Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More on Israel Finkelstein

Update: there is now quite a conversation on this post going on over at Dr. West's blog: click here. And there is still more on the Abnormal Interests blog: click here.

Dr. Joe Cathey just added a comment to my post below on The Bible Unearthed. It just might spark some additional debate, so I'm elevating up here. Comments Welcome!

Joe writes:

As a working archaeologist - something Jim is not nor Lemche or Thompson. I can attest that Finklestein et al. have based their conclusions upon "selected" data. You can't hold "one" archaeologist [Finkelstein] up as the pargon of the field and expect the scholars to bow to him (contra Jim). I would direct your readers to Mazar's recent articles (over fifteen) that dispute the findings in this work. Likewise I would also direct your readers to articles and monographs by Ben-Tor, and even Dothan and Dever. They all will agree on one thing - the data does not support a lowering of the chronology nor the dates he adduces.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have replied.


Tue Jan 23, 12:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Dr. Joseph Ray Cathey said...


I too have replied as per below. I am posting this to Jim's blog but am not holding my breath that he allows it.

Well Jim, thank you for your challenge. Let me first say that you can plop your money down and read the challenge to Finkelstein et.al. when the data from Gezer is published later this year. Contra to your little rant, I do not do archaeology with a bible in my hand only with a trowel. Now if you want to put your money where your mouth is – so to speak – come to Gezer this summer and see archaeology preformed the way it should be done – in a controlled excavation adhering to scientific principles on which all archaeologists agree.

Allow me to educate some of your readers. “I” – my good man – do not LUMP Lemche and Thompson into anything. Rather, if you would take time to read the latest monographs and professional articles in the field you would see that these names are often mentioned together. (Sadly it seems to me that you are either not conversant in the field or simply not willing for the truth to be put forth). I might also add that when I was in Israel this last summer many non-believers were “lumping” (your word) Lemche, Thompson, and Finkelstein together. Therefore you can assure your readers that it is by no means a particularly religious type of hermeneutic that is going on. You have to face the facts Jimmy, Lemche, Thompson, and Davies all share this particular brand no matter if they like it or not. Likewise, they have co-opted Finkelstein in many of their refutations of the Davidic and later monarchies. Archaeology is slowly showing that their reconstruction is without merit and that the data cannot support their claims.

Lastly, I am happily ready to go where the evidence takes me. It seems that it is just the opposite with you – you are the one who has invested whole heartily in a bankrupt 19th century liberal belief which has long ago been cast aside by the advances made in archaeology.

On “bowing” – one need not comment on your strict adherence to the beliefs of historical minimalism. One only needs to subscribe to your biblical studies list to see how rigidly you enforce the views of your patron saints.

Tue Jan 23, 12:28:00 PM GMT-5  

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