William Dever: ‘The Bad Boy of Archaeology’
Posted by NT Wrong on May 14, 2008
Tom Levy introduces William Dever as “The Bad Boy of Archaeology”, in this interview on UCTV’s Dig This, February 2008. Dever gives an overview of Palestinian/Israeli archaeology:
“There has grown up in Europe, particularly, a new school of biblical scholars – they call themselves ‘revisionists’ – who think the Hebrew Bible is a collection of fairy tales, basically – there’s no history at all to be derived from it. I wouldn’t go to that extreme. The Bible is not history in the modern sense, doesn’t purport to be, but I think the Bible contains a lot of historical information about the Iron Age of ancient Palestine or ancient Israel.”
On those, unnamed minimalists, who suggest the Tell Dan inscription may have been a fraud:
“What kind of scholarship is it that discredits the inconvenient evidence? This is the extent to which extremists will go to argue that there was no ancient Israel. And if you think perhaps there is an ideological agenda there, you’re quite right … There are some people who – let’s put it gently – are not friends of Israel, ancient or modern, some people who believe that archaeology can be used to settle competing clams between Israelis and Palestinians today … And there are always people who don’t like the Bible, and enjoy Bible-bashing. I don’t think that’s honest scholarship.”
I should add, there’s nothing new here (it’s a general overview interview), but I was amused by the description of Dever as “The Bad Boy of Archaeology”. Very Indiana Jones. William Dever seemed chuffed.