Friday, January 14, 2022

The Bible as a tour guide?

HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY AND TRAVEL: Using the Bible as an Archaeological Travel Guide to Israel. There are hundreds of biblical sites in Israel – some have been identified with certainty by archaeologists while others require an act of faith. To what extent can we use the Tanakh, and its stories of David and Goliath, Samson et al, as a reliable tour guide? (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz).
Is it generally possible to use the Tanakh as our guidebook? At what sites should that be done? How certain is the identification of biblical sites with contemporary landmarks? And what is the attraction of a tour with the Tanakh? Is a Tel Azeqa tour in the company of David and Goliath more interesting than a tour observing the trees and cyclamens that are beginning to bloom all around? And of course: is there anyone who exploits the connection between the present site and the legendary-historical past? Is it proof of our “right” to the Valley of Elah?
Even if we think of the stories in the Bible primarily as stories, the tellers generally set these stories in familiar locations. Most of the settings are real, whatever you make of the stories.

An informative article that interviews two archaeologists and an anthropologist.

For related thoughts on the Bible, see the immediately preceding post here.

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