attributed to Solomon were actually built after his reign have touched off fierce debate in Israel.

Within a larger context, what he says reflects a striking shift now under way in how a number of archaeologists understand Israel's past. Their interpretations challenge some of the Bible's best-known stories, like Joshua's conquest of Canaan.

Other finds have turned up new information that supplements Scripture, like what happened to Jerusalem after it was captured by the Babylonians 2,600 years ago.

In an interview by e-mail from the Megiddo site, Finkelstein said that not long ago, "biblical history dictated the course of research and archaeology was used in order to 'prove' the biblical narrative." In that way, he said, archaeology took a back seat as a discipline.

"I think that it is time to put archaeology in the front line," said Finkelstein, the co-author with Neil Asher Silberman of "The Bible Unearthed," to be published in January by The Free Press.

His reference to past practices can be illustrated by a remark by Yigael Yadin, an Israeli general who turned to archaeology and who once spoke of going into the field with a spade in one hand and the Bible in the other.

Many archaeologists, both before and after the founding of the modern state of Israel, shared a similar approach: seeking direct evidence for biblical stories. This outlook was shaped either by their religious convictions or their Zionist views, said Amy Dockser Marcus, the author of "The View From Nebo" (Little Brown), a wide-ranging and engaging book that describes in detail the shift in archaeology taking place in Israel.

The problem with that outlook, she said, is that "you can't help but go in and look at material and interpret material in a certain way." And that, she added, "led to certain mistakes."

In her book, Marcus -- formerly the Middle East correspondent for The Wall Street Journal -- notes that Yadin believed he had unearthed evidence in the ruins of a place called Hazor that corroborated the biblical account of how that Canaanite city had been destroyed. The Bible says Hazor fell to invading Israelites led by Joshua.

But these days, she said, an increasing number of archaeologists have come to doubt that Joshua's campaign ever took place.

Instead, they theorize that the ancient Israelites emerged gradually and peacefully from among the region's general population -- a demographic evolution, not a military invasion.

"And that would explain how their pottery is so similar to the Canaanites', and their architecture, their script," Marcus said.

Finkelstein makes the same argument: "Archaeology has shown that early Israel indeed emerged from the local population of late Bronze Canaan."

In addition, he said, archaeology has turned up no physical remains to support the Bible's story of the Exodus: "There is no evidence for the wanderings of the Israelites in the Sinai desert."

Asked how such conclusions have been received in Israel, Finkelstein replied that they have been producing a "quite strong and negative" reaction. But the anger, he said, was coming not from strictly Orthodox Jews ("who simply ignore us," he said) but from more secular Jews who prize the biblical stories for their symbolic value to modern Israel.

"I think that the young generation -- at least on the liberal side -- will be more open and willing to listen," he said.

Still, considerable disagreement exists among archaeologists on how to interpret many recent finds. And the new theories about ancient Israel are emerging against the backdrop of a raging dispute over the biblical "minimalists," a group of scholars who argue that biblical accounts of early Israel, including the stories of David and Solomon, have little, if any, basis in history.

(This debate was recently fought out in a lively issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review, a bimonthly magazine published in Washington, in which one of the minimalists, the British scholar Philip Davies, wrote that biblical accounts of early Israel were purely theological, not historical. In response, a major critic of the minimalists, the American archaeologist William Dever, wrote that ample physical evidence pointed to early Israelites living in the region's highlands 3,200 years ago, two centuries before the time of David and Solomon.)

But if many archaeologists are far less interested in trying to corroborate the exact biblical accounts than in how the area's ancient history fits into the larger picture of the Middle East, that change of perspective, Marcus said, reflects an intellectual shift among the people doing the digging.

Many current archaeologists, she said, were born in modern Israel and don't need a link to the biblical King David to think of themselves as part of the Israeli nation: "They see themselves as part of the broader Middle East."

Yet while archaeology is challenging some of the biblical narrative, it is also adding to it. At Megiddo, Finkelstein said, he found that the period 2,900 years ago -- the century following the rule of Solomon -- was a far more interesting and powerful time for the Kingdom of Israel than the Bible says.

