Research Articles: Judges-United Monarchy

Archaeological and historical articles dealing with events from the period of the Judges, and the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon, circa 1375-931 B.C.

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Is It Time to Throw Away Your Bible? King David and Solomon: Men or Myths? Part Two 6/11/2014 - by ABR Staff

Members of the ABR staff gathered together in a roundtable discussion to talk about some of the criticisms presently being leveled against the Bible. Liberal scholars and biblical minimalists continually question the historical existence of David and Solomon as kings of Israel. See the ABR staff discuss this issue in part two of a two-part discussion. In this 11 part series (on a 2 DVD set), find out why you can trust the Bible.

Is It Time to Throw Away Your Bible? King David and Solomon: Men or Myths? Part One 5/7/2014 - by ABR Staff

Members of the ABR staff gathered together in a roundtable discussion to talk about some of the criticisms presently being leveled against the Bible. Liberal scholars and biblical minimalists continually question the historical existence of David and Solomon as kings of Israel. See the ABR staff discuss this issue in part one of a two-part discussion. In this 11 part series (on a 2 DVD set), find out why you can trust the Bible.

The Benefit of the Doubt 3/17/2014 - by Scott Stripling DMin

Recently, archaeological remains were discovered in Jerusalem that affirmed the presence of Hasmoneans in Jerusalem during the second century BC. This was in accord with historical texts, such as the book of 1 Maccabees. In this brief article, Dr. Scott Stripling illustrates how the principle of the "benefit of the doubt" is often applied to some written texts, but with a double standard when it comes to King David and the Bible.

New Find: Jerusalem's Oldest Hebrew Inscription 7/25/2013 - by Doug Petrovich ThM MA

During the 2012 excavations at the Ophel in Jerusalem, which is located between the Temple Mount and the City of David, Archaeologist Eilat Mazar's team discovered a large building that dates roughly to the early Iron IIA Age (1000-900 BC). One of the large storage jars discovered there was inscribed with writing. Immediate debate ensued as to the significance of this find. ABR Associate Doug Petrovich has closely followed the academic discussion, and provides ABR supporters with the following analysis of this important discovery.

The Valley of Elah in the Days of Saul and David 2/12/2013 - by Scott Stripling DMin

Dr. Scott Stripling describes the ruins at Khirbet Qeifaya, where King Saul and David fought in battle against the Philistines at the Elah Valley. A pottery shard with Hebrew writing was discovered here in 2008.

Judges: Forgotten History: Part Seven With Dr. Bryant Wood 8/23/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood in a Question and Answer session on the history, chronology and archaeology from the period of the Book of Judges.

Judges: Forgotten History: Part Six With Dr. Bryant Wood 8/21/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood discusses the history, chronology and archaeology from the period of the Book of Judges. In Part 6, further evidences from the Judges period are surveyed, including the Danite Migration, Shechem, Laish and the Merneptah Stela.

Judges: Forgotten History: Part Four With Dr. Bryant Wood 8/13/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood discusses the history, chronology and archaeology from the period of the Book of Judges. In part 4, the connection between Pharaoh Akhenaten and Canaan is made, particularly through the Amarna letters, which speak of a group of people in the land of Canaan called the "Apiru"

Judges: Forgotten History: Part Three With Dr. Bryant Wood 8/6/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood of the Associates for Biblical Research discusses the history, chronology and archaeology from the period of the Book of Judges. Part 3 continues to focus on a structure found at Jericho that could be the palace of Eglon, King of Moab.

Judges: Forgotten History: Part Two With Dr. Bryant Wood 8/1/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the book of Judges, an oft forgotten book in the Old Testament. Part two focuses on a structure found at Jericho that could be the palace of Eglon, King of Moab.

Judges: Forgotten History: Part One With Dr. Bryant Wood 7/27/2012 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Dr. Bryant Wood walks the audience through the archaeological evidence pertaining to the book of Judges, an oft-forgotten book in the Old Testament.

Book Review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology: Part II 7/12/2012 - by Rodger C. Young MA

Book review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology, by Andrew E. Steinmann. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. Hardback, 421 + xxxviii pages. Part II.

Book Review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology: Part I 7/9/2012 - by Rodger C. Young MA

Book review: From Abraham to Paul: A Biblical Chronology, by Andrew E. Steinmann. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011. Hardback, 421 + xxxviii pages.

Jephthah's Vow 4/26/2012 - by Tim Chaffey MDiv ThM

In the Winter 2012 issue of Bible and Spade, we published an article by Dr. John Roskoski, detailing the historical setting and investigation into the meaning of Jephthah's vow, found in Judges 11. The article below was published by Tim Chaffey of Answers in Genesis, and we have received permission to publish an excerpt of it here. The complete article can be found on the AIG website by clicking the link. This is part of an ongoing series of articles dedicated to the subject of child sacrifice and abortion.

