Associate Professor Zeev Herzog (Tel-Aviv University, Department of Archaeology & Near Eastern Studies) wrote an article in the renowned Ha'aretz magazine on Oct 29, 1999. I would like to know how Douglas Jacoby would respond to that. "Deconstructing the walls of Jericho": following 70 years of intensive excavations in the land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary, the Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon, nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel.

Archaeology is not always friendly to biblical studies, though good archaeology (that is, archaeology well done) does tend to confirm and reinforce the Scriptures. It is interesting you ask, because last night I returned from a 3-day Biblical Archaeology conference (in Boston). Some scholars' views were so radical (prejudicial) that they accepted little if anything from the Scriptures. Others, however, made every effort to harmonize what the Word of God says with the physical evidence. It all depends on your starting place!

Your question is too involved to tackle here, though I do appreciate your sending the text of the entire article. I will comment on just one point, then make a reading suggestion, and hope that will get you started in the right direction.

For years the radical archaeologists have claimed David was a legendary figure, since there is no mention of him outside the Bible. While at the archaeology conference, I attended a lecture on the city of Dan, in the north of Israel. I had the opportunity to visit Dan in September, and it was phenomenal to see the site and hear from the man who has spent over 30 years excavating it, Avraham Biran. His team made a remarkable find: a Aramean inscription, I believe from the 8th century BC, mentioning the "House of David"! Settled! And the examples could be multiplied.

Anyway, that is my example. As for the recommendation, there was a surprisingly generous and readable article in U.S. News and World Report, October 26, 1999 (in fact it is the cover story): Is the Bible True: New discoveries offer surprising support for key moments in the Scriptures. I would suggest you get hold of this and devour it.

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