Lawrence E. Stager, “The Song of Deborah,” BAR 15:01.


See Adam Zertal, “Has Joshua’s Altar Been Found on Mt. Ebal?” BAR 11:01; but see Aharon Kempinski, “Joshua’s Altar—An Iron Age I Watchtower,” BAR 12:01.


Joseph A. Callaway, “A Visit with Ahilud,” BAR 09:05; Aaron Demsky and Moshe Kochavi, “An Alphabet from the Days of the Judges,” BAR 04:03.



Revisionist literature is too extensive to cite fully, but for the latest statements of the principals, with references to most earlier literature, see Philip Davies, In Search of “Ancient Israel” (Sheffield: Journal for the Study of the Old Testament [JSOT] Press, 1992), Keith W. Whitelam, The Invention of Ancient Israel: The Silencing of Palestinian History (London: Routledge, 1996); Niels Peter Lemche, The Israelites in History and Tradition (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998); and Thomas L. Thompson, The Mythic Past: Biblical Archaeology and the Myth of Israel (New York: Basic Books, 1999). My latest responses, again with full references, will be found in William G. Dever, “Archaeology, Ideology, and the Quest for ‘Ancient’ or ‘Biblical Israel.’” Near Eastern Archaeology 61:1 (1998), pp. 39–52, and “Histories and Non-histories of Ancient Israel,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 316 (1999). Also helpful on the fundamental issue of historiography and faith are many of the essays in V. Philips Long, ed., Israel’s Past in Present Research: Essays on Ancient Israelite Historiography (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1999).


This summary closely follows Lemche, “Earliest Israel Revisited,” Currents in Research: Biblical Studies 4 (1996), pp. 9–34; for my critique, see Dever, “Revisionist Israel Revisited: A Rejoinder to Niels Peter Lemche,” Currents in Research: Biblical Studies 4 (1996), pp. 35–50. See also the works cited in n. 1 above, passim.


Postmodernist literature is extensive, but often stupifyingly jargon ridden. For an accessible, although largely apologetic, introduction, see Charles Lemert, Post-modernism Is Not What You Think (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997); but for a devastating critique, see David Gress, From Plato to Nato: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents (London: Free Press, 1998).


For orientation to the method of deconstruction as applied to Biblical texts, see the essays in J. Cheryl Exum and David J. A. Clines, eds., The New Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993). For the related and similarly postmodern methods of semiotics, see, for instance, George Aichele, Sign, Text, Scripture: Semiotics and the Bible (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997); note esp. Aichele’s quotation of the famous definition of postmodernism by one of its principal gurus, Jean-François Lyotard (pp. 15–16), which I confess I find totally incomprehensible.


Caricature is one of the revisionist’s favorite devices; see, for instance, Whitelam, Invention, throughout; and esp. Thompson, Mythic Past, which, however, can hardly be called scholarship, since it does not contain a single reference to support any of the countless cavalier assertions that are made. For a brief critique, see Dever, review of The Mythic Past, by Thompson, ReViews, BAR 25:05.


See, for instance, Gress, From Plato to Nato; and esp. Alan D. Sokal and Jean Bricmont, Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science (New York: Picador U.S.A., 1998). For trends specifically in Biblical studies, cf. William A. Beardslee, “Poststructuralist Criticism,” in Stephen R. Haynes and Steven L. McKenzie, eds., To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993), pp. 231–235, esp. p. 232 (for neo-pragmatism).


John Barton, Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1996), p. 235.


See, for example, Davies, Ancient Israel, p. 24 n. 4.


Marit Skjeggestad, “Ethnic Groups in Early Iron Age Palestine: Some Observations on the Use of the Term ‘Israelite’ in Recent Research,” Scandinavian Journal of Theology 6 (1992), pp. 159–186.


