HOW DID ISRAEL BECOME A PEOPLE? BRUCE KESLER
At the doctorâ€™s office this morning I picked up a magazine, Biblical Archeology Review, of course dated November/December 2009.
An article caught my eye, How Did Israel Become A People?,Â by Abraham Faust, based on his book (hold on for a doozy of a title) Israelâ€™s Ethnogenesis: Settlement, Interaction, Expansion and Resistance (2007) which won the Biblical Archeology Society Award for Best Scholarly Book on Archeology.
The â€œIsraelâ€ that is mentioned in the Merneptah Stele [13th Century B.C.E.] is indeed the â€œIsraelâ€ of the Iron Age. And it can be identified archaeologically. The rich archaeological database, and its analysis with appropriate tools, allows us to trace the Israelites and to decipher many of the internal and external processes that characterized the group from the beginning of the Iron Age onward.
So much for arguments about Jews being a recently externally imposed colony on historically Arab land. The peoples in Israel at the time of the 13th Century B.C.E. were Israelites, Canaanites, long gone, and then Philistines, from elsewhere in the Mediterranean, with some Egyptian invaders for a time in between.
Faust promises another article about the development of Israelâ€™s Jewish religion.
Iâ€™m going to be returning to the website of Biblical Archeology Review,Â Â as there appear to be many interesting, scholarly articles and book reviews from various religious and academic viewpoints.
Posted by Bruce Kesler
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