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Who Lived in Ancient Israel?

November 27, 2008

I am surprised that there was not more of a firestorm after Nova aired its show on the Bible. This gives me hope that my book (The Woman Who Named God) will not be attacked when it comes out as I discuss many of the same theories. My favorite moment on the show is when William Dever explains his hypothesis that the original Israelites did not actually come from Mesopotamia, but were probably Canaanite peasants who were unhappy with the treatment they received from the Canaanite elite and moved inland away from the sea. Thus lekh lekha, Abraham and Sarah’s departure from Mesopotamia, never really happened, or at least not quite the way we thought it did. Dever does say that he thinks these proto Israelites were Canaanites looking for a new way of life. Here’s a great link to the Nova website where you can hear Dever talk about this idea. His famous book (2003) is Who Were The Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?

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  1. November 27, 2008 2:27 pm

    Dr. Shlomo Sand argued in his latest academic work that has also spent 19 weeks on Israel’s bestseller list – despite his book challenging Israel’s biggest taboo: Dr Sand argues that the idea of a Jewish nation – whose need for a safe haven was originally used to justify the founding of the state of Israel – is a myth invented little more than a century ago.

    He believes the exile was a myth promoted by early Christians to recruit Jews to the new faith. “Christians wanted later generations of Jews to believe that their ancestors had been exiled as a punishment from God.”

    “It is not taught in Israeli schools but most of the early Zionist leaders, including David Ben Gurion [Israel’s first prime minister], believed that the Palestinians were the descendants of the area’s original Jews. They believed the Jews had later converted to Islam.”

    Read full article here


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