Jim West Gets Mentioned by the BBC, Israel Finkelstein Publishes Some Articles Online

I’m telling you, folks, if you wish to be kept up to speed in the world of archaeology as it relates to the Bible, create a Google alert for yourself on Israel Finkelstein. Today (word coming from Jim West), Israel Finkelstein has published some papers of his online.

The first, on Amarna Shechem, is from 2005, and thus, fairly recent, utilizing the petrographic examination of the Amarna letters done by Goren. It analyzes the rise of the Omrides as interpreted by the rise of an earlier Shechem-area based polity, that of Shechem under Labayu. It was superseded by Finkelstein’s paper on Saul being the “Last Labayu”. The only disagreeable remark I can find in there is the mention of Dor being definitely Israelite in the 8th C BC (on page 183), ignoring the possibility it might have been Phoenician.

The second, on the campaign of Shoshenq I, is outdated (my video is up-to date), describing Shoshenq I as attempting to destroy, rather than encourage, the Masos-Nahas copper network. It is also a useful example of Finkelstein In Transition on his opinions on which stratum at Megiddo corresponds to Shoshenq I’s Megiddo. In this paper, he views “Early IrIIa” Masos II as partially contemporary with “Late Iron I” Megiddo VIA. Finkelstein also presents his “Shoshenq destroyed Saulide Gibeon” hypothesis he more clearly presents in “Last Labayu”.

The third, on “The Archaeology of the Days of Manasseh“, is a Finkelstein classic. He points out the decline of the Judahite population from over 120,000 in c. 705 BC to under 70,000 in c. 605 BC, the utter lack of full recovery in the Shephelah, and the rise in population in the Negev, Hill Country, Benjamin, and Wilderness. He also points out the Arabian trade and Ekron IC as factors in the recovery of Judah under Manasseh. He does not accept there is any good evidence for a Manassite revival of the Shephelah.

In other news, Jim West, biblioblogger extraordinaire, has been mentioned by the BBC.

Two Comment Threads Involving Fundamentalist Christians-Also, Jim West’s Birthday

Yesterday, I observed that August 28 was the first anniversary of the end of the great debate between Don Stewart and I on the location of the Land of Punt. I also noticed yesterday that six views came to my blog from the blog of Jan Simonsen. When I used Google Translate to figure out what the heck the comments that led up to the mention of my blog were saying, I was touched. A harmony went over my body, and I smiled, thinking “This is exactly what I meant AJaL to be used for!”. In short, eplejuice, a fundamentalist Christian, was arguing with Moskus (some kind of atheist or deist) about a number of religious topics. eplejuice mentioned that some people have found golden calf drawings and a menorah at The Real Mount Sinai. The comment that mentioned my blog was this one:

Moskus

Ok, siden du insisterte. Jeg har nå sett filmen. Den har forresten blitt hyppig diskutert (diskutert til døde, nærmest) på internett, og jeg har faktisk lest gjennom mye av det. Først og fremst må jeg bare si at det ikke finnes èn, en eneste èn, verken av verdens ledende arkeologer elle historikere med ekspertise på midtøsten og denne tiden, som tror at Jabal el Lawz er Sinai-fjellet. Ikke ÈN! Og hele Wyatts tese om at det faktisk skulle være tilfellet tas ikke seriøst av noen. Skulle en anestesisykepleier fra syvende-dags-adventistene vite dette bedre enn all verdens samlede korps av historikere og arkeologer? For ikke å snakke om egyptologene?
Uansett: Jeg tok det såpass på alvor at jeg så filmen (du finner den på youtube også), slik at jeg kunne besvare de konkrete tingene (synsbedragene…) du har nevnt (kalv, lysestake o.s.v.).
Stolpene har jeg allerede forklart i en tidligere post.
Så skrev jeg i timesvis ned det som måtte være rasjonelle forklaringer på de forskjellige tingene,samtidig som jeg googlet rundt etter forklaringer. Og i ettertid så jeg at jeg bare hadde ressonert meg fram til det riktige i rundt 50% av tilfellene, så det var bra jeg ikke postet dette før jeg fant DENNE siden:

againstjebelallawz…s.com/jebel-al-lawz/

…her finner du alt sammen forklart,ned til minste detalj, om menorahen (lysestaken — PS! Jeg FORSTÅR at fantasien setter i gang å spinne ved synet av akkurat den, jeg måtte faktisk svelge tungt et lite øyeblikk selv, for dette var før jeg fant den siden jeg linket til ovenfor), «kalvene» (he he), skrifttegn, den splittede steinen o.s.v., bedre enn jeg noensinne kunne gjort, så derfor stryker jeg ut mine egne forklaringer (som var nedenunder her)

Så vil jeg bare også påpeke (for det nevnes ikke inngående i teksten jeg linket til) at disse bildene i denne filmen ikke er tatt på et bestemt sted,eller innenfor et lite,avgrenset, geografisk område. De første bildene er tatt ute ved kysten. Andre bilder er tatt lenger inn i landet. Det som har foregått her, er at Wyatt og teamet hans av likesinnede rett og slett har kjørt fra kysten og innover i ørkenen, på leting etter steinformasjoner, bilder og fjell som kunne ligne, eller gi assosiasjoner til, bibelske hendelser. De har m.a.o. hatt historien klar på forhånd (slik den står skrevet i Bibelen) og SÅ lett etter ting som kunne bekrefte den allerede etablerte (som sannhet) hypotesen.
Det er ikke slik vitenskap foregår…
Hele «narrativen», som du kaller det, er reinspikka fantasi og dikting fra ende til annen. T.o.m. innad i SDA-kirken tar man avstand fra Wyatts dikting. Les teksten jeg linket til grundig.

You can see why I had the emotions I did when I read Google’s translation of this comment. eplejuice’s reply was toned down, but he still misunderstood AJaL enough to make a few objections.

Today also happens to be the birthday of Jim West, the most prolific biblioblogger of all time. He is thought by me to have three faces: the face of the theologian, the face of the historian, and the face of the social commentator. The face of the theologian prides himself on his hatred of reason, the homosexuals&the abortionists and his love of theologians and theology. The face of the historian prides himself on his love of reason and his love of the history of the Bible and its interpretation. The face of the social commentator prides himself on the support of government intervention in all spheres of life and his hatred of latter-day Republicans for stalling this phenomenon. Three faces in one person, each influencing each other-the closest anyone has come to seeing the Christian Trinity in real life?

Thread Between Me and Jim West

I happen to admit I do not like Jim West. This is only partially due to the fact Jim West does not like me, and is more due to Jim’s long line of deleted blogs than anything else. As anyone who knows anything about Jim West knows, Jim West does not like self-described atheists. Thus, the following (note that Jim West changes blog themes every half-hour and deletes his blog every two years-don’t expect the above link to work after 2013; see backup here). My reply was meant to cover the lack of difference between atheists and agnostics, the meaning of the phrase “separation of religion and state”, and the consistency of my online identity. My reply to Dan is that adults in power don’t believe in Santa; thus, the only worrisome thing about Santa is his negative effect on the children of North American nations (and the U.K. and its territories). YHWH, however, is believed in by at least three quarters of the legislature of the most powerful nation in the world. Thus, the unholy (but good?) alliance between the U.S. and the world’s only majority Jewish state.