Another tantalizing discovery, in 1993, turned up a stele with an inscription referring to the "House of David," the first real evidence that refers to the biblical king. Still other recent excavations have provided compelling new evidence about the lives of the residents of Jerusalem 2,600 years ago, when they were besieged by the Babylonian army, and about the nearby people of ancient Judah who did not go into exile in Babylon.

Marcus said that such discoveries illustrate how archaeology can restore information "left on the cutting room floor," as it were, by those who compiled the biblical narrative. "Archaeology is giving you back all this history," she said. "So archaeology doesn't just deconstruct the Bible, but reconstructs it."

[From The New York Times Leisure Section, July 29, 2000. It should be noted that "David" is an old Cannaanite god, which is likely the reason there would be an inscription with his name on it. In 1975 at Ebla, Syria, there were found 20,000 clay tablets, 4500 years old, a thousand years before the biblical David and Solomon supposedly lived. These tablets contain the names of various apparent Canaanite gods, such as "Ab-ra-mu (Abraham), E-sa-um (Esau), Ish-ma-ilu (Ishmael), even Is-ra-ilu (Israel), and from later periods names like Da-'u'dum (David) and Sa-'u-lum (Saul)."]

*David's Jerusalem: Fiction or Reality? (July/August 1998 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review)

http://www.truthbeknown.com/jerusalem.htm

*As Rabbis Face Facts, Bible Tales Are Wilting (by Michael Massing)

http://eunacom.net/Rabbis_Bible.htm

*Mythological Elements in the Story of Abraham and the Patriarchal Narratives

http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/abraham.html

*Hebrew Bible & Archaeology Recommended Reading List bh Peter Kirby & Joel Ng (2004)

http://www.eblaforum.org/library/bcah/reference.html

*Introduction to Biblical Archaeology 1: Archaeological History and Method by Joel Ng (2003)

http://www.eblaforum.org/library/bcah/intbibarch01.html

Kindly,

Sean

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"Alot of people are ignoring the inscription found that says "House Of David- King Of Israel"-

Ramster, I did mention it and give the most current views on it...it is called the ' Bytdwd" inscription. Here is what I posted:

"There are several problems with the authenticity of the Bytdwd inscription, that I will not address here, that tend to be epigraphist and translation problems and then there is the problem that the last letter before a break is continued down the side of the break, indicative of a forgery. The last I heard on that was that it was being investigated." :yes:

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Ramster, I did mention it and give the most current views on it...it is called the ' Bytdwd" inscription. Here is what I posted:

"There are several problems with the authenticity of the Bytdwd inscription, that I will not address here, that tend to be epigraphist and translation problems and then there is the problem that the last letter before a break is continued down the side of the break, indicative of a forgery. The last I heard on that was that it was being investigated." :yes:

The details of David's life given in this article come from the Hebrew Bible and are not corroborated by, or even mentioned in, other historical documents. However, an ancient inscription called the Tel Dan Stele is controversially considered to refer to a king of the "House of David", providing indirect evidence that someone called David did exist as a historical king (although a minority interpret the vowel-less text as saying the "House of Duad", the "House of Thoth", or various other readings). It has recently been claimed that this inscription is a modern forgery, but this claim is REJECTED by the majority of researchers.

-Wikipedia.org

Oh and more suprising for you guys is the news that Just over a month ago- - Israeli archaeologists claim to have uncovered what they believe may be the fabled palace of the biblical King David during secret excavations in east Jerusalem. The research was funded by a conservative group seeking to confirm aspects of Biblical history, which has led to the skepticism of some archaeologists of the sensational claim of identification, a common criticism of the Biblical archaeology approach. One possibility suggested by other archaeologists is that the site may be the Jebusite fortress of Zion that was conquered by David. However, the remains so far indicate that this major public building was completed in the Phoenician style. The Biblical account, in Books of Samuel II 5:11 has it that Hiram of Tyre (i.e., in Phoenicia) built the palace. One notable find at the site is the discovery of a seal of the government official Jehucal, son of Shelemiah, son of Shevi, a figure mentioned twice in the Book of Jeremiah, who presumably lived in the late 7th century BC.