See Israel Finkelstein, The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1998); Finkelstein and Nadav Na’aman, eds., From Nomadism to Monarchy: Archaeological and Historical Aspects of Early Israel (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1994). On the implications of the Israeli survey data, see the differences between Whitelam and myself in Whitelam, “The Identity of Early Israel: The Realignment and Transformation of Late Bronze-Iron Age Palestine,” JSOT 63 (1994), pp. 57–87; Dever, “The Identity of Early Israel: A Rejoinder to Keith W. Whitelam,” JSOT 72 (1996), pp. 3–24. Add now Dever, “Archaeology, Ideology, and the Quest,” “Histories and Non-histories.”


Lawrence E. Stager, “The Archaeology of the Family in Ancient Israel,” BASOR 260 (1985), pp. 1–35.


Marshall D. Sahlins, Stone Age Economics (Chicago: Aldine-Atherton, 1972), p. 95.


See David C. Hopkins, The Highlands of Canaan: Agricultural Life in the Early Iron Age (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1985).


See, for instance, Brian Hesse and Paula Wapnish, “Can Pig Bones Be Used for Ethnic Diagnosis in the Ancient Near East?” in Neil Asher Silberman and David Small, eds., The Archaeology of Israel: Constructing the Past, Interpreting the Present (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), pp. 238–270.


Amihai Mazar, “The ‘Bull Site’: An Iron Age Open Cult Place,” BASOR 247 (1982), pp. 27–42; Adam Zertal, “An Early Iron Age Cult Site on Mt. Ebal: Excavation Seasons 1982–1987,” Tel Aviv 13–14 (1986–1987), pp. 105–165.


For an interpretation of Israelite popular religion, in terms of continuity with the Canaanite cult, see Dever, “Folk Religion in Early Israel—Did Yahweh Have a Consort?” in Hershel Shanks and Jack Meinhardt, eds., Aspects of Monotheism—How God Is One (Washington, DC: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1997), pp. 27–56.


On literacy in general in Ancient Israel, see Susan Niditch, Oral Word and Written Word: Ancient Israelite Literature (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1996).


See, for example, Dever, “Archaeology, Ideology, and the Quest.”


For Finkelstein’s rather abrupt about-face on Israelite ethnicity, compare Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement with “The Emergence of Israel in Canaan: Consensus, Mainstream and Dispute,” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 5:2 (1991), pp. 47–59; “Ethnicity and Origin of the Iron I Settlers in the Highlands on Canaan: Can the Real Israel Stand Up?” Biblical Archaeologist (BA) 59:4 (1996), pp. 198–212. Yet nowhere does Finkelstein cite actual archaeological or textual data that forced this change of opinion.


Siân Jones, The Archaeology of Ethnicity (London: Routledge, 1997).


For my “proto-Israelites,” see Dever, “The Late Bronze-Early Iron I Horizon in Syria-Palestine: Egyptians, Canaanites, ‘Sea Peoples,’ and ‘Proto-Israelites,’” in William A. Ward and Martha S. Joukowsky, eds., The Crisis Years: The 12th Century B.C. from Beyond the Danube to the Tigris (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1992), pp. 99–110, and “Archaeology and the Emergence of Early Israel,” in John R. Bartlett, ed., Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation (London: Routledge, 1997), pp. 20–50. On Late Bronze Age-Iron I ceramic continuity, see Dever, “Ceramics, Ethnicity, and the Question of Israel’s Origins,” BA 58:4 (1995), pp. 200–213, and references there to other literature. There is an overwhelming consensus among all archaeologists today on this continuity, although there are differences of interpretation on the implications of the facts. On the origin of the bearers of this Late Bronze-Iron I ceramic tradition, opinions vary from Finkelstein’s theory of local pastoral nomadic origins to my theory of local mixed elements, including nomads and displaced lowland farmers.


See now the exhaustive treatment of Michael G. Hasel, Domination and Resistance: Egyptian Military Activity in the Southern Levant, 1300–1185 B.C. (Leiden: Brill, 1998).


See, for example, Thompson, Mythic Past, p. 79; Lemche, The Israelites, pp. 35–38.