See Roland de Vaux, “Was There an Israelite Amphictyony?” BAR 03:02.


But see Anson Rainey, “The ‘Consensus Theory’ Is Dead,” at


See Alan Millard, “The Question of Israelite Literacy,” Bible Review, Summer 1987.


See Jane M. Cahill, “David’s Jerusalem: Fiction or Reality?” BAR 24:04.



The best approach will be “contextual” rather than simply “comparative,” in that our analysis should consider similarities as well as differences. William W. Hallo, “Biblical History in Its Near Eastern Setting: The Contextual Approach,” in C.D. Evans, W. W. Hallo, and J. B. White, eds., Scripture in Context: Essays on the Comparative Method, Pittsburgh Theological Monograph Series 34 (Pittsburgh: Pickwick, 1980), pp. 1–26.


J.A. Brinkman, Prelude to Empire: Babylonian Society and Politics, 747–626 B.C. Occasional Publications of the Babylonian Fund, 7; (Philadelphia: University Museum, 1984); Manfried Dietrich, Die Aramäer Südbabyloniens in der Sargonidenzeit (700–648) AOAT 7 (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon and Bercker Kevelaer, 1970); and Grant Frame, Babylonia 689–627 B.C.: A Political History (Istanbul: Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut, 1992).


Jonas Greenfield, “Babylonian-Aramaic Relationship,” in H.J. Nissen and J. Renger, eds., Mesopotamien und seine Nachbarn: Politische und kulturelle Wechselbeziehungen im Alten Vorderasien vom 4. bis 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr., Berliner Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient, 1 (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, 1982), pp. 471–482.


Frame, Babylonia, p. 34 and Brinkman, Prelude, p. 11. Brinkman and Frame have also demonstrated how many of the important larger kin groups came to dominate the civil and religious hierarchy of cities in northern Babylonia (J.A. Brinkman, “Babylonia under the Assyrian Empire, 745–627 B.C.” in M.T. Larsen, ed., Power and Propaganda: A Symposium on Ancient Empires [Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1979], pp. 237–238, and G. Frame, “The ‘First Families’ of Borsippa during the Early Neo-Babylonian Period,” JCS 36 [1984], pp. 67–80).


Brinkman, “Babylonia under the Assyrian Empire, 745–627 B.C.” p. 226.


Brinkman, A Political History of Post-Kassite Babylonia (Biblical Institute Press, 1968) pp. 266–267, 273–275.


On the mistaken identity of Adad-apla-iddina, a ruler of Babylonia as an Aramean, see C. B. F. Walker, “Babylonian Chronicle 25: A Chronicle of the Kassite and Isin II Dynasties,” in G. van Driel, ed. Zikir šumim: Assyriological Studies Presented to F. R. Kraus on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (Leiden, 1982), pp. 414–415.


On the evidence for Uruk, see Bill T. Arnold, “Babylonian Letters from the Kuyunjik Collection: Seventh Century Uruk in Light of New Epistolary Evidence,” (Ph.D. diss., Hebrew Union College, 1985).


Brinkman, Prelude, p. 123.


Israel Finkelstein, “The Land of Ephraim Survey 1980–1987: Preliminary Report,” Tel Aviv 15–16 (1988–1989), p. 167.


Oded Borowski, Agriculture in Iron Age Israel: The Evidence from Archaeology and the Bible (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1987).


Robert P. Gordon, “Who Made the Kingmaker? Reflections on Samuel and the Institution of the Monarchy,” in A.R. Millard, J.K. Hoffmeier and D.W. Baker, eds., Faith, Tradition, and History: Old Testament Historiography in Its Near Eastern Context (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1994), pp. 257–260, and Israel Finkelstein, “The Emergence of the Monarchy in Israel: The Environmental and Socio-Economic Aspects,” JSOT 44 (1989), pp. 59–61, 63.


The evidence is not unambiguous regarding the ethnic identity of the Neo-Babylonian kings. Though the Bible and classical authors designate this dynasty as “Chaldean,” the term in these sources is synonymous for “Babylonian” and may not denote ethnic specificity. We still have no irrefutable proof, for example, that Nabopolassar was himself a Chaldean, and in this sense the term is strictly inappropriate when referring to the Neo-Babylonian empire. See Bill T. Arnold, “Who Were the Babylonians?” SBLABS (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004), p. 91.


M.A. Dandamayev, “The Neo-Babylonian Archives,” in K.R. Veenhof, ed., Cuneiform Archives and Libraries (Istanbul: Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut, 1986), p. 273; A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago, 1977), pp. 94–95.


Dandamayev, “Neo-Babylonian Archives,” p. 274; and David B. Weisberg, Texts from the Time of Nebuchadnezzar (Yale Oriental Series, 17; New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1980).


Dandamayev, “Neo-Babylonian Archives,” pp. 275–276.


Bill T. Arnold, “The Neo-Babylonian Chronicle Series” in M.W. Chavalas, ed., The Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006), pp. 407–426.


Grayson, Chronicles, p. 8; and Bill T. Arnold, “The Weidner Chronicle and the Idea of History in Israel and Mesopotamia,” in Millard, Hoffmeier, and Baker, eds., Faith, Tradition, and History, pp. 129–148.


A.R. George, “Review of K.R. Veenhof (ed.), Cuneiform Archives and Libraries,” JNES 52.4 (1993), p. 303; and see “Excavations in Iraq, 1985–86: Sippar (Abu Habba),” Iraq 49 (1987), pp. 248–249, and photograph at pl. 47.


Indeed, anthropological studies support the correlation between the rise of bureaucratic states and the use of writing in general (Jack Goody, The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society [Cambridge: Cambridge Univ., 1986], pp. 89–99).


To borrow an expression from William W. Hallo (“The Limits of Skepticism,” JAOS 110.2 [1990], pp. 187–199).