Abraham Malamat, “Let My People Go and Go and Go and Go,” BAR 24:01.


Trude Dothan, “What We Know About the Philistines,” BAR 08:04.



The Merneptah Stele thus dates to the very end of the Late Bronze Age (1600–1200 B.C.E.) or the start of the Iron Age (1200–586 B.C.E.).


See, conveniently, I. Bernard Cohen, The Birth of a New Physics, rev. ed. (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985). Newton’s Principia was published in 1687.


Amongst Voltaire’s numerous observations on Israel and the Bible, see his evaluations in chapter 4 of An Important Study by Lord Bolingbroke, or The Fall of Fanaticism: “I conjecture that Ezra forged all these Tales of a Tub on his return from captivity. He wrote them in cuneiform, in the jargon of the country just as today’s northern Ireland peasants would write in English characters.”

And: “[Assume] that the Pentateuch is by Moses. So, my friends, what would be proved? That Moses was a fool. One thing is sure, that today I would have a man who wrote similar extravagances committed to Bedlam” (Voltaire on Religion: Selected Writings, trans. Kenneth W. Applegate [New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1974], pp. 105, 107–108).


On the Origin of Species appeared in 1859.


Lyell’s Principles of Geology appeared in the years 1830–1833.


For these developments, see Katherine Eugenia Jones, “Backward Glance: Americans at Nippur,” BAR 24:06 and Mogens Trolle Larsen, “The ‘Babel/Bible’ Controversy and Its Aftermath,” in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Vol. 1, ed. Jack M. Sasson, et al. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1995), pp. 97–99.


Aspects of Albright’s life and thought are treated by Leona Glidden Running and David Noel Freedman, William Foxwell Albright: A Twentieth Century Genius (New York: Morgan Press, 1975); and, in a very different way, in Burke O. Long, Planting and Reaping Albright: Politics, Ideology, and Interpreting the Bible (University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997).


William Foxwell Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1940). An eloquent statement of Albright’s faith comes in the last sentence of the volume: “We need reawakening of faith in the God of the majestic theophany on Mount Sinai, in the God of Elijah’s vision at Horeb, in the God of the Jewish exiles in Babylonia, in the God of the Agony at Gethsemane…” (from the second edition [Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1957], p. 403).


Cf. the somewhat similar and different perspective of Jack M. Sasson, “On Choosing Models for Recreating Israelite Pre-Monarchic History,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 21 (1981), pp. 8–9.


See Otto Eissfeldt, The Old Testament: An Introduction, trans. P.R. Ackroyd (New York: Harper and Row, 1965), pp. 160–162. Eissfeldt’s treatment of this period of Biblical criticism is fuller than those of more recent introductions to the Bible.


The edition here used is Julius Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel (Cleveland: Meridian Books, 1957).


Wellhausen, Prolegomena, pp. 318–319.


Anchor Bible, Vol. 1 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964).


(Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1962), pp. 635–636


A fuller version of this article appeared as “Historiographic Reflections on Israel’s Origins: The Rise and Fall of the Patriarchal Age,” in Hayim and Miriam Tadmor Volume (=Eretz Israel: Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Studies, Vol. 27), ed. Israel Eph‘al., Amnon Ben-Tor and Peter Machinist (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, etc., 2003), pp. 120–128.