King David: Man or Myth? 1/19/2012 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

King David is portrayed as a "King Arthur" type of mythological figure by many Bible skeptics. This attitude not only reveals a presuppositional bias against the Bible, it also ignores archaeological discoveries that support the portrayal of David and his kingdom in the Biblical accounts.

Hittites and Hethites: A Proposed Solution to an Etymological Conundrum 11/8/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

"The presence of Hittites in the narratives of Israelite beginnings is thus rhetorical and ideological rather than historical.” -John Van Seters. The appearance of the term "Hittites" in English Bible translations has been an apologetic, archaeological and historical problem for quite some time. Many claim that references to the Hittites in the Old Testament are either errors or fictional anachronisms. In this important article, Dr. Bryant Wood proposes that the solution to this problem is a linguistic one. Based on a detailed assessment of the original Hebrew text, and an evaluation of the archaeological evidence pertaining to the Hittite and neo-Hittite kingdoms, Dr. Wood concludes our English translations require correction. Once this is accomplished, we once again find the Bible is accurate and trustworthy...

The Death of Biblical Minimalism 9/22/2011 - by Dewayne Bryant MA

It is a good time to be a Christian. Information is more readily available and accessible than ever before. Whether it appears in books, in articles in print and on Web sites, or in podcasts and other media formats, Christian apologists are producing vast amounts of material in defense of the Christian Faith. In the field of archaeology alone, new discoveries are unearthed every year, adding to our body of knowledge about the biblical world. Because of new information, old theories are being continually revised and refined. In some cases, this information is completely overturning critical theories.

Sifting Dirt, Filling Sandbags and Shaul Junior: Reflections on the 2011 Season at Tel Zayit, Israel 8/9/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

Who would have thought that a small Judean city on the western fringes of the Kingdom of Israel, facing Philistia, might provide a partial answer to the question posed in the December 2010 issue of National Geographic: “Was the Kingdom of David and Solomon a glorious empire – or just a little cow town?” (Draper 2010)?

Psalm 63: Longing to Worship the LORD While in the Wilderness 6/10/2011 - by Gordon Franz MA

Let’s be honest, we do not live in a perfect world, nor is our homeland Paradise. There is a Millennial Kingdom coming when King Jesus will rule from Jerusalem with justice and righteousness, but that day is still in the future. We live in the nasty, here and now where Murphy’s Law is the norm. “If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong!” This world we live in is far from perfect. It is a world where injustice is the norm and unrighteousness prevails.

The Tel Dan Stela and the Kings of Aram and Israel 5/4/2011 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

A people known as the Arameans lived in the regions of Syria and Mesopotamia in antiquity. They were a large group of linguistically related peoples who spoke dialects of a West Semitic language known as Aramaic. Although not politically unified, they developed powerful city-states that had a strong cultural influence in the Near East in the first millennium BC. The Aramaic language, very similar to Hebrew, became the official international language during the Persian Period, ca. 539–332 BC, and eventually replaced many of the local languages of the area, including Hebrew. As a result, in New Testament times the main local language was Aramaic rather than Hebrew.

Old Testament King Discovered? 2/11/2011 - by Brian Janeway PhD (c)

What if we reported that an ancient king from the Old Testament, an ally of King David, had been discovered? That we were in possession of a group of his inscriptions? Indeed, that his capital city had been located and intensive excavations were ongoing there to uncover his lost kingdom? Few things are certain in archaeology, and these facts are far from proven, but evidence for a long-lost kingdom is coalescing around a ruined city in southeast Turkey, not far from the biblical city of Antioch (Acts 11).

The Philistines Enter Canaan: Were They Egyptian Lackeys or Invading Conquerors? 7/12/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

At very beginning of the 12th century B.C. - the beginning of the period archaeologists call Iron Age I - the Sea Peoples swept out of the Aegean to make their appearance in the archeological record and in ancient literary references. The Philistines ultimately settled on and dominated some of the choicest land in Canaan - the agriculturally rich coastal strip from Gaza in the south to Tell Qasile, near modern Tel Aviv, in the north - through which passed one of the world's most important international trade routes. Soon the Philistines began exerting pressure on the Israelite tribes farther inland. This conflict prompted the Israelites to form a monarchy in the mid - 11th century in order to meet the Philistine threat more effectively. After about 150 years of dominance in the area, the Philistines faded from the scene - overpowered by the Israelites under King David - and thereafter played only a minor role in events until, in about 600 B.C., they disappeared altogether.

