Assinada por Gerda Freedheim, a resenha é extremamente elogiosa. Diz, por exemplo, que os autores fizeram uma excelente análise de uma das maiores lendas do judaísmo, Davi e Salomão (…have just released an excellent analysis of one of Judaism’s greatest legends, David and Solomon).
Diz ainda que o livro é escrito de maneira clara, sendo muito bem documentado, de tal maneira que mesmo os leitores com pouca ou nenhuma formação em arqueologia e estudos bíblicos o acharão fascinante. “The book is so clearly written and so well documented that lay readers with little or no archaeological or biblical background will find it fascinating. Each chapter, which covers a different chronological period, includes stages in the development of biblical material, historical background and archaeological finds. For readers who wish to explore the topic further, the references by chapter are excellent, and the appendices summarize in more detail the archaeological points in the text“.
Acrescenta, quase no final, que a obra continua a excelente contribuição de Finkelstein e Silberman na área. Contribuição que já apareceu em The Bible Unearthed (2001), em português, A Bíblia não tinha razão (2003).
É uma resenha rápida e simples, mas clara e bem escrita. Confesso que esperava uma feroz crítica… tive uma agradável surpresa!
Sobre o jornal? Diz o About Us: “The Cleveland Jewish News has provided Northeast Ohio’s Jewish community with a quality weekly newspaper for over 39 years. Publishing every Friday since 1964, the CJN now presents local, national and world news, award-winning features, articles, commentary and reviews of Jewish interest to the community in print and online. The CJN is completely independent. We are not affiliated with any one program, organization, movement, or point of view within Jewish life, and strive to document and express the multi-faceted Jewish experience”.
David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. By Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. Free Press. 2006. 352 pp.
Reviewed by Gerda K. Freedheim
One of the most thrilling aspects of Israel is its history.
Inhabited for more than five millennia, it holds the roots and secrets of Western civilization’s great religions. Two hundred years of linguistic analysis of Hebrew texts, exploration of distinctive literary genres, and stunning biblical archaeology discoveries have given us a rich picture of that tiny land.
Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and Neil Asher Silberman, director of historical interpretation for the Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage Presentation in Belgium, have just released an excellent analysis of one of Judaism’s greatest legends, David and Solomon.
The last 25 years of archaeological research have provided sensational and often controversial new evidence of what the Bible says about ancient Israel. Researchers are now finding evidence from ancient times that widely diverges from what is written in the Hebrew Bible, particularly regarding dating of historical personages and events.
Using the most recent archaeological studies and excavations, linguistic analyses, and the Bible itself, Finkelstein and Silberman explore the evolution of the personages of David and Solomon from the 10th century B.C.E. through the 5th century C.E.
They argue in considerable detail that many of the stories are fictions, historically questionable, or highly exaggerated.
But they also point out that their purpose is not simply to discredit stories of the Bible. Rather, their goal is to show how the legends of David and Solomon developed and how they came to guide Western thinking and shape Western religious and political traditions in important ways.
They demonstrate how these kings could have been no more than local chieftains in 10th century B.C.E. For example, they explain that archaeological evidence of the early Iron Age (late 12th century to about 900 B.C.E.) indicate that Judah was a modest and sparsely settled hill country. Archaeological surveys recorded the remains of only about 20 permanent settlements with a population estimated at a few thousand people, not including the roving bandit groups and large herding communities.
While there are indications that Jerusalem grew in size and held importance as the center of the southern highlands, it was a modest town where business would have been conducted with highland clans through face-to-face encounters. Storytelling would have been the key to maintaining the continued support of the people. Saul, David’s predecessor, and David were little more than highland chieftains.
Even the life and works of Solomon, as described in the Bible, have no historical value at all, claim the authors. Grandiose descriptions of Solomonic wealth and power are absurdly discordant with the historical reality of the small, out-of-the-way hill country that possessed no literacy, no massive construction works, no extensive administration, and not the slightest sign of commercial prosperity.
Yet by the 7th century B.C.E., David and Solomon personae had evolved into rich and powerful rulers of a united Israel. By the 3rd century B.C.E., they had become messianic leaders of Judaism and, later, Christianity. How did this happen? And why did it happen? The authors’ reasoning, while controversial in some aspects, is both scholarly and convincing.
The book is so clearly written and so well documented that lay readers with little or no archaeological or biblical background will find it fascinating. Each chapter, which covers a different chronological period, includes stages in the development of biblical material, historical background and archaeological finds. For readers who wish to explore the topic further, the references by chapter are excellent, and the appendices summarize in more detail the archaeological points in the text.
David and Solomon is an important addition to the authors’ first book, The Bible Unearthed (Free Press, 2001), which explores the Five Books of Moses using the same methodology. It, too, is magnificently researched and documented and reads almost like a “white-knuckle” mystery.
Both books attempt to bring together faith and science. While science cannot support many of the stories the Bible has taught us, it can give us concrete grounding in what we do know about our historical past. If anything, these books show the strength of two great faiths, founded on real lives of real people.
Fonte: CJN – Jul 27, 2006