The Quest for the Historical Israel: Israel Finkelstein vs. Amihai Mazar

colloquium-05

In October 2005, the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism invited Israel Finkelstein and Amihai Mazar to speak on the historicity of ancient Israel. The proceedings of Colloquium ’05 were published by the Society of Biblical Literature as The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel.

Videos of the lectures have now been made available on YouTube.

“Archaeology and the Bible” Israel Finkelstein

“Archaeology and the Bible” Amihai Mazar

“When Did the Jewish People Begin?” Israel Finkelstein

“When Did the Jewish People Begin?” Amihai Mazar

Colloquium Panel Response: When Did the Jewish People Begin?

“The Truth About Solomon’s Temple” Israel Finkelstein

“The Truth About Solomon’s Temple” Amihai Mazar

Colloquium Panel Response: Truth About Solomon’s Temple

“The Kingdoms of Israel And Judah” Israel Finkelstein

“The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah” Amihai Mazar

Colloquium Panel Response: Israel And Judah

“Patriarchs, Exodus, Conquest: Fact or Fiction?” Israel Finkelstein

“Patriarchs, Exodus, Conquest: Fact or Fiction?” Amihai Mazar

Colloquium Panel Response: Patriarchs, Exodus, Conquest

Colloquium Panel Response: Implications

Israel Finkelstein – Jacob M. Alkow Chair in the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University, author of The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts.

Amihai Mazar – Eleazar Sukenic Chair in the Archaeology of Israel ad Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Author ofArchaeology and the Land of the Bible.

Brian Schmidt (moderator) – Professor of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. Author of Israel’s Beneficent Dead.

Harry Cook (panel) – Episcopal minister and journalist, former columnist for the Detroit Free Press, author of Christianity Beyond Creeds and Sermons of a Devoted Heretic.

Yaakov Malkin (panel) – Professor of aesthetics and rhetoric at Tel Aviv University, author of many works including Judaism Without God – Judaism as Culture, The Bible as Literature.

Paula McNutt (panel) – Professor of Religious Studies and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.

Rabbi Sherwin Wine (panel) – founding rabbi of the Birmingham Temple and Humanistic Judaism, author of Judaism Beyond God and Staying Sane in a Crazy World.

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Eric H. Cline: “The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel” – On Archaeology and the Bible

eric-cline

Professor Eric H. Cline delivers four lectures on the current state of archaeological contributions to the understanding of the Hebrew Bible. The lectures are available as mp3s and on iTunes. The lectures were originally delivered in February 2010 to the Josephine F. and H. Max Ammerman Study Retreat.

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: Part I

Part one discusses the account of the Exodus and the conquest of Canaan.

mp3 iTunes

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: Part II

Part two discusses David and Solomon. Both kings have been the subject of controversies and debates. A reference to the “House of David” was found in 1993 on an inscription in the north of Israel — the first extra-biblical mention of David yet discovered — allowing us to reconsider the evidence for David and Solomon.

mp3 iTunes

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: Part III

Part three discusses how the expansionist ambitions of the Neo-Assyrians from Mesopotamia in the eighth century BCE spelled an end to the kingdom of Israel and gave rise to the tradition of the Ten Lost Tribes. The question of where the exiled members of these tribes ended up continues to be debated.

mp3 iTunes

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Israel: Part IV

Part four discusses how Nebuchadnezzar and the Neo-Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem not once but twice, burned the Temple of Solomon to the ground, and exiled the leading citizens of Jerusalem and Judah to the far-away city of Babylon. It also provides an in-depth look at Jewish history during the Babylonian period.

mp3 iTunes

Eric H. Cline is Chair of the Department of Classical and Semitic Languages and Literatures at The George Washington University.

John J. Collins on The Bible and the Legitimation of Violence

SBL

John J. Collins delivers the Presidential Address at the 2002 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting, entitled “The Zeal of Phinehas: The Bible and the Legitimation of Violence”, available as a real audio file. The Address was delivered at the first AAR/SBL Annual Meeting following 9/11.

Collins presented a “geneology of the concept of ‘the wrath of God'” and offered scriptural passages where God condones the obliteration of peoples and where “ritual violence” is connected to ideas of religious purity, land rights, and “chosen-ness.” While Collins pointed out that most likely none of these violent events ever occurred, he did underline the ethical implications of their status as part of the Bible especially in the current context of September 11 and possible war in Iraq. Collins’ advice to the Bible scholar was to note the diversity of approaches in the Bible (to relativize it); to admit the unethicalness of certain passages; and to show that certitude is an illusion. Collins offered the warning of another Irish luminary, Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Certitude leads to violence.”

– Eric Daniel Barreto and John Huehnergard, “Annual Meeting Toronto 2002 Highlights”, SBL Forum, n.p. Online:http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleID=115

The Address was later published as John J. Collins, “The Zeal of Phinehas: The Bible and the Legitimation of Violence“, Journal of Biblical Literature 122, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 3-21 (subscription required).

Daniel Fleming – “Ancient Israel”: An Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

Professor Daniel Fleming, of New York University, presents an introductory course on the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible called “Ancient Israel“, which is available to view on 27 videos (on YouTube).

For additional class materials, see the course page at New York University.