Keep on digging...the truth will come out :D

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I thought you might try to pull the seal and David's palace ploy. The problem with both is you are referring to news publications and not excavation reports or peer reviews. The original building is much older than 10th century (David would have probably been early 9th century) and there is no way to tell, as yet, when it was originally built. Interestingly, the pottery found on the floor of the building was 12th and 11th century pottery, so the date of the building is still much debated. The real problem is that the seal that was found was that of an official mentioned in Jeremiah, which is either, way out of place or shows that the true period is post exilic. Just wait until the excavation is complete and published, and the peer reviews are published. Until then, it remains the musings of a ardent Zionist wishing to legitimize the Israeli conquest of Palestine. :yes:

Edited by mako

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Ten bucks says it turns out to be Jebusite.

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not to mention coins that mention his name.

I just caught that! Coins weren't invented until the Lydians made the first ones between 643-630 BCE, Just a little after David's time. Care to give your source on this? :yes:

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I just watched a show today called Ancient Evidence or something like that and they had many things about David. They knew he wrote poems and such. He did indeed write a lot, if not most, of the psalms in the book of Psalms. If there's no evidence for David, then why are most of the Psalms given credit to him and even begin with David saying he wrote them? It was also stated by skeptics that David never entered into Jerusalem to capture it by underground water systems and said that it wasn't possible, but recently found the network of underground systems that is mentioned in the bible. If they didn't know that those systems existed until recently, who made up the story? Another point was made that perhaps David didn't create this huge and brilliant palace. When you hear palace, you think of Buckingham Palace or a castle or something. When David went to Jerusalem, it was a small, poor village. Perhaps, being humble as he was, his palace wasn't very large and extravagant. It was a large house...large for that time. No matter what I or any David supporter says, you're just going to explain away the evidence and say it's a hoax or someone along the line change the documents, without any proof.

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I just watched a show today called Ancient Evidence or something like that and they had many things about David. They knew he wrote poems and such. He did indeed write a lot, if not most, of the psalms in the book of Psalms. If there's no evidence for David, then why are most of the Psalms given credit to him and even begin with David saying he wrote them? It was also stated by skeptics that David never entered into Jerusalem to capture it by underground water systems and said that it wasn't possible, but recently found the network of underground systems that is mentioned in the bible. If they didn't know that those systems existed until recently, who made up the story? Another point was made that perhaps David didn't create this huge and brilliant palace. When you hear palace, you think of Buckingham Palace or a castle or something. When David went to Jerusalem, it was a small, poor village. Perhaps, being humble as he was, his palace wasn't very large and extravagant. It was a large house...large for that time. No matter what I or any David supporter says, you're just going to explain away the evidence and say it's a hoax or someone along the line change the documents, without any proof.

And again, another great post by Saucy. And yeah, you're right, no matter what you say, a skeptic is still going to try and explain away the evidence.

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If there's no evidence for David, then why are most of the Psalms given credit to him and even begin with David saying he wrote them?

Saucy, if you will check the material from the archives of Ugarit (destroyed over a century before the Exodus supposedly took place) you will find many of the "poems" that David (or whoever) claimed to have written. Looks like David was a liar, huh?

but recently found the network of underground systems that is mentioned in the bible.

Yeah, and they were only 300-400 years newer than David's time. Sorry, not even a good try there!

No, I am not explaining it away, I am just keeping the Christians honest. If we skeptics let them, we would have repeats of all the foolish stories that Christians passed around during the dark ages. You folk are so desperate to prove anything about your bible that you clutch at every straw you see. I seriously doubt that any proof of the great and glorious past of the bible will ever surface, but Christians will keep clutching those straws until either the last one dies off or ceases believing. :yes:

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I watched "Ancient Evidence:David and Goliath" for the third time last night on Discovery Times. They said David may have written Psalms, but it is doubtful, speculative at best. In fact, David probably celebrated the destruction of his rival, Saul. He was no different than any other ruler of the day--ruthless and cold-blooded (as the scriptures portray him in Samuel, Kings and Chronicles). The ancient Jebusite water-shaft could not have been used by David for the shaft was way too steep to climb. As for his palace ... Most likely nothing elaborate.