Biblical Archaeology in 2010: Going Strong Still! 6/10/2010 - by Brian Janeway PhD (c)

ASOR's annual meetings are its focal event of the year. Approximately 750 scholars, students, and interested members of the public come together for three intensive days of academic lectures, poster presentations, business meetings, evening receptions, and general conversation. This past year they were held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Some of the sessions are directly related to the Bible; for example two sessions on the exciting new finds at Khirbet Qeiyafa, which are associated with the reign of King David...

Ancient Hebrew Inscription Dated to time of David 1/10/2010 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

The inscription, written in ink on clay, is the earliest yet found in Hebrew. It was discovered about 18 months ago in a dig at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Emek Ha'ela. While it was quickly dated, its language remained uncertain until Prof. Gershon Galil was able to demonstrate that it was an early form of Hebrew - containing roots commonly found in Hebrew, but which are very rare in other Semitic languages.

Tyre and the Tell El-Amarna Tablets 11/20/2009 - by Gary Byers MA

Tyre’s significance in the 14th century BC can be seen in the Amarna Letters. These cuneiform-inscribed clay tablets found in Tell el-Amarna, Egypt, represent correspondence between minor Canaanite kings ruling under Egyptian auspices during the reign of Egyptian Pharaohs Amenhotep III and his son Akhenaten. This is the century immediately following Joshua’s initial assault on Canaan, according to Biblical chronology...

In Quest of the Temple Mount 11/3/2009 - by Gary Byers MA

In a sense, this book is the culmination of Leen Ritmeyer’s life and career. Of the April 1984 International Congress of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, when his collaborative work with Benjamin Mazar was presented, Ritmeyer wrote, “At this defining moment in my life, I realized the unraveling of the mysteries of the Mount had become my personal quest (p. 12)”.

Carbon 14 Dating Controversy in the Iron Age Period 6/16/2009 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Carbon-14 dating is the center of debate as it pertains to dating from the Iron Age period. The date of the transition from the archaeological period known as Iron Age I to Iron Age IIa is a particularly hotly disputed topic...

“We are Standing on ‘Holy Ground’” at Kiriath Jearim 2/5/2009 - by Wilbur Fields PhD

Kiriath Jearim served as a boundary marker between the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin. The Ark of the Covenant was brought to Kiriath Jearim early in the ministry of Samuel (about 1070 BC). It had been taken from the town of Shiloh into battle against the Philistines, and was captured...

Dagon: The Philistine Fish God 9/4/2008 - by John Roskoski PhD

In the book of Judges, we read how the Israelites served “Baal and Ashtaroth”, pagan gods of the various nations (Judges 2:11-13), but Dagon, the god of the Philistines, is mentioned by name and often depicted as a “fish-god”. How is Dagon different than the other idols?

Between the Pillars: Revisiting "Samson and the House of Dagon" 7/24/2008 - by John Roskoski PhD

The historicity of this heroic account has been long debated among scholars. Indeed, many scholars seem hesitant to comment on the historicity of the Samson narratives at all. From the scholarly debate over the destruction of the Gaza temple two diametrically opposed viewpoints have emerged...

From Ramesses to Shiloh: Archaeological Discoveries Bearing on the Exodus-Judges Period 4/2/2008 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

Attempts to correlate the findings of archaeology with the biblical record for the period under review have seemingly met with insurmountable ob­stacles. Much of the scholarly community today has despaired of making any valid connections and has dismissed biblical history prior to the king­dom period as nothing more than myth and legend...

King Solomon in His Ancient Context 7/1/2007 - by Alan Millard PhD

The Solomon Narrative describes a greater range of material culture than other parts of Kings. It therefore allows greater possibility for assessment in the context of the ancient world: can the creations attributed to Solomon’s craftsmen be set comfortably in the tenth century, or do they belong only to later years?

David Rohl's Revised Egyptian Chronology: A View From Palestine 5/23/2007 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

David Rohl purports to have produced a better correlation between the findings of archaeology and the Bible by revising Egyptian chronology. Rohl, however, cannot so easily be brushed aside...

Abimelech at Shechem 2/13/2006 - by Bryant G. Wood PhD

For some 800 years, from the time of Jacob until the time of Gideon, Shechem was an important highland urban center controlling the area from Megiddo to Jerusalem. It is no surprise, then, that Gideon’s son Abimelech went to the leaders of Shechem to gain support for his failed attempt to become king of the Israelite tribes. Three archaeological discoveries at Shechem relate to the narrative of Judges 9...

The United Monarchy Under David and Solomon 9/26/2005 - by Gary Byers MA

During the past half century, many in the academic world have come to discount the historical basis for most of the Bible's early characters. You can pretty much throw away the first six books of your Bible and not really miss a thing!

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