See Hershel Shanks, “Should the Term ‘Biblical Archaeology’ Be Abandoned?” BAR 07:03. Dever is there quoted as saying “I do dissociate myself from the term ‘Biblical archaeology’ … There probably is no such thing.” See also Shanks, “Whither ASOR?” BAR 09:05; William G. Dever, “What Archaeology Can Contribute to an Understanding of the Bible,” BAR 07:05; and Dever, “On Abandoning the Term ‘Biblical Archaeology’,” Queries & Comments, BAR 07:05.


The joint annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR).


See previoius footnote.


Norman Gottwald, The Hebrew Bible—A Socio-Literary Introduction (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985); The Tribes of Yahweh (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1979) and “Were the Early Israelites Pastoral Nomads?” BAR 04:02. See also P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., “A Major New Introduction to the Bible,” Bible Review, Summer 1986.


Compare Dever’s claim that “the result [of recent innovations] is already clearly something so radically different that we must distinguish it, for better or worse, as the ‘new archaeology’.” “The Impact of the ‘New Archaeology’ on Syro-Palestinian Archaeology,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 242 (1981), p. 18.


William G. Dever, “Biblical Theology and Biblical Archaeology: An Appreciation of G. Ernest Wright,” Harvard Theological Review 13 (1980), p. 1.


As Lawrence Stager recently noted, “These hill people, whom Albright correctly identified with the early Israelites, were able to establish new settlements in formerly uninhabited areas ‘thanks to the rapid spread of the art … of constructing cisterns and lining them with waterproof lime plaster’,” citing Albright’s 1960 book, The Archaeology of Palestine. Stager, “The Archaeology of the Family in Ancient Israel,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 260 (1985), p. 9.


Compare the far more nuanced, careful and appropriately cautious discussion and limited conclusions presented by Moshe Kochavi and by Amihai Mazar in Biblical Archaeology Today (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1985).


In all fairness, much of Dever’s analysis relies on the work of Harvard’s Lawrence Stager, especially his “The Archaeology of the Family in Ancient Israel,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 260 (1985). (Stager’s article won a Biblical Archaeology Society 1986 Publication Award for one of the most significant articles relating to archaeology and the Bible. The judges described Stager’s article as “a brilliant synthesis of archaeological and textual evidence concerning the social structure of early Israel and changes introduced in it by the establishment of the monarchy.”) Dever fully acknowledges his debt to Stager. It is when Dever goes beyond Stager that he gets in trouble.