Psalms

Traditionally all the Psalms were thought to be the work of David, but many modern scholars see them as the product of several authors or groups of authors, many unknown. Most Psalms are prefixed with introductory words (very different in the Masoretic and Septuagint traditions) ascribing them to a particular author or saying something about the circumstances of their composition; only 73 of these introductions claim David as author. Since the Psalms were written down around the 6th century BC, nearly half a millennium after David's reign (about 1000 BC), they doubtless depended on oral tradition for transmission of any Davidic material.

Psalms 39, 62, and 77 are linked with Jeduthun, to be sung after his manner or in his choir. Psalms 50 and 73-83 are associated with Asaph, as the master of his choir, to be sung in the worship of God. The ascriptions of Psalms 42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87, and 88 assert that the "sons of Korah" were entrusted with arranging and singing them; 2 Chronicles 20:19 suggests that this group formed a leading part of the Korathite singers.--Wikipedia

Oxford Companion to the Bible ...

Modern scholarship is skeptical about two aspects of the traditional titles: authorship (hence dating) and setting. There is no hard evidence for Davidic authorship of any of the psalms. David’s reputation as a musician (1 Samuel 16.23; Amos 6.5) makes it reasonable to associate him with the psalms, but it is not possible to prove authorship. As regards the setting, modern scholarship is much more modest in its claims. The ancients were overspecific. Rather, one can only describe the setting in a very generic way: a lament of an individual or community, a song of praise in the Temple, and so on. In other words, literary classification has replaced the historicizing tendency that the titles display.

--ROLAND E. MURPHY, O. CARM

Kindly,

Sean

Edited by seanph

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And yeah, you're right, no matter what you say, a skeptic is still going to try and explain away the evidence.

Evidence? What evidence? All you and Saucy have presented is either under intense debate or innuendo. In order for something to be accepted, it must have a framework of evidence, so far there is none for David, Solomon, or the United Kingdom. The "Bytdwd" inscription is being debated because many scholars are translating it as the "Temple to Dwd" and not the house of David and incidentially the "King of Israel" does not refer to David, but to the King that had the inscription done. :yes:

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Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common, Children no longer obey their parents. Every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world evidently is approaching.--Assyrian tablet circa 2800 BCE

This has to be one of my favorite quotes! Love using this on end-timers! Ha-ha! ;)

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Okay, maybe there's not all that much evidence that say David existed and I'm not desperate to prove that the bible is right. I know it's right. I'm not losing this war. More and more archeological evidence is found to support the bible than any other source ever, but you're not going to accept the bible because of the word God. If you had the same documents written about David, but it had nothing to do with God, you would have no problem accepting it. No other historical figures have EVER been written more about than biblical figures, such as Jesus and David, but you deny there's any evidence...probably only because it deals with God.

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:tu: seanph

the great commonality is the human.....

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Evidence? What evidence? All you and Saucy have presented is either under intense debate or innuendo. In order for something to be accepted, it must have a framework of evidence, so far there is none for David, Solomon, or the United Kingdom. The "Bytdwd" inscription is being debated because many scholars are translating it as the "Temple to Dwd" and not the house of David and incidentially the "King of Israel" does not refer to David, but to the King that had the inscription done. :yes:

Mako i was talking about the coins found earlier- not in the recent palace finding. My question to you is if scholars say "This is - infact- Davids Palace"...what are you going to do or say to disprove that? You dont know more than them, and i already mentioned to you the House Of David inscription idea of being a hoax is REJECTED by most scholars- most scholars say its genuine- why you following the minority here? Oh yes because it has to do with biblical finding and that "part" of science you dont agree with or follow...whoopsie :innocent:

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I know it's right.

