Is the Bible historically reliable? For many believers it’s a shocking question; for many scholars it’s a naïve query. There was a time, within memory, when the dominant academic view was not far removed from popular perceptions. Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark may have been beyond the reach of historical inquiry, but everything […]

What Separates a Minimalist from a Maximalist? Not Much

Last October, an academic conference was held at Northwestern University, outside of Chicago, on the Origins of the Jewish People and Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. The event, a Philip M. and Ethel Klutznik symposium and lecture, was supported by the United Jewish Federation of Chicago and Northwestern’s Jewish studies program. Among the invited speakers […]

Save Us from Postmodern Malarkey

There are some who claim that the Bible contains little or no historical information about ancient Israel. I want to combat these “minimalist” or “revisionist” views of the history of ancient Israel by showing how archaeology can and does illuminate a historical Israel in the Iron Age of ancient Palestine (roughly 1200–600 B.C.E.). I […]

Can You Understand This?

We try to expose our readers to various scholarly viewpoints, even though we do not always agree with them. We have confidence in our readers’ ability to make up their own minds. It is in that spirit that we have tried to present the case of the Biblical revisionists, or Biblical minimalists, or as […]

Will Tel Rehov Save the United Monarchy?

In the shadow of Mt. Gilboa in the northern Jordan Valley stands one of Israel’s largest, most important archaeological sites—and, until recently, one of the least known. Yet there is nothing hidden or obscure about the site. Indeed, Tel Rehov is hard to miss. The mound stands out prominently just 1,500 feet east […]

The Debate Goes On

Longtime BAR readers know that we keep returning to the question of where on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount ancient Israel’s sacred Temple stood. Perhaps it’s because there’s just enough evidence to bring a persuasive answer within reach, but not enough to put the matter definitively to rest. In a two-part article last year (“Sacred […]

Ritmeyer Responds to Jacobson

David Jacobson’s theory regarding the shape of Herod’s Temple Mount and the placement of the Temple within it draws heavily on Roman architectural practice. The Romans were particularly fond of symmetrical structures, as Jacobson rightly points out. But he fails to note that this heavy tilt towards symmetry usually occurred when a structure was […]

Kaufman Responds to Jacobson

My friend David Jacobson is to be congratulated on his two-part article on Herod’s Temple Mount. His overall view of the Mount and his incisive use of comparative architecture are commendable. I am grateful to him for reminding readers about the location of the Temple. Jacobson also deserves praise for his insistence that, even […]

Abraham’s Ur—Is the Pope Going to the Wrong Place?

We inadvertently printed an incorrect draft of this article in our January/February 2000 issue. The correct text follows:

Rome, Italy