FACE TO FACE. In what could have been an ordinary dull season, BAR readers were served a heated cover-story debate in the summer of 1997. In it, Hershel Shanks pitted Dever and Kyle McCarter (the first and third photos on the cover from left to right) against Niels Peter Lemche and Thomas L. Thompson—the chief protagonists of the maximalist–minimalist controversy. The debate helped clarify where the two camps stood on the historicity of Biblical narrative regarding the kings David and Solomon, but no agreement was reached on whether there was a centralized empire in 10th-century Judah, not to mention the early existence of a United Monarchy.