How? Why is your religious text true, and all others are not?

More and more archeological evidence is found to support the bible than any other source ever

Not so--at all. But since you made this bold claim, what mainstream peer-reviewed archaeological publication/journal did you obtain this information?

Recent article in The Times:

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture...

*David's Jerusalem: Fiction or Reality? (July/August 1998 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review)

http://www.truthbeknown.com/jerusalem.htm

*As Rabbis Face Facts, Bible Tales Are Wilting (by Michael Massing)

http://eunacom.net/Rabbis_Bible.htm

*Mythological Elements in the Story of Abraham and the Patriarchal Narratives

http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/abraham.html

*Hebrew Bible & Archaeology Recommended Reading List bh Peter Kirby & Joel Ng (2004)

http://www.eblaforum.org/library/bcah/reference.html

*Introduction to Biblical Archaeology 1: Archaeological History and Method by Joel Ng (2003)

http://www.eblaforum.org/library/bcah/intbibarch01.html

but you're not going to accept the bible because of the word God.

Which god? How do you know? Why doesn't your god simply put in an appearance and end the speculation as to whose god is the real god?

No other historical figures have EVER been written more about than biblical figures, such as Jesus and David, but you deny there's any evidence...

First, just because they are mentioned in a religious text means little--particularly when pertaining to Jesus. Unfortunately, what is known about the historical Jesus is extremely sparse. No first century historian was a first-hand witness to his life, wrote a thing about him (And please don't cite Josephus et al). The Gospels are not eyewitness accounts of his life. They were written decades after his crucifixion and are considered midrash (or as M. Goulder proposes--the Gospels were worked out along the lines of the Jewish lectionary), not history. Of course, that was the intent. The Gospels were expressions of faith, written to address particular questions about Jesus to particular communities. They are "faith documents", written to persuade others to believe ... and are therefore unreliable.

Most of what we know of Jesus come from the four gospels. Yet scholars agree that these are hardly dependable as historical sources. For one thing, they did not take shape until late in the first century, a generation or two after Jesus died; until then the stories and teachings of Jesus were spread orally, and it is probably that neither his exact words nor the stories details survived the retellings. Scholars also agree that the gospels were not written by any of the 12 apostles (probably not by anyone named Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, probably not by anyone who was even alive when Jesus was.2 Most importantly, the four gospels were compiled not as historical documents but as testimonies of faith by communities of believers.3 One of the intended effects, he [John Collins, internationally know biblical scholar from Notre Dame] was to make the New Testament accounts fit Old Testament prophecies. The stories were generated, say Collins, by authors trying to infer facts from biblical prophecies. And for that reason many scholars would regard these as fictions to make theological points.--Notre Dame Magazine

Second, the Bible is more a literary work than expository.

... The Bible is a mixture of genres, some of them literary in nature. The major literary genres in the Bible are narrative or story, poetry (especially lyric poetry), proverb, and visionary writing (including prophecy and apocalypse). The New Testament letters frequently become literary because of their occasional nature, figurative language, and rhetorical or artistic patterning. Other literary genres of note in the Bible include epic, tragedy, gospel, parable, satire, pastoral, oratory, encomium, epithalamion (wedding poem), elegy (funeral poem), and a host of subtypes of lyric poetry (such as nature poem, psalm of praise, lament, love poem, psalm of worship, hymn).

Genre study is central to any literary approach to the Bible because every genre has its own conventions, expectations, and corresponding rules of interpretation. A biblical story, for example, is a sequence of events, not a series of ideas. It is structured around a plot conflict, not a logical argument. It communicates by means of setting, character, and event, not propositions. In short, the literary genres of the Bible require us to approach them in terms of the conventions and procedures that they possess.--LELAND RYKEN, Oxford Companion to the Bible

Kindly,

Sean

Edited by seanph

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Okay, maybe there's not all that much evidence that say David existed

Try no evidence…none at all!

I'm not desperate to prove that the bible is right.

That’s a good thing, because it would be an impossibility.

I'm not losing this war

Au Contraire mon ami, you already have.

More and more archeological evidence is found to support the bible than any other source ever

Actually, less and less evidence is available as the current unbiased (they do not dig with a shovel in one hand and the bible in the other as did the Christian archaeologists of the 19th to mid 20th century) group of archaeologists review that of their predecessors and correct their mistakes and misconceptions. There is very little evidence, historical or archaeological, of biblical matters prior to the late 9th to early 8th century BCE. To say that there is more archaeological support for the bible in incorrect. We have more support for the Egyptian documents, for the Sumerian cuneiform text and even for Julius Caesar’s “Gallic Wars”.

If there were collaboration from other sources, I would accept the historic accuracy of the bible, but unfortunately there isn’t. Unlike Theists, historians do not accept unsupported allegations and valid history.

If you had the same documents written about David, but it had nothing to do with God, you would have no problem accepting it

Actually, if I had the same documents written about David from contemporary sources other than the bible, I would accept the biblical account of David and accept David as a historical personage. However, other than that very biased questionable Bronze Age book of mythology, there is little to no contemporary evidence of David.

No other historical figures have EVER been written more about than biblical figures, such as Jesus and David

If that were the parameters for accepting the existence of a personage, then Sherlock Holmes, Superman and Batman would also be historic personages! Just because people write about them doesn’t mean they are real. There has probably been more written about Santa Claus than anyone else in history, but the Santa as we perceive him is a story that we tell children and doesn’t really exist, but by your parameters we should!

but you deny there's any evidence...probably only because it deals with God.

I deny no evidence, but no evidence has been presented. Then there is the thought, even if you could prove David (and yes, even Solomon) existed, it wouldn’t prove that your god did! No more than if the planet Krypton existing proves the existence of Superman!

**not to Sean - Dang it Sean, you beat me to it again!!!** :yes:

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Just call me quick draw, Seanie! ;)

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Ramster - You quite evidentially have no concept of how things are done in the world of historians and archaeologists. First and foremost, even though I have a degree in History and most of a degree in Archaeology, I am not a professional historian in Syrio-Palestinian history (known to you as biblical history), my area is Far Eastern, primarily China (history)and Romano-British (archaeology). I would not presume to prove or disprove the findings of a qualified archaeologist/historian that had published, had met all the peer reviews and survived. My qualifications would not allow me to, however if the question involved the Chinese counterweight trebuchet (hanging bucket) as opposed to the European version, I would be qualified to question and publish official peer reviews. What you referred to was a news report, not an official publishing of an Excavation Review and Findings. This was something that an individual, totally uneducated in either the historical or archaeological field, gleamed from talking to the archaeologists working that particular dig. Since the report, peers have come forward questioning the dating of the building (especially since 11th and 12th century pottery was found on the floor of the edifice along with the seal of a 6th century BCE Jeremiahan era temple functionary). This is something that most archaeologists will vehemently deny, but more than a few of them are lousy when it comes to history, even the history of the period they specialize in. This is why every dig has an assigned historian, who usually sits back at the sponsoring organization and reviews the material uncovered. Had the reporter (whose main job is not to arrive at the truth, but to sell newspapers, magazines, or air time, usually though sensationalism) gone and interviewed the assigned historian, he might have gotten a much less sensational story! He might have even been told that the structure was Jesubite (as Seanp mentioned), but that would not have sold newspapers or whatever! Now Apologists all over the world are leaping for joy at the “proof” of King David! Sorry, wait for the publishings and then if it is agreed that there is strong evidence that David built this structure and there are inscriptions that attribute it to him, then the historical and archaeological world will accept David’s existence. I am still waiting for the source on those coins. Since coins were not invented until the Lydians did so (King Midas) sometime around 643-630 BCE, there is no way that David could have minted coins, nor could the state of Israel have and very doubtful that the idea caught on in time for the Judeans to have minted coins prior to the Exile. As for the Bytdwd inscription, as I said in my original post, “ The last I heard on that was that it was being investigated.”, I have had no reason to check it since I gave it to you the last time your attempted to prove something. I don’t have time now to check it and when I do, if I find you aren’t giving out the full truth, I will let you know. :yes:

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Ramster - You quite evidentially have no concept of how things are done in the world of historians and archaeologists. First and foremost, even though I have a degree in History and most of a degree in Archaeology, I am not a professional historian in Syrio-Palestinian history (known to you as biblical history), my area is Far Eastern, primarily China (history)and Romano-British (archaeology). I would not presume to prove or disprove the findings of a qualified archaeologist/historian that had published, had met all the peer reviews and survived. My qualifications would not allow me to, however if the question involved the Chinese counterweight trebuchet (hanging bucket) as opposed to the European version, I would be qualified to question and publish official peer reviews. What you referred to was a news report, not an official publishing of an Excavation Review and Findings. This was something that an individual, totally uneducated in either the historical or archaeological field, gleamed from talking to the archaeologists working that particular dig. Since the report, peers have come forward questioning the dating of the building (especially since 11th and 12th century pottery was found on the floor of the edifice along with the seal of a 6th century BCE Jeremiahan era temple functionary). This is something that most archaeologists will vehemently deny, but more than a few of them are lousy when it comes to history, even the history of the period they specialize in. This is why every dig has an assigned historian, who usually sits back at the sponsoring organization and reviews the material uncovered. Had the reporter (whose main job is not to arrive at the truth, but to sell newspapers, magazines, or air time, usually though sensationalism) gone and interviewed the assigned historian, he might have gotten a much less sensational story! He might have even been told that the structure was Jesubite (as Seanp mentioned), but that would not have sold newspapers or whatever! Now Apologists all over the world are leaping for joy at the “proof” of King David! Sorry, wait for the publishings and then if it is agreed that there is strong evidence that David built this structure and there are inscriptions that attribute it to him, then the historical and archaeological world will accept David’s existence. I am still waiting for the source on those coins. Since coins were not invented until the Lydians did so (King Midas) sometime around 643-630 BCE, there is no way that David could have minted coins, nor could the state of Israel have and very doubtful that the idea caught on in time for the Judeans to have minted coins prior to the Exile. As for the Bytdwd inscription, as I said in my original post, “ The last I heard on that was that it was being investigated.”, I have had no reason to check it since I gave it to you the last time your attempted to prove something. I don’t have time now to check it and when I do, if I find you aren’t giving out the full truth, I will let you know. :yes:

Mako its way too late in the night to respond to or challenge your post but i did have a thorough good read of it. I'm not stating you dont know how History or Archeology works- yet you said i got mine from a news source- but when all the sources say the same thing and use quotes from all the important people involved in this finding- im pretty sure they are then telling the truth. Read the Below- im also looking at it from a sceptics view:

"Other scholars who have toured the site are skeptical that the foundation walls Eilat Mazar has discovered are David's palace. But they acknowledge that what she has uncovered is rare and important - a major public building from around the 10th century BC with pottery shards that date from the time of David and Solomon and a government seal of an official mentioned in the book of Jeremiah..."

Although some are skeptical- the evidence thus far is very convincing in the support of it being Davids palace and time will tell if it is indeed his. I have to find more info on the coins- in the mean time im off to bed. Night.

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You must not be reading everything...you make no mention of the 11th and 12th century pottery shards, the 6th century seal. Now did you mention the fact that Palestinian archaeologists are accusing her of rabid Zoinism and calling this an attempt to justify the Israeli grab of the Holy Land. That may be BS, but then again it could be the true. The Zoinist are known for such ploys, just like Christians are know for straw grasping! This at present is only talk and speculation. They haven't even reviewed how accurate the dating is. When they publish and the peer reviews are over, then we will see. Until then is is naught but speculation. But as I said before, proving that David exists does not automatically mean that your religion is the truth, only that the Jewish religion got something right and might mean that they are right about Christianity! :